BRIEFS: Taxi driver shot in the head in Columbus

Police probe killing of taxi driver in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Police in Columbus are investigating the death of a taxicab driver who was found shot in the head.

Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower tells The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that 59-year-old Byron Keith Brown was pronounced dead at 4:32 a.m. Sunday.

Brown was found in the driver's seat of his van at the corner of Shelby Street and Munson Drive in Columbus.

Investigators determined that Brown had been sent to Motel 6 on Victory Drive around 2 a.m. to pick up a passenger, who was requesting to go to a location in nearby Phenix City, Ala.

Police were told that Yellow Cab dispatch last heard from Brown when he arrived at Motel 6.

Investigators were still trying to determine a motive in the crime.


'Hunger Games' sequel gives boost to Ga. economy

JONESBORO, Ga. — Officials say filming of the second movie in "The Hunger Games" trilogy is expected to provide an economic boost to Clayton County, just south of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that filming of "Catching Fire" is taking place over the next few months at a man-made water park known as "The Beach" at International Park in the Jonesboro area. The park was built as the beach volleyball venue for the 1996 Olympics.

The Journal-Constitution reports that the park is being transformed into a post-apocalyptic setting for the movie, which is based on a book about children forced to fight to the death for food.

In Clayton County, the production brings with it demand for movie extras, moonlighting gigs for local police and work for local businesses.


Police probe possible child abduction attempts

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Police in two metro Atlanta counties are seeking clues after two reports of a man who may have tried to entice children into his vehicle.

Authorities tell WSB-TV the two reports happened in separate subdivisions, about two miles apart in Atlanta's northern suburbs.

Forsyth County sheriff's deputies say they're investigating a report that a man child to lure an 8-year-old boy into his white van in the DeerLake subdivision off Peachtree Parkway, in the southern part of the county, on Sept. 6.

About a week and a half later, Johns Creek police say they received a similar report that a man tried to lure a child into his vehicle in the Blackstone subdivision off McGinnis Ferry Road.


Georgia shooting range approved for alcohol

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. — An indoor shooting range planned for Powder Springs is going to serve alcohol.

The Powder Springs City Council has approved an alcohol license for the Governors Gun Club.

Developers Kristina and Bert Brown say the 16-range facility will cost $3.5 million and will operate like a country club, with members-only privileges. She told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a valet will take firearms when members have finished at the range. Members will not be allowed to return to the range after having a drink.

The manager of shooting promotions for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Zach Snow, said it has 7,000 shooting ranges in its database and only a few serve liquor. But he said more ranges are adding new amenities, such as cafes.


Richmond County schools deal with high absenteeism

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Some schools in Richmond County have chronic absenteeism rates that are much higher than the state average.

The Augusta Chronicle used Georgia's open records law to obtain school attendance records. They show that 41 percent of the students at Craig Houghton Elementary School had at least five unexcused absences during 2010-2011. Only 36 percent of the school's students passed their science test and nearly half failed their math test.

The newspaper reported that 42 percent of the students at T.W. Josey High School missed 15 days or more. That's four times the state average. Only 46.7 percent of the school's seniors graduated.

Josey Principal Ronald Wiggins said many students are poor and from broken homes. He said some have parental problems that lead to unexcused absences.