Across the area

Woman sought in case of morning burglary


Columbia County authorities on Monday were looking for a woman they say was an accomplice in the morning burglary of a Martinez home.

Police are looking for Amanda Claire Samples, 18, of Martinez, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

Ms. Samples was identified by a man accused of helping with the burglary -- Timothy Barnes, 20, of Augusta -- after he was arrested near the scene in Halifax subdivision.

Witnesses told police they saw a man and woman, later identified as Mr. Barnes and Ms. Samples, crawling out of a window in the 400 block of Halifax Drive.

Mr. Barnes was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on Monday on bond, according to jail personnel.

Ms. Samples was last seen leaving the area in a 1998 tan Toyota Corolla. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 541-2800.

Historic Augusta chief to be honored in May

Erick Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta, and Lee Ann Caldwell, a professor of history at Georgia College & State University, will receive 2008 Governor's Awards in the Humanities for their work in history and preservation, it was announced Monday.

Mr. Montgomery, Dr. Caldwell, seven other Georgians and two organizations will be honored at the 23rd Governor's Awards in the Humanities luncheon May 8 in Atlanta.

"Mr. Montgomery and Dr. Caldwell have worked tirelessly to share stories and heritage with Georgians," Gov. Sonny Perdue said in a news release. "I salute all the winners for their efforts to promote the humanities in Georgia."

Lawmaker announces support for candidate

Outgoing state Rep. Skipper Perry, R-Aiken, has thrown his support behind Tom Young as his replacement in District 81.

Mr. Perry, wearing a sticker for Mr. Young at Monday's candidate's forum at the Aiken Republican Club, called Mr. Young an "energetic, honest and hard-working" man who could work with other legislators to push through bills.

"There's a difference between getting along and working well together," Mr. Perry said. "He works well with people."

Three others are vying for his seat,: Brad Boni; Aiken County Councilman Scott Singer; and volunteer firefighter John Kelly. All four spoke at the Republican Club's meeting at Newberry Hall in Aiken on Monday.

North Augusta moves ahead on buying land

The North Augusta City Council unanimously approved an option Monday night to purchase about 27.5 acres in Edgefield County that will be part of a new city park along Murrah and Five Notch roads.

Under the agreement, the city would pay $453,000 in sales tax revenues for the parcel, which connects to a 150-acre tract the city bought near Sweetwater Baptist Church for about $2 million in November 2006.

City Administrator Sam Bennett said the park would complement Riverview Park and likely include several athletic fields and many other forms of recreation, including a potential connection to the North Augusta Greeneway. Formal plans haven't been drafted for the site.

Under the agreement, the city would close on the property May 15. A survey and appraisal of the land are pending, officials said.

Art teachers awarded at Morris museum

The Morris Museum of Art and Wachovia Corp. have named Angelika Selman-Bondar, a visual arts teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary and Euchee Creek Elementary, the 2008 Outstanding Art Teacher in Visual Art.

Silke Piper, a fifth-grade teacher at South Columbia Elementary, is the 2008 Outstanding Classroom Teacher in Visual Art. Both were honored Sunday at a special ceremony at the Morris Museum of Art.

Their award included a cash prize, which can be used for professional learning, travel, conference expenses, art supplies or resources for the classroom.

Traffic report

The 2008 Tour de Georgia bike race that comes to Augusta and North Augusta this afternoon will cause traffic changes for commuters.

- There will be no parking allowed after 1 p.m. on the north side of Broad Street from 13th to Seventh streets.

- All vehicles on Seventh and Fifth streets between Broad and Reynolds should be removed by 1 p.m.

- Reynolds Street will be closed from Eighth to Ninth streets at 5 a.m. today.

- In North Augusta, vehicles should be moved by 1:30 p.m. from Arlington Heights and Carolina Avenue.

-- From staff reports