Across the area

Woman is beaten after walking in on burglary


A Grovetown woman was beaten Wednesday after walking in on a burglary, police said.

Laverne Parsons, 41, returned to her home at 229 Hot Springs Drive in Orchard Hill subdivision about 9 a.m. after taking her children to school, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

"She was confronted by the suspect and was attacked and was seriously injured," Capt. Morris said.

Capt. Morris said Mrs. Parsons was initially taken to Doctors Hospital, then to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. MCG spokeswoman Denise Parrish said Wednesday that she had no information on Mrs. Parsons' condition.

Anyone with information about the attack or burglaries should call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at (706) 541-2800.

Man is convicted in '07 burglary, shooting

An Augusta man who took his son and a teenage nephew on a burglary that turned into a shootout was convicted Wednesday.

Clarence A. Tanksley, 48, faces a possible sentence of life in prison plus 45 years for armed robbery, burglary, aggravated assault and weapon charges. His son Jordash Tanksley received that sentence after his conviction. Derrell L. McNair, who was 15 at the time of the crime, was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The three committed the July 30, 2007, burglary and robbery of the F.A.M.E. clothing store on Wrightsboro Road. All three were convicted in Richmond County Superior Court.

Men sought in robbery of North Augusta bank

Police are seeking two men in the robbery of a Bank of America branch in North Augusta on Wednesday.

Police said a man wearing a dark jacket and camouflage shirt walked into the bank at 315 Edgefield Road about 11:30 a.m. He asked each of the tellers for money and left the bank with an undisclosed amount.

He was seen running across the street to a silver-colored car, which drove away.

Two men who were detained by police shortly after the robbery were later released.

Soldier is killed in an alcohol-related crash

An early-morning car crash killed a Fort Gordon soldier Wednesday.

The victim, identified as 1st Lt. George S. Dodgen, 27, of the 2700 block of Springwood Drive, was driving west on Bobby Jones Expressway about midnight when he tried to exit onto Scott Nixon Memorial Drive at a high rate of speed, said Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen.

The soldier lost control of his white Subaru and hit a concrete barrier, Mr. Bowen said.

The victim had to be extricated from his vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene about 12:50 a.m.

Alcohol was a factor in the wreck, authorities said.

Ex-employee arrested in theft at Wal-Mart

A former Wal-Mart worker was arrested Wednesday after he was accused of donning the outfit of an employee and walking out of the Deans Bridge Road store with five flat-screen TVs.

Tyrus Delaine Brown, 28, of Hephzibah, is charged with two counts of felony theft by taking, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Kendall Brown. The suspect was fired from Wal-Mart in 2008, Investigator Brown said.

House may vote today to rework arena board

ATLANTA --- The House could vote as soon as today on a bill that would replace the Coliseum Authority with a smaller board.

Rep. Hardie Davis, D-Gracewood, said Wednesday he is supporting the bill introduced by Rep. Wayne Howard, D-Augusta. Mr. Davis e-mailed colleagues Monday expressing reservations about the delegation appointing the board's chairman.

"I would rather we did not appoint that person," he said Wednesday. "It brings to question the credibility of the other appointees by us doing that. But in the spirit of cooperation, we will move forward at this point."

Rep. Barbara Sims, R-Augusta, and Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta, said they too would support the bill, though they don't think the delegation should make any appointments to the board since it deals only with local matters.

Under the bill, the board's other six members would be appointed by Augusta's super district commissioners.

Paine team competes in academic contest

A team of students from Paine College will compete in the 20th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge this weekend in Orlando, Fla.

The All-Star Challenge is the only annual academic competition held among the nation's historically black colleges and universities. Paine College is one of the "Strong 64" participating schools in the three-day tournament. The winning team's school will get $50,000.

Georgia tops nation for school technology

Georgia and West Virginia were recognized as the only states to score 100 in both use of technology and capacity to use technology in education, according to a report released Wednesday.

Education Week's annual Technology Counts gave Georgia an A in both categories. It gave South Carolina an A in use of technology and a C in its capacity to use technology.