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Ga. Supreme Court releases opinions: members of rap group convicted of murder

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     The Supreme Court of Georgia is today releasing 13 opinions, 10 of which involve murder convictions. In addition, there are three lawyer disciplinary opinions.

      In today’s opinions, the high court has upheld murder convictions and life prison sentences for:

  * Ramel Brown (Fulton)                                     BROWN V. THE STATE (S16A1530)

 * James English (Dodge Co.)                                    ENGLISH V. THE STATE (S16A1754)

 * Gregory Joseph Johnson (Mitchell Co.)            JOHNSON V. THE STATE (S16A1649)

Don't get ripped off buying Falcons tickets, warn state officials

Attorney General Chris Carr and Secretary of State Brian Kemp Warn Georgians About Football Ticket Scams 
 
ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr and Secretary of State Brian Kemp today warned Falcons fans about football ticket scams in preparation for Sunday’s NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Not surprisingly, demand for tickets is high, and this creates an opportunity that scammers are already exploiting through the sale of fake, void or stolen tickets.  Not only can consumers lose money in these scams, they may also become victims of identity theft if they give a scammer their personal or financial information.  
 
“Falcons fans, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and I share your excitement to watch our home team Rise Up against the Packers in this Sunday’s NFC Championship showdown,” said Attorney General Carr. “If you are making preparations to attend the big game, we want to be sure you understand the possibility of ticket scams. Please use the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of these malicious practices.”  
  • We encourage you to buy tickets from reputable sites such as NFL.comTicketmaster.comor atlantafalcons.com/tickets. Should you choose another company, check to see if they are accredited with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org).  You can also search for complaints and online reviews about the business. 
  • Note that ticket brokers in Georgia must be registered with the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission and must include their license number in any Internet, broadcast or print advertising.
  • Be especially wary of buying tickets through Craigslist ads.
  • Using a credit card offers greater protections against fraud than cash or debit cards.  
  • Avoid wiring money to the seller, as this is often an indication of a scam. 
  • If purchasing tickets online, make sure the website begins with the prefix https://.  This indicates that transactions are encrypted and protected against being intercepted by third parties.  
  • Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true.  Scammers often try to lure consumers into turning over their money by offering tickets or merchandise at below-market rates.
  • Protect your identity by refraining from posting pictures of your tickets online or on social media. Scammers can easily take the barcodes of an online post and use them to create fraudulent tickets and steal personal information. 
“This Sunday, I do not want a single Falcons fan to get cheated out of going to the last football game at the Georgia Dome,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “Be vigilant when buying tickets so you don’t miss this important match-up.”

Ticket brokers are required by Georgia law to register with the state and comply with other regulations. To verify a ticket broker’s license, visit sos.ga.gov, click on “Licensing,” and then “Search for a Licensee.” To file a complaint against a ticket broker, contact the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission at (404) 656-2868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Help get Talking Rock trainers to ‘the American Idol of horse shows’

Click here to vote online Jan. 16-25 to send Fancy Mount Farms to “Epic Night of the Horse”

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    Elaina Schmersey and Jordyn Delmet awakened the force in the Star Wars themed performance they created for the Midwest Horse Fair Star Search contest. They are one of three competitors for the last finalist position in "Epic Night of the Horse." Follow this link to see a clip of their performance. 


    Two local horse trainers have beat out trainers from 23 states and Canada for a chance to perform at the prestigious “Epic Night of the Horse” competition - but they need your votes to get there.
    Elaina Schmersey and Jordyn Delmet are one of three finalists in the Midwest Horse Fair Star Search’s “Online Fan Favorite” contest. Whichever of these finalists gets the most votes will be become one of five Open Division finalists in “Epic Night of the Horse,” to be held during the 2017 Midwest Horse Fair. The winner gets $10,000 and exposure that could catapult their career to the next level. 

Former Ga. governor tapped for nation's Ag. Secretary

State Republicans congratulate Sonny Perdue

(Atlanta, GA) - Last night, President-elect Donald J. Trump tapped former Georgia Government Sonny Perdue to serve as the country's next Secretary of Agriculture. In response, the Georgia Republican Party issued the following statement: 

"Sonny Perdue is committed to our farmers, small business owners, and rural communities," said Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett.  "While in office, Gov. Perdue worked tirelessly to strengthen Georgia's economy by supporting our agriculture industry. I have the utmost confidence that his experience as a veterinarian, lawmaker, chief executive, and agribusiness giant will serve him well as he leads the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We are so proud of Sonny and wish him all the best as he takes on this important role in the Trump Administration." 

Governor Sonny Perdue is the second Georgian tapped to serve in President-elect Trump's cabinet. In November, Congressman Tom Price (GA-6) was appointed by Trump as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

 

Interim superintendent encourages long-range view

Dr. Charles Webb held “top secret” security clearance during military career

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    Dr. Charles Webb speaking at the latest school board meeting. In this article he discusses some of the top issues facing the school system.

 

    In a brief interview last week, the interim superintendent of schools for Pickens County advocated a studied approach for the system, not quick action during his tenure.
    Dr. Charles Webb said Thursday he will encourage the school board to take both time and public input before moving ahead on the high-profile issues facing the school system.

See full story in this week's print or online edition.