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2nd twin, boyfriend arrested in frying-pan beating, robbery

Georgia authorities say they have arrested the second of two twin sisters accused of beating a woman with a frying pan and robbing her. A news release from the Clayton County Sheriff's Office said Kyra Faison and her boyfriend Paul Mouton were arrested Wednesday, two days after Tyra Faison's arrest. The identical 19-year-olds are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and criminal trespassing in connection with a Dec. 10 robbery. The statement doesn't say whether Kyra Faison and Mouton were arrested together. It isn't clear whether any of the three has an attorney who could comment.


No agreement for now on gambling plan among Georgia senators

ATLANTA (AP) — One group of Georgia lawmakers studying whether to expand gambling in the state are putting off recommendations for now. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a Senate committee didn't come to any agreement on a report Wednesday. A House committee is also studying ways to expand gambling, including casinos, sports betting and horse racing. Adding casinos or horse racing would require a state constitutional amendment. Sen. Brandon Beach says he still hopes the committee's members will reach agreement on recommendations before the legislative session opens on Jan. 13


Georgia purge removes nearly 309,000 voter registrations

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia election officials have purged nearly 309,000 voter registrations from the state’s voting rolls this week. That’s according to a list of cancelled registrations released by the secretary of state’s office on Wednesday. A federal judge is set to hear arguments Thursday about whether some of those registrations should be reinstated. The voting rights group Fair Fight Action is challenging the removal of people who ended up on the purge list for not voting in several election cycles. The final list of purged registrations shows that nearly 118,000 people were removed for that type of inactivity.


Georgia Senate panel urges no change to felon voting ban

A Republican-led panel of Georgia lawmakers is recommending that the state continue to ban all felons from voting until their sentences are completed. A state Senate study committee voted Wednesday without considering a proposal to restore voting rights to some nonviolent felons. An estimated 266,000 Georgia residents were prohibited from voting in 2018 because they were serving felony sentences. That includes those on probation or parole, or who had unpaid fines. Georgia's constitution disenfranchises people convicted of felonies "involving moral turpitude.” State lawmakers have never defined which crimes apply. So Georgia bans all felons from voting.


Report: Driver's license agency mishandled investigations

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia agency in charge of issuing driver's licenses and state identification cards has fired a manager and demoted another after an investigation found they mishandled the cases of two Puerto Rican applicants. A statement from the Department of Driver Services says the two officials caused "irreparable damage to the image and credibility" of the agency and the state. The investigation came after one of the applicants filed a lawsuit in July. It alleges that the department discriminated against Puerto Ricans by treating them differently from other U.S. citizen applicants.


Georgia city eases hotel-stay limit on concern for homeless

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A northeast Georgia city says some people can stay in hotels past current limits. But they'll need documents proving they have no other place to stay. The Gainesville City Council approved the changes Tuesday, including limiting how long people can stay in hotels. The Times of Gainesville reports people would be exempt from the limits if they have documents from a nonprofit agency stating a person would be homeless if forced to leave. Exceptions to the stay limits were made after homeless advocates said restrictions could further destabilize their lives. City officials say long stays in hotel can create safety problems.


Sports betting's rapid expansion faces more tests in 2020

LINCOLN, R.I. (AP) — Legalized sports betting's rapid spread across the U.S. could face some bigger tests in 2020. Less than two years after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling opened the door to sportsbooks outside Nevada, sports betting has been legalized in states that are home to about one-third of the nation's population. But moral opposition and complicated gambling landscapes might slow the spread elsewhere. Still, the topic is already on the agendas of lawmakers from Georgia to California. The most successful efforts so far have come in states that have allowed online betting, a form some states are reluctant to offer.


Former bus driver gets 3 years in prison after fatal crash

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — A former school bus driver has been sentenced to three years in prison following a school bus crash that killed a 6-year-old middle Georgia girl. A judge sentenced Shalita Harris on Monday after jurors last week convicted her of first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Harris was driving a school bus in Warner Robins in January 2018 when she lost control of the bus entering a curve. The bus left the road and rolled over, ejecting 6-year-old Arlana Haynes. The girl died later at a Macon hospital. Jurors found Harris not guilty of speeding and another count of vehicular homicide.