1. Governor Nathan Deal said bibles will return "rather quickly" to bedsides in cabins and lodge rooms in Georgia state parks. Officials pulled the holy books earlier this year under fear of litigation.
2. The U.S. Senate has given two thumbs up to legislation that will allow the deepening of Savannah's port to move forward with a higher budget than Congress originally approved.
3. The free ride is over, folks. The AJC's 'MyAJC' pay wall is now in full effect. That means if you want to read hard-hitting features like this ditty you'll need to pony up the dough. There will still be content available for free at AJC.com, but will focus more on breaking news and entertainment coverage.
4. In Belize, a construction company has reportedly decimated a more than 2,300 year old Mayan pyramid and used the rock as road fill.
More than 20 students took to the streets with signs, formed a picket line and chanted, "Up, up with education! Down, down with segregation!" during the monthly Board of Regents meeting.
The group protested what's called Policy 4.1.6, which prohibits undocumented students from attending Georgia's top-tier schools, which includes the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State University.
According to the policy, undocumented students cannot take another qualified - and documented - applicant's spot at one of the top-tier schools. Considering that the colleges and universities lack the capacity to admit even all qualified students, it's safe to say undocumented students won't be accepted.
Kimberly-Ballard Washington, USG legal counsel, says that Georgia law states that undocumented persons cannot receive public benefits. "There's a list that the Attorney General produces every year that says what is a public benefit and in-state tuition is on that list," she said.
Chancellor Hank Huckaby met with the protestors during the board's lunch recess to hear their concerns, including the state law that forces undocumented students to pay out-of-state tuition rates, even if they live in Georgia.
Some state lawmakers have serious concerns about potentially adopting the National Transportation Safety Board's recommendation to make DUI laws tougher.
Georgia Tech will now offer a two-year online master's degree in computer science. The price? Just under $7,000.
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has joined top lawyers from more than 40 other states to call on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to place more warnings on prescription pain medications. They think drugs like OxyContin could increase the risk of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
ICYMI: Mayor Kasim Reed, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and local eco-groups are expected to announce later this week that Proctor Creek will be included in an expansion of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.
On Friday, Mayor Kasim Reed, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and local eco-groups are expected to announce that Proctor Creek will be included in an expansion of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.
The program aims to "revitalize urban waters and the communities that surround them, transforming overlooked assets into treasured centerpieces and drivers of urban revival." The partnership would bring together multiple federal agencies and their know-how to address various problems, find ways to improve the stream, and revitalize the surrounding areas.
"Projects under the partnership will address a wide range of issues such as improving water quality, restoring ecosystems and enhancing public access to Proctor Creek," the city said in a press release. "Creating a sustainable creekside community in the city will reconnect citizens to open spaces, and have a positive economic impact on local businesses, tourism and property values, as well as spur private investment and job creation in downtown Atlanta."
Proctor Creek could definitely use the help. According to Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Sally Bethea, the stream, in addition to being beautiful in some parts, is "possibly one of the most stressed and polluted tributaries to the Chattahoochee in the Atlanta area." Some sections are marked by illegally dumped tires, high bacteria levels, flooding, and water pollution. Nearby neighborhoods could use a boost.
City, federal officials, nonprofits, and private sector have focused a lot of attention on the creek and surrounding area over the last two years. The EPA has awarded grants to environmental groups such as the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the River Network, the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance for clean-ups and water-quality monitoring.
One of the projects under consideration involves something we first reported in December 2011 - buffered greenspace, cleaner water, and possibly a bike trail linking the city and nearby neighborhoods to the river. The linear park could possibly connect with the Atlanta Beltline near Bellwood Quarry and give the long-overlooked part of the city a new amenity, identity, and link to downtown. You can see the project's potential in a Georgia Conservancy study of NPU-G, which encompasses the area.
In addition, Alpharetta-based real-estate firm Emerald Corridor LLC, which owns properties in the Proctor Creek area, recently pitched the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the idea of creating a "mitigation bank" program along the stream. Such programs usually involve developers paying to restore a wetland in one area to offset the damage of a nearby ecosystem. Judging by our calculations, the public comment period on Emerald Corridor's application is nearing its deadline. Expect more information soon.
Lots of questions remain, some of which might be answered at Friday's presser. For one thing, it's unclear how or when the partnership will take shape. Or exactly what projects would be involved (we asked the EPA for more details and will update once we hear back). Or how the various initiatives, which could stretch out over many years, would be funded. Stay tuned.
NOTE: This post has been altered to correct an error about environmental remediation at Maddox Park. The EPA Brownfields program has agreed to provide the city with technical assistance to expand the use of Maddox Park.
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, wants the CIA to declassify all emails related to last year's Benghazi attacks.
Tricia Pridemore, once the executive director of Gov. Nathan Deal's Office of Workforce Development, has officially joined Bob Barr, Edward Lindsey, and Barry Loudermilk in the 11th Congressional District race.
Rumors swirl over whether former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy will take over the Atlanta Hawks' lead gig. That search is still happening even though current head coach Larry Drew's fate has yet to be officially decided.
Georgia resident Cliff Kluge claims that he's found the original Coca-Cola recipe and has listed it on eBay for $5 million. "It's an Easter egg hunt, looking for eggs out there," he told 11 Alive. "And when you come up with something like this, it's Christmas."
Police closed I-75 in both directions following a high-speed car chase that ended in a crash near Mount Paran Road.
Cobb County Police say they pursued a female suspect who had allegedly robbed an Acworth SunTrust Bank. Georgia State Police also assisted in the chase, which reportedly ventured southbound on the interstate at speeds approaching 120 miles per hour.
The high-speed pursuit ended when the suspect's car overturned. She was soon apprehended and told authorities that an "explosive device" was in the vehicle. Fox 5 tweeted a photo of the scene from its eye in the sky:
Police: Female bank robbery suspect who crashed on I-75 said she had explosive device. @fox5kpratt en route twitter.com/FOX5Atlanta/st...
- FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) May 13, 2013
And here's another angle from WSB-TV's crime chopper:
BREAKING: I-75 SB at Mt. Paran Roadclosed after robbery suspect wrecks in police chase. Updates at noon on Ch 2. twitter.com/wsbtv/status/3...
- WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 13, 2013
According to 11 Alive, a bomb squad is gearing up on the scene to disarm any possible devices in the overturned vehicle.
Bomb Squad on the scene of I-75 accident. on.11alive.com/166fOGW twitter.com/GAwebguy/statu...
- Don Buckindail (@GAwebguy) May 13, 2013
Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman David Spear says that all I-75 lanes will remain closed until further notice. "All motorists are urged to avoid this corridor by utilizing Interstate Highway 285," he added.
We'll post an update once we know more about the developing story.
UPDATE, 1:09 p.m. I-75's northbound lanes are now open.
Why would anyone want to buy a ticket and visit the new Atlanta Falcons football stadium when they can watch games from the comfort of their half-finished basement "bonus room" outfitted with counterfeit jerseys, yellowing posters, and knock-off footballs that they won at Six Flags?
Great. Just when we stopped worrying about being attacked by those ants crawling on the ceiling at the Atlanta airport, now we might have to watch out for bomb-sniffing dogs.
Cobb County prosecutors say a seemingly normal 45-year-old restaurateur called in a bomb threat to courthouses. But no one seems to know why.
A Montana judge said an Atlanta man named "Ted Turner" will be allowed to keep a bunch of bison calves from Yellowstone National Park that he helped raise.
City workers on Saturday urged the Atlanta City Council - which recently gave themselves a more than 50 percent pay raise - to also give them a bump in salary. [11Alive autoplay warning]
Historic preservationists in Atlanta are scrambling to protect the city's older buildings as developers start firing up ye old wrecking ball.
Police say they have discovered evidence related to the disappearance of 19-year-old Middle Georgia State College freshman Jmaal Malik Keyes near the home of a teen suspect. The Austell native's body has not yet been found.
By many accounts, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall has represented Midtown, Old Fourth Ward, Castleberry Hill, and other surrounding neighborhoods rather well since taking office in 2005. But Jon Jones, his latest challenger, thinks that District 2 could adopt an even better approach this November: direct democracy.
"To be perfectly honest, I credit [Hall] with great work," he says. "If this was a world where I couldn't make decisions for myself, Kwanza Hall would be a perfectly acceptable person to make all my decisions for me."
The 26-year-old pricing analyst, who first moved to Atlanta in 2010, says he first became fascinated with direct democracy - the concept that people vote on every policy decision, not just for elected officials - when he studied public policy at UCLA. He says the idea of individuals governing themselves instead of electing leaders just made sense.
"How could this be applied to a real government?" he says. "Technology would have to be a crucial part of that. Fundamental to a direct democracy is getting everyone to put their ideas [together] and vote on what they want to see happen."
Last July, Jones started laying the groundwork for his campaign against Hall. The concept prompted Jones to develop the Atlanta Direct Democracy Interface, a website that he says combines elements of Wikipedia and Reddit. If elected, he says, constituents would use the platform to vote on city proposals as well as submit their own ideas.
"[It's a] constantly changing collection of community ideas... a living, breathing illustration of the people's voice," says Jones.
1. Barely a week after Defense Distributed, a Texas-based company hell-bent on creating the first 3-D printed gun, succeeded in their ambitions the Department of Defense ordered the blueprints taken offline. According to Forbes, the prints were downloaded more than 100,000 times in just two days.
2. DeKalb County Schools have gone from a $15 million budget shortfall to surplus virtually overnight after officials found an extra $21 million that had been overlooked somewhere in all that paperwork. The same day, district finance chief Michael Perrone turned in is resignation, though a spokesperson told the AJC the two happenings were completely unrelated.
3. In Germany, a Nazi-themed opera has been canned after the opening-night audience complained of new scenes added to Richard Wagner's "Tannhauser" which depicted Jews dying in gas chambers and being executed.
4. The Georgia Department of Corrections has agreed to pay the Southern Center for Human Rights $9,000 to cover court costs and deliver more than 1,000 pages of requested documents. The DOC originally said the information regarding two inmate deaths and broken locks in a northwest Georgia prison would cost $250,000 and take 31,000 business hours to compile ... as the AJC pointed out, 31,000 hours is the "equivalent of 15 years of work for a person working eight hours per day, 50 weeks per year ... "
5. Speaking of the AJC, did you enjoy the clean-cut look of the above article? Well, you have five more days before it's 'MyAJC' paywall kicks in and AJC.com is retooled to "focus on breaking news and entertainment, as well as [put] more emphasis on videos, photo galleries and social media."
7. Holy cow, owning chickens in Cobb can be a lot of trouble. (See what I did there?)
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