Originally created 07/12/98

Additional area news



7-year-old injured riding in go-cart

A 7-year-old Hephzibah-area girl was scalped and badly hurt Saturday afternoon in a go-cart accident, authorities said.

The girl, a resident of Seldon Drive, was riding as a passenger in a two-seat go-cart near her home around 1:30 p.m. Her hair became entangled in the chain drive, and her hair and scalp were ripped from her forehead to the back of her head, said Chief Clarence Belger of Burke County Emergency Medical Agency.

The girl was listed in serious condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Chief Belger said.

Schools get state literacy grant

Richmond County's schools system has been awarded more than $62,000 in state grants. The money is part of $8 million in Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grants to 107 school systems in Georgia.

The grants, announced Friday, are an effort to ensure that all students are technologically literate by the 21st century, according to the Georgia Department of Education.

"Many of Georgia's students have just been given the keys to the future," Georgia schools Superintendent Linda Schrenko said. "Technology already plays such a large part in our lives. If we do not keep up with the innovations in technology instruction today, we stand to be left behind as it evolves tomorrow."

The Technology Literacy Challenge Fund is a federally financed program designed to stimulate local, state and private sector partnerships focused on integrating technology into teaching and learning.

Committee, council to meet

Aiken County Transportation Committee will hold its first meeting in recent memory with Aiken County Council on Tuesday.

The committee is responsible for dividing the county's share of the money from the South Carolina fuel tax for use in paving dirt roads and maintaining state road projects. The county council is responsible for repaving county roads.

Despite their similar duties, the groups seldom had communicated with each other. The county council has sought to dissolve the transportation committee in the past.

Tuesday's meeting is open and the public is invited. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Aiken County Council chambers, 736 Richland Ave. W. in Aiken.

Lawyer indicted in kiting case

SAVANNAH -- A former assistant district attorney faces charges he swindled a bank out of nearly $300,000.

Michael A. Lewanski was charged with making illegal deposits to banks and writing fraudulent checks to try to cover a $292,307 real estate transaction. A federal grand jury indicted him Friday.

Mr. Lewanski's indictment came two weeks after another Savannah lawyer, Roy Allen II, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing money from clients.

Mr. Lewanski employed a check-kiting scheme of writing checks on one account and covering them with checks from another account until the chain of accounts formed a circuit, authorities said. Such ploys were easier to pull off before computers sped the processing of checks.

Friends say Mr. Lewanski, 50, moved to Savannah as a tennis pro and later took classes at John Marshall University's law school, where he got his degree in 1978. He was an assistant district attorney from 1980 to 1983, when he went into private practice.

Gun check nabs slaying suspect

ATLANTA -- A routine background check during a gun purchase at a pawnshop has led authorities to a suspect in a 28-year-old slaying in New York.

Robert Thomas Randolf, 51, was in Fulton County Jail this weekend waiting for detectives from New York's 75th Precinct.

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Randolf had gone to a pawnshop near the south Atlanta house where he was staying and tried to buy a pistol for $150, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Randolf used his correct name, date of birth and other personal information. The bureau's Instant Gun Check Unit in Decatur told the pawnshop that the sale would have to wait.

Mr. Randolf was named in a sealed indictment handed down June 17 in New York accusing him of the murder of his brother-in-law in 1970, said unit supervisor Lee Bell.

Before the day was over, Mr. Bell confirmed that New York authorities wanted Mr. Randolf arrested and extradited.

The Metro Fugitive Squad sealed off exits from Mr. Randolf's house and arrested him Wednesday. The suspect didn't know about his indictment.

Web prostitution arrest made

ATLANTA -- A Georgia man has been accused of using the Internet to bring prostitutes and clients together in 50 states and four foreign countries.

Keith LaBoade, 41, was arrested in the parking lot of a suburban Atlanta computer firm where he worked after six prostitutes arrested in a sting operation in March tipped police, authorities said.

At Mr. LaBoade's Cobb County home, police said, they found $500,000 worth of computers and radios connecting his Web site to millions of households in the United States, Australia, England, the Netherlands and Denmark. Also confiscated were a slot machine and $350,000 in cash.

"This was a very high-level computer geek who lived alone and whose whole life was his computers. This is the guy who people from all over the country called with their computer problems," said Sgt. W.K. Meridith of the Atlanta Police vice squad.

"The women paid him to place their faces and their services on Web pages he designed himself," Sgt. Meridith said. "The clients would call up the Web page, pick their favorite prostitute and meet her in a hotel room."

Witness relieved by execution

YORK, Pa. -- Cindy Dunlap sighed with relief after hearing that John Plath had been executed in South Carolina for a brutal murder 20 years ago -- which she witnessed.

Ms. Dunlap, whose maiden name was Cindy Sheets, was 17 when Mr. Plath and his cousin John David Arnold tortured and killed a black farm worker in Beaufort County in 1978. Ms. Dunlap was granted immunity and gave detailed testimony against her boyfriend and Mr. Arnold.

Mr. Plath, 43, was executed Friday. Mr. Arnold, 43, was executed in March.

"Now there's no reason that I can't put it behind me," Ms. Dunlap said from her home in Pennsylvania's Springettsbury Township, where she lives with her husband, two children and three stepdaughters.