Feds charge 33 in Ga. gun trafficking case
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Federal authorities in Savannah have charged 33 people as part of an undercover operation into gun and drug trafficking.
A majority of those named in 17 federal indictments that were unsealed Wednesday are from Georgia and South Carolina. The investigation, dubbed Operation Pulaski, began in late 2011.
Undercover federal agents infiltrated multiple regional and international criminal organizations. Over time, the agents bought 189 guns, illegal drugs and stolen vehicles.
Investigators found that the vehicles were stolen from the New York City area and were brought to the Southeast for resale or to be shipped abroad and sold.
Authorities believe 26 of those arrested are convicted felons. Eleven are believed to be in the country illegally. A number of the guns the undercover agents bought had also been reported stolen.
Panel to weigh Brooks suspension next week
ATLANTA (AP) - A panel appointed by Georgia's governor to determine whether an indicted state lawmaker should be suspended will meet next week.
The panel will meet June 28 to review charges against Rep. Tyrone Brooks, an Atlanta Democrat. The hearing is open to the public.
Brooks was charged last month in a 30-count federal indictment with mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns. He has pleaded not guilty.
Gov. Nathan Deal last week appointed the Democratic minority leaders of the House and Senate, Rep. Stacey Abrams and Sen. Steve Henson, to the panel. By law, the panel also includes Attorney General Sam Olens, a Republican.
The panel has to consider whether the indictment relates to Brooks' public office and whether it adversely affects the public.
HPV vaccine cut infection by half in teen girls
ATLANTA (AP) - Researchers say a vaccine for a sexually spread virus has cut infections in teen girls by half.
This is the first evidence of how well the HPV vaccine works since it came on the market seven years ago.
For girls ages 14 to 19, the study found a 56% reduction in the types of HPV virus targeted by the shots. Vaccination campaigns focus on girls ages 11 and 12.
Many men and women are infected with the human papillomavirus during their life. Most don't develop symptoms and clear the infection on their own. But some infections lead to genital warts, cervical cancer and other cancers.
Results of the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were released Wednesday.
NRC proposing $70K fine against TVA for violations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $70,000 fine against the Tennessee Valley Authority for violations related to 1 of its East Tennessee nuclear plants.
According to a NRC news release on Wednesday, the violations have to do with the commercial grade dedication program during the construction of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2.
The NRC requires certain components in a nuclear plant to meet strict nuclear quality assurance standards. Commercial grade dedication is a process that provides reasonable assurance that components purchased from a commercial supplier are equivalent to nuclear grade items.
NRC inspectors found a breakdown in the program resulting in construction of unknown quality, a failure to report that breakdown and a failure to identify that issue as a significant condition affecting quality.
A TVA spokeswoman did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press for comment.
Ga. police sergeant reinstated after stabbing
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - An Athens Clarke-County police sergeant is back on the job six years after nearly being stabbed to death while on duty.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports Sgt. Courtney Gale was sworn in again to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department this week.
Gale was working as a uniformed security guard at a supermarket when a man attacked her with a large kitchen knife. Gale was stabbed 12 times and authorities said she may have bled to death if a nurse who was shopping hadn't been nearby and helped to stop the bleeding. Gale's femoral artery was severed in the attack and she spent two weeks in a coma.
During her recovery, Gale earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia worked as a civilian employee since 2012.
New commander for SC Army Recruiting Battalion
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) - Lt. Col. Michael Standish is taking over Army recruiting operations in South Carolina, western North Carolina and eastern Georgia.
The 44-year-old Army officer says his unit has to combat apathy among teens as well as a lack of knowledge about benefits the military can provide.
Last year, the battalion at Fort Jackson recruited more than 3,000 active duty soldiers and about 500 members of the Army Reserve.
In a ceremony Wednesday, the battalion bid farewell to commander Lt. Col. Christopher Forsythe, who leaves for the National Defense University in the District of Columbia.
Standish has served 21 years in the Army, during which he was deployed with I Corps in Iraq and held various posts as a chemical officer in a number of units.
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