Originally created 03/15/97

Local and area news briefs



Drunken driver gets five years probation

A 27-year-old Augusta man whosedrunken driving accident injured a woman pleaded guilty Friday and received a five-year probation sentence.

Edward H. Drawdy of the 1300 block of Maddox Drive also received a $2,350 fine for driving under the influence and causing serious injury by a vehicle upon his guilty plea in Richmond County Superior Court.

Mr. Drawdy was arrested following an accident Sept. 26, 1992, in which Jennifer Rogers suffered permanent injuries to both of her legs when Mr. Drawdy's vehicle crashed into a porch where she was sitting.

"I'd like to apologize," Mr. Drawdy said in court Friday. "This will never happen again. I'll never touch a drop (of alcohol) again."

Mr. Drawdy's attorneys, Danny Durham and John Flemming, asked Judge Bernard Mulherin Sr. for probation, stressing Mr. Drawdy's previously clean criminal record, work history and his extreme remorse.

Mr. Drawdy's insurance company settled a civil lawsuit filed against him for $300,000, Mr. Durham said.

Fatal crash to result in DUI charges

AIKEN - A Batesburg, S.C., man is facing a felony drunken driving charge following the death Thursday night of a man who was a passenger in his car, authorities said.

Police are waiting for Travis Miller of Blue Poppy Road to get out of Aiken Regional Medical Centers before charging him with felony driving under the influence, Trooper Charles Richard of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said. Mr. Miller, 23, was listed in stable but good condition late Friday.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

About 7 p.m. Thursday, Mr. Miller and James Gregory Lybrand, 31, also of Blue Poppy Road, were on their way home from a fishing trip, Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said.

Mr. Miller lost control of his car on Nazarene Road near Lexington County and clipped several pine trees, Trooper Richard said.

Mr. Lybrand, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown through the windshield and died on the scene of massive head injuries, Ms. Townsend said.

Alcohol was found at the scene, she said.

Sisterhood honors principal's service

Meryl Alalof is this year's Congregation Children of Israel Sisterhood woman of the year. Ms. Alalof, a veteran educator for 25 years, was honored at the group's annual banquet Thursday evening.

Ms. Alalof has been with the sisterhood since 1965, serving in many capacities, including president. The award is given each year to a member of the organization who goes beyond service to the community.

Ms. Alalof is principal at Crossroads Academy alternative school in Columbia County. She is married to David Alalof.

"Over the last several years she's always been there for everybody," said Cindy Levine, a vice president with the sisterhood. "We just felt she needed to recognized for that service."

Other awards presented were: woman of distinction, Tracy Barefield; the torah ora, Marjorie Phillips; and newcomer of the year, Rae Myer Shay. The sisterhood is a volunteer arm of the Walton Way Temple.

Legislator to meet with citizens

Rep. Charlie Norwood will hold three town meetings in the Augusta area today. The Republican congressman invites anyone to attend and discuss their concerns.

The first meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the Evans Government Complex in Columbia County. The second begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building in Room 803. Mr. Norwood will conclude with a meeting at 8:30 p.m. in the University Hospital Medical Center on Peach Orchard Road.

Chamber endorses 1-cent school tax

The Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce is throwing its support behind the 1-cent schools sales tax referendum that goes before voters Tuesday.

The school board plans to use the tax to help roll back property taxes increased by the $115 million bond approved in November. With the sales tax, property taxes would rise by $40 a year on a $100,000 home. Without the sales tax, the annual increase will be $98.80.

The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is supporting a similar sales tax vote for Columbia County schools.

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Six arrested in Cordele murder

CORDELE - Six people have been arrested in the death of a Cordele businessman who was shot during a robbery attempt at his convenience store.

Kamlesh Schroff, 41, was shot once in the chest after refusing to give money to two of the suspects Wednesday night at King's Korner Food Mart, Cordele police said Friday. Mr. Schroff died Thursday.

Charged with felony murder and armed robbery are Lorenzo Felder, 22, Graylon Coley, 17, Terry McKenzie 19, Cedrick Hutchins, 17, and George Green, 23, all of Cordele.

A juvenile, identified by police as 16-year-old Jemaine Brown, is charged with malice murder and armed robbery. Authorities said he will be tried as an adult.

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Young black belt to appear on Leno

ROCK HILL - Seven-year-old Brooke Lucas usually can't stay up past 9 p.m. on weeknights, but on April 15 her parents might bend the rules.

Brooke, believed to be the youngest girl in South Carolina to hold a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, has been invited to be on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

Brooke said she doesn't think she will be nervous about appearing in front of 7 million viewers. She'll chat with Mr. Leno and teach him some moves, and she might get to meet actor Jean Claude Van Damme.

Mr. Van Damme, known for his action movies that feature martial arts, usually leaves after his segment, but he might stick around to work with Brooke, said Jolie Ancel, one of the show's producers.

"Maybe she can teach him a thing or two," Ms. Ancel said.

Close to 200 Citadel cadets fall ill

CHARLESTON - Between 150 and 200 Citadel cadets have been sick this week. School officials have not ruled out food poisoning, but they say it could be a virus.

Some cadets were still being treated in the infirmary Thursday, Citadel spokesman Terry Leedom said. Their symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and in some cases, high fever and chills.

None has been hospitalized, Mr. Leedom said.

Health officials are running tests to try to determine the cause.

Race panel head to leave state

COLUMBIA - Tony Grant, head of the Governor's Commission on Race Relations, is leaving South Carolina after accepting a promotion with NationsBank.

Mr. Grant, who heads the bank's commercial loan business in the central Carolina region, will move to corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., to become head of corporate asset quality.

Mze Wilkins, a veteran executive of NationsBank, will replace Mr. Grant. The position is responsible for commercial loans in Columbia, Orangeburg, Aiken, Lexington, Camden and Sumter.

Mr. Grant was appointed by Gov. David Beasley in December 1995 to head the race-relations panel, which grew out of rocky relations the governor had during his first term with the Legislative Black Caucus. He also heads South Carolina State University's board of trustees.

Drowned teen's body recovered

ANDERSON - The body of an Anderson County man who drowned last month in Lake Hartwell has been found.

A fisherman found the body of Jeremiah Adams, 19, on Friday near the boat ramp at Saddlers Creek.

Mr. Adams disappeared Feb. 15 when he swam out to try to recover a pontoon boat that had drifted from shore. Mr. Adams and his father, Tony, had been fishing and were attempting to take the boat out of the water when it slipped away.

- Compiled by Mike Hill