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By AP

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Updated: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:15:28 EST

DEATH PENALTY-GEORGIA

Execution set for GA man in death of trial witness

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia death row inmate convicted of murder in the slaying of a store clerk who was set to testify against his son is to be executed next month.

The attorney general's office said in a news release Tuesday that Tommy Lee Waldrip is set to die at 7 p.m. on July 10. Waldrip was convicted in October 1994 in the death of Keith Evans.

Authorities say Waldrip, his son John Mark Waldrip and his brother-in-law Howard Livingston shot Evans with birdshot in the face and neck and then beat him to death.

Evans had testified against John Mark Waldrip in his armed robbery trial in 1990. John Mark Waldrip was convicted, but the court granted his motion for a new trial. Evans was set to testify at the retrial.

CYCLIST-HIT-AND-RUN

Police impound SUV in hit-and-run investigation

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say they've impounded an SUV matching the description of the one that struck a bicyclist, critically injuring him.

Witnesses told police that the driver of a red Dodge Nitro appeared to intentionally run down cyclist Greg Germani on June 9, dragging him about 50 feet. The bicyclist was wedged under a parked vehicle. Atlanta Police Officer John Chafee said the incident came after an argument between the men.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Germani remains in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.

GAINESVILLE AIRPORT

Gainesville airport aims for more business jets

(Information in the following story is from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com)

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Gainesville and Hall County are considering a study to determine whether the runways at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport can handle larger aircraft.

The study would test the strength of the runways at the Gainesville airport. If the runways can handle heavier aircraft, that could allow more business jets to land.

Airport Manager Terry Palmer tells The Times that he hears from pilots of business jets looking to land at the airport, but has to turn them away and suggest alternate airfields because of the Gainesville airport's current weight limits.

If the study shows the runways can handle the larger aircraft, the results would be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration. The federal agency makes the final determination on whether airports can raise their weight limits.

MARIETTA SLAYING

Man dies after being shot last month in Marietta

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Police in Atlanta's northwest suburbs say a man who has been hospitalized since a May shooting has died.

Cobb County police said they were called last month to an address on Favor Road, where witnesses said a dispute had occurred at the Food Mart and continued across the street at an apartment complex. Police say they found 35-year-old Trinity Hardnett shot at the apartments on May 21.

Police say they apprehended a suspect about six days after the shooting on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Police say Hardnett died from his injuries on Saturday, and the charges against the 22-year-old suspect could now be upgraded to murder.

ATLANTA KILLING

Man shot, killed in Atlanta apartment courtyard

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police were trying to find witnesses who saw a man gunned down amid a crowd of people in the courtyard of an apartment complex.

Police Capt. Paul Guerrucci tells CBS Atlanta that witnesses might be reluctant to come forward after the shooting late Monday night at the apartments on the city's southwest side.

Investigators tell WSB-TV that the victim was among several people standing in a crowd when the gunman bypassed everyone else and shot him. Witnesses said the crowd of people had been talking and drinking for much of the evening near a gazebo in the courtyard.

Detectives say they think several the victim's friends witnessed the shooting, but did not stay around to tell police what they saw.

SAVANNAH PORTS-CHAIRMAN

New chairman picked for ports board of directors

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Gainesville businessman has been picked to serve as chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority board of directors.

Officials say James A. Walters, president of a financial services company that operates in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas, has been chosen as GPA board chairman.

Walters is the former director of First National Bank of Gainesville and is a member of several boards and other organizations.

Outgoing board chairman Robert Jepson says Walters' background in business and economic development will suit him well in his new role.

Officials say Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Walters to the board in 2012, and he used to serve as the board's vice chairman.

Walters says his primary goal during his two-year term will be seeing the Savannah harbor expansion project through to final authorization.

ARSON TIPSTER REWARD

Tipster in Ga. arson to be presented reward money

FOREST PARK, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says he and other state officials are expecting to present a $3,000 reward to a tipster who provided information on a house fire.

Hudgens says he and the Georgia Arson Control Board, Inc. are hosting an award ceremony Tuesday morning at the Forest Park Fire Department. Hudgens says the tipster provided information on a July 2012 fire at a house in the city about 10 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

Hudgens says the Georgia Arson Control Program allows people who supply information leading to an arrest and conviction in arsons to become eligible for rewards of up to $10,000.

PLANTATION STUDY

Savannah professor wins grant to study plantations

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Savannah college professor has been awarded a $50,000 grant to study historic plantations across the Southeast.

Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah said Monday a National Science Foundation Grant was awarded to geography professor Amy Potter. The money will fund a three-year research project in which Potter plans to compare plantation cultures in coastal Georgia and South Carolina, Virginia and Louisiana.

Potter says the funding will allow for a student to travel with her to historic sites in the state for field work and data collection.

Potter's funding comes from a larger $445,000 grant awarded for collaborative research to several college professors in various Southern states.

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