Across the area

Man gets seven years in jail for robbery


A 40-year-old Augusta man who broke into a woman's home in the middle of the night was convicted of several charges Tuesday.

The Edwards Drive victim testified in Richmond County Superior Court that she awoke about 3 a.m. on July 3 to see Shelbert B. Roper standing over her bed wielding a hand tool and demanding money, Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said.

She had no money, but Mr. Roper accepted beer as a substitute. Fearing he was going to attack, she tried to escape, but Mr. Roper blocked her, Mr. Myers said. She was finally able to grab a kitchen knife and force Mr. Roper to leave her home.

Judge Michael N. Annis sentenced Mr. Roper to seven years in prison followed by eight years on probation for burglary, robbery, false imprisonment and trespass.

10-year-olds won't be charged over drugs

Prosecutors say two 10-year-old boys who tried to trade marijuana to their South Carolina elementary school classmates for bubble gum or desserts won't face drug charges.

Burnettown authorities said they weren't sure the children knew that what they were doing was wrong. Authorities say 3 grams of marijuana was found on two Jefferson Elementary School fourth-graders after their classmates told teachers. Police say they don't know where the pupils found the drugs or why they brought them to school.

Police say they do not think the boys or any of the children at the school smoked the drug or were in any serious danger.

Columbia County OKs $38 million bond sale

Columbia County commissioners during a Tuesday meeting approved the sale of $38 million in bonds to start some capital improvement projects.

The bond sale allows officials to start building projects listed in the 2011-16 1-cent sales tax referendum approved by voters in November. Capital projects funded with the bond money include a new dorm at the Columbia County Detention Center, an expansion of the Evans Government Center, a new Health Department building, stormwater and water improvements, the first construction phase of Evans Town Center Park, a multipurpose exhibition facility, an Animal Care and Control building, fire stations and the purchase of fire trucks.

The commission authorized the bond sale agreement with Merrill Lynch, which sold the bonds Tuesday. The agreement comes on the heels of a recent upgrading in the county's bond rating from AA to AA by Standard and Poor's Rating Services. The rating upgrade let the county sell the bonds at a 2.67 percent interest rate.

The bond will be repaid over six years using sales tax collected from 2011-2016. The first bond payment of $5.3 million is due in 2012 .

North Augusta group names Citizen of Year

Dr. Billy Thurmond was named the Citizen of the Year by the Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce .

The North Augusta native was recognized for his leadership and community service roles in the North Augusta Sertoma Club and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Andy Maxwell was also recognized as the Ambassador of the Year for the chamber for his services in promoting the chamber .

The two received their awards at the chamber's annual meeting Tuesday night .