Originally created 08/07/03

Across the area



Husband, wife are found dead

The bodies of two Columbia County residents were discovered in their Evans apartment late Tuesday.

According to Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris, deputies responded to a residence in Wedgewood Park Apartments, 473 Old Evans Road, just before 11 p.m. and found the married couple.

The man, 40, and the woman, 34, had been shot, Capt. Morris said. Their names were not released pending notification of the next of kin, he said.

The couple's 10-year-old daughter was not at home at the time of the shooting, police said.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner Vernon Collins said an autopsy will be performed today at the state crime lab in Atlanta. He said that from the preliminary examination it appears that the act was a homicide and a suicide.

Program offers free legal help

Georgia Legal Services Program staffers will be in Columbia County to meet with senior citizens who want free legal help on civil (noncriminal) issues on a first-come, first-served basis.

A staff member will meet with seniors from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 20 at the Bessie Thomas Senior Center, at 5913 Euchee Creek Drive in Grovetown.

The program's office is at 209 Seventh St., Suite 400, Augusta.

Authority drains canal to repair intake gates

Portions of the Augusta Canal were drained Wednesday morning so workers could repair intake gates at the former King Mill, now known as Standard Textiles.

Last week's heavy rains pushed huge amounts of debris down the canal, much of which was washed against the steel bar racks that protect the intakes at three mills which use canal water for hydropower.

Dayton Sherrouse, the executive director of the Canal Authority, said the intake structures at Standard Textiles collapsed last week. Similar debris buildups were cleared from Enterprise and Sibley mills without major damage.

The canal gates near Lake Olmstead were closed at 6 a.m. Wednesday, draining the channel downstream. Work was expected to be completed Wednesday night. Refilling the canal is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. today.

Man is sentenced to prison in shooting

A man accused of firing the gunshots that seriously wounded another man pleaded guilty Tuesday to reduced charges and received a five-year prison sentence.

Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet imposed the prison sentence on James L. Jackson, 36, in Richmond County Superior Court. After completing that sentence Mr. Jackson will serve another five years on probation.

Mr. Jackson pleaded guilty to weapon charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and two counts criminal damage to property. He was indicted on aggravated assault and weapon charges in the Feb. 22 shooting of Rodriquez Palmer and Rashun Purifoy at a Barton Chapel Road gas station. Mr. Palmer was seriously wounded, according to hospital reports in February.

McDonald's workers report $166 stolen

An unidentified man stole $166 from an Augusta McDonald's on Sunday night by confusing workers.

Workers at the 2902 Washington Road restaurant said in a police report that the man purchased food, then repeatedly asked for change which he exchanged for different denominations.

After doing this at one register, he used his "flimflam" tactics with another, the report said. The theft was reported to police Tuesday.

Officials monitor man bitten by rabid cat

Health officials are monitoring a Saluda County, S.C., man who was bitten by a stray cat that later tested positive for rabies.

The man was bitten Aug. 2 west of Batesburg near Johnny Parrish Road, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Wednesday. The test came back positive Tuesday. The man, who was not identified, is under the care of a physician and is receiving post-exposure prophylaxis treatment, DHEC spokeswoman Clair Boatwright said.

It is the fifth animal in Saluda to test positive for rabies this year. Annually, about 400 people have to get preventive treatment after being bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal, the department said.

Couple charged with cocaine trafficking

An Aiken couple has been charged with cocaine trafficking, Aiken sheriff's officials announced Wednesday.

Marion "Mojo" Mayes, 38, and Deneen Mayes, 38, both of the 100 block of McKenzie Lane, were charged after authorities found 51 grams of cocaine about 8 ounces of marijuana, $2,000 and a .22-caliber handgun during a search Monday of the couple's home, authorities said.

Animal control officials seized three dogs, seven pigs and a horse that apparently had been mistreated, authorities said.

The Mayeses were charged with trafficking in cocaine, distribution of a controlled substance within a half-mile of a school and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. In addition, Mr. Mayes was charged with ill treatment of animals.

The couple remained in the Aiken County Detention Center on Wednesday.

Landscaper says tools were stolen from yard

An estimated $1,700 worth of tools were stolen from an open trailer in a professional landscaper's back yard.

Coyle Harmon, of the 2500 block of Northview Avenue, said someone took a chain saw, a hedge trimmer, a leaf blower and other items between July 25 and July 28, according to a police report.

Police charge man with marijuana felony

Augusta authorities arrested a man Wednesday morning they said had a pound of marijuana in his car trunk at an apartment complex, a police report states.

John Carlton McGinnis, 22, was charged with felony possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, jail records show.

Richmond County sheriff's deputies found the marijuana in the trunk of his 1988 Cadillac DeVille at the Savannah West apartment complex at 1:02 a.m., a police report states.

Mr. McGinnis was held at the Richmond County jail Wednesday afternoon on $6,050 bond, officials said.