Originally created 03/15/04

Across the area



Tire plant logs minor damage

A weekend fire at a Bridgestone/Firestone Co. plant in Graniteville caused only minor damage, and all operations were up and running again Sunday, officials said.

Graniteville Fire Chief Phil Napier said firefighters from his department and units from Langley, Aiken and North Augusta extinguished the Saturday night blaze in about 3 hours.

The fire started in one of the company's three mixers when pieces of hot rubber piled up beneath a conveyor belt. Chief Napier said the large amounts of rubber made the flames difficult to put out.

On Saturday night , workers in that area of the plant were evacuated when the blaze was discovered, but the rest of the plant stayed operational, he said.

No injuries were reported, and damage to the mixer was minor.

Beer bottle is thrown through home window

An Augusta man told police that someone threw a beer bottle through the side window of his home Saturday night, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Anthony John Kimsey, of the 2500 block of Deans Bridge Road, said he noticed the broken window and an empty beer bottle at about 9 p.m.

Burn victim remains in critical condition

A woman who was seriously burned in an Aiken County fire last week remained in critical condition Sunday at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctor's Hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Madora Duffie, 63, was burned over 45 percent of her body when her Vaucluse home was destroyed by fire Thursday.

A candle caught her clothes on fire and spread flames throughout the home, authorities said.

No one else was injured in the blaze.

Cars stolen, broken into at Augusta Mall

Two vehicles were stolen, and someone broke into another one at the Augusta Mall over the weekend, according to police reports.

Charlie Johnson Jr., of Boyvale Road, told police that someone took his 1987 Chevrolet Caprice from the mall parking lot between 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

John Henry Hickson, who works at the mall, told police that someone stole his 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass between 10 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.

Jessie Faye Mims told police that someone entered her 1998 Chevy Astro van between 2 and 3:30 p.m. Nothing was taken, Ms. Mims said.

AIDS walk raises$2,500 for charities

A weekend benefit walk to raise awareness and funds for local HIV/AIDS concerns was successful, according to an event organizer.LaVetta Jones, the president of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Augusta Alumnae Chapter, said about 300 walkers participated in the 2.5-mile walk Saturday at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History and in neighborhoods in the Laney-Walker Boulevard area.

The walk generated $1,500 for the St. Stephen's Ministry on Greene Street, and $1,000 for the Richmond County Health Department, Mrs. Jones said.

Pre-K registration begins this month

Richmond County will hold registration for the pre- kindergarten lottery from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 23.

To be registered, children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1. Parents are asked to bring the child's birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of Georgia residency, immunization records, and eye, ear and dental records.

Registration will be held at Barton Chapel, Bayvale, Blythe, Collins, Copeland, Craig-Houghton, Freedom Park, Garrett, Glenn Hills, Goshen, Gracewood, Hains, Hephzibah, Hornsby, Jamestown, Jenkins-White, Lake Forest Hills, Lamar, McBean, Meadowbrook, Merry, Milledge, Monte Sano, National Hills, Reynolds, Rollins, Southside, Terrace Manor, Tobacco Road, Warren Road, Wheeless Road, Wilkinson Gardens, Willis Foreman and Windsor Spring elementary schools.

Registration also is being held for slots at Henry-Brigham, May Park and W.T. Johnson centers. For more information, call 737-7132.

Fort Gordon changes hours at three gates

Fort Gordon will change the operating hours at three of its four gates effective March 29, according to the public affairs office at the post.

Operating hours at Gate 5 on U.S. Highway 1 will be from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekends. The gate will remain open to all vehicles. Gates 2 and 3 on Gordon Highway will be open only to vehicles bearing a military decal and will be closed weekends. Gate 1 at Gordon Highway and Dyess Parkway will remain open 24 hours a day to all vehicles.

For more information, call (706) 791-3127 or 791-9748.

PTA Council offers training for parents

The Richmond-Columbia Council of PTAs will sponsor a training session for parents and other interested people March 23 at Augusta Technical College.

The training session will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Building 600, with check-in beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The cost is $30 per person and includes materials and a meal. Friday is the registration deadline. For information, call 738-6061.

Drill sergeants to vie for year's top award

Five drill sergeants will compete at Fort Gordon today through Thursday for the title of post Drill Sergeant of the Year, according to the public affairs office at the installation.

The drill sergeants come from the 447th Signal Battalion, the 369th Signal Battalion, the 551st Signal Battalion, the 73rd Ordnance Battalion and the Signal detachment at Fort Meade, Md.

The winner will be announced at 10 a.m. Friday in a ceremony at Alexander Hall on Chamberlain Avenue.