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Student gets 5 years for taking hostages

IRWINTON --- A seventh-grade student who held classmates hostage with a knife has pleaded guilty to all the charges against him and was sentenced to five years in youth detention.

Joseph McKinnon, assistant district attorney for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, said Tuesday that the now-15-year-old boy will have to serve a minimum of two years in a youth detention center.

"We're not unhappy with the result," Mr. McKinnon said. "We didn't want him to think he had done nothing. We want to make sure the community was protected. His pleading guilty was important to us."

The teen was charged with six counts of aggravated assault, five counts of false imprisonment, five counts of terroristic threats and acts, two counts of bringing a weapon onto school property and one count of disrupting school.

Lanier falls to level set in 1986 drought

ATLANTA --- Lake Lanier is more than 15 feet below full -- the lowest level the lake has been since Oct. 24, 1986.

That's when Georgia was in another historic drought.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the lake, says Lanier's all-time low occurred Dec. 23, 1981, when it was more than 17 feet below full.

The corps expects Lake Lanier to hit that record within the next two weeks and keep dropping.

The corps expects the lake will be nearly 21 feet below full by Dec. 7. That would be its lowest point since the lake was built in the 1950s.

Teen charged in fire at Methodist home

DECATUR --- A teenage resident of the United Methodist Children's Home has been charged with setting a fire that destroyed a building at the historic orphanage.

Capt. Eric Jackson of DeKalb County Fire and Rescue said Tuesday that 17-year-old Joshua Ellison has been charged with first-degree arson.

Staff members at the orphanage said a dispute between two boys might have caused one of them to start the fire last week.

Man is convicted of abusing stepchildren

EVERGREEN, Ala. --- A 60-year-old man has been convicted of child rape and sodomy in a south Alabama case that began on a tip last year to authorities by an alert Georgia woman.

Jack Wiley was convicted Wednesday morning in the sexual abuse of his wife's 3-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son.

He was arrested after Tracie Lee Dean of Atlanta reported her concerns about the little girl she had seen at a convenience store off Interstate 65 in rural Conecuh County on Jan. 19, 2006.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 14.

-- Edited from wire reports


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