The Richmond County Coroner's Office reports a 33-year-old Hephzibah man was killed early this morning while riding his bicycle southbound on Peach Orchard Road.
Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose identified the victim as Robert Daniel Holden Jr. and said he was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma about 1:30 a.m. No autopsy will be conducted.
More details on the accident are forthcoming.
Retired Richmond County educators Roosevelt and Edna Jones had hearts of gold and a love for life that made everyone feel special, according to friends and neighbors mourning the Hephzibah couple.
Roosevelt was a basketball enthusiast and Edna a skilled gardener, and both were remembered for their warm and welcoming personalities.
“It’s a shame something like this would happen to a very sweet, religious couple who loved everyone they met,” said Greg Butler, who knew the Joneses for 25 years. “They truly had a heart of gold.”
As graduation day approaches, Westside High School Principal Debbie Alexander hears her seniors ask if she plans on following them to college.
A valid question since she has already followed more than half of the graduating class through the majority of their public school years.
Seven graduating seniors had Alexander as their principal at National Hills Elementary, Tutt Middle and all through Westside High. Another 82 attended Tutt and Westside with Alexander in charge.
“I never thought I’d be a part of their story for this long,” Alexander said.
The suspect in a March 7 sexual assault at a Paine College dorm is scheduled for arraignment next Friday on other charges.
Jarius R. Dantzler, 18, wasn’t indicted this week on charges related to that attack, but he was indicted in connection with two other attacks on women.
In the first indictment, Dantzler is charged with burglary and the attempted rape of another Paine College student Nov. 18.
The criminal case against a Hephzibah man accused of vehicular homicide in the death of a bicyclist will go to the grand jury, a judge ruled Thursday.
At a preliminary hearing in Richmond County Civil Court, Chief Judge William D. Jennings III found probable cause was established to support felony charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident against Christopher Provost, 35.
For the second time in two weeks, a request for bond for Provost was denied.
A Harlem woman was killed Thursday afternoon in a single-vehicle wreck on Wrightsboro Road near Grovetown.
Dawn Demaggio, 48, of the 1300 block of Freeman Harriss Road, was identified by Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King.
The wreck happened about 4 p.m. as Demaggio was driving west on the 5700 block of Wrightsboro Road just west of Water Branch Baptist Church outside Grovetown. Her car ran off the right side of the road, said Columbia County Sheriff’s Capt. Sharif Chochol.
About 2,000 Savannah River Site workers whose hours were reduced April 1 due to federal budget cuts will return to normal schedules next week.
“We have received formal notification from the Department of Energy that the necessary funding for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions to continue our planned work for the remainder of FY13 will be arriving at SRS no later than next week,” SRNS president and CEO Dwayne Wilson said in a memo to employees Thursday. “Thus, we will immediately begin the process to return employees to their normal work schedules.”
Nearly 1,600 Columbia County public- and private-school students will receive diplomas in commencement exercises starting Friday.
Harlem High School leads off the graduation marches this year, staying at home for its ceremony at the school’s stadium.
It’s the first time in 30 years a Columbia County school has held its ceremony on its campus, and students are looking forward it, said Principal Dietmar Perez.
“There’s a lot of excitement, and I told the kids, ‘You ought to feel special and privileged’” at being able to graduate on campus, he said.
Richmond County sheriff’s investigators charged Ryan David Jones with three counts of murder Thursday in the slaying of his mother, father and brother. Three charred bodies believed to be those relatives were found Tuesday in a field near Deer Chase Elementary School.
The motive remains a mystery, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman said Thursday afternoon.
Authorities have released the name of a man found dead inside his home Wednesday but are still waiting to determine the cause of death.
The man is identified as Harry Donald Hardin Jr, 49, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said. He was last seen alive May 11.
A neighbor called authorities to check on Hardin, who was found in “an advanced state of decomposition” inside his Belair Pines home off South Belair Road near Interstate 20, Collins said.
Bond was denied Thursday for a suspect in a 2012 homicide at River Glen apartments that authorities believe might have caused a second slaying.
Christopher Gary Smith, 25, was extradited from California last month. Richmond County sheriff’s officers had been unable to locate Smith after the Jan. 14, 2012, shooting death of 27-year-old Doniel J. Hicks.
Two women involved in a robbery in which the victim was shot in the head and left in the middle of an Augusta street pleaded guilty Thursday.
Michelle R. Spivey, 21, and Lakisha M. Williams, 25, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a single, reduced charge of robbery.
Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced each to seven years in prison followed by three years’ probation.
State Sen. Hardie Davis, of Augusta, will be the guest speaker at this month’s Pride and Progress meeting.
Pride and Progress of Augusta-Richmond County is a nonprofit and nonpartisan grass-roots community organization with a mission to “facilitate positive change in order to create a better community in which to live an work.”
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at University Medical Center South, 3121 Peach Orchard Road, Room 201.
Columbia County authorities have filed drug trafficking charges against four men and a woman after seizing large amounts of cash, cocaine, heroin and marijuana from a Harlem residence.
Alexandra Elena Lopez-Chavez, 47, who lived at the White Road home searched by sheriff’s investigators Wednesday, was charged with trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in heroin and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, Capt. Steve Morris said in an e-mail.
The jobless rate in metro Augusta was lower than both Georgia and South Carolina in April.
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate declined to 7.6 percent in April, down from 7.9 percent in March.
The rate was 8.2 percent in April a year ago.
The rate declined as the number of jobs in metro Augusta increased by 3,700 to 218,800, up from 215,100 in March.
Most of the growth came in leisure and hospitality and trade and transportation. The Masters Tournament traditionally adds jobs to the metro area in April.
A tearful congregation mourned two retired Richmond County educators and their son Wednesday night, as the church pastors called for hope, strength and comfort in a time of grief and uncertainty.
More than 100 people filled Augusta Deliverance Evangelistic Church on Roosevelt Drive off Olive Road praying for Roosevelt and Edna Jones and their son, Russell.
“It’s been a sad day. But glory to Jesus because we know that Roosevelt and Edna are with the Lord,” said Senior Pastor Roy Myles.
An Augusta man who sold guns without a license was sentenced Wednesday to 78 months in prison.
Ryan Rufus Harris will also have five years on supervised release after he completes the prison term.
Harris was convicted in U.S. District Court of selling four guns in 2009. At the time, Harris was not licensed or allowed to possess a weapon because of a previous conviction of distributing cocaine.
Two former employees of T-Mobile who took advantage of their employer’s willingness to help pay for college classes were sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall gave Kenneth Gorham 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and sentenced Shantae Evans to 33 months followed by three years on supervised release.
Gorham will have to repay the company $55,080 and Evans the same amount plus an additional $118,387.
The Richmond County Board of Education will purchase a leadership assessment tool from polling firm Gallup Inc. to help identify the best candidates for teaching and administrative positions.
For $78,000 per year, the online assessment presents candidates with questions to measure their strengths and ability to have an impact on students.
A vigil service is planned for tonight in honor of the victims of Tuesday’s triple homicide.
The vigil will be held at 7:15 p.m. at Augusta Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2028 Roosevelt Drive.
Richmond County Sheriff’s investigators have not confirmed the identities of the deceased.