Originally created 04/03/02

Across the area



Panel revokes spa's license

The Augusta Commission voted 8-2 Tuesday to revoke the business license of a local spa after one of its employees was arrested by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office on a charge of [filtered word] for hire.

Another employee, who police said met an undercover officer in the front lobby of the business and collected money, was charged with soliciting prostitution and keeping a place of prostitution.

The two dissenting votes were cast by Commissioners Lee Beard and Bobby Hankerson.

The sheriff's office recommended that Osaka Spa license holder Samuel Lee, of Atlanta, have his license revoked for keeping a place of prostitution. Commissioners had the choice of placing his license on probation or suspending it.

Mr. Lee, as the shop's owner, has never been charged with a crime. Charges are pending in Magistrate's Court against the two shop employees.

Woman reports she was kidnapped, raped

An Aiken woman reported to police Tuesday she was kidnapped from an Aiken convenience store and raped by three men in an abandoned house in Wagener.

The 25-year-old woman said she was forced into a vehicle at the Eagle Express at Union Street and Richland Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Monday, an Aiken Department of Public Safety report said.

She told police she was taken to the house and forced to have sex with the men.

The woman escaped Tuesday morning and reported the incident to the Wagener Police Department, which notified Aiken authorities.

Commissioners, mayor praise team's success

The Glenn Hills High School Lady Spartans basketball team was honored by the Augusta Commission and the mayor Tuesday for winning the Class AAAA State Championship title earlier this year.

Each team member and coach Bernard Bowman was given a framed proclamation by the mayor and a city pin by Commissioner Bobby Hankerson to honor their accomplishment.

Panel votes against extending bars' hours

An Augusta Commission subcommittee considering extending the hours of alcohol sales by area bars and restaurants voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to keep things as they are.

After months of study, including presentations by development officials from Atlanta and Athens, committee members said the additional excise tax revenue that would be created by extending bars' hours did not justify the risk to public safety.

"I see no financial benefits. I see no quality of life benefit from extending hours," subcommittee Chairman Ulmer Bridges said. "It's the same people that are drinking - they're just drinking more."

A current city ordinance permits bars and restaurants to sell alcohol until 2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and until 2 a.m. Saturdays. Establishments must close their doors a half-hour after alcohol is cut off. The recommendation still must go before the commission's finance committee and the full commission for final review.

Police drop charges in jewel-store robbery

Richmond County authorities have dropped a burglary charge against a North Augusta man for a March 25 at Franco's Jewelry on Robert C. Daniel Parkway.

The charges against Tony Terence Hood, 23, of Johnson Circle, were dismissed after two other men confessed to breaking into the jewelry store, Richmond County Sheriff's Office Maj. Ken Autry said.

Mr. Hood's fingerprints were found in the store, and he originally denied ever being there. But after the two men confessed, Mr. Hood told authorities that he had been in the store four days before the robbery as a customer.

Trimaine Thompkins, 20, of Stonegate Apartments, and Marques Palmer, 19, of Sunset Villas Apartments, are charged with burglary. Police recovered some of the stolen jewelry from the two suspects, Maj. Autry said.

Judge sets bond in car-shooting case

Bond was set Tuesday at $100,000 for the Aiken man charged with shooting at a vehicle driven by his neighbor.

Aiken County Magistrate Terry Carter set bond at $20,000 for each of the five counts of assault and battery with intent to kill against Anthony M. Taylor, 33, of the 300 block of Jehossee Drive.

Investigators said Mr. Taylor fired at the vehicle of Barney Livingston II, 37, about 1:30 p.m. Monday in a neighborhood off South Boundary Avenue. They said the two had argued Sunday in the neighborhood.

Mr. Livingston and passenger Deryl Livingston, 33, both of the 200 block of Jehossee Drive, were leaving Governor Aiken Park after visiting three friends, an Aiken Department of Public Safety report said.

Police allege Mr. Taylor fired at the car, hitting it in the front driver's side, then fired at the group of friends.

Mr. Taylor had not paid his bond fee as of early Tuesday evening.

Second car lot reports vehicle break-ins

For the second time in three days, an Augusta car lot reported having its vehicles broken into.

The first break-in, at Direct Car Sale in the 3200 block of Washington Road, was reported Sunday, according to reports filed with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. In that case, the car had its front passenger side window shattered and its CD player stolen.

In the second case, reported Tuesday, five other cars from the Washington Road business had windows broken and their CD players taken.

Low-income residents offered legal help

Low-income people in need of possible legal assistance with civil problems who live in the following counties may meet with representatives from Georgia Legal Services at the dates and times listed below:

McDuffie, Glascock and Warren counties: April 10, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., McDuffie Human Development Center, 810 White Oak Road, Thomson

Wilkes, Lincoln and Taliaferro counties: April 10, 10 a.m. to noon, Wilkes County Courthouse, Commissioners Board Room, 23 E. Court St., Room 222, Washington.

For appointments at the Georgia Legal Services Program office, 811 Telfair St., Suite 202, Augusta, call 721-2327 or toll-free (800) 248-6697 for an appointment on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.