Across Georgia

Nearly 75 percent of refuge has burned


FOLKSTON, GA. --- Authorities say fire has now burned nearly 75 percent of the 430,000-acre Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near the Georgia-Florida line.

Fire officials tell the Florida Times-Union they're still watching areas already scorched because "reburns" can bring new threats, including one blaze three days ago near the visitor center at Suwannee Canal Recreation Area.

Crews are also assessing and marking hazardous trees along trails before they can reopen the refuge to visitors.

The trail that fared worst was the 4,000-foot boardwalk at the end of Swamp Island Drive, which was almost completely destroyed.

'Chicken man' says birds were poisoned

ROSWELL, GA. --- A man who raises chickens in Roswell told police that someone broke into his hen houses last week and also spread poison all over his yard, killing 50 of his birds.

Andrew Wordes, known around the Atlanta suburb as the "chicken man," says he believes his birds are being targeted.

Roswell police were called to his Alpine Drive home on Friday, after Wordes discovered someone had entered his basement and released all his baby chicks into his backyard.

"I've lost fifty babies," he told WGCL-TV. "They never had a chance to see what life is like."

Wordes gained notoriety in 2009, when city officials cited him for raising poultry in his backyard, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He handed out 500 chicks, and supporters wore yellow T-shirts and "I Love Chickens" buttons to his court hearing.