Originally created 08/20/04

Across Georgia



State reforms way of tracking wireless use

ATLANTA - A year after an audit revealed sloppy tracking of state government cell phone use, the government is just starting to reform the way it keeps track of wireless phones, a state legislative committee was told Thursday.

The government still does not know exactly how much it spends on phones, cell phones, pagers and blackberries. A state audit last August criticized the hodgepodge of cell phone policies at different state agencies, and said the state should rein in cell phone use.

Pair plead innocent to stockpiling firearms

SAVANNAH - A father and son pleaded innocent to charges that they illegally stockpiled firearms and explosives - including machine guns and an anti-tank missile - police found at their home after a trash bin exploded behind it last month.

Broderick John Dass, 48, and Brandon Dass, 19, entered pleas Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith during a brief hearing. Last week, the Dasses were charged in an 18-count federal indictment.

A trash bin behind the Dasses' home exploded while being emptied into a garbage truck July 22, five days after the two men were arrested at nearby Fort Stewart for trespassing onto a restricted Army gunnery range.

Charges stand against ex-crematory operator

LAFAYETTE - Defense attorneys plan to appeal a judge's decision not to dismiss hundreds of criminal charges against the former operator of a north Georgia crematory where 334 bodies were found.

Superior Court Judge James Bodiford denied several motions last week from former Tri-State Crematory operator Ray Brent Marsh. Mr. Marsh's attorneys wanted the judge to dismiss 561 of the 787 charges.

The appeal likely will delay the planned trial for Mr. Marsh in Walker County on Oct. 11.

Man is sentenced for taking horse drug

COVINGTON - A man who had injected himself with a stolen horse tranquilizer was sentenced to a year of probation.

Todd Farrow had injected himself in January with a powerful tranquilizer six times the recommended dosage veterinarians would administer to a typical horse.

Mr. Farrow, a heating and air installer, had taken the drug after installing a new unit at an animal medical clinic.