Originally created 08/24/02

Across the area



Dooley decides against recount

Republican 12th Congressional District candidate Barbara Dooley conceded the race to Max Burns on Friday and will not ask for a recount of Tuesday's primary election results, according to spokesman Evan Keefer.

Mrs. Dooley lost to Mr. Burns by 274 votes in unofficial election results.

"Republicans need to be unified if we are to challenge those who don't share our conservative values," Mrs. Dooley said. "Despite the fact that a 1 percent difference avails me the opportunity to call for a recount, I believe it is in the best interests of the Republican Party to complete this process and make the election final."

A recount is automatic if there is 1 percent or less difference in the election results and the losing candidate requests one in writing within five days after the results are certified by the state, said Linda Beazley, the director of the Georgia secretary of state's elections division.

The state was to have received results from counties Friday and will certify them next week, Mrs. Beazley said.

Judge grants one bond, but denies another

Teenagers accused of separate homicides asked for release on bond Friday.

Kirby D. Roland, 19, was granted a $30,000 bond in Richmond County Superior Court, but Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. denied bond for Matthew J. Wiedeman, 17, who is accused of taking part in the brutal beating and stabbing death of his former girlfriend April 22.

Ms. Roland has been held without bond since May 4, when she allegedly stabbed Johnny Henderson, 42, in their Wylds Court home. Ms. Roland, who had no criminal history, will present evidence that she was defending herself, defense attorney Clay Jolly said. Ms. Roland was indicted on charges of voluntary manslaughter and a weapon offense.

Mr. Wiedeman was 16 when he and Raymond A. Soto, 17, were arrested in connection with the slaying of 16-year-old Stephanie Nicole Burnett. Investigators say they believe the two lured her outside of her home and then inflicted massive head injuries with a dumbbell bar and stabbed her repeatedly in the chest and neck.

Mr. Wiedeman and Mr. Soto, both charged as adults, are scheduled for trial Sept. 3. Ms. Roland's trial has been set for Sept. 16.

Two plead guilty, get 10-year sentences

The last of four teenagers accused of two armed robberies and a 31-year-old man accused of robbing a bank each received a 10-year prison sentence Friday.

Omar Johnson, 15, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of armed robbery. He and his brother Richard Johnson, 18, cousin Lacsun H. James, 15, and friend Robert A. Thames, 18, were arrested for the Dec. 12 armed holdup of a man in a grocery store parking lot and the Dec. 14 armed robbery of a convenience store clerk.

Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Omar Johnson to serve 10 years on probation after he completes his prison sentence. His brother and cousin each received 15-year prison sentences followed by 10 years of probation. Mr. Thames received a 10-year prison sentence.

Edward D. Walker pleaded guilty Friday to robbery by intimidation for handing a bank teller a threatening note demanding $300 on March 16. After his release from prison, Mr. Walker will serve 10 years on probation.

Man reports robbery by armed man, 3 others

Authorities on Friday were investigating an armed robbery that occurred downtown late Thursday night.

Darryl Maurice Sapp told police he was approached by four men about midnight in the 200 block of Sixth Street, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. The men said they wanted their money, and one produced a gun, the report states.

Mr. Maurice said the armed man ordered him to take off his clothes. The robbers left with the victim's clothes, $200 from his wallet and a wedding band, the report states.

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

Animal control seizes four dogs after bite

Columbia County Animal Care and Control officials confiscated four dogs - including three pit bulls - after an officer was bitten Friday morning.

Officer Joseph Guerin, 33, of Hephzibah, was treated at University Hospital's emergency room and released, Animal Control Manager Linda Fulmer said.

Mr. Guerin was bitten after responding to a call about a loose Rottweiler on the 4500 block of Jessie Road. By the time he arrived, the dog's owner - Linda Steed, 46 - had already captured her pet.

One of Ms. Steed's three pit bulls bit Mr. Guerin on the right leg and left arm when he accompanied her into her back yard to examine the Rottweiler's chain. Ms. Steed was charged with having a public nuisance animal and will be in magistrate court Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

Meeting will address park design proposals

A public input meeting to discuss preliminary design proposals for Wildwood Park will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at Eubank Blanchard Community Center, 6868 Cobbham Road (Highway 150), Appling. For more information, call Columbia County Community & Leisure Division at 868-3484 or visit www.co.columbia.ga.us.

Retired teachers plan meeting at library

The Columbia County Retired Educators will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Gibbs Library on Belair Road.

All retired educators are invited to attend.

For more information, call President Helen Morris at 863-7949 or Margaretha Lotz at 863-0895.

Two Wal-Marts offer voter registration

Voter registration drives will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Wal-Mart on Deans Bridge Road and Thursday at the Wal-Mart in Evans. Voters must register in the county in which they reside. For more information, call 828-7211.