Originally created 08/13/02

Across the area



Lottery winner reports robbery

A North Augusta man who bragged about his lottery winnings was robbed of $2,000 on Sunday, authorities said.

Ryan Visitacion, 21, of Woodlawn Road, told police that he agreed to give the friend of a friend a ride after he won $1,500.

He said he picked the man up on Old Edgefield Road and drove him to The Groves Apartments on Groves Boulevard about 9 p.m. The passenger pulled a gun and demanded Mr. Visitacion's wallet, which contained the lottery winnings and an additional $500.

Short circuit starts fire in rental business

An electrical fire caused smoke damage Monday to Rentway at Triangle Plaza in North Augusta.

Capt. Charles Williams, of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, said an exhaust fan in the bathroom shorted out, causing the fan to melt and drop onto several plastic containers. The containers caught fire and burned the bathroom wall of the rental business.

By the time firefighters arrived, someone had put out the fire with an extinguisher, Capt. Williams said.

Intruder beats man, steals money, pants

An elderly Hephzibah man was the victim of an attack in his home Saturday, authorities said.

Carlson David Newsome, 78, of Willis Foreman Road, told police he was in bed at about 11:30 p.m. when someone entered his home, dragged him from his bedroom to the den, and choked and punched him in the face and back, said Maj. Ken Autry of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Newsome told police the man fled after taking his pants, which contained keys, his wallet and $600. The victim was treated at University Hospital.

Man jailed on charges of shooting at women

A Burke County man was in custody Monday, charged with shooting at four women last weekend while he was drunk, authorities said.

Lurie Jenkins, 38, of Sardis, Ga., was charged with four counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Mr. Jenkins approached the women on North Hill Street on Saturday morning and fired a shotgun, according to the Sardis Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The women suffered minor injuries from birdshot-size pellets, GBI Agent Mike Seigler said.

The man and the women had been involved in a dispute Friday, police said.

Police seek public's help in finding killer

Authorities said Monday they had some promising leads in the slaying of an Augusta man but were seeking the public's help.

Marcus Dewayne Taylor, 28, was killed about 12:05 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Citgo gas station at 15th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Police say a man in dark clothing shot Mr. Taylor in the head and chest.

Authorities are offering a reward, and callers may remain anonymous, said Maj. Ken Autry of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with information is asked to call 821-1080.

Lapsed license leads to dentist's arrest

An Augusta dentist who authorities said was operating his office with an expired license was arrested Monday.

Richard Ramsey Clifford, 44, of Tall Pine Court, was charged with felony practicing dentistry without a license. He also was charged with possession of marijuana, Richmond County jail records showed.

Officials from Georgia's secretary of state office and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office worked together to make the arrest at 1:40 p.m. at Mr. Clifford's office, located in the 3000 block of Deans Bridge Road.

"He had (a license) in the past, but it had lapsed," Secretary of State Cathy Cox said.

Dr. Clifford was released late Monday. Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Alley at the jail refused to say what the bond amount was.

Mayor pro-tem will run for town's top job

The race for the title of Harlem mayor has one more runner.

Scott Dean announced at Monday's city council meeting that he will run for mayor against incumbent John Bentley.

Mr. Dean made the announcement after stepping down from his position as mayor pro-tem. Mr. Dean is in his second year on the council.

As of now, Mr. Dean and Mr. Bentley are the only people expected to run for the position. Anyone interested in becoming mayor must first qualify between Aug. 26 and Aug. 29.

Council member Craig Brooks was elected to replace Mr. Dean as mayor pro-tem.

Families can picnic at Phinizy Swamp park

There will be a family dinner this week at the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and hike the trails. Families can eat from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pharmacia Pavilion. Admission is free. For more information, call 828-2109 or 828-2129.

Signal Corps Band will play on the river

The U.S. Army Signal Corps Band will present music on the river at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater. Admission is free. For more information, call 821-1754.

Meeting will focus on future road work

Officials for the Augusta Regional Transportation Study Committee and Citizens Advisory Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the municipal building to discuss the area's upcoming road projects.

The meeting will take place in Room 802 and will address specific Georgia highways, Augusta public transit, South Carolina highways and Aiken County public transit. An update also will be given on Augusta's regional bike/pedestrian plan.

For more information, call the Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commission at 821-1796.