Monday, March 29, 2010

Officials: H1N1 Cases On The Rise In Georgia

Health officials are renewing their push for Americans to get H1N1 flu shots because of an uptick in hospital cases in Georgia. No other state has seen such an increase in hospitalizations, and overall, H1N1 flu illnesses and deaths have been down for months.

But Georgia, in the past two weeks, has seen its most H1N1 flu hospitalizations since September. Officials today said most of the cases were unvaccinated adults, and many had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to the H1N1 flu virus.

90-yr-old Woman Beaten; Police Investigating

Newnan police said they are searching for the person or persons responsible for beating a 90-year-old woman.

Police said the woman was assaulted in her Pinson Street home on Sept. 21, 2009.

She was discovered by friends who routinely check on her. Police said her friends discovered the front door had been forcibly opened and the victim was found lying on the floor. She had facial injuries, and her clothes were blood stained, police said.

All leads in this investigation have been exhausted. The Newnan City Council is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

Tipsters can call the Newnan Police Department Tip Line at 770-254-2350

GBC: Church May Be Cut Because Pastor Is Woman

The Georgia Baptist Convention wants to remove Druid Hills Baptist Church from its rolls because its co-pastor is a woman. The Rev. Mimi Walker is co-pastor of Druid Hills Baptist Church. Her husband, the Rev. Graham Walker, serves with her.

"I suppose I felt more like a rebel a number of years ago, at this stage of life, I feel this should already be o.k., " said Rev. Mimi Walker.

The Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) executive committee made the recommendation to sever ties with the church earlier this month, according to a statement released today.

The statement reads in part, "That Druid Hills Baptist Church of Atlanta is not a cooperating church as defined in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution because a woman is serving as co-pastor of the church."

If the committee's recommendation is approved at the convention in November, then the church will be excluded from sending delegates to the annual meeting or contributing to missions and programs.

"We are keeping faith with the Baptist faith and message with regard to women serving as pastor," said J. Robert White, executive director. "The GBC has never been opposed to women serving in ministry positions other than pastor," he said.

"We continue to pray, is this the right direction for the church to go? And believe that we're moving in the right direction," said Rev. Walker.

Walker said she does not plan to leave the congregation. "The congregation here has been very affirming, said Rev. Walker."

DeKalb Student Hit By Unlicensed Driver

Police said a 16-year-old student was hit by a man driving a van in front of Clarkston High School. Police told WSB-TV the female student was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

DeKalb County Police said the man driving the van only has a learners permit and did not have a licensed driver with him in the car as required by law. He hit the student in a posted crosswalk, police said.

The driver of that van has been arrested and police continue to investigate the incident. Police said the driver was one of six men from the country of Burma inside the van.

The crossing North Indian Creek Drive, between Clarkston High School and Georgia Perimeter College can be risky.

"They (cars) usually don't stop so you try to catch an open area and go and jog across but other than that it's pretty tough crossing here," said Wendell Harris, a student attending Georgia Perimeter College.

'Chippendales-Style' Dance Lands Ex-Teacher In Court

Three former DeKalb County students are charged with public indecency and disrupting a public school following allegations that they put on a "Chippendales-style" revue in class.

The students have been identified as Jerramy Barnett, Joel Shumate and Kiyon Benton. The incident happened in December 2008 at Southwest DeKalb High School.

News of the charges came prior to jury selection Monday in the trial of their former chorus teacher, Nathan Grigsby, who is accused of allowing the male students to performance the lewd dance act on female students in his class.

DeKalb Solicitor General Robert James announced the charges Monday. Grigsby faces five counts of deprivation of a minor. Grigsby has pleaded not guilty.

Students posted a video of the dance on YouTube. Parents and students protested after the teacher was fired.

Grigsby's attorney, Jackie Patterson, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution her client does not contest that the dance occurred. Patterson said Grigsby had no advance knowledge of the dance and stopped it right away.

WSB; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Georgia Radio Network.

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