Originally created 10/09/01

Across the area



3 more charged in Aiken slaying

AIKEN - Three people were arrested Monday and charged as accessories after the fact in the slaying of a 25-year-old Aiken County man.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office arrested Drema Hardy, 16; Eugene Kenneth Hosey, 39; and Matthew Strang, 20, all of Nautilus Road, sheriff's Sgt. George Burgess said.

Each faces one count of accessory after the fact to murder in the shooting of Jonathan Kitchings, of Pipeline Road. Mr. Kitchings was shot after an argument Sunday outside a home on Nautilus Road. Miss Hardy also is charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

Another man, Patrick Nelson Webber, of Horseshoe Bend, was wounded in the shooting, police said.

Police arrested 26-year-old Charles Barton, of the 100 block of Nautilus Road, on Sunday and charged him with murder, assault with intent to kill and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

All remained jailed Monday in the Aiken County Detention Center.

Police look for 2 accused in fire

Authorities are looking for two men they say set fire to a pile of lumber Monday night near an abandoned building on Walker Street.

Richmond County firefighters were called to the property in the 900 block of Walker Street about 9:04 p.m. Firefighters had the fire under control within a few minutes, Battalion Chief Ron Shirey said.

Chief Shirey said the nearby building had been abandoned for about 15 years and was in the process of being torn down. The smoke and flames from the fire could be seen from as far away as Riverwalk Augusta, witnesses said.

A bystander, Johnny Henderson, 53, of Atlanta, told investigators that two men on bicycles had started the fire by throwing a firecracker-type explosive onto the pile of lumber, said Lt. G.B. Hannan, a fire investigator with the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department.

Lt. Hannan said the names and descriptions of the men were being withheld pending an investigation.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the fire department at 821-2930.

Witness followed men after window thefts

Two Augusta men were charged with felony burglary in connection with the theft of windows from a Spruce Street home that is under construction, authorities said.

Alvin Wigfall, 46, of the 600 block of Moore Avenue, and Alex Jerome Collier, 49, of the 1100 block of Eighth Street, were arrested last weekend.

A witness told authorities she saw the two men taking three windows Saturday night from the home in the 800 block of Spruce Street, police said. The witness followed the men to a home on Parks Avenue and notified the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Richmond County names teacher award finalists

Richmond County school system announced its five finalists for the 2001-02 Teacher of the Year award Monday.

The finalists are Southside Elementary School's Vicky T. Bedell; McBean Elementary School's Laura Evans; A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School's Sally L. Gray; Langford Middle School's Brenda Lee Morse-Taylor; and Westside High School's Ann Beth Rutkowski.

A panel of four judges, all former educators, will observe and evaluate the teaching techniques and effectiveness of each finalist in the classroom.

The winner, along with all 58 nominees, will be announced at a Nov. 15 banquet at Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta.

Forum will address area racism concerns

An anti-racism forum will be today at the regular monthly meeting of Augustans Together at BL's Restaurant, 1117 Laney-Walker Blvd.

Kent Spruill, the chairman of the Augusta-Richmond Human Relations Commission, is expected to be joined by a number of college presidents, including Dr. William Bloodworth Jr. of Augusta State University and Terry Elam of Augusta Technical College in the luncheon forum open to the public.

A buffet will begin at 11:45 a.m., with the program expected to begin about 12:15 p.m.

School sends supplies to New York pupils

Jackson Middle School is sending school supplies to hundreds of New York elementary pupils displaced after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We collected school supplies for two elementary schools that had to evacuate," Principal Angela Burkhalter said. "They've been relocated to other schools and had to leave all their materials behind."

Through contact with an open school closest to ground zero, Ms. Burkhalter was able to coordinate the sending of six huge boxes of supplies collected since Sept. 13.

"They're boxed and ready to be picked up by UPS," she said. "We also found out that UPS, because of the tragedy, is shipping this for free."

Man shoots himself in ankle after drinks

AIKEN - A man who said he had had a few drinks earlier in the day shot himself in the left ankle Monday, a police report states.

Darrell L. Jackson, 39, of the 900 block of Cumbee Trail Road, was treated at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mr. Jackson was handling his .38-caliber handgun in his home about 1:45 p.m. when the gun went off, wounding him on the inside of his left ankle. The bullet did not exit his foot, an Aiken County Sheriff's Department report states.

The report said Mr. Jackson told police that he drank four beers earlier in the day.

Commission increases security precautions

Public safety officials will spend the next two weeks mapping out a new security plan to safeguard municipal building from possible terrorist attacks.

The decision to increase security at city buildings came Monday from the Augusta Commission's public safety committee after a closed-door meeting with officials from the sheriff's office, county marshal's office and 911.

Last week, commissioners OK'd $86,429 to buy new security equipment for the building at 530 Greene St. The new safety plan will include where to place new equipment and who will operate it.

In response to U.S. attacks on Afghanistan, the city placed sheriff's deputies outside the city building Monday, and a bomb-sniffing dog was stationed outside to screen packages being carried into the building.