Originally created 07/10/02

Across the area



Bottle bombs rattle Wrens

Six pressurized explosive devices were found early Tuesday in a Wrens neighborhood.

Five of the devices exploded in front yards and in the road on Thompson Street, said Wrens Police Department Chief David Hannah. The remaining bomb was dismantled by a Georgia Bureau of Investigation bomb squad.

Chief Hannah said no one was injured and there was no structural damage to homes in the area. But the blasts prompted several phone calls to his department.

"Some of them shook houses in the neighborhood," he said.

The bombs were made by filling 2-liter soda bottles with several chemicals, causing pressure to build up, the chief said.

Police are looking for a dark-colored, step side Ford Ranger with a sliding glass window. Chief Hannah said the vehicle was seen in the area at the time of the incident. Anyone with information about the devices is asked to call the Wrens Police Department at (706) 547-3000.

Attempt at ATM theft ends in driver's arrest

A Beech Island man was charged Tuesday in a failed attempt to steal an ATM from an Augusta convenience store, police said.

Three men used a chain and a sport utility vehicle to pry off the door to the Citgo convenience store on Stevens Creek Road about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Lt. Tony Walden of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. The men loaded the ATM into the back of the vehicle and drove away, dropping half of the machine in the parking lot.

Witnesses called police. Deputies stoppeda vehicle on Mayo Street, where they arrested the driver and recovered the second half of the ATM, Lt. Walden said.

Doug Glenn Bledsoe, 20, of Woodcrest Drive, Beech Island, was charged with felony burglary. A passenger ran from the vehicle and was not captured. A third man is also being sought for participating in the burglary.

Court indicts man in disputed land deal

A man who police say sold land he did not own was indicted Tuesday on felony charges of giving false statements and theft by deception.

Police said John E. Williams, 65, of Brockdale Drive, sold 3.5 acres of land to the Richmond County Board of Education for $30,000. Mr. Williams told a probate court judge that he was sole heir to the property off of Railroad Avenue in Hephzibah, according to the indictment. In May, heirs to the land came to Augusta to pay property taxes and learned the land had been sold.

It is unclear if the school board will have to return the land or will lose the price paid for it.

Vineyard Churches to open conference

About 500 pastors and leaders from the Southeast Association of Vineyard Churches will begin registration today at The Vineyard Church-Augusta to start a three-day conference.

Speakers include the Rev. Lance Pittluck, pastor of The Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Anaheim, Calif.; Dr. Johnny Crist, Atlanta-based Southeast Regional Overseer for the Association of Vineyard Churches; and the Rev. Thor Colberg, pastor of The Vineyard in Augusta.

The conference will close with praise and worship at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater at Riverwalk Augusta at 7 p.m. Friday.

For more information, call 863-9766 or visit The Vineyard at www.vineyardaugusta.org.

Father who beat girl is not charged by police

Richmond County authorities chose not to charge an Augusta father with whipping his daughter with a belt after a doctor told them the beating was excessive, but not cruel, a sheriff's report states.

A 15-year-old girl told police this week that her father beat her because she was disobedient.

The father told police that when he started whipping his daughter for being disobedient, she slapped him, leading him to strike her even more, a sheriff's report states.

The girl was examined at University Hospital, where the doctor told police the girl's injuries were "borderline excessive, but not cruel," a report states. Social workers with the Augusta Department of Family and Children Services told police they would investigate the incident and recommended the girl stay with her grandfather.

Deputy injures arm in arrest scuffle

A Richmond County deputy was injured after struggling with a drunken-driving suspect who led police on a chase, a sheriff's report states.

Deputy Jason Youngblood suffered a cut to his right forearm, and his radio equipment was broken in the struggle, the report states.

The deputy tried to pull over a Cadillac on Monday after the vehicle ran a stop sign on Barton Chapel Road. The driver led the officer on a chase before stopping on Deeb Road, where he jumped from the car and ran, a report states.

Deputy Youngblood ordered the man to stop, but he kept running and fought with the deputy once he was caught, a report states.

Gregory Charles Hughes, 21, of the 2800 block of Wells Road, Augusta, was charged with felony obstruction of an officer, driving under the influence, fleeing and attempting to elude, running a stop sign, having an open container of alcohol and driving with an expired license.

Museum wants relics of Fort Gordon's past

The City of Grovetown Museum Board of Directors is seeking donations of military memorabilia with ties to Fort (Camp) Gordon for a display depicting the historical relationship between the fort and Grovetown.

Photographs, documents, uniforms, personal military equipment, medals and copies of news articles are needed. Donated items will be displayed in two glass cases that were purchased through a grant from the Fort Gordon Officers Wives Club. For more information or to donate, call Rosa Lee Owens at 863-1867 or Charles Lord at 863-3138.