Originally created 10/15/02

Across Georgia



High school students challenge shorts ban

WARNER ROBINS -Students from Houston County's four high schools are hoping a petition with 5,000 signatures will persuade the school board to lift a ban on shorts.

The school board adopted a dress code in February that banned sleeveless dresses, blouses and shirts. It also banned shorts, skirts worn above the knee and pants legs that fall above the ankle.

Some parents and students criticized the board for making students wear long pants in the heat.

The board later voted to allow girls to wear dressy Capri pants, but that led to more grumbling because Capris are essentially the same length as the baggy shorts popular among boys.

Perdue airs his first TV ad since August

ATLANTA -Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, whose campaign ads have been a fixture on TV across Georgia since spring, got company on the small screen Monday from Republican rival Sonny Perdue.

In his first TV ad since August, Mr. Perdue smiles at the camera and invites viewers to call him with their ideas for improving Georgia.

"I bet you have better ideas than Roy, and I would love to hear them," he says. "It's our government. Let's take it back and fix it."

Mr. Barnes, who has raised $17 million in the campaign to date, enjoys a dramatic fund-raising edge that has allowed him to spend heavily for television. Mr. Perdue has not aired an ad since the primary election.

The Republican Party is sharing the cost of the ads with the Perdue campaign, which had about $450,000 in the treasury as of Sept. 30, compared with Mr. Barnes' $7.5 million.

Church beating case is in jurors' hands

ATLANTA -Prosecutors said members of the House of Prayer did nothing to prevent two boys, ages 7 and 10, from being beaten with a belt and a stick during church.

"Nobody said, 'Stop,"' said Patricia L. Jackson, the chief senior assistant district attorney for Fulton County, during closing arguments Monday.

The Rev. Arthur Allen Jr. and church members Emanuel Hardeman, Charles Ogletree, David Duncan Sr. and Sharon Duncan have been charged with cruelty to children and aggravated assault.

The state Division of Family and Children Services took 49 children of House of Prayer members last year but have returned all but six.

The jury deliberated Monday without reaching a verdict and will reconvene this morning.