Across Georgia

Bill sets secrecy on execution drugs


ATLANTA — The names of companies that supply execution drugs would be a “confidential state secret,” off-limits for release to the public, under legislation that was approved Friday by the Georgia Senate.

The Senate approved the House bill, but only after adding language to prevent the disclosure of any records that reveal the name and contact information of any person or entity who participates in an execution. That includes any company that “manufactures, supplies, compounds, or prescribes the drugs.”

Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, tried to amend the bill so that it would protect only the identity of people who administer executions, not companies. The House now will consider the Senate’s changes.

Supporters of the bill say it’s necessary to protect people and companies from retaliation by angry families of the condemned or opponents of capital punishment. Critics say it eliminates government transparency.

Atlanta highway’s toll to end this year

ATLANTA — Transpor­ta­tion officials say the tolls on Georgia 400, a busy commuter route on the north side of Atlanta, will end this year.

The State Road and Tollway Authority plans to remove the 50-cent tolls the week before Thanksgiving.

The tolls were originally set to expire in 2011, but the authority voted to extend the fare until 2020. In 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the toll booths would be removed by the end of this year.

UGA student says mime attacked her

ATHENS, GA. — A Univer­sity of Georgia student told police she was attacked Wednes­day by a woman who appeared dressed as a mime.

A passer-by chased after the suspect and held her until he was assisted by two state probation officers. Stephanie Christine Walker, 37, is accused of battery.

The student, who had a bruise to her face, told police she was walking to class when Walker grabbed her ponytail, hit her and pushed her to the ground.