Originally created 04/24/98

Local and area briefs



Three men accusedin Aiken shooting

Three men were arrested Thursday in Barnwell, S.C., and charged with shooting an Aiken man.

Barnwell County sheriff's deputies arrested Dantroy Cuthburtson, 19, of Williston; Adrian Chavis, 22, of White Pond; and Frankie Reed, 20, of Elko, about an hour after the shooting Thursday morning.

The incident began shortly before 11 a.m., when three men tried to force their way into the home of Vernon C. Lawrence Jr. of the 100 block of Kellogg Drive in Aiken, police said.

Mr. Lawrence confronted them behind his home, according to police reports, and one of the men drew a handgun and demanded Mr. Lawrence help them enter a neighboring apartment.

Mr. Lawrence refused and the armed man shot him, grazing him in the back of the head. The men then left the scene.

Mr. Lawrence was treated at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The suspects were apprehended on South Carolina Highway 64 in Barnwell.

Aiken County sheriff's officers charged the three men with assault and battery with intent to kill and first-degree burglary.

They were being held at the Aiken County Detention Center.

DNR to offer boat inspections

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources will offer courtesy boat inspections from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Springs Recreation Area boat ramp along Thurmond Lake in Columbia County.

Rangers will be on hand to inspect boats for safety equipment.

Boat owners then will have an opportunity to correct problems before taking their boats on the water.

Owners of boats that pass inspection will be issued a sticker certifying that it has passed inspection, said Doyte Chaffin, a law enforcement and conservation ranger.

For information, contact the Department of Natural Resources in Thomson at (706)595-4211.

Street closings begin again

Construction on an ongoing sewer project resumes today in downtown Augusta -- weather permitting.

Work is slated to begin on 15th Street near Reynolds Street. The new storm sewer will be installed crossing 15th Street at Reynolds and continuing east on Reynolds to 13th Street, according to the city's public works and engineering department.

Work will be performed around the clock through the weekend. Fifteenth Street may be closed through Monday.

City workers closed parts of 13th and 15th streets in November, but reopened them this month for the Masters Tournament. Construction should last another three to seven months. Meanwhile, officials suggested motorists use 13th Street, Washington Road or Walton Way for detour routes.

Another knife arrest made

Richmond County school police say they found another student with a knife at school.

A 13-year-old Sego Middle School student who tried to leave a metal detector search Thursday morning was found to have a four-inch, fixed-blade knife and two razor blades in her purse, police Lt. Dan Parson said.

The weapons were the only serious contraband discovered during the random search, but the discovery comes after officials found five knives in Richmond County schools last week.

The girl, a juvenile whose named was not made public, was suspended pending a tribunal hearing and was charged with possessing a weapon on school property, Lt. Parson said. She was released to a parent.

"We don't know the motivation for bringing it," Lt. Parson said.

School police found a 10-inch hunting knife at Houghton Elementary School, a three-inch pocketknife on a Gracewood Elementary School bus and three 3 1/2 - to 4 1/2 inch knives at Spirit Creek Middle School last week.

Two charged with robberies

Police arrested two men Thursday night believed to be responsible for at least a halfdozen armed robberies in west Augusta and Columbia County this week.

The two men, whose names were not available, were taken into custody after a person was robbed at Hunter's Run Apartments on Center West Parkway, said Richmond County Sheriff's Investigator Scott Peebles.

Similar robberies in which two men have approached people in their cars have occurred at the Marriott on Stevens Creek Road, Days Inn on Washington Road, and in residential areas in the 3000 block of Wrightsboro Road and the 3100 block of Exeter Road in Brynwood. A similar incident also happened in Columbia County on Wednesday night.

The robbers, both armed with guns, usually approach people pulling into a parking space or driveway and demand money and keys. Investigator Peebles said police are trying to determine if any other recent armed robberies are related.

Taste of Aiken set for today

The first "Taste of Downtown Aiken" takes place today from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The event is a self-guided walking tour with 11 stops featuring treats such as stuffed Maine mussels and wine tasting.

Tickets cost $15 and are available at Aiken Drug Co. on Laurens Street. For information, call (803) 649-2221. The event is sponsored by Aiken's Downtown Development Association.

County cuts back trade center

SAVANNAH -- The latest round of proposed cost-cutting measures for Chatham County's over-budget Hutchinson Island trade center will be a serious step down for a facility originally envisioned to be the best of its kind in the Southeast.

New pricing estimates indicate the project is about $8.4 million over budget.State may dip into deaf fundCOLUMBIA -- In their quest to balance the state's budget, lawmakers have suggested dipping into a fund for telephone equipment for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

State Sen. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter, defended the $3 million move as the Senate Finance Committee discussed details Wednesday. Budget writers often dip into special-purpose funds, he said. But John Moore, executive director of the South Carolina Association of the Deaf, called the move a raid.

Hartsfield manager removed

ATLANTA -- Atlanta's mayor on Thursday removed the aviation manager who led Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport out of scandal and through the 1996 Olympics, replacing her with the man who oversaw the Newark, N.J., airport's rapid growth.

Mayor Bill Campbell's decision to oust Angela Gittens after four years shook some business and political leaders, who worried about the future of the world's second-busiest airport. But the head of Hartsfield's No. 1 tenant, Delta Air Lines, quickly endorsed Benjamin DeCosta as the new manager.

Coach charged with enticement

COLUMBUS -- An Army marksmanship coach at Fort Benning has been charged with enticing children for indecent purposes, accused of illegally using the Internet for child pornography.

Sgt. 1st Class Carl Dooley, 34, was arrested Wednesday after police raided his Columbus home, Muscogee County Sheriff Gene Hodge said. They found 16 explicit photographs of children involved in sexual acts.

Sgt. 1st Class Dooley, a shooter and instructor with the Army's marksmanship unit since 1992, was charged with one count of conspiring to entice a child for indecent purposes and 16 counts of sexual exploitation of children.