Lincoln County principal stays
The Lincoln County Board of Education reversed an earlier decision Tuesday, voting 3-2 to allow Marilyn Bell to keep her job as principal of Lincoln County Elementary School through the 2005-06 school year. Board members Becky Reed, Robert Hearst and Dr. Robert Williams voted for Ms. Bell, while members Marcy Remsen and Wayne Williford voted against her rehiring.
At its Jan. 4 board meeting, the board voted 3-2 not to renew her contract. Mrs. Reed, who formerly voted against Ms. Bell, changed her vote Tuesday night, according to the Rev. Denise Freeman, a former board member and supporter of Ms. Bell.
About 350 people packed the board's headquarters, said Kenneth Elam, the president of the Lincoln County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
"We consider this a great decision," he said.
Augusta Commission OKs airport money
Despite prior objections in committee meetings, Augusta Commission members approved a nearly $22 million bond resolution to help pay for a new airport terminal.
The limits set in the $21.9 million package are $15.4 million in bonds that will be repaid with airport revenue and passenger facility charges and $6.5 million in bonds that will be repaid solely with revenue.
Commissioner Willie Mays, who had been dissatisfied with the bond issue's minority participation, voted in favor of the package but said he wants commissioners to keep his reservation in mind in future projects.
All other commissioners present signed off on the package, except for Marion Williams, who abstained.
Next, underwriters will sell the bonds and airport officials will return to the commission Feb. 15 to approve these sales, Augusta Regional Airport Director Buster Boshears said.
Home is destroyed in electrical fire
No one was injured in a fire caused by a power surge that destroyed a Winfield Hills home Monday night.
North Columbia Fire and Rescue Chief Tom McFarland said Samuel and Patricia Way were not home Monday when power lost in Saturday's storm was restored to their mobile home on Lakeside Drive in Winfield. A neighbor reported the fire at about 8:20 p.m., but the home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived and was completely destroyed, Chief McFarland said.
Chief McFarland said the fire started when an electrical breaker to the kitchen stove failed when the power was restored.
Officials investigate suspicious house fire
Augusta-Richmond County fire officials are investigating a suspicious fire Tuesday afternoon at a single-story house near Laney-Walker Boulevard.
At about 4:05 p.m., firefighters were called to 1308 10th Street to battle a blaze. Lt. G.B. Hannan, of the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department, said the fire was burning in two portions of the house, leading him to consider the cause intentional.
The house was not occupied at the time, Lt. Hannan said.
The fire was under control within 20 minutes, he said. No accelerants were apparent .
Woman reports break-in, threat
An Augusta woman told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that someone ransacked her home and wrote a threatening message on her front door, a police report states.
The 22-year-old woman said she came home Monday night to her home in the 4000 block of Union Grove Road to find that someone had written "I know where you live" in black marker across her front door.
The report states that lights were on throughout her mobile home, her bedroom closet was ransacked, and her bedroom window was open.
Augusta man says woman cut his arm
An Augusta man told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that he was assaulted early Tuesday morning at a Gordon Highway-area motel, a police report states.
Reginald Williams, 43, said that after 4 a.m., he got into an argument with a woman in his room at the Days Inn in the 900 block of Molly Pond Road.
He said when he told the woman to leave, she got angry and cut his right forearm before leaving.
Police investigate burglary at school
North Augusta police are investigating a burglary at a school, a police report states.
A school official at North Augusta Middle School told public safety officers that when she entered her classroom Monday, she noticed some things had been disturbed in her room.
She said she later noticed that someone had pried a window open and that chairs had been moved around the classroom.
Business reports stolen aluminum rods
Richmond County sheriff's deputies are investigating an incident in which aluminum rods - the type that could be used as control rods in a nuclear reactor - were taken from an Augusta business.
According to a police report, 30 aluminum rods, about 25 feet long and worth $3,000, were taken sometime between Friday and Sunday at Ballard Truck and Tire Sales on Old Savannah Road, a report states.
The report states that some of the rods were later found at Campbell Recycling on Dan Bowles Road, but appeared to have been cut in half.
Sheriff's Lt. C.A. Tony Walden said the rods were leftovers from Plant Vogtle, a nuclear power plant in Burke County, but were never inside a reactor and are not a danger to the public.
Columbia County OKs rezoning of 3-acre site
Columbia County commissioners agreed Tuesday night to allow a preliminary rezoning from residential to commercial of a nearly three-acre site off Washington Road in Evans.
The approval of the site at Fieldstone Way and Washington Road came with certain stipulations after nearby residents of the site in the Chimney Hill and Northwood subdivisions objected to the rezoning.
In the end, commissioners voted unanimously to approve the rezoning, but they included the following requirements: a buffer between the development and nearby homes, a stipulation that no signs or lights be directed toward Fieldstone Way and a survey to be conducted of the site before the rezoning is finalized.