Originally created 11/18/01

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Driver sought in hit-and-run

Police are looking for a driver who ran over a man near Broad Street late Friday night and then drove away.

Christopher Michael Hibbits, 24, of Bath, was in the middle of Sixth and Broad streets shortly before midnight, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office incident report.

A car with two people inside stopped at the intersection, and when Mr. Hibbits refused to move, witnesses told police, the vehicle bumped and knocked him down. The car drove over him and then left.

Mr. Hibbits was not seriously injured, although police say he had a tire mark across his chest.

The vehicle is described as a gray Chevrolet Lumina with the South Carolina license plate 162-GTA. Anyone with information about the vehicle may call the sheriff's office at 821-1080.

Augusta gives out locks to promote gun safety

Augusta kicked off its Gun Lock Giveaway on Saturday as part of a Firearm Safety program at the Wal-Mart Super Center on Deans Bridge Road.

"This is to keep our children from getting shot," Augusta Mayor Bob Young said as he handed out the locks.

The locks were provided to the city by Project HomeSafe. Augusta was one of six U.S. cities chosen for the program in September 1999, and 7,000 locks were distributed.

This time, the city was given 1,500. Project HomeSafe is funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation with a $5 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department.

Police arrest suspect in 12th Street robbery

Police have arrested a man wanted in the Tuesday robbery of two elderly men.

Carl Michael Miller, 38, of the 3000 block of Kindling Drive, was arrested by officers late Friday night. He is being held in the Richmond County jail on two counts of armed robbery, one count of burglary and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

He also is being held for Columbia County, where he has outstanding warrants.

Mr. Miller was wanted in connection with the crimes, which occurred in the 1500 block of 12th Street. About 4:15 p.m., a man armed with a silver-colored handgun entered the home of Willie Edward Butler, 69, and ordered him to give up his valuables, according to an incident report at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

The report states that Mr. Butler tried to stop the robber and was struck several times. The robber then went to the kitchen, found Cellus Smith, 75, and forced both men into the bedroom, where he robbed them of their wallets and rings, the report states.

A third victim, Earl Johnson, 42, was confronted and struck while the robber was trying to escape. He was not robbed.

Bond denied in shooting

An Augusta man accused of wounding a community activist in a drive-by shooting last week will be jailed while awaiting possible indictment and trial.

Superior Court Judge Robert L. Allgood denied bond Friday for Glenn W. Stephenson, 41, who faces two aggravated assault charges and a weapons violation in the Nov. 9 shooting of Frank Howard. Judge Allgood was the judge who granted Jacqueline Stephenson a restraining order against her estranged husband.

Mr. Howard, an activist with Blacks Against Black Crime and a former city police officer, was driving Ms. Stephenson home when, investigators say, Mr. Stephenson followed them, pulled next to Mr. Howard's vehicle and fired, shooting Mr. Howard in the chest.

Mr. Stephenson already was facing charges of aggravated stalking and making harassing telephone calls before the shooting, Assistant District Attorney Charles Weigle said.

Naval reservists prepare to train at water plant

The United States Naval Reserve Training Center will hold a military training exercise today at the Highland Avenue Water Treatment Plant Reservoir.

This training exercise will include military personnel entering and exiting the reservoir area behind the plant.

The exercise will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Convicted murderers are denied parole

Two Augusta murderers were denied parole by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles recently.

Shelton Lee Clifford, 27, and Lavetta Thompson, 31, are serving life sentences for murder. Both were convicted in Richmond County Superior Court.

Mr. Clifford shot Johnny Crowder, 36, to death July 10, 1993, when he fired on a group of people on Blum Street. Mr. Thompson shot David Butler, 38, to death April 20, 1994, after an argument on East Hancock Drive.

Georgia law mandates periodic review of life sentences. Mr. Clifford and Mr. Thompson will not be reviewed again until 2009.

Commission incumbent gets more support

The fourth-place finisher in the District 5 AugustaCommission race announced this week he plans to endorse the incumbent in a Nov. 27 runoff election between the top two vote-getting candidates.

Charles Grant, who received 13 percent of the District 5 vote Nov. 6, has asked his supporters to vote for Commissioner Henry Brigham in a runoff against challenger Bobby Hankerson.

During the first election, Mr. Brigham received 34 percent of the vote vs. Mr. Hankerson's 27 percent. Winning an elected seat requires 45 percent of the vote.

"Many of my supporters convinced me that Mr. Henry Brigham is the best choice for the 5th district runoff election," Mr. Grant said. "This is a challenging time for Richmond County, and I hope all of us will pull together to make local government the best it can be."

Thanksgiving dinner planned for needy

The United Community Society and Macedonia Baptist church will hold a Thanksgiving Day dinner to feed and clothe the needy.

The event will be at Lucy C. Laney High School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Donations of turkeys, hams, blankets, clothing, shoes and coats for all ages are being sought. These items can be dropped off at Macedonia Baptist, 1828 Wrightsboro Road, between 9 a.m. and noon Monday.

Winners announced in ornament contest

The Augusta Chronicle has announced the winners of its annual Christmas Ornament Contest. A panel of judges chose three winners in each category.

First-place winners will receive $100; second-place winners will receive $50, and third-place winners will receive $25. Winners in the 13 and younger category are: Sarah Long, first place; Allyssa Hamilton, second place; and Brianna Waters, third place. Winners in the 14 and older category are: - Tonya Lee, first place; Mary Gainer, second place; and Amy Hegre, third place.

All ornaments entered in the contest are used to decorate The Chronicle's "Special Delivery" Tree. The tree is on display at the Junior League of Augusta's Festival of Trees at the Augusta Museum of History through today, and in the News Building lobby, 725 Broad St., from Monday through New Year's Day.

Airport parking reopens for holiday travelers

Augusta Regional Airport will reopen its short-term parking area this week to accommodate the increase of passengers traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The lot was closed and curbside parking was suspended after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks prompted tighter security.

Passengers will be able to enter short-term parking for three days only: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Cars may be left in the lot as long as necessary, airport spokeswoman Kathryn Solee said.

All vehicles entering the lot will be searched. The curbside parking ban will remain in effect.


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