Originally created 05/04/02

Across the area



Man sentenced in office arson

A disgruntled customer who set fire to a car dealership received a 10-year prison sentence Friday for arson in the second degree.

Anthony T. Gilbert, 35, admitted in Richmond County Superior Court that he poured gasoline in the office of Arrington Auto Sales on Deans Bridge Road and lighted a match.

"I never intended to hurt anybody," he said.

Owner Gail Arrington told Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. that she was thankful no one was hurt. The damages totaled nearly $150,000, $22,084 of which was not covered by insurance.

Judge Brown sentenced Mr. Gilbert to serve 10 years in prison. When he is released, he is to have no contact with the dealership or victims. Judge Brown also ordered Mr. Gilbert to undergo anger management treatment.

Police seek two men in store robbery

Two men robbed a south Augusta convenience store Friday, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office investigator.

Two masked men wearing hooded sweat shirts and gloves entered the Corner Store in the 1800 block of Marvin Griffin Road about 11:30 a.m. Friday. One of the men, who weighed about 200 pounds, was armed with a semi-automatic handgun that appeared to the owner to be a toy, Investigator Jamey Kitchens said.

The man grabbed the store owner, who was in front of the counter, while the other man ran behind the counter, grabbed the clerk and took an undisclosed amount of money. The two men were last seen running into the Apple Valley subdivision, Investigator Kitchens said.

Father, son face jail for bank robberies

A Spartanburg father and son pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to robbing banks, including one in Saluda.

Edgar Lynwood Burton Sr., 41, pleaded guilty to robbing banks between December and January in Spartanburg, Irmo, Greenville and Saluda, said U.S. Attorney for South Carolina J. Strom Thurmond Jr. Mr. Burton used pellet guns in the robberies, Mr. Thurmond said.

Edgar Lynwood Burton II, 18, pleaded guilty to robbing the Irmo and Saluda banks with his father, Mr. Thurmond said.

On Jan. 8, the men robbed the First Citizens Bank on North Main Street in Saluda.

Both men face up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each robbery. They will be sentenced after a federal judge reviews a report from the U.S. Probation Office.

Baston Road project closes Old Petersburg

A portion of Old Petersburg Road in Columbia County will be temporarily closed this weekend.

The Columbia County Construction and Maintenance Services announced that the portion of Old Petersburg Road from Baston Road to Stephens Road will be closed from 7 a.m. today to 7 p.m. Sunday. The closer is related to the widening of Baston Road.

School prepares annual strawberry festival

The 16th annual Strawberry Festival in North Augusta will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Our Lady of Peace church annex, 859 Old Edgefield Road in North Augusta.

There will be strawberry jam, milkshakes, sundaes, a strawberry bake-off, children's games and hot-air-balloon rides. Raffle tickets will be sold for a $500 cash prize.

For more information, call Our Lady of Peace at 279-8396.

County selects sites for voter registration

The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and the Columbia County Board of Elections are working together on a Voter Participation Program during this election year.

As part of the program, the elections office will hold voter registration events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on each of the dates at the locations below:

  • Today - Wal-Mart on Bobby Jones Expressway; Food Lion, 806 Lewiston Road, Grovetown
  • May 11: IGA, 575 W. Milledgeville Road in Harlem; Kmart, 3830 Washington Road
  • May 18: Circle K at the corner of Columbia Road and Appling-Harlem Highway in Appling; Kroger, 4115 Columbia Road
  • May 25: Evans Wal-Mart, 4471 Washington Road; Food Lion, 365 S. Belair Road
  • Spanish church offers free health clinic

    Iglesia Cristiana Palabra Y Uncion, a nondenominational Spanish-language church, will offer a free health clinic from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at 926 Atomic Road, North Augusta.

    The clinic will feature eye, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings.

    A pediatrician, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, chiropractor and general practitioner will be available. The clinic is open to the public. For more information, call pastor Joel Pena at (706) 771-1883.

    Mini-grants available through Junior League

    The Junior League of Augusta is accepting applications for mini-grants through June 3. Applications are available at the board of education offices of Richmond and Columbia counties or at the Junior League office at 363 Highland Ave., Surrey Center. For more information, call 854-8322.

    Job fair set to seek medical professionals

    The Augusta Chronicle Medical Job Fair will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St. The event also is sponsored by Aiken Regional Medical Centers and University Health Care System, and admission is free.

    Medical recruiters from hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, employment agencies and physician practices will be on hand to discuss job openings. Applicants are encouraged to bring resumes.

    Recruiters have vacancies for the following positions: nurses, therapists, pharmacists, unit secretaries, lab and medical technicians, dietitians, drug reps, medical record clerks, EMTs, medical coders and office workers.

    For more information, call Beth Frits at (706) 364-6400.