Across Georgia

Dead immigrant's son is in fair condition


ATLANTA - The condition of the 7-year-old son of a Kenyan immigrant beaten to death in her home along with her two teenage daughters has been upgraded to fair, a spokesman for a children's hospital said.

Jeremy Kuria has improved since he was hospitalized in critical condition after he was found unconscious Aug. 1 by police officers called to a house in the Atlanta suburb of Powder Springs, said Brant Rawls, a spokesman for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. His cousin Peter Thainde, also found unconscious at the home, is in fair condition, Mr. Rawls said.

Jeremy's mother, Jane Kuria, 46, and her daughters, Isabela, 19, and Annabell, 16, were seeking asylum in the United States, but Ms. Kuria was recently denied, her immigration lawyer Charles H. Kuck said.

Judges order county to build courthouse

MACON - Bibb County's judges think they need a new place to work - and have written the court order to prove it.

The county's five Superior Court judges filed a judicial order this week requiring county commissioners to build a new courthouse facility in Macon within the next two years.

"Overall, the Bibb County Courthouse, in its present state, is simply no longer suitable or adequate for the safe and proper processing of criminal or civil matters," said the order, obtained Friday by The Macon Telegraph.

Commissioners say there's no way to afford the price tag - which could be as high as $75 million - in the county's $83 million annual budget.

Zoo officials say age led to giraffe's death

ATLANTA - A 23-year-old giraffe who spent the past 18 years at Zoo Atlanta has died, officials said.

Betunia, a female Masai giraffe, had looked ill early Thursday and was taken off display, the zoo said. She died not long after the zoo closed.

They do not think Thursday's record 103-degree heat was responsible for the animal's death, said Dwight Lawson, the zoo's senior vice president of collections. Giraffes are native to Africa, "where it gets blazingly hot," he said.

He said age likely was more of a factor. Giraffes typically live 20-25 years in captivity.

Sheriff serves double duty in two counties

NASHVILLE - Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk will have extra duty for a few weeks - serving as Berrien County's sheriff, too.

Berrien's former sheriff, Jerry Brogdon, resigned after reaching a plea agreement on a federal charge, and the probate judge and the Berrien County Board of Commissioners asked Sheriff Paulk to serve until Coroner Bob Lovein can be appointed.