Originally created 02/08/02

Across Georgia



House votes to overturn school cell-phone ban

ATLANTA -The Georgia House voted unanimously Thursday to repeal a state law banning cell phones and pagers in public schools.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Kathy Ashe, D-Atlanta, said it should be up to local school boards to decide whether to allow pupils to have "electronic communication devices."

Some parents have complained they couldn't get in touch with their children Sept. 11 and worried the children would be out of touch in case of emergency.

Ex-Olympian denies counterfeit involvement

ATLANTA -Former Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut had nothing to do with more than $30,000 in counterfeit bills found at her former suburban home, her manager said Wednesday.

"She doesn't know anything about it. She wants to do a polygraph," said Kay Weatherford, who owns the gym where the four-time gold medalist coaches gymnastics.

Bill Creel, assistant special agent-in-charge of the Secret Service in Atlanta, confirmed Thursday that the money was found Dec. 5 at the abandoned Duluth house of Ms. Korbut and her ex-husband, Leonid Bortkevich.

Man sentenced to life for girlfriend's slaying

SUMMERVILLE -An Ohio man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill to killing and mutilating his girlfriend two years ago on a trip to Florida.

Hayward Bissell, 39, formerly of Norwalk, Ohio, was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday in the January 2000 slaying of Patricia Ann Booher. Investigators believe she was killed at a convenience store in Chattooga County.

Leaders plan to build 150 houses in counties

CUTHBERT -A group of local officials and civic leaders will appeal to "heart strings and not the purse strings" to build 150 houses in five of Georgia's most impoverished counties.

The public-private partnership led by the Southwest Georgia Chamber of Commerce is launching a $17 million project to build 30 houses each in Randolph, Stewart, Clay, Quitman and Calhoun counties.