Originally created 07/09/02

Across the area



Chemical spills at water plant

Augusta utilities officials are investigating a weekend accident in which 3,100 gallons of aluminum sulfate spilled near the city's water treatment plant off Wrightsboro Road near Daniel Village.

Dave Brown, a spokesman for the Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency, said the fire department and its hazardous materials response team were notified of the accident - reported at about 8 a.m. Saturday.

Aluminum sulfate, which reacts with water to form sulfuric acid, can cause skin irritation and breathing difficulties. Mr. Brown said that the spilled material was cleaned up quickly and that there was no danger to the public.

Because of the quantity of the material involved, Georgia's Environmental Protection Division was notified, Mr. Brown said.

The reported cause of the spill was a fill valve left open on a delivery truck.

Crews cleaning up the spill drained one of the basins in a nearby storm drain to dilute any of the chemical that might find its way into creeks.

GBI arrests two men on marijuana charges

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Monday the arrests of two men on charges of growing marijuana plants on their properties in Burke and McDuffie counties.

Forty-seven marijuana plants were discovered inside a residence at Gozie Walden Trailer Park in Burke County, said GBI Special Agent Mike Seigler. The plants, growing lights and fertilizer were seized in a search of the home Wednesday by the Burke County Sheriff's Office and the GBI.

William Edward Elliott, 43, was charged with manufacturing marijuana and booked into the Burke County jail.

Helicopters searching the woods in McDuffie County last month discovered several marijuana plants growing on Cobbham Road in Thomson. An investigation led to the arrest Wednesday of George A. Smith, 55, on a felony charge of manufacturing marijuana.

Special election set for North Augusta

A special election to fill North Augusta's vacated city council seat is set for Nov. 5.

The Aiken County Registration and Elections Commission approved the date Monday night.

Filing for the seat will begin July 19, City Administrator Charles Martin said. Primaries will be Sept. 10.

Kent Sullivan quit his position on the city council last week after being charged with driving under the influence for the second time in a little more than a year.

Fire damages house, but family is unhurt

Electrical problems may have started a fire that heavily damaged a Beech Island residence Monday, fire officials said.

Four members of the Mabe family were at home at 325 Edisto Ave. when they realized there was a fire in the basement, said Beech Island Battalion Chief Jennifer Henderson. The family was able to get out uninjured, she said.

Thirty-one firefighters from five stations responded the fire, which began at 12:45 p.m. and was under control in about an hour, Chief Henderson said. The family will live with relatives, she said.

Firefighters from Jackson, Silver Bluff, Clearwater and Bath assisted.

Armed man grabs cash during holdup at hotel

A man armed with a semiautomatic handgun robbed an Augusta hotel Monday.

The incident occurred at 4:45 p.m. at Fairfield Inn on Boy Scout Road, said Maj. Ken Autry, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Maj. Autry said a man wearing black clothes and a black-and-white bandanna on his head demanded money from a front-desk worker. He said the robber ran away with the cash.

The robber was described as black, 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 200 pounds.

Man tells police that woman stabbed him

A 60-year-old Augusta woman has been arrested in connection to the stabbing of an Augusta man.

Sarah Smith Kennedy, of the 1000 block of Eighth Avenue, was charged with aggravated assault and taken to the Richmond County jail, according to jail records.

David Lamar Mosley, also of the 1000 block of Eighth Avenue, told police Ms. Kennedy stabbed him in the back at her house at 5:30 p.m. Sunday after they argued, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

Mr. Mosley said he left the house and called police from a friend's house on Old Savannah Road. He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment of nonlife-threatening injuries.

Signal Brigade sees change of command

The largest training brigade in the Army, the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade, will change command at 8 a.m. Friday on Barton Field.

Col. Michael J. Guthrie will relinquish command to Col. Allen F. Woodhouse. Col. Guthrie will become deputy commander of the Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon.

Col. Woodhouse comes to Fort Gordon from the Army Materiel Command, where he served as the director of Logistics System Integration in Alexandria, Va.

If it rains, the ceremony will be in Gym 5 on 26th Street.

Fire department plans senior citizen fish fry

The Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department will hold its annual Senior Citizens' Fish Fry from noon to 3 p.m. Friday at Engine Company 5, 1898 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. All senior citizens are invited.

There will be educational exhibits, community information and plenty of food. For more information, call Capt. Richard Burts at 821-2923.

Columbia County EMA will hold blood drive

The Columbia County EMA Office will hold its annual summer blood drive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Columbia County Government Complex auditorium.

Each year, about 100 Emergency Management Agency employees and other residents donate blood during the drive, which is run by the Shepeard Community Blood Center. The public is invited to participate, and donors will receive free food and a T-shirt.

Road rules change to preserve trees

Hoping to preserve the city's trees, Aiken City Council voted Monday night to allow for more narrow roads and rights of way.

The measure calls for rights of way at least 42 feet wide rather than 50 feet wide. Councilman Pat Cunning said narrowing the gap would save trees.

Public Works Director Larry Morris said the extra footage actually did the same thing, allowing developers room to navigate and save trees. Council amended its vote to allow developers to request the additional eight feet if necessary.

The council's vote also lowered the minimum width of roads from 30 feet to 22 feet. Council members cited examples of roads already more narrow than 30 feet that function fine and slow traffic.

Man arrested after fleeing from police

A 21-year-old Augusta man was arrested early Monday after he fled from police.

Gregory Charles Hughes, of the 2800 block of Wells Road, was charged with running a stop sign; fleeing and attempting to elude; driving with an expired license, open container of alcohol and no seat belt; driving under the influence of alcohol; and felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

Police say the incident began when Deputy Jason Youngblood attempted a traffic stop on Mr. Hughes about 2:30 a.m. on Barton Chapel Road.

Mr. Hughes fled down Barton Chapel, weaving in and out of his lane, a sheriff's office report states. The car chase continued on Glenn Hills Drive and ended on Deeb Road. Mr. Hughes reportedly ran from his car and was caught by Deputy Youngblood. A struggle ensued, and Deputy Youngblood received a small cut on his right forearm.