Originally created 04/16/04

Across the area



Man is indicted in mom's death

A Columbia County grand jury indicted an Augusta man Thursday for the fatal shooting of his mother last year.

Tom Edwin Chumley, 54, of the 300 block of Angela Street, was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in the February 2003 death of his mother, Merideth Guy, 74, who was found dead by a relative in her Martinez home Feb. 28. An autopsy found that Mrs. Guy died from two gunshots to the back of her head and upper back.

Mr. Chumley surrendered to Columbia County authorities March 28 and confessed to the shooting. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail personnel.

Home invasion suspect faces assault charges

An Aiken man was arrested early Thursday on charges of beating and robbing an 82-year-old woman after breaking into her home.

Aiken County Sheriff's officials say Jimmy S. Wood, 35, entered the home of a family acquaintance on Pipeline Road through a bedroom window at about 5 a.m. Thursday. Authorities say Mr. Wood grabbed the woman by the neck, struck her in the head and threw her to the floor. The two struggled over an air rifle before Mr. Wood broke free, grabbed the woman's purse and fled, authorities said.

Mr. Wood, of Vintage Vale Road in Aiken, was arrested at about 10:45 a.m. in the Shady Acres Mobile Home Park on Pipeline Road. He was charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with intent to kill, and armed robbery. He is being held in the Aiken County detention center.

The victim was treated for cuts and bruises and released from Aiken Regional Medical Centers, authorities said.

School board to bring officials to forum

Local, state and federal officials will be on hand for the second of the Columbia County School Board's town hall meetings Saturday.

Lee Muns, Columbia County School Board District 5 representative, will hold his meeting at 9 a.m. at the Columbia Middle School cafeteria.

Invited guests include state Senate Education Committee Chairman Joey Brush, R-Appling, and Dr. Ben Scafidi, education policy adviser for Gov. Sonny Perdue. Tom Bolvin, special assistant in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education, was also invited to the meeting to give a briefing on the No Child Left Behind Act.

In January, school board members voted to hold public meetings in each of the five districts as an opportunity to interact with parents in their districts. At its regular meetings, the board limits speakers to three minutes and will not directly respond to those who address the board.

Woman reports being robbed in grocery lot

An Augusta woman told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that she was robbed at gunpoint in a grocery store parking lot early Thursday morning.

Stephanie M. Cooper, 22, told deputies that at 12:45 a.m. while she was in the parking lot of Bi-Lo at the 1600 block of Gordon Highway, a man approached her and pointed a revolver at her stomach, ordering her to surrender her money.

Ms. Cooper said she handed two $10 bills, and the man told her to give him more, but she didn't have any more.

Water-throwing charge gets woman arrested

Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested a woman after another woman said she threw a glass of water on her son in an alleged incident of road rage Wednesday.

Miriam Alexa Shawkat, 23, of Evans, was charged with simple battery and disorderly conduct, Richmond County jail records state.

According to the report, at 2:45 p.m., Andrea Johnson, 22, was in her car with her 5-year-old son Quinton at the intersection of Augusta West Parkway and Wheeler Road.

While she was in the right turn lane, a woman beside her in the through lane was blowing her horn at Ms. Johnson, wanting her to move over into the turn lane, but she was unable to move her vehicle, the report states.

The woman later pulled up beside Ms. Johnson at another intersection, started cursing and then tossed water into the passenger side of Ms. Johnson's vehicle, soaking Quinton.

Ms. Johnson was able to get the woman's tag number, and authorities traced the vehicle to Ms. Shawkat, the report states.

Civic center vendors report booth break-ins

Two vendors at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center told Richmond County sheriff's deputies Wednesday that someone had broken into portable sales booths at the facility, police reports state.

The reports state that someone entered booths owned by Passport International and Airgate PCS sometime between April 7 and Wednesday. Several cellular phones were taken out of Airgate's booth.

Officials did not immediately know what was taken from the Passport International booth, the report states.

5K run will close part of U.S. Highway 221

One lane of part of Clarks Hill Road, U.S. Highway 221, will be closed to traffic Saturday for the inaugural U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, J. Strom Thurmond 5K Run/Walk.

The temporary closure between 8:30 and 10 a.m. will affect the road from the West Dam Park in Georgia to the South Carolina state line.

Post office will mark lake's 50th birthday

The Clarks Hill, S.C., post office will provide a special cancellation in honor of the 50th anniversary of Thurmond Lake, being celebrated this week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The commemorative cancellation is in lieu of the regular Clarks Hill postmark and incorporates the lake's 50th anniversary logo. It will be available through May 13 for all mail posted through the Clarks Hill post office.

For details about 50th anniversary festivities, visit www.sas.usace.army.mil/50 or call (800) 533-3478.