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Vote forces Haley staffers to testify

COLUMBIA— A state Senate panel voted Friday to force four members of Gov. Nikki Haley’s staff to testify about a water quality permit approved to dredge the Savannah River.

The staff members had twice refused to discuss the matter publicly with lawmakers. They offered to speak privately one-on-one, but senators said such behind-closed-doors discussions do not meet Haley’s mantra of transparency.

A Senate committee looking into the permit voted 9-3 to subpoena Haley’s chief of staff, her attorney and two legislative liaisons. A 25-year-old law gives legislative committees subpoena power, but Friday’s move is believed to be a first. Committee staff members said they did not know of another time when members of the governor’s inner circle had been forced to testify before lawmakers.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said Friday afternoon they will comply and testify Dec. 8. Otherwise, a court could have decided whether they had to speak.

Davis’ sister earns praise after death

SAVANNAH, GA. — U.S. Rep. John Lewis and NAACP Pres­ident Ben­jamin Todd Jealous are praising the older sister of Troy Davis after her death after a long battle with cancer.

Martina Davis Correia died Thursday, two months after she attended the Oct. 1 funeral for her brother, who was executed despite insisting he was innocent in the 1989 slaying of a Savannah police officer.

Correia worked for years to exonerate her brother, drawing worldwide support.

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Commission approves full-time vet hire for animal services

The Augusta Commission on Tuesday approved the hire of a full-time veterinarian for Animal Services, a new position created last year as a strategy to lower the shelter's elevated euthanasia rate.
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