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Father of accused teen says family is in shock

LAWRENCEVILLE - The father of one of two teenage girls arrested in a bank robbery that grabbed national attention last week said his family is in shock.

"We're at our wit's end," said Edward Johnston, who lives in Lawrenceville.

"God gives us free will and it's up to us what we do with it. Any adult has to make decisions and live with them - good, bad or indifferent," he said.

Heather Johnston and Ashley Miller, both 19, were videotaped wearing sunglasses and laughing during Tuesday's robbery of a Bank of America in Acworth, a well-to-do suburb in Cobb County.

More migrate to areas surrounding Athens

ATHENS - People from metro Atlanta are flooding into Athens-area counties, especially the counties to the west of Athens - Barrow and Jackson - according to data recently released by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

More than 10,400 people moved from Gwinnett County to Barrow County in the first five years of the 21st century, more than 40 percent of all new Barrow residents, according to data compiled by the IRS. Plenty of people moved the other way, too - nearly 4,500 people came to Barrow from Gwinnett.

Jackson County gained about 3,400 new people from Gwinnett during the same time period, according to the IRS data.

Effingham paramedic is appointed coroner

SPRINGFIELD - An Effingham County native and longtime paramedic was appointed coroner last week after the resignation of Merle Kilgore, who held the post for 11 years.

David Exley, 50, has served as deputy coroner since 1985. He fills the unexpired post of Mr. Kilgore, who encountered health problems last year that led to his resignation.

Rezoning vote could decide fate of park

MELDRIM - An industrial park expected to generate much-needed cash flow and help pay a $40 million debt could hinge on an Effingham County Commission rezoning decision Tuesday.

Industrial Development Authority officials and international industrial developers DP Partners aren't being specific about the consequences of the decision, but both want county commissioners to change a tentative vote that "is a source of considerable concern to us as developers of the site," according to a DP Partners official.

Stephen G. Bailey, the eastern region director for DP Partners, stopped short of saying the vote could end the company's plans to buy and develop a $7 million tract at Interstate 16.


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Mother arrested with pot in car

Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested an Augusta woman Saturday after she was found with 447 grams of marijuana in her car hidden near her children, a police report states.
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