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By AP

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Updated: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 04:17:06 EST

ETHICS-INVESTIGATION Ethics agency close to finalizing outside probe ATLANTA (AP) — The chairman of the state ethics commission says the board is close to finalizing plans for an outside investigation into the circumstances surrounding two lawsuits against the agency as well as pending personnel issues. It's been three weeks since the board voted to request a special assistant attorney general be appointed. Chairman Kevin Abernethy told The Associated Press on Monday that the board has spent "considerable time and hours thinking through, as we would with any investigation, as to the best way we would handle it." The commission has been sued by its former executive secretary and her former assistant, who claim retaliation for work investigating ethics complaints filed against Gov. Nathan Deal. Those lawsuits are pending in Fulton County Superior Court. KING'S HAWAIIAN-EXPANSION California-based bakery expanding Ga. facility OAKWOOD, Ga. (AP) — A California-based bakery has announced plans to expand its plant in Hall County and create more than 400 new jobs by 2016. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that King's Hawaiian is spending about $100 million to expand its facility in Oakwood — which is about 50 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. Deal says the company is doubling the size of its existing facility and creating another 120,000 square-foot plant by next year. The expansion will triple the facility's production capacity. King's Hawaiian CEO Mark Taira says the company plans to hire for most new positions between 2014 and 2015. The family-owned company was founded in 1950 and produces sandwich and hamburger rolls along with its signature round sweet rolls. King's Hawaiian has been operating in Georgia since late 2011. BUFORD CONNECTOR CRASH Police searching for driver in bizarre Ga. crash ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say they're still searching for a driver who climbed a fence and vaulted over barbed-wire after a bizarre crash over the weekend. A WSB-TV reporter called 911 Saturday afternoon when she and one of the station's photographers saw a drooling man who appeared to be asleep in a truck that was idling on Buford Connector and causing a traffic backup. A Georgia Department of Transportation worker woke the man up and was nearly hit when he sped away and caused a crash involving five other cars. Television cameras were rolling as the unidentified man exited the truck, ran up an embankment and fled the scene. An incident report says the truck the man was driving is registered to an address in Walkersville, Md. No serious injuries were reported. FLOATING BODY RECOVERED Body of GA man pulled from marsh near Tybee Island (Information in the following story is from: Savannah Morning News, http://www.savannahnow.com ) TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Police in coastal Georgia are investigating the death of a man whose body was found floating in a marsh. Tybee police Lt. Tiffany Hayes says 31-year-old Daniel Cason went fishing in his canoe on Horsepen Creek over the weekend and didn't return. Hayes says Cason's friends saw the man's unattended canoe and went looking for him on Sunday. Hayes says Cason was found lying face-down in a marsh Sunday and his cause of death hasn't been determined. The Savannah Morning News reports that Cason's autopsy was scheduled for Monday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab. MOBILE HOME SLAYINGS Prosecution rests in mobile home slayings trial BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Prosecutors have rested their case in the trial of a coastal Georgia man charged with killing his father and seven extended relatives in the mobile home they shared. The Florida Times-Union reports witness Ronald Parker testified Monday he heard Guy Heinze Jr. once say of his father and the other victims: "I'm going to kill 'em all." Defense attorney Newell Hamilton Jr. accused Parker of making up a story to get attention. The Brunswick News reports a neighbor testified the victims had a dog that often barked, but she didn't hear it the morning of the killings. Heinze's trial is now in its second week. He faces the death penalty if he's convicted of murder in the Aug. 29, 2009, slayings just outside Brunswick. GEORGIA CAPITOL-STATUE Statue of controversial Ga. politician to be moved ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a statue of a controversial Georgia politician and publisher moved from a prominent spot at the Capitol. Deal signed an executive order this month, saying the Thomas E. Watson statue sits in the middle of an extensive renovation project and will be moved across the street. The decision is being cheered by groups who say the statue of Watson should not have been greeting visitors at a main Capitol entrance after he stirred up anti-Semitism ahead of the 1915 lynching of Jewish businessman Leo Frank, who had been convicted of killing a 13-year-old girl. Shelley Rose with the Anti-Defamation League says Deal's decision sends a "clear message that he will not tolerate the hatred and bigotry that defined so much of Watson's career."

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