Originally created 02/15/99

Additional area news



Police searching for scam artists

Aiken Public Safety officers were on the lookout Sunday for two flimflam artists who conned a senior citizen out of $125 by promising her $10,000 if she put up some money.

Hattie B. Cummings, 82, of the 300 block of Main Street in Aiken, told police two women approached her in the parking lot of Dollar General Store on Whiskey Road at about noon Friday and told her they had found a "bag of money," according to police reports. They told Ms. Cummings she would get $10,000 if she put up $125.

After Ms. Cummings gave one of the women the money, one walked into the store and returned outside, telling Ms. Cummings to see the store manager to retrieve the $10,000.

Inside the store, employees told the victim they knew nothing about the agreement. Ms. Cummings told officers she went back outside and the suspects were gone.

Pro skaters perform tonight

Augusta skates into the big leagues at 7:30 tonight when Champions on Ice is presented to a sold-out crowd at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

Spectators will see skating champions such as two-time Olympic champion Katarina Witt, 1994 Olympic champion Oksana Baiul and 1976 Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill.

Champions on Ice is Augusta's first ice show.

More than 2,700 tickets were sold the first day they went on sale. The tour also is playing in Savannah, Columbus, Ga., and Fayetteville, N.C.

Meanwhile, the civic center played host to another event Saturday night when Augusta Lynx fans were invited onto the ice after the game.

More than 100 people took advantage of the chance to skate, said Christine Loftin, marketing and sales director for the civic center. The skaters provided their own skates.

Escaped prisoners recaptured

WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. -- Two prisoners who escaped from the Johnson County Jail were recaptured Sunday in nearby Dublin.

Paul Stafford, 28, of Laurens County, and Fredrick Jones, 25, of Wrightsville, were awaiting trial when they escaped at 2 a.m. Saturday. They used a screwdriver to disassemble the locks of two steel doors, one to their holding cell and another leading to the recreation yard.

Mr. Jones was being held for York, Pa., authorities on a murder charge and is fighting extradition. Mr. Stafford was charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping and rape. The two now also face escape charges.

Police said the pair escaped from the shower area, where there were no cameras. Police dogs were used in the search after a dispatcher noticed the men had escaped. After the escape, jail officials increased security with additional locks and chains.

Makila Lemon, 21, of Wrightsville, an acquaintance of Mr. Jones, drove the pair to Dublin, police said. She was charged with helping a prisoner escape.

Mr. Jones was arrested at about 11 a.m. Sunday while driving on U.S. Highway 441 in the Dublin area. Mr. Stafford was picked up 15 minutes later at Oconee Park Apartments in Dublin. Neither had a weapon.

Agency wins national award

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has won a national award for helping close two radioactive-waste tanks at Savannah River Site.

The National Performance Review Award cited department staffers Ann Clark, Melinda Vickers and Keith Collinsworth for their efforts to close the two tanks. The tanks contained highly radioactive liquid waste produced during SRS operations.

The department worked in concert with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to close the tanks. Vice President Al Gore created the award to recognize efforts between agencies to cut government red tape.

Colclough plans public meeting

Augusta Commissioner Richard Colclough will hold a public meeting this week for residents of the commission's District 4 area. The meeting is slated for 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Gracewood Community Center, 1200 Tobacco Road.

The meeting will be an informational forum for residents to ask questions and get information about issues of concern to them, according to an announcement from Mr. Colclough's office.

Holiday schedules announced

Holiday schedules for the Presidents Day holiday today:

Closed: Federal offices, U.S. District Court, South Carolina state offices, Fort Gordon offices, area banks, the Aiken County Health Department, Aiken and Edgefield counties' public schools, U.S. Postal Service, Augusta-Richmond County Museum, Morris Museum of Art.

Open: Augusta-Richmond County government offices; Columbia County offices; Aiken County offices; Aiken city offices; Richmond and Columbia counties' public schools; Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties' libraries; Richmond and Columbia counties' landfills; Georgia state government offices; Augusta State University; Paine College; Aiken Technical College; Augusta Technical Institute and the University of South Carolina at Aiken.

No change in service: Augusta Public Transit, Aiken garbage collection, North Augusta Sanitation Department, Browning-Ferris Industries garbage collection and Waste Management of Augusta-Aiken.

Bloodmobile

Bloodmobile schedules for Shepeard Community Blood Center and American Red Cross:

Today: 8 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m., Augusta State Medical Prison, 3001 Gordon Highway; 1-4:30 p.m., The Augusta Chronicle, 725 Broad St.; 6-9 p.m., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 1250 Reynolds St.

Tuesday: 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m., E-Z-GO, Marvin Griffin Road; 1:30-7:30 p.m., McCormick Emergency Medical Services Center, 212 Augusta St. Extension in McCormick, S.C.

Wednesday: 7:45-10 a.m., Olin Chemical Corp., 2402 Doug Barnard Parkway; 8:30-11:30 a.m., Salant, 1058 Claussen Road; 3-7 p.m. First Baptist Church, Langley; 4:30-8 p.m., Warren Baptist Church, 3203 Washington Road.

Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wagener-Salley High School; 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., Georgia Iron Works, 5000 Wrightsboro Road; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aiken County employees, 828 Richland Ave.; noon to 6 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center bloodmobile will be parked at Whiskey and Pine Log roads behind McDonald's restaurant.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center bloodmobile will be parked at Whiskey and Pine Log roads behind McDonald's restaurant; 1-5 p.m., Marks and Morgan, 2559 Washington Road.

Sunday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Church of Our Savior, 4227 Columbia Road.



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