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GEORGIA EXECUTION

Georgia man set to be executed for 1997 killings of 2 people

JACKSON, Ala. (AP) — A Georgia man convicted of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend more than two decades ago is facing a scheduled evening execution. Sixty-six-year-old Donnie Cleveland Lance was set to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the state prison in Jackson for the November 1997 killings of Sabrina “Joy” Lance and Dwight “Butch” Wood Jr. A Georgia Supreme Court summary of the case says Lance went to Wood’s home in Jackson County the night of Nov. 8, 1997, and shot Wood and beat Joy Lance to death. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday evening denied a defense request to halt the execution plan.

DELTA-EMPLOYEE KILLED

Police: Suspect in slaying of Delta employee killed himself

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — Police say the suspect in the slaying of a Delta Air Lines employee in a company parking lot near Atlanta's airport killed himself when authorities attempted to make contact with him. College Park police said Wednesday that Raeshaun Antonie Jones was the primary suspect in the fatal shooting Sunday of Alexis Reed and the separate killing of another woman in Clayton County. Reed was found in the parking lot near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday night suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police say Jones knew both women.

TROOPERS FIRED-GEORGIA

Georgia State Patrol fires 30-plus new troopers for cheating

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia State Patrol says an entire graduating class of its Trooper School has been fired or resigned amid a cheating scandal. Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark W. McDonough confirmed at a news conference Wednesday that 32 troopers were fired after being accused of cheating on an online exam for the speed detection operator component of the school's curriculum. One trooper resigned after the cheating allegations came to light. All 33 are August graduates of the 106th Trooper School.  McDonough says he's ordered a complete audit of the training department, which could lead to people higher up being disciplined.

SENATE-GEORGIA-GOP FIGHT

Georgia's Collins to challenge newly sworn-in GOP senator

ATLANTA (AP) — Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia has announced that he's running for the U.S. Senate seat held by a fellow Republican, setting up a battle that could divide the state party this election year. Collins made the announcement Wednesday morning on “Fox & Friends.” He said "we’re ready for a good time down here to keep defending this president." Collins waved off concerns that he and newly sworn-in GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will tear each other apart and open the door for a Democrat to take the seat. Collins was President Donald Trump's pick for the seat, but Gov. Brian Kemp went with Loeffler instead.

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS-GEORGIA

Georgia senators look to hands-off approach on scooter rules

ATLANTA (AP) — After trying last year to place restrictions on electric scooters all across Georgia, a state Senate committee now wants the state to keep its hands off. The Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a new version of Senate Bill 159, which would define electric scooters in state law. But it would do nothing else, leaving other regulations up to local governments. Republican state Sen. Steve Gooch of Dahlonega says that's how scooter companies and local governments both want it. Atlanta, Brookhaven and Decatur have authorized scooters, as has Georgia Southern University. But 12 cities have banned them.

HORSE RACING

Georgia Senate panel hears horse racing bill, doesn't vote

ATLANTA (AP) — A state Senate committee heard arguments on a bill that would allow gambling on horse racing in Georgia but did not take a vote on it. The meeting came after Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan told reporters that the body hasn’t shown an appetite for gambling legislation. The Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee heard arguments on Senate Resolution 84 on Wednesday afternoon. The legislation would put the question of whether gambling on horse racing should be allowed in Georgia to voters as a referendum question. It was not immediately clear when or if the committee would vote on the proposal.

FBI-LASERS AT PLANES

FBI investigates lasers pointed at planes landing in Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating reports of lasers being pointed at planes as they descend for landing at the largest airport on the Georgia coast. The FBI said Wednesday it's offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. The Federal Aviation Administration has reported three incidents since November of lasers hitting airplanes approaching the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport. An FBI news release said the lasers were traced to an area of Effingham County a few miles northwest of the airport. Authorities say a laser beam has the potential to temporarily blind pilots.

STATE HOUSE-ELECTION

Republican wins southwest Georgia seat in state House

ATLANTA (AP) — A Republican county party chairman has won a southwest Georgia House seat left vacant by the death of a lawmaker last year. Unofficial results from the secretary of state’s office Tuesday night show Joe Campbell of Camilla receiving just over 58% of the nearly 4,900 votes cast. Campbell will replace Republican Rep. Jay Powell, who died at a legislative retreat in November. Democrat Jewell Howard finished second with 33% of votes. Campbell is chairman of the Mitchell County Republican Party and says he’ll focus on agricultural issues. State House District 171 spans parts of Colquitt, Decatur and Mitchell counties.