Judge rules against Florida in water war

•BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge has ruled against Florida's request in a tri-state water dispute to temporarily give it more water from the Chattahoochee River to save endangered mussels.

U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre's order said Florida officials did not prove that the actions of the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, which controls the flow of water in the river, harm the mussels.

''The Corps cannot control the weather, nor can it be held responsible for the effects of the weather on the mussels' habitat,'' Bowdre wrote in the order issued Tuesday evening.

Bowdre noted previous efforts by the Corps. to protect the mussels.

Trucker charged in deadly crash

•PALMETTO - Charges have been filed against the driver of a tractor-trailer that hit a motorist on Interstate 85 near Palmetto in Coweta County, authorities said.

Charles Gibbs Jr., 38, of Box Springs, is charged with vehicular homicide and failure to maintain a lane in connection with the accident Sunday night, said Georgia State Patrol spokesman Trooper Larry Schnall.

Gibbs also faces several commercial vehicle violations in regard to records in his log book.

The woman who was killed is identified as Regina Ferber, 35, of Jonesboro.

Authorities said she was waiting for officers to arrive after being involved in a minor traffic accident. They say she got out of her car and was hit when the tractor-trailer veered over the white line on the side of the interstate.

Ferber's daughter was inside the car and witnessed her mother being hit. The daughter was not injured.

Gibbs was taken to the Coweta County Jail.

Convenience store clerk shot

•STOCKBRIDGE - Police were searching Tuesday for a pair of robbers they say shot a convenience store clerk.

The robbery happened Monday around 11 p.m., police said.

One suspect entered the store while the other stood near the front door to act as lookout, Henry County Police Maj. M.A. Gaddis said.

The gunman who entered demanded money from the clerk. An altercation began and the clerk was shot in the face.

The two suspects, who were wearing bandannas, fled on foot. The clerk was taken to Atlanta Medical Center. His condition was not immediately released.

Nine face charges in woman's death

•CARROLLTON - Nine teenagers charged with murder in the shooting death of a woman will be tried as adults.

The suspects, ages 15 to 19, will face charges of murder and armed robbery in the death of Paola Cavarias Vergara, 35, who died of a gunshot wound last week at a mobile home park, Carrollton Police Lt. James Perry said.

The woman's brother-in-law and a 9-year-old girl were also wounded in the shooting but survived.

One of the handguns police seized during the investigation was reported stolen out of Anniston, Ala., in June, Perry said.

Chad Ackey, 18, Marcus Oliphant, 17, Labryann Lytle, 17, Randall Laye, 17, Cody Buchanan, 17, and Christopher Coleman, 19, were arrested and charged with murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery within two days of the July 19 shooting.

Three other Carroll County teens under the age of 17 were charged with murder and armed robbery, police said.

House passes heritage designation

for area east of Atlanta

•WASHINGTON - Georgia lawmakers are optimistic that the Arabia Mountain area east of Atlanta will become a national heritage site this year after the House overwhelmingly approved a bill establishing the designation.

The Senate could adopt the measure within days, aides said, although passage is not guaranteed.

The Arabia Mountain provision has been bounced back and forth between the House and Senate in various forms for several years. But this year's version - included in a large package of similar federal designations for sites across the country - could have momentum.

''We feel like this time it's going to happen, maybe even before August,'' said Annie Laurie Walters, a spokeswoman for bill co-sponsor Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

The House passed the legislation Monday night, 323-39.

- From wire reports