Augusta was host to hundreds of leather-clad bikers this weekend as the local chapter of the Harley Owners club presented its seventh annual Georgia Rally.
About 1,148 members of Harley Owners, which is headquartered in Milwaukee, took over the fairgrounds off Laney-Walker Boulevard during a weekend filled with games, food and shopping.
The event, which was closed to the public, attracted bikers and their families from throughout Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, and as far away as South Dakota and Pennsylvania, said Bruce Moyer, director of the Augusta chapter. The rally began Thursday night and was scheduled to end Saturday night with an awards barbecue banquet and dancing.
The games included the "poker run" and "observation run," which required bikers to ride more than 100 miles through Augusta, and the "biker games," which tested each member's skill on his Harley.
The group also held a Harley show, which featured more than 60 bikes in different categories, including custom bikes and women's Harleys. Vendors at the fairgrounds sold leather apparel, jewelry, and doo-rags, among other items.
Although Georgia has held only seven rallies, the Harley Owners group has similar events throughout the country at different times of the year, Mr. Moyer said. This is the first year the Augusta chapter was host of the event.
Tests: Gunman not on drugs
MARIETTA -- Lab tests show that the man who killed two Cobb County SWAT team members as they stormed his house in July was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Greg Smith had no traces of those substances in his blood when he was killed by a police sniper July 24, according to the report by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic sciences division.
Mr. Smith, a 40-year-old unemployed truck driver, shot and killed Sgt. Steve Reeves and Officer Stephen Gilner the night before he was shot trying to get out of a window in his Austell home. The SWAT team was trying to end a standoff that began after Mr. Smith shot and wounded a third officer, who had responded to a neighborhood disturbance.
"The blood specimen is negative for a detectable quantity of barbiturates, certain benzodiazepines, cocaine, and/or metabolites, common opioids, amphetamines and cannabinoids," the GBI report said.
Such tests of blood and urine are routine on suspects and victims in homicides.
State must pay company's debt
MYRTLE BEACH -- South Carolina is responsible for paying $2 million worth of Timberland Properties Inc.'s debts after the company's failed development of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.
The company's bankruptcy proceedings are over, freeing up 920 acres of the land for purchase by WBLC, a North Carolina limited liability corporation. WBLC has not revealed plans for the property, which it is purchasing for $20.1 million.
Timberland Properties had planned a theme park and golf course resort on the site at the former base. In 1997, the company folded with $87.66 left in its checking account.
Bankruptcy litigation ended last month, when a WBLC deposit was deeded to Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility that has managed and marketed the property since the state acquired it in a land swap with the military after the base closed in 1993.
Search under way for suspect
COLUMBIA -- A nationwide search is under way for a man wanted in connection with a break-in and jewelry heist at a Service Merchandise store here.
Richland County sheriff's investigators said Friday they obtained an arrest warrant for Eric Charles Grant, 31.
Deputies say a man used a hammer to smash a jewelry case at the store and swept $135,000 worth of diamonds into a trash can.
A car investigators say they think was used in the getaway was found abandoned. It had been stolen in Lexington County.
Sheriff's Lt. Joe Pellicci said Mr. Grant is wanted in connection with similar thefts in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Delaware, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Lt. Pellicci said the FBI has joined in the search for Mr. Grant, who has addresses in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Atlanta.
Sunday alcohol sales debated
GREENVILLE -- Residents of Greenville County will vote Oct. 12 to decide whether to allow restaurants and bars to sell alcohol on Sundays.
Conway Belangia, director of the county's election and voter registration office, said the election commission has approved spending $18,000 to print more than 200,000 ballots. Mr. Belangia said special elections usually attract about 30 percent of registered voters.
Carl Sobocinski, one of the organizers of the Sunday sales campaign, said he expects only about 8 percent of registered voters, or about 15,000 people, to vote in the election.
But the Rev. Stan Craig, who said some opponents "feel like the alcohol-on-Sunday crowd is trying to work a shenanigan on them," said he expects a strong turnout.
Company to develop Pier Zulu
CHARLESTON -- Charleston International Ports after two years of negotiations has obtained a license to develop a pier at the former Charleston Naval Base into a cargo terminal.
No dollar figures are mentioned in the copy of the 30-year license for Pier Zulu that was obtained by The (Charleston) Post and Courier. But Charleston International Ports will pay half its net income from base operations to the state Ports Authority as a license fee. The license was approved Aug. 31.
Besides acquiring Pier Zulu, the largest and newest pier at the base, Charleston International also will get two other piers -- Mike and November. The license also allows the company to acquire several buildings and to improve about 200 acres around Pier Zulu.
Police: Pastor stabbed for money
ORANGEBURG -- The robbers who stabbed a pastor about 30 times during two hours in his home targeted him for money, police say.
The attackers did give the wife of the Rev. Isaiah Moultrie her medication when she complained of a heart condition.
"That little gesture of humanity was overshadowed by the vicious attack on a 64-year-old man," said police Capt. Mike Adams.
The Rev. Moultrie was attacked Thursday night in front of his wife, Eulah. He was hospitalized in serious condition.
"This was not a random crime, it was victim-specific," Capt. Adams said. "The suspects thought the individual had a large amount of money in the house."
The couple were in their upstairs bedroom when two armed, masked men entered the house through a window, police said. The intruders stayed in the home for two hours demanding cash from the couple and eventually made off with several hundred dollars.
The Rev. Moultrie suffered a broken shoulder and a broken arm and was stabbed repeatedly. Mrs. Moultrie was not hurt.
The Rev. Moultrie is head of the Moultrie Temple in Orangeburg. The couple own several rental properties.
Chase ends in death of motorist
GEORGETOWN -- A patrol car chasing a speeder slammed into another car, killing the driver and injuring the officer.
James P. Wallace, 39, was returning from the grocery store Friday when his car collided with the patrol car driven by Georgetown Officer Richard W. Floyd.
The police car's blue lights weren't on, but the headlights were flashing and emergency flashers also were activated, said state Highway Patrol Cpl. C.D. Causey. The police car was traveling about 65 mph in a 40 mph zone, he said. Mr. Wallace was not wearing a seat belt.
Police Chief Dan Furr would not say whether Officer Floyd should have used the blue lights.
"I don't want to say something contradictory," Chief Furr said. "I'm waiting to hear from the construction team investigation," he said.
Officer Floyd was treated at Georgetown Memorial Hospital and released. An autopsy is planned for Mr. Wallace.
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