Across the area

Policy awaits 'bash' decision


The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority will not establish a policy on in-house concert promotion until it decides whether to promote the James Brown "birthday bash" concert, Rules and Policy Committee Chairman Wayne Frazier said Thursday.

In-house promotion could mean that taxpayer dollars and resources would be invested in publicizing and funding of concerts at the arena.

On Thursday, the authority's rules committee also recommended that the James Brown Arena test employees for drugs quarterly and at the time of their employment, Dr. Frazier said.

The change still must be approved by the full board at its Tuesday meeting.

7th Street will close for 'Western Town'

The city will close the 600 block of Seventh Street from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday to set up "Western Town" for the Futurity at the James Brown Arena.

Eighth Street also is expected to see heavy Futurity traffic and should be avoided, according to a news release from the city's engineering department.

Drivers should use Fifth or Ninth streets as alternatives.

Airport traffic snarls after bad weather

Scheduling problems could continue today after a winter storm caused delays and cancellations Thursday for Augusta Regional Airport's two airline carriers, airport spokeswoman Diane Johnston said.

U.S. Airways canceled a pair of flights in the early morning and had resumed normal traffic by midday, she said. De-icing delays in Charlotte slowed the pace of the carrier's final inbound flight to Augusta in the evening.

In Atlanta, weather deteriorated late in the day and delayed an America Southeast Airlines' flight into Augusta, Ms. Johnston said.

She also advised passengers to call reservation numbers before coming to the airport today because early morning flights might be cancelled if planes scheduled to leave Atlanta and Charlotte on Thursday night were unable to do so.

Traffic is moving well after I-20 road work

Construction crews have completed the portion of the road project that has required pacing for the past two weeks on Interstate 20, according to Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cissy McNure.

Traffic on Thursday was moving smoothly through the construction area on I-20 near the Columbia County-Richmond County border, she said.

Railroad work will close Alexander Drive

Alexander Drive will be temporarily closed next week at the railroad crossing at River Watch Parkway.

Motorists are asked to take an alternate route between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Richmond County Engineering Department.

Motorists are urged to use Interstate 20, 15th Street, Furys Ferry, Washington, Claussen or Stevens Creek roads.

CSX railroad workers will replace a broken rail.

Meeting on mercury at Olin is canceled

An Augusta Commission subcommittee has canceled a meeting to discuss concerns about mercury emissions in the Augusta area.

Commissioner Andy Cheek, the chairman of the Public Safety Solutions Study Subcommittee, said scheduling conflicts hampered efforts to gather officials from Olin Corp. and Georgia's Environmental Protection Division for the meeting, which was scheduled for 10 a.m. today .

Oceana, a Washington, D.C., environmental group, is waging a campaign to compel Olin to convert its Augusta chlorine factory to mercury-free technology and has asked commissioners to support such an effort.

Road repairs to alter Laney-Walker traffic

The eastbound lanes of Laney-Walker Boulevard from Third Street to East Boundary will be closed until Wednesday so crews can repair a large cave-in, according to an Augusta-Richmond County Engineering Department news release.

Drivers can use Third Street, Watkins Street and East Boundary as detours.

- From staff reports