Originally created 11/05/99

Across the area: Woman sues city over 3-day jail stay



An Augusta woman whose refusal to cut her nails meant a three-day jail stay has filed suit against the city, the sheriff and numerous officers.

Georgia Ann LaFavor sued Wednesday in U.S. District Court, alleging she should receive unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for violation of her civil rights, deliberate indifference to medical needs, false imprisonment and negligence.

Ms. LaFavor surrendered Nov. 7, 1997, on a misdemeanor warrant accusing her of interference with child custody. After a $2,050 bond was set and posted that day, she could have been released after the booking process -- photographing and fingerprinting -- was completed, according to the lawsuit and to jail officials.

Jailers were unable to take her prints by using the department's standard mechanical device, and she refused repeated requests to trim her nails. She contends she was kept needlessly in jail because officers could, and eventually did, use an ink roller and card to take her fingerprints, according to the suit.

Ms. LaFavor also contends her requests for medical treatmentwere refused and she was denied phone and restroom privileges.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute.

AUGUSTA

Hospices honored at stamp show

National Hospice Month and Augusta's St. Joseph Hospice will be honored with a special cachet and cancellation at the 23rd annual Augusta Stamp Show on Saturday and Sunday.

The show will be held at St. Joseph Hospital Home Health Care Services in the Daniel Village Shopping Center off Wrightsboro Road. Admission is free during show hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

RICHMOND COUNTY

Police seek man who fled arrest

Police received a tip that a man who plunged into the Augusta Canal early Wednesday morning is alive.

When police attempted to arrest Rodney Eric Strickland, 20, at about 1 a.m., he jumped onto a rail on the walkway bridge at the corner of Milledge and Lake Shore roads and dived into the canal. Police suspect he was intoxicated. At daybreak, police searched the canal for several hours, but he was not found, police said.

At about 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, a cousin of Mr. Strickland's called police and said Mr. Strickland had telephoned him about 2 1/2 hours earlier. Based on interviews with the cousin, police are presuming Mr. Strickland is alive.

Mr. Strickland is wanted on two outstanding misdemeanor warrants and a felony parole violation. Anyone with information about Mr. Strickland is asked to call Richmond County Sheriff's Department at (706) 821-1080.

RICHMOND COUNTY

State board meets in Augusta

Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity's board of directors held its last quarterly meeting of 1999 in Augusta on Thursday, sponsored by the Richmond County Human Rights Commission.

The meeting was a routine look at business, including personnel and budget issues, but it was important because it increases members' accessibility and allows for education and outreach, officials said. The board tries to hold one meeting a year in a city other than Atlanta.

"I feel honored they have chosen to come to Augusta," said Frank Thomas, director of the Human Rights Commission. "I think it's very appropriate that they come here for their last meeting of the millennium."

The equal opportunity commission is responsible for enforcing the Georgia Fair Housing Law.

"We have an outreach responsibility, to educate the citizens of Georgia so they know what the law is," said Mustafa Aziz, administrator for the equal opportunity commission. "We would much rather have people know what their responsibility is than get the short end of the stick and become subjects of an investigation."

AUGUSTA

Musicians to perform at tribute

Bagpiper Dick Irons and violinist Allen Sloan will join the musical tribute during the third annual A Night of Remembrance memorial at 7 p.m. next Thursday.

Luminaria also will be displayed on the grounds of St. Joseph Hospital, 2260 Wrightsboro Road, to honor "the memory of our loved ones," said Suzanne Principi. She is education coordinator for St. Joseph, sponsor of the event.

Some 1,200 luminaria dotted the hospital grounds during last year's observance.

To dedicate a candle, call 729-6222 and leave the deceased's name. There is no charge.

In case of rain, the event will be 7 p.m. Nov. 16.

AUGUSTA

University Hospital wins honor

University Hospital was named Hospital of the Year on Thursday night by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals.

At its annual meeting in Callaway Gardens Resort, the group awarded University first place in the large-hospital category. University was recognized by the group of community, nonprofit hospitals for its work through the CSRA Partnership for Community Health in establishing neighborhood clinics and other services to the community.

RICHMOND COUNTY

Ramps close for construction

The state Department of Transportation is shutting down ramps on Bobby Jones Expressway at night as part of a construction project.

The southbound Wrightsboro Road exit will be shut down at 7 p.m. today and will remain closed until 7 a.m. Saturday. The same ramp was closed Thursday night.

On Monday, the northbound exit ramp at Gordon Highway, Exit 4A, will be closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Tuesday.

A state construction project is widening the road and repairing the pavement on sections of the highway.

GEORGIA

Augustan appointed to board

ATLANTA -- Gov. Roy Barnes on Thursday named six members of state boards that deal with transportation issues to a management team that will oversee planning for passenger rail service in Georgia.

Jimmy Lester of Augusta and Frank Pinkston Jr. of Macon will represent the state Transportation Board on the team. Carl Rhodenizer of Lake City and Mather Stapleton of Milan will represent the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority, and Walter "Sonny" Deriso of Albany and Sharon Ray of Atlanta will represent the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.

The creation of the management team stems from an agreement reached by the three agencies last week to resolve a dispute over how to share control of proposed commuter and inter-city passenger rail lines.