One killed in small plane crash

•PEACHTREE CITY - The pilot of a small plane was killed Thursday in a crash after taking off from a municipal airfield south of Atlanta, a federal official said.

The experimental home-built plane - a Sky Star Vixen - crashed about 7:55 a.m. after taking off from Falcon Field in Peachtree City, according to Corky Smith, senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board in Atlanta.

Authorities identified the pilot as Leo Giles, 54, of Peachtree City.

Les Dorr of the Federal Aviation Administration office in Washington said the single-engine plane took off from Falcon Field and then crashed into a nearby golf course. He said preliminary reports indicate only the pilot was on board.

The field was closed immediately after the crash, but it reopened a short time later.

Mother charged with leaving kids in hot car

•GAINESVILLE - A mother was charged with child cruelty Thursday for leaving her 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son inside a sweltering car for more than an hour while she went into a courthouse, police said.

The windows to Liz Beth Gomez-Ramos' car were rolled up, the doors were unlocked and the keys were in the front seat when she left the children in the 87-degree heat and went into the Hall County Courthouse at 8:15 a.m, police Lt. Chad White said.

Police found the children soaking wet after officers received a call about 9:40 a.m. from someone who saw them inside, White said.

They were treated at a nearby hospital for dehydration and released to their father.

Gomez-Ramos, 23, of Gainesville was charged with two counts of first-degree child cruelty, White said.

Judge accepts Walker restitution deal

•AUGUSTA - A federal judge has accepted a deal to ensure that restitution funds are set aside by former state Sen. Charles Walker, now serving a prison sentence for fraud and conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. on Monday signed an order approving Walker's pledge of 35 securities valued at nearly $700,000. The securities are to remain in a Smith Barney account unless Walker's convictions are reversed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Walker, former majority leader of the Georgia Senate, was convicted of 127 criminal counts in June 2005. A federal jury decided that Walker cheated companies that advertised with his Augusta Focus newspaper, as well as campaign contributors, two public hospitals and the CSRA Classic charity. He is now serving a 10-year prison sentence.

Off-duty officer shoots, kills intruder

•CHAMBLEE - An off-duty DeKalb County police officer shot and killed an intruder who broke into his apartment while he was sleeping, a police spokesman said.

At least three men broke into the man's Northlake home at Lake Louise apartments about 2 a.m. while the officer and his 8-year-old son were home, police spokesman Herschel Grangent said.

The officer awoke, saw the men and saw one of them pointing a gun at him, Grangent said. The officer shot and killed the man. Grangent said the officer was defending himself.

The officer's son was not injured.

- From wire reports