Latest News from The Columbia County News-Times

Syndicate content
Updated: 6 min 56 sec ago

Police Blotter, Nov. 18, 2015

Wed, 11/18/2015 12:01 AM

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

Accounts hacked

A Martinez woman told deputies Friday that someone hacked into her online accounts and contacted her friends.

The woman, 44, said that someone hacked into her Facebook and Yahoo e-mail accounts beginning Aug. 25, changed her passwords and sent out messages to her friends and family requesting their personal information. It stopped for a while, but the woman said it began again about two weeks before she called authorities. She had to change her passwords almost daily.

The woman said the hacker must know her personal information to get into the accounts. She doesn’t want to shut down her Facebook account because that’s how she communicates with family and children.

On Friday, the woman said she got a message that her account was changed and the information was provided from an Verizon iPhone. Another message said the hacker changed the phone number attached to her account.

Road rage confrontation

A woman said Saturday that a man upset with her driving followed her and assaulted her.

The 66-year-old woman said she was in the left turn lane at a traffic light on Columbia and Lewiston roads about midnight. The driver of the car behind her honked the horn and gestured at the woman. She made the left turn and went to the Lewiston Express convenience store.

The driver who honked the horn followed her to the store. The woman asked why he was so rude and he yelled obscene language at her. She walked outside to write down the man’s tag number, and he ran out and confronted her. He used his body to block the tag, snatched the pen from her hand and ran away.

The woman did get the man’s tag number. Deputies went to the man’s home, but he didn’t answer the door.

Man finds home burglar

A Grovetown man called authorities early Sunday after he walked in on a man breaking into the house.

The 49-year-old man was staying at a friend’s home at about 2:30 a.m. when he woke to his dog barking. When he went to the kitchen to check on the dog, the man said he saw the rear sliding glass door open and a man’s hand coming through the opening. The burglar was startled and ran away.

Deputies found damage to the back gate. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the man who was staying at the home.

Repairman stole jewelry for girlfriend

A Martinez woman said Thursday that her home repairman stole jewelry to give to his girlfriend.

The 36-year-old woman said she let the man stay at her home while he performed home repairs, but she did not stay at the home. When she returned home, the woman said her jewelry was missing.

She also saw where the man logged onto and used her computer. The woman discovered that he also used the computer to have an e-mail chat with his girlfriend. In the chat, the man told his girlfriend he had a surprise for her and posted photos of the woman’s jewelry stating he was going to give it to his girlfriend.

UGA flags stolen

A Martinez woman told deputies Sunday that two of her University of Georgia flags were stolen.

The woman said that a Georgia Bulldogs garden flag was stolen from a hook on her mailbox. She searched, but was unable to find it.

The woman bought a new flag Friday and hung it on the mailbox Saturday. On Sunday morning, she found the second flag missing. She believes someone deliberately stole both flags.

Categories: Local

Old Petersburg lane shifts this week

Tue, 11/17/2015 4:40 PM

Motorists on Old Petersburg Road should expect a lane shift this week.

Beginning at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday, traffic will be shifted to newly-constructed lanes on the south side of Old Petersburg Road from Stagecoach Way to Candlewood Drive.

Message signs, barrels and cones will be used to mark the lane shift, according to information provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The shift is to allow for culvert work associated with the extension of Riverwatch Parkway. Motorists are encouraged to be cautious.

Categories: Local

Rodney Holder resigns as football coach at Grovetown

Tue, 11/17/2015 3:19 PM


From a press release on the Grovetown High School website:

"Today at 2:30 P.M. Coach Rodney Holder announced to his players this

will be his last season as the Head Football Coach at Grovetown High

School. While leading his team for seven years, Coach Holder has

fostered the growth of a program which now celebrates rich traditions.

His influence on our school and its athletes will leave a lasting footprint

of excellence for all who follow. We wish him well in his future

endeavors and will always consider Coach Rodney Holder an

‘Original Warrior’ who Leads the Way."

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, Nov. 15, 2015

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:06 AM

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

Man arrested
in wallet theft

An Augusta man was arrested Wednesday after he was seen stealing the wallet of a pastor’s wife from an Evans church.

The pastor of Journey Community Church called authorities to the church on Hardy McManus Road at about 2:20 p.m. He said he was outside the church taking photos with the staff when he noticed a gray Chrysler Sebring drive into the parking lot. He said he kept taking photos, but saw the passenger – later identified as Benjamin Mitchell, 54, of Ellis Street – go into the church while the driver stayed in the vehicle.

When Mitchell came back out, the pastor questioned him about why he was at the church and Mitchell responded that he already had what he needed. Mitchell had what appeared to be a silver object in his hand when he left. The pastor took a photo of the car.

The pastor said he went inside and discovered his wife’s purse had been rummaged through and her wallet was missing. A deputy pulled the car over on Furys Ferry Road near Evans to Locks Road. The 75-year-old driver gave the deputy permission to look inside the vehicle. He found a wallet belonging to the pastor’s wife. Both men were questioned, and Mitchell was charged with theft by taking.

Mitchell was being held in Columbia County Detention Center Thursday on a $1,600 bond, according to jail records.

Man reports his tools are stolen

A Grovetown man called authorities Wednesday after his property was burglarized.

The 53-year-old man said someone broke into his shed and stole a crossbow saw. His wife called about 4:30 p.m. to tell him someone pushed in the air conditioning unit of his workshed and unlocked the door.

After returning home, the man found a crossbow and crowbar missing. He also noticed the door of his vehicle had been forced open.

Items were missing from his truck’s tool box, which had been pried open.

Categories: Local

Name chosen for new school

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:04 AM

The new elementary school being built on William Few Parkway will be called Parkway Elementary.

The Columbia County School Board decided on the name Tuesday, ending a year-long quest and debate on the matter.

The conversation on the new school’s name began in October 2014, prior to construction starting, and centered on two names: William Few Parkway Elementary or Kiokee Trail Elementary.

Superintendent Sandra Carraway said the administration brought the issue back to the board 13 months later for its direction on the building’s moniker.

Other name possibilities included Kiokee Ridge, Pine Bluff or Pine Ridge. Parkway was included based on the board’s ideas.

An online survey conducted through the school district’s Web site produced 1,200 votes. Nearly 56 percent of the vote went to Kiokee Trail and the rest to William Few Parkway.

Board member Mike Sleeper argued that the people in the neighborhood were heavily in favor of the William Few Parkway name.

That presented an issue because it bears the name of William Few, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, and the school board has a policy that forbids naming buildings for people.

“William Few Parkway is a road and that does not violate the policy,” Sleeper said.

“I like Parkway. It gives reference to William Few Parkway without actually using the man’s name,” said board member David Dekle.

The vote on the naming was unanimous, although Sleeper was delayed in his yes vote.

The expected completion date of Parkway Elementary is June 2016. The building will open in August for the first day of the 2016-2017 academic year, Carraway said.

According to the district’s zoning plans, the new school will take pupils along William Few Parkway from Columbia Road north to Knob Hill Farm Road, including the Knob Hill Subdivision and Jessica Creek.

It will have a population of 900 to 1,000 students and relieve the overcrowding at Greenbrier Elementary.

Carraway said sections of the $12 million school’s three wings are nearly done.

“The rain has caused us quite a bit of mud and standing water in different places,” she told the board.

Sections of the administrative area are also nearly done, and workers have set the steel for the gym.

Categories: Local

Goodwill to open Last Chance! outlet

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:01 AM

An old video store on Washington Road in Martinez is being converted into a new thrift retail concept by Goodwill Industries.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA will be opening a Last Chance! Goodwill store on Dec. 8.

The 6,400-square-foot store at 3946 Washington Road has been a Blockbuster Video and Treasure for Your Home location in the last decade. Most recently, the store was home to a pop-up Spirit Halloween retailer that has now packed up and left the site.

Last Chance! will be open to the public for three days a week and will sell clothing and other merchandise that has come off the shelves of other Goodwill thrift stores in the metro area.

Barry Paschal, the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill, said this will give the organization another chance to sell clothing prior to it being bundled and sold to wholesalers, who pay by the pound and resell the clothing for use in Third World nations.

When the store opens on Tuesdays, the price for clothing will be $1.25 each. It drops on Wednesdays to 99 cents and then to 75 cents per item on Thursdays. When clothing is left over on Thursdays, it will then head to the recycling process, Paschal said.

“People have that mental choice of going early and get best selection or go later and get the best price,” he said.

In a regular Goodwill thrift store location, those items are probably selling for between $3 and $5.

“Clothing items will go out on the floor for four weeks. We know from experience that an item that has been on the (sales) floor for four weeks and hasn’t sold isn’t likely to sell,” Paschal said of the traditional process for a Goodwill thrift. “We give these things one last chance to be sold before sending them off for recycling.”

The new store should have at least 10,000 items in stock. The store will operate from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the three days that it is open.

The store will have between five and eight employees, assigned from other stores in the metro area.

Paschal said Goodwill has taken over the lease at 3946 Washington Road and will be making minor renovations to the building. Signage will also be changing soon.

Goodwill opened a Last Chance! store in Warner Robins, Ga., at the beginning of the year and plans to open one in Aiken in April. Another Augusta area location should open in July, Paschal said, but that location hasn’t been selected.

Paschal said the advantage of this store concept to Goodwill is that any sales are more revenue to the organization than it will get through the salvage wholesale market.

Since clothing salavage companies have been directly seeking donations, that has added to the supply of second hand clothing and driven down the price.

The per-pound bundled price is around 25 cents, Paschal said, compared to $3.75 if a pound’s worth of clothing were sold in Last Chance!

Goodwill Industries serves a 35-county area from Aiken to Macon, Ga., and has several thrift stores, job assistance locations and training campus in the Augusta metro area.

Categories: Local

Toy store in Evans ready for final day

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:01 AM

A long-standing independent toy store in Evans will close today.

After more than a month of liquidation sales, there was a light amount of merchandise on the shelves at Learning Express Toys in the Mullins Crossing Shopping Center on Friday.

Amanda Bouchard was hunting for last-minute bargains. She is a preschool teacher who brought her 3- and 6-year-old children to the toy store for story time and considers herself a regular at the store. “I took over story time once,” she said.

The regular customers have brought tears to the eyes of owner Susy Allen nearly every day since she made her decision in October to close Learning Express.

Allen said she is retiring from the retail toy business to spend more time with her family and intended to close the store prior to the holiday rush. Day-to-day sales were always better than the holiday rush for the store, she explained.

Any unsold merchandise after today’s close will be donated to several organizations, Allen said, such as the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and Safe Homes of Augusta.

“I’m shocked that there is still stuff left over,” she said Friday.

The Allen family began operating Learning Express Toys in 2007. The store moved to the shopping center in 2012 after three years in a different Washington Road plaza.

“We’re going to leave everything set up so our landlord can pop in a new holiday store if anyone wants to come in,” she said.

Allen said there are no immediate plans for a new Learning Express in the metro area. Other potential franchise owners have contacted the home office, but not made an offer, she said.

“I would love to see someone continue the Learning Express franchise, it is a wonderful organization,” she said.

The store’s dozen employees have received job offers, some from the nearby Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Categories: Local

Columbia County development authority honors industry

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:01 AM

Companies ranging from a children’s boutique to a major industrial warehouse were recognized Wednesday at the Development Authority of Columbia County’s “Business Appreciation Din­ner and Awards” ceremony.

The authority, which serves as the county’s primary industrial recruiter, organized its awards by business category and selected the recipients based on a criteria that included job creation and capital investment.

The categories and recipients were:

• Company of the Year–Small Busi­ness: Southern Tots: Launched as a home-based business six years ago by entrepreneur Ashley Jernigan, the Southern-themed children’s clothier has grown into a 14,000-square-foot facility in Evans with 30 employees. Sales during the past five years have totaled $14 million, and the company expects to finish 2015 with 200,000 orders.

• Company of the Year–Manufactu­rer: Health-Wise/Nutritional Resources: The provider of nutritional weight-loss products recently celebrated its 21st anniversary with the purchase of a development authority-owned spec building, allowing it to double the size of its operations to 100,000 square feet. The company, which has nearly 120 employees and annual sales exceeding $25 million, was created by Jim Mathews to assist weight-loss practitioners with obesity patients.

• Company of the Year–Office/Headquarters: TaxSlayer: The spinoff of Jimmy and Carl Rhodes’ Rhodes Financial Services has become a nationally recognized brand as well as a local philanthropic leader. The self-service tax-filing company employs more than 100 full-time workers and hires more than 200 seasonal employees during tax-preparation season.

• Project of the Year: Hoback In­vestments LLC: The wholly owned subsidiary of Bennett International Group broke ground in May on its new state-of-the-art warehouse in Grovetown. At nearly 525,000 square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Columbia County and represents a $24 million investment that will create more than 60 jobs. It will serve the John Deere manufacturing operations at the Horizon South Industrial Park.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, Nov. 15, 2015

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:00 AM

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 475 Brantley Cove Circle, $32,000.

Darren N. Kluttz to Malaika P. Bigger, parcel ID 0741165, $156,900.

The estate of Kathleen Pickeral Collins aka Kathleen Collins to Mildred L. Bragg, Jennie B. Palacz and Philip K. Palacz, parcel ID 078E113, $132,000.

Jerry Jones to Merchants Association of Columbia County Inc., parcel ID 050064, $825,000.

Tricia R. Carlson fka Tricia R. Thompson and Brandon D. Carlson to Girindra Raval, 936 Sawbuck Way, $162,000.

Bartram Sunbury LLC to Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc., 5617 Sunbury Loop, $46,000.

Bartram Sunbury LLC to Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc., 5623 Sunbury Loop, $46,000.

Bartram Sunbury LLC to Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc., 5610 Sunbury Loop, $46,000.

Baker Place Development LLC to Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc., 311 Firelight Drive, $42,000.

Baker Place Development LLC to Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc., 321 Firelight Drive, $42,000.

Besa Development Group LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, a portion of parcel ID 067122W, 067122Q and 067122A, $36,000.

Besa Development Group LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 509 Bluegrass Trail, $44,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 492 Brantley Cove Circle, $32,000.

Michael D. Pearson to Stephen W. Willis and Margaret H. Willis, 3989 High Chaparral Drive, $219,900.

S & D Construction LLC to Jose Antonio Gonzalez, 551 Wilkins Road, $35,000.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052698, $34,900.

Paul Wellman to Waymon Miller, 4565 Glennwood Drive, $145,000.

Tashi Strong to Wendell C. Shoultz and Sarah Shoultz, 977 Woody Hill Circle, $292,000.

Fulcher Exchange LLC to Ella Marie Penn and James Patrick Penn, 4013 Prescott Drive, $133,000.

Lisa C. Gilbert to Ada Wuerth, 229 Lynbrook Way, $83,000.

Donald H. Skinner to Seth L. Wege and Lisa Wege, 148 West Lynne Drive, $134,900.

Wayne Works LLC to Sharon Phillips and Darel Phillips Jr., 1000 Hardy Lake Road, $365,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052694, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052706, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052691, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052689, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052690, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052699, $34,900.

Richard K. Lawson Sr. to Constance A. Parks, 533 Crystal Creek East, $137,900.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Timothy R. Brown and Rebecca Brown, 732 Neville St.,

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Usama Aljuboori, 3252 Windwood St., $179,000.

Michael J. Mitchell to John M. Bowles and Ashley N. Bowles, 4647 Leeward Drive, $176,000.

Edwin Fransman to Sami Hourani, 328 Greendale Place, $85,900.

Christopher C. Soper to Pail L. Wellman and Paula M. Wellman, 4939 Marble Drive, $193,000.

Jeffrey J. Klima to Eddie L. Ferguson and Phyllis L. Ferguson, 4213 Sutters Court, $417,000.

Eddie W. Bridges to Travis Ruyle and Tanya Ruyle, parcel ID 078288, $380,000.

Rosy Santos to Francesca R. Allen, parcel ID 077503,

IDK Homes Inc. to Douglas F. Coleman and Amy T. Coleman, parcel ID 0601079, $299,900.

Catherine P. O’Byrne to Scott R. O’Byrne and Michaeleen O’Byrne, parcel ID 077G427, $122,000.

Ashley Joan Cox-Danner aka Ashley Joan Cox to Sandra L. Adkins, parcel ID 065904, $233,000.

Richard J. Elliott Jr. to Douglas W. Johnson and Adeline J. Johnson, parcel ID 065295, $815,000.

Dallas P. Grimes to LaShonda Gordon, parcel ID 031258, $167,900.

Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to John Adam James and Rebecca Leah James, 2520 Kari Lane, $189,900.

Ivey Residential LLC to Benjamin and Mary Quimby, 505 Bunchgrass St., $270,850.

Ivey Residential LLC to John L. Purnell and Kristine A. Purnell, 309 Adagio Lane, $338,700.

Thomas Edward Inglett and Gilmer Henry LLC, 5725 Harlem-Grovetown Road, $300,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 478 Brantley Cove Circle, $32,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 484 Brantley Cove Circle, $32,000.

Wilbur L. Funderburg Jr. to Michael Saul, parcel ID 072C068, $151,970.

Brad Hodge Builders Inc. to Melissa Joan Dukes, parcel ID 068981, $191,500.

Petersburg Square Apartments LLC to New London LLC, parcel ID082D027, 08D2055, 082D056, 082D058, 082D060, 082D061, 082D062, 082D063, 082D066, 082D075 and 082D076,

WLI/DAM LLC to Joseph T. Morris III and Cheryl Yvette Capers, 520 Seminole Place, $175,000.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, Nov. 15, 2015

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:00 AM

John Earl Bush and Maryjean Ward applied for a marriage license on Oct. 1, 2015, and were married Oct. 3, 2015, in Thomson.

Justin Claude Youngblood and Samantha Victoria Obrien applied for a marriage license on Oct. 5, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Appling.

Brian Claude Pierce and Ashley Michele Kitchens applied for a marriage license on Aug. 14, 2015, and were married Oct. 31, 2015, in Appling.

Robert Ashley Melton and Rebecca Joy Metts applied for a marriage license on Oct. 9, 2015, and were married Oct. 31, 2015, in Appling.

Charles Jerome Allen and Casandra Maria Smith applied for a marriage license on Nov. 2, 2015, and were married Nov. 2, 2015, in Augusta.

Kyle Matthew Friez and Brett Lee Clark applied for a marriage license on Oct. 23, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Evans.

Andrew Kyle Widmann and Samanta Blair Snellings applied for a marriage license on Oct. 21, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Lincolnton.

Justino Gabriel Taveras and Gilda Santos applied for a marriage license on Oct. 21, 2015, and were married Oct. 31, 2015, in Evans.

Johnathan Howard Newman and Kylee Grace Shank-Ernce applied for a marriage license on Oct. 23, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Thomson.

Roger Grant Larmer and Mardi Rae Hedger applied for a marriage license on Oct. 9, 2015, and were married Oct. 31, 2015, in

Richard Brant Boyd Jr. and Tonya Danielle Smith applied for a marriage license on Oct. 7, 2015, and were married Nov. 11, 2015, in Lincolnton.

Jerome Walker and Carolyn Kay Middleton applied for a marriage license on Oct. 21, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Evans.

Jacob Mitchell Martin and Maci Diane Radford applied for a marriage license on Oct. 16, 2015, and were married Oct. 31, 2015, in Harlem.

Shawn Allen Glass and Kristel Julia Kelley Cooke applied for a marriage license on Nov. 5, 2015, and were married Nov. 5, 2015, in Evans.

Douglas Allen Mays and Tiffany Ann Swiercinsky applied for a marriage license on Nov. 5, 2015, and were married Nov. 9, 2015, in

Nathan Carl Meisner and Makenna Lee Fite applied for a marriage license on Nov. 4, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in

Cody Allen Richardson and Lindsay Hope Hayes applied for a marriage license on Nov. 6, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in

Gaynard Smith and Tonya Michelle Fowler applied for a marriage license on April 7, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Augusta.

Jerrel Leroy Ringgold and Adrienne Simone Paula Sharpe applied for a marriage license on Oct. 19, 2015, and were married Nov. 9, 2015, in Evans.

Craig Rushing Smith and Joanna Charity Jennings applied for a marriage license on Oct. 28, 2015, and were married Nov. 8, 2015, in Appling.

Tyler Joseph Woodard and Brooke Daniel Robles applied for a marriage license on Oct. 15, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Macon, Ga.

Categories: Local

Divorces, Nov. 15, 2015

Sun, 11/15/2015 12:00 AM

Michael Celestin and Afua Celestin, Oct. 27, 2015.

Kevin A. Toomey and Erin R. Toomey, Oct. 9, 2015.

Vicki L. Grogan and Joseph A. Grogan, Oct. 15, 2015.

Juan E. Sierra and Michelle A. Sierra, Oct. 26, 2015.

Jimmy Lee Gains and Sara D. Gains, Oct. 28, 2015.

Mindy Marie Graham and Andrew Graham, Oct. 28, 2015.

Elizabeth Trantham and Keith Trantham, Oct. 23, 2015.

Taylor Aseia Bradshaw and Josh Michael Bradshaw, Oct. 27, 2015.

Herman Keith Odom and Shelly Ann Odom, Oct. 20, 2015.

Elizabeth Claire Kingsland aka Elizabeth Kingsland Sisk and John Emory Sisk, Oct. 26, 2015.

James Daniel McCombs and Jody Ann McCombs, Oct. 29, 2015.

Christina Marie Dileo and Andre Thomas Brake, Oct. 15, 2015.

Earnest Furgeison Jr. and Paula Furgeison, Oct. 23, 2015.

Categories: Local
Search Augusta jobs