Originally created 06/02/04

Across the area



Spellers take written test

Joe Shepherd could have found himself in a "quandary" if he didn't know how to spell the word.

The sixth-grader from Waynesboro completed the first round of the 77th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday, which was a 25-word test. Besides quandary, the words included tofu, separate, triskaidekaphobia, mesmerize and rijsttafel.

Joe and 264 other young spellers are the first to compete after a rule change put the written test in front of the oral test. Some past spellers complained they could have done better on the written part if they had made it through the jitters of the oral part.

No one was eliminated Tuesday, but Bee officials will begin doing so today after combining the results of the written test with the oral competition. Joe, 12, is sponsored by The Augusta Chronicle and is enjoying his third straight trip to the competition in Washington, D.C.

Post holds ceremony to promote leader

Fort Gordon's first female commander will be formally promoted to the rank of major general at ceremonies on-post this morning, according to the post's public affairs office.

Promotion ceremonies for Brig. Gen. Janet Hicks will be at 9 a.m. at the Signal Towers flagpole, a news release states.

Gen. Kevin Byrnes, the head of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, which is in charge of training installations including Fort Gordon, will pin two stars on Brig. Gen. Hicks during the ceremony.

Augusta man faces charges in shooting

An Augusta man was arrested last weekend in connection with a shooting in Wilkes County, officials said Tuesday.

Anthony Lawson, 23, of East Boundary Street, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, said Mike Seigler, the special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Thomson office.

Agent Seigler said a fight occurred at about 1 a.m. at the WD Liquor Store on Whitehall Street in Washington.

Someone pulled out a pistol and fired shots, hitting George Gates Jr., 17, of Washington, in the right thigh, and Markeith Wylie, 16, also of Washington, in the neck.

Kim Marlatt, an MCG spokeswoman, said Markeith was treated and released from the facility as of Tuesday afternoon.

Atlanta woman shot is released from MCG

A woman visiting Augusta from metro Atlanta who was shot Memorial Day evening has been released from a local hospital, officials said Tuesday.

Nicole L. Griffin, 28, of Norcross, was treated and released from Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said Kim Marlatt, a hospital spokeswoman.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, before 10 p.m. Monday, a man fired several shots from a gun while at Trinity Manor Apartments in the 2300 block of Barton Chapel Road. A police report states one of the rounds struck Ms. Griffin in the middle of her back.

Teenager dies from injuries in accident

A North Augusta teenager died this weekend after a long hospitalization because of a vehicle accident in Aiken County, officials said.

Krystal T. Johnson, 17, of Liberty Hill Road, was pronounced dead before 4 p.m. Saturday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, said Aiken County Chief Deputy Coroner Tim Carlton.

Mr. Carlton said Krystal was the driver of a vehicle that got into an accident on Storm Branch Road on May 15.

The deputy coroner said Krystal was thrown from the vehicle and taken to MCG, where she remained in intensive care until Saturday.

Fire crews respond to Putnam Hall fire

Augusta-Richmond County firefighters responded to a fire at Pullman Hall on Tuesday, but no one was hurt, officials said.

Battalion Chief Bryan McFeely said crews responded before 1 p.m. to the facility off Walton Way.

He said everyone was evacuated from the facility and "slight" damage occurred. He said the fire was under investigation and officials were unsure how the fire started.

Groups will sponsor free fan giveaway

SCANA Energy and the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority Inc., will sponsor a free fan giveaway to local low-income senior citizens June 8, a news release states.

The box floor fans, donated by SCANA, will be distributed to qualifying seniors over age 55, the release states.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry Brigham Senior Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road. For more information, call 722-2207.

16 faculty members get tenure at ASU

Sixteen faculty members at Augusta State University have been granted tenure or promotion by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Tenure was granted to Richard Capps, an assistant professor of geology; Kristin Casaletto, an assistant professor of art; Pamela Hayward, an associate professor of communications; Emamuddin Hoosain, an associate professor of mathematics education; Sudha Ratan, the chairwoman of the Department of Political Science; Saundra Reinke, an assistant professor of political science; Rebecca Rogers, an assistant professor of clinical psychology; and Seretha Williams, an assistant professor of English.

Several were promoted to associate professor, including Robert Bledsoe, an assistant professor of German; Dr. Capps; Ms. Casaletto; Charles Darracott, III, an assistant professor of health and physical education; Dr. Reinke; Dr. Rogers; and Dr. Williams.

Sam Robinson, the chairman of the Department and Mathematics and Computer Science, was promoted to the rank of professor. The tenure and promotions are effective July 1.

DOT seeks comment on road programs

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on a draft of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program for 2005-2007.

A copy of the draft is available at the Upper Savannah Council of Governments office in Greenwood and at the Lower Savannah Council of Governments office in Aiken.

All comments should be sent to John Walsh, State Highways Engineer of SCDOT, 955 Park Street, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, SC, 29202.