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macon.com MIDDAY UPDATE: Some schools give students day off on Election Day; Former Conyers officials indicted for embezzlement; volatile Wall Street off to good start

With schools a popular polling place, many Georgia school districts are giving students a day off on Election Day this year.

Because of the number of people who will be on campus Nov. 4, some school officials have decided it's easier and safer for students to stay home.

The Georgia Department of Education said 28 of the state's 180 public school systems will be closed. Some will close for both students and teachers while others will be closed to students but teachers will have to report for training.

Some schools have long given students election day off while others are adopting the policy this year because of anticipated record turnout at the polls.

Associated Press

Former Conyers officials indicted for embezzlement

Two former Conyers officials have been indicted on charges they stole more than $130,000 in federal money from the city's public housing authority.

A federal grand jury in Atlanta on Wednesday indicted 44-year-old Kristi Kirkus Wilson and 43-year-old Ronnie Paul Wilson on charges of conspiracy, embezzlement of federal funds and mail fraud. Kristi Wilson was executive director and her husband was lease enforcement officer for the housing authority.

An initial court appearance for the Wilsons has not been set.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias says from 2000 to 2007, Kristi Wilson approved and paid bonuses to herself and "padded" her husband's salary. Nahmias says the couple also used government credit cards to buy a barn, fencing, Christmas decorations and a water slide for their home.

Things off to good start today on volatile Wall Street

Wall Street turned higher in erratic trading today as investors, while still nervous about growing signs of a weakening economy, picked up bargains from stocks that were beaten down in a two-day selloff.

There was clearly little conviction behind the buying; investors were attracted to stocks that were pummeled in two days of selling that sliced nearly 750 points off the Dow Jones industrial average. There is a growing belief on the Street that the economy is either in a recession or headed for one despite government relief efforts and gradual improvements in world credit markets.

With its move higher, Wall Street is living up to predictions that trading will remain volatile for some time to come as investors try to test whether the market has formed a bottom.

"It's people coming in that see tremendous value, but for a more sustainable advance I think we need more time," said Steven Goldman, chief market strategist at Weeden & Co. in Greenwich, Conn.

WHAT'S COMING UP ON MACON.COM

- Former President Jimmy Carter is speaking today at Mercer University. Come back to our Web site to find out what he had to say.

- The Medical Center of Central Georgia is holding a meeting today to explain more than 200 job cuts. Come back to macon.com to find out what hospital officials have to say.

VISIT US AGAIN SOON

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 bmacfadyen@macon.com

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