The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on August 12, 1993 · 21
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 21

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 12, 1993
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- .Thursday, Aug. 12, 1993 The crime plan Import Jbah likel won't slow gun sales PageO Perseid shower Georgians look to sky for fireworks PageC4 News briefs a Tom Baxter a The Atlanta Journal The Atlanta Constitution .Obituaries C6 Legal notices a . L The Fruitless Search For m ,-. , HUGH SCOGGINS Special "I want to look myself" says Helen Bennett, who visited police this week but didn't hear anything encouraging. A year later, woman's disappearance remains a mystery By Bill Montgomery STAFF WRITER . Panama City Beach, Fla. A ; v i t ago uus morning, rameia iune nay vanished In the predawn darkness on Front Beach Road, leaving her sleeping children locked in their car. Her family continues its dogged search for her. : Police search for her, too, when they can think of a new place to look, but they have run out of ideas. v Helen Bennett of Lithia Springs, the ; Villa Rica woman's mother, and her sister, Raynell Wcislo, stopped by the police sta- tinn this wmV hut t.t Hnuinivt PnrV rnnM ! tell them nothing encouraging. j ' Room-by-room searches of motels along Front Beach Road in the days following her disappearance, of surrounding woods and state parks by helicopter, horseback and four-wheel drive have turned up no trace of the petite, 36-year-old brunette. Last month, on the basis of a psychic's reported vision, police scoured an area base- 2 girls in court today in plot to ldll parents By BUI Robinson and Dennis McCafferty STAFF WRITERS In a case described as "bizarre" and "tragic," two 13-year-old Hall County girls will appear in court today on charges they tried to get a 13-year-old trigger-man to kill their parents in a drive-by shooting. The girls, described as friends from Gainesville and Gillsville, were arrested Tuesday, a day after the 15-year-old boy went to police about the alleged scheme, which targeted both sets of parents, authorities said. "I've seen some bizarre things in 11 years with the Hall County Sheriff's Office, but this is really the most bizarre thing I've had to deal with," said Sheriff's Capt Ken Grogan. "There's not but one word for It's tragic." : oth girls were charged """""N" '-- .--'rv.'-' - -T : V.VVV v "r:' i''Z - : ' t--.;-. .-- -...---' , -. . . ,. ' " !---..- .-5 - V---" " ; ."-' ' year MARLENEKAAAS Stiff Ralph Bennett, Mrs. Ray's dad, passes out fliers offering a reward. ball Held with dogs. "We've searched everywhere we could think of, and we've found nothing," Lieu with criminal solicitation to commit murder and were being held at the Regional Youth Development Center in Gainesville. Authorities would not release their identities or that of the boy because they are juveniles. For the same reason, Captain Grogan said he could not discuss details about the alleged plot, such as where and when it was to take place, the type of weapon Involved, or the "socio-economic situation of the parents that were supposed to be the victims." The girls never discussed payment with the teenager, Hall County Sheriff Bob Vass was quoted as saying In an As sociated Press report The girls are scheduled to make their first appearance in Hall County Juvenile Court at 12:30 p.m. tpday. ji' -w- ' Brad Hubbert Chairman was paid mora than $9,000 In per diem the last fiscal year. I Paving and psrics How DOT board members ore ' compensated: - DOT board members, fike legislators, other board i members and state employ- i ees, receive $59 a day for ex- . perses on state business. f They art reimbursed for mileage at the rate of 21 cents a mile. Board members regularly use state airplanes to travel j to and from board meetings. ! DOT cars are available " when board members are on official business. Pamela June Ray, who disappeared a year ago in Pana-. ma City Beach, Fla., left her kids Michael Shane and Brandi asleep in the car. 'V' , tenant Parks told the women. "We've followed a lot of tips, but I have to say I don't know the answer. If I did, we'd have it solved by now." Mrs. Bennett was undaunted. "I want to look myself," she said, "because I think women pay more attention to things they see, little things, than men do." Was under Indictment In Douglas The case bristles with contradictions and complications. Mrs. Bennett said her daughter called a familiar motel and was told plenty of rooms were available, but the motel insists she was told a room would not be available before midmorning. Nonetheless, she arrived in the middle of the night She turned down, without explanation, a room at another motel She and her family were under indictment in Douglas County for allegedly spending $300,000 that a bank accidentally Please see MISSING, C6 DOT board Hefty perks: Members ; have spent more money on travel than ' those on any other state board By Mark Sherman ; STAFF WRITER I State Transportation Board . Chairman Brad Hubbert claimed 1 per diem expenses on 1S5 sepa-j rate occasions In the fiscal year . that ended June 30. ' At $59 a day, that came to , $9,145 or nearly $1,000 more ; than was paid in per diem to the entire Board of Regents. ' ' Even though the Transporta- tion Board meets two days each . month with Commissioner Wayne Shackelford in attend- ance, board member Max Goldin made three additional trips a month to Atlanta in January, i February and March to meet - with the commissioner. Each ' time, he received $59 a day plus 21 cents mlli. 9 on push Board to recommend 7; educators ask up to 10 Gov. Miller won't comment on requests By Laura Wisniewski STAFF WRITER Teacher groups and the state Board of Education, while they disagree on the amount, agree that teachers need up to 10 percent pay raises. Now they're wondering if the governor will pay attention. Gov. Zell Miller, however, won't comment on any budget proposals from any departments just yet, according to spokesman Chuck Reece. The proposals are due in his office Sept 1. The state school board plans to give final approval today to a 1994-95 budget request that includes a 7 percent increase in state allotments to teachers the same amount that was denied last year and up to $500 mil-' lion in school improvement pro-! grams. The raises would cost about $162 million. Only veteran teachers with 18 years or more experience got 3 percent raises from the state for 1993-94. While some school systems gave teachers raises with local funds, many others didn't including Gwinnett and Cobb county schools. No 'substantial raise' for years Teacher organizations are already gearing up to lobby the Legislature. The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) plans to push for 8 percent pay increases while the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) will fight for 10 percent boosts. Hollis Q. Lathem, chairman of the Board of Education, said the board considered asking for more than 7 percent but members "wanted to be realistic." "Seven percent would only give . you a very minimum amount of raise," Andy Griffin, executive director of GAE, said Wednesday. "We have not received a substantial raise for many years and for us to catch had $88,000 On a half-dozen occasions last fiscal year, board member Sam Wellborn held meetings in his Columbus bank office on Department of Transportation business. He claimed his daily allowance each time. No state board makes as much use of travel and expense money as the DOT board. In the last fiscal year, from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 1993, members who are not otherwise compensated by the state received $88,000 for their time and travel, even when that amounted to no more than inspecting an intersection in their hometowns, according to DOT records. The amount includes the cost of state planes dispatched to board members to and from meetings. By contrast expenses for the Board of Regents, which sets policy for Georgia's public colleges and universities, totaled $21,000. The Board of Human Resources, which oversees the state' vast network of social services, incurred $21,500 in travel and other expenses. 1 tolhiote .9 Safery gains Teachers' salaries in Georgia rose faster than the national average last year but are still almost $5,000 lower ; than the national norm. Avg, : Change Change. , salary.. 1992-93 1930-9.3 ' Georgia South ' -Willi' isUwj .United States 9.4 51 9.2 : 12.7 a 'Alabama, Ariontu, Florida, Georgia. . Kentucky, Louitiarta, Maryland, Hfcsbsippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma. South , Carolina, lennense, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia. . . ' .- Sourt National Education Association STAFF up, it's going to take a real strong effort" 'In the middle In the South' : The average teacher salary in Georgia is $30,626, which is be' low the national average of $35,334, according to the Southern Regional Education Board. In the South, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia have higher average teacher salaries than Georgia. "Here we are, happy to be in the middle in the South," Mr. Griffin said. "I thought we wanted to be Number One in the country. We have to attract and maintain the quality work force." - School Superintendent Werner Rogers said he was optimistic that the state may have a bigger treasure chest this year. Tax officials reported this week that state revenues for July slightly outpaced projections, suggesting that Georgia's economy is se curely expanding. July revenues increased by 8.8 percent com pared to July 1992. The budget was based on a growth .of 6.5 percent "The economic climate appears to have improved for the state," said. Tim Callahan, spokesman for PAGE. "It's time to catch up with teacher salaries." in expenses The Transportation Board is arguably the most powerful of the governing boards of state agencies, controlling a $1 billion a year road-building budget Elections to the 11 -member board are highly competitive and heavily political. State legisla-' tors vote by secret ballot ; Members have t pedal status ' State law allows board members 60 trips a year concerning road matters in counties around the state making them seem almost like hands-on managers of the department's road-bullying and repair programs. j . But Mr. Shackelford said tha't while board members do not nut the day-to-day affairs of the department they have a special status because they are the only elected board In state govenK ment : . Their duties include attend ing such events as the annual Wild Hog Supper, put on by thev Pleas tee DOT, C4 $30,626 3.8 30,017 2.3 liS 16 :----")" -was"

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