Originally created 05/26/06

Across the area



Music industry sues Augustan

The recording industry is striking back by suing people suspected of illegally downloading music across the country, including Augusta.

This week, Damion Brown was named in a U.S. District Court lawsuit in Augusta. Warner Brothers Records and Virgin Records America accused Mr. Brown of copyright infringement for allegedly illegally downloading and distributing five songs by Poison, Van Halen and Paula Abdul.

According to a news release from the Recording Industry Association of America, lawsuits have been filed against 65 people, including 10 individuals in Georgia.

"Stealing music is a direct threat to our ability to invest in the next generation of artists," RIAA President Cary Sherman said in the news release. "Record store owners, songwriters, studio musicians and countless music industry professionals bear the burden of music theft. Record companies are constantly working to offer fans a broad variety of options for high-quality music, but the digital marketplace will never reach its true potential if we allow this theft to continue."

Judge denies bond to shooting suspect

A 22-year-old North Augusta man who authorities say shot another man several times and then scuffled with deputies was denied bond in Aiken court Thursday.

Alberto Romero Lopez, of the 1100 block of Frances Street, is facing charges of kidnapping, assault and battery with intent to kill, resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

He was arrested May 2 by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office. Police say he shot Alajandra Morales, 28, of the 100 block of Thomas Park Road, who survived the attack.

Mr. Lopez fought with deputies who arrested him after he followed Mr. Morales to a neighbor's home.

Judge Clifton Newman denied Mr. Lopez's bond.

Two bank robbers sentenced to prison

Two men convicted of taking part in a Waynesboro bank robbery were sentenced to prison terms Thursday.

Christopher J. Cunningham will spend 10 years and one month in prison for bank robbery and conspiracy. Damien J. Jones will spend five years in prison for conspiracy. A U.S. District Court jury convicted both men in March.

Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Jones were involved in the March 29, 2005, robbery of Regions Bank in Waynesboro.

Woman's boyfriend is arrested in attack

Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested a man after his live-in girlfriend said he attacked her and her son, a police report states.

Claude Vincent Jones, 49, of the 3400 block of Blackstone Street, was charged early Thursday with aggravated assault, simple battery and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

Mary Ann King told deputies that at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Mr. Jones cursed at her and approached her. Ms. King said her son, Shawn Edward King, stepped between them.

The mother and son said Mr. Jones pulled a folding knife from his pocket and swung it at Mr. King, cutting him twice on the arm.

Ms. King said Mr. Jones then pushed her onto a 1989 Chevrolet Camaro, breaking the windshield, before he left. Deputies found him on Southwick Drive.

Officials hold event to urge safe driving

South Carolina officials will hold a Memorial Day Safety Rest Break at the South Carolina welcome center on Interstate 20 today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Motorists who stop can get their tires' air pressure checked, receive free pressure gauges, free beverages, state highway maps, literature on highway safety and travel directions, a news release states.

The event is aimed at increasing safety awareness.

Flood control project could get $750,000

A federal appropriations bill passed Wednesday night includes $750,000 in funding for a flood control project in Augusta, according to the office of U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.

The funding included in the Fiscal Year 2007 Energy & Water Appropriations Act is for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Oates Creek Flood Control Project, a news release states, to reduce the potential for flood damage.

The bill has moved to the Senate. After the House and Senate agree on a conference report, the bill will go to the president for his signature.

- From staff reports