Across Georgia

State needs help in caring for animals


CONCORD - The state will seize nearly 100 horses found starving on a farm 45 miles south of Atlanta and will seek public help in caring for the animals, Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said.

The 98 horses were among more than 200 animals, including cows, goats and dogs, discovered at the farm last week after complaints about the animals' condition from neighbors.

The horses got food Monday when volunteers brought in truckloads of hay and oats.

Mr. Irvin said earlier this week that the state might seize about half the horses and work with the owner to make sure the rest are properly cared for. Because some of the horses have a transmittable disease called strangles, they must be quarantined, he said.

He said his department's Equine Impound Program receives no state funds.

Scott Ballard, the district attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which includes Pike County, said warrants were expected to be issued for animal cruelty in the case.

Counties consider landfill expansion

ATHENS - The Northeast Georgia Regional Solid Waste Authority is asking 10 county governments to say whether they will oppose the expansion of a privately owned Barrow County landfill, and, so far, four have said they will not.

The Oak Grove landfill, the largest landfill in the immediate Athens area, will be full in about two years.

But the company that owns it has asked the state Environmental Protection Division to approve an unusual expansion plan - the company wants to begin putting waste in a kind of valley formed by an old landfill and the nearly full landfill next to it.

Northeast Georgia has less landfill capacity than any other part of the state, according to the state Department of Community Affairs. The proposed expansion could extend the life of the Oak Grove landfill by 10 years, according to owner Republic Services Inc.

Soldiers seeking move could be sent to Iraq

FORT STEWART - The commander of Fort Stewart's 3rd Infantry Division said Thursday that soldiers planning to leave the Army or move to another post might be held back and deployed to Iraq instead.

Invoking an authority similar to the Army's "stop-loss" program, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch has ordered departing soldiers to stay put to preserve the division's troop strength as it heads into an unprecedented third combat tour in Iraq.

While not an official stop-loss or stop-move order, which can be issued only by the Army's personnel command, Maj. Gen. Lynch's order has a similar effect - retaining soldiers beyond their separation or retirement dates.

- Edited from wire reports