Former state superintendent pleads not guilty
Georgia's former schools superintendent pleaded not guilty Monday to charges she stole more than $600,000 in education funds and spent it on a face lift and her failed campaign for governor.
Linda Schrenko was released on $40,000 bond after she entered her plea to an 18-count indictment accusing her of taking federal money meant for school computers.
Schrenko did not speak to reporters and said little during the hearing, except to tell the federal magistrate that she is taking medication for injuries from a car accident a decade ago. She said it would not interfere with her ability to understand the proceedings.
A grand jury handed down the indictment against Schrenko, 54, a week ago, and the government is seeking the return of at least $614,387.
An 18-year-old Martinez man was charged with murder Saturday in connection to a case in which a Martinez man's body was found three weeks ago near Columbia County's landfill.
Daniel Garcia Blackwell, of Shady Grove Drive, was charged with murder, kidnapping, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and theft by taking, according to Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.
On Oct. 23, the body of Thomas Wright, of Shady Grove Drive, was found by hunters about 100 feet into the woods off Baker Place Road.
Authorities said Mr. Wright had been shot in the head and that his vehicle was missing. He was reportedly last seen by his girlfriend on Oct. 9.
On Monday, Morris said more arrests were possible, but he could not release further details of the case.
The following account was taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
Flag found burned
An Evans man said he found his American flag burned on his property Saturday morning.
The man, who lives on Dartmore Trail, told police Saturday morning that sometime during the night someone removed his 8-by-5-foot flag from a pole on the front of his home and burned it in his driveway, according to a sheriff's office incident report.
Because of a lack of witnesses and evidence, the case was closed, the report states.
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