Latest Georgia news, sports, business and entertainment


Jimmy Carter's church adjusts to demand for Sunday lessons

PLAINS, Ga. (AP) — Members of a small Baptist church in southwest Georgia where former President Jimmy Carter frequently teaches Sunday school lessons are capping the number of people who can attend.

Church representatives said in a statement that starting this Sunday, seats win the church will be limited to 400 people.

Carter's recent disclosure that he's being treated for cancer that spread to his brain drew more than 700 people to Maranatha Baptist Church on Sunday. The 90-year-old Carter taught two classes and took photos. Organizers say that strained him.

Any overflow visitors can watch a live stream of the lesson at the nearby high school, which is now a visitor center and museum.

Carter is scheduled to teach this weekend and three times in both September and October.


Nearly 200 patients qualify for medical marijuana registry

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

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia health officials say nearly 200 patients so far have qualified for the state's new medical marijuana registry.

Authorities say they've also approved 166 doctors through the new registry, which went live in June.

The updates were given Wednesday to the state Commission on Medical Cannabis.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that patients, families and doctors continue to grapple with issues about the oil and how it works, including how to dose it or how to buy or obtain it.

Advocates want the commission to recommend expanding the law, including developing guidelines related to cultivation and production in Georgia. Law enforcement officials have expressed skepticism about how that would work.

Manufacturers and growers who testified at Wednesday's hearing said their priorities in cultivating plants for the oil include safety, security measures and testing.


Defendant awaiting punishment in FAMU case to be sentenced

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida A&M University band member who's been awaiting his punishment for more than two years for his role in a drum major's hazing death is set to be sentenced.

Caleb Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday after it was postponed last month. The 26-year-old pleaded no contest to manslaughter and hazing in 2013 for his role in the 2011 death of Robert Champion, who was from Decatur, Georgia. Jackson faces 35 years in prison.

A judge previously gave Jackson four years in prison after his arrest in Champion's case, for violating probation in an unrelated battery case.

Fifteen former band members were charged in Champion's death. One received six years in prison; another served a year in county jail. Most were sentenced to community service and probation.


3rd-grader who shot child at school got gun in home kitchen

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

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Georgia say a third-grader who accidentally shot a classmate at school found the weapon while exploring his family's kitchen.

The shooting happened Tuesday at Hornsby Elementary School in Augusta. Authorities said the child was playing with the gun inside a desk when it accidentally discharged, grazing a girl. School officials say she was treated at a hospital and released.

Richmond County Department of School Safety Chief Alfonzo Williams said in a statement the boy was looking around his house for a toy and found the gun hidden in a curio stand in the kitchen. Williams said he used a chair to climb onto a counter to get to the gun.

The students' names weren't released because of their ages.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that school officials are reviewing security measures.


Metro Atlanta's jobless rate rises slightly to 6.1 percent

ATLANTA (AP) — State labor officials say metro Atlanta's unemployment rate has risen slightly, up to 6.1 percent.

The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the new July rate, which is up from 6 percent in June.

Labor officials said in a statement that the unemployment rate rose as more job seekers entered the labor force in search of employment. The state agency said that some of them were unable to find work and were counted among the unemployed. Officials said that situation, along with an increase in new layoffs, contributed to the rate increase.

Elsewhere in Georgia, metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.5 percent.

The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest rate at 8.3 percent.

The metro area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.


Man who dressed as Ninja to rob store is convicted

(Information in the following story is from: Savannah Morning News,

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a metro Savannah man who dressed as a Ninja to rob a pizza store has been convicted of armed robbery and assault charges.

The Savannah Morning News reports that a Chatham County jury on Tuesday found 21-year-old Benjamin John Scott guilty of robbing a Garden City Domino's Pizza clerk of $1,000 in June 2014.

Jurors convicted the Garden City man of assaulting the clerk with a blunt object.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Breedon told jurors that the Ninja costume didn't work, since the clerk recognized the suspect's voice because he had worked at the Domino's outlet before robbing it.

Breedon said Scott admitted he had been the bandit but insisted he did not mean to injure the clerk.

Garden City is about five miles northwest of downtown Savannah.


Watershed management to launch 'No Wipes in Pipes' campaign

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta's Department of Watershed Management is launching a campaign to bring awareness to how flushing wipes affect the sewer system.

Watershed Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina says the "Don't Believe the Hype - Don't Flush Your Wipes" campaign will launch in a news conference next Tuesday. Watershed management hopes to educate residents in the city of Atlanta on how wipes affect the sewer system and the long-standing environment issues.

Watershed management said in a news release that everything from baby to makeup wipes that are flushed create significate harm to residential sewer pipes and the city's wastewater system and treatment facilities. They say it could lead to millions of dollars in equipment damage.


Amelia Boynton Robinson noted as fearless, tireless leader

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Civil rights activist Amelia Boynton Robinson is being remembered as a fearless leader whose tireless dedication to equal rights helped lead to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Boynton Robinson died in a Montgomery, Alabama, hospital early Wednesday morning, her son Bruce Boynton said. Boynton Robinson was hospitalized in July after a stroke and recently turned 104 years old.

Boynton Robinson helped lead a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 and was beaten in an attack by law enforcement that led to the march being called "Bloody Sunday."

Fifty years after the beating, Boynton Robinson held hands with the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama, during a commemoration event as she was pushed across the bridge in a wheelchair.