Originally created 05/16/03

Across the area



Clues sought in arson case

Richmond County authorities on Thursday were investigating an arson at a vacant house in east Augusta.

Two fires were intentionally set Wednesday in the front and rear rooms of the structure in the 100 block of Courtland Drive, a sheriff's office report states. The ignition source appeared to be paper, the report states.

Fire investigators located alcohol-based vanilla extract and matches inside the vacant residence, the report states. Anyone with information about this fire is asked to call the sheriff's office at 821-1080 or the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department at 821-2930.

Head-on collision injures two drivers

Two people were taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital after a head-on collision on Tobacco Road on Thursday evening.

The accident happened at about 5:50 p.m. when the driver of a Chevrolet Lumina van heading east lost control, Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Billy Hambrick said. The van veered into the eastbound lane of traffic and struck a Toyota Camry head-on, he said.

The driver of the Lumina apparently had a medical problem before the accident occurred, Sgt. Hambrick said. The man - whose name was not known - suffered serious injuries, he said.

The name of the Camry driver and her injuries were also not known, police said.

Mead Hall announces new head of school

Katherine B. "Kitty" Gordon will become the head of school for Mead Hall, the parish school of St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church in Aiken, on June 1, trustees for the church and school announced Thursday.

Mrs. Gordon, a math and sacred studies teacher at the school for the past three years, replaces Tim Spurrier, whose contract was not renewed. The school has 154 pupils attending classes from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Officials investigate suspicious shed fire

The Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department was investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed a shed on Wrightsboro Road on Thursday.

Firefighters arrived at a vacant residence at about 6:30 p.m. and found the shed in back of the property engulfed in flames, said Battalion Chief John Clark, of the fire department. The blaze was extinguished within minutes, and no one was injured, he said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Cancer society holds its Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society will hold its Relay for Life from 7 tonight until 7 a.m. Saturday at North Augusta High School, 2000 Knobcone Ave. The fund-raising event is free and open to everyone.

For more information, call Donna Dante or Linda Olson at (803) 278-5757.

Professor is robbed in campus parking lot

A philosophy professor at Paine College was robbed by a masked man in the campus parking lot Wednesday night, authorities said.

Dr. Jonaid Sharif told police he was sitting in his car in a 15th Street parking lot at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached him and asked to use his cell phone. A second later, the robber pulled a gun, pointed it at the ground and demanded, "Give me all you got," police said.

Dr. Sharif said he handed the robber his wallet and the man left. The wallet was later found in a drop box at Forest Brook Apartments on Damascus Road, but it was missing $50 and a credit card, police said. The professor said he would not be able to recognize the man if he saw him again and told investigators that he did not want to prosecute.

School social worker wins district award

An Augusta area school social worker has received top honors.

Mary Moorer, the school social worker for the Sand Hills Psychoeducational Center, has been named the 2003 School Social Worker of the Year for the Georgia 10th District.

Ms. Moorer, who joined the Richmond County Board of Education in 1978, supervises the social workers of Sand Hills and related services provided by the program.

The 10th District is composed of 20 counties including Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, Lincoln and Warren.

Bank customer reports attempted robbery

An Augusta woman reported an attempted robbery while making a deposit early Thursday using an ATM at a Bank of America branch.

Debrath Atton, 35, told police she was at the bank at 2853 Washington Road at about 2:30 a.m. when a gray van pulled up behind her. She said a man got out, approached and demanded the deposit, a sheriff's report states.

Ms. Atton sped off and called police from the Pump 'N Shop convenience store nearby.

Drum set is stolen in church burglary

A drum set was stolen during a burglary at Friendship Baptist Church in Augusta this week, a sheriff's report states.

Someone pried open a side door of the church on Laney-Walker Boulevard between Tuesday and Wednesday and took the drum set, which was valued at $500, a report states.

Murphy set to speak at party breakfast

State Rep. Quincy Murphy, District 97, will be guest speaker at the Richmond County Democratic Party Breakfast, 9 a.m. Saturday at Piccadilly Cafeteria, 3110 Washington Road.

Mr. Murphy will offer insight on being a freshman state House member and discuss other house floor items concerning the budget and flag, said Leon Meyer, the party's political action committee chairman.

The meeting is open to the public with a $6 charge for breakfast.

For more information, call 733-0190.

Work gets under way on I-20 eastbound

Round-the-clock work on Interstate 20 eastbound in Richmond County has begun, but the work westbound was unable to start Thursday because of a broken milling machine.

The work, which spans from the Warren Road Bridge to the state line, is set to last three consecutive days in the outside lane of I-20 westbound and eastbound. Further work could be stopped by inclement weather or equipment problems.

Motorists are asked to consider an alternate route when work is under way.

Teen killed in head-on crash

An 18-year-old Augusta man was killed Thursday during a two-car collision on Tobacco Road.

Maurice Glenn, a student at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School, suffered blunt force trauma to the chest and was pronounced dead at 6:44 p.m. by doctors at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said Richmond County Deputy Coroner Grover Tuten.

Mr. Glenn was driving a Chevrolet Lumina east at about 5:50 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Billy Hambrick. The van veered into the westbound lane and struck a Toyota Camry head-on, he said.

The driver of the Camry - 25-year-old Susan Baker, of Augusta - was listed in fair condition at MCG, said hospital spokeswoman Danielle Wong.

Mr. Tuten said an autopsy would not be performed on Mr. Glenn because a change in state policy does not allow such procedures for at-fault drivers who are killed in accidents.