Originally created 02/23/03

Across the area



Police were investigating a shooting at the One Stop gas station on Barton Chapel Road early this morning.

The incident occurred outside the business about 11:40 p.m. when two groups of people got into an argument that escalated into a fight, Richmond County Sheriff's Office Investigator Scott White said.

A man pulled out a gun and fired at least once hitting a man in the other group. The victim was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital where he was undergoing surgery at 1 a.m.

Police have several leads and were continuing their investigation.

Two airlifted after car crash

Two people were airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital after a head-on collision on Lake Ontario Road.

The victims were taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance to a remote area off Deans Bridge Road, where they were airlifted to the hospital, officials said. At least three other people were taken to MCG by the ambulance service, police said.

The accident occurred at 2:44 p.m. when the driver of a Ford Ranger heading west maneuvered a turn and entered the opposite lane, occupied by a Mitsubishi Galant, said Richmond County sheriff's Deputy Terrell Norman.

The occupants of the Ranger - a male driver and female passenger - were airlifted to MCG, Deputy Norman said. The driver of the Galant and at least two other passengers were injured, he said.

The deputy said he did not know the victims' names.

Man fights during arrest, police say

An Augusta man was in police custody Saturday after a fight with a Richmond County sheriff's deputy.

Deputy Aaron Hannsz was attempting to arrest Michael Jerome White, 33, when the fight broke out, according to a police report. The suspect - who was wanted for a gasoline drive-off - had been followed by authorities to Willis Foreman Road, where Mr. White drove his car into a resident's fence, the report states.

Mr. White pushed and hit the deputy several times, and the officer's pants and shirt were ripped during the fight, the report states. Mr. White was charged with several traffic violations, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and fleeing and attempting to elude police, officials said.

He was being held at the Richmond County jail on more than $7,000 bond.

Inmate is caught after escape from work site

An inmate at a pre-release center walked away from a construction site Saturday afternoon but was captured about five hours later, a Corrections Department spokeswoman says.

Brent Rodgers Lenning, 36, was working at a construction site in the Exeter neighborhood when he stole a supervisor's Dodge pickup and drove off, authorities said.

He was captured about 7:40 p.m. Saturday and was being held in Greenwood County Detention Center, Kay Robinson said.

Mr. Lenning had been serving a 30-month sentence for failure to stop for an officer and forgery, and was scheduled to be released in May, Ms. Robinson said. Mr. Lenning had been working at the center since October.

The supervisor notified authorities at the Lower Savannah Pre-release Center that the vehicle was missing, Ms. Robinson said. Mr. Lenning will be charged in Aiken County on grand larceny charges, according to Capt. Michael Frank of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Thief steals television from Scottish Inn

Police on Saturday were investigating a theft at a motel on Stevens Creek Road.

Jon D. Waldrof, an employee at the Scottish Inn, told police that someone took a 21-inch television from a room, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. The item was discovered missing at 7:58 a.m. after a guest had checked out of the room, the report states.

The television is worth about $200.

Board to hold meeting on mismanaged funds

THOMSON -The McDuffie County Board of Commissioners will hold a public meeting Monday to discuss allegations of possible financial mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by county officials.

Board Chairman Charlie Newton declined to reveal the identities of the employees.

"Well, there were just allegations against a contractor that worked for the county in the past and some county employees," he said. "All of the allegations will come out Monday night."

Although an internal audit of McDuffie County's 2001 financial records was submitted last week, Mr. Newton said the records had nothing to do with the meeting.

However, he did reveal that the allegations are related to taxpayer money.

The public meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the McDuffie County Courthouse.

Absentee voting is set in sheriff primaries

Absentee voting for the Aiken County sheriff primaries will begin Monday.

Eligible voters can cast a ballot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Aiken County Voter Registration and Election Office at 916 Vaucluse Road in Aiken.

For more information call (803) 642-2028.

Police are searching for escaped prisoner

Authorities from the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office were still searching Saturday for a prisoner who escaped Friday.

Anthony Marquest Boatwright, 17, ran with bare feet from the Barnwell County Detention Center between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to the sheriff's office.

He still hadn't been found by Saturday night, according to authorities.

Mr. Boatwright is black, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 155 pounds. He was last seen wearing an orange jail uniform. He was being held on charges including larceny and breaking into an automobile.

Mr. Boatwright's last known address was on Jones Bridge Road in Blackville.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at (803) 541-1078 or (803) 541-1080.

Chief reports theft of his gun, handcuffs

The Tignall, Ga., police chief told local authorities that his gun and handcuffs were stolen from his vehicle while he was at a hotel in that area, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

Robert S. Williamson said someone broke into his 1991 GMC pickup at the Savannah Suites on Wrightsboro Road. The stolen items included a Ruger 9 mm handgun, two 9 mm magazines, a duty belt and a pair of handcuffs.

The theft occurred between 9 p.m. Thursday and 6:30 a.m. Friday. Anyone with information about this theft is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1080 or the Tignall Police Department at (706) 285-2551.

House fire is caused by spark from lamp

A bedroom lamp was to blame for a fire at a home on Fire Creek Road on Friday night. No one was hurt.

The resident noticed a spark from the lamp shortly after 7 p.m. before the blaze began, said Capt. Gregory Drake of the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department. The woman closed the bedroom door and went to a neighbor's home to call for help, he said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which damaged the bedroom and an adjacent bathroom, Capt. Drake said.