Across the area

22-year-old drowning victim is identifed


Authorities have identified a man who died in a Thurmond Lake drowning accident over the weekend.

Edtwon Jamar Jackson, 22, of Thomson, died Saturday in the Lake Springs area, said Pam Tucker, Columbia County emergency management director.

She noted that this is the third fatality at the lake in a month and warned that swimmers should exercise extreme caution.

Mr. Jackson's body was found at 8:37 p.m. in 11 feet of water, Mrs. Tucker said.

An autopsy will be performed in Atlanta today, said Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriet Garrison.

Vandals break doors, ransack dry cleaners

An employee of Windsor Cleaners said that the glass front doors were broken and the business was ransacked between 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

Damage to the glass doors was estimated at $350. Owners of the buiness in the 4100 block of Windsor Spring Road said they needed to take inventory before the cleaners would know how much clothing, if any, was stolen, the report said.

Thieves take cash from restaurant

Nearly $700 was taken in a break-in at a south Augusta restaurant Saturday, authorities said.

Two people entered New China Buffet in the 3200 block of Peach Orchard Road between midnight and 8 a.m., according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

They took $375 in cash and $300 in rolled change from the cash register, the report said.

Woman is robbed as she unloads groceries

A 71-year-old woman told police she was robbed Saturday in the carport of her south Augusta home.

Myrtle Caddell said a man grabbed her purse while she was unloading groceries at her home in the 3000 block of Lonsdale Drive about 1 p.m., according to a Richmond County sheriff's report. Ms. Caddell fell and the man dragged her 10 feet before fleeing with the purse. The value of the purse and its contents were estimated at $1,526.

Man lying in road hit, killed by passing truck

A 40-year-old Glascock County man was killed when he was struck by a pickup while lying in the roadway of Georgia Highway 80 in Warren County early Sunday, authorities said.

Coroner Paul Lowe said Roger Lee "Butch" Hendrick, Jr. was pronounced dead of head injuries at the scene at 3:29 a.m.

A 1991 Mazda pickup, driven by Donald Austin Gunnells, of Gibson, struck Mr. Hendrick, according to Trooper First Class Steve Shelton of the Georgia State Patrol. No charges were filed.

Trooper Scott Smith said the victim apparently committed suicide. An investigation found that Mr. Hendrick and his girlfriend had argued after their station wagon ran out of gasoline in Warren County.

Soldier dies of wounds received while in Iraq

A Georgia soldier wounded in Iraq in March has died.

Army Sgt. Steve A. McCoy, 23, of Moultrie, Ga., died Tuesday at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio of wounds suffered on March 23 in Baghdad when his vehicle struck an explosive, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

Sgt. McCoy was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Funeral services will be at 5 p.m. Thursday at Beggs Funeral Home in Thomson.

Columbia County GOP to hold forum today

The Columbia County Republican Party will play host to a forum of candidates at 7 p.m. today in the auditorium of the Evans Government Complex, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans.

A 10th District Congressional debate will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Columbia County Library in the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center. The county's Republican Party will also play host to that event, which will feature Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, and his challenger, state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem.

The Democratic Party of Columbia County will hold a candidate forum July 7 in the auditorium of the government complex.