Georgia

ATLANTA – Georgia exports hit an all-time high last year for the third year in a row, the state Department of Economic Development reported Wednesday. The state exported $49.7 billion in goods in 2023, eclipsing the previous record of $47 billion set the year before. An estimated 87% of those exports came from small businesses.

ATLANTA (AP) — A nuclear power plant in Georgia has begun splitting atoms in the second of its two new reactors, Georgia Power said Wednesday, a key step toward providing carbon-free electricity. The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. said operators reached self-sustaining nuclear fission inside the reactor at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Augusta. That makes the heat that will be used to produce steam and spin turbines to generate electricity.

ATLANTA (AP) — Voters in west Georgia chose a former state House member as their new state senator on Tuesday, while a race in a state House seat near Augusta is headed for a March 12 runoff. In state Senate District 30, Republican Tim Bearden of Carrollton won the majority of votes, according to final unofficial results. Four candidates had run to replace former state Sen. Mike Dugan, who resigned to run for Congress.

ATLANTA (AP) — The board that governs Georgia’s public colleges Tuesday authorized the University of Georgia to establish a medical school at its Athens campus. The state Board of Regents gave unanimous approval to what would be Georgia’s second public medical school. The other is the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

CARROLLTON, Ga. (AP) — The flag-draped casket of Staff Sgt. William Jerome Rivers stood at the front of a church Tuesday as Georgia's governor joined the Army Reserve soldier's family, uniformed military officers and his pastor from New Jersey who made the trip to say farewell.

ATLANTA (AP) — Family, friends and military colleagues are gathering in Georgia as funerals begin for three Army Reserve soldiers killed last month in a drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan. The first funeral service was scheduled Tuesday morning for Staff Sgt. William Jerome Rivers at a Baptist church in Carrollton, west of Atlanta. The 46-year-old reservist and Pennsylvania native, who is survived by his wife and son in Georgia, served in uniform for more than a decade after enlisting as an electrician. The Army said his overseas deployments included a nine-month tour in Iraq in 2018. His obituary from a local funeral home called him a warm-hearted family man with a “gentle demeanor and a fierce and determined personality.”

Dexter Scott King, the late son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, was remembered Saturday as the protector of his family’s legacy and the keeper of his father's dream during a memorial service in Atlanta.

ATLANTA – The Georgia House of Representatives unanimously passed an election-year tax relief package Thursday. A measure introduced on behalf of Gov. Brian Kemp would accelerate a state income tax cut that took effect this year, rolling back the income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39%. House Bill 1015 would save Georgia taxpayers about $1.1 billion this year, Rep. Lauren McDonald, R-Cumming, said on the House floor before Thursday’s vote.

ATLANTA (AP) — A man in Atlanta was arrested Thursday on charges that he torched eight police motorcycles last summer, one of about two dozen acts of arson that officials have linked to protests against a planned police and firefighter training facility that opponents have dubbed “Cop City.”

ATLANTA (AP) — As Georgia shovels out billions in economic incentives to electric vehicle manufacturers and other companies, the state is moving to make it harder for workers at those firms to join labor unions.

ATLANTA (AP) — Former professional baseball and football player Vincent “Bo” Jackson, a running back who won the Heisman Trophy at Auburn, has won a $21 million verdict in his civil case against his niece and nephew for trying to extort him.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's House backed changes to the state budget Wednesday that would add $5 billion in spending, including a burst of roadbuilding, new dental and medical schools, and money to cover bonuses paid to state employees and teachers. ”Five billion dollars. You can do a lot of good with $5 billion," House Appropriations Committee Chair Matt Hatchett, a Dublin Republican, told House members. "Now, not every item in the budget is glamorous, but I can tell you it’s needed.”

LIZELLA, Ga. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy died Tuesday night after hitting another car while responding to a call in middle Georgia. Local news outlets report Crawford County Deputy Timothy Tavarus Rivers was responding to a call to assist another officer when he crossed the center line on a road south of Lizella. Rivers tried to correct his path and hit an oncoming car head-on.

ATLANTA (AP) — Amendments to Georgia's current state budget moved ahead Tuesday, including $315 million to cover bonuses that were already paid to state employees and public school teachers and $1.5 billion in extra money for road building and maintenance. The House Appropriations Committee voted to advance House Bill 915, which would boost spending in the current budget running through June 30 by a massive $5 billion. The full House is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday.

ATLANTA – The state of Georgia and the federal government remain at loggerheads over Gov. Brian Kemp’s limited expansion of the state’s Medicaid program. The state filed a lawsuit in federal court in Brunswick Friday seeking an extension of the five-year program being denied by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Georgia's sole facility for exporting liquefied natural gas, located just east of Savannah, could be affected by a new order issued by President Joe Biden which seeks to limit LNG exports. The U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday that it will indefinitely pause the approval of new LNG export facilities in order to give federal regulators time to reassess the impacts of natural gas on the environment, economy and national security.

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge denied bond on Sunday for a man charged with murder in the death of a Georgia state trooper during a vehicular pursuit. Trooper Jimmy Cenescar died after his cruiser left Interstate 85 on Jan. 28 and struck an embankment in the north Atlanta suburb of Suwanee.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Power Co. said Thursday that vibrations found in a cooling system of its second new nuclear reactor will delay when the unit begins generating power. Plant Vogtle's Unit 4 now will not start commercial operation until sometime in the second quarter of 2024, or between April 1 and June 30, the largest subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. announced.

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. (AP) — Police in an Atlanta-area city responding to shots fired at a home on Thursday found numerous women there and are investigating the possibility the residence was used for sex trafficking, authorities said. South Fulton police detained 19 people at the home, most of them women between 16 and about 40 years old, police said. South Fulton is about 20 miles southwest of Atlanta.

ATLANTA   — Declaring that there is no place for hate in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp signed an antisemitism bill into law on Wednesday to protect the state's Jewish population from harassment, intimidation or violence. "Our Jewish citizens have experienced hate in the form of antisemitic flyers spread across neighborhoods, messages on social media calling for the death of Jews in Israel and around the world and even hateful gatherings outside synagogues," Kemp said at the bill signing ceremony. "So, we are all thankful for the perseverance and dedication shown in getting this bill across the finish line as we work together to send a clear, unified message: In Georgia, we proudly stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters."

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia voters could see a watermark on their ballot beginning in November, a move Republican supporters said would assure citizens that their ballots are authentic. The House on Wednesday voted 167-1 for House Bill 976, sending it to the Senate for more debate.

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A police officer fatally shot a man at an Atlanta-area Veterans Affairs hospital after the man took out a knife and threatened to hurt himself. The shooting took place Monday at the Max Cleland Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

One of the most influential members of the Georgia House of Representatives has died. State Rep. Richard Smith, a Columbus Republican who chaired the House Rules Committee, died at his home from complications of the flu before dawn Tuesday, the House Speaker's office said.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Described by their parents as bubbly and constantly laughing, Spc. Kennedy Sanders and Spc. Breonna Moffett became close friends soon after enlisting in the Army Reserve five years ago. Sgt. William Jerome Rivers served a tour in Iraq before joining the same company of Army engineers. The three citizen-soldiers from different corners of Georgia all died in a weekend drone strike on a U.S. base in Jordan near the Syrian border that also wounded more than 40 others.

SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia state trooper has died after his cruiser left Interstate 85 on Sunday and struck an embankment in the Atlanta suburb of Suwanee. The state Department of Public Safety said Trooper Jimmy Cenescar was trying to stop a motorcycle for a traffic violation. Cenescar was taken to a Lawrenceville hospital, where he died.

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