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Congressman John Lewis says cancer is his latest battle

ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic congressman John Lewis says advanced pancreatic cancer is one more fight he'll take on and that he will continue to serve in the House as he undergoes treatment. The 79-year-old Georgia Democrat announced on Sunday that the cancer was detected earlier this month during a routine medical visit. Lewis rose to national attention in the civil rights era and has represented his Atlanta-area district since his first election in 1986. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi relayed her best wishes to Lewis, saying, “We are all praying for you.” Lewis says he has a fighting chance.


City lets strip clubs keep operating with court case pending

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Two strip clubs will keep operating in downtown Augusta while they challenge the city's zoning laws. The Augusta Chronicle reports that an agreement between city government and the clubs was filed in federal court last week. The heirs of James “Whitey” Lester sued the city in May, saying city zoning laws violate constitutional guarantees. A 1997 ordinance decreed that businesses in heavy industrial zones could host nude dancing or serve alcohol, but not do both. Lester's two businesses were grandfathered and continued to operate. Before he died this year, Lester asked the city to transfer his licenses. Commissioners refused.


Georgia city sets $2.3M in work for giant convenience store

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — Middle Georgia governments will spend almost $2.3 million on traffic and utility improvements to attract a a branch of mammoth Texas convenience store chain Buc-ee's. The Telegraph of Macon reports the committments by the city of Warner Robins and Peach County are part of a deal for Buc-ee's to invest at least $35 million. Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms said city leaders hope people stopping for Buc-ee's will visit other local attractions. The Warner Robins Buc-ee's is expected to open in early 2021. Long a Texas phenomenon, Buc-ee's opened its first store outside the Lone Star state in January in Robertsdale, Alabama.


Plane crash kills 5, including LSU coach's daughter-in-law

ATLANTA (AP) — Several of the victims of a plane crash in Louisiana had ties to a local tech company. Among the five who died Saturday in Lafayette were Gretchen D. Vincent and her 15-year-old son. Vincent was the wife of the CEO of Global Data Systems. The two men who died, including the pilot, were also employees of the Lafayette company. The other fatality was Carley McCord, a well-known sports reporter who was also the daughter-in-law of a Louisiana State University football coach. The passengers were headed to the Peach Bowl playoff game in Atlanta between LSU and Oklahoma.


Savannah delays swap of police headquarters for new building

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Coastal Georgia's largest city is delaying a plan to swap its current police headquarters for a new building farther away from downtown. The plan calls for Savannah to trade the current building for a new building that Savannah College of Art and Design would build at no cost to the city. The Savannah Morning News reports City Manager Pat Monahan is seeking the delay because part of the proposed new site may be needed for widening of a canal. There are also concerns about maintaining the historic nature of the current red-brick headquarters and maintaining a police presence downtown.


Georgia river backers hopes more use brings more protection

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — Supporters of Georgia's South River are hoping it becomes more popular. They believe that if the river south of Atlanta was used more frequently for recreation, it might bring more funding and protection. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the South River traverses for about 60 miles from East Point into DeKalb County, before it winds south through five more metro Atlanta counties into Jackson Lake Reservoir in Butts County.


Georgia city sweetens retirement plan to attract new workers

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A south Georgia city is sweetening its retirement plan, but new city employees will have to contribute toward benefits for the first time. The Statesboro Herald reports the city's 300-plus employees will be able to retire beginning Jan. 1 with full benefits after 30 years of service, regardless of age. The City Council has also changed the rules to allow employees to collect pensions equal to more than half an employee's final salary, up from a limit of about one-third right now. New employees hired after Jan. 1 will be required to contribute 3% of their pay.


Carter, Isakson, voting are among state's top 2019 stories

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's top stories in 2019 included a milestone for Jimmy Carter, as the state's former governor became the longest-lived president in U.S. history. He also recovered from multiple falls during the year. Other Georgia news that made national and international headlines: U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson announced his retirement, setting off high-stakes political drama. The year also saw Atlanta hosting the Super Bowl and Georgia buying new voting machines amid questions about election security.