Originally created 11/16/00

Across the area



COLUMBIA COUNTY
Weapons found in student assault

A 16-year-old Greenbrier High School student was arrested Wednesday for slapping another student and having two pocketknives and a 16-inch metal rod on campus.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said the boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was charged with simple battery and felony possession of a weapon on school property.

Capt. Morris said witnesses told police the incident began at 12:30 p.m. in a hallway when a 14-year-old was bumped into the 16-year-old, who then slapped him.

Security officers broke the scuffle up and found the knives on the 16-year-old and the rod inside his book bag, Capt. Morris said. He was taken to the Regional Youth Development Center and will attend a detention hearing set for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

AUGUSTA
Man charged in botched robbery

A Hephzibah man tried to rob a bank Wednesday by walking up to the window of the drive-through teller, authorities said.

At 3:31 p.m., Roderick Copelin, 39, approached the window of First Union Bank, 1751 Gordon Highway, and pushed the intercom button to get the teller's attention, said Investigator Kenny Lynch of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

Mr. Copelin, of the 2000 block of Billings Road, demanded money from the teller, who later told police she was not sure whether the robber had a gun because his hands were not visible, Investigator Lynch said.

Instead of giving the robber money, the teller turned around and alerted people in the bank lobby to lock the doors and call police, authorities said.

Deputies apprehended Mr. Copelin about 100 yards from the bank, Investigator Lynch said. Police did not find a weapon on the suspect, he said.

Mr. Copelin was charged with criminal attempted robbery by intimidation.

AUGUSTA
Jump will start prosthetic drive

A double amputee will parachute into the parking lot of Walton Rehabilitation Hospital today to kick off the National Limb Drive.

Dana Bowman, a former member of the Army's elite Golden Knights skydiving team, lost his legs below the knees in a skydiving accident but continued to jump with the team. He now travels to make jumps for charity events and work as a motivational speaker.

People with old or unused prosthetic limbs are urged to donate them at the event, beginning at 4 p.m. Those collected will be used in humanitarian efforts. There also will be educational programs through 8 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Physicians for Peace and by Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics.

AIKEN COUNTY
Business robbed on election night

As many Aiken County voters watched the returns on election night, someone stole more than $100,000 worth of property from an Aiken business, including a 2000 Mack dump truck.

The owner found the truck and a custom trailer Nov. 9 near Exit 62 of Interstate 95 in Walterboro, S.C. The Aiken County Sheriff's Office still is trying to recover the remaining property and make arrests.

The other stolen items include a blue Miller arc welder and generator, a Cub Cadet lawn tractor (Model 2135) and an orange Stihlchain saw (Model 039).

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (803) 642-1761 or (800) 922-3211, or Aiken County Crime Stoppers at (803) 642-1798.

AUGUSTA
Mural shows smoking dangers

Pupils and community members will unveil an anti-smoking mural called the "Wall of Memories" at 10 a.m. today at Langford Middle School.

Messages from pupils to relatives and loved ones who have died or are suffering from tobacco-related diseases and warnings about tobacco fill the wall.

The presentation will include speeches and is a part of the Great American Smoke-Out, which is recognized nationally today as a day for smokers to stop lighting up. The event is open to the public.

In January, the wall will join similar structures from throughout the state to be reassembled at the Legislature in Atlanta.

GEORGIA
Brothers take plea in gang rape

MARIETTA - Two brothers arrested in the gang rape of a 13-year-old mentally disabled girl were given two years' probation Wednesday in a plea bargain with prosecutors before their trial started in Cobb County Juvenile Court.

Prosecutors said as many as 25 men and boys raped the girl during a 12-hour period Oct. 13-14 after luring her off her bicycle and into an apartment building.

The brothers, 12 and 13, are the youngest suspects charged in the girl's assault. They were not identified because of their age.

Police have arrested 14 suspects so far. Investigators said the participants made a videotape of the attack.

The girl, who authorities say has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, is receiving counseling. Prosecutor Franey Hakes also said the girl has been receiving threats.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Man fatally shot while hunting

WESTMINSTER - A 36-year-old man who was hunting near his home apparently shot himself with his own gun.

Tony Keith Honea was found dead Tuesday morning with a gunshot wound to the chest, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said. The weapon was Mr. Honea's 20-gauge shotgun, Natural Resources Department spokesman Mike Willis said.

Mr. Honea went hunting Monday afternoon on property next to his home. A friend, who was looking for Mr. Honea several hours later, found him in his tree stand about 8 feet above the ground. Investigators say he was climbing out of the tree stand when the gun fired, Mr. Willis said.

GEORGIA
Crane crushes construction worker

BUFORD - A crane operator jumped off his machine to warn co-workers it was about to tip over - then was crushed when it fell against a concrete wall that collapsed.

Thomas A. Nadeau, 33, of Commerce, was killed just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, fire officials said. He was working for Woodall Roofing Inc. on a warehouse under construction in this Atlanta suburb.

Mr. Nadeau, realizing the crane was about to tip, jumped off and yelled a warning to his colleagues. The crane fell against a 22-foot wall, which buckled under the pressure, Gwinnett County Fire Battalion Chief John Perry said.

Federal work-safety officials were investigating.

AUGUSTA
Mobile home fire kills woman, 57

A 57-year-old woman had been living in her mobile home less than a week when it caught fire, killing her, according to a neighbor and close friend.

The woman's body was found just inside the back door after flames gutted unit 319 in Windsor Court trailer park at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Bell. The cause of the blaze was under investigation late Wednesday.

Chief Bell said a motorist pulled into Engine Company 18, which is not far away on Windsor Spring Road, and reported the fire. About 12 firefighters spent five minutes dousing the flames, he said.

Carol Hall, 62, who lives next door, said she has been friends with the victim for 22 years. She and the woman worked together at Kendall Co. as a manufacturing associates, she said. She was divorced, had recently finished selling her house and was finally getting her finances in order, Ms. Hall said.

Richmond County Deputy Coroner Mark Brown said he could not confirm the victim's name until next of kin had been notified. The body was sent to University Hospital for an autopsy.

ALABAMA
Jurors indict bombing suspect

BIRMINGHAM - Nearly three years after Eric Robert Rudolph disappeared into the mountains of North Carolina, federal grand jurors indicted him Wednesday in a series of deadly bombings beginning at the 1996 Olympic Games.

The indictments formalize charges filed previously against Mr. Rudolph in the death of a policeman at an abortion clinic in Birmingham and in three Atlanta bombings, including the explosion that killed a woman at Centennial Olympic Park.

The charges were returned simultaneously by grand juries in Birmingham and Atlanta as the search continued for Mr. Rudolph.

The Olympic bomb went off July 27, 1996 during a free concert in the downtown park killing Alice Hawthorne of Albany, Ga., and injuring about 100 others.

Mr. Rudolph, 34, also was indicted on charges of setting a pair of bombs that went off at an Atlanta abortion clinic Jan. 16, 1997, and two bombs that exploded at a midtown Atlanta gay bar Feb. 21, 1997.

The last confirmed sighting of Mr. Rudolph was in July 1998.

A $1 million reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr. Rudolph, who is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.



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