Across the area

Teen accused in rape expelled

The Glenn Hills High School student accused of raping his classmate has been expelled, according to a report released by the Richmond County school board.

The 16-year-old sophomore approached the victim during physical education class Jan. 3 and sat next to her on the bleachers, the school disciplinary hearing report said. He asked her to go outside, and she refused.

But he insisted, telling her that if she didn't he would tell everyone that she did and everyone would believe him, the report said. He also threatened that "bullets would be involved."

Scared, she went outside into a wooded area, where he raped her, the report said.

According to the report, he denied even knowing her during the hearing. The tribunal found him guilty, expelling him for a year. After that year, he will be sent to the alternative school.

2 men face charges after robbery, beating

A Hephzibah man was arrested Friday morning accused of beating and robbing his friend's uncle as his friend watched, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Cory Nicholas Newman, 19, was visiting a friend, Terry Allen Bellew, who was at his uncle's house, Lt. Jimmy Young said. Mr. Newman began beating Mr. Bellew's uncle.

He took his wallet, and both left, the sheriff's office investigator said. Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, a few hours after the robbery, the two men went to Waffle House in the 2100 block of Gordon Highway, where they couldn't pay their check.

Deputies were called to restaurant, and both were charged with theft of services.

A warrant already had been issued for Mr. Newman's arrest for the robbery, Lt. Young said. When booked into jail, an investigator was able to serve the warrant on Mr. Newman, who was then charged with robbery by force.

Science teachers can apply for $500 award

Teachers who include environmental science in their instructional programs can compete for a $500 award in a competition to name the annual Environmental Science Educator of the Year.

The program, sponsored by the CSRA Environmental Science Education Cooperative, was created to recognize and reward teachers who encourage students to become critical thinkers on the environment.

All teachers in K-12 in public, private and home school are eligible to apply. The nomination deadline is March 15.

Details and entry forms are available at www.csraesec.org or by calling Chuck Niemeyer at (706) 792-7761.

Police warn of calls from scam artists

Investigators from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office are warning the public of a scam to acquire credit card information.

The callers are contacting people in Richmond, Columbia, Aiken, Burke and Edgefield counties and pretending to be fraud investigators for a major credit card company.

They ask for information such as the victim's credit card number and expiration date so they can track down fraudulent charges to the victim's account, a news release from the office said.

The callers also provide a fake credit card employee ID number and company telephone number.

People who have received such a call should contact their credit card company to determine whether fraud has taken place, the release said.

If so, they should immediately close their account and contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert.

They also should also ask for a copy of their credit report and file it with their local law enforcement agency, the release said.

Housing needs input for affordable options

Augusta's Housing and Community Development Department is drawing up an action plan to create more affordable housing and needs the public's input.

A hearing on the issue will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 530 Greene St., Room 803.

The plan, which describes the community's housing conditions and needs, is a prerequisite for the city receiving federal grant money for housing.

- From staff reports