The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on May 27, 1999 · 1
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 1

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 27, 1999
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METRO METRO Today and every Thursday: Home & Garden, Pullout section inside Food The Atlanta Constitution . ..,t. .... 6rfaMaalJeMsfMiiWM WEATHER Mostly sunny and warm. High 81, low 58. GI2 Your Holiday Guide Full calendar j Building a of events better burger 5t LIVING, D2 FOOD.HI.H6-7 Buying the right grill LIVING, Dl, DI2 Barnes purges leaders of cash-strapped public broadcasting By Kathey Pruitt and Alan Judd STAFF WRITERS . Gov. Roy Barnes dismantled the state's troubled public broadcasting system Wednesday to save it, ousting the top executive and board of directors because of poor money management. The state auditor who uncovered a $7 million shortfall will take over daily operations of the Georgia Public Broadcasting system. Claude Vickers, a 32-year state employee who has pored over the financial records of virtually every state agency in Georgia, will assume the role of executive director as soon as a new board is empaneled. "I need someone that's not necessarily experienced in broadcasting," Barnes said. "I need someone to make sure that the money is accounted for." Just how the new team is to bail the state's public broadcasting operation out of a three-year running deficit expected to reach $7 million by the end of June is still unclear. Vickers said he must "first try to find out how deep the hole is and what it takes to fix it." But selling the network of 23 radio and TV stations across the state appears to be off the table, at least for now, Vickers said. State officials would first have to get a firm grasp of the cash flow before the financial worth of the system could even be determined. Barnes discounted the idea of using lottery money to pay off the system's debts as exiting Executive Director Werner Rogers recently suggested. One of those obligations is an outstanding $10 million loan Rogers negotiated after the Legislature didn't appropriate enough funds to cover the purchase of state-of-the-art digital technology. The governor deliberated for two weeks over a draft audit that detailed missing equipment, unreconciled bank statements, out-of-date contracts and a financial shortfall that had the potential to keep creditors and employees from being paid. He said Wednesday all of the agency's bills will be paid and no programming would be cut. Barnes called for and accepted the Please see DISMANTLE, A24 Camping out for a park place 1 i ..... , . . !. . 1-" , , ' " ,t 1 f I , cU'. w..., ji ;JJ,k , r :t:ti:f'Ct m 4v?fvm W-t . :-f I f ' W :. ; I l zz..? A'kkV'-X I -r f j'.J-.j,' ,t ih.T .i -v - - --. . - A :u - i i DAVID TUUS Staff Parking it: Checking out the visitor center at Red Top Mountain State Park, Ben Mizell (left to right), Matt Lee and Ryan Elliot of Marietta, look for a Memorial Day weekend campsite. By Kent Mitchell STAFF WRITER ' The "no vacancy" sign just went up for the entire Georgia State Parks system for Memorial Day weekend. For the first time, all 2,900 campsites, 300 cabins and 62 lodge rooms in the state's 48 parks, from the Georgia mountains to the Okefenokee Swamp, are booked solid have been for more than a week. , Parks director Burt Weerts said the state's 3-year-old central reservation system played a big part in the record booking of park spaces. Instead of calling an individual park, finding that it's filled and staying home, people have been able to call one number 770-389-7275 or 800-864-7275 and be referred to an alternate park. ; "The phones are still ringing," Weerts said. "They're asking us about the Forest Service sites, Corps of Engineers and Georgia Power parks, and we love to refer them when we can. "Obviously our economy is prospering, and we've noticed an increase in visitations since March." Reservations are taken as early as 11 months in advance on a first-come, first-served basis. Georgians make up 65 percent of the 13 million visitors to state parks each year. Floridians make up the largest out-of-state group, at 17 percent. Another bit of memorable news for Georgia State Parks and taxpayers: The busy weekend will bring in an estimated $600,000, much of which will be put back into the parks system for maintenance and operating costs. Nonholiday weekends average $150,000, Weerts said. Nloirfilhieinra ik'c reoinisiDinis afitesit Controversial proposal stays oh Atlanta Regional Commission list of transportation projects. ByJohnMcCosh STAFF WRITER The Northern Arc is back. Strong support Wednesday by elected officials from local areas along and south of 1-20 gave new momentum to the proposed 59-mile road that would cross Atlanta suburbs far north of their own back yards. Clayton County Commission Chairman Crandle Bray led the charge to return the contested highway to a list of transportation projects regional planners will spend the next several months shoehorning into a model that meets air quality tests. The board of the Atlanta Regional Commission approved $35 billion in new transportation projects with little new debate, ending two years of negotiations to determine which projects will be submitted for federal funding over the next 25 years. Bray and eight other board members from south of 1-20 delivered half of the 18 votes that prevailed over 15 board members who wanted the $1.1 billion arc dropped from the transportation blueprint. Bray said his support reflects concern the arc should be studied as part of the solution to the region's overall traffic congestion. "I'll be the first to vote against the arc if the study says it's environmentally wrong," he said. "But I think it would be unconscionable to say it's not going to be on the list." BARTOW CHEROKEEforscth 7 5 575 .., eV 85 MRR PAULDING , , -GV Atlanta 20 FULTON ?uu 316 . , GWINNETT I 20 Staff The list includes new roads, car pool lanes and alternative-transportation projects. It is the '. latest attempt to bring 13 metro Atlanta counties into compliance ' with the Clean Air Act and start . pumping federal money into local roads. After running the list through computer modeling and a series of public hearings this fall,' regional planners will work Please see TRAFFIC, A23 Serb war crime charge possible FROM NEWS SERVICES The Hague, Netherlands Speculation mounted that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will be indicted for war crimes, possibly as early as today. The tribunal charged with prosecuting war crimes in Yugoslavia said Wednesday it is armed with evidence of atrocities "on a massive scale." The U.N. court's chief prosecutor, Louise Arbour, said she would make "an important announcement" today but would not comment on reports an indictment against Milosevic was imminent. CNN cited unidentified European diplomatic sources, and The Associated Press reported an unnamed diplomat at NATO headquarters in Belgium said an indictment had been in the works for weeks. As thousands of ethnic Albanians fleeing Kosovo continue to relate accounts of atrocities, the tribunal has faced increasing pressure to indict top Yugoslav officials. On Monday, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the "vigorous investigation" of war crimes. It urged the tribunal to issue indictments "regardless of their position within the Serbian' leadership." More on the Kosovo crisis A 1 0-1 2 S. Africans pay price for freedom With freedom in South Africa has come fear a soaring crime rate that has threatened to undermine the authority of the governing African National Congress. ' All people admit to being frightened, and some have fled the country. . . Staff writer Don Melvin listened to the views of a wide range of South Africans, about the causes of the crime wave and what needs to be done about it. Turn to A 1 4-1 5 WA BRIDGES JR. Staff Hlamalani Shemane lives in Soweto; the barbed wire helps make her feel safe. Coke uncorks diversity effort ' Coca-Cola's chairman and CEO moves to increase the beverage giant's dialogue on employee-diversity issues as Coke deals with a racial discrimination lawsuit. The company also informs workers not to destroy documents that could be needed in the suit. Turn to F I , F3 Ragged genes: Cloned sheep born old By William McCall ASSOCIATED PRESS Dolly the cloned sheep may be susceptible to premature aging and disease because her genes were copied from a 6-year-old sheep, Scottish scientists say. There is no direct evidence Dolly will die prematurely. She is a healthy 3-year-old Finn Dorset sheep and has delivered lambs in the past two years. But the older DNA in her cells shows telltale signs of wear more typical of an older animal, according to researchers at FPL Therapeutics, a firm associated with the Roslin Institute in Scotland, which produced Dolly in 1996. Geneticists said the finding, published in today's issue of the journal Nature, provides further evidence cloning has its limits and researchers cannot endlessly manufacture copies of animals without the original genetic blueprint wearing out. The researchers said their finding means Dolly could age faster and be more at risk for cancer. Sheep have a life expectancy of 13 years. Three years ago, Dolly became the first large animal to be cloned from genetic material extracted from an adult cell. "I recall when the news first came out, somebody said that Dolly was a sheep in lamb's clothing," said Jerry Shay, a molecular biologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "I think that's an appropriate quote now." '..;;.w'-:V . r- . r ,j .t.-.-f : V. Associated Press Scientists say Dolly may be susceptible to early aging. INDEX VOL 131, NO. 238 160 PAGES, 13 SECTIONS Copyright 1999 The Atlanta Constitution FEATURES ABBY D9 CLASSIFIEDS E9 COMICS D8 EDITORIALS A26 LEGAL NOTICES F7 MOVIES DIO OBITUARIES TELEVISION D6 SECTIONS MAIN NEWS A,C LIVING ' LOCAL NEWS E, SPORTS FOOD HOMES GARDEN HG ?",,22011"00002,1 This newspaper Is printed in part on recycled paper and is recyclable. For the recycling station nearest you. please ZZJ phone 404-222-2010.

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