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Arson suspected in Hephzibah house fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 5:49pm

A fire at a vacant house on Ben­nington Drive in Hephzibah on Friday might have been the work of an arsonist, officials say.

Augusta Fire Department Lt. Carlton Bradley said that sometime between 6 and 6:22 p.m., someone lit toilet paper and plastic on fire and threw it on the carpet in one of the rooms at 2812 Bennington Drive, a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report states.

A rear window was broken out, leading officials to believe it was the point of entry. Damage to the house was minor and limited to a room toward the front.

Presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee will visit Augusta area

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 5:04pm

With a presidential primary almost eight months away, metro Augusta is already receiving visits from Re­pub­li­can hopefuls.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will sign copies of his new book from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Barnes & Noble at Augusta Mall.

On Tuesday, former Ar­kan­sas Gov. Mike Hucka­bee will appear at a 9 a.m. Edge­field meet-and-greet at the Edge­field General Store, then at an 11:30 a.m. RSVP-required lunch held by the Ai­ken County Republican Party.

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Suspect identified in stolen Humvee chase

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 4:16pm

Authorities have identified a Warrenville man they say led deputies on a chase Friday in a Humvee stolen from Fort Gordon.

Michael Warning, 47, faces a charge of attempted murder for trying to strike a police cruiser with the Humvee, Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah said. He is also charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and failure to stop for blue lights and siren.

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Defending women's champion Kvitova eliminated at Wimbledon

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 3:59pm

LONDON — Petra Kvitova let her lead slip, and let her title go.

Former top-ranked player Jelena Jankovic beat the defending Wimbledon champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Saturday on Centre Court, coming back from a set and a break down to reach the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time since 2010.

Kvitova, who also won the title in 2011 and was seeded second this year, had an easy time in her first two rounds, losing only three games. And it looked like more of the same while leading 6-3, 4-2 until Jankovic started her comeback.

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Baby taken to hospital after fall into Martinez pool

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 2:50pm

An 11-month-old child has been taken to the hospital by emergency medical personnel after falling in a swimming pool on Morehead Drive in Martinez, Columbia County dispatch confirmed.

The baby’s condition was not known by dispatch.

Officials warn of firecrackers' impact on veterans with PTSD

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 2:17pm

ATLANTA   — Health care professionals are asking Georgians who are using firecrackers to celebrate the Fourth of July to be cautious around veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Matt Stonie tops Joey Chestnut in hot dog eating contest

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 2:06pm

NEW YORK — Matt Stonie shocked the competitive eating world on Saturday by upsetting Joey “Jaws” Chestnut at the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, breaking Chestnut’s bid for a ninth straight victory.

Stonie, 23, who finished second last year, downed 62 hot dogs and buns, beating Chestnut by two. Both are from San Jose, California.

As thousands of spectators observed the eaters on an elevated stage, the next closest competitor ate 32 hot dogs.

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Gruesome foot injury reported at Augusta trampoline park

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 10:56pm

An ambulance was called to the AirStrike trampoline park Friday in reference to a broken leg, though a witness said the victim’s foot appeared to be nearly cut off at the ankle.

Richmond County dispatch confirmed that an ambulance was called to the business at 1249 Augusta West Parkway on Friday afternoon but was unable to provide further details.

Melodie Good, an Evans resident who took her children to AirStrike on Friday, said the victim was a young man who appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s.

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Man accused of leading Aiken deputies on chase in stolen Humvee

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 9:59pm

Aiken County authorities arrested a man who they say led deputies on a chase Friday in a stolen Humvee.

Just before 6 p.m., Aiken County sheriff’s deputies received a call about a man driving recklessly on Interstate 20.

The suspect, who had not been identified late Friday, led deputies off the interstate then back onto it in the area of Wire Road, Capt. Eric Abdullah said. He was stopped shortly thereafter.

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Gun stolen from vehicle in downtown Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 9:11pm

A firearm was stolen from an unlocked vehicle while its owner was working at a hot dog stand on Broad Street late Thursday.

About 2 a.m. Friday, Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the intersection of 10th and Broad streets in reference to the theft. The 27-year-old victim said that he left the 9mm handgun inside his pickup and noticed that it was missing about 1:45 a.m.

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ATV accident in Edgefield County kills Aiken man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 4:31pm


An Aiken man was killed in an ATV accident in Edgefield County early Friday, officials said.

James Seigler, 48, of Snipes Pond Road, died after the ATV he was driving struck a tree along McCreight Road near Johnston, S.C., and rolled into water, Chief Deputy Coroner David Burnett said. He was pronounced dead about 12:15 a.m.

An autopsy performed in Newberry, S.C., confirmed that Seigler died from head trauma and drowning.

2-year-old girl drowns in south Georgia river

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 4:16pm

LAKELAND, Ga. — Sheriff's officials in south Georgia say a 2-year-old girl drowned during a family trip to the Alapaha river.

Lanier County Sheriff Nick Norton tells WALB-TV ( ) the girl and her family spent the day at a stretch of the river in Lakeland, about 20 miles northeast of Valdosta, and had to take cover when a storm passed.

Authorities say the family sought shelter under a bridge and lost track of the girl. Her body was later found dead downstream.

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Fleeing Ga. suspect runs to law enforcement training center

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 3:27pm

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Police in coastal Georgia say a man who fled officers was taken into custody after scaling a fence and landing on the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's campus.

Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering says 22-year-old Taylor Brooks was wanted in several burglaries in central Georgia and was seen Thursday morning in a vehicle that had been reported stolen.

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Bubba Watson to remove Confederate flag from 'General Lee'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 2:49pm

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Bubba Watson says he’s painting over the Confederate flag on his car made popular in The Dukes of Hazzard television series.

The two-time Masters champ said Friday he’ll replace it with the U.S. flag on the roof of the General Lee 01.

Confederate symbols have been the focus of debate since nine people were killed June 17 at an African-American church in Charleston, S.C. Authorities say the accused gunman had posed in photographs with the Confederate battle flag.

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Flash flood advisories issued in north Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 2:07pm

ATLANTA — Forecasters are warning of thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, and flash flood warnings have been issued in parts of north Georgia.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches Friday morning throughout most of northern Georgia as thunderstorms moved into the state. The flood watch is in effect through Sunday morning and covers Atlanta, Rome, Dalton, Gainesville and Athens.

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Storm causes power outages in Augusta area

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 9:19pm


High winds and rain stormed across the Augusta area Thursday, and the National Weather Service said more could be on the way this weekend.

For most of the afternoon, the area remained under a severe thunderstorm warning as rain flooded roads in Richmond and Columbia counties, knocking down power lines and blowing over trees. At the height of the storm, Georgia Power reported more than 100 outages affecting 9,000 customers. Across the river, South Carolina Electric & Gas reported that 1,800 people were without power in Aiken County for a length of time.

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Augusta man wanted in April homicide arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 7:32pm


A man wanted in the April murder of an Augusta man was arrested Thursday, authorities said.

Carl Lamont Jones, of Augusta, was found by the U.S. Marshal Service and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at a home in the 2700 block of Richmond Hill Road, according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser.

He has been booked in the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on charges of murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of criminal damage to property in the second degree.

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Rename Confederate Memorial Day, Augusta lawmaker says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 5:46pm

State Sen. Harold Jones, of Augusta, is proposing to rename Confederate Memorial Day, which Georgia traditionally celebrates April 26.

Jones suggested renaming the holiday “Georgia Memorial Day” to commemorate Georgians who have died in wartime, including the Civil War.

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Augusta VA promotes improvements in 'Summer of Service'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 5:13pm

Augusta’s Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center celebrated its “Summer of Service” initiative in grand style Thursday, announcing shorter wait times, new administration, an upgraded call center and more community partnerships to better serve the hospital’s 45,525 patients.

During a two-hour open house at the facility’s uptown campus, director Maria Andrews fired back at reports that veterans have problems accessing health care at the Augusta VA.

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Bond denied for Martinez woman accused in infant son's death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 4:55pm

A judge denied bond Thursday for a Martinez woman who was charged with murder in the June 17 death of her 5½-month-old son.

Superior Court Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. refused to grant a bond for Lexis Fay Russell, 23, at a hearing in Evans.

“I believe she’s a threat to the community and also committing another felony offense,” Fleming said.

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