Georgia lottery generates $945 million and other news from areas around Chattanooga and beyond

Georgia lottery generates $945 million and other news from areas around Chattanooga and beyond

July 18th, 2014 by Staff Reports and Associated Press in Local Regional News

Lottery generates $945 million

ATLANTA - Georgia Lottery Corp. officials say a record $940 million in revenue has been transferred to the Georgia Lottery for Education account.

Officials say the state lottery has generated $945,097,000 to fund the state's HOPE Scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs. Officials say the fiscal year 2014 figure eclipses revenue from 2013 by more than $17.6 million.

Officials say more than 1.6 million students have been given HOPE scholarships and more than 1.3 million 4-year-old children have attended the state's pre-kindergarten programs.

Two women safe after ocean swim

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Two Athens, Tenn., women are safe after a storm blew their paddleboards from a Georgia island to a South Carolina island.

Cayci Underwood, 27, and Summer Underwood, 21, set out from Tybee Island, Ga., when they were caught by stormy weather and spent hours on the water Tuesday.

They abandoned their paddleboards when they were in sight of Hilton Head Island and it took 45 minutes to make it ashore, nearly eight miles from where they started.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported that the half-sisters were sunburned, scraped and exhausted by their eight-hour ordeal.

Summer Underwood said Wednesday that people on the beach helped them out of the water and told them where they were.

Both women were wearing life jackets.

$25,000 in drugs seized in sweep

CALHOUN, Ga. - The Gordon County Sheriff's Office arrested 22 people and seized $25,000 worth of illegal drugs during an undercover investigation called "Operation Summer Thunder."

The investigation, which began in April and ended this week, involved surveillance and controlled drug purchases, a news release states. Undercover officers bought methamphetamine, Klonopin, marijuana, morphine and Ecstasy.

While executing arrest warrants, according to a news release, deputies seized more drugs and a gun. In one house, they found a toddler sleeping next to a crack pipe. The Department of Family and Children Services took emergency custody of the child.

"I am proud of the results of this case and of everyone who participated in it," Sheriff Mitch Ralston said in a news release. "We will continue to attack the flow and distribution of illicit drugs."

Man charged in penis photo text

SUMMERVILLE, Ga. - The Chattooga County Sheriff's Office arrested a man Monday for allegedly sending naked pictures to a 13-year-old girl.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, 18-year-old Dakota Allen Malone, of Cedartown, called the girl about 30 times on June 23. The girl's mother also listened to some of the calls. She said a mysterious man on the other end was breathing heavily but never said anything.

Then, according to the affidavit, Malone texted the girl a picture of his penis. Investigators traced the number to Malone, who said he thought he sent the picture to somebody else. The girl did not know Malone.

Malone is charged with distributing obscene materials and electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors.