Originally created 11/22/06

Across the area



Police seek help in finding bank robbers

Authorities are asking for help in finding two men who robbed the SunTrust Bank at 801 Broad St. on Friday, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation agent-in-charge Ed Reinhold.

The two men entered the bank at about 4:20 p.m. and demanded money from the teller. The men received an unknown amount of money and were last seen heading south on Broad Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (706) 722-3702 or the Richmond County Sheriff's office at (706) 821-1080.

Bond posted in sexual assault

A former Harlem High School teacher and softball coach posted bond Tuesday and was released from jail about noon.

Melissa Chase spent more than a week confined at the Columbia County Detention Center after her arrest Nov. 13. Police charged her with sexual assault against a student enrolled in school.

In a bond hearing Monday, Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown granted a $100,000 bond to Ms. Chase, 28, of the 3000 block of Spicewood Drive in Augusta.

70 soldiers to return home from Iraq today

Seventy soldiers of the Swainsboro-based Company A, 878th Engineer Battalion, are scheduled to come home from Iraq today, officials said.

The soldiers will arrive at Augusta Regional Airport before being transported home to the Swainsboro armory.

The soldiers spent more than a year in Iraq, assisting with military construction projects. The entire 878th, headquartered in Augusta, served in Iraq from 2003-2004 without a single casualty.

Williams supports Cain in Dec. 5 runoff

Venus Cain picked up a little support Tuesday in her efforts to unseat A.K. Hasan from the Super District 9 spot on the Richmond County Board of Education.

James Williams, who came in third place in the Nov. 7 election to both candidates, threw his support behind Mrs. Cain and asked his backers to do the same.

Mr. Hasan pulled in 44 percent of the vote as compared with Mrs. Cain's 25 percent.

The runoff election for the District 9 seat will be Dec. 5.

Two teens charged in video game robbery

Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested two teenagers who are accused of robbing another teen of a Sony PSP hand-held video game system.

April Pa'lisa Dunn, 17, and Albert Richard Williams, 16, were charged with robbery by intimidation and criminal attempt of robbery, records state. Mr. Williams was additionally charged with simple battery.

According to a police report, the couple approached two other teens along Meadowbrook Drive at 12:30 a.m., asking them if they wanted to buy marijuana.

After saying "no," the victim said Ms. Dunn distracted them while Mr. Williams patted one of the victims down and said that they had a gun and would shoot if they did not cooperate.

After taking the PSP, a game for the unit and a wallet, Mr. Williams punched one of the victims in the face before fleeing, the report states.

Woman charged over social worker threats

A 35-year-old Jackson woman was arrested Monday and charged with threatening a social worker who was inspecting her home earlier this month.

Traci Dixon, of Flat Drive, was charged with threatening the life of a public employee.

According to an arrest warrant from the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, Spencer Gartrell, a case worker for the department of social services, was inspecting Ms. Dixon's home on Nov. 6.

Ms. Dixon, the warrant states, "started screaming at Mr. Gartrell and telling him to leave the residence and not come back or she would slit his throat."

71-year-old, friend robbed inside home

Richmond County sheriff's deputies are investigating a robbery of a 71-year-old man and a friend Monday night, where both were tied up.

According to the report, the man told deputies that at 8 p.m. in the 2100 block of Roosevelt Drive, a man knocked at his door.

The man stepped in and ordered the victim and his friend to the back bedroom.

Both were tied up, and the man took $1,500.

Convenience store robbed at gunpoint

North Augusta police are investigating a robbery at an Atomic Road convenience store Monday night, a police report states.

Clerks at the Greg's Gas Plus told Department of Public Safety officers that at 10:55 p.m., two men went inside and demanded money at gunpoint.

Fire destroys home in Evans; one injured

A fire destroyed an Evans home late Monday, authorities said.

The fire at 5008 Sussex Drive, in Stratford subdivision, was first reported at about 11:30 p.m. The home is owned by Larry Stroud, said Honey Shore, a spokeswoman for Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue, adding that five people, including Mr. Stroud, were inside the home at the time of the fire and were able to escape.

A teenage son had his hands burned in the fire, but he was treated at Doctors Hospital and released, Mrs. Shore said.

16-year-old indicted on murder charge

A 16-year-old Augusta teenager was indicted Tuesday on armed robbery and murder charges for the shooting of a man last May.

A Richmond County Grand Jury issued the indictment against Antoine Marcus Thaxton, charging him with malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

- From staff reports