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GEORGIA

Police arrest 57 sex offenders in sweep

ATLANTA --- Metro Atlanta authorities arrested dozens of sex offenders suspected of failing to comply with Georgia's strict registration laws in a three-day sweep that ended Friday, the first operation of its kind in Fulton County.

The roundup located 57 sex offenders who absconded from the state registry or violated state restrictions that ban most offenders from living or working within 1,000 feet of most places children gather, said Fulton County Lt. Col. Jeff Holmes.

The county coordinated with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Atlanta Police Department and other agencies to send more than 100 officers on the street. At least two of the suspects were found with firearms in their homes, authorities said.

"We would like to take this project and spread it across the state," U.S. Marshal Richard Mecum said.

Perdue names probes for cheating inquiry

ATLANTA --- Gov. Sonny Perdue has named a former district attorney and a former Georgia attorney general as special investigators to look into allegations of test cheating in two school districts.

Perdue said Friday that former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson and former Attorney General Mike Bowers will launch a probe into accusations that educators changed students' tests in Atlanta Public Schools and Dougherty County schools in spring 2009.

Wilson served three terms as lead attorney in DeKalb County starting in 1980. Bowers was attorney general from 1981 to 1997.

Perdue announced the special probe Wednesday after he said the two districts performed "woefully inadequate" investigations on their own. A statewide audit released in the spring showed an unusually high number of erasures on first- through eighth-grade standardized tests taken in 2009.

DOT aims to improve so projects go quickly

ATLANTA --- The Georgia Department of Transportation has improved the way it manages road-building projects so they can get started quicker, according to a review by state auditors released this week.

The review followed up on a 2007 study into why it was taking so long for projects to get completed. Auditors identified 12 procedures that contributed to delays and offered recommendations.

The follow-up review released late Thursday shows progress in all of the areas and complete acceptance of most of the recommendations. It concluded it was too early to tell whether the changes will work in the long run.

The first area of improvement was reducing the number of projects to a manageable level from 9,000 down to hundreds. It also streamlined right of way acquisition and instituted a formal way to document reasons when projects fall behind schedule.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Greene to tee off with Myrtle Beach crowd

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. --- Long-shot U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene doesn't golf, but he says he's willing to try.

The Democrat plans to golf Sunday with a group of Myrtle Beach residents who invited him to play, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported Friday.

Group member Gerry Shea said he thought it would be a good chance for Greene to meet people in the area.

The 32-year-old Greene defeated a better-known candidate in June to win the Senate nomination and will face Sen. Jim DeMint in November.

Universities received more gifts this year

GREENVILLE, S.C. --- The University of South Carolina and Clemson University report an increase in gifts this year.

The Greenville News reported Friday that the University of South Carolina set a record in private gifts for the budget year that ended June 30 at nearly $118 million. That was a 9 percent increase over the previous year.

Clemson received nearly $93 million in gifts and pledges for the same period, up nearly 18 percent from the previous year. It was less than the record $114 million the school received in 2007.


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Kettle donations rise in 2014

After a disappointing showing last year, donations to the Salvation Army's local Red Kettle Campaign have risen nearly 20 percent in 2014.
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