News Midday Update: No-name storm lands with rain, gusts in Carolinas; Ga. officials get calls from angry car customers after dealerships close; AirTran pays tribute to Munson with special fares

A storm that never quite gained tropical strength or a name over the Atlantic blew ashore with drenching rain today in the Carolinas, knocking out power and sending rain, gusty winds and high surf far up the Atlantic seaboard.

Although the center of the storm was well to the south, forecasters said it was so large that rain and some wind would be felt in the Northeast. Small craft advisories, meaning strong winds or gusts and choppy seas, were issued from Savannah to Maine.

"Much of the winds have diminished," said meteorologist Dave Loewenthal at the National Weather Service in Wilmington. "It's a very large system. It goes all up and down the eastern seaboard."

Loewenthal said the system's center would "continue west throughout the day and then make a more northerly track along the Appalachians. You can have a lot of rain on the east side of the mountains, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem."

The storm was expected to continue bringing coastal flooding, rip currents and high surf to the mid-Atlantic shore over the weekend.

Associated Press

Ga. officials get calls from angry car customers after dealerships close

Georgia officials are getting calls from angry Bill Heard Enterprises customers whose cars are locked up in shuttered automobile dealerships across the state.

Bill Cloud with the Georgia consumer affairs office said the state is working with the company and GMAC Financial Services to solve the problem. He said some customers have cars shut up in the repair shops at dealerships, while others can't pick up the car they just bought.

Bill Heard, the biggest Chevrolet dealership in the country, closed its 13 remaining dealerships Wednesday and laid off 2,700 people. The company had dealerships in seven states.

Company spokesman Alan Ulman said customers with questions can call local dealerships or the company's Columbus, Ga., headquarters.

Associated Press

AirTran pays tribute to Munson with special fares

AirTran Airways says thanks Larry.

In honor of Larry Munson, Georgia's longtime play-by-play football announcer who retired this week, the Orlando, Fla.-based airline is offering one-way fares of $86 from Atlanta to 43 cities.

Munson, who is 86 years old, stepped aside after 43 years broadcasting Bulldog football.

Associated Press


- The federal conspiracy trial of suspended Perry physician Spurgeon Green Jr. continues today. We'll update you on the latest courtroom developments.

- A groundbreaking was held this morning for the Bibb County public schools' new Early Childhood Childhood Center, a public school for the county's 4-year-olds. Come back to our Web site to read about the new facility.


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