Across the area

Third suspect sought after armed robbery


Richmond County authorities were still looking Wednesday for a Waynesboro man wanted in the Tuesday armed robbery of an Augusta convenience store.

Police were searching for Maurice Marcel Ward, 23, after the robbery of the Savin Havin at 4474 Mike Padgett Highway. Charles Lawson, 19, of Valdosta, and Yolanda Tucker Crockett, 24, of Waynesboro, have been arrested and charged in the case with one count of armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office news release. Anyone with information about Mr. Ward is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

Teen reports injuries, says driver struck her

A 17-year-old girl was reportedly struck by a vehicle on an Augusta street Monday, causing cuts to her right arm and side, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The victim said she and another person were walking when a black Nissan hit her -- sending her through the air. The driver of the vehicle then turned around and swerved at the victim again, the report states.

Arrest made in string of eight burglaries

Authorities arrested a man Wednesday, accusing him of breaking into at least eight businesses since late July.

Samuel Lee Baxter, 37, faces five counts of burglary with three more pending, according to Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Tony Walden. In most of the burglaries, cigarettes were taken, but in a few cases items such as 15 Airwick air fresheners and two animal-themed chairs for children were stolen.

The latest burglaries happened early Wednesday. Bob's One Stop on Peach Orchard Road, Get It To Go on Wheeler Road and Food Lion on Wrightsboro Road were broken into in the span of just a few hours, Lt. Walden said.

Augustan pleads guilty to 2007 bank robbery

A 56-year-old Augusta man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to robbing a bank in Langley in the fall.

Darrell Eugene Spires, 56, pleaded guilty to robbing Security Federal Bank in October 2007.

Mr. Spires entered the bank and told a teller he wanted to make a withdrawal. When the employee asked him to fill out a withdrawal slip, Mr. Spires demanded money and removed $3,100 in cash from the teller's drawer before running out of the bank. Mr. Spires faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Cajun fundraiser will benefit cancer research

The American Cancer Society will add a touch of Cajun flavor to Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Friday at its annual fundraising event.

The inaugural Boule on the Bayou will begin at 7 p.m. and feature live music by the Augusta band Edison Project, a Cajun-themed buffet, silent auctions, a cash bar and games.

Tickets cost $75 per person, but couples will receive a $25 discount on tickets purchased by today. Reserved tables are available for $600. To purchase tickets, e-mail or visit Jim Hudson Lexus at 3520 Washington Road in Martinez.

Welding work causes rooftop fire at hospital

Richmond County firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a small roof fire that ignited Wednesday night on a portion of Doctors Hospital.

The fire was reported about 7:45 p.m. and was caused as the result of welding work taking place on new construction at the hospital, said Augusta Fire Capt. Kenneth N. Roberts. The blaze was put out within 10 minutes and caused no major damage and didn't require any evacuations.

Had the fire department not extinguished the fire quickly, "It could have been threatening" to the rest of the hospital, Capt. Roberts said. The fire occurred at a site where new construction is adjoining the original facility. Capt. Roberts said five units responded to the Wheeler Road hospital.

-- From staff reports