Originally created 01/22/06

Across the area



Williams is director of training center

Veteran law enforcement officer Maj. Alfonzo Williams is the new director of the regional police training center.

Maj. Williams, 34, took over the top position at the East Georgia Central Police Academy in south Augusta in December.

The center is where new and certified officers from 13 surrounding counties go for training and continuing education.

Maj. Williams has served as a trainer at the center for 12 years. He has also worked for the Augusta Police Department and sheriff's department, and Burke County and Columbia County agencies before joining the district attorney's office as an investigator in 2002.

Maj. Williams left the district attorney's office to become the training center director last month. He earned an associate's and bachelor of science degrees and is now working on an master of education degree in instructional technology.

Man died of skull fracture

The cause of death of a Harlem man who was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Richmond County was released by officials Saturday.

Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said an autopsy showed that William Craig Tribble, 39, died of a skull fracture and a blood clot in the brain.

Mr. Tribble was riding on a dirt road off Bennock Mill Road near Flake Road on Friday afternoon at a high speed, when he lost control and hit a tree before being thrown from the ATV and hitting another tree.

Mr. Tribble was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The autopsy was performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab on Phinizy Road.

Burglar takes off with empty cash register

Richmond County sheriff's deputies investigated a Friday burglary at an east Augusta restaurant, a police report states.

The owner of ABC Burger in the 300 block of East Boundary Street said someone broke into the east side of the building and took the cash register.

The register had no money in it, but its value was listed as $900 in the report.

Child's autopsy to be conducted today

Authorities will perform an autopsy today on a baby who was found unresponsive Saturday morning, officials said.

Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen said the name of the 6-month-old boy was being withheld, pending notification of next-of-kin.

He said a caretaker of the child, in the 400 block of East Boundary Street, gave the boy medicine Friday night for a cold and then placed the baby to sleep.

The next morning, the child was found dead. The death looks to be from natural causes, but the autopsy will be performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

Cox will be among speakers at summit

Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox is among the list of confirmed speakers for "Middle School Matters," a summit for Richmond County parents.

Ms. Cox, Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, District Attorney Danny Craig, judges and others will present the summit from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the school board's central offices, 864 Broad St.

Topics will include attendance and truancy; avoiding risky adolescent behaviors; parents as positive enablers; teenagers, sex, drugs, alcohol and the law; and recognizing signs of and prevention of gang involvement.

For more information, call the school system's public information department at 826-1118.

Investigator accused of planning drug deal

AIKEN - An investigator with the Aiken Public Defender's Office has been arrested and charged with planning with a prisoner to distribute controlled substances.

William Walden Hartman, 46, is accused of working with an inmate to bring Valium and Oxycontin into the Trenton Correctional Institution, according to affidavits on the arrest warrants issued Friday.

Mr. Hartman is charged with furnishing contraband to a prisoner and two counts of attempt-conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Mr. Hartman was taken into custody by agents of the State Law Enforcement Division on Friday.

"This arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by SLED and the South Carolina Department of Corrections," SLED Inspector Richard Hunton said.

Officials said Mr. Hartman was released on a $10,000 bond.

Chief Public Defender Wallis A. Alves would not comment on the arrest or talk about Mr. Hartman's employment.

Though those who work at the public defender's office are paid by the county, they are part of the Defender Corporation of Aiken County, county Administrator Clay Killian said.

Part of road to be closed for new bridge

The south end of Chalk Bed Road will be closed to traffic for about six months while the South Carolina Department of Transportation builds a new bridge over Horse Creek on the southwest side of Graniteville.

Jeff Terry, SCDOT resident construction engineer, said work will begin Jan. 31 to replace the existing bridge, which officials estimate to be about 50 years old.

During construction, Chalk Bed Road traffic will be rerouted between Ergle Street and U.S. Highway 1.

Signs will redirect traffic over a 9/10-mile detour route, Mr. Terry said, covering Main, Leitner, Marshal, Rennie and Ergle streets.

Davidson school now taking applications

John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School is accepting applications from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Feb. 17.

Applications are available in the school's office, 615 12th St. They are not available online.

To be eligible, pupils must reside in Richmond County, be entering grade six-12 and maintain at least an 80 in each individual subject and conduct at their current school.

Qualified candidates will receive audition time Feb. 20 or March 11.

Letters of acceptance will be mailed in early April.