Originally created 05/10/04

Across Georgia



Officers say suspect hired agent as hit man

STATESBORO - When a Statesboro man tried to hire a hit man, he instead found an undercover Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, authorities said.

Kwame Gyasie Essuon, 27, approached the agent last month, offering to hire him to kill someone he said stole drugs and drug money from him, said Bulloch County sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel.

GBI agents and sheriff's investigators had launched an investigation of Mr. Essuon after they received information about the murder-for-hire scheme in mid-April, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.

Officers said the alleged target cooperated with investigators. Mr. Essuon has been charged with solicitation to commit murder and is being held in the Bulloch County jail without bond.

Memorial pays tribute to slain Navy officer

CHAUNCEY - Friends and family of a fallen Navy officer honored him at a funeral, and the memories of a man known for making everyone laugh brought many to tears.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Dickerson, of Eastman, was killed in Iraq on April 30 when his military vehicle hit an explosive device while traveling in a convoy.

U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall told mourners Saturday at the Sweet Home Baptist Church cemetery that the officer's sacrifice will not be forgotten.

"We are not going to let young men like Chris die in vain by failing to stay the course," Mr. Marshall said.

Blaze at residence kills retired teacher

VALDOSTA - A former Valdosta biology teacher has died in a house fire.

Emergency personnel found Ruth Reed Powell, 83, on a couch in her living room after responding to Saturday's fire, which was extinguished within five minutes.

Lt. Brian Childress, the Valdosta Police Department's public information officer, said there was no evidence to suggest arson.

"We do know the victim smoked," he said. "We don't know if that played into it at this time."

'Who's Who' honors art college educators

SAVANNAH - Two faculty members at the Savannah College of Art and Design have been selected for inclusion in the eighth edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

They are Joe Pasquale, a professor in the visual effects department, and Amy Lerner-Maddox, the chairwoman of the film and television department.