Across the area

Tornado touches down in Edgefield County


A tornado touched down about 10:30 p.m. Sunday in the area of Martintown and Deer Springs roads near Thurmond Lake, Edgefield County sheriff's dispatchers said.

No injuries were reported, but there were downed trees and property damage in a nearby subdivision, dispatchers said.

Earlier Sunday, a wall cloud, a precursor to a tornado, was reported about 5:25 p.m. on Sweetwater Road in the county, said Ed Scheutrum of the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.

Officials with the sheriff's offices in Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties had no reports of serious damage.

Aiken County crash kills motorcycle rider

A 24-year-old Bath man was killed Saturday when his motorcycle collided with a car on Storm Branch Road.

According to a news release from Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton, Thomas Keenan was pronounced dead at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital after the accident. He was driving a 1989 Harley Davidson motorcycle near Lanier Road when he crossed the center line and struck the oncoming vehicle, a 1990 Honda hatchback.

The driver and passenger of the Honda were not seriously injured, the coroner said. This crash is being investigated by the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Aiken County Coroner's Office.

It is the seventh fatal crash in Aiken County this year.

North Augusta church vandalized by burglar

Victory Baptist Church in North Augusta sustained more than $5,000 in damage over the weekend when someone broke in, damaged property and stole items, according to a police report.

Arriving at the church about 9 p.m. Saturday, Edward Martin, the principal of the church's school, found a broken window, interior doors kicked in and cameras pulled from the ceiling, according to the report filed by the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.

Someone pried a door from a desk and removed a bag containing $30, damaged a TV and video camera and stole a laptop computer, the report said.

Thieves cause major damage at food bank

An area agency that feeds the poor had four air-conditioning units, valued at $23,000, destroyed late Thursday or early Friday when thieves removed the copper from them, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

"They took the covers off very neatly, laid them to the side and clipped all the copper lines," Mike Firmin, the executive director of Golden Harvest Food Bank, said Sunday.

The thieves cut a chain-link fence to get to the units, Firmin said.

They also destroyed two units at a neighboring business, he said.

The units cooled offices at the food bank's headquarters in the 3300 block of Commerce Drive.