Originally created 12/13/01

Across the area



Head-on wreck kills one driver

A 65-year-old Grovetown man was killed Wednesday in a head-on collision on Wrightsboro Road.

Paul Swift, of the 5800 block of Jamie Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck, which occurred at about 11:15 a.m. in Grovetown near Georgia Iron Works Co., said Columbia County Deputy Coroner Tommy King Jr.

According to witnesses, Mr. Swift drove his Mitsubishi Mirage into the path of an eastbound Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by George Odom, 52, of the 3400 block of Lewis Road in Augusta. Mr. Odom received minor injuries. A passenger in the truck, Michael Allen White, 44, of Belair Road in Augusta, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said Columbia County Sheriff's Office Capt. Steve Morris.

He was in serious condition Wednesday night.

Police said it was unknown why Mr. Swift crossed the centerline of the road and drove into oncoming traffic. The fatality was Columbia County's 10th this year.

Police search for carjacker

Police are looking for a man in connection with a carjacking early Wednesday morning in Hephzibah.

Shortly after midnight, Brian Batiste Harrison, 31, of Augusta, was approached by a man in the parking lot of Food Lion, in the 3000 block of Windsor Spring Road, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Bill Kitchens.

The man, armed with a black, semiautomatic handgun, told Mr. Harrison to lie on the ground, then stole his groceries, his car and his wallet, he said.

The 1988 Buick Electra was recovered later at Pinnacle Place Apartments, off Tobacco Road, the investigator said.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at 821-1080.

Man sought in robbery

Police are searching for a man they say robbed a pizza delivery driver Wednesday night while she was leaving an apartment off Tobacco Road.

The incident occurred about 9:50 p.m. at the Pinnacle Place Apartments, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Bill Kitchens. The Pizza Hut employee had delivered a pizza and was returning to her car when the man snatched a carrying bag with three pizzas inside and ran, he said.

The woman, whose name was not released, was unharmed. She could not give a description of the robber, the investigator said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at 821-1080.

Man faces charges in sexual assault

An Evans man was charged with aggravated sexual battery and battery after admitting he assaulted a woman at his home.

Jerry Jackson Lee Jr., 42, was arrested Friday night at his Deerwood Lane home by Columbia County sheriff's deputies.

According to a report of the incident, deputies found Mr. Lee and the victim in the driveway of the home. Mr. Lee admitted he had hit the victim with his fist and a paddle, pulled her around by the hair and sexually assaulted her, the report said.

He was released on $20,000 bond Monday, according to jail records.

Brothers arrested in two burglaries

Two Augusta brothers were arrested and charged with burglary after they broke into an apartment that had been robbed before, police said.

Richard A. Stephens, 27, of the 3200 block of Deans Bridge Road, and his 15-year-old brother were charged with two counts of burglary, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Ken Glisson said.

A burglary occurred Nov. 29 at an apartment in a complex on Deans Bridge Road, when someone broke in and took a 27-inch television. A week later, a maintenance man saw two people breaking into the apartment and taking items to a car in the parking lot.

The two brothers were arrested after an investigation. Mr. Stephens is being held at the Richmond County jail. His brother is in a juvenile facility.

Reapportionment plan could come by 2002

Augusta officials say the city could have have a preliminary reapportionment plan in place before the new year.

City commissioners, school board members and members of the state legislative delegation met Wednesday morning to review the latest revisions to reapportionment maps.

The reapportionment committee's latest map not only meets the criteria of state officials and tries to protect minority districts but also makes Richmond County Board of Education and Augusta Commission lines the same. That plan will go before city officials for preliminary approval Tuesday.

Police still seek man in Wendy's robbery

Richmond County Sheriff's Office officials are asking for the public's help in finding a suspect in the armed robbery of Wendy's restaurant.

John Earl Williams, 21, is being sought in the Nov. 7 armed robbery of Wendy's on Deans Bridge Road, said sheriff's Investigator Jo Ann Nutter. He is believed to be living in the Tobacco Road area, she said.

Police said a man wearing a blue ski mask and holding a gun in a paper bag went into the restaurant. After being forced to hand over money, the restaurant manager was hit in the face.

Mr. Williams also has four outstanding warrants dating from February 2000 to September.

Paper carrier charged in false crime report

An Augusta Chronicle newspaper carrier who reported an armed robbery Wednesday morning was charged with making up the story, authorities said.

Sylvia Sydney Waymond, 44, of Lennox Road, Augusta, was charged with giving a false report of a crime and booked into the Richmond County jail, sheriff's Lt. Jack Francisco said.

Authorities said they received a report of a robbery at 6 a.m. at Adams and Ninth streets. The carrier told police she was delivering newspapers when she was robbed of her purse and newspaper money by a man with a skull mask who was armed with a .38-caliber pistol.

Deputies scoured the area and found the woman's purse under a vehicle near where the woman said she was robbed, police said.

When the carrier and her friend were interviewed at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, the friend admitted the story was fabricated to avoid a $600 debt to The Chronicle, Lt. Francisco said.

Elementary school honored for scores

Gloverville Elementary School has been named a high-achieving school by the Education Trust, a national, nonpartisan advocacy group for poor and minority public-school pupils.

Aiken County Public Schools announced Wednesday that the school was one of 85 South Carolina schools recognized out of 4,500 nationwide.

To make the list, schools had to fall into a high-poverty and high-minority category and score in the top third of all schools in their state on standardized tests.

Because the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test was used as the basis in South Carolina, high schools were not considered. High school students do not yet take the test.

Committee to review dance-routine policy

The Richmond County Board of Education Student Services Committee will review the current policy on high school dance routines.

The committee, made up of school band directors and administrators, will look into allegations of inappropriate dance routines performed by several of the county's high school bands and dance teams.

The findings of the committee will be brought back to the full board at the next meeting Jan. 10.

Augusta woman jailed in transaction fraud

An Augusta woman was being held at the Richmond County jail Wednesday night on charges of financial transaction card fraud.

Doris Ann McGhee, 45, is accused of using a debit card to take money from Austin K. Steed, 38, also of Augusta, with whom she has a child, according to a report at the sheriff's office.

Mr. Steed told police that Ms. McGhee used his personal information to obtain the card and withdrew $1,200 from his checking account between September and November, the report states.

Ms. McGhee was being held at the jail on $10,250 bond.