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Aircraft broker charged with fraud

ALBANY, GA. — Federal prosecutors have accused a licensed aircraft broker from Carrollton of conspiring to defraud seven southwest Georgia banks of loans totaling $3.1 million.

The Albany Herald reported that Sidney Hall pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance Fri­day. He faces bank fraud and identity theft charges.

The indictment says Hall went to each of the seven banks and took out thousands of dollars in loans to buy aircraft, many of which he had already used as collateral at other banks.

Prosecutors say he also used the identification of banking officials to prepare documents to release liens placed on two aircraft.

Lightning might have caused death

PEACHTREE CITY, GA. — Authorities say one man died and another was injured in a possible lightning strike at Lake Peachtree.

Peachtree City Fire and Rescue Department battalion Commander Ron Mundy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that 52-year-old Burnette Hayes died after suffering a heart attack Friday. Mundy said another man was found unconscious but received treatment.

Wanted man jokes with police officer

ATHENS, GA. — A 19-year-old man was arrested after he called attention to himself by joking with an officer.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported Officer Jerry Johnson was starting a bicycle patrol Thursday when a man called out to him from a swing in a nearby playground, “Hey Johnson, let a young man have a bike.”

Johnson recognized Dontavous Bernard Malcom and knew he had an outstanding arrest warrant.

Court records show Malcom last month violated his probation on drug and obstruction charges by not paying fees.

As the officer walked Malcom to his patrol car, a pill bottle fell from his pocket and he crushed it with his foot. Police say the bottle contained crack cocaine.

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