Across Georgia

Cause of duplex fire is being investigated


GAINESVILLE --- Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire in a duplex near Gainesville in which a woman was found dead.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle says the woman was the only resident of one unit of a mill house that had been converted into a duplex. Firefighters got the call about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Mr. Cagle says firefighters found the victim on the floor of a downstairs bedroom. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death. Mr. Cagle says it appears her death was related to the fire, which he says apparently started in the bedroom.

Lawmakers question purchasing card use

ATLANTA --- State lawmakers had pointed questions for the head of the agency that oversees purchasing cards amid reports of misuse.

House and Senate members questioned Brad Douglas, commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, on Tuesday on his efforts to reduce the number of so-called p-cards in circulation at state agencies and tighten rules on their use. They also questioned his desire to control the program. Mr. Douglas' department receives about $5 million in rebates from Bank of America based on card usage, he said.

Tractor-trailer wreck kills Guyton woman

GUYTON --- A Guyton resident was killed Tuesday morning after an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Yolanda Elizabeth Miller, 41, was driving westbound on U.S. 80 in a blue 1994 Chevrolet pickup about 6:45 a.m. when an eastbound tractor-trailer tried to turn left onto Jimmy DeLoach Parkway and turned in front of her, Rincon Post commander Sgt. Jason Riner told the Savannah Morning News .

Watchdog wants feds to stop bioresearch lab

ATHENS --- A critic of a proposed $450 million federal bio-research lab that might come to Athens called on the federal government Tuesday to cancel the project, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Edward Hammond, U.S. Director of the Sunshine Project, a Texas-based watchdog group, told about 250 people at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education that the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility's research will be far more dangerous than the Department of Homeland Security is letting on.

He disagreed with assertions from federal and University of Georgia officials that NBAF will include only diseases that are transmitted from animal to animal or animal to human.

-- Edited from wire reports