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Georgia News Digest

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News,Science and Technology

The state at 3:30 a.m.

TOP STORIES:

PAULA DEEN-LAWSUIT

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Celebrity cook Paula Deen says she has used racial slurs in the past but insists she and her brother, who are accused of racial and sexual discrimination in a lawsuit by a former manager of their restaurant, don't tolerate hateful behavior. In a court deposition filed Monday in federal court, an attorney for former restaurant manager Lisa Jackson presses the 66-year-old Deen about her racial views and those of her brother, Bubba Hiers. Deen is asked if she's ever used "the N-word." She responds: "Yes, of course." By Russ Bynum.

AP photo.

HPV-VACCINE

ATLANTA — Researchers say a vaccine for a sexually spread virus has cut infections in teen girls by half. This is the first evidence of how well the HPV vaccine works since it came on the market seven years ago. For girls ages 14 to 19, the study found a 56 percent reduction in the types of HPV virus targeted by the shots. Vaccination campaigns focus on girls ages 11 and 12. By Mike Stobbe.

AP Photo.

POLICE-SEIZED ASSETS

ATLANTA — House Speaker David Ralston says changes are needed to Georgia's forfeiture law to increase accountability and transparency. Ralston said in an interview Wednesday that recent reports of questionable spending by two local agencies have generated a significant amount of interest in how the government handles money and property seized during investigations. Ralston says he'll consider discussing legislation on the issue next year. By Christina A. Cassidy.

DEKALB CEO INDICTED

DECATUR, Ga. — The chief executive officer of one of Georgia's largest counties, who is facing several corruption charges made public Tuesday, says that he's done nothing wrong. DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis made a brief statement Tuesday night, hours after a 15-count indictment alleged that he threatened to withhold county business from companies that didn't contribute to his campaign.

ATLANTA SCHOOLS-CHEATING

ATLANTA — A judge overseeing the case against dozens of Atlanta educators accused of a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests is expressing concerns about whether their statements to investigators were coerced by investigators. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter addressed prosecutors at a hearing this week, telling them "I am seriously concerned about your case."

GUN TRAFFICKING-INDICTMENT

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Federal authorities in Savannah have charged 33 people as part of an undercover operation into gun and drug trafficking. A majority of those named in 17 federal indictments that were unsealed Wednesday are from Georgia and South Carolina. The investigation, dubbed Operation Pulaski, began in late 2011. Undercover federal agents infiltrated multiple regional and international criminal organizations. Over time, the agents bought 189 guns, illegal drugs and stolen vehicles.

INSIDER TRADING-INDICTMENT

ATLANTA — A former executive for Carter's Inc. has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, officials from the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta said Wednesday. Richard T. Posey is the second former executive of the Atlanta-based children's clothing company to plead guilty in what prosecutors have said was a multi-million dollar insider trading conspiracy. He entered a guilty plea Wednesday.

SERGEANT REINSTATED

ATHENS, Ga. — An Athens Clarke-County police sergeant is back on the job six years after nearly being stabbed to death while on duty. The Athens Banner-Herald reported Wednesday that Sgt. Courtney Gale was sworn in again to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department earlier this week.

CHATTAHOOCHEE WHITEWATER

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A rapid that has gained a notorious reputation as part of a new whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River has been reopened after dozens of rafters were dumped into the rushing water during its first week. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that at least 10 of 17 large rafts flipped on the Cut Bait rapid shortly after the course opened in May. More than 70 of the first rafters who traversed the rapid were dumped into the river that separates Georgia and Alabama in the Columbus area.

AROUND THE SOUTH:

NRC-TVA VIOLATIONS

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $70,000 fine against the Tennessee Valley Authority for violations related to one of its East Tennessee nuclear plants.

According to a NRC news release on Wednesday, the violations have to do with the commercial grade dedication program during the construction of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2, about 60 miles southwest of Knoxville.

ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ

COLUMBIA, Ala. — Standing in the vault her brothers robbed 55 years ago, Marie Anglin Widner gasped."They really went in here," she said, turning to fully take in the surroundings at the old Bank of Columbia. "Wow." The south Georgia woman remembers her brothers - John William (J.W.), Clarence and Alfred Anglin - as rambunctious but nonviolent kids trying desperately to escape poverty in Donalsonville, Ga. An AP member exchange. By Greg Phillips. The Dothan Eagle.

AP photo.

— ARMY RECRUITING BATTALION — Lt. Col. Michael Standish takes over Army Recruiting Battalion that works in SC, NC, and Ga..

ALSO:

An Athens Clarke-County police sergeant is back on the job six years after nearly being stabbed to death while on duty.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported Wednesday that (http://bit.ly/11nRWev) Sgt. Courtney Gale was sworn in again to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department earlier this week.

— ATLANTA-POLICE SHOOTING — Man suspected in series of robberies shot by police in Atlanta, hospitalized.

— GRADY-EMBEZZLEMENT INDICTMENT — Ex-Atlanta hospital worker indicted in embezzlement scheme.

— LAWMAKER INDICTED — Panel appointed to consider suspension of Rep. Tyrone Brooks to meet next week.

— SOLDIERS RETURN — About 100 soldiers expected to return to Georgia Army base after Afghanistan deployment.

— LAW GRAD SLAYING — Trial date postponed in slaying of Mercer University law school graduate.

— DEPUTY ATTACKED — Chatham County sheriff's deputy recovering after authorities say he was attacked by prisoner.

— CAREER PATHWAYS — State education officials crafting framework for career-oriented education model.

— HISTORIC HOMES RESCUED — Middle Ga. couple buys 3rd historic home needing restoration in city of Forsyth.

— NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE — National Education Association to hold annual conference in Atlanta.

SPORTS:

FBN--FALCONS-JACKSON'S IMPACT

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Steven Jackson is making a positive first impression on his new teammates with the Atlanta Falcons — reporting to work early, advising young players and trying to execute each play to perfection in mini-camp. Quarterback Matt Ryan and receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White believe that Jackson, the NFL's active leader with 10,135 career yards rushing, will help make Atlanta's offense lethal this season. By George Henry.

With AP Photos

The AP.

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