Originally created 05/12/02

Across the area



Man surrenders after standoff

A standoff in south Augusta ended four hours after an Augusta man who threatened to kill himself surrendered to authorities, police said.

A Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputy found Robert L. Weems inside his home on Morgan Road on Saturday morning after a 911 call was placed from the residence.

The deputy said Mr. Weems pointed a silver-and-black rifle at him and then threatened to commit suicide, sheriff's Investigator Richard Chase said.

The deputy called for back-up, prompting response from the SWAT team, Investigator Chase said. Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Scott Peebles negotiated Mr. Weems' surrender about 2:30 p.m., and police found that the rifle was actually a pellet gun, officials said.

Investigator Chase said Mr. Weems, 36, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment. He was then transferred to Georgia Regional Hospital in Augusta. He faces charges of obstruction of a law enforcement officer and pointing a gun at another.

Police seek suspects in pair of burglaries

Richmond County authorities Saturday were investigating a pair of burglaries at two gas stations on Gordon Highway and Wrightsboro Road.

The first burglary occurred about 1:50 a.m. Friday at the Depot Food Store on Wrightsboro Road, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. A clerk told police someone entered the store, broke into several video poker machines and made off with an undisclosed amount of money, the report states.

A similar incident occurred about 3:54 a.m. at Raceway on Gordon Highway, a sheriff's report states.

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

Thrown beer bottles hurt girl in back yard

Authorities were looking Saturday for two men who threw beer bottles into a neighboring yard, injuring a 4-year-old girl.

About 8 p.m. Friday, two men threw a bottle into the back yard of a home on Cranbrook Drive, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. The bottle shattered, cutting the girl's right ankle, the report states.

The men then threw another bottle into the street and ran.

Knife-wielding man sought in carjacking

Police were looking Saturday for a man in connection with a carjacking at Sixth and Fenwick streets early Friday morning.

Leon Brown, 50, the owner of a 1999 Ford Taurus, told police a man wielding a knife forced him out of his car on Fenwick Street about 3:50 a.m., according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. Mr. Brown said he had picked the man up on Reynolds Street, and agreed to give him a ride to a gas station on Ninth Street, the report states.

The man was last seen driving the Taurus east on Fenwick Street.

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

Augusta's fire chief plans public forums

Augusta Fire Chief Al Gillespie will conduct an open house and forum at fire stations next week. The events are designed to allow residents to discuss questions about the fire department's future.

He will be at Fire Station No. 9, 3507 Walton Way Extension, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, and at Fire Station No. 18, 4185 Windsor Spring Road, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Cancer society seeks survivors for relay

The American Cancer Society is looking for cancer survivors to make the first lap in its Relay For Life, an annual celebration of survivors and a research fund-raiser.

The Harlem relay is scheduled for June 7 and 8. For more information, call Tricia Miller at 731-9900.

Agriculture Day set at visitor center

The Georgia Visitor Information Center off Interstate 20 near the South Carolina border will celebrate Agriculture Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

The event, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, will feature samples of many home-grown and homemade Georgia products. Creative fruit and vegetable carving demonstrations will be featured. For more information, call (706) 737-1446.

County will stage veterans celebration

Columbia County will present the second annual Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration on Saturday, May 25, at Doctors Hospital Field behind the Evans Kroger from 6 to 9 p.m.

Activities will include military displays, canine demonstrations, a flag retirement ceremony, a highway dedication, a Sept. 11 memorial, music by the Signal Corps Band, children's activities and fireworks.

For more information or to make a donation, call 868-3458.

Legal aid offered for area indigents

Low-income people in need of legal assistance for civil problems can meet with representatives from Georgia legal Services Program for the following counties:

  • Burke County: 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, the Community Action Agency, 567 W. Ninth St., Waynesboro
  • Jefferson County: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jefferson County Department of Family and Children Services, U.S. Highway 1 North, Louisville
  • Washington County: 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Washington County Department of Family and Children Services, 1124 S. Harris St., Sandersville.
  • Appointments also may be made weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by contacting Georgia Legal Services, 811 Telfair St., Suite 202, Augusta, 721-2327 or calling toll-free (800) 248-6697.

    McCormick approves bond for new school

    A $12.7 million referendum to build a new elementary school in McCormick County was approved Saturday by a vote of 1,662 to 1,405.

    The ballot totals are unofficial and will have to be verified.

    With the approval, the school system's bond attorney will begin plans for a bond sale, Superintendent Lloyd Hunter said Saturday night.

    Land for the proposed school has been purchased. The new school, which would include seventh and eighth grades, will serve as an epicenter for the county's pupil population and will provide room for expansion not available at existing schools.

    A referendum asking for $10.4 million for the same purpose was defeated in 2000.