Originally created 10/08/02

Across the area



Woman arrested in man's killing

A Thomson woman has been charged with murder in her boyfriend's stabbing death.

Anicia Ann Akers, 20, of Kramer Road, was in the McDuffie County jail Monday, said Mike Seigler, the special agent in charge of the Thomson office of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

He said Ms. Akers stabbed Jacorbin Sanchez Grant, 24, of Sunshine Lane, Thomson, at about 11 p.m. at a residence on Sand Hill Road in Thomson.

"I don't think he realized he was stabbed as bad as he was because he attempted to drive himself to the hospital," Special Agent Seigler said.

Mr. Grant collapsed en route, and a passenger drove him on to McDuffie County Hospital. He was later airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he died, Special Agent Seigler said.

Groups plan meeting on general election

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is sponsoring a public meeting in Augusta on next month's general election.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Beulah Grove Baptist Church, 1434 Poplar St.

George Curry, of the National Newspaper Publishers Association in Washington, will moderate. The speakers will be Melanie Campbell, of Operation Big Vote; the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery; and former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young.

The meeting also is sponsored by the publishers association, the People for the American Way Foundation and the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda.

Hospital rags blamed for blocked-up sewers

Pillowcases from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers on Wrightsboro Road were responsible for a blockage that forced 23,250 gallons of sewage to overflow into a tributary of Oates Creek in Augusta, officials said Monday.

The spill Friday morning from a manhole at Wrightsboro Road and Schley Street was caused by rags from the nearby VA facility, said Allen Saxon, the assistant director for wastewater for the Augusta Utilities Department.

"They have a pre-treatment system that's supposed to be screening out that sort of thing," Mr. Saxon said. "Something failed in the system."

Utilities department officials and VA authorities are investigating the incident.

Woman says thief entered stopped car

A Warrenville woman told police her car was taken Sunday by a man who wanted money.

Tamara V. Brown, 18, said the man entered her vehicle while it was at a stop sign at Arbute and Main streets in Graniteville at 3 p.m., according to a police report from the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

The man threatened to beat Ms. Brown if she didn't give him money, the report states. She drove to a nearby convenience store with the man inside.

After she went in to call police, the man drove the car toward Augusta on South Carolina Highway 421, the report says. He was described as black, 35 to 40 years old, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Board of education approves tax rate

The Richmond County school board approved millage Monday night for the 2002 tax year.

The overall school board tax rate was set at 19.85 mills - 19.23 mills for maintenance and operations and 0.62 mills for debt service.

In its third and final public hearing, the school board dropped its debt service payments by 1.24 mills this year after paying off a capital improvement bond. School board members voted, however, to increase the operating budget by 0.542 mills to fund salary increases for support staff and maintenance personnel, new buses and more public safety officers.

New charges lodged against errant soldier

Richmond County authorities upgraded charges Monday against a Fort Gordon soldier who was found sleeping in a house that former Mayor Charles A. DeVaney shares with his mother.

Jered Allen McCrary, 21, was charged Monday with criminal trespass and was booked into the Richmond County jail. He was initially given a citation for public drunkenness.

Police say they responded to a burglary call in the 300 block of Broad Street late Saturday, where the soldier was found sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. The soldier told police he thought he was at a Ramada Inn.

Fort Gordon spokesman James Hudgins said the private's graduation and assignment to Korea have been put on hold while the incident is investigated.

"He will be kept here at Fort Gordon pending an investigation," Mr. Hudgins said.

Vandal causes fire in video drop box

An employee of a video rental store told police that someone put a smoke bomb inside a video return box slot late Sunday, starting a fire in the drop box.

Bernadette Hughes told police that the smoke bomb was dropped into a 30-gallon trash can that catches the videos at Celebrity Video in the 3900 block of Old Waynesboro Road. The container and a blanket that sits at the bottom were ignited, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The fire caused no damage to the building, according to the report.

City riverfront project wins national award

The American Planning Association's South Carolina chapter has recognized the North Augusta Riverfront redevelopment project.

The project on Friday won the 2002 Planning Project for a Small Jurisdiction award.

The city of North Augusta, community group North Augusta 2000 and the city contractors designing and implementing the plan jointly received the award.

Although the plan is in place, most of the redevelopment has yet to be executed.

Authorities search for 2 robbery suspects

Police were looking for two men Monday who reportedly robbed and assaulted a North Augusta man at gunpoint at his apartment.

Fernandez Hawkins, 24, of Norway Drive, told police the two men approached him about 12:15 a.m. Monday in a hallway near his apartment door, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states. Mr. Hawkins said he was struck on the head several times with a pistol as the two men demanded that he "give it up," according to the report.

Mr. Hawkins said the two men took $400 and a necklace. The robbers were last seen running into woods near Conifer Court.

Property tax meetings draw small crowds

A small number of taxpayers attended two public hearings Monday about proposed property tax increases.

As required by state law, three public hearings were scheduled and advertised for the purpose of discussing suggested tax increases on area land and homes. About a dozen taxpayers attended the morning meeting at Bernie Ward Community Center in south Augusta, and about twice that many came to a second hearing at 6:30 p.m. at T. Harry Garrett Gym in west Augusta.

The final public hearing will be at 2 p.m. Monday in the commission chambers at 530 Greene St.

The commission is proposing property tax changes that amount to about $55 more on a $100,000 home for residents within the former county limits and $1.54 less on a $100,000 home in the former city limits.

Police arrest two in home invasion

Two men were arrested Monday after police say they entered an Augusta man's home, demanded money and threatened residents with a gun and a device that one of the suspects said was a grenade.

Christopher David Perdue, 38, and Aaron James Hill, 18, both of the 3100 block of Old McDuffie Road, were charged with burglary, terroristic threats and acts, and criminal attempt armed robbery. Mr. Perdue also was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

According to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report, the incident occurred at 12:28 a.m. Monday at a home on Old McDuffie owned by Harold Masters. Mr. Masters, who was home with two other residents, said he answered his door after hearing a loud banging. Two men - one with a gun, the other with a green canister - forced their way inside and demanded money, the report states.

Mr. Hill held the canister to the head of a woman in the home and said he was going to "blow her up," the report states.

According to the report, another victim inside the home grabbed a golf club, which one of the suspects reportedly took away. Both men ran from the house and were later arrested at their home.