Construction worker drowns

after backing machine into pool

•SANDY SPRINGS - A construction worker drowned Monday when he backed the earth-moving machine he was driving into a swimming pool, trapping himself underwater for close to an hour, authorities said.

Lt. Steve Rose with the Sandy Springs Police Department said Forron Butler, 29, was working on a construction crew building a new house in the Atlanta suburb when the incident occurred about 9 a.m. Emergency workers had to pull the machine almost entirely out of the pool with a cable attached to a fire truck before they were able to free Butler from the driver's seat, Rose said.

Wife and stepson arrested in death

•SYLVESTER - The wife and stepson of a Worth County trucker who had been missing for about two weeks faced murder charges Monday following the discovery of his body in a shallow grave, officials said.

After a week of searching, investigators found the body of Richard Bentley, 33, on Saturday, buried in a 2-foot-deep grave that was concealed by pine straw and located about two miles from his home, officials said.

Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins said Bentley's stepson, Chris Szorcsik, 21, led investigators to the body and confessed to stabbing and burying the trucker.

UGA hits $500M fundraising goal early

•ATHENS - The University of Georgia has passed the $500 million goal of its capital fundraising campaign more than a year ahead of schedule, administrators said Monday.

So far, the most money has come from alumni and friends, with $344 million. Another $78 million is from foundations, and $64 million from corporations.

About $13 million came from other organizations.

The Archway to Excellence Campaign began in 2005 and will conclude in June 2008.

GBI: Deaths of Hart sheriff's in-laws

appear to be murder-suicide

•HARTWELL - The deaths of the mother-in-law of Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland and one of her daughters appear to be a case of murder-suicide, authorities said Monday.

''It appears that the daughter killed the mother and later took her own life,'' Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said. Although that's still a preliminary conclusion, Bankhead said, ''Everything we've found so far points to this.''

Deputies found 80-year-old Berta Fuller and the youngest of her three daughters, Shelia Watson, inside Fuller's house about 9:30 a.m. Sunday after family members asked someone to stop by the house and check on the two women.

- From wire reports