Across the area

Man fatally shot while shooter ran around convenience store

An Augusta man was fatally shot Thursday evening while standing in a convenience store parking lot, authorities said.

Antonio President, 23, of the 2400 block of Damascus Road, was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at Medical College of Georgia Hospital at 7:25 p.m., Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said.

Mr. President was shot at least one time at The Corner Store, 2302 Wheeless Road near Milledgeville Road, Mr. Bowen said, adding that the unidentified shooter approached Mr. President while running around the corner of the store and firing several shots and continuing to run.

Anyone with information leading to an arrest should call (706) 821-1080.

WJBF meteorologist receives media award


The Augusta West Rotary Club awarded its 2008 Louis Harris Award to George Myers, a weatherman for WJBF-TV (Channel 6).

The club has presented the award annually since 1979 to honor the memory of Mr. Harris, a community leader who was a longtime editor of The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald .

Mr. Myers has been with Channel 6 since 1984 and received his weather training at Mississippi State University. In the late 1980s, he coined the phrase "George Said It Would" and has been recognized several times by the readers of Augusta magazine's "Best of Augusta" in the Local TV Weather Personality category.

Incumbent and CPA qualify for races

Two more Democrats qualified for Richmond County offices Thursday.

Incumbent State Court Solicitor Harold V. Jones II qualified to run for another term, and Augusta CPA Sanford Loyd qualified to run for tax commissioner, a post being vacated by the retirement of Jerry Saul.

No one qualified in Columbia County on Thursday.

Qualifying in both counties continues through noon today.

New judge is sworn in for Southern District

J. Randal "Randy" Hall was sworn in as the next U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Georgia during a ceremony in Savannah on Thursday.

Judge Hall will take over the caseload in Augusta and fill the seat of U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield, who took senior status.

Judge Lisa Godbey Wood will move to the courthouse in Brunswick.


New Jersey man is indicted in scheme to sell guns illegally

ATLANTA — A federal jury has convicted a New Jersey man of heading a scheme to buy guns in Georgia and sell them in New Jersey, where 13 weapons turned up at crime scenes and one has been linked to a homicide.

Clovis Reeves, 34, of Newark, was found guilty Thursday of conspiracy to illegally purchase firearms, aiding and abetting the falsification of firearms records, and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Mr. Reeves was indicted Aug. 29 with seven others, who have pleaded guilty to multiple counts and testified at his four-day trial. Six are Georgia residents who admitted acting as "straw purchasers" for eight months in 2005 to buy 57 guns carried to Mr. Reeves and later sold on the streets in New Jersey.

Judge rules Georgia Tech site can't show prejudice to faiths

ATLANTA — A federal judge says a gay rights Web site sanctioned by the Georgia Institute of Technology cannot use language that discriminates against religions that condemn homosexuality.

The Safe Space site, a campus resource for gay and lesbian students, gave an overview of various religions' views toward homosexuality. For instance, it called the Mormon church anti-gay and the Episcopal Church more receptive to gays.

The Alliance Defense Fund sued Georgia Tech in 2006 on behalf of two students who said the university discriminated against students with conservative religious views through policies aimed at protecting the campus from intolerance.

In a ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester ordered religious information removed because it violates the separation of church and state. He denied the students' request for damages.

University officials said the information was removed a year ago, and that the ruling requires no further action from Tech. They said they disagree with the ruling but do not plan to appeal.

Hiker's killer says he was not involved with missing student

ATLANTA — The man serving a life sentence for murder in the death of Georgia hiker Meredith Emerson says he had nothing to do with the disappearance of a Clemson University student.

Pickens County, S.C., Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan interviewed 61-year-old Gary Michael Hilton on April 17 at the Georgia state prison in Jackson, south of Atlanta. Sheriff Morgan says authorities believe that Mr. Hilton was not involved in the disappearance of 20-year-old sophomore Jason Knapp.

In February, a grand jury indicted Mr. Hilton on charges of murder and kidnapping in the death of Cheryl Hodges Dunlap, whose body was found decapitated in Florida. Authorities say he also is a suspect in the deaths of a North Carolina couple.

Mr. Knapp was last seen on Easter Sunday 1998. He is thought to have disappeared somewhere in Table Rock State Park in Pickens County, about 45 minutes from where the Bryants disappeared.

Sheriff Morgan says South Carolina authorities questioned Mr. Hilton because of similarities in the cases.

Sheriff Morgan says Mr. Hilton faxed a two-page letter to his South Carolina office the day after the 90-minute interview in Georgia. The letter read in part, "I hope that as a result of this letter and our interview that you will have some good thoughts of me and understand that I'm not all bad."

-- From staff reports