Originally created 05/25/05

Across the area



Tribunal rules on fifth-grader's attack

A fifth-grader's bloody attack on a teacher's assistant in Richmond County last month will result in a year of Alternative School for the boy, according to a tribunal report released Tuesday.

The 12-year-old boy, a pupil at Windsor Spring Elementary School, shoved LaTonya Boyd, cursed at her and then struck her in the right jaw April 13, causing her to bleed from the mouth, the report states. Ms. Boyd was taking the boy to the office for being disruptive when he attacked her.

During a tribunal hearing, teacher Valerie Roberts testified that the boy was shouting "bring it on" as he swung his arms around like a boxer that morning. Ms. Boyd required medical treatment and took the day off from work.

The tribunal panel suspended the boy for the last few weeks of school, ordered him to attend Alternative School for a year and put him on probation for the remainder of his school career. It is the first tribunal this year for an elementary school incident.

Inmate escapes while on school work crew

A Screven County inmate escaped custody Tuesday morning shortly after his inmate labor crew was put to work at a high school while class was in session.

Convicted burglar Bill Cheney, 49, was captured after a seven-hour search about three miles south of Sylvania.

The inmate labor crew was assigned to clean up vandalism that occurred Monday on the Screven County High School football field.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., Mr. Cheney escaped into woods nearby.

Screven County Sheriff Mike Kyle is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation into his use of inmate labor.

The investigation was prompted by an article in The Augusta Chronicle in September detailing work done by inmates on private property and for private interest - a violation of state law and federal civil rights laws.

Several police agencies assisted with the search. Mr. Cheney was taken into custody without incident and now faces escape charges.

Students' having sex forces school change

Two students who had sex in a vacant classroom at Glenn Hills High School were ordered to attend Alternative School next school year.

The 17-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl had consensual sex after school April 20, according to a tribunal report.

The students were suspended for the last few weeks of the school year, but the tribunal panel allowed them to take final exams, the report states.

The 17-year-old has been charged by the sheriff's office with misdemeanor statutory rape.

Mayor receives award for preserving heritage

Augusta Mayor Bob Young received a Save our History leadership award from The History Channel at the City Museum in Washington on Tuesday.

The award was created to recognize a national leader for commitment to preserving our nation's heritage.

Mr. Young was specifically cited for his strong support for the Preserve America initiative and its mission.

Businesses face fines for selling to minors

Twenty-five Columbia County businesses that were recently cited with selling alcohol to minors are set to go before Columbia County Magistrate Court Judge Wade Padgett on June 8.

Offenders face a range of punishments from a fine of at least $500 and a three-month suspension of alcohol license to a fine of $1,000 and/or jail time not to exceed 60 days and/or suspension of alcohol license up to a year, according to sheriff's officials.

The businesses are gas stations, with the exception of two restaurants and a liquor store.

County is reimbursed for drainage overhaul

Columbia County has been reimbursed with $528,956 for drainage improvements through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program by the Office of Homeland Security-Georgia Emergency Management Agency, according to an announcement made Tuesday.

The funds are for drainage improvements on Stevens Creek Road and Reed Creek Canal, an area that has had recurring flooding and was in need of an overhaul of its drainage system, a state news release said.

Special election would fill post if mayor quits

Should Mayor Bob Young resign this week to take a job with the federal government as expected, a special election would be held, according to the consolidation law.

The section of the law outlining the course of action when a vacancy occurs in the mayor's office or on the commission states that when the unexpired term exceeds 12 calendar months, a special election shall be held to elect a successor for the unexpired term.

Mr. Young's term ends Dec. 31, 2006.

The special election would be in September, but in the interim the commission would appoint someone to fill the seat, according to City Administrator Fred Russell.

Woman is charged with carrying weapon

A Hephzibah woman was arrested Tuesday morning after she attempted to carry a loaded weapon into the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building.

Julie Pinson, 53, of the 1500 block of Keron Way, was reportedly looking for her husband, who had entered the Greene Street government building several minutes earlier, according to a statement from the Marshal's Office.

The incident occurred at 11:15 a.m. and Mrs. Pinson was arrested and booked into the Richmond County jail at 12:42 p.m. by Richmond County Deputy Marshal Clayton Evans, according to jail records.

She remained at the jail without bond Tuesday night, charged with carrying a deadly weapon to a public gathering, a jail official said.

Home invasion report turns into drug arrest

A call Monday to an Augusta apartment for a home invasion turned into an arrest for Richmond County sheriff's deputies after an occupant told police he had almost a pound of marijuana, officials said.

Zannie Worrell, of the 2900 block of Arrowhead Drive, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, jail officials said.

Sheriff's Lt. James Young said deputies were called at 3:30 p.m. Monday to Mr. Worrell's home after his girlfriend said two men came in the apartment, one armed with a gun, and ordered her to give them her boyfriend's property.

When investigators tried to question Mr. Worrell, he responded to questions by saying "I don't know," Lt. Young said.

Eventually, he told investigators "I give up," and pulled out a bag with marijuana from a closet, Lt. Young said.

Man charged in string of Augusta burglaries

A Richmond County grand jury handed down 18 burglary charges against a man for a series of burglaries stretching from fall 2004 until winter this year, records show.

Darrin Jamal Smith is accused of committing the 18 burglaries, stretching from Sept. 14 to Feb. 16 at locations around Augusta.

A co-defendant, Michael James Jackson, was indicted on a burglary charge along with Mr. Smith for a burglary Feb. 10. He was also indicted alone on a second-degree forgery charge.

Grand jury indicts man on arson charges

A Richmond County grand jury has indicted a man on charges that he intentionally set an occupied Augusta home on fire in April, records show.

Michael Leon Royal was indicted on the charge of arson in the first degree, records state.

The indictment alleges that on April 19, he damaged the residence of Margaret McCrary and Bryant Bullock in the 1900 block of Second Avenue by setting it on fire.

Man to face charges of child molestation

A Richmond County grand jury handed down an indictment Tuesday against a man on charges of child molestation, court records show.

Justin Ryan Walker was indicted on one count of aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation, documents show.

The indictment alleges that on Feb. 5, Mr. Walker performed sex acts on a boy under age 16.

Smoke keeps staff out of municipal building

Employees who work in the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building on Greene Street, were denied access to the building Tuesday morning after a fire was reported.

At about 8:12 a.m., fire officials were called to the government building after an employee reported seeing smoke coming from a section of the fifth floor, according to a news release from the Richmond County Marshal's Office.