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Augusta man charged with arson in couch fire

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 9:29pm

An Augusta man was accused of arson by fire officials who say he set fire to a couch at Bon Air Apartments late Monday.

According to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office incident report, deputies were called to the complex at 2101 Walton Way on Tuesday to meet with Lt. Carlton Bradley, of the Augusta Fire Department.

Bradley told deputies that a couch on the second floor was set on fire about 11:15 p.m. the previous day and that only one person was in the area at the time.

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Warrenville man seen on dash cam attempting to ram police with stolen Humvee during chase

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 8:51pm


A Warrenville man accused of leading deputies on a chase in a stolen Humvee Friday was caught on tape attempting to ram a police vehicle, dash camera footage released Tuesday shows.

For more than 11 minutes, Michael Lee Warning, 47, is shown driving recklessly on Aiken County roadways in a tan Humvee stolen from Fort Gordon, leaving the roadway on several occasions and damaging property along the way.

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Augusta stormwater fee fails to get enough votes by 5-3

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 8:14pm

Two abstentions kept Mayor Hardie Davis from casting a tie-breaking vote Tuesday on a decision to implement a stormwater utility fee on Augusta consumers in January.

The fee, in the works since 2009 as a way to repair and upgrade storm drainage infrastructure and meet federal requirements for stormwater quality, was included by commissioners in the 2015 budget.

It did not advance Tuesday, despite having five supporting votes and verbal support from the mayor, who broke an earlier 5-5 tie with a “no” vote on scrapping the fee outright.

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Board should release other GRU finalists in presidential search, attorney says

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 8:06pm

Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel could be confirmed today as the next president of Georgia Regents University, but because the university system did not disclose the other finalists it is violating the law, according to the attorney for The Augusta Chronicle and the Georgia Press Association.

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Savannah River Remediation adds staff to emergency drill program to confront shortfalls at Savannah River Site

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 6:33pm

Savannah River Site’s liquid waste contractor nearly tripled the number of staff for its emergency drill program following an evaluation that revealed numerous shortfalls.

Savannah River Remediation increased staff dedicated to emergency drills from three full-time and one part-time employee to 10 full-time employees, according to a report from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, a federal panel that oversees nuclear sites and provides recommendations to the U.S. Energy Department.

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Museum features Coke bottle's role in American culture

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 5:43pm



ATLANTA -- For a century, the iconic Coca-Cola bottle design has remained a constant symbol in American culture and visual art, even as it has evolved from old-fashioned glass to plastic to sleek aluminum.

“The bottle itself doesn’t change,” said Ted Ryan, a historian for the Coca-Cola Company. “But it takes on the form of whatever the best materials are of that day.”

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Authorities raid Subway spokesman Jared Fogle's home

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 5:24pm

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — FBI agents and Indiana State Police raided the home of Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle on Tuesday, removing electronics from the property and searching the house with a police dog, two months after the then-executive director of Fogle's foundation was arrested on child pornography charges.

FBI agent Wendy Osborne said the agency was conducting an investigation in Zionsville, an affluent Indianapolis suburb, but wouldn't say whether it involved Fogle or describe the nature of the investigation.

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Ga. gas hike not factor at the pump yet

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 4:42pm

ATLANTA – Georgia motorists braced for higher gasoline prices after a higher state tax took effect, but so far the numbers on the pump don’t show it.

A new transportation-funding law took effect July 1 which included a shift in the way the tax on gasoline is figured. Instead of part sales tax and part per-gallon tax, the new law switches to entirely a per-gallon basis.

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Owners of Marshall Square retirement resort intends to rebuild

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 3:28pm

Just over a month after a fatal blaze ravaged Marshall Square Retirement Community, owners of the burned resort in Evans said they will rebuild.

“Not only is it our hope and intent to rebuild, we’re preparing to rebuild,” said Steve Mueller, chief operating officer for Resort Lifestyle Communities, the Nebraska-based company that owns the property. “We can’t move forward without a lot of other things playing out.”

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Huckabee campaigns in Aiken

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 1:37pm

AIKEN -- Presidential candidate Mike Hucka­bee (left) poses for photo during a stop Tuesday in Aiken. The former Arkansas governor and television host took part in a luncheon in Aiken sponsored by the Ai­ken County Republican Party.

2 die when F-16, Cessna collide over SC

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 12:33pm

MONCKS CORNER, S.C.  — Two were killed Tuesday when an F-16 fighter jet and a small plane collided over South Carolina, raining down plane parts and debris over marshes and rice fields.

The fighter pilot managed to eject to safety, officials said, Two people in the smaller plane were killed.

Debris was scattered across a wide area, though there were no reports of anyone being hurt or any homes being damaged on the ground, Berkeley County spokesman Michael Mule said.

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Victim named in fatal one-car crash in Aiken County

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 9:41am


The investigation continues into the death of a 41-year-old Aiken man killed early Tuesday in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 1.

Steven D. Lynn, 41, of Aiken, was pronounced dead at the scene, Coroner Tim Carlton said.

The crash is thought to have occurred early Tuesday as Lynn was traveling north on U.S. Highway 1. There is an indication his vehicle slipped off the road, over-corrected, crossed over to the other lane, crossed back, left the road again, then struck a tree, according to a statement from the coroner. An autopsy is scheduled Wednesday.

City-county communications disrupted

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 9:37am

E-mail problems are disrupting communications with Augusta-Richmond County departments this morning. An earlier phone outage has been corrected.

Anyone needing a specific department may call Augusta 3-1-1 number, and they will be assisted in reaching their party.

Insurance coverage for autistic children now law

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 7:16am



ATLANTA -- As of July 1, private insurance companies will provide coverage for the best therapeutic treatment for children with autism ages six and under, as a result of a new law.

Ava’s Law, passed unanimously this year by the Georgia General Assembly, requires private insurance companies to cover Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for the first time in Georgia’s history. Georgia became the 41st state to require coverage.

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Skull found in sand of St. Simons beach

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 6:42am


ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A man walking his dog found part of a human skull on an island beach Monday, and it has been sent to a crime lab for possible identification, authorities said.


The man found the portion of skull partially buried in the sand near the former U.S. Coast Guard Station at East Beach about 7:20 a.m., Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said.


“It appeared to be a shell. When he moved it, obviously it was not,’’ Doering said.


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Jones Pool at Augusta Aquatics Center damaged, suspects sought

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 1:20am

Deputies were searching Monday for suspects accused of vandalizing a pool at the Augusta Aquatics Center.

About 1 p.m., deputies went to the 1600 block of Holley Street, where Jones Pool had been damaged, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies found three holes in a fence around the pool. Also, signs and chairs had been thrown in the pool, as well as broken beer bottles.

The pool building also had been ransacked, according to the report.



Augusta area employers voice concern about federal overtime proposal

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 11:51pm


Woody Johnson, like many in the local business community, fears a federal proposal extending overtime pay for salaried employees could drive up costs and possibly hurt future growth.

“It is basically going to be an adjustment of overall costs,” said Johnson, who co-owns two Marco’s Pizza franchises in metro Augusta. “It’s not like we are out here printing money. We are running pretty tight margins already.”

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Dashcam footage offers glance into fatal North Augusta shooting at jailer's home

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 10:55pm

An Aiken County jailer arrested in June in the fatal shooting of his wife told police he pointed his newly-purchased M4 assault rifle away from her and checked to make sure the gun wasn’t loaded before it went off and killed her in the bathroom of their North Augusta home.

After being handcuffed by North Augusta Public Safety officers and lying face-down in the yard of his home at 1901 Coulter Drive, Matthew Blakley could be heard on a dashcam video saying he “cleared” the gun before showing it to his wife June 13.

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Augusta Commissioners divided as stormwater fee returns for another vote

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 7:50pm


A divided Augusta Commission will again take up implementing a stormwater utility fee at its Tuesday regular meeting.

After postponing action in February, commissioners voted 8-2 a month ago to table the decision, with City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson expected to meet with project consultant AMEC Foster Wheeler and others to review the fee proposal.

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SC Senate votes to take down Confederate flag

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 4:22pm


COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Senate voted Monday to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, though the proposal still needs approval from the state House and the governor.

The measure passed 37-3 Monday will allow the state to remove the flag and the flagpole where it flies as soon as it passes the House and is signed by Gov. Nikki Haley. Before going to the House, the bill must pass a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is likely to be held Tuesday.

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