Originally created 08/12/01

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Gun-wielding man robs restaurant

Police are looking for a man who robbed workers of a Chinese restaurant as they headed to their cars Friday night.

Shortly before 11 p.m., workers at the House of Cheung King of Wing, 2331 Milledgeville Road, were in the restaurant's parking lot when a man armed with a black semiautomatic handgun approached them, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Jamey Kitchens.

He said the man demanded money from the workers, snatched a cardboard box from them containing money and ran away.

The robber was described as black, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a slim build and wearing a white T-shirt and dark jeans. Investigator Kitchens said it did not appear that the man matched the description of other armed robbery suspects in the area.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1080.

AUGUSTA
Scalded child remains hospitalized

A toddler remained in serious condition Saturday at Doctors Hospital after suffering third-degree burns that police say came from being placed in a tub of scalding water the day before by her mother's boyfriend.

Anthony Maurice Harris is being held at the Richmond County jail on a charge of first-degree cruelty to children. Police said Ziyanna White, 2, suffered burns on both legs and buttocks, abrasions on her face and thigh consistent with a belt mark, and a bloody nose.

GEORGIA
Highway official resigns after DUI

ATLANTA - The deputy director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, a top official in the state's fight against driving under the influence, has resigned after being charged with DUI.

Robert Milliones also was charged with following too closely and failure to maintain his lane after a July 28 accident on Interstate 85 near Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.

Mr. Milliones, 54, who resigned Wednesday, had been second in command at the highway safety office for two years.

On July 1, the highway safety office launched an "Operation Zero Tolerance" anti-DUI campaign with a $1 million federal grant. The program includes roadblocks each weekend to catch drunken drivers.

Since then, more than 2,000 drivers in Georgia have been charged with driving under the influence.

GEORGIA
Fired Capitol janitor reinstated

ATLANTA - A Capitol janitor who was fired after a lawmaker complained he was reading papers from the legislator's office trash has been reinstated.

James Lowe said he just was reading old newspapers, but Sen. Rusty Paul, R-Atlanta, complained to Mr. Lowe's boss, who fired him Tuesday.

On Friday, Mr. Lowe learned his $15,000-a-year job would be restored.

Mr. Paul said he did not intend for Mr. Lowe to be fired and wrote a letter on his behalf.

"If this was the sole reason for his discharge," Mr. Paul wrote to Senate secretary Frank Eldridge, "then I request that the situation be reviewed with an eye toward his reinstatement."

Mr. Paul, a former state GOP chairman, said he had complained about Mr. Lowe because he was concerned about sensitive documents being leaked to the Democrats during a redistricting debate taking place in a special session of the Legislature.

GEORGIA
Jailer cited for undercover gaffe

COLUMBUS - A former Muscogee County Jail corrections officer pleaded guilty Friday to exposing an undercover police officer's identity during an illegal gambling investigation.

Michael Foster, 35, was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 200 hours of community service and given a $1,000 fine.

District Attorney Wayne Jernigan said an undercover officer was at the Oasis Amusement Center to investigate a possible illegal gambling operation. When the undercover officer asked the cashier to exchange his game coupon for cash, Mr. Foster told the woman the customer was actually a police officer, Mr. Jernigan said.

Mr. Foster, a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's department, lost his pension and his job and now works a sales job at a soft-drink distribution company.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Man sentenced in molestations

FLORENCE - A man who recruited 30 children to be a part of his paintball league has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after molesting two 9-year-old children during a 1999 camping trip.

A jury found Jimmy Donald Meggs Jr., 29, guilty Thursday after a three-day trial.

The victims said Mr. Meggs made them engage in sexual acts during a weekend camp-out at his paintball facility.

Witnesses said Mr. Meggs wanted the children to be part of a youth organization that would center on playing paintball but also prepare them to be in the military.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Student found with weapons

TIMMONSVILLE - A 15-year-old student took a bag with three kitchen knives and a .357-caliber pistol to Timmonsville High School, Police Chief Timothy Swinton says.

School officials were alerted to the weapons by the girl's classmates. She was charged with having a firearm on school property. Her name was not released because of her age.

The girl was planning to attack a boy who she had argued with earlier, Principal Wilson Addison said.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Police find explosives in home

GAFFNEY - Police searching a home here found more than a half-dozen hand grenades, blasting caps and other explosives.

Cherokee County deputies arrested the homeowner, Jimmy Lee Whiteside, and charged him with 13 counts of possession or manufacturing of a destructive device.

Investigators said they searched Mr. Whiteside's home Thursday after they got a tip there was a live hand grenade inside.

Officers found eight hand grenades, blasting caps, TNT, a detonation cord, artillery simulators and several guns, Sheriff Bill Blanton said.

A State Law Enforcement Division bomb squad had to remove some of the items.

Mr. Whiteside, 66, is a 32-year Army veteran.