InState, 2-2

House adopts Medicaid fix

ATLANTA: The Georgia House of Representatives has passed a proposal that would allow the state to avoid losing more than $450 million in federal money for Medicaid has cleared another legislative hurdle.

The chamber voted 147 to 18 for Gov. Nathan Deal's plan that would allow an appointed state board to impose a tax on Georgia hospitals' net patient revenue. The assessment would replace an existing tax that expires June 30. The money is used as state match money to secure additional federal financing for the Medicaid insurance program.

Senate Bill 24 now goes back to the Senate for final consideration of the House changes.

Deal pitched the measure as a way for lawmakers to avoid an explicit vote on extending a tax, while still avoiding steep health care cuts.

MACON: A middle Georgia man who was charged in the shooting death of his newlywed wife was scheduled to appear in court Friday.

The Telegraph of Macon reports 45-year-old Marcus Hoskins had been married to 37-year-old Danielle Hoskins for 19 days when he allegedly shot her four times in the torso.

Police say the shooting occurred Wednesday after the couple visited their daughter who was recovering from surgery in a metro Atlanta hospital. Sheriff's officials say Hoskins called them after the shooting and led authorities to her body.

Police say the shooting may have stemmed from a disagreement over the woman's ex-husband.

ATLANTA: Georgia Power officials predict there will be "no significant impact" on customer bills in 2014 related to its plans to close coal and oil units, new environmental programs or efficiency initiatives.

The utility said it does not plan to build any additional power plants in the next several years, saying growth in demand is slow enough to be covered by existing power stations, the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion and energy efficiency.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia Power on Thursday filed its 20-year energy plan with state utility regulators. The report said customers will get the bulk of their power from natural gas.

The use of coal is expected to continue to diminish as Georgia Power closes more than a dozen coal and oil-fired units.

ATHENS: Four finalists in the search for a dean at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication plan to visit the campus in February.

School officials say the four will make public presentations in Athens and meet with members of the university community.

The finalists are: Michael Evans, interim dean and associate professor at Indiana University School of Journalism; Jeffrey Springston, associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor at UGA's Grady College; Charles Davis, professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism; and Derina Holtzhausen, director and professor at Oklahoma State University School of Media and Strategic Communications.

ATLANTA: Atlanta police are searching for a suspect who posed as a fire marshal to extort hundreds of dollars from three restaurants on the city's north side.

Atlanta police Sgt. Greg Lyon tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the suspect went to the Subway, Which Wich and Great Wraps restaurants in the Lenox Square food court to conduct phony inspections on Jan. 3.

Lyon said the man identified himself as a fire marshal with the Atlanta Fire Department and then demanded $300 in cash after completing each inspection. Police say employees at each of the three restaurants gave the man the requested cash from their registers.

-Associated Press