Originally created 02/05/01

Across the area

Man, woman killed in airplane crash

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - Two people were killed in a small plane crash Sunday afternoon near Hilton Head Island, authorities said.

Beaufort County Coroner Curt Copeland identified the couple as Frank Johnson, 54, and Catherine Johnson, of Medford Lakes, N.J. Mr. Copeland did not have an age for Mrs. Johnson.

Sheriff's Capt. Neil Baxley said the plane went down about nine miles west of Hilton Head Island near South Carolina Highway 170. The highway was closed for several hours after the accident, and the crash briefly disrupted power in Bluffton, Sun City and Rose Hill.

A spokesman from the Federal Aviation Administration said the Mooney single-engine plane went down about 1:20 p.m.

Beaufort County spokesman Tim Bennett said the bodies were thrown from the aircraft. He said the plane, which was headed from Savannah to New Jersey, clipped a power line and did a nose dive 150 feet into the ground. The impact made a hole about 4 feet deep and 8 feet wide, he said.

The plane then skidded across the highway and broke apart in the woods, Mr. Bennett said. An area about 200 yards long was filled with debris from the plane, he said.

No cars on the highway were hit. The cause of the crash is unclear. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to begin investigating today.

Man robs Kroger with gun, flees

A man with a large-caliber handgun Sunday robbed the Kroger supermarket at 2801 Washington Road.

About 9 p.m., the man approached a checkout line with three items, according to witnesses at the scene. As a cashier began to scan the items, the man pulled out the handgun and demanded money from the register.

Witnesses said the man waved the gun about, pointing it at both the cashier and a bagger.

"She was about to ring him up, he asked for the till and ran out the door," a witness said. The incident took no more than three minutes.

A bystander in the parking lot saw the robber leave in a gray Toyota 4Runner, according to Richmond County Sheriff's Investigator Richard Roundtree. The bystander followed the robber east on Washington Road until Berckmans Road, Investigator Roundtree said.

Authorities had the robber's tag number and were pursuing him late Sunday.

Investigator Roundtree described the robber as black, about 6 feet tall and 40 to 50 years old. He word a blue jacket and a a blue-and-white bandana on his head beneath a blue baseball hat, witnesses said.

Woman kills intruder in home

CHARLESTON - A man who burglarized an apartment was shot to death after the resident found him hiding under a bed in the home, authorities say.

Jerome Ivory, 23, of North Charleston, died of a gunshot wound to the head, Charleston County Deputy Coroner Rae Wooten said.

Police arrived early Saturday morning after Cherese Belin and Shermaine D. Whitley found an air conditioner removed from a window and money and jewelry missing from a bedroom in their apartment.

Investigators searched the home but found no one, Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis said.

Ms. Whitley later found Mr. Ivory hiding under a bed. He opened fire and shot her in the left leg. Ms. Whitley returned fire, shooting Mr. Ivory twice in the face, according to police reports.

He died at Medical University Hospital in Charleston. No criminal charges will be filed against Ms. Whitley, Mr. Francis said.

Dean refuses university position

COLUMBIA - A sought-after candidate to head an academic department at the University of South Carolina has refused the offer because of the state's proposed budget cuts for higher education, school officials said.

University of Nebraska Journalism School Dean Will Norton last week wrote a letter to Provost Jerry Odom, saying he won't accept a similar position at South Carolina. Mr. Norton said financial pressures placed on the university by Gov. Jim Hodges and the General Assembly kept him away.

"It is clear that the university is under much more severe budget constraints than I had contemplated as recently as a week ago. Despite many personal reasons for wanting to take the position, I will not be able to accept your kind offer," Mr. Norton wrote.

Police say man asked to be shot

BEAUFORT - Randolph Flemming handed his fiancee a rifle and told her to shoot him during a dispute, police said.

Mr. Flemming, 39, was shot in the thigh, neck and hand by Carol Davis around 2:30 a.m. Friday, shortly after telling her to shoot him with a .22-caliber rifle, police said.

Ms. Davis, 49, denies shooting her fiance, but a 6-year-old child in the house witnessed the incident, police said.

Mr. Flemming told police he was willing to forgive Ms. Davis and forget the whole incident if Ms. Davis would leave their home, police said. Officers have charged her with assault and battery with intent to kill.


Today: North Augusta City Council, 7 p.m., Municipal Building, Buena Vista Avenue

Edgefield Town Council, 7 p.m., Town Hall, Main Street

Barnwell City Council, 6:30 p.m., City Hall, Burr Street.

Tuesday: Columbia County Commission, 6:30 p.m., Appling Courthouse

Delineation of Responsibilities subcommittee of the Augusta Commission, 1 p.m., Room 803, municipal building, 530 Greene St.

Augusta Commission, 3 p.m., eighth-floor commission chambers, municipal building, 530 Greene St.

Thursday: Citizen Budget Review Committee of the Augusta Commission, 4:30 p.m., eighth-floor commission chambers, municipal building, 530 Greene St.

Aiken County Council, 7 p.m., County Council Annex, Richland Avenue

Edgefield County Council, 6 p.m., County Building, Jeter Street

Barnwell County Council, 7 p.m., Agriculture Building, Courthouse Circle

McCormick Town Council, 7 p.m., Town Hall, Augusta Street

Edgefield County Planning Commission, 7 p.m., County Building, Jeter Street

Trenton Town Council, 6 p.m., Town Hall, Church Street


The following is a list of locations for the Shepeard Community Blood Center in the area for this week:

Today: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center, SRP Federal Credit Union Building, 1920 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., St. Joseph Hospital, 2260 Wrightsboro Road

Tuesday: 8 to 10 a.m., Olin Chemical, 2402 Doug Bernard Parkway; 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Procter & Gamble, 3464 Old Savannah Road; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., May Park Sickle Cell Drive, 622 Fourth St.

Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kimberly-Clark, 1420 Sand Bar Ferry Road, Beech Island; 5 to 8 p.m., Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3185 Wheeler Road; 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., Harlem Community Blood Drive, 115 Milledgeville Road

Thursday: 2 to 7 p.m., Washington Primary School Gym, Washington, Ga.; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center, SRP Federal Credit Union Building, 1920 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 1 to 5 p.m., Quebecor, 4301 Evans to Lock Road

Friday: 1 to 5 p.m., The Augusta Chronicle, 725 Broad St.; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center, SRP Federal Credit Union Building, Aiken

Sunday: 8 a.m. to noon, US Army Reserves 319th Transportation, 3311 Wrightsboro Road; 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 402 Aumond Road; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Marvin United Methodist Church, 4400 Wheeler Road

American Red Cross Blood Services will hold a drive from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at McCormick EMS Center, 212 Augusta St., McCormick, S.C.; 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church on Hill Street in Warrenton; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Saturn of Augusta, 1770 Gordon Highway


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