Across the area

Standoff: Police try to coax man from apartment

Authorities late Thursday night were trying to coax out a man barricaded inside his west Augusta apartment after an exchange in which he threatened to shoot a sheriff's deputy, according to Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Robert Partain.

A deputy was dispatched to Central West Villas on Bertram Road at 10:11 p.m. for a noise complaint.

When he knocked on a door at the apartment complex, a man inside threatened him and the deputy heard the sound of what he believed to be a gun cocking, Lt. Partain said.

The man, whom authorities couldn't immediately identify, was believed to be armed and alone inside the apartment.

SWAT personnel was on the scene.

One dead in I-20 collision

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal wreck that occurred on Interstate 20 about 2:30 a.m. Thursday near the Graniteville exit, according to Aiken County Chief Deputy Coroner Darryl Ables.

Gary M. McLeod Jr., 40, was killed when his Ford F-150 was struck by a McKee Foods Corp. tractor-trailer in the eastbound lanes of the interstate, according to a South Carolina State Patrol statement.

The victim suffered severe fire injuries and was identified by dental records, according to a press release from the coroner's office.

Investigators believe the pickup truck was parked or moving at a very slow rate of speed in the outside lane of the interstate when the tractor trailer, driven by 49-year-old Scott Carvaugh, struck the vehicle, causing it to burst into flames.

Neither Mr. Carvaugh nor his passenger, Gary Reeves, of East Ridge, Tenn. were injured, the release said.

Man wanted for April robbery still missing

Police are still seeking a man in connection with the robbery of a married couple on Gordon Highway last week.

Santonio Walker, 19, and his brother Robert Terrell Walker, 18, were accused in the April 25 attack of a man and his wife in their car while they drove along Gordon Highway.

Robert Terrell Walker, 18, was arrested on Monday.

Student, 16, charged with molestation

A 16-year-old Richmond County Alternative School student was charged with child molestation after being accused of forcing a fellow student to touch his genitals on a school bus.

A 12-year-old girl said the boy sat next to her with his genitals exposed, a sheriff's report said. She said he then forced her head onto his genitals.

Investigator Tim Rzasa said another student on the bus has said the act was consensual.

The 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile.

83-year-old is cut in struggle with intruder

An 83-year-old man was slashed on his left arm during a fight with a burglar Wednesday afternoon, a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

The man came home about 3:45 p.m. in the 3400 block of Peach Orchard Road to find a man hiding in his dining room, the report said. He hit the intruder in the head and was cut three times.

The suspect, described as in his 20s, stole $25 and fled the scene.

Couple die in wreck with tractor-trailer

A husband and wife were killed Tuesday in a wreck on Tom C. Carr Highway near Sandersville, Ga., according to Georgia State Patrol Trooper Tyler Harris.

The accident happened about 9:24 a.m. when Robert Vaughn Veal, 54, and Julia Roberts Veal, 60, pulled in front of a tractor-trailer while attempting to cross the median, Trooper Harris said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer truck was not injured.

Superintendent will speak about system

Dr. Steven Ballowe, the superintendent of Gainesville City Schools, will make two public presentations in Richmond County on his education system May 11.

The approach, which President Bush and Georgia's governor have lauded, is founded on public accountability, empowering parents, school choice and a system-wide magnet school program.

The first session will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will target Richmond County school administrators. The second, for parents, will be from 1-2:30 p.m. The public is invited to both, which will be held at the school board's central offices, 864 Broad St.

Candidates to speak during group's forum

Columbia and Richmond County voters will get a chance to meet the 10 candidates for the 10th Congressional District race and candidates for Georgia Senate District 24 May 10 in Grovetown.

The Grovetown Merchants Association is holding the forum for the June 19 special elections at Grovetown's new Liberty Park Community Center, 1040 Newmantown Road, at 6:30 p.m.

Businesses help food bank raise thousands

The Golden Harvest Food Bank raised $211,000 in this year's "Taste of the Harvest."

The amount came from Windsor Jewelers, individual raffle sales and significant corporate support.

Wine festival in Evans to feature live music

The second annual CSRA Wine Festival will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday in Evans Town Center Square on North Belair Road.

The festival includes food, live music and more than 100 wines to sample. Tickets cost $30 and $15 for designated drivers. No one under 21 will be admitted, and a photo ID must be shown at the entrance.

ASU jazz band to perform at Riverwalk

The Augusta State University Conservatory Jazz Band will perform from 8-9:30 p.m. Sunday as part of the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series.

The concert will be held at the Eighth Street bulkhead at Riverwalk Augusta. Admission is $6. For more information, call (706) 821-1754.

- From staff reports