Originally created 12/16/03

Across the area



Morning wreck hurts woman

Icy roads caused traffic problems in the Aiken-Augusta area Monday morning, including a wreck that seriously injured an Augusta woman.

Laura Perry, 28, was driving south on Doug Barnard Parkway at about 6:30 a.m. Monday when she drove across a patch of ice and lost control of her 1997 Ford Explorer, said Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Glenn Sammons. Her vehicle crossed the median into the northbound lane, flipped and was struck by a Ford F150 pickup.

Ms. Perry was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she was in serious condition Monday afternoon, MCG spokeswoman Danielle Wong said.

The wreck was one of many blamed on a mix of weekend rains and a drop in temperature. The Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency received several reports of icy roads early Monday, Chief Howard Willis said. The agency notified the Georgia Department of Transportation and city public works officials, and trucks put sand and salt on the roads. Road conditions improved by midmorning, Chief Willis said.

Authorities hunt Broad Street vandals

Four businesses along Broad Street were vandalized early Monday, according to Richmond County authorities.

Officers received reports of broken windows and other damage at SunTrust Bank, at 801 Broad St.; Health Central, at 945 Broad St.; Sho Ane Bridal and Formal Wear, at 1131 Broad St.; and the Bargain Mart at 1297 Broad St.

While investigating the vandalism, a deputy arrested an Augusta man at the Bargain Mart. Charles Wolfe Batchelor, 22, of Tubman Street, was charged with criminal trespass.

A security guard for Health Central told authorities he saw the man punching and kicking the front window of Bargain Mart, which led to the trespass charge, police said.

Augusta mother says daughter was raped

An Augusta woman told police her 16-year-old daughter was raped by two men over the weekend, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

The girl said she went to a residence in the 1700 block of 15th Street between 9 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday and started drinking with friends and two men. According to the police report, the men raped the girl while she was intoxicated. A friend picked her up and drove her home at about midnight.

Police said no arrests have been made.

Police arrest suspect in post office hold-up

A man suspected of robbing a rural Aiken County post office last week was captured after a daylong manhunt, police said.

Claude W. Cordell, 27, ran from investigators when they approached him at about 11:30 a.m. Monday at a mobile home on Williston Road near the Montmorenci post office, which was robbed Dec. 9, Aiken County sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said.

Authorities spent the next five hours searching the surrounding woods, using the Aiken Bloodhound Team and a helicopter from the State Law Enforcement Division.

Mr. Cordell was arrested at about 4:30 p.m. at his mother's home in Windsor. He said he had walked there, but authorities believe someone gave him a ride, Lt. Frank said.

Mr. Cordell, who is charged with armed robbery, remained in the Aiken County Detention Center on Tuesday.

Three fire crews put out house fire

Firefighters from Bath, Belvedere and Langley responded Monday morning to a blaze at a home on Corley Drive in the Woodbridge area of Aiken County.

Fire officials said the owner of the single-story brick home, Gerald Attaway, awoke at about 8:30 a.m. to find that a gas-log fire was out of control and creeping up his wall into the attic area. Mr. Attaway and his dog escaped the home safely.

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to get the fire under control. The home's roof was heavily damaged.

Department plans work on water main

The Augusta Utilities Department will repair a large water main at Central and Highland avenues today.

Anyone experiencing discolored water in the Wrightsboro Road and Central Avenue areas is asked to call the department's filter plant at 842-1920 or its dispatch office at 796-5010.

Salvation Army wants help giving out goods

The Salvation Army of Augusta is seeking volunteers to help with distributing toys, coats, groceries and gifts at its warehouse/distribution center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

For more information, call 826-7933.

North Augusta church holds Christmas show

First Baptist Church of North Augusta will hold a Christmas concert featuring Selah at 7 p.m. Thursday at the church, 602 Georgia Ave.

The Augusta Dance Theatre and Jill Phillips also will perform.

Tickets cost $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

For tickets, call (800) 965-9324 or visit www.itickets.com.

Hopeland Gardens offers holiday sights

Hopeland Gardens' Christmas in Hopelands 2003 offers 1.5 miles of lighted pathways with more than 75,000 lights, crafts for children and concerts at the Roland H. Windham Performing Arts Stage from 6 to 9 p.m. today and Wednesday and Friday through Dec. 27.

Admission is free. For more information, call (803) 642-7631.

Aiken County museum holds holiday exhibit

The Aiken County Historical Museum's holiday exhibit, Angels All Around, can be viewed from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through December.

The museum is at 433 Newberry St. S.W. Admission is free. For more information, call (803) 642-2015.

'Messiah and More' comes to Sacred Heart

Messiah and More will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.

The performance will include the Augusta Choral Society and Creative Impressions.

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 12 and younger.

Woman says she was raped in apartment

An Augusta woman told police that a man came into her room while she was sleeping and raped her early Monday, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The woman said the white man, whom she did not know, came into her apartment on Broad Street between 4 and 5 a.m., rolled her over in her bed, opened her clothing and forced her to have sex with him.

For more information, call 826-4713.