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NRC sets Feb. 9 vote on Vogtle

ATLANTA — Federal safety officials will vote Feb. 9 on whether to approve what could become the nation’s first nuclear plant in a generation.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a hearing on the Atlanta-based Southern Co.’s request to build two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia.

If the commission approves the project, NRC staff would next issue the power company a license to construct and operate the facility. Southern Co. officials estimate the project will cost roughly $14 billion.

Musicians playing against Walmart

ATHENS, GA. — Musicians connected to R.E.M., the Drive-By Truckers and other Georgia bands have created a song and video as part of an effort to stop a Walmart store from opening in Athens.

Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises is developing a proposed retail and residential center near downtown Athens. That has sparked debate over Wal-Mart, though no plans for such a store have been announced.

After It’s Gone was written by Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood with collaboration from former R.E.M. musician Mike Mills.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman Bill Wertz said the company is not currently planning to open an Athens store. He said Wal-Mart has had preliminary talks with the developer of the Athens project, but the developer is also talking to other retailers.

Sheriff admits he slapped suspect

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says he slapped a handcuffed suspect after he was stopped after a 25-mile police chase.

Cannon says he’s reported himself to the State Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating Monday’s chase from Mount Pleasant to Awendaw because shots were fired to flatten the suspect’s tires.

Thirty-one-year-old Timothy Shawn McManus was arrested after a police dog pulled him down as he tried to run from his damaged pickup.

Cannon says he was angry after McManus was arrested, because so many people had been placed in danger.

Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson says the SLED report on the chase and the aftermath may include a recommendation on possible charges from the slapping incident. Cannon says he has no idea what penalty he might face.

Reserve center to be in Orangeburg

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The Army has selected a 15-acre site near Orangeburg for a new Army Reserve Center that will cost nearly $12 million.

The building will be northeast of the city near Interstate 26.

Program Manager Dale Polston says the site will have a training building, maintenance shop, storage building and parking area.

Polston says the new center also will have office space, a library and learning center, assembly space, weapons simulation and physical fitness space.

Eight Army Reserve units will use the site.

– From wire reports


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