Georgia News Roundup
May 28, 2013 03:30 PM | 598 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Man hospitalized after he's rescued from Georgia cave

LAFAYETTE, Ga. (AP) — A man is hospitalized after he was freed from a northwest Georgia cave -- one of the nation's deepest -- after a nearly 24-hour rescue effort.

The caver was rescued Monday afternoon from Ellison's Cave in Walker County and hospitalized in Chattanooga, Tenn., The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The caver, from Pennsylvania, was in critical condition after being flown by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center, WDEF-TV reported.

He fell 40 feet down a cave that's considered one of the most difficult to navigate in the country, David Ashburn, who helped coordinate the rescue, told The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The ordeal began Sunday, when four cavers were deep inside the cave when one of them fell more than 50 feet down a vertical drop, authorities said.

One of the cavers climbed out to call for help while the two remaining cavers in the group climbed down to reach their injured partner and try to stop his bleeding. Ashburn said his injuries included an obvious open fracture of his femur, a large bone in the leg.

"He's got a cut to his head with probably a skull fracture at the base of the skull based on the way he looks," Dr. David Wharton of Erlanger told WDEF. "He got progressively more confused as he was coming out and so we were definitely concerned he could have a bleed in his head that could kill him."

Rescuers gave the man a blood transfusion in the cave to keep him alive while they figured out how to get him out, WRCB-TV reported.

"They took, to a large extent, the emergency room to him and that's why he's in the condition to the level he is right now surviving in this," Ashburn said.

Ashburn said many rescue crews aren't qualified to perform rescues in the cave because of the skill level required to navigate it, so experts from Alabama and Tennessee were requested.

More than 100 experienced cave rescuers from across the region drove to the site to assist in the effort in the hours after rescue crews were called around 6 p.m. Sunday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


2 men killed in crash of small plane in central Georgia

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — Two men were killed in the crash of a single-engine plane in central Georgia, authorities said.

The crash happened Monday night in the Warner Robins area, The Telegraph newspaper in Macon reported. Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said the bodies were recovered shortly before 9 p.m. Monday.

The men, who are believed to be residents of Greenville, S.C., were flying in a Piper PA-32 aircraft when it went down, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane crashed about one mile northeast of Robins Air Force Base at 6:05 p.m.

Bergen said the flight had departed with two people on board from Apalachicola Municipal Airport in Apalachicola, Fla., and was headed for Greenville Downtown Airport in Greenville, S.C.

The crash site was in a swampy area near the Houston-Bibb County line, about 500 yards off Georgia Highway 247. The rugged terrain made for difficult conditions as emergency responders attempted to reach the plane.

"It's treacherous out there," Jones said. "It's rough. It's logs. It's trees. It's very dangerous going out there."

Houston County firefighters were the first on the scene and two units fought through the murky ground and swamp where mosquitoes and other bugs were swarming.

The Houston County crews were able to confirm that no one on board the plane survived the impact, Jones said.

Robins Air Force Base dispatched a large crash truck, and a Houston County light truck was brought in to illuminate the woods as the sun was beginning to set.

The recovery effort in the dense brush and clear-cut trees grew more complicated after snakes were spotted in the boggy terrain, Jones said.

Just before 8:30 p.m., a bulldozer arrived from the Georgia Forestry Commission to cut a path through the woods so crews could get the necessary equipment to the crash site and remove the bodies.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Alabama officials consider natural gas pipeline plan

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — County officials in eastern Alabama are set to discuss a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross through parts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Lee County commissioners are scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss the proposed project by Sabal Trail Transmission, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Corp.

Logan Gray, a partner at Southern Strategy Group in Montgomery, is scheduled to give a presentation at Tuesday's meeting, The Opelika-Auburn News reported.

The interstate pipeline system would cover an estimated 465 miles across portions of the three states, the Opelika newspaper reported.

A report on the project states that the plan is a response to a request for proposals from Florida Power & Light Co. to provide natural gas transportation for its power generation needs by May 2017.

The estimated $3 billion project is currently in the early developmental stage and that FPL would likely award the project by July, according to the report. It also noted that Sabal Trail would seek out community response to the project as well as performing surveys to collect information.

Information from: Opelika-Auburn News,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Ultra-light aircraft makes emergency landing

JEFFERSON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say an ultra-light aircraft made an emergency landing near the northeast Georgia town of Jefferson.

Jackson County Emergency Services Director Steve Nichols said the pilot was not hurt during Monday's landing in a pasture behind a subdivision north of Jefferson.

Nichols tells The Athens Banner-Herald that the pilot was a local man out for an afternoon of flying who had to land the craft due to some type of mechanical problem.

Few other details were available Tuesday morning.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Top deputy to Dallas superintendent resigns

DALLAS (AP) — The chief of staff for the superintendent of the Dallas school district has resigned in anticipation of being named in a federal indictment.

Jerome Oberlton becomes the fourth high-level administrator to leave during the year-long tenure of Superintendent Mike Miles. In a statement Tuesday, Miles says he was told a day earlier by Oberlton that he's expecting to be indicted for work as chief information officer for Atlanta Public Schools from 2004 to 2007. Oberlton joined the Dallas district in January.

Miles says he was "profoundly shocked" when told of the possible indictment and asked for Oberlton's resignation. Miles says he's asked district trustees to OK an audit of Oberlton's work.

He says the district conducted a background check on Oberlton prior to his hire, and expressed anger that he wasn't told of the investigation until Monday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Central Georgia authorities recapture escaped inmate

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff's officials in central Georgia say an inmate who escaped through a hole in a shower wall has been recaptured.

Twiggs County Sheriff's officials say 45-year-old Tony Harvis Criswell escaped Saturday night and was recaptured without incident Tuesday.

The Telegraph of Macon reports ( Criswell is accused of escaping by pulling a shower head out of a wall and making a hole large enough to get through. Authorities say he then scaled the fence and got away.

Criswell was awaiting trial on charges of stalking, terroristic threats, criminal trespass, loitering and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Protesters in Atlanta speak out against drones

ATLANTA (AP) — About two dozen protesters gathered in Atlanta Tuesday to speak out against the use of unmanned drone aircraft by the U.S. government for spying, surveillance and carrying out lethal attacks.

The demonstration was held outside a hotel where representatives from academia, industry and government were meeting for a technical conference on unmanned aircraft systems.

Organizers of the conference say they're surprised to hear about a protest. They said they believe the protesters might have misunderstood their purposes, which they said focus largely on civilian uses of the technology.

Protest organizer Bob Goodman of the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition says he's not accusing conference participants of bad intentions. But he added that scientific research is often used in ways that researchers never anticipate.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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