Originally created 02/19/03

Across Georgia



Malpractice victims protest claim limits

ATLANTA -A group of medical malpractice victims gathered Tuesday at the Capitol to fight proposals to limit malpractice claims.

Georgia senators are considering a bill to cap pain-and-suffering jury awards at $250,000 for malpractice and faulty medical products. Supporters say the limits will help doctors, whose malpractice insurance premiums have skyrocketed.

One woman who spoke against the bill Tuesday had had her feet and a hand amputated.

"I can't describe the kind of pain I went through," said Janice Dixon, who received a settlement but is not allowed to reveal its terms. "That money has to take care of me for the next 20 or 30 years because I can't take care of myself anymore."

Proposal would ban big, noisy boats

ATLANTA -A proposal to ban boats longer than 30 feet on Lake Oconee was introduced Tuesday in the Georgia House.

The measure would also require mufflers on certain types of boats to reduce noise.

The bill's author, Democratic Rep. Mickey Channell of Greensboro, said residents near Oconee fear that boat owners are fleeing Lake Lanier northeast of Atlanta because of overcrowding and low water levels.

Senators OK gesture of 10 percent pay cut

ATLANTA -Georgia senators voted Tuesday to take a 10 percent pay cut.

The step doesn't save much money - about $800,000 over two years - but was promoted by leaders of the Senate's new Republican majority as an important gesture in the midst of the state budget problems.

Democrats challenged the Republicans to save even more money by trimming back the food and lodging money given to legislators, including those who live in the metro Atlanta area. Georgia lawmakers are paid $128 for each of the 40 days they are in session, in addition to their annual salaries of $16,200.

UGA gets trust fund worth $3.2 million

ATHENS -The University of Georgia has received a $3.2 million trust fund established by a man who graduated from the school nearly 100 years ago.

George Winship Nunnally, of Atlanta, created the fund in 1975 with $1 million to provide for his wife, Iona, after his death. He died at age 90, shortly after establishing the trust.

Mr. Nunnally, a 1904 graduate of the university, was a former president of the Nunnally Candy Co. He stipulated that the fund be transferred to the university when his wife died. She died last year.