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Georgia News June 17

By: AP
By: AP

SUBURBAN HOME GAMBLING
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) -- Police have arrested six women on gambling-related charges after officers broke up a gambling operation based out of at least two homes in a quiet suburban Atlanta neighborhood.
Gwinnett County police tell WSB-TV they got an anonymous tip from someone who was upset about the amount their spouse was gambling at one of the homes. When officers arrived, they discovered gambling machines.
Police seized four gambling machines and more than $15,000 in cash and arrested the woman they say ran the operation. Information there led them to another home, where they found another six machines and made five more arrests.
Police say men were allowed inside but it appears only women could gamble.
Police say they don't know if the alleged operations spread beyond the two homes. The investigation continues.

CLAYTON COUNTY STING
JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) -- Clayton County investigators have arrested about 20 people in an undercover operation targeting prostitution and drug activity.
Sheriff Kem Kimbrough tells WSB-TV that several residents had complained about crime in the area. He says the sting was part of an attempt to keep sex trafficking, drugs, and violent crimes out of the heavily traveled Tara Boulevard corridor.
The undercover operation came after several weeks of surveillance in the area. Investigators say increased cooperation from business owners and employees when they see crime would make their work more effective.

FOSTER CARE IMPROVEMENT
ATLANTA (AP) -- A report by federally appointed monitors says the metro Atlanta foster care system is improving its adoption rate and demonstrating strong oversight over its foster homes but still needs improvement.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 84 percent of children ready for adoption in the second half of 2011 were adopted within a year. An additional 11 percent were finalized within 13 to 17 months.
The report notes that this is the state's best performance to date and the first time it has exceeded the 80 percent performance threshold.
Georgia was required by a court settlement in 2005 to make big changes to its foster care system and establish benchmarks for progress. Federal monitors file a compliance report for the foster care system every six months.

COLLEGE MERGERS-GEORGIA
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- A committee has waded through more than a thousand recommendations and has chosen six suggestions for the new school that will be created by the consolidation of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.
The Augusta Chronicle reports that the committee consulted with experts and did research to determine what elements should be considered in the new name.
The six suggestions are: Arsenal University, Augusta Arsenal University, Augusta University, Bartram University, Noble University, and University of Augusta.
After getting internal and external input, a task force is set to vote June 27 on three unranked finalists to submit to the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents, which could take up the matter at its August meeting.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS-LAW
ATLANTA (AP) -- A newspaper has found that a law cutting unemployment benefits for workers in Georgia may save less than projected.
The law trims the period during which a person can get state-financed benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks or less. State labor officials told legislators earlier this year the change would save about $160 million the first year.
But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the savings were calculated using the number of people who have qualified for more than 20 weeks of benefits, rather than the number who actually got them. That number changes each year, but in the past year only about a third of people who qualified for benefits beyond 20 weeks actually collected them.
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the agency remains confident in its projections.

UGA-PRESIDENT SEARCH
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- A 22-person search committee has been formed to find a successor for retiring University of Georgia president Michael Adams.
Adams plans to step down next June, and members of the search committee were announced Friday.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Larry Walker, a former state legislator and current member of the University System Board of Regents, will chair the committee. The Board of Regents oversees the state's 35 postsecondary education institutions.
The committee includes six other regents, UGA administrators and professors, and representatives of the UGA Foundation, the UGA Alumni Association, the UGA Staff Council, the UGA Student Government Association and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.


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