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Aviation student pleads guilty to bribing FAA test examiner

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Prosecutors say a would-be airline mechanic has pleaded guilty to bribing a Federal Aviation Administration test examiner hoping for a passing grade. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia said in a news release Tuesday that 21-year-old Frank Amaro paid the test examiner $2,500 for a passing grade on an exam for people who want to perform maintenance on commercial aircraft. The examiner immediately reported the bribe. The aviation student came from Las Vegas to Duluth, Georgia, to take the test. It's unclear what punishment he could face. The FAA requires these mechanics to complete 1,900 hours of training and pass tests covering 43 technical subjects.


Ahmaud Arbery case puts spotlight on community's race legacy

The people who call Brunswick, Georgia, home say it’s not the monstrous place it might appear to be in the wake of the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery after a pursuit by two armed white men. Yes, it is a city where much of the black working population has struggled to find opportunities for advancement and where one black resident says he walks on tip toes to avoid racist insults. But it is also a city with a black mayor and one where many residents say black and white people have long worked together to solve thorny questions about racial equality peacefully. Brunswick residents are cautioning against assuming that Arbery’s slaying reflects something rotten in the coastal city’s culture.


New refugees struggle to find footing during pandemic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Starting a new life in the U.S. is never easy for refugees, but doing it during a pandemic has created more struggles. They are trying to navigate the upheaval of job losses and other challenges brought on by coronavirus restrictions in a language they don’t fully understand and without extended family or close friends to help. Refugee aid organizations have pivoted from training families for work and school to teaching them how to apply for unemployment benefits and do schoolwork online. They’re dipping into emergency funds to pay for rent and food for families after the government cut off funding to help refugees resettle.


Exhaustion, uncertainty mark coronavirus survivors' journeys

The virus that has sickened over 4 million people around the world and killed more than 250,000 others is so new that patients face considerable uncertainty about what they can expect in recovery and beyond. In support groups created on social media sites, survivors post head-to-toe complaints that read like a medical encyclopedia: anxiety, heart palpitations, muscle aches, bluish toes. It’s hard to know which ones are clearly related to the virus, but the accounts help fuel doctors’ increasing belief that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease. As one infectious disease specialist says: “The short answer is that we’re still learning."


Kemp optimistic on Georgia virus fight as concerns linger

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is easing a few restrictions on businesses and child care operations, but is  keeping most current rules until at least the end of May. The Republican governor reiterated Tuesday that he believes Georgia is containing the COVID-19 respiratory illness, despite areas of concern. Kemp says he's most encouraged by low demand for critical care hospital beds. On Tuesday, Georgia was reporting nearly 35,000 confirmed cases overall and 1,465 confirmed deaths from the virus. Top health experts continue to warn that loosening restrictions too quickly could spark a resurgence of infections.


Pandemic piles new pressures on foster children, caretakers

NEW YORK (AP) — Foster children have enormous challenges even in the best of times. The coronavirus pandemic has threatened to throw them into even greater turmoil. The social restrictions imposed to control the virus's spread have isolated them from adult supervisors and friends and made it harder to move on to new lives — either with biological or adoptive families, or as newly independent adults. Advocates are working hard to keep them connected with support networks and ensure they have stable places to stay. Federal officials and the American Bar Association, meanwhile, are urging that technology be used to process cases while courthouses remain closed.


Georgians reach for lotto tickets amid pandemic blues

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians may be spending a lot of time at home, but it’s not stopping them from playing the state lottery. Georgia Lottery Corp. Vice President Brad Bohannon says lottery sales set a monthly record in April after dropping in March. The increase is continuing, with Bohannon telling the state House Higher Education Committee on Tuesday that two of the five highest sales weeks in lottery history have come in May. He credits much of the increase to a 50% jump in use of the lottery’s online options. Yearly profit projections have rebounded by $50 million to $1.11 billion, but remain below last year for now. Lottery proceeds finance college aid and preschool classes.


Group: South American lizard sighted in Georgia for 3rd year

REIDSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A reptile conservation group says an invasive South American lizard that Georgia officials are attempting to eradicate has been sighted for the third year in a row. The Orianne Society said Monday the Tegus lizard was recently found in Tattnall County. The state's natural resources department said the tegus has established itself in Tattnall and Toombs counties. Officials say the lizard likely originated in Georgia as escaped or released pets. Officials say the tegus can grow up to 4 feet long and pose a threat to protected native wildlife including the eggs of American alligators and gopher tortoises. Officials are advising people against leaving pet food outside their homes.