News Midday Update: Ex-wife says Conyers man accused of posing as doctor lied; lawmaker says Chinese hacked Capitol computers; sandbagged levee holds in Iowa, protects city

The ex-wife of a Conyers man accused of posing as an Atlanta doctor says he also lied about his profession when they lived in Chicago.

Joy Richardson has a 6-year-old son with Eric Perteet. She tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he told her he was a computer whiz about to make multimillion-dollar deals with Fortune 500 companies.

Atlanta police arrested the 27-year-old Perteet May 18 after security officers at Piedmont Hospital saw him in the emergency room wearing surgical clothes. Police and hospital officials say he had lurked around the hospital for about two months.

Hospital officials say an internal investigation showed no evidence that Perteet ever had contact with patients.

Perteet remains in the Fulton County Jail charged with identity fraud and drug possession. His new wife, Tammi Perteet, says he told her he was a doctor. Perteet’s attorney did not immediately return a call for comment today.

Associated Press

Lawmaker says Chinese hacked Capitol computers

A congressman said today the FBI has found that four of his government computers have been hacked by sources working out of China.

Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, said that similar incidents — also originating from China — have taken place on computers of other members of the House and at least one House committee.

A spokesman for Wolf said the four computers in his office were being used by staff members working on human rights issues and that the hacking began in August 2006. Wolf is a longtime critic of the Chinese government’s human rights record.

Separately, U.S. authorities are investigating whether Chinese officials secretly copied the contents of a government laptop computer during a visit to China by Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and used the information to try to hack into Commerce Department computers.

The FBI declined to comment. In Beijing, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had no immediate comment.

Associated Press

Sandbagged levee holds in Iowa, protects city

A sandbagged levee was preventing a swollen river from spilling over its banks and flooding a northeastern Iowa city, but officials today asked for additional volunteers to help shore it up as more rain loomed.

The Cedar River had been expected to top the levee during the night, deluging downtown Cedar Falls, a city of 35,000 people some 130 miles northwest of Des Moines. But city spokeswoman Susan Staudt said early today that the sandbags appeared to be holding.

Flood stage at Cedar Falls is 88 feet, and by about 5 a.m. the river stood at 101.8 feet, down slightly from earlier in the night. The previous record was 99.2 feet in 1999.

Thousands of volunteers who showed up Tuesday to help with the sandbagging effort ‘‘saved this city, but we are still at a critical point,’’ Staudt said.

She said more volunteers were needed to help reinforce the sandbag wall, which rises several feet above the levee. Volunteers patrolling the sandbag wall during the night reinforced spots where water was seeping through, she said.

Thunderstorms arrived in western Iowa during the morning as a band of storms rippled across the northern Plains, and the National Weather Service issue a severe thunderstorm watch for northwest Iowa and parts of Minnesota and South Dakota.

Associated Press


— We'll update you on this morning's apartment fire off Log Cabin Drive in Macon. — Sheriff Jerry Modena will host a ribbon cutting ceremony this afternoon to celebrate the completion and grand opening of the new courtroom located at the Hawthorne Street entrance of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Complex. We'll tell you more about it.


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