Originally created 04/03/02

Across Georgia



Bill would identify foreigners' licenses

ATLANTA -Driver's licenses issued to foreigners should be flagged with a colored stripe the same way the state marks licenses of convicted drunken drivers, the Georgia Senate's top Republican argued Tuesday.

"Right now with repeat offenders for drunk driving we put a red stripe on. This would identify non-U.S. citizens with a green stripe," said Senate Minority Leader Eric Johnson, R-Savannah.

The Senate defeated, 30-19, Mr. Johnson's "green stripe" amendment, which he tried to attach to a bill allowing Georgians to renew their licenses on the Internet.

Several Republicans argued that flagging foreigners' licenses would serve as a deterrent to terrorism. Opponents said the proposed green stripe smacked of xenophobia and would promote prejudice.

Nuclear plant alert spurred by malfunction

BAXLEY -A malfunctioning power-supply unit led to an alert Tuesday at the nearby Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant.

Federal, state and local officials were notified after the power unit stopped working about 10:40 a.m. The unit supplies power to alarm indicators on Unit 2 control panels, said Rick Kimble, a spokesman for Southern Nuclear Operating Co. in Birmingham, Ala.

The problem was fixed, and the alert ended after two hours. There was no threat to the public and no danger of radiation release, Mr. Kimble said.

Suspect in rape expelled from school

MARIETTA -A 17-year-old Marietta High School student accused of raping another student has been expelled for the rest of the year.

Michael Dawson will be allowed to attend a more restrictive alternative school in the fall, officials said Monday.

He was arrested March 10 - three days after the alleged rape in a school bathroom. Police said the 16-year-old girl told her parents, who called police.

Prosecutor fined for speaking to media

DECATUR -District Attorney J. Tom Morgan has been fined $250 for violating a court-imposed gag order in former Sheriff Sidney Dorsey's murder and racketeering case.

Mr. Morgan also was admonished by Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker for not telling potential witnesses they could not talk to the media because they were covered by the order.

"I found him in willful contempt," Judge Becker said during a hearing on her order restricting lawyers, families and witnesses from talking to the media covering the December 2000 murder of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown.