Across the area

Fatal site was official stop

Columbia County school officials said Wednesday that the site of a March 20 fatality involving a school bus and a 2-year-old boy was an official bus stop.

"That was the stop that that driver had submitted as her official route," said Associate Superintendent Charles Nagle.

Kole A. Ford, of the 400 block of Wilkins Road, Grovetown, was killed instantly after he either ran in front of or under the school bus as it pulled away from a stop in front of his home on a narrow, private dirt driveway, authorities say.

The bus, No. 215, serves Brookwood Elementary School and was driven by Candy Hammett, 37, of Grovetown. Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Wednesday that police will continue to investigate the case.

Soup kitchen decides not to move by school

Golden Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday backed off plans to move its soup kitchen across the street from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School.

Unable to reach an agreement with Richmond County school officials, the organization said it would pursue other locations, according to a news release.

Golden Harvest officials have said its current location on Fenwick Street is not large enough and in poor condition.

Golden Harvest was looking at moving the Master's Table Soup Kitchen to the former Kinsey's Auto Grill on 13th Street.

But parents and school board members said they were concerned the soup kitchen would pose a threat to student safety.

Homeland Security issues local grants

Some area law enforcement agencies were awarded equipment grants Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was approved for the computer software COPLINK, and the Lincoln County Department of Public Safety was granted a gasoline-powered rescue tool called AMKUS.

Meanwhile, the Burke County Sheriff's Office also will receive COPLINK software, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was approved for a thermal imager.

The announcements were part of $1,057,782 in equipment and training awards approved Wednesday for first responder organizations throughout Georgia. Nationwide, the Department of Homeland Security awarded more than 2,000 grants Wednesday as part of a program to ensure law enforcement and emergency responders have the equipment and training needed to meet their homeland security mission.

Stuck throttle caused golf course plane crash

A jammed throttle is to blame for an airplane that crashed through a fence surrounding the Augusta Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday, a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

The student pilot made four passes at the runway before landing but was unable to stop because the throttle became stuck and made the plane accelerate, the report said. The plane crashed through a fence nearby and came to rest in the golf course.

Neither the student nor his instructor was hurt in the wreck.

Jackson announces bid for state Senate

Former state Rep. Bill Jackson officially announced Wednesday that he's joining the race to fill the 24th District state Senate seat.

Mr. Jackson announced from the courthouse steps in Evans his intention to run for the seat soon to be vacated by state Sen. Jim Whitehead, who is running for the 10th District U.S. Congress seat formerly held by the late Charlie Norwood. Mr. Jackson is an eight-term veteran of the state Legislature and is the second Columbia County resident to join the race for the state Senate seat.

The special election for the state Senate seat will be Tuesday, June 19. District 24 includes Columbia, Glascock, Lincoln, McDuffie and Wilkes counties and parts of Elbert and Warren counties.

Woman pleads guilty in two-state chase

A woman who led officers from two states on a chase back and forth over the Savannah River in November pleaded guilty Wednesday.

In Richmond County Superior Court, Gloria A. Locklear, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault against a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of fleeing.

Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced her to four years in prison followed by four years on probation under the First Offender Act.

None of the officers was seriously hurt, Assistant District Attorney Inga Hicks said.

Education board OKs two new principals

Two new middle school principals were approved Tuesday at the Aiken County Board of Education meeting.

Ben Osborne will become the new principal at Kennedy Middle School, and Carl White will become the new principal at Schofield Middle School.

Mr. Osborne currently serves as the assistant principal at Schofield, and Mr. White is the assistant principal at Aiken High School.

Current Schofield Principal Beatrice McGhee will retire at the end of the school year. Garen Cofer, current Kennedy principal, will become the new principal at Aiken High School when Joe Padget retires.

Bills will give county sheriffs $10,000 raises

ATLANTA - Sheriffs in Burke and Jefferson counties would see bigger paychecks under bills the Senate passed Wednesday.

The chamber approved Senate Bill 310 and Senate Bill 311 as part of a slate of local bills. They would give the sheriffs each $10,000 raises starting this summer. The extra money would come from county funds.

The bills now move to the House.

The Senate on Wednesday also approved a bill creating a state court in Jefferson County to replace the City Court of Louisville.

Six AWOL soldiers are arrested in traffic stop

Six soldiers who were AWOL from Fort Gordon were arrested in North Augusta on Tuesday, a North Augusta Public Safety report said.

The soldiers were pulled over for a traffic violation and detained after it was found that the vehicle was a rental property that was not returned to Columbia County and that the soldiers were AWOL, the report said. They were taken to the Aiken County Jail.

- From staff reports