Across the area

Tourism enjoys Fest attention


Georgia tourism and economic development officials are satisfied with the exposure the state received from its $25,000 investment in the Rockin' Rib & Music Fest, according Alison Tyrer, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Economic Development.

In September, state officials considered asking the fall festival's promoter to return the money after Martina McBride, the headliner for Augusta charity festival, cancelled days before she was to perform.

But Ms. Tyrer said Friday the department won't ask for a refund. In exchange for the $25,000, she said, the state received nearly $120,000 in advertisement value because of the festival.

Woman dies, 3 others injured in car wreck

The Georgia State Patrol has called in an accident reconstruction team to investigate the car wreck Thursday that killed a North Augusta woman and sent three other people to the hospital, authorities said.

Doris Collier, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy Friday in Atlanta found that the trauma from hitting the ground and other objects after she was ejected from the car caused her death, according to Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen.

Brian Porter, 20, the driver of the car that collided with Ms. Collier's vehicle on Jimmie Dyess Parkway, was released from the Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Friday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Two passengers in the car were still being treated. Lilliana Lopez, 18, was in serious condition. Felicia Morrison, 19, was in fair condition.

Man sentenced to 10 years for child porn

An Augusta man who forwarded an image of child pornography to another person was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday.

Harold E. George Jr., 58, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to five counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Assistant District Attorney Adam King told the judge that an Internet provider tipped off the Georgia Bureau of Investigation about the image Mr. George sent in late 2005. A search of his home and computer turned up several images of child pornography.

Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. accepted the plea and negotiated the sentence. In addition to the prison time, Mr. George will be on probation for 10 years after his release.

Father accused of choking his child

A father was arrested Thursday, accused of choking his son hard enough that he required medical attention, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Keith Loyd Lewis, 37, of Harrogate Drive in Goshen, was arrested at about 1 p.m. Thursday after taking his son to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics, Lt. Jimmy Young, a sheriff's office investigator, said.

Mr. Lewis, who is 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, is accused of choking his 12-year-old son to the point that his child passed out and fell to the floor, Lt. Young said. He said the child might have suffered a broken nose from hitting the floor.

His father has been charged with first degree cruelty to children, the investigator said. He also was charged with second degree cruelty to children because an 11-year-old sibling witnessed the assault.

Child cruelty added to suspect's charges

A man who has been sitting in the Richmond County jail, accused of attacking two men with a hammer, has had another charge levied against him, the sheriff's office said.

Joshua Hobbs, 27, of the 3000 block of Walcott Lane, had already been charged with aggravated assault, sheriff's office investigator Lt. Jimmy Young said. On Friday, he was also charged with first degree cruelty to children, a felony.

According to a sheriff's office report, Mr. Hobbs and two others attacked brothers James and Rick Berry with hammers Feb. 17. The brothers suffered injuries and were treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics.

The investigator said the charge of cruelty to children was added because a 5-year-old girl witnessed the crime.

Hundreds of tablets stolen from pharmacy

More than 700 pills of assorted pain killers were stolen from Brynwood Pharmacy on Friday morning, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Someone broke into the business, which is in the 3500 block of Walton Way Extension, and took 533 pills of Endocet, 21 pills of Percocet, 146 pills of Oxycodone and 20 pills of Oxycodone with Asprine, the report said. The pills are valued at $838, according to the report.

Mother charged in shooting of her son

A 45-year-old Jackson woman was charged Friday morning with nearly killing her son Thursday evening.

Johanna L. Wilson, of the 300 block of Brown Road, was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

According to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, Ms. Wilson shot her son, 20-year-old Justin C. Jarrett, with a handgun through a bedroom door. Mr. Jarrett was shot in the chest, a news release states, and is in critical condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Ms. Wilson was arrested at the scene. Sheriff Michael Hunt said in a statement that the shooting was "the result of an ongoing dispute" between the two.

Man charged with K9 officer's assault

A 20-year-old Beech Island man was arrested Friday on charges that he tried to hit a K9 officer with his car and then led police on a high-speed chase.

Jarrett D. Dandridge, of the 100 block of Dorsett Kenzie Road, was charged with assault with intent to kill, failure to stop for blue light and siren, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a half-mile of a school and simple possession of marijuana.

According to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, officers responding to a burglary on the 2200 block of Green Pond Road had stopped traffic on nearby Desoto Drive near Silver Bluff High School. Members of the Aiken Bloodhound Tracking Team were searching the area, a news release states, when Mr. Dandridge ignored commands to stop, sped away and tried to hit one of the K9 officers with his car.

- From staff reports