Originally created 09/04/01

Across the area



AIKEN COUNTY
Roommate charged in shooting death

WAGENER - A Wagener man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his roommate, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said.

Christopher A. Moore, 32, of the 1500 block of Wagener Trail Road, was arrested Sunday in connection with the death of Richard N. Williams, 20, of the same address, said Lt. Michael Frank.

At 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Mr. Williams was shot twice in the back of the head with a rifle, Lt. Frank said. The shooting took place in the living room of the home, he said.

Deputies arrested Mr. Moore at the scene. He was being held Monday at the Aiken County Detention Center.

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, Lt. Frank said.

GEORGIA
Suspect found dead in his cell

GRIFFIN - A Griffin man died while in police custody early Sunday, prompting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the death.

Eugene Coggins, 46, was found dead in a Spalding County jail cell nearly two hours after he had been arrested, police said.

Griffin police spokeswoman Felita Williams said the cause of death had not been determined. Mr. Coggins was found alone in the cell.

Police had arrested Mr. Coggins about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after responding to a domestic disturbance call. He appeared to be drunk and was trying to kick in the door when the resident called 911, according to authorities.

Police used pepper spray when Mr. Coggan began struggling with an officer, Ms. Williams said. She said he was put in a jail cell by himself because he continued to be combative.

It is unclear when an autopsy will be performed, Ms. Williams said.

GEORGIA
Shootings put diner on the spot

KINGSTON - Two people were shot early Sunday outside a barbecue restaurant, leading local officials to consider forcing the restaurant to close late at night.

Bobby Black and Latonia King, both of Rome, were shot about 2 a.m. at Sanders Barbecue and Tavern. Police said the gunman, who has not been caught, was aiming for someone else.

Ms. King was in intensive care at Emory Cartersville Medical Center on Sunday night. Mr. Black was treated and released.

Police Chief Mark Borgschulze said the police department has received calls about the restaurant.

"Basically, it's a crowding problem and a parking problem," he told The Cartersville Tribune-News. There were 65 to 70 people at the restaurant when the shooting happened.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Lightning kills man on beach

SULLIVANS ISLAND - A man died Sunday after being struck by lightning as he stood on the beach with his family.

Greg McCarty, 38, of Summerville, was hit on the right side of his head, said Judy Koelpin, Charleston County deputy coroner.

Mr. McCarty was standing by his two children and girlfriend, who were underneath a beach umbrella waiting out a thunderstorm, when he was hit, police said.

Rescue workers tried for 30 minutes to revive Mr. McCarty before taking him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Former councilman sues town

HOLLYWOOD - A former councilman is suing the town in an effort to block a mobile home park in his neighborhood.

Jackie Seward accused Hollywood of violating procedures when it approved a zoning change to allow the location of 41 mobile homes on a nine-acre tract.

Mr. Seward is seeking an injunction to stop the development and wants another vote on the zoning change. The council had approved the change on a 4-3 vote.

He alleges there was no notice of the change and residents were not given the chance to speak.

Hollywood town attorney Steve Steinert denies the charges, saying, "The complainants are just confused."

GEORGIA
Whites increase at black colleges

FORT VALLEY - Georgia's historically black public colleges have always had a spattering of white students, but that has increased in recent years as more youngsters choose to attend school close to home.

More than 500 white students attend Fort Valley State, Savannah State and Albany State. Although most are still nontraditional students, more and more are traditional college age.

Still, many white students don't take part in school activities. Debbie Faccento, the director of minority recruitment at Fort Valley State University, says it takes time to change racial attitudes, especially in a town such as Fort Valley, where the school is on the wrong side of the tracks.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Environmentalists oppose roads

GREENVILLE - Some South Carolina environmentalists are trying to keep the Sumter National Forest roadless, in accordance with a plan by the Clinton administration.

"We said it before, and we're going to say it again: Stop building roads in our remaining wildlife areas," said Kathy McDeed, South Carolina Forest Watch's director.

A U.S. Forest Service policy designed to protect 58.5 million acres of national forests, including about 6,000 acres of the Sumter National Forest, was put on hold earlier this year by the Bush administration.

The timber industry filed a lawsuit against the agency, stalling the Clinton-backed plan. President Bush wants local agencies to develop their own plans and decide whether to build roads for firefighting access and outdoorsman.

A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at the Forest Service office in Atlanta. A decision isn't expected until sometime next year.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Hispanics take construction jobs

COLUMBIA - More construction companies are hiring Hispanic workers who bring a strong work ethic and fill voids in the business, builders say.

In less than five years, the number of Hispanics employed in residential construction has grown from a handful to about 15 percent of 2,700 people employed, according to builders' estimates.

The industry has struggled to find enough help to keep up with consumer demand.

"The Latin population is moving our way, and there's plenty of work for them," said Dan Shumaker, the president of Shumaker Builders.

The presence of Hispanics in the work force is so great that the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia is sponsoring Spanish classes for members.

About two-thirds of Hispanics are from Mexico.