Originally created 06/08/06

Across Georgia



Teachers group gives its support to Taylor

ATLANTA - Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor picked up the endorsement Wednesday of one of the state's largest teachers groups.

The 40,000-member Georgia Association of Educators announced its support for Mr. Taylor at a news conference at the state Capitol. The group's president-elect, Jeff Hubbard, called the selection of Mr. Taylor over Secretary of State Cathy Cox in the Democratic primary "a very easy decision."

Teachers played a significant role in Republican Sonny Perdue's defeat of Gov. Roy Barnes in 2002. Although the Georgia Association of Educators did not endorse a candidate in that race, many teachers in the group - which traditionally leans Democratic - voted for Mr. Perdue, and they are widely credited with helping him win.

Saudi is charged with threat to harm plane

ATLANTA - A Saudi national faces charges that he threatened to blow up a Delta Air Lines flight because he was upset he was denied a job as an interpreter for U.S. military operations in Iraq.

A federal magistrate ordered Saleh Al Suwailem, 45, of Boise, Idaho, held by the U.S. Marshal's Service after a hearing Tuesday in Columbus. He is charged with making a terroristic threat against an airplane and is due back in court Tuesday.

According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Al Suwailem was at Fort Benning on Monday seeking to become an Arabic interpreter. He was told he would not be hired and would have to fly home to Idaho the next day on a Delta flight, the complaint says.

He started drinking with some acquaintances and blurted out, "OK, I'm going to bomb the plane," according to the complaint.

Child playing in van causes fatal accident

MARIETTA - A 17-month-old boy was killed when another child playing in a parked van accidentally released the parking brake, causing the van to roll over the toddler.

A 2-year-old boy had climbed into the driver's seat of the 1995 Dodge Caravan and released the parking brake Tuesday evening, Cobb County police spokesman Wayne Delk said.

The child who was rolled over was airlifted to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, where he was pronounced dead. Names were not immediately released.

Investigators said the toddler's parents were at the home when the incident occurred, Mr. Delk said.

Police do not expect to file charges, Mr. Delk said.

State tax collections nearing historic high

ATLANTA - Georgia's tax receipts continue to soar, as officials on Wednesday reported the second-strongest revenue growth in state history.

Tax revenues in May rose by 16 percent over the same period a year ago to $1.7 billion, according to state money managers. The growth was driven in large part by a strong surge in income tax collections.

Officials said Georgia is on track to meet and probably exceed the 6 percent revenue growth that the state budget was based upon. The state's fiscal year ends June 30.

- Edited from wire reports