Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Governor's Health Care Lawsuit Denied

Attorney General Thurbert Baker formally denied Gov. Perdue's request to file a lawsuit against the Health Care Reform legislation passed by the United States House of Representatives this week. In a official statement, Baker said the proposed lawsuit "is likely to fail and will consume significant amounts of taxpayers' hard-earned money in the process."

360 Degrees obtained the original letter from Gov. Sonny Perdue, requesting Baker to challenge the health care reform law. Perdue wanted Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, to look into the constitutionality of the health care reform law.

"The governor's main focus has been these special deals that were cut in order to get these final votes they needed on the Senate side," said Perdue's spokesman Bert Brantley.

Perdue traveled to South Georgia Tuesday but his office sent the letter to Baker requesting that "he institute and prosecute in the name of the state litigation challenging the act on all possible grounds."

Perdue made a similar request in December but Baker said the request was too premature because the health care reform bill was not yet law.

"We feel like he (Baker) should have been looking at these things already, given the request the governor made in December," said Brantley.

Baker, a Democrat, and ardent Obama supporter, is black and running for governor. Perdue's office said they'll look at using the governor's own attorneys to move forward with the lawsuit.

"We need to stand up for those Georgians who are concerned," said Brantley.

Attorneys general from 14 states have already filed lawsuits, challenging to the health care overhaul.All but one of the attorneys general who filed the suits are Republicans.

Banker Falls To His Death At Stone Mountain

The search for a missing banker has ended, police confirmed. The body of Tony Edge, 35, was discovered at about 8:21 a.m. Wednesday in Stone Mountain Park.

Police said it appeared Edge fell off a steep section off the north side of the mountain.

"The mountain is very deceiving ... and that's why we have that fence," said Stone Mountain Park Police Chief Chuck Kelley. "We catch people daily going over the fence."

Police estimate that Edge fell at least 600 feet.

"We don't suspect foul play," said Kelley. "We also do not suspect he tried to hurt himself."

The victim's wife, Melissa Edge, said that her husband sent her a text message at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday stating that he was studying on top of Stone Mountain and wished she was there. Melissa Edge became concerned and called police after her husband missed a pre-scheduled class meeting.

Police located Edge's car in the parking lot of the park Tuesday night, but there was no sign of Edge. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to search the car for clues.

Kelley said his office was notified of Edge's disappearance Tuesday night, but that his office didn't send officers out until Wednesday morning because it is dangerous for them to search at night given the steep areas of the mountain.

Edge's father-in-law said that Edge was in the process of getting his MBA from Emory University.

Fired DeKalb Police Chief Denied Unemployment

An appeals board has upheld a Department of Labor ruling denying unemployment benefits to the former DeKalb County police chief.

In October, an administrative hearing officer denied Terrell Bolton's unemployment claim against the county. The ex-chief was fired eight months earlier by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, who accused Bolton of insubordination, misuse of county property and acts unbecoming an officer.

Bolton has said the actions that got him fired were authorized by former CEO Vernon Jones. If history is any indication, the county could be in for a fight.

The Dallas Morning News reports Bolton fought for damages from his 2003 firing as Dallas' police chief for more than six years, costing the city council at least $245,000 in legal bills.

Georgia Sheriff's Deputy Dies In Motorcycle Crash

The Hancock County sheriff's office said a deputy was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a tree. Sheriff Tomlyn Primus said 58-year-old deputy Willie James Williams was off duty at the time of the accident in downtown Sparta Saturday night.

The sheriff's office said Williams had been employed there for 20 years while also serving as chief registrar. He also was pastor of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Appling and had retired from the Hancock County Board of Education after 30 years.

UPDATE: Headless Woman Had Metal Plate In Leg

Atlanta police said they have identified a body that was missing its head and hands that we reported to you yesterday. Police ID'd the victim as Linda Myrick, 44, of DeKalb County.

Investigators said Myrick was identified through a series of medical procedures that she had. According to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, metal screws and metal plates were placed in the victim's left leg at some point in her life.

Philips also took to the streets near Moreland Avenue and Memorial Drive, showing the victim's picture. Many people told Philips that they recognized Myrick. Police said she was known to frequent the area.

Myrick's body was found Monday by a passer-by in a vacant lot near Elm Street between Jones Avenue and Joseph E. Boone Blvd. in northwest Atlanta.

Maj. Keith Meadows said it appears Myrick was not killed at the location where the body, wrapped in cloth, was found. Cadaver dogs were back at the scene Tuesday on the gruesome hunt for missing body parts. Police said Myrick may have been dead for up to two days before her body was found.

Myrick is the mother of three adult children.

Census Numbers Bump Atlanta's Population

New Census Bureau numbers have bumped the Atlanta region into the top 10 list of metropolitan areas by population.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that 2009 Census numbers put the Atlanta metro area's population at more than 5.4 million, an increase of more than 1.2 million people.

That growth helped Atlanta move from No. 11 in the rankings in 2000 to No. 9 in the latest tally of metro areas in the United States.

The top three cities - New York, Los Angeles and Chicago - held their rankings

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