Originally created 11/28/02

Across the area



Waiter is charged in fraud case

A waiter at Romano's Macaroni Grill helped himself to a customer's credit card and used it to pay for meals, beer, clothing and a hotel stay, authorities said Wednesday.

Sammul Dewayne Anthony, 30, of Myrtle Court, was charged with financial transaction card fraud, said Sgt. Jimmy Vowell of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Police said Mr. Anthony tried to use an American Express card to buy beer and cigarettes Tuesday at an Amoco gas station on Washington Road. Clerk Tara Gardner asked for an ID and called police when it didn't match the card.

Investigators called the card's owner, who later identified Mr. Anthony as his waiter Saturday. The victim said he didn't notice that he didn't get his card back.

Restaurant officials say Mr. Anthony was fired Tuesday.

Masked men invade apartment, rob family

Three men wearing masks and carrying guns kicked in a door of an Augusta apartment early Wednesday and stole a family's cash savings, jewelry and car, authorities said.

Jermaine Ellison and Nicole Sandford told police they were asleep in their apartment in the 1800 block of Arbor Drive at about 2 a.m. when the men forced their way in. The intruders entered their bedroom and demanded money, jewelry and car keys, said Lt. Jimmy Young of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

The invaders took Ms. Sandford to another bedroom to stay with her 5-year-old son and kept Mr. Ellison in the bedroom as they ransacked the apartment. No one was hurt.

The burglars left with the family's blue 1986 Chevrolet Caprice, which has Georgia tag number 4658 AJJ. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1080.

Man pleads guilty to selling family's land

A man who sold land that he didn't own to the Richmond County Board of Education pleaded guilty this month and received probation.

John E. Williams, 65, of the 3500 block of Brockdale Drive, pleaded guilty Friday in Richmond County Superior Court to theft by deception and making false statements. Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced him to five years of probation and a $600 fine and ordered him to make full restitution to the victims.

Mr. Williams sold 3 1/2 acres to the school board for $30,000 after telling the Probate Court judge he was the sole heir to the property off Railroad Avenue in Hephzibah. In May, the heirs to the land came to Augusta to pay property taxes and learned the land had been sold.

Man is released after four years in prison

An Augusta man was paroled last week after spending four years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of an Augusta woman in 1997.

James Green, 33, formerly of the 3900 block of Deans Bridge Road, was convicted April 3, 1998, to serve five years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation for the Sept. 17, 1997, stabbing death of Lynn Ellen Brown. He also was convicted of possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

Ms. Brown, 34, was found bleeding at the corner of Gordon Highway and Mike Padgett Highway.

Mr. Green was paroled Nov. 18.

Hanukkah will begin at sundown Friday

Jews will celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, the feast of lights, at sundown Friday.

The feast, also known as the miracle of the oil, is symbolized by the menorah, an eight-branch candelabrum.

Hanukkah commemorates the struggle against Greek-Syrian influence in Judea in the second century B.C. and the armed revolt led by Judah Maccabee to retake the temple in Jerusalem and re-establish proper worship.

Hanukkah has a broader meaning - it symbolizes humanity's struggle for religious freedom.

For more information, visit the Web site www.holidays.net.

Fire burns interior of house in Rocky Creek

Richmond County fire officials are investigating a fire that gutted a house Wednesday on Virginia Road. No one was injured.

The blaze started before 2:17 p.m. in the bedroom and spread to the rest of the home, said Capt. Ed Bible of the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department. Firefighters arrived in Rocky Creek subdivision and extinguished the fire within several minutes.

Town seeks entries for Christmas parade

The Grovetown Department of Public Safety is accepting applications for the 2002 Ole Tyme Christmas parade, scheduled to begin at noon Saturday, Dec. 7, with William "Bill" Wood as grand marshal.

Applications can be obtained from the department at 306 E. Robinson Ave., Grovetown, by e-mail at Grovetowndps@cji.net, or by calling the department at 863-1212 during business hours.

Legal advice offered free to senior citizens

The Georgia Legal Services Program staff will offer free legal advice to senior citizens from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Bessie Thomas Senior Center, 5913 Euchee Creek Drive, Grovetown.

Columbia County residents older than 60 with a civil (noncriminal) legal issue may meet with a staff member during scheduled times. For more information, call the program at 721-2327 or (800) 248-6697.

Volunteers needed at animal shelter

Volunteers are needed for the Augusta-Richmond County Animal Control shelter.

An orientation will be at 6 p.m. Monday at 4164 Mack Lane.

The orientation is free and open to the public. For more information, call 790-6836.

Choir performing

The internationally acclaimed and Grammy-nominated African Children's Choir, who recently performed at Ground Zero and the Pentagon, will present their Hope and Healing concert three times in Augusta and Grovetown.

The group will perform at 11 a.m. Sunday at Flemming Baptist Church, 3027 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta. At 6:30 p.m Sunday, the group will be at New Hope Worship Center, 715 South Old Belair Road, Grovetown. At 7 p.m. Wednesday the group will perform at Forst Family Church of God, 400 Warren Road, Augusta.

For more information about the choir, visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com.