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Augusta Prep's Hatcher signs with Presbyterian College

1 hour 53 min ago

More than 50 people looked on as Julia Hatcher signed a college scholarship this morning.

The amount of people didn’t faze her. She is the oldest child in a household with four other siblings – three children adopted from China – that keep her life busy.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “It’s never quiet.”

Hatcher became the third Augusta Prep soccer player to sign with a Division I school this week. She penned her name with Presbyterian College.

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New SC poll shows Trump heavy favorite

2 hours 41 min ago




COLUMBIA — Billionaire and reality TV celebrity Donald Trump maintains his significant lead among likely South Carolina Republican primary voters, according to an Opinion Savvy poll conducted for The Augusta Chronicle, Morris News and FOX 5 Atlanta.

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Augusta utilities officials criticized for handling of boil-water advisory

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 9:29pm

Augusta’s utilities director is taking heat for being slow to notify the public of a boil-water advisory that inconvenienced tens of thousands and shut the school system for two days.

After two sets of tests came back clear, the advisory was lifted Thursday afternoon, but not until local officials made another misstep. After they declared the advisory “to be lifted” at 9:30 a.m., Georgia Environmental Protection Division wouldn’t formally rescind the advisory until almost 2 p.m.

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Augusta murder trial ends in acquittal

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 7:55pm

An Augusta man accused of murder in a 2010 homicide was acquitted of all charges Wednesday night.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury found Keith L. Polite, 26, not guilty of murder and weapon charges in the Oct. 6, 2010, fatal shooting of 16-year-old Terrence L. Turner.

Turner was driving near the intersection of Dwitt and Douglas streets when he was shot. Polite wasn’t indicted on the murder charges until 2012.

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Former Augusta fire marshal convicted on all counts in extortion case

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 7:42pm

Jason Beard didn’t have to testify, he told a federal court jury Thursday, but the former Augusta fire marshal insisted.

“I’d like for the jury to hear my side of the story, the truthful side,” he said.

The jury didn’t buy it. After deliberating just under three hours Thursday evening, the jury convicted Beard of six counts of extortion and one count of attempted extortion.

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Augusta tourism officials plan to focus on millennials

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 6:11pm

Move over, baby boomers – it’s the millennials local tourism officials are really after.

The Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau is going all-in to attract the younger generation through a new marketing initiative unveiled at the organization’s annual State of Tourism luncheon Thursday.

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No honoree yet found for Mayor's Masters Reception

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 3:00pm


The fate of an annual Masters Week event tied to local government remains up in the air.

Organizers haven’t been able to find a golf professional to honor at this year’s Mayor’s Masters Recep­tion, according to Wayne Hawkins, the chairman of the event committee.

“I wish I had some good news for you,” Hawkins said. “We haven’t had any success yet.”

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Standoff over, suspect in custody

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 11:22am


A 12-hour standoff on Wrights Avenue ended Thursday morning with a suspect in custody.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the home in the 600 block about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday for a domestic dispute, which escalated with the deputies’ arrival, Lt. Allan Rollns said in a news release. The suspect, identified as Donnie Wade Harrell, 49, barricaded himself in the residence and fired about 20 shots at deputies.

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Smoke may be seen near Fort Gordon today

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 11:02am

Smoke may be visible from a prescribed burn of 574 acres today at Fort Gordon’s Training Areas 34 and 35, beginning at 11 a.m., according to a news release from Columbia County Emergency Services.

Breakthrough: Scientists detect ripples Einstein predicted

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 10:47am




WASHINGTON — In an announcement that electrified the world of astronomy, scientists said today that they have finally detected gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.


Scientists likened the breakthrough to the moment Galileo took up a telescope to look at the planets.


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Dozens of Georgia prison guards indicted in FBI sting

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 10:36am

ATLANTA — Dozens of Georgia prison guards agreed to protect drug smuggling operations for a high-level trafficker, believing their status as correctional officers would protect them from a vehicle search if they were stopped by police, authorities said Thursday. In exchange, the received thousands of dollars in bribes.

But there was no big drug trafficker and the drugs weren’t real. It was all part of a sting operation by the FBI.

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Boil water advisory lifted

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 8:46am

A boil water advisory that affected thousands of Augusta water customers has been lifted.

Augusta Utilities Director Tom Wiedmeier told The Augusta Chronicle about the lifting after a phone call to him about 2:30 p.m. He had said earlier in the day that two rounds of testing showed no signs of contamination in the water.

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Occupiers at Oregon refuge say they'll turn themselves in

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 2:04am

BURNS, Ore. — The last four armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning after the FBI surrounded them and they yelled at law enforcement officers in armored vehicles to back off and prayed with supporters over an open phone line.

The tense standoff between law enforcement officers and the four occupiers played out on the Internet beginning Wednesday night via a phone line being livestreamed by an acquaintance of occupier David Fry.

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Columbia County ships water to Fort Gordon, offers Augusta help

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 6:00pm

In the midst of the boil water advisory in Richmond County, Columbia County Water Utility Director Billy Clay­ton said he was happy to help Fort Gor­don when called to assist Tuesday night.

Clayton got a call about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday asking for drinkable water for the fort.

“It was our pleasure to help those guys out, those folks, those men and women who serve us every day,” Clay­ton said.

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City water woes hurting Augusta businesses

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 5:33pm


So far, Augusta’s water hasn’t proven hazardous to anything – except profits.

Reports of increased turbidity in the city water system caused disruptions of varying degree to as many as 500 businesses – ranging from bars and restaurants to hotels and supermarkets – in an area that covered most of west Augusta and the entire central business district.

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500 restaurants and bars could be affected by water issues

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 4:50pm

As many as 500 bars and restaurants were in the boil water advisory area but those with emergency plans to work around it could stay open, an official with the Richmond County Health Department said.

The East Central Health District called in outside inspectors to help the county’s inspectors fan out to check on those who wanted to keep serving the public.

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Deputy shoots at car involved in chase

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 4:44pm

A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy fired shots and his stun gun during a police pursuit Monday afternoon that reached speeds of more than 100 mph.

According to an incident report, after Cpl. James Ouzts tried to stop a red Chevrolet Impala about 6:30 p.m. Monday, the car ran a stop sign on Megan Lane. The officer turned on his lights, and the driver put his hands out his window and motioned for the deputy to follow him.

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Burglars hit Greene Street law offices in Augusta

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 4:19pm

Several Greene Street lawyer offices experienced burglaries over the weekend, according to police reports.

Deputies responded to the Milton Avrett Law Office at 440 Greene St. and the Law Office of Chris Corley and John Mixon III and associates, which are both located at 436 Greene Street, early Monday after employees discovered damages and missing items.

At the Milton Avrett office, deputies discovered windows were broken, doors were damaged and desks had been rummaged through. The only object reported missing was money.

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Gunfire near UGA Health Sciences campus

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 3:49pm

ATHENS, Ga. -- Authorities are reporting gunshots have been fired near the University of Georgia’s Health Sciences Campus.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday, UGA police issued a “timely warning” that there had been an armed robbery with gunshots fired at a residence directly behind the Health Sciences Campus, located off of Prince Avenue in west Athens.

The robbery and shooting is being investigated by Athens-Clarke County police, according to the advisory.

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Carly Fiorina drops out of president race

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 3:17pm


WASHINGTON — Former technology executive Carly Fiorina ends her bid for the Republican nomination for president .

The former technology executive announced on Twitter that she is suspending her campaign.

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