Wildfire might jump highway

•WAYCROSS - Emergency officials told residents Thursday to evacuate about 100 homes near a wildfire in the Okefenokee Swamp, where gusty winds threatened to spread the blaze across a four-lane highway in southeast Georgia.

Hundreds of residents also were evacuated in neighboring Brantley County after another fire that had died down was rekindled in the winds, destroying at least four houses, officials said.

Ware County sheriff's deputies went door-to-door in Astoria, a tiny community three miles southeast of Waycross, Thursday afternoon asking people to flee. Most had just returned home after being evacuated for several hours Wednesday as the fire raged nearby.

''My nerves just can't take it anymore,'' said Mary Howell, 51, as she packed stacks of framed family photos in the trunk of her Lincoln Town Car for the second time in two days. ''I haven't slept in a week since this stuff started.''

Wildfires have blackened about 61,100 acres - or 95 square miles - of forest and swamp parched by drought in southeast Georgia over the past 11 days. Officials say 18 homes have been destroyed.

Ten qualify to replace Norwood

•ATLANTA - Ten candidates have qualified to replace the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood in a June 19 special election.

The crowded field of six Republicans, three Democrats and a Libertarian makes it increasingly likely that a runoff will be needed to determine a winner. A runoff will be held on July 17 if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

The qualifying period for the 10th congressional district seat closed at noon on Thursday.

Norwood died Feb. 13 following a battle with cancer and lung disease. He was serving his seventh term in Congress.

The 10th district in northeast Georgia leans heavily Republican and state Sen. Jim Whitehead, of Evans, is considered the early favorite. The only state lawmaker in the race, he has lined up the support of much of the state GOP party establishment. He has given up his seat in the state Senate to run for Congress.

Friends, family remember victim of Tech shootings

•PINE MOUNTAIN - Mourners gathered Thursday at the church where Virginia Tech instructor Christopher James ''Jamie'' Bishop grew up to remember him as a ''Renaissance man'' who lived a ''robust life.''

Friends and family packed First United Methodist Church in this small Georgia town, filling the sanctuary and an upstairs overflow room to say goodbye to Bishop, who was one of 32 people killed in a shooting rampage on the Blacksburg, Va., campus last week.

''We ourselves are not ready to be without Jamie,'' said Wayne Holloway, a local pastor who has known Bishop for years.

Bishop, 35, was a computer whiz, an artist and a lover of all things German. He designed the cover for at least one of the books by his father, Michael Bishop, an award-winning science fiction author.

- From wire reports