Originally created 07/21/98

Local and area briefs



Sheriff's deputy hurt in morning wreck

A Columbia County sheriff's deputy was injured in a Monday morning traffic accident on Washington Road, authorities said.

At about 7:30 a.m., Deputy Tim Perry, a traffic officer, was slowing to make a left turn near Faircloth Drive when his motorcycle was struck from behind by a 1984 Datsun pickup, according to Trooper J.L. Johnson of the Georgia State Patrol.

Upon impact, Deputy Perry was thrown from the motorcycle, suffering several minor injuries.

He was taken to University Hospital, where he was treated and released, hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Turner said.

The driver of the truck, William Scott Orander, 30, of Grovetown, was not injured. He was charged with following too closely and failure to show proof of insurance, Trooper Johnson said.

Two roads to be closed for repair

Two Augusta roads will be closed part of this week for repair work.

Barton Chapel Road at Glenn Hills Drive -- closed since last Thursday when a rainstorm caused flood damage -- should reopen Thursday, Augusta Traffic Engineer Jim Huffstetler said.

Baker Avenue at Walton Way will be closed through at least Wednesday because of replacement of a stormwater drainage line. The detour will be Baker Avenue to Hampton Avenue to Merry Street.

County authorities identify body

Aiken County authorities Monday identified a Graniteville man who was found dead of natural causes in a trailer on Railroad Street.

Rudy Craig Sr., 49, of the 300 block of Main Street was last seen July 6, and his body was discovered Friday night.

A neighbor went to check on Mr. Craig and called Aiken County Emergency Medical Services after discovering Mr. Craig's body. He was inside a near-empty trailer with no electricity or water service and furnished with only a mattress, authorities said.

When EMS workers discovered a suspicious odor coming from the trailer, they then called sheriff's officers.

An autopsy performed in Newberry on Saturday showed no indication that the death was heat-related, Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said.

Faulty sprinkler dampens museum

A faulty sprinkler head at the Aiken County Museum showered water onto the floor of the administrative office over the weekend, soaking the carpet and damaging a few artifacts, said Carolyn Miles, museum director.

County maintenance workers were repairing the sprinkler Monday. No one knows when the sprinkler went off or what set it off, Ms. Miles said.

The artifacts included clothing, a cast iron cooking pot and a twist of tobacco bought in Kentucky, Ms. Miles said.

Graham does little fund raising

WASHINGTON -- With no opponent this fall, U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham has done little campaign fund raising or spending in recent weeks.

Mr. Graham, R-S.C., raised only $10,305 between May 21 and June 30, while spending $7,270, according a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. Combined with earlier fund raising, that left him with $172,728 in his campaign treasury as of the end of last month.

After winning 60 percent of the vote in both 1994 and 1996, Mr. Graham did not draw a Democratic challenger this year to his bid for a third term. During his second term, he has emerged as a leading spokesman for the House Republicans' conservative wing.

Most of the money Mr. Graham raised during the reporting period, $7,450, came from political-action committees. But 65.5 percent of the more than $140,000 his campaign brought in during the first six months of this year was from individuals.

Tobacco growers apprehensive

WARESBORO -- With millions of pounds of unsold tobacco in storage and their industry under attack by the president and some members of Congress, Georgia's flue-cured tobacco growers were apprehensive as they prepared to sell their drought-stricken 1998 crop.

Tobacco markets were set to open today in Georgia and Florida, kicking off a three-month season that is critical to growers who depend on the golden leaf to fund their farming operations.

Georgia's 1,500 growers produced $153 million worth of tobacco last year.

Cigarette companies face possible lawsuits by states trying to recoup money spent to treat smoking-related illnesses, some members of Congress are calling for the elimination of tobacco subsidies, and tobacco sales have been sluggish on the world market.