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Plant Vogtle reactor project workforce tops 6,000 workers, will grow

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:04am

One of America’s largest construction projects – the addition of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle – is expected to get even larger this year.

Plant Vogtle co-owner Georgia Power said in a project update this week that total employment at the unit 3 and 4 construction site near Waynesboro has surpassed 6,000 workers.

A Georgia Power spokesman said Tuesday the workforce will get even larger as contractors push ahead to complete the reactors by June 2019 and June 2020.

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Anderson wins GOP runoff for state Senate District 24

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 10:25pm

 

Former state representative and local farmer Lee Anderson won the GOP nomination for the state Senate District 24 seat over Army veteran Greg Grzybowski in a runoff Tuesday.

Unofficial results showed Anderson took the district – which has eight counties including Columbia, Lincoln and Richmond – with 56 percent of the vote.

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Augusta storm fee collections, work on rise

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 9:10pm

Augusta’s collection rate for the new stormwater utility fee continued to rise in the second quarter, with the city collecting almost 85 percent or $3 million of the $3.5 million it billed, City Engineering Director Abie Ladson said.

“Collections are steadily going up,” Ladson said, after monthly collections lagged at less than $2 million in the first quarter.

Mayor Hardie Davis said the rate of collections was encouraging.

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Kellie Kenner McIntyre wins Richmond County State Court judgeship

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 8:54pm

Kellie Kenner McIntyre won the runoff for a Richmond County State Court judgeship Tuesday, handily defeating opponent Robert “Bo” Hunter.

With 70 of 70 precincts reporting, the current Richmond County State Court solicitor received 8,596 votes compared to 6,554 for Hunter, an attorney and former solicitor.

McIntyre attributed her success to faith in God when commenting about the election result. Hunter could not be reached for comment.

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Assessors concede to commission demands in appraiser's contract

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 7:23pm

The Richmond County Board of Tax Assessors agreed to modify Chief Appraiser Alveno Ross’ new contract Tuesday to eliminate a raise and require the office to move forward with converting ineligible tax-exempt properties to taxable status.

Assessors Chairman Charles F. Smith said the board voted 7-0 to approve the changes and had Ross’ support for them. It’s important Ross remains on the job during the ongoing digest review process and the board can’t determine what went wrong with the exempt properties project without him, Smith said.

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Savannah River board votes to officially oppose accepting German spent nuclear fuel

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 5:23pm

NEW ELLENTON — The Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board is not in favor of accepting spent nuclear fuel from Germany.

In two separate votes Tuesday, the group voted down a draft recommendation to accept the spent fuel and endorsed a draft position statement that opposes receiving the spent fuel for treatment and storage in the U.S.

The spent fuel, which comes from two German reactors that have ceased operations, originated in the U.S.

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Community Emergency Response Team training class being held this week

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 3:13pm

A condensed three-day class on learning life-saving skills is being held this week.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training teaches basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations, according to FEMA.gov. Those who take the class are schooled on what to do following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available.

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Stormwater fee to pay for maintenance work

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 8:04pm

 

Augusta is about to hire a dozen area companies to maintain drainage systems, cut ponds and clear rights of way, to be paid with the new stormwater utility fee.

The fee, implemented in January, is expected to raise $14 million annually but has been unpopular with owners of large expanses of concrete such as shopping centers, churches and the school system.

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Commission votes to withhold appraiser's raise

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 7:04pm

 

The Augusta Commission removed a proposed raise for Chief Appraiser Alveno Ross and wants him to demonstrate progress on exempt property and personnel issues to stay under contract.

After nearly three hours behind closed doors Monday, the commission voted 9-1 to recommend shortening the proposed contract from three years to two and require a 90-day status update from Ross on the issues, which include millions in taxable property left untaxed and a double-pay issue involving his executive assistant.

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Bringing wrong items to airport can lead to serious problems

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 5:01pm

Leave your pocketknives, scissors and jumbo toothpaste at home if you want to save yourself and other passengers a headache at the airport.

And especially don’t forget that firearms could land you in serious hot water.

Transportation Security Administration employees Monday morning at Augusta Regional Airport showed what passengers are attempting to bring onto planes and what they don’t want to see.

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River Watch construction completion moved back

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 4:57pm

 

The River Watch Parkway project’s completion date has been pushed back.

The project, which extends from River Shoals Parkway to 15th Street, was originally scheduled to be finished by July 31, but the completion date has been moved to the end of Sep­tember, Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Kyle Collins said Monday.

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Wreck, construction slowing traffic on I-20

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 4:34pm

A wreck, as well as construction work, has slowed traffic Monday afternoon on Interstate 20 east in Columbia County.

According to Columbia County dispatch, the accident occurred near mile-marker 185 at 3:45 p.m.. The wreck involved a tractor trailer and seven other vehicles, according to Capt. Butch Askew of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. There are no reported serious injuries.

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Still no ID on body found Friday

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 1:50pm

The Richmond County Coroner’s Office was able to determine a decomposed body discovered in a home on Friday was a black male, but a positive identification will require dental records.

“We got pretty close, but we couldn’t say for sure,” Chief Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose said of the man’s identification.

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High school football teams begin conditioning

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 1:39pm

Junior linebacker D.J. Lewis awoke at 6:30 a.m. in anticipation for football practice.

On Monday, Georgia public schools began the first official day of conditioning. According to Georgia High School Association policy, football teams are allowed to practice this week in helmets to get acclimated to the heat. Next week, teams are allowed to practice in full pads. The first week of the season is Friday, Aug. 19.

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Clemson picked to win ACC again

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:20pm

 

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Clemson and quarterback Deshaun Watson are the preseason picks for Atlantic Coast Conference favorite and player of the year.

The reigning champion Tigers were picked on 144 of 191 votes released Monday from media members attending last week’s league media days. Atlantic Division rival Florida State was second with 39 votes, while Coastal Division favorite North Carolina was picked on seven.

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Ga. man, stolen gun in Pa. theater

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 10:47am

MONACA, Pa. — A Georgia man is jailed on charges he brought a stolen gun and ammunition into a western Pennsylvania movie theater.

Twenty-one-year-old William Gossett, of Covington, was arraigned Sunday on charges of receiving stolen property and carrying an unlicensed firearm stemming from his arrest Saturday evening at the Cinemark Theater in Center Township. That’s in Beaver County, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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2 dead, 17 injured in Fla. nightclub shooting

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 7:15am

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Gunfire erupted at a nightclub hosting a swimsuit-themed party for teens in Florida, leaving two teens dead and at least 17 other people wounded, officials said Monday.

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Chief appraiser's contract, tax-exempt properties raise questions

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 1:40am

Five church-affiliated properties worth more than $13 million but paying no property taxes are at the center of an ongoing Augusta Commission shake-up of the Richmond County Board of Assessors.

Commissioners met for an hour Tuesday behind closed doors on issues with the board but took no action. Late Friday, Mayor Hardie Davis called for a 9 a.m. commission meeting Monday to discuss “personnel.”

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Augusta homicides up, but no cases recently

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 11:05pm

Although Augusta homicides are up compared with this time last year, police say they believe a two-month absence of any is proof that some of their crime initiatives are paying off.

Augusta has had 14 homicides in 2016. Last year at this time, it had 10.

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Martinez man, 77, drowns in Aiken fishing pond

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 10:45pm

An early afternoon fishing accident has killed a Martinez  man.

Howard Seymore, 77, was pronounced dead, according to Aiken Coroner Tim Carlton.

The coroner said it appeared that Seymore and a friend were fishing on the bank of the pond near 660 Ridge Road when Seymore's fishing line became entangled on debris in the water.

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