STATE ROUNDUP: Woman killed by street sweeper in Macon

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MACON — A Macon woman died early Monday morning after being struck by a street sweeper at the intersection of Eisenhower Parkway and Key Street at about 1:10 a.m.

Kenyotta "Shay" Jones, 22, of Beech Avenue, was wearing black clothing in an area with no street lighting. She was struck in the far right westbound lane of Eisenhower Parkway, according to police.

She was pronounced dead at about 2 a.m. at The Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Benice Hillman, Jones' aunt, said she got a call from her son at about 5 a.m. Her son had seen media reports that an unidentified woman had been killed and that the woman had tattoos on her arms with the names "Shay" and "Derrick."

Knowing that Jones had those tattoos, her family knew she was the one who had died, Hillman said.

She said she called her sister, Jones' mother, to break the news.

Family members don't know why Jones was at that intersection early Monday morning, Hillman said.

"We are puzzled ourselves," she said.

Jones lived with her mother and had a 5-year-old son, she said.

Hillman described Jones as a woman with a "great attitude" who had her issues, but was a happy person.

"She loved her family," Hillman said.

The operator of the street sweeper has voluntarily provided a blood sample for testing and has not been charged, according to police.


3rd suspect arrested in toddler's shooting death

ATLANTA — A third suspect has been arrested for the fatal shooting of a sleeping 2-year-old girl in November, Atlanta police said.

Marquez Thomas, 23, is charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and reckless conduct. He turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail on Monday.

Ty-Teyanna Motley was killed and her 1-year-old brother, Isaiah, was injured in the Nov. 3, 2012 shooting, police said. The children were sleeping in a bed with their grandmother when shots were fired through the front door of the family's Polar Rock Place home in southwest Atlanta.

Last Wednesday, police arrested brothers Montez Thompkins, 21, and Jeremy Jemell Thompkins, 23, in the slaying. Both are also charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and reckless conduct. They remain in the Fulton County Jail.


Explosive device found in deceased man's safe

MARIETTA — Relatives cleaning the home of a deceased Cobb County man made a startling discovery Monday afternoon. They found an explosive device inside a safe, according to police.

Shortly before 5 p.m., officers with a bomb squad and a hazardous materials team were dispatched to the Vinings-area home on Tynemoore Trace home in the Paces Ferry Park subdivision, Officer Mike Bowman with Cobb police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Residents within 500 feet of the home were evacuated as a precaution while investigators determined how to remove the device safely, Bowman said. The main entrance to the neighborhood was blocked Monday evening during the investigation.

It was not immediately known what type of device was found in the home.

"We don't what the substance is, but as a precaution, we've evacuated the area," Bowman said.

Address records show the home's owner was a locksmith who died in November.

Michelle Thomas was one of the residents who was not allowed to return to her home Monday evening.

"They stopped me on my afternoon walk," Thomas said.

Around 11 p.m., residents were allowed to return to their homes, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Photographer Ben Gray contributed to this report.


Legislator says hospital authority acted illegally

ST. MARYS — State Rep. Jason Spencer says he has received a response from the state Attorney General's office that indicates the St. Marys Hospital Authority "acted unlawfully" with the way it spent proceeds from the sale of a city-owned convalescent center in 2006.

Spencer, R-Woodbine, says he was concerned authority members were spending the money, now estimated at $3.6 million, to support senior citizen programs instead of indigent health care. Based on the response to his questions, Spencer says he believes the authority violated state law three ways.

He says the authority spent the funds for the senior center, changed its bylaws so its only responsibility was to provide services to senior citizens instead of health care and failed to conduct audits required by law.

"I also believe the hospital authority's reaction to the investigation of these matters by my brother, Jeremy Spencer, and me violates the Georgia Open Records and Open Meetings Acts," he said.

Some hospital authority members, including its lawyer Jim Stein, say Spencer never showed any interest in the hospital authority until his brother was denied a seat as an authority member.

State Rep. Spencer says he plans to attend a special meeting of the authority at 6:30 p.m. today at the Ward L. Hernandez Building, 400 Osborne St., St. Marys, to discuss his concerns.

Stein said he and other authority members have asked Spencer repeatedly to meet face-to-face to discuss the issue. Stein maintains authority members did nothing illegal and that they had permission from the state to spend the money to support senior programs.


'Anchorman 2' filming begins on St. Simons

ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Doug Thornton stood near the beginnings of a film set Monday on the St. Simons Island beach with his binoculars.

"Will Ferrell came out here a while ago and looked around," said Thornton, pointing toward the island's Sixth Street beach access that has been blocked off for the filming of "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues."

Stars and crews for the sequel to the 2004 Anchorman film arrived Monday at the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport to begin filming at the beach north of the Old Coast Guard Station Beach on St. Simons Island and at the island's public pier.

Actor Ferrell is reprising his role as Ron Burgundy, and Christina Applegate is returning as newswoman Veronica Corningstone. Steve Carell is again portraying station weatherman Brick Tamland.

Thornton, who lives on St. Simons Island, is amazed by the size of the production, which is filming at an area of the beach temporarily closed to the public and includes a movie set lighthouse and a swimming pool. He says he hopes the production generates an economic boost for the county.

"All these people have to eat and have to sleep somewhere," he said.

Just down the beach, Mary Kathleen Ritter took in the set while walking her dog Bijou.

She is a new full-time resident of the island from Chicago and said she wants to see the project bring more notoriety to Glynn County. "Whatever brings more interest in St. Simons is a good thing."

Brian Steckinrider of St. Simons Island agrees. Having actors who have been part of the "epitome of late night TV" in the area can only cast a positive spotlight, he said.

"I think anything that is good for Glynn County and good for the Golden Isles, we need more of," Steckinrider said.

Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau officials have expressed interest in creating a film commission to draw more larger film projects to Glynn County.

"Anchorman" isn't the first time the beaches of the Golden Isles have provided the backdrop for a major motion picture. Jekyll Island was a stand-in for Cuba during the 2011 filming of "X-Men: First Class," Jekyll Island became a South Carolina beach for the 1989 Civil War movie "Glory," and St. Simons Island was transformed into the Hamptons of New York last year for episodes of the USA Network series "Royal Pains."

Filming for "Anchorman 2" is expected to continue through May 10.

The Sixth Street beach access on St. Simons Island will remain closed during that time, and the east side of the St. Simons Island Pier will be closed Thursday.

In addition, the first row of parking in front of Brogren's restaurant near the pier and the parking lot adjacent to the Neptune Park Fun Zone will be closed from 2 p.m. Wednesday to 9 a.m. Thursday.