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macon.com MIDDAY UPDATE: Family, colleagues mourn Oconee County deputy; Sharpton to visit Savannah today; winds whip up wildfire north of Los Angeles

Hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered to honor a Oconee County deputy who died of injuries after being hit by a car.

David Gilstrap, known for keeping motorists safe, was hit by a car Thursday while directing traffic outside Oconee County primary school in Watkinsville. He died 15 hours later at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens.

The 49-year-old's funeral was Sunday at Beech Haven Baptist Church. Firefighters, paramedics, police officers and deputies remembered Gilstrap as a good-natured man who loved serving his county.

Gilstrap served 16 years in law enforcement and 12 years in the Army.

He is survived by his wife, Tammy, who works as the sheriff’s executive assistant, two children and three stepchildren.

Associated Press

Sharpton to visit Savannah today

The Rev. Al Sharpton will visit Savannah today to encourage Georgia residents to vote.

Sharpton, a 2004 presidential candidate and civil rights activist, is participating in the 'Not This Time' campaign to prevent a repeat of the 2000 and 2004 elections when there were widespread complaints of voter obstruction and vote manipulation.

Sharpton will speak at 10 a.m. at the Savannah State's Ballroom and at 7 p.m. at Conner's Temple Baptist Church.

Associated Press

Winds whip up wildfire north of Los Angeles

Intense Santa Ana winds swept into Southern California this morning and whipped up a 3,000-acre wildfire, forcing the closure of a major freeway during rush hour and burning mobile homes and industrial buildings.

The blaze 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles was calm overnight but flared up early Monday when winds up to 43 mph moved in.

"This is what we feared the most," said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mark Savage. "The winds that were expected, they have arrived."

The fire, which signaled the start of the region's serious fire season, began early Sunday. It sent about 1,200 people from their homes over the weekend. All remained evacuated today, when the winds moved in.

The re-energized fire jumped a fireline early day in an area of Lopez Canyon in the eastern San Fernando Valley that had already been evacuated, Savage said. As a result, a three-mile stretch of the Foothill Freeway was closed in both directions during rush hour, the California Highway Patrol said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. It was 20 percent contained and no serious injuries were reported.

Associated Press

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