Across the area

12 dogs left at house in Harlem


A Columbia County woman was cited Monday with 12 counts of failure to care for and maintain animals after a Thursday incident in which authorities say a dozen dogs were left in an abandoned Harlem house.

Authorities have cited Linda Stone, the owner of the abandoned home. Officials say Ms. Stone now lives in Grovetown.

The abandoned dogs were found at the house June 28 after a worker with a utility company heard the animals inside the residence. Authorities say power had been cut off, there was no food for the animals and feces was six inches deep on the floor.

The dogs had skin and other health problems. Ten have been euthanized. One, which officials say bit a Columbia County Animal Care and Control officer, has been quarantined.

Officials learned of a 12th dog Monday after the home's owner said she returned and found the animal, which had apparently been hiding when officials were there Thursday.

Pam Tucker, Columbia County's emergency services director, said additional charges are pending in the case.

2 men in masks rob station at gunpoint

A North Augusta gas station was robbed by two men in ski masks Sunday night, a North Augusta Public Safety report said.

The clerk told police the men entered the Circle K on Atomic Road and one of the men pointed a silver handgun at her. The men demanded money and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Valve work to disrupt water service tonight

The Augusta Utilities Department will be installing a valve on Washington Road tonight and Wednesday that will disrupt water service from Bertram Road to Berckman Road and Stanley Drive, according to a news release.

The disruption will begin at 11 p.m. today and last until 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Anyone with questions can call the Augusta Utilities Department at (706) 842-3060.

Gang-related graffiti found on buildings

Police are investigating four incidents of gang-related graffiti that were found Sunday afternoon, Richmond County Lt. Tony Walden said.

The graffiti was painted on buildings in the 800 and 1000 blocks of Laney Walker Boulevard, and a vacant building on Pine Street.

The total damage is estimated to be about $500, the report said.

Woman, 29, is killed in car, truck collision

A 29-year-old North Augusta woman was killed in Aiken County about 8 a.m. Monday when the vehicle she was driving collided with a truck.

Maria Rosa Rivas was pronounced dead at the scene by the Aiken County coroner.

Lance Cpl. Bob Beres, of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said the truck driver, James Johnson, was traveling east on Sudlow Lake Road when a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier made a left turn in front of him.

"(Ms. Rivas) was turning left from Old Sudlow Lake Road onto Sudlow Lake Road when she was struck," Lance Cpl. Beres said.

Coroner Tim Carlton said toxicology results are pending.

Aiken Tech raises its tuition for next year

Aiken Technical College full-time students can expect to pay an extra $54 in tuition this fall, officials said.

The increase is about 3.5 percent based on the 2006-2007 base tuition. Out-of-state students can expect to pay an extra $144. Fall semester begins Aug. 20.

SRS seeks mentors in engineering contest

The Washington Savannah River Corporation's annual Future City Competition for area schools is in need of engineers to be mentors. Engineers work with teams in schools to construct a city for the future for a national competition.

Contact regional coordinator Bonnie Toole for more information at (803) 952-8720 or visit

23-year-old arrested in purse-snatching

Aiken authorities arrested a 23-year-old Alabama man Friday and charged him with snatching a woman's purse in the parking lot of a local grocery store.

James Paul Dillard is in jail on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault and battery.

According to an incident report, Mr. Dillard approached a woman in the Food Lion parking lot on Richland Avenue and took her purse. The victim was cut on her arm when she tried to hang on to her purse.

The incident report states that Mr. Dillard fled in a white truck. A witness followed him to the BP gas station at the corner of Richland Avenue and University Parkway where he was arrested by police.

Discounted tickets on sale for country show

Tickets for the Aug. 4 Army Concert Tour show featuring country star Joe Nichols and Alabama band lead vocalist Randy Owen will be on sale at a more than 50 percent discount tonight at Barton Field during Fort Gordon's Independence Day Celebration.

The first 100 buyers tonight can get tickets for $9.95. After tonight, tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate.

County places bins to drop off phone books

Columbia County officials have placed five recycling bins for old telephone books at various locations.

Drop-off sites, initiated by Keep Columbia County Beautiful and Waste Management, are at the front parking lot of the Evans Government Center, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive; and these four Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue station locations - 3910 Desoto Drive in Martinez, 703 Furys Ferry Road, 4590 Oakley Pirkle Road and 2264 William Few Parkway.

The bins will be available until the end of August. For more information, call (706) 312-7191 or send an e-mail to

Alzheimer's group plans Memory Walk

The Alzheimer's Association is recruiting teams and individuals to participate in Memory Walk 2007 that takes place Nov. 3 at Lake Olmstead. The first 75 team captains or individual walkers to register before July 13 will be invited to the July 18 official kick-off luncheon at Outback Steakhouse. To register or for more information, call (706) 731-9060 or visit

- From staff reports