Originally created 08/13/97

Local and area briefs



Jessye Normanselected for Hall

MACON, Ga. - Augusta native Jessye Norman is one of 12 nominees announced for September's annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The nominees were announced Tuesday morning at a news conference at Atlanta's Hard Rock Cafe. The event was attended by Gov. Zell Miller, nominee William Bell and representatives of Friends of Georgia Music Festival, the group that organizes the induction ceremony.

The nominees, by category, are:

  • Performer - soul singer Mr. Bell, R&B singer Peabo Bryson and Ms. Norman.
  • Performing Group - Southern rock pioneers The Allman Brothers Band, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Decatur gospel group The Harmoneers Quartet.
  • Mary Tallent Pioneer Award - promoter J. Lee Friedman, soul singer Dave Prater (of Sam and Dave) and country bandleader Boots Woodall.
  • Posthumous - pedal steel guitarist Pete Drake, jazzman W.O. Smith, studio owner Sam Wilhoit and Mr. Woodall.
  • One nominee from each category will be inducted in a ceremony to take place on Sept. 20 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Georgia Public Television.

    The new inductees will join 67 already honored at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, a museum that opened in September in downtown Macon.

    Augusta men denied parole

    The State Board of Pardons and Paroles denied parole Tuesday to four Augusta men serving life sentences for murder.

    Howard Junior Clark, 28, was denied parole for the third time for the 1984 beating death of his 3-year-old niece. Mr. Clark, then 15, was caring for his niece and her younger sister Feb. 1, 1984. He beat the child until she lost consciousness.

    Andrew Johnson Jr., 26, was denied parole for the 1990 beating death of his girlfriend, Keisha Alon Evans, 19. She died of head injuries after he beat her with an unidentified object Feb. 12, 1990.

    Charles Lovett Jr., 31, was denied parole for the 1990 stabbing death of 89-year-old Eldon D. Risher. Mr. Lovett stabbed Mr. Risher four times and stole his wallet and car at Southeastern Silo Company in Augusta on April 6, 1990.

    The board also denied parole July 3 to Michael Roundtree Sr., 38, for the 1985 murder of his common law wife, Virginia Ann Robinson, 25. Ms. Robinson was shot to death May 5, 1985, at her mother's residence after separating from Mr. Roundtree.

    All four will be considered for parole in 2005.

    Officials offering reward

    Saluda County officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of a murder suspect who walked out of the Saluda County jail Monday.

    John Richardson, 18, escaped from the jail about 8:15 a.m. Monday when he posed as another inmate scheduled to be released, officials said. Sheriff O.D. Rushton said the escape likely was planned well ahead of time.

    A spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department said police have pursued leads in the case, but none have turned up Mr. Richardson. Saluda police are helping in the search, the sheriff said.

    The reward is being offered to anyone with information about his location, she said.

    Mr. Richardson is charged with murder for the March death of Amos Fields in addition to grand larceny.

    Anyone with information can call the Saluda County Sheriff's Department at 864-445-2112.

    9-year-old girl killed

    A 9-year-old girl was killed in Louisville Tuesday when a tractor-trailer swerving to avoid a car overturned onto the Jeep she was riding in, police said.

    Josey Blackburn of Waynesboro was sitting in the Jeep with her stepmother in a parking lot on Peachtree Street when the 40-ton trailer, filled with fertilizer, tipped onto their vehicle, said Sgt. Johnny Nelson of the Louisville Police Department. Her stepmother, Jan Netherland Blackburn, 38, was hospitalized at the Medical College of Georgia's trauma center, Sgt. Nelson said.

    The truck driver, 42-year-old Edwin Thomas Taylor, of Tifton, was swerving to avoid a car that turned across his path on Peachtree Street, the sergeant said. The truck swerved into the parking lot before falling over on the Jeep, he said.

    Charges were pending Tuesday night, he said.

    Vehicular homicide charged

    HOMER - A 21-year-old man has been charged with vehicular homicide in a collision that killed his parents.

    Roy Chatham Jr. of Carnesville allegedly pulled into the path of a truck Sunday morning at an intersection in Banks County, about 20 miles east of Gainesville, according to a spokesman with the Georgia State Patrol.

    His parents, Roy and Frances Chatham, ages 62 and 52, also of Carnesville, were killed.

    The truck driver had minor injuries.

    30 arrested on drug charges

    HINESVILLE - A 21/2 month drug investigation in Liberty and Long counties has led to the arrests of at least 30 people on drug charges, authorities said.

    A group of 75 officers began making arrests early Monday morning in the two southeast Georgia counties, said Liberty County sheriff Don Martin.

    Arrest warrants have been issued for about 54 people accused of selling or buying illegal drugs in the counties, said Sheriff Martin and Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles.

    Cousins charged in killing

    GREENVILLE - Two cousins are charged with killing an Easley man who was shot six times in a nightclub parking lot filled with 400 onlookers.

    Antonio Davis, 18, died early Monday in a local trauma center.

    Robert Radcliffe, 21, and Jerome Rogers, 17, both of Easley, were arrested after the midnight shooting, Greenville County sheriff's Sgt. Lee Owens said.