Across Georgia

Students arrested on trespassing charges


DECATUR, GA. --- Seven students were arrested on trespassing charges at Emory University after refusing to leave a cluster of tents and canopies they had set up on the campus quad.

Emory said in a statement that workers broke down and packed up most of the tents Monday evening but that a group of protesters moved into the last tent and refused to leave. It said the students violated a policy that bans the unauthorized use of campus space.

The students -- four from Emory University and three from other local colleges -- were protesting the university's food service vendor. They have said they were concerned about how the company treats its workers.

The seven students were released Tuesday on bond.

Judge allows lawsuit by deaf residents

ATLANTA --- A federal judge is allowing a federal lawsuit against the state filed by deaf Georgia residents who are challenging the state's mental health policy to move forward.

U.S. District Judge Richard Story's decision certifies a class-action lawsuit by Georgia residents who are in need of mental health services but cannot receive them because they are deaf.

The lawsuit claims the state needs to hire more counselors trained in sign language and devote more funding for group homes for hundreds of deaf residents in need of specialized mental health care.

There are about 17,435 deaf residents in Georgia, and a fraction of those have severe mental needs. State officials say there are 200 or so residents in that category, while the lawsuit contends there could be as many as 1,000.

Top court suspends ex-public defender

ATLANTA --- Georgia's top court has suspended a former public defender who was charged with exposing himself to the 16-year-old daughter of a friend.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended Robbie Levin's law license for 24 months. Levin pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges and was sentenced in 2010 to 40 days in prison and a year of probation.

Levin, who worked at Clayton County's public defender office, was 36 in 2007 when he was charged with exposing himself on a webcam to the girl. Police say he also attempted to meet her at a restaurant through someone who turned out to be an undercover agent.

A special master recommended that Levin be suspended for six months, but the court concluded a longer sentence was appropriate because "acts of moral turpitude" were involved.

In other news

WOODSTOCK CITY COUNCIL members have directed the city manager to prepare for a November vote on whether to allow alcohol sales on Sundays. The council has until late June to make a final decision on whether to hold such a vote, but they didn't want to wait to begin preparations, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.