Originally created 10/07/01

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Driver charged in fatal wreck

AIKEN -A 32-year-old Aiken man was charged with felony driving under the influence after his car ran off the road early Saturday, hitting a tree and killing his passenger, police said.

Julius Oliver Blocker was driving north on Silver Bluff Road near Wexford subdivision about 3:15 a.m. when he lost control of the car and struck the tree, according to Lance Cpl. R.K. Hughes, of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Mr. Blocker was thrown from the car but was not injured. He dragged Graniteville resident Edwin Lamar Jackson, 32, out of the car after the accident, Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said.

Mr. Blocker was taken to the Aiken County Detention Center.

His bond was not immediately known.

The accident is under investigation.

Woman shoots girl, police say

WAGENER - A Wagener woman accidentally shot her 11-year-old granddaughter Saturday morning while trying to kill a snake that had crawled into her chicken coop, police said.

Mary Carver, 58, had fired several shots at the snake when one of the bullets from her .22-caliber handgun pierced the coop wall and hit Krysten H. Carver in the head, said Lt. Michael Frank, a spokesman for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

The girl was flown by helicopter to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and was in surgery Saturday afternoon, Lt. Frank said. On Saturday night, MCG spokesman Steven Padgett would not say whether the girl was a patient at the hospital.

The shooting occurred about 11:40 a.m. in the 100 block of J.B. Swartz Road.

"It is my understanding from the investigators the grandmother and granddaughter had gone into the house to get the gun and came back outside to take care of the problem. I don't know what happened after that," Lt. Frank said.

Authorities capture two escaped inmates

COLUMBIA - Two women who escaped from a minimum-security prison Saturday morning were captured about 12 hours later.

Rebecca Bales, 26, and Lorie Cascio, 34, were found by Lexington County sheriff's deputies at a West Columbia motel about 9 p.m., Corrections Department spokeswoman Cheryl Bates-Lee said.

The women had last been seen at the State Park Correctional Institution dumping trash at 5:50 a.m. They were reported missing after a 7:30 a.m. count.

Ms. Bales is serving a four-year sentence on fraud and insufficient funds charges. Ms. Cascio is serving a 15-year sentence for first-degree burglary charges.

The State Park Correctional Institution serves as a pre-release center for minimum-security, nonviolent inmates who are within 36 months of release. The institution also houses inmates with a relatively short sentences, Ms. Bates-Lee said.

The women have been taken to Women's Correctional Institution, she said.

Ceremony honors veterans of three wars

Members of the Army Signal Corps Officer Candidate School Association held a memorial service Saturday, honoring Signal Corps soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

The Signal Corps OCS program ran from September 1941 to February 1968.

The 1 p.m. ceremony included a 21-gun salute, a bugler playing taps and performances by the Fort Gordon Army band.

Wreaths were placed at monuments commemorating each war. The Fort Gordon ceremonial detachment helped lead the service held at Freedom Park.

Common-law wife charged in stabbing

AIKEN - An Aiken woman who told police she was "tired of getting beat on" stabbed her common-law husband in the chest early Friday with a 6-inch knife, a police report said.

Barbara Jean Taylor, 51, was arrested and charged with assault and battery with intent to kill after police found 43-year-old Lorenzo Goodwin about 12:10 a.m. at a pay phone near the couple's home in the 100 block of Hampton Avenue.

He was dressed only in his underwear and was bleeding, according to a report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Ms. Taylor said there had been abuse Friday but that Mr. Goodwin had attacked her and she had "had enough," the report stated.

Ms. Taylor was taken to the Aiken County Detention Center and released on her own recognizance Friday.

Mr. Goodwin was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and released.

Oliver Hardy Festival attracts thousands

HARLEM - Thousands filled downtown Harlem on Saturday to honor a native son.

The 13th annual Oliver Hardy Festival got off to a cloudy start, but scattered showers didn't stop the crowd from gathering.

"You meet lots of different people," said Sheri Barnes, who lives in Edgefield, S.C. "A little drizzle doesn't bother me."

This year's festival had something for everyone.

After a morning parade, some people made their way to arts and crafts and food booths, while others danced to live music.

History buffs gathered in front of City Hall to listen to Laurel and Hardy look-alikes give a lesson on the comedic film duo.

One fact given was that Laurel and Hardy have appeared on postage stamps in 13 countries.

For movie lovers, Babe's Bijou showed reel-to-reel Laurel and Hardy movies, and the Oliver Hardy Museum was opened.

"They have a wealth of information that has been handed down from generation to generation," said Dennis Moriarty, the Laurel half of a look-alike pair.

Water main bursts, leaving houses dry

Columbia County Water Works employees were repairing a hole in a water main under Oakley Pirkle Road in Martinez late Saturday.

The water main burst about 3 a.m., leaving several subdivisions in the area without water.

What caused the break was not known, but workers were able to isolate the damaged area near Westmont Elementary School and restore water service to some of the residences.

The line runs alongside Oakley Pirkle, and traffic was not affected by the work, a Columbia County Water Works employee said.

The work was to be completed by Saturday night.

Phone lines, alarm found vandalized

Columbia County sheriff's officers are investigating incidents of vandalism at two Martinez businesses within walking distance of each other.

The businesses reported phone lines being cut, and one was broken into, according to incident reports.

Danny Hardy Oscar, of the 4000 block of Augusta Highway, reported that the phones outside of Zaxby's, at 3909 Washington Road, were cut. Mr. Oscar is an employee of Zaxby's.

The incident occurred sometime Sept. 26.

A day earlier, Michael D. Polk, of Graniteville, S.C., reported that he found the alarm system key pad torn off at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 213 Bobby Jones Expressway.

Mr. Polk, who works for Enterprise, also said that phones lines had been cut and the power meter had been removed.

According to the report, there was evidence that the building had been entered. Police said nothing was reported to be missing from either business.

Churches will hold blood drives today

Shepeard Community Blood Center will have blood drives at two area churches today.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the bloodmobile will be at Marvin United Methodist Church, 4400 Wheeler Road, Martinez. From 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a drive will be at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2724 Whiskey Road, Aiken.


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