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27-year-old man is charged in sex crime

A 27-year-old Neeses, S.C., man was arrested Tuesday on charges that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl last year.

Marlon K. Jackson, of the 600 block of Savannah Highway, was charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of lewd act on a minor.

Arrest warrants state that he had sex with the girl at her Salley home on three different dates in September 2006.

Smoke inhalation killed woman in fire

Man avoids jail by sobering up

A 52-year-old Augusta man who sobered up and joined Alcoholics Anonymous after terrorizing neighbors and fighting with deputies pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Carl Pearre avoided a prison sentence in Richmond County Superior Court. Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced him to three years' probation but warned that a return to drinking alcohol would mean prison.

Mr. Pearre was arrested Oct. 10. At the sheriff's office he punched a hole in a wall and fought with officers. Earlier he threatened a neighbor with an ax handle and talked of running over two small children with his vehicle. He pleaded guilty to five counts of making terroristic threats and misdemeanor offenses of obstruction and trespass.

S. Carolina officials pick new local judge

The General Assembly elected two new local judges as part of the selection process Wednesday that put 32 new judges on the bench statewide.

Dale Moore Gable also was elected to the Family Court, 2nd Judicial Circuit, which covers Aiken, Barnwell and Bamberg counties.

Deborah Neese was chosen to fill a Family Court seat in the 11th Circuit, which includes Edgefield, McCormick, Saluda and Lexington counties.

Ms. Neese is one of three women chosen to be judges Wednesday.

An autopsy Wednesday revealed that a Martinez woman killed in a Tuesday blaze died of inhalation of smoke, soot and superheated gas, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Tommy McPherson said.

Victoria C. Quiller, 87, of 1615 Collins Drive, died during the fire that destroyed her home off Old Belair Road after 1 a.m. Tuesday.

The fire was caused by a kerosene heater in a front room, said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the State Fire Marshal's Office.

No smoke detector was found in the home, Mr. Allen said, adding that those who can't afford a smoke detector can obtain one free from the State Fire Marshal's Office. For more information, call (800) 656-2298.

Education committee members are named

The James Brown Board of Trustees has named the members of its education committee.

The committee, according to Trustee Buddy Dallas, will establish the guidelines for educational grants to underprivileged children.

The members are Dr. Shirley A.R. Lewis, outgoing president of Paine College; professor Joseph Greene, the chairman of economics at Augusta State University; Dr. Ann Carmichael, the dean of the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie; Larry Campbell, Lincoln County High School athletic director and head football coach; and Judge Walter Williams, of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mr. Dallas said it will be up to the committee to decide when they will meet and who the chairman of the group will be.

Police arrest man in November robbery

Police arrested and charged a man Tuesday in the Nov. 20 armed robbery of a Circle K convenience store at the corner of Walton Way Extension and Scott Nixon Memorial Drive, according to Richmond County Investigator Tom Johnson.

Investigators said they believe Corey Dontrell Jones, 19, of the 2400 block of Belgrade Court, is charged with theft by taking and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Mr. Jones was not charged with armed robbery because investigators believe a woman, who has yet to be charged, was involved in the incident.

Man says he tried to shoot dog near road

Police arrested a man who claimed to be trying to shoot his dog near a busy Augusta road, a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

Jeffrey Alan Mitchell, 40, of 7036 Amarillo Circle, is charged with discharging a gun or pistol near a public highway.

Several homeowners in the area called the sheriff's department, reporting multiple shots being fired from Mr. Mitchell's home, the report said.

When the deputy arrived at the house, Mr. Mitchell said he was trying to shoot his dog with his shotgun.

He had been firing the gun just 45 yards from Hephzibah McBean Road.

Adopt-A-Highway rids roads of tons of trash

Edgefield's a cleaner place thanks to the 110 Adopt-A-Highway volunteers who picked up about 6,000 pounds of trash from roadsides last year, according to a press release.

The volunteers picked up trash along 92 miles of their adopted highways in 2006, the release said.

Statewide, 1.1 million pounds of trash was removed.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Edgefield program may call Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator Ernest Church at (803) 637-3161.

Parents United set to meet Saturday

Parents United will hold a meeting at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The meeting to discuss issues facing Richmond County schools is open to all county residents.

The group's meeting will be held at Diamond Lakes Library.

For more information, call President Greg Collier at (706) 771-0878.

Play to be performed on post Saturday

The play 40 Acres, Who Stole the Mule will be performed Saturday at Fort Gordon.

Performances are at 3 and 7 p.m. at Alexander Hall. Admission costs $12, or $10 for those younger than 12 or groups in advance, or $15 at door.

Call (706) 793-8552 for more information.

- From staff reports