Originally created 09/18/02

Across the area



Search for man stops for a day

The search for a missing Louisville man was halted Tuesday, but police said their efforts would begin again this morning.

Police suspect that Bill Farrer, 66, visited a favorite fishing spot at Rocky Comfort Creek in Louisville on Thursday. On Friday, his fishing boat and vehicle were found abandoned at the wooded site.

Since then, there has been a community search effort, including more than 100 friends; Jefferson County police; dive teams from Burke, Washington and McDuffie counties; K-9 units from Jesup and Rockdale County; and a Georgia State Patrol air search unit.

Mr. Farrer is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs approximately 175 pounds, has gray hair and was wearing glasses and fatigues, authorities said. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at (478) 625-7538.

Prostitution charges lead to lost licenses

Three Augusta spas that advertised themselves as massage parlors had their business licenses revoked Tuesday afternoon by the Augusta Commission after being charged with keeping houses of prostitution by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

After a series of undercover operations in August, three spas were found to be conducting illegal operations, Sgt. Greg Smith of the sheriff's office told commissioners: Our Place Too on Washington Road, Peach Health Spa on Deans Bridge Road and Sun Spa on Wylds Road. Employees at all three spas offered undercover officers sex for money, the sheriff's office reported.

Permanent director will start work at YDC

The state Department of Juvenile Justice has hired a new director for the Augusta Youth Development Campus on Mike Padgett Highway. Daphony Lyons will be the campus' first permanent director in more than a year.

Mr. Lyons' last job was at Wackenhut Corrections Corp. working as an assistant warden at the privately operated Marshall County Correctional Facility in Mississippi, according to juvenile justice spokeswoman Jaci Vickers. He has also worked as assistant warden of education and programs at South Bay Correctional Facility in Florida.

Edna Wiggins, the YDC's last permanent director, transferred to the Augusta Regional Youth Detention Center in July 2001. Since then, the facility has had two acting directors.

Mr. Lyons begins work Oct. 1, Ms. Vickers said.

Public meeting will address water plan

Augusta officials will continue a series of public meetings to present Augusta's water master plan from 6-7 p.m. Thursday at Eastview Park Community Center, 644 Aiken St.

Another meeting is planned for 6-7 p.m. Tuesday at Gracewood Community Center, 1200 Tobacco Road.

After the presentation, representatives of city departments will be available to answer questions. Among those departments taking part are the board of elections, sheriff's office, public works, fire department, district attorney's office and tax assessors office.

Broken sewer line closes Broad at 15th

A section of Augusta's Broad Street at 15th Street will be closed until further notice while public works employees repair a broken sewer line.

The Public Works and Engineering Department recommends that drivers use 13th Street, Jones Street and Crawford Avenue as alternate routes.

Man hurt in crash in N.Y. returns home

The Aiken polo player injured in an August traffic accident in New York was brought home to begin his rehabilitation Tuesday, United Way officials said.

The Aiken Rescue Squad, a United Way-funded agency, had traveled to Saratoga, N.Y., to transport Justin Pimsner to the Mattie C. Hall Health Care Center.

He was crushed inside the cab of the truck he was driving, which was pulling a horse trailer. The accident happened after a tire blowout.

Eleven horses were in the trailer, and four had to be euthanized. Several others were critically injured.

Mr. Pimsner had been traveling back to South Carolina when the accident occurred.

Woman reports being threatened, robbed

Authorities continued searching Tuesday for a man who put a knife to a woman's throat the day before in a hospital parking lot and robbed her of $80.

Rebecca Ann Baker, 45, of Marietta, told the Richmond County Sheriff's Office she was attacked about 2 p.m. Monday while in the parking lot of the Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers on 15th Street.

Ms. Baker said the man put a knife against her neck and took a black nylon waist pack containing $80 cash, a driver's license, her VA card and her keys. She described the man as tall, wearing dark clothing and driving a dark-colored, older model sedan.

Drive-by shooting injures man on porch

Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that left an Augusta man with a gunshot wound to the left leg.

Brian Wesley D'Antiganac, 24, told police he couldn't sleep and was cleaning up his front porch on Old Savannah Road about 4 a.m. Monday when the shooting occurred. He said a car drove by and a person shot at him six or seven times. One of the bullets struck him in the left leg, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

Mr. D'Antiganac was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and released. He said he didn't get a good look at the shooter and did not know who might have wanted to harm him.

Sheraton plays host to Augusta job fair

A job fair will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Sheraton Augusta Hotel, 2651 Perimeter Parkway. The event is free. For more information, call Flo Rodriquez, (210) 653-6161.

Officials OK moving of fishing megaplex

Columbia County commissioners agreed Tuesday night to move a bass-fishing megaplex at Wildwood Park.

The new location, which faces Big Branch, does not require boaters to backtrack though the Keg Creek area and probably will not require any more money to build. The initial location was on the opposite side of the park.

"(The move) just seems to make better sense to us," Keg Creek resident Roy Giles said.

Commissioners hope the new ramps will be built by the end of the year and other work at the park - including parking lots near the ramps - will be completed by April.

Jackson councilman elected to mayor post

The town of Jackson elected Todd Etheredge as mayor in Tuesday's special election.

Mr. Etheredge, 43, has been a town councilman for three years. He received 323 of the 490 votes cast, said Pansy Witt of the election commission.

Mr. Etheredge, a retired Savannah River Site employee, said his immediate goal is to bring a health clinic to the town. He says if everything goes well in choosing a building, the clinic, sponsored in part by the Margaret J. Weston Medical Center, could be open by November.

Tuesday's election was ordered after Pat Sullivan resigned to become the full-time magistrate in New Ellenton. Marty Landrum, who received 98 votes in the mayoral election, has been the interim mayor since Mr. Sullivan left office in July.

Kenny Teuton, who was a councilman for six years until leaving three years ago, said he didn't expect to win. He received 61 votes.

Authorities search for 2 missing inmates

Two inmates have escaped from the Lower Savannah Pre-Release Center in Aiken, a Corrections Department spokeswoman says.

Joseph F. Smith, 23, and David Haug, 24, walked away from the center about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, spokeswoman Cheryl Bates-Lee said.

Guards realized the two men had escaped when an inmate told them they were missing, Ms. Bates-Lee said.

Both men were wearing their tan prison uniforms, she said.

Mr. Smith was sentenced to five years in prison for grand larceny in Pickens County. Mr. Haug was sentenced to 10 years for second-degree robbery and discharging a firearm in Greenwood County.

Deputy stops one duty to pursue another

An Aiken County Sheriff's Office deputy broke from a funeral procession Tuesday afternoon in order to capture two men accused of car theft.

Deputy Chris Gregory spotted a pickup that had been reported stolen on Jefferson-Davis Highway, pursued it and ultimately arrested two men.

Frank J. Thomas, 44, of 6955 Georgia Highway 305, Louisville, and Nathaniel Wright, 37, of 2358 Richwood Drive, Augusta, are charged with grand larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Deputy Gregory followed the vehicle to Todd Avenue in North Augusta, where the two men exited the vehicle and ran. The driver was captured after a brief foot chase. The second subject was apprehended a short time later. The Aiken Bloodhound Team was called in for the search.

An all-terrain vehicle was found in the bed of the truck. It had been reported stolen minutes earlier from a home in Graniteville. The truck was stolen from Savannah.

Police arrest man in downtown thefts

A 28-year-old Augusta man was arrested Tuesday in connection to two burglaries at Augusta financial services, police reports show.

James Thomas Smith, of the 100 block of Walker Street, was charged with felony burglary, according to Richmond County jail records. The burglaries occurred between 5 p.m. August 9 and 8 a.m. August 12 at Delta Finance Co. and Empire Financial Service, both located in the 900 block of Greene Street.

At Empire Financial Service, a computer, 13-inch color television, stereo, telephone and unknown amount of cash and checks were taken, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states. At Delta Finance Co., an unknown amount of cash and checks were reported missing.