No charges filed against teachers
ATLANTA — The Fulton County district attorney won’t file criminal charges against a first batch of teachers implicated in the Atlanta school district’s cheating scandal, meaning the district can move forward with the process of disciplining or firing them, Superintendent Erroll Davis said Friday.
The prosecutor’s office told the school district this week that five educators have been cleared in the ongoing criminal investigation, out of almost 180 accused in the investigation that began in August 2010. Three of the five are still on the payroll, Davis said.
The five educators also could lose their teaching licenses with the state.
Some of the teachers have resigned or retired, but 120 remain employed because the district can’t move forward with due process hearings until the district attorney rules on whether to file charges in each case.
Atlanta is spending $600,000 per month paying for administrative leave for the educators six months after a state investigation revealed cheating in nearly half of the district’s 100 schools.
Gunman opens fire in hospital’s ICU
FORT OGLETHORPE, GA. — A gunman opened fire in the intensive care unit of a northwest Georgia hospital Friday night, killing his wife and mother-in-law before turning himself in to police, authorities say.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said the shooting happened around 6 p.m. at Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe.
Bankhead said the women were visiting a family member when the shooting happened. The motive for the shooting was not immediately known. Bankhead didn’t know the suspect’s name or whether any charges had been filed.
DeKalb jury finds dog owner guilty
DECATUR, GA. — A dog owner was convicted of reckless conduct Friday night, almost two years after her pit bulls shredded the arm of a young girl.
A DeKalb County jury found Twyann Vaughn guilty of two counts each of reckless conduct, violation of the county’s vicious dog ordinance and failure to have the dogs immunized for rabies.
Judge Dax Lopez sentenced Vaughn to 16 months in jail and three years on probation. The maximum penalty was five years, and prosecutors had asked for four years in jail.
In March 2010, Vaughn’s dogs tore at Erin Ingram’s flesh in front of her Lithonia home. Surgeons had to amputate part of her left arm. Ingram was 8 at the time.
Vaughn requested a shorter sentence in part so she could lobby for stricter animal control laws, something Lopez agreed would be part of her sentence.