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The Republican governor offered his remarks after an unscientific survey showed roughly 11,000 job openings in the state’s agricultural economy. He requested the survey after growers warned that a new Georgia law targeting illegal immigrants was scaring away workers needed to harvest labor-intensive crops like peaches and berries that are easily damaged by machines.

A handful of the more than 15,000 unemployed people on probation statewide were sent to work Monday as part of a pilot program at a South Georgia vegetable farm, said Stan Cooper, the state’s director of probation operations. Most people on probation are nonviolent offenders.

State authorities are finalizing the program details. No farmer will be forced to hire offenders on probation, who generally must seek work unless they are infirm but can turn down job offers. In an extreme case, an offender who continually refuses to take a job could face additional punishment.


Judge’s son admits role in Bellagio heist

LAS VEGAS — The son of a Las Vegas judge has pleaded guilty to being the motorcycle-helmet-wearing gunman who made off in December with $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Anthony Michael Carleo told a Nevada judge Tuesday that he went to the craps table, took chips and ran. The judge set sentencing for Aug. 23.

The plea by Carleo, 29, is part of a deal that also will have him plead guilty to a separate robbery in December at the Suncoast casino five days before the Bellagio heist.

Carleo is the son of Las Vegas Municipal Judge George Assad. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Carleo could face three to 54 years in prison in the two cases.


Court: Megan’s Law killer can continue appeal

TRENTON — The man convicted of killing a 7-year-old girl who became the namesake of Megan’s Laws across the country should be allowed to pursue claims that his lawyers were ineffective, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

But the appeals court did not agree with Jesse Timmendequas’ argument that his kidnapping, sexual assault and murder conviction should be overturned and he should be released from prison.

Instead, the appeals court ordered a state judge to consider whether there’s merit to Timmendequas’ arguments, most of which claim faulty representation.

Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old who lived across the street from Timmendequas in Hamilton, N.J., disappeared on July 29, 1994. Nearly 24 hours later, Timmendequas admitted that he had lured the little girl to his home with the promise of showing her a puppy, then sexually assaulted and strangled her before dumping her body in a park.

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