Across the area

Officials look into use of slur


A Westside High School substitute teacher was removed from the classroom Monday and is under investigation, a Richmond County school official confirmed Tuesday.

Superintendent Dana Bedden said through his secretary that the substitute teacher is alleged to have addressed a student using an offensive racial term.

She will be removed from the list of substitute teachers pending an investigation, Dr. Bedden said.

It was not clear in what context the derogatory word was used.

Authorities seek help in Aiken man's death

Aiken County authorities are asking for the public's help in obtaining information about the death of a 23-year-old Aiken man found lying in the road last week.

A passing motorist found Christopher L. Jordan face-up on Mayfield Road on Thursday morning.

According to a statement from the sheriff's office, an autopsy revealed Mr. Jordan died of a blow to the head. However, investigators don't know what caused the injury.

Authorities originally thought Mr. Jordan was the victim of a hit-and-run, but Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said preliminary autopsy results showed "that Mr. Jordan had injuries and trauma that were not consistent with being struck by a vehicle."

The victim arrived home at about 5:30 a.m. Aug. 16 after a night at an Aiken nightclub.

According to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, Mr. Jordan's brothers saw him change clothes, but they did not see him leave the mobile home on Mayfield Road. The victim was found about 40 minutes later in the road.

The sheriff's office is asking that anyone with information to call Investigator Tim Abbott at (800) 922-9709.

Police spot vehicle destroyed in arson

Authorities are investigating an arson of a vehicle early Tuesday in the 1200 block of Augusta Court, near Laney-Walker Boulevard, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Investigators found the window of the Oldsmobile Royal broken and located a black cloth covered in gasoline in the back seat at about 2 a.m.

Martinez traffic light to start in flash mode

A new traffic signal at the entrance to Kroger off Columbia Road in Martinez will be activated in flash mode starting Thursday, weather permitting, according to a Georgia Department of Transportation news release.

The signal at Merchants Village shopping center will flash yellow for motorists traveling on Columbia Road and red for those exiting the center. The signal will become fully operational Aug. 28, weather permitting.

Grovetown school bus driver is suspended

A Columbia County school bus driver who left a Grovetown Elementary School kindergartner on a bus Aug. 14 has been suspended without pay for 10 days, officials announced Tuesday.

The driver, whom the Columbia County Sheriff's Office identified as Laura Cripps, 39, of the 600 block of Peri Leigh Road in Harlem, also will be required to participate in a retraining program of safety-sensitive procedures.

Sandra Carraway, the school system's deputy superintendent, said the driver will be back on the same route when she resumes her duties Aug. 29.

School officials said Ms. Cripps, a four-year veteran of the transportation department, told them she completed her afternoon route Aug. 14; parked her bus at her house; performed the required post-trip inspection, which includes checking for passengers; and went inside.

The 5-year-old boy then left the bus and began walking along Peri Leigh Road. He was picked up by a passing motorist, who took him to her home and called the sheriff's office. A deputy took the boy to the school, where he was reunited with his mother.

Edgefield County bus driver is suspended

An Edgefield County bus driver was suspended Monday after a Douglas Elementary student was dropped of at the wrong stop, according to interim Superintendent Frank Roberson.

The 5-year-old was supposed to be dropped off at a day care but instead was taken to his home. A neighbor spotted the child and took him in.

"We felt the need to take these disciplinary action," Dr. Roberson said. "That is our responsibility to protect children."

Dr. Roberson said the situation was under investigation. Instructions were left by the child's mother, but officials are trying to determine whether the bus driver and school staff were given the same information.

City honors efforts to save 2-year-old's life

New Ellenton city officials honored sheriff's deputies, city police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel at their city council meeting Monday for their part in saving the life of a toddler last week.

On Aug. 15, a 2-year-old girl fell into her family's swimming pool at their home on Talatha Church Road near New Ellenton.

The child was not breathing when a relative pulled the child out of the pool and began performing CPR.

The first deputy on the scene took over CPR until an ambulance arrived. The girl was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers and then to the Medical College of Georgia, said Lt. Michael Frank of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

School to hold career training open house

Savannah River College will hold an open house 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 2528 Center West Parkway.

The college is dedicated exclusively to career training in the fields of allied health, business and information technology.

It offers a career in a year or less, day and evening classes and financial aid.

The open house will include refreshments, door prizes and tours. For more information, call (706) 738-5046 or visit

Job fair will be held Aug. 30 at Marriott

A job fair will take place at Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites, 2 10th St. on Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Shaw Areva Mox will play host to the event.

For more information, call (803) 819-2824.

- Edited from wire reports