Category: Georgia

Child finds $40K worth of meth in Lego box from South Carolina consignment shop

STATESBORO, Ga. — A child was expecting a Lego set — but got $40,000 in methamphetamine instead, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office.

Three women from Georgia found the box that appeared to be full of Lego bricks while on a trip to a consignment shop in Charleston, South Carolina, The Statesboro Herald reports.

They bought the box and decided to gift it to a child in Statesboro, Georgia.

When the child found three pounds of methamphetamine, the women contacted the sheriff’s office.

It’s unclear exactly how the consignment shop ended up with the drugs, but the sheriff’s office believes the box may have ended up at the shop after it was mailed to a wrong address.

Dealers sometimes ship drugs to abandoned homes, but mail carriers delivering to abandoned places will often leave the packages with neighbors.

Sometimes unclaimed packages are even auctioned off, “sort of like ‘Storage Wars,’” the sheriff’s office told the Herald.

No charges have been filed in the case as of Wednesday evening.

University of Georgia sprinter impaled by javelin during practice

ATHENS, Ga. – A University of Georgia sprinter was impaled by a javelin during practice, according to WMAZ.

Elija Godwin was reportedly doing a backward spring drill when he backed into a javelin sticking up out of the ground.

WMAZ reported the javelin went through Godwin’s back and punctured his lung. He was rushed to the hospital with part of the javelin still in his chest. The rest of it was sawed off by paramedics when he was loaded into the ambulance.

According to a police report, Godwin went into emergency surgery at the hospital.

Godwin’s mother told WMAZ he made it through surgery and was breathing on his own. She said he has a collapsed lung and will likely be out for the season, despite being expected to make a full recovery.

Georgia’s governor signs a controversial abortion bill into law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday signed a bill that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — a law that the American Civil Liberties Union says it will challenge in court.

Currently in Georgia, women are allowed to undergo abortion procedures up to their 20th week of pregnancy. Starting January 1, the bill Kemp signed generally would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — when many women don’t yet know they’re pregnant.

“(The bill) is very simple but also very powerful: a declaration that all life has value, that all life matters, and that all life is worthy of protection,” Kemp, flanked by supporters of the bill, said Tuesday morning before signing the legislation at the state Capitol.

“I realize that some may challenge it in a court of law. But our job is to do what is right, not what is easy. We are called to be strong and courageous, and we will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.”

The legislation says “no abortion is authorized or shall be performed if the unborn child has been determined to have a human heartbeat.” It includes some exceptions, including if the pregnancy risks the life or poses substantial and irreversible physical harm to the pregnant woman.

Proponents, such as the Republican author, state Rep. Ed Setzler, say abortion is a “barbaric procedure” and that many other options exist for women, including adoption and the “morning after” pill.

Critics, including the ACLU, say Georgia’s legislation “would ban safe, legal abortion and criminalize the most intimate decision women and couples make.”

Outside the Capitol, dozens protested the legislation Tuesday morning — including four women dressed in red cloaks in the style of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Those four stood in silent protest, holding signs with various messages, including “Trust Women.”

Another protester, Gloria Tatum, held a sign reading, “Say no to Republican and anti-woman sexist laws.”

Tatum said that if supporters of bills such as this have their way, Roe v. Wade will be overturned and access to abortion will be gone.

Women are not going to take it, she said.

“They will get a revolution in this country like they’ve never seen before, because we are not going back,” said Tatum, 76, of Decatur, Georgia.

ACLU and Planned Parenthood say legislation will be challenged

Andrea Young, the executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, told CNN the organization is in the process of preparing a court challenge to the bill. She said the ACLU believes it’s a clear violation of Roe v. Wade.

“Today’s women can only thrive in a state that protects their most basic rights — the right to choose when and whether to start a family. Georgia can’t afford to go backward on women’s health and rights,” Young said in a written statement Tuesday. “We will act to block this assault on women’s health, rights and self-determination.”

Staci Fox, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said she had a few messages.

To Georgia’s governor, she said, “We will see you in court.”

To the lawmakers who supported the bill, she said, “We are coming for their seats.”

An anti-abortion group says it withdrew support of the law over exceptions

One anti-abortion group told CNN Monday it no longer supports the so-called heartbeat bill because it does not go far enough.

Genevieve Wilson, executive director of Georgia Right to Life, said the group “believes in promoting social justice for all preborn children, without exception.”

The bill includes some exceptions for situations of medical futility or where the mother’s health is at risk as well as in cases of rape or incest before the 20-week mark, if an official police report has been filed.

Wilson said those exceptions are “discriminatory and wrong” and create “a two-tiered framework for determining which children in the womb are allowed to live and which are not.”

She said the group supported the bill until the exceptions were added during the legislative process.

Georgia’s Republican-majority state House passed House Bill 481, called the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, with a 92-78 vote on March 29.

Several states have similar legislation

Legislators in other states have pursued similar bills. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill into law in March that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed similar legislation in April.

But many times such bills are held up in committees, rejected in legislative votes, vetoed by governors and struck down in courts. No state has been able to put a so-called heartbeat bill into lasting practice.

In January, an Iowa judge struck down that state’s fetal heartbeat bill, declaring it unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court has previously declined to weigh in after lower courts blocked bills in North Dakota and Arkansas.

Georgia’s film industry could be affected

Actress Alyssa Milano has staunchly opposed the bill and had urged the film and TV industry, which shoots many projects in Georgia, to get out of the state if it becomes law. She used a hashtag on Twitter that says #HB481IsBad ForBusiness.

“There are over 20 productions shooting in GA & the state just voted to strip women of their bodily autonomy,” she said in a March tweet. “Hollywood! We should stop feeding GA economy.”

The Writers Guild of America East and West also condemned HB481, saying it “would make Georgia an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry.”

“It is entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there,” the Writers Guild said.

New NRA president says Georgia congresswoman was elected because she’s ‘a minority female’

New National Rifle Association President Carolyn Meadows said Rep. Lucy McBath was elected not because of her support of stricter gun laws, but because she is “a minority female,” according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Meadows, who was recently elected NRA president after Oliver North was pushed out, told the Marietta Daily Journal, “We’ll get that seat back,” speaking of the congressional seat that McBath — a Georgia Democrat and a freshman lawmaker whose 17-year-old son was fatally shot in 2012 — won last year.

“There will be more than one person in the race, but we’ll get that seat back,” Meadows told the paper, according to the story published on Sunday. “But it is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance. That didn’t have anything to do with it — it had to do with being a minority female.”

She continued: “And the Democrats really turned out, and that’s the problem we have with conservatives — we don’t turn out as well.”

CNN has reached out to the NRA and McBath’s office for comment.

McBath, a former flight attendant and gun control activist, defeated former Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November in a district that hadn’t elected a Democratic US representative since the 1970s. Her 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in 2012 after an argument that began with a loud music complaint. The shooter was later convicted of first-degree murder.

On Monday, McBath responded to Meadows’ comments in a series of tweets.

“Hi NRA! It’s time we clear something up. I won this race because – after my son was senselessly murdered in 2012 – I stood up to do something about it. I knew it was time to fight back,” she wrote.

In another tweet, McBath said that her work on gun violence, among other issues, “is just starting,” adding, “And yes – as a woman of color I am proud to be part of the most diverse class in American history. My experiences drive the work I am doing for my constituents. And nobody can take that away from me.”

Meadows told the Marietta Daily Journal that the gun lobby is going to work to re-elect Republican President Donald Trump, as well as expand the group.

“We’re going to work to get Donald Trump reelected, unity, and that’s primarily it, to be politically active, to bring gun-toters into the fold, to get more gun-toters to join NRA,” she said. “It’s a powerful lobby, not just for gun rights, but for rights.”

In April, a dispute between then-NRA president North and Wayne LaPierre, longtime NRA CEO and executive vice president, spilled into public view and resulted in North’s ouster. LaPierre was reelected as CEO and Meadows, a longtime NRA board member, was elected president.

North has accused LaPierre of financial misconduct, according to the Wall Street Journal. After the internal dispute, the New York attorney general’s office announced it had launched an investigation into the NRA.

At least 156 people in 10 states sickened by E. coli linked to ground beef, CDC says

ATLANTA – Investigators believe ground beef may be to blame after 156 people in 10 states contracted E. coli since March 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The CDC is trying to trace the cases, which include people eating beef at home and in restaurants, to their source. No supplier, distributor or brand of beef has been identified.

No deaths have been reported, but 20 people have been hospitalized for treatment.

The majority of the cases occurred in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, but consumers also became ill in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia.

People who ingest the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli usually start feeling sick about three to four days later, and may experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea – often bloody – and vomiting. It usually goes away in five to seven days, but may be life-threatening in some cases.

The CDC said Tuesday that they aren’t recommending that people stop eating  or buying ground beef, but urge consumers to make sure the meat is safely handled and fully cooked.

The CDC continues to investigate and will provide updates as they become available.

See the CDC website for more information on E. coli, how to safely prepare meat and updates on the investigation.