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Georgia Briefs - June 3, 2014

Charges upgraded in toddler’s death

ELLIJAY (MCT) — A toddler who was struck by a car in a hit-and-run wreck in Gilmer County Friday has died, and charges against the suspect have been upgraded, according to authorities.

The child, identified as Noah Pinson, was struck around 9 p.m. Friday near the tennis courts at the Gilmer County River Park, according to Channel 2 Action News. The child’s father was transferring the boy from a stroller into a van.

The child was then flown to Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta. The boy died Monday.

On Saturday morning the Georgia State Patrol arrested 26-year-old Jordan Allen Hyde in Cherokee County on two charges; leaving the scene of an accident/hit and run and serious injury by vehicle and was held in the Gilmer County Detention Center on those charges. He bonded out on Saturday, but after the child died, he was arrested again and charges were upgraded to first degree homicide by vehicle and DUI/drugs which do not carry a bond. Hyde was also charged with with two counts of financial transaction card fraud, according to authorities.

Man jumps to death from Atlanta overpass

ATLANTA (MCT) — A man jumped to his death from a Spaghetti Junction overpass during Monday’s morning commute, DeKalb County police said.

Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said the man, whose name had not been released, died after jumping from an overpass leading from I-285 north to I-85 southbound, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The incident happened before 8 a.m. and disrupted traffic for several hours while the ramp to I-85 southbound was closed.

D-Day veteran gets citizenship proof

ATLANTA (MCT) A 94-year-old D-Day veteran appeared in Atlanta Monday morning and received proof he is a U.S. citizen so he can get a passport and travel to France for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy.

Sherwin Callander of Madison, Ala., received his citizenship certificate Monday morning at the Atlanta office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“I’m so proud to receive it,” said Callander, who was planning to fly to France Monday. “I’m so proud of these people who expedited it and got it for me.”

A Navy veteran, Callander did not have documents proving his citizenship. He was born in Canada but is a U.S. citizen because his mother was one, according to USCIS.

“I believed all my life I was a citizen,” Callander said. “My mother was a citizen. My dad … was born in Scotland but he lived in Canada. But I always believed I was a citizen.

“I went through all my schools saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag every morning. You had to do that when I went to school. And then I joined the Navy. And nobody asked me for proof before until I wanted to go to France.”

USCIS spokeswoman Sharon Scheidhauer said: “We worked quickly to get this decorated veteran his rightful document so he can travel to the D-Day anniversary commemoration, and we thank him for his selfless service to our country.”