News MIDDAY UPDATE: Anti-dogfighting program announced for Atlanta; 'Joe the Plumber' strikes back at media; Spalding County girl gets to play football

A group of religious leaders is speaking out in hopes of muzzling dogfighting in Atlanta.

Monday marks the launch of the Humane Society of the United States' "End Dogfighting in Atlanta" program.

A contingent of Atlanta religious leaders will denounce the violence of dogfighting and sign a pledge to help combat the crime.

The program is modeled after a similar, successful program in Chicago.

It will focus on youth anti-violence intervention, dog training classes, community outreach and law enforcement partnerships.

Associated Press

'Joe the Plumber' strikes back at media

"Joe the Plumber" is lashing out at the media for analyzing his personal life since he suddenly became a focal point of the presidential race last week.

Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Holland, Ohio, told Mike Huckabee on his Fox News talk show Saturday that he is upset by the attention and has been unable to work with reporters crowded on his front lawn.

"The media's worried about whether I've paid my taxes, they're worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America," Wurzelbacher told the former Republican presidential hopeful on his show, "Huckabee."

Wurzelbacher said he felt terrible after reading some of the criticism of himself posted online.

"I felt about that small," he said. "I mean I really did."

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been portraying Wurzelbacher as emblematic of people with concerns about Obama's tax plans.

Wurzelbacher became famous after he met Obama and said the Democrat's tax proposal could keep him from buying the two-man plumbing company where he works. However, reports of Wurzelbacher's annual earnings suggest he would receive a tax cut rather than an increase under Obama's plan.

Associated Press

Spalding County girl gets to play football

A 14-year-old Spalding County girl played kicker on her high school football team over the weekend after earlier being barred from play.

Kacy Stuart is a freshman at the New Creation Center, a private Christian academy in McDonough. She tried out and qualified to play for the Crusaders football team. But the Georgia Football League, which supervises private school athletes, prohibited her from playing.

Last week the league changed its mind and allowed Kacy to play without restrictions.

Kacy's mom, Angie Stuart, said it only took a letter from their lawyer.

Hank St. Denis is executive board chairman of the Georgia Football League. In August, he overruled New Creation's decision to let Kacy join its team. He declined to comment when reached by telephone Sunday night.

Associated Press


- Former President Jimmy Carter is coming to Macon this week. Come back to our Web site for details.

- There's a political forum tonight in Jones County. Come back to our Web site for complete coverage

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