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University had "great year," officials said

1 hour 5 min ago

Despite “stress” all hospitals are facing from increasing financial pressures, University Hospital had a “great year,” officials said.

University ended 2014 with nearly $6 million in income from operations compared to a loss of $4.4 million a year ago, a more than $10 million turnaround, said Chief Financial Officer Dave Belkoski. Combined with non-operating revenue, University saw income of more than $30 million last year or nearly $14 million more than budgeted, a “great year,” Belkoski said.

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Phone scams claiming missed jury duty defraud individuals

2 hours 16 min ago

Two Richmond County residents were victims of a phone scam this week that defrauds people by tricking them into paying money to avoid arrest for false claims that they missed jury duty.

An 82-year-old Augusta woman and a 64-year-old Hephzibah woman received phone calls from a man impersonating a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy, according to incident reports. They were told to send Western Union money orders for $1,495 from Bi-Lo stores to avoid arrest for failing to show up for jury duty, according to the reports.

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River Watch Parkway extension could change 195 addresses

2 hours 25 min ago

Marcia Acton picked up a fresh batch of 2,000 business cards last week for her Evans business, Four Paws.

But in the next two years, one of the advertisement’s crucial pieces of information, the company’s address, might be incorrect.

Acton’s company is one of about 100 homes, 65 apartments, 25 businesses and six churches along Old Petersburg and Old Evans roads that could be forced to take new addresses when the Georgia Department of Transportation completes a three-mile extension of River Watch Parkway.

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Suspect sought in theft of Augusta National photos, James Brown autographs

2 hours 26 min ago

An Augusta woman says thousands of dollars’ worth of memorabilia were stolen from her rental property.

Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 1800 block of Fenwick Street, where the victim claims “hundreds, maybe thousands” of James Brown autographs had been stolen from a storage shed behind the home, according to a RCSO incident report.

Individually numbered Augusta National Golf Club photos were also reported stolen, along with vinyl records, clothing, a vintage Rolex watch and jewelry, the report stated.

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Drugs, boats, cars and currency seized in Wadley raid

2 hours 32 min ago

An eight-month investigation resulted in law enforcement seizing drugs, vehicles and currency Thursday in Wadley.

FBI agent James Harrison said the operation was conducted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Augusta-based FBI Safe Streets Task Force.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchings, warrants were served in Jefferson, Burke, Emanuel, Johnson and Washington counties in a coordinated raid at 6 a.m. Thursday.

“These were big boys in drug trafficking in our area,” Hutchins said. “We found marijuana, cocaine and a lot of money.”

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RCSO warns of recent armed robberies targeting delivery drivers

4 hours 49 min ago

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is warning businesses of a recent trend of armed robberies targeting delivery drivers.

An unknown suspect – considered armed and dangerous – is placing orders by phone and then demanding cash when the delivery driver arrives at the stated location, according to a statement from Sgt. Shane McDaniel.

In one incident, the suspect fired a gun shot into the air.

 

 

Man with history of domestic violence headed to prison for stalking

5 hours 8 min ago

A man under two different court orders to stay away from an Augusta woman was convicted of aggravated stalking for continuing to harass her.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted Peter V. Brown, 36, on Wednesday. Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. sentenced Brown to serve five years in prison followed by five years on probation.

Brown was released on bond after being arrested and charged with punching Tareka Pollard in the face on May 9. Brown then was accused of attacking Pollard a second time and choking her on Oct. 29.

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Country rapper Colt Ford to play mayors' Masters Week event

5 hours 45 min ago

The Mayors’ Masters Reception will have a “hick-hop” flavor in addition to honoring a former caddy when the revamped event returns to Augusta Common this year.

Organizers selected Athens, Ga., native Colt Ford, in part because of his background as a professional golfer who has “bridged country music and golf,” said Joe Mullins, whose Mullins Management and Entertainment secured the singer and is an event sponsor.

Under his given name Jason Brown, Ford played for the University of Georgia then put in seven years as a professional golfer before turning his focus to music.

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GRU search committee talks qualities

6 hours 4 min ago

 

As they went around a circle of tables in a conference room Thursday at Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine, members of the presidential search committee offered what qualities they would like to see in the school’s next leader, from “dynamic” to “empowering” to “innovative” to “a great communicator.”

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Reynolds and Broad streets reopen after Sixth Street construction

6 hours 56 min ago

 

After a week and a half of railroad construction, the intersection of Sixth and Reynolds streets, as well as Sixth and Broad streets, have reopened to traffic.

The intersection of Sixth and Ellis streets and Sixth and Greene streets will be closed until Wednesday, according to senior traffic engineering technician Ron Lampkin.

“We would have been finished sooner, but the cold weather delayed the process,” Lampkin said. “We don’t allow our contractors to lay asphalt unless the temperature is 45 degrees and rising.”

 

Rifle fires during Craigslist exchange in Goodwill parking lot

8 hours 13 min ago

 

A gun accidentally fired as two people exchanged a Craigslist purchase Thursday in the parking lot of Goodwill Job Connection, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The buyer and seller, who were not identified, met at 3179 Washington Road to exchange an AR-15 rifle, said Sgt. Monica Belser. During the exchange, the firearm discharged and a bullet struck the window at Goodwill.

People inside the store were directed to the rear of the building, which was locked down until deputies cleared the scene, Belser said. No one was injured.

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Augusta woman pleads guilty in arson case

9 hours 22 min ago

A young woman who set her Augusta apartment building on fire pleaded guilty Thursday to eight counts of arson.

Christian S. Jones, 25, admitted she set fire to a mattress in her Lumpkin Road Apartment on May 11. The fire spread to eight other apartments in the building.

“This is especially sad for everyone involved,” said her attorney Arthur Snead of the public defender’s office. “It was never her intention to hurt anybody,” but herself, he said. In a deep depression and under the influence of gin and hydrocodone, Jones tried to take her own life.

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Prison nurse guilty of giving inmate tobacco

9 hours 27 min ago

 

A former nurse at Augusta State Medical Prison who gave an inmate tobacco pleaded guilty Thursday and began a 30-day jail sentence.

Tara D. Belangia, 40, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two reduced counts of giving prohibited items to an inmate without the warden’s permission. Belangia, a single mother with an 18-year nursing career, didn’t receive any payment from an inmate, said Assistant District Attorney Robert Homlar. She confessed to the misconduct in October when she was questioned about an inmate’s note.

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Early morning fire destroys Fort Gordon building

10 hours 47 min ago

An early morning fire Thursday destroyed a building at Fort Gordon.

About 2 a.m., a fire was reported at a roads and grounds facility located at the installation’s industrial area, according to Fort Gordon Public Affairs Officer J.C. Mathews. The building was between 10th and 11th streets near the western end of Chamberlain Avenue.

The building was not occupied and no one was injured, Mathews said. The cause is under investigation, he said.

The Fort Gordon, Grovetown and Augusta fire departments responded to the fire.

Mount Vintage golf course to be managed by KemperSports

12 hours 9 min ago

 

Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club is under new management.

KemperSports, which specializes in operating golf courses, resorts and athletic clubs, was hired by the bank that owns the 27-hole course to manage the facility and its amenities.

“I think it’s great for Mount Vintage and should help Mount Vintage get where it belongs,” said Ryan Mulvey, director of golf at Mount Vintage.

Mulvey said Thursday that all club employees were hired on by KemperSports earlier this month and have begun the transition process.

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Glitch causes delay in federal energy assistance to some elderly Augustans

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:28pm

A technical glitch has caused nearly 4,000 elderly and low-income residents in the Augusta area to experience months of delays in receiving federal energy assistance funds they depend on to help pay their bills.

Every year, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services contracts with community action agencies across the state to distribute federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds to those who qualify.

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Georgia Regents rolls to 11th win in a row, pounds USC Aiken

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:55pm

 

Keshun Sherrill and his teammates were determined not to have a repeat of last season.

A year ago, Georgia Regents blew an 18-point lead in the second half in a home loss to USC Aiken. This time around, the Jaguars were ready.

Sherrill scored a game-high 21 points as Georgia Regents knocked off the Pacers, 88-69, in the regular season finale Wednesday night at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

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No charges for Savannah officer who shot handcuffed man

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 8:13pm

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A police officer who fatally shot a handcuffed man won’t face criminal charges after a grand jury concluded Wednes­­day that the man was armed with a handgun that police missed while patting him down.

The grand jury heard from 45 witnesses and reviewed a Georgia Bureau of Investi­gation report topping 2,000 pages in the shooting of 29-year-old Charles Smith last fall, Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap said.

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SIAC champion Paine looking to close regular season with a win

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 8:11pm

 

Paine coach Jimmy Link is quick to let his players know everything in regards to postseason play.

The Lions are the Southern Inter­collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champions, but Link knows the team still has to keep winning if it wants to make the NCAA Division II Tournament.

“I tell them everything. They know the region deal. I let them know every game is crucial,” Link said. “We have to win our respect by winning. We can’t lose. I’m pleased with the way my guys have responded.”

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South Carolinians fighting mental illness need housing assistance

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 7:36pm

COLUMBIA — About 5,500 South Carolinians at any given moment are fighting mental illness and in need of housing assistance, according to study results aired before a Senate panel Wednesday.

“There tends to always be a waiting list for this population, because there’s just not enough places for them to be,” South Carolina’s mental agency head John Magill told lawmakers.

The agency’s specific budget request for community housing of $400,000 is part of a total $12.2 million according to the budget materials.

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