Originally created 12/14/03

Across Georgia



Twin boys, 4, die in mobile home fire

CLEVELAND -Twin four-year-old boys died in a fire early Saturday morning that engulfed their mobile home in White County.

Their father survived the blaze and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with severe burns.

The family's identities were not immediately released.

Fire officials said the blaze started at about 2 a.m. in Pardue Mobile Home Park in Cleveland.

Lawmakers ordered to pay back taxes

ATLANTA -Two members of the Georgia General Assembly have been caught in a state crackdown on delinquent taxpayers and ordered to pay the government a combined $103,000.

State Reps. David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, and Randal Mangham, D-Decatur, were threatened with having their legislative pay garnished, state records show.

Mr. Ralston, an attorney, was threatened with garnishment for not paying $36,880 in personal income taxes over three years.

Mr. Mangham, also an attorney, neglected to pay $66,801 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest.

GBI will investigate shooting by deputy

COLUMBUS -The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has assumed control of the inquiry into the shooting of an unarmed man by a Muscogee County sheriff's deputy.

Muscogee County Sheriff Ralph Johnson said Friday he almost has finished his own investigation of Wednesday night's incident on Interstate 185 in which a deputy sheriff shot and killed an unarmed 39-year-old Columbus man.

Mr. Walker and three friends were pulled over in their gray GMC Yukon on Wednesday night.

Officers with guns drawn ordered the four men to the ground.

Mr. Walker's three companions apparently complied with commands, but Mr. Walker provided "some resistance," according to the sheriff's account.

A deputy fired at least two shots, including the fatal shot to Mr. Walker's head. No gun was found in the Yukon.

Proposal seeks pay for state inmates

ATLANTA -A state representative is putting new emphasis behind an old work-for-pay idea for Georgia's inmates.

State Rep. Alan Powell, D-Hartwell, is pushing the proposal to address what he says is a crisis in the corrections system. A House subcommittee will discuss the idea Thursday.

Currently, Georgia's 47,000-plus inmates are not paid for their work. Inmates cannot work for private industry.

Mr. Powell says income earned by inmates could help offset the cost of their incarceration, currently about $17,500 annually for every inmate.