Originally created 04/07/01

Across the area



NORTH AUGUSTA
Knife-wielding man rapes woman, flees

A North Augusta woman was raped at her Yardley Drive residence early Friday morning, according to a North Augusta Public Safety Department report.

The 21-year-old woman told police a man knocked on her door between 1:45 and 2 a.m. She said she asked who was there and thought she knew the man, so she opened the door. He entered, grabbed her from behind, put a knife to her neck and raped her, the report stated.

The man kept asking for money. Before leaving, he tied her hands behind her back with an extension cord and then grabbed another item to tie her legs together, police said. He told her he would kill her if she moved, then left, according to the report.

The woman freed her legs and ran to her grandmother's house, where police were called. Bloodhounds from Aiken were taken to the crime scene, according to the report.

The woman could not describe her attacker or his clothing, other than to say a burgundy-and-white cloth covered his face.

Accident sends three to hospital

A three-vehicle crash at the intersection of Deans Bridge and Richmond Hill roads sent three people to the hospital and slowed traffic Friday evening.

Richmond County Sheriff's Deputy Jerry Howell said the wreck was caused when a 1976 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight driven by Eddie Williams, 60, of Augusta, tried a left turn from Richmond Hill Road onto Deans Bridge Road just before 8 p.m. Mr. Williams pulled into the path of two northbound vehicles: a 2000 Kia Sephia driven by Vaughn Anderson, 18, a Fort Gordon soldier; and a 1989 Toyota pickup truck driven by Richard Harsey, 25, of Augusta, the deputy said.

Both the Kia and the pickup hit the Oldsmobile. Mr. Anderson and a passenger in the Kia, Benton Chambers, 22, also a Fort Gordon soldier, were taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Deputy Howell said. Joe Osborne, 45, a passenger in the Oldsmobile, also was taken to the hospital.

Mr. Anderson was listed in fair condition late Friday; Mr. Chambers and Mr. Osborne were still being evaluated in the emergency room.

Mr. Williams was charged with failure to yield. The intersection was blocked for about 15 minutes, slowing traffic on Deans Bridge Road.

AUGUSTA
Woman charged with molestation

Police on Friday arrested an Augusta woman accused of molesting two boys.

After a five-day search, police arrested Stephanie Yolanda Green, 24, at her home in the 500 block of Richmond Hill Road, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Ms. Green is charged with two counts of child molestation after allegedly forcing her way into a mobile home and having sex with two boys, ages 15 and 12.

Ms. Green is a prostitute, according to Investigator JoAnn Nutter.

After she had sex with the children, Ms. Green took $20 the boys had out on a table to rent a video game. She told the boys the money was payment "for services rendered," police said.

AIKEN
Public housing project replaced

Aiken Housing Authority and the New Labor Housing and Economic Development Corp. are dedicating 14 new homes at Busch Crossing on Monday, replacing a former public housing project with residences that will be privately owned.

The new neighborhood is part of a program to create affordable housing in rundown areas. The new homes are being sold to first-time owners who qualify for low-interest loans from local banks. The city participates by helping obtain property, tearing down old buildings and landscaping, all on its workers' downtime so taxpayers don't foot the bills.

Built on the site of the former Busch Homes public housing, the project is the result of a partnership between the public sector and the private sector, said Reginal Barner, the housing authority's executive director and president of New Labor.

"We couldn't think of a better way for us to celebrate our 60th year of existence," he said.

The ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at 331 Sumter St., across from Smith Hazel Recreation Center. A housing fair will be held from noon to 4 p.m. The theme is "Making Home Ownership a Reality."

GEORGIA
Judge rejects electric-chair suit

ATLANTA - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by 40 Atlanta clergy members asking to declare the electric chair unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs asked Fulton County Superior Judge Isaac Jenrette to issue an injunction against further use of the chair.

The coalition plans to appeal Judge Jenrette's ruling.

"He has given us a ticket to the state Supreme Court, and we're delighted to have it," said Emmet Bondurant, lead counsel in the case. "If you're going to have a death penalty, you ought to be at least civilized in how you do it. Why would you want to burn bodies?"

The suit was filed last month.

Earlier this year two Fulton County Superior Court judges - Wendy Shoob and Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore - declared the chair unconstitutional. Judge Shoob also ordered all state executions stopped until Judge Jenrette could rule on the coalition's lawsuit.

Last year, the Legislature changed the method of execution to lethal injection for capital crimes committed after May 1, 2000. Electrocution is still the punishment for crimes committed before then.

GEORGIA
Boy wins state geography bee

MILLEDGEVILLE - A home-schooled eighth-grader from Barnesville won the state geography bee Friday by correctly identifying the site of last fall's OPEC summit.

Robert McRae, 14, knew that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries met in Caracas, Venezuela, the only OPEC member country in South America.

In addition to $100 and other prizes, he won the right to represent Georgia in the national geography bee next month in Washington. The national winner gets a $25,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

Robert, who has three brothers and one sister, is affiliated with the Central Georgia Christian Home Educators. His parents are Robert and Elisabeth McRae of Barnesville.

"I felt relieved winning," Robert said. "I really wanted to win because last year I came in second."

SOUTH CAROLINA
Bill would strengthen stalking law

COLUMBIA - A bill in the Senate would increase penalties for people convicted of stalking.

Under the proposed legislation, people convicted of stalking for a first offense would face up to three years in jail, rather than one. Conviction of stalking when a restraining order is in place would boost the penalty from a $2,000 fine or two years to a $2,000 fine or up to three years in jail.

A repeat conviction would call for a $5,000 fine or up to five years in jail, regardless of the date of the previous conviction. Currently, previous convictions older than seven years do not trigger the increased penalty.

SOUTH CAROLINA
City charges protesters for police

SPARTANBURG - Organizers of a Confederate flag rally are upset the city wants them to pay for police to handle crowd control.

The Council of Conservative Citizens is to hire off-duty police officers as part of their special-event permit to rally May 26 at the old Spartanburg County Courthouse.

But the group's leader, Stacy Clark, said he doesn't want to pay police officers because the department has refused to investigate threats made against group members.