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Woman charged in son's death denied bond

 

A judge denied bond Thursday for a Martinez woman who was charged with murder in the June 17 death of her 5½-month-old son.

Superior Court Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. refused to grant a bond for Lexis Fay Russell, 23, at a hearing in Evans.

“I believe she’s a threat to the community and also committing another felony offense,” Fleming said.

Russell was charged with felony murder because the baby’s death happened during the commission of a felony –her use of illegal drugs in the home, according to Assistant District Attorney Jared Williams. She’s also charged with cruelty to children and possession of Schedule I and II drugs and marijuana.

Russell’s boyfriend, Jacob Drew Harris, 26, was charged with malice murder. Authorities suspect Harris smothered the baby in the mobile home he shared with the baby, Russell and her 2-year-old son.

“Harris admitted (to a non-law enforcement witness) to putting a blanket and pillow over the baby and turning him over on his face,” Williams said. “That he was tired of the baby and wanted to make him stop crying so he could finish cooking meth. While all this was happening to her baby, Lexis Russell was in the other room getting high.”

Russell called 911 at about 4:35 a.m. after she said she woke to find her son unresponsive and not breathing. They then moved the baby to the living room and began CPR, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

When authorities arrived, they found the baby with dried blood on his nose and an obvious odor and signs of drug use in the home.

Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said the autopsy was inconclusive and he’s waiting on toxicology results before announcing an official cause of death.

“She should not be able to walk the streets with this baby’s death on her hands,” Williams said opposing bond for Russell.

Russell and Harris admitted to using methamphetamine and Spice, a synthetic marijuana, the night before the baby died and that he didn’t normally sleep with them.

Russell’s attorney John Kraft said Russell had only been living in the home with Harris a short time.

“There is no evidence this was intentional,” Kraft said. “This appears to be a very suspicious situation where a child has died and we don’t know all the facts.”

Harris was originally scheduled for a bond hearing as well, but his attorney withdrew the petition for the hearing. Russell and Harris, who is also charged with possession of marijuana and methamphetamine, are being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond.

 

Categories: Local

Woman charged in son's death denied bond

 

A judge denied bond Thursday for a Martinez woman who was charged with murder in the June 17 death of her 5½-month-old son.

Superior Court Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. refused to grant a bond for Lexis Fay Russell, 23, at a hearing in Evans.

“I believe she’s a threat to the community and also committing another felony offense,” Fleming said.

Russell was charged with felony murder because the baby’s death happened during the commission of a felony –her use of illegal drugs in the home, according to Assistant District Attorney Jared Williams. She’s also charged with cruelty to children and possession of Schedule I and II drugs and marijuana.

Russell’s boyfriend, Jacob Drew Harris, 26, was charged with malice murder. Authorities suspect Harris smothered the baby in the mobile home he shared with the baby, Russell and her 2-year-old son.

“Harris admitted (to a non-law enforcement witness) to putting a blanket and pillow over the baby and turning him over on his face,” Williams said. “That he was tired of the baby and wanted to make him stop crying so he could finish cooking meth. While all this was happening to her baby, Lexis Russell was in the other room getting high.”

Russell called 911 at about 4:35 a.m. after she said she woke to find her son unresponsive and not breathing. They then moved the baby to the living room and began CPR, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

When authorities arrived, they found the baby with dried blood on his nose and an obvious odor and signs of drug use in the home.

Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said the autopsy was inconclusive and he’s waiting on toxicology results before announcing an official cause of death.

“She should not be able to walk the streets with this baby’s death on her hands,” Williams said opposing bond for Russell.

Russell and Harris admitted to using methamphetamine and Spice, a synthetic marijuana, the night before the baby died and that he didn’t normally sleep with them.

Russell’s attorney John Kraft said Russell had only been living in the home with Harris a short time.

“There is no evidence this was intentional,” Kraft said. “This appears to be a very suspicious situation where a child has died and we don’t know all the facts.”

Harris was originally scheduled for a bond hearing as well, but his attorney withdrew the petition for the hearing. Russell and Harris, who is also charged with possession of marijuana and methamphetamine, are being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond.

 

Categories: Local

Motorcyclist injured in Washington Road wreck

 

A Grovetowm man was hospitalized Thursday morning after a car pulled in front of his motorcycle on Washington Road in Evans.

Van Antoine Alexander, 29, of Grovetown, was transported to Doctors Hospital with serious injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Deputy Keith Warner.

Alexander was driving his Triumph Daytona sportbike east on Washington Road near Old Evans Road at about 10:30 a.m., when a vehicle tried to make a left turn in front of him out of the Publix shopping center near Taco Bell. Alexander tried to stop in time, but hit the back quarter panel of the small car and slid about 75 feet, according to Warner.

Alexander suffered road rash among other injuries.

The driver of the vehicle, Trenton-John Matthew Walter, 24, of Augusta, was not injured. He was at-fault for the wreck and was cited for failure to yield the right of way, Warner said.

Categories: Local

Motorcyclist injured in Washington Road wreck

 

A Grovetowm man was hospitalized Thursday morning after a car pulled in front of his motorcycle on Washington Road in Evans.

Van Antoine Alexander, 29, of Grovetown, was transported to Doctors Hospital with serious injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Deputy Keith Warner.

Alexander was driving his Triumph Daytona sportbike east on Washington Road near Old Evans Road at about 10:30 a.m., when a vehicle tried to make a left turn in front of him out of the Publix shopping center near Taco Bell. Alexander tried to stop in time, but hit the back quarter panel of the small car and slid about 75 feet, according to Warner.

Alexander suffered road rash among other injuries.

The driver of the vehicle, Trenton-John Matthew Walter, 24, of Augusta, was not injured. He was at-fault for the wreck and was cited for failure to yield the right of way, Warner said.

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Columbia County engineers use adaptive camera system to fight traffic congestion

Randy Prickett knows the thrill of cruising through four miles of green lights along Wash­ington Road without having to stop between the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Evans and Bobby Jones Ex­press­way in Martinez.

The traffic engineer has ridden it, seen it happen on video and, through the help of two analysts, he hopes to make it an everyday occurrence in Columbia County.

Under his leadership, Prickett said, Columbia County became the first in Geor­gia this year to link all of its school-zone flashers and 65 signalized intersections to InSync, an adaptive traffic-control computer system that coordinates the timing of lights and enables them to “talk to one another.”

It’s the latest inventive technique Columbia County has used to fit more vehicles on roads and keep them moving. In the past three years, it has added roundabouts in Grove­town and Harlem to reduce stops and installed six digital message boards in Evans and Mar­ti­nez to alert motorists of construction delays and wrecks.

Despite the efforts, the roads at times remain clogged. With daily commuters increasing to more than 220,000 in the Augusta area, officials say more time and innovation is needed to prevent gridlock from worsening.

“We know we have traffic congestion,” said Prickett, who came to Columbia Coun­ty from Augusta as a special operations commander in Sep­tember. “The county has grown at such a rapid pace that it just takes time to adjust.”

Like many fast-growing suburban areas in the U.S., Colum­bia County is trying to keep from being strangled by its own success.

A special project by The Asso­ciated Press reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal High­­way Administration for more than 470 urbanized areas of the country and found that Augusta’s seven-county metropolitan region is growing at an exponential rate every five years.

The area’s population grew 4 percent this year from 2010, increasing to 590,233. By the time the Army Cyber Com­mand settles into its new home at Fort Gordon in 2020 and adds 3,700 employees to the workforce, the population is projected to increase an additional
9 percent to 618,174.

AP research shows local engineers worked to get ahead of the curve by extending the area’s road system from 2,459 miles in 2010 to 2,863 in 2013 – a 16 percent increase – but the expansion efforts have lost momentum, particularly in Columbia County.

The Georgia Department of Trans­portation is expected to finish a 2-mile widening of Columbia Road at North Belair Road in April, but the $7.9 million project “was delayed due to inclement weather and utilities” and is only 64 percent complete, said Augusta Area Engineer Rodney Way.

The two Columbia Coun­ty projects funded by the first wave of the state’s Trans­por­ta­tion Investment Act, which spans a two-year period ending in 2015, are progressing slowly under the penny sales-tax collection passed in 2012 to provide infrastructure improvements.

Way said the $34.1 million project to extend River Watch Parkway three miles to Evans’ Towne Center area is 29 percent complete. But so far only one-fifth of its costs – $6.9 million in sales-tax revenue – have been invoiced to grade for additional lanes, move utilities, install drainage structures and build a bridge over a nearby CSX railroad crossing, online records show.

Columbia County’s other TIA project, a $3 million upgrade of Wrightsboro Road in Grovetown that will add more turn lanes and updated traffic lights to reduce delays between Lewiston Road and Robin­son Avenue, has had only $250,859 invoiced to date to begin right-of-way authorization this month.

Way said the River Watch and Columbia Road projects are representative of the county’s “growth and vitality” and that widening each from two lanes to four will “better accommodate and safely serve the current and future travel demands of an area dealing with unprecedented growth.”

He said realigning intersections and railroad crossings along the two highways should drastically reduce congestion by eliminating the need for traffic to stop for trains and at lights close to each other.

Way said the upgraded roads will provide an alternate route for traffic that now relies on Washington Road to travel to downtown Augusta, the medical district and Interstate 20.

“A great deal of our current infrastructure is under-sized for the existing capacity, much less that of the future,” he said.

“Consider what your daily commute would be like if the infrastructure never adjusted to the increased volume. This loss of time and money would ultimately affect us as a whole.”

Way and Prickett said their departments are always studying traffic data and collaborating with local groups to improve the area’s roads.

Prickett said the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will begin using six digital message boards on Washington, Furys Ferry and Belair roads this week to inform the public of accidents, construction delays and public safety alerts.

By the time school starts, Prickett expects to activate a new light at Baker Place Road and William Few Parkway. DOT has begun contract negotiations to build a “diverging diamond” interchange at Lewiston Road in 2017 to allow for unencumbered left turns onto I-20, Prickett said.

Last week, he tied in two four-mile corridors along South Belair and Furys Ferry roads into InSync to program the timing of lights and enable them to communicate with one another to ease gridlock near I-20 and the Savannah River. The two roads are one of six corridors in the InSync system that Prickett’s staff is watching, riding and analyzing video data from to determine the best traffic patterns for commuters. Others include Bobby Jones Expressway and North Belair Road.

Washington Road, the busiest thoroughfare in Columbia County, is divided into two corridors, with one portion extending from the Evans Wal-Mart Supercenter to Bobby Jones Expressway, and another from there to Baston Road.

Prickett said the InSync system works by releasing packs of cars, or “tunnels,” every 120 seconds and monitors their movement using a range of motion that centers on the speed limit and cars traveling 5 mph over.

“The whole idea is to get from the start of the tunnel to the end without stopping,” Prickett said. “If a driver is pulling too slowly they’ll stay out of the tunnel, but if they’re going too fast, they’ll get ahead and disrupt the flow. If we keep it going, we’re good.”

Categories: Local

Columbia County engineers use adaptive camera system to fight traffic congestion

Randy Prickett knows the thrill of cruising through four miles of green lights along Wash­ington Road without having to stop between the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Evans and Bobby Jones Ex­press­way in Martinez.

The traffic engineer has ridden it, seen it happen on video and, through the help of two analysts, he hopes to make it an everyday occurrence in Columbia County.

Under his leadership, Prickett said, Columbia County became the first in Geor­gia this year to link all of its school-zone flashers and 65 signalized intersections to InSync, an adaptive traffic-control computer system that coordinates the timing of lights and enables them to “talk to one another.”

It’s the latest inventive technique Columbia County has used to fit more vehicles on roads and keep them moving. In the past three years, it has added roundabouts in Grove­town and Harlem to reduce stops and installed six digital message boards in Evans and Mar­ti­nez to alert motorists of construction delays and wrecks.

Despite the efforts, the roads at times remain clogged. With daily commuters increasing to more than 220,000 in the Augusta area, officials say more time and innovation is needed to prevent gridlock from worsening.

“We know we have traffic congestion,” said Prickett, who came to Columbia Coun­ty from Augusta as a special operations commander in Sep­tember. “The county has grown at such a rapid pace that it just takes time to adjust.”

Like many fast-growing suburban areas in the U.S., Colum­bia County is trying to keep from being strangled by its own success.

A special project by The Asso­ciated Press reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal High­­way Administration for more than 470 urbanized areas of the country and found that Augusta’s seven-county metropolitan region is growing at an exponential rate every five years.

The area’s population grew 4 percent this year from 2010, increasing to 590,233. By the time the Army Cyber Com­mand settles into its new home at Fort Gordon in 2020 and adds 3,700 employees to the workforce, the population is projected to increase an additional
9 percent to 618,174.

AP research shows local engineers worked to get ahead of the curve by extending the area’s road system from 2,459 miles in 2010 to 2,863 in 2013 – a 16 percent increase – but the expansion efforts have lost momentum, particularly in Columbia County.

The Georgia Department of Trans­portation is expected to finish a 2-mile widening of Columbia Road at North Belair Road in April, but the $7.9 million project “was delayed due to inclement weather and utilities” and is only 64 percent complete, said Augusta Area Engineer Rodney Way.

The two Columbia Coun­ty projects funded by the first wave of the state’s Trans­por­ta­tion Investment Act, which spans a two-year period ending in 2015, are progressing slowly under the penny sales-tax collection passed in 2012 to provide infrastructure improvements.

Way said the $34.1 million project to extend River Watch Parkway three miles to Evans’ Towne Center area is 29 percent complete. But so far only one-fifth of its costs – $6.9 million in sales-tax revenue – have been invoiced to grade for additional lanes, move utilities, install drainage structures and build a bridge over a nearby CSX railroad crossing, online records show.

Columbia County’s other TIA project, a $3 million upgrade of Wrightsboro Road in Grovetown that will add more turn lanes and updated traffic lights to reduce delays between Lewiston Road and Robin­son Avenue, has had only $250,859 invoiced to date to begin right-of-way authorization this month.

Way said the River Watch and Columbia Road projects are representative of the county’s “growth and vitality” and that widening each from two lanes to four will “better accommodate and safely serve the current and future travel demands of an area dealing with unprecedented growth.”

He said realigning intersections and railroad crossings along the two highways should drastically reduce congestion by eliminating the need for traffic to stop for trains and at lights close to each other.

Way said the upgraded roads will provide an alternate route for traffic that now relies on Washington Road to travel to downtown Augusta, the medical district and Interstate 20.

“A great deal of our current infrastructure is under-sized for the existing capacity, much less that of the future,” he said.

“Consider what your daily commute would be like if the infrastructure never adjusted to the increased volume. This loss of time and money would ultimately affect us as a whole.”

Way and Prickett said their departments are always studying traffic data and collaborating with local groups to improve the area’s roads.

Prickett said the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will begin using six digital message boards on Washington, Furys Ferry and Belair roads this week to inform the public of accidents, construction delays and public safety alerts.

By the time school starts, Prickett expects to activate a new light at Baker Place Road and William Few Parkway. DOT has begun contract negotiations to build a “diverging diamond” interchange at Lewiston Road in 2017 to allow for unencumbered left turns onto I-20, Prickett said.

Last week, he tied in two four-mile corridors along South Belair and Furys Ferry roads into InSync to program the timing of lights and enable them to communicate with one another to ease gridlock near I-20 and the Savannah River. The two roads are one of six corridors in the InSync system that Prickett’s staff is watching, riding and analyzing video data from to determine the best traffic patterns for commuters. Others include Bobby Jones Expressway and North Belair Road.

Washington Road, the busiest thoroughfare in Columbia County, is divided into two corridors, with one portion extending from the Evans Wal-Mart Supercenter to Bobby Jones Expressway, and another from there to Baston Road.

Prickett said the InSync system works by releasing packs of cars, or “tunnels,” every 120 seconds and monitors their movement using a range of motion that centers on the speed limit and cars traveling 5 mph over.

“The whole idea is to get from the start of the tunnel to the end without stopping,” Prickett said. “If a driver is pulling too slowly they’ll stay out of the tunnel, but if they’re going too fast, they’ll get ahead and disrupt the flow. If we keep it going, we’re good.”

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, July 1, 2015

The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:

Breaker tripped in Evans home

An Evans man told deputies late Saturday that someone was in his home and tripped a breaker.

The man said he returned home with his wife at about 10:45 p.m. and smelled smoke. The power was off. The man flipped the breaker and the power came back on. He then noticed some broken glass on the floor in the living room and some upstairs on a balcony.

A deputy didn’t smell smoke in the house but found broken glass on the floor and a shattered picture frame on the floor. The man said the frame normally sits on a shelf above where it was found. The deputy did not find any signs of forced entry. Firefighters checked the home and found no sign of fire in the electrical outlets, walls or breaker box.

Several cars
are looted

Several Evans residents called authorities Sunday morning to report their vehicles were broken into.

A Furys Ferry Road resident said someone shattered the drivers window of two vehicles parked in the driveway of the home near the Savannah River. A gun was stolen from one vehicle and the contents of the glove compartments were dumped out in both.

A nearby Ascot Court resident said his wife heard a noise at about 4 a.m. that could have been a window being broken. He found his drivers window busted and change was missing from the vehicle. Two residents on Ashwood Drive said the windows of the vehicles also were shattered. One woman said her garage door opener, which didn’t activate the door on her home, was missing and her empty purse was found on top of a bush lining her driveway. The other Ashwood Drive resident said his window was also broken out and a GPS device was stolen from the center console. His wife said their dog acted strange a about 10 p.m. the previous night.

A resident of Furys Ferry Landing said someone got into his Jeep Wrangler through the canvas top and stole a pistol, portable radio and a garage door opener. The thief also entered an unlocked vehicle in the driveway and emptied the glove compartment and stole a garage door opener. A window on a third vehicle was cracked but ir was not entered.

Fruit taken from trees

A Martinez woman said Sunday that someone stole fruit from her trees.

The 68-year-old woman said someone came into her backyard on June 25 and took about 20 plums. She said on Sunday, she noticed all of the peaches on her tree in the backyard were gone.

A deputy saw there was no fruit on the trees in the woman’s backyard and no fruit on the ground.

Business receives threat of outage

The owner of a Martinez business called authorities Thursday after he said someone threatened to cut off power to the business if he didn’t pay with a cash card.

A man claiming to be a Georgia Power Co. employee called the owner of Sam’s Hot Dogs on South Belair Road just before 5 p.m. The caller said the owner had to pay $498.67 immediately or the electricity would be shut off. The caller said he needed to put money on a reloadable cash card and provide him the numbers on the back of the card.

The owner said he hung up and called Georgia Power Co., where he verified that his bill was paid and the power would not be shut off.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, July 1, 2015

The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:

Breaker tripped in Evans home

An Evans man told deputies late Saturday that someone was in his home and tripped a breaker.

The man said he returned home with his wife at about 10:45 p.m. and smelled smoke. The power was off. The man flipped the breaker and the power came back on. He then noticed some broken glass on the floor in the living room and some upstairs on a balcony.

A deputy didn’t smell smoke in the house but found broken glass on the floor and a shattered picture frame on the floor. The man said the frame normally sits on a shelf above where it was found. The deputy did not find any signs of forced entry. Firefighters checked the home and found no sign of fire in the electrical outlets, walls or breaker box.

Several cars
are looted

Several Evans residents called authorities Sunday morning to report their vehicles were broken into.

A Furys Ferry Road resident said someone shattered the drivers window of two vehicles parked in the driveway of the home near the Savannah River. A gun was stolen from one vehicle and the contents of the glove compartments were dumped out in both.

A nearby Ascot Court resident said his wife heard a noise at about 4 a.m. that could have been a window being broken. He found his drivers window busted and change was missing from the vehicle. Two residents on Ashwood Drive said the windows of the vehicles also were shattered. One woman said her garage door opener, which didn’t activate the door on her home, was missing and her empty purse was found on top of a bush lining her driveway. The other Ashwood Drive resident said his window was also broken out and a GPS device was stolen from the center console. His wife said their dog acted strange a about 10 p.m. the previous night.

A resident of Furys Ferry Landing said someone got into his Jeep Wrangler through the canvas top and stole a pistol, portable radio and a garage door opener. The thief also entered an unlocked vehicle in the driveway and emptied the glove compartment and stole a garage door opener. A window on a third vehicle was cracked but ir was not entered.

Fruit taken from trees

A Martinez woman said Sunday that someone stole fruit from her trees.

The 68-year-old woman said someone came into her backyard on June 25 and took about 20 plums. She said on Sunday, she noticed all of the peaches on her tree in the backyard were gone.

A deputy saw there was no fruit on the trees in the woman’s backyard and no fruit on the ground.

Business receives threat of outage

The owner of a Martinez business called authorities Thursday after he said someone threatened to cut off power to the business if he didn’t pay with a cash card.

A man claiming to be a Georgia Power Co. employee called the owner of Sam’s Hot Dogs on South Belair Road just before 5 p.m. The caller said the owner had to pay $498.67 immediately or the electricity would be shut off. The caller said he needed to put money on a reloadable cash card and provide him the numbers on the back of the card.

The owner said he hung up and called Georgia Power Co., where he verified that his bill was paid and the power would not be shut off.

Categories: Local

Fireworks legal for July 4 celebrations

July 4 celebrations will likely be a little more festive this year because the sale and use of fireworks in Georgia is legal.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill on May 5 that allows for the sale and regulation of consumer fireworks statewide.

The new law went into effect today. Buyers must be at least 18.

Hand-held and ground-based sparkling devices have been legal since 2005. It is now legal to purchase aerial fireworks such as skyrockets and bottle rockets, missile-type rockets, helicopter and aerial spinners, Roman candles, aerial shell kits, reloadables and firecrackers.

Fireworks can only be shot from 10 a.m. until midnight and until 2 a.m. on July 4 and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. They are prohibited within 100 yards of gas stations, refineries, near schools and on school buses.

Fireworks can be a fun but be aware of the dangers, according to Dr. Natalie Lane, Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia Emergency Department. On average, about 200 people go to emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries over the July 4 holiday weekend, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

“Most of the injuries we see involve burns,” according to Lane. “For example, a sparkler can burn as hot as a blow torch; and, unfortunately, we have had to treat children with sparkler burns several times. But these are avoidable injuries, if families will carefully follow safety procedures.”

Categories: Local

Fireworks legal for July 4 celebrations

July 4 celebrations will likely be a little more festive this year because the sale and use of fireworks in Georgia is legal.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill on May 5 that allows for the sale and regulation of consumer fireworks statewide.

The new law went into effect today. Buyers must be at least 18.

Hand-held and ground-based sparkling devices have been legal since 2005. It is now legal to purchase aerial fireworks such as skyrockets and bottle rockets, missile-type rockets, helicopter and aerial spinners, Roman candles, aerial shell kits, reloadables and firecrackers.

Fireworks can only be shot from 10 a.m. until midnight and until 2 a.m. on July 4 and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. They are prohibited within 100 yards of gas stations, refineries, near schools and on school buses.

Fireworks can be a fun but be aware of the dangers, according to Dr. Natalie Lane, Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia Emergency Department. On average, about 200 people go to emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries over the July 4 holiday weekend, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

“Most of the injuries we see involve burns,” according to Lane. “For example, a sparkler can burn as hot as a blow torch; and, unfortunately, we have had to treat children with sparkler burns several times. But these are avoidable injuries, if families will carefully follow safety procedures.”

Categories: Local

Peka signs to become Lady Pacer

While she was looking to play softball somewhere, 2015 Evans High graduate Samantha Peka was trying to take care of her scholastic future first.

She did both Friday in a ceremony at her house, signing to play softball for Division II University of South Carolina Aiken.

“They have a very strong academic program and I wanted look past softball as well,” Peka said. “From what I’ve heard it’s a young team. It’ll be nice to go somewhere and be able to help. The coach has an awesome program over there.”

Peka plans to major in psychology and branch out.
“I’ll either do sports psychology with it or I’ll double major and do criminology as well,” Peka said.

She joins a squad led by Jerry Snyder that went 22-17 in 2015. She met Snyder while she was at the school for another reason.

“I was invited to their honors program, so I went up and they were playing a game and I was like I might as well knock out two birds with one stone,” Peka said. “I went for it and talked to him about it and he (Snyder) said just e-mail me some stuff and send me some videos so I knocked both of them out.”

After starting high school in Grovetown, Peka joined the Lady Knights her junior year. Evans coach Colette Cassedy thought it was a plus that Peka came her way.
“With rezoning, she was a bonus for our program,” said Cassedy, adding that Peka called her own games in 2015.

Catching for the Lady Knights, the team went 41-24 in her two years behind the plate. She earned 2015 All-Region 2-AAAAA Second Team honors while batting .354 as the team went 24-11.

While handling Lady Knights’ pitchers, that’s not necessarily where she’ll end up with the Lady Pacers.

“For my travel ball team I would play outfield, shortstop, third, second, wherever coach said go,” She said. “Hopefully I can show that I’m a team player and that I can earn some spots. But if not I will still bust my butt and try to work for it. That’s all I can do.”

Categories: Local

Peka signs to become Lady Pacer

While she was looking to play softball somewhere, 2015 Evans High graduate Samantha Peka was trying to take care of her scholastic future first.

She did both Friday in a ceremony at her house, signing to play softball for Division II University of South Carolina Aiken.

“They have a very strong academic program and I wanted look past softball as well,” Peka said. “From what I’ve heard it’s a young team. It’ll be nice to go somewhere and be able to help. The coach has an awesome program over there.”

Peka plans to major in psychology and branch out.
“I’ll either do sports psychology with it or I’ll double major and do criminology as well,” Peka said.

She joins a squad led by Jerry Snyder that went 22-17 in 2015. She met Snyder while she was at the school for another reason.

“I was invited to their honors program, so I went up and they were playing a game and I was like I might as well knock out two birds with one stone,” Peka said. “I went for it and talked to him about it and he (Snyder) said just e-mail me some stuff and send me some videos so I knocked both of them out.”

After starting high school in Grovetown, Peka joined the Lady Knights her junior year. Evans coach Colette Cassedy thought it was a plus that Peka came her way.
“With rezoning, she was a bonus for our program,” said Cassedy, adding that Peka called her own games in 2015.

Catching for the Lady Knights, the team went 41-24 in her two years behind the plate. She earned 2015 All-Region 2-AAAAA Second Team honors while batting .354 as the team went 24-11.

While handling Lady Knights’ pitchers, that’s not necessarily where she’ll end up with the Lady Pacers.

“For my travel ball team I would play outfield, shortstop, third, second, wherever coach said go,” She said. “Hopefully I can show that I’m a team player and that I can earn some spots. But if not I will still bust my butt and try to work for it. That’s all I can do.”

Categories: Local
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