Across the area

Man sought in bank robbery


Authorities are looking for a man they say robbed a Martinez bank Monday afternoon.

The man entered the Fort Gordon Federal Credit Union at 324 S. Belair Road just before 1:30 p.m. and demanded money from a teller, said FBI Agent Anthony Russo. He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash, the agent said.

The robber was last seen headed north on Belair Road in a newer model, silver Nissan Altima. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 230 pounds wearing khaki pants and jacket, green shirt, a ball cap, dark glasses and blonde wig, Agent Russo said.

No prosecution in missing money case

Solicitor Barbara Morgan isn't going to prosecute Aiken County's former Emergency Medical Services director or his wife over missing money, she said Monday.

After a state investigation into possible misconduct landed on her desk, she said that detectives found issues with money accounts that Phil and Lynn Clarke had access to.

"It's clear that money is missing," Ms. Morgan said. "It is clear that we know who might be responsible for the missing money. But it is also clear that there's not enough evidence to prosecute."

Mr. and Mrs. Clarke were suspended in August and, according to Ms. Morgan, fired last month. Mrs. Clarke also worked for EMS.

Washington Road is partially closed today

A portion of Washington Road from just east of Flowing Wells Road to Club Car Drive will be closed temporarily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Wednesday. The lane closure, which will extend for about 4,700 feet, will reduce westbound traffic to one inside through lane and close the outside westbound through lane.

Construction crews also will be working along the roadway from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. through Friday. The nighttime work will not involve lane closures, but trucks will be entering and exiting the highway intermittently during those hours.

Molestation suspect, 18, is denied bond

A former day care worker accused of sexual exploitation and molestation was denied bond Monday.

Judge Duncan D. Wheale told Aaron J. Miller, 18, that he would reconsider bond if Mr. Miller is not indicted in Richmond County Superior Court within 30 days.

Mr. Miller was arrested last month after sheriff's officers reportedly traced a photograph of a naked child to him. He was re-arrested on a child molestation charge Oct. 4 after officers interviewed a 7-year-old girl who attended Skillman's Group Daycare in Hephzibah.

Vagrants suspected in Julian Smith fire

Authorities are blaming vagrants for a fire that destroyed an exterior wall of the Julian Smith Barbecue Pit early Sunday morning.

The fire also caused smoke damage but the rest of the structure is secure, said Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. G.B. Hannan.

He said it appeared that some rooms in the building were unlocked and people had been going in and out of the building to stay warm.

The fire started in a downstairs hallway and might have been caused by a cigarette, Lt. Hannan said.

Court affirms man's murder conviction

The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed an Augusta man's murder conviction Monday.

The court ruled James W. Jennings, 42, was fairly tried and convicted in Richmond County Superior Court. He is serving a life sentence.

Mr. Jennings was convicted of murder for the April 11, 2003, beating and strangulation death of his girlfriend, 37-year-old Mary E. Treadwell, on the banks of the Augusta Canal.

Man pleads guilty in counterfeit bill case

A Virginia man stopped for speeding on Interstate 20 in Taliaferro County pleaded guilty Monday to possessing counterfeit money.

Timothy Irby, 20, of Hampton, Va., was caught with more than 30 counterfeit $20 bills, a printer/scanner and a paper cutter, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Edmund A. Booth Jr.

The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

Builder sues city for project cost overruns

A construction company contracted by the city of Augusta to build the Spirit Creek Pump Station filed suit against the city Monday.

Haren Construction of Tennessee filed the Richmond County Superior Court lawsuit alleging the city owes the company more than $300,000 for cost overruns that were beyond Haren's control. A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute. The city will have 30 days to respond.

Haren was awarded the $4.93 million contract in the fall of 2005.

-- From staff reports