published Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Lawyers assigned to Georgia water dispute, and more region news


Lawyers assigned to water dispute

Georgia has appointed lawyers to handle a legal dispute with Florida over regional water rights that is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, authorities said Monday.

Attorneys Seth Waxman, Chris Landau and Craig Primis will lead Georgia's litigation team, according to a statement from Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens. The legal team also will include Georgia attorneys Bruce Brown, Todd Silliman and John Allen.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott filed a lawsuit earlier this month asking the U.S. Supreme Court to divvy up water rights in the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola rivers. The river system serves Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Environmental officials in Florida said metro Atlanta uses too much water, leaving too little for downstream communities, business and wildlife and killing off Florida's valuable oyster fishery. Scott filed the lawsuit after federal officials declared a fishery disaster for oystermen on the Gulf Coast. Oysters need a mix of fresh and salt water in order to thrive.

"Georgia has refused to fairly share the waters that flow between our two states, so to stop Georgia's unmitigated consumption of water we have brought the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court," Scott said at the time.

Water officials in metro Atlanta said the region's water usage is dropping. They argue that overfishing combined with natural cycles contributed to the oyster die-off, not metro Atlanta's water consumption.

"It is time for Florida to stop playing politics and start negotiating in good faith," Deal said.


Driver sought after fatal crash

Police in suburban Atlanta are seeking the driver of a recreational vehicle after a deadly chain-reaction crash that killed a Florida man.

Marietta police said the RV didn't stop after the wreck.

Marietta police Officer David Baldwin said the RV was southbound on Interstate 75 around 1:45 p.m. Saturday, when it struck the back of a Toyota Camry.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the impact caused the Camry's driver to cross all lanes of I-75 and hit a Toyota Prius and two other vehicles.

The Prius struck the median wall and flipped, killing 40-year-old passenger Bradley Braland, of Winter Garden, Fla.

Police said Monday morning they've identified the RV as a white and green 1999 Spartan Alpine with Florida license tags. They said it could be pulling a trailer.


TWRA offers planting grants

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is offering grants to assist with riparian tree planting projects.

Five grants of $500 each are available in each of TWRA's four regions.

Seedlings must be bought through the Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry.

Nov. 30 is the deadline to apply and projects must be completed by June 30 of next year.

Tree planting season in Tennessee is October through March.

More information on the grants is available on the TWRA website at

-- Wire Reports

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