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Police Blotter, April 26, 2015

Sun, 4/26/2015 12:11 AM

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

Truck buyer gets surprise

A man who bought a new truck early this year found a surprise hidden in the cab.

The man said he purchased a 2009 Ford F-150 from Fairway Ford in January. His mother was looking inside on Monday.

She saw something wedged under the driver’s seat. The man said his mother found a Smith & Wesson M & P Shield 9mm handgun under the seat.

The man said he called the dealership and was told they’d track down the previous owner of the truck. Authorities checked the weapon, which had a clear history and had never been reported as lost or stolen.

Man harassed about arrest

A man called authorities Wednesday after receiving harassing phone calls about an employee who was arrested.

The 35-year-old man said that one of his employees was arrested in McDuffie County. He began receiving calls and text messages from a woman who said the man needed to help pay his employee’s bond. When he refused and said it was not his responsibility, the woman got irate.

The angry caller told the man that she was going to blow up his business, slash all his tires and put sugar in his gas tank. She then threatened his life.

Even after being told to stop contacting the businessman, the woman continued to send numerous text messages that were vulgar and race-driven.

The man said he called authorities because he was concerned for his safety and that of his employees and business assets.

Man receives mail surprise

An Evans man told deputies Tuesday that he received some unexpected mail.

The man said he received a suspicious envelope and didn’t open it because he didn’t know the person who sent it from a Wadesboro, N.C., address and he wasn’t expecting mail from anyone specific.

A few weeks ago, the man noticed the lock on luggage he’d checked during a trip was broken when he picked it up from the airport.

He worried someone went through the bag, which contained his address and other personal information.

A deputy opened the envelope in front of the man. It contained a small military patch wrapped inside a plain, white piece of paper. The rectangle patch had a sideways black lightning bolt and a black and gray checkerboard.

The deputy researched patches and discovered it represents the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade (Battlefield Surveillance Brigade), also known as the “Lightning Brigade,” out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

Teen scammed out of money

A Martinez teen said Monday that she’d been scammed out of nearly $450 in hopes of gaining a large cash prize.

The 19-year-old said she got a call on April 6 from a man who identified himself as Bob Richmond, who then connected her to another man who said his name was Kenneth Anderson. The teen said she was told that she was to inherit $555,000 and she had to send $395 for shipping and handling. She sent the money, as instructed, to a Jerome James in Kingston, Jamaica.

After the first transaction, the teen said Kenneth Anderson said he needed an additional $250 for a “gold seal” stamp and her money would be reimbursed. She sent that money on April 8 and was sent an e-mail from Kenneth Anderson declaring her a “Mega Millions” winner.

The teen said Monday that she still received calls from Kenneth Anderson, who said he needed $500 for an insurance fee so her “package” could be delivered.

Categories: Local

Harlem's King of the Grill BBQ Competition Saturday

Sun, 4/26/2015 12:11 AM

Harlem is offering a day of music, fun and barbecue with its inaugural King of the Grill BBQ Competition on Saturday.

The event gives backyard barbecuers a chance to hone their skills before the annual Banjo-B-Que barbecue competition in late May.

“This is the warm-up,” said event organizer Stacie Hart, the city’s Community Services and Events coordinator. “It really is.”

Hart said 12 teams including three professional teams have registered to compete and the winner gets an entry into the Banjo-B-Que’s Backyard division. The winner also gets four tickets to attend the event. The second place finisher gets a $200 prize and the third-place barbecuer gets $100.

Teams will compete in Pork Ribs, Pork Loin and Pork categories. Patrons can buy tickets to sample and vote for the People’s Choice Award and a $100 prize.

But there will be more than barbecue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Harlem City Park.

“There will be something for everyone,” Hart said. “There truly will be.”

Motorcycles and cars and trucks will be on display in the car and bike show.

For a $20 entry fee, owners of the first 50 cars and 40 bikes can show off their vehicles.

Participants will compete for the top spots and cash prizes in several categories – Best Paint, Best in Show, first, second and third place.

“The trophies are like no other that they have ever received,” Hart said. “They are off-the-chain nice.”

Arts and crafts vendors, food and refreshment vendors and yard sale vendors will be selling their wares.

Live entertainment begins at noon.

“It’s a free event. It’s free,” Hart said. “It’s going to be super. It’s going to be a great great day.”

Raffles going on throughout the day offer lots of prizes including a dream driving experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hart said a golf car shuttle will be available from several parking areas – Harlem United Methodist Church, Starling-Evans Funeral Home and the former IGA building parking lot.

All proceeds from the event go toward restoration of the Columbia Theatre.

For more information or an application, contact Hart at (706) 556-3448 ext. 2008 or

Categories: Local

Growth meetings under way

Sun, 4/26/2015 12:10 AM

If the past 20 years can be used as any kind of measuring stick, the Columbia County of 2035 will be very different place than what we know now.

It’s a reality that county planning officials are preparing for right now.

“Columbia County is a different place than it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago,” said county Planning Director Andrew Strickland, addressing a crowd gathered Monday for the first of four “visioning sessions” seeking public input for a new 20-year comprehensive development plan.

County officials along with a group of planning consultants held meetings on Monday and Thursday to gather feedback for “Vision 2035,” as the plan has been named. Members of the public were invited to take a look at the county’s current condition and give their ideas about topics such as transportation, recreation and commercial development for the next two decades.

Visioning sessions

“Really we are looking for a vision,” Strickland said to about 40 people who had turned out for the session at Patriot’s Park. “We want your vision of how you see Columbia County should develop over the next 20 years. You live in this community; you work in this community. How do you want to see Columbia County develop?”

Over the next 90 minutes, participants peered at county maps, made notations about issues and discussed ideas about how growth should be handled.

The forecast for the next 20 years is more rapid growth, said Paige Hatley, a member of the team of consultants assisting the county with the Vision 2035 plan.

Hatley said that by 2035 the county’s current population of about 139,000 will mushroom to about 210,000, according to forecasting models. At the same time, she said Richmond County’s population would increase to about 213,000 and Aiken County would growth to about 215,000.

Hatley said the county will experience and even bigger expansion in jobs, growing from about 51,000 to more than 77,000 jobs, about a 50 percent change.

The county has already been it by some growing pains. Much of the discussion around the tables Monday night focused on traffic and transportation issues.

Nestor Garcia, of Evans, said he wanted to see a solution proposed for the daily traffic jams that plague Grovetown on mornings and afternoons when thousands travel to and from Fort Gordon for work.

He said the county had done a poor job anticipating the growth on post and the traffic consequences that followed.

“Something has to be done,” he said.

Others were just as concerned about preserving some the county’s wild places and natural beauty of undeveloped areas.

Melissa Llinas was part of one group that wanted to ensure that sensitive places, such as Heggies Rock were protected from development.

Llinas siad she drive on Old Washington Road almost every day, which is another area she hopes won’t change any time soon.

“I just love to see the honeysuckles and all the old trees,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

Consultant Inge Kennedy said her team was intent on taking in all this information, along with feedback from written and telephone surveys to come up with a draft plan by August. I final plan to guide future county development decisions should be ready by January.

Kennedy told those in attendance that time moves faster that you think, when it comes to planning issues.

“Now is the time to get ready for it,” Kennedy said. “You can’t wait until 2030 to get ready for 2035, so that’s why we are here now.”

The county has two more sessions planned for this week: on Monday at the County Exhibition Center and on Thursday at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. Meetings are open to the public and begin at 6 p.m.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, April 26, 2015

Sun, 4/26/2015 12:10 AM

Ivey Residential LLC to Latonya D. Smalls and John Eric Smalls, 2547 Ravenna Lane, $417,000.

Adrian F. Bell to Philippe Erramuzpe, parcel ID 063181, $100,000.

Joseph M. Barrs to Anthony S. Micklon, 4167 Saddle Horn Drive, $165,500.

Stephen Wayne Williford to Sona K. Limon, 3741 Washington Road, $450,000.

Karen R. Rhodes to Jennifer B. Elinow, 4031 Danielle Drive, $110,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Michael Allen Shaw and Bianca Shaw, 2438 Newbury Ave., $200,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Lesley A. Asendorf, 1719 Edenburg Way, $229,950.

RT Bailey Construction Co. Inc. to John D’Souza and Promila D’Souza, 307 N. Sandhills Lane, $285,000.

Melony S. Carter to David P. Deines, 358 Kings Bridge Road, $116,400.

Wilson Parker Homes of Hidden Creek Inc. to Demetrius Maurice Bell, 5505 Dualwood Drive, $207,490.

Winchester Homes of HA Inc. to Martha Jean Moreo, 2445 Newbury Ave., $183,188.

Richard J. Bendorf to Andrew Dean Brown and Brittany Dawn Brown, 1461 Lakeview Drive, $227,000.

Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc. to John E. Liebaly, 729 Burch Creek Drive, $352,500.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Timothy R. Middleton and Susan Ann Middleton, 749 Southwick Ave., $251,525.

JJ & Z Builders LLC to Nathaniel N. Flowers and Elizabeth Ornelas-Flowers, 8626 Crenshaw Drive, $291,000.

Grace L. Hollingsworth to Swan M. Dominguez, 219 Sarah Creek Court, $137,900.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Shijin Mei, 216 Ryan Lane, $232,000.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, April 26, 2015

Sun, 4/26/2015 12:09 AM

Elan Andrew Christian and Ekaydria Tanzania Campbell applied for a marriage license on March 26, 2015, and were married April 12, 2015, in Martinez.

Charles Hillis Thomas and Shannon Lanier Lemay applied for a marriage license on April 6, 2015, and were married April 11, 2015, in Tybee Island, Ga.

Johnathon Michael Rabun and Nicole Catherine Yates applied for a marriage license on April 2, 2015, and were married April 10, 2015, in Harlem.

Ronald Eric Nappier and Karen Emil Chacon Hernandez applied for a marriage license on April 9, 2015, and were married April 10, 2015, in Evans.

Gerald Macellis Tanksley and Annisha Lashell Vaughns applied for a marriage license on Aug. 20, 2014, and were married April 4, 2015, in Augusta.

Caleb Tyrel Sawyer and Kirston Elizabeth Biernot applied for a marriage license on Feb. 13, 2015, and were married March 28, 2015, in Appling.

Brandon Andrew Wall and Karen Elizabeth Rocker applied for a marriage license on March 20, 2015, and were married April 11, 2015, in Hephzibah.

Edgar Allen Simmons Jr. and Tammy Michelle Floyd applied for a marriage license on April 6, 2015, and were married April 14, 2015, in Evans.

Samuel Adam Bussey Jr. and Cheryl Ann Del Mundo applied for a marriage license on March 19, 2015, and were married April 4, 2015, in Jekyll Island, Ga.

Dewet Ervin Wade Jr. and Diedre Jean Riedel applied for a marriage license on March 27, 2015, and were married April 18, 2015, in Martinez.

Adam David Cincar and Kayce Sala Teel applied for a marriage license on April 2, 2015, and were married April 11, 2015, on St. Simons Island, Ga.

Categories: Local

Divorces, April 26, 2015

Sun, 4/26/2015 12:07 AM

Richard L. Price and Christine A. Price, April 1, 2015.

Praharsha Ravindranatha Menon and Sachindev Janardhan, April 14, 2015.

Scott Cameron Sterling and Deanna Meadows Sterling, April 1, 2015.

James M. Jarrett and Laura T. Jarrett, March 31, 2015.

Pamela Acito Hardin and Charles Ralph Hardin, April 6, 2015.

Jeffery L. Downs and Felicia K. Downs, April 20, 2015.

Emily K. King and Christopher D. Eng, Feb. 4, 2015.

Marcy Lynn Relken Taylor and Henry Richard Taylor, April 20, 2015.

Eric Gill and Melinda Clark-Gill, April 8, 2015.

Heather Danette Coffman and Dustin Shea Coffman, April 7, 2015.

Maria Wright and Richard Wright, April 20, 2015.

Brandon Douglas Shannon and Christie Sanderson Shannon, April 8, 2015.

Categories: Local

Evans to Locks Road delays expects for Sunday morning half-marathon

Fri, 4/24/2015 10:35 AM


Traffic on Evans to Locks Road will be limited Sunday morning as Race 13.1 participants pound the pavement.

The 13.1 half-marathon is a road race that will follow Evans to Locks Road from Evans Towne Center Park to Savannah Rapids Pavilion and back. The temporary road closures and lane closures will last from 7 to 11:30 a.m., according to information released by Columbia County Traffic Engineering.

Because of the potential for major traffic delays during that time, county Traffic Engineer officials strongly recommend residents of area neighborhoods and local business that use Evans to Locks Road for access to and from their homes and businesses avoid Evans to Locks Road or limit trips between 7 and 11:30 a.m.

The route requires reducing a section of Evans to Locks Road, more than a mile from Evans Towne Center Boulevard to Blue Ridge Drive, to one lane for two-way vehicle traffic with flaggers and a pilot vehicle to control traffic. Motorists on the one-lane section of Evans to Locks Road for two-way traffic will be required to give the right of way to race participants we as well as restricted as to when they can proceeds and in which direction they will be allowed to turn in order to follow the pilot car.

Beginning at Blue Ridge Drive, race participants will use the multi-use path and two-way traffic can resume as normal on Evans to Locks Road. All the way to Savannah Rapids Pavilion, motorists on road intersecting with Evans to Locks Road will be required to stop and yield the right-of-way to runners.

Roads that will require motorists to stop and yield include Evans Town Center Boulevard, Oakhurst Drive, North Belair Road, Grand Slam Drive, Columbia Industrial Boulevard, Bradford Lane, Fairfield Way, Foxhunt Lane, Hunterdale Road, Blue Ridge Drive, Kemper Drive, Jennings Road, Mims Road, King Taylor Road, Meldon Road, Grace Avenue, Jones Creek, Preakness Drive, Furys Ferry Road, Glen Abbey Drive, Turnberry Lane, Stevens Creek Road, headgate Drive and Rhodes Hill Drive.

Evans Town Center Boulevard will be closed during the race time from Evans to Locks Road to Ronald Reagan Drive. Southbound traffic on Evans Town Center Boulevard will be required to make a left or right turn onto Ronald Reagan Drive.

Ronald Reagan Drive will be closed for westbound traffic from the roundabout to Evans Town Center Boulevard. Eastbound traffic on Ronald Reagan Drive will be allowed to turn left on Evans Town Center Boulevard or continue straight onto Ronald Reagan Drive to the roundabout, but will not be allowed to turn right onto Evans Town Center Boulevard.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, April 22, 2015

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:15 AM

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

Man speeds toward deputy

A Martinez man was arrested Saturday after leading authorities on a brief chase.

A woman called authorities at about noon after she said she and her husband, Scott Manuel Gonzalez, 50, argued about a shoplifting case he was being investigated for. When she told Gonzalez to turn himself in, he ignored her, so she went outside to call 911. He locked her out, then opened the door and tried to snatch the phone from her.

A deputy, who was aware of Gonzalez’s felony warrant, arrived and saw Gonzalez get into his Jeep Wrangler. When the deputy approached Gonzalez and asked him to get out, Gonzalez accelerated toward the deputy, who had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

The deputy got into his patrol vehicle and followed Gonzalez to get him to stop. Gonzalez refused and sped away down Old Petersburg Road, then Old Evans Road and west on Washington Road.

A second deputy joined the pursuit and Gonzalez continued to drive recklessly into oncoming traffic. Gonzalez turned onto Owens Road and sped to Cox Road, where he swerved his Jeep into the center lane to hit a patrol car. Because of the wreck, Gonzalez’s vehicle was disabled and he was arrested.

Gonzalez was charged with shoplifting, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and attempting to elude, reckless driving and several traffic violations. He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on Monday with no bond, according to jail records.

Road-rager threatens man

An Evans man said Saturday that a man with road rage threatened him twice.

The 31-year-old said he was driving east on Washington near William Few Parkway at about 5 a.m. on April 9. He was behind a vehicle whose driver got angry because he believed the man was following him with his high beams on. The driver accelerated past the man, changed lanes in front of him and slammed on brakes. The man pulled into a gas station and the other driver approached the man as he pumped gas threatening to snap his neck for driving with high beams on.

The man said on Friday that he saw the angry motorist again at Greenbrier Elementary School picking up his child. The other driver approached him and threatened the man wouldn’t be so lucky on the next meeting.

Categories: Local

Rescue owner cited, stripped of license

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:15 AM

An Evans woman was recently sentenced in Columbia County Magistrate Court for failing to care for animals in the rescue she ran.

Kristi Leahey, owner of Lucky Dog rescue, pled no contest to 14 counts of failure to care for and maintain animals in Magistrate Court on Wednesday. Columbia County Animal Services dismissed the additional eight counts.

Associate Magistrate Judge Grady Blanchard sentenced Leahey to surrender her rescue license immediately, fines totaling $7,000, 1,400 hours of community service, five years probation and she must remove all animals from her Evans property within seven days. She is prohibited from owning any animals and must submit to random Animal Services inspections during her probation, submit to an immediate inspection and provide documentation for all of the outgoing animals to the state Department of Agriculture. Failure to comply with the terms of probation could land Leahey in jail for 30 days.

Three volunteers for the rescue group wrote a letter to Animal Services detailing conditions inside Leahey’s home, where the rescue was based, and regulatory and legal violations. They alleged in the letter that Leahey housed more dogs than her rescue license allowed; the rescue was a zoning problem since it was located in her home; that Leahey lied to potential adopters and didn’t provide health records such a rabies vaccinations; that animals spent more than 15 hours a day in kennels and weren’t properly cared for and fed; and that she didn’t keep proper documentation, according to the Animal Services file. The former volunteers also alleged Leahey didn’t have a 501c3 status and uses that of other rescues without their permission.

The former volunteers also accused Leahey of not paying more than $6,000 in unpaid veterinary bills, allowing animals including puppies to die in her care and keeping animals with contagious diseases like mange and worms with healthy animals.

Animal Services staff and a state Department of Agriculture employee went to Leahey’s Bristol Trail home on Feb. 9 and found eight cats and 12 dogs – in unsanitary conditions. At least 10 dogs were in kennels with their own feces and without water. Floors of nearly all rooms of the home were covered in feces and urine.

Categories: Local

Sports Calendar for Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:06 AM

Volleyball camp

Augusta Prep’s 13th-annual summer volleyball camps are June 1 to June 4 and July 27 to July 30. There are two sessions per camp. Middle school is 9 a.m. to noon for grades grades five to eight and high school is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.for grades nine to 12. The cost is $130. Contact Coach Rich Bland at (706) 414-6145, or go to for more information.

Softball camp

Local softball powers Greenbrier and Harlem High Schools are teaming up for the first Columbia County All-Star Softball Camp, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day from June 8 to June 12 from at Patriots Park. The camp is for girls in first- through eighth-grade and cost is $100; $75 for siblings and team rates are available. Call Garrett Black at (706) 564-9653 or Mike Leverrett at (706) 836-6026 for more information.

Track registration

The Augusta Flyers Track Club is taking registration for its 2015 season for boys and girls between the ages of 5 to 18. We offer two levels of ­participation, developmental and competitive. Registration requirements include a physical exam and completed registration forms. Cost to register is $66 and must be received by May 15 with a late registration fee of $15 added. Go to or call Jacqueline Major at (706) 399-0157 for more information.

Baseball registration

Registration for Martinez-Evans Little League Spring Baseball is still open. Registration for senior and big finish on May 5. Go to for more information.


New Georgia Impact 14U travel baseball team is looking for players. Practices are in Appling. Players must be born after May 1, 2000. Call (706) 231-6488 for more information.

Football camp

The Augusta Prep 7th Annual Summer Football Camp at Augusta Prep is July 7-9, played host by several out of town coaches. Contact for more information.

Categories: Local

Prep Calendar for Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:06 AM

Wednesday, April 22

Harlem at Thomson, 6 p.m.

Thursday, April 23

Augusta Prep vs. Augusta Christian,
4:30 p.m.

Region 2-AAAAA Tournament Finals, TBA

Friday, April 24

Augusta Prep vs. Westminster, 4:30 p.m.

Monday, April 27

Augusta Prep vs. Edmund Burke Academy, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 28

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

Augusta Christian in SCISA State Playoffs, TBA

Thursday, April 23

Greenbrier vs. Lakeside at Champions Retreat

Saturday, April 25

Greenbrier girls at Lady Bear Open at Applewood, TBA

Monday, April 27

Augusta Christian in SCISA State Golf Tournament at Coastal Carolina University, TBA

Tuesday, April 28

Augusta Christian in SCISA State Golf Tournament at Coastal Carolina University, TBA

Thursday, April 23

Lakeside vs. Southwest DeKalb, 6 p.m. (girls)

Friday, April 24

Greenbrier at Southwest DeKalb, 6 p.m. (girls)

Lakeside vs. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Greenbrier at Norcross, 7 p.m. (boys)

Saturday, April 25

Lakeside vs. Dunwoody, 1 p.m. (girls)

Lakeside at Benedictine, 1 p.m. (boys)

Greenbrier at Decatur, 2 p.m. (girls)

Thursday, April 23

Augusta Christian vs. Ben Lippen,
4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 23

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

Friday, April 24

Augusta Prep in GISA State Playoffs, TBA

Saturday, April 25

Augusta Christian at Alleluia, 1 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Prep in GISA State Playoffs, TBA

Tuesday, April 28

Augusta Christian vs. Heathwoood Hall, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

GHSA Girls Class AAAAA State Tournament, TBA

GISA State Quarterfinals, TBA

Today, April 22

GHSA Class AAAAA State Tournament

Greenbrier vs. Northside-Columbus 3:30 p.m. (girls)

Greenbrier vs. Harris County, 3:30 p.m. (boys)

Today, April 22

Augusta Prep at GISA State Team Tournament in Macon, Ga., 9 a.m.

Today, April 22

GISA Region 4-AAA Track and Field Championships at Augusta Prep,
10 a.m.

SCISA Region 1-AAA Championship at Heathwood Hall.

Thursday, April 23

Region 2-AAAAA meet finals at Grovetown, 3 p.m.

Categories: Local

New retail plans announced for area off Grovetown exit

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:04 AM

Commercial growth in the Grovetown corridor off Inter­state 20 is showing no signs of slowing down.

More retail development is slated for the corner of Horizon South Parkway and Gateway Bou­le­vard by George Duehring, who, with wife Rosemary, owns several Zaxby’s franchises.

Duehring said he plans to develop nearly 13 acres across from the Wal-Mart-anchored Gate­way shopping center with his ninth Zaxby’s in addition to other restaurants, a possible hotel, bank and small retail center. Duehring said he has three letters of intent for the project.

County planning commissioners agreed this week to rezone the property to general commercial from residential agricultural and general commercial, but the final vote will be made May 5 by the full board.

If the development is approved, Duehring said he will begin site work immediately. The first business would likely open within four months of construction, he said.

A preliminary site plan shows five standalone buildings on the property accessed by an internal road off Gateway Boulevard. A second proposed road across from Steiner Way would give limited access to Horizon South Parkway.

County property records show Duehring purchased the land in February for $500,000.

“That’s where the growth is right now,” he said. “I don’t see it ending for awhile. The jobs that are coming in are high-quality jobs.”

Each Zaxby’s restaurant employs 70 to 80 workers, he said.

The project is the latest in a string of developments in the works for I-20’s Grovetown exit. Behind Duehring’s property, construction is underway to add 136 units to the RiverStone Apart­­ment Community, and Mey­bohm Commercial is developing a Home2 Suites by Hilton in addition to another unnamed hotel and future restaurants, offices and retail centers.

In March, county officials approved the rezoning of 15 acres on the north side of Gateway Boulevard for proposed restaurants, a national grocery store chain, a hotel, medical offices and financial institutions.

On the opposite end of I-20, Blanchard and Calhoun Com­­mer­cial aims to break ground this year on a Kroger Marketplace-anchored retail center on Lewiston Road.

With the development, traffic continues to be a challenge for many commuters. A project to widen Horizon South Parkway and Lewiston Road to four lanes is expected to begin in 2018. The Georgia Department of Trans­portation project is part of a transportation sales tax package passed by voters in 2012.

Categories: Local

Augusta man sentenced to prison in federal court

Wed, 4/22/2015 12:02 AM

An Augusta man was recently sentenced in U.S. District Court for distributing drugs.

Ricky Lee Kennedy, 32, pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute this week. U.S. District Court Judge J. Randall Hall sentenced Kennedy to 20 years in prison.

There is no parole in the federal prison system.

On July 29, Columbia County authorities received information that Kennedy was going to bring methamphetamine from Atlanta to Columbia County for distribution, according to a release from the U.S. District Court. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigators watched Kennedy and saw him return to the county with the drug. With assistance from the Harlem Police Department, Kennedy, who has had two previous serious drug convictions, was stopped and authorities found 400 grams of pure methamphetamine and two loaded firearms.

Kennedy’s case was investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He was prosecuted as part of Project Ceasefire, a multi-agency initiative to combat gun crime by targeting violent felons and drug dealers who illegally possess firearms and narcotics.

Categories: Local

Road to close, traffic detour around Riverwatch construction

Mon, 4/20/2015 4:25 PM


A Martinez road will be temporarily closed this weekend for construction associated with the extension of Riverwatch Parkway.

Old Evans Road will be closed near Connor Drive to install a 36-inch sanitary sewer line beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. If weather permits the necessary work, the road is expected to reopen by 7 a.m. Monday, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

During the closure, traffic will be detoured around the work area using Columbia Industrial Boulevard, Evans to Locks Road and Blue Ridge Drive.

The $35 million Riverwatch parkway project includes widening Old Petersburg Road from Baston Road to Old Evans Road and widening Old Evans Road to Columbia Industrial Boulevard. The road will be constructed westward over the railroad tracks to tie into Washington Road at Towne Center Drive. The new roadway will include fours lanes, two in each direction, 4-foot bike lanes, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and a 20-foot raised median.

Categories: Local
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