Originally created 04/24/06

Across Georgia



BellSouth nears final shareholders' meeting

ATLANTA - BellSouth Corp., the dominant local telephone provider in nine Southeastern states, will hold what could be its last regularly scheduled annual meeting of shareholders today.

Chief Executive Duane Ackerman will address the crowd as shareholders vote on routine business. The bigger business - whether to approve AT&T Inc.'s proposed $67 billion purchase of BellSouth - will come at a special meeting of shareholders in July, though no date has been set, BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher said Sunday.

If the deal is approved, the BellSouth name is expected to be phased out. The two companies' cell phone joint venture, Cingular Wireless LLC, also is expected to lose its name in the deal.

Developers to charge fee to help build park

SAVANNAH - A group of developers has volunteered to assess a recreation fee on home buyers in several new subdivisions and on business construction along the Pooler Parkway - a move they say will raise more than $500,000 for a multi-million dollar park in Pooler during the next decade.

Brothers Jack and Jerry Wardlaw of Wardlaw Construction and Steve Hall of Hallmark Homes have set a fee ranging from $180 to $250, which will be paid when building permits are purchased.

Their jointly owned company, Landmark 24, plans to develop 2,450 lots during the next five to 10 years in Godley Station, along with other home and commercial developments in Pooler. The fees will help to pay for a new park Pooler is developing on 102 acres.

Pigeons not likely to spread bird flu virus

WASHINGTON - City folks, don't worry. Nobody expects pigeons, more common than manhole covers, will bring the deadly bird flu virus.

Pigeons are not immune, but tests indicate the birds pick the virus up only when exposed to very high doses, do not always become infected under those conditions and are carriers only briefly.

The information is based on three studies since the late 1990s by the Agriculture Department's Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga.