Across Georgia

Air stunts might have preceded plane crash


ATLANTA - The pilot of a plane that crashed in west Georgia last week, killing himself and four others, might have been performing acrobatic maneuvers in the air before the crash, according to a preliminary federal report.

A witness said it sounded as if the pilot, Jesse Champion, 34, was performing acrobatic moves just before the twin-engine plane crashed April 22 in Harris County near Pine Mountain, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report released Monday.

The crash also killed 15-year-old twin brothers Chris and Mike McCarthy and their father, Mark. The fifth victim was Jim Cox. The Federal Aviation Administration said no distress calls were received before the crash.

Councilman arrested for drunken driving

PEMBROKE - Pembroke City Councilman Elijah Lewis Jr., 60, was arrested on a drunken driving charge Sunday at 1:40 a.m.

It was Mr. Lewis' fourth DUI arrest and his second in the past two years, according to the Pembroke Police Department incident report.

Early Sunday morning, Pembroke Officer William Kile said he saw a 1990 Lincoln Town Car traveling 26 mph in a 45 mph zone on U.S. Highway 280. Officer Kile said he stopped the vehicle after it crossed the center line twice.

The officer said he saw an open 12-pack of beer in the car and detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Mr. Lewis. Mr. Lewis was arrested after he failed four field-sobriety tests.

Mr. Lewis was taken to the Bryan County Sheriff's Office, where one blood alcohol test resulted in a reading of .164 and a second test read .156. In Georgia a reading of .08 or higher automatically results in a DUI charge.

Cyclist survives crash with drunken driver

ATHENS - A University of Georgia student remained in critical condition Monday with severe head injuries after a suspected drunken driver collided with him Friday as he rode a bicycle on Prince Avenue, an Athens Regional Medical Center spokesman said Monday.

Ironically, the collision reportedly happened as 21-year-old Samuel Lane was riding to meet up with fellow activists who promote motorists sharing roadways with bicyclists.

College names acting president until July 1

EASTMAN - Gil Calhoun has been named acting president of Georgia Aviation Technical College, the Department of Technical and Adult Education announced.

Mr. Calhoun previously served as the vice president of administration at the college.

He will lead the college until July 1, when it merges with Middle Georgia College in Cochran, according to a news release.

- Edited from wire reports