Across the area

Hephzibah man dies in crash


A Hephzibah man died Thursday on Interstate 20 in Aiken County when his truck collided with a tractor-trailer.

Franklin Neely, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Aiken County Coroner's Office.

The accident occurred at about 7:15 a.m. in a westbound lane near mile-marker 22.

According to a statement from the coroner's office, Mr. Neely was driving the family produce truck when he rear-ended a tractor-trailer driven by Anderson Fraley, 42, of Atlanta.

Mr. Neely was not wearing a seat belt.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Scot Edgeworth said that neither Mr. Fraley nor his female passenger was injured. Both were wearing seat belts, he said.

Coroner preliminarily rules death accidental

The Richmond County coroner has preliminarily ruled that a 14-year-old Blythe boy's drowning earlier this week was accidental.

Coroner Grover Tuten said Thursday that Colton D. Gullikson was swimming with two other children in his family's pool when he lost consciousness Tuesday.

His mother and grandmother, who were watching the children, started CPR and called an ambulance, but the teenager was pronounced dead at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Mr. Tuten said.

Colton's family told authorities he was a good swimmer and didn't have any known medical problems. Drowning caused his death, but any possible underlying physical cause hasn't been determined by an autopsy yet, Mr. Tuten said.

NAACP holds voter registration drive

The Augusta branch of the NAACP will hold a voter registration drive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Deans Bridge Road Wal-Mart.

For more information, call (706) 724-0390.

Girls, boys boxing classic is scheduled

The Girls and Boys Junior National Summer Boxing Classic will be held today and Saturday in the May Park Community Center at Fourth Street and Walton Way at 6 p.m.

For more information, call (706) 733-7533.

Group is accepting grant applications

The Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area is accepting applications for the 2007 Unrestricted Grants Program. All 501(c)(3) organizations serving any of the following counties in Georgia - Columbia, Burke, Richmond and McDuffie - or Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina may apply.

Applications must be submitted to The Community Foundation, 1450 Greene St., Suite 228, before 11 a.m. July 31. For more information, visit The Community Foundation's Web site at or call (706) 724-1314.

Signal Corps plans anniversary ball

The 147th anniversary of the Signal Corps will be celebrated with a semiformal ball at 6 p.m. June 29 at the Gordon Club, on 19th Street.

The anniversary ball is open to all active-duty and reserve soldiers, retired service members, civilians, their families and guests. Tickets cost $30 per person. For reservations, call (706) 791-5804 or e-mail

Scammers target military loved ones

The American Red Cross is warning military families about a scam that involves their loved ones serving in combat.

According to a news release, a telephone caller will falsely claim the family's loved one has been hurt and is undergoing medical treatment, and then asks for personal information.

American Red Cross representatives typically go through a commander or first sergeant to contact families, officials said.

Health department scales back hours

Citing state budget cuts, the North Augusta health department has scaled back its operating hours to three days a week.

Offices at the Martintown Road location are now open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

- From staff reports