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Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

ATLANTA -- Governor Nathan Deal issued a special holiday greeting for Georgia residents on Friday.

As Christmas nears, I wanted to wish every Georgian a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Christmas has a special way of reminding us what is really important: our faith in God, family and the well-being of our fellow man.

But Christmas is not limited to a single season or date on a calendar. These feelings of peace and love are always with us throughout our lives. For many, Christmas serves as a rejuvenation of these values and ideals.

After the gifts are all unwrapped and the candles begin to dim, our spirits will once again be enriched and fully restored.

As we reflect on all we have been able to accomplish this past year, we will cary this rejuvenated spirit to achieve all the goals that we have set for the coming years.

ATHENS | Guilty verdict in Eve Carson's murder

ATHENS | Guilty verdict in Eve Carson's murder

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- An Orange County jury has found Laurence Lovette guilty of murdering University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson in 2008.

The jury announced its verdict Tuesday morning, finding Lovette guilty of first-degree murder. He showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

Lovette was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was not eligible for the death penalty because he was a minor when the crime was committed.

Prosecutors say Lovette and Demario Atwater abducted Carson, of Athens, Ga., from her home in March 2008 and forced her to withdraw $1,400 from automated teller machines. Investigators say Carson was shot five times before her body was dumped on a Chapel Hill street.

Atwater pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to life in prison.

B-52s return to Athens for anniversary show

B-52s return to Athens for anniversary show

ATHENS, Ga. -- After 35 years together, the B-52s are preparing to return to where it all began.

"The World's Greatest Party Band" will perform at the Classic Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 -- nearly 35 years to the day after their first-ever show on Valentine's Day, 1977.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. Prices range from $39.40 to $150, plus applicable fees. To reserve your seat, call 706-357-4444 or visit www.classiccenter.com.

The B-52s were formed after drinks at an Athens Chinese restaurant in October 1976. Naming themselves after Southern slang for exaggerated bouffant hairdos, the band quickly became the talk of the town -- and later, the world.

From groundbreaking songs like "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho" to the chart-topping "Love Shack," the B-52s are proud to take credit for a body of work that is unique, beloved and timeless.

Don Williams concert tickets to go on sale Friday

Don Williams concert tickets to go on sale Friday

ATHENS, Ga. -- Don Williams, the "gentle giant" of country music, is coming to Athens next year.

Williams will perform at the Classic Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17.

The legendary baritone has amassed 17 No. 1 hits in his 40-year career, including "I Believe in You," "Love is on a Roll" and "Amanda and Tulsa Time." He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Tickets to Williams' show will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 9. Call 706-357-4444 or visit www.classiccenter.com to reserve your seat.

The Classic Center is located at 300 North Thomas Street in downtown Athens.

Learn more about Don Williams at www.don-williams.com.

2 Metro Atlanta students win Marshall Scholarships

2 Metro Atlanta students win Marshall Scholarships

ATLANTA -- Two Georgia college students have won prestigious Marshall Scholarships, which will pay for their graduate education at a British university.

RELATED: Westminster grad named Rhodes Scholar

Garrett Turner from Emory University and Matt Sellers from the University of Georgia were chosen from more than 1,000 applicants for the awards funded by the British government. They are among the 36 winners chosen from across the U.S. this year.

The scholarships have been handed out annually since 1953 to encourage young Americans to study in the United Kingdom. The awards are named for former U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall.

Turner is studying at the University of St. Andrews, while Sellers will attend Oxford University.

Kemp to speak at November Eggs & Enterprise

Kemp to speak at November Eggs & Enterprise

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be the keynote speaker for the November Eggs & Enterprise breakfast, sponsored by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Kemp has served as Secretary of State since January 2010. Prior to that, he was a state senator from 2002 to 2006, and has founded and developed many small businesses throughout his career. He is the owner of Kemp Properties, which specializes in real estate investments and property management.

As Secretary of State, Kemp is committed to utilizing fiscally conservative business principles, implementing technology throughout government divisions, and removing regulations that block economic recovery and job growth.

A lifelong Athens resident, Kemp is a graduate of Clarke Central High School and the University of Georgia, where he received a degree in agriculture. He and his wife Marty have three daughters and are active members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Sen. Isakson calls for revising budget process

Sen. Isakson calls for revising budget process

ATHENS, Ga. -- Sen. Johnny Isakson says changing the federal budget process would help hold down the national debt.

Isakson, R-Ga., spoke Thursday in Athens and warned that the government can't solve its problems just by eliminating discretionary spending.

He has co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to write budgets only in non-election years.

Isakson says the issues of Medicare and Social Security must be addressed. He says a means test is needed for Medicare, with wealthier retirees paying more than poorer ones.

He also wants the age for full Social Security retirement raised to 69 or 70.

He says Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled, should be turned over to the states.