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Mistrial declared in murder trial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - 7 hours 24 min ago

A mistrial was declared Friday evening in an Augusta homicide case.

After a five-day trial in Richmond Coun­ty Superior Court, the foreman announced that the jury was hopelessly deadlocked on the murder charge against Gregory D. Patterson.

Patterson is accused of fatally shooting 34-year-old Anthony Walker on Sept. 19, 2014, on Second Avenue. He pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated assault and weapon violations.

Patterson, 26, will remain in custody pending a possible retrial.

89-year-old suspect in hospital shooting dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:10pm


An elderly suspect in a 2012 homicide committed inside an Augusta hospital room has died.

Charles W. Gorrell, 89, died Friday morning, defense attorney William Suss­man and Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms said Friday.

On Oct. 16, 2012, 59-year-old Tim Grooms was visiting his aunt Frances Gorrell, who was hospitalized at University Hospital with pneumonia. Grooms, who held his aunt’s power of attorney, and Gorrell had disagreed over her care, authorities said.

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SC to prosecute 2 for role in 2002 slaying

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 3:36pm

Two Georgia inmates nearing a possible parole for their role in the 2002 kidnapping and assault of an Evans man later found dead now face murder charges in South Carolina.

Shannon Devon Patton, 31, and Daniel Joseph Newton Jr., 29, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, burglary, aggravated assault, robbery and vehicle theft. They received life sentences for their part in the November 2002 death of Jack Abbott Murray.

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Weigh-in-Motion install closing Columbia County I-20 lane

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 1:08pm

A statewide Georgia Department of Transportation Weigh-in-Motion scale project will close one Interstate 20 eastbound lane approaching the Columbia County Scales tonight through Saturday afternoon.

The contractor will install the scale components starting at 9 p.m. and work through 5 p.m. Saturday, according to a DOT release. This is part of a statewide project installing weigh scales in outside interstate lanes approximately 3,000 feet upstream of the existing 19 weigh stations.

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Ga. hospital CEO, 5 others arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:51am





BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. — The CEO of a north Georgia hospital is one of six suspects accused of being involved with fraudulent prescription painkillers.


District Attorney Jeffrey Langley’s office tells news outlets that Blairsville’s Union General Hospital CEO Mike Gowder and five others were arrested Wednesday after a nine-month-long investigation. Gowder faces two counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.


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3 charged in Athens school stairwell rape

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:49am

ATHENS, Ga. — Three Athens high school students are facing charges after a 15-year-old girl says she was raped in a school stairwell.

Athens-Clarke County police Sex Crimes Unit commanding officer Lt. Jeff Clark tells the Athens Banner-Herald the girl says she went willingly into a stairwell at Cedar Shoals High School with three male friends on Jan. 7 when one of them sexually assaulted her. She says the other two watched or helped to restrain her.

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Augustan's nursing home death under investigation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:05am

The death of a 73-year-old Augusta man in a Jefferson County nursing home is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Carrol L. Hyler, a retired businessman, died Jan. 21 at Pruitthealth in Louisville. He was buried six days later, but not before an autopsy was conducted at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta.. The Jefferson County coroner confirmed Hyler’s autopsy was conducted but did not specify the reason.

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Augusta man gets 15 years for stabbing acquaintance

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 7:00pm

An Augusta man who stabbed an acquaintance repeatedly and hard enough to break the tip of the knife in the victim’s neck was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison.

Bain M. Broome pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to one count of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. Judge Daniel J. Craig imposed the prison term and an additional five years on probation.

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Stewart will miss start of NASCAR season, Daytona 500

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 3:07pm


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart will miss the start of his final NASCAR season after fracturing his back in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing said Thursday.

The three-time NASCAR champion sustained a “burst fracture of the L1 vertebra” when he crashed on an ATV on Sunday and he had surgery Wednesday, the team said. A timetable for Stewart’s return has not been determined, but SHR said he is expected to make a full recovery and race this year.

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New sheriff's Unisys substation on hold

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 2:26pm


Financial issues have delayed plans for a downtown Augusta substation.

A year ago the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office announced its plan to move some of its deputies to a substation in the new Unisys office space at Seventh and Reynolds streets. The IT-based company offered the sheriff’s office a portion of its space for free, officials said.

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SCE&G warns of phone scam

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 2:18pm


SCE&G customers are becoming victims to the latest scam.

The company issued a statement Thursday reporting con artists are posing as employees over the telephone and demanding money for a overdue account. In many cases the caller will threaten to disconnect services if the account holder doesn’t make a payment immediately on a prepaid debit or credit card. They often suggest where prepaid cards can be purchased for the transaction.

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Free ride offered for Super Bowl drinkers in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 2:14pm

Don’t let Super Bowl celebrations land you behind bars this weekend.

Anyone planning to drink on one of the year’s biggest drinking days is asked to arrange for a ride home prior to indulging; however, for those who find themselves unprepared, there’s AAA’s Tow to Go program.

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Augusta downtown boat ramps reopen

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 2:11pm

The downtown Augusta boat ramps have reopened after more than a month of being closed because of high water.

The Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency reopened the Fifth Street Marina boat ramp and Riverfront Drive boat ramps Thursday after closing in December following heavy rains. The Baurle boat ramp, which also closed in December, is not open, and no time frame is available.

12th Rock Fore! Dough to feature Darius Rucker, Charles Kelley, Brothers Osborne, more

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 12:26pm

Darius Rucker is headed back for the 12th annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough concert set for Tuesday, April 5.

The Grammy-winning country artist will be joined by Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, the Brothers Osborne, Patrick Davis and John Krueger at Lady Antebellum Pavilion at Evans Towne Center Park.

Advance tickets are $30 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at, and will be available beginning March 6 at The First Tee of Augusta and all area Kroger locations. Tickets will be $35 the day of the show.

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Fire chief takes new job in South Carolina

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 9:16am

Augusta Fire Chief Chris James has accepted a new job with an old boss in York County, S.C.

Former Deputy City Administrator Bill Shanahan, now York County manager, said James will begin work next month as deputy manager in York, a suburb of Charlotte, N.C.

“We’re pleased that Chris applied; he’s top notch,” said Shanahan, who left Augusta for York about a year after James was named interim fire chief.

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U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson pushes for continued MOX funding

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 6:26pm

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson on Wednesday testified before the House Budget Committee to provide resources for Savannah River Site, particularly funding for the continued construction of its mixed-oxide fuel facility.

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Grovetown lineman D'Ante Smith to play for Pirates

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:29pm


At 6-foot-4 and around 300 pounds, D’Ante Smith will already be a big lineman before he steps foot on a college campus.

But he’s ready to work to get better – and maybe even bigger.

The Grovetown offensive lineman signed on to play for East Carolina during National Signing Day on Wednesday.

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Expect winter cold to return to Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:22pm

The groundhog might have predicted an early spring, but don’t put away your coat just yet.

The Climate Prediction Center’s one-month outlook issued Sunday expects below normal temperatures for the South while the northern half of the country will be warmer. The three-month outlook, however, shows an equal chance of below- and above-normal temperatures.

“As much as the models have been shifting around these days, at this point I will say anything is fair game,” Georgia climatologist Bill Murphey said.

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Georgia woman state's first Zika case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 4:48pm

A woman who traveled to Colombia around the first of the year is Georgia’s first confirmed case of Zika virus infection, the Georgia Department of Public Health said.

The woman, who the state said was not pregnant, is the first to have her test confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but “several” samples are pending from people who have traveled to areas where there is an outbreak of the virus, the department said in a statement released Wednesday.

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PeachCare, Medicaid data breach affects thousands

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 3:04pm

ATLANTA -- A health insurer’s data breach has affected 148,334 Georgians on Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids, state officials say.

That total includes current and former Medicaid and PeachCare members from 2009 to 2015.

The breach occurred when health insurer Centene lost computer hard drives containing about 950,000 individuals’ personal data, including name, address, date of birth, Social Security and member ID numbers, and health information.

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