Anita Hunt (facing the camera), a family friend of Travis Clinton Hittson, hugs Travis’ mother, Pat Hittson, just after he was executed Wednesday night, Feb. 17, 2016, at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. Pat Hittson witnessed her son’s death. (Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com)
Photo: Ben Gray
Photo: Ben Gray

The scoop on Thursday, Feb. 18: 5 things to know this morning

Former navy sailor Travis Clinton Hittson, 45, was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night at the Georgia Disgnostic and Classification Prison, 24  years after he and a chief petty officer murdered their shipmate and dismembered the body. When the warden asked him in the execution chamber whether he had anything more to say, Hittson responded, "No, sir, I'm all right." Less than five minutes after the warden left the room, signaling the beginning of the execution process, there was no apparent movement of Hittson's chest. Time of death was 8:14 p.m. His mother was one of the witnesses. Read more. 

2. 'Select Fulton' to help market county for business. 

Commissioners chose "Select Fulton: Your Atlanta Connection" as they tentative name of a new county-wide economic development arm. They took the Carl Vinson Institute of Government's advice, using Atlanta's name in their economic development efforts to help bring more business across the county. In addition to being an economic development clearinghouse, the new venture will do countywide site and workforce research and will focus on redevelopment opportunities. It will continue to try to bring companies to unincorporated South Fulton. Read more. 

3. Atlanta Charter school considers closure after alleged theft. 

Financial mismanagement and the alleged theft of more than $600,000 from an Atlanta charter school threw the school into a financial pit too deep to scale, school officials say. At a board meeting Thursday, the board of Latin Academy will consider closing the southwest Atlanta charter school at the end of this school year.  The closure would leave hundreds of students looking for new schools and staff members searching for new jobs. But the school had problems beyond financial solvency, and was put on probation this fall by both Atlanta Public Schools and the state Department of Education. Read more. 

4. Georgia's defense interests see gains and losses in Obama budget. 

With one of the largest defense footprints in the country, Georgia has a lot of interests in the nearly $583 billion Pentagon budget blueprint President Barack Obama sent to Capitol Hill last week. Members of Georgia’s congressional delegation in Congress cheered the decision to extend the lifetime of the A-10 Warthog and the money included for the Cyber Comment center at Fort Gordon, but they expressed concern about the funding levels for JSTARS, an aging radar system. Click here to see how Georgia's other defense intersts fared in Obama's proposal: Read more. 

5. Ga. governor signs midyear budget with $1.1 billion in new spending. 

The Georgia Senate gave final passage Wednesday to a midyear budget, adding $1 billion in new state spending — most of it for k-12 schools and road construction. Midyear budgets are designed to fill in gaps in annual spending plans approved by lawmakers. This one will send about $110 million to public school districts to help pay the costs associated with the rising number of students. Read more. 

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