Across Georgia

Soldier serving in Afghanistan killed

GRIFFIN, GA. — A Georgia community is mourning the death of a local soldier killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Randall Valimont, pastor of the Griffin First Assembly of God, says the church will dedicate its Easter program to the memory of 20-year-old Pfc. Johnathon F. Davis, whose father is a lay pastor at the church.

The Pentagon said Davis was killed Thursday by enemy fire in Kandahar province.

Valimont says Davis’ wife is eight months pregnant. Davis was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Home Depot shuts distribution center

ATHENS, GA. — The Home Depot is closing its Georgia distribution plant near Athens, which employs 300 workers.

The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer said Friday that it’s closing the 4-year-old Braselton plant by the end of this year. Com­pany spokesman Steve Holmes said the plant isn’t as modern as the company’s 18 other distribution centers.

Jackson County might be able to absorb the job losses. Courtney Bernardi, of the county’s chamber of commerce, said retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond is planning to hire as many as 400 workers for a new plant in the area by the end of the year.

Teacher, student charged in affair

SMYRNA, GA. — Cobb County police say a high school teacher had sex with a 17-year-old student, who then threatened to tell if he didn’t pay her and give her a good grade.

Officer Michael Smith said both the teacher, Jonas Magdangal, 55, and the student face charges. The tryst was reported to police by an adult who found out from one of the student’s friends.

Police say the Campbell High School teacher and his student had sex at a Smyrna hotel Dec. 31. Police say the girl then demanded money and an “A’’ grade to keep quiet.

The teacher was charged Friday with sexual assault. Smith said the girl is being charged with extortion.

Rare lizard hatches at zoo in Atlanta

ATLANTA — An extremely rare lizard has hatched at Atlanta’s zoo.

The Guatemalan beaded lizard began hatching Mon­day. It is one of only seven known to have been born in captivity worldwide.

These lizards are found only in the Motagua Valley in Guatemala and could number fewer than 200 in the wild.

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