Originally created 09/22/00

Across the area



NORTH AUGUSTA
Jailed former mayor goes free on bond

A former North Augusta mayor arrested on crack cocaine and marijuana charges was freed on a $100,000 bond Thursday night.

Donald Kimbrough Ledford, 62, was arrested Wednesday at his home on Bolin Court, after a raid by North Augusta Department of Public Safety officers.

Police said drugs and paraphernalia were found in the house, and two men delivering drugs arrived while officers were there.

Aiken County Magistrate Court Judge Terry Carter set Mr. Ledford's bond late Wednesday. The former mayor was given $10,000 bond on each of his 10 charges, which include possession and distribution of drugs, and possession and distribution within half a mile of a school.

Kenneth Williamson, 19, and Michael Aaron, 31 - the two Augusta men arrested at the home - were moved from North Augusta to the Aiken County jail Thursday evening.

They also face charges of possession and distribution, and one count each of having an open alcohol container.

Mr. Ledford was mayor of the city from 1981 to 1985.

AUGUSTA
Parent says bus driver hit boy

A Richmond County school bus driver has been suspended with pay after allegations of striking a student while breaking up a fight Thursday.

Richmond County School Superintendent Charles Larke said the driver pulled the bus over after two male students began fighting while the bus was moving. The driver separated the two, he said, but one of their parents later complained that the driver hit their son.

Dr. Larke did not know the name of the driver, or where the incident took place. He said a Richmond County Board of Education police officer would investigate the allegations and was expected to complete his report by noon today.

AUGUSTA
Urban-renewal seminars set

Paine College will play host to the first of a series of seminars designed to get Augusta on the road to urban renewal.

At a four-day citywide conference geared toward young people, conference coordinators hope to help young people find their role in urban renewal for Augusta.

The first seminar will be at 7 p.m. Monday at Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel. Other seminars will be held at Tabernacle and Macedonia Baptist churches and Lucy Craft Laney High School.

For more information, call (706) 821-8323.

AUGUSTA
Voter registration drives slated

The Richmond County Board of Elections is holding the following voter registration drives this weekend:

Saturday - 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Augusta Mall; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wal-Mart on Deans Bridge Road.

Sunday - 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 1:30-4 p.m. at Beulah Grove Baptist Church, 1434 Popular St.

NORTH AUGUSTA
Hit-and-run driver injures teen

A teen-ager from North Augusta was injured early Thursday after her car was struck by a hit-and-run driver, according to North Augusta Department of Public Safety.

Charson Anthony, 25, of North Augusta, was arrested within a few blocks of the wreck, which occurred at the downtown intersection of West and Clifton avenues at about 1:30 a.m. His charges include felony DUI, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and possessing an open container of beer.

Mr. Anthony was arrested after a 1998 Dodge pickup was spotted running a stop sign and colliding with a 1991 Mercury driven by Meagan Bodie, 17, department spokesman Lt. Tim Pearson said.

Ms. Bodie was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital with severe head injuries, but was listed in good condition at the hospital late Thursday.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Transportation board will meet

AIKEN - The Aiken County Transportation Committee has scheduled its regular meeting for 6 p.m. Monday in the Aiken County Council Annex, 736 Richland Ave. W.

This is an open meeting, and the public is invited to attend. For additional information, contact Mae F. Carroll at (803) 642-1694.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Fake sex photo gets man jail term

COLUMBIA - A federal court sentenced an Atlanta man to one year and a day in prison for creating a fake picture of a 16-year-old girl performing oral sex on a man and putting it on an Internet site he maintained.

Jason Kyle Graydon, 26, took a picture of a Columbia-area acquaintance and used a computer to paste her image into a sexually explicit photo.

Mr. Graydon also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and a $5,000 fine.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Grandmother faces kidnap charge

SUMTER - A woman accused of kidnapping her granddaughter in 1997 after the child's mother tried to get custody has been arrested by the FBI.

Dorthea Klostreich, 61, has been charged in Henry County, Tenn., with parental kidnapping. She was arrested last week at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, FBI spokesman Charles Sheppard said.

Six-year-old Alicia Klostreich, who was with the woman when she was arrested, has been placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services, Mr. Sheppard said.

The extradition process will begin now, Mr. Sheppard said.

Ms. Klostreich had been given custody of Alicia when the child was 3 months old, but the girl's mother, Tammy Bates, married, and she and her husband went to court in 1995 to obtain custody.

Ms. Klostreich fled with her granddaughter from Tennessee to South Carolina in September 1997, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said.

A judge in Tennessee awarded Alicia's mother full custody after the grandmother left that state.

GEORGIA
Tobacco company will cut jobs

MACON - Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. has announced a major cost-reduction program that will include staff cuts at its Macon manufacturing plant, which employs about 2,700 people.

The tobacco company said it will offer early retirement packages to 500 salaried workers from its Macon and Louisville, Ky., operations and from its national marketing sales staff.

Company spokesman Mark Smith said Wednesday that 130 salaried employees in Macon are eligible for early retirement. Ninety more are eligible in Louisville, and the rest will come from the national sales force.

Brown & Williamson blamed the cuts on increased legal costs, intensified competition and implementation of the national health care settlement with the states.

GEORGIA
School broadcasts X-rated tape

MOUNT AIRY - School officials and sheriff's investigators are trying to figure out how a pornographic videotape was broadcast at Habersham Central High School.

The tape was substituted Tuesday for the regularly scheduled school announcements video, said Habersham Central Principal Roy Sapough.

He said a letter went out immediately explaining to parents what happened, and Habersham County sheriff's deputies were called in to investigate. Criminal charges could be filed against whomever substituted the tape, he said.

Mr. Sapough said school officials in the northeast Georgia county are doing everything possible to ensure that "nothing like this ever happens again."