Across the area

Aiken man charged in gun incident at mall


Richmond County investigators arrested an Aiken man Friday night at Augusta Mall after two JC Penney employees told police the man pointed a gun at them when he was confronted with a shoplifting charge.

Ryerson Riley, of the 100 block of Rushton Road in Aiken, was charged with a misdemeanor count of shoplifting, one count of pointing a firearm at another, one count of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of an altered identification mark, according to a Richmond County incident report.

The serial number had been taken off the gun, the report stated.

The incident happened about 7:15 p.m. Friday. The two store employees told police Mr. Riley was seen taking two shirts and placing them in a bag.

Fatality confirmed in Aiken County accident

One person is dead in Aiken County after a car accident Saturday night on Rushton Road, according to Aiken County dispatch.

The accident occurred about 9 p.m. Saturday. Further details about the person's identity or other possible injuries were not available Saturday night.

December downpour approaches record

This month could end up being the wettest December in Augusta since 1981, according to the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.

Dan Miller, a forecaster at the station, said Saturday that Augusta broke the rainfall record for Dec. 18 on Friday, reporting 1.75 inches.

That broke the 1945 record of 1.31 inches.

Mr. Miller said that 2009 has been especially wet, with 48.47 inches to date, 5.35 inches above normal.

"It's going to be the first calendar year in a while where we've been above average," Mr. Miller said.

December has been particularly wet, he said, with 6.86 inches of rain recorded so far. Augusta's wettest December was in 1981, with 8.65 inches of rainfall.

The weather service's forecast calls for a chance of rain Wednesday night, Thursday and Christmas Day.