Across the area

Man sought in armed robbery at Aiken bank


Aiken police were looking for a man believed to have been involved in a bank robbery Friday afternoon.

The robbery occurred shortly after 4:30 p.m. at Vista Bank on Laurens Street North in Aiken, according to an Aiken Public Safety news release.

Officials say a man entered the bank with a small handgun. The suspect is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, about 40 years old and was wearing a black cap and a blue wind suit with white stripes. Anyone with information should call Aiken Public Safety at (803) 642-7620 or Crimestoppers of the Midlands at (888) CRIME-SC.

Fourth-graders tried to trade marijuana

Two Jefferson Elementary fourth-graders could face charges of attempting to sell marijuana to other students, authorities said Friday.

Principal Pam Hart contacted Burnettown Police Department after students told teachers the boys were attempting to trade marijuana for food, money and other items, Chief David Paul Smith said. Police recovered 3 grams of marijuana from the 10-year-olds, but police could not determine which students the boys distributed drugs to, Chief Smith said.

The students would not say where they got the drugs. Aiken County Family Court will determine whether the boys will face charges. Both children have been placed back with their families.

2 men charged after meth is found in truck

Two men were in jail Friday accused of running a mobile methamphetamine lab out of a pickup.

John Whitener, of Hephzibah, was arrested and charged with manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine, in addition to traffic violations, according to jail records. Jaimeson Urbanik, of Augusta, was charged with manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine.

About 12:30 a.m., Medical College of Georgia Police stopped a Ford Ranger driving southbound on 15th Street with no headlights, said MCG Maj. Eugene Maxwell.

MCG officers ran the tag and discovered that the license plate was not registered to the vehicle. A search of the truck's bed uncovered meth and materials to cook meth, Maj. Maxwell said. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office narcotics unit assisted in the arrests.

Downtown homes damaged in blaze

Two residences in downtown Augusta were damaged by fire late Friday, but officials said there were no injuries.

The blaze was reported shortly after 8 p.m. at a two-story home in the 300 block of Ellis Street. That structure sustained major fire and smoke damage to its top floor. A home about 10 feet away also had some of its siding melted from the fire. A cause wasn't known late Friday.