Zip lines planned at Chattahoochee
COLUMBUS, Ga. — A Georgia company plans to build a zip line across the Chattahoochee River in the Columbus area.
The Columbus City Council on Tuesday approved a land deal that would make way for the 1,200-foot zip line.
Whitewater Express Inc. owner Dan Gilbert tells The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that the plans call for two parallel zip lines that would carry people across the river at speeds up to 40 mph.
Uptown Columbus Inc. President Richard Bishop said construction will begin next year, and the zip lines could be operational before the end of October.
Man guilty of defacing Torah
MEMPHIS — A Jackson, Tenn., man has pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge, admitting that he defaced a Torah and religious prayer books.
The Commercial Appeal reports 25-year-old Justin Shawn Baker entered the plea Monday in court.
U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton said in a statement that Baker spit on a Torah and defaced it with satanic and anti-Semitic phrases.
Students and faculty at the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis were staying at the Doubletree Hotel in Jackson on Jan. 12 and had used a meeting room to conduct a Sabbath worship. They left the items in the room overnight with plans to resume worship the next morning.
Baker was working at the hotel at the time as a security guard.
Zoo sends tadpoles to Puerto Rico
NASHVILLE — The Nashville Zoo has sent more than 5,000 tadpoles to Puerto Rico as part of an effort to help save the endangered Puerto Rican crested toad.
The species is the only native toad to the island, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed it as critically endangered since 2004.
The Nashville Zoo began efforts to breed the Puerto Rican crested toad since first acquiring the species in 2008 but was not successful until last year. A recent shipment of 3,774 tadpoles has brought the total number to more than 5,000 produced for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release back into their native habitat in Puerto Rico.
Ethics complaints subpoenas issued
ATLANTA — Two employees of the state ethics commission have received federal grand jury subpoenas seeking documents regarding ethics complaints involving Gov. Nathan Deal, according to two people with knowledge of the case.
A person with direct knowledge of the case told The Associated Press the commission's executive secretary, Holly LaBerge, received a subpoena Wednesday. The AP obtained a copy of the federal grand jury subpoena for staff attorney Elisabeth Murray-Obertein from a person familiar with the case. The two individuals spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.
Deal's attorney says the inquiry does not involve the governor. LaBerge declined comment, as did Murray-Obertein's attorney.
The subpoenas show federal investigators want more information about the agency's investigation of complaints against the governor.