Originally created 12/26/05

Across the area



Rescued woman still in hospital

A woman who was rescued from a house fire by Aiken officials Christmas morning remained in critical condition at an Augusta hospital Sunday evening.

At about 9:13 a.m., police and fire authorities responded to a fire in the 100 block of Sumter Street in Aiken and found a 52-year-old woman in the living room. After she was administered CPR and first aid, she was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers, then airlifted to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta.

Sgt. David Turno, of the Aiken Department of Public Safety, withheld the woman's name pending notification of family members.

She suffered burns to her left leg and smoke inhalation, Sgt. Turno said.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division assisted in the investigation. The fire started in a bedroom, police said.

Robber runs off with man's wallet, phone

A 57-year-old Augusta man said he was robbed at his home Christmas Eve, according to officials.

A Richmond County sheriff's report says Charles Newman, of the 1600 block of Powell Road, was taking money from his wallet to pay back an acquaintance when a man with the acquaintance snatched Mr. Newman's wallet and cell phone and ran away.

The incident reportedly occurred between 11 p.m. and midnight Saturday. According to Mr. Newman, the wallet contained $300 and several credit cards, and the phone is worth $50.

No arrests had been made Sunday.

Men attacked with ball bat, vicitim says

An 18-year-old Augusta man reported to police that a man tried to attack three people with a bat in the parking lot of Augusta Mall on Saturday.

Jaroad Balton, of the 2400 block of Ruby Drive, said that the bat-wielding man was chasing him and two other men around but that no one was seriously injured, according to a sheriff's incident report.

It's unclear why he was using the bat. No description of the assailant was available Sunday.

Sweatshirt is stolen in punching incident

Police are investigating a Christmas Eve incident in which a man reportedly approached a customer at a Hephzibah gas station and punched him.

The man who reported being victimized said the attacker hit him in the eye after coming up to him while he was pumping gas at the Supron station in the 2700 block of Tobacco Road.

The man also removed the victim's sweatshirt and took it, he told police.

The incident reportedly took place at 10 p.m. Saturday.

Woman in critical condition after fire

A Graniteville woman who was rescued from a mobile home fire Saturday was in serious condition a day later, according to authorities.

Aretha Angner, 61, had been listed in critical condition Saturday evening but was improving at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, a spokeswoman said.

Ms. Angner reportedly had collapsed inside her mobile home.

Graniteville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Phil Napier said firefighters responded to the blaze at about 6 p.m. Saturday and saw fire coming from a back window of the home.

The chief said preliminary investigation revealed the fire was started by either a candle or a cigarette in the living room.

Sites will accept Christmas trees

Christmas trees can be dropped off between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. through Jan. 8 in Aiken at the following locations: H. Odell Weeks Activity Center, 1700 Whiskey Road; Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, 400 Kershaw Place; and Citizen Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road. For more information, call 642-7631.