Across Georgia

Ga. county indicts 14 suspected gang members


DECATUR, Ga. - A DeKalb County grand jury has indicted 14 people suspected of being associated with a metro Atlanta street gang called DAFAM.

The 95-count indictment charges the suspects with violations of Georgia's anti-gang laws, including aggravated assault with weapons, armed robberies, possession of illegal drugs and carrying a weapon in a school zone.

Authorities say DAFAM is a "hybrid gang" - one in which members mix and match traditions of established gangs and have very loose affiliations with traditional gangs.

The indictment hinged on the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, a statute which the Georgia Supreme Court upheld as constitutional in January 2009.

Police charge woman who caused wreck injuring 14

DULUTH, Ga. - Gwinnett County police have arrested a 32-year-old woman they say caused a bus carrying developmentally disabled adults to overturn on Interstate 85 in suburban Atlanta.

Police say the car driven by Joy Christine Wilson of Lawrenceville hit the back of the bus Wednesday morning, causing it to skid across several lanes and flip on its side. Police say she has been charged with felony hit and run and driving under the influence.

The wreck left three passengers with life-threatening injuries, nine with serious injuries and two with minor injuries. Five passengers were ejected from the bus.

Police say Wilson stopped after the accident but left before police arrived.

The wreck shut down northbound lanes on the interstate, backing up traffic for miles. The small bus was operated by Just People Inc., which spokeswoman Kelly Salyers says was transporting the passengers, all developmentally disabled adults, to an art class.

Man shoots into air to summon ambulance

MACON, Ga. - Police have cited a 55-year-old Macon man with unlawfully firing a gun after they say he shot into the air when an ambulance he called didn't arrive fast enough.

Macon police responded to a call of shots fired Monday. When they arrived, Isaiah Morgan told them he was a diabetic and called 911 for help.

He told police he was shooting because the ambulance didn't come fast enough. Police say nobody was injured, though a stray bullet did damage a nearby apartment.

Morgan was treated for the effects of low blood sugar after the incident. It's unclear how long he had to wait for the ambulance.

Ga. gets more than $25 million to aid homeless

ATLANTA - Groups that work to help Georgia's homeless will share more than $25 million in federal funds awarded Wednesday.

The cash from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will go to 137 local homeless assistance programs across the state. It's part of nearly $1.4 billion being handed out to thousands of programs across the country to offer housing and services to the homeless.

HUD says the grants announced Wednesday are aimed at reducing long-term homelessness nationwide.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says the grants are made during the winter to ensure programs can keep their doors open during the coldest time of the year.

Census estimates Ga. population at 9.8 million

New U.S. Census figures show Georgia's population grew by 131,373 in the year that ended July 1, keeping the state in ninth place overall.

The figures released Wednesday put Georgia's population at 9,829,211, compared with 9,697,838 on July 1, 2008. It stood at 8,186,781 at the 2000 official census.

The state's population growth was substantially lower than the estimated increase of 162,447 the previous year.

Eighth-place Michigan is estimated to have lost more than 30,000 residents in the most recent estimate, putting it about 140,000 ahead of Georgia. The state remains about 450,000 ahead of 10th-place North Carolina.

California remains atop the list with nearly 37 million people.

Ex-official in Ga. city pleads guilty to theft

ALBANY, Ga. - A former official in Albany and Dougherty County has pleaded guilty to charges that he used his position to funnel money to his wife and former girlfriend.

Don Buie, former downtown manager and executive director of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to nine felony counts, including theft by taking by a government official, making false statements and concealing facts from a political subdivision.

The Albany Herald reports that Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall sentenced Buie to one year in jail and nine years probation. In addition, Buie is barred from ever working for a government entity, must pay $5,000 restitution and is banished from Dougherty County.

The plea deal was reached after a trial jury said it could not reach a verdict on the charges.

SUV crashes through wall into business in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. - No serious injuries were reported after an SUV went through the wall of a Columbus business.

Columbus Police Lt. Tommy Danford told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that the accident happened at about 6 p.m. when a Ford Explorer ran out of control on River Road and went through the wall of a business, Cargill Design Build Remodel.

Danford said the man driving the vehicle appeared to suffer injuries to a hand and was taken to a Columbus hospital. No one else was injured.

Danford said when fire fighters first arrived they reported black smoke coming from the building. But he said the smoke was coming from the vehicle's tires.

Man shot by police after fleeing from traffic stop

ATLANTA - Atlanta police say a young man has been shot after fleeing police during a traffic stop.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on its Web site that the shooting occurred about 4 p.m. Wednesday in Thomasville Heights in southeast Atlanta.

Atlanta Police spokesman James Polite said an officer was patrolling in the area and attempted to stop a car with three men inside. When the car slowed down one of the men jumped out and started to run.

Polite said the officer ran after the man who at some point stopped and pointed a handgun at the officer. Polite said the officer fired and hit the suspect "in the arm area."

The suspect was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. His name has not been released.