Across the area

Couple flee as they are caught stealing


A man and a woman fled from police after attempting to steal 22 tires from Williams Tire Service on Peach Orchard Road Thursday morning.

A deputy spotted the pair leaving the scene and chased them to a wooded area, where they fled from their vehicle, a Richmond County sheriff's report said. The deputy found the tires inside the vehicle and returned them to the store's owner.

Mother says her son was fondled by man

An Augusta mother told Richmond County investigators that her 7-year-old son was fondled by a man while walking to school last week.

The child, who attends Collins Elementary School, said a man drove by him in a car and made a lewd gesture, according to a sheriff's report. The man then exited the car and touched the boy in the groin. The child said the man was in his 20s and cross-eyed, the report said.

10-year-old will not be charged with assault

Criminal charges won't be filed against a 10-year-old Columbia County special needs pupil, who is accused of assaulting a school bus aide Thursday morning, according to Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

The girl's mother had been having difficulty with the Evans Elementary School pupil before the school bus arrived at 8 a.m. at Arrowood Mobile Home Park off Wrightsboro Road near Grovetown, Capt. Morris said.

When she boarded bus, the pupil reportedly became unruly, striking a 66-year-old bus aide in the face and kicking her.

An ambulance was called to evaluate the aide, who was not taken to a hospital. Capt. Morris said she would not press charges and any disciplinary action will be handled through the school system.

Board agrees to sell vacant school to city

The Richmond County Board of Education pulled the Floyd Graham School off the list of surplus properties up for competitive bid Thursday.

Rather than continuing with its process of allowing the public to bid on the vacant school, the board instead sold it directly to Hephzibah to provide additional parking for the city's cemetery.

The city of Hephzibah agreed to pay the appraised value of $235,000, plus an additional $30,000, which the board would have had to spend to remove gas tanks on the property.

Board member Joe Scott, the lone vote against the sale, said he would rather have waited a week until the auction had closed to see if the board could get a better deal.

Vice President Alex Howard said the sale was the best move to make considering the state of the economy.