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Drunken driver to serve 3 years

A fatal drunken-driving crash led to a three-year prison sentence Thursday for an Augusta man.

Hilton B. Ward, 32, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.

Judge Michael N. Annis imposed the prison sentence and added 12 years probation to follow.

Mr. Ward must perform 250 hours of community service, speaking about the tragic results of drunken driving.

Mr. Ward ran a stop sign at Highway 25 and Hephzibah-McBean Road on Aug. 7, 2006.

He hit a vehicle driven by 38-year-old Frank Johnson, who was delivering The Augusta Chronicle about 4 a.m. Mr. Ward's blood alcohol content was .21. At .08, a driver can be charged with DUI.

Deliberations ongoing in kidnap, murder trial

A jury returns to deliberations this morning in Richmond County Superior Court where a South Carolina man is on trial, charged with murder.

The jury asked to retire for the night after deliberating several hours Thursday on the fate of Demetric L. Twitty, 32.

Mr. Twitty and two other men are accused of kidnapping and murder in the July 24, 2006, slaying of Mickel Ian Mosley. The 25-year-old Gaffney, S.C., man was shot in the head and thrown into the Savannah River.

Terminal will open to travelers a bit early

Although the official "grand opening" ceremony won't happen until Jan. 26, passengers will have the opportunity to begin using Augusta Regional Airport's new terminal on Sunday, according to airport officials.

The final touches are being added to the multi-year, $30 million renovation that includes a modern, new terminal with plantation-style columns, modern luggage screening technology and other services.

After the final flights have cleared Saturday night, workers will make the nocturnal transition to the new quarters in time to accommodate travelers Sunday morning, said Diane Johnston, the airport's marketing director.

Until then, she said, the new terminal remains off limits to the public, although some of the tenants are beginning to move equipment into the area.

Carol service to have handbells, quintet

There will be a vesper and carol service featuring the chancel choir, the Masters Handbell Ringers, Five Points Brass Quintet and orchestra members from Columbia and Augusta at 7 p.m. Sunday at Reid Memorial Presbyterian, 2261 Walton Way.

The service will include performances of Robert Shaw's Many Moods of Christmas and Randol Bass's Gloria.

Alzheimer's support focus of Lunch, Learn

Kathy Tuckey, programs director of the Augusta Alzheimer's Association, will discuss "Communication: The Language of Alzheimer's" at the free Lunch and Learn program on Tuesday.

The program is held at the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Center, 919 15th St. (across the street from the hospital). R.S.V.P. by calling Dr. Shirley Poduslo at (706) 721-0609 or the Alzheimer's Association at (706) 731-9060 by noon Monday.

Parents can comment on quality of schools

The Richmond County school system is seeking comments about the quality of its education.

Two open houses are being held for the public to give input and identify key issues. Both will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday , with one at the Academy of Richmond County and one at Cross Creek High School.

Comments can be made online at surveys.mgtamer.com/3233/public_forum.cfm. The meetings are part of the school system's performance management review, a countywide audit.

Residents welcome visitors to tour homes

The North Augusta Christmas tour of homes will be from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The tour stops are: the home of Vince and Linda Dwan, 460 Shoreline Drive in River Club; the Stewart House, the home of Chris and Melody Garrison, 419 W. Martintown Road; the home of Deborah Holmes, 463 Arrington Ave., Hammond's Ferry; the home of Skip and Jean Jones, 910 Carolina Ave., Olde Towne; the home of Kevin and Lee Little, 468 Front St., Hammonds Ferry; the home of Steve McElmurray, 141 Savannah Point, Campbelltown Towne Landing; and the home of Donnie Thompson, 930 River Oaks.

Advance tickets cost $15 and are available until 2 p.m. today at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Communigraphics, Jim Bush Flower Shop and Parks Pharmacy.

Call (803) 279-5074 for more information.

After today, tickets cost $18.

Ceremony to welcome home Gordon soldiers

Fort Gordon will hold a welcome ceremony for the more than 100 Task Force Lightning soldiers returning from Afghanistan on Monday, according to a news release.

The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. at the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade motor pool.

Task Force Lightning has been deployed to Afghanistan to provide intelligence collection since December 2006.

The 513th Military Intelligence Brigade is on Chamberlain Avenue between 15th and 12th streets.

Red Cross offers baby sitter training course

The American Red Cross of Augusta will hold baby sitter training courses from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 28 at the Columbia County Library, 7702 Evans Town Center Blvd.

The course is for children between the ages of 11 and 15 and teaches skills necessary to provide safe and responsible child care.

To register, call the Augusta Chapter at (706) 724-8481.

Augusta Chorale set for Christmas concert

The Augusta Chorale's Christmas concert, featuring Handel's Messiah , will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at Paine College's Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $5 for students, with group rates available.

For information, call (706) 830-0991.

-- From staff reports

Comments (19) Add comment
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Reality
3
Points
Reality 12/07/07 - 06:00 am
0
0
A 3 year sentence doesn't

A 3 year sentence doesn't seem like a very long time for drunk driving involving a fatality.....You could get that much time for drunk driving on a suspended license.........

rdunaway
0
Points
rdunaway 12/07/07 - 07:26 am
0
0
The three years doesn"t seem

The three years doesn"t seem like too much time but if Mr. Ward is going to try to get his life back on the right track, the twelve years of probation will be hell. Probation isn"t anything to shrug at or think it"s going to be a cake walk

rdunaway
0
Points
rdunaway 12/07/07 - 08:40 am
0
0
Yes, the three years doesn"t

Yes, the three years doesn"t seem like much but that twelve years isn"t anything to shrug at. It doesn"t just go away. The way I see it is the three years will sober him up, the twelve years will allow him to get his poup in a pile and maybe during the remainder years of his life he give back to others and help someone else out there about making making the right choices before they find themselves in Mr. Wards shoes.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/07/07 - 09:50 am
0
0
DUI is a choice. A bad choice

DUI is a choice. A bad choice that should be treated harshly. DUI is comparable to standing in a crowed area and randomly firing a pistol with no regard for anything but your own satisfaction. For years there was no social stigma related to it, but now there is, at last. A second charge should be permanent suspension of driving privileges and a third offense should be life imprisonment without parole. While the drunk may need help, first protect the society.

What a Day
0
Points
What a Day 12/07/07 - 09:52 am
0
0
I don't think that drunk

I don't think that drunk drivers should have a lesser penalty than a normal murderer. Murder is murder and just because they are under the influence and can't think clearly doesn't mean that they shouldn't have to face a stiffer penalty. Most people that kill are under some type of influence whether it's a drive by shooting, loss of consciousness, or just out of anger.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 12/07/07 - 10:25 am
0
0
Not to mention that most

Not to mention that most drunk drivers dont usually kill on thier first dui... I wonder how many priors he had that he got slaps on the wrist for... prob at least 3 or 4.. but of course I can no say for sure. If dui penalties were stiffer we would have less fatalities. I know people caught driving drunk for their 3rd or 5th dui and driving on a suspended and their lawyers get them off with vry little time served... mostly.. it just costs money in fines and lawyers. Repeat drunk divers should be locked away for good.... if you can't learn your lesson on the first or second then someone needs to protect the rest of the community from you. I have NO sympathy for these drunk drivers!!!!!!! IMO drunk driving is premeditated and should have the punishment accordingly. There is no such thing as a drunk driving accident.. it is always an on purpose the minute you drove that car knowing you were going to drink and reapeats with no license from your first couple.. and for first timers... take your lesson and learn it.. And AMEN PT!!!!

NoGoodReason
0
Points
NoGoodReason 12/07/07 - 10:31 am
0
0
Why is it the drunk never

Why is it the drunk never seems to get killed?

jus sayin
0
Points
jus sayin 12/07/07 - 11:19 am
0
0
Drunk drivers don't die,

Drunk drivers don't die, because their bodies are so limp it just wrap around anything. sober people tend to tense up causing more harm to body parts.

WAG
287
Points
WAG 12/07/07 - 11:26 am
0
0
Augusta did not need a new

Augusta did not need a new terminal. They need flights that are reasonable and flights that actually leave Augusta and return to Augusta. Something is really messed up at that terminal. Like maybe management. You have to either go to Charlotte or Atl to be able to afford to fly. Columbia has gotten just as expensive as Augusta. Give me cheaper flights and better service not a new building.

bolluck
11
Points
bolluck 12/07/07 - 01:25 pm
0
0
once again justice does not

once again justice does not prevail. murder is murder. my heart goes out to the family of frank johnson. apparently frank johnson was a nobody not to be missed. and hilton ward knows somebody. justice or as some people put it "just us".

DoubleD
0
Points
DoubleD 12/07/07 - 02:05 pm
0
0
He needed a designated

He needed a designated driver. You know...that person in the group that drank a little less than everyone else. J/K

Reality
3
Points
Reality 12/07/07 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Look up Hilton Ward's father

Look up Hilton Ward's father and you can see where he gets it from...

WAG
287
Points
WAG 12/07/07 - 02:46 pm
0
0
He needed to keep his butt

He needed to keep his butt home if he was drinking...

WAG
287
Points
WAG 12/07/07 - 02:46 pm
0
0
who is hilton ward

who is hilton ward

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/07/07 - 03:13 pm
0
0
I had a comment about

I had a comment about Alzheimer's but I forgot what it was.

lost Christmas Spirit
0
Points
lost Christmas Spirit 12/07/07 - 08:04 pm
0
0
I believe my sons life is

I believe my sons life is worth more than that.
Ward will be out of Jail and can live, my son will never see his Kids grow up and spent time with with Mom and sister.
He was such a smart person and a big lost to everybody.

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 12/07/07 - 08:17 pm
0
0
Drunk drivers sometimes die,

Drunk drivers sometimes die, but not nearly as often as their victims. I don't understand why this one only got 3 years in jail.

wavelandtransplant
0
Points
wavelandtransplant 12/07/07 - 11:50 pm
0
0
Tall1, that was so funny.

Tall1, that was so funny. Thanks for the chuckle. ( I had an aunt die w/ alzheimer's a few years ago, so don't call me heartless. )

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/08/07 - 09:42 am
0
0
My father died with

My father died with alzheimer's. If you can't laugh at life, you're not living.

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