Morning News Briefs for 2-5-16

| February 5, 2016
Phillip Harris was accused of 11 counts of rape and aggravated child molestation and his Dougherty County trial lasted nearly two weeks. Following three hours of going over testimony and evidence a jury has found Harris not guilty on all counts.
More than 250 farmers from across the south are attending the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Farming Conference. Specialists are on hand to educate farmers about cooperative economic development, land management and how to advocate for resources.
Members of the Economic Development Authority in Colquitt County have given their approval to the proposal calling for an Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or ESPLOST. The initiative will be placed on the March 1st Special Election Ballot. if approved by the voters the ESPLOST would continue the function of the current 1 percent sales tax.
Law enforcement officials officials report the seizure of 500 pounds of marijuana discovered in a U-Haul truck in Gwinnett County. The value of the illegal weed was placed at approximately $1.2 million. The authorities had received a tip regarding the transport of the marijuana and arrested Mark Spaziano and John Edney on trafficking charges.
A convicted felon from Dekalb County has been arrested in Albany and he is identified as 23 year old Kedar favors. $10,000 worth of Pot, Oxy, Ecstasy, and Meth from his car. They also found a machine gun with a 100-round magazine, and $2,000 in cash on him. Favors has 10 drug charges and six weapons charges.
The annual planning meeting of the Board of Commissioners from Lowndes County got underway and one of the major topics of discussion was SPLOST funding which is currently under the projected figure. However, officials dont foresee any holdup in their plans for the area. Strengthening communications between city and county governments is an area that leaders want to see improved.
A House panel has approved a bill stating that religious officials don’t have to perform same-sex marriages, a protection some believe is already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The bill now goes to the full Judiciary committee for consideration. The measure known as the “Pastor Protection Act” is among at least 8 bills seeking religious exemptions for same-sex marriage objectors. The measure approved by a subcommittee Thursday also would allow religious organizations to prevent its property from being used for purposes “objectionable” to their beliefs. Gay-rights supporters question that portion of the bill, arguing it could allow churches to limit access to housing, food pantries or other services but still accept taxpayer money through faith-based nonprofits. House Speaker David Raulston has not ┬álent his support to the proposed legislation.
LCSO arrests two men with prescription pills, pound of marijuana
VPD opens enrollment for Citizen's Police Academy
Filed in: News, Regional News

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