Q&A on the News

-- Walter Johns, Lilburn

A: Nichols is listed as being in the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. Superior Court Judge James Bodiford in December 2008 suggested that Nichols, who was convicted of state crimes, should serve his time in the Florence (Colo.) Federal Correctional Complex, the federal maximum-security prison known as Supermax.

Q: Which office or government agency can a person contact to find out how gasoline stations are legally able to raise their price of gasoline up to 25 cents per gallon in just a few weeks, but when the price of oil goes down, the prices drop only 1 or 2 cents per gallon over a much longer period?

-- Ben Pittarelli, Lawrenceville

A: There is no regulation of gas prices, so the best thing a consumer can do is to comparison-shop and buy gas for the lowest amount offered, said Bill Cloud, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs. The office was able to conduct a gasoline price-gouging investigation in fall 2008 after Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency. It resolved 150 cases during fall 2008, finding 96 with price gouging and fining the operators, and 54 with no price gouging.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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