ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal says he has no intention of expanding Medicaid under President Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul.
Deal’s comments were made to reporters gathered Tuesday in Tampa for the Republican National Convention.
Medicaid is government health insurance for low-income Americans, mostly children. It is financed jointly by the federal government and the states.
Initially, the 2010 law required that states cover anyone in households earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That would add about 620,000 people in Georgia. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that expansion must be optional.
At the time of the ruling, Deal was noncommittal on the state’s plan.
On Tuesday, he said the state does not have the money for a Medicaid expansion.
Smoking started Perry studio fire
ATLANTA — Investigators have determined that a fire at filmmaker Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studios was caused by “careless smoking.”
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Capt. Marian McDaniel said Tuesday no criminal charges were pending.
The fire broke out Monday morning on the roof of a building undergoing repairs. It took firefighters about an hour to get the fire under control. The structural integrity of the building was not compromised.
This was the second blaze in recent months at the filming complex. On May 1, more than 100 firefighters battled a blaze that ripped through a simulated streetscape at the studios, sending flames about six stories into the sky. The cause of that fire was not determined because the intensity of that fire consumed any evidence that could be used to determine its origin.
Construction starts on new state park
GAINESVILLE, GA. — Construction has started at Lake Lanier on what will be Georgia’s newest state park, authorities said.
Don Carter State Park is expected to open in summer 2013. The park is on the northeast part of the lake.
Hall County’s first state park will be about 1,040 acres, officials said.
It will include 48 camp sites with water and electricity, eight two-bedroom cottages, a visitor center, playgrounds, two boat ramps and a beach/bathhouse in a cove off the Chattahoochee River.
The park is named after Gainesville real estate executive Don Carter, who served nearly three decades on the DNR board.
Georgia city fights mosque expansion
ALPHARETTA, GA. — Lawyers representing a metro Atlanta city say they’re fighting a local mosque’s expansion plan because of its size and scale, and they deny any discrimination.
The Islamic Center of North Fulton maintains in a lawsuit that Alpharetta wrongly denied its 2010 proposal to tear down its existing facility and rebuild a larger facility. Islamic Center officials contend that their current facility is inadequate because it doesn’t face Mecca and is in disrepair.
Attorney Doug Dillard, who represents the Islamic Center, says other churches in the Atlanta suburb have been given approval for gymnasiums and large sanctuaries.
Attorneys for the city this week responded to some of the allegations, saying the proposed expansion is simply out of scale in size, mass, and scale to the property and surrounding area.
Sheriff charged in slapping incident
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Authorities have charged Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon with third-degree assault and battery in connection with slapping a handcuffed suspect after a high-speed chase.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced that charge Tuesday night.
The charges carries a punishment of 30 days in jail or a $500 fine. Because Cannon has no previous record, he could continue to serve and enter pre-trial intervention.
The Associated Press left a message with the sheriff’s office seeking comment.
The incident involved a chase Jan. 30 in which officers tried to apprehend Timothy McManus of Mount Pleasant. The pursuit continued 25 miles at speeds of up to 120 mph. After it was over, Cannon slapped the handcuffed McManus in the face.
Woman brings gun to beach airport
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. —
Authorities found a loaded gun Tuesday at a security checkpoint at the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
The Transportation Security Administration said a 50-year-old woman was given a pass to escort her young daughter to her gate when the weapon was found about 8 a.m.
Authorities said an agent noticed the gun while scanning the woman’s purse. She told agents she had a permit to carry a concealed weapon in South Carolina, but all guns are banned from the airport.
The woman was placed in custody while police decided what charges she should face.
Authorities say two other guns have been found at the Myrtle Beach airport this year.
Deputy charged with DUI on cart
A Saluda County sheriff’s deputy was suspended without pay after state troopers arrested him and charged him with drunken driving.
Chief Deputy Robin Freeman identified the deputy as 44-year-old Robert Shorter. Freeman said Shorter is a major and is the office’s chief of investigations.
Authorities said troopers stopped Shorter just after midnight Sunday about eight miles outside of Edgefield in his golf cart. He is charged with driving under the influence and operating an uninsured vehicle.
Shorter has been employed with the sheriff’s office for 11 years.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.
In other news
A WRONGFUL DEATH lawsuit has been filed in the death last year of the former mayor of Cottageville, Bert Reeves. Reeves was shot in the chest with a service revolver belonging to Officer Randall Price in May 2011. Price was placed on leave after the shooting. Authorities have said Reeves had objected after Price arrested an employee of his construction business.
– Associated Press