Originally created 01/25/03

Across the area



Charge against pastor is dropped

A disorderly conduct charge against a local preacher was retired Friday when the arresting officer neglected to come to court.

Richmond County Magistrate Court Senior Judge William D. Jennings III explained to the Rev. Timothy Fellows that the case was basically over unless he was charged with the same type of offense again.

The Rev. Fellows, 56, was arrested Oct. 12 during the city's Hispanic Festival. A deputy allegedly told the proselytizing preacher four times to leave the Eighth Street plaza area at Riverwalk Augusta, but the Rev. Fellows refused.

Spending bill includes money for SRS project

Nearly $172 million dollars for Savannah River Site was voted into an appropriations bill by the U.S. Senate on Thursday night.

The Senate passed the $390 billion Omnibus Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2003, which authorizes federal government spending for the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

The bill is about four months behind schedule, according to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The money for SRS includes $93 million for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility, which would turn surplus plutonium into reactor fuel as part of a peace agreement with Russia.

MOX, or mixed-oxide, fuel would be produced at SRS, then shipped to reactors that would burn it.

Some nuclear industry insiders have questioned the United State's long-term commitment to MOX.

The Senate will now go to conference with the House Of Representatives on the measure.

Blood drive will aid young burn victims

Shepeard Community Blood Center will hold an emergency blood drive at Barton Chapel Elementary School on Monday to assist two girls burned in a south Augusta house fire Wednesday.

The blood drive will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the school on 2329 Barton Chapel Road for burn victims Jasmine Ryals, 7, and her sister Jada, 2.

The girls are at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital. Jasmine is a pupil at the school and was injured more severely. Her burns will require ongoing surgery to repair and replace damaged tissue, and the drive is intended to ensure an adequate supply for her and the 30 other burn victims at the center.

Donors may also give blood at other Shepeard locations this weekend. For more information, go to www.shepeardblood.org.

Vehicle agency puts driver's manual online

The South Carolina Driver's Manual is now available online, state officials said Friday.

It can be accessed at www.scdps.org/dmv using Adobe Acrobat Reader, said Sid Gaulden of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

The manual was made available online in English and Spanish after the Department of Motor Vehicles received a high volume of requests to post it via the Internet, Mr. Gaulden said.

Paper versions of the manual can still be obtained at local branches of the DMV.