Across the area

Driver charged after three-vehicle wreck

Two people were taken to the hospital after a three-car wreck on Bobby Jones Expressway near the Interstate 20 ramp.

A Silverado pickup crossed a median, hit another truck heading west and slammed into a car, said Richmond County Sheriff's Cpl. Brandon Reeves.

The driver of Silverado, who was not identified , had to be extricated by emergency personnel.

He was taken to Medical College of Georgia hospital.

Marice Beckner, of Appling, who was in the other truck , was also taken to MCG . The car's driver , Javier Bentenuti, of Augusta, was uninjured.

The wreck caused authorities to close the expressway for 90 minutes.

2 men rob gas station on Gordon Highway

Two men robbed the Smile gas station on Gordon Highway on Monday night. The men, one armed with a sawed-off shotgun, entered the gas station at 1947 Gordon Highway about 9:30 p.m. and demanded money, according to an Augusta 911 dispatcher.

No injuries were reported .

Killing suspect found, arrested in New York

A local man accused of killing a man whose partially burned body was found in North Augusta three months ago is in custody after he was arrested by authorities in central New York.

Victor Levee Scott, of Burke County, had been wanted in connection with the Dec. 24 murder of Corwin Lemuel Lee, 38, said Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles. Mr. Scott was arrested by the Oneida County Sheriff's Office about a month ago, Lt. Peebles said.

Mr. Scott lied about his age, but revealed his identity to police, which led to his connection with the killing , Lt. Peebles said.

Local authorities were notified of Mr. Scott's whereabouts Monday afternoon, Lt. Peebles said. Mr. Scott is charged with murder and felony possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, he said.

The process of extraditing Mr. Scott back to Georgia has started, Lt. Peebles said.

Officials determine man's death a suicide

Authorities have ruled the death of a 56-year-old man who was killed by a passing CSX train Friday a suicide.

Charles Matthew Walker, of Beech Island, died after being struck by the northbound train near the 200 block of 15th Street, according to Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten.

Civic center manager has a new start date

A new facilities manager is now expected to report to work at the civic center on Wednesday, a Coliseum Authority member said.

Richard Isdell, who also chairs the authority's Buildings and Grounds Committee, said that Julie Huggins, who was originally scheduled to begin work on Monday probably will start Wednesday morning.

Mr. Isdell said he is working with the authority's attorney to answer questions that arose last week over Ms. Huggins' resume and her previous employment in Jacksonville, Fla.

ASU honors top faculty at awards ceremony

Augusta State University named its top faculty members during its annual Honors Convocation on Friday.

The Outstanding Teaching Award was presented to Mark C. Fissel, professor of history; the Richard S. Wallace Distinguished Service Award went to Donald P. Howard, associate professor of management; and the Louis K. Bell Research Award was presented to Chad E. Stephens, assistant professor of chemistry.

Outstanding students were also recognized. Mary Y. Truitt was recognized as the university's Academic Recognition Day Scholar.

-- From staff and wire reports

Fireworks show will honor military troops

Promising to be "Augusta's biggest fireworks show ever," sponsors of a new downtown festival unveiled plans Monday for a roaring tribute to military troops on Armed Forces Day this spring.

Thunder Over Augusta, starting at 2 p.m. May 17 and free to the public, will cover the Augusta Golf & Gardens, the Augusta Common, the Jessye Norman Amphitheater and the field behind the old train depot on Reynolds Street.

Scheduled events include a four-jet Air Force flyover, a drop-in by the Air Force Academy Wings of Blue parachute team and a concert headlined by Lee Greenwood, the country singer behind the patriotic anthem God Bless the USA .

The organizer, Windsor Jewelers chief executive Donnie Thompson, said he and Craig Butler, of Melrose Pyrotechnics, conceived the festival as a way of honoring military personnel and veterans.

Columbia County Traffic Report

- The replacement of a manhole will shut a portion of Park West Drive much of Wednesday. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Park West Drive between Jimmie Dyess Parkway and Wrightsboro Road will be closed while work crews replace a sewer manhole near the intersection of Park West and CDP Industrial Boulevard, according to a Columbia County news release. Motorists should use an alternate route.