Across the area

Man is found dead


Aiken County authorities said they are investigating the murder of a man who was found dead Saturday morning outside a Beech Island nightclub.

Sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said the body of Henry D. Freeman, 56, of the 1000 block of Beechdale Drive in Beech Island, was found outside the Hilltop Club, 214 Cary Drive, at 5:39 a.m. by a man walking in the area.

Lt. Frank said an autopsy Saturday determined Mr. Freeman died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Lt. Frank said police are investigating a Friday night robbery at a nearby barbershop to see whether there is any connection. He said the robbery occurred about 8:30 p.m. at Cut Above Cuts on Urqhardt Drive, which is within a mile and a half of where Mr. Freeman was found.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at (800) 922-9709, or Crimestoppers at (888) 559-TIPS.

Fatal wreck in Aiken County

Authorities were responding late Saturday to a fatal wreck in Aiken County, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Officers reportedly arrived at the wreck on Ascauga Lake Road shortly after 11:30 p.m. No other information was immediately available.

Mother is accused of leaving toddler alone

Authorities have arrested an Augusta mother who is accused of leaving her toddler alone at her apartment.

Dionna Daniel Rodriguez, 27, of Jeanine Way, was charged Friday with contributing to the deprivation of a minor.

Authorities were dispatched to the apartment Friday morning after a maintenance man arrived to do work and found Ms. Rodriguez's 15-month-old daughter in a crib, according to a sheriff's office report.

About 15 minutes after officers arrived, Ms. Rodriguez returned and stated that she had left to pick up some items at the store, according to the report.

Alzheimer's symposium accepting registration

Registration is being accepted for the Alzheimer's Association's ninth annual Education Symposium, Alzheimer's and Dementias: Caregiver Strategies.

The symposium, which is for family and professional caregivers, will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at The Gordon Club, Fort Gordon. The fee, including continental breakfast, lunch and all materials, is $25 for caregivers, students and those not requiring contact/core hours or $45 for professionals with contact/core hours.

To register, call the Augusta Regional Office of the Alzheimer's Association at (706) 731-9060. The deadline is March 3.

Canal, Lake Olmstead due for cleanup event

The Augusta Canal and Lake Olmstead are scheduled for a semiannual volunteer cleanup organized by The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and Savannah Riverkeeper from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 15.

The event will involve more than 150 volunteers who will be served a picnic lunch at Lake Olmstead Park after the cleanup. Volunteers will meet at Lake Olmstead Park near the Boat Ramp.

For more information, call Margaret Harrison at (706) 823-0440, ext. 6, or e-mail to