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Posted: 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013

Tuesday, December 24th

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Offices at the University of Georgia close at the close of business today, with the University shutting down for the duration of winter break. Campus offices reopen January 2. UGA’s spring semester classes begin January 6.

The Georgia Bulldog team suspends two players for the upcoming Gator Bowl game against Nebraska: defensive backs Josh Harvey-Clemons and Sheldon Dawson will not play in the New Year’s Day against the Cornhuskers because of unspecified violations of team rules. The Bulldogs are facing the Huskers for a second straight year after winning last season’s game in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.

The Athens Jaycees and the local Marine Corps League are set to distribute the toys that have been collected for needy children during this holiday season’s Toys for Tots drive.

Athens-Clarke County Police investigate a reported robbery: an ATM was stolen from a grocery store on Danielsville Road. A police report says the thieves cut through a chain link fence, then carved a hole into a wall of the store to remove the machine. There’s no word on how much cash was in the ATM.

An Athens teenager faces reckless driving charges: Athens-Clarke County Police say 19 year-old Octavious Nelson was clocked at almost 110 miles per hour, speeding on his motorcycle on the Highway 10 Loop.

A Madison County man faces rape charges in Athens: Garry Chatham is 36 years old, from Danielsville. He’s accused of using a knife in the sexual assault of a woman who says she was raped in a motel room on Athens’ west side.

Coming soon to Madison County: a website for Madison County election information.

Barrow County School Board members say they’ll hold a closed-door executive session in January to talk about the search for a new Barrow County School Superintendent. Superintendent Wanda Creel is leaving to become Superintendent of Schools in Gainesville, replacing retiring Gainesville City School Superintendent Merrianne Dyer, who is stepping down at the end of the current school year. Creel has been on her job in Winder since 2010.

Hall County Tax Commissioner Darla Eden says property owners who did not pay Hall County property taxes by the December 2 deadline are now accruing interest on those overdue bills. She says a second property tax notice will be mailed to all property owners with unpaid bills on January 10 and will include an additional 1 percent interest for the month of January. 

There is still no word on suspects or motive in last weekend’s murder in Hall County: Rashawn Taylor was shot and killed. We’re learning now the 24 year-old Gainesville man was working toward a career in the entertainment field. Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigators say he died after being taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. 

The heavy rains of the past weekend have raised the water level on Lake Lanier. The Corps of Engineers says Lanier is now a two feet above its full pool for winter.


Authorities are investigating a deadly case of vehicle vs. pedestrian in Forsyth County: victim Johnnie Baker was 61 years old, from Cumming. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says he stepped into the path of an oncoming vehicle on Highway 20 near the Cherokee County line. Investigators say they do not expect to file charges against the driver of the van that hit Baker. The Forsyth County fatality comes on the heels of two similar vehicle vs. pedestrian cases last week, both in Gwinnett County and both involving fatalities.

The producers of the movie Fast and Furious 7—much of which was to have been filmed in metro Atlanta—say they’ll put the project on hold until 2015. Paul Walker, a star of the Fast and Furious franchise—was killed last month in a car crash in southern California.

Two children on a bicycle, hit by a car in southwest Atlanta: the boy suffered only minor injuries; the girl, taken to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, was, at last report, in critical condition. Atlanta Police say they do not anticipate charges for the driver of the car. 

Nobody hurt: a Delta jet, flying from Detroit to Atlanta, slid off a taxiway in Detroit.

Backers of plans for commercial air service at an airport northwest of Atlanta have encountered a series of setbacks. Hopes for an announcement of new air service at Silver Comet Field have been pushed back until next year. Commercial air service at the airport in Paulding County would give air travelers an alternative to Hartsfield-Jackson. If backers succeed, it would be the second commercial airport in metro Atlanta.  But first they'll have to hurdle setbacks that include legal challenges from area residents concerned about noise and congestion.

A 47 year-old Stockbridge man is arrested on child molestation charges. Elbert Moffett was picked up by a police at home in McDonough. Investigators say the charges stem from a case in Alpharetta.

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