Across the area

RICHMOND COUNTY

Authorities still seek bank robbery suspect

State and federal law enforcement are still looking for Drew Jamal "Protege" Pollard, who is suspected of bank robbery.

Mr. Pollard, who is in his mid-20s, is suspected in the Dec. 20 robbery of Richmond Community Credit Union.

There is a reward of as much as $5,000 for information. Call the local FBI office at (706) 722-3702 or the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1020.

Fort Gordon residents evacuated during fire

A fast-moving grass fire at Fort Gordon burned 20 acres Tuesday afternoon.

About 170 residents from the Lakeview housing area were evacuated to a gym when the fire ignited about 1:45 p.m., said Marla Jones, a Fort Gordon spokeswoman. The fire was under control about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Residents returned to their homes about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Fort Gordon residents also endured a power outage for about an hour Tuesday afternoon. The outage started when a broken insulator fell on equipment, said Jeff Wilson, a Georgia Power spokesman.

AIKEN COUNTY

Man sought in robbery and home invasion

Aiken Public Safety officers were searching Tuesday for a 20-year-old man considered armed and dangerous and wanted in Barnwell, S.C., on armed robbery and home invasion charges.

Donance Montrell Mayes, of Blackville, S.C., was seen near McDonald's on Whiskey Road on Tuesday afternoon, according to a department news release. Anyone with information can call (803) 642-7620.

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Fire destroys vacant house on Legion Drive

No one was injured Monday night when an unoccupied Evans house was destroyed by fire.

Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue responded to the house at 294 Legion Drive, off Owens Road, just before 11 p.m. The cause has not been determined.

MCDUFFIE COUNTY

Bear eludes police in McDuffie County

Police in McDuffie County were searching for a black bear spotted near Thomson High School on Tuesday afternoon.

The bear was estimated to weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. Officials asked residents around the intersection of White Oak and Harrison roads -- including those in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood -- to stay indoors during the search. Police ask anyone who sees the bear to call 911.

Columbia County Traffic Report

- Between 7 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, about 500 feet of Old Evans Road between Blue Ridge Drive and Old Petersburg Road will be closed so crews can add tie-ins to a water main, according to an e-mail from county Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker. Southbound motorists should be prepared to merge left onto a turn lane near those intersections.

-- From staff reports