Latest Georgia news, sports, business and entertainment


Candidates for Ga. superintendent debate standards

ATLANTA (AP) — The candidates for state school superintendent focused on how Georgia should handle national education standards during their first meeting of the general election campaign.

The debate held Tuesday in Atlanta often focused on the stricter math and English standards dubbed Common Core. The standards were created by the National Governors Association and adopted by Georgia lawmakers.

The Republican candidate is Irwin County educator Richard Woods. He says local educators and officials should have more flexibility. Woods also wants to delay using test scores in a new teacher evaluation system and pledged an outside audit of the department.

Democrat Valarie Wilson says the stricter standards will help Georgia students compete and are supported by many educators. Wilson also criticized some charter schools run by management companies.


Defense grills plant manager in salmonella trial

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A defense attorney grilled a key prosecution witness in the trial of three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak.

Attorney Tom Bondurant on Tuesday questioned Samuel Lightsey, the former manager of a Peanut Corporation of America plant in southwest Georgia.

Former company owner Stewart Parnell and his brother, food broker Michael Parnell, are accused of shipping tainted products and covering up positive salmonella tests. Stewart Parnell and former plant quality assurance manager, Mary Wilkerson, face charges of obstructing justice.

Bondurant, a lawyer for Stewart Parnell, stressed that Lightsey, who was also charged, reached an agreement with prosecutors to testify and that it's to his advantage for prosecutors to get a conviction.

Bondurant also sought to demonstrate that Stewart Parnell gave Lightsey considerable authority over the Georgia plant.


Inspection: Brakes functional on runaway Ga. car

(Information in the following story is from: The Times, )

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Investigators say the brakes were functioning properly on a car that rolled out of a driveway and hit four children in Hall County, but there's no indication the emergency brake was applied at the time of the accident.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper Brodie Forrester tells The Times of Gainesville a certified mechanic inspected the car after the accident in late July that left four children injured.

Authorities charged 32-year-old Oleksandra Myrna with four counts of reckless conduct for failing to use the emergency brake. Attorney Doug Henry says his client disputes the charges.

Henry says Myrna had been driving the car for a few weeks and her young son who usually climbs over the console to exit the vehicle may have accidentally knocked the car's gear shift into neutral.


Man found shot to death in Crawford County

(Information in the following story is from: The Macon Telegraph, )

KNOXVILLE, Ga. (AP) — State and local law officers are investigating a killing in Crawford County, west of Macon.

Crawford County sheriff's officials say the crime happened Monday morning at a residence on Haywood Circle. Sheriff's deputies responded to the home at 11:02 a.m. Monday and found a man fatally shot inside.

The Telegraph reports that officials were withholding the man's name pending notification of the family.

The body was being taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab for an autopsy. Few other details were available early Tuesday.


Gas truck crashes, overturns in Phenix City yard

(Information in the following story is from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, )

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — Crews have been cleaning up an estimated 3,500 to 7,000 gallons of gasoline after a semitrailer overturned in the front yard of a home in eastern Alabama.

Authorities say the tractor-trailer crashed and overturned outside a home on Summerville Road in Phenix City shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that a hole the size of a garden hose was discovered spilling gasoline into the yard. Two smaller 4,500-gallon gasoline trucks were used to empty out the contents of the larger truck's tank.

Authorities say the driver of the semi was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. No one else was injured in the crash.


Crews rescue woman from Chattahoochee River

(Information in the following story is from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, )

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say rescue crews were able to reach a woman trapped on a rock in the Chattahoochee River and bring her to safety.

Atlanta Fire Rescue spokeswoman Janet Ward said the woman was stranded in the river Monday in the Peachtree creek area.

Ward tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the woman was pulled from the water a short time after police and firefighters were dispatched to the river.


Trust donates land along Chattahoochee River

WEST POINT, Ga. (AP) — More public land is being added along the Chattahoochee River in west Georgia, with the aim of providing more access to the waterway that forms the Georgia-Alabama border.

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land on Tuesday announced the donation of 124 acres in the West Point area.

The organization, which works to protect public land across the country, said in a statement the land being protected along the Chattahoochee is part of larger plans to create "greenway" areas along the river.

The trust said West Point envisions a public greenway on either side of the Chattahoochee from the city to the West Point Dam Recreation Area. The group said the land donation also supports a goal of creating the Chattahoochee River Blueway, a paddling route from West Point Lake to Columbus.


GA officials offer online deer hunting application

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (AP) — Georgia wildlife officials are encouraging deer hunters to fill out an online application that will allow them to participate in this season's deer quota hunt.

Officials from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division officials say the deadline to submit an application for deer quota hunting is Sept. 1.

Game management chief John Bowers says the state has seen a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of deer quota hunt applications over the past few years and more young people are getting involved in hunting.