GEORGIA GUN BILL
Deal set to sign bill expanding gun rights in Ga.
ELLIJAY, Ga. (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation expanding where people with licenses to carry can take their guns in Georgia.
The bill signing will take place midday Wednesday at an event in Ellijay with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston.
The bill makes several changes to state law. It allows those with a license to carry to bring a gun into a bar without restriction and into some government buildings that don't have certain security measures. It also allows religious leaders to decide whether it's OK for a person with a carry license to bring a gun into their place of worship.
And school districts would now be able, if they want, to allow some employees to carry a firearm under certain conditions.
LOUD MUSIC KILLING
Delay sought in loud music killing trial
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Attorneys for a Florida man charged with murder in the killing of a teenager during an argument over loud music are asking that his retrial be delayed.
A judge in Jacksonville will consider Wednesday the request by Michael Dunn's new attorneys.
Dunn's retrial is set for May 5 on charges that he killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis, of Marietta, Ga., in 2012 at a Jacksonville gas station. The two had argued over loud music coming from the SUV Davis was sitting in. Dunn's attorneys say they need more preparation time.
Dunn was convicted of attempted murder for shooting at Davis' three companions, but the jury deadlocked on the murder charge. Dunn says he opened fire after it looked like Davis threatened him and raised an apparent shotgun. No weapon was found.
KIDNAP VICTIM RESCUED
9 indicted in kidnapping of NC prosecutor's father
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Authorities say a group of kidnappers thought they were abducting an assistant district attorney when they pulled up to a North Carolina house earlier this month.
But they had the wrong address and the prosecutor's father answered the door, so they kidnapped him instead. For five days, the FBI says kidnappers held 63-year-old Frank Janssen captive in an Atlanta apartment. They tormented his family by sending text messages threatening to cut him into pieces if police were called or their demands weren't met.
On Tuesday, an indictment charged nine people in Janssen's abduction, including 49-year-old Bloods gang member Kelvin Melton. Authorities say Melton orchestrated the kidnapping from his North Carolina prison cell in retaliation for being prosecuted in 2012 by Janssen's daughter, Wake Forest assistant district attorney Colleen Janssen.
Georgia man pleads not guilty in deadly ND crash
MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A truck driver from Georgia has pleaded not guilty to three counts of negligent homicide stemming from a fiery crash in the western North Dakota oil patch that killed three men.
Fifty-year-old Vernon Wright, of Hiram, Ga., could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Authorities allege that Wright was driving a tanker trailer filled with crude oil and was at fault for a crash on U.S. Highway 2 three miles east of Stanley last June. The tanker trailer exploded and five other vehicles involved in the accident burned for about five hours at the crash site. Two men from Minot and one from Rhame were killed.
A judge on Tuesday did not immediately set a trial date for Wright.
ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Atlanta Public Schools approves record budget
ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta's public school system has approved a record $658 million budget.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Atlanta Public Schools spending plan includes pay raises, elimination of furlough days and expansion of charter schools, accounting for much of the increase from the $595 million budgeted for the 2013-2014 school year.
The new budget was approved Tuesday by the Atlanta Board of Education with a 6-3 vote.
The spending plan covers 50,000 students, 6,600 employees and 100 schools.
FATAL POLICE SHOOTING
Grand jury: Deadly use of force unauthorized
EUHARLEE, Ga. (AP) - A grand jury has determined that a police officer's use of force in the fatal shooting of a teenager was not authorized.
WSB-TV reports that a grand jury made the determination involving Euharlee police Cpl. Beth Gatny after hearing testimony over parts of two days.
Bartow County District Attorney Rosemary Greene tells WSB Radio that her office will seek more evidence to determine whether any criminal violations may have occurred.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang has said two Euharlee police officers were serving two probation violation warrants Feb. 14 when a 17-year-old boy opened the door with a gun pointed at them.
An attorney for relatives of the teenager, Christopher Roupe, says the family disputes that account. They say he was holding a Nintendo Wii video game controller.
Georgians urged to turn in unused medications
ATLANTA (AP) - Federal authorities are urging Georgians to drop off their expired, unused and unwanted pills to help combat prescription drug abuse.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is partnering with national, state and local law enforcement for its eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The event is set to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at sites around the state.
To find a nearby collection site, people can go to the DEA's website, click on the "Got Drugs?" icon, and follow the links to a database where they can enter their zip code.
Only pills and other solids, like patches, will be accepted. Liquids and needles will not be taken.
During the most recent take-back event in November, Georgians turned in more than 8,150 pounds of medications.
2 Ga. schools recognized for green initiatives
ATLANTA (AP) - Federal education officials say two Georgia schools are among the 48 to receive a national award recognizing schools' efforts to reduce their environmental impacts.
U.S. Department of Education officials say Arcado Elementary School in Lilburn and High Meadows School in Roswell earned the department's Green Ribbon designation. Officials say the awards recognize efforts to promote better health, reduce utility costs ensure effective environmental education strategies and more.
Officials say Arcado practiced innovative water conservation strategies and is home to an herb garden and compost area. Federal officials highlighted High Meadows for using energy efficient appliances, establishing a campus-wide recycling program and performing regular air quality tests.
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