Originally created 12/21/06

Across the area



Woman dies in car accident

A 69-year-old Blackville, S.C., woman was killed Wednesday afternoon in a head-on collision near Windsor.

According to Lance Cpl. Scot Edgeworth, a spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the wreck happened on U.S. Highway 78 at 3:53 p.m.

Ernestine Harriott was driving a 1996 Chrysler minivan west on U.S. 78, he said. She crossed the center line and collided with a 1982 Ford truck towing a motor home. It was being driven by Bobby Eidson of Hilda, S.C.

Neither Mr. Eidson nor his passenger was injured, Lance Cpl. Edgeworth said. Ms. Harriott, who was not wearing her seat belt, died at the scene, he said.

Couple sues deputy over alleged abuse

A former sheriff's deputy accused of abusing an Augusta woman is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Mary Jane and Henry Harris sued the city of Augusta, Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength, Lt. Jimmy Wylds and former Deputy Charles McDowell.

Mr. and Mrs. Harris allege that Deputy McDowell, who was sent to investigate a Jan. 4, 2005, complaint about loud music at their home, used pepper spray and his baton on Mrs. Harris without cause.

Sheriff Strength said Wednesday that the deputy was fired for using excessive force as a result of Mrs. Harris' complaint.

Salvation Army needs infant, toddler toys

The Salvation Army is asking for donations of toys appropriate for needy children 2 years old and younger.

In a news release, the agency said there is a diminishing supply of infant and toddler toys at The Salvation Army's Toy Shop.

Toys can be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. today at the agency's office, 1384 Greene St.

Credit union robbers are being sought

Police are seeking two men who robbed a Columbia County credit union Wednesday.

The men held up the Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union, 158 Davis Road in Martinez, at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. They left a trail of money behind them as they fled on foot toward Washington Road, Augusta Senior FBI Agent Ed Reinhold said.

The FBI is investigating the incident with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with any information about the theft should call the Augusta FBI office at (706) 722-3702 or the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at (706) 541-2800.

Robbery victim is in jail on assault charge

A man who was shot during a robbery attempt Tuesday was jailed after Richmond County sheriff's deputies found that he was wanted for assaulting someone, police records show.

Joseph Lemar Turner, 20, told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that he was walking in the 3000 block of Deans Bridge Road at 11:02 p.m. when a man demanded money from him at gunpoint. He refused, and the man shot him in the left thigh.

Mr. Turner was taken to University Hospital, and deputies found that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

According to a separate police report, Carlos L. Hazel, 21, accused Mr. Turner of punching him during an argument Sept. 17.

Computer system woe halts car tags, titles

Computer woes might prevent Columbia County residents from renewing their vehicle tags or applying for a title in Evans today.

The computer system, which keeps vehicle records for the county's motor vehicle division, was inoperative much of Tuesday and all of Wednesday, Columbia County Deputy Tax Agent Dwight Johnson said.

He was unsure when the computer issue at the Evans office might be resolved.

Anyone who wants to renew a tag should call (706) 868-6884 before coming to the office.

Tags can also be renewed and titles applied for at the motor vehicle division office at 1959 Appling-Harlem Highway in Appling. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mr. Johnson said.

Pig picture sets off stabbing, arrests

An argument over who put a picture of a pig in the bus seat of a Westside High School student led to a fight in which one teenager was stabbed and two were arrested, Richmond County sheriff's records say.

Avanti S. Williams, 17, was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and Shekina Willis, 17, was charged with simple battery.

According to sheriff's records, the teens got into an argument Tuesday over who put the picture of the pig in Shekina's seat. They later met in the 500 block of Boy Scout Road, where Shekina was cut under her right eye. Avanti had a cut to her upper lip, a police report says.

Investigators search for gas station robber

Richmond County sheriff's investigators are looking into the robbery of a gas station in the 3700 block of Mike Padgett Highway on Tuesday night.

According to a police report, a clerk at DL's Convenience Store said that at 11:28 p.m. a man ran into the store, pointed a black revolver at her and demanded cash. She complied, and the man fled into a wooded area near the parking lot.

Man is shot at club on North Leg Road

A 20-year-old Hephzibah man told police that he was shot at a nightclub early Wednesday morning, a Richmond County sheriff's report says.

The man said he was at Club Platinum in the 1500 block of North Leg Road, where at least one fight occurred earlier in the evening, according to another police report.

The victim said he heard gunshots and realized he had been struck in the left ankle. He was taken to a local hospital, but told deputies he didn't want to prosecute.

Drive-by shooting has police investigating

Richmond County sheriff's deputies are investigating the drive-by shooting of an 18-year-old Augusta man Wednesday morning, a police report states.

Deputies were sent at 3:48 a.m. to a home in the 2900 block of Cable Way, where they found the man lying on the living room floor with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder.

The victim told deputies that as he was being dropped off at his home a vehicle passed by and a bullet was fired.

The victim was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment.