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Morning Headlines: Protests in downtown Athens

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Nicole Jordan
Activists from all over gathered in downtown Athens to protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Hundreds gathered at College Square in Athens one day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Demonstrators chanted and marched for two hours expressing shock and anger over the ruling. Athens Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker was at the rally.

"I hate these moments," Parker said, "but they give occasion for us to come together and feel our collective power and start building the movement. We need to not only fight for our rights to abortion, but challenge the legitimacy of the Supreme Court broadly as they roll back more and more of our rights."

State Attorney General pushes federal court to clear GA "fetal heartbeat" law

The Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson is likely to change abortion access in Georgia.

On Friday, hours after the Court's decision was made public, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced that his office had already filed a notice requesting that the 11th Circuit overturn a lower court ruling and allow Georgia’s heartbeat bill to go into effect.

In 2019, the Georgia General Assembly passed the heartbeat law which banned most abortions after about six weeks. The current law allows abortions within 20 weeks of gestation. The heartbeat bill was blocked by an injunction from a federal judge as illegal under Roe v. Wade.

Georgia then appealed the ruling, and the case is still pending at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Georgia Power eyes 12 percent rate hike

Georgia Power wants to raise customer bills 12% over the next three years.

In a rate filing Friday with state regulators, the company said that the extra $2.8 billion it wants to collect would pay for system improvements, higher costs and higher profits.

The Georgia Public Service Commission will evaluate the plan and is likely to vote in December.

A typical residential customer who pays $128 a month now would see bills rise by $14.32 next year and by $16.29 total over three years.

Georgia Power customers are likely to see other increases to pay for nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle and for higher fuel costs.

Kemp promises more money for school safety

Millions of dollars are being allocated to school safety in Georgia.

Governor Brian Kemp announced the funding at the conclusion of a three day conference on school safety in Columbus.

The AJC reports part of the conference focused on an update of the state’s five year old safety guidance for schools. Among the new grants are $2.6 million to enhance training for school police, $182,000 to buy 210 tactical kits for school police, $1 million for regional and other school safety training, including for instructors, plus new reference guides.

The state is also issuing $4.5 million in competitive grants to local and state law enforcement to train for school safety, use-of-force and de-escalation and to pay for mental health resources.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!