Man faces series of charges
An Augusta man faces two burglary charges in Columbia County and could face up to four similar charges in Edgefield County.
Columbia County Sheriff's Office Capt. Steve Morris said Rufus Huddleston, 28, was charged with a second count of burglary on Friday, after investigators linked merchandise found in his rented vehicle to a burglary committed on the 700 block of Seven Lakes Boulevard on last week.
Morris said that burglary occurred sometime before Huddleston was spotted while allegedly committing a second burglary Thursday afternoon. He was arrested shortly after.
During the search for Huddleston, authorities asked school officials to lock down Blue Ridge Elementary, Lakeside Middle School and Lakeside High School.
Morris said Huddleston is being held on a $20,000 bond.
Edgefield County Investigator Randy Doran said his department has linked Huddleston to at least one burglary in Edgefield and are looking at three additional burglaries that occurred on the same block late July within days of each other.
Doran said investigators matched the serial number to a DVD player that was stolen to that of a player found at a Richmond County pawn shop. Investigators said Huddleston used a North Carolina identification card to sell the player to the shop.
Police seek recreational vehicle thief
Police from Columbia and McCormick counties are looking for a man for questioning in connection with a series of thefts around the lake area.
"We are investigating several golf car and jet ski thefts in the area, especially at Tradewinds Marina," said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris. "Apparently the problem is much worse in McCormick County."
McCormick County Investigator Bobby Rushton said his department is investigating the theft of five jet skis and three golf cars.
"We have no idea who he is, but in some of the other thefts, a guy fitting his description was seen in the area," he said.
The man is described as white, about 6 feet tall, 300 lbs., with dark hair, a mustache and goatee. He also wears wire-rim glasses. Police say the man may be driving a small white pickup.
If you have any information regarding the man or the cases, please call Rushton with the McCormick County Sheriff's Office at 864-465-3211 or Sgt. Mike Cullinan with the Columbia County Sheriff's Department at 706-541-1044 or 706-541-2800.
Drunk students leads police to pot
A Greenbrier High School student who was trying to elude deputies led them to two marijuana plants on the first day of school.
Columbia Sheriff's Department Capt. Steve Morris said school officials called deputies about 11 a.m., shortly after a teacher at the school smelled alcohol on the breathe of Dennis Christopher Bartles, a 17-year-old senior from Appling.
Before deputies could respond to the school, Dennis escaped the custody of school officials and left the area, leaving vehicle in the school's parking lot with its trunk open, Morris said.
About 4 p.m. Wednesday, officers received information that Dennis was at a residence on the 5000 block of Fairington Drive in Evans, Morris said. Deputies arrived at the address and found him at Meredith Rebecca Dickerson's house.
Capt. Morris said Dennis escaped again, but officers did locate two marijuana plants approximately three feet tall in the back yard of the house.
Ms. Dickerson, 20, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of manufacturing marijuana. Bond was set at $5,050, Capt. Morris said.
Deputies did capture Dennis Thursday after he returned home and cited for possessing alcohol on a school campus.
Authority approves construction bonds
Members of the Columbia County Development Authority Monday approved more than $9 million in tax free bonds to finance the construction of apartments on Washington Road.
The board will issue the bonds for Westwood Club Partners, LLC, the company that will build the apartments between the SunTrust bank branch at Owens and Washington Road and the Washington Commons community.
The $9,215,000 in bonds will mature on Nov. 15, 2035.
According to information released at the Monday meeting, 40 percent of the apartments must be rented to people who make less than 60 percent of the county's annual median income - or less than $30,000 annually.
Rent at the apartments will range from $461 per month for a one bedroom, one bath unit to $677 a month for a four bedroom, three bath unit.
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