Originally created 09/16/99

Across the area



RICHMOND COUNTY

Cleanup efforts may not be enough

Even as it prepared to consider tough new environmental regulations to clean Atlanta's air, the Georgia Board of Natural Resources was warned Wednesday that the steps will not be enough and that even tougher restrictions might be required for Richmond and 31 other counties.

The board is set to vote today in Duluth on proposed rules to require about 2.5 million car owners in 13 metro Atlanta counties to submit their cars to annual -- and for many, tougher -- inspections in place of the present testing schedule of once every two years.

The proposed rules also impose new restrictions on seven of Georgia Power Co.'s coal-fired power generating plants and on new or existing industry in the 13 Atlanta counties that do not meet federal clean air standards. The rules would be extended to 32 counties from Atlanta east to Augusta and southwest to Columbus.

Also, the rules would expand the number of counties in which low-sulfur fuel must be sold from 25 to 45 and require the fuel to be sold year-round instead of just during the summer.

Even so, state Director Harold Reheis told board members Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not satisfied the proposal will bring Atlanta's air into compliance with federal standards.

AUGUSTA

More qualify for election

A second candidate qualified Wednesday for the District 4 seat on Augusta Commission.

Brian Green, a 36-year-old sales consultant, qualified to challenge incumbent Richard Colclough, who was appointed by the commission to serve the unexpired term of former Commissioner Moses Todd.

Mr. Todd resigned last summer to run for mayor.

Mr. Green ran for the Super District 9 seat in 1995 and the District 1 seat in 1997.

Four incumbent commissioners qualified Monday for re-election. Only District 6 Commissioner J.B. Powell has not qualified and will not say whether he plans to run again. However, several sources said Mr. Powell will not run.

Fred A. "Andy" Cheeks III, a research supervisor at Savannah River Site, qualified Monday for the District 6 seat.

Incumbent District 2 Commissioner Freddie Handy drew challenges from Willie M. Law IV and Marion Williams.

Qualifying started Monday. Five of the 10 nonpartisan commission seats are up for election. Sign-up is open from 8:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Richmond County Board of Elections. The qualifying fee is $360, or 3 percent of the $12,000 annual salary.

SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

Wackenhut gets security contract

Savannah River Site's security firm has won a contract to serve another federal nuclear-weapons site.

Wackenhut Services Inc. will serve as the security firm for several U.S. Department of Energy plants near Oak Ridge, Tenn., the company announced Monday. The plants include Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant.

The $75 million contract spans three years with two additional one-year options. It is effective Jan. 1.

Wackenhut's $300 SRS contract was renewed last fall for five years. The company employs about 700 employees at SRS.

GEORGIA

Man's body found on interstate

WOODSTOCK -- A man's body was found Wednesday on Interstate 575 in Cherokee County just south of a bridge over Noonday Creek.

The body was struck numerous times during two hours before daybreak, Sheriff Roger Garrison said. Early morning motorists most likely did not know what they had hit, he said.

Authorities did not know how the man died. The body was taken to Georgia Bureau of Investigation's headquarters for an autopsy.

A motorist reported the body to Woodstock police shortly after 7 a.m. Police found little evidence and no car or truck pieces or abandoned vehicles at the scene.

"That just adds to the mystery," Sheriff Garrison said. "There's not a lot of evidence."

ALABAMA

Official: Wrong issues discussed

MONTGOMERY -- With a deadline approaching to resolve their differences, negotiators in the water talks between Georgia and Alabama are discussing the wrong issues, a federal official said.

The states should consider factors needed to measure the impact on rivers, lakes and wildlife, said Lindsay Thomas, President Clinton's appointee to the proceedings.

Mr. Thomas met with Alabama and Georgia officials Tuesday in Montgomery. He said he was not trying to scuttle the talks, but that it was important to make the federal position clear.

"Any allocation formula based solely on low flows would not provide sufficient information to this agency," wrote John Hankinson, regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The talks were the latest between Alabama and Georgia officials in their attempt to work out a deal to share water from the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin. The quantity of water allotted to each state remains the most difficult issue, said Walter Stevenson, head of Alabama's Office of Water Resources.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Atlanta files revised Games report

WASHINGTON -- Organizers of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games gave a House investigating panel Wednesday a revised report on the bidding practices they used to persuade the International Olympic Committee to hold the Games in Atlanta.

The report, prepared by former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell, was delivered to the House commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations, which is examining the Atlanta bid in the wake of disclosures that organizers of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City gave out scholarships or cash to woo IOC members.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the subcommittee, declined to release the report, saying through an aide that he was honoring a request from Mr. Bell that Atlanta officials be permitted to disclose the report today in Atlanta.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Councilman opposes referendum

GREENVILLE -- Restaurant owners who want to sell liquor on Sundays should pay for next month's referendum on the issue, the Greenville County Council chairman said.

"I am absolutely appalled at staging a special election 22 days before the regular election," Dozier Brooks said Tuesday. The vote is scheduled for Oct. 12. Supporters of Sunday alcohol sales didn't want to be on the ballot Nov. 2, when voters will decide whether to keep video poker cash payouts legal.