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News Briefs - Metro Atlanta

Compiled by Stan Washington | 3/28/2014, 6 a.m.

Deal says Ga. to explore medical marijuana options

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal says he’s working to see if there’s something the state could do to help families who say a form of medical marijuana would ease their children’s debilitating conditions. A bill allowing cannabis oil to be legally dispensed through an academic research program failed to pass before the legislative session ended last week despite support from top Republicans. Time ran out after the bill was caught in last-minute maneuvering by lawmakers. Deal said Monday that he was moved by stories of the children, some of whom suffer dozens of seizures a day. Deal says he’ll be working with agency heads "to see if there is something that we can do to make this treatment possible.’’ Deal says he’s not sure yet if this can be done without legislation.

Verizon Wireless to hire more than 400 in Georgia

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) - Verizon Wireless has announced plans to hire more than 400 new employees throughout Georgia. Verizon officials said in a statement Monday that the company plans to hire more than 430 full-time employees in the state this year. Officials say the company is hiring workers for more than 200 positions at call centers in Alpharetta and Milton, in north Fulton County. Aside from customer service, the company is also planning to fill network and information technology positions. Verizon is also hiring for mostly retail positions in the Augusta, Savannah, Macon and Albany areas. Verizon officials say the company already employs more than 4,500 people in the state, and interested candidates may apply for positions online.

Ga. officials collect deer meat for needy families

ATLANTA (AP) - Officials from the Georgia Wildlife Federation say hunters have donated more than 12,000 pounds of deer meat for needy families. The Georgia Wildlife Federation says the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry Program collected meat from more than 415 deer by the end of deer hunting season in January. Officials say the meat is processed at state-inspected facilities before being ground into venison and delivered to local food banks. Georgia Wildlife Federation officials say more than 325,000 pounds of ground venison has been donated to food banks throughout the state since the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program launched in 1993.

Two men indicted for their role in maufacturing PCP

ATLANTA - Adrian Banks has been arraigned on federal charges relating to the manufacture of PCP which led to a dangerous house fire when the clandestine laboratory exploded.  Coleman Warnock, a second defendant named in the indictment, is being sought by law enforcement. “An entire neighborhood was put at risk by the explosion of this PCP lab,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “This type of drug also puts our entire community at risk.  According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  On July 6, 2013, Fulton County Fire/Rescue responded to a citizen’s call about a house fire in a Fairburn, Ga., neighborhood.  The house was destroyed after burning for almost two days. Further investigation revealed the presence of numerous barrels and canisters of chemicals suggesting the presence of a large, clandestine, PCP lab in the residence. No one other than the individuals involved in the manufacture of PCP was harmed in the fire.

Former Newton County Deputy Sheriff sentenced

ATLANTA - Darrell Mathis has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for possessing a firearm during a drug transaction. “Mathis abandoned his oath as a deputy sheriff, and chose the life of a drug dealer,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “His decision to violate the law also violated the trust the public places in law enforcement.  According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In April 2013, it came to the attention of the FBI that Darrell Mathis, a deputy sheriff with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, was distributing marijuana.