Originally created 06/13/06

What's the story?



You might scratch your head in wonder at the fact that an official of the James Brown Music Festival was spending time at a south Augusta motel the last night of the festival.

You might also be perplexed that he would barricade himself in a motel bathroom when police arrived in response to a distress call there.

But it gets fishier than the Chesapeake Bay when that music festival official gets arrested with 243 stolen money orders on the motel room dresser.

Money orders reportedly stolen back in 1999.

What in the blazes is going on?

The answer is, we don't know - yet. The official, Anthony Page, was reportedly saying nothing to police and very little to reporters.

Several prominent friends of Page expressed shock and dismay after his May 28 arrest became public knowledge in The Chronicle Sunday. They said he, of all the higher-ups at the James Brown Music Festival, seemed to have the most going for him and the best track record for speaking the truth.

You would think Page, an organizer of the festival and the president of the Heritage Crest Foundation that the festival was to benefit, would want to clear this all up. His integrity, as well as the festival's, is on the line.

When you help stage a community festival such as this, you become a banker of the public trust. The Augusta Commission, Richmond County Sheriff's Office, performers, vendors, participants and taxpayers all count on you to have integrity and to take good care of the trust invested in you.

It's not enough to say that the money-order arrest "had nothing to do with the festival and nothing to do with (festival organizer) Champ Walker," as Page told The Chronicle.

Then what did it have to do with? Why was the president of the Heritage Crest Foundation even at a south Augusta motel the evening the James Brown Music Festival was wrapping up? Where did those money orders come from? What were they doing in a motel room on the last night of the festival? What were they going to be used for? Where had they been since being stolen en route to a south Augusta grocery in July 1999?

And why was the president of the Heritage Crest Foundation allegedly barricading himself in a bathroom at the sight of a sheriff's deputy?

"There's no story," Page insists.

He's right. There's a big story.

And he owes it to his friends and supporters in the community to tell it.