Originally created 11/30/97

Local and area briefs

Man facing charges of shooting neighbor

An Augusta man was in critical condition Saturday night after being shot him in the head during an argument, police said.

Alexander Martin, 30, and Edward Bernard Walker, 32, both of the 1200 block of 13th Street, were arguing about a block away from their homes about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Mr. Walker is accused of pulling a gun and shooting Mr. Martin in the back of his head behind his left ear, said Richmond County Sheriff's Investigator Kenny Lynch.

Mr. Walker left the scene, and Mr. Martin stumbled to the corner of 13th Street and Perry Avenue, where emergency medical technicians and investigators found him. He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Police picked up Mr. Walker walking in the 1400 block of Chestnut Street shortly after the shooting. He has been charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm.

Highway crash kills motorist

A Rayle, Ga., man was killed Saturday afternoon when he lost control of his car and slammed into several trees on Georgia Highway 10, police said.

Kent Harrison, 37, lost control of his vehicle about 2:30 p.m. four miles west of Washington. He ran off the road and struck several trees, said Georgia State Patrol communications officer Bob Bufford.

Officials don't know why he lost control of his car. He was not wearing his seat belt. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital shortly after the accident.

Driver slams car into residence

An Augusta woman with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit lost control of her car Saturday while driving on Boykin Road and slammed into a mobile home, knocking it four feet from its foundation, authorities said.

No one in the home was hurt, but driver Kathy Morris, 37, of the 2300 block of Basswood Drive, broke her leg in four places when she crashed into the home at 2421 Boykin Road about 2 p.m. Saturday, said Richmond County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Shiflett.

Ms. Morris was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license, no insurance and improper lane change. Her license had been suspended because of a previous DUI charge, Deputy Shiflett said.

A preliminary breath test showed Ms. Morris' blood-alcohol level to be 0.26, police said. The legal limit is 0.08.

Coroner calls drowning accident

GLENNVILLE - The drowning of a Florida toddler who wandered out to a pond while his family was visiting Glennville for Thanksgiving apparently was an accident, the Tattnall County coroner said.

Isaiah Hampton Baker, 3, of Tampa, was playing by himself Thursday at the home that he and his parents were visiting, sheriff's officers said.

Coroner Bobby Brannen said the adults realized the child was missing and began a search. The boy apparently wandered to the front yard and onto the pond's dock, where he fell in.

Pecan crop to fall short of forecast

ALBANY - Georgia's pecan crop is expected to fall short of the 90 million pounds predicted earlier because rains and drought both put a damper on the harvest.

Crop forecasters at first predicted Georgia growers would harvest 100 million pounds, but they lowered that estimate after a 10-week summer drought shriveled many nuts on the inside.

Wet weather later put the crop at risk of rotting.

Georgia, the nation's No. 1 pecan state, produced 100 million pounds in 1996, the largest since 1993. An average crop is 80 million pounds.

New police opening gets interest

AUBURN - Earlier this year, this northeast Georgia town didn't even have a police department after it was abolished by the city council.

But since voters reversed that decision in September, the job of chief of police in Auburn has attracted a lot of interest - including that of ex-Atlanta Braves pitcher and former DeKalb County Sheriff Pat Jarvis, one of eight finalists for the job.

Mr. Jarvis was DeKalb County sheriff for 20 years before resigning in 1995 to take a state job. He quit as executive director of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council in May amid a federal investigation into DeKalb County jail contracts. No charges have been filed in connection with the probe.

In February, the city council cited fiscal pressures of having a police force as the reason for disbanding it.


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