The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on November 14, 1991 · 1
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 1

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Thursday, November 14, 1991
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E2 Thursday, November 14, 1991 . METRO Bt STATE TheAWta Journal The Atlanta tostMon'-' DeKalb NEWS, NOTES, PEOPLE AND PLACES I ,, . ft 1 x r 1 'I . .. . i . ..' ' t X !..:,. - - J ninn tii- 'I Robin Harris He was the "driving force" behind Fernbank from 1983 to 1989. ALSO IN DeKALB Larry Lonchar's sister seeks his release E2 Dateline DeKalb in Sports G2 FERNBANK Natural history museum to be named for Harris The naturalist center of Fernbank's new Museum of Natural History will be named for the late Robin Harris, the organiza-:tion's board of trustees announced Wednesday. Mr. Harris, chairman of the board of trustees from 1983 until his death in 1989, was the "driving force" behind the muse- utrt, said the current chairman, Rankin M. Smith Sr. ' Mr. Harris was chairman of Decatur Federal and an active civic . leader in DeKalb County and the Atlanta area. , ; , The naturalist center is part of , the museum under construction on ' Clifton Road, which is scheduled to open in October 1992. ' Fernbank officials describe the 'center as "a public laboratory where " visitors to the museum will be able to 'conduct limited experiments and investigations using sophisticated scientific equipment under the guidance of volunteer and staff sci- 'enlists." "Mr. Harris's intellectual curiosity was evident throughout his ' ,. life," Mr. Smith said. "He was a ! great collector of model planes, of , butterflies and stamps, and was interested in all living species." PEOPLE Emory instructor goes on national TV Emory University instructor Claude Sitton, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of The News and Observer in Raleigh, discussed civil rights on the ABC morning news this week. - ! " Mr. Sitton was featured in a five ' minute segment of "Good Morning : America" with Joseph E. Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The show aired from Underground Atlanta Tuesday. , Mr. Sitton, who teaches a seminar on media coverage of civil rights at Emory, said America is desegregated but not integrated. - "Blacks and whites have a Monday-to-Friday connection," he said. "They meet for business, they meet for lunch, but few meet for cocktails, and almost never for Sunday brunch." The scope of civil rights has also widened greatly to include people of all colors and sexual orientations, Mr. Sitton said. "It embraces not only African-Americans, but other hyphenated Americans." POLITICS County Democrats fail to get Murphy The crowd was restless at the DeKalb Democratic Party breakfast Wednesday, the 45 party members were expecting House Speaker Tom Murphy to fill them in on the happenings at the Capitol. But he didn't show. Instead, they got Larry Engle, deputy insurance commissioner, to speak at the Holiday Inn gathering. Party leaders at the breakfast said Mr. Murphy got called away by the governor. Turns out he never planned to attend. "He was invited to attend," pointed out Mr. Murphy's administrative aide, Steve Anthony. "He had an appointment with people at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and we just couldn't work out the schedule to get him over there in time." This happens often with the u TLv . -nA invited all the time, he could do one a ylfhedidftem.U,Mr.A,U,oy Party breakfast. With pun intended, Mr. Anthony added that Mr. Murphy is a pretty good speaker. CALENDAR HOMELESS BENEFIT. The Stage Door Players are performing "Godspell" at 8 tonight to benefit the Task Force for the Homeless. All tickets are $10. The play is being presented at the North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. For reservations and information, call 396-1726. TEACHERS HONORED. Students from the private North-lake Sylvan Learning Center are having an "I Love My Teacher" party from 4 to 5 p.m. at the center, 1957 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 508, Tucker. The 50 students have invited their favorite classroom teacher, in either public or private school, to the open house. The center offers after-school programs to supplement classroom work. 934-6284. HOTLINE DeKalb is getting several Olympic events in 1996, including tennis and cycling at Stone Mountain Park: What do you think of the county's efforts to land women's fast-pitch Softball? To respond, call our DeKalb Hotline at 222-2034. Staff writers Carious Daniel, Lillian Guevarra-Castro, Norma Wenner and Lawrence Viele contributed to this report. If you have information or suggestions for Dateline DeKalb, please call the DeKalb County bureau at 370-7280. EXTRA DeKalb residents last week pitched for three sites to host the Olympic women's fast-pitch Softball venue. See Dekalb Extra. Death of two brothers 'just bizarre': No motive seen in young Marine's murder-suicide By John Harmon STAFF WRITER Blairsville, Ga, Family members were struggling Wednesday to understand why a Marine Corps private stabbed to death the 13-year-old brother who "worshiped" him and then took his own life. Pfc. Anthony Donald Bryant, 20, who Marine officials say was headed toward a promising service career, attacked Barry Clay Bryant with two hunting knives Tuesday and then shot himself in the mouth with a 20-gauge shotgun, investigators said. The tragedy occurred at the S.C. ; H) ' AJlanti ' OP " ALgUStl uxumoui -; savannas Albany 0 k1 50 FLA. Brunswick 1 Staff family's double-wide mobile home in a secluded area near the , Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway, 12 miles south of this North Georgia town. Investigators believe the murder-suicide happened within minutes after Barry stepped off the school bus at 4:15 p.m. but have not established a motive. "He looked to his brother and worshiped him," Debbie Bryant Love, the brothers' aunt, said of Barry. "He couldn't wait until he got home on leaves. "Little Barry had just had a birthday and Tony had spent a lot of money on him," she continued. "He took him to school every day while he was home. It's just a bizarre case. We dont understand Bryant, a 1990 graduate of Union High School, enlisted earlier this year and graduated Nov. 6 from Marine security force school in Norfolk, Va. Graduates become military police officers or provide embassy security, said Gunnery Sgt. Joann Bensen. X Legitimate and fraudulent timber deals 0 0 The legal way For generations, the timber industry has relied on trust and, today, the business is supposed to operate like this: A timber dealer buys rights to harvest a specified stand dtrees from a landowner and sells the rights to a lumber producer or another timber dealer. This is often a paper transaction and the second buyer may not have seen the property. Timber dealers use the value of timber to borrow money from lending institutions. The timber dealer or the lumber producer hires loggers to cut and deliver speotiea amounts of logs to tne producers or to a mill. Sometimes the loggers have their own trucks and 1 sometimes they hire trucking firms. When trucks loaded with logs arrive at the lumber yard, the truck and the load of togs are weighed. Scale operators rely on the word of the truck drivers for information, recorded on a ticket, about v who owns the logs and where they came from. How scams allegedly work Investigators say fraud is occurring at every step of timber transactions: Cji Timber dealers buy timber rights from J uninformed landowners well below market value and sell the rights quickly at inflated prices in "24-hour turnarounds." Timber dealers also are selling rights to stands of trees that do not exist. 1 0 0 Timber dealers misrepresent the value of timber and land to borrow money and sometimes strip away the timber without the lenders' knowledge. Loggers, workers independently of with unscrupulous timber dealers, sell to lumber producers togs that supposedly belongto timber dealers but that actually have been cut from trees the lumber producer already owns. Thus, the producer pays twice. Taking advantage of loose recordkeeping, loggers and truck firms deliver togs to one lumber producer that actually belong to another. Possible $500,000 theft of timber probed by state By Rick Minter STAFF WRITER The GBI and the state attorney general's office are investigating the possible theft of a half-million dollars' worth of timber from a Waynesboro broker, according to Patrick Deering, the assistant attorney general in charge of an investigation into timber thefts statewide. Steve Crawford, owner of Steve Crawford Forest Products Inc. in Waynesboro, says the loss occurred over the past four years. Since October 1989, state agents have been investigating allegations of multimillion-dol lar fraud in Georgia's timber industry. The investigation began when Keadle Lumber Enterprises in Thomaston reported the theft of about $1 million in timber. Mr. Deering said the Waynesboro company appears to have been the victim of scams similar to those played against Keadle. . Since the investigation began, authorities have uncovered more than 100 related schemes, which are made up of many separate crimes, Mr. Deering said. More than 20 suspects have been identified and the state is considering prosecuting the case under the Georgia Racketeering Influ enced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Mr. Crawford said his experience was similar to that reported by Keadle. "I'm not sure exactly what all did happen," Mr. Crawford said, "but I know that there are instances where I paid for timber on the stump and it was cut and delivered with the wrong people getting the money." Mr. Crawford, who buys standing trees and resells them to lumber mills, said the alleged fraud involved timber in at least 12 Georgia counties. He said he became aware of the problem in 1989 when a tract of timber yielded 80 percent less than it should have. Rule death-row inmate incompetent, sister urges judge By Katie Long STAFF WRITER Attorneys for the sister of death-row inmate Larry Grant Lonchar are asking a federal judge to rule him incompetent and consider her petition to release him from prison. , The hearing before U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp, which began Tuesday and continued Wednesday, is expected to conclude today. Christina Lonchar Kellogg, Lonchar's sister, intervened as her brother's "next friend" in the case despite her brother's wishes that his execution be carried out. State prosecutors argue that she is not the proper person to seek his release because Lonchar is capable of making rational decisions and does not want to file such a petition. "I don't want one filed," Lon char told Judge Camp at the start of the hearing)"! do not want a Larry Lonchar Convicted in 1 987 of a triple murder in DeKalb County and sentenced to die fn the electric chair. lawsuit filed on my behalf." In 1987, Lonchar was convicted of a triple murder in DeKalb County and sentenced to die in the electric chair. Since then, his sister has succeeded in securing several stays of execution.. Ms. Kellogg contests earlier findings in State Court that Lonchar was competent to stand trial and argues that he is seeking a state-assisted suicide by refusing to , challenge his death sentence. Witnesses forpoth sides testi fied Tuesday and Wednesday about Lonchar, his family background, his mental condition and his ability to make decisions. Dr. Robert T.M. Phillips, a forensic psychiatrist from Yale University, asserted that Lonchar suffers from a bi-polar, or manic-depressive, disorder. He said Lonchar is suicidal, depressed and has an "extraordinary preoccupation with the belief that he should die." Lonchar's desire to die is vindictive and "a way of getting back at" his abusive family, Dr. Phillips said. Another forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Dave Davis, testified that Lonchar is capable of rationally waiving his appeal rights and understands the consequences. He diagnosed the convicted killer as having a mild depressive neurosis combined with an anti-social personality disorder. "Only a small percentageof ; Marines qualify for security force training," said Sergeant : Benson. "It really reflects: w what a quality Marine he was?, ' Private Bryant had beenm ; leave since Friday and was; : scheduled to report Monday; for! ; duty in England. ; At Union Middle Schpbl,! teachers and counselors spent : much of the day talking with siu-i ; dents about the tragedy. A sev- enth-grader, Barry played base-; ; ball and football and was popular! with classmates. -21 ' Their father, Anthony Ford : Bryant, 43, and his wife, Faye; lirAfA Qitrotr finm hnma nrhan Uw deaths occurred. Mr. Bryant 1 touna tne Domes about 4:ju p.m.' : in ine mnm e nnme. wnirn- is : oerched on the Nottelv River fe. : siue a iroui iarm uie iamuy oper-; IIL1IIII III llllil liiLIIVU lil LmiLT : mmm ' Mnnnnn rnnirinn lUU Wll VWIIIkJIWII tuns j in o. ruiton Three people, including . & toddler, were killed Wednesday-. in a head-on collision toir Highway 92 near Fairburn. The dead were identified as William W. Hollis, 73, of 5680 West Side Road in Austell, Eaton' Marie Evans, 63, of 7241 Ginger Lane in Lithia Springs, and ' Matthew J. Turner, age 4, of 8328 Donbie Drive in Dallas, Ga, ; according to Fulton County , police spokesman Barry Batsonl The child is believed to be the grandson of Ms. Evans,., according to Mr. Batson. They were passengers in "a 1973 ' Volkswagen Beetle" traveling westbound on Highway 92 near Ridge Road, said Fulton ' County Police spokesman Barry ' Batson. ', ; : "It appears that for unknown;; reasons, the Volkswagen driven., by Mr. Hollis crossed the center iine ana sirucit a iyo buick Park Avenue driven by Lillian Hopkins, 66," Mr. Batson said." Ms. Hopkins wore a seat belt but none of the occupants of the Volkswagen appeared to. be-wearing them, Mr. Batson said. -" Ms. Hopkins suffered a broken leg and lacerations and was taken to South Fulton Medical Center, according to Mr. ' Batson. She was listed in good;' uuiiuiuun w eunesuay iugni. . - POLITICS v Linder files for race. Atlantan John Linder ; on Wednesday filed a statement with the U.S. House, of Representatives of his intention to organize and raise funds for a second congressional bid. said he will formally announce in mid-December his candidacy for the 1992 Republican nomination for Georgia's 4th Congressional District. If successful, he would ' seek the seat held by Democratic ' Rep. Ben Jones. He lost to Mr ' Jones in 1990 by 9,000 votes.;Mr.; Linder served in the Georgia' House of Representatives 14 J years from north DeKalb County. He called the newly; redrawn 4th District "considerably more Republican' and conservative than in pasi ' years." The district now ' has ' southern and central portions of Gwinnett County, and northern and central areas of DeKalb and' Rockdale counties but the district still faces Justice Department review. Mr. Linder was unopposed in 1990 for the Republican nomination. ETC. Mayor breaks a toe. Mayor-Maynard H. Jackson canceled a trip to the U.S. Conference-pi" Mayors' meeting in Milwaukee: Wednesday to nurse a fractured, toe. He will conduct city business from his Buckhead home for the remainder of the week, his staff' announced. Lyn May, " ' the mayor's communications' director, said Mayor Jackson' injured his big toe at horned Tuesday evening and spent much of the day Wednesday in his' physician's office. She said" she did not know how the fracture occurred, or which foot was injured. t ',','' Ftom staff and nes services

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