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Congress OKs $2B refill of 'cash for clunkers'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Thursday night with an additional $2 billion for "cash for clunkers," the economy-boosting car rebate program that caught the fancy of car buyers and instantly increased sales for an auto industry long mired in recession.

August 07, 2009 | David Espo AP Special Correspondent | AP Top Stories

Tough outdoor water restrictions lifted

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lifted tough outdoor water restrictions on Wednesday and declared an end to the drought that has gripped much of the state since late 2007.

"This drought has ended," Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch said. "Our water supplies are flush. Our rivers and streams have rebounded."

June 11, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Gunman, guards exchange fire in Holocaust Museum

WASHINGTON (AP) - A gunman exchanged fire with security guards inside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday.

U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said the gunman walked into the museum with what he described as a "long gun." The gunman and a security guard were shot. Both were taken to the hospital, but the extent of their injuries wasn't immediately known.

June 10, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Extended unemployment checks in the mail

ATLANTA (AP) - The first checks for extended unemployment insurance benefits in Georgia are on the way.

State labor department officials are mailing the first of the checks Thursday. The extension provides for up to 20 weeks of additional benefits to individuals who exhausted regular unemployment insurance and the first and second tier of Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits on or after Feb. 15.

June 10, 2009 | The Associated Press | AP Top Stories

State agencies to lose 25 percent of their funding in June

Georgia is facing a bleak June.

In a letter to top state lawmakers on Thursday, Gov. Sonny Perdue says state agencies will lose 25 percent of their funding next month as Georgia continues to grapple with plummeting tax collections. The governor has lowered the amount the state may spend by $274 million to keep from running over budget for the fiscal year set to conclude June 30.

May 28, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Senate passes credit card overhaul bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - The credit card companies seem to have few friends on Capitol Hill these days, with even the most business-minded lawmakers siding with consumers in speaking out against steep rate hikes and fees.

The House was expected to pass, possibly as early as Wednesday, a bill that would enact sweeping new restrictions on the industry, including a requirement that customers penalized by higher interest rates because they missed a payment are given a chance to reclaim their lower rate after six months.

May 20, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Automakers, Obama announce mileage, pollution plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's proposed new fuel and emission standards for cars and trucks will save billions of barrels of oil but are expected to cost consumers an extra $1,300 per vehicle by the time the plan is complete in 2016.

Obama on Tuesday planned to announce the first-ever national emissions limits for vehicles, as well as require a 35.5 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standard.

May 19, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

GM dealers expect word on plans to cut 1,100 shops

DETROIT (AP) - A day after Chrysler LLC told a quarter of its dealers that it won't renew their contracts, owners of General Motors Corp. dealerships are awaiting word on whether they will be next.

GM said it will notify 1,100 U.S. dealers on Friday that their franchise agreements will not be renewed. Dealers expect to hear either by telephone or FedEx letters that will begin arriving Friday morning.

May 15, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Ginn Chrysler safe from closure

NEW YORK (AP) - Chrysler LLC wants to eliminate roughly a quarter of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships by early next month, saying in a bankruptcy court filing Thursday that the network is antiquated and has too many stores competing with each other.

The company, in a motion filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, said it wants to shed 789 dealerships by June 9. Many of the dealers' sales are too low, the automaker said, with just over 50 percent of dealers accounting for about 90 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

May 14, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

General Mills to build distribution center

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Sonny Perdue says General Mills is planning a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center in Social Circle, where it will invest $42 million and create 112 jobs.

The governor says General Mills will contract with a third-party provider to staff and run the distribution center in Walton County. The facility will distribute General Mills products throughout the Southeast.

May 14, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

Health insurance from Uncle Sam gets a look

WASHINGTON (AP) - Look out Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare. Senators are meeting behind closed doors to consider whether the federal government should jump into the health insurance business.

May 14, 2009 | Staff Report | AP Top Stories

U.S. soldier guns down 5 fellow soldiers in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) - A U.S. soldier opened fire at a counseling center on a U.S. base Monday, killing five fellow soldiers before being taken into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.

The shooting occurred at Camp Liberty, a sprawling U.S. base on the western edge of Baghdad near the city's international airport and adjacent to another facility where President Barack Obama visited last month.

May 11, 2009 | By Robert H. Reid Associated Press Writer | AP Top Stories

Chrysler to file for bankruptcy

Chrysler will file for bankruptcy after talks with a small group of creditors crumbled just a day before a government deadline for the automaker to come up with a restructuring plan, two administration officials said Thursday.

The Obama administration had long hoped to stave off bankruptcy for Chrysler LLC, but it became clear that a holdout group wouldn't budge on proposals to reduce Chrysler's $6.9 billion in secured debt, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the filing plans are not public. Clearing those debts was a needed step for Chrysler restructure by ...

April 30, 2009 | The Associated Press | AP Top Stories

Government, major Chrysler debtholders reach deal

WASHINGTON (AP) - A person familiar with the talks says the Treasury Department has reached a tentative agreement with four of Chrysler's major debtholders as the automaker races to stave off bankruptcy.

Under the agreement, the four banks will forgo claims to their portion of Chrysler's $6.9 billion debt in exchange for $2 billion in cash when the deal closes. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been formally announced.

April 28, 2009 | The Associated Press | AP Top Stories

House votes 'no' on expanding homestead exemption

ATLANTA (AP) - House Democrats have again helped defeat a measure that would have doubled a tax break for homeowners amid concerns that it would force local governments to cut services or hike property taxes amid the economic downturn.

The bill would allow voters to decide in 2010 whether to boost the state homestead exemption from $2,000 to $4,000.

March 25, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press Writer | AP Top Stories

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