Originally created 11/21/00

Across the area

Bus driver: Brakes failed in accident

Police charged a Richmond County school bus driver with following too closely after a wreck on Old Waynesboro Road on Monday morning, said a Richmond County Sheriff's Department sergeant.

Simmons Joseph Goudeau, 48, was driving Bus 5 north toward Goshen Elementary School around 7 a.m. when a Jeep Cherokee in front of him stopped to make a left turn. Mr. Goudeau was unable to stop the bus in time, striking the Jeep, driven by Anne Stacks, of Burning Tree Lane. Mrs. Stacks' vehicle was knocked into the car in front of it, driven by Janet Price of Highway 80 in Waynesboro, which hit the car in front of it, said Sgt. Clifford Seago.

None of the children on the bus were hurt, but Mr. Goudeau was taken to a hospital with a back complaint. Mrs. Stacks also went to a hospital to beexamined, said Deputy Ronnie Phillips.

Mr. Goudeau told officers the brakes on the bus failed. The Richmond County Board of Education is investigating further to determine whether the brakes were indeed faulty, Deputy Phillips said.

Intruders leave couple bound

Two men forced their way into an Augusta residence early Sunday morning, bound a man and woman with duct tape and stole money and jewelry, said a Richmond County Sheriff's Department lieutenant.

Rufus Owens Jr., 26, and Frances Michelle Chambers, 29, of the 500 block of Smith Lane, were awakened at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday when the men forced open the front door and yelled "Sheriff's department," said Lt. Jack Francisco.

The intruders, one smaller than the other and both armed with handguns, taped Mr. Owens' and Ms. Chambers' hands, legs and eyes with duct tape and demanded to know where the money and the safe were, according to a report of the invasion.

During the robbery, the smaller intruder called the other "Big Boy," Lt. Francisco said.

Driver faces homicide charge

An Augusta man was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide Monday in the death of a pedestrian on Deans Bridge Road, said Richmond County Sheriff's Department Maj. Larry Vinson.

Norman Alvin Burton, 62, of the 3700 block of Oslo Road, was charged in the death of Fitma Shonta Martin, 23, of the 2700 block of Glenn Hills Road, Maj. Vinson said.

Mr. Burton told deputies he did not know whether Ms. Martin was in the road or was trying to cross the road when his vehicle struck her at about 5:20 a.m. Monday, Maj. Vinson said.

Ms. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene by Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten.

Mr. Burton also was charged with driving while his license was suspended, driving with no insurance and failure to exercise due care, according to a Richmond County Jail report.

Robbery sparks ex-employee's arrest

Police arrested a former employee of a south Augusta gameroom Monday and charged her with Sunday's armed robbery of the business, a Richmond County Sheriff's Department lieutenant said.

Police charged Monique Lucas, 29, of the 1900 block of Murphy Road, with armed robbery and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, said Lt. Jack Francisco.

A clerk at AJ's Car Stereo & Gameroom in the 2600 block of Deans Bridge Road told investigators that Ms. Lucas played some games before approaching her with a semi-automatic gun and demanding money. The clerk gave Ms. Lucas some money, and Ms. Lucas left, Lt. Francisco said.

Police recovered part of the money, Lt. Francisco said.

Armed pair robs Subway shop

Two men in ski masks robbed the Subway sandwich shop on Walton Way at gunpoint late Sunday night, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Department lieutenant.

The men, armed with a semi-automatic handgun and a pickax, entered the shop in the 1800 block of Walton Way at about 11 p.m. They held a clerk at bay in the kitchen area and took money from the cash register. They tried to open the shop safe with the pickax, but they were unsuccessful and left the pickax behind, Lt. Jack Francisco said.

The men were described as white, both about 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. They were wearing black ski masks, black jeans and black shirts. One wore black boots, while the other wore black and brown boots, Lt. Francisco said.

Child seats will be inspected

The North Augusta Department of Public Safety is conducting a free child passenger safety seat clinic today, said department spokesman Lt. Tim Pierson.

The clinic will be from 10 a.m. until noon at Edgewood Square on Edgefield Road by Wal-Mart. Officials will offer free child-safety seat inspection, Lt. Pierson said.

Food bank urges awareness

The South Carolina Food Bank Association has launched a new campaign designed to encourage those in need of food assistance to contact a food pantry.

A network of more than 1,000 church-run emergency pantries is in operation throughout the state.

"We want everyone in the state to know that great quantities of privately donated foods and products donated by the United States Department of Agriculture for assistance to the needy are readily available and the food banks are constantly adding to their inventories," said Mike Firmin, president of the South Carolina Food Bank Association.

Bacteria find prompts recall

MANITOWOC - Northern Wisconsin Produce Co. has recalled a cheese product, some of it from Georgia and South Carolina, after state officials found a supplier's cheese could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Manitowoc-based company said Monday it had not received any reports of illnesses associated with the cheese, but the bacterium can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly and others with weak immune systems.

The company has recalled 9-ounce to 15-ounce packages of Wisconsin Famous Brand Hoop Cheddar sold from Sept. 1 to Nov. 12 in retail stores in Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida. Customers may return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Armed man robs gas station

Columbia County authorities are looking for a man in connection with a Monday morning armed robbery in Martinez.

At about 2:57 a.m. Monday, a man entered the Exxon Pantry Store on South Belair Road with a silver handgun demanding money, according to a sheriff's office incident report.

The store clerk gave the man cash. The man then demanded the money from the safe, but he ran from the store when the clerk said he didn't have access to that money. Anyone with information is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 541-2800.

Three charged in home invasion

AIKEN - Three men were charged Monday with an attempted home invasion in Aiken, after they allegedly tried to kick in the back door of an elderly woman's home.

Joshua Emmanual Jenkins, 20, and Derrick Lamar Black, 19, both of the 1500 block of North Silverton Street, Jackson; and Kima Sharell Ivey, 20, of Charlotte, N.C., were each charged with one count of attempted burglary.

Shortly before midnight Sunday, the woman heard a knock on the door of her Brookhaven Drive residence, according to Lt. Michael Frank of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. She called 911 and then heard wood cracking as the suspects allegedly kicked her back door. The men then ran to a waiting car, Lt. Frank said. The victim was not injured.

Early Monday morning, a police officer with New Ellenton Police Department spotted a car leaving the area around Brookhaven Drive. The men were stopped and subsequently arrested, Lt. Frank said.

The three suspects were being held at the Aiken County Detention Center on Monday night.


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