Originally created 08/02/97

Local and area briefs



Murder suspect is denied bond

The third young Augusta man accused of murder in the drive-by shooting death of an elderly woman was denied bond Friday.

Theodore Marcel Allen, 18, of Brayton Street asked for release on bond pending trial in Richmond County Superior Court, but Chief Judge William M. Fleming Jr. said Mr. Allen posed a danger to the community.

Lorenzo Dexter Lindsey, 18, of Swanns Lane, and Terry Holmes, 19, also are being held without bond.

The three young men were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges in connection with the July 11 drive-by shooting which left 83-year-old Rosa Lee Barnes dead and another man injured on Eighth Avenue. Mrs. Barnes was inside her home when bullets pierced the walls, striking her six times

Augusta temperature a record

Augusta joined most other Georgia cities Friday in setting a new low temperature for the Aug. 1 date. The previous record for Augusta was 60, set in 1966.

Athens and Augusta set records with lows of 56. Atlanta with 58, Macon with 60 and Columbus with 62 also set records.

Former officer sentenced

NEWNAN - A former Bowdon police officer who admitted he crossed state lines to warn a drug ring about a pending raid has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Carl Angel, 46, now of Randolph County, Ala., was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Newnan.

Mr. Angel had been a police officer in Bowdon, near the Georgia-Alabama state line, and was a lieutenant at the time of his arrest in October 1995. He pled guilty to charges of interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises - making at least one trip in 1995 from Alabama to Georgia to warn drug dealers of a crack cocaine ring operating in the Bowdon area.

Man gets 13 year sentence

COLUMBUS - A Florida man who robbed a Columbus bank and left behind his personal checks - with his name and address printed on them - was sentenced Thursday to 13 years in federal prison.

Willie Clarence Andrews, 37, of Pensacola, Fla., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Columbus to nine years for the June 21 robbery of a Barnett Bank branch and another five years for using a firearm during the incident.

Authorities said that when Mr. Andrews approached the teller, he handed over a note demanding money and told her, "Please don't hit no button or nothing, 'cause I have a gun."

But after he left with $10,222 of the bank's money, the teller found Mr. Andrews' checkbook on the counter.

Lawmaker wants funds returned

ATLANTA - State Sen. Steve Langford, D-LaGrange, wants to return surplus state funds to taxpayers each year.

Mr. Langford, one of six Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, said he plans to introduce legislation in the 1998 General Assembly to provide for such refunds. He proposes pro-rating the surplus and offering it as a credit on income tax bills the following year.

Mr. Langford said he wants to eliminate most of the mid-year budget revisions now used to distribute surplus funds to pork-barrel projects like softball field lighting and library improvements.

"Most of the surplus funds are carved up by the legislators for whatever programs they wish to fund," Mr. Langford said.

He estimated that $362 million could have been returned to the taxpayers last year. A family of three earning $46,000 a year might have gotten back about $159, he estimated.

Tim Burgess, the governor's budget director, disagreed. He said $200 million of Mr. Langford's $362 million figure was used this year to pre-pay state debt.

Gingrich raises $1.8 million

ATLANTA - House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised $1.8 million in campaign contributions during the first half of this year, according to federal reports filed Friday.

Mr. Gingrich's expenses during the period included $232,958 in legal payments related to his ethics case, the report showed. Since last year, the campaign has paid $922,617 in legal bills.

"We 've been paying off legal fees for years from charges raised by (House Minority Whip) David Bonior and his friends," said Michael Shields, Mr. Gingrich's campaign spokesman.

Georgia Power plans refunds

ATLANTA - Georgia Power Co. will refund $41 million to its customers over the next six months because it used less fuel than expected during the warm winter and mild spring.

The reduction amounts to an average of $1.24 per customer each month, the Georgia Public Service Commission said Friday.

Unseasonable weather lowered the quantity of fuel Georgia Power needed during the winter and spring, said Dan Cearfoss, director of the PSC's electric section.

Woman sues for prize money

LAURENS - Coca Cola says the contest in which Tamara Currin thinks she won $20,000 wasn't supposed to have cash prizes, so it sent her a coupon for a six-pack instead.

She sent back a lawsuit.

Ms. Currin said she found "20,000" on a game piece on a two-liter Coke bottle in May and believed she was entitled to that much money.

So the Laurens woman has sued the Atlanta-based soft drink company for $20,000, plus $60,000 in damages for unfair trade practices, punitive damages and attorney fees.

Polly Howse, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, said the company doesn't talk about litigation.

However, she said prizes in the "Code Red Look Under the Cap" promotion, which ran from late March to mid-May, did not offer money but gave away free Cokes, mountain bikes, trips and movie tickets.

Man acquitted in sex case

GREENVILLE - A former regional chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement has been acquitted of soliciting sex from an undercover officer in a city park.

The jury deliberated about 15 minutes before clearing 29-year-old Derrick Kevin Gunter, attorney Randy Hiller said Thursday.

The Fountain Inn man was charged with soliciting for immoral purposes last March, a month before a downtown gay-rights march.