Originally created 05/24/04

Across Georgia



11-year-old is accused of fondling 12 girls

BUCHANAN - An 11-year-old Haralson County boy has been accused of molesting at least a dozen girls, but local law enforcement officials and parents say school officials have blocked efforts to investigate the allegations.

Haralson County Sheriff Ronnie Kimball said the parents of two 9-year-old girls who attend Buchanan Elementary School told him last week that their daughters were fondled by the fifth-grade boy.

A school system employee, who was not named, then told sheriff's deputies there probably were more victims, Sheriff Kimball said.

Based on interviews, the sheriff said he thinks the boy molested 11 girls, ages 9 through 11, and one special education high school student.

DOT plans for busy summer road work

ATLANTA - Drivers will face more roadwork equipment and disappearing lanes this summer as the state enters one of its busiest road construction seasons in years.

At least 50 major road-construction zones and about 100 bridge-maintenance projects are expected on Georgia highways this summer.

Today, the Georgia Department of Transportation will launch a nearly $1 million advertising and public awareness blitz to community groups, sending fliers and e-mails to businesses to urge drivers to be aware of potential delays.

The state DOT also will introduce today an online service called My Navigator, which will allow motorists to customize a Web page with maps showing work zones, views from cameras along the route and travel times calculated from real-time data.

Macon may lose funds to update train station

MACON - Macon is in danger of losing more than $885,000 in federal money to renovate a train station that served as the main hub in two world wars for transporting troops and was projected to link the city with a planned commuter rail.

City officials planned to use city bond money and federal grants to redevelop Terminal Station.

But planning delays, cash-flow problems and revolving-door management have stalled those efforts, The Macon Telegraph reported Sunday.

The potential loss of federal funds stems from a Sept. 30 deadline to provide state and federal officials a plan on how the money would be used to redevelop the station.

The state has rejected the first four drafts of a plan produced by a financial consultant who was hired by Mayor Jack Ellis and does not appear to have previous transportation or development planning experience, the newspaper reported.

State officials say Macon officials have not provided them basic information, such as the number of square feet in the building, the cost of renovations or how the project would make space for both bus and rail service.

Soldier faces charges in kidnapping of son

COLUMBUS - A Fort Benning soldier was arrested hours after being accused of shooting his way into his ex-wife's apartment and fleeing with his son.

Robert Ulmer, 27, surrendered to Columbus police Saturday after contacting police to provide the location of the 1-year-old, who was not injured.

Mr. Ulmer was charged with one count of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of burglary.

Fort Benning fetes return of MP unit

FORT BENNING - Soldiers from the Army's 214th Military Police Company returned from Iraq to the welcoming arms of friends and family at Fort Benning, although the celebration was tempered by the loss of one of their own.

The 63 soldiers of the National Guard unit, with detachments in Tuskegee, Ala., and Alexander City, Ala., stood together in a moment of silence Saturday to honor the memory of Sgt. Aubrey Bell, 33, of Tuskegee, who was killed Oct. 27 by an Iraqi suicide bomber in Baghdad.

The unit trained the first classes in the new Iraq national police force.