Originally created 06/13/06

Across Georgia



Cobb County students will not get laptops

ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court has agreed with a judge's decision to halt a $59 million Cobb County program that would have given laptop computers to students and teachers.

The Cobb County system had planned to provide laptops for all pupils in grades six through 12 with money from a previously approved school sales tax.

Former County Commissioner Butch Thompson and his attorney, former Gov. Roy Barnes, filed a suit claiming that voters, who approved the sales tax for technology and school improvements, did not know the money would be used for laptops. Last July, Superior Court Judge S. Lark Ingram ordered the program to be halted. Days later, the Cobb County school board unanimously decided to abandon the project.

The Supreme Court's majority wrote that the school board was trying to use the money "for a purpose entirely different from that contained in the (sales tax) documents and the evidence supports the trial court's conclusion."

Justices Leah Ward Sears and Harold Melton dissented from the majority.

Supporters said supplying pupils with computers was a natural move in a world in which many students already use computers in their everyday lives.

Officer arrested in prostitution sting

JONESBORO - A county corrections officer has been arrested in a prostitution sting after being accused of propositioning an undercover officer.

Christopher Morris Johnson, 40, was arrested Friday night after riding up on a bicycle to proposition the officer, Clayton County Assistant Police Chief Jeff Turner said.

The sting was part of a two-day operation that also targeted several massage parlors in the area.

Officer's fatal shots under investigation

BUFORD - The Gwinnett County Police Department is investigating the fatal shooting of a man by an officer near Buford.

The man killed Saturday was identified as Jeffrey Hugh Cantrell, 41.

Mr. Cantrell, recently employed with Elite Trim Service Inc. in Woodstock, took the company's box truck at a time when he normally did not have permission to do so, Gwinnett County police said.

County officers saw the box truck on the road and attempted to pull it over, but police said Mr. Cantrell continued driving.

A Gwinnett County police supervisor fired shots, striking Mr. Cantrell. The truck ran off the road.

Bear captured near mall, returned to wild

LAWRENCEVILLE - A young black bear roaming among trash bins at Gwinnett Place Mall was captured and returned to the wild Monday.

Cornered by Gwinnett County law officers Sunday night near a J.C. Penney Co. store at the mall, the bear charged a police officer, who fired at the animal with his handgun. The bear was then tranquilized and taken away by the DNR, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department. He was doing fine Monday.

- Edited from wire reports