Georgia

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (AP) — Some local residents and an animal-rights group are protesting plans for a monkey-breeding facility in southwest Georgia. Opponents on Tuesday urged the Bainbridge City Council to block plans by a company called Safer Human Medicine to build a $396 million complex that would eventually hold up to 30,000 long-tailed macaques that would be sold to universities and pharmaceutical companies for medical research. The company says it plans to employ up to 263 workers.

ATLANTA – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is referring the cases of 17 Georgians suspected of having voted twice in 2022 to district attorneys in nine counties where those voters live. These voters are suspected of voting once in Georgia in the November 2022 general election and again in another state.

Gov. Brian Kemp is talking up Georgia to foreign business and political big wigs for the second January in a row. Kemp is spending the week in Davos, Switzerland, attending the World Economic Forum, meeting business executives and political leaders and taking part in discussion panels.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia education officials want to provide literacy coaches to help train teachers to improve reading instruction, even as some prominent lawmakers say the state Department of Education isn't doing enough to implement a literacy law passed last year.

ATLANTA (AP) — After years of holding spending far below what Georgia was collecting in revenue, Gov. Brian Kemp is proposing a big boost in outlays. In budgets released Thursday, the Republican governor proposes spending an additional $5 billion in the current budget running through June.

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Senate is nominating a fifth member to the State Election Board as House Speaker Jon Burns pushes for changes in voting and says he wants to make the board more independent of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

COVID, flu up sharply in Georgia

ATLANTA – Cases of COVID-19 and flu have risen sharply in Georgia since the Christmas holidays, state epidemiologist Dr. Cherie Drenzek reported Tuesday. COVID cases have increased by about 50% since last week, hospitalizations are up 75%, and deaths have risen by 10%, Drenzek told members of the Georgia Board of Public Health.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday he'll propose $1.8 billion in added spending on infrastructure, as well as expand health care training for dentists and physicians, showing how the state's $11 billion in surplus cash is giving the Republican clout to spend big even as state revenues slow.

ATLANTA (AP) — A man who was being held at the problem-plagued Fulton County Jail in Atlanta died Wednesday at a hospital after he was found unresponsive in his cell, authorities said.

At least three deaths were attributed to storms Tuesday that pummeled the South with  heavy rain, wind gusts and tornadoes. Police south of Atlanta said a man died when a tree fell on his car on a state highway in Jonesboro. Near Cottonwood, Alabama, a small city near the Georgia and Florida borders, an 81-year-old woman was killed when her mobile home was tossed from its foundation, the Houston County coroner said. A suspected tornado had touched down in the area.

ATLANTA (AP) — Election integrity activists want a federal judge to order Georgia to stop using its current election system, saying it's vulnerable to attack and has operational issues that could cost voters their right to cast a vote and have it accurately counted. During a trial set to start Tuesday, activists plan to argue that the Dominion Voting Systems touchscreen voting machines are so flawed they are unconstitutional.

LANETT, Ala. (AP) — A Georgia sheriff's deputy was fatally injured when he was struck by another police vehicle at the end of a high-speed pursuit that crossed over into Alabama. Coweta County Deputy Eric Minix died early Thursday morning after chasing a stolen vehicle, the sheriff's office wrote on social media, and “during the apprehension of the suspect Eric was struck by a police car and was pronounced dead at an area hospital.”

Rivian plant wins court fight

ATLANTA – A Morgan County judge has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the construction of a $5 billion electric vehicle manufacturing plant near Interstate 20 east of Atlanta. When Rivian first announced its plans in 2021, the plant was the largest economic development project in Georgia history.

A bomb threat emailed to officials in several states early Wednesday briefly disrupted government affairs and prompted some state capitol evacuations, but no explosives were found and federal officials quickly dismissed the threats as a hoax. The threats follow a spate of false reports of shootings at the homes of public officials in recent days.

ATLANTA (AP) — A person held at a jail in Atlanta set fire to his cell, but the fire was extinguished quickly and no one was injured, officials said. The fire at the Fulton County Jail was extinguished by jail staff. The Atlanta Fire Department also responded to the scene. It was unclear how the person started the fire.

ATLANTA – A $1 billion election-year tax cut the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed last year took effect on New Year’s Day. For now, the phased-in tax cut sets the state income tax rate for 2024 at a flat 5.49%, down from the current 5.75%. The tax rate will continue to decline annually, arriving at 4.99% in 2029.

ATLANTA – A state senator plans to introduce legislation during the upcoming session of the General Assembly aimed at “swatting,” false reports of criminal activity that send police to the homes or offices of targeted victims.

GRIFFIN, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot Friday while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance at a home in Spalding County, officials said.

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday accepted new Georgia congressional and legislative voting districts that protect Republican partisan advantages, saying the creation of new majority-Black voting districts solved the illegal minority vote dilution that led him to order maps to be redrawn.

CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) — Six people are dead and three others critically injured after a head-on crash on a north Texas highway. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened late Tuesday near the town of Cleburne, about 33 miles south of Fort Worth. Investigators believe a southbound pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old entered the northbound lanes in a no-passing zone and slammed into a minivan. Six people in the minivan were killed, including the 28-year-old driver from Irving, Texas.

Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was the target of a swatting attempt at her Georgia residence on Christmas morning, the congresswoman and local police said, marking the latest instance of someone calling in a fake emergency to draw armed officers to her home. The Rome Police Department quickly verified that the call was a hoax and did not send officers to the house, department spokesperson Kelly Madden said.

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (AP) — A German drug packaging and medical device maker says it will expand in suburban Atlanta, investing $88 million and hiring more than 200 new employees. Gerresheimer AG, based in Dusseldorf, said Thursday that it would build a new factory in Peachtree City, south of Atlanta.

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta's school system on Thursday reversed itself and said it would now pay employees a $1,000 bonus announced Monday by Gov. Brian Kemp after Georgia's state superintendent of education sent out a public letter lambasting the system for saying it wouldn't pay the money.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed after the aircraft crashed at Lake Lanier Islands Resort on Thursday. The Hall County Sheriff's Office said it happened around 5:15 p.m. in a parking lot along Lanier Islands Parkway near Pine Cone Drive, news outlets reported. The plane had taken off about 15 minutes earlier from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, authorities said.

ATLANTA – Georgia’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.4% in November for the third month in a row, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday. Several categories again reached record highs, including the number of jobs, which rose slightly by 0.3% last month compared to November of last year to more than 4.95 million.

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