Across the area

SLED inquiries clear officials


New Ellenton's police chief and city clerk are back at work after being placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation into misconduct.

Police Chief Johnny Hamilton and City Clerk Susan Pack were both placed on administrative leave in late July pending the outcome of the probe.

Mayor Vernon Dunbar said Monday that authorities from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who began an investigation July 11, finished up last week and had "no findings" into the accusations, on which he would not elaborate, except to say they were "personnel issues."

The city council voted on Thursday to have the two return to work, Mr. Dunbar said.

"I chalked it up to a big misunderstanding," he said.

SLED officials said their investigation into Chief Hamilton ended Friday, but details could not yet be released.

Woman says husband hit, shot her in head

Aiken County authorities arrested a 56-year-old Graniteville man Sunday night and charged him with shooting his wife in the head.

Robert Goodman is in jail on charges of criminal domestic violence, enhanced. Bond is scheduled to be set today.

According to an Aiken County sheriff's report, the 43-year-old victim told police that her husband woke her about 4:30 p.m. at their home in the 220 block of Motlow Drive in Graniteville, and hit her in the head with rifle. As he did so, the gun went off.

The report states that when an officer arrived at the residence, he saw "wounds to the back of the head consistent with an in-and-out gunshot wound."

Police saw Mr. Goodman leaving the back of the mobile home. He ignored several commands to show his hands and get down on the ground, and officers used a taser to subdue him.

Inside the trailer, officers found two shotguns, bloody sheets on the bed and a bullet hole in the bedroom wall, the report said.

Wildlife area cleanup seeking volunteers

A volunteer cleanup, shooting event and education program will be held Saturday at Yuchi Wildlife Management Area in Burke County.

Both children and adult volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for tasks that include building nesting boxes for bluebirds and wood ducks, and repairing the firing range. Rangers will also offer lectures on outdoor safety and wildlife such as the gopher tortoise. Drinks and food will be available.

After work is complete, children and adults will have the opportunity to compete in supervised .22-caliber rimfire target shooting. The event is sponsored by the Georgia Outdoor Network and the state Wildlife Resources Division.

Yuchi, which is owned by the state and open for public hunting and other recreational uses, is 35 miles south of Augusta. Take Georgia Highway 56 south and turn left on Georgia Highway 23 and go 14 miles, then turn left on Ebenezer Church Road. The firing range is one mile on the left.

For more details, call Dave Horton, (678) 982-2954.

Firefighters respond to mattress burning

A woman reported that someone set fire to a mattress in her backyard in the 500 block of Fairhope Street on Sunday night, a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

The woman said she saw someone standing behind her home watching the mattress burn, according to the report.

Engines from the Richmond County Fire Department responded to the scene and are investigating the fire.

Streets will close for bike race on Saturday

The Georgia Cup cycling event will cause several road closures Saturday as the event winds through the city, a press release said.

Time trials will be from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Park. During that time, roads will remain open but drivers are asked to be mindful of riders, the release said.

The event then moves downtown for the Augusta Criterium, and at 2 p.m., all vehicles must be removed from the race course - which begins on Broad Street near the Augusta Common.

The course makes a loop from Broad Street to Macartan Street, across to Reynolds Street and up Eighth Street.

The race course will close an hour before the event begins at 4 p.m. Roads should be clear for driving by 10 p.m., the release said.

Salvation Army to sell donated cars on eBay

The Salvation Army of Augusta has extended its auto auctions to eBay to generate more revenue.

Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army, Maj. James Hall, said they are committed to making every donation help as many individuals as possible, and he hopes to help more people by using eBay to sell donated cars.

Vehicles on eBay can be found under the listing "AugustaSally." Auctions are open to the public and the cars can be viewed at

The next local auction is Oct. 6.

For more information, call (706) 826-7933.

- Edited from staff reports