Two North Cobb students drown while swimming at Lake Allatoona

CARTERSVILLE - Authorities say two boys from North Cobb High School have drowned while swimming with friends at Lake Allatoona.

Bartow County sheriff's Maj. Bryan Keeling says as many as 10 students from the school in Kennesaw were at the lake Friday. He said a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old failed to make it back to shore.

They were not identified. School district spokesman Jay Dillon said one was a freshman and the other was a freshman or sophomore.

""It doesn't appear they were ever at the school today,' Dillon said.

Rabid racoon found in Hall County

GAINESVILLE - Hundreds of pet owners in Hall County are getting rabies shots for their dogs and cats after a raccoon that tested positive for the disease became the county's 20th rabies case this year.

Hall County Humane Society director Rick Aiken said Friday nearly 1,000 dogs and cats have been vaccinated in emergency rabies clinics.

Gainesville-Hall County Animal Control on Thursday confirmed the rabid raccoon was the 20th infected animal in the county this year. Animal control officers are urging residents to watch for abnormal animal behavior and to make sure their pets are vaccinated for rabies.

The raccoon was caught Tuesday after it came into contact with a cat. Tests by the Georgia Public Health Lab in Decatur confirmed it had rabies.

Columbus fire chief reprimanded

COLUMBUS - The Columbus fire chief is being reprimanded, but will keep his job, following an investigation involving a subordinate who tested positive for drug use after an accident.

Mayor Jim Wetherington said the probe found no evidence that firefighter Zachary Allen, the son of Councilor Gary Allen, received preferential treatment after he tested positive for cocaine in a post-accident drug test.

Wetherington said he decided to issue a written reprimand to Chief Jeff Meyer.

Clayton County wants protection from sheriff, objectionable practices

ATLANTA - A suburban Atlanta county is seeking protection from its sheriff.

Court papers filed Thursday in federal court by attorneys for Clayton County accuse Sheriff Victor Hill of objectionable actions, policies and practices.

The filing seeks to protect the county from potential legal liability and damage to its reputation as a result of Hill's actions.

The claims were made as part of a response to a lawsuit filed against Hill and the county by one of Hill's subordinates, former Chief Deputy William Cassells.

Hill abruptly fired more than two dozen sheriff's department workers in 2005.