Originally created 12/15/03

Across Georgia



Woman dies while jailed in abduction

CLEVELAND -Authorities are investigating the death of a White County woman who had been arrested in the abduction of her three children.

Samantha Pardue, 30, died at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville on Friday night after experiencing breathing problems in the White County jail, said John Cagle, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Family members told authorities that Ms. Pardue had heart problems, he said.

Ms. Pardue and her husband, Keith Pardue, 32, were arrested Thursday night at his father's home in Cleveland. They are accused of abducting her children, ages 12, 10 and 6, from their grandparents' home in Spencer, Iowa.

The children had been placed in the custody of their grandparents Dec. 3.

Medics can revive boy found on Savannah road

SAVANNAH -Savannah-Chatham County police are investigating the death of a teenager found lying on a road.

Police received a 911 call at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday saying that a boy was injured. Attempts to revive him failed, and he died at the scene.

He was identified as Jerrell Murphy, 14, of Savannah. Investigators have said the death is suspicious, but they have not ruled it a homicide.

Atlanta homeless tally results in lower number

ATLANTA -A one-day count of the homeless in the Atlanta area found 6,956 people, far fewer than some previous estimates.

Some advocates for the homeless said the study undercounted because volunteers performing the count avoided dangerous areas. Earlier this year, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's homeless commission, citing a popular estimate for 2001, said the city had 12,000 homeless people.

About 200 volunteers with the Pathways Community Network, an Atlanta nonprofit group, conducted the head count March 12. The volunteers went into homeless shelters, jails and hospitals and to homeless communities in parks, beside railways and under highway overpasses over a seven-hour period.

Board pays thousands to former chancellor

ATLANTA --A deal that former University System Chancellor Stephen Portch signed when he was hired is paying him $450,000 as a consultant two years after his resignation.

A little-known policy could offer similar pay to all of Georgia public college presidents who resign.

The policy, approved by the Board of Regents before Dr. Portch was hired in 1994, paid him $272,430 last year, the year after he resigned. Another $181,620 is being divided over three years.

- Edited from wire reports