Get Adobe Flash player


Ga. high court rules in case involving lethal injections



Published Monday, May 19, 2014


Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Public Information Office for the general public and news media. Summaries are not prepared for every opinion released by the Court, but only for those cases considered of great public interest. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official opinions of the Court. The full opinions are available on the Supreme Court website at .


See other stories on our site on Ga. Supreme Court

Ga. High court upholds convictions in two child killing cases




            In a 5-to-2 decision, the Supreme Court of Georgia has reversed a Fulton County court ruling that had granted a stay of execution to Warren Lee Hill.

            Last summer, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan postponed Hill’s execution to review a new Georgia statute that protects as “a confidential state secret” the identities of those who supply or compound the drug used in lethal injections. At issue in this high-profile death penalty case is whether the 2013 statute is unconstitutional.

            “We hold that it is not,” Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines writes in today’s 33-page majority opinion.

            Hill was sentenced to death in 1991 after a Lee County jury convicted him of murder in the 1990 bludgeoning death of a fellow inmate, Joseph Handspike, at the Lee Correctional Institute. At the time, Hill was already serving a life sentence for the 1985 shooting death of his former 18-year-old girlfriend, Myra Sylvia Wright. In the early hours of Aug. 17, 1990, Hill pried a board embedded with nails from beneath the sink in the prison bathroom and, as Handspike slept, pounded him in his head and chest with the board while onlooking prisoners pleaded with him to stop. Handspike later died at the hospital.

National Safe Boating Week aims for more safety certifications



National Safe Boating Week, which begins Saturday, May 17th, provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity for boaters to get a boating safety certification, says leading online educator To encourage boaters to sign up before summer boating season, is lowering the cost of its by $5 during National Safe Boating Week, which runs until May 23rd, 2014.


“Recent statistics confirm that education significantly lowers the risk of a serious boating accident or fatality,” says Kerry Moher, VP of and a former member of the NASBLA Education Standards Panel. “To get more boaters to complete a safety course before summer, we’re lowering the cost of our online course during National Safe Boating Week.”


Students who register at between May 15th and May 23rd, and who complete their course by the end of May 2014, will receive $5 off their online boating safety certification. is encouraging state agencies, marinas, and other boating organizations to spread the word about the campaign.


U.S. Coast Guard statistics back up the importance of taking a safe boating course. Of the more than 700 fatalities in 2011, only 7% occurred on a boat where the operator had taken a NASBLA-approved boating safety course.


“With an approved online course like, it takes about three hours to get your safety certification, such as a boater education card or boating license. It’s three hours that can make all the difference,” concludes Moher.


To sign up for the online course or to find out more about state-by-state education requirements, visit



Georgia’s unemployment rate unchanged at 7.0 percent in April

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7.0 percent, unchanged from March. However, the rate was significantly lower than in April a year ago when it was 8.3 percent. 
    “We had very strong job growth in April, as our employers created 41,300 new jobs, which is the largest March to April increase since 2005,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “And, to make things even better, more jobseekers are entering the labor force and getting hired. This is a stark contrast to what we’re seeing nationally with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the labor force.” The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that 806,000 people left the nation’s work force in April.

Master Gardeners clean up Extension Office


Pickens Master Gardeners get their yardwork on at the Pickens County Extension Office.

     "I think we've widened the road  several feet," joked one Pickens Master Garderner who, along with employees of the Pickens County Extension Office spent Wednesday morning pruning overgrown rosmeary and rose bushes

Solar power is “just plain smart,” says Pickens resident

The benefits of going solar explained

    A shot taken from a video of Todd Smith explaining his solar power set-up at his Jasper home. Follow this link to the Progress' YouTube channel to watch the video.

 By Todd J. Smith
      Two weeks ago I finally flipped the switch on my newly installed 4 KW (4,000 watt) solar system.  It was