ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday upheld a state law requiring voters to show identification before they cast ballots, dismissing objections from Democrats who contended lawmakers had no proof when they approved the new rules that anyone had tried to vote illegally.
The court's 6-1 decision found that no voter has been disenfranchised by the 2006 law, despite claims by the Democratic Party of Georgia that the law creates an undue burden on the poor, the disabled and minorities. The decision, written by Justice Hugh Thompson, concluded that the law was a "minimal, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory restriction."
ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal said Monday he is revamping his plans to cut the state's prekindergarten program to half-day after an outcry from parents and teachers.
The program will remain a full day but the school year will be cut from 180 days to 160 days, and class sizes will increase by two students to 22 each, Deal said. The moves will allow the state to cut $54 million from the cash-strapped program while adding 2,000 slots, which will put a dent in the 10,000-student waiting list.
ATLANTA - The Georgia Senate is expected to take up a bill overhauling the cash-strapped HOPE scholarship this week.
The bill was introduced two weeks ago by Gov. Nathan Deal and has moved at lightning speed through the Legislature, gaining approval from the House last week. The full Senate could see the bill as early as Tuesday.
Local officials hope the state continues to provide tax reductions to film companies in Georgia, because Newton County receives sales tax from a regular stream of filming projects and the thousands of tourists who come solely because of The Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night and the Vampire Diaries.
An 18-year-old remains in the Newton County Jail after allegedly busting another teen's head open with a baseball bat in a fight over a girl.
According to Newton County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Cortney Morrison, the 17-year-old victim was hanging out with friends at a neighborhood gazebo when a girl walked by. One of the teens exchanged words with the girl and the conversation turned ugly.