Originally created 10/14/02

Across the area



Columbus Day closings set

City and county offices in the Augusta area will be open today, but banks and federal and Georgia state offices will close in observance of Columbus Day.

Augusta-Richmond County offices will operate as normal, as will garbage service. Columbia County offices and the Baker Place Road landfill will be open. City and county offices also will be open in Aiken and North Augusta.

State offices in South Carolina will be open.

Department of Energy offices at Savannah River Site will be closed, but contractors at SRS will operate on a normal schedule.

State courts in Georgia will not be in session, and there will be no mail delivery.

Girl hospitalized after church van hits car

A 9-year-old Augusta girl was in critical condition Sunday night after the driver of a church van rammed into the car she was riding in, authorities said.

Katilin Jordan suffered a head injury in the wreck at 2:36 p.m. at 12th and Jones streets, said Deputy Ron Harden of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. She was being treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Two adults and eight children in the church van were taken to MCG, but none was seriously injured, Deputy Harden said.

Willie Trattie, 69, who was driving the van for Pentecostal Outreach Church, was northbound on 12th Street and had stopped at the stop sign at Jones Street, Deputy Harden said. Mr. Trattie told police he didn't see the other vehicle, entered the intersection and struck the passenger side of a 1995 Honda Accord driven by Jerry Jordan, Katilin's father.

Mr. Jordan was treated at MCG and released. Mr. Trattie was cited for failure to yield for a stop sign.

Authorities search for lingerie thieves

Police said 320 pieces of lingerie were stolen from Victoria's Secret in the Augusta Mall on Sunday.

A worker at Watches Unlimited, near Victoria's Secret, said three men were seen carrying large bags in and out of the store sometime between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states. Hundreds of bras and panties, costing about $40 each, were missing, according to the report. The total loss was $12,272, the report states.

Convenience store reports $5,700 stolen

More than $5,000 was stolen from an Augusta business in a burglary reported Sunday, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The burglary at Cumbee's Convenience Store, located in the 4600 block of Mike Padgett Highway, occurred between 10 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday, according to the report.

Someone entered the store by prying open the blades on one of the store's rear vent fans, according to the report. A bag containing $5,700 in cash and an unknown amount in checks was taken.

Stove fire clears out Martinez steakhouse

A stove fire at Ryan's Family Steakhouse in Martinez forced an evacuation of the restaurant Sunday morning, but there were no injuries or structural damage.

The fire in the 200 block of Bobby Jones Expressway was reported at 11:07 a.m. after an exhaust vent over a stove caught fire because of grease buildup, said Battalion Chief Gary Thigpen of the Martinez Fire Department.

Chief Thigpen said a customer walking out of the restaurant saw flames shooting out of a vent on top of the building and reported the fire. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire already had been extinguished, he said.

Thief steals car left running outside store

An Augusta man who left his car running while he wentinto a convenience store late Saturday returned to find it stolen, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Ronald Edward Parrish, 36, told police he went into the Pantry store on Highland Avenue at 11:40 p.m. to buy beer. He said he left his 2000 Volvo S80 Turbo running in the parking lot, the report states.

The vehicle was later found abandoned, but police have not found the thief.

Two report attacks, robberies on street

Two Augusta men told police they were attacked and robbed in separate incidents on Center West Parkway late Saturday and early Sunday, Richmond County Sheriff's Office reports state.

Jonathan Scott Rumbaugh, 18, said he was walking in the 2500 block of Center West Parkway at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday when a man struck his head from behind. He said he tried to fight back but the attacker and another man forced him to the ground, kicked him and robbed him, the report states. Mr. Rumbaugh said he felt something sharp at his back and heard one of the men tell him to stay down or he would die.

Kartik Dilip Madhani, 25, said he was walking to his house in the 2500 block of Center West Parkway at 1:18 a.m. Sunday when a man approached him and asked where his apartment was. Mr. Madhani said the man then pulled out a handgun and robbed him, a police report states.

Man says kidnappers took cash at gunpoint

Police are investigating a Lincolnton, Ga., man's report that he was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday.

Jacob Tanner Powell, 23, told police he was at the Depot Food Store on Jones Street when two men approached him. He said one pulled a handgun and demanded that he get into a white Chevrolet Caprice, according to a report filed at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Powell said he was held in the car at gunpoint as the two men drove around Richmond County for about 45 minutes. He said they took $260 from him and left him on Gordon Highway, the report states.

Office Depot robbed of computer printers

Several computer printers were reported stolen from Office Depot in Augusta on Sunday.

The thefts from the business, in the 1400 block of Marks Church Road, involved 14 printers with a total value of $4,332, according to a report filed at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. A worker at the store told police two men placed the items on a flatbed cart and walked out of the store without paying.

Police arrest man on obstruction charge

Police arrested an Augusta man on a charge of obstruction Sunday and were looking for another man on a similar charge.

In the first case, police responded to a disturbance in a Ramada Inn room on Washington Road about 2 a.m. When officers arrived, George Maurice Polk, 26, of the 2000 block of Golden Rod Road, struck Deputy Chris Lane in the chest in an attempt to flee the room, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

Police later learned that Mr. Polk was in possession of a stolen vehicle at the time of his arrest, according to the report.

In the second case, which occurred at Budget Inn in the 400 block of Broad Street, William Leon Johnson, 35, of the 3000 block of Raes Creeks Drive, was being sought. Police say Mr. Johnson was being arrested on a charge of aggravated stalking when he pushed Deputy Mantrell Djwan Wilson and ran.

Burglar takes jewelry, prescription drugs

Prescription painkillers OxyContin and Percocet and more than $2,000 in jewelry were stolen from an Augusta home in a burglary reported to police on Sunday.

According to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report, 15 OxyContin pills, a bottle of Percocet, diamond earrings and a diamond-and-ruby ring were taken from the home in the 400 block of Forest Hills Drive.

Man reports attack outside main library

An Augusta man told police he was attacked at the Richmond County Library by someone looking for money.

Leroy Douglass, 51, of the 1300 block of Greene Street, said a man harassed him Saturday at the library, in the 900 block of Greene Street, saying he owed the man $9, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states. Mr. Douglass said that when he told the man he did not owe him money, the man choked him, hit him in the back and kicked him in the legs. Mr. Douglass said the attack was unprovoked and he would prosecute, according to the report.

Blood center will give carnations to donors

Shepeard Community Blood Center will observe Ladies Day Out on Tuesday in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Door prizes, refreshments and pink carnations will be given to donors at the main office, 1533 Wrightsboro Road, and the west Augusta office, 112 Davis Road.

Breast cancer survivors are being asked to sign the Survival Wall at the main office this week. For more information, call the main office at 737-4451 or the west Augusta office at 654-1880.