Originally created 06/19/02

Across the area



Swimming ban lifted for river

An 80-year-old city ordinance that bans swimming in the Savannah River was lifted Tuesday by the Augusta Commission, a move that officials said will encourage better use of the waterway.

The city's no-swim law has been on the books since the 1920s, but it drew attention when deputies began ordering people out of the river after a drowning in April.

Commissioners voted unanimously to amend the city code that prohibits swimming in the Augusta Canal and the river. Instead, wading will be permitted in the canal, although swimming and bathing still are not allowed. Swimming will be allowed in the river, except in designated areas near the city's raw water intake site and diversion dam, considered treacherous industrial areas.

The changes are effective immediately.

Man says someone shot him with BBs

An Augusta man said he was the victim of a BB-gun shooting while sitting at a downtown park Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

Milton Edmond Younce, 62, told police Monday he was shot several times as he sat on a bench at the median park in the 700 block of Broad Street, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Younce said the assailant was shooting from the window of an apartment at Richmond Summit on Broad Street, the report states.

The report states security officers from The Augusta Chronicle heard the pellets hitting the News Building, and officers found some BBs in the park. Deputies tried to question a suspect at Richmond Summit but the occupant would not open the door.

Drain repair will close Tubman Home Road

A portion of Tubman Home Road from Milledgeville Road to Cunningham Drive will be closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Thursday because of storm drain repair work.

Drivers are asked to use Milledgeville Road, Krather Drive or Huntington Avenue as a detour, according to an Augusta Public Works and Engineering Department news release.

Man charged after steakhouse fracas

An Augusta man was being held in the Richmond County jail Tuesday, charged with assaulting an officer and causing a disturbance at Logan's Roadhouse late Monday might.

Jeremy N. Briant is accused of hitting Manager Ronald Copeland Jr. after Mr. Copeland refused to serve him alcohol because he was intoxicated, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. Mr. Copeland said Mr. Briant became violent - knocking glasses off a table and striking him in the chest, the report states.

The report states Mr. Copeland hit Mr. Briant, causing him to fall backward and strike his head on the floor. When police and EMTs arrived, Mr. Briant pushed a deputy, then tried to kick the officers after he was arrested, the report states.

Mr. Briant, 21, of the 2500 block of Richmond Hill Road, was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer, the report states. He could face charges of simple battery and criminal trespass for the attack on Mr. Copeland, the report states.

Hephzibah man wins $756,545 in lottery

Patrick Perkinson, a 48-year-old environmental consultant who lives in Hephzibah, got a pleasant surprise when he checked the Georgia Lottery's Web site last weekend.

Mr. Perkinson learned that he had won $756,545 in Thursday's Fantasy 5 drawing. His ticket was purchased as a quick pick at the Pump N Shop in the 2500 block of Tobacco Road.

The store will receive a $14,000 retailer bonus.

$2,500 reward offered for return of airplane

A reward is being offered for the return of a plane stolen from Daniel Field.

Terry Florie, the owner of a 1972 Cessna 172, said the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute offered the $2,500 reward June 11. The plane was reported stolen June 8 after Mr. Florie could not locate it at the airport, authorities said.

Police believe the thief might have hot-wired the Cessna and flown it out of the airport. Authorities have been looking at several airfields in the surrounding area.

Mr. Florie said he is contemplating offering a reward. Anyone with information about the location of the Cessna is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at 821-1080 or the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute at (800) 969-5473.

Losing candidate endorses opponent

George Ducworth, the third-place finisher in the Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District, on Tuesday endorsed the man who beat him by 26 votes.

Mr. Ducworth, a former Anderson prosecutor, said he was supporting Greenwood Rep. Jim Klauber because of his stances on education and tax reform.

Mr. Klauber is facing state Rep. Gresham Barrett, of Westminster, in Tuesday's runoff. The winner faces the Rev. George Brightharp, a Trenton Democrat, in November.

Ethics panel director speaks on government

Ted Lee, the director of the state Ethics Commission, will present a seminar on the Georgia Ethics in Government Act from 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesday in the auditorium of the Columbia County Government Complex in Evans.

Mr. Lee will discuss expenditures, contributions, financial disclosure statements and other facets of the law.

Program offers free legal help for seniors

Georgia Legal Services Program staff will be at the Columbia County Senior Center, 5913 Euchee Creek Drive, Grovetown, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. today to meet with senior citizens who want free legal help.

The program's office is at 811 Telfair St., Augusta. For more information, call 721-2327 or (800) 248-6697.

Man reports attack by 2 men at his home

An Augusta man reported being attacked by two men early Tuesday at his home.

Arnold Lynn Mims, of the 3000 block of Deans Bridge Road, told police that as he was drinking alcoholic beverages with the men outside his house, they took his house keys and forced him inside, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

Mr. Mims said the men beat him and then ransacked his house looking for weapons and money, according to the report.

Woman flees from would-be carjacker

A Gloverville, S.C., woman told police she was the victim of an attempted carjacking at a North Augusta intersection early Tuesday.

Pollie Brier Rabon said she was stopped at the intersection of Georgia and Knox avenues at about 1:10 a.m. when a man ran to her car, reached through her driver's window and choked her, according to a North Augusta Department of Public Safety incident report.

Ms. Rabon said the man tried to open her car door as he choked her. However, Ms. Rabon was able to drive away. She said the man was black, had silver- or gold-capped front teeth and was wearing a white T-shirt and dark pants, the report states.

Businessman enters commission campaign

Ron Cross, the owner of CCI Inc., announced his candidacy for Columbia County Commission chairman at a news conference Tuesday at the Columbia County Government Complex.

Mr. Cross will face Andy Kingery, who is also a Republican. Qualifying for the seat begins at 9 a.m. today.

Creating a long-term strategic plan for county development, protecting green space while promoting industry, and controlling taxes are the focus of Mr. Cross' campaign. He also said he would work on controlling the size of county government and would place a moratorium on the stormwater utility in Columbia County.

Car wreck knocks out power to 900 homes

A one-car wreck involving a power pole on Gordon Highway left about 900 Georgia Power Co. customers without electricity for several hours Tuesday.

Lolita Browning, a Georgia Power spokeswoman, said the power was expected to be restored to all customers by midnight Tuesday.

Deputy Bill Adams, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, said the wreck occurred at 7:11 p.m. near Waters Van Rental when Howard Winter, of Hephzibah, drove into a power pole. The cause of the accident was not known.

Deputy Adams said Mr. Winter was charged with failure to maintain a lane, having an expired tag, having no proof of insurance, not wearing a seat belt, having an open container of alcohol, driving with a suspended or revoked license and driving under the influence of alcohol. He said Mr. Winter was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.