Originally created 10/26/02

Across the area



Marijuana bust ends in 1 arrest

A Keysville man was arrested Friday after authorities found nearly 20 marijuana plants near his Burke County home.

Lester Dent, 55, was charged with manufacturing marijuana for having the plants inside two greenhouses at his property on Spread Oak Road, said Burke County sheriff's Investigator Dan Lower. Police, working on a tip, got Mr. Dent's permission to search the greenhouses about 1 p.m., he said.

Officers discovered 13 marijuana plants growing in the first structure and six more plants in the other, Investigator Lowe said. Authorities also found heat lamps and fans in the second greenhouse, he said.

Officers also found about 3 pounds of packaged marijuana and a pound of marijuana plants hanging inside Mr. Dent's home in the 2000 block of Spread Oak Road, Investigator Lowe said. Officers also recovered two guns, one of which might have been stolen, he said.

Woman tells police her snake was stolen

An Augusta woman reported to police Friday that a friend stole her pet snake.

Angela A. Baker, 19, told authorities that her roommate informed her that a friend took her ball python Tuesday and would return it later, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. The friend had borrowed and returned the snake on previous occasions, the report states.

Ms. Baker said she heard through other friends that the man might have sold her snake to another person.

Ms. Baker also reported that a Sony Playstation 2 was stolen from her Fayetteville Drive home Tuesday.

Josey arson results in 10 years for ex-student

A Hephzibah man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for breaking into T.W. Josey High School and setting fire to the school last Christmas.

Richmond County Superior Judge Albert M. Pickett sentenced Willie Bernard Coe, 18, of the 3000 block of Green Forest Drive, to serve 10 years for the burglary and arson of the Augusta high school.

The former Josey student broke into the school on Christmas Eve and stole two laptop computers. He then set the fire to cover up the theft, he said. Mr. Coe was arrested Dec. 26 after authorities linked the crime to him through his footprint and handprint.

School officials estimate the incident totaled close to $1 million in damage.

Funeral is scheduled for driver in collision

Services will be held today for a Waynesboro man who was killed in a collision Thursday.

Steve Sturdivant, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Georgia Highway 23 shortly after 1 p.m., Burke County Coroner Craig Kennedy said.

Mr. Sturdivant, the driver of a Nissan Frontier, was traveling south on Highway 23 at 12:48 p.m. when he crossed the center lane and hit a Chevrolet Tahoe head-on, police said. The driver of the Tahoe, Catherine Hawkins, 48, of Waynesboro, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

The funeral for Mr. Sturdivant will be at 2 p.m. today at Botsford Baptist Church.

Man gets prison term for molesting teen

An Augusta man who sexually assaulted a mentally impaired teenager received a 10-year prison sentence Friday.

Timothy English, 20, pleaded guilty to sodomy in Richmond County Superior Court. Mr. English admitted he assaulted a 16-year-old on July 28, 2001. He was originally charged with aggravated sexual battery for sodomizing the child who, attorneys reported, functions at an intellectual third-grade level.

Judge Albert M. Pickett sentenced Mr. English to serve 10 years in prison. In Georgia, sodomy is punishable by one to 20 years imprisonment.

Coliseum Authority taps 5 manager candidates

Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority members narrowed the search for new civic center management to five candidates Friday.

A search committee reviewed applications from 22 individuals and four management companies before selecting three individuals and two companies as finalists, authority Chairman Bernard Harper said.

The finalists will be asked to make presentations to the committee, which will select three to present to the full board, Mr. Harper said.

Three televised debates set for Sunday, Monday

State Sen. Charles Walker, D-Augusta, and his Republican opponent, Randy Hall, are scheduled to appear from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday on Connect Live, a cable access show that airs weekly on Comcast channel 4.

The U.S. 12th Congressional District candidates, Democrat Charles "Champ" Walker Jr. and Republican Max Burns, also are set to appear on the show. Viewers can call 739-1822 with questions, or they may e-mail questions in advance to connectlive@comcast.net.

The program will air live Monday and will be replayed Tuesday through Saturday at noon, 3:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 66.

Also, a debate of Georgia's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates, sponsored by Atlanta's WSB-TV, will be televised on Augusta's WJBF-TV Channel 6 at 12:35 and 2:35 a.m. Sunday.

Meeting will address nuclear facility plan

The public will be able to learn more Tuesday about a proposed facility at the Savannah River Site.

The plant, called a modern pit facility, would make new triggers for nuclear bombs.

SRS is one of five locations being reviewed.

Registration will begin at 6 p.m., and the formal meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the North Augusta Community Center.

Public feedback will be included in an environmental impact statement being prepared by the government.

According to the Department of Energy, the feedback might influence whether the project will proceed and where it will be located.

Shepeard wants your blood for Halloween

Shepeard Community Blood Center and WKXC-FM will sponsor a Halloween blood drive Thursday.

There will be a sidewalk carnival with boiled peanuts, cotton candy, popcorn and free T-shirts to every donor at the main office on Wrightsboro Road, the West Augusta office on Davis Road and the Aiken office on Pine Log Road.

The radio station's live remote will be on site at the main office on Wrightsboro Road from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.