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EMS director search to start

Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian said Friday that recruitment for a new EMS director will likely start in the next few days to replace Phil Clarke, who is under investigation by state authorities.

Mr. Clarke and his wife, Lynn, who also worked in EMS, are "no longer on the payroll," Mr. Killian confirmed, although he declined to release further details because it's a personnel issue.

The pair's last day was Oct. 16, but both had been suspended in August when county officials began looking into donation accounts.

Mr. Killian said he plans to advertise for the director's job, although he'll likely restructure the department even before naming an interim director. Other EMS employees have taken on the director duties in the meantime, he said.

Elderly man pleads guilty to battery

An elderly Augusta man accused of attempting to molest a 10-year-old girl pleaded guilty to reduced charges Friday.

Jerry C. Draughon, 74, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of misdemeanor battery. Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Mr. Draughon to two years probation. He must continue with mental health treatment, pay a $1,500 fine and have no contact with minors without adult supervision.

Mr. Draughon was arrested in May 2005 after a girl at the Family Y's water park reported Mr. Draughon had touched her hair and shoulder and made an inappropriate comment.

Mr. Draughon had been banned from the city's Aquatics Center for similar behavior with adult women.

Man admits guilt in flashing teenage girl

A former Augusta resident accused of flashing a teenage girl pleaded guilty Friday.

Robert Lee Van Eman II, 36, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to public indecency for a March 31, 2006, incident involving a 15-year-old girl.

Mr. Van Eman, who had a prior misdemeanor public indecency conviction in Missouri, was sentenced to five years probation. Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. also imposed a $2,500 fine and ordered Mr. Van Eman to receive treatment. Mr. Van Eman and his family have returned to Missouri.

Judge gives shooter five years in prison

An Augusta man who shot at several young men in September 2004 pleaded guilty Friday.

Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Travis L. Berrian , 23, to serve five years in prison followed by six years on probation. Mr. Berrian will have to continue mental health treatment, obtain a GED and take welding courses.

Mr. Berrian wounded Tony Ray Woods and Able Suber III on Sept. 19, 2004, and shot at Edward Smalley three days later. Both shootings occurred on Lumpkin Road.

Police doubt foul play in death of hunter

Police said Friday they don't believe foul play was involved in the death of a south Augusta hunter found with a gunshot wound to the head.

Still, officials with the Richmond County Coroner's Office say they will await the results of testing on the man's shotgun before making a final determination.

Paul Alan Henthorn, 44, of Alden Road, was found dead Thursday evening by a family member, his body lying underneath a deer stand in the woods behind his home. The shotgun found lying next to Mr. Henthorn's body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Lab in Atlanta to determine whether it was in "good working order," according to Chief Deputy Corner Mark Bowen.

Hephzibah house fire is considered arson

A Hephzibah home set ablaze Thursday evening is under investigation, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

The fire occurred at 5:25 p.m. in the 2300 block of Travis Road, the report stated. Lt. G.B. Hannan, a fire department investigator, is considering the fire a first-degree arson.

ASU offers 45 courses for distance learning

Augusta State University students can take 45 classes online this fall through the University System of Georgia's recently launched Georgia ONmyLINE Web site.

The site provides access to distance-learning offerings from the 35 colleges and universities within the system.

The Web site, www.georgiaonmyline.org, consists of a searchable catalog of 1,600 courses and 35 programs in a central location, allowing students to register and transfer credits among USG institutions.

Nuclear agency seeks comments from public

Contracting agencies and the public can comment on the National Nuclear Security Administration's contracting structure for nuclear weapons complexes.

The NNSA oversees eight nuclear weapons complex sights. The group is evaluating alternatives to current contract arrangements.

Comments can be posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site at www.fedbizopps.gov.

- From staff reports


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