News MIDDAY UPDATE: Ga. officials investigating gas price complaints; more Georgians not paying utility bills on time; Ga. teachers awarded 'Oscar of education'

Nearly 150 Georgia gas stations are having to defend why they charged inflated prices after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike made fuel scarce over the last month.

The state has subpoenaed sales records from businesses following complaints from 1,500 customers angry over what they were paying at the pump. Bill Cloud, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs, says his office is still getting a few dozen calls a day about gas prices.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gas in Georgia was $3.72 on Wednesday, up more than $1 from this time last year. The national average was $3.45 on Wednesday.

Georgia's gas average hit an all-time high Sept. 15 at $4.16 per gallon.Associated Press

More Georgians not paying utility bills on time

Georgia Power says economic woes are tolling its customers. Georgians are falling behind on utility bill payments.

Spokeswoman Konswello Monroe says there was an 11 percent increase for disconnects for non payments from January to August of this year compared to last year.

The power company cites job loses, higher mortgage payments and rising prices of food and fuel for the increasing number of power disconnects.

The power company refuses to disclose how many of their 2.3 million customers have been disconnected.

Georgia Power has programs to help senior citizens falling behind in payments and advises residents to call to arrange services to avoid being disconnected. Monroe advises residents having financial troubles to call to set up payment arrangements. She also urges they seek the assistance of Project Share.

Associated Press

Ga. teachers awarded 'Oscar of education'

A teacher at Rock-Chapel Elementary in DeKalb County and another at Sawyer Road Elementary School in Marietta were each awarded $25,000 after receiving one of the nation's top teaching awards.

Andrea King, a gifted-students teacher at the Rock Chapel school, and Susan Griggs, the international baccalaureate coordinator at Sawyer, each received the Milken National Educator Award.

The two teachers were presented the awards at surprise assemblies Tuesday at their schools.

The Milken awards, known as the "Oscar of education," was established in 1987.

Associated Press

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