News Midday Update: Bush may address nation on economy; Fla. colleges will consider Clayton County students; Bishop Weeks’ reality show start delayed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress today that economic growth depends on stabilizing financial institutions as the White House said President Bush is weighing a speech to the nation about turmoil in the markets.

In remarks to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Bernanke said the Fed will "act as needed" to minimize the disruptions to business life. His appearance came not long after Bush said he was confident his administration and Congress could reach agreement soon on a "robust" plan to relieve the stress.

Lawmakers have voiced skepticism about the the administration's $700 billion bailout plan, however, and both Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson heard skeptical statements from Senate Banking Committee members when they went to Capitol Hill Tuesday to plea for passage of the plan.

Meanwhile, Bush's chief spokeswoman, Dana Perino, revealed the president’s thinking about a national speech and said the country is at risk of a "calamity" without bold action to calm down the markets and soothe nervous Americans.

Associated Press

Fla. colleges will consider Clayton County students

Students graduating from the troubled Clayton County school district can now get into public colleges in Florida.

State University System of Florida Chancellor Mark B. Rosenberg said Tuesday institutions will consider Clayton County students even though the Georgia school district doesn't have accreditation. The move comes after Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue asked Florida officials last week to reconsider their position that students from an unaccredited school district would not be eligible for admission to colleges.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked Clayton County's accreditation Sept. 1 for failure to meet all but one of nine mandates outlined in a February report. School officials have said they are working to regain accreditation.

Associated Press

Bishop Weeks’ reality show start delayed

Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III’s reality dating show is getting off to a rocky start. Contract negotiations with a reality television producer forced the postponement of the first full episode of "Who Will Be the Next Mrs. Weeks."

People who logged onto Tuesday hoping to see national evangelist Juanita Bynum's ex-husband try for another chance at love saw what seemed like an infomercial about Weeks instead.

The noon launch of Weeks' redesigned Web site and its programming was delayed by technical difficulties. Church officials say teases from the show will be released throughout the week.

Bynum filed for divorce last September, after she accused Weeks of choking and beating her. The couple ended their five-year marriage on June 20.Associated Press


- Today is the second day of federal conspiracy trial of suspended Perry physician Spurgeon Green Jr., accused of illegally prescribing medications that resulted in seven patient deaths.

- Hands on Georgia Week starts Saturday. We'll tell you about the statewide volunteer effort, including Macon's focus on helping those with tornado-damaged homes.


We invite you to check out our Web site again tomorrow for the Midday Update. Monday through Friday, Online Editor Beth MacFadyen will bring you timely information about what Telegraph staffers are working on, plus news we think you need to know immediately. Send feedback to