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Brush fires reported on Hwy. 520

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 5:55pm

Crews are battling three separate brush fires on Interstate 520 in North Augusta.

Approximately 3:30 p.m., deputies were called to the exit ramp of Hwy. 1 on 520, where grass had caught fire near the roadway, according to Lt. Tim Thornton.

Two other brush fires were reported near the same area of I-520.

“All the fires are contained and the highway remains open,” Thornton said.

A cause has not been officially determined, but Thornton does not believe the fires were set intentionally.

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Camille Gee scores 28, but Georgia Regents women lose again

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 5:20pm


It was a moral victory Thursday for the Georgia Regents women.

But the Jaguars are tired of coming up short.

Despite playing with a renewed sense of effort, Georgia Regents struggled with turnovers and fell to Georgia Southwestern, 62-58, at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

After a lackluster 18-point loss to Coker on Monday, guard Camille Gee said her team gave a better effort in its Peach Belt Conference opener. Now, she said, the Jaguars (1-7, 0-1) have to play more consistently.

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Empty Stocking Fund donations

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 5:10pm

Previously acknowledged: $83,390.94


Elizabeth Griffin $50

In honor of Pruitt Health Hospice Volunteers $35

Beckie and Jack $35

In loving memory of our daughter Tiffany Lea Temples $50

In memory of Yaya and Papou $100

In loving memory of my Beloved Wife Anna!!! $100

From Brandy, Louis, and Ludwig Merry Christmas $150

Eulala Weddle $25

In memory of my husband William B. Adams, Jr. $25

In memory of Bea, Donald and Pat $200

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University will appeal Columbia County denial

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:22pm

University Hospital will appeal the state’s decision to deny it a license to build a hospital in Columbia County in favor of Georgia Regents Medical Center.

University’s board voted Thursday to proceed with the appeal, which will probably be filed next week, said Ed Burr, senior vice president for legal affairs. The appeal will follow a complicated and lengthy process that means it likely won’t be heard until May at the earliest, he said.

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Jaguars rally late, win in front of largest crowd

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:53pm


They chanted. They stomped. And as Georgia Regents pulled away late, the 2,000 Richmond County fifth-graders in attendance started doing The Wave.

Yes, The Wave.

On Education Day, students rocked and rolled throughout the game as the 23rd-ranked Jaguars went on a big run late for a 68-58 conference-opening win over Georgia Southwestern.

Georgia Regents improved to 8-1, 1-0 Peach Belt in front of its largest crowd of the season (2,705 fans) Thursday at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

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Grants available for science, math, technology teachers

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 1:46pm

Elementary and middle school educators can apply for small grants to use for science, math and technology curriculum.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the primary operations contractor for Savannah River Site, will give $500, $750 and $1,000 grants for innovative teaching methods, according to a news release. A total of $75,000 will be awarded.

Georgia educators in Columbia and Richmond counties can apply. South Carolina educators in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Edgefield counties are also eligible.

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College football awards show, which includes Ray Guy Award, moving to Atlanta

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 1:28pm


The Home Depot College Football Awards will move to the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta in 2015 as part of a new multi-year agreement between ESPN and the Hall of Fame, it was announced Thursday.

The Ray Guy Award, which is presented annually by the Augusta Sports Council to the nation’s top collegiate punter, has been part of the program since 2000 and will now be presented in Atlanta.

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Woman charged for driving drunk with kids in car

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 1:16pm

A Hephzibah woman has been charged after driving under the influence with three children in the car.

Police went to Walden Avenue around 11:35 p.m. Wednesday after a man reported his girlfriend was driving drunk and causing problems. Police arrived at the scene to find Pamela Alicia Lowery, 29, sitting in the driver seat of a 1997 Chevrolet Suburban located near the Highland Avenue intersection and her boyfriend standing in a parking lot nearby.

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Mayor-elect site goes live, announces inaugural events

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 11:08am

Mayor-elect Hardie Davis’ website is now live and announcing plans for a citywide celebration to culminate in his inauguration Jan. 5.

The site,, provides information about the events, which begin with a “Hands Across Augusta” day of community service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3. Locations are to be announced.

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One dead in Aiken County crash

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 9:36am

A New Ellenton woman is dead after an Aiken County wreck Wednesday evening.

Elfriede E. Alonzo, 74, was pronounced dead at Georgia Regents Medical Center emergency room around 9:18 p.m., Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said today.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said Alonzo, driving a 2014 Hyundai, pulled off of Crosby Road onto Whiskey Road around 8:10 p.m. into the path of an oncoming 2007 Hummer driven by Clem Brown Jr., 57, of North Augusta. The Hummer struck the Hyundai on the driver side.

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Libazs saves Paine with block in overtime

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 10:07pm

With the clock winding down in overtime, Livingstone called up what seemed to be a perfect play.

Ty Newman dished the ball down low to Eric Mayo, who put on a clinic all night. But when Mayo went up for the game-winning layup, Paine’s Arnis Libazs was waiting.

With his only block Wednes­day night, Libazs helped preserve a 69-68 comeback win by the Lions at the HEAL Complex.

“I just saw he was going up,” said Libazs, Paine’s junior center from Latvia, said. “I was just waiting, trying not to foul him and go for the block.”

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Echols announces exit from District 7 special election

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 7:52pm

Kenny Echols, a retired health care administrator and former Richmond County school board member, said he’s out of the running to complete resigned District 7 commissioner Donnie Smith’s term.

Echols, who lost the 2012 District 7 commission election to Smith, said he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife after she retires next year at their second home in St. Simons Island.

“I was overwhelmed by the responses I’d been receiving to run,” Echols said. But, “family is a lot more important.”

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Obama announces effort to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 6:36pm

Some Augustans with ties to Cuba reacted with elation Wednesday over President Obama’s move to re-establish diplomatic ties between the United States and the island nation.

Twenty-six-year-old Chris Blanco, an Augusta native, used one word when describing Obama’s decision.


For Blanco, the thought of an affable relationship between the two countries “is something I dreamed would happen in my lifetime.”

Blanco’s father, Max, was born in Cuba in 1957 before fleeing the country in 1961.

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Deadly drag race between car, motorcycle leads to prison term

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 5:03pm


Rodney Kelly and Kyterian Jones wanted to see which was faster, Kelly’s souped up Chevrolet Monte Carlo or Jones’ motorcycle. The race ended tragically with two dead, one injured and Kelly in a prison cell.

On Wednesday, Kelly, 26, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to vehicular homicide and serious injury by a vehicle for the July 28, 2013, death of 23-year-old Marcus Kelly and the broken leg sustained by 17-year-old Jerome Gilmore.

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Augusta man acquitted in shooting case

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 4:46pm


An Augusta man accused of aggravated assault and weapon charges was acquitted Tuesday.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury found Kenneth L. Anderson, 23, not guilty at the conclusion of a trial that stretched over two weeks.

Anderson was charged with aggravated assault in the Nov. 17, 2013, shooting of Xavier Alvin on 15th Street. Alvin was left paralyzed from the waist down.

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McDuffie school system closes after influenza outbreak

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 3:38pm

One day after closing an elementary school due to excessive absences caused by an outbreak of influenza, strep infection and stomach viruses, the McDuffie County School System has decided to close all seven of its schools, according to its superintendent.

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Two men in custody after investigation

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:39am

Two men were arrested Tuesday following a narcotics investigation in the parking lot of Taco Bell on Washington Road.

Joshua Brooks Woodward, 22, was charged with possession of methamphetamines with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to Richmond County Sgt. Michael McDaniel.

Robert Harrison Wagner, 32, was charged with magistrate court bench warrant.

A bond amount has not been set for Woodward, while Wagner’s bond is $175.


Columbia County commission passes vote to stormwater utilty fees by 2017

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 1:14am


Columbia County commissioners voted Tuesday to implement a series of increases to the county’s stormwater utility fee, more than doubling the current fee by 2017.

The measure passed 3-2, with Chairman Ron Cross and newly seated District 3 Com­mis­sioner Mack Taylor voting against the fee increase.

The other commissioners voted in favor of the increases with reluctance, they said, seeing no alternative to stanching losses in the stormwater utility budget, which dipped into $4 million in reserves this past year to address infrastructure repairs.

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Hannah, Cain, others sworn in to RCBOE positions

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 10:19pm


Augusta resident Charlie Hannah and incumbent Board Chairwoman Venus Cain were among those sworn in as Richmond County Board of Education members Tuesday, adding a new face to the board’s makeup.

Cain and Hannah, alongside incumbents Frank Dolan, Jack Padgett and Alex Howard, recited the oath with Probate Judge Harry James, with each promising to “faithfully discharge” their duties as school board members. Cain and Hannah faced opposition for their seats, while the others were unopposed.

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City approves $2.8 million for Hyde Park relocations

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 9:39pm

Decades after their neighborhood was marked with warning signs, residents of Augusta’s Hyde Park were promised Tuesday that they would finally be relocated to new homes.

Augusta Commission members voted 10-0 to use $2.8 million in sales taxes, which had been dedicated to engineering projects that are now covered by Transportation Investment Act funds, specifically for the relocation effort.

About 70 homeowners and renters remain in the south Augusta neighborhood, which will be leveled for a city detention pond.

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