Originally created 11/06/02

Across the area



Man is charged with molesting

An Augusta man was charged Tuesday with molesting his friend's younger sister and giving her alcohol, a sheriff's report states.

Santonio Maurice Merriweather, 20, of Laurel Street, was charged with felony child molestation and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The 14-year-old girl told police she awoke at about 2 a.m. Monday and saw the suspect at the foot of her bed. He gave the girl something to drink and asked her brother to go to the store, a report states. He removed the girl's underwear and fondled her, the report states.

The girl said she pushed Mr. Merriweather away and ran to a neighbor's home and called her mother, who contacted police. A responding deputy said the girl appeared intoxicated.

Part of Boykin Road will close for sewers

Boykin Road will be closed today from Peach Orchard Road to Akard Street for the installation of a new sewer line.

Motorists are asked to take Peach Orchard Road to Tobacco Road to Mack Lane as a detour, according to Augusta-Richmond County's official Web site.

Author will address genealogical society

The Augusta Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds St.

The meeting will feature author C.L. Bragg, who will discuss his book Distinction in Every Service: Brig. Gen. Marcellus A. Stovall, C.S.A.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, call 722-8454.

POW/MIA service set in Edgefield County

America! A Salute to Edgefield County begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Strom Thurmond High School's football stadium.

Maj. Gen. Steve Siegfried, the chairman of the South Carolina Governor's Security Council, will be the guest speaker.

The ceremony will feature a remembrance service to honor prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.

The event is free. For more information, call Elizabeth Harm at 275-0010.

Empty Stocking Fund applications available

Applications for The Augusta Chronicle's Empty Stocking Fund are available.. They may be picked up at these locations during regular office hours: The main newspaper office at 725 Broad St.; the Aiken office at 123 Pendleton St.; and the Columbia County office at 4143 Columbia Road.

Applicants must explain in detail how the money will help them and why they need help.

They also must provide a street address and some other verifiable information.

Applications with a post office box must include a street address.

Workshop will teach how to write grants

A workshop on grant writing for beginners will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday at Augusta Technical College. The workshop is sponsored by JLJ Resources Inc.

Registration is required, and the cost is $50. For more information, call 210-2547.

Old Frog Hollow area plans Saturday reunion

A reunion for the old Frog Hollow neighborhood will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 63, 1 Milledge Road.

The reunion will feature barbecue, dancing and music by the Flashbacks. The cost is $12 at the door.

The reunion is open to the public. For more information, call Harry Rowland at (803) 279-9521.

Deputy injured during arrest

A Richmond County Sheriff's deputy sustained minor injuries while trying to arrest an Augusta man after a fight on Sand Bar Ferry Road Tuesday.

Deputy Chris Pabon suffered multiple scratches and swelling to his right knee during the struggle with Zack James McCranie about 3:40 a.m., according to the officer's incident report. The deputy, along with another officer, were placing Mr. McCranie under arrest for being under the influence of alcohol after a fight, the report states.

The report states the suspect dropped to the ground pulling both officers down causing the injury to Deputy Pabon. Once off the ground, Mr. McCranie - who suffered a cut mouth in the first altercation - spit blood into the deputy's face, the report states.

Mr. McCranie was charged with several traffic violations and felony obstruction a law enforcement officer, officials said. He was being held at the Richmond County jail on more than $6,000 bond.

Augusta man arrested for transmitting HIV

An Augusta man was arrested Tuesday on charges of transmitting HIV to a 33-year-old woman.

The victim told police that in September of 2001 an ex-girlfriend informed the woman that a 31-year-old man she had been dating had the disease that causes AIDS, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states. The woman said she had a relationship with the man since March of 2001, the report states.

The report states that the man denied having HIV when the woman confronted him. The man is charged with felony reckless conduct by HIV infected person, and was being held without bond, officials said.

Fire guts house in Columbia County

No one was injured in a Tuesday afternoon fire that gutted the inside of a Columbia County home.

Firefighters were called to the home at 5569 Washington Road around 2 p.m., after a caller said there was no power in the house and smoke was filling the rooms.

Leah Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charles Hogan said it took firefighters from Leah, Martinez and Appling several hours to put out the fire and hot spots.

Chief Hogan said he thought the preliminary cause of the fire was electrical problems.