Originally created 08/05/99

Area briefs: Brothers killed in auto accident



Two juveniles were killed in a collision between a car and a truck Wednesday morning on Georgia Highway 56 in Burke County, police said.

Ricardo Gross, 17, and his brother, Zachary Gross, 11, both of Midville, died after their car was hit by a tractor-trailer at 11:50 a.m., Georgia State Patrol officials said. Ricardo attempted a U-turn at Henry Roland Road, which is a 10th of a mile from Midville, and pulled out in front of the truck.

Zachary died at the scene. His brother was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he died at 1:35 p.m., said Burke County Coroner Craig Kennedy. James Paul Driggers, who was driving the tractor-trailer for East Georgia Forest Co. in Swainsboro, was not cited, police said.

Brown's bash to be in Bay area

During a news conference in San Francisco, James Brown on Wednesday announced plans to hold his next birthday bash in the Bay area.

Billed as his Millennium Birthday Bash, marking the entertainer's 66th birthday, the event will be held May 3 at Paramount Theater in Oakland. It will be the permanent home for his annual birthday celebrations.

From 1994 to 1997, the Godfather of Soul held his birthday parties at Augusta's municipal civic center complex, but the Garden City didn't support the event.

For example, Mr. Brown's last birthday bash in Augusta, in 1997, featuring the Blues Brothers Band, young blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shephard and talk show host Rolonda Watts, drew only 1,246 people, 46 percent of Bell Auditorium's 2,690-seat capacity.

Also at Mr. Brown's press conference, in the Oval Room at Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, he announced plans for The Truth, a bimonthly newsletter about news and views of the music business.

Man guilty of nonsupport

A Clearwater man who owes $77,000 in child support pleaded guilty this week to failing to make the payments and now faces six months in jail.

Harold S. Perdew, 43, failed to make regular $127-a-week payments to support a child living in Pennsylvania, and he made no payments from 1993 to 1996, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney J. Rene Josey.

In 1988, Mr. Perdew was ordered by a New Jersey court to make the payments. The former Virginia teacher more recently has worked with various construction, roofing and siding contractors.

Mr. Perdew pleaded guilty Monday and faces six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. He will be sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph R. McCrorey after a presentence report is prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Police seeking assault suspect

Police are asking for the public's help to find a woman accused of attacking another woman with a metal pipe.

Police have an arrest warrant for Margie Ann Sharpton, 40, of Tutt Avenue, on a charge of aggravated assault, said Investigator Bill Kitchens of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

On July 25, at about 2 p.m., Sharon McKinley, 32, was arguing with the suspect on the 2000 block of Dallas Drive. The suspect then hit Ms. McKinley on the neck with the iron pipe, Investigator Kitchens said. Ms. McKinley was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and later released.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Kitchens at (706) 821-1080.

Officials investigate fires

Aiken County officials were investigating the cause Wednesday of two unrelated fires that ripped through a mobile home and gutted an old automotive shop.

A building once occupied by Hearn's Automotive Shop and a barbecue restaurant erupted in flames just after 8 p.m. Tuesday on the 2400 block of Augusta Road in Gloverville. When Langley firefighters arrived, the two-story structure was engulfed in flames, firefighter Calvin McCravy said.

The flames took more than an hour for firefighters, assisted by the Graniteville-Vaucluse-Warrenville Fire Department, to control.

Witnesses saw two boys leave the area at about the time the fire started, according to a sheriff's report. The fire has been labeled suspicious, Mr. McCravy said.

In an unrelated fire, a manufactured home along T&S Drive in Aiken caught fire sometime before 11 p.m. Tuesday, destroying the trailer and causing moderate damage to a mobile home nearby, owner Tommy Taylor said.

Center and Aiken fire departments responded to the fire. A couple recently had moved out of the single-wide trailer, Mr. Taylor said.

No one was injured in either fire.

Public's help sought to find teen

The parents of a missing Columbia County teen are seeking the public's help in finding their 15-year-old daughter.

Lauren Jackson, of the 1500 block of Cedar Springs Road in Appling, is a rising sophomore at Academy of Richmond County. She is described by her mother as 5 feet 4 inches tall and 115 pounds, with curly brown hair, hazel eyes, and freckles.

She was last seen at about 11:30 p.m. Monday at her house.

Her mother, Sheri Jackson, said Lauren snuck out of her bedroom window and probably left with her 19-year-old boyfriend, whom she described as white, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 155 pounds, with a black buzz cut and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on Lauren's whereabouts is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 541-2800.

Black woman up for court post

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton has nominated a Fulton County Superior Court judge to the U.S. District Court bench in Georgia, the first black woman ever picked for a federal judgeship in the state.

Mr. Clinton sent his nomination of Gail Tusan to the Senate on Tuesday. She was recommended by Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., to replace U.S. District Judge G. Ernest Tidwell, who is retiring to senior status.

Judge Tusan, 42, was appointed to a newly created seat on the Fulton County Superior Court bench in 1995 and was elected a year later to a full term. She also has served on the State Court, City Court of Atlanta and Magistrate Court of Fulton County. The Senate must confirm her nomination.