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Shannon McCaffrey

Stories by Shannon

New state jobless claims surged in March

ATLANTA - New jobless claims surged last month, jumping 126 percent from March 2008, the state Labor Department reported on Thursday.

MARTA urges special session Transit system wants to call legislators back to avoid service cutbacks

ATLANTA - MARTA's board on Monday called for a special legislative session so the Atlanta transit system can avoid reducing service to six days a week.

Unemployment creeps up in Ga.

ATLANTA - More than half of Georgia's 159 counties have posted double-digit unemployment rates, according to an analysis from the state Labor Department.

Transportation plan hits roadblock State House, Senate approve separate transportation proposals

ATLANTA - Plans to pay for transportation projects in Georgia by boosting the sales tax by a penny have run into gridlock at the state Capitol.

Unemployment checks to grow

ATLANTA - Weekly unemployment benefits will rise by $25 a week in Georgia, state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said Monday.

First-time unemployment claims increase

ATLANTA - First-time claims for state unemployment in Georgia have shot up yet again.

Georgia Senate backs seat belts for pickups

ATLANTA - Adults in pickup trucks would finally have to buckle up, under a bill that sailed through the state Senate on Thursday.

Some see help for state in stimulus plan

ATLANTA - Georgia officials working to whack $2 billion in spending from the state's recession ravaged budget are drooling over a federal stimulus plan loaded with cash.

Chambliss battles for political survival

GAINESVILLE - Republican Saxby Chambliss likes to say he never expected to be at the 'epicenter of the political world,' but that's exactly where he finds himself as he battles for his political survival in the last big election of 2008.

Martin looks to oust Sen. Chambliss

MILLEDGEVILLE - Democrat Jim Martin has heard it before: he's too nice to win the big election. But the mild-mannered former state lawmaker has already surprised many by forcing his way into a runoff with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, an incumbent who once seemed invincible.

Groups spend to sway Ga. Senate runoff

ATLANTA - Ask Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss or Democratic challenger Jim Martin about all the national attention their U.S. Senate runoff is attracting and they say that Georgians will ultimately decide the contest.

Obama aides heading to Georgia

ATLANTA - Aides who worked in Barack Obama's presidential campaign are heading to Georgia to help Jim Martin in his hotly contested Senate runoff, two Democrats close to Martin's campaign said Tuesday.

Nunn: I'm not interested in cabinet post

ATLANTA - Former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn said he has no plans to become a member of Democrat Barack Obama's cabinet should the Illinois senator capture the White House.

Lt. Gov. Cagle explores bid for governor

ATLANTA - Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Wednesday became the second Georgia Republican to jump into the race for governor, still more than two years away.

Vernon Jones: Senate voters should look at his record

FORT VALLEY - Ask Vernon Jones which political figures he admires and he answers without a pause: World War II Army General George Patton.

Jim Martin says he's tough enough to take on Chambliss

ATLANTA - When Jim Martin took over Georgia's Department of Human Resources in 2001, some friends were surprised. Running the state's unwieldy social services bureaucracy is seen as a sure ticket to political oblivion.

5-man Senate seat primary wide open

ATLANTA - In a year when the battle for the White House has pumped up political passions, Georgia's five-man race for the chance to challenge Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss has been a sleeper.

Georgia parole board commutes convicted killer's death sentence

ATLANTA - The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles commuted the death sentence of convicted killer Samuel David Crowe on Thursday, just hours before his scheduled execution.

Condemned Georgia man pleads for clemency

ATLANTA - A Georgia death row inmate's lawyers plan to launch a final bid to spare his life just hours before his execution scheduled for tonight.

Man executed, ending 7-month moratorium

JACKSON - A Georgia man who killed his live-in girlfriend was executed Tuesday, the first inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of lethal injections.

Board denies

ATLANTA - Barring a last-minute intervention by the courts, a Georgia man who killed his girlfriend is likely to become the first inmate put to death since a U.S. Supreme Court review halted executions last September.

Democratic Senate contenders feud

ATLANTA - The Democratic race for U.S. Senate turned bitter on Wednesday as two of the candidates skirmished over party loyalty.

Transportation department chair steps down

ATLANTA - The chairman of the state Department of Transportation board stepped down Thursday, saying he and the department's commissioner had developed a relationship that 'we both want to be more than just professional.

State tax collections drop amid tax cut talks

ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers scrambling to patch together a budget and a deal to cut taxes were handed some dismal news on Thursday, as state money managers reported tax collections are down again.

Fitness test replaces BMI in school obesity bill

ATLANTA - What's in a number? Apparently quite a lot when you're talking about kids and weight.

Kia opens training center in west Georgia

WEST POINT - Bulldozers are everywhere in this west Georgia community, hauling away huge piles of the region's rich red clay.

Chambliss expects tough race for return trip to the Senate

ATLANTA (AP) - Saxby Chambliss has the power of incumbency. A well-stocked warchest. And a reliably Republican state to run in.

Perdue for VP? Governor's name emerging on various lists

ATLANTA - Now that Sen. John McCain has all but locked up the Republican presidential nomination, speculation is already turning to whom he'll select as a running mate.

Obama, Huckabee win Georgia Young voters, blacks push Illinois senator to victory

ATLANTA - Fueled by black voters and a message of change, Barack Obama swept to a commanding victory in Georgia's Democratic presidential primary while Republican Mike Huckabee edged out his GOP rivals with the help of a folksy style and a campaign that weighed heavily on conservative values in a successful bid to attract Christian evangelicals.

57 voters lacked photo IDs in Nov. elections

ATLANTA - At least 57 voters lacked the needed photo identification in November's local elections and were forced to cast provisional ballots, state elections officials said Monday.

State to try to limit where sex offenders live

ATLANTA - Georgia will try again to limit where sex offenders may live, after the state's top court declared unconstitutional the strict residency requirements state lawmakers approved two years ago.

Boys, 8 and 9, charged in alleged rape of girl, 11

ACWORTH - Three boys ages 8 and 9 were being held Monday in a detention center after being accused of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl in the woods near a suburban Atlanta apartment complex, officials said.

State prisons to toughen parole guidelines for violent offenders

ATLANTA - Georgia's crowded prison population is expected to swell even larger over the next few years under new parole guidelines designed to keep the state's worst violent offenders behind bars longer.

Wilson plans to share prison experiences as a warning to teens

POWDER SPRINGS - Genarlow Wilson, freed last week after spending almost three years in prison for having consensual oral sex with another teenager, said Monday he plans to his use his newfound celebrity to warn teens about the dangers of risky behavior.

Top court denies execution stay for inmate

ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for the execution of convicted killer Jack Alderman, even as other states have halted capital punishment to allow the nation's top court to decide whether lethal injection violates the Constitution.

Perdue urges Army Corps to slow water release

ATLANTA - Federal officials must allow drought-stricken Georgia to slow the flow of water from its reservoirs or the state will face a severe water shortage that could affect millions of residents, the state's environmental commissioner warned in a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday.

Challenger blasts Chambliss vote against children's health plan

ATLANTA - A Democrat seeking to unseat U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss blasted the Republican's vote against expanding PeachCare, the state's health insurance program for poor children.

State lawmakers ask judge to unseal Grady records

ATLANTA - Six Republican state lawmakers have turned to the courts to help them pry open sealed whistleblower records from Grady Hospital.

Richardson pitches tax plan to skeptics

ATLANTA - House Speaker Glenn Richardson on Tuesday pitched his plan to eliminate Georgia property taxes to skeptical county commissioners who fear it will siphon needed cash away and seize local control.

Defense: Nichols funding is under threat

ATLANTA - Saying they were out of money, lawyers for Brian Nichols on Monday demanded the state pick up the tab for the alleged courthouse shooter.

DeKalb official calls for hospital audit

ATLANTA - An elected official on Tuesday asked the state to push for an independent audit of Grady Memorial Hospital amid questions about how dire the financial picture is at the cash-strapped institution.

For Republicans, voter ID win is a long time coming

ATLANTA - For two years, Republicans in Georgia have been pushing to require that voters show a photo ID at their polling place to cast a ballot. And for two years, the courts have been ruling against them.

State begins education effort for voter ID law

ATLANTA - Georgia is launching a campaign to educate voters about a new photo ID mandate, an effort that could play a critical role in deciding whether the law passes constitutional muster with a federal judge.

Perdue names panel to investigate sheriff

ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue on Friday named a three-member panel to investigate a sheriff arrested on charges of covering up a shooting by his deputy, who was embroiled in a love triangle.

Ga. Supreme Court hears appeal in teen sex case

ATLANTA - Genarlow Wilson's fate now rests with the seven justices of Georgia's top court.

Broun leads, but recount likely in race to replace Norwood in Congress

ATLANTA - The race to replace the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood appeared headed for a recount, as an Athens doctor clung to razor-thin lead over a former Georgia state lawmaker on Tuesday night.