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News Nearby: Robbers Followed Victims Home from Walmart; Coach Accused in Ponzi Scheme

A look at top Patch stories from around Cartersville, Atlanta and Georgia include a $50 million class action lawsuit filed against a city.

3 Suspects Sought in Armed Robbery

is looking for three men who followed two women home from the Walmart on Thornton Road in Lithia Springs and demanded money from them at gunpoint, according to the Sheriff's Facebook page.

While paying for their merchandise, a woman and her mother were watched by three black males, who waited for them to leave the store, the Facebook account says. The men followed the women to their residence.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Denies Diversity Snub Allegation  

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has denied allegations that Lassiter and Walton High Schools will not be allowed to perform in full with the orchestra because of their racial makeup.

In a statement provided to Patch, Charlie Wade, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Vice President for Marketing and Symphony Pops, wrote, “The Lassiter and Walton high school choruses have done an outstanding job, but they are only two of at least 12 very fine high school choirs in the Atlanta area. We think those choirs merit a chance to sing with the ASO as well.”

Jay Dillon, the  spokesperson, released a statement which read in part, “For the past four years, the Lassiter and Walton high school choruses have performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This year, the schools were informed by Symphony officials that their choruses are not diverse enough, and that the Symphony would be inviting a third, more diverse chorus. Because of limited space, only a portion of the Lassiter and Walton choruses would therefore be able to attend.”

$50 Million Class Action Suit Filed Against City of Stone Mountain  

An attorney in Decatur has filed a $50 million class-action civil lawsuit against the City of Stone Mountain, mayor Patricia Wheeler, city manager Barry Amos, and police chief Chancey Troutman, claiming illegal use of the police department’s speed detection devices, or laser. 

According to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Jennifer Watts on Aug. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, for a period of three months the city failed to comply with state law requiring that any agency using speed detection devices be properly certified.

Watts maintains the city “knowingly and intentionally continued to prosecute citizens of the State of Georgia, collecting fines and fees of over $100,000” during the period the certification was expired.

Ex-UGA Football Coach Jim Donnan Accused of Running Ponzi Scheme

Former University of Georgia head football coach Jim Donnan has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running a Ponzi scheme targeting former players and college coaches, according to an Associated Press report on the Huffington Post

Donnan, who was fired from UGA after the 2000 season, and a business partner raised some $80 million from about 100 investors in the scheme, according to William P. Hicks, associate director of the SEC's Atlanta office.

Red and Black Board Apologizes; Student Staff Might Return

An advertising executive has resigned from The board of directors. Students will have more input into editorial decisions. And there won't be a non-student review of stories prior to their being published.

With all three of their demands met, the former staff of The Red & Black student newspaper may return to their jobs, said editor-in-chief Polina Marinova. Marinova and her staff walked out Wednesday night, fed up with what they believed was too much interference and emphasis on happy, upbeat stories instead of real news about the UGA community.

"We'll talk among ourselves and then reapply for our positions," said Marinova. "We're happy they met our demands and that we finally had a voice."

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