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Georgia 'religious freedom' bill stalls in committee

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 9:59pm


ATLANTA — A divisive “religious freedom” bill stalled Thursday in a Geor­gia House committee after a Re­pub­lican member successfully added anti-discrimination language.

Members of the Judiciary Com­mittee voted to table the bill immediately after nine lawmakers supported the addition from Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven. Two other Republicans were among those voting in favor.

Supporters of the bill said the change swallows the legal protection the measure is intended to provide for people acting on their religious beliefs.

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Latest audit shows continuation of Paine's financial problems

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 9:35pm

As Paine College continues an aggressive fundraising campaign to turn around years of decline, the school’s most recent financial audit shows climbing debt and more revenue loss over the last fiscal year.

Paine ended 2014 with a decrease of $2.9 million in net assets attributable to operations, a measure Paine’s accrediting body uses to determine if the institution has sufficient financial resources to support its mission. It’s the college’s fourth consecutive year of revenue loss.

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Augusta Regional Airport staff, commission want community to book seasonal flight to D.C.

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 9:06pm


At Thursday’s Augusta Aviation Commission meeting, Augusta Regional Airport staff and commission members reiterated Augusta’s need for a direct flight to Washington, D.C., hoping travelers will book the seasonal flight to demonstrate demand so US Airways will restore it year-round.

After two years of service, the 50-seat flight to Reagan National Airport was canceled in June when the airline lost 52 slots at the Washington airport after merging with American Airlines. The Augusta to D.C. flight resumes Sunday and ends June 4.

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Augusta teenager hospitalized after being pistol whipped

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 9:00pm

An Augusta teenager was hospitalized after being struck in the face with a pistol.

Around 10:21 a.m. Thursday, deputies made contact with a 17-year-old female victim at Georgia Regents Medical Center, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim said she had been playing basketball outside New Bethlehem Community Center on Conklin Avenue when she was approached by one male and one female.

The male allegedly took out a 40 caliber pistol and struck the victim in the face, causing her to black out, according to the report.

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James Brown statue washed, cleaned

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 6:28pm

Say it loud: The Godfather of Soul’s statue is shiny and proud - just in time for Masters Week.

James Brown’s likeness, in the median of Broad Street between Eighth and Ninth streets, was washed and detailed this week, according to Augusta native Klarn Lee, who regularly stops by the area.

“The statue was in pretty bad shape before crews started cleaning it Tuesday,” Lee said. “Now, it’s gold and shiny, the way JB would have liked it.”

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Teen to repay damages for BMX track damage

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 6:04pm

A teen accused of extensively damaging Columbia County’s BMX track will have to repay the damages.

The 16-year-old pleaded guilty to felony second degree criminal trespass and violation of a Class D license in Columbia County Juvenile Court on Wednesday.

Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan sentenced the teen to two years on probation, to serve 60 hours of community service and to complete a decision-making course.

“They have agreed that restitution will be made and he admitted that he did wrong,” Flanagan said.

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February jobless rate down for Augusta metro area

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 1:55pm

Gains in professional and hospitality jobs drove down the the metro Augusta unemployment rate for February, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The jobless rate was 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in January, and lower than the mark a year ago, when it was 7.5 percent.

The number of jobs increased by 1,600 in January, the state reported. Most of the job gains were for professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, state government, education and health services.

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Tip leads to arrest in Monday fire at Augusta Road home

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 1:18pm

An anonymous tip led Aiken County police to a man who they believe set fire to an Augusta Road home on Monday.

Kenneth William Treadaway was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center for arson in the third degree on Wednesday.

Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters were called to a residential fire at 1770 Augusta Road early Monday. The bloodhound tracking team searched the area for a man witnesses saw running from the residence, but he was not found.

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Co-pilot deliberately crashed plane into Alps, authorities say

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 1:17pm



PARIS — The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and intentionally rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday.


In a split second, all 150 people aboard the plane were dead.


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Augusta mother charged after police find home unsanitary

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 1:15pm

An Augusta mother has been charged after police discovered she and her children living in unsanitary conditions after their water was cut off two months ago.

A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy made the discovery at the home on the 200 block of Ellis Street while responding to reports of an attempted theft of a bicycle.

The deputy found the stove open and on, overflowing trash and moldy food. In an incident report, the deputy also reported finding a bathtub, large bucket and drink bottles full of urine and fecal matter.

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Woman tells police of scam call

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:51pm

An Augusta woman contacted police after a Jamaican man claiming to be a UPS employee continued to call and harass her about “a package.”

The 60-year-old victim told police she has received repeated calls from the telephone number since February, but decided to contact police after the calls starting occurring several times a day.

According to a report, the caller claims to be from UPS and asks if she has received a package from him. The 876 area code comes from Jamaica.

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Suspect arrested in Aiken house arson

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:39pm


An anonymous tip led Aiken County deputies to a man suspected of setting fire to an Augusta Road home on Monday.

Kenneth William Treadaway was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center on a charge of arson in the third degree on Wednesday.

Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters were called to a residential fire at 1770 Augusta Road early Monday. The bloodhound tracking team searched the area for the man witnesses saw running from the residence but he was not found.

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Toddler found dead in Ga. lake

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:39am

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — A search for a missing toddler in central Georgia ended when his body was found in Lake Sinclair.

Baldwin County Coroner John Gonzalez said 20-month-old child was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly before noon Wednesday.

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Victim in fatal McDuffie crash fell asleep at wheel

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:48am

A Thursday morning accident in McDuffie County left one person dead.

Authorities say the crash just before 8 a.m. involved a tractor trailer and a car. Both vehicles were traveling on Georgia Highway 17. Georgia State Trooper Steve Shelton said the driver of the tractor trailer, Cornelius Jones, 41, of Thomson, said the Toyota Camry veered into his lane and he was unable to avoid striking the car.

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SC kids found in chained room

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:02am

INMAN, S.C. — An Inman couple has been charged with child neglect after two of their six children were found in a chained room inside their filthy home.

Media outlets report Wednesday deputies were called to accompany social services officials to the home because of previous interactions with Roger Cox. There, deputies found twin 2-year-old boys wearing dirty diapers inside a room locked with a chain.

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UGA student holdup may be linked to others

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 6:54am


ATHENS, Ga. -- A University of Georgia student fell victim to an assault by two armed robbers Tuesday night as she walked home alone from downtown Athens.

The suspects struck the 21-year-old woman in the head as they robbed her at gunpoint near the corner of East Broad and Arch streets at about 10 p.m., according to Athens-Clarke County police. The suspects ran off upon seeing an officer, who happened to be in the area.

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Augusta deputy administrator picks named

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 10:04pm

Two career government managers who left for a few years for work in the private sector are rejoining local government to serve at the side of Augusta Administrator Janice Allen Jackson.

Ted Rhinehart, the deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure in DeKalb County from 2009 to 2013, and Chester Brazzell, director of general services and human resources for Richmond, Va., from 1993 to 2011, are Jackson’s deputy administrator picks after a search that attracted 164 applications over a five-week period, she announced Wednesday.

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Two women pepper sprayed Tuesday after attacking Glenn Hills Middle School safety officer

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 9:33pm

Two women were pepper sprayed Tuesday after safety officials say they attacked a school safety officer at Glenn Hills Middle School.

According to Richmond County director of school safety Alfonzo Williams, Fanesia Smith and Kamisha Preston went to Glenn Hills Middle School to speak with administrators about a child who had been disciplined. Upset about the outcome of the first meeting, the women were waiting to have a second meeting with administration.

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Georgia DOT asks motorists to expect the unexpected near work zones

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 9:14pm

The Georgia Department of Transportation wants motorists to prepare for the unexpected in work zones for their safety and the safety of workers.

National Work Zone Awareness week continues through Friday, with this year’s focus on “expecting the unexpected.”

Officials said work zones often change overnight and can pose a danger to motorists and employees in the work zone if the driver is not paying attention.

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Governor Deal's plan for failing schools moves to statewide vote in 2016

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 6:28pm


ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal’s plan allowing a state takeover of schools dubbed “chronically failing” won Georgia House approval Wednesday, setting up a statewide vote in 2016 and accomplishing the Republican’s top priority kicking off his second term.

Under Deal’s plan, an appointed superintendent accountable to the governor could add up to 20 schools to the district each year and have the power to close, convert them into charter schools or overhaul management. The district could not include more than 100 schools total.

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