Originally created 01/01/02

Across the area



Three robberies occur in 3 days

AIKEN -A rash of armed robberies has struck a credit union and two people in three days.

The latest robbery occurred at the SRP Federal Credit Union inside Aiken Regional Medical Centers on Monday, said Sgt. David Turno, of the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

A man wearing a leather jacket, a black skull cap and a jersey-type shirt with the number 05 on it pulled a handgun on a teller at the bank and demanded money about 4:20 p.m., Sgt. Turno said.

The man left with a Burger King bag full of money, Sgt. Turno said.

In another robbery, a man who wore a black leather jacket and a black skull cap robbed a 61-year-old Aiken man as he was walking outside the Laurens Street post office about 9:45 p.m. Friday, an Aiken police report states. The robber got away with $50, a credit card and an ATM card.

In the final robbery, a man who wore dark clothes robbed an Aiken man who had given him a ride Friday night. The robber pulled a gun on the 66-year-old man at Hilltop Avenue and Pine Avenue about 8:15 p.m., an Aiken police report states.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call Aiken police at (803) 642-7620.

GBI investigates death of patient

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation islooking into the death of an Augusta man who was involved in a fight at Georgia Regional Hospital five days before.

Roy Pettiford, 38, of Augusta, was pronounced dead at University Hospital on Dec. 23 after a Dec. 18 altercation with a patient at Georgia Regional, said Mike Seigler, the agent in charge of the Thomson GBI office.

Officials are unsure Mr. Pettiford's death was related to the altercation, and the state medical examiner has not given an opinion as to the cause of death, Agent Seigler said.

The crime lab is still going over the evidence concerning Mr. Pettiford's prior medical condition, Agent Seigler said.

Hankerson, Boyles will be sworn in

Two new Augusta Commission members will be sworn into office at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal building's commission chambers.

Newly elected District 5 Commissioner Bobby Hankerson will replace Henry Brigham, who has represented the central Augusta area on the Richmond County Commission since 1985 and since 1996 on the consolidated commission.

Mr. Hankerson, who defeated Mr. Brigham in a Nov. 27 runoff election, is a retired physical therapy technician from Gracewood State School and Hospital and is pastor of Hammond Grove Baptist Church.

Former Parks and Recreation Director Tommy Boyles will replace outgoing District 7 Commissioner Jerry Brigham. Mr. Boyles won the Nov. 6 race against Mr. Brigham, securing 64 percent of the vote. Mr. Brigham has served west Augusta since 1994.

United Way offers emergency funding

Federal funds for emergency shelter and food are available through the United Way of the CSRA agencies.

The United Way was allocated $106,505 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the program.

To receive an application for the funds, call the United Way at 724-6269, Ext. 25. The deadline to apply is Jan. 10.

Dog was exposed to rabid raccoon

A dog in south Augusta was likely exposed to rabies by a raccoon that later died, testing confirmed Monday.

A family on Lumpkin Road reported that last week one of its dogs had encountered a raccoon that later died, said Rudy Morris, county manager for environmental health for the Richmond County Health Department.

The health department sent off the raccoon head for testing by a state lab in Waycross, and results received late Monday showed the raccoon was rabid, Mr. Morris said.

Health officials were trying to reach the family Monday to find out what was to be done about the dog, which the family had said was up to date on its shots. If that's the case, the health department will recommend a booster shot and a 45-day quarantine, which can be done at the home, Mr. Morris said.

Unvaccinated dogs must be isolated by the county for six months at the owner's expense, although usually owners opt to euthanize the animal, Mr. Morris said.

People in south Augusta should be aware of any animals acting strangely and report them to Animal Control, Mr. Morris said.

Atlanta crime lab will identify remains

Skeletal remains found last week in a wooded area in south Augusta were sent to the crime lab in Atlanta for identification, police said.

An Augusta-Richmond County firefighter discovered a jawbone on Friday behind a firehouse off Lumpkin and Deans Bridge roads, said sheriff's Lt. Jack Francisco. Police searched the woods and located other remains, he said.

The crime lab will determine the age and sex of the individual, the lieutenant said.

Meeting will address next state Assembly

Issues in the upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly will be the focus of a public hearing Thursday conducted by the Augusta-Richmond County legislative delegation.

The hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 202 of University Hospital Medical Center-South Richmond County, 3121 Peach Orchard Road.

To be included on the agenda for the meeting, call House Speaker Pro Tem Jack Connell at 823-7011 or (404) 656-5072.

Post will close two gates for holiday

Fort Gordon will close two access gates over the New Year's holiday.

Gates 2 and 3, which allow entry from Gordon Highway, will be closed today, fort officials said. The gates will reopen Wednesday, officials said.

The public must use Gate 1 to enter the post. A Department of Defense decal is required for entrance at Gate 5, off U.S. Highway 1.