Originally created 06/03/97

Local and area briefs



Former Augustans die in plane crash

Three former Augusta residents were killed May 23 in a plane crash in Shawnee, Okla.

Dr. Donald Grogan, 44, his wife, Le Ellen Huddleston, 44, and their daughter Shea Grogan, 20, died when the single-engine airplane the doctor was piloting crashed.

Dr. Grogan was a child psychiatrist at Uni-Med Medical Center in Minot. His wife was a writer and lecturer. Shea Grogan was a premed student at Yale University.

Dr. Grogan retired from the Army in 1990 as a lieutenant colonel. He had a child psychology fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia and Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center from July 1986 to June 1988. Mrs. Grogan graduated from Augusta College.

Services for the Grogans were held Saturday at Resthaven Memorial Park in Shawnee.

Confederate soldier honored

Family members will honor Pvt. Cephas Peter Knox, a Confederate soldier from Columbia County, during a 6 p.m. memorial service on Saturday.

The service will be at the Knox Cemetery in Appling. Signs will direct traffic from Exit 61 off Interstate 20. The event, open to the public, includes a demonstration by members of the 10th and 16th Georgia Reenactors.

Pvt. Knox was born Mar. 5, 1832, and joined the Confederate Army at Augusta in April 1862. He was wounded June 18, 1864, near Kennesaw Mountain, Ga., and died five days later.

For more information on the ceremony, contact Jan Bohler at (706) 595-7973.

Art program seeking students

The Art Factory is accepting applications through June 13 for its summer art program, Art Through the Ages.

Children ages 5 to 17 spend a week experiencing different art forms including dance, drama and visual arts. The workshops are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at St. Luke United Methodist Church on Crawford Avenue. After participating in the camp, children are given the opportunity to continue working in their area of interest in the Art Factory's after-school program.

The Art Factory is also seeking summer camp sponsors. A tax-deductible contribution of $75 funds a child's attendance for one week.

For information on registering or sponsoring a child, call 731-0008.

School board meeting changed

The Columbia County Board of Education's budget meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been changed to Thursday because of conflicts, school officials said.

The meeting, which is open to the public, is set for 5 p.m. at the Board of Education building in Appling.

Truck knocks train off track

FORT VALLEY - A tractor-trailer truck hauling sand slammed into a train at a railroad crossing Monday, causing 10 train cars to jump the track, authorities.

The truck driver, whose name was not released, walked away from the accident with only minor injuries, said Crawford County Sheriff Kerry Dunaway.

Witnesses said the truck appeared unable to stop and hit the train, which was hauling cardboard.

Bystanders who saw the accident pulled the driver from the truck.

The accident occurred on a rural highway between Macon and Columbus.

Ex-officer charged with fraud

LAGRANGE - A former LaGrange police officer has been arrested in connection with the theft of telecommunications services known as "phone cloning."

Police said Brazil "Bruce" Alford, owner of Alford's Gold and Diamond Outlet, was arrested following the execution of a search warrant at his business. During the search Friday, authorities found and seized several cellular telephones that had been "cloned," meaning that existing telephone numbers of current cellular subscribers had been stolen and programmed into other phones.

Carter dances with Alabama

PEACHTREE CITY - "Hail to the Chief" may not be in their repertoire, but county music superstars Alabama know a few tunes Jimmy Carter can dance to.

The former president and his wife, Rosalynn, took to the stage Friday during the band's performance in Peachtree City, 26 miles southwest of Atlanta. About 2,000 fans cheered as Mr. Carter danced and flashed his famous grin.

Commissioner under fire

ATLANTA - The governor asked the attorney general and two county commission chairmen on Monday to decide whether the indicted Forsyth County commission chairman should be suspended.

Gov. Zell Miller named Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Fayette County commission chairman Robert Sprayberry and Oconee County Commission chairman Wendall Dawson to a review panel.

County commissioner indicted

Forsyth County commission chairman Julian Bowen, a builder, was indicted May 12 on six counts of false swearing and making false statements on affidavits that said he planned to live in homes he was building or improving between 1987 and 1994.

Judges reinstate lawyer

ATLANTA - The Georgia Supreme Court agreed Monday to reinstate a lawyer who was suspended three times for mishandling clients' money.

The court said John F. Geraghty Jr., who lists addresses in Palmetto, Ga., and Atlantic City, N.J., has complied with the conditions for reinstatement, including making restitution to his clients and being certified mentally and emotionally fit to practice law.

Church rebuilding again

SUMMERTON - Members of the Prayer House Mission Pentecostal Holiness Church face a rebuilding job for the second time in eight years.

Fire on Sunday morning destroyed the predominately black church that also was leveled by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The fire did not appear to have been set, Clarendon County Fire Chief Carter Jones said Monday afternoon.

The fire apparently started in the kitchen, perhaps where church members had stored chemicals used to refurbish the floors and pews.

"Linseed oil is notorious in the right conditions to generate its own heat," Mr. Jones said. The oil could have set some old rags left next to it on fire, he said.

- Compiled by Mike Hill