published Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Atlanta schools' ex-human resources chief to plead guilty — and more Chattanooga region news

Atlanta schools' ex-human resources chief to plead guilty

ATLANTA — Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard says the former human resources chief for Atlanta's public schools has agreed to plead guilty in connection with a test cheating scandal.

WSB-TV reports Millicent Few has agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge. Howard says Few will receive probation and has been cooperating with prosecutors.

Howard says Few is the prosecution's most significant witness because she's the first person who can testify that she personally saw former superintendent Beverly Hall ordering the destruction of a school's internal investigation.

Howard said he hasn't discussed Few's disclosures with Hall's attorneys, who have been adamant about her innocence.

"We have heard through news accounts that Millicent Few has resolved the felony conspiracy and false statement charges against her by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, paying $800 restitution, and agreeing to perform community service," Richard Deane, Hall's lead attorney said in an emailed statement Monday. "This does not change Dr. Hall's resolve to continue to fight the charges against her. She is presumed innocent and continues to look forward to her day in court."

A grand jury indictment last year charged 35 former administrators and teachers for their alleged involvement in a scheme to tamper with standardized test results.


11,500 customers still in the dark

About 11,500 homes and businesses in Georgia still were without power Monday as a result of last week's winter storm that dumped snow and ice on the north and central parts of the state.

Georgia Power reported that 900 of its customers were still without power by midday. A spokesman for the utility said most of those required repairs by an electrician before power could be restored.

The state's electric membership cooperatives, or EMCs, reported that 10,600 of their customers were without power Monday.

Nearly a million homes and businesses lost power, a large number of them in the hard-hit area of eastern Georgia, around Augusta.


Cities can showcase adventure tourism

NASHVILLE — State officials say applications are now available for communities seeking to become certified as adventure tourism districts.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and Department of Revenue said Thursday that the certification allows certain tourism-related businesses within adventure tourism districts to qualify for a jobs tax credit.

The certification was created by the Tennessee Adventure Tourism and Rural Development Act of 2011, which defines adventure tourism as horse and motorized trail riding, white water rafting and kayaking, rappelling, road and mountain biking, rock climbing, spelunking, shooting sports, canoeing and other recreational activities.

Officials say outdoor recreation generates $8.2 billion annually in direct consumer spending in Tennessee, while sustaining 83,000 jobs.

Interested local governments must submit their applications to the Department of Economic and Community Development by April 15.

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