News Briefs (Jan. 17 - 23)

1/17/2014, midnight

Committee meets to discuss merger of Ga. colleges

KENNESAW, Ga. (AP) - Representatives from Southern Polytechnic State and Kennesaw State University are working together to determine how their newly consolidated university should be organized. Kennesaw State officials said Monday that a 46-member committee composed of administrators, staff and students from both schools are considering merging the schools into 13 colleges that will make up the new Kennesaw State University. The Georgia Board of Regents voted to consolidate the two schools in 2013 and Board of Regents officials have said the move was intended to strengthen both schools’ ability to serve students. The committee is expected to continue meeting in the near future to determine the school’s vision, mission statement, organizational structure and more.

Man searching garbage cans in Atlanta shot in back

ATLANTA (AP) - Police say a man searching through garbage in a northwest Atlanta neighborhood was shot in the back. Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon said the man told officers he was looking through garbage for scrap cans around 1:30 a.m. Monday when he got into an argument with someone on Spencer Street. He told police he was shot as he walked away. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/1eCX8kf) that a Special Weapons and Tactics Team was called to a home where the man said he’s been shot, and police eventually took three suspects into custody.One was charged with aggravated assault. The other two were charged with possession of a controlled substance after police said they found marijuana inside the home.

Man shot after being chased by Ga. deputies

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (AP) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is probing the shooting of a man accused of stealing a patrol car and leading police on chase along a local highway. Cherokee County sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker says deputies were responding to call about a wanted man walking along Highway 92 Tuesday afternoon and was chased by authorities when he fled on foot. Baker says deputies chased the man around a building and the suspect jumped into a patrol car when he came back around the other side. Baker says the man then drove the deputy’s vehicle toward him and fled along Highway 92. Authorities eventually shot the man and he was taken to Kennestone Hospital. The suspect’s identity hasn’t been released.

Ga. woman sentenced in identity theft, fax fraud

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a metro Atlanta woman has been sentenced in an identity theft scheme. Officials say 55-year-old Cora Cadia Ford of Stone Mountain prepared fraudulent tax returns between 2007 and 2011 by using the names and social security numbers of the poor, homeless and disabled. Authorities say Ford convinced victims to give their personal information so she could apply on their behalf for nonexistent government grant programs. Prosecutors say some of the identity theft victims saw their social security benefits temporarily reduced or eliminated. Officials say Ford also operated a church, and told victims that tax returns she’d file on their behalf would be "a gift from God.’’ Ford has been sentenced to nine years and three months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

OutKast announces more than 40 festival dates

NEW YORK (AP) - Outkast’s 20th anniversary comeback is being extended to more than 40 festival dates in 2014. The Grammy-winning rap duo announced across its newly launched social media platforms Monday that it will play the dates, but not where. Andre "Andre 3000’’ Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi’’ Patton announced last week they were coming off hiatus and performing together for the first time in 10 years at the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival in April. Benjamin and Patton never formally broke up but stopped working together after the release of the 2006 soundtrack, "Idlewild,’’ at the height of their popularity. Patton has released a couple of solo albums in the interim, and Benjamin has been acting and making occasional musical guest appearances.