Originally created 01/23/04

Across the area



Car, weapons reported stolen

A Waynesboro, Ga., man told Richmond County sheriff's deputies Wednesday that someone took his car and weapons worth $600 from an east Augusta neighborhood.

James Irvin Clinton, 47, told deputies that he was in the 500 block of Sand Bar Ferry Road at about 11:30 p.m. when he heard a loud noise outside and saw a man driving away in his 1988 Chevrolet Caprice.

Mr. Clinton said a 9 mm handgun and a .38-caliber handgun were in the trunk.

Police say mother abducted her child

Aiken County Sheriff's Office investigators will travel to Port St. Lucie, Fla., today to pick up an 8-year-old girl who authorities said was abducted by her biological mother.

Sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said Angela Carson, 26, visited her daughter, Chelsea Michelle Reid, at the girl's Windsor home Sunday. The girl lived with her grandmother, and Ms. Carson had terminated her parental rights in 1999, Lt. Frank said.

Authorities said Ms. Carson told the girl's grandmother she was taking her out for pizza, then never returned. She was found at her home in Port St. Lucie by Florida authorities Thursday, and the child was taken into protective custody, Lt. Frank said.

Ms. Carson was arrested on a felony charge of custodial interference. She remains in a Florida jail pending extradition to South Carolina.

Man is shot trying to collect on debt

A man who told deputies he was shot trying to collect money on a bet remained hospitalized Thursday, officials said.

Robert Lewis was listed in good condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said Deborah Humphrey, a hospital spokeswoman.

Police said Mr. Lewis was shot once in the buttocks near Boykin and Stone roads Wednesday night.

Mr. Lewis told police he followed a man to a house where he was to collect the debt. After the man pulled out a handgun, Mr. Lewis said, he tried to leave, but the man followed him and fired a single shot.

Three fires spread in Columbia County

Low humidity levels and high winds quickly spread three brush fires in Columbia County on Thursday.

The Martinez Fire Department spent 20 minutes bringing a 10-acre grass fire on Aspen Laurel Drive, off William Few Parkway, under control. It began just after 2 p.m., when the wind spread a nearby construction crew's warming fire, Battalion Chief James Burnett said.

Appling volunteer firefighters also battled wind as they kept a brush fire away from several homes on Anderson Road. The blaze began when wind blew hot ash from a trash fire into the grass, Chief Tom McFarland said.

Grovetown firefighters battled a brush fire on Parham Road just after 2 p.m. Residents had burned brush Wednesday, and wind blew leftover hot ash into a field, public safety Capt. Gary Owens said.

A shed was damaged in the Appling fire.

Cave-in forces closure on Wrightsboro Road

The westbound right lane of the 3400 block of Wrightsboro Road will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon today as workers repair a cave-in in front of Haverty's Fine Furniture.

One westbound lane of Wrightsboro will remain open, according to the Augusta Public Works and Engineering Department.

Woman charged with disrupting school

Police arrested a 26-year-old Augusta mother after officials said she became rowdy at a Hephzibah school Thursday morning, Richmond County sheriff's records state.

Augusta Technical College student Rebecca Ruby Meyers, of the 1100 block of Alden Drive, was charged with one count of disrupting a public school and one count of upbraiding a school administrator or teacher and taken to the Richmond County jail.

Patricia Pointe, the principal of McBean Elementary School, reported to police that Ms. Meyers became loud and irate during a Thursday morning parent-teacher conference at the school, using "very strong profanities." Ms. Pointe said that when she asked Ms. Meyers to tone down her language, the mother shouted more profanities in the school hallways, the report said.

Woman reports drugs were stolen from car

A 43-year-old Martinez woman told police someone broke into her car and stole a two-day supply of methadone from inside the vehicle Thursday morning, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Caroline Ledford, of the 4100 block of Old Petersburg, said her car was in the parking lot of the Kroger on 15th Street when the theft occurred at about 8:15 a.m.

The methadone was locked in a metal box on the floor behind the driver's seat, Ms. Ledford told police. The dollar value of the medication is unknown.

Campaign kickoff attracts hundreds

Several hundred supporters filled the main room of the Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Thursday night for a fund-raiser dinner and the official kickoff to Lewis Blanchard's campaign for Columbia County sheriff.

Mr. Blanchard, an Augusta businessman and former public safety director for the county's school system, is challenging incumbent Sheriff Clay Whittle at the Republican primary, which is scheduled for July 20.

Describing the sheriff's office as a growing bureaucracy with a budget that has outpaced population growth, Mr. Blanchard expressed his desire to reorganize the agency.

He also said he would campaign on the need to increase contact between the sheriff's office and other law enforcement agencies as well as the public.

Animal shelter plans grand opening events

Discounted adoption fees and free tours will mark the grand opening of Augusta's new animal services shelter, planned for Tuesday through Jan. 31.

The 17,500-square-foot facility already is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

During the grand opening week, tours will be held at 2 p.m. to show visitors design features of the new facility that promote the well-being of animals there.

Also available will be reduced adoption fees of $20, which includes the price of a rabies vaccination. The normal price of adoption is $37 for dogs and $21 for cats.

The new facility is at 4164 Mack Lane, off Tobacco Road, next door to the old shelter. For more information, call the shelter at 790-6836.