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Supreme Court rejects Ga. death sentence

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:22am





WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has thrown out a death sentence handed to a black man in Georgia because prosecutors improperly kept African-Americans off the jury that convicted him of killing a white woman.


The justices ruled 7-1 Monday in favor of death row inmate Timothy Tyrone Foster in underscoring the importance of rules that they laid out in 1986 to prevent racial discrimination in the selection of juries.


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Man set to enter plea in wife's slaying kills himself

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:06am


A Grovetown man set to enter a plea to murder charges in the stabbing of his wife killed himself Monday morning.

Philip S. West, 47, was to enter an Alford plea Monday in Columbia County Superior Court, admitting that a jury would have had sufficient evidence to find him guilty of murder in the June 14 killing of Sherri West, 47.

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Suspect sought in attack at Martinez spa

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 9:19pm

A suspect is sought after two employees of a Martinez spa were attacked Sunday afternoon.

About 4 p.m., deputies responded to King’s Spa in the 300 block of South Belair Road, where a suspect allegedly robbed the business and raped at least one employee, according to Columbia County Capt. Andy Shedd.

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Richmond County May 2016 Sample Ballot

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 8:57pm


This is a countywide sample ballot, not all races will appear on your individual ballot.



David Nahmias *



Anne Elizabeth Barnes *


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Teenager killed during drive-by shooting at graduation party

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 1:10pm

JACKSON, Ga. — Authorities say a teenage was killed and three other teenagers were injured during a drive-by shooting at a graduation party in central Georgia.

Butts County Sheriff's Department Maj. Darrell Powers tells local news media report that 16-year-old Cederrius Hastings was shot to death Saturday morning after multiples shots were fired from at least one vehicle. Powers says there was an exchange of gunfire between people in the car and others in the yard.

The motive of the shooting is unclear.

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Voters face long ballot of candidates on Tuesday

Sun, 05/22/2016 - 12:55am


As he seeks election Tuesday to a second term, Augusta Commission member Bill Fennoy readily plugs the new stormwater utility fee as a virtual panacea for many of District 1’s ills.

At $6.40 a month for most households, the fee approved by Fennoy and other commissioners last year is expected to fund maintenance crews and supervisors assigned to cut, clean and repair rights of way and underlying drainage structures in each of nine drainage basins.

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Candidates for Georgia Senate District 24 tout different backgrounds, similar views

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 10:47pm


The candidates for the Georgia Senate District 24, the Augusta area’s most contested race with five candidates in the Republican primary, say they each bring something unique to the table.

Lee Anderson, Peter Gibbons and Patricia Goodwin all cite previous political experience among their strengths.

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Gator discovered in YMCA pool

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 3:25pm

BEAUFORT, S.C. — Beaufort firefighters removed a 3-foot-long alligator from a YMCA swimming pool.

The Beaufort Gazette reports employees found the gator lounging in the deep end of the YMCA’s outdoor pool May 14 as they prepared to open it for the season.

No one was in the pool at the time.

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Top fund-raisers named

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 2:53pm

The Augusta Office of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Georgia Chapter has announced its man and woman of the year during a grand finale event at the Legends Club.

Stephanie Senn, a homemaker and community volunteer, was named the 2016 Woman of the Year, raising $53,781. Stu Baker, of NewFire Giving and Low Country Clothier, was named the 2016 Man of the Year, raising $49,727.

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54 arrested in SC prostitution bust

Sat, 05/21/2016 - 11:55am

SIMPSONVILLE, S.C.— Simpsonville police say 54 people have been arrested in a prostitution bust dubbed "Operation Good Time."

Police Chief Keith Grounsell said Friday it could the largest ever prostitution bust in the Greenville County city of about 20,000 people.

Grounsell says the sting on Tuesday and Wednesday resulted in the arrest of 26 soliciting men and 28 prostitutes. They collectively face 64 charges, including 11 drug charges and one gun charge. More than $2,000 in cash was seized.

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Stone takes on challenger in Senate District 23 race

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 9:18pm


State Sen. Jesse Stone says how the state funds education will be among the first issues he’d tackle in Atlanta with a successful re-election bid, while primary challenger Stephen Hammond said his focus will be on religious freedom.

The two Republicans seeking the state Senate District 23 seat square off in Tuesday’s elections.

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Augusta man denied bond in toddler's homicide

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 5:22pm

Bond was denied Friday for an Augusta man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter to death.

During the bond hearing in Richmond County Superior Court for Jamie S. Brown, 36, the prosecutor said the toddler who died of blunt force trauma was covered in scars and wounds in various stages of healing, including a cigarette burn on her stomach.

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Shooting near White House

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 3:56pm

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Secret Service officer shot a man with a gun who approached a checkpoint outside the White House on Friday afternoon and refused to drop his weapon, the Secret Service said.

The White House was briefly placed on a security alert after the shooting, which happened within view of sightseers as sidewalks were crowded with families, school groups and government workers.

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Police trying to identify school safe thief

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 1:28pm

Police need the public’s help identifying a thief who stole a safe from an Aiken County school.

According to an Aiken County sheriff’s news release, a man broke into Horse Creek Academy on Toolebeck Road just before midnight May 6 and stole a safe from an interior locked room. Deputies responded to the alarm activation, but the burglar had already left.

Anyone with information can contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 648-6811 or Crimestoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.

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Woman arrested in mall iPad theft

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 12:00pm

A Hephzibah woman has been charged in the theft of an iPad from the Augusta Mall food court.

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office released surveillance footage from April 13 that showed the woman, later identified as 26-year-old Tonya Waites, taking an other person’s iPad from the counter of Chick-fil-A at the mall.

Police said today that Waites has been arrested on a charge of theft of lost or mislaid property. The iPad was recovered.

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Child hung by belt; Ga. teacher charged

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:36am

CONYERS, Ga. — A paraprofessional at a Conyers school accused of hanging a child by his belt from the classroom’s chalkboard has been charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct.

Media outlets report that Antonio Cammon, former paraprofessional at Shoal Creek Elementary School, must report to jail by 6 p.m. Friday.

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SC teacher accused of student sex

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:26am

GREENVILLE, S.C. — An English teacher at a high school in Greenville has been accused of having sex with a student.

Greenville County sheriff’s deputies told local media that 38-year-old Erickson Lamar Bynum of Simpsonville is accused of sex with a student and with the attempted sexual assault of two other students.

The Southside High School teacher is charged with sexual battery with a student and two counts of second-degree assault and battery.

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Suspect sought in Monday shooting

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 8:11am

One suspect has been charged and another is being sought in a Monday shooting on Massoit Court.

Deputies were called to the 2600 block of Massoit Court about 1 p.m. Monday in reference to shots fired and discovered Charles Green with a gunshot wound to the head. Green remains in the hospital.

On Wednesday, police charged Amaad Bush, 19, of Dahlia Drive, with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

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Man found dead identified

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 8:10am


A man whose death has been deemed suspicious was identified Thursday.

Coroner Mark Bowen said Christopher Welch, 31, was found dead in a residence on Greene Street Wednesday morning.

An autopsy was conducted this week at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta, but Bowen said it could be weeks before results are returned.


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Nelson aims for Smith's seat in eastside District 125 state House race

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:38pm


A retired postal worker with deep local connections is seeking to unseat an entrenched Augusta state representative dogged by campaign financial reporting issues.

Sheila Clark Nelson said she’s no stranger to pounding the pavement after 34 years with the U.S. Postal Service, including several as a postmaster and seven marketing postal products to businesses around a 100-mile radius to increase postal revenues.

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