Latest Georgia news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT

July 01, 2018 - 12:00 am

IMMIGRATION RALLY

Thousands march to protest Trump immigration policy

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com)

ATLANTA (AP) — Thousands have marched peacefully in downtown Atlanta as part of a nationwide protest of a U.S. immigration policy that has separated children from their parents.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a crowd estimated by police at 4,000 braved the heat Saturday to walk roughly a half-mile from the Atlanta City Detention Center to the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, where they heard U.S. Rep. John Lewis and others denounce the Trump administration for separating more than 2,000 children from their parents as part of a "zero-tolerance" crackdown on illegal immigration at the Mexican border.

The Atlanta march was one of the more than 700 planned nationwide organized to protest the policy.

Although President Donald Trump has signed an order ending the policy, children remain in detention centers and apart from their families.

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LAWS TAKING EFFECT

Distracted driving, other laws set to take effect Sunday

ATLANTA (AP) — Several new laws will go into effect in Georgia on Sunday, which marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state budget.

Among them is a highly publicized measure that will make it illegal to hold or operate a cellphone by hand while driving.

But dozens of other bills and resolutions passed by the state legislature during the 2018 session will also take effect.

The state's medical marijuana program will be expanded to cover patients with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as intractable pain.

A law that prohibits credit reporting agencies from charging for a security freeze and another that allows local officials to limit the use of fireworks through noise ordinances are also set to go into effect Sunday.

MARIJUANA GROW HOUSE

Georgia deputies serving warrant find marijuana grow house

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com)

CANTON, Ga. (AP) — Georgia authorities trying to serve an arrest warrant at an upscale home stumbled upon a large marijuana grow house.

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office says about 287 marijuana plants and equipment, worth about $1.29 million, were found Friday morning at a home in Canton.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 36-year-old Carlos Suarez-Diaz, of Canton, was arrested after a brief chase through some neighbors' yards. Suarez-Diaz was not the person deputies sought in the arrest warrant. Sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Kelly, in a news release, said that person was another resident who had previously been arrested for felony distribution of marijuana.

Suarez-Diaz, meanwhile, faces felony charges of trafficking marijuana, possession or manufacturing of marijuana, obstruction of an office and escaping an officer. He's being held at the county jail with no bond.

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AP-US-NIGHTCLUB-SHOOTING

Police: 8 shot at Georgia nightclub, no fatalities

ASHBURN, Ga. (AP) — At least eight people were shot at a nightclub in Georgia, but police say no one was killed.

News outlets report the shooting in Ashburn, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) south of Atlanta, happened Saturday at around 2:30 a.m. Officials are not sure if the shooting happened inside or outside the nightclub.

The victims have been taken to Tift Regional Hospital and one was airlifted to a hospital in Macon. Their conditions have not been released.

The Ashburn Police Department is investigating the shooting with the help of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Authorities are asking anyone who was at the nightclub at the time of the shooting to call police to help give a "detailed view of what went on."

AP-US-IMMIGRATION-PROTESTS-THE-LATEST

The Latest: Police report assaults at protest in Oregon

NEW YORK (AP) — Police in Portland, Oregon, have ordered participants in a march by Patriot Prayer to disperse after officers saw assaults and projectiles being thrown.

Police said Saturday that some arrests have been made at the downtown protest.

The problems occurred as two opposing protest groups — Patriot Prayer and antifa — took to the streets.

People were lighting firecrackers and smoke bombs in the crowd and police used flash bangs in an effort to disperse the clashing protesters.

Officers were searching for weapons and handcuffed at least two people.

RIVER-BODY

Body pulled from Georgia's Chattahoochee River

(Information from: WSB-TV, http://www.wsbtv.com/index.html)

HELEN, Ga. (AP) — A man's body has been pulled from Georgia's Chattahoochee River in White County.

WSB-TV reports a tourist found the submerged man's body about 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Authorities have identified the man as 42-year-old Gary Phillip Freeman Jr., of Troy, Alabama.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Freeman was visiting the northeast Georgia mountain town of Helen, which is known for its vineyards and Bavarian-style buildings.

An autopsy will be performed by the GBI to determine how the man died.

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LACTATION CONSULTANTS-LAWSUIT

Enforcement of lactation consultant licensing law on hold

ATLANTA (AP) — The state of Georgia has agreed not to enforce a law penalizing people who provide lactation care and services without a state license pending the outcome of lawsuit challenging a new licensing requirement.

A provision of a 2016 law that requires lactation consultants to be licensed by the state takes effect Sunday. A lawsuit filed Monday by the Institute for Justice argues the requirement would keep nonlicensed lactation professionals from being able to do their jobs properly.

The lawsuit was filed against Secretary of State Brian Kemp whose office is responsible for overseeing and enforcing the licensing requirement. In a court filing Thursday, Kemp agreed not to enforce the law against people engaging in "the unlicensed practice of lactation care and services" while the lawsuit is pending.

STANDOFF-DEATHS

Suspended officer dead after standoff; 2 others killed

(Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A suspended police lieutenant in Georgia is dead after a SWAT standoff at his home and an investigation found his estranged wife and her boyfriend slain in a nearby county.

The Florida Times-Union reports police say it appears 41-year-old Robert Cory Sasser's wife and her boyfriend were shot Thursday night in McIntosh County during a confrontation with Sasser, who then fled to Glynn County where the standoff ensued and ended with his death.

Sasser had been arrested last month on charges of simple battery and criminal trespassing after his wife said he threatened to kill her and a guest while trying to kick in her door. Sasser was placed on administrative leave without pay pending an investigation.

Authorities say the couple had been separated for three months.

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