Georgia Weekend Advisory

Editors:

Here’s a list of Georgia stories expected to move for the weekend of Sept. 21-22.

Move Saturday

AUTISM-EARLY DETECTION

ATLANTA — Inside a small room similar to a doctor’s office, Marlaina Dreher broke into applause after her 5-year-old son, Brandon, grabbed a red plastic spoon filled with puréed lasagna and fed himself. “Good job taking a bite, buddy,” she said, joining in as her son banged his hands on a nearby table. “Good job putting down your spoon.” Brandon has autism and has come a long way in the seven weeks that he’s spent in the pediatric feeding disorder program at the Marcus Autism Center, one of the nation’s leading research and treatment facilities. He’s no longer refusing to eat everything but crackers and McDonald’s french fries, and meal time is no longer the constant battle of screaming, kicking and throwing that his mom described. “I couldn’t have imagined being here seven weeks ago,” Marlaina Dreher said. “My husband Sean and I have said, ‘What if we had come here two years ago? Where would we be now?'” By Christina A. Cassidy.

WATER PROJECTS

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration announced this week it will now award funding for water projects partly on the basis of whether Georgia’s state government gets a guaranteed slice of the water the new reservoirs or wells produce. Getting new sources of water could potentially strengthen Deal’s hand at the bargaining table as Georgia tries to resolve long-running disputes with neighboring Alabama and Florida. Florida’s governor recently threatened to file lawsuit over the regional water impasse. By Ray Henry.

MUSIC MIDTOWN

ATLANTA — Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Weezer and more take the stage at the third annual Music Midtown Festival. Fourteen performances will be held on the second day of festival at Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta. More than 90,000 attended the festival last year. By Jonathan Landrum Jr., photos.

Moving Sunday

JEKYLL ISLAND

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Jekyll Island’s governing board has a proposal to end bickering over how much of the coastal state park is open to future development by repealing a state law that limits construction to 35 percent of its land area and inserting a fixed acreage instead. The plan to permanently limit new development on unspoiled land to just 66 acres would require approval by the state Legislature next year. Conservationists say they see merit in the idea, but they’re concerned about another proposed change. The Jekyll Island Authority this fall also wants to tweak the way it measures the overall size of the island in a way that would add a whopping 31 percent to its total land area. That revision could drastically expand the amount of land open to construction of new hotels, shopping centers and other amenities if the Legislature refuses next year to revise the law that’s guided development on Jekyll Island for 42 years. By Russ Bynum. UPCOMING: 800 words.

GEORGIA CHILDHOOD OBESITY

ATLANTA — Cream soda and salt and vinegar chips were once a favorite part of 15-year-old Zarea Adam’s diet. “Those chips were my best friend, you know. I will fight someone over those chips!” Adams said. “And cheesecake! For my birthday, I would get my own cheesecake with all the different flavors. Growing up, Adam always had junk food at her fingertips. But by 12-years-old, her weight reached 170 pounds, classifying her as obese. “When you’re at that age and you are surrounded by sugars and sweets, I didn’t think anything of it,” Adams said. “Little did I know that was killing me the most.” By Jaime Henry-White, photo, video.

AP Member Exchanges

Moving Saturday

HOPE SCHOLARSHIP-STUDENT BORROWING

ATHENS, Ga. — Christina Serra is like a lot of University of Georgia students. The HOPE Scholarship has paid for a huge part of her college expenses, but she still has to work to pay for her college education. But Serra, now a UGA graduate student, is also different. A year away from graduating with Masters of Public Administration degree, Serra has managed to avoid borrowing money, unlike most UGA students. “I don’t have student loans, which is a blessing,” she said.

By Lee Shearer, The Athens Banner-Herald. AP Photos Pursuing.

Moving Sunday

CROWD FUNDING-RESEARCH

ATLANTA, Ga. — What is more deserving of donations: honey bees equipped with tiny transmitters or a lumbering Robosaurus? Folks from around the world can now vote with their dollars about research at Georgia Tech, as one of the state’s top institutions recently launched a website tapping into that most basic of Internet Age fundraising: crowd funding. Nascent projects about everything from walking robots to buzzing bees are up for bid in the effort’s initial stage. University officials hope what comes next will set a national example about how to pay for promising areas of study even without lucrative government or corporate-funded grants.

By Kristina Torres, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. AP Photos Pursuing.

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