Originally created 01/26/01

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Man remains jailed in twins' beating

An Augusta man accused of beating his 4-year-old twin stepchildren because they wet the bed remains in the Richmond County jail with no bond, said a Richmond County Sheriff's Office major.

Terence Lamont Davis, 24, of the 1800 block of Fayetteville Drive, was arrested Sunday night and charged with two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree after the children's mother, Tawayne Lacindy Davis, came home and found them injured. She called the sheriff's office, and a deputy accompanied her and the children to University Hospital, where the children were treated for welts and bruises from a belt and a cord, according to Maj. Ken Autry.

The Department of Family and Children's Services released the twins, a boy and a girl who turned 4 in September, to the custody of their mother, Maj. Autry said.

Under Georgia law, a judge must set bond for people charged with cruelty to children in the first degree. A bond hearing has not yet been scheduled for Mr. Davis, according to the district attorney's office.

AUGUSTA
Board denies parole in murders

An Augusta man imprisoned for two murders won't be paroled early, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles decided recently.

In a news release issued Thursday, the board announced it had denied parole to Antonio Myron Campbell, 38, who is serving two life sentences for the Nov. 27, 1990, execution-style murder of 25-year-old Marcus L. Patterson, and the Sept. 24, 1991, murder of 16-year-old Mack Bauknight, shot because of the T-shirt he was wearing.

Richmond County Superior Court juries convicted Mr. Campbell in separate trials in 1991 and 1993.

Parole board Chairman Walter Ray reported that parole was denied to Mr. Campbell in connection with Mr. Patterson's slaying because of the nature and circumstances of the crime.

"This was an execution-style killing for money. (Mr.) Campbell is a hardened criminal and will not receive the privilege of an early release from this board," he stated.

Georgia law mandates that the board must review life-sentence cases at specific intervals, although the board is not required to grant parole.

Mr. Campbell's next date for consideration will be in October 2008.

COLUMBIA COUNTY
Teen charged in rock-throwing

A 13-year-old Harlem Middle School pupil was arrested Thursday morning at a school bus stop after witnesses said he threw a rock through one of the bus windows.

The pupil, whose name was not released because of his age, was charged with reckless conduct criminal damage to property in the first degree - a felony, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.

Capt. Morris said the incident occurred at 7:30 a.m. at a bus stop at Otis Way and Newman Road in Harlem. He said about a dozen pupils were standing at the bus stop when the pupil was seen throwing the rock through a rear window as the bus approached.

There were about 30 pupils on the bus at the time. None was seriously injured or taken to the hospital but complaints were examined by ambulance workers. Capt. Morris said the juvenile was taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center and is awaiting a detention hearing.

AUGUSTA
Board reschedules tax meeting

The Augusta Commission has rescheduled its work session to prioritize the special purpose local option sales tax project list.

The new work session will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the eighth-floor commission chamber of the city municipal building. The original work session planned for today has been canceled.

AUGUSTA
`Love shop' probation proposed

The public services committee of the Augusta Commission is expected to receive a recommendation from City Attorney Jim Wall to place Lucy's Love Shop on probation for 12 months after an agreement was reached in State Court between the lingerie shop and the solicitor's office.

The status of the lingerie and novelty store came before commissioners last fall after Richmond County sheriff's deputies requested a business-license revocation for owner Michelle Ballington for distributing obscene material.

In November, attorneys on both sides reached an agreement in state court that merchandise designed to stimulate the human genitalia would be removed from the Washington Road store, Mr. Wall said.

"As a result of the agreement reached with the solicitor's office, we agreed to recommend probation, as opposed to a revocation of the business license," he said.

The case has been placed on the State Court's dead docket, meaning it has been classified inactive.

AIKEN COUNTY
Robber's trail leads to arrest

AIKEN - An Aiken man charged with robbing a convenience store at gunpoint Wednesday night is in the county jail after police say they caught him with the loot just two hours after the crime was committed.

Sheriff's deputies said Octavius Lamont Jones, 20, robbed the Golden Pantry on Trolley Line Road shortly after 10 p.m. A cashier said a man walked into the store armed with a chrome-plated pistol and demanded money from the register.

He then fled on foot, Sgt. George Burgess said.

Bloodhounds from the Aiken Department of Public Safety led deputies to Hampton Avenue, not far from the business. Officers recovered most of the money, Sgt. Burgess said.

Mr. Jones, of Congress Drive, is charged with robbery, possessing a firearm while committing a violent crime, and pointing and presenting a firearm.

GEORGIA
Pair, ex-councilman fatally shot

ROCKMART - A former Rockmart city councilman and two other people were found dead their northwest Georgia home, victims of what investigators called a double homicide-suicide.

Police were called to the home of former Councilman Nathan "Yank" Schmeck, 77, on Wednesday morning. They found the bodies of Mr. Schmeck, Trenia Hicks, 37, and her husband, Julian Hicks, 38, all of whom lived in the house.

Mr. Hicks' mother, Mildred Hicks, was Mr. Schmeck's common-law wife, police said.

Investigators believe Mr. Hicks shot his wife and Mr. Schmeck before turning the gun on himself in front of his mother, said Larry Chubb, Rockmart police chief. Ms. Hicks was not injured.

Julian and Trenia Hicks had two young children.

"It seems kind of sad that all three had to go at the same time," said a neighbor, Elton Williams. "There's just some things I don't understand."

HARLEM
Residents told of higher bills

Harlem residents will see an increase in their water and sewer bills as early as March.

In a Thursday night town hall meeting, city officials braced residents for a substantial increase in their bills because of ongoing water and sewer projects.

"These projects are not optional," Mayor John Bentley said. "We have to upgrade our systems."

Harlem is working to upgrade both the water and the sewer systems. The $3.2 million combined price tag is forcing the city to raise rates. The average customer - a household that uses on average of 5,000 gallons a month - should expect to see roughly a $12 to $15 increase on their bill, city officials said.

NORTH AUGUSTA
Panel OKs development plan

The third time around was a charm for developers of North Augusta's 1,500-acre Blanchard Park.

The North Augusta Planning Commission voted Thursday night to approve a development plan for the land submitted by Triple Crown Properties LLC, of Ninety-Six, S.C. It was the third time the developers had submitted the plan.

On two previous visits before the commission, nearby residents of the property and planning commission members voiced concerns about increased traffic the development could create, industrial development and buffer zones between industry and residential areas.

Concerned residents met changes Triple Crown made with open arms, according to Skip Grkovic, North Augusta director of Economic and Community Development.

The plan will go before the city council next month. If it is approved, development of the property can begin.

Triple Crown plans to develop the land, northeast of the city's downtown, during the next 20 years. It will include an 18-hole golf course, about 4,500 homes - ranging in price from $200,000 up to $1 million - and more than 250 acres of light industrial and commercial use.