Across Georgia

Activist's father dies on road's blind curve


MACON - The father of an activist opposing a road widening project died Saturday after being hit by a car as he crossed the road targeted by the plan.

Macon police spokeswoman Sgt. Melanie Hofmann said a car driven by 34-year-old Malaika Johnson struck Peter Holliday Jr., 85, as he crossed Forest Hill Road after checking his mail just before 3 p.m. An earlier car had swerved to avoid hitting Mr. Holliday, Sgt. Hofmann said.

"It's a blind curve and people go too fast," said Mr. Holliday's son, Lindsay Holliday, adding that the posted speed limit is 35 mph. "The cars just kept getting faster and he kept getting slower."

Lindsay Holliday has been a vocal opponent of widening portions of Forest Hill Road.

Soldier's family sues hotel where he died

SAVANNAH - The family of the soldier whose disappearance sparked a massive manhunt before his body was found in a hotel air conditioner has sued the hotel for $10 million.

The lawsuit claims the Hilton Savannah DeSoto was negligent.

"The defendants had a duty to maintain a safe area in its hotel, and to place appropriate warning signs and maintain locks on doors that led to its electric and air conditioning units," the lawsuit read.

Army Spc. Robert Hornbeck, 23, bled to death April 16 after being struck by fan blades in a hotel air conditioner. He had returned to Georgia in January from a yearlong tour in Iraq and was scheduled to complete his military service just days after he was found dead.

Hotel spokesman Ted Robertson declined to comment.

Workers found Spc. Hornbeck's body inside the air-conditioning unit April 28, nearly two weeks after he disappeared after spending a night on River Street with an Army buddy.

Investigators think Spc. Hornbeck broke into the maintenance area, climbed a small stairwell and entered the room-size air-conditioning blower unit through a service panel door.

Heavy rains needed for fish repopulation

SAVANNAH - More heavy rain will be needed during the next several weeks to rebuild Georgia's river panfish populations, in particular redbreasts, to their 2006 levels.

The prolonged drought conditions last summer and fall dropped river flows to their lowest in several years, so low that fall studies weren't even possible in some areas.

Even with river levels now climbing, allowing some flow into the flood plains, Department of Natural Resources fishery biologists monitoring the rivers aren't expecting redbreast numbers to be as plentiful as last year without some sustained flooding of the lowlands and swamps bordering the river channels.