Originally created 12/16/01

Across the area



Accident victim remains critical

EDGEFIELD -The 33-year-old Edgefield man hit by a van as he walked along a road Friday night remained in critical condition Saturday, a spokesman for Medical College of Georgia Hospital said.

Marvin E. Norris was walking on the side of Gary Hill Road, just south of Edgefield, on Friday night when he was hit by a northbound van, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Mr. Norris stepped in front of the van driven by Janett L. Arthurs, 32, of Edgefield, Lance Cpl. Jeff Daniels said.

No charges have been filed against Ms. Arthurs, Lance Cpl. Daniels said.

Police look for man accused of kidnapping

Police are looking for a man who kidnapped a 41-year-old woman at gunpoint and tried to rape her, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The woman told police that she was using a phone on Augusta Avenue about 5 a.m. Saturday when a man put a small, semi-automatic weapon to her head and forced her into his car, the report stated.

He took the woman to an unknown location near a pond, where she was able to escape from the car. She rolled on the ground, and the man fired at least two shots at her but missed.

According to the report, the woman walked for nearly an hour before getting to a hotel on Gordon Highway where she called police. The man was described as black, between 25 and 30 years old, 6 feet tall, weighing 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing glasses, a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a gray hat. The man's car was described as a small, white four-door vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1080.

Officials arrest teens on robbery charges

Four teen-agers were arrested on armed robbery charges early Saturday morning and might be connected to a Hephzibah carjacking.

Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested Richard Johnson, 17, Robert Allen Thames, 18, and two 15-year-olds Saturday. The teens said they live at the same residence on the 3700 block of Fairington Drive.

Each has been charged with two counts of armed robbery. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Thames also are charged with two counts each of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Mr. Thames faces a fifth charge - obstruction of a law enforcement officer, according to jail records.

The four were booked into the Richmond County jail in connection with the Wednesday robbery of an Augusta man in the parking lot of the Windsor Spring Road Food Lion. The victim said a man armed with a black semiautomatic handgun told him to lie on the ground. The victim's 1988 Buick, wallet and groceries were stolen, according to reports.

The car was later recovered at Pinnacle Place Apartments.

Christmas parade in Harlem draws 4,000

HARLEM -An estimated 4,000 spectators lined the streets of downtown Harlem on Saturday for the city's annual Lions Club Christmas parade.

The parade, which traveled down Georgia Highway 78 and then through downtown Harlem, included about 40 entries - many of them depicting patriotic themes.

Winners in the parade's commercial and noncommercial categories were the Georgia Forestry Service's Columbia County Unit and the CSRA Square Dancers, respectively.

'Chronicle' wants your opinions on business

The Augusta Chronicle will hold three public meetings this week to gather readers' opinions about proposed changes to the newspaper's business section.

The paper is considering reducing its daily stock listings to make room for more stock advice and business analysis stories.

During the public meetings, newspaper representatives will outline the proposals and take comments and suggestions from readers.

The meetings are scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon Monday at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E.; 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Chronicle's Columbia County Bureau, 4143 Columbia Road; and 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, 600 Broad St. Plaza.

For more information about the meetings, contact Business Editor Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or bized@augustachronicle.com.

Principal finds flooding in several classrooms

Mary Alice King, the principal at Garrett Elementary School, made a soggy discovery Saturday afternoon at her school.

When she arrived shortly before 1 p.m. to open the cafeteria for a Girl Scouts' troop meeting, Ms. King said, she discovered that a running sink stopped up by paper towels had caused minor flooding in several classrooms and one of the hallways.

She said she was surprised when Augusta-Richmond County fire trucks showed up at the school, located at 1100 Eisenhower Drive, to help with the cleanup.

The flooding did not cause any visible damage, Ms. King said.

Grovetown officials hold issues class

GROVETOWN -The city's newest council members went to school Saturday on the issues they'll face for the next four years.

"We're just trying to get ahead of the curve," said Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau, who headed the class.

The gathering took place at Grovetown City Hall and was a government orientation session for new city council members George James and Bruce Stoddard, who were recently elected to serve four-year terms beginning in January.

The issues they'll encounter will be the construction of two new subdivisions in Grovetown, a possible need for more water and sewer services that result, and the threat of a weakening economy.