Across the area

Man denies role in robbery


A jury might decide by this afternoon whether a former high school football standout took part in the robbery of the fast-food restaurant where he worked.

Timothy Wright, 21, testified Tuesday in Richmond County Superior Court that he was set up by two friends in April 2006 and didn't know Johnny Overstreet and Kenneth Walker had robbed several restaurants before they hit the Gordon Highway Burger King on April 14, 2006.

Mr. Wright, then a junior at Lucy C. Laney High School, was working that night.

Sheriff's officers arrested Mr. Wright a few days later.

After a night in jail, he told an investigator that Mr. Walker told him of the plan to rob Burger King and that he let Mr. Walker borrow his car that night.

Mr. Overstreet is serving life in prison. Mr. Walker is serving a 20-year prison sentence to be followed by 15 years on probation.

County will hold flu clinics

The Columbia County Health Department will hold a series of flu clinics this month starting today.

The first will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the Evans Government Complex, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans.

Other clinics will be held at health department clinics in Appling and Grovetown, schools and the government complex.

Flu vaccines are available by appointment only.

To make an appointment, call the Evans health clinic at (706) 868-3330, the Appling health clinic at (706) 541-1318 or the Grovetown clinic at (706) 556-3727.

Man, woman charged in 1-month-old's death

An Augusta woman and a Warrenton man were charged with murder Tuesday in the January death of an infant.

Frances Nicole Howard, 23, of the 3300 block of Kenny Road, and Matthew Craig Reynolds, 20, of the 100 block of Stony Road, were arrested and taken to the Richmond County jail, according to jail records.

On Jan. 5, police received a call about a 1-month-old boy not breathing at Ms. Howard's home, according to a police report filed at the time.

Ambulance workers began doing CPR on the infant, who was taken to Doctors Hospital, the report states. The report doesn't state when the child died, but the case was turned over to an investigator at the time and was considered a "suspicious situation."

Man, 23, dies after losing control of truck

A 23-year-old Barnwell County man was killed Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash on Old Barnwell Road in Aiken County.

According to a statement by the Aiken County coroner, the driver of the 2003 Chevrolet pickup has been identified as Roger K. Dunbar of Snelling.

Mr. Dunbar was traveling northwest on Old Barnwell Road about 8:30 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle in a curve and struck a utility pole, authorities said.

Drought conditions in Augusta now extreme

The Augusta area is experiencing extreme drought, the second worst classification, according to Georgia's state climatologist.

"Tropical Storm Fay brought beneficial rain to Georgia in late August," David Stooksbury said Tuesday. "But a very dry September has led to the return of low stream flows across the state and worse drought conditions."

Extreme drought conditions exist in an area north and east of a line that runs from Burke, Jefferson, Washington and Hancock counties, through the metro Atlanta area and into northwest Georgia, Dr. Stooksbury said. Extreme drought conditions occur about once every 50 years, he said.

In July, the Augusta area was experiencing severe drought, the third worst category.

Animal group's land annexation approved

The Aiken City Council has approved on first reading an annexation request made by the Aiken Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The group recently purchased 10.4 acres off Willow Run Road with plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility. Its current facility on Wire Road, built in 1981, is about 4,000 square feet and can house about 75 dogs and 30 cats.

The city also plans to build the city's first dog park on 2.3 acres of land next to the new shelter. The council approved the request on first reading Monday.

A second reading and public hearing will be held at the council's next meeting in October.

Authorities seek man in attempted assault

Aiken Public Safety is asking for help in identifying a man wanted in an attempted criminal sexual assault Friday at Griffin Pool and Spa on Pine Log Road.

The assailant is described as black, clean shaven, with short hair, 6 feet tall and about 180 pounds. He was wearing a red sweatshirt and dark blue jeans, Lt. David Turno said in a news release.

In the couple of weeks before the attempted attack, Lt. Turno said, the man was seen walking on Pine Log Road between Power House and Banks Mill roads.

During Friday's attack, the man was armed with a knife, and investigators say he should not be approached.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Martin Sawyer at Aiken Public Safety at (803) 642-7688, or Crimestoppers of the Midlands at (888) 274-6372.

Fort Gordon residents are arrested in theft

ATHENS --- Two Fort Gordon residents were arrested this week by University of Georgia police after being accused of stealing belongings valued at $2,015 from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.

Joseph Andrew Zwirn, 20, and Kevin Mitchell Leach, 25, each were charged with felony theft by taking.

The victim called campus police about 4:15 p.m. Sunday to report two men went into his room and took a laptop computer, a hard drive, a backpack and a PlayStation 3, police said, and soon after an Athens-Clarke police officer stopped a car that matched the description the men drove away in.

The stolen belongings were in the car, according to police.

A UGA police spokesman didn't know whether the thieves sneaked into the fraternity house or were guests.

-- From staff and wire reports