City adds streets to Parker's role
FORT OGLETHORPE — The Fort Oglethorpe City Council voted Wednesday to add streets to the responsibilities of Utilities Director Phil Parker, who's already in charge of the city's water and sewer services.
"He's just a go-getter," Councilman Clay Kissner said. "I think he'll do an excellent job."
Street maintenance had been the responsibility of Public Works Director Jeff Long, whose abrupt dismissal March 22, along with City Manager Ron Goulart and police Chief David Eubanks, caused an uproar, with angry supporters of the three men flooding City Council meetings.
Mayor Lynn Long said Parker will receive an extra $5,000 annually for being in charge of streets, putting his salary in the $60,000 range.
Jeff Long's other responsibility was parks and recreation, and the city is advertising for someone to take over that position, Long said.
He said the restructuring will save the city about $25,000 a year.
GBI closing handwriting unit
ATLANTA — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is eliminating its Handwriting Analysis Unit, which had been operating for 20 years.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that experts said the long-established crime-solving tool is going the way of snail mail and cursive penmanship.
The unit temporarily was suspended last June to allow GBI analysts time to get up to speed on their accreditation. But on May 31, the GBI permanently closed it. It assisted local law enforcement agencies investigating forgeries, fraudulent documents, suicide notes, threatening letters, bank robbery demand notes and other questioned documents.
Those agencies now must use private vendors.
Gas leak prompts road closures
DALTON, Ga. — A gas leak in Dalton, Ga., led to a number of road closures Wednesday afternoon, a news release stated.
The Whitfield County Fire Department, Dalton police and fire departments responded to the leak on Tibbs Road just before 4 p.m. Officials initially called for an evacuation, but Dalton Utilities personnel contained the leak by closing a valve.
The gas main was damaged during landscape work on the property of OTR Inc. Truck, Trailer and Tire Repair, across the street from Mr. T's Pizza, the release states.
Nuke plant pipe breaks, kills fish
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — A break in a pipe carrying chlorinated water at the government's nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge has caused a fish kill.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, about 6 million gallons of the treated water flowed into the east fork of Poplar Creek after the rupture over the weekend.
Y-12 plant contractor B&W Y-12 said Tuesday that about 8,000 "minnow-sized" fish and about 30 salamanders were killed.