Originally created 01/25/02

Across Georgia



State executes inmate for officer's slaying

JACKSON -The state carried out its fifth execution by injection Thursday, putting to death a 62year-old man who killed an off-duty Columbus police officer in 1976.

Ronald Keith Spivey was pronounced dead at 7:34 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Jackson, south of Atlanta.

In his final statement, Mr. Spivey apologized to the families of the victim and criticized the death penalty.

"If I had a million lifetimes, I could never say I'm sorry enough," he said. "I've tried to be a decent and useful human being these last 25 years."

Mayor gets strict on street repairs

ATLANTA -Mayor Shirley Franklin, who made the city's pothole problem an early priority in her administration, is now going after the metal plates that cover underground utility construction sites.

The metal plates, which are supposed to be a temporary solution until utility companies can repair the street, are allowed by law to remain for only 21 days. But many stay for weeks, causing flat tires and wheel alignment problems.

On Wednesday, Ms. Franklin's office put the utility companies on notice: The 21-day limit will be strictly enforced. City officials told 60 utilities they have until July 1 to complete overdue street repair or risk being denied permits to dig elsewhere.

Man gets 30 days in jail after plane buzzes fair

FAYETTEVILLE -A flight instructor who was in the plane when a 16-year-old student pilot buzzed the Fayette County Fair was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail.

Fayette County State Court Judge Fletcher Sams also sentenced Andrew Waits, 22, of Fayetteville, to 23 months of probation, fined him $2,000 and ordered him to surrender his pilot's license.

Boarding house fire kills three people

SAVANNAH -Three people were killed Wednesday morning when a fire engulfed a two-story frame boarding house in midtown Savannah.

The victims were a woman and two men, authorities said.

Two other men in the house escaped the blaze. One was unhurt, and the other was taken to a hospital with a leg injury, authorities said.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims.

Bartow County puts halt to hiring for fiscal 2002

CARTERSVILLE -Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown cited declining revenues to explain a countywide hiring freeze for the 2002 fiscal year.

Mr. Brown said the freeze will affect all county departments, effectively blocking any new hires.

"The budget is going to be tight this year," Mr. Brown said. "Revenues are down in areas where we normally see increases."