Originally created 09/09/06

Across Georgia



Police arrest girl they say abandoned infant

ATHENS - Police have arrested a teenage girl they say abandoned her newborn infant in the laundry room of an apartment complex.

Gloria Aracely Contreras, 17, was arrested Thursday and charged with child abandonment and felony child cruelty. The child is healthy and with a foster family.

Investigators were led to Ms. Contreras, who already has a 2-year-old child, after getting a tip from someone who knew her and said the teen had been expecting but was no longer pregnant, Athens-Clarke County police said.

When police questioned Ms. Contreras at the apartment complex, where she lives with her parents, the teen admitted abandoning the baby.

Bird flu sample delay solved, officials say

ATLANTA - U.S. health officials say they have worked out a "lapse in communications" that was delaying China from shipping bird flu virus samples to the United States.

This week, a Chinese Agriculture Ministry official acknowledged delays in shipping requested samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The delays were attributable to the CDC, which had not ironed out import procedures, the official said.

A CDC spokeswoman on Friday said delays stemmed from a back-and-forth over whether samples should be characterized as 'diagnosed' or 'undiagnosed.' Packing and handling guidelines are the same, but the CDC preferred the samples be shipped as 'undiagnosed' because the forms and approval process allow quicker delivery, said the spokeswoman, Kathryn Harben.

Attorney foils robbery attempt at his house

ATHENS - A prominent attorney foiled a robbery attempt outside his house in southeastern Clarke County on Wednesday morning, fleeing from a masked bandit who wielded a shotgun and demanded cash, Athens-Clarke County police said.

J. Vincent Cook, who is the president of the State Bar of Georgia, had just finished walking his dogs when a would-be robber confronted him with a shotgun and demanded $12,000, according to police.

When the gunman popped out from behind bushes, police said, the attorney talked to him to buy time. After the masked man gave Mr. Cook permission to put his dogs back into their kennel, the attorney dashed for the road, yelling for his wife to lock the doors and call police.

Officer turns self in for domestic violence

ATHENS - An Athens-Clarke County police officer turned himself in to the Clarke County Jail on Thursday to face charges that he hit his girlfriend, damaged furniture and prevented her from calling 911 in a late-night argument.

Billy Eugene Amos, 32, has worked for the department since 2002, according to Maj. Mark Sizemore, the head of the Criminal Investigations Division.

He turned in his badge and gun this week and was placed on administrative leave when he learned that police would charge him with domestic violence, according to Assistant Police Chief Alan Brown.

The charges stem from a fight at Officer Amos' girlfriend's apartment Monday. The fight left her with a bruised face and cut lip.

- Edited from wire reports