Ga. Rep. Brooks to be arraigned on fraud charges
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia state Rep. Tyrone Brooks is set to appear in court for arraignment on federal fraud charges.
Brooks is scheduled to appear before federal Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman on Wednesday. A 30-count federal indictment handed down last week charges him with mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
The indictment alleges Brooks solicited more than $1 million in contributions from the mid-1990s to 2012 to fight illiteracy in underserved communities and other causes.
Authorities say Brooks, who was first elected to the General Assembly in 1981, used the money for personal and family expenses, ranging from home repairs to credit card bills.
Brooks has also announced that he will appear at a news conference Thursday at the office of his lawyer, former Gov. Roy Barnes.
Baby in car stolen from daycare is found safe
FOREST PARK, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say a 1-year-old girl who was in the back seat of a car when it was stolen outside a daycare center near Atlanta has been found safe.
Forest Park police Lt. Jason Armstrong said police got a call from a resident who had spotted the car parked in a neighborhood.
Police then found the missing car and the girl, asleep inside the vehicle, near Scott Drive and Holly Circle in Clayton County shortly before 7 a.m.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the child has been reunited with her mother.
Authorities had issued a child abduction alert early Wednesday morning after the car was stolen outside the 24-hour Playskool daycare facility in Forest Park, just south of Atlanta.
Georgia studying Medicaid expansion options
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has said the state can't afford to expand its already-strained Medicaid program to include 650,000 more residents, but his administration is studying ways other states are expanding their programs in case an alternative emerges.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that advocates of the expansion hope the review is a sign that Deal may be rethinking his opposition.
Deal's aides said budget analysts are just doing due diligence to ensure their decision makes financial sense.
In an interview on Tuesday with the Atlanta newspaper, the governor didn't rule out ever reconsidering Medicaid expansion, but he said the door remains shut "for now."
W.Va.'s local-food movement a model for Appalachia
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - With eight in 10 farmers making less than $10,000 a year, West Virginia will never rival big Midwestern factory farms in producing food.
But creative collaborations with entrepreneurs are seeding a new local-foods economy that federal officials say could become a model for 12 other Appalachian states, including Georgia.
Officials with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education are meeting with nearly two dozen groups across West Virginia this week as part of an Appalachian Foodways Tour.
It began in North Carolina and continues next month in Ohio and New York.
Co-Chair Earl Gohl says ARC has funded foodways activities in every Appalachian state, investing $7.6 million since 2001.
But he wants to learn about the opportunities and obstacles in using food as an economic development tool.
ATLANTA BUILDING BLAZE
Atlanta building blaze sends smoke over downtown
ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta firefighters were battling a large fire at an auto repair shop that sent plumes of black smoke pouring over much of the downtown area.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the blaze began shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday at United Transmissions in the 300 block of Marietta Street, on the west edge of downtown.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries.
Marietta Street was blocked west of CNN Center around 8 a.m.
Bus, train collide near Atlanta; no one hurt
DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - Authorities say a train and a public bus collided in an Atlanta suburb, causing traffic tie-ups at the start of the morning rush hour.
Police in Decatur tell WSB-TV that no passengers were on the bus at the time, and no injuries were reported.
The crash happened around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday near North McDonough Street and West Howard Avenue in Decatur, just east of Atlanta.
Witnesses tell WXIA-TV that the bus got stuck on the train tracks near Decatur High School before it was hit.
Video from the Atlanta stations show the bus alongside the train a few feet from the intersection, which was closed to traffic as authorities investigate what caused the accident.
The bus is part of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA.
GAINESVILLE CONVENTION CENTER
Gainesville explores options for convention center
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - The Gainesville City Council is moving ahead with a study to determine the feasibility of a new convention center and hotel in the northeast Georgia city.
The Times of Gainesville reports that the council on Tuesday approved a bid for consulting firms to work on the study.
The study is designed to address market demand, economic impact, construction costs and facility operation. It is aimed at finding out what options Gainesville has in developing a venue successful in attracting large meetings, conferences and entertainment.
City council members have said the Georgia Mountains Center was too small to attract big-name talent and was losing money in its former role as a convention center. That facility is being remodeled by Brenau University to create classroom space and labs.
JOB FAIR-FORT BENNING
Job fair for military spouses planned at Benning
FORT BENNING, Ga. (AP) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will be hosting a job fair at Fort Benning for spouses of active duty, National Guard, the Reserves and veterans.
The "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair is being held Wednesday at the Benning Conference Center.
U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop's office says the event is part of the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Employment Program and several employers are expected to participate.
The companies include large and small employers looking for candidates with various experience levels.
Other sponsors include the U. S. Labor Department's Veterans' Employment & Training Service and The American Legion.
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