Originally created 05/05/02

Across the Southeast



Records fail to show warden has degree

MOBILE, Ala. -The new Mobile County jail warden's claim of a degree from a Georgia college could not be confirmed by the school's registrar and his graduate degrees came from an online diploma business, the Mobile Register reported Saturday.

Kenneth W. Cooper, 48, of Valdosta, Ga., hired by Sheriff Jack Tillman, began work Monday on a $54,000 annual salary.

Shannon C. Weekley, the director of the Mobile County Personnel Board, said that when applying for the warden's job, Mr. Cooper checked "yes" on a questionnaire asking whether he had a college degree - but no one investigated further.

School gets $4 million anonymous donation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -An anonymous donor has given Fisk University $4 million to renovate the interiors of two historic halls, complementing a $4 million federal grant awarded to the school in 1999 that required matching money before it could be spent.

School officials Friday said the donation signifies a new beginning for the historically black university, which often has suffered financially. In 1983, the university could not pay its gas bills and almost went under.

Troopers criticize stretch of guardrails

SANFORD, N.C. -New guardrails on 31 miles of U.S. Highway 1 will restrict the Highway Patrol's ability to catch speeders because they lack room for officers to cross over the median, troopers said.

The guardrails are being installed on a stretch of U.S. 1 from the Carthage Street interchange in Sanford to North Carolina Highway 55 in Wake County. There are no breaks that allow emergency vehicles to cross over, said Marty Tillman, resident engineer with the state Transportation Department.

Bomb threat proves to be an empty one

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -A Department of Energy plant once used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons is expected to be back in operation Monday after a bomb threat triggered an evacuation.

No bomb was found at the 1,500-acre site known as K-25, or the East Tennessee Technology Park, after the federal agency learned of the threat just before 8 a.m. Friday.

Current work at the site involves converting the plant for private use and cleaning up contaminated areas.