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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 04:15:58 EST

SAVANNAH POLICE CHIEF Savannah-Chatham police chief abruptly retires SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The Savannah-Chatham County police chief is retiring a day after it was revealed that City Hall is investigating a sexual harassment claim against him. Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter announced Friday that Police Chief Willie Lovett was to retire "effective immediately." She did not give a reason for the announcement. Local news outlets reported Thursday that Cutter sent a memo to Savannah's mayor and City Council last week saying an outside legal firm was investigating sexual harassment allegations brought against Lovett by one of his officers. The 63-year-old Lovett has spent four decades as a Savannah police officer and has served as chief since August 2009. Maj. Juliette Tolbert, the department's special operations commander, has been named interim police chief until a permanent replacement is hired. BALFOUR INDICTED Balfour indicted on expense-related charges ATLANTA (AP) — A Fulton County grand jury has indicted state Sen. Don Balfour stemming from allegations he illegally claimed expense pay. The office of Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said in a statement Friday that the grand jury indicted Balfour on Tuesday. He faces 16 counts of making a false certificate, on one count of theft by taking and one count of false statement and writing. In August 2012, Balfour agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for accepting pay for in-state work and travel on days that he was outside of Georgia. Lawmakers can only get that pay if they are conducting official business inside the state. They can claim expenses when traveling outside Georgia if they are part of an official delegation. Balfour's attorney, Patrick McDonough, says Balfour didn't intentionally misappropriate funds. EVELYN LOWERY-MEMORIAL Evelyn Lowery memorial service set for Wednesday ATLANTA (AP) — A memorial service will be held Wednesday to remember Evelyn Lowery, the wife of the Rev. Joseph Lowery and a pioneer in civil rights and women's empowerment. A family spokesman said in a statement Friday that the service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Martin Luther King Jr., International Chapel at Morehouse College. Evelyn Lowery died Thursday after suffering a stroke. Her husband was past president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She founded SCLC/Women, Inc. to focus on empowering women, girls and families. She also created the Drum Major for Justice Awards, held annually in Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Evelyn G. Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Educational Tour through SCLC/Women Inc. or the Joseph E. Lowery Institute. EDUCATION STANDARDS-GEORGIA Ga. social studies curriculum to remain in place (Information in the following story is from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com ) ATLANTA (AP) — The chair of the state Board of Education says Georgia's current social studies curriculum will remain in place through at least next school year. Gov. Nathan Deal has asked the state board to review the social studies program along with the new academic standards known as Common Core. The standards have prompted criticism from various tea party and conservative groups who say it amounts to federal intrusion in state education. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday that Chairwoman Barbara Hampton says the board will conduct an open and deliberate process in considering changes to the social studies curriculum and Common Core, seeking input from teachers, curriculum specialists, parents and other community members. Common Core will remain the state's standard unless the board chooses to change its curriculum. COUNTRY SINGER-THREATS Currington pleads no contest in Ga. threats case SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Country singer Billy Currington has pleaded no contest months after he was charged with threatening a 70-year-old tour boat captain who cruised past the dock of his waterfront home in coastal Georgia. Currington pleaded no contest Friday to a charge of abuse of an elderly person and was sentenced to five years of probation and a $1,000 fine. He was ordered to undergo anger management counseling and have no contact with the boat caption. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of making terroristic threats. Tour boat captain Charles Harvey Ferrelle and two passengers told police an irate Currington on April 15 chased them in his own boat and threatened them. Currington latest album, "We Are Tonight," was released Sept. 17.

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