Across Georgia

Atlanta police chief announces resignation


ATLANTA - Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington has announced he will resign at the end of the year.

Pennington's top deputy, Alan Dreher, also announced his departure Tuesday, saying he would leave the department Dec. 8.

The two had worked together in Washington, D.C. Pennington was hired away from the New Orleans Police Department in May 2002 after a five-month search.

Pennington was credited with cleaning up the New Orleans department and more than 350 police officers were indicted, fired or disciplined for misconduct under his tenure.

He said crime is down 25 percent, but the statistics haven't appeased a growing number of detractors. A series of brazen crimes this year has led to widespread criticism of Pennington's leadership.

The 62-year-old said he has no plans to leave Atlanta and will do some consulting work among other projects.

Georgia church robber: "Sorry but I'm poor"

ELLENWOOD, Ga. - Officials at an Ellenwood church are repairing damage left by an apologetic robber who asked the Lord for forgiveness - but still made off with the loot.

The Rev. Roger Davis tells WSB-TV in a Tuesday story that the church was robbed of expensive equipment including microphones and a laptop containing important records. The robber broke locks and busted up the church's safe, but it was empty.

A message saying "Sorry but I'm poor. Forgive me Lord" was written on a wall after the weekend break-in.

It was the fourth time the church has been robbed in two years.

Davis joked he's considering putting up a note of his own.

He said it'll tell those thinking of robbing the church to call him instead and parishioners will take up a collection for them.

Ex-UGA student posts bail in fraternity beating

ATHENS, Ga. - A former University of Georgia student has posted bail on charges he held a Clemson University student against his will at a local fraternity and beat him.

An Athens-Clarke Magistrate Court judge set a $7,000 bond for 23-year-old Gene Whitner Milner III and he was released Monday.

UGA police allege that Milner held and beat the 18-year-old Clemson student early Nov. 15 in the basement of the Chi Phi fraternity. Police charged the on-and-off UGA student with false imprisonment, a felony, and misdemeanor battery.

Milner told the Athens Banner-Herald he only happened to be in the area when the victim came running from Chi Phi about 3:20 a.m., just as a UGA police officer was driving by.

Milner is scheduled to appear in Clarke County Magistrate Court on Dec. 15.

ATM found in bed of stolen truck left in Ga. woods

ATHENS, Ga. - An ATM machine that was stolen four months ago has been found in a wooded area - minus the cash.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports Tuesday that a man who was looking for poachers on his land found the machine Monday morning.

It was still in the bed of a pickup truck that was stolen from an Athens used car lot the same day the Wachovia ATM was swiped. The machine was busted open and the money was gone.

Officials say a well-organized gang of thieves stole the machine July 20 and has stolen more than a dozen ATMs since December 2007.

A stolen forklift was used to wrench the ATM from its foundation and load it into the truck. Bank ATMs can contain $10,000 or more.

Wachovia is offering up to $20,000 for information leading to the thieves' arrest.