ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — An Athens man has been arrested after authorities say he tried to cash in lottery tickets he stole from the convenience store where he worked.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports 21-year-old Reid Handler was charged with felony theft by taking. Police say a manager at the Kangaroo convenience store in Athens-Clarke County recently took inventory and found that three books of scratch-off lottery tickets were missing.

The manager contacted the Georgia Lottery Commission and the agency deactivated stolen tickets that hadn’t been claimed. Handler called the manager Wednesday and asked if she could have some tickets activated, at which time the manager called police to alert them that Handler was on his way to the store.

It was not immediately clear how many winning tickets Handler may have cashed in.


Councilman pleads guilty to assaulting colleague

(Information in the following story is from: Marietta Daily Journal, )

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A Marietta city councilman has pleaded guilty to assaulting his female council colleague.

Anthony Coleman was sentenced to 12 months’ probation, 80 hours of community service a required anger and violence evaluation and a $600 fine. Coleman waived his right to a jury trial on Wednesday and agreed to admit to one count of simple assault.

Prosecutors said Coleman pointed his finger in the face of Councilwoman Annette Lewis and pushed her hand away from in front of her face.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports Coleman was arrested Dec. 2 in the incident, which occurred on Sept. 22. Authorities say he and Lewis argued after a city redistricting committee meeting.


College president candidates to face less scrutiny

(Information in the following story is from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s university system is looking to hire six college presidents, and finalists for those positions will be subject to less scrutiny under a change in state law.

Georgia’s Open Records Act requires a 14-day waiting period between when state agencies and local governments name finalists and vote on an official hire, to give the public an opportunity to learn about the finalists and voice concerns.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports under a new rule approved by the Legislature, the Board of Regents must give the public only five days’ notice. Georgia First Amendment Foundation Executive Director Hollie Manheimer said the law makes the process less transparent.

The University of GeorgiaGeorgia Perimeter College, Georgia College and State University, GeorgiaHighlands College, East Georgia College and Macon State College need new presidents.


Maine killer commits suicide in federal prison

(Information in the following story is from: Portland Press Herald,

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A man who was serving seven life prison sentences for killing two men in Maine and abducting his estranged wife in 1999 has committed suicide in a federal prison in Georgia.

A county coroner in Georgia tells the Portland Press Herald that 50-year-old Steven Brown hanged himself at the medium-security prison in Jesup on May 29.

Brown pleaded guilty in 1999 to all federal and state charges against him in the case, including murder, kidnapping, interstate domestic violence, interstate stalking and firearms offenses. He had asked the judge to sentence him to death, but the judge refused. Brown had previously tried to kill himself in prison but failed.

Brown’s case stemmed from an abusive relationship with his former wife that exploded into violence that took two men’s lives.


Howard Hawk Willis denied retrial in teens’ deaths

(Information in the following story is from: Johnson City Press,

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (AP) — A judge in East Tennessee has denied a death row convict’s motion for a new trial in the slaying of two teens, one of whom was dismembered.

According to the Johnson City Press, a court order was entered this week, stating Howard Hawk Willis’ trial had no errors and denying a new trial for the 61-year-old Willis.

He was convicted two years ago and sentenced to death in the 2002 slayings of 17-year-old Adam Chrismer and his 16-year-old wife, Samantha. The couple were from Chickamauga, Ga.

The investigation began when a fisherman found the boy’s head floating in Boone Lake. The bodies were found in plastic bins in a rental storage unit in Johnson City.

Special Judge John Kerry Blackwood reviewed Willis’ motion and ruled against his request.


Scofflaw jurors could soon get visit from sheriff

(Information in the following story is from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

ATLANTA (AP) — Starting today, scofflaw jurors in Fulton County could get a visit from a sheriff’s deputy and may face contempt-of court charges for skipping jury duty

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Fulton County Superior Court judges are making good on their promise to crack down on jury no-shows. On Thursday, the sheriff’s office received its first wave of orders summoning absentee jurors to court and deputies will fan out across the county on Friday to begin delivering orders.

Judges gave offenders amnesty during May to stop by the court house, explain their absence and set a new court date. Only 33 showed up to respond.

If convicted of contempt of court, missing jurors could face fines of up to $500 and up to 20 days in jail.


Augusta St to offer first online degree this fall

(Information in the following story is from: The Augusta Chronicle ,

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Augusta State University will offer its first complete online degree program this fall.

The web-based Master of Education in Educational Leadership is a 12-course, one year program aimed at educators who want to become administrators or teachers who are looking to build leadership skills.

Students must apply by July 20 for the Aug. 20 session and by Sept. 14 for the Oct. 15 session. The Augusta Chronicle reports school officials say they expect about 25 students per course to sign up, similar to the traditional class loads on the physical campus.


Man fatally shot in parking deck near hospital

(Information in the following story is from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Police are seeking the gunman of a 19-year-old man who was fatally wounded outside Northside Hospital.

Melvin Vernell III was shot multiple times in a car parked on the second level of a parking deck near the hospital on Thursday. Vernell was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a motive for the shooting was not known. Witnesses told investigators they saw at least one suspect running from the parking deck toward a nearby street.


Bald eagle with broken wing moves to Ga. Southern

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A bald eagle unable to take wing has found a permanent home at GeorgiaSouthern University in Statesboro.

Franklin, a 6-pound bird, will join two other bald eagles now at the university’s Center for Wildlife Education.

The bird was found running in woods near Tallahassee, Fla., with a fractured wing and other damage. A veterinarian was unable to fix the injuries, meaning the bird cannot fly. As a result, the eagle cannot be released back into the wild.

Federal wildlife officials have allowed the bird to go live at the university. School officials say it will be on display near a nature walk.


Atlanta zoo tiger heads for Washington

ATLANTA (AP) — Kavi, a Sumatran tiger at Atlanta’s zoo, is making a new home in Washington.

The 11-year-old male left Zoo Atlanta Wednesday for the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.

Kavi’s move was encouraged by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Tiger Species Survival Plan, which has recommended that he pair with a female at the National Zoo. The Atlanta zoo says his transfer is important for the continued success of the captive population of his critically endangered species. There are believed to be fewer than 300 of them in the wild.

Zoo Atlanta is a breeding institution for Sumatran tigers. Kavi fathered two cubs last summer with Chelsea, his 8-year-old mate in Atlanta.


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