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Updated: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 04:14:34 EST


Deal: Ga. will start harbor deepening on its own

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says he plans to start deepening the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah without financial help from Washington after the Obama administration's latest proposed budget left out construction funding for the $652 million project.

Deal said Tuesday "we will begin dredging using state funds until the federal government lives up to its obligations." Georgia has already put up $231 million of its 40-percent share.

Savannah and other East Coast ports are scrambling to deepen their harbors to make room for supersized cargo ships that will soon start arriving via the Panama Canal.

Vice President Joe Biden pledged last year the Savannah project will get done "come hell or high water." But the new White House budget seeks just $1.52 million for the project.


GA man sentenced in newlywed wife's shooting death

ATLANTA (AP) — Fulton County prosecutors say a man has been sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison for killing his wife for insurance money.

District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones says 67-year-old Paul Mattei was found guilty on charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, insurance fraud and weapons offenses Tuesday in the June 2011 death of Angela Williams.

Prosecutors say Williams — the man's wife of two months — was shot three times in her chest and drove herself to a local gas station in Fairburn for help. She was taken to the Atlanta Medical Center and was pronounced dead.

Authorities say Mattei researched filing insurance claims online the day Williams was killed and called their insurer six weeks after her death to ask about filing a $150,000 claim.


Vice President Joe Biden visits Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden's midterm election campaign fundraising tour has made a stop in Atlanta.

Biden was in the area Tuesday for a private fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn.

Michelle Nunn has announced plans to run for Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat. Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring, and Democrats see Nunn as a prime opportunity to pick up a GOP seat. To win, she'll have to convert whites who supported Mitt Romney over Obama in 2012.

Biden is campaigning and fundraising around the country for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections. Many stops are in states, like Georgia, where President Barack Obama is unpopular among white voters.

Biden also visited a local YMCA and a Cobb County business to campaign for raising the national minimum wage.


Bond set for Ga. principal arrested in sex sting

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

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Bond has been set at $50,000 for a suspended Douglas County elementary school principal who was arrested in an undercover child sex sting.

John Harold McGill is facing child porn and exploitation charges and appeared in DeKalb County Court on Tuesday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports an arrest warrant says McGill responded to a Craigslist advertisement over the weekend and talked with an undercover officer who posed as a child's mother looking to arrange for a man to meet her teenage daughter.

The warrant says McGill, of Mt. Carmel Elementary School, told the agent he has "taught other girls" and would go slow.

McGill's attorney, Mac Pilgrim, disputes the allegations and says the warrant didn't mention the age of the girl McGill thought he was arranging to meet with.


Organizers cite cost in Redneck Games cancellation

DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) — Organizers of the annual Redneck Games say the event has been canceled this year because of a drop in visitors and tight budgets.

Treasurer of the East Dublin Lions Club Larry Drew tells the Dublin Courier Herald a radio station that began the event in 1996 eventually stepped away from it, which left the Lions Club searching for ways to fund it.

The games grew to attract international visitors but Drew, who also serves as East Dublin city administrator, said the Lions Club wasn't able to attract the types of sponsors the radio station could.

The Redneck Games began in response to Atlanta hosting the 1996 summer Olympics.

Competitions included bobbing for pigs' feet, watermelon seed spitting, toilet seat horseshoes and mud pit belly flops.


Hudgens urging Georgians to change alarm batteries

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is reminding Georgians to use the transition to daylight saving time this weekend as a chance to also change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

Hudgens says the annual change from standard time to daylight saving time Sunday morning is a good opportunity to make sure smoke alarms are working as they should be.

Hudgens says changing smoke alarm batteries once yearly and cleaning dust from the devices are god ways to make sure families and properties are protected in the event of an emergency. Hudgens says having a working smoke alarm doubles the chances of surviving a house fire.

Hudgens says 31 people have been killed in house fires in Georgia so far this year.


Man seeks new trial in shooting outside preschool

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A lawyer for Hemy Neuman says his client should get a new trial because a key prosecution witness, Andrea Sneiderman, has been convicted of lying during his trial.

A prosecutor argued Neuman shouldn't get a new trial because Sneiderman's testimony was challenged during Neuman's trial and the jury could easily have reached the same verdict without her testimony.

Judge Gregory Adams said he would issue a decision later.

Neuman was found guilty but mentally ill in the November 2010 shooting death of Sneiderman's husband, Rusty Sneiderman, outside a suburban Atlanta preschool.

Neuman was Andrea Sneiderman's supervisor at work. Prosecutors and Neuman's attorneys have said the two were romantically involved, allegations she has denied.

A jury in August found Andrea Sneiderman guilty of lying to investigators and during Neuman's trial.


Police bust moonshine still in southeast Alabama

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — Police have busted a moonshine still near the Georgia line in southeast Alabama.

Russell County sheriff's officials say the still was operating in the woods in the southwestern part of the county.

Authorities estimate the still could make about 50 gallons of moonshine a week with an estimated street value of $2,500.

The sheriff's office is still trying to determine who ran the still. No arrests have been made.

Photos released by the sheriff's department show a wood-and-metal contraption with pipes and tubes.

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