Originally created 07/08/06

Across Georgia



Doctor might be linked to at least five deaths

ALBANY - A physician has been accused of overprescribing pain medications, including drugs for substance abusers, that might be linked to at least five deaths, officials said.

George C. Lawrence Jr. was arrested Thursday after a raid on his office.

The Albany internist was booked at the county jail on a charge of purchase and possession of a controlled substance and released on $5,000 bond, officials said.

Shortly after Dr. Lawrence's arrest, investigators closed his office and seized computers, patient and financial records and other documents.

District Attorney Ken Hodges said the doctor was suspected of overprescribing painkillers such as OxyContin and Dilaudid, both controlled substances.

Travel guide takes dig at Georgia cities

ATLANTA - Author Dave Gilmartin offers a snarky assessment of Atlanta and a few other Georgia cities in his upcoming travel guide, The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America.

The guide, due in stores this fall, gives a dig to Atlanta for the way some residents refer to it as "Hotlanta."

As for Atlanta's neighbor, College Park, Mr. Gilmartin describes it as "a realm of crime, razed buildings and televangelists currently in the midst of a transition from community to runway."

He writes that Douglasville "might as well be called Hee-Haw Town, USA."

Hinesville, near Fort Stewart, gets even worse treatment. "Hinesville is the sort of town that everyone talks about moving away from," Mr. Gilmartin says.

Man charged in fatal boating accident

MILLEDGEVILLE - An Eatonton man has been arrested in a boating hit-and-run accident on Lake Sinclair that killed a 48-year-old man last weekend.

Mark Howard Entrekin, 49, was charged Thursday with homicide by vessel, a felony, and three misdemeanors: reckless operation, failure to render aid and failure to report an accident, said Cpl. Doug Bridges, of the state Department of Natural Resources.

Mr. Entrekin was the operator of the deck boat that hit Mark Baxter and his family at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday as they returned to shore after watching fireworks from their pontoon boat, Cpl. Bridges said. Mr. Baxter and his wife were thrown into the water. The deck boat kept going.

Mr. Baxter's wife and her 25-year-old daughter had only minor injuries. Mr. Baxter probably died of blunt force trauma from the boat's impact, Cpl. Bridges said.

- Edited from wire reports