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Georgia officers accused of selling accident reports resign

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Two police officers in Georgia have chosen to resign instead of being terminated following their arrests last month for allegedly selling accident reports to third parties for profit. DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Nikko McClinton and Ronald Anderson, were arrested Jan. 30 after authorities learned they were selling crash reports. The men had been on administrative leave with pay. The department announced their resignations late Friday on Twitter. Both men had worked for the department for nine years.


Court 'deeply troubled' by woman's jailing over unpaid fines

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal appeals court judges said they were “deeply troubled” that a Georgia municipal court jailed a woman when she couldn't pay a fine for driving without insurance. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Ziahonna Teagan's claims that her civil rights were violated, but said she could pursue a false imprisonment claim against the city of McDonough, news outlets reported. Harvey Gray, a lawyer who represented the city, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he'd made the city aware of what the 11th Circuit said about jailing people who couldn't pay fines.


Irish Festival a prelude to St. Patrick's Day in Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A celebration in Savannah this weekend signals that the city's most popular holiday is drawing near. The Savannah Irish Festival is celebrating its 28th year in Georgia's oldest city this weekend with traditional Irish folk music, special activities for children and food vendors selling smoked brisket, soda bread and other Irish cuisine. The family friendly festival at Savannah's civic center comes a month before St. Patrick's Day, when Savannah holds one of the nation's largest parades celebrating Irish culture. The 2020 parade will be held on March 17, a Tuesday.


House panels reject some Kemp cuts in current Georgia budget

ATLANTA (AP) — Members of the Georgia House of Representatives are rejecting some midyear budget cuts proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp. They say the Republican governor wanted to cut too deeply on some items. Kemp is proposing more than $200 million in midyear reductions in state spending, citing a shortfall in state revenues. House subcommittees on Thursday recommended putting back more than $2.8 million of Kemp's proposed reductions. The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on amendments to the current spending plan. House members on Thursday kept money for five food safety inspectors and two animal industry inspectors in the state Department of Agriculture.


3 shot at eatery owned by Kandi Burruss of 'Real Housewives'

EAST POINT, Ga. (AP) — Three people have been wounded in a Valentine's Day shooting at a restaurant owned by “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kandi Burruss. East Point police tell news outlets that a man entered the Old Lady Gang restaurant just outside Atlanta on Friday night and targeted another man. Two bystanders were also wounded. Police say none of the injuries are life-threatening. Police are looking for the shooter. Old Lady Gang serves Southern food and is owned by Burruss and her husband. The East Point location is one of three in the Atlanta area. Burruss is a singer who became famous as part of Xscape in the 1990s.


Judge denies document request in Abrams ethics investigation

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrat Stacey Abrams’ 2018 campaign for Georgia governor has won a legal skirmish as a judge denied a request from the state ethics commission that the campaign turn over more records. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a Fulton County Superior Court judge said in a one-page order she lacked jurisdiction to enforce a subpoena from the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. The commission was seeking all correspondence between Abrams’ campaign and several outside groups, including some that register and mobilize voters. The judge’s order relied on a prior case where courts lacked jurisdiction to enforce subpoenas from the commission during a preliminary investigation.


Anti-abortion group flips views on new Georgia senator

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — An influential anti-abortion group is backing Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia in her November special election, only months after opposing her appointment to the post. The president of the Susan B. Anthony List said Friday that her initial concerns were based on “rumor,” but that she has since gotten to know Loeffler. The about-face comes as Republicans draw battle lines in the race. Rep. Doug Collins, who is one of President Donald Trump’s top defenders in Congress, is also running for the seat. Democrats, meanwhile, hope to capitalize on the intraparty division in a state they increasingly see as winnable.


Salvage firm asks US judge to halt removal of capsized ship

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A maritime salvage company is asking a federal judge to stop the Coast Guard and a rival firm from carrying out their plan to remove a cargo ship that overturned months ago off the coast of Georgia. The company says the Coast Guard violated a 1990 federal law passed to improve oil spill responses by allowing the capsized ship's owner to drop the firm as its pre-designated salvage responder. The company says in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court that the ship's owner wanted salvage operator willing to remove the wreck in larger chunks. The Golden Ray overturned on Sept. 8.