Across the region

Officers accused of beating teens


DECATUR, GA. — Three DeKalb County police officers were charged Thursday with beating four handcuffed teenagers, three of whom were juveniles at the time, in an investigation that prosecutors say could be part of a broader pattern of abuse.

Officers Blake Norwood and Arthur Parker were indicted along with Sgt. Anthony Robinson on charges of aggravated assault, battery, making a false statement and violating their oath of office. Police officials say Norwood and Parker have resigned.

The first beating occurred in December 2010, when, prosecutors said, officers responding to a burglary call encountered three suspects who were 15 and 16 at the time. James said Robinson ordered the two officers to punch and kick the teens, leaving them battered and bruised.

Then, in November, prosecutors say the three were involved in the beating of 18-year-old Travarrius Williams, a burglary suspect who prosecutors said was attacked after he spat in an officer’s face as he was headed to the county jail. Williams was left with a broken tooth and internal injuries, authorities say.

170 teachers to be let go in Clayton

JONESBORO, GA. — Officials say about 170 teachers have been notified that their contracts have not been renewed for next school year in Clayton County, one of several Georgia school systems struggling with budget woes.

School board members meeting this week say they want more information on planned cuts in the district’s Career Technical and Agricultural Education program. About 20 of the 170 teachers whose contracts haven’t been renewed are in the technical program. The planned cuts come four months after Gov. Nathan Deal launched Go Build Georgia, an initiative to create more skilled trade and technical workers by beefing up training programs in Georgia’s secondary schools.

School board Chairwoman Pam Adamson says the board could still reverse the decision not to renew teachers’ contracts.

MetLife buys posh Reynolds resort

ATLANTA — An agreement has been announced for the sale of posh golf community Reynolds Plantation.

New York-based insurance and financial services giant MetLife said its agreement includes six golf courses, four marinas, nearly 5,000 acres of undeveloped land and the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee.

MetLife says Birmingham, Ala.-based Daniel Corp. will oversee Reynolds Plantation.

In February 2011, Linger Longer Development Co. Chairman and Reynolds Plantation developer Mercer Reynolds told members the company’s lenders were demanding repayment of debt and offered to sell the members the community’s public areas for $45 million.

The members declined and a bank-appointed receiver was hired last year to operate the clubs and market the community and undeveloped land.

Serial bank robber hunted in Atlanta

ATLANTA — The FBI and police in metro Atlanta are hunting for a serial bank robber suspected of striking seven banks in DeKalb County.

Authorities say the heists started in July 2011, with the most recent crime on Monday afternoon.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials say the robber fled without any money after showing a note and threatening to shoot the teller in Monday’s robbery at a SunTrust Bank inside a Publix grocery store.

In each robbery, the robber has given the teller a note demanding money and threatening to use a gun.

Investigators say they think the robber is connected to four robberies in the Stone Mountain area and three in the Decatur area.

Panel might delay primary vote in SC

COLUMBIA — A three-judge panel will meet next week to consider delaying South Carolina’s June 12 primaries in the wake of a state Supreme Court decision that removed nearly 200 candidates from ballots.

U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie heard arguments Thursday from an attorney for Amanda Somers, who says her candidacy was thrown into question after justices ruled financial- and candidate-intent paperwork must be filed at the same time. Somers was ultimately allowed on the ballot.

Currie allowed a Senate candidate from Edgefield who was tossed off to join the suit.

While disregarding several arguments, Currie says allegations the state violated federal law in sending separate ballots overseas for federal and local races may have merit.

Some counties have yet to send out a second round of ballots following the court decision.

Officer appeals her firing over search

COLUMBIA — A high-ranking Columbia police officer fired over the handling of the investigation into a missing state lobbyist says she was discriminated against because she is a woman.

Isa Greene said during a grievance hearing over her firing Wednesday that she was singled out because she was not part of Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott’s hand-picked inner circle of men.

Greene says she was on vacation the first two days South Carolina Hospitality Association Director Tom Sponseller was missing. She says critical clues that could have helped find him quicker were missed.

Deputy Chief Les Wiser says Greene never went to Sponseller’s office and was a poor supervisor.

It took 10 days for authorities to find Sponseller’s body in a locked room in his office’s parking garage. He had committed suicide.

In other news

CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL Day was marked Thursday in the city where the Civil War began with a somber, reflective ceremony in which dozens of descendants of Southern troops described where their ancestors fought and many of them died. About 100 people gathered on the Charleston Battery as a wreath was placed at a monument dedicated to the Southern defenders of Charleston.



Wed, 02/21/2018 - 20:02

Local clergy react to Graham’s death