News Midday Update: Vietnam-era MIA may be identified after 36 years; 2 1/2-year-old drowns in Newnan pool; group offers reward for dogfighting convictions

Christine Jones was baking brownies for the National Guard when the military called to tell her they might have found her son’s remains nearly four decades after the flight surgeon went missing during the Vietnam War.

Maj. Bobby M. Jones’ F4 jet disappeared from radar near Danang in South Vietnam on Nov. 28, 1972. Since then, the assumption was that he had died, but his family could never be sure because his remains were never recovered.

‘‘We know that two people in that plane — an F4 is a two-seater — did not survive, and that Bobby was one of those,’’ his sister, Jo Anne Shirley, told the Dalton Daily Citizen for a Thursday story.

But last week, Air Force Casualty Office personnel told her that someone had found a ‘‘blood chit,’’ a military identification marker containing a number specific to her brother, who was born in Macon. A forensic anthropologist discovered it in June while evaluating the site where a plane that could’ve been her brother’s had been excavated 11 years ago.

Shirley, who is chairwoman of the board of directors of the National League of Families and American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, said she and her 91-year-old mother cried at the news.

‘‘It was like a big load is lifted off your heart,’’ she said. ‘‘We’ve known for a good while, we have felt this was Bobby’s crash site ... This is verification that he’s not a prisoner, he probably didn’t suffer, he was probably killed on impact.’’

– Associated Press

2 1/2-year-old drowns in Newnan pool

An investigator with the Coweta County Sheriff's office says a 2 1/2-year-old child has drowned in an above-ground pool in what appears to be an accident.

Investigator Elaine Jordan said the victim, Arianna Holston, was staying with her grandmother on Tuesday when the child slipped outside and walked next door.

She was playing with other children when someone reportedly threw a shoe into the small pool and told her go to in and get it. Jordan said the child got in the pool, but didn't come out. The other children told adults, who called 911, but paramedics could not revive the child.

– Associated Press

Group offers reward for dogfighting convictions

The Humane Society of the United States is promoting a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest ad conviction of dogfighters.

The manager of animal fighting issues for the society, John Goodwin, said, "People in rural areas can't stand the sight of dogfighting and want to do something about it."

Earlier this month, a tip led Madison County authorities to a suspected dogfighting ring. Goodwin said most of the tips come from rural areas.

Society spokeswoman Nayda Vera pointed to NFL quarterback Michael Vick's conviction to raising awareness of dogfighting.

– Associated Press


– Today's the first of a four-day tax holiday in Georgia. We'll let you know how it goes.

– There's a public hearing tonight on the proposed Western Loop in Bibb County. We'll let you know what happens.


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