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Georgia professor's ban on post-sneeze 'bless you' draws notice

1 hour 31 min ago

BRUNSWICK, Ga. --  A College of Coastal Georgia professor had warned students he would lower the grades of students who say “Bless you’’ after someone sneezes during class, a spokesman for the college confirmed Wednesday.

But the ban on “Bless you” was intended to stop class disruptions and is not a curb on freedom of speech or religion or any reflection of the professor’s religious or political philosophy, the spokesman said.

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Prison sentence imposed for Augusta man who accidentally shot best friend

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 8:52pm


A 20-year-old man who shot his best friend to death while horsing around with a handgun pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter.

Dominique Sullivan also pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two weapon violations. Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Sullivan to serve eight years in prison, followed by five years on probation.

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Clerk of Commission space issues discussed in tense meeting

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:26pm

City officials moved closer to finalizing plans to change recently completed renovations at Augusta Municipal Building during a tense Wednesday meeting.

After Heery International, Gal­lop and Associates, and Virgo Gam­bill Architects personnel were absent Monday for a committee discussion of the changes, all were present for the Wednesday called meeting to review, room by room, a handful of modifications to the space designed as a suite for city legal staff.

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Augusta Regional Collaboration Project hits snag over restroom renovation

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 4:46pm

The ARC Project hit a roadblock this week when a city inspector declared the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce building unfit for occupancy until a first-floor restroom is installed.

The Augusta Regional Collaborative, a creation of Mayor Deke Copenhaver, has a five-year lease of the city-owned property, a 1976 creation by the firm of renowned architect I.M. Pei located in the 600 block median of Broad Street.

But the unique structure, designed as a series of five connected diamonds, lacks restrooms on its first floor and an elevator never was installed in an included shaft.

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Macon brush fire will burn until it rains

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 2:26pm

MACON, Ga. — Authorities say a brush fire burning in the Macon area is expected to smolder until the next significant rainfall.

The Telegraph reports that Macon-Bibb County firefighters early Wednesday morning were called to the area off Tucker Valley Road. The newspaper reports that the orange glow of the fire can be seen by motorists on nearby Interstate 475.

Authorities planned to continue to monitor the blaze as there are some homes and buildings nearby. No injuries were reported.

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Holiday will see cheap gas, lots of cops

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 2:05pm

Authorities in Georgia and South Carolina are teaming up this weekend to target impaired drivers and protect the 1.2 million motorists in the two states who plan to travel in what AAA projects will be one of the busiest Labor Days in recent memory.

The Georgia and South Carolina departments of public safety plan to launch its annual “Hands Across the Border” campaign in the Augusta area at 8 p.m. Thursday with a safety checkpoint near exit 17 on Interstate 520 East in Aiken County.

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Atlanta lawyer embezzled millions, suit says

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:54pm

ATLANTA -- A one-time managing partner of a prominent Atlanta law firm that specializes in real estate closings has been accused by his own practice of embezzling more than $30 million from escrow accounts.

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Workers comp for staff kickball injury?

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:12pm

COLUMBIA -- A man who was severely injured during the company kickball game he organized is entitled to workers’ compensation, the S.C. Supreme Court has ruled.


The justices reversed the Court of Appeals and the state workers’ comp panel in its Wednesday decision.


During the company-sponsored kickball game in 2007, Stephen Whigham jumped and landed awkwardly on his right leg, shattering his tibia and fibula.


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Teacher group backs Carter for governor

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:03pm


ATLANTA — One of the largest teachers’ groups in Georgia has announced its support for Democrat Jason Carter, as he challenges Republican Gov. Nathan Deal in the fall.


The Georgia Association of Educators endorsed Carter on Wednesday, citing a “chronic underfunding and dismantling of Georgia’s public education.”


The group has historically backed Democrats, although it declined to endorse anyone in the 2002 governor’s race. That lack of support was considered a factor in then-Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes losing his bid for re-election.

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UGA legend Magill remembered by friends

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:23am

Daniel Hamilton Magill Jr., legendary University of Georgia tennis coach and sports historian, passed away Saturday at the age of 93.

With a celebration of his life set for noon Thursday at Athens Country Club, two of Magill’s close friends, Jack Bauerle and Allen Miller, shared personal memories this week of the man many call “the greatest Bulldog ever.”

 Five days before Jack Bauerle left to coach at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Dan Magill called his longtime playing partner to confirm a doubles match.

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Isakson chides Nunn about Sen. Harry Reid

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:35am

ATLANTA -- Sen. Johnny Isakson needled Michelle Nunn a little Tuesday about her hints that she might not support Sen. Harry Reid for majority leader.

“The oldest rule in politics and in life is: you can’t have it both ways,” he said. “You can’t say ‘I might’ and say ‘I might not’ and expect the people of Georgia to believe it one way or another. You’ve got to ultimately declare what you’re going to do.”

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Woman arrested for stealing perfume from Wal-Mart

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 9:17pm

A South Carolina woman was arrested Tuesday after returning stolen items from Wal-Mart in an attempt to receive store credit on a gift card.

Approximately 12:35 p.m., deputies responded to the Wal-Mart on Wrightsboro Road, where Danniell Lashall Kelly, 26, admitted to stealing two bottles of perfume, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Kelly, of Columbia, S.C., was issued a $26.22 gift-card refund by customer service before being apprehended as she attempted to leave the store.

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Commission ends gridlock, moves forward on bonds without IFS securities

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 8:55pm

The Augusta Commission ended just under three months of gridlock over a plan to issue some $160 million of refunding water and sewer bonds and $30 million in bonds for system improvements Monday, rejecting overtures from a firm touting its minority ownership that twice delayed the plan’s approval.

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RCBOE begins planning for new west Richmond school in anticipation of Fort Gordon influx

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 8:36pm

Citing rising student populations at several existing schools, the Richmond County Board of Education is planning to build a new school in the western portion of the county.

Board of education members took the first steps toward establishing a new school at the Aug. 19 board meeting, hiring CFS Architects to handle design services for the project. Richmond County School System Program Director Jeff Baker said the new school would be used to ease population overflows as new military families move to the area prior to Fort Gordon’s Cyber Command Center opening in the next few years.

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Man pleads guilty to assaults, gets life plus 20 years

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 4:59pm

A 20-year-old Augusta man suspected of attacking three women, including the rape of one and the attempted rape of another on the Paine College campus, pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Jarius Dantzler accepted a plea negotiation and pleaded guilty to the most serious charge in each of his three cases in exchange for a sentence of life in prison plus 20 years.

Dantzler had previously rejected opportunities to plead guilty before his trial on one of the cases began Monday in Richmond County Superior Court.

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Michaux: It's time to apologize for picks right now

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 3:20pm

As college football finally enters the playoff era, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Same could be said for my preseason predictions.

This annual exercise is more often than not destined for failure. College football has so many variables (just ask the injury-decimated 2013 Georgia team) that it’s practically impossible to foresee all of the eventual pitfalls in August.

But usually you can at least stumble upon one or two keen judgments.

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Open house Wednesday on Augusta Regional Airport's master plan

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 3:15pm

An open house is set Wednesday to gather input on Augusta Regional Airport’s master plan update.

The Augusta Aviation Commission began the process in January to update the airport’s 20-year master plan and expects to have it complete next spring. During the open house, airport officials, members of the aviation commission and the consultant team will be available to collect feedback on draft plans for future airport facilities.

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Ga. VA nurse gets federal prison term

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 3:10pm

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A VA nurse from Glennville, Ga., will serve five years in federal prison and must repay $450,000 in federal funds she received by filing bogus worker’s compensation claims, the U.S. attorney said.

Loretta Smith, 41, pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to two counts of mail fraud in the mailing of the fraudulent claims and Senior U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen sentenced her Friday in Dublin, where Smith had worked as a nurse at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center.

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Police identify suspect in Carrie Street shootings

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 2:57pm

Police have identified the man they say killed one and injured three in a shooting on Carrie Street late Sunday.

Police announced the arrest Monday, but waited until Tuesday to publicly identify Robert Ivory Anderson Jr., 49, of Wintervale Road.

Officers were called to the area near 1013 Carrie St., around 11 p.m. Sunday where they found four people with gunshot wounds.

One of them, Quintroy Deion Roberts, 29, of Richmond Hill Road, was pronounced dead at the scene. The three others, who all resided at 1015 Carrie St., were treated for their injuries.

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Report: Training injuries triple at Fort Gordon

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 2:39pm

The death of a Mississippi national guardsman at Fort Gordon this month highlights a growing trend of training injuries on post that one Army doctor said could be solved by soldiers modifying fitness routines and not pushing themselves to get in peak physical condition.

In the past four years, training injuries have more than tripled at Fort Gordon, climbing from 21 in 2011 and 2012 to 77 in 2013 and 2014, according to statistics kept by the Army Combat Readiness and Safety Center in Alabama.

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