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

October 07, 2018 - 12:00 am

SAVANNAH AIRPORT

Savannah/Hilton Head International airport plans upgrades

(Information from: Savannah Morning News, http://www.savannahnow.com)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Savannah/Hilton Head International airport is getting a $7.6 million grant to upgrade the facility near Georgia's coast.

The Savannah Morning News reports that the Savannah Airport Commission recently voted to accept the grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for a terminal apron expansion project.

The money was part of recent $205 million in supplemental funding for infrastructure grants to small airports in 34 states awarded by the FAA.

Savannah Airport Commission Executive Director Greg Kelley says the expansion will provide space for an upcoming terminal expansion as well as critical space for overflow aircraft parking

The FAA also awarded $6.3 million to the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina for an infrastructure project.

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POLICE DRONES

Savannah police preparing to put drones on duty

(Information from: WSAV-TV, http://www.wsav.com/)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia police department is getting ready to put its first drones on duty.

The Savannah Police Department spent about a year researching how to use unmanned drones to assist officers in the field. Sgt. Max Nowinsky says the department could deploy its first drones as early as next year.

WSAV-TV reports Savannah police plan to have three drones on standby for different uses. One would be used to photograph crime scenes and major traffic crashes. Another would be deployed for search and rescue operations. The third would aid police in hunting criminal suspects.

The drones will be piloted by officers who undergo training required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Nowinsky said there's no threat to privacy, as the drones won't be used "to conduct random patrol or random surveillance."

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VICTIMS VISITORS' DAY

Georgia parole board to host event to hear from victims

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's parole board is inviting crime victims to speak with parole staff at an event in north Georgia later this month.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles victims visitors' day is scheduled to be held Oct. 23 at Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville.

Crime victims will be able to meet with board members and other parole staff to talk about the impact of the crime and the parole status of the person who committed the crime.

Victims who haven't registered to receive parole status updates will have a chance to register at the event.

The parole board says this will be the 30th time the board has hosted such an event and the first time in Hall County.

INTERNET ACCESS-RURAL GEORGIA

In rural Georgia, Internet upgrades face potential hurdles

(Information from: WABE-FM, http://www.wabe.org/)

ATLANTA (AP) — State lawmakers say rural parts of Georgia need better internet access quickly, but internet companies won't expand to rural areas if there's too much red tape.

WABE Radio reports that lobbyists say their companies are spending too much time negotiating with each city and county for access to roads to install broadband equipment.

The question of who has the right-of-way is a central part of the issue.

Dublin Mayor Phil Best says that cities want companies to install broadband access in their communities quickly, but how to make sure their assets and ordinances are respected at the same time is "the $10,000 question."

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VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Georgia voter registration deadline is Tuesday

ATLANTA (AP) — The midterm elections are fast approaching and the deadline in Georgia to vote in those races is even closer.

The voter registration cutoff for anyone who wants to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections is Tuesday.

Citizens can visit the Georgia secretary of state's website to see if they are registered or to register. It's also possible to register using the free "GA SOS" mobile app.

Early voting begins Oct. 15. The secretary of state's website says polling places will also be open at least one Saturday, Oct. 27, in all 159 Georgia counties.

COCAINE KINGPIN-GEORGIA

Former Georgia cocaine dealer telling youth to avoid drugs

(Information from: WMAZ-TV, http://www.wmaz.com/)

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man sent to prison for dealing cocaine in 1991 says he now works at a chicken plant and spends his time off telling teenagers: "You're never going to win selling drugs."

Jerry Anderson of Macon told WMAZ-TV that his drug business was so lucrative in the late 1980s that he had 40 employees and made nearly $1.25 million each week.

That all got taken away when Anderson was sentenced to life in prison. He spent nearly three decades locked up before President Barack Obama commuted his sentence in 2016 during his final days in office.

Anderson insists he's gone straight since his release. His poultry plant job pays the bills and he volunteers with the Motivating Youth Foundation to share his experiences with teens.

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SQUIRREL CENSUS-CENTRAL PARK

How many squirrels in Central Park? Count aims to find out

(Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com)

NEW YORK (AP) — It's one of the enduring mysteries of life in New York City: Just how many squirrels live in Central Park?

There could soon be an answer.

Counters started roaming the 840-acre park on Saturday for its first ever Squirrel Census .

Organizers of the two-week count tell The New York Times they're looking to learn more about squirrel behavior and urban green space.

Jamie Allen led similar censuses of Atlanta's Inman Park in 2012 and 2016. He says the projects are filling a data void on squirrels and exposing patterns in how they live.

The Atlanta results helped inform a paper on the spread of the West Nile virus.

The Central Park counters are tracking squirrels' activities, such as running and foraging, coat color and sounds they make.

Their findings will be made public in the spring.

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MOTHER SLAIN

Man convicted of murder for hiring hit man to kill wife

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a strip club disc jockey accused of orchestrating his wife's death has been convicted of hiring a hit man to kill her.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 38-year-old Andre Jason Pugh was convicted of murder Friday.

The newspaper cited a Fulton County District Attorney's Office news release that said Pugh was sentenced to life in prison without parole for allegedly hiring 37-year-old Adriane Harley to go into his home on Nov. 23, 2014, and shoot 30-year-old Tiffany Jackson Pugh.

The release says East Point police found her 2-year-old child lying on top of his mother's body, crying and begging for her to wake up. An officer overheard the child say, "Mommy. No mommy. Please!"

Harley will be tried in Fulton County Superior Court at a later date.

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