Originally created 11/17/06

Across the area



Downpours set rainfall record

Augusta Regional Airport saw a rainfall record during heavy area downpours Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The West Columbia, S.C., weather service office said 1.29 inches of rain fell, breaking a record of .8 inches set in 1980.

No major flooding or damage was reported in Richmond County from the storms, emergency management officials said.

Further south, trees were knocked down on Effingham Highway in Screven County near Tanner Road, because of high wind.

Downtown carjacking reported by woman

A Louisville, Ga., woman told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that she was carjacked in broad daylight in downtown Augusta on Wednesday.

A police report states that the 38-year-old was parked in the 900 block of Broad Street, when at about 3 p.m. she was approached by two men, one of them armed.

The armed man demanded her to surrender the keys to her 2002 BMW 530i. She complied, and the men left.

Jury dismisses man's insanity plea in slaying

It took less than an hour for a jury to dismiss an insanity defense for a man who shot his estranged wife to death.

After the Richmond County Superior Court jury's conviction, Calvin W. Foster was sentenced to life in prison plus five years, Assistant District Attorney Parks White said.

Daphne Jenkins Foster was a 34-year-old mother of five when she was shot to death on the porch of a former neighbor's home.

Mr. Foster, 38, was convicted of murder and sentenced Thursday at the conclusion of a three-day trial.

21-year-old pleads guilty in molestation

A 21-year-old Augusta man pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges of child molestation.

Under the terms of the plea negotiation accepted by Judge Duncan D. Wheale in Richmond County Superior Court, Willie J. Lewis will be released on probation after 11 months in jail.

Mr. Lewis admitted to having illegal sexual contact with girls ages 14 and 12 years old in January.

He will have to register as a sex offender during his nine years on probation, and every month he must donate $50 to the Child Enrichment Center in the name of each victim. One of the center's goals is helping child sexual assault victims.

Schools chief criteria set for references

Members of a committee seeking Columbia County's next superintendent established criteria by which an applicant's listed references can judge the candidate in a Wednesday meeting.

Scoring on a scale of one to five, with five as best, references will be asked to assess the applicants' personal appearance, honesty and integrity, leadership skills, supervising skills, communication skills, character, financial management skills, attitude, adaptability, personnel relations and community relations.

The score sheet will only be sent to the references listed by applicants the committee is interested in, school board Chairman Wayne Bridges said.

As of Wednesday morning, 19 applications for the superintendent's position were received by school officials, Mr. Bridges said.

The committee will meet again Nov. 29 to further discuss superintendent candidates. Current Superintendent Tommy Price will retire at the end of this school year.

Man sentenced to year in molestation

A former martial arts instructor charged with child molestation was sentenced to a year in jail Thursday.

Robert Houston Reynolds Jr., 25, of Evans, was indicted in May on one charge of child molestation stemming from a sexual relationship he admitted to having with a 15-year-old girl while he was working as an instructor at Martial Arts America.

The girl became pregnant and the two later married.

Mr. Reynolds, who was supported in the courtroom by his family and friends and the girl's parents, pleaded guilty to the lesser included charge of statutory rape Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Duncan Wheale sentenced Mr. Reynolds to 364 days in the Columbia County Detention Center, followed by nine years' probation. During the probation, Mr. Reynolds must register as a sex offender.

Because Mr. Reynolds was sentenced as a First Offender, he will not have to register as a sex offender after successfully completing his probation, Judge Wheale said.

Army Reserve hospital to change command

Fort Gordon's 3297th U.S. Army Reserve Hospital will hold a change of command ceremony Saturday on Barton Field, the post said in a news release.

At the 1 p.m. ceremony, Col. Carol L. Bowdoin will relinquish command to Col. Avis M. Buchannan. A reception will follow at the U.S. Army Reserve Center on post at 15th Street and Lane Avenue.

In event of rain, the ceremony will be held at the Reserve Center. It is open to the public.

Army band, ASU wind ensemble to perform

The U.S. Army Signal Corps Band and the wind ensemble of Augusta State University will hold a holiday concert Dec. 7 at First Baptist Church, 3500 Walton Way Extension.

The event will start at 7 p.m. and is free, but seating is limited.

To guarantee a seat, tickets are available at Georgia Bank and Trust, Fort Gordon Federal Credit Union, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call (706) 791-2423.

Christmas House to aid military families

Fort Gordon's 40th annual Christmas House program will get under way next week to provide toys and holiday meals for military families.

The grand opening will be at 9 a.m. Monday at The Courtyard, on Kilbourne Avenue and 36th Street, a post news release states, with presentations to supporters who have contributed to the program for 10 years or more.

Most of the money donated to the program is raised by military units, civilian organizations and local merchants.

To donate or volunteer, call Army Community Service (706) 791-3880.

- From staff reports