Across Georgia

Report says court's staffing level is fine


JEFFERSON - Six months after a state agency was unable to decide whether the Jackson County State Court is understaffed, a new report says the court does not need any more workers.

But the new report only continues a fight between commissioners upset at the court's operations and its solicitor, who says his office is overworked and needs a larger staff.

In June, a state Administrative Office of the Courts analysis could not say with any certainty how many cases appear before Jackson County State Court each year - a point Solicitor Don Moore says shows the office needs more personnel. But the new report contradicts Mr. Moore's claim.

The new report offers a number of recommendations to improve the court's operations, including reducing the number of continuances granted, making better use of technology and identifying and trying older and more serious cases first.

Man must pay for his bid to unseat official

DANIELSVILLE - A man who tried to unseat a Madison County commissioner by a recall now must pay the commissioner's legal expenses.

Jerry Williams of Ila must pony up $7,062.22 for Commissioner Stanley Thomas' legal fees, ruled Madison County Superior Court Senior Judge T. Penn McWhorter.

Mr. Williams was motivated by Mr. Thomas' vote on a rezoning request on land near Mr. Williams' property, not by the reasons Georgia cites as justification to recall an elected official, the judge ruled.

District will teach reading via computer

ATHENS - The Clarke County School District plans to start using a computer-based reading education program next week at seven schools to help pupils get higher reading scores on state standardized tests.

The district plans to teach pupils using Fast ForWord, software based on neuroscience that helps pupils learn words faster in part by altering the speed and pitch of the smallest parts of speech.

Cemetery vandalism leads to evictions

MELDRIM - A cemetery was vandalized over the weekend, and two families have reportedly been evicted from their apartments as a result.

Statuary and decorative items on graves were trampled, smashed and thrown around Oak Hill Cemetery on Friday night, said Stephen Newsome, the president of the Meldrim Civic Club.

A teenager confessed to the vandalism Monday, Mr. Newsome said. The alleged participant then reportedly revealed the identities of two others involved to the Effingham County Sheriff's Department.

Capt. Mike Bohannon said the case is under investigation.

- Edited from wire reports