Originally created 06/04/99

Area briefs: Teen boy charged in fire at house



A 15-year-old boy has been charged with felony second-degree criminal damage to property in connection with an April 17 arson at 4509 Guinevere Court in Grovetown.

The police would not release the name of the teen because of his age.

The fire, which began in pine straw beside the house, originally was ruled a spontaneous combustion; it caused considerable damage to the house of retired firefighter Charles Reynolds.

The blaze occurred just six hours after another fire in the same neighborhood that caused minor damage to the back room of an unoccupied new home on Lot 41 of Belglade Road.

"We believe that the fire at Guinevere Court was an accident that was started when the suspect was shooting off fireworks by himself," said Investigator Sharif Chochol of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. "Both fires were started by fireworks, but we have been unable to connect them at this time."

Police said they have no suspects in connection with the fire on Belglade Road.

Artists to hold street party

One side of the 1000 block of Broad Street will be closed this weekend for a Wet Paint Party sponsored by the Greater Augusta Arts Council.

The even-numbered side of Broad will be closed between 10th and 11th streets starting 11 a.m. Saturday and reopening at about 11 a.m. Sunday for artists to sell their works.

Alternate routes are available on Greene, Ellis or Reynolds streets. Barrels will barricade the street, and police will be on duty to ensure public safety.

For more information, call 826-4702.

Legislators named to panels

Two state representatives from Augusta have been appointed by Democratic House Speaker Tom Murphy to House panels.

Democrat Rep. Ben Allen has been named to the Joint Study Committee on Regional Development Centers and Metropolitan Area Planning and Development.

Mr. Murphy noted that "general state law provides for regional development centers and metropolitan area planning and development commissions to carry out powers, duties, and functions related to planning and development in the various designated regions of this state."

Mr. Allen, a lawmaker since 1995, also serves as secretary of the House Judiciary Committee. He also is a member of the House Industrial Relations Committee and the House Regulated Beverages Committee.

Republican Rep. Robin Williams has been named to the House Tourism Advertising Study Committee.

Mr. Murphy said "tourism has a significant impact on the economy of the state. A comprehensive study should be undertaken to assist the General Assembly in evaluating matters relating to tourism in Georgia -- particularly tourism advertising."

A lawmaker since 1990, Mr. Williams also serves as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, House Health and Ecology Committee, House Insurance Committee and the House Intra-Governmental Coordination Committee.

Leadership applicants needed

The Leadership Augusta Program is accepting applications for the 1999-2000 class.

Since selecting its first class in 1980, the program has challenged more than 300 of Augusta's most dynamic residents with an intense education in the social, civic and aesthetic successes and problems of the city.

The program is looking for leaders who can harness and direct the energy of Augusta's residents.

Interested applicants can call the chamber of commerce at 821-1300.

Dole has supporters in state

COLUMBIA -- Republican presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole now says she has a South Carolina leadership team of more than a dozen political and business leaders.

Much of the state's Republican leadership has lined up behind Texas Gov. George W. Bush, but South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon and Cathy Novinger, a former SCANA Corp. executive and longtime Republican fund-raiser, were early supporters of Mrs. Dole.

They will head her efforts in the state that is considered an early test of candidates' Southern strength.

Other members of the group announced Thursday are:

Republican state Reps. Annette Young-Brickell of Summerville, Shirley Hinson of Goose Creek and Becky Meacham of Fort Mill.

Charleston Police Chief Reuben Greenberg.

Paula Bethea, state Chamber of Commerce chairwoman.

Isle of Palms Mayor Carmen Bunch.

Dr. Lee Spence, president of Charleston's Antiques District.

Sarah King, public relations director, Medical University of South Carolina.

Jack Skolds, president of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.

Phyllis Henderson, former campaign manager for Republican U.S. Rep. Jim DeMint.

Kitty Mescher, wife of state Sen. Bill Mescher, R-Pinopolis.

Former state Rep. Sandra Wofford.

Patsy Stewart, Lexington County Republican.

Carole Wells, chairwoman of the state Employment Security Commission.

Natural resources adviser named

COLUMBIA -- The man who will advise Gov. Jim Hodges on natural resources issues is a longtime employee of the state Natural Resources Department.

Hank Stallworth of Columbia will become executive director of the new Interagency Council on Natural Resources Policy, Mr. Hodges said Thursday. He has been assistant deputy director of Natural Resources' land, water and conservation division.

Mr. Stallworth's major responsibilities will be to coordinate the state's natural resource programs for the governor and to lead the new council that includes representatives from the departments of Natural Resources; Health and Environmental Control; Parks, Recreation and Tourism; and Agriculture and the state forester.

The heads of Commerce, Revenue and Transportation as welll as representatives of the state Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Manufacturer's Alliance, environmental groups and university scientists will be nonvoting members.

Furman gift to buy pipe organ

GREENVILLE -- Furman University has received a $1 million gift that will be used to buy a chapel organ, officials say.

The pipe organ, built specifically for the university by C.B. Fisk Inc. of Massachusetts, is scheduled to be installed in spring 2003.