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SC cops shoot dog, miss suspect in chase

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - 2 hours 1 sec ago

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — A Labrador retriever was shot in the hindquarters by Berkeley County deputies trying to apprehend a suspect who stole an SUV.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports 67-year-old Thomas Hudgens’ vehicle was stolen Wednesday in Mount Pleasant when someone climbed into the SUV he left running while picking up a pizza. Later that evening, deputies say they spotted the SUV near Huger and shot at the vehicle as the driver tried to run them over. The thief escaped injury, but the dog was struck.

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Rabies treatment for 8 in Ga. family

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - 2 hours 2 min ago

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Authorities say a Stockbridge family of eight is undergoing rabies treatments after interacting with an infected cat.

Multiple news outlets report Henry County Animal Control supervisor Vince Farah said a rabies alert was issued Tuesday after multiple members of a family reported being bitten or scratched by a cat that later tested positive for the virus. Walter McElreath says he was scratched by the cat, which his family had interacted with for a few months, while trying to get it into a cage.

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Ga. Hooters waitress to donate kidney to customer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - 2 hours 6 min ago

ROSWELL, Ga. — A Georgia Hooters waitress will donate her kidney to a longtime regular customer at the restaurant.

WXIA-TV reports Don Thomas is a frequent patron of the Hooters in Roswell who lost both of his kidneys to cancer. Waitress Mariana Villarreal recently offered to donate him one of hers. The pair is scheduled for surgery Friday morning.

Villarreal and Thomas barely know each other, but Villarreal recently lost her grandmother to kidney failure and says she felt inspired to help Thomas.

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Barbecue cantina to replace Crum's space on Central Avenue

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 6:53pm

The Summerville neighborhood will soon gain a new casual barbecue cantina.

Augusta native Brian Brittingham has been working since early April to transform the former Crum’s restaurant at 1855 Central Ave. into Southbound Smokehouse, a new dining spot blending barbecue and Southwestern cuisine.

“It’s a concept that’s new to Augusta but not new to towns around Augusta,” said Brittingham, giving Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Atlanta and Home Team BBQ in Charleston, S.C., as examples of what he’s bringing to the Central Avenue storefront.

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Georgia transportation commissioner discusses state's needs, funding

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 6:47pm

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry sat down Thursday with The Augusta Chronicle to answer questions about the state’s crumbling transportation system.

Since McMurry was appointed by the state transportation board in late January, the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 170, a tax increase that will bring in nearly $1 billion a year for transportation. He spoke about the funding bill, critical and future needs for Georgia’s infrastructure, the Augusta region’s 1 percent transportation sales tax and other issues.

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OSHA officials investigating death of Columbia County construction worker

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 6:29pm

Officials with the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration are investigating the death of a 20-year-old Mexican man who was fatally injured earlier this month in a fall at a Columbia County construction site.

Ricardo Ramirez Aguas, of Jackson Road in North Augusta, was pronounced dead in the early hours of May 16 at Georgia Regents Medical Center, according to Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison.

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Fort Gordon bus route under 30 day review

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:33pm

Even as an experimental bus route continues to drain money from city coffers, Augusta Commission committee members unwilling to end service to Fort Gordon have granted Augusta Public Transit 30 days to review the program.

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RCSO patrol cars damaged in traffic stop

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:17pm


No one was injured but two Richmond County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles were damaged Thursday during a traffic stop.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. on Sand Bar Ferry Road when investigators attempted to stop a vehicle suspected in narcotics activity, according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser. The suspect’s vehicle left the scene and two patrol cars were damaged, she said, but no other information was immediately available.



SC parks proposal targets Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 5:12pm

COLUMBIA — Hoping to lure hunters from Augusta, lawmakers in South Carolina have carved out $700,000 in the state budget for a new bird hatchery pilot program in McCormick County.

If the money survives the budget process, the program would release birds, such as pheasants, quail and chukars, either by raising them in-state or purchasing them.

On Thursday, Rep. Michael Pitts, R-Laurens, defended the proposed pilot program against some who questioned the wisdom of the expense.

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Paralegal convicted of theft delays sentencing with request for attorney

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 4:43pm

A last-minute request for the appointment of an attorney Thursday caused a delay in the sentencing of the paralegal who stole nearly $600,000 from the Vic Hawk Law Group and its clients.

Richard Owen had insisted on representing himself at trial and at his sentencing despite the judge’s offer and recommendation on
two occasions to appoint a licensed attorney to represent him at sentencing.

Owen, 68, is looking at a potential prison term of more than 20 years.

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Poll shows strong GOP support for body cameras

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 4:34pm

 ATLANTA – Republican voters strongly support the wearing of body cameras by police officers, according to survey results released Thursday.

Although Republicans tend to be overwhelmingly white, conservative, inclined toward law and order and supportive of law enforcement, a poll for Morris News Service shows the vast majority favor videoing officers’ interactions with the public.

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2 Greenbrier students charged with 'playing chicken'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:39pm


Two Greenbrier High School students, one a member of the Wolfpack’s state champion baseball team, were arrested Wednesday on charges of “playing chicken” in front of Greenbrier Middle.

Connor Hogan and Richard Swim, both 17, were charged with failure to maintain the lane, aggressive driving and reckless driving, according to a statement from Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris. Each was released on a $3,300 bond.

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Regional storms possible tonight

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 3:23pm

Forecasters are warning of thunderstorms and high winds in parts of central and north Georgia.

The National Weather Service says scattered thunderstorms and rain are expected to last until tonight near I-20 and I-85 corridors.

Forecasters say heavy rain could lead to ponding in low lying areas and some storms could lead to winds of up to 45 mph.

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Putnam deputy kills man with knife

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 2:55pm


EATONTON, Ga. — Putnam County sheriff’s officials say a man has died after a confrontation with a deputy.

Sheriff Howard Sills says 57-year-old Harry Davis had been fighting with relatives on a road in Eatonton Wednesday night and threw a knife at a responding deputy. Sills says the man then pulled a second knife out of his vehicle and charged at the deputy.

Sills says two shots the deputy fired wounded Davis in his chest and he later died.

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EPA water rule finds critics

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 2:32pm

ATLANTA – A federal rule governing bodies of water is coming under criticism from Georgia’s Republican congressional members who call it an overreach of federal authority that will lead to regulation of nearly all private property that includes ponds, creeks, wetlands and even ditches.

One organization, Environment Georgia, estimates it will bring federal protection to an additional 40,000 miles of waterways in the state, more slightly greater than half of Georgia’s streams. Others say there would be none more than are already covered.

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Gilpin death leaves void in area bass fishing world

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 2:05pm


The area bass fishing community lost a stalwart when Larry Gilpin died Tuesday after an extended hospital stay.

“There will never be another man like him,” said Billy Black, president of the Clark Hill Committee of which Gilpin, 65, was the longtime president.

The organization was co-founded in 1973 by Gilpin and North Augusta’s Noel Brown, its first president. Gilpin later became president, a post he held nearly 30 years..

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New principals named at North Augusta Elementary, Hammond Hill Elementary

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 1:37pm

 The Aiken County School District recently announced a pair of new principal appointments in North Augusta.

Patricia Wilson, assistant principal at J.D. Lever Elementary in Aiken, will be the new principal at at North Augusta Elementary, while Warrenville Elementary principal Brad Watson has been named the new principal at Hammond Hill Elementary.

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SC gun permit bill dead for this year

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 12:52pm

COLUMBIA — Legislation to let people carry a concealed weapon without a permit has died for the year in South Carolina.

A Senate subcommittee took no action on two bills Thursday, deciding it would be better to hold more hearings on them after the Legislature adjourns next week.

One bill would eliminate the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in the state. The second bill would require South Carolina to accept weapons permits from Georgia, which has no training requirement.

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Augusta woman arrested after punishing son for breaking curfew

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 12:48pm

An Augusta woman has been jailed after refusing to let her teenage son in their home after he came home after curfew.

The 13-year-old told police that he was forced to sleep on the concrete patio in the backyard of their home in the 3400 block of Monte Carlo Drive after he came home 15 minutes late for his 9 p.m. curfew Monday.

Antonia Antoinette Folsom, 34, was booked into the Richmond County jail Tuesday on a charge of deprivation of a minor. She already has posted bond.

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Vince Dooley's stolen championship ring found in pawn shop

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 7:34am


ATHENS, Ga. -- Vince Dooley nearly gave up hope of seeing his Auburn 1957 Southeastern Conference and National Championship ring.


One of several items stolen from his residence in 2011, the legendary Georgia coach says he almost forgot about it.


“I just didn’t think it was ever going to show up,” he said.


It turned up last week at Athens Pawn Shop on Hawthorne Avenue.


The ring stood out to officer Gene Davis, who investigated the theft of Dooley’s property in 2011.


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