Topside news January 20 2001

Shooting victims had many visitors

Before the Jan. 4 shooting deaths of two half-brothers, Abdur Rahim Robinson, 24, and Yasiah Robinson, 20, both of Marietta, neighbors had witnessed suspicious activity at the home.?

Neighbors have said they saw cars regularly pull up to the house on Stokes Avenue at all hours of the night, and then leave after only a few minutes.?

The brothers' bodies were undiscovered for two days before a relative who was unable to reach them by phone came to the house. She crawled through a window and found their bodies Jan. 6. ?

Police said they suspect the victims may have known their killer. There was no sign of forced entry or obvious indications of theft.?

Fulton police not updated on January tag break
Because Fulton County police officers were unaware of the tax commissioner's "gift" to consumers by giving them an extra 31 days to pay for their tag renewal, the result has caused some drivers to be ticketed.?

Tag renewal notices for Fulton were not sent out until Dec. 26 and Dec. 27. Because of this late date, Fulton Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand issued a reprieve to those residents with January birthdays. Under state law, tags must be renewed by midnight on the car owner's birthday.?

Police chiefs in Fulton now have been told of the extension, but people still could be ticketed. Ferdinand said his office will try to help those facing fines.?

Hospital battle OK'd to continue
Saint Joseph's Hospital won the first round in its lawsuit against Northside Hospital after a Fulton County Superior Court Judge denied Northside's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. ?

St. Joseph's lawsuit says Northside Hospital uses its dominance of the market in obstetrics to force health insurers to exclude Saint Joseph's from their managed care networks.?

The suit, filed in May, says this practice restricts consumers' choices. Northside claims the suit has no basis. ?

The two hospitals are considered rivals and are located across from each other on Peachtree Dunwoody Road. ?

Accused killers cleared on technicality
The state Supreme Court threw out murder convictions against three men last week, saying the prosecution based its case on the wrong charge.?

The mistake the Cobb District Attorney's office made centered on the charge of felony murder in the 1994 shotgun killing of 17-year-old Jonathan Tripp at a Little Caesars restaurant in Marietta. That charge dictates that the murder must occur during the commission of a felony. In this case, Erick Thomas, Jeremy Prater and Josh Tomlinson also were convicted of armed robbery.?

The state Supreme Court overturned the convictions on the basis that nothing was taken from the restaurant. Prater and Tomlinson still face 20-year sentences for wounding one of Tripp's co-workers, but Thomas, the alleged getaway driver, is expected to go free.?

Cobb District Attorney Pat Head declined to comment if any disciplinary action would be taken. ?

Multi-county heritage trail to be created
The state Department of Trans- portation is handing over about $700,000 to help create a multi-county driving trail system, which will cross metro Atlanta.?

The Atlanta Campaign Trail and March to the Sea Heritage Trail will pass through Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties. Roadside signs and interpretative markers will lead travelers to a series of significant Civil War sites in Georgia. ?

PTA presents legislative forum
The North Fulton Council of PTAs will present its annual legislative forum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, at the Northside Medical Complex on Old Milton Parkway.?

Information discussed will include: drivers' education, education reform, school councils, funding, middle schools and impact fees. For more information, call 770-475-1001. ?

Compiled by Debra Warlick. Additional reporting by Lea Keel. Source information from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Roswell/Alpharetta Neighbor.

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