Originally created 05/12/02

Across Georgia



Swamp fire's smoke spurs health warning

FOLKSTON -Heavy smoke from wildfires in the Okefenokee swamp has sparked a public health advisory for people with asthma and other respiratory problems.

Children, the elderly and anyone with respiratory illnesses should remain indoors if possible, said David Page, a physician and the director of the multicounty Coastal Health District based in Brunswick.

Smoke has drifted up to 250 miles away to Montgomery and Dothan, Ala., and over to coastal Georgia and portions of northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, authorities said.

Man who saved baby gets posthumous award

ATHENS -The Athens man who jumped in front of a speeding driver to pull a baby stroller out of the street has been honored posthumously with the Heroism Award, one of the 2002 Governor's Awards of Excellence.

Randy Burris, 39, was honored earlier this week in Atlanta.

The awards are presented to recognize the dedication and professionalism of employees of Georgia state agencies and authorities. Mr. Burris had worked for the state Department of Labor.

Mayor backtracks on 'tar baby' remark

MARIETTA -Mayor Bill Dunaway has apologized after a black member of the city council complained about a remark containing a reference to a "tar baby."

"It was inappropriate. It was disrespectful. It was demeaning," said Anthony Coleman, the lone black member of the seven-member council.

Discussing a problem at a meeting this week, Mr. Dunaway advised the council to "do like a tar baby and say nothing."

The mayor, who is white, said he was referring to the Uncle Remus tale in which Br'er Rabbit is infuriated by the silence of a doll made of tar and then becomes stuck by pounding on it.

Riverkeeper settles suit over pulp mill

JESUP -The Altamaha Riverkeeper Inc. and Rayonier have announced a settlement of the conservation organization's lawsuit against the state over its renewal of the discharge permit at the company's Jesup, Ga., pulp mill.

Under the terms of the settlement, Rayonier, the riverkeeper and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will evaluate the effectiveness of existing methods to reduce the color of effluent from the plant's discharge pipe into the river, the Altamaha Riverkeeper said. The goal is to reduce the color by 50 percent by June 2003.