Originally created 09/09/01

Across the area

Woman reports morning rape

A woman reported to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office that a man pulled her off of a street early Saturday morning into an abandoned house and raped her for several hours.

According to police reports, the woman was walking on 11th Street at the intersection of Greene Street shortly after midnight when a man approached her. She walked away and thought the man had left until she was grabbed by her throat on the 1000 block of D'Antignac Street.

Once in the abandoned house, the man raped her and threatened to kill her, the report stated. The woman said he hit her in the head several times and choked her until she passed out. Eventually, the woman was able to leave the house.

Families celebrate Summerville

Young families, singles and elderly residents came together Saturday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Summerville Neighborhood Association.

Sandra Blackwood, association president, said neighbors were invited by mail to attend the outdoor event held at historic Hickman Park.

"We brought everyone together to increase interest in volunteer activities at the park and to celebrate our anniversary," Ms. Blackwood said.

The association sponsors summer and after-school programs for children, and on Nov. 30 will have a Christmas tree celebration. About 1,800 homes are located in the Hill neighborhood that was founded about 200 years ago, the president said.

Pair of checkpoints pay off for police

Police made several arrests, including 19 for drunken driving, at two checkpoints set up Friday night in Richmond County, the Georgia State Patrol said late Saturday.

Police stopped cars on the Calhoun Expressway for about two hours Friday night and later conducted a license check on Berckmans Road.

Sgt. Donnie Smith, a spokesman for the highway patrol's Thomson post, said the checks resulted in four arrests for drivers under the influence at the Calhoun location.

Fifteen more DUI arrests were made in the Berckmans Road area.

Sgt. Smith said he credited a push for designated drivers for a low number of DUI incidents among fans leaving the Border Bash on Riverwalk Augusta. Border Bash brought about 15,000 people to downtown Augusta on Friday night.

"We really didn't have a problem with that particular crowd," he said.

Authorities also made six arrests for drivers with suspended licenses, a few drug possession arrests and one arrest for a man who was wanted by police in DeKalb County.

Accident critically injures man

A Harlem man was rushed to the hospital Saturday after being thrown from an all-terrain vehicle he was driving in Columbia County.

Corey Harps, 26, was on the shoulder of Wrightsboro Road and attempted to turn onto Hinton Wilson Road at about 6 p.m., said Capt. Steve Morris, a spokesman for the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

He said that when Mr. Harp made the turn from dirt onto asphalt, the tires of his four-wheeler caught. The vehicle rolled three times, Capt. Morris said, and Mr. Harps was thrown onto the pavement.

"Apparently it was significant impact," Capt. Morris said. "Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet."

He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition Saturday night.

Black Republicans hold summit

A contingent of black Georgia Republicans held a one-day statewide meeting at the Sheraton Augusta Hotel on Saturday.

The Georgia Republican Development Summit was held to enlighten blacks about choices beyond the Democratic party, spokeswoman Catherine Gilliard said.

"It's our chance to broaden the base of support for GOP candidates throughout the state," she said. "There's a new generation of blacks we need to educate on the benefits of a two-party system."

Mrs. Gilliard chairs the South DeKalb Republicans in Atlanta, the event sponsor. Her organization has about 70 members, including Augusta participants, she said.

Future statewide summits are planned for Macon, Savannah and Callaway Gardens in Warm Springs. For more information, e-mail gop43sdr@quixnet.net.

College recruitment fair set

Representatives from 150 colleges and universities will participate in the CSRA College Night at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center on Tuesday, giving thousands of students the chance to check out their schools.

The annual event allows students to talk to recruiters and meet with representatives from professional societies with information about engineering, management, chemical science and nuclear science, organizers said. Financial aid seminars also will be offered.

The event will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and is free. More than 4,600 students and their parents attended in 2000.

The college fair is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Westinghouse Savannah River Co., Bechtel Savannah River Inc., SRP Federal Credit Union and Augusta Area Independent Schools.

Man faces arson, theft charges

CALHOUN - Gordon County authorities have charged the nephew of a woman who was found dead with burning down her house and taking her car.

Angela Yvonne Fox, 48, was found in the Oostanaula River on Wednesday evening. Her nephew, Heath Hobgood, 25, was arrested two days earlier on a warrant from a battery incident in July.

Sheriff's Detective Mike Garigan said police discovered Ms. Fox's wrecked car abandoned early Monday. While investigating the wreck, police also discovered a fire that destroyed Ms. Fox's mobile home.

Mr. Hobgood was charged with arson and theft by taking, in addition to battery from the previous incident. He was being held Saturday at the Gordon County Jail without bond. Police are seeking a second suspect in the auto theft case, Detective Garigan said.

No charges have been filed in connection with Ms. Fox's death.

Ms. Fox's relatives told police they had not heard from her since Sunday evening. Investigators say they believe she was dead before her home was burned and her car was stolen.

Ms. Fox worked as an emergency room nurse at Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton for nearly 20 years.

Shaken child hospitalized

SAVANNAH - A 1-year-old boy was in critical condition Saturday at a Savannah hospital after authorities said his mother's boyfriend shook him.

DeShawn Anthony Mitchell Garza was taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center on Thursday evening after he had trouble breathing.

Doctors said the toddler, who is in the pediatric intensive care unit, suffered a closed head injury.

Patrick D. Sullivan, 23, was charged with cruelty to a child and obstruction by giving false information for not telling police his real name when they responded to the mobile home Mr. Sullivan shared with the boy's mother.

Police said Mr. Sullivan admitted shaking the boy.

Mr. Sullivan, who was wanted for violating terms of his probation, was being held without bond at the Chatham County Jail.

DeShawn's mother, Shirley Godfrey, 19, was not home during the incident.

Colorful migration continues

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - Sulphur butterflies are fluttering through the Lowcountry on their annual migration south.

The butterflies, whose distinct yellow wings give them their name, spend summers throughout the Southeast and sometimes as far north as the Upper Midwest.

They are on their way to southern Florida, where they will spend the winter. Most travel about 500 miles.

"It is not as great a migration as that of the monarchs who can go up to 2,000 miles, but it is impressive," said Jaret Daniels, who studies butterflies for Butterfly Kingdom.


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