Originally created 02/04/03

Across Georgia



Traffic stop brings seizure of marijuana

ATLANTA -A routine traffic stop led to the seizure of three tons of marijuana packed into a tractor-trailer.

A Georgia State Patrol officer stopped the vehicle on Georgia Highway 400 for a routine traffic stop Sunday night. The officer found nothing suspicious and let the driver go, patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said.

Shortly after, the officer found the truck disabled on the side of the highway and called for a tow truck.

A drug dog picked up a scent, and officers found 6,000 pounds of marijuana in various-size packages hidden in boxes of bananas.

The marijuana had a street value of $4.2 million.

Panel OKs change in predatory-lending law

ATLANTA -A House committee approved changes to the state's predatory-lending law Monday and urged the agencies to resume rating securities backed by Georgia home loans.

The measure cleared the House Banks and Banking Committee and will go to the full House today.

The predatory lending law outlaws banking practices to extract huge fees from the unwary, and also allowed victims to seek punitive damages against both the original lender and anyone down the line who bought the loan or a security that covered the loan.

Jury finds ex-official guilty of obstruction

ATLANTA -A former Atlanta official who held sway over most city contracts while in office was found guilty Monday of lying to a grand jury and obstructing justice.

Herbert McCall, 52, a former commissioner of administrative services during the term of Mayor Bill Campbell, was found guilty on two counts of making false statements and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Appeals court rejects case against teacher

ATLANTA -A Gwinnett County teacher who posted questions for a countywide student assessment test on the Internet won his fight Monday to keep teaching.

The Georgia Court of Appeals rejected a request by the state Professional Standards Commission, which certifies Georgia teachers, to hear its case against James Hope, said his attorney, Terry Thomas.

Mr. Hope, a fourth-grade teacher at Centerville Elementary School, made six Gateway exam questions public in March 2000.