Across the area

No discipline ruling in firefighter video case


Augusta Fire Chief Howard Willis spent most of Wednesday looking into a film clip posted on YouTube showing a firefighter getting his head, neck and mouth duct-taped, but made no disciplinary decisions, fire Capt. Tommy Cox said.

The 16-second clip has been removed from YouTube by the user who posted it, a self-described 44-year-old firefighter dubbed jdfirre.

The video showed 22-year-old Brandon Trapp sitting at a table and appearing to struggle as another firefighter wraps duct tape around his head.

Mr. Trapp said Tuesday that his supervisor, Lt. Jeff Daniels, 44, did the duct-taping, which he characterized as good-natured horseplay.

Capt. Cox said the chief conducted interviews and spoke with city human resources personnel about the matter Wednesday.

Drug charges follow routine traffic stop

The South Carolina Highway Patrol arrested two people on drug charges following a routine traffic stop.

About 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, a trooper pulled over a 2004 Ford Expedition for speeding on Interstate 20 in Aiken County, said Lance Cpl. Bob Beres, a spokesman for the highway patrol.

"The trooper noticed marijuana in the vehicle," he said.

The vehicle's passenger, 27-year-old Valdis Norris Matthews of Hollywood, S.C., took off running. He was later arrested with assistance from the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. Law enforcement personnel also found cocaine and a large amount of money in the vehicle, Lance Cpl. Beres said. The driver, Tamra Grant, 22, of North Charleston, S.C., was arrested on charges of simple possession of marijuana and speeding. Mr. Matthews was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and resisting arrest.

DOT awards Daniel Field $150,000 grant

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Augusta a $150,000 grant for use at the Daniel Field Airport, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun.

Officials plan to use the money to renovate the terminal building, the release stated. Airport Director Buster Boshears said they have begun creating a preliminary redesign plan that includes a new roof and an elevator to make the second floor handicap accessible.

-- From staff reports