Across Georgia

Lawmakers debate flu vaccine investment


ATLANTA - A fight is brewing over how much money Georgia should invest to prepare for a possible flu pandemic.

Some lawmakers are questioning whether the state should spend millions of dollars to stockpile an antiviral drug that might not be effective against a pandemic that might never happen. Others say that even the chance that the drug might save lives makes it worth the money.

A proposal by Gov. Sonny Perdue to spend $15.7 million on Tamiflu was slashed by House budget writers last week to just $7 million.

Boy who strayed from home found in lagoon

SAVANNAH - The body of a 12-year-old boy who wandered off from his parents' home Saturday afternoon was found Sunday in a lagoon not far from his home, police said.

Authorities described the boy, Thy Nyugen, as autistic and unable to speak. His parents called police at about 6 p.m. Saturday to say their son had strayed from their Whitemarsh Island home.

More indoor marijuana operations discovered

ATHENS - In recent weeks, thousands of marijuana plants worth millions of dollars have been uncovered in more than 70 houses, authorities said.

Until this year, indoor grow houses were "very uncommon for Georgia," said Ruth Porter-Whipple, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In contrast, authorities found only nine indoor grow houses in 2005 and 2006 in Georgia. Growers once used remote countryside spots to grow the illegal plants, but they have been forced to move their operations indoors as authorities became adept at spotting plants from the air.

Man hit by train only suffers bruised leg

MACON - A man believed to be homeless suffered only a bruised leg when he was struck by a train in downtown Macon.

Capt. Kenneth Nobles of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department said the driver of the train saw a man, identified as Christopher Moreland, 32, on the tracks at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday and hit the brakes. Still, Mr. Moreland's leg was pinched by one of the train's front wheels.

He was taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia and was treated for a bruise on his leg, Capt. Nobles told The Macon Telegraph, .