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Hurricane Center may add surge warnings

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The National Hurricane Center is considering adding a storm-surge warning to its list of watches and warnings issued during hurricane season.

Center officials floated the idea of a storm-surge warning Wednesday to a crowd of emergency managers, first responders and meteorologists attending the 2010 National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.

April 01, 2010 | By Mike Schneider Associated Press writer | State, National News


Savannah names veteran as police chief

SAVANNAH - A 36-year veteran of Savannah's police department has been named the city's first black police chief.

Mayor Otis Johnson announced Wednesday that officials have chosen 60-year-old Willie Lovett to lead the Savannah-Chatham County Metropolitan Police Department.

April 01, 2010 | Associated Press | State, National News


New Middle Georgia marshal has ties to this area

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Sitting in his office on the top floor of the William Augustus Bootle Federal Building in downtown Macon, Middle Georgia's new U.S. marshal says he's come back home.

Appointed by President Obama, Willie L. Richardson Jr. has returned to the Middle District of Georgia, where he was first assigned after graduating from recruit training 21 years ago.

April 01, 2010 | By Amy Leigh Womack Macon Telegraph | State, National News


Offshore drilling plan gets mixed reaction

RICHMOND, Va. - Some coastal residents applauded President Barack Obama's decision to open portions of the East Coast to oil and gas exploration as a way to create jobs and ease the country's reliance on foreign oil. Others feared marine life could be harmed by drilling or that tourists would shun a resort area if a nearby oil rig were to be involved in a spill.

Bill Dunleavy's objection, though, boils down to not wanting to look at hulking oil machinery in the distance when he goes sailing around the coastal community of Sullivans Island, S.C.

April 01, 2010 | By Steve Szkotak Associated Press writer | State, National News


Georgia senator back in hospital

ATLANTA - U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., was admitted to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta on Monday night after doctors found an irregular heartbeat during a routine appointment to check Isakson's progress in recovering from a bacterial infection.

March 31, 2010 | Special to the News | State, National News


Long County High gets new principal

At its March meeting, the Long County Board of Education named a new high school principal for the 2010-11 school year. The board didn't have to look far. Current assistant principal, Scotty Hattaway, was chosen to replace Dr. Dolores Mallard.

March 29, 2010 | By Mike Riddle Correspondent | State, National News


Hinesville sewage problems include spill

A Hinesville sewer break, first reported at about 10 a.m. Thursday, resulted in more than 10,000 gallons of sewage spilling into Peacock Creek, according to Scott Southwick, an environmental engineer with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division out of Savannah.

March 29, 2010 | Special to the News | State, National News


Mobile gambling set up busted

Bulloch County Sheriff's investigators shut down a mobile gambling operation Tuesday after receiving complaints about dice games and cash payouts.

March 29, 2010 | By Hollie Deal Bragg Special to the News | State, National News


High court lets death penalty case proceed

ATLANTA - A divided Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday allowed state prosecutors to seek the death penalty against an inmate who claimed his right to a speedy trial has been violated because he has waited in jail for more than two years without an attorney.

The 4-3 ruling found that a lack of funding "was not the sole factor" that delayed the trial of Jamie Ryan Weis. The opinion, written by Justice Harold Melton, concluded that Weis played a key role in delaying the trial, too, when he refused to work with new public defenders appointed to represent him.

March 26, 2010 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National News


Lawmakers hit crossover day

ATLANTA - Friday marks the daylong scramble for senators and representatives to keep bills in play or see their causes put off on issues ranging from transportation, ethics, education, racial profiling and abortion.

While much of the focus this year has been on the state's looming budget crisis, senators and representatives have priorities of their own. Though Gov. Sonny Perdue has had success on water conservation, his transportation plan has stalled.

March 26, 2010 | By Errin Haines Associated Press writer | State, National News


Beach High faculty, staff fired

ATLANTA - A failing Savannah high school is firing its entire staff in an effort to avoid further sanctions from the state and to make the school eligible for up to $6 million in federal money, officials said Thursday.

The 200 employees at Beach High School - including the principal - will work there through the end of the year but will not be rehired for that school, said Karla Redditte, spokeswoman for the Savannah-Chatham County school district.

March 26, 2010 | By Dorie Turner Associated Press writer | State, National News


Swine flu hospitalizations up in state

ATLANTA - Health officials say swine flu hospitalizations in Georgia are up to their highest level since the fall.

About 70 to 80 hospitalizations were reported in each of the past two weeks - the most since September, when a large wave of illnesses was hitting the South. The Georgia Department of Community Health released the new numbers Wednesday.

March 25, 2010 | Associated Press | State, National News


Smiles, jeers as health reform passes

WASHINGTON - A beaming President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a historic $938 billion health-care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will touch nearly every citizen's life, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a divisive, yearlong debate that could define the November elections.

March 24, 2010 | Wire and staff reports | State, National News


State bill to opt out of health mandates dies

ATLANTA - Georgia waded into the polarizing debate over health care reform Monday as the Republican-controlled House rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed the state's residents to opt out of federal health mandates in a sweeping bill approved by Congress.

Gov. Sonny Perdue, meanwhile, blasted the federal health legislation as a "colossal unfunded mandate" and said his office was investigating "any and all legal options to challenge" the Democratic-backed measure.

March 23, 2010 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National News


Obama to sign health care bill

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's yearlong health care overhaul drama featured dozens of speeches, contentious debate and a televised summit with lawmakers before a divided Congress passed the bill. An elaborate White House signing ceremony kicks off the next act: selling the sweeping changes to a skeptical public.

House and Senate Democrats who backed the bill as well as lesser-known people whose health care struggles have touched Obama were expected to join him Tuesday for the ceremony in the East Room. Afterward, Obama and much of that audience were heading to the Interior Department for an even larger celebration.

March 23, 2010 | By Darlene Superville Associated Press writer | State, National News


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