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Newsmakers

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Mega Millions - 03/17/2015

Georgia Lottery - Wed, 3/18/2015 12:00 AM
11-27-44-45-58 Mega Ball: 03 Megaplier: 5X Estimated Jackpot: $51 Million
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Fantasy 5 - 03/17/2015

Georgia Lottery - Wed, 3/18/2015 12:00 AM
01-07-11-18-21 Estimated Jackpot: $100,000
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Boise State's Webb III grows his game to new heights

ScottMichaux.com - Tue, 3/17/2015 3:26 PM
By Scott Michaux

Augusta fans tuning into Wednesday night’s NCAA Tournament might recognize the name of a Boise State player – but they won’t recognize his game.

 

James Webb III played two seasons at Curtis Baptist in Augusta and another at Adelphi Christian in Aiken before following his coach to a prep school in Hilton Head, S.C., his senior year. But his old teammates in the area won’t believe what they see from Boise State’s 6-foot-9 red-shirt sophomore.

 

“I couldn’t even dunk before going into senior year,” Webb admits of his late-developing game.

 

Not only could Webb not dunk before leaving to play his senior year at The Oaks Virtual Academy, he was never much of a 3-point shooter in high school.

 

That’s all changed. As a rookie in Mountain West play this season, half of Webb’s field goal attempts were 3-pointers – ranking third in the conference hitting 44.9 percent. Equally impressive is his play around the rim, where he led Boise State in rebounds (9.0 per conference game) and dunks (15 in 18 games), shooting 65.4 percent from inside the arc and averaging a total of 12.9 points per game. He posted eight double-doubles this season.

 

“Now I can do pretty much whatever they need me to do,” Webb said.

 

If that caliber of play surprises people back home, well, it came as somewhat of a surprise in Idaho, too. After transferring from North Idaho College and sitting out last season, Webb didn’t score in only 13 total minutes in the Broncos first five games this year. Then senior all-conference center Anthony Drmic was lost to a back injury early in December and Webb stepped into the starting forward role.

 

“His injury was a big blow to the team,” Webb said. “We just had to find something that could replace that and fill that void. I went in and talked to the coaches and they worked with me and gave me little stuff to do. From then on I’ve been doing those little steps each game.”

 

Webb first flashed his potential in only the last 14 minutes off the bench at N.C. State in late November, leading the team scoring with 12. He posted a double-double in his first start on Dec. 9 against Adams State.

 

Once conference play began, however, he emerged as a star. In January he made his presence known in a huge road win at New Mexico that triggered a turnaround to the regular season conference title after opening Mountain West play 0-3. Webb went 7-for-7 on 3-pointers against the Lobos.

 

“You’re hearing a lot of that out there like, ‘Who is he and where did you get him?’” said Boise State coach Leon Rice. “No question you’re hearing that because he just continues to improve and he’s become a big weapon.”

 

Webb was named the Mountain West Newcomer of the Year, made the all-defensive team and was second-team all-conference. In conference play, Boise State outscored its opponents by 211 points with Webb on the floor – the largest margin of any Bronco at a rate of 71.7 to 56.9 per 40 minutes.

 

“Yeah, I think I surprised some people,” Webb said. “I think if you really didn’t know me you’d be surprised, but I kind of knew what I could do all along. I didn’t shoot the 3 that much growing up, but here they worked on my shot.”

 

Webb’s all-around athleticism (he also lettered in tennis, soccer, baseball, track and cross country in high school) has excited the Bronco fan base. He opened eyes with a Jordan-esque game-clinching breakaway dunk at UNLV where he took off from a step inside the foul line and slammed it home on the same night the lights on the Las Vegas strip dimmed in honor of late coach Jerry Tarkanian.

 

“I didn’t think it was mathematically possible,” Rice said of Webb’s high-flying act.

 

Webb’s biggest asset, however, is rebounding. He filled the need after Drmic’s injury and the graduation loss of its best rebounder. He led team in rebounding 23 of 30 games he played, reaching double digits 10 times including highs of 15 against UNLV and Air Force. It was his follow tip-in that sent Boise State into overtime of the conference semifinals before losing to eventual champion Wyoming.

 

“I know I can’t play if I can’t get boards,” Webb said. “It’s just a knack for the ball. I see the ball go up and try to read how it will come off and just and get it.”

 

Boise State basketball doesn’t exactly have the same national profile as its football program. Last week’s brief No. 25 ranking in the AP poll was the first in school history. The Broncos have reached the NCAA Tournament six previous times since 1976 representing the Big Sky, Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences. They’ve earned at-large berths in 2013 and this year. They’re 0-6 in March Madness.

 

That kind of history didn’t exactly earn them a lot of respect from the selection committee. Not only did they get relegated to one of the 11th-seed “play-in” games in Dayton, Ohio, but they got matched up with the hometown Dayton Flyers. Conference rivals San Diego State, which the Broncos beat out for the regular-season title by sweeping two meetings by 15 and 10 points, received a No. 8 seed. Tournament champion Wyoming got a 12 seed but a pass into the so-called “second round.”

 

Is everyone underestimating Boise State?

 

“I think so, but that’s just me being biased,” Webb said. “We’re not really a basketball school and San Diego State has always been a basketball school. That’s fine. We know what we can do. I think we have the team to do it, too. Not many people know about us and how we play. I just think we’re going to shock a couple of people.”

 

That confidence comes from an 8-5 road record this season including wins in tough places like San Diego State, UNLV, Utah State and New Mexico. Four of those five road losses came to tournament teams including No. 1 seed Wisconsin and No. 1 NIT seed Colorado State.

 

“I feel like we can handle it,” Webb said of the Dayton hurdle. “I mean, they have the advantage but that’s neither here nor there. We don’t really care about that. We’re just glad that we get a chance to play. This season we’ve been a great road team so we’re just going to treat it as a road game.”

 

Webb is certainly comfortable on the road. Growing up in a military family, he’s lived in Germany, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and now Idaho. His parents – James and Robin – still live in Augusta after his father retired from the Army.

 

“I’m pretty used to it,” Webb said of his nomadic life that led him to Boise. “It’s pretty quiet here, but it’s a lot better than what people think or imagine. It’s beautiful.”

 

As he develops into a go-to player, he hopes to raised Boise State’s profile along with his own starting tonight in the East Region.

 

“It’s a big a great opportunity for us,” Webb said. “Not many teams know about Boise for basketball and we’re gonna try and turn things around.”

 

 

 

Categories: Local

Case continues against man accused of sex with teen

 

The case against an Augusta businessman accused of sex with a teen will continue after a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

A Columbia County Magistrate judge ruled at the hearing that there is enough evidence against Randy Houston mercer, 57, to proceed with prosecution of the case in Superior Court.

Mercer, of Downing Street, was arrested Feb. 20 and charged with aggravated child molestation, computer pornography, enticing a child for indecent purposes and sexual exploitation of a child. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

Mercer is owner of Peach Augusta, a women’s clothing boutique in Surrey Center, and a professional make-up artist.

The mother of a Evans 15-year-old boy said she found a bag containing sex toys and undergarments in his room.

“She found the bag in the child’s room and questioned him about it,” Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator Brian Jones said at the hearing.

She called authorities after her son reluctantly told her about what she considered an inappropriate relationship with an adult man online. He said the man, later identified as Mercer, gave him the bag by leaving it in a Jones Creek Golf Club bathroom.

The teen told his mother and Jones that he met Mercer on www.grindr.com, an all-male social networking site. He initially said he and mercer never met in person.

“He was very hesitant (to talk) because he was scared, he was embarrassed and his mother was there,” Jones said.

The teen eventually told Jones that he’d met Mercer on the site, asked for the bag of sex toys and undergarments and had met Mercer for sexual encounters three or four times between June 1, 2014, and Jan. 31.

Mercer, who had photos of he and the teen posing and engaging in sexual acts, said the teen told him he was 16. To create an account on www.grindr.com, the teen had to check a box agreeing that he was at least 18, according to Mercer’s attorney, Adam King.

“Mr. Mercer believed the child was of legal age to do what he did in the state of Georgia,” King said.

The teen told Jones that he told Mercer he was 15.

“It was Mr. Mercer’s understanding he was 16,” Jones said. “He said he was 15.”

King asked that the aggravated child molestation charge be dismissed because it is not clear that the sexual acts actually occurred in Columbia County. He also said the enticing and computer pornography charges should be dropped because of insufficient evidence as there is no evidence Mercer ever enticed the teen to go anywhere or took him anywhere or that he used the computer to intentionally seduce or entice the teen.

The prosecutor said the charges should stand because of probably cause as there is a high probability that the communications took place on the teen’s phone at his Evans home.

Mercer has a scheduled hearing Friday to address bond on the aggravated child molestation charge, which can only be addressed by a Superior Court judge.

Categories: Local

Case continues against man accused of sex with teen

 

The case against an Augusta businessman accused of sex with a teen will continue after a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

A Columbia County Magistrate judge ruled at the hearing that there is enough evidence against Randy Houston mercer, 57, to proceed with prosecution of the case in Superior Court.

Mercer, of Downing Street, was arrested Feb. 20 and charged with aggravated child molestation, computer pornography, enticing a child for indecent purposes and sexual exploitation of a child. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

Mercer is owner of Peach Augusta, a women’s clothing boutique in Surrey Center, and a professional make-up artist.

The mother of a Evans 15-year-old boy said she found a bag containing sex toys and undergarments in his room.

“She found the bag in the child’s room and questioned him about it,” Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator Brian Jones said at the hearing.

She called authorities after her son reluctantly told her about what she considered an inappropriate relationship with an adult man online. He said the man, later identified as Mercer, gave him the bag by leaving it in a Jones Creek Golf Club bathroom.

The teen told his mother and Jones that he met Mercer on www.grindr.com, an all-male social networking site. He initially said he and mercer never met in person.

“He was very hesitant (to talk) because he was scared, he was embarrassed and his mother was there,” Jones said.

The teen eventually told Jones that he’d met Mercer on the site, asked for the bag of sex toys and undergarments and had met Mercer for sexual encounters three or four times between June 1, 2014, and Jan. 31.

Mercer, who had photos of he and the teen posing and engaging in sexual acts, said the teen told him he was 16. To create an account on www.grindr.com, the teen had to check a box agreeing that he was at least 18, according to Mercer’s attorney, Adam King.

“Mr. Mercer believed the child was of legal age to do what he did in the state of Georgia,” King said.

The teen told Jones that he told Mercer he was 15.

“It was Mr. Mercer’s understanding he was 16,” Jones said. “He said he was 15.”

King asked that the aggravated child molestation charge be dismissed because it is not clear that the sexual acts actually occurred in Columbia County. He also said the enticing and computer pornography charges should be dropped because of insufficient evidence as there is no evidence Mercer ever enticed the teen to go anywhere or took him anywhere or that he used the computer to intentionally seduce or entice the teen.

The prosecutor said the charges should stand because of probably cause as there is a high probability that the communications took place on the teen’s phone at his Evans home.

Mercer has a scheduled hearing Friday to address bond on the aggravated child molestation charge, which can only be addressed by a Superior Court judge.

Categories: Local

Jumbo Bucks Lotto - 03/16/2015

Georgia Lottery - Tue, 3/17/2015 12:00 AM
01-07-14-18-37-46 Estimated Jackpot: $1,700,000
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Fantasy 5 - 03/16/2015

Georgia Lottery - Tue, 3/17/2015 12:00 AM
05-12-16-27-31 Estimated Jackpot: $128,000
Categories: Local

Bubba Watson confirms 'food' for Champions Dinner menu

ScottMichaux.com - Mon, 3/16/2015 4:10 PM
By Scott Michaux

Bubba Watson finally revealed his Champions Dinner menu for his green-jacketed peers.

 

“We are definitely going to have food,” Watson promised on Monday in a teleconference with Augusta National Golf Club announcing his promotional trip to New York next week on behalf of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.

 

The 36-year-old Watson enjoys playing a cat-and-mouse game with anyone who inquires about what he plans to serve his fellow champions at the annual Tuesday night dinner in the Augusta National clubhouse before the Masters. He kept it a secret when he hosted it the first time as defending champion in 2013 and will again this year.

 

“It’s the one chance that I can just hold everything from everybody, so I’m doing it,” Watson said. “And I might never get that chance again.”

 

Two years ago, Watson served caesar salad and grilled chicken breast with sides of green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Dessert was a confetti cake with vanilla ice cream. He would not say if this year’s menu would be different.

 

“I knew what the menu was before I even won,” Watson said. “I let them know and told them the same thing – I’m not going to tell anybody until Wednesday morning when they find out. Unless Nick Faldo tweets it again right after he leaves the dinner.”

 

Faldo tweaked Watson on Twitter immediately after leaving the 2013 dinner: “-@bubbawatson you had a year to decide on, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni & cheese!!! #HappyMeal #PlayLikeaChampion”

 

Watson admits his tastes tip toward the simple.

 

“I eat plain,” he said, revealing that in both years that he won the Masters he ate one or two burritos every single night (including before attending the Champions Dinner) that consisted of only chicken, rice, black beans and cheese.

 

“So maybe this year I should do all burritos again,” he said.

 

His favorite dining spot when he went to school at Georgia was the lunch counter at Ad Drug in the Five Points district of Athens. He’d frequent it with teammate Dave Miller and coach Chris Haack, ordering a cheeseburger and milkshake every time.

 

He’s also partial to Mellow Mushroom and famously ate a post-Masters meal last April with his wife, Angie, and friend, Judah Smith, at the Waffle House on Wheeler Road. He ate a double grilled cheese with his hashed browns “scattered and covered.” He left a generous $148 tip for the wait staff.

 

He also ordered six milkshakes just before midnight at the Steak n’ Shake on South Belair Road, leaving a $24 tip on that tab.

 

If you’re guessing he’d get Waffle House to cater the dinner this time, you’d be wrong.

 

“You can’t use a name brand,” Watson said of the club’s rules that forbid commercialism.

 

“Augusta called and started asking what I wanted within a week after” winning, Watson said of his first go-round as host. “So they knew within two weeks but they wouldn’t tell. This year, not one call. They figure it’ll be easy to get whatever I want.”

 

One thing you can be sure of, the main course won’t come out of Ike’s Pond or any other body of water. Watson declined to eat the surf portion of Adam Scott’s surf-and-turf dinner – Morton Bay Bugs, a crustacean native to the waters off the Gold Coast of Australia.

 

“I didn’t eat the bugs,” Watson said. “I don’t eat seafood. The steak was real good, though.”

 

On Monday after playing this week at Bay Hill, Watson will go to New York to promote the finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship that will take place at Augusta National the Sunday before the first practice round of Masters week. He’ll appear with the green jacket on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night.

 

The next day he’ll be joined by 10-year-old Kelly Xu, who last year became the first female champion at Augusta National by winning the 7-9 girls division. Xu will return as one of 80 finalists this year, this time in the 10-11 age group.

 

Watson and Xu will be guests on CBS This Morning, ESPN’s SportsCenter and Golf Channel before finishing the day at The New York Stock Exchange.

 

“As a kid, I would be honored and thrilled just to try to compete and have a chance to make it to Augusta National,” Watson said, “so this is one of the best things that I’ve seen in recent years to grow the game of golf.”

 

If Bubba needs any menu advice from the youngster, Xu said she would serve Brunswick stew, cornmeal, cornbread, sweet corn, sweet tea and hot peach cobbler as her Champions Dinner menu.

 

 

Categories: Local

Fantasy 5 - 03/15/2015

Georgia Lottery - Mon, 3/16/2015 12:00 AM
02-05-06-09-19 Estimated Jackpot: $100,000
Categories: Local

Prep Calendar for Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Monday, March 16

Grovetown vs. Jefferson County, 5:30 p.m.

Harlem at Westside, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 17

Augusta Prep vs. Brentwood School, 4:30 p.m.

Augusta Christian vs. Heathwood Hall, 5 p.m.

Harlem at Metter, 5:30 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Evans, 6 p.m,

Lakeside vs. Cross Creek, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 18

Greenbrier at Aiken, 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Augusta Christian vs. Savannah Hurricanes, 2 p.m.

Evans at South Aiken, 5:30 p.m.

Friday, March 20

Augusta Christian at Cardinal Newman, 4:30 p.m.

Harlem at Jefferson County,
5 p.m.

Evans vs. Cross Creek, 6 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Greenbrier, 6 p.m.

Augusta Prep at Westfield, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 21

Augusta Prep at Westfield, 10 a.m.

GOLF

Tuesday, March 17

Evans vs. Westside at Jones Creek

Wednesday, March 18

Augusta Christian SCISA region meet, Bartram Trail, 2 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Grovetown vs. North Augusta, River Club

Friday, March 20

Greenbrier at GA/SC Cup - B at Alpharetta Athletic Club

Saturday, March 21

Greenbrier at GA/SC Cup - B at Alpharetta Athletic Club

LACROSSE

Tuesday, March 17

Greenbrier at Hammond School, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Greenbrier at Heathwood Hall, 6 p.m. (boys)

Friday, March 20

Lakeside vs. St. Pius X, 7 p.m. (girls)

Saturday, March 21

Greenbrier at Benedictine, 11 a.m. (boys)

Greenbrier vs. St. Pius X, 11 a.m. (girls)

Lakeside vs. Decatur, 1 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside at Chapin, 3 p.m. (girls)

Greenbrier vs. Druid Hills at Benedictine, 2 p.m. (boys)

SOCCER

Tuesday, March 17

Augusta Prep vs. Bulloch Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Evans vs. Richmond Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside vs. Greenbrier, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Grovetown at Cross Creek, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Harlem vs. Jefferson County, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Christian at Westminster, 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Thursday, March 19

Augusta Christian vs. Ben Lippen, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Friday, March 20

Augusta Prep at Westfield, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Evans at Cross Creek, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Grovetown vs. Greenbrier, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Harlem at Screven County, 5:30 p.m. (girls)

Lakeside at Richmond Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Saturday, March 21

Greenbrier at McIntosh, 3 p.m. (girls), 5 p.m. (boys)

SOFTBALL

Tuesday, March 17

Augusta Christian vs. Heathwood Hall, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Augusta Christian at Cardinal Newman,
4:30 p.m.

Categories: Local

Prep Calendar for Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Monday, March 16

Grovetown vs. Jefferson County, 5:30 p.m.

Harlem at Westside, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 17

Augusta Prep vs. Brentwood School, 4:30 p.m.

Augusta Christian vs. Heathwood Hall, 5 p.m.

Harlem at Metter, 5:30 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Evans, 6 p.m,

Lakeside vs. Cross Creek, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 18

Greenbrier at Aiken, 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Augusta Christian vs. Savannah Hurricanes, 2 p.m.

Evans at South Aiken, 5:30 p.m.

Friday, March 20

Augusta Christian at Cardinal Newman, 4:30 p.m.

Harlem at Jefferson County,
5 p.m.

Evans vs. Cross Creek, 6 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Greenbrier, 6 p.m.

Augusta Prep at Westfield, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 21

Augusta Prep at Westfield, 10 a.m.

GOLF

Tuesday, March 17

Evans vs. Westside at Jones Creek

Wednesday, March 18

Augusta Christian SCISA region meet, Bartram Trail, 2 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Grovetown vs. North Augusta, River Club

Friday, March 20

Greenbrier at GA/SC Cup - B at Alpharetta Athletic Club

Saturday, March 21

Greenbrier at GA/SC Cup - B at Alpharetta Athletic Club

LACROSSE

Tuesday, March 17

Greenbrier at Hammond School, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Greenbrier at Heathwood Hall, 6 p.m. (boys)

Friday, March 20

Lakeside vs. St. Pius X, 7 p.m. (girls)

Saturday, March 21

Greenbrier at Benedictine, 11 a.m. (boys)

Greenbrier vs. St. Pius X, 11 a.m. (girls)

Lakeside vs. Decatur, 1 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside at Chapin, 3 p.m. (girls)

Greenbrier vs. Druid Hills at Benedictine, 2 p.m. (boys)

SOCCER

Tuesday, March 17

Augusta Prep vs. Bulloch Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Evans vs. Richmond Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside vs. Greenbrier, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Grovetown at Cross Creek, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Harlem vs. Jefferson County, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Christian at Westminster, 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Thursday, March 19

Augusta Christian vs. Ben Lippen, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Friday, March 20

Augusta Prep at Westfield, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Evans at Cross Creek, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Grovetown vs. Greenbrier, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Harlem at Screven County, 5:30 p.m. (girls)

Lakeside at Richmond Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Saturday, March 21

Greenbrier at McIntosh, 3 p.m. (girls), 5 p.m. (boys)

SOFTBALL

Tuesday, March 17

Augusta Christian vs. Heathwood Hall, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 19

Augusta Christian at Cardinal Newman,
4:30 p.m.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, March 15, 2015

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

Man in truck stealing mail

A Grovetown man called authorities March 9 after he saw a stranger steal his mail.

The 69-year-old man said that at about 11 a.m., he saw a man in a 1990s model black Dodge truck pull up to his mailbox and steal the outgoing mail. He said the truck had a loud exhaust and was driven by a white man who appeared to be in his 20s with long sideburns and dark hair.

The stranger stole four of the man’s outgoing bills containing checks totaling $288.99.

Shotgun found near mailbox

An Appling man told authorities March 11 that he found a shotgun on his property.

The man said he was leaving his Ridge Road home March 10 and saw what he believed was a toy gun on the ground next to his mailbox. When he looked closer, the man said he could tell the shotgun was real.

A deputy found the weathered pump action 12-guage shotgun, a Higgins Model 20. It is an older weapon and was rusted. The deputy checked the national database, which revealed possible matches for the weapon in several states.

Man scammed with time share

An Evans man said March 9 that he believes he’s been dealing with a fraudulent company trying to buy his Mexico time share.

The man said he was contacted by someone claiming to be from Jackson & Simmons Sales Group about buying a time share he owns in Mexico. He’d been in negotiations with the company to sell the time share.

He recently received paperwork from the company requesting that he send $5,022 for taxes on the property. The man never sent any money.

Through research, the man said he now believes the company is fake and attempting to scam him.

Home’s deadbolt tampered with

An Evans woman told deputies March 10 that someone tried to break into her apartment.

The 34-year-old woman said that she discovered holes in the deadbolt of the door of her Old Evans Road apartment. The deputy said the holes appeared to have been made with a drill on the outside face of the deadbolt.

Nothing was missing from the woman’s apartment.

Trail cameras stolen

An employee of an Appling marina told deputies March 11 that trail cameras were missing.

The employee of Thurmond Marina, a Classic City Marinas branch, said someone went onto the property of Little River Marina on Old Lincolnton Road between Feb. 14 and March 11. The trespasser stole three trail cameras, each worth about $600. The thief also stole the wiring and electrical panel box, worth about $500, from the dock.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, March 15, 2015

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

Man in truck stealing mail

A Grovetown man called authorities March 9 after he saw a stranger steal his mail.

The 69-year-old man said that at about 11 a.m., he saw a man in a 1990s model black Dodge truck pull up to his mailbox and steal the outgoing mail. He said the truck had a loud exhaust and was driven by a white man who appeared to be in his 20s with long sideburns and dark hair.

The stranger stole four of the man’s outgoing bills containing checks totaling $288.99.

Shotgun found near mailbox

An Appling man told authorities March 11 that he found a shotgun on his property.

The man said he was leaving his Ridge Road home March 10 and saw what he believed was a toy gun on the ground next to his mailbox. When he looked closer, the man said he could tell the shotgun was real.

A deputy found the weathered pump action 12-guage shotgun, a Higgins Model 20. It is an older weapon and was rusted. The deputy checked the national database, which revealed possible matches for the weapon in several states.

Man scammed with time share

An Evans man said March 9 that he believes he’s been dealing with a fraudulent company trying to buy his Mexico time share.

The man said he was contacted by someone claiming to be from Jackson & Simmons Sales Group about buying a time share he owns in Mexico. He’d been in negotiations with the company to sell the time share.

He recently received paperwork from the company requesting that he send $5,022 for taxes on the property. The man never sent any money.

Through research, the man said he now believes the company is fake and attempting to scam him.

Home’s deadbolt tampered with

An Evans woman told deputies March 10 that someone tried to break into her apartment.

The 34-year-old woman said that she discovered holes in the deadbolt of the door of her Old Evans Road apartment. The deputy said the holes appeared to have been made with a drill on the outside face of the deadbolt.

Nothing was missing from the woman’s apartment.

Trail cameras stolen

An employee of an Appling marina told deputies March 11 that trail cameras were missing.

The employee of Thurmond Marina, a Classic City Marinas branch, said someone went onto the property of Little River Marina on Old Lincolnton Road between Feb. 14 and March 11. The trespasser stole three trail cameras, each worth about $600. The thief also stole the wiring and electrical panel box, worth about $500, from the dock.

Categories: Local

New foundry nearly finished at GIW's Grovetown facility

A new foundry nearing completion at GIW Industries will prime the Grovetown facility to meet rising global demand in the mining industry.

The 50,000-square-foot white-iron foundry will open in April and become fully operational this summer, said Pamela Aaron, a brand manager for
GIW.

Under construction since early 2014, the 72-foot-tall foundry will house new heat treatment and melting furnaces, sand silos and six cranes to accommodate the large-scale slurry pumps produced at the site, according to the GIW Vice President of Operations Thomas Mueller.

Later this year, work will begin on a distribution center to open in mid-2016.

The center will initially be 45,000 square feet but can expand by another 35,000 square feet, Aaron said.

GIW’s parent company, Frankenthal, Germany-based KSB Group, is investing about $75 million in the five-year project.

The new foundry alone is expected to cost about $40 million, Aaron
said.

GIW – formerly known as Georgia Iron Works – designs and makes heavy industrial pumps and related equipment used in the mining industry at its locations in Grovetown and Thomson.

The centrifugal pumps are built to transport a mix of rocks and water and have been used in various settings, ranging from mineral processing to wastewater.

Aaron said the new foundry will produce more than 10,000 tons of castings annually.

GIW hired about 10 new employees last year because of the expansion and will add at least 32 more highly-skilled factory workers and staff over the next two years.

The company currently employs about 614 people, including temporary workers, Aaron said.

Originally founded in downtown Augusta in 1891, GIW later relocated to a larger area in Grovetown and added operations in Thomson.

Its first slurry pump was made in 1914. In 1988, a portion of GIW was purchased by KSB, which bought the remainder of the company in 1996.

Categories: Local

New foundry nearly finished at GIW's Grovetown facility

A new foundry nearing completion at GIW Industries will prime the Grovetown facility to meet rising global demand in the mining industry.

The 50,000-square-foot white-iron foundry will open in April and become fully operational this summer, said Pamela Aaron, a brand manager for
GIW.

Under construction since early 2014, the 72-foot-tall foundry will house new heat treatment and melting furnaces, sand silos and six cranes to accommodate the large-scale slurry pumps produced at the site, according to the GIW Vice President of Operations Thomas Mueller.

Later this year, work will begin on a distribution center to open in mid-2016.

The center will initially be 45,000 square feet but can expand by another 35,000 square feet, Aaron said.

GIW’s parent company, Frankenthal, Germany-based KSB Group, is investing about $75 million in the five-year project.

The new foundry alone is expected to cost about $40 million, Aaron
said.

GIW – formerly known as Georgia Iron Works – designs and makes heavy industrial pumps and related equipment used in the mining industry at its locations in Grovetown and Thomson.

The centrifugal pumps are built to transport a mix of rocks and water and have been used in various settings, ranging from mineral processing to wastewater.

Aaron said the new foundry will produce more than 10,000 tons of castings annually.

GIW hired about 10 new employees last year because of the expansion and will add at least 32 more highly-skilled factory workers and staff over the next two years.

The company currently employs about 614 people, including temporary workers, Aaron said.

Originally founded in downtown Augusta in 1891, GIW later relocated to a larger area in Grovetown and added operations in Thomson.

Its first slurry pump was made in 1914. In 1988, a portion of GIW was purchased by KSB, which bought the remainder of the company in 1996.

Categories: Local

Augusta, military leaders talk Fort Gordon growth at session on Army plans to reduce troops

A growing, thriving region bolstered by new missions headed to Fort Gordon was the topic of an Army listening session Tuesday intended for discussion on military force reductions that will cause posts across the nation to lose troops.

The Augusta area doesn’t fear a reduction. Fort Gordon leaders have repeatedly said any loss would be offset by new cyber-related missions.
“I think what the community should be confident in is the type of forces we have at Fort Gordon right now. Those are ones that are in high demand,” Fort Gordon Commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty said after the meeting.

“If you think about high-demand, low-density forces – intel, signal, cyber – that’s really what we have here at Fort Gordon. What I’m confident in is that demand is going to continue into the future,” he said.

The 2011 Budget Control Act directed the Department of the Army to cut troop strength from 570,000 to 490,000, a reduction that should be complete by October. Under sequestration, the Army will reduce active-duty members to 450,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017, said Col. Thomas O’Donoghue, a Department of Army official who made a presentation at the meeting.

Fogarty said some troops might leave the post, but it should experience a net gain with cyber-related units. For instance, a battalion from the 35th Signal Brigade is relocating to Fort Stewart near Savannah this summer, but it was replaced by a provisional battalion that will be conducting aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, he said.

About $200 million in construction projects related to the relocation of the Army Cyber Command headquarters from the Washington, D.C., area to Fort Gordon are planned for completion in the next four years, said Garrison Commander Col. Sam Anderson. That includes a $175 million two-phase addition to the Whitelaw Building that houses National Security Agency-Georgia, he said.

Other construction includes new barracks for signal and cyber soldiers, renovations to existing barracks and facilities for cyber protection teams, Fogarty said.

“It appears the growth areas are intelligence, cyber and communication. Those three things are foundational for any operation we do around the world,” Fogarty said. “That’s where Fort Gordon has a very competitive advantage.”

Leaders from Richmond and Columbia counties took advantage of the meeting to emphasize the community’s efforts to prepare for growth.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis said the city has been investing in its schools, roads, infrastructure and arts and entertainment to create a community service members will enjoy.

“Our residents had the foresight to take ownership of our road and transportation infrastructure to establish a funding source to take care of our priorities. Fort Gordon is in fact one of our priorities,” he said.

Georgia Power Regional Vice President Fran Forehand said the company has invested $16 million in Columbia County and plans to spend $21 million in the next four years.

Electricity consumption in the county has increased 5 percent a year over five years because of Fort Gordon, she said.

Categories: Local
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