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This Hour: Latest Georgia news, sports, business and entertainment

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Georgia regulators approve nuclear plant spending

ATLANTA (AP) - State utility regulators have approved Georgia Power's latest spending on a new nuclear plant.

The members of the Public Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Georgia Power's expenditure of $389 million to build two new reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl). The vote covered construction spending during 2013.

The utility is expected to spend more than $6 billion on its share of the massive project.

Executives for the Southern Co. subsidiary have said the first of the new reactors should be operating in late 2017, while the second is supposed to come online late in 2018.

State monitors have said Georgia Power and its co-owners of the new plant may face challenges sticking to that schedule.


Ex-Atlanta court clerk sentenced in theft

ATLANTA (AP) - Fulton County prosecutors say a former Atlanta municipal court clerk has been sentenced to a year in prison for stealing tens of thousands of dollars in court payments.

District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones says Airiel Wright pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft by taking for stealing nearly $81,300 in court fines between July 2010 and July 2012.

Jones says Wright manipulated the court's computer system to calculate cash payments for amounts lower than what customers actually paid. Jones says the theft was exposed after a customer complained about being given incorrect change for a previous payment.

Jones says Wright has also been ordered to spend 10 years on probation after her sentence and pay restitution.


Activists in 6 states plan to spread NC protests

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Organizers of regular protests at the North Carolina Legislature are being joined by NAACP leaders in a half-dozen other states to launch a week of demonstrations.

The North Carolina NAACP says that Friday will be the first of seven days of demonstrations. In North Carolina, a coalition led by the NAACP has protested at the Capitol nearly every week during the past two legislative sessions.

NAACP leaders from Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin said on a conference call Tuesday that they will hold demonstrations in their states during some or all of the seven days. Organizers say demonstrations are also being planned in Mississippi.

About 900 people were arrested at protests during the 2013 legislative session in North Carolina, and about 100 were arrested during this year's session.


RNC chair: Minority outreach must be full time

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - RNC Chairman Reince Preibus says an effort by Republicans to send hundreds of party workers into minority communities across the country will continue long after this year's midterm elections are over.

Priebus spoke Tuesday at a gathering of Republicans in Georgia, a state where Democrats are hoping an increase in minority voters along with an influx of out-of-state residents will make the state more competitive starting this year.

The effort by the Republican National Committee also includes voter registration drives and numerous community meetings and is one of many launched by Republicans this election cycle. The work will be critical for the GOP, comprised heavily of white voters, as the size and political strength of minority populations continues to grow nationally.


Ga. man sentenced for sex acts with Alabama teens

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - A Columbus, Georgia man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on child sex charges.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 47-year-old John David Przenkop is ordered to spend lifetime on probation after his sentence.

Prosecutors say Przenkop admitted to contacting two Phenix City, Alabama girls online in 2010 and promising gifts in exchange for sex.

Investigators have said Przenkop took the teens from Alabama to his home in Columbus and recorded sex acts with them. Authorities found the videos along with recordings of him engaged in sex acts with other children.

Przenkop's attorney, John Martin, told the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus the teens' mothers learned of the crimes and tired extorting him. Przenkop was arrested after reporting the extortion to police. The girls and their mothers were also charged.


Graphic Packaging to upgrade West Monroe mill

WEST MONROE, La. (AP) - Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging International Inc. says it's making a $41.5 million investment in its paper mill in West Monroe, Louisiana, to upgrade production machinery.

Company officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the new investment Tuesday. They say the move will help Graphic Packaging retain 1,340 employees at its three Louisiana sites.

The upgrades will include expansion of the facility's fiber storage capacity and improvements to the dryer section, coater and stock cleaning areas. They also will help reduce the site's environmental footprint, including improvements in the handling of solid waste.

The project follows the company's 2012 enhancement of its consumer carton production, also in West Monroe.

Graphic Packaging produces paperboard for use in beverage and other consumer-based packaging.


Inspection: Brakes functional on runaway Ga. car

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.

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