Originally created 04/10/03

Across the area



Pool hall owner gets court date

A pool hall owner accused of discriminating against a black customer and choking him has been ordered to appear in court May 2.

Natheran Burns, the owner of Gooney's on Wheeless Road, must appear in Richmond County Magistrate Court, where a judge will hear from witnesses and decide whether Mr. Burns assaulted Marion Reynolds, police said.

In a police report filed this week, Mr. Reynolds said that Mr. Burns directed racial slurs at him Monday night when he went into the pool hall to get a hamburger. He said the owner choked him in an effort to make him leave.

Two visitors arrested on Washington Road

Two Masters visitors were arrested Wednesday along Washington Road as deputies worked to keep the road safe.

Leeman Carter Leclair, 22, of Athens, Ga., was charged with soliciting in the roadway. Richmond County sheriff's Maj. Richard Weaver said that Mr. Leclair was trying to buy and sell Masters badges and ignored repeated warnings to stay out of the road near National Hills shopping center.

Gene Wendell Hammett, 32, of Atlanta, was charged with having no helmet as he rode his mo-ped on Washington Road near Stevens Creek Road. Maj. Weaver said Mr. Hammett ignored deputies who told him he needed a helmet. Mr. Hammett was also charged with having no insurance and no tag.

Both men were booked into the Richmond County jail and later released on bond.

Man faces charges in prescription fraud

North Augusta police charged a Belvedere man Tuesday night with obtaining a drug prescription by fraud.

Noland M. McKie, 23, of Verdery Drive, was arrested at CVS Pharmacy on Edgefield Road after he returned to pick up a prescription. A pharmacist had called police earlier in the day and told them that a man had presented an altered prescription, according to a public safety report.

Police investigate fire that gutted home

Richmond County authorities Wednesday were investigating a fire that gutted a house on Cartledge Lane.

Lt. G.B. Hannan, an investigator for the fire department, said the blaze started when a bed was ignited with a lighter.

The blaze caused extensive damage, Lt. Hannan said. Augusta-Richmond County firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze within several minutes after they arrived, he said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1080 or the fire department at 821-2909.

Truck slams into tree, killing Langley man

A man died Wednesday when his pickup truck veered off of rain-slicked Pine Log Road in Aiken County and slammed head-on into a tree, said a trooper for the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred at about 4 p.m. near Herndon Dairy Road, Cpl. R.J. Pruitt said.

Charles Venable, 77, of Langley, died of massive head and body injuries, said Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend. Mr. Venable was pronounced dead at the scene, Cpl. Pruitt said.

Kyle Atkinson, who heard the crash from his house, said that he opened the truck door to check on the driver, who didn't respond.

Two men jailed on robbery charge

Two men were being held without bond at the Richmond County jail Wednesday, charged with robbing another man on Boykin Road.

Akmier Jamal Thomas, 28, of North Augusta, and Christopher Johnson, 24, of Hephzibah, were arrested at 5:20 p.m. Tuesday shortly after the incident occurred, a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report states.

The men had taken the victim - unnamed in the report - to purchase a CD player, the report states.

Mr. Johnson was charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime and possession of marijuana, officials said. Mr. Thomas was charged with armed robbery, officials said.

Augustan charged in last year's burglary

An Augusta man was being held Wednesday in the Richmond County jail, charged with burglarizing a manufactured home last year.

Kenneth Wayne Campbell, 47, is accused of taking items from a demonstration home at Palm Harbor Homes on Gordon Highway, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report. The incident occurred Sept. 30, when several pieces of furniture were taken, including an end table, dining room table and two lamps, the report states.

Mr. Campbell was arrested at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday at his home on Glenn Hills Drive and charged with felony burglary, officials said.

Burglary reported at Savannah Suites

Police are investigating a burglary that occurred at a motel on Wrightsboro Road.

Betsy Bochholz, the assistant manager of Savannah Suites, told authorities that someone took a 25-inch color television set from a room, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Ms. Bochholz said the burglar forced open the door to the room, the report states.

The burglar also took $20 worth of silverware from the room, the report states.

Man reports Explorer vandalized with paint

An Augusta man said Wednesday that someone poured orange paint over his 2002 Ford Explorer, a sheriff's office report.

David E. Gray told police the vehicle was parked in the 1200 block of River Ridge Drive when the vandalism occurred between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

The vandals also scratched both sides of the sport utility vehicle.

Tickets available for PBS documentary

Tickets are available at the H. Odell Weeks Activity Center in Aiken for Monday's preview of the PBS documentary Seabiscuit, a film that traces the history of the famed race horse of the Depression Era.

Proceeds from the $50 tickets will go to the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served at 7 p.m. Monday at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 124 Newberry St., Aiken. The film will be shown at 8 p.m.