Originally created 07/27/06

Across the area



Soldier to spend 2 years in prison

A soldier accused of burglary, drug possession, drug use and being absent without leave from his Fort Gordon unit was sentenced to a military prison Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Marla Jones said Pvt. Herbert Baines IV, 20, was sentenced to two years in confinement and a bad conduct discharge by Col. Donna Wright, a military judge, after pleading guilty to the charges.

The government accused Pvt. Baines of having more than three ounces of marijuana with intent to distribute it in a downtown Augusta parking lot, in addition to burglary of a fellow soldier's barracks room.

Police seek man in Martinez bank robbery

Columbia County police are looking for a man who robbed a Martinez bank Wednesday.

Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said that just before 1 p.m., the man walked into the Regions Bank on the 4100 block of Columbia Road and demanded money. Bank employees gave him cash, and he drove away in a black or dark-gray late 1980s or early 1990s Nissan pickup with rear body damage, Capt. Morris said.

The robber did not show a weapon or a note. No one was injured in the robbery.

Rhodes suing other radio show hosts

The verbal jabs of talk radio show hosts on opposing banks of the Savannah River have entered a courtroom.

Austin Rhodes, who has a show on WGAC radio in Georgia, filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas in Aiken County against South Carolina WAAW show hosts Ryan B. and Charles "Champ" Walker, and Rejoice Network Inc.

Mr. Rhodes accuses the other radio show hosts of slander for allegedly making false statements about him on the air. He is seeking a temporary and permanent restraining order to prevent them from repeating the statements that Mr. Rhodes contends has damaged his reputation and caused harm to him and his family.

He also seeks unspecified amounts of compensatory and punitive damages.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute.

Teenager is indicted in shooting death

A teenager released from custody on a $25,000 bond earlier this year has been indicted in a shooting death.

The Richmond County grand jury indictment accuses Johnny T. Dinh, 14, of murder in the May 3 death of Rodney McGhee, 20. The indictment accuses the teenager of malice murder and felony murder.

3 charged with setting mailboxes on fire

Three 15-year-old boys were arrested in Aiken on Wednesday and charged with setting mailboxes on fire.

The teens were charged with malicious injury to personal property and released to their parents.

According to a report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety, the three teens reeked of gasoline when the truck they were in was pulled over by an officer shortly after 3 a.m. on Town Creek Road.

Police had been called about someone setting mailboxes on fire and knocking them over in the Gem Lakes area.

Armed robber gets 30 years in prison

An Aiken County jury convicted a 21-year-old Clearwater man Wednesday of robbing Robby's Convenience Store in Warrenville last year.

Braheim Jamall Hill, who has been in jail since he was arrested last November, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for armed robbery.

Assistant Solicitor Lauren Willis showed surveillance footage from the store showing the Nov. 28 robbery, and Mr. Hill's fingerprints were found on the shotgun he used, he said. The jury took about half an hour to bring back a guilty verdict.

Two qualify for school board seat

Two people have qualified to run for Richmond County school board District 3.

Lauretta D. Gordon filed to run Wednesday for the seat vacated by John Seitz, joining Alex Howard.

Today is the last day to qualify for the Sept. 19 special election. The filing fee is $100. Qualifying ends at 5 p.m.

Police say man was stabbed by son, 26

An Augusta man remained behind bars Wednesday after stabbing his father, police said.

Stephen Douglas Bonner, 26, of Heathers Way, was charged with felony possession of a firearm to commit a crime and felony aggravated assault, a jail official said.

The fight started at about 7 a.m. Wednesday, when the victim asked his son not to smoke Black & Mild cigars inside his house, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Tim Rzasa.

The older man suffered cuts to his head and his back, Investigator Rzasa said.

The injuries were nonlifethreatening.

School board to hold parent workshop

Two Richmond County school board members will hold a "parent empowerment" workshop Aug. 7.

Board members Barbara Pulliam and Joe Scott invite parents to the workshop, to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at Glenn Hills Middle School.

A spaghetti dinner will be served.

Open house will be held at A.R. Johnson

A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School will hold an open house and orientation for incoming freshmen on Aug. 3.

The open house and orientation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Parents are invited to attend a question and answer session at 5 p.m. For more information, call (706) 823-6933.

Man armed with knife robs Augusta home

An Augusta man was robbed at knife point in his home on the 2500 block of Center West Parkway on Tuesday, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

The victim said he saw the suspect looking through his window.

He told deputies that he opened the front door to investigate and the man ran into his house, the report said.

The suspect then brandished a knife and demanded money from the victim. When the victim refused the suspect punched him in the face, grabbed a DVD player and fled.

Officials say fire was intentional

Authorities believe a structure fire on the 1500 block of Conklin Lane on Tuesday was deliberately set, a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

An investigation revealed that the fire was set on the back porch of the home and that a "human element" was involved, the report said.

Officials believe that wood and paper might have been used to start the fire, the report said.

- From staff reports