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BODY ART-HEATH REGULATIONS

County eyes changes in tattoo, body piercing rules

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Health officials in the Savannah area are considering changes in rules that govern tattoo and body piercing establishments.

Chatham County Board of Health officials say they want to make sure that body art artists are using approved tattoo ink, especially ones that do not contain lead, and are following safe hygiene practices.

The Savannah Morning News reports the proposed changes include adding manufacturer recommendations for approved tattoo pigments, improving enforcement practices and requiring bathrooms and sinks.

Authorities say 60 artists are permitted to work at the 19 tattoo and body piercing studios in the county.

Todd Jones, the county's environmental health director, said drafts of the proposed changes were sent to tattoo and body piercing artists for input. He said the responses so far have been positive.

BRUSH FIRE

Central Ga. brush fire could burn until next rain

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say a brush fire burning in the Macon area is expected to smolder until the next significant rainfall.

The Telegraph reports that Macon-Bibb County firefighters early Wednesday morning were called to the area off Tucker Valley Road. The newspaper reports that the orange glow of the fire can be seen by motorists on nearby Interstate 475.

Authorities planned to continue to monitor the blaze as there are some homes and buildings nearby. No injuries were reported.

Macon-Bibb County Fire Chief James Wallace tells WMAZ-TV that officials aren't sure how the fire started.

COBB COUNTY POLICE

Cobb County OKs budget with increase for police

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - Cobb County has approved its budget for the next fiscal year with an increase of about $3.1 million for its police force.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports that Cobb County officials hope to retain more officers in the police department.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night voted 5-0 to adopt the fiscal 2015 budget.

WSB-TV reports that the new budget calls for the hiring of additional police officers and allows for a program for officers to be able to take their cars home when they're not at work.

DEADLY STABBING

Police say dispute over cellphone led to killing

BYRON, Ga. (AP) - Police say an argument over a cellphone escalated into a stabbing that left a 20-year-old woman dead in the central Georgia town of Byron.

Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks said Tuesday that an autopsy found that Destiny Clark bled to death after a steak knife punctured a vein in her neck.

Clark's boyfriend, 24-year-old Ratavius Canion, is jailed in Peach County on a murder charge.

The Telegraph reports the stabbing happened Friday afternoon at Clark's duplex apartment in Byron.

Byron police Chief Wesley Cannon said the couple had argued about Canion planning to take a shared cellphone with him when he went out to get some pizza and the disagreement turned physical.

SNAKE DISEASE

Wildlife officials monitor disease found in snake

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (AP) - State wildlife officials say an emerging snake disease similar to one that has killed millions of bats has been found in a wild Georgia snake.

Officials from the Department of Natural Resources say an emaciated mud snake in Bulloch County tested positive for snake fungal disease - which can cause scabs, crusty scales and more on a snake's skin.

Officials say the impact the disease could have on Georgia snakes isn't yet clear, but a similar disease in Illinois killed nearly all the snakes that showed signs of infection. Wildlife officials say snakes are harder to monitor than many other animals, so learning more about the disease may be difficult.

POET LAUREATE-EMORY

Former Poet Laureate adds archives to Ga. library

ATLANTA (AP) - A former U.S. Poet Laureate is donating her archives to a library at Emory University in Atlanta.

Natasha Tretheway's drafts, early unpublished writings and computers will join other collections at the university's Manuscript Archives and Rare Book Library. The library's collections include work by Alice Walker, Seamus Heaney and Salman Rushdie.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robin Forman says Tretheway's archives will help students learn about the creative process and the meaning of poetry. Tretheway is a faculty member at Emory and the Poet Laureate of Mississippi.

She served as U.S. Poet Laureate for two terms. Her work includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection "Native Guard."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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