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Former UGA employee pleads guilty to theft

ATHENS, Ga. -- A former University of Georgia employee has pleaded guilty to racketeering and theft charges for embezzling over $200,000 from the school.

The Attorney General's Office said Rebecca Hill pleaded guilty Thursday to taking the money from UGA's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

She was sentenced to serve one year in prison on house arrest and ordered to pay more than $219,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors say Hill prepared almost 500 falsified receipts while working as a business manager at the institute between 2005 and 2009 that claimed she or others purchased property for the institute. They say she then submitted them to the university for reimbursement from a petty cash fund.

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Clarke Central junior selected for national Bezos Scholarship

ATHENS, Ga. -- An Athens student has been awarded an all-expense paid scholarship to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado.

Dory Macmillan, a Clarke Central High School junior and the chair of the Clarke Central High School English Department, Ian Altman will be attending the Aspen Ideas Festival, this summer. Macmillan selected Altman to attend with her. 

The two will join in on discussions about issues related to undocumented students. 

"Dory is a student that excels not only academically, but is truly a community-conscious individual who is already making a difference here in Athens," said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue.

Past attendees include: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams and author and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

The conference will be held from June 16 until July 2. 

Man bleeds to death after punching window

Man bleeds to death after punching window

ATHENS, Ga. -- An Athens man bled to death after punching out a window at a former girlfriend's apartment.

Athens-Clarke County Police say they found 37-year-old Elmario Rayshawn Griffith bleeding profusely from his arm shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Griffith was reportedly still conscious, but would not tell officers what had happened. Investigators determined that at some point during a dispute with the former girlfriend, Griffith punched a window and severed an artery.

He was taken to St. Mary's Hospital, where he later died.

Athens-Clarke County Police Capt. Clarence Holeman said no foul play is suspected in Griffith's death.

Jamie Hood's father charged after standoff

ATHENS, Ga. - The father of accused police shooting suspect Jamie Hood was charged with DUI and obstruction on Tuesday according to the OnlineAthens/Athens Banner-Herald.

According to the report, Robert Hood Sr. got into a verbal altercation with police at his Clarke County home Monday.

Jamie Hood, 34, is awaiting trial for the shooting death of Athens-Clarke County Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian in March 2011. A second officer was wounded by Hood in that incident, which sparked a manhunt and standoff.

Another of Robert Hood's sons, Timothy Hood, 22, was killed by an Athens-Clarke County officer during an altercation in 2001. In that incident, Timothy Hood placed a gun to the officer's head, but the officer was able to wrestle it from Hood and shoot him.

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Exposed: The secret lives of cats

ATHENS, Ga. -- Amy Watts of Athens has three cats who roam outdoors.  She thought she knew them.  Now she knows them much better.

"I knew that Booker T's favorite place to go was down in the storm sewer," Watts said. "And now I know what the storm sewer looks like."

She knows that because University of Georgia researcher Kerri Anne Loyd recruited Booker T for a project to expose the secret lives of outdoor house cats.  When Loyd equipped Booker T with a three-ounce video camera attached to a collar, the cat obliged with an infrared tour of the neighborhood storm sewer.

 

"It's kind of frightening," Watts laughed.  "I wish he would never go down there again."

 

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Georgia Collects Four Southeast Region Honors

ATHENS, Ga. -- Four members of the Georgia men's tennis team received ITA Southeast Region honors for their performances during the 2011-12 season, the organization announced Monday.

Head coach Manuel Diaz - now in his 24th season at the helm of the Bulldogs - collected the sixth Wilson/ITA Southeast Region Coach of the Year honor of his career, while Will Glenn earned his second Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year award since 2010.

Meanwhile, Wil Spencer was named the region's Senior of the Year and freshman Nathan Pasha earned Rookie of the Year honors. All regional award winners are automatically eligible for the national award in their respective categories, which will be announced on May 22 during the NCAA Championships in Athens.