Across the area

Man gets life in prison for fatal shooting


THOMSON --- A former janitor at the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department man was convicted Friday and sentenced to life in prison for last summer's fatal shooting of a woman in her home near Dearing.

Dennis Clemons, 64, of Thomson, was convicted on the charges of malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, all in connection with the death of Shirley Hunt on July 31.

N. Augusta man killed in motorcycle crash

A motorcycle crash killed a North Augusta man on Friday.

Timothy Shane Frierson, 30, died at 3:23 p.m. at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics, said Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

He was driving east on Austin Graybill Road about 8:30 a.m. at a high rate of speed when he lost control and crashed, Mr. Carlton said. The crash is under investigation.

Man's heart attack led to vehicle crash

A Friday morning traffic accident in Aiken County in which a man died was caused by a heart attack, the coroner said. In a media release, Coroner Tim Carlton said Michael Jones, 61, was traveling north on Aiken's Hitchcock Parkway about 6:45 a.m. when he suffered cardiac arrest and his 1997 Lincoln Town Car ran into a wooded area.

74-year-old walks in front of train, is killed

Authorities say a 74-year-old Allendale, S.C., man was killed after he walked in front of a train.

Allendale County Chief Deputy Coroner Keith Smith says William Henry Robinson died when the freight train struck him Thursday morning.

Deer Chase principal is under investigation

Richmond County school officials said Friday that Deer Chase Elementary School Principal Rachel McRae has been reassigned to the central office pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation into an allegations that she violated a state regulation. They would not elaborate on the violation.

Director of Public Information Louis Svehla said the situation is a personnel matter being investigated by Superintendent Dana Bedden.

Retired Principal Georgette Magwood is serving as the interim principal.

Man reports armed robbery at Riverwalk

A 24-year-old Augusta man was robbed while walking in the 600 block of Riverwalk Augusta on Friday morning.

The victim told police that two men approached him, one carrying a shotgun, and demanded cash, according to Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Calvin Chew. He gave the men some jewelry and they ran away, Sgt. Chew said.

Grenade found in shed at Aiken County home

Aiken authorities responded Friday to a report of a grenade, briefly closing some roads, but officials soon determined the device posed no safety risk.

Aiken County sheriff's deputies and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division responded about 1:30 p.m. to the area of Burnett and Carline streets, near South Carolina Highway 421.

The homeowner told authorities she knew about the grenade, but those helping her prepare for a sale didn't and notified police. Authorities cleared the area by about 3 p.m., said sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell.

Aiken County school board plans meeting

The Aiken County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting Tuesday for the first reading of a policy change that would allow uniform negotiations for retired teachers, according to school attorney Bill Burkhalter.

The policy updates the district's practice this year of offering retired teachers yearly contracts only if a qualified and certified teacher on continuing contract is not available.

The school board will also be updated on the swine flu and district procedures. The 7 p.m. meeting will be held at 1000 Brookhaven Drive.

ASU recognizes top faculty with awards

Augusta State University recognized its top faculty members this week during the university's annual retirement and recognition ceremony.

The Louis K. Bell Research Award was given to Dr. Kim Davies, an associate professor of sociology and head of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work.

Dr. Marsha Loda, an assistant professor of marketing in the Hull College of Business, was given the Outstanding Teaching Award.

The Richard S. Wallace Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. James Garvey, the head of the Department of Communications and Professional Writing.

Petersburg boat tours start again on Friday

The Petersburg boats will return to the Augusta Canal beginning Friday. The trips have been suspended with the draining of the canal for repairs.

The one-hour guided nature and historic tours, music cruises and three-hour sunset tours resume their regular schedule after a three-month hiatus.