Across Georgia

Proposal stops release of credit information

ATLANTA --- For three years, businesses that rely on quick credit have scuttled efforts in Georgia that would let consumers freeze their credit information to thwart identity thieves.

But lawmakers seized on their fading resistance Wednesday to pass a bill that allows residents to stop credit reporting agencies from releasing their information without written permission.

The proposal, passed 167-2, would charge consumers as much as $3 for each security freeze, a total of $9 for the three reporting agencies. It also would allow agencies to charge $3 for consumers to lift it permanently or "thaw" their accounts temporarily when applying for credit.

The bill must be approved by the Senate before it goes to Gov. Sonny Perdue's desk.

Carter hopes Baptist meeting ends division

ATLANTA --- Former President Carter said he hoped this week's meeting of Baptists across racial and theological lines could inspire other churches to end their internal divisions.

"If we can do it, maybe all other Christians can do it as well," Mr. Carter said Wednesday at the start of the gathering. More than 10,000 participants are expected over three days.

Mr. Carter and other Baptist leaders organized the meeting, Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, to develop common ministries and to challenge any perception that all Baptists accept conservative Southern Baptist views.

The covenant meeting involves 30 Baptist groups from around the world. They span a range of theological and political beliefs. Many oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and ordain only men. However, they also heavily emphasize Bible teaching on social justice, which will be a major focus of the gathering.

-- Edited from wire reports