Originally created 08/16/98

Additional area news



Man surrenders following shooting

An Aiken man held deputies at bay for two hours Saturday after a shotgun shooting outside his home, but later surrendered.

Daniel Simon Busbee, 46, has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. He is accused of shooting another man in both legs after they argued, said Lt. Michael Frank of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

The victim, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was in surgery at Aiken Regional Medical Center late Saturday, his condition unknown. Lt. Frank said his wounds appeared to be serious, and it was not yet known if they were potentially fatal.

Both men apparently were intoxicated when they argued outside Mr. Busbee's home at 582 Springfield Church Road, Lt. Frank said. The victim, a former neighbor of Mr. Busbee, was standing in the yard next door when Mr. Busbee allegedly went inside and got a shotgun.

He fired once into the air, reloaded, and fired at the victim, according to the investigative report. When deputies and emergency medical personnel arrived, however, Mr. Busbee barricaded himself inside his home and refused to come out.

Mr. Busbee is being held at Aiken County Detention Center.

University chief to make address

William A. Bloodworth Jr., president of Augusta State University, will make his annual State of the University address Tuesday at 8 a.m. in the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.

He is expected to talk about the university's accomplishments over the last school year and what it expects to do this year. In addition to Dr. Bloodworth's speech, Augusta State will recognize its faculty alumni scholars.

Other remarks will come from Chase Caldwell, president of the Student Government Association; Mike Holliman, president of the Alumni Association; and Larry DeMeyers, a representative of the ASU Foundation.

Teacher of Year receives check

A Richmond County teacher, who was named Georgia's 1997-98 Teacher of the Year earlier this year, received a $2,000 check from State Superintendent of Schools Linda Schrenko on Thursday.

Andrew Baumgartner, a kindergarten teacher at A. Brian Merry Elementary School, is the first Richmond County teacher to win the award. The veteran teacher has taught various levels of elementary pupils during his 22-year career. He has taught kindergarten at Merry Elementary on Boy Scout Road for the past three years.

Mrs. Schrenko also presented the other finalists for the award with checks for $325. They are: Thomas L. Reed of Kemp Elementary School, Clayton County; Andy Denny, East Coweta High School, Coweta County; Kathleen Carroll, Shoal Creek Elementary School, Rockdale County; and JoAnn V. Moss, Rome Middle School, Rome.

Killer gets three life sentences

SAVANNAH -- A Chatham County man struggled to explain why he no longer posed a threat to society before a judge sentenced him to two consecutive life terms in prison for killing his mother and brother.

A written statement shook in Robert Paczko's hands before the weeping defendant passed it to his lawyer, Richard Darden.

"I believe I am not a violent person and never have been," Mr. Darden read from the statement. "I believe that if I got out tomorrow, and I know I never would, that I would never be harmful to anyone."

A Chatham County jury deliberated nine hours over two days before finding Mr. Paczko, 29, of Savannah, guilty of murder Friday.

Prosecutors said Mr. Paczko had smoked crack cocaine on Nov. 4 when he went to his mother's home to confront his brother, who he claimed sexually abused him during their childhood.

After they began arguing, their mother, Mary Evelyn Paczko, intervened. Mr. Paczko said he then began picking up and swinging everything in sight, including scissors and a meat cleaver.

He later confessed to the slayings during interviews with Savannah police.

Mr. Paczko also was convicted Friday of armed robbery, for which Superior Court Judge James Bass Jr. sentenced him to life in prison to be served concurrently with the other life sentences. On three lesser charges, Mr. Paczko was given a combined 15 years in prison.

Mother sues over inmate's death

SPARTANBURG -- A Union County women has sued state and city officials for her son's suicide at Union City jail two years ago.

Annie S. Robinson said mental health and jail workers did not take reasonable steps to prevent Walter Ray Shetley from killing himself in his cell, according to the lawsuit filed in Greenville's U.S. District Court.

The suit asks for unspecified damages.

Mr. Shetley, 36, died on July 30, 1996, about two weeks after he was charged with driving under the influence, driving without a license and defacing a vehicle.

After his arrest, Mr. Shetley was sent to Columbia for a mental health evaluation. The suit alleges no one gave city jailers instruction on how to deal with Mr. Shetley's suicidal tendencies.

The suit charges the city and its employees were grossly negligent in failing to adequately supervise Mr. Shetley.

The family is suing three jailers, the city, Police Chief Russell Roark and the mental health department.

Attorney David Morrison of Columbia is representing Union and expects to file an answer within three weeks.

The Union City Jail closed in July 1997, after the new Union County jail was completed.

Discount toll passes popular

HILTON HEAD ISLAND -- Residents here know a good deal when they see one.

The company running the Cross Island Parkway toll booths has sold about 18,000 discount passes since March, almost four times as many as it expected to sell in two years.

Lockheed Martin IMS spokesman Terry Lynam said the company figured it would sell 5,000 passes in two years.

The passes, also called transponders, let drivers set up a prepaid account with Lockheed Martin. A discounted toll is collected electronically.

In July, an average of 17,000 vehicles a day used the Cross Island Parkway. About half those used Palmetto Passes.

Officials say the 5.6-mile road has eased traffic congestion on the island. Clint Attaway, state Transportation Department financial director, says the toll road has collected about $1.95 million since opening March 2.

It costs $1 to use the Cross Island Parkway bridge and 75 cents at an exit further down the road.

Reward offered for missing bell

CHARLESTON -- Authorities are sounding the alarm for the bell from Charleston Fire Department's 100-year-old steamer engine that has disappeared off the Hunley movie set.

The 15-pound, silver-colored bell is worth $5,000 and has been missing since Tuesday, North Charleston Police Detective Scott Perry said.

The movie borrowed the steamer for a scene a week ago and returned it Thursday minus the bell. Charleston Assistant Fire Chief Donald O'Donald said a movie crew member said the bell had been missing a couple of days.

Movie producer Mitch Engel said there was a guard near the steamer engine all night. He's offering a $500 reward for the bell's return.

"It's a valuable piece of history that is really worth nothing to somebody who might take it," Mr. Engel said.



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