ROUNDUP: 70-year-old woman accidentally shot on golf course

These are headlines from around the state.

Man claims golf-course shooting an 'accident'

SEA ISLAND — A 70-year-old Sea Island woman was in stable condition Monday after being hit Sunday by a stray bullet while on the course at Ocean Forest Golf Club.

Jane Prendergrast was on the fifth hole around 11 a.m. Sunday when a .22 caliber bullet, fired from a rifle from a nearby porch, struck her in the stomach, police said.

Prendergrast was immediately airlifted to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center where she underwent surgery and remained in the intensive care unit Monday, according to Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering.

Edward George Johnson, 65, of Sea Island, called 911 and told dispatchers he accidentally shot someone while firing at squirrels in the yard at 496 Forest Road on Sea Island.

Johnson has been charged with one misdemeanor count of reckless conduct.

Doering said the incident offers a good example why guns should not be fired in residential areas.

The chance of bystanders being wounded is just too high, he said.

"Safety dictates a gun should not be fired any place in a reckless manner, whether in shooting towards a road, business or any other place where it would endanger someone," Doering said.

Although charges have been filed, Doering said the investigation is ongoing.


Child shot in northwest Atlanta

ATLANTA — Atlanta police were searching late Monday for the person responsible for shooting a child in the leg.

The child, who was approximately 8 years old, was struck in the leg in the 1200 block of Gun Club Road, Officer John Chafee told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The child was conscious and alert when officers arrived, Chafee said.


Jekyll breaks ground on Westin hotel

JEKYLL ISLAND — The Jekyll Island Authority broke ground on the widely anticipated Westin hotel Monday, exactly one year after it opened the new convention center to the public.

The Westin is the next major piece of Jekyll's revitalization.

Jekyll officials hope the $41 million 200-room hotel will provide the visitation boost needed to bring in larger conventions, some of which have bypassed the island because of its lack of facilities.

Expected to open in September 2014, the Westin will be the second hotel built on the island in 40 years.

"It has been difficult," said Jones Hooks, executive director of the Jekyll Island Authority. "It was been difficult during some tough economic times that really hit the hospitality industry."

The hotel hit a roadblock last September when Gov. Nathan Deal announced it would not qualify for a new tourism tax credit, which the hotel was counting on initially.

The hotel is now back on track.

Also planned are a 120-room limited service Hyatt Place hotel and a smaller suites lodging facility.

Jekyll officials hope that combining the hotels with a Beach Village retail complex will create a town center feel.

"The Westin Jekyll Island will be a catalyst that allows the Jekyll Island revitalization to realize its full potential," Hooks said.

Construction on the retail center has been on hold because a provision in the authority's loan to self develop requires ground to be broken on the Westin before the retail complex can be built.

"The Westin Jekyll Island is pivotal to the entire Beach Village development," said Dave Curtis, managing partner of Jekyll Oceanfront Hotel, LLC that is developing the hotel. "It's the perfect complement to the wonderful new convention center and the island's relaxed and gracious ambiance."


Motorist shot by Houston sheriff's deputy faces felony obstruction charges

WARNER ROBINS — A 27-year-old man faces felony obstruction charges after allegedly fleeing from authorities and ramming patrol vehicles with his truck before a Houston County sheriff's deputy shot him.

Arrest warrants on two counts of felony obstruction of law enforcement officers were issued for Daniel Adam Boghosian, of Warner Robins, who remained hospitalized Monday at The Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. The warrants were sought by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Deputy Dean Holtzhouser, 50, was identified Monday as the patrol officer who fired his weapon. He remains on paid administrative leave while the GBI investigates whether lethal force was warranted, said Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton. Holtzhouser previously served in the military, Talton said.

"As far as I'm concerned, he acted appropriately," Talton said.

Holtzhouser, who's been with the sheriff's office since 2005, was outside of his patrol car near the driver's side door when Boghosian allegedly rammed the deputy's vehicle.

Talton said the position of Boghosian's truck indicated he was about to ram the patrol car again on the passenger side, and that action could have pushed the patrol car into the deputy, Talton said. That's when Holtzhouser fired, he said.

"I think (Holtzhouser) had to take the action he did to protect himself," Talton said.


Bibb commissioners start cutting into projected $19 million deficit

MACON — Facing a mountainous projected deficit of about $19 million, Bibb County commissioners Monday started the long climb to reach a balanced fiscal 2014 budget with the first day of budget hearings.

Commissioners have said they don't want a tax increase and that cutting spending is their main option to balance the budget. The $19 million figure comes from the difference between projected tax revenues and department spending requests.

Now commissioners must make cuts or find revenues in the form of additional taxes or money from the reserve fund to bridge the gap.

Monday, on the first day of budget hearings, commissioners heard from several departments including the sheriff's office, Animal Welfare, the District Attorney's Office, the county's courts and engineering department. Before each presentation, Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards -- chairman of the county's Finance Committee -- reminded department heads of the projected deficit, noting "every little bit helps."

Sheriff David Davis was able to contribute some significant savings, removing two building purchases that totalled about $3.5 million. The building space will be necessary once the sheriff's office merges with the Macon Police Department as part of consolidation with the city of Macon. Separately, commissioners are looking at other property acquisitions that could eliminate the need for those building purchases, Davis said. Davis said the county likely will buy one building that will house both the drug squad and the Criminal Investigation Division.


VietVet1 2 years, 3 months ago

"....Jekyll officials hope the $41 million 200-room hotel will provide the visitation boost"

41 million for 200 rooms! Know I can't afford to stay there.


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