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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 04:18:20 EST

FAMILY SERVICES-TERMINATIONS 2 fired from DFACS after child deaths ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Department of Family and Children's Services officials say two employees have been fired after the deaths of two children the agency was involved with. Department spokeswoman Ashley Fielding said Wednesday that a social services administrator and a child protective services supervisor were terminated as the "result of an ongoing investigation into the agency's handling of a child death in Paulding County." Fielding says one of the employees was involved in the case involving 12-year-old Eric Forbes, of Paulding County, whose father has been charged in his death. Fielding says that employee was also involved in a case involving 16-year-old Markea Berry, of Smyrna. Prosecutors have said Berry weighed 43 pounds after she was allegedly starved to death. Fielding says it's unclear what cases the other employee was involved with. DEAL-DFACS FUNDING Deal planning to increase DFACS funding ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal has announced a plan to spend about $27 million in state and federal funding to hire new case workers and supervisors for the state Department of Family and Children's Services. Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said Wednesday that the governor's budget proposal for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, will include about $7.4 million in state funding to hire additional personnel for the agency. Robinson says the governor plans to supplement that money with federal funding and reallocate that amount in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Robinson says the proposal calls for hiring 146 new case workers and 29 supervisors each year. Earlier Wednesday, the department announced the firings of two employees after the deaths of two children the agency had been involved with. IMMIGRATION-BIDEN Biden to speak at Atlanta naturalization ceremony ATLANTA (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is set to welcome new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in Atlanta. The White House says Biden will speak at a ceremony Thursday at The King Center. The ceremony is one of 120 scheduled for early November to naturalize about 8,000 people. The White House says Biden will address the need for a path to legalization for an estimated 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Biden and President Barack Obama are backing an immigration overhaul that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The bill has stalled in the House, where most Republicans prefer a piecemeal approach. While in Atlanta, Biden will also headline a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. CLAYTON STATE-GROUNDBREAKING Clayton State to break ground on science building MORROW, Ga. (AP) — Clayton State University in Morrow is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for a new, nearly $20 million science building. School spokesman John Shiffert says Gov. Nathan Deal is one of several speakers slated to celebrate the construction of the school's $19.8 million science building on Thursday. Shiffert says University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby and additional university officials are also expected to be at the ceremony. University President Thomas Hynes says the building is coming to fruition thanks to a bipartisan effort among Georgia lawmakers to include funding for it in the fiscal year 2014 budget. Shiffert says the university has needed additional lab and classroom space since the school expanded from 4,675 students in 2001 to more than 7,200 students in 2013. DEPUTY SHERIFF-BLACKFACE Ga. deputy sheriff dressed as black jail inmate WOODBINE, Ga. (AP) — A Camden County deputy sheriff has been suspended without pay after photos surfaced of him dressed in blackface as a jail inmate for a Halloween party. WTLV-TV reported Wednesday that Sheriff Jim Proctor suspended Deputy Sheriff Chad Palmer and said while Palmer's costume was "extremely insensitive," he doesn't believe that Palmer is racist. Proctor says Palmer has been placed on probation for a year and the department's deputy sheriffs are now required to participate in sensitivity training — which begins Monday. Proctor made the announcement in front of community members, local church leaders and representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Proctor says Palmer will be suspended until he thinks the deputy sheriff is ready to come back to work. TEEN SHOT-CLAYTON Teen found fatally shot in suburban Atlanta RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) — Clayton County police say they're investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy whose body was found in a wooded area. Department spokesman Phong Nguyen says the teen, whose identity hasn't been released, was found lying near an old golf cart path Tuesday evening. Nguyen says the boy had been shot. Authorities are asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Clayton County police tip line at 770-477-3513. LAW GRAD SLAYING New judge assigned to Ga. murder trial (Information in the following story is from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com ) MACON, Ga. (AP) — A new judge will begin presiding over the murder trial of a man accused of dismembering a law student in middle Georgia. The Telegraph of Macon reported Wednesday that Judge S. Phillip Brown, who has been presiding over the Stephen McDaniel case, is retiring at the end of the year and Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms has been assigned to hear the case. Investigators have said 28-year-old McDaniel is accused in the death of 27-year-old Lauren Giddings, who was a law student at Mercer University and McDaniel's next door neighbor. Jury selection is expected to begin Jan. 6.

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