Originally created 01/22/05

Across the area



Principal to go before judge

A principal accused of assaulting a pupil at Glenn Hills Middle School last week will have to defend his actions to a judge after sheriff's officials decided to seek a pre-arrest hearing Friday.

Parent Tanya Trim has accused Principal Hartley Gibbons of assaulting 13-year-old Michael Trim in a crowded lunchroom last week when he would not tuck in his shirt. Sheriff's officials consulted with the school system's public safety department Friday and decided to seek a pre-arrest hearing, sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said.

The case will go before a magistrate court judge sometime in the next few weeks. Mr. Gibbons and witnesses will be subpoenaed, and the judge will listen to testimony before deciding whether to grant an arrest warrant on simple battery charges, Maj. Autry said.

Police release sketch of suspect in rape

Grovetown police have released a sketch of a man they are searching for in connection with the Tuesday sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl.

The Grovetown girl told police that as she walked on the 5300 block of Wrightsboro Road near Creekside Estates to her school bus stop, a man used a pocket knife to force her into nearby woods, where he raped her, Grovetown Department of Public Safety Capt. Gary Owens said.

The suspect is described as a slender white man, 20 to 26 years old, 150 to 160 pounds, with long black hair and a matching patch of hair under his bottom lip, an eyebrow piercing and three moles below his right eye.

The department is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the suspect. Anyone with information should call Investigator Mark Albright at 863-1212.

Quakes were centered in populous areas

A series of small earthquakes that rattled Columbia County residents Tuesday were centered among some of the county's most populated areas.

Emergency Management Director Pam Tucker said she asked the National Earthquake Center to pinpoint the precise epicenters of the three tremors, which measured 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 on the Richter scale, creating plenty of calls to 911 dispatchers but no reported damage.

The 2.1 quake at 12:48 a.m. was centered beneath vacant land on Riverwood Parkway near the Greenbrier school complex; the 2.3 quake at 4:52 a.m. was centered beneath an 8.6-acre lot on Magnolia Drive, off William Few Parkway; and the 2.2 magnitude quake at 5:22 a.m. also was centered beneath a parcel along Magnolia.

Part of road closes after gas main break

Officials closed a portion of Furys Ferry Road for about an hour Friday after a construction crew hit a gas main.

The east and west bound lanes of Furys Ferry Road from River Watch Parkway to Baston Road were closed when a construction vehicle struck the gas main while digging at about 1:05 p.m., said Gary Thigpen, a Martinez-Columbia Fire and Rescue battalion chief.

Employees of a Martinez business located on the corner of Malboro Street and Furys Ferry Road were evacuated. Two houses near the scene had their gas tanks disconnected.

Alicia Keys concert sells out in two hours

Tickets for the Alicia Keys concert scheduled for Feb. 27 at Bell Auditorium went on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Two hours later, they were gone.

Fans of the soul star acted quickly, snapping up approximately 2,700 seats in less time than the concert itself will actually last. The last Augusta date to sell that quickly was Elton John in 1999. He sold out the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center in August 1999.

Highway collision kills Blackshear woman

A southeast Georgia woman was killed in Burke County in an automobile accident Friday on Georgia Highway 56 near the Richmond County line, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Brewer identified her as Saundra K. King, 41, of Blackshear, Ga.

At about 6:15 a.m., Ms. King was driving southbound on the highway in a Mazda B2200 pick-up as Albert McPhail, 20, of Waynesboro, was driving northbound in a 1993 Ford F-150, Sgt. 1st Class Brewer said.

He said that on a curve, Ms. King drifted over into Mr. McPhail's lane, hitting him head on. She died at the scene.

Mr. McPhail was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital. He was treated and released, the sergeant said. Mr. McPhail will not be charged.

Deputies search for suspect in ear-biting

Richmond County sheriff's deputies were still looking Friday for a pregnant Augusta woman who they said bit off another woman's earlobe.

Jennifer Nicole Moore, 23, of the 3600 block of Meadowgrove Drive, is wanted on a charge of aggravated battery, sheriff's Lt. James Young said.

Latrelle Denise Bowers, 22, told authorities that while in the 3600 block of Cameron Drive on Thursday night, Ms. Moore came over and started a fight. Ms. Moore bit Ms. Bower's left earlobe off, he said. Ms. Bower was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Inmate is charged with public indecency

Authorities have charged an inmate at Richmond County Correctional Institution with public indecency after an Augusta Animal Services employee reported that he exposed himself to her this month, officials said Friday.

Larry Donnell Smalls, an inmate at RCCI, was charged with public indecency, Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Michelle Walden said.

Augustan accused of taking shoes twice

An Augusta man who had been charged with theft by receiving this month was arrested again Friday and was found to have taken the same pair of sneakers he was accused of taking in the earlier theft charge, officials said.

Sheriff's Investigator Horace Anderson said Malcom Collier, 17, of the 2500 block of Lyman Street, was charged with burglary Friday.

On Jan. 10, Mr. Collier was charged with theft by receiving stolen property after he was found in possession of sneakers and a sports jersey taken from the Koger Street home of Mattie Mae Bradford.

Investigator Anderson said Thursday morning, Ms. Bradford reported that her home was broken into again - and the same items had been taken, again.

Board of Education officers at T.W. Josey High School found Mr. Collier with the shoes on.

Florida man will face an additional charge

Authorities have added a charge onto the docket of a Richmond County jail inmate after they said he attacked and choked a deputy jailor during lock-down, officials said Friday.

Billy Jones, 49, of Miramar, Fla., received the additional charge of felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer, sheriff's Lt. James Young said.

He said that on Thursday, Mr. Jones refused to go into his cell when ordered. Mr. Jones knocked down Deputy James Bailey when the deputy tried to escort him to the cell, and choked him, Lt. Young said.

Mr. Jones faces several charges, including public indecency, in connection with an incident last year at the Huddle House eatery in downtown Augusta, where he disrobed down to his boxer shorts.

Two are arrested in deliveryman robbery

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested two people in the robbery by force of a pizza deliveryman last week, officials said Friday.

Authorities charged Dorothy Ann Saffo, 17, and Eric Ladorsey James, 14, with robbery by force, Lt. James Young said.

The 44-year-old employee of Domino's Pizza said that on Jan. 13, he was making a delivery in the 3100 block of Old McDuffie Road when four people came from the rear of the house, hit him and took $73 in food.

Four face charges in school disruptions

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have charged several people for causing disruptions at Glenn Hills High School and Glenn Hills Middle School, officials said Friday.

On Thursday, LaJames Lafayette Cochran, 19, was charged with transmitting a false public alarm after pulling a fire alarm, which caused officials to evacuate the school, sheriff's Lt. James Young said.

On Friday, two juveniles were charged with calling in bomb threats at the high school and were released to their parents, Maj. Ken Autry said.

At the middle school Thursday, a 12-year-old boy was charged with calling in a bomb threat from a cellular phone off campus, Lt. Young said.

Wreck sends Hephzibah woman, 33, to hospital

Augusta-Richmond County fire fighters extricated a 33-year-old woman from her 1994 Jeep Cherokee on Friday.

Cassaundra Glover, of Hephzibah, was taken by ambulance to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Richmond County sheriff's Deputy J.D. Paugh said.

MCG spokeswoman Danielle Wong Moores said Ms. Glover was in good condition.

The wreck occurred at about 4:15 p.m. when Jeffrey Smith, 25, of Augusta, driving a 1995 Jeep Cherokee, failed to stop at a red light while traveling west on Wrightsboro Road, Deputy Paugh said.

Mr. Smith broadsided Ms. Glover, who was traveling north from Garden Spring Lane to Marks Church Road.

Deputy Paugh said Mr. Smith will be charged with disregarding a red light, and Ms. Glover will be charged with driving without a license.



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