Originally created 10/11/05

Across Georgia



Bottle explosion forces Tech dorm evacuation

ATLANTA - Students evacuated two Georgia Tech dorms Monday morning after a janitor found a chemical-filled bottle on a campus courtyard that exploded, police said.

About 100 students were evacuated from Cloudman and Glenn residence halls after the janitor found the suspicious bottle at 8:45 a.m., spokeswoman Amelia Gambino said.

At least two other bottles were found and detonated by Atlanta police, she said.

The janitor was picking up trash in the courtyard when he pulled out the bottle from bushes. It exploded and the janitor was taken to a medical clinic for evaluation but suffered no serious injuries, officials said.

Police still are working to determine what chemicals were in the bottles. The incident led authorities to contact the Georgia Department of Homeland Security.

Fort Benning soldiers deploying to Kuwait

COLUMBUS - About 100 soldiers from Fort Benning's 608th Ordnance Company were set to leave Monday morning for a yearlong deployment to Kuwait.

One of the company's three platoons is four months into a one-year deployment to Iraq. The other two platoons and the headquarters unit will ship out Monday from Lawson Army Airfield.

The company, which operates ammunition supply points, returned from a year's deployment in Iraq in April 2004.

"Between 30 and 40 soldiers from that deployment will be going back with us," said company commander Capt. Two Shoemake. "So we're a pretty experienced group."

Missing patient found dead in drain culvert

LITHONIA - The body of an elderly cancer patient was found more than a week after she went missing from a DeKalb Medical Center hospital, police said.

On Sunday, search dogs found the body of Joanne Buckey, 61, in a drainage culvert under a driveway near DeKalb Medical Center's Hillandale branch, authorities said.

Police do not know how she got there. They had been searching for her since Oct. 1.

"Nothing at the scene would lead us to believe that any foul play was involved," police spokesman Cory Hughes said.

Police suspect she wandered away from the hospital.

Airman's mother asks jury to spare his life

MACON - The mother of a convicted airman pleaded Monday for mercy for her son, who was found guilty of murder in the July 2004 stabbing deaths of a fellow airman and his wife.

Andrew Witt, 23, faces the death penalty in the sentencing phase of the court-martial.

"We are asking for mercy because I know underneath ... I know that there's more that this kid can offer than what happened," mother Melanie Pehling told the jury.

A panel of 12 Air Force officers last week unanimously found Airman Witt guilty of killing Senior Airman Andrew Schliepsiek and his wife, Jamie, in their duplex at Robins Air Force Base.

Prosecutors said he killed the couple after they threatened to report that he had made a pass at Mrs. Schliepsiek and had an affair with an officer's wife.