Metro news for Thursday

Fulton County Commission Vice Chair Emma Darnell blasted MARTA officials Wednesday for proposing to raise fares and taking feedback through public hearings. Darnell said the hearings, scheduled at four locations on May 16 and 17, will be poorly attended, and MARTA knows it. "It's an insult," she said.

MARTA wants to raise base fares from $2 to $2.50 next year and raise monthly passes from $68 to $95. Davis Allen, MARTA's assistant general manager of finance, said feedback is also being sought from senior centers and through e-mails and comment cards. JOHNNY EDWARDS

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia will extend its grace period on premium payments for members directly affected by the tornadoes that hit the state last month, the insurer announced Wednesday.

Policies will not be canceled for Georgia members who have payments due in April and May that were delayed because of disruptions in mail service. MISTY WILLIAMS

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The State Board of Regents will meet Friday to approve Rep. Hank Huckaby, R-Watkinsville as the next chancellor for the 35-college system.

The regents named Huckaby as the sole finalist April 22, but state law requires the board to wait at least 14 days before voting on the appointment.

The 69-year-old has more than 40 years experience in Georgia politics and higher education. He will follow Chancellor Erroll Davis, who will retire when his contract expires in June.

The regents will also select a new president for Macon State College. LAURA DIAMOND

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County by county

Restaurant Inspections

How did your favorite dining spot fare with the health inspector. B4

Three of a Kind

On the rock -- and it's not the cocktail hour. Three areas where climbing on large rocks is a fun outdoor adventure. B5