Across the region

Cheating probed in Dougherty County


ALBANY, GA. — State investigators say as many as 10 principals and 50 teachers could be caught up in a cheating investigation in Dougherty County.

Investigator Mike Bowers said he and fellow investigator Robert Wilson have conducted almost 600 interviews with educators in the south Georgia school district. Bowers said he hopes to have the final report finished by early December.

The Dougherty County school board is forming a tribunal to hold hearings for educators named in the report. The tribunal will make recommendations to the school board on how to handle each case.

It’s the second of such probes Bowers has conducted. In July, a state report revealed widespread cheating in more than 40 Atlanta schools. The investigation could lead to criminal charges for nearly 180 educators.

Small earthquake hits west Georgia

TRION, GA. A small earthquake struck northwest Georgia near the Alabama border Sunday morning.

A 1.9 magnitude quake hit near Trion, Ga., about 7 a.m. Sunday. The quake was likely too small to be felt by most residents.

No damage was reported from the tremors.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the quake was about four miles deep. It struck about 7 miles northwest of Trion.

Prefiling begins in Georgia Legislature

ATLANTA — Georgia legislators may begin to submit bills in advance of the 2012 legislative session.

Prefiling of bills begins today at the state Capitol.

Because 2012 is the second of a two-year legislative cycle, bills introduced last year that failed to move forward are still up for consideration. Many lawmakers prefile bills to get a jump on the busy schedule once the session starts.

Next year’s legislative session begins Jan. 9.

Taxes and job creation are expected to be hot topics at the Capitol.

Man kills 2, leads police on chase

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Spartanburg deputies have arrested a man they say shot and killed his wife and brother-in-law, wounded a sister-in-law and led authorities on a chase.

Sheriff Chuck Wright said Jefferson Perry shot and killed his wife, Barbara Perry, around 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the couple’s home. Wright said Jefferson Perry then walked across the street and killed Donald Stephens and shot his wife, Gloria Stephens.

Authorities said Jefferson Perry fled the scene and led deputies on a chase on Interstate I-85 at speeds over 100 mph.

The chase ended in Cherokee County, where Highway Patrol deputies bumped Perry’s car off the road. Wright said deputies shot Perry after he pointed a gun at authorities.

Perry was airlifted to a hospital.

Alcohol poisoning possible in death

CLEMSON, S.C. — Authorities say a 19-year-old Clemson University student was pronounced dead shortly after his roommate found him unresponsive in their off-campus apartment.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley says Tyler J. Karolczyk of Mount Pleasant was pronounced dead just before 11 a.m. Saturday at Oconee Memorial Hospital.

Kelley says the pre-business sophomore’s death may have been from alcohol poisoning. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Assistant Pickens County Sheriff Tim Morgan said authorities are investigating the death and awaiting toxicology tests.

Instructor admits to sex with boy

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — An instructor at Limestone College has been arrested and charged with engaging in sex acts with a young boy while video chatting with another man over the Internet.

Robert Scott Kolodzy, 30, of Gaffney, was fired Saturday from his job as an assistant athletic trainer and instructor in the physical education department, said Limestone College Communications Director Eric Lawson.

Kolodzy was arrested Thursday. The FBI says he admitted to inappropriately touching a boy while video chatting with another man from San Diego. The crimes took place in Cherokee County from December 2010 through this month.

Kolodzy was being held Sunday at the Spartanburg County jail.

Court to hear suit by ex-SLED agents

COLUMBIA — Two former employees are asking South Carolina’s high court to decide if the state police force can pay smaller salaries to retirees who return to work and use the savings to cover the agency’s portion of their pensions.

The state Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the case Wednesday from Phillip Grimsley and Roger Jowers. The former State Law Enforcement Division agents sued the agency in 2008, saying the paycheck deductions broke state law.

Under state law, state agencies are required to pay the South Carolina Retirement Systems a contribution of eligible employees’ wages toward their pensions. Employees also pay a share, which is deducted from their paychecks.

Grimsley and Jowers argue that SLED shouldn’t have also reduced their salaries by that amount – 13.6 percent, according to court filings – asking instead that the court require the agency to pay back working retirees, with interest.

– From wire reports