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Deal says he would back Gingrich's bid

ATLANTA --- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that he woud support Newt Gingrich if he runs for president in 2012.

Deal met last week with Gingrich, and she aid they discussed the former House speaker's possible White House bid.

"He indicated to me that he is still in the deciding process," Deal said.

Asked whether he would back Gingrich, Deal replied: "I will."

Gingrich threw his support behind Deal's gubernatorial bid during the GOP runoff last summer. The high-profile endorsement from the longtime Cobb County congressman burnished Deal's conservative credentials and helped counteract former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin visit to the state to stump for Deal's GOP rival, former Secretary of State Karen Handel.

Gingrich said he will decide by the end of February whether to launch an exploratory campaign and will announce his decision in early March. He said Georgia will play a large role in any presidential campaign.

Woman alive after being hit by train

ATLANTA --- A public transit spokesman says a woman who jumped onto the tracks and was hit by a train at a rail station in downtown Atlanta suffered only minor injuries.

MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris says the woman, who was in a wheelchair, dived onto the tracks as a train approached around 8 a.m. Tuesday. Harris says that she landed between the two running rails and that at least two cars rolled over her.

Harris says the woman, whose name hasn't been released, is about 30 and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries that aren't believed to be life-threatening.

Harris says police are treating the incident as an attempted suicide. He says it's likely charges will be filed because train traffic was severely interrupted.

In other news

A 260-ROOM HOTEL on Jekyll Island is about to close its doors. The 260-room Jekyll Oceanfront Clarion Resort has notified the Jekyll Island Authority that it will cease its operations Monday. No reason was given. Authority spokesman Eric Garvey said there is concern about the property's closing on such short notice. He says that there are indications that the owner wants to sell the property and that he is optimistic that a new owner will take over.


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