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Updated: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 03:15:43 EST


Ga day care owner convicted in federal fraud case

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal prosecutors say the former CEO of an Atlanta-area day care chain has been convicted of stealing about $2 million in federal children's nutrition funds.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that 38-year-old Antonio Hurt arranged for Bright Star Early Learning Center to participate in the Child and Adult Food Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The federal program partially reimburses day care centers for serving breakfast and lunch to children from low-income families.

Authorities say Hurt submitted fraudulent claims between October 2007 and January 2010 that misstated the number of eligible students in the program.

Prosecutors say Hurt's sentencing is scheduled for June 18.


Ga. man sentenced on child enticement charges

(Information in the following story is from: Savannah Morning News,

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Savannah man accused of soliciting a woman and her 5-year-old daughter for sex has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The Savannah Morning News reports 31-year-old George Matthew Vickery pleaded guilty Tuesday to a count of computer pornography and child exploitation.

Investigators have said a woman told them that Vickery contacted her on a social media site and started a sexually explicit conversation that involved her 5-year-old daughter. Authorities have said the man was arrested when he drove to a playground in Effingham County to meet the woman and her daughter.

Several charges against Vickery were dismissed, and he's also ordered to serve 15 years on probation.


Fireworks display damages flag at Braves game

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves officials say they're moving a fireworks show to a new location after an American flag was burned during a display at Turner Field.

Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall said the team was trying out a new location for a pyrotechnic show Tuesday when sparks burned holes through an American flag flying near the display.

Marshall says the flag was made of flame retardant material and didn't catch on fire, but the flag had to be replaced because holes had been burned through it. Marshall says the Braves will no longer use fireworks from the same location.


Police investigating Columbus church vandalisms

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Police say five churches in south Columbus were vandalized over the weekend.

The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus reports the suspects threw rocks and cement divs into church windows between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Sgt. Art Sheldon says a local mosque also reported a break-in Tuesday, but it's unclear if that was related to the weekend vandalisms.

WTVM-TV reports that all of the vandalism was discovered Sunday morning as congregation members arrived for morning services.


Georgia man sentenced in kidnapping, carjacking

(Information in the following story is from: WSB-TV,

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A metro Atlanta man convicted of kidnapping a woman from a local CVS store has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

WSB-TV reports Darrious Mathis appeared in Cobb County court Wednesday and was also sentenced to 20 years of probation.

The victim told the court that Mathis forced her to drive to Atlanta from the store in Austell and raped her. Mathis has maintained his innocence and has said the woman was buying prescription medication from him at the time.

He was convicted of kidnapping, carjacking, aggravated assault, weapons offenses and more in the October 2011 incident.

Mathis' first case ended in a mistrial. Mathis' last defense team told the court his good looks might have explained why his sexual encounter with the victim could have been consensual.


Death of Ga. film worker 'senseless,' father says

ATLANTA (AP) — The parents of a Georgia camera assistant killed by a freight train while filming a movie say they're grieving, angry and want someone held accountable for their daughter's death.

It's been less than two months since 27-year-old Sarah Jones died after being struck by a train on tracks spanning the Altamaha River southwest of Savannah. She was part of a crew shooting a movie about singer Gregg Allman.

Her parents, Richard and Elizabeth Jones, of Columbia, S.C., told The Associated Press on Wednesday their daughter's death was "senseless." Richard Jones says he believes the film's producers "did so many wrong things on so many levels, it's just unbelievable."

Donnie Dixon, an attorney for the film's director, Randall Miller, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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