Georgia revenues in November total $1.39 billion
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia revenues totaled $1.39 billion in November, an increase of 3.6 percent over the same month a year ago.
Gov. Nathan Deal's office reported Tuesday that corporate income tax collections were up while individual income tax collections were down. Overall, total net tax revenue collections for the fiscal year are $7.34 billion, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the same point the previous year.
Gross sales tax collections declined $17.25 million compared to last year, continuing a trend following the elimination of the old birthday car tax. The governor's office noted the collections have been reduced while motor vehicles fees have increased an average of $55.75 million per month under the new system.
Europe: Diet sweetener aspartame is safe in cola
AMSTERDAM (AP) - The European Food Safety Authority has found that the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe for people to consume at the levels currently used in diet soft drinks.
After conducting a major review of evidence, the agency said Tuesday it has ruled out any "potential risk of aspartame causing damage to genes and inducing cancer."
The finding will be welcome news to Coca Cola Co., which recently launched an advertising campaign to dispel fears about Diet Coke after other studies showed that aspartame might be dangerous, leading to a fall in sales.
Aspartame, the sweetener used in Diet Coke, is also known under the brand name NutraSweet.
The ESFA, the European Union's food risk assessment agency, is based in Parma, Italy.
Flight diverted with landing gear light on
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Airline officials say a Delta Air Lines flight from Miami to Atlanta had to be diverted to Orlando because a landing gear door indicator light was on.
Airlines spokesman Morgan Durrant said in an email that the crew of flight 362 "followed established procedures" on Monday afternoon after the light was seen in the flight deck. The plane landed safety at Orlando International Airport. Delta technicians are examining the aircraft.
A message left with airport officials was not immediately returned.
The plane was carrying six crew members and 159 passengers.
Athens-Clarke police offer holiday safety tips
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Athens-Clarke County police are offering travelers tips to avoid becoming crime victims during the holiday season.
Department spokeswoman Hilda Sorrow says those who are traveling and expecting packages to be delivered while they're away should coordinate with a neighbor to have them retrieve the parcels while they're out of town.
Sorrow says thieves typically ride through neighborhoods during the holiday season looking for unattended packages left at doorsteps if they believe residents are out of town.
Sorrow says holiday travelers should make sure every door and window to their home is locked, and store valuables out of sight. Sorrow says travelers should take valuables with them if possible.
Sorrow says property owners should also record the make, model and serial numbers of electronics in case they're stolen.
CIVIL JUSTICE FORUM
Former Mississippi governor to speak at Ga. forum
ATLANTA (AP) - A civil justice forum in Atlanta is slated to feature former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour as a guest speaker.
Organizers of the 2013 Civil Justice Forum say Barbour is expected to discuss how the state approached civil justice reforms and how the initiatives impacted the state's economy. Barbour served as the state's governor between 2004 and 2012.
The event is being hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Heritage Foundation Thursday at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Organizers say the event is expected to feature discussions on the importance of judicial elections, and issues that are expected to be prominent in the 2014 legislative session.
GDOT set to begin road maintenance projects
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Department of Transportation officials say they're ready to begin working on bridge upgrades and highway resurfacing projects throughout the state.
Officials say an Auburn, Ga.-based company will build a new $6.1 million bridge above CSX railroad tracks on a portion of Georgia Route 90 in western Macon County. The structure is expected to open in May of 2015.
A Marietta-based company will execute a $2.8 million highway resurfacing project on Interstate 75 in Bartow County, which is expected to be completed by September.
Officials say nearly 60 miles' worth of highway will be resurfaced in nine counties throughout the state.
GDOT officials say the department will publicly announce detours, closures and other traffic concerns before road work begins.