Latest Georgia news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EST

December 09, 2018 - 12:00 am

SEVERE WEATHER-THE LATEST

The Latest: Snow, sleet and freezing rain take aim at South

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A snowstorm building across parts of the South is causing flight cancellations to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, out of the Midwest.

WTOL-TV reports that Toledo Express Airport's website says that several American Airline flights to Charlotte were canceled Saturday, as well as one scheduled for Sunday.

Flights out of Detroit to Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham in North Carolina have also been canceled.

Travelers are advised to check their flights status before going to the airport.

UBER-GEORGIA

Georgia battles Uber in dispute over millions of dollars

ATLANTA (AP) — Uber could owe tens of millions of dollars to Georgia if the state is successful in a legal battle.

The Georgia Department of Revenue has billed Uber $22.1 million for sales taxes and other charges that it maintains are owed by the company.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that ride-hailing services do not pay sales taxes in Georgia. But the department says they should under Georgia law. The taxi industry says companies like Uber and Lyft should pay sales taxes, just like they do.

San Francisco-based Uber disputes Georgia's interpretation of the law. The company has appealed the bill to the Georgia Tax Tribunal, a special court that handles such disputes.

KEMP-LEGISLATURE

Gov.-elect Kemp names floor leaders for 2019 legislature

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov.-elect Brian Kemp has chosen six Georgia lawmakers to shepherd his agenda during the 2019 legislative session.

Kemps' transition office announced his legislative floor leaders in a news release. Republican state Reps. Jodi Lott of Evans, Terry Rogers of Clarkesville, Bert Reeves of Marietta and Dominic LaRiccia of Douglas will sponsor bills to carry out the new GOP governor's agenda in the House.

In the state Senate, Kemp's floor leaders will be Republican Sens. Blake Tillery of Vidalia and Brian Strickland of McDonough.

Kemp also announced he has tapped former state Rep. Mark Hamilton of Cumming to serve as his director of external affairs. Stuart Wilkinson, who worked in Gov. Nathan Deal's administration for six years, will serve as deputy director of external affairs.

BUJU BANTON FREED

Reggae star Buju Banton free after federal drug sentence

(Information from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Reggae star Buju Banton is free after serving seven years in federal prison on drug charges.

Banton was convicted in a federal courtroom in Florida in 2011. Prison officials told the Tampa Bay Times that Banton was freed Friday from Georgia's private McMcRae Correctional Institute.

The 45-year-old music star was expected to return to his native Jamaica.

At trial in Tampa in 2011, federal prosecutors showed the jury audio and video recordings of Banton that they said proved he was involved in a deal to buy 11 pounds (nearly 5 kilograms) of cocaine for $135,000.

Born Mark Myrie, he was reared in Kingston and rose to prominence as a reggae and dancehall artist in the 1990s.

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ART CENTER NAME

Savannah Arts Center, yes; Googly Eyed Center for Arts, no

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

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Some of the suggestions were serious and some were silly.

In the end, the Savannah City Council decided to go with a straightforward name for a new public building: The Savannah Cultural Arts Center."

The Savannah Morning News reports that the council had received a variety of suggestions from the community. Some suggested names honoring Savannah-linked artists, writers and musicians.

Among the sillier suggestions was the "Googly Eyed Center for the Arts." That was a reference to pranksters who placed "googly eyes" on a likeness of Revolutionary War figure Nathanael Greene at his monument in October.

The city got 163 responses after soliciting suggestions. Officials said the chosen name had been suggested by more than 20 percent of them.

Thursday's vote was unanimous.

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CHILD STARVED

Georgia woman accused of starving child can represent self

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

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Supreme Court is declining to hear an appeal on whether a woman accused of starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death is able to represent herself.

That means that Tiffany Moss is now on track to represent herself as she faces the death penalty in the 2013 case.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the court declined on Thursday to hear an appeal by two lawyers from the state's public defender system. They were trying to overturn a lower court's decision allowing Moss to represent herself.

The case was scheduled for last July but was postponed to allow the appeal to go forward. No new date has been set.

Authorities say the 10-year-old weighed only 32 pounds when her body was found.

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CHURCH ABUSE-JESUITS

Catholic Jesuit province releases names of accused abusers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Catholic Jesuit province that covers 13 states in the Midwest and South says it has found "credible allegations" of sexual abuse involving 42 priests and other ministry leaders dating back to 1955.

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province, which is based in St. Louis and which also covers Puerto Rico and Belize, released the names Friday. Most of the men cited are deceased and others are no longer Jesuits. The province says four are still members of the province but are not active in ministry and live in supervised housing.

The list includes mostly priests but also brothers who serve some ministry functions but who are not ordained, and "scholastics," which are men in training to become priests.

A province that covers several western states, Jesuits West, will announce a similar list later Friday.

GROCERY STORE-SHOOTING

Police: 2 shot, injured at grocery store in Georgia

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

JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Police say two people have been shot and injured at a grocery store in Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the shooting happened Thursday at a Food Depot in Rex. Police responded to the store around 6 p.m. and found the wounded man and woman lying on the ground.

Clayton County police spokesman Officer David Portis says both victims were alert and were taken to a hospital for treatment. Police say their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

An investigation is ongoing.

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