ATLANTA - Georgia's tax code needs a facelift.
The leadership of the House and Senate on Thursday pushed for the creation of two panels that would offer suggestions for revamping Georgia's tax laws, which they say are outdated and must be fixed before the economy rebounds if the state is to remain competitive and attractive.
ATLANTA - The Senate proposal to ban texting while driving has received unanimous support.
The bill, approved 46-0, would prohibit the practice for all drivers and come with a fine and driver's license penalties.
FOLKSTON - Charlton Memorial Hospital is offering patients with overdue bills a chance to pay them off at a discount.
The south Georgia hospital says patients whose bills are past due at least 90 days as of Feb. 28 will be given a 50 percent discount if they pay by March 31.
SAVANNAH - Irish and Irish at heart gathered in Savannah Wednesday as the city marked its 186th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.
The city's St. Patrick's Day festivities attract hundreds of thousands of people, the biggest tourist event of the year in the city of about 150,000.
WASHINGTON - Pushing toward a history-making vote, Democrats struggled to eliminate lingering complications standing in the way of House action this weekend on President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul.
Their drive to change the way health care is administered and extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans took on a growing sense of inevitability, picking up endorsements from a longtime liberal holdout and from a retired Roman Catholic bishop and nuns who broke with church leaders over the bill's abortion provisions.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND - The kit-built single-engine plane was gliding quietly as it came down for an emergency landing on a beach. Pharmaceutical salesman Robert Gary Jones, listening to his iPod while jogging, likely never saw or heard it before the aircraft hit him from behind Monday evening and killed him.
"There's no noise," said aviation expert Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the National Transportation Safety Board. "So the jogger, with his ear buds in, and the plane without an engine, you're basically a stealth aircraft. Who would expect to look up?"
Sunday marked the 60th anniversary of the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" program, according to David A. Thomas, special agent in charge of the bureau's Columbia, S.C., office.
The "Top Ten" program is designed to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives. Thomas called it an extremely important law enforcement tool and media involvement is crucial to its success.
WASHINGTON - Let the count begin.
More than 120 million U.S. census forms begin arriving Monday in mailboxes around the country, in the government's once-a-decade population count that will be used to divvy up congressional seats and more than $400 billion in federal aid. Fast-growing states in the South and the West could stand to lose the most because of lower-than-average mail participation rates in 2000 and higher shares of Hispanics and young adults, who are among the least likely to mail in their forms.
Georgia state legislators are painstakingly working to plug a $1 billion hole in the state's budget.
ATLANTA - The state Senate has approved a wide-ranging overhaul of property taxes in Georgia.
The Senate voted 54-0 for the measure on Thursday.
ATLANTA - Georgia's hospitals and health-care providers were hammered as part of a new round of cuts proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday to deal with a gaping budget shortfall.
With state tax collections in freefall, Perdue is pushing to cancel the state's weeklong sales back-to-school sales tax holiday. Georgians will also face a host of new or increased fees totaling some $96 million as the state scrambles to balance its books.
ATLANTA - A Georgia grand jury indicted four members of an assisted suicide group Tuesday on charges they helped a 58-year-old man with cancer kill himself.
The four - the Final Exit Network's former president, its former medical director and two others - were formally indicted by a Forsyth County grand jury on charges of offering assistance in the commission of suicide, tampering with evidence and violating the state's anti-racketeering charges.
CLYO - Sheriff's deputies Effingham County are investigating a human skeleton found in some woods in southern Georgia.
Sheriff's spokesman David Ehsanipoor says authorities discovered the skeletal remains of an unidentified man Monday after someone called in a tip. The bones were found in woods near Clyo, 35 miles north of Savannah.
ATLANTA - A bill that would allow gun owners with permits to carry firearms onto college campuses and into churches and bars passed a key Senate committee on Monday and could soon be headed for the full Senate.
The Special Judiciary Committee voted 7 to 1 in favor of Senate Bill 308. State Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, the sponsor, reiterated on Monday that the bill is aimed at clarifying the firearms carry law for Georgia's 300,000 gun owners with permits to carry weapons.
DARIEN - Authorities say the body of a 15-year-old McIntosh County boy was found in a rugged state wildlife management area after a 12-hour search.
McIntosh County Sheriff Steve Jessup says a Georgia Department of Natural Resources ranger and other searchers found the body of Daniel Head Monday afternoon about three miles from the nearest paved road.
Gov. Nathan Deal and Yos Shiran, Chief Executive Officer of Caesarstone Sdot Yam, Ltd., announced today that Caesarstone, a manufacturer of high-quality engineered quartz surfaces, has selected Richmond Hill in Bryan County as the location for its new U.S.-based manufacturing plant. This new facility will create 180 jobs in Bryan County and represents a $70-100 million investment.
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