Across Georgia

Officer's suit against chief goes to trial

LOS ANGELES - A lawsuit alleging that a former deputy police chief promoted female officers in exchange for sexual favors can proceed to trial, a judge tentatively ruled.

Former Deputy Police Chief Michael Berkow, now the police chief in Savannah, Ga., is being sued by a former subordinate who claims her career suffered while other officers who had affairs with him got special treatment.

Attorneys for the city sought to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Sgt. Ya-May Christle's lawyer did not state sufficient facts to support the allegations.

However, Superior Court Judge William Fahey on Thursday tentatively denied that motion and set a trial date for Sept. 24.

2 dead after wreck during police chase

LEESBURG - A driver and a suspect were killed in a collision that followed a police chase, authorities said.

The chase started when agents with the Albany-Dougherty County Drug Unit began chasing a man suspected of dealing drugs. The chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph, Lee County Sheriff Harold Breeden said.

But when the suspect, 32-year-old Bobby Jones, tried to pass another car, his Cadillac Deville crashed head-on into a Ford Taurus, killing its driver Billy Klewitz, 21, authorities said.

Airlines interested in flying out of Athens

ATHENS - One airline has applied for a federal subsidy to provide commercial air service from Athens-Ben Epps Airport, and at least one other airline also is interested in flying out of Athens.

Gulfstream International Airline has submitted an application to the Federal Aviation Administration to replace Air Midwest as Athens' commercial carrier, according to Athens-Ben Epps Manager Tim Beggerly.

2 men, child drown during swim at lake

EDWARDSVILLE, ALA. - Two men and a girl from Georgia drowned in Coleman Lake after one of the men apparently decided to swim across the lake with the child.

Cleburne County Coroner Rudy Rooks said a search team found the body of Alexis Hembree, 4, of Bremen, Ga., around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Searchers recovered the bodies of Marcus Allen Smith, 24, of Temple, Ga., and Shannon Vanwinkle, 27, of Bremen, Ga., on Thursday, not far from where witnesses said they were last seen.

Mr. Smith was walking along a trail beside the lake with a group that included Mr. Vanwinkle, the child and the child's mother Wednesday. Mr. Smith got hot and decided to swim across the lake, taking the child with him, according to the coroner.

- Edited from wire reports