Originally created 03/13/98

Additional area news



Suspect arrested in January robbery

Investigators have arrested an Augusta man wanted in a January fast-food restaurant robbery.

Arrick Coleman, 21, of the 2700 block of Cider Lane in Apple Valley subdivision, is charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, said Investigator Scott Peebles.

On Jan. 17, a man walked into a Wrightsboro Road Taco Bell, forced everyone in the restaurant into a cooler and then took an undisclosed amount of cash. The incident was caught on surveillance cameras.

Mr. Coleman was arrested at his home Wednesday night without incident.

Man with gun holds off police

An Augusta man was arrested Wednesday night in front of his Ninth Avenue home after shooting out a window in his car and waving the gun at police, authorities said.

Will Palmer, 56, of the 1000 block of Ninth Avenue, was sitting in the car in front of his home at about 11 p.m., said Richmond County Investigator Scott Peebles. When a deputy approached the car, he saw a pistol on the seat between Mr. Palmer's legs, the investigator said.

Additional police were called to the scene, where a standoff ensued. Mr. Palmer pointed the gun at police several times, authorities said. He then walked to his house, returned and was taken into custody.

Norwood to speak to chapter

The Augusta chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars meets at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Fort Gordon Officers' Club. U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood is the speaker.

Afterward, a memorial service for deceased chapter members will be held at the fort's Bicentennial Chapel, at 28th Street and Brainard Avenue.

States to gain from highway bill

Georgia and South Carolina may have a lot more money to spend on asphalt during the next six years.

The $214 billion transportation spending bill passed 96-4 by the Senate on Thursday includes an average of $902.5 million per year for Georgia over the six years, a 66 percent increase over what the Peach State had at its disposal between 1992 and last year.

South Carolina would average $412.6 million per year under the bill, a whopping 76.6 percent increase over the previous six-year measure.

The bill would guarantee states at least 91 percent of what their drivers pay into the federal highway trust fund. Under the last six-year bill, Georgia got back only 74 cents for every $1 of gas taxes paid into the trust fund. South Carolina's share of only 71 cents on the dollar was the lowest in the nation.

The House has yet to take up the highway bill this year.

Senate OKs wait for divorce

ATLANTA -- The state Senate voted Thursday to require a six-month waiting period for couples seeking a divorce if they have minor children.

The measure, which passed 41-9 with little debate, is intended to keep more families together by giving couples a chance to reconcile, said Sen. Ed Gochenour, R-Macon.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Walker of Augusta was the only lawmaker to argue against the proposal, saying women who are trying to divorce an abusive husband "will be trapped in this marriage."

Mr. Gochenour said Georgia's no-fault divorce law has made it too easy for couples to end their marriages. Those divorces often cause emotional problems for the couple's children, he said.

Ex-teacher accused of rape

JASPER -- A former Pickens County Middle School teacher has been arrested on charges of statutory rape of a male student younger than 16.

Casey Lynn Mullins, 25, surrendered Wednesday and was released on $50,000 property bond. She was indicted Tuesday on six counts of sexual acts, five counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. An Atlanta television station reported that the boy is 13 years old.

Ms. Mullins resigned last year after the state Professional Practices Commission began investigating her, said the school's principal, Kathryn Floyd.

Ms. Mullins is accused of sexual acts with the boy at her home and elsewhere. The indictment says Ms. Mullins took a shower with the boy in her home.

Study says lake soon unusable

ACWORTH -- If pollution is not curbed at Lake Allatoona, the water will not be suitable for drinking or recreation in 10 years, a study says.

Silt and lawn chemicals from residential developments upstream and leaky septic tanks along the shore are endangering the 12,000-acre lake northwest of Atlanta, said the study, which will be released today.

Lake Allatoona, created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1950 for flood control, recreation and water supply, is a source of water to 300,000 residents in Cobb, Bartow, Cherokee, Paulding and north Fulton counties.

Broader death penalty sought

COLUMBIA -- State Attorney General Charlie Condon has proposed that people charged in certain domestic killings be eligible for the death penalty.

Mr. Condon wants to add two new aggravating circumstances to the list of those already in place in South Carolina. They would include any murder committed in violation of a valid protection order or a murder committed in the presence of a household member of the victim, he said Thursday.