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Baby's death under investigation

By Billy Corriher

Clayton County police are still investigating the death of a newborn baby found with its mother at a Chevron gas station on Mt. Zion Parkway in Jonesboro.

According to police reports, the 16-year-old mother said she began having contractions Tuesday morning and called a metro Atlanta medical center, and officials advised her to come to the facility immediately.

The mother told police her water broke before she arrived at the medical center at 11 a.m. Upon her arrival, personnel told her she would have the baby that day and advised her to go to Piedmont Hospital.

Reports said the mother requested an ambulance transport from the medical center to Piedmont, but she said the facility's personnel declined to call for an ambulance. When the mother and another female stopped for gas in Jonesboro, she went into labor.

When the mother's companion came out of the store, the baby had been delivered but was not breathing, the mother told police.

The mother's companion then called 911 from a cell phone, but the baby was not showing any signs of life when police arrived at 12:25 p.m.

The baby was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 12:58 p.m., according to police reports.

Clayton County Police Department Capt. Tim Robinson said police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been filed.

No major disturbances

New Year's celebrations in Clayton and Henry counties went fairly quietly, with police reporting several arrests for driving under the influence, but no major disturbances.

In Henry County, police set up road checks all over the county Wednesday. And, from 7:30 a.m. Wednesday until 5:17 a.m. Thursday, police reported 17 arrests for DUI.

And though 17 arrests may seem high, Henry County police said it was normal for New Year's.

In Clayton County, Sheriff Stanley Tuggle said 12 people were arrested for DUI.

"I'd probably say that's about the average over the past five or six years," Tuggle said.

Kristy Rohm, Clayton County's 911 operations supervisor, said officers set up roadblocks at the intersections of Forest Parkway and Interstate 75 and Georgia Highway 42 and Interstate 675.

Rohm said the county had many officers on duty all night but did not encounter any major disturbances.

"The only problem was a lot of fireworks and they got a lot of calls about gunshots," she said.

Rohm said many of the calls about gunshots were actually fireworks, and when officers do catch people with fireworks officers mostly issue warnings for the first offense.

Rohm said she was surprised the county did not have any violence reported over the holiday.

"It would seem unusual not to have some kind of disturbance involving guns or anything on a holiday like this," she said.