Originally created 05/01/06

Across Georgia



Mayor suffers heart attack at conference

SAVANNAH - Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson suffered a heart attack Saturday while he was attending a conference in Memphis, Tenn., said City Manager Michael Brown.

"He is resting now and recovering," Mayor Pro Tem Edna Jackson said. Mr. Johnson was in the intensive care unit at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis. His condition was not immediately available Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Johnson was attending the National Conference of Black Mayors, said Mr. Brown, who was with the mayor Sunday.

"People are praying and getting together. We know this is a genuine mayor that the people respect and care about," Ms. Jackson said.

Results show teacher doesn't have mumps

KINGSLAND - Test results for a Camden County High School teacher show no evidence she had mumps, officials with the Coastal Health District said.

The teacher, who school officials refused to identify, citing privacy laws, returned from a vacation in Iowa during Easter break with symptoms of the disease.

The teacher complained of fever, sore throat and swollen neck glands. Iowa is experiencing a mumps outbreak.

School officials in the 2,600-student district sent notices to parents warning them of a possible outbreak.

Health officials said multiple tests showed no evidence of the illness. The teacher has recovered, and no one else she has come in contact with has shown signs of the disease.

Mumps is a viral illness that causes fever, headache, muscle ache, fatigue and loss of appetite, followed by swelling of salivary glands in the neck. Because most people have been vaccinated against it, incidences of the disease are rare, health officials say.

Of those people who do get mumps, as many as half show mild symptoms or none at all, experts say.

One of aquarium's beluga whales is sick

ATLANTA - One of the Georgia Aquarium's five prized beluga whales has a life-threatening bone infection, and veterinarians are trying to find out what's causing it and how to treat it, aquarium officials said.

Gasper, a 17-year-old male beluga whale brought to the aquarium after being rescued from a Mexico City amusement park, has been ill for several years and doctors recently diagnosed the potentially deadly infection, osteomyelitis, in his right pectoral flipper and tail, said Tim Binder, the aquarium's director of husbandry.

Gasper also has skin lesions, a symptom of a different or possibly the same underlying illness causing osteomyelitis, which remains to be diagnosed, Mr. Binder said. The whale probably developed the ailments after his immune system was weakened from living in a "stressful" environment surrounded by a roller coaster in Mexico, Mr. Binder said.

Winners announced in robotics contest

ATLANTA - Three teams from schools in New York, Michigan and Canada have emerged as winners of the FIRST Championship, a robotics competition in which students from the United States and other countries build robots that compete against each other.

The winning schools at the Georgia Dome on Saturday were Utica Community Schools of Sterling Heights, Mich.; Loyola High School in Montreal; and McKee Vocational High School of Staten Island, New York.

A team of students from Rolling Meadows High School and Wheeling High School in Schaumburg, Ill., won the Chairman's Award, recognizing them as the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate.