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Employee played lottery without paying, boss says

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 9:31pm

An Augusta restaurant owner is short about $3,000 after one of his employees played lottery tickets without paying, a police report states.

Randy Sconyers, who owns Road­runner Cafe at 2821 Wash­ing­ton Road, told police Sunday that a 32-year-old male employee working the night before was caught on surveillance playing the Keno! lottery game without putting money back into the register, according to a Richmond County sheriff’s report.

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Plants, fences obstructing views are threat to motorists

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:52pm

Sometimes the biggest threat to a motorist isn’t what’s on the roadway, but what’s off of it.

The threat can be tall or short. It can be living or inanimate. From trees to bushes to signs to fences, it’s whatever obstructs the view of oncoming traffic, and Augusta has its own set of ordinances to combat the problem.

“It’s for the safety of the citizens,” said Pam Costabile, the city’s code enforcement manager. “They can cause a lot of problems.”

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Columbia County cold case dates back to 1978

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:41pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Chronicle begins an occasional series on unsolved deaths in our region.


Columbia County sheriff’s investigators might never know what happened to Craig Fallaw outside a West Lake security booth Oct. 6, 1978.

Senior Investigator Wynn Howard said most witnesses, any possible suspects and the officers who worked the case could be dead.

“It’s still open,” Howard said of the case. “A murder is never closed until it’s solved and then adjudicated.”

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New firefighting equipment offers more protection

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:07pm

Augusta firefighters are enjoying a pleasant adjustment to new uniforms and turnout gear, correcting what many felt was a wardrobe malfunction.

Before a recent change, the uniforms featured a poly-blend fabric that had the potential to melt to a firefighter’s skin.

The new cotton uniforms are not the perfect solution but offer more protection and a sharper appearance, De­puty Chief Sterling Jones said.

The fire department chose to change blends last year, but the new uniforms didn’t arrive until early 2014.

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Augusta ranks 92nd among 200 safest driving cities

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 6:50pm

Augusta drivers are apparently getting worse, according to Allstate Insurance Company’s 10th annual “America’s Best Drivers Report” released this week.

In the report, based on Allstate claims data, Augusta ranked 92nd-safest among America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency.

In 2013, Augusta ranked 88th, and the year before it was 89th.

This year, it was preceded by Ontario, Calif., and followed by Memphis, Tenn.

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Meth lab cleanup at Georgia motels lacks firm rules

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 6:23pm

Room 121 at Economy Inn in south Au­gusta looks just like the 40 others available for lodging off Deans Bridge Road.. The bed is made, there are fresh towels in the bathroom and an empty refrigerator is ready.

But for four months, no one has stayed inside the one-bedroom unit, where police say the last occupants made methamphetamine.

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Thieves take trailer filled with lawn equipment

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 5:33pm

An Augusta man lost more than $7,000 in lawn equipment after someone stole his trailer late Friday or early Saturday, a police report shows.

About 10 a.m. Saturday, Rich­mond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 2000 block of Hiram Road, where Steven Watson, 36, said someone unhooked his trailer from his vehicle and pushed it out of his yard, the report says.

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Car catches fire in Aiken County crash

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 9:41pm

Aiken County sheriff’s deputies are on the scene of a two-vehicle collision on Beaver Dam Road that caused one vehicle to catch fire, dispatch said.

Deputies, along with emergency medical workers and the South Carolina High­way Patrol, were called to the accident near Wire Road at 8:46 p.m. It wasn’t immediately known whether anyone was injured in the accident.


Thomas leads Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets over Wofford Terriers

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 4:00pm

ATLANTA — Justin Thomas had 353 yards of total offense and DeAndre Smelter caught two third-quarter touchdown passes in Georgia Tech’s 38-19 victory over Wofford in both teams’ season openers Saturday.

Making his first career start, Thomas went 11 of 15 for 282 yards and completed his last eight passes for 250 yards to help the Yellow Jackets hold off the pesky FCS Terriers.

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Millage rates not complete picture of tax burden

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:09am

Newcomers who consider Augusta-Richmond County property tax rates in relocation decisions should rest assured that the county’s tax rates remain among the area’s lowest, despite an Au­gusta Com­mis­sion vote Monday to raise taxes.

The increase, expected to generate $7.9 million to cover an operating deficit and provide employees a small, one-time bonus, sparked an outcry among some taxpayers who argued that they weren’t getting anything new in return for the annual increase, amounting to $122.50 for the owner of a $200,000 home.

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Bears stay unbeaten

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:35pm


LOUISVILLE, Ga.– Burke County’s defense held Jefferson County to less than 100 yards of total offense as the Bears improved to 2-0.

Burke County had 266 rushing yards, with Caleeb Roberson leading the way with 130 on 18 carries.


Burke Co. 6 8 0 6 – 20

Jefferson Co. 0 7 0 0 – 7

First Quarter

BC–Donqual Young 1 run (run failed), 6:39.

Second Quarter

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No. 1 Aquinas puts away No. 8 Prince Avenue

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:28pm

BOGART, Ga. — Prince Avenue watched Aquinas’ Ruben Garnett run away with its shot at a season-opening victory on Friday night.

The senior running back was the go-to guy for the Fightin’ Irish as they defeated the Wolverines, 33-18, in a battle of top-10 Class A teams.

“The running back is special — there’s no question,” Prince Avenue coach Jeff Herron said. “My hat’s off to them. They’ve got a good team. They earned the victory.”

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Tigers dominate Red Devils to extend win streak

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:05pm


LINCOLNTON, Ga. — Washington-Wilkes ran its newfound dominance in the Highway 378 rivalry series to three in a row with a 36-10 romp over Lincoln County on Friday night at Larry Campbell Stadium.

The senior-laden Tigers (1-0) manhandled the Red Devils wing-T offense all night while junior quarterback DeAndre Harris passed for four touchdowns and ran for another in Washington-Wilkes relentless hurry-up offense.

“How about three in a row,” Washington-Wilkes coach Robby Robinson said to his team before it started chanting “Three-peat” in the post-game huddle.

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Cross Creek defeats Hephzibah

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:36pm

Kenyatta Brown moved during the summer from Tuscaloosa, Ala., to Augusta to be with his father, Kenyatta Brown Sr.

Adding the sophomore safety/wide receiver turned out to be a bigger deal for Cross Creek than anyone could have imagined.

Brown intercepted four passes and scored twice Friday night as the Razorbacks rolled to a 32-13 win over Hephzibah.

Brown said he’s never had a night like the one he had against the Rebels. He intercepted a pass in each quarter, capping his evening with a 70-yard interception return.

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Man struck while riding bicycle

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:30pm

A man riding a bicycle was struck Friday evening in Richmond County.

Approximately 9:30 p.m., the unknown victim was illegally crossing Milledgeville Road, near Olive Road, when he was grazed by a slow-moving vehicle, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies said.

The man “received very minor injuries” and was treated and released at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle remained on scene and no charges were filed.

Man arrested after dropping heroin in hotel lobby

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:35pm

An Augusta man is in custody after dropping a bag of heroin in the lobby of a Quality Inn in Richmond County.

While checking into the hotel on the 1000 block of Claussen Road, Eric Hampton Monk, 36, is accused of dropping a plastic bag containing an unknown substance, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon arrival, deputies located Monk in room 227 and asked him if they could search his room. Officers located syringes, as well as 0.2 grams of methamphetamine and 1 gram of heroin.

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Adverse instances noted at VA, improvements touted

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 8:09pm


The Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center appears to be making gradual strides toward erasing long wait times, but federal documents suggest the Augusta hospital still has a ways to go to improve the quality of care patients receive once they’re in the door.

In the past two fiscal years, the hospital has reported 16 “adverse outcomes” to Department of Veterans Affairs’ administration for procedures that took place between April 2010 and September 2013, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

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Georgia Regents University student indicted in February shooting incident

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 7:41pm

A Georgia Regents University student accused of attempting to hit a campus police officer with his car was indicted Tuesday in Richmond County Superior Court.

Donte Lavelle Stewart has been charged with aggravated assault, giving a false name to a law enforcement officer and obstruction of a law enforcement officer for his role in the February incident that began with a noise com­plaint. An arraignment hearing is expected by mid-September.

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Smith retired by state, investigation ongoing

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:28pm

Augusta Commissioner Donnie Smith, under investigation while on paid leave from the Georgia State Patrol since June, has been retired by the state employees’ retirement system, but the investigation remains open.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety issued a statement late Friday that Georgia Employees Retirement System had decided to retire Smith effective Monday, while DPS’ investigation into what it called in June “a possible policy violation” remained open and ongoing.

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Paine plans furloughs, salary cuts, layoffs

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 5:51pm


Paine College President George C. Bradley on Friday announced the college will implement furlough days, salary reductions and layoffs to save $2.4 million over the next fiscal year.

The changes are part of Paine’s efforts to resolve various accreditation violations and to ensure expenses do not exceed revenues, according to a news release.

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