Georgia News Roundup
August 22, 2014 05:25 PM | 2201 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New leadership chosen for Georgia transportation board

ATLANTA (AP) — Three new officers have been elected to lead the Georgia State Transportation Board.

Officials say Augusta business owner Don Grantham has been elected board chair after serving as vice chair for the past year.

Blue Ridge business owner Emily Dunn has been elected vice chair.

Decatur architect and business owner Robert Brown has been elected secretary.

The state transportation board is the policy-making and governing authority of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Officials say the three were each unanimously elected to the positions by their colleagues and will serve one-year terms.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia man gets life sentence in teen's shooting death

ATLANTA (AP) — Fulton County prosecutors say a man who claimed self-defense in a teen's shooting death has been sentenced to life in prison.

District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones says 39-year-old Ronnie Clay was found guilty of murder in the death of 18-year-old Jared Billings. Clay was charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Prosecutors say Billings was shot Jan. 1, 2013 in southwest Atlanta after an argument on the front porch of a house. Authorities say Clay pulled a gun on Billings, shot him in the chest and fired three more shots as he fled the scene.

Prosecutors say Clay claimed he shot the teen because he was being robbed at knife point.

Clay was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Fugitive squad to search for shooting suspect

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a fugitive squad will continue the hunt for a man accused of shooting at an officer during a chase south of Atlanta.

WSB-TV reports that police searched throughout the night and into Friday morning for a gunman after a shootout in a school parking lot in College Park.

College Park Police Deputy Chief Ferman Williford says an officer was chasing a theft suspect Thursday evening when he shot at the officer and continued running. Williford says the officer returned fire.

Williford says the officer wasn't hurt, but a bystander may have suffered a leg wound.

Williford says the suspect is armed and dangerous.

He is described as black with a medium brown complexion, about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slim build.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Heat prompts changes in routines for police horses

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Extreme heat prompted police in Savannah to keep their horses off the city's streets as temperatures were expected to approach 100 degrees in many parts of Georgia.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan police Sgt. Gene Lawhorn, who oversees the department's mounted patrol unit, says the horses get a break when the air temperature reaches 97 degrees or the heat index hits 100 degrees — whichever comes first.

The Savannah Morning News reports that officers on Wednesday afternoon hosed down the horses.

The National Weather Service predicted high temperatures around 98 degrees Friday and Saturday in Savannah.

A heat advisory was scheduled to be in effect from noon to 8 p.m. Friday in a large part of south and central Georgia, including the cities of Albany, Americus, Brunswick, Columbus, Macon, Statesboro, Valdosta and Waycross.

Information from: Savannah Morning News, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Pedestrian struck, killed by vehicle in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a vehicle on a bridge in Columbus.

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said the death of the woman, whose name wasn't immediately released, is considered accidental.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the crash happened sometime Thursday night or early Friday, and the exact time was not immediately available.

WTVM-TV reports that Columbus police and the coroner in Phenix City, Alabama, were attempting to locate the woman's relatives on Friday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Columbus boy, 16, shot dead while driving car

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Police say a 16-year-old boy has been shot dead behind the wheel of a car and two teenage passengers are charged with felony murder.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports police found 16-year-old Christopher Jones dead late Thursday in the driver's seat of a sedan that crashed after he was shot. Police say the vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the day.

In a news release Friday, Columbus police said they had arrested two boys, ages 14 and 15, who had been passengers in the car with Jones. They were charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a handgun by a minor and other counts.

Police said there had been "an exchange of gunfire" between the teenagers in the car and unidentified suspects. Few other details were released.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Former Alabama band director arrested on sex charges

BREWTON, Ala. (AP) — Police say a Georgia band director is facing multiple charges of having sex with students at his former high school in Alabama.

WKRG-TV reports 32-year-old Jeffrey Lance Gainous is charged with a dozen crimes including sexual abuse and being a school employee engaged in sex with a student.

Brewton Police Chief Monte McGougin says the charges stem from Gainous' work at T.R. Miller High School. Gainous worked at the Brewton school for six years before starting a few weeks ago at Thomas County Central High school in south Georgia.

Police say allegations against Gainous arose recently after he left town.

The chief told reporters Gainous had sexual contact over three years with eight girls. Authorities are investigating claims some girls were tied up and gagged.

Gainous has resigned from the Georgia school.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Judge tosses pay lawsuit by Savannah fire captains

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A judge in Savannah has dismissed a lawsuit by 50 firefighters seeking higher pay for supervisors.

The Savannah Morning News reports fire captains working for Savannah Fire and Emergency Services sued in March saying the city was failing to follow a policy that employees in supervisory positions should be paid at least 5 percent more than subordinates. The lawsuit said many subordinate firefighters were being paid more than their supervisors.

Judge James Bass Jr. dismissed the lawsuit this week, siding with the city's argument that the policy is not a contract and the pay provision is discretionary.

City Manager Stephanie Cutter said in a statement Friday that Savannah remains committed to fair and equitable pay for city employees.

Information from: Savannah Morning News, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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