Across Georgia

Man burned walking into fallen power line


SAVANNAH - A Savannah man was hospitalized after walking into a power line carrying 7,620 volts in Lafayette Square, where heavy weekend storms had left the damaged line dangling.

Jason Nielubowicz suffered burns and minor cuts to his right hand and foot, according to a police report.

Mr. Nielubowicz was walking through the downtown square just before 2 a.m. Sunday when "he felt electricity go through him and throw him to the ground," said the report by Savannah-Chatham County police.

Police were already in the area after receiving calls of a possible blown electrical transformer and heard Mr. Nielubowicz screaming.

Georgia Power crews also heard him cry out and immediately cut the power to the lines, said company spokesman Tal Wright. He said the crews had just arrived at Lafayette Square to fix the damaged lines.

Storms that moved through Savannah on Saturday night knocked out power to about 1,500 Georgia Power customers in Chatham County.

Optical illusion may slow traffic in curve

ATHENS - Traffic engineers might have successfully tricked motorists into slowing down on Epps Bridge Parkway over Atlanta Highway.

Three motorists died in separate crashes last year on the overpass, over the guardrail on a curve.

Engineers determined the 45-mph speed limit was safe, but they installed peripheral transverse striping.

Also called speed bars, they are white parallel lines leading from the shoulder into the roadway. The distance between them gradually decreases farther into the curve, giving motorists the illusion they're going faster than they are.

Political power shift kills drawbridge plan

SAVANNAH - Efforts to find money to replace an old drawbridge along Diamond Causeway and make road improvements to and from Skidaway Island have stalled.

Assistant Chatham County Manager Pat Monahan said last week the county will not get federal dollars earmarked for the proposed improvements because "in Washington, D.C., the Democrats said 'No' to certain earmarked projects.''

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston tried to reintroduce the funding, Mr. Monahan said, but the project did not make the house transportation funding bill.

A lack of state funding already has pushed the project back to 2011, but county commissioners say they will proceed with construction plans.

"This is a high-priority project for this board," said County Manager Russ Abolt. "We need to do all we can to get (residents) off the island in event of emergency, such as a hurricane."

- Edited from wire reports