Originally created 09/19/06

Across the area



Board won't delay ballots

The Richmond County Board of Elections denied a request by Augusta businessman Charlie Hannah to delay printing the November ballot until the issue of mayoral candidate Ronnie Few's eligibility is resolved in a board hearing Thursday. Delaying the printing would mean the ballots would not be ready in time to be mailed to absentee voters Sept. 25, as required by state and federal law.

Two challenges have been filed because Mr. Few filed for a homestead exemption in Columbia County in April. By law, mayoral candidates must have lived in Richmond County for at least one year before the election.

Woman pleads not guilty in fatal wreck

One of two women indicted on charges related to a fatal June 4 car wreck pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Monday morning in Columbia County.

Tiara Maria Smith, who entered the plea, and Nebula Denise McNeely, both of Augusta, had been indicted on two counts of murder, feticide, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, theft by shoplifting, fleeing and attempting to elude police, and cruelty to children.

Ms. Smith, 20, is accused of running a red light in a Ford Explorer while she and Ms. McNeely were fleeing a shoplifting at a Marshalls store in Evans, causing a crash that killed Margaret Patricia Branton, 63, of Martinez, and her son, Lonnie D. Turner, 37. Mr. Turner's wife, Mary, lost her unborn baby in the wreck.

Ms. Smith also faces several additional traffic charges. She is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center without bond.

Ms. McNeely, 42, has not entered a plea because she was transferred June 12 to the Metro State Prison in Atlanta for a parole violation, according to jail personnel.

Teen robbed by men selling shoes at hotel

An Augusta teenager was robbed in his hotel room Sunday at the Adams Super Inn at 1602 Gordon Highway, according to a Richmond County sheriff's report.

The victim told deputies that three men came to the door selling shoes at about 3 a.m. When he declined to purchase any of them, the men kicked open the door and pinned him to a chair, the report said.

The robbers took $350 from his pocket and fled in a silver minivan.

Augustan is beaten in attempted robbery

An Augusta man was beaten over the head in an attempted robbery in the 1000 block of Telfair Street on Monday morning, a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

Charles Edward Slade, 50, was walking near the street when a man approached him from behind and demanded money. When Mr. Slade responded that he did not have any money, the man knocked him to the ground, the report said.

Perdue, Burns top list of candidates at rally

Gov. Sonny Perdue and 12th District congressional candidate Max Burns lead a list of candidates scheduled to participate today in an election-theme barbecue in Tennille, Ga.

Barbecue will be served at 5:30 p.m., and the rally starts at 6:35 p.m. at the Ag Center off Grady Mertz Road. In case of bad weather, the event will move to Sandersville Technical College, off Georgia Highway 88.

Other invited candidates include Gary Black for agriculture commissioner, Brent Brown for labor commissioner, George DeLoach for Senate District 23 and Napoleon Jenkins for House District 142.

For information, call Denise Ray at (478) 522-1738..

More charges seen in raid on Aiken bars

More charges are possible in Sunday morning's raid on two bars in South Carolina.

Capt. Charles Barranco, spokesman for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, said detectives are still investigating the circumstances surrounding cocaine and methamphetamine that was found at the County Line Club.

The County Line Club on Womrath Road and the Hip-Hop Club on Carolina Springs Road were raided by officers from five agencies. Capt. Barranco said that it was a sting sparked by complaints from neighbors.

One person at the County Line Club, 23-year-old Marcus Marqui Corley, of Perry, was taken to jail on a charge of simple possession of marijuana.

Both establishments were issued administrative violations against their alcohol licenses, and authorities seized eight video poker machines.

Man, 64, is charged in several sex crimes

A 64-year-old Beech Island man was arrested Friday and charged with sex crimes, including incest.

William Moore, of the 2500 block of Atomic Road, was charged with three counts of incest, second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and lewd act on a minor.

Teen is charged with hitting man with car

A 19-year-old Graniteville resident was arrested Friday on charges that he hit a man with a car.

Marlon Curry, of the 1200 block of Kalmia Apartments Lane, was charged with assault of a high and aggravated nature, presenting a firearm and possession of crack cocaine.

Arrest warrants from the Aiken County Sheriff's Office accuse Mr. Curry of hitting Braun Pruitt with a car at Kalmia Apartments after an argument and pointing a handgun at him.

Teens charged with vandalizing school

Five Columbia County teens have been arrested and charged with vandalizing Lakeside High School.

Michael Jeffery Pinaula, 17, of the 4600 block of Brittney Drive in Evans, was arrested Friday on a charge of felony interference with government property, and was released on a $2,600 bond, according to jail records.

Lakeside High School officials reported that someone spray-painted "EHS" in gold several times on the school building. Police say an anonymous tip led them to Mr. Pinaula.

Four other teens told police they went with Mr. Pinaula to Lakeside High and sprinkled salt in the shape of "EHS" on the school's lawn, but denied being involved in the spray-painting.

Matthew Scott Drouin, 17, of the 200 block of Kestwick Drive in Martinez; Noah Keefee Pulley, 17, of the 800 block of Lake Royal Drive in Grovetown; Anthony Scott Randall, 18, of the 100 block of Caymen Drive in Martinez; and Brian Michael Toole, 17, of the 4700 block of Brookwood Drive in Grovetown, surrendered to the Columbia County Detention Center on Saturday and were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass.

They were released after posting bonds of $1,100 each.

- From Staff Reports