Across Georgia

Atlanta deploys boot for parking violators


ATLANTA --- Drivers returning to cars parked illegally on Atlanta streets might find the vehicles have been booted.

Atlanta has begun enforcing an ordinance that targets violators with at least three outstanding parking tickets. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says drivers will have to pay $50 a day to remove the boot.

The new law is part of a plan called PARKatlanta that also calls for meter installation and maintenance, meter revenue collection, electronic processing of ticketing and payments and delinquent collections.

Rainfall frees state from drought status

ATLANTA --- After three years of drought conditions, north and central Georgia saw above-average rainfall in 2009.

The National Weather Service reports that the rainfall total in Columbus reached 80.2 inches, more than 30 inches above average, giving the west Georgia city its wettest year on record. Atlanta had its second wettest year and Macon its third wettest.

South Georgia saw less rain, with Albany's total hovering around normal and Valdosta's falling nearly 10 inches below normal. Along the coast, Brunswick was in line with the average, while Savannah got nearly a foot more than usual.

The Keetch-Byram drought index showed Georgia was free of drought conditions at year's end.

Resident spots man wanted in slaying

JONESBORO --- A man wanted for questioning in a Dec. 6 slaying has been found.

Police say a Jonesboro resident helped them apprehend Orlando Jackson, along with 24-year-old Marcus Griffin.

Clayton County police spokesman India Smith said the resident noticed two men at a vacant, bank-owned foreclosure home Thursday morning and called police. Officers saw the suspects run behind the house and tracked them down.

Mr. Smith said Mr. Griffin had a gun in his backpack.

Police have been looking for Mr. Griffin since the Dec. 6 killing of 19-year-old Djwan Crocker in Ellenwood. Kleo Hughley, 20, was previously charged with felony murder in that killing, but police continue to search for other suspects.

In other news

A FALLING BULLET from celebratory gunfire killed a 4-year-old boy attending a New Year's Eve church service. DeKalb police spokesman Jason Gagnon said it appears the bullet came through the roof of the Church of God of Prophecy in Decatur and hit the boy in the head. The church's pastor identified the boy as Marquel Peters.