Originally created 03/20/00

Across the area: Blowtorch mishap burns mobile home



A man using a blowtorch to cut the tongue off a mobile home frame Sunday afternoon accidentally set the residence on fire, destroying it, Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department officials said.

William Scarboro was working with a blowtorch outside his home on Bennock Mill Road at about noon when heat from the blowtorch ignited the underside of the structure, fire officials reported. The home's residents attempted to put out the fire with a garden hose but were unsuccessful.

Mr. Scarboro, his wife and two children were not hurt, but a family cat perished in the blaze.

It took about 20 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the fire, which gutted the home and damaged an attached carport and a utility shed. The home was insured, and although there were other houses nearby, none was damaged, officials said.

AUGUSTA

Crash into brick wall hurts driver

An Augusta woman was injured Sunday after she crashed her 1995 Honda Civic through a brick wall while trying to avoid another car.

Toni Marie Dunn, 22, lost control of her car and careened into the brick barrier in front of Georgian Place Apartments on Wrightsboro Road at about 3:30 p.m. after an unidentified car swerved into her lane, causing her to slam on her brakes.

Ms. Dunn was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital with minor injuries, police said. Authorities are looking for the car that reportedly caused the accident. There was no description available late Sunday afternoon.

Anyone with information about the other car involved in the accident can contact Deputy Billy Jones at 821-1080.

GEORGIA

Ex-Black Panther still at large

ATLANTA -- After searching for three days, police and federal agents Sunday still had not found the man wanted in the shootings of two Fulton County deputies.

Police have said sympathetic admirers may be hiding the ex-Black Panther H. Rap Brown, now known as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Authorities said they believe Mr. Al-Amin has left Georgia.

Fulton County sheriff's Deputies Ricky Kinchen and Aldranon English tried to serve Mr. Al-Amin, 56, an arrest warrant at his store in southwest Atlanta on Thursday for failing to appear in a Cobb County court on theft charges and impersonating an officer.

As the deputies approached a black Mercedes-Benz, the driver got out and started shooting a high-powered assault rifle. Deputy English identified the shooter as Mr. Al-Amin.

Deputy Kinchen, a 35-year-old Florida native, died Friday afternoon from gunshot wounds.

Deputy English, 28, was shot in his chest, arms and both legs, but survived. His condition was listed as good Sunday.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Aquarium's prized turtle drowns

CHARLESTON -- Calhoun, the 330-pound green sea turtle expected to be one of the major attractions when the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston opens in May, appears to have drowned.

Calhoun was found dead in the Great Ocean Exhibit on Saturday as if he were sleeping.

Veterinarian Tom Sheridan, Natural Resources Department biologist Tom Murphy, and aquarium Director of Husbandry Bruce Hecker performed an autopsy, and the results were consistent with drowning. There were no other significant findings, an aquarium spokeswoman said.

Calhoun was introduced to the aquarium's 330,000-gallon main exhibit about three weeks ago. He was behaving and feeding normally, Executive Director Chris Andrews said.

Calhoun's captivity began in Ontario in the mid-1970s, and he also lived at aquariums in Boston, Pittsburgh and Monterey, Calif., which donated him to Charleston's aquarium in June. It was estimated he was between 40 and 70 years old.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Man sentenced in fraud scheme

CHARLESTON -- A North Carolina man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for his part in a scam that cost International Paper hundreds of thousands of dollars at its Georgetown plant.

Joseph Sullivan, 38, of Shallotte, N.C., also will serve three years probation after serving two years and three months in prison, U.S. Attorney Rene Josey said.

The scheme involved the generation of false weight tickets for the delivery of pulpwood to International Paper by scalers Everette Browder and Mary Francis Marlowe. Those false weight tickets would indicate that pulpwood had been delivered to the plant when none had, Ms. Josey said.

The information was then sent to International Paper's accounting office, which would pay the supplier for a load that did not exist.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Counselor announces candidacy

TRENTON -- Before a crowd of supporters at Bettis Academy, guidance counselor George Brightharp officially announced his candidacy Sunday for the 3rd Congressional District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham.

Mr. Brightharp, 55, a Democrat, is director of guidance at Strom Thurmond High School in Edgefield. If elected, he said he wants to make sure that every possible dollar set aside for building and renovating schools gets to South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District -- Aiken, Edgefield and McCormick counties -- in addition to money for federal public works projects.

BLOODMOBILE LOCATIONS

Appointments are available at these locations for people wishing to donate blood:

American Red Cross Blood Services: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays (except holidays), 950 Millbrook St., Suite A, in Aiken; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (except holidays), 106 Pleasant Home Road, Suite L, at LaPavilion Shopping Center in Augusta. Call (803) 642-5180 in Aiken or (706) 868-8800 in Augusta.

Shepeard Community Blood Center: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (except holidays), 112-B Davis Road in Martinez; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays (except holidays), 1533 Wrightsboro Road in Augusta; and noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays (except holidays), Rich Plaza near the corner of Whiskey and Pine Log roads in Aiken. Call (706) 854-1880 in Martinez, (706) 737-4551 in Augusta or (803) 643-7996 in Aiken.

MEETINGS THIS WEEK

Today:

North Augusta City Council, 7 p.m., Municipal Building, Buena Vista Avenue.

Fairfax Town Council, 6 p.m., Town Hall, U.S. Highway 278.

Harlem City Council, (special called meeting) 5:30 p.m., Evans Government Complex Auditorium, Washington West Drive.

Tuesday:

Augusta Commission, 2 p.m., eighth floor, Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.

Aiken County Council, 7 p.m., County Council Annex, Richland Avenue; pre-meeting 6 p.m.

McCormick Town Council, 7 p.m., Town Hall, Augusta Street.

Columbia County Commission, 6:30 p.m., Evans Government Complex Auditorium, Washington West Drive.

Thursday:

Edgefield County Board of Education, 7:30 p.m., Strom Thurmond High School Library, South Carolina Highway 23.