Originally created 07/19/00

Across the area



RICHMOND COUNTY
Doctor indicted in sexual battery

An Augusta physician accused of fondling a patient last week was indicted by a Richmond County grand jury Tuesday.

The grand jury accused Edmund G. Byne, 51, of the felony offense of aggravated sexual battery and the misdemeanor offense of sexual battery.

Dr. Byne, who lives in Waynesboro but sees patients at his South Augusta Medical Center office, was arrested Friday morning. A female patient reported to sheriff's officers that the doctor had fondled her the day before at his office.

Aggravated sexual battery is a crime punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. Sexual battery is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 12 months.

RICHMOND COUNTY
Man sentenced in deadly wreck

A Martinez man whose car plowed into a sedan on Wheeler Road last spring - killing a pregnant woman and her unborn baby - has been sentenced to three years in prison for two counts of vehicular homicide and running a red light.

State Court Judge David Watkins gave Michael Dorris, 49, the maximum sentence allowed for the three misdemeanor charges. Mr. Dorris has been in jail since the April wreck because he was on parole at the time for a 1995 shoplifting conviction.

Family members of Belinda Keys, 33, and infant Jordon Donte, including husband and father Thornton Keys, were present at the sentencing hearing Monday. They showed Judge Watkins family albums and photos taken at a baby shower not long before the accident.

Richmond County State Court Solicitor Sheryl Jolly said levels of amphetamine and methadone found in Mr. Dorris' system after the collision were not high enough to warrant felony charges.

Mrs. Keys, who was eight months pregnant, died hours after being struck while turning left onto Wheeler Road from the Bobby Jones Expressway exit ramp. Her baby was delivered by emergency Caesarian section at Medical College of Georgia Hospital but died 12 days later.

RICHMOND COUNTY
Man draws jail term in plea

An Augusta man whose previous rape charge was reduced to a misdemeanor pleaded guilty in a subsequent, unrelated sexual assault case Tuesday and received a 12-year prison sentence.

Floyd B. Parrish, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Richmond County Superior Court to kidnapping. Mr. Parrish faced charges of kidnapping, hijacking a motor vehicle and sexual battery.

In a plea negotiation accepted by Judge Albert M. Pickett, Mr. Parrish pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 12 years. He was accused of forcing his way into a woman's car March 25, holding her against her will and threatening to rape her as he held a screwdriver against her throat.

Mr. Parrish was arrested on an unrelated rape charge last summer. That charge was reduced to a misdemeanor offense, and Mr. Parrish served part of a 12-month jail sentence for sexual battery.

AUGUSTA
Sewer work will close streets

Reynolds Street at Eighth Street, and Eighth Street between Reynolds and Broad streets will be closed today through Friday for storm sewer construction.

No left or right turns will be permitted at the intersection of Reynolds and Eighth streets, and through traffic will be prohibited at Broad Street. Reynolds Street will be reduced to one lane for east- and westbound motorists.

EDGEFIELD COUNTY
Chamber seeks funds for family

The Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce announced a campaign Tuesday to raise money for an Edgefield family that lost its home to fire last month.

Ken and Nora Korreck and their two teen-age sons carried insurance on their home but need help trying to furnish a new place and clothe themselves, said Carlene Gauler, chamber director.

Mrs. Korreck, who broke her arms a few months ago, will undergo surgery soon and has both arms in casts, the director said. She is unable to work and is having difficulty getting the family back on their feet, she said.

The Korrecks own Professional Services Group of Edgefield.

Anyone wanting to help the family with money, merchandise or services can mail donations to P.O. Box 23, Johnston, S.C., 29832, or drop donations off at the chamber of commerce, 416 Calhoun St., Johnston. Mrs. Gauler will take all donations to the Korrecks immediately.

AIKEN COUNTY
Social Security office cuts hours

The Aiken Social Security Office is changing its hours of operation because of air-conditioning problems effective today, according to Reginald McDaniel, district manager.

The office, 211 York Ave. N.E., will open at 8 a.m. and close at 2:30 p.m. through the end of this week. The office should resume normal operating hours no later than Monday.

Callers can get service by calling the toll-free Teleservice Center at (800) 772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Girl drowns in neighbor's pool

BATESBURG-LEESVILLE - A 2-year-old girl drowned after she apparently left her back yard and fell into a neighbor's pool.

Haley Kinard's mother said her daughter disappeared from the yard at about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman said.

Haley was found in the bottom of a pool in her neighbor's yard in Batesburg-Leesville. Both yards were fenced in, but the gates were unlocked, Mr. Harman said.

Paramedics attempted to revive the girl, but she was pronounced dead shortly after noon.

GEORGIA
Men sought in officer's shooting

BERLIN - Police were searching in two states for two men who shot a Berlin police officer during a routine traffic stop.

Officer Ronnie Williamson was shot in the arm at about 11 p.m. Monday after he pulled over two men in a pickup in the southwest Georgia town, said Colquitt County Sheriff's Department Investigator J.J. McMillian.

When Officer Williamson asked the driver to show his license and proof of insurance, the driver got out of the truck and fired several bullets in the officer's direction, Investigator McMillian said. One shot hit Officer Williamson in the right arm. He was treated and released at Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie.

The officer returned fire, possibly injuring one of the suspects, Investigator McMillian said.

Police launched a search for the two men, described as Hispanic and in their mid-20s, in south Georgia and north Florida. Investigator McMillian said their pickup, a maroon 1990 Chevrolet S-10, had temporary Florida tags.

NEW ELLENTON
Trimmer rescued from tree

Fire officials in New Ellenton have rescued cats from trees before, but never people. On Tuesday, that changed.

New Ellenton police and fire officials were called to 508 Old Whiskey Road at about noon to rescue a self-employed tree trimmer who was stuck more than 50 feet up a pine tree.

"When I got here, he said he was scared, tired and afraid to move," Officer Jeff Smith said. "His legs were cramped."

George Alexander of New Ellenton told officials the strap holding him to the tree was not secure and could break.

"He said he didn't trust it," Officer Smith said.

New Ellenton fire officials were able to ease the officer and the tree trimmer down with secured ropes.

Officer Smith said Mr. Alexander had climbed the tree with spikes but apparently failed to drink fluids and became overwhelmed by the heat, Officer Smith said.

Mr. Alexander was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers, where he was treated for heat exhaustion and released.

AUGUSTA
Events honor disability protection

The 10th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act is being observed today through July 26 in the Augusta area.

The act was passed in 1990 to prohibit discrimination in employment, public transportation and other areas.

The following area activities are planned:

A proclamation presentation and ice cream social from 2-4 p.m. today in the pediatric board room of Walton Rehabilitation Hospital, 1355 Independence Way.

A dinner-dance at the Bon Air Apartments, 2101 Walton Way, from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday.

A torch run from 9-11:30 a.m. Monday. The run begins at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 950 15th St.

A banquet from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at Whole Life Ministries, 2621 Washington Road. Keynote speaker John Crews of the Independent Living Department of Georgia State University will discuss the Effect of the ADA on Society - 2000. The cost is $15 per person, $10 for the disabled and seniors, and $125 for a table for 10.

For more information, call disability advocate Judy Winters at 855-9953.

AUGUSTA
Man shot in mugging attempt

An Augusta man who was shot outside his home on Olive Road early Tuesday told police three men tried to mug him, then fired a pistol at him when he said he only had four dollars.

"Just shoot that ˆexpletive¥," one of the men told another, according to Herbert Jackson, 45, in a Richmond County Sheriff's Department incident report.Mr. Jackson told police he was on the 1900 block of Olive Road at about 3 a.m. when the three approached him, one riding a bike the other two on foot. All were black, wearing dark clothing and between 17 and 20 years old, he said.The victim was shot through the left arm, the bullet lodging in his chest. He was treated and released from Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Deputies recovered a green Huffy 15-speed bicycle at the scene.

WILKES COUNTY
Rogers takes sheriff positionWASHINGTON - Next year, Wilkes County sheriff's Deputy Gary Allen Rogers will become Wilkes County Sheriff Rogers.Deputy Rogers, 48, carried the Democratic primary Tuesday with 1,949 votes, defeating Chief Deputy Mark Moore - son of the late Sheriff Cecil A. Moore - who received 1,448.There are no Republican candidates in the race.Chief Deputy Moore, 49, had the weekend and Monday to campaign. He entered the race Friday after the state Democratic Executive Committee reopened qualifying in light of his father death July 11.GEORGIA
Burgess leading in PSC race ATLANTA - Incumbent David L. Burgess was leading Tuesday night in the Democratic primary to hold on to his District 3 seat on the state Public Service Commission, according to the secretary of state's office.With 74 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Burgess had 191,737 votes for 55 percent. The challenger, Mac Barber, was close behind with 156,804 votes for 45 percent.In the Democratic primary for the commission District 5 seat, Jim Boyd ran away with the votes with 250,341, or 82.3 percent, to his opponent Michael Dipietro's, 53,661, which represented 17.7 percent.The winner of District 3 will face Republican Al Bartell in November. The District 5 winner will run against Stan Wise.