Originally created 08/24/04

Across Georgia



Electric line causes blast near Capitol

ATLANTA - An underground explosion near the state Capitol in downtown Atlanta sent flames and smoke pouring from manholes early Monday.

The explosion, which happened at about 1:15 a.m., was caused by an electrical line that exploded and burned, a Georgia Power engineer said.

Traffic was blocked on two streets in the area as authorities investigated. No injuries were reported.

Train hits pickup on tracks, injures driver

SAVANNAH - A pickup collided with an Amtrak passenger train early Monday, and the truck's driver was injured when he was thrown from the vehicle.

Joseph Mitchell, 44, was taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center after the crash at 6:50 a.m. at a railroad crossing in west Savannah. Police described his injuries as serious.

Mr. Mitchell was crossing the tracks when the southbound train crashed into his truck just behind the cab, police said. The impact knocked the truck to the side of the tracks and wrenched the pickup bed from its chassis.

There was little damage to the train. The tracks were reopened by 9 a.m.

Evicted woman says her things were taken

COLUMBUS - A complaint has been filed accusing a Muscogee County deputy marshal of allowing neighbors to pick through the belongings of a woman who had been evicted.

Virginia Upshaw, 45, says that after she was evicted from her three-bedroom trailer Aug. 16, her belongings were hauled outside and placed near the road. Neighbors then took her possessions with the deputy marshal's permission, she said.

Marshal Kenneth Suddeth, who was not there when she was evicted, has turned the matter over to an investigator.

Jury is picked for crematory lawsuit

ROME - A civil lawsuit against former crematory operator Brent Marsh and the estate of his late father, former owner Ray Brent Marsh, started Monday with jury selection, 2 years after decaying bodies were discovered at the Tri-State Crematory in Noble.

Investigators found the remains of 334 people throughout the crematory's property.

Mr. Marsh faces 787 charges in a criminal trial scheduled for Oct. 11, but that is expected to be delayed as defense attorneys try to dismiss the charges.