Morning News Briefs for 3-29-16

| March 29, 2016

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During a press conference Governor Nathan Deal declared that his veto of the Religious Liberty bill was not due to pressure from the business and entertainment sectors who had threatened to withdraw their projects from Georgia if the bill was signed into law. An override of the governor’s action would call for a two thirds majority in the House and Senate. The passage of the proposed legislation would have given pastors the right of refusal when asked to perform same sex marriages and other religious groups the right to deny jobs and services to members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community.


 

71 year old Amelia Stripling has posted bond and was released from jail. The Tifton County Pre-K Center teacher was arrested after video surveillance showed her used her knee to force a special needs child to the floor. Stripling has been charged with second degree child cruelty. She has since resigned from her job; she had worked in the Tift County School System for more than two decades.


 

Two women and five men have been arrested and charged in the brutal killing of a Craigory Burch, Jr. The death of the man who won over four hundred thousand dollars playing the lottery took place in January. Rosalyn Swain Earnest Holcomb and 17-year-old Wayan Jordan are from Fitzgerald. Keyona Dyous and Nathaniel Baker are from Moultrie. Dabrentis Overstreet and Anjavell Johnson are from Tifton. The group faces multiple charges including malice murder.


 

According to numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services 159,000 uninsured Georgians who have mental health issues and those dealing with substance abuse problems could be treated if the state decided to accept federal funding that comes with the federal Affordable Care Act. The expansion of the Medicaid program would allow Georgia to join a group of 30 other states and the District of Columbia that have expanded their Medicaid programs. In the states that have not expanded Medicaid, over 6 million residents are projected to remain uninsured this year as a result. These states are foregoing $423.6 billion in federal Medicaid funds through 2022, which will lessen economic activity and job growth. Hospitals in these states are also slated to lose a $167.8 billion in Medicaid funding.


 

The City of Valdosta is taking part in the celebration of National Community Development Week through April 1, with a variety of events that highlight the city’s Community Development Block Grant program. Today the City is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. for a newly reconstructed home on 907 Myrtle Street, located in the city’s Designated Revitalization Areas. The reconstructed home was built utilizing CDBG funding. The city in partnership with the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce presents a four-part learning series that’s part of the Valdosta-Lowndes Business University. It is designed specifically for anyone interested in turning their business idea into a reality. The workshop will be held in the Valdosta City Hall Annex Multi-Purpose Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


 

Prompted by the death of Valdosta High School baseball player Colton Shaw lawmakers have have passed the resolution calling for more protections of team members across the state. Shaw died after he was struck by a ball while in the dugout during a game. The proposal involves dugout enclosure with netting or fences and coaches say that’s a step in the right direction.


 

Charges against Mitchell Cullen have been upgraded from aggravated assault to murder in connection with beating victim James Winchester of Albany. Cullen is one of two suspects involved in the incident and he remains on the run from the law. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or Albany Police.


 

Motorists should expect a traffic disruption this week on Interstate 75 south near the weigh station for a statewide Georgia Department of Transportation project called Weigh In Motion. The work is expected to impact only the outside (right) lane of I-75 south in Lowndes County. The southbound outside lane will be closed from 9 p.m. Thursday, March 31, to 5 a.m. Friday, April 1, between mileposts 23 and 24. The lane will then reopen and the same section of I-75 south will close again at 9 p.m. Friday, April 1, and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, April 4.


 

Sementha Matthews the City of Valdosta’s Public Information Officer reports that during routine inspections of the sewer system following heavy weekend rainfall the Utilities Department staff identified sanitary sewer spills at three locations in the city. The spills resulted from stormwater infiltration and inflow (I&I) into the sanitary sewer system, causing it to exceed the capacity of the city’s sewer collection system. The storm drains and the discharge points into the streams were immediately cleaned and disinfected. The areas of overflow included the 700 block of Cypress Street and Knights Creek, the 1800 block of Remer Lane and Sugar Creek and the 600 block of Scott Drive and Sugar Creek. All appropriate regulatory and public health agencies have been notified.

Teacher who knocked down special needs student out on bond
7 arrested in lottery winner murder
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