Originally created 08/04/06

Across the region



Pilot is killed in crash of plane after takeoff

PEACHTREE CITY, GA. - The pilot of a small plane was killed Thursday in a crash after taking off from a municipal airfield south of Atlanta.

The experimental home-built plane - a Sky Star Vixen - crashed about 7:55 a.m. after taking off from Falcon Field in Peachtree City, according to Corky Smith, the senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board in Atlanta.

Les Dorr of the Federal Aviation Administration office in Washington said the single-engine plane took off from Falcon Field and then crashed into a nearby golf course. He said preliminary reports indicate only the pilot was on board.

Man is charged with killing, mutilating dog

MACON, GA. - A man accused of killing and nearly decapitating a dog has been arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

The dog, a 9-year-old mixed-breed bulldog, belonged to Otis Redding III, the son of musician Otis Redding, who died in a 1967 plane crash.

Jeffery Paul Jones, who was arrested Wednesday, said he was avenging the death of his chickens when he killed the dog named Emax, Macon police Sgt. Tracey Brazee said. Mr. Jones, 42, admitted to police that he killed the animal, likening it "pest control," Sgt. Brazee said.

County uses grant to reduce bus emissions

ATHENS, GA. - The Clarke County school district is cleaning up one of the county's top sources of pollution - its own school buses.

With a $114,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the school district will retrofit 35 of its buses with special equipment to trap tiny particles in the buses' exhaust, then burn the particles away. Work on the buses should be finished by January, officials said.

According to the grant application submitted to the EPA, the retrofits will reduce pollution by hundreds of tons a year, including particle pollution and other kinds of emissions, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.

System might be first to learn on Internet2

ATHENS, GA. - As soon as January, some Barrow County high school students could take advanced math or science classes taught by someone lecturing in another city, tapping into a technology that school officials say no other system in the country yet uses.

Using Internet2 technology, high-definition video of the teacher could be transmitted from Atlanta or any number of cities into Barrow County classrooms. Students could interact with the educator just as if the instructor was standing in their classroom.

Once Internet2 comes online, Barrow school leaders are considering offering advanced calculus and nanotechnology courses at each of the county's two high schools, officials said.

Suit will allege state overcharged by firms

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina attorney general said Thursday he will file a lawsuit claiming the state lost at least $40 million because five companies inflated prescription drug prices.

The lawsuit claims five drug companies overcharged the state's two largest health plans - Medicaid and the State Health Plan - more than $40 million to pay for prescription drugs.

The suit claims the companies intentionally inflated the average wholesale price that a pharmacy charges a patient's health plan.

None of the companies - Abbott Laboratories Inc.; Baxter International Inc.; Dey L.P.; Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp. - is in South Carolina.

Black-themed museum hires part-time leader

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The International African American Museum has hired a part-time director for the planned $69 million museum.

Gretta A. Middleton is a management consultant and former Charleston Southern University professor who worked with the United States Agency for International Development in Africa.

The museum board is seeking nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service.The museum budget anticipates more than $18 million in private and government donations during each of the next two years.

Man shot, killed as he runs from abductors

LADSON, S.C. - A Summerville man died after he was shot in the back as he tried to run from two men who had abducted him.

Dexter Perry Jr., 20, died Wednesday during surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital in Charleston, said Berkeley County Deputy Coroner Sam Tanner said.

Witnesses saw a car leave the scene at a mobile home park where Mr. Perry was shot, Sheriff's Capt. Rick Ollic said.

Caretaker finds couple shot to death at farm

FLORENCE, S.C. - A married couple was found dead in a farmhouse in eastern Williamsburg County.

The victims were found Wednesday by a caretaker at Lakewood Plantation near Nesmith, Chief Deputy Dwayne Wilson said.

William Hilton Jr., 64, and his 60-year-old wife Linda Poole-Hilton were shot several times, according to the coroner's office.

Authorities said they consider the case a double homicide.

- Edited from wire reports