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Morning headlines: 142K Georgia voters to get notifications to update registration

Stephen Fowler
GPB News

Over 142,000 Georgia voters are set to receive notifications from state election officials because they appear to have moved to different states or counties.

After receiving notifications voters can confirm they have moved and be removed from the state’s voter rolls, or they can re-register with their new addresses. Voters who don’t respond will be placed in an inactive status. That means they would still be able to vote, but would be eligible to have their registration cancelled after the next two general elections.

Mass voter registration cancellations removed 534,000 registrations in 2017, 287,000 in 2019 and 101,000 in 2021.

FDA extends public comment on proposed menthol cigarette ban

People wanting to weigh in on a proposed ban on some tobacco products have a few more weeks to do so.

Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended the deadline for public comments to August 2. The FDA is considering a ban on menthol tobacco products.

Delmonte Jefferson, Executive Director of the Center for Black Health and Equity says the proposed ban would save lives.

"African Americans have been targeted for decades by the tobacco industry with mentholated tobacco products," Jefferson said. "85percent of African Americans that smoke, smoke mentholated tobacco products. That's a problem; 45,000 African Americans die each year from tobacco related diseases."

The FDA is also considering prohibiting flavored tobacco products in an effort to prevent children from becoming smokers. Visit FDA.gov for more information or to submit comments.

GBI investigates Oconee jail death

The death of a woman in custody at the Oconee County Jail is being investigated by the GBI.

Jesse Maddox, Agent in Charge of the Athens office, said an autopsy has been ordered but there were no initial indications of foul play or a self-inflicted death. The 43-year-old woman from Carlton was initially arrested in Oglethorpe County on July 2nd and charged with speeding and possession of a controlled substance.

The woman was transferred to the jail in Oconee County on July 5th and was found unresponsive later that day. She taken to a hospital in Athens where she was pronounced dead. The GBI's Maddox said it appears the woman had a medical issue but that authorities are awaiting an exact cause of death from the medical examiner.

North Georgia man sentenced to life in sexual abuse case

An 18-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison by a Jackson County court following his conviction for molesting multiple children.

Alex Tredway pleaded guilty to 12 counts. Tredway worked at Bright Beginnings in Jefferson, where he was accused of sexually abusing five children between the ages of 4 and 7. Tredway started working at the preschool last year.

Parents and grandparents gave impact statements in court Monday detailing the agony their families endured because of the abuse. The judge noted Tredway’s age and the possibility he could be rehabilitated, before sentencing Tredway to life plus 20 years with eligibility for parole after 30 years.

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!