Originally created 11/19/02

Across the area



Peeping Tom suspect sought

Richmond County authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a man suspected of being a peeping Tom.

Solomon Harrison, 44, is wanted in a Nov. 10 incident that may be connected to several other cases this year, police said. Mr. Harrison has been known to frequent Allen Homes and goes by the aliases of John Earl Harrison and Jacob Harrison, police said.

Anyone with information about him is asked to call a violent-crime investigator at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, 821-1020 or 821-1080.

Probate Court plans to reopen after flood

Richmond County Probate Court is expected to reopen at noon today.

The court's fourth-floor office in the municipal building flooded Friday. Because clerks were unable to access electronic records, the office, which issues marriage licenses and gun and fireworks permits, was closed Friday and Monday.

Initial estimates place the cost of the damage between $20,000 and $30,000, not including the cost of replacing computer equipment, said Rick Acree, the city facilities manager. Ceiling tiles and lighting in the court offices will have to be replaced, and private contractors have been working to dry out the building.

Store reports theft of cigarette cartons

A burglar stole 90 cartons of Newport cigarettes from an Augusta convenience store on Deans Bridge Road, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Kwi Chol Han, of C.K. Food Store, told police that someone pried open a rear door Sunday night or Monday morning and took the cigarettes, valued at $2,520, a report states.

Items reported stolen from Partridge Inn

Several weekend thefts were reported at The Partridge Inn in Augusta, including that of a $1,000 diamond ring from a New York state woman.

Joan Howe said she left her room Saturday when housekeepers came to clean; when she returned,the ring was missing, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

A Charleston, S.C., woman said money was taken Friday from her purse while it was in her locked room, and another New York state woman said a heart-shape dog tag was taken Sunday from the bathroom in her room.

Also, a North Carolina woman reported her briefcase stolen Friday from the lobby. She told police it contained $500, a cell phone, credit cards and papers.

Two grenades found in bag of donations

A volunteer for a Bath religious outreach group discovered two grenades inside a blue canvas bag that contained donations, police said.

Capt. Michael Frank, of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, said the volunteer for the Valley Outreach Interfaith Center discovered the unarmed devices at about 10 a.m. Monday.

Between 25 and 30 people at the center were evacuated, the captain said.

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division took possession of the devices, Capt. Frank said.

Authorities say driver will not face charges

Police said Monday no charges will be filed against a Graniteville man whose car hit and killed a pedestrian along an Aiken County road.

Michael Boyd, 42, of the 100 block of Senn Street, was struck at about 8 p.m. Friday as he walked in the northbound lane of Rainbow Falls Road about one-half mile from its intersection with Ascauga Lake Road, said Lance Cpl. R.K. Hughes, of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Mr. Boyd was hit by a 1984 Ford Bronco driven by Donald Griffen, 61, of the 200 block of Sandy Ridge Road, Lance Cpl. Hughes said. Mr. Boyd had parked his 1991 Dodge Shadow after it broke down, Lance Cpl. Hughes said.

Officers investigate post office burglary

Jefferson County officials are investigating a burglary and arson at the post office in Louisville, Ga., authorities said.

Someone entered the building after prying open a window Sunday night and stole a calculator, a candle and three money orders, said Lt. Clark Hiebert, of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The burglars set fire to a bulletin board, he said. A passer-by who saw the men and smelled smoke called police.

Aiken museum holds annual quilt show

The Aiken County Historical Museum is holding its 22nd annual quilt show through Dec. 2 at the museum, 433 Newberry St. S.W.

Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The show will feature textile artists and events such as lectures.

For more information, call 642-2015.

Commissioners make decisions on zoning

Faced with three controversial zoning-related matters, the Columbia County Commission tabled two - at the applicants' requests - and OK'd the third on Monday night.

The commissioners approved the second go-round of the county's Evans Town Center ordinance, a zoning overlay district aimed at a 1.5-mile radius around the intersection of Washington and Belair roads.

They tabled a request from a racetrack owner to allow later racing on Saturdays and some racing on Sundays. County Administrator Steve Szablewski said William "Catfish" Reese asked the commissioners to delay deciding on his request because his wife is in the hospital.

The commission also tabled a request from Gail Stebbins to rezone 6.64 acres at Cox and Belair roads from neighborhood commercial use to the more intensive community commercial use. Instead, Ms. Stebbins will refile her request as a planned unit development - which requires a very specific site plan.