Augusta’s Morning News
It's official. Augusta's Riverwalk is getting a new name, but not without a lot of controversy. Augusta Commissioners voted 6 to 3 Tuesday to rename the site the Edward M. McIntyre Sr. Riverwalk Park and Square at 8th Street. It was McIntyre's vision to create Riverwalk while he was mayor, but he was arrested and later convicted of extortion in 1984. While some in the community felt McIntyre shouldn't be honored as a result of his conviction and incarceration, others say that shouldn't matter. Commissioner Bobby Williams said, "We have not had anybody with that type of vision since that time, so Mr. McIntyre really put in some great work when he was here in Augusta." McIntyre became the first black mayor in Augusta in 1981. Prior to that, he served on the Augusta Commission. He was convicted of extortion, but later received a pardon. McIntyre ran for mayor again in 1990, 1998 and 2002 but was never voted back in office. McIntyre died at the age of 71 in 2004. Augusta Commissioners also voted in favor of renaming the Augusta utilities building after the later former director Tom Wiedmeier. He did from complications of COVID-19 in 2020 at the age of 59. Wiedmeier had served as the city's utilities director since 2009. In addition, officials also say a baseball field at Diamond Lakes Regional Park will be renamed in honor of the late Augusta Commissioner Andy Cheek. Cheek died at the age of 66 in March this year. He had served two terms as Augusta's District 6 Commissioner from 2000 to 2008. He was also a youth athletics coach for the Richmond County Parks and Recreation Department. For more local news, click here.