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Entries in Georgia (76)

Friday
Mar252011

Over a Dozen Wildfires Burning in Georgia; 12,000 Acres Affected

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(DRY BRANCH, Ga.) -- Firefighters in Georgia are battling over a dozen separate wildfires that have spanned over thousands of acres across the southern part of the state.

According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, there are currently about 15 fires burning across southeast Georgia covering an estimated 12,000 acres.  The wildfires have spawned from a long drought and high winds in the area are fueling the spread of the flames.

"The biggest concern for us is that we've had such little rainfall in south Georgia that there's just not a lot of water on the ground," said Eric Mosley, spokesman for the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The commission said its most concerned about the Arabia Bay fire in northern Clinch County.

"It estimates at 4,000 acres and the fire is about one mile from the town of Homerville," said Mosley.  "We've got a few evacuations going on."

Mosley said the hope is to keep the wildfires from reaching the swamps because once it's there "it's unaccessible by tractor and by van."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar222011

Ga. Police Shooting Latest in Deadly String Nationwide

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATHENS, Ga.) -- A police officer was killed and another wounded in a shootout with an armed carjacker Tuesday afternoon near Athens, Ga., the latest in a string of police shootings nationwide since the beginning of the year.

The shooting took place at 1:30 p.m. and officers are still looking for a suspect, according to the Athens-Clarke Police Department.

The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital, as uniformed police began a house-by-house search for the suspected gunman, identified only as a 33-year-old man.

Five nearby schools were placed on lockdown as a result.

The Georgia shooting occurred just minutes after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met with chiefs of police to discuss the historic number of police shootings in the past three months.

Last year "really marked the deadliest year for law enforcement in nearly two decades and that is obviously very worrisome," Holder said before his meeting with police chiefs from more than 25 cities and representatives from several federal law enforcement agencies.

"This year we are unfortunately on track to exceed the number we saw last year," Holder said. "These numbers are simply unacceptable. Our law enforcement officers put themselves in harm's way every day."

Twenty-three officers and federal agents have been gunned down this year compared to 15 officers killed by guns at the same time last year. A total of 49 officers have been killed so far this year, including five federal agents, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Those figures do not include Tuesday's shooting in Athens.

A total of 162 officers were killed in 2010, 61 of whom died from gunshots.

On Sunday, Craig Birkholz, a 28-year-old police officer was shot and killed in a shootout with a suspected gunman in the shooter's Fond du Lac, Wisc., home.

Two other officers were also wounded in that shooting.

Earlier this month, a U.S. marshal was killed and two St. Louis police officers wounded following a standoff with a suspect they were attempting to arrest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Sunday
Feb272011

Trapped 14-Month-Old Rescued From Inside Bank's Vault

Photo Courtesy - WSB-TV Atlanta(CONYERS, Ga.) -- Firefighters worked ferociously for several hours this weekend to free a 14-month-old toddler who had wandered into a Conyers, Ga., bank vault and became trapped.

After pumping oxygen into the air-tight vault at the Wells Fargo bank in Conyers, rescue workers and a safe technician were able to reach the crying toddler, who was trapped for approximately four hours.

According to a spokesman for the Conyers Police Department, the baby and her mother, who are the grandchild and daughter of one of the bank's employees, were inside the premises at the bank's closing time. Soon the toddler began to wander around the bank, and unbeknownst to her mother, walked into the bank's vault.

The vault, which is fitted with a time-lock close, must have shut immediately after the child wandered inside, according to ABC News affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta.

Wells Fargo spokesman Jay Lawrence told WSB-TV that the baby was not in any danger. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan262011

Courts Deny Stay of Execution for Lethal Injection Drug Probe

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tuesday night, the full Court released an order denying a last minute stay of the execution of Emanuel Hammond, a Georgia man accused of the murder of teacher Julie Love in 1988. Just two hours prior, Justice Thomas temporarily granted a delay in the execution -- "pending further order" -- of the Court. But later, the Court released  an order saying that Thomas had referred the matter to the full Court, and the full Court decided to deny Hammond's request to delay his execution.

Hammond's lawyers had argued that they wanted more time to investigate Georgia's supply of a lethal injection drug. The lawyers said that because the drug -- sodium thiopental -- is in short supply in the U.S., states are relying on shady sources to get the drug. Hammond's lawyers claim Georgia ordered the drug from Dream Pharma -- a London company based in a driving school and say they are unsure whether the drug is expired or even labeled properly.

The only U.S. manufacturer, Hospira, has announced it's halting production. Nearly all of the 39 states that permit lethal injection use sodium thiopental.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

East Coast Digging Out From Latest Storm

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BOSTON) -- New England is digging out Thursday after the region's third storm in three weeks dumped more than two feet of snow in some areas, including a one-day record for Boston.

Heavy snow added hundreds of pounds of weight to trees. Around Boston, a foot of snow hindered the city leaving over 100,000 customers without power statewide. The lights could be dark for four days in some places.

The deep freeze continues in the southeast, as crews in Georgia continue working to clear major highways. They say the roads are still blocked by cars left during Sunday night's storm. 

In Atlanta, schools are closed for the fourth day in a row -- incredibly rare for that part of the U.S. -- and driving conditions on busy I-85 remain treacherous with accidents littering the highway for miles. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

Body of Georgia Probation Officer Found

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(DECATUR, Georgia) -- The body of a Georgia mother who was abducted while talking on her cell phone more than a year ago has been discovered, police said Monday.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said in an email that officials used dental records to identify Kristi Cornwell, 38, of Blairsville, Ga. He did not say how Cornwell died, but more information is expected to be released.

Cornwell was a probation officer and mother of a 15-year-old boy at the time of her disappearance. She was talking on her cell phone to her boyfriend Douglas Davis while out for an evening walk Aug. 11, 2009.

Davis told the police that Cornwell said a car was approaching her. He then heard sounds of a struggle. Cornwell yelled, "Don't take me!" Then, Davis lost reception.

Cornwell's brother, Richard Cornwell, told ABC News in August that investigators were unsure whether his sister's abduction was random or if she was targeted, possibly in relation to her job as a former probation officer.

Based on the woman's description, the suspect is believed to be a white male in his mid-20s with dark hair. He may be driving a silver, late-model Nissan Xterra with tinted windows and a brush guard on the front.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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