Across the region

Georgia revenues increase in May


ATLANTA — Georgia’s government collected $1.24 billion during May, a 2 percent increase from last year.

Those collections are viewed as a rough measure of economic health. The government collects more tax money as people get jobs, earn more pay and purchase goods.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal said this month’s figures show steady growth even though the rate of growth was weaker than in April. Georgia has experienced growth for 19 of the past 20 months.

Individual income tax collections fell just under 1 percent to roughly $617 million. Net sales and use tax collections increased
3.9 percent to $449 million.

Missing boy’s mom wants case ended

COLUMBIA — A judge should throw out an indictment against the mother of a missing South Carolina toddler because prosecutors don’t have enough evidence and are only holding Zinah Jennings because she won’t tell them where her son is, her attorney said Thursday.

“You can’t weigh the rights of a defendant against the rights of a missing child,” attorney Hemphill Pride II said in court. “The entire holding of Zinah Jennings in this case is a mere pretext.”

Judge G. Thomas Cooper set a July trial date for Jen­nings, whose 18-month-old son Amir was last seen around Thanksgiving. Zinah Jennings’ mother reported her missing weeks later, telling police she thought her daughter and grandson were in Atlanta but that she was getting evasive answers when she asked about Amir.

Speaking to police after a Christmas Eve car wreck, Jennings first said she had no children, then said her son was with relatives and friends in cities from At­lan­ta to Charlotte, N.C. In­ves­ti­gators said Jennings’ stories led only to dead ends.

Prosecutors said Amir’s blood was found on blankets in Jennings’ car. She was indicted on a charge of unlawful conduct toward a child.

In other news

NINETEEN MEMBERS or associates of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang have been arrested in the Caro­linas as part of a two-year investigation into gun and drug crimes, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said. Search warrants on Thursday netted a wide variety of drugs and more than 100 firearms, he said.

– From wire reports