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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 04:18:41 EST

ATLANTA SCHOOLS-CHEATING

Ex-Ga. teacher pleads guilty in cheating scandal

ATLANTA (AP) — Prosecutors say a former Atlanta Public School teacher has pleaded guilty to her involvement in the district's cheating scandal.

Fulton County District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones says former teacher Lisa Terry pleaded guilty to obstruction Wednesday.

Terry is one of 35 educators who was indicted after being accused of changing standardized test scores or giving students the correct answers.

In court, Terry said she gave Criterion Referenced Competency Test answers to her students during the exam and that she cheated because of pressure from the school's principal.

Terry said her job was threatened and she was offered a $500 bonus for her students "achievement" on the exam.

Terry has been sentenced to 12 months of probation, 250 hours of community service and must pay $500 in restitution.

GEORGIA-SOLDIERS RETURN

Ga. soldiers to return to Augusta Saturday

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia Army National Guard is gearing up to welcome soldiers back from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

Army officials say the 170 members of the 878th Engineer Battalion will return to the National Guard Armory in Augusta on Saturday morning.

Officials say the battalion's soldiers are from throughout Georgia. Army officials say while they were in Afghanistan, the soldiers protected forces and Afghan civilians by identifying and disarming potentially explosive devices.

Officials say the Georgia Army National Guard is comprised of more than 11,000 citizen-soldiers who train in more than 57 armories and regional facilities throughout the state.

ANTHONY FOXX-ATLANTA

US Secretary of Transportation to speak in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is visiting Atlanta to speak about a Georgia Department of Transportation project and the Affordable Care Act.

Officials say Foxx will make a Georgia Department of Transportation funding announcement Thursday afternoon and will later speak at an Affordable Care Act outreach event at the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library.

In August, Foxx gave a keynote speech in Atlanta during a national gathering of state lawmakers on ways to fund and maintain local transportation initiatives.

DOGS-DENTAL IMPLANTS

Animal welfare group accuses Ga. school of cruelty

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Animal welfare officials are accusing Georgia Regents University in Augusta of performing unnecessary dental implant procedures on dogs.

Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman Stephanie Twining said Wednesday that a three-month undercover investigation revealed that dogs being used to test dental implants have had teeth pulled, replaced with implants and were euthanized afterward. Twining says jaw bone samples were taken from dead dogs.

The university's Senior Vice President for Research, Mark Hamrick, said in a statement that GRU's animal use protocols are regularly reviewed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and that the university adheres to local, state and federal guidelines.

Hamrick says the school doesn't frequently use dogs for research and that all research projects involving animals are reviewed by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee.

BRAVES STADIUM-ENTERTAINMENT

Braves unveil stadium entertainment district plan

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have announced plans to build a $400 million entertainment district near the team's new stadium in Cobb County.

Braves Executive Vice President Mike Plant told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday that the entertainment district plan was a key component of the team's decision to build a new $672 million stadium in suburban Atlanta.

Plant says the district will likely be developed vertically instead of being spread out and calls for retail, restaurants and bars leading up to the stadium.

Plant says the team may choose to develop the land on its own, or send out a request to developers.

The newspaper reports that the entertainment district would be funded by the Braves and a potential development partner.

The Braves expect to leave Turner Field in 2017.

MEDICAID FRAUD-CONVICTION

Ex-Ga. businesswoman convicted in fraud scheme

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a coastal Georgia woman has been convicted in a $4 million Medicaid fraud and identity theft scheme.

Authorities said Wednesday that 47-year-old Schella Logan Hope, of Brunswick, has been convicted of money laundering, aggravated identity theft and health care fraud.

Prosecutors say Hope was a dietician who ran a coastal Georgia business between 2005 and 2011. Authorities say Hope stole the identities of children who were enrolled in Head Start programs throughout the state.

Authorities say Hope used the children's identities to file fraudulent prescriptions and Medicaid claims.

Officials say Hope used the money to pay for luxury cars, designer clothes, vacations and more.

Hope's co-defendant, Arlene Murrell, has already pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Hope.

Hope has yet to be sentenced.

PEACHTREE STREET SLAYING

Suspect in Midtown Atlanta shooting found dead

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say the suspect in a fatal shooting in the city's Midtown neighborhood has been found dead in Clayton County.

Sgt. Greg Lyon says authorities were serving an arrest warrant Wednesday for the suspect whose identity has not been released.

Authorities have said 47-year-old Bridgette Holt of Hampton was shot Wednesday morning at the 1230 Peachtree Street building, across from the Woodruff Arts Center.

Atlanta Police Maj. Darryl Tolleson has said investigators believe the shooting was "domestic-related" and that police were looking for a man who nkew the woman.

Holt was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and was later pronounced dead.

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