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South Ga. Businesses Defend Tax Breaks

It could be one of the most important recommendations the General Assembly gets next year -- how to re-write Georgia's tax code. As the state faces a growing budget crisis, state lawmakers are traveling the state to hear from Georgians how the tax code should be revised to keep the state business-friendly while also possibly ending tax breaks in a bid to prop up the budget.

Bidding Opens For Highway Rest Areas

In a cost-saving measure, the state opened bidding Monday for private organizations to manage highway rest centers. The Georgia DOT is looking for private companies interested in sponsorship and advertising space at the state’s 26 rest areas and welcome centers.

Private Prison Breaks Ground

A private prison broke ground Monday in middle Georgia. The 1,000-bed facility in Milledgeville is expected to employ 235 people when it opens in 2012.

AAA Predicts More Labor Day Travel

Travel industry experts credit a rebounding economy and the BP oil spill with a prediction for more Georgia travelers Labor Day weekend. AAA says, 921,000 Georgians, or about seven percent more than last year, will take a holiday trip this year. Tybee Island tourism officials say, hotels and home rentals on Tybee Island already have seen the tourism increase.

Savannah Approves Smoking Ban

Savannah City Council voted Thursday to ban smoking in all bars, restaurants, and other public buildings. The new ordinance takes effect January 1st and will require smokers to keep 10 feet from business entrances.

Georgia Plant Marks A National First

A bio-fuels plant in southeast Georgia is marking a first for the nation. Range Fuels’ Soperton facility has successfully taken non-food biomass and turned it into fuel. The plant uses woody biomass from nearby timber operations to create cellulosic ethanol and methanol.

Deadline Looms For Scam Refund

About 1,600 victims of an insurance scam have a few days left to get their money back. August 31st is the deadline for people who bought policies from American Trade Association or its affiliates to request a refund. The state insurance commissioner’s office says the companies sold bogus health insurance plans nationwide.

Whopper Of A Ship Calls On Savannah

Savannah's seen a lot of ships, but none as big as the CMA CGM Figaro. The massive container vessel is so big, it only could dock at the Georgia Ports Authority dock with about half its cargo capacity. Port officials point to the ship as an example of why the Savannah harbor should be deepened. Check out our multi-media slideshow.

Plastics Plant Will Bring 75 Jobs

A German company is setting up shop east of Athens, creating 75 jobs. Moeller Tech will build a plastics plant in Elberton.

Tainted Peanut Victims Could Get $12M

A federal judge is recommending approval of a $12 million settlement for those sickened or killed in last year's salmonella outbreak tied to a Virginia-based peanut processor. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Urbanski issued his recommendation late Wednesday to pay more than 120 personal injury claims related to the outbreak. The settlement must now be approved by a bankruptcy court judge.

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