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Newcomer wins Gray mayoral race

Newcomer wins Gray mayoral race

Jones County has a new mayor. Stephen Tingen beat incumbent Gus Wilson by more than 100 votes.

The Gray mayor

Central Georgia Election Roundup

Central Georgians take to the polls Tuesday in more than 60 races in which mayors and city council members will be elected and Sunday alcohol sales questions will be answered in some areas.

Some voters in the Tuesday elections will also decide special purpose local option sales tax questions.

The following is a list of Central Georgia cities and counties hosting elections.

-Warner Robins

Obama's Team to Clarify Health Care Penalties

David Jackson, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is seeking to clarify penalty rules for people who delay signing up for coverage under the new health care law.

Simply put: People who wait until the end of the initial enrollment period - March 31 - will not be penalized.

The Obama administration is preparing legal guidance to address a confusion of dates in the law, which says people must sign up by the 15th of one month to receive coverage on the first of the next month.

That means someone who signed up after Feb. 15 would not be covered until April 1 - and the law also says that people who go three months without coverage are subject to penalties, $95 or 1% of income, whichever is higher.

That is not the case, the White House says.

Congressman Austin Scott to Hold Gray Mobile Office

Congressman Austin Scott to Hold Gray Mobile Office

Representative from Austin Scott's district office will open their office in Gray to assist with issues ranging from Medicare to Social Security to Veterans' benefits., according to a release.

They'll open their doors to constituents on October 22 from 9 a.m. until noon.

See Austin Scott's website for more details.

 

Miriam Paris to Challenge Sen. Lucas in 2014

For the third time in three years, Miriam Paris will be running for state senate in 2014.

The former Macon City Council president announced today she's running for the District 26 seat now held by David Lucas.

In 2011, she beat Lucas in a runoff for a special election on the senate seat.

She held the seat for barely a year but helped pass Macon-Bibb consolidation.

Then last year, Lucas beat her in a rematch.

Paris made a brief statement this morning at Coleman Park downtown, but would not take any questions.

Negotiations Break Down on Georgia's Firearms Bill


ATLANTA (AP) - Gun laws in Georgia will not change in 2013.

House leaders said they could not come to an agreement with key senators over whether to expand gun possession rights on college campuses in Georgia.

While a conference committee released a compromise plan late Thursday, lawmakers supporting it acknowledged they did not have the support to force a vote before a midnight deadline. Any bills that don't pass by the final adjournment fail.

Both sides had agreed to allow local K-12 school boards to choose whether to arm certain school employees and allow churches to choose whether to allow concealed weapons on their property.

But House members wanted to relax restrictions for college students. Senate leaders sided with college executives who want to keep their existing bans on concealed weapons.

Ga. House, Senate Leaders Formally Approve Budget

ATLANTA (AP) - House and Senate leaders have formally approved a roughly $41 billion state operating budget comprised of state and federal money for the next fiscal year. 

The next stop is the desk of Governor Nathan Deal.  The final version looks a lot like what Deal pitched in January.

The state portion includes $19.9 billion, an increase of around $56 million.

The budget largely spares K-12 education from budget cuts, while many state agencies will see slight cuts. The pre-kindergarten school year will be expanded, as will HOPE grants for technical college students.  Some of that money will also go to the Education Center at Robins Air Force Base and to Mercer University, though dollar amounts aren't certain yet.

Deal has called for cutting payment rates to health care providers treating Medicaid patients. Lawmakers rejected that idea.

The budget year begins July 1.