Are you a slowpoke? Then get out of the fast lane – especially if you're in Georgia.
Left-lane lurkers on the state's highways and interstates are a pen-stroke away from trouble under legislation given final passage Tuesday by the Georgia Senate.
House Bill 459 would allow authorities to ticket those who lollygag in left lanes. The bill makes it a misdemeanor for any driver on a divided highway who does not move to the right when a car going faster approaches from behind.
With the state House already signing off on the measure, all it needs is Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature to become law.
Senators said they were not trying to encourage speeding. However, as Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, said, “often times drivers travel through (the left lane) as if they’re in tourist mode.”
The Senate approved HB 459, by Rep. Bill Hitchens, R-Rincon, on a 42-5 vote.
George Zimmerman is making headlines again after he signed autographs and met fans at a Florida gun show.
According to the New York Daily News, about 20 people showed up to meet Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder last summer in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, at the New Orlando Gun Show on Sunday.
“It was pretty weird to meet him in person — and wow, he has gained a lot of weight!” fan Melissa, who did not provide a last name, told the Daily News.
Zimmerman's appearance also forced the gun show to change venues. The original, larger venue, the Majestic, backed out because of "community pressure" and backlash, the Daily News reported. The Arms Room gun store hosted the event instead.
Martin's fatal shooting sparked a nationwide debate about race and self-defense. Zimmerman was accused of racially profiling Martin and said he shot the teen to protect himself.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Oakland Police are working to develop a sketch of the attacker who reportedly committed a sexual assault on an elementary school student Friday. The reported attack prompted a lockdown of the World Academy and Achieve Academy building at 1700 28th Avenue.
KTVU has learned that detectives are investigating a possible link to another assault in January at a different elementary school just a few blocks away.
Police tell KTVU that both incidents occurred at about 4 p.m. in the afternoon and involved young girls at after-school programs. The description of the attacker in both cases was almost identical.
On Friday, two girls told school staff that they had encountered a strange man on campus. The 7-year-old reported that he inappropriately touched her. Police searched the school grounds and surrounding neighborhood.
Officers also went to the Think College Now Elementary School just a few blocks away on International Boulevard. That is where a man of a similar description reportedly assaulted a 6-year-old girl in January when she entered a gym bathroom with another first grader.
Sue Piper, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Unified School District, told KTVU Tuesday that it is not clear how the man got into the bathroom.
"He walked on, he identified himself to the students as someone who tutored," Piper said, "He asked one of the girls to sit on his lap. She did, felt uncomfortable and ran off."
On Tuesday afternoon, parents picking up their children at the World Academy said the school is taking more precautions after last week's reported attack.
"Making sure you're on their list, so you're not able to go in if your name is not on the list," said Elvia Espinoza, an Oakland parent.
Parents in the after school program showed us a letter announcing a meeting Tuesday afternoon.
"This school is taking steps to do what they need to do," said Tiffany Soliman, another Oakland parent.
Some parents and students say they're concerned there isn't more security. Rocio Munoz of Hayward has two daughters at the Think College Now Elementary School. She says the school did alert them to Friday's assault. The school has also taken extra precautions such as restricting access to bathrooms and training parents, staff and students to be more aware of who enters school grounds.
School district officials say it is also important for parents to talk with their child or children about what is appropriate and not appropriate behavior by strangers. Officials say it is also important to teach children the importance of telling an adult if an incident does occur.
In both cases the attacker is described as a white man, about 6 feet tall, 180-200 pounds, with black hair and a mustache.
Oakland police say they hope to create a sketch in the next few days.
More than four days after a Malaysian jetliner went missing en route to Beijing, authorities acknowledged Wednesday they didn't know which direction the plane carrying 239 passengers was heading when it disappeared, vastly complicating efforts to find it.
Amid intensifying confusion and occasionally contradictory statements, the country's civil aviation authorities and the military both said the plane may have turned back from its last known position between Malaysian and Vietnam, possibly as far as the Strait of Malacca, a busy shipping lane on the western side of Malaysia.
How it might have done this without being clearly detected remains a mystery, raising questions over whether its electrical systems, including transponders allowing it to be spotted by radar, were either knocked out or turned off. If it did manage to fly on, it would challenge earlier theories that the plane may have suffered a catastrophic incident, initially thought reasonable because it didn't send out any distress signals.
Authorities have not ruled out any possible cause, including mechanical failure, pilot error, sabotage or terrorism in the disappearance of the plane. Both the Boeing 777 and Malaysia Airlines have excellent safety records. Until wreckage or debris is found and examined, it will be very hard say with any level of certainty what happened.
The search for the missing aircraft was begun from the spot it was last reported to be over the ocean between Malaysia and Vietnam. But they have also said search operations were ongoing in the Strait of Malacca. Scores of planes and aircraft have been scouring waters in both locations.
The country's air force chief, Gen. Rodzali Daud, released a statement denying remarks attributed to him in a local media report saying that military radar had managed to track the aircraft turning back from its original course, crossing the country and making it to the Malacca strait to the west of Malaysia. The Associated Press contacted a high-level military official, who confirmed the remarks.
Rodzali referred to a statement he said he made March 9 in which he said the air force has "not ruled out the possibility of an air turn back" and said search and rescue efforts had been expanded to the waters around Penang Island, in the northern section of the strait.
It is possible that the radar readings are not definitive or subject to interpretation, especially if a plane is malfunctioning.
"There is a possibility of an air turn back. We are still investigating and looking at the radar readings," the country's civilian aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said Wednesday.
The Strait of Malacca that separates Malaysia from Indonesia's Sumatra Island is some 400 kilometers (250 miles) from where the plane was last known to have made contact with ground control officials over the Gulf of Thailand at a height of 35,000 feet (almost 11,000 meters) early Saturday.
Adding to the confusion, Indonesia air force Col. Umar Fathur said the country had received official information from Malaysian authorities that the plane was above the South China Sea, about 10 nautical miles from Kota Bharu, Malaysia, when it turned back toward the strait and then disappeared. That would place its last confirmed position closer to Malaysia than has previously been publicly disclosed.
Fathur said Malaysian authorities have determined four blocks to be searched in the strait, which Indonesia was assisting in.
Vietnam continued to search for the plane on land and sea. In its area of responsibility, some 22 aircraft and 31 ships from several countries were involved, according to Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of Vietnamese People's Army.
Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar, who has been ordered to look at possible criminal aspects in the disappearance of the plane, said hijacking, sabotage and issues related to the pilots' psychological health were being considered.
An Australian TV station reported that the first officer on the missing plane, Fariq Abdul Hamid, had invited two women into the cockpit during a flight two years ago. One of the women, Jonti Roos, described the encounter on Australia's "A Current Affair."
Roos said she and a friend were allowed to stay in the cockpit during the entire one-hour flight on Dec. 14, 2011, from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur. She said the arrangement did not seem unusual to the plane's crew.
"Throughout the entire flight, they were talking to us and they were actually smoking throughout the flight," said Roos, who didn't immediately reply to a message sent to her via Facebook. The second pilot on the 2011 flight was not identified
Malaysia Airlines said they took the allegations seriously
The Internal Revenue Service is warning the public of a widespread phone scam in which phony IRS agents get victims to pay money based on false tax bills.
In several recent cases in South San Francisco, fake agents contacted residents and said they owed large amounts of money in back taxes, according to police.
The scammers threatened arrest if the victims did not make a payment using an untraceable, pre-loaded debit card with an access number, police said.
The latest reported victim lost $2,000 in the scam, police said.
According to the IRS, the phone scam has become "pervasive" during tax season.
"This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country," IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement.
"If somebody unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don't pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn't the IRS calling," Werfel said.
IRS agents do not ask taxpayers for confidential PINs, passwords or access information to credit card, bank or other financial accounts, officials said.
Anyone who owes taxes or has a payment issue should call the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040.
Anyone who thinks they have been victimized by an IRS scam should contact local police or the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov.