Morning News Briefs for 3-8-17

| March 8, 2017

In the wake of the crash of a Moody Air Force base A-29A Super Tucano aircraft in Clinch County and the ensuing investigation, planes in the 81st squadron remained on the ground. No information on when flights in the squadron will resume has been released. Both pilots managed to safely eject from the crashing plane. They were medically evaluated and released.

The deaths of two Fort Stewart Soldiers whose bodies were found inside their Liberty County apartment is now classified as a homicide. According to the latest information released 21 year old Malika Jackson and 23 year old Marquez Brown died as the result of being shot. Officials say that there was a third person present in the apartment but it is not currently known if they are a suspect. There was no sign of illegal activity or struggle.

Congratulations go out to the Howard Forrest, American Legion Post 503 here in Valdosta. They were recently granted a charter for the post auxiliary unit presented by the American Legion, Department of Georgia Auxiliary President. Bunnis C. Williams is post commander.

Commissioners in Cook County have voted to replace Cook Medical Center with a new facility. The project with Tift Regional Health System garnered unanimous support. The replacement facility will be located at Exit 37 of Interstate-75. The site is currently home to the Georgia Forestry Commission, which will relocate to Brooks County.

Changes are in the future of the Georgia bill that would allow guns on the state’s public college campuses. Governor Nathan Deal is conducting meetings with supporters of the legislation even though he vetoed the measure last year. Deal remains open but hopes that lawmakers will be just as open to making some changes in the gun carry legislation.

The amount of tax revenue collected by Georgia was down last month and officials report that the drop in the amount does not reflect hard economic times. The decrease in tax revenue comes as the result of increased tax refunds to the citizens of the state. The 5.6 percent decline comes to nearly 70 million dollars. Net sales tax collections were reported to be up 10.1 percent in February, but corporate tax collections were off for the third month in a row in February.

Residents in the city of Cairo may now put their concerns over arsenic levels in their tap drinking water to rest. A new water treatment plant is operational. The Cairo plant is considered to be a state of the art treatment facility: the only such operation in Georgia with the capacity to remove arsenic via a special filtration system.

Some schools in Bibb County are offering special Saturday sessions. The initiative is designed to help students with the upcoming Georgia Milestones exams. So far the study sessions have been attended by about 100 students.

The murder trial of DeAnthony Davenport and Austin McIntyre is underway. The two men stand charged with the 2014 killing of William Thomas who was shot as he stood in the yard of his home. He was later pronounced dead at Tift Regional Hospital. The prosecution holds that Thomas was killed when a planned armed robbery turned deadly. However, one of the defense attorneys told jurors that Thomas was a known drug dealer who often carried large amounts of cash.

Moody AFB investigators document debris from plane crash
Today is National Pancake Day at IHOP
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