Originally created 03/07/03

Across the area



Officials alter jailer policy

Male jailers at Richmond County's Phinizy Road facility will no longer be allowed to inspect the outside of the female pods, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Thursday.

Jailers routinely walk the outside perimeter of the jail at night to check the pods, the sheriff said. Because the female pods have windows into the cells, however, jail administrators wanted to protect male officers from allegations of wrongdoing. Female jailers will conduct the inspections.

The new order came after three male officers were fired this week for paying a female murder suspect in the Walton Way jail to flash herself. A fourth was fired and charged with felony sexual assault in connection with performing a sex act on the female inmate, officials said.

Interstate work will begin three days early

Construction work on the inside westbound lane of Interstate 20 in Richmond County will begin three days early.

The pavement replacement, between the Warren Road overpass and the Savannah River, will take place for the next 13 days, weather permitting, said Vonda Everett, of the Georgia Department of Transportation. The westbound construction was set to begin Sunday.

Construction on the inside eastbound lane will continue for nine more days, weather permitting.

Club Car is evacuated after natural gas leak

A gas leak forced an evacuation at Club Car on Thursday.

At about 5 p.m., a forklift operator accidentally punctured a natural gas line connected to a space heater at the golf car manufacturer at 4125 Washington Road in Martinez, said Gary Holley, the human resources director at Club Car.

The Martinez Fire Department responded, and employees evacuated the building until emergency responders could turn off the leak. No one was injured, said fire department spokeswoman Honey Shore. Club Car workers returned to their jobs within half an hour.

Police seek suspect in stabbing at motel

Aiken County authorities want to question a woman in connection with a motel stabbing Tuesday.

Sheriff's Capt. Michael Frank said investigators are looking for Fredricka Lasha Glover, 34, of the 100 block of Country Living Road, Aiken.

The stabbing - believed to be part of a robbery attempt - occurred at the Deluxe Inn on South Carolina Highway 19.

The victim was identified as Nick Peterson, 27, of Atlanta. Deputies said Tuesday he was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment.

Police also are looking for James McCutchen, 37, who has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

Laney-Walker area will hold open house

People interested in purchasing a house in the Laney-Walker area are invited to an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event is sponsored by the Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corp. The open house will take place at 930 Barnes St., which is near the site of five houses under construction.

For more information, call 724-5565.

Club's raffle benefits children's program

The Augusta West Rotary Club is raising funds for Walton Rehabilitation Hospital's Camp to Be Independent program for children with traumatic and debilitating head injuries.

The club is selling raffle tickets that offer a chance to win more than two dozen vacation packages coordinated through Augusta's AAA travel agency office.

The annual hospital event, known as Camp TBI, is designed to foster independence among the children. For tickets, contact Jeremy Coglan at 736-7600.

Columbia County gets funds for emergencies

Columbia County was chosen to receive $8,399 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs.

Public or private voluntary organizations interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program money must contact Shiron Thomas at Golden Harvest Food Bank, 3310 Commerce Drive, Augusta, GA 30909, or call (800) 766-7690, or fax 261-1144.

The application deadline is Thursday.

Sacred Heart will hold annual garden festival

Sacred Heart Cultural Center will hold its 11th annual Sacred Heart Garden Festival on March 20-23.

Activities will include garden exhibits, floral design displays, garden and floral lectures and vendors in the Garden Market Place. Activities will kick off March 20 at the Morris Museum of Art with a slide tour of the State Botanical Gardens, followed by an evening garden party at Sacred Heart.

For more information, contact the center at 826-4700, visit the Web site at www.sacredheartaugusta.org or send e-mail to sheart@knology.net.

Gibbs Library to hold a night of Scrabble

Gibbs Library will play host to Scrabble Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at 326 N. Belair Road. There will be all levels of play for adults and young adults.

To register, call 863-1946.

Hispanics in military subject of lecture

The annual Cullum Lecture Series at Augusta State University continues Tuesday with a presentation by Col. Margarita Aponte on Hispanics in the military.

The presentation will be made at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. in Butler Lecture Hall. Admission is free.

The Cullum series, Frontiers in Motion: U.S.-Latin American and Caribbean Borderlands, explores the relationship between the United States and the neighboring Latin American and Caribbean basin countries including Cuba and Mexico.

Art Factory to offer classes for spring

Travel around the world of arts this spring at the Art Factory, Augusta's nonprofit community arts school that offers classes in dance, visual art, drama, writing and music.

Beginning Monday, classes and workshops are offered to people of all ages. The school is on Crawford Avenue.

Art Factory scholarships are available. For information, call 731-0008.