Across the area

Thurmond's level dips back below full pool

 

Thurmond Lake has fallen more than five feet since heavy rains earlier this month pushed the reservoir above its full pool level for the first time in years.

On Tuesday, the lake's elevation was at 327.3 feet above sea level, almost three feet below its full pool of 330.

The lake peaked at 332.5 feet above sea level Nov. 14 after as much as six inches of rain fell across portions of the Savannah River basin.

Corps officials have said they hope to keep Thurmond's pool at 328 feet above sea level during the 2010 recreation season.

School board reviews referendum options

The Aiken County school board reviewed bond referendum formalities Tuesday as financial representatives laid out scenarios the board could follow if it used a referendum to fund the capital campaign members are drafting.

Representatives of Ross, Sinclaire and Associates and McNair Law Firm said the school district would need at least 75 to 90 days to file paperwork and give public notice.

The board is in the middle of researching facility and program needs to create a capital campaign. The district administration has recommended issuing a bond to pay for any new school buildings and remodelling because the district's needs exceed the $15 million available each year for buildings and maintenance.

Residents lose water after main breaks

A water main break caused several Columbia County neighborhoods to lose water Tuesday.

About 3 p.m., a water main on Hereford Farm Road near Columbia Road broke, causing residents in the River Birch and Fairington subdivisions along Hereford Farm, Huntfield and Callaway Road Extension to lose water, according to Pam Tucker, the county's Emergency and Operations Division director.

If discolored water does not run clear after flushing faucets for a few minutes, customers should call the Columbia County Water Utility between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at (706) 863-6928 or after hours at (706) 860-2587.

Brown's 'cape man' pays his $4,600 bond

The former "cape man" for James Brown was bonded out of jail Tuesday after being arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.

Daniel Brown Ray, 74, of Augusta, was arrested Friday. His bond amount was $4,600, according to jail personnel.

Mr. Ray is known as the man who would introduce Mr. Brown and offer him a cape. He was arrested after he drove a car in front of a known drug house in the 2600 block of Mill Street on Friday and conducted a transaction with a man, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Man uses screwdriver to hold up gas station

Authorities searched Tuesday for a man who held up an Aiken gas station with a screwdriver.

Aiken Department of Public Safety officers responded to an armed robbery at Kangaroo Express on Whiskey Road about 5 a.m., Lt. David Turno said. The man entered the store, put a screwdriver to the clerk's throat and demanded money, Lt. Turno said.

The man is described as white with short, black facial hair, about 6 feet tall, weighing about 225 pounds and wearing a black pullover with Carolina blue on the front.

Donations stolen from Wrightsboro business

A burglar stole a donations canister containing $40 after breaking into Firehouse Subs on Wrightsboro Road early Tuesday.

A deputy found the front glass doors broken and a rock on the floor inside, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report. Based on surveillance video, authorities said the man is black and in his mid-20s to 30 years old. He is between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs between 130 and 160 pounds, the report said.

Canal center is closed today, Thanksgiving

The Augusta Canal Interpretive Center will close today and Thursday for Thanksgiving.

The center and Petersburg Boat canal tours will offer normal schedules Friday through Sunday.

Paine College official to leave for Tuskegee

Dr. John A. Williams, the director of institutional effectiveness at Paine College, has been appointed interim provost, vice president for academic affairs and vice president for institutional research at Tuskegee University, effective Dec. 1, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

As interim provost, Dr. Williams will serve as a member of the university's President's Cabinet and Executive Council.

Dr. Williams will also be responsible for advancing the academic quality and stature of the university and, under the direction of the university president and in conjunction with deans, will allocate budgets, faculty positions and instructional resources, according to the release.

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