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Updated: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 04:15:33 EST


Bill expanding gun carry rights in Ga. passes

ATLANTA (AP) — People with a license to carry a weapon could bring their guns into some houses of worship under legislation adopted by Georgia lawmakers.

The state House gave final passage Thursday to legislation that would eliminate a blanket restriction on carrying guns in church. It would allow congregations to decide whether they want to allow weapons into their sanctuaries.

State lawmakers also removed a restriction that banned people from carrying guns in bars.

The votes came during frantic voting on the final day of the General Assembly's legislative session. By law, any bill that does not pass by midnight automatically fails for the year.

The bill now heads to Gov. Nathan Deal for approval or veto.


Mercer shocks Duke 78-71 in NCAA tourney opener

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Daniel Coursey scored 17 points and Mercer pulled off the biggest upset in the NCAA tournament so far by knocking off Duke 78-71.

Jakob Gollon added 20 points for the 14th-seeded Bears.

The Bears were simply too much for a Duke team with stars Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood.

Mercer scored 11 straight points during the late 20-5 run that clinched the biggest victory in school history. It's the second one-and-done in three years for the third-seeded Blue Devils.

Mercer won the Atlantic Sun conference championship. That's the same conference that produced 2013 tournament darling Florida Gulf Coast.


GBI to review police shooting in Macon

MACON, Ga. (AP) — State investigators will review a shooting in which a Bibb County officer may have shot and wounded a suspect.

The sheriff's office reports that an officer pulled over a Ford Expedition for speeding Thursday night.

Witnesses said the driver brandished a gun, and they then heard gunfire. Police said the driver, 54-year-old Walter Cornelius Smith, fled from the scene. He ran to a home and was found wounded in a backyard. He was listed in stable condition Friday.

Sheriff's office Lt. Sean DeFoe said it was not immediately clear what charges Smith would face or whether he had an attorney.

The circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation.


Atlanta school employees disciplined over football

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

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta school system has punished employees after investigating how football players were fraudulently enrolled at Grady High School.

School officials announced Friday that the school will have a new head football coach and athletic director next year. Ex-head coach Ronnie Millen has been reassigned to Heritage Academy Elementary School in south Atlanta and will work as a physical education teacher. His attorney, Michael Kramer, said Millen is innocent.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 17 student football players were found to be fraudulently enrolled at the school.

Those students live outside the school's attendance area. Some did not live inside the city.

Superintendent Erroll Davis said parents who falsified enrollment documents could face civil and criminal penalties.


Court upholds death sentence in Cobb killing

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

ATLANTA (AP) — One of the longest-serving members on Georgia's death row will remain there.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a death sentence for Brandon Astor Jones on Friday.

Jones was convicted of killing Roger Tackett, the manager of a Tenneco convenience store in Cobb County, during a 1979 robbery. He was sentenced to death.

A federal judge later granted Jones a new sentencing trial because jurors had improperly been allowed to bring a Bible into the deliberation room. He was re-sentenced to death during a 1997 trial.


Police seek to ID 2 vehicles in attempted assaults

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — DeKalb County and Emory University police are seeking to identify two vehicles as they continue to investigate a series of attempted sexual assaults near the school's campus.

DeKalb County police say one of the vehicles is an older-model, dark-colored, two-door pickup truck with a diamond tool box in the rear. The other is a dark-colored Jeep Cherokee, which may have been in the area and could possibly assist in the investigation.

Officials say three attempted sex assaults between December and January have been reported and may be connected to a rape on Emory's campus on Feb. 11.

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