Across the area

Murder charge is filed in shooting


Authorities filed a murder charge Monday against the brother-in-law of a woman who was fatally shot last week.

Dennis Clemons, 63, of the 400 block of First Street, Thomson, was charged in the slaying of 53-year-old Shirley Ann Hunt, according to Gary Nicholson, the special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation office in Thomson.

In addition to the murder warrant, Mr. Clemons also is charged with possession of weapon during the commission of a crime, Agent Nicholson said.

Mr. Clemons, who was taken into custody at his home early Friday, was initially charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Ms. Hunt, whose funeral services are scheduled for today, was shot several times Thursday night near Dearing, Ga., according to McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall.

The suspect is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center in Appling.

He now awaits a hearing before a magistrate judge related to the new criminal charges against him.

Officials warn of extreme heat today

The National Weather Service in Columbia has issued a heat advisory from noon until 7 p.m. today in Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie and Burke counties in Georgia and in Aiken, Barnwell, Bamberg, Orangeburg and Clarendon counties in South Carolina.

Temperatures are expected to approach 100 degrees. These temperatures, combined with high humidity, will produce heat index values from 105 to 107 degrees in the afternoon.

Sidewalk, aquatic center on agenda

Funding for a Columbia County aquatics center and sidewalk construction in the area where a pedestrian was recently killed are on the agenda of today's Columbia County Commission meeting.

Listed on the agenda for the 6 p.m. meeting in the auditorium of the Evans Government Complex, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, is a resolution to finance the construction of an aquatics center using a general obligation bond. If approved, the resolution would allow voters to decide on the bond through a referendum in the general election.

Kelley Rigdon intends to give a presentation to commissioners concerning sidewalks on Mullikin Road, according to the meeting agenda. Kindergarten teacher Christian Giles, 24, was fatally hit by a Ford Expedition last month while walking on the shoulder of the Evans road.

Prior to the meeting, at 5:15 p.m., former Harlem Mayor Scott Dean will be sworn in as the commissioner for District 4.

Don't be alarmed by blasts in county today

Two separate blasting events will take place today in Columbia County.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., contractors will blasting at the intersection of Washington and Tubman roads, according Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker.

As part of the Betty Branch sewer project, blasting will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today, Wednesday and Thursday in the Deerwood Lane area.

-- From staff and wire reports