Originally created 06/28/01

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Police seek leads in man's shooting

Richmond County sheriff's investigators weren't given much to go on in the shooting of a man in the 900 block of Gordon Street early Wednesday. The victim was shot in each leg - in the knee in one, in the thigh in the other.

According to investigators, he was drunk at the time and couldn't tell police what happened. Benjamin Yancey, 50, was listed in fair condition Wednesday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

The shooting occurred about 4:45 a.m., a police report said. Mr. Yancey was at a friend's house, and the friend left to buy more beer. When the friend returned he found Mr. Yancey lying on the porch and dragged him inside, Maj. Ken Autry said.

Deputies arrived to find the victim in the living room bleeding, the report said.

RICHMOND COUNTY
Teen arrested in foot incident

A 17-year-old T.W. Josey High School student has been charged with public indecency and simple battery in an apparent foot fetish incident at Southgate Shopping Center.

Richmond County Sheriff's Investigator Jamey Kitchens said a 22-year-old woman was approached by Ray Darnell Holden while walking along the sidewalk about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. The teen told her he made casts of women's feet and sold them at a flea market. He said he liked her feet and showed her cash, the investigator said.

They sat on a bench and he took off her shoes and socks. She told police that she became distracted by activity in the parking lot and when she looked back at him he had exposed himself and was touching her foot with his genitals, Investigator Kitchens said.

She screamed, and he fled.

About 5:15 p.m. she returned to the shopping center with her husband, and they saw the man in the parking lot. They flagged down a deputy from the Southgate substation, who arrested Mr. Holden, the investigator said.

AIKEN COUNTY
Weekend fireworks display set

The Fireworks 2001 Extravaganza will be held Saturday at the Aiken Jaycees Fairgrounds on U.S. Highway 1 at May Royal Road.

Gates will open for the daylong festival at 10 a.m. There will be crafts, rides for the children, live music, food and refreshments.

The fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 643-9001.

GEORGIA
Tree-planting honors columnist

ATLANTA - A nonprofit organization has planted 30 trees along a winding Atlanta street in honor of the late writer Celestine Sibley.

Trees Atlanta used donations made in Ms. Sibley's memory to plant the trees along Ponce de Leon Avenue. The group, which was founded in October 2000, says its mission is "protect, preserve and beautify" the metropolitan area by planting trees.

Ms. Sibley, a versatile journalist and author who wrote an estimated 10,000 columns during her 58-year career with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, died in August 1999 of cancer.

Ms. Sibley named Trees Atlanta as one of two beneficiaries of her estate.

"Ponce de Leon Avenue, a street that is never the same from moment to moment, was chosen as just the right site for Celestine's trees," said Marcia Bansley, the organization's executive director.

The trees include hedge maples, nutgall oaks and trident maples. Some are 15 to 20 feet tall.

GEORGIA
Tainted water found near homes

SYLVESTER - Thirty residents in a subdivision west of Sylvester are drinking bottled water after a contaminant was detected in the ground water.

Coliform, a bacterium found in plants and animals that can cause nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea, was recently discovered in the Pine Knoll subdivision's water supply, said Stacy Butler, an environmentalist for the Worth County Health Department.

Gayle Brantley, who has lived in the area for two years, said there were problems with the chlorine that was put in to purify the water.

"When you make ice cubes, they smell like chlorine," he said. "When you take a shower you have to wait a few minutes for the chlorine to get out of the water. But I know that they are trying to fix this as fast as they can."

Mr. Brantley said his family has been buying bottled water and using water provided by Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany. Scott Blue, Worth County Emergency Management agency director, said the on-site water won't be suitable for drinking for another three weeks.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Bush, Cheney to back Graham

COLUMBIA - President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney plan to campaign in South Carolina for Rep. Lindsey Graham's Senate race.

"I expect the president, the vice president and other prominent people to appear on my behalf throughout the campaign cycle," Mr. Graham told The (Columbia) State for a story Wednesday. He did not say when the visits would be.

College of Charleston President Alex Sanders is expected to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Mr. Graham. The seat currently is held by 98-year-old U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, who said he will retire after his term ends in 2003.

Mr. Graham said appearances by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney would help bolster his fund-raising efforts. The Seneca Republican expects to raise at least $1 million by the end of June and hopes to have at least $6 million to spend on the race.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Crossing rated most dangerous

COLUMBIA - A Greenville intersection has been rated the most dangerous in South Carolina by State Farm Insurance.

The intersection of Pelham Road and Hudson Road/Patewood Drive was rated the most dangerous intersection in the state, the insurance company said Wednesday.

The company released a list of three dangerous intersections in the state, based on the number of claims by policyholders in 1999 and 2000. The company says it also considered how many accidents and injuries took place and how severe the crashes were.

The intersection of state Highways 7 and 61 in Charleston ranked second. The intersection of Ladson Road and Dorchester Road in Summerville was third.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Area is healing after fuel spill

GREENVILLE - Five years after a million gallons of diesel fuel oil spilled into the Reedy River, an environmentalist says the river is well on its way to getting back to normal, though it may take 10 to 15 years.

The oil spill happened June 26, 1996, after a sudden increase in pressure broke through a weak point in the pipeline as it crossed the river near Simpsonville.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the spill, which killed 35,000 fish, was caused by worker fatigue, inadequate training and a poor response by the pipe's owner, Colonial Pipeline.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Man pleads guilty in fatality

CHARLESTON - A Dorchester County man pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter after the first day of testimony in his murder trial.

Patrick Pringle, 28, of Ridgeville, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the January 2000 shooting death of Robert Sentell Carter, 19, also of Ridgeville, Deputy Solicitor Robbie Robbins said.

On the night of Mr. Carter's death, Mr. Pringle, Mr. Carter, Greg President of Summerville, Tomas Samuel of Ridgeville and Scheede Smith of Ridgeville carried weapons to purchase drugs, Mr. Robbins said.

While at the Harleyville house, one of the men went inside to buy the drugs. A shot was fired outside, and the men in the house fled. During the commotion, Mr. Pringle fired the assault rifle, killing Mr. Carter, Mr. Robbins said.