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Richmond County school board addresses handwriting skills

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:27pm


A 19-year-old woman who testified in the Trayvon Martin murder trial last year gained international attention when she was unable to read a letter handed to her in court because it was written in cursive.

Yet full mastery of a once fundamental skill has be­come less common since national standards adopted by most states do not require the instruction.

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Termite season approaching, experts say

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:36pm

Termites are on the move.
“We are gearing up for swarm season,” said Mark Gincerowski, quality manager for Horne’s Pest Control. “It hasn’t really begun yet, but we have had some calls and we do expect it to increase over the next few weeks.”

Swarms can be visible year-round, but pest control professionals said spring conditions are ideal. Gin­cerowski said the insects that resemble winged ants particularly love temperatures in the 80s with a little moisture and a slight breeze.

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Judge offers defendant chance for lesser sentence

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:34pm


In an attempt to extract some justice from a case in which the real drug dealer walked away with probation while a delivery man got prison time, Judge J. David Roper brought the courier back to court Tuesday.

“Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure what I would do today,” Roper said.

It wasn’t that the sentence he imposed on Stefan Ambrose last summer was an abnormality. The abnormality was created when his former co-defendant, Tori Angela, was sentenced by another judge, Roper said.

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Augusta pensioners eye benefit increase

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:29pm

With an eye on the millions of dollars remaining in the city’s oldest pension funds – its 1945 and 1949 plans – a handful of retired city and county employees are reviving a push to increase their monthly benefits.

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Committee for Good Government releases endorsements

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:11pm

Augusta-Richmond County Committee for Good Government endorsed candidates Tuesday in four May 20 Augusta commission elections and the Democratic primary for state senate District 22.

Committee President Richard Isdell said the only endorsement which "really surprised" him was the group's 28-20 vote to endorse attorney Harold Jones over Augusta Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson for the senate seat, for which there are no Republican contenders.

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Health advocates seek stronger ordinance

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:42pm


Advocates for a smokefree workplace in Augusta are taking their case to the pulpit, and the people, before pushing for a stronger smoking ordinance next month, with hopes it will fare better than the last two attempts.

Healthy Augusta steering committee member the Rev. Jeff Flowers is sending out a letter this week to fellow clergy urging them to speak out this Sunday or the following Sunday about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke and the need for stronger protections for workers.

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Augusta man killed in crash on McDade Road

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:34pm

An Augusta man is dead after he cut a corner on his motorcycle and struck a car Tuesday, authorities say.

Ervin A. Gay, 44, died after he crossed into the opposite lane on a curve in the 1800 block of McDade Road and struck the front end of a Ford Mustang headed in the opposite direction, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office release.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen at 6:50 p.m. Blunt force trauma is listed as the cause of death.

Gay was traveling too fast for conditions, the release stated.

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Ga. college tuition rises again

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 4:04pm

Tuition at 27 colleges and universities in Georgia will go up 2.5 percent but will increase 4 percent at Georgia Regents University, after the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to set the rates this afternoon.

The higher rates at Georgia’s four research universities, including GRU, are justified by the higher costs at those institutions, the system said in a news release.

Sheriff to announce safety initiative

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 3:32pm


Sheriff Richard Roundtree will release Thursday morning details of his vision for a safer downtown Augusta downtown.

The public is invited to attend the news conference where Roundtree is expected to introduce a safety initiative that will be deployed first in the downtown business district. Based on its success, future manpower and funding, the initiative could be used in other parts of the county – to include, but not be limited to – the Cabela’s and Shops on Riverwalk projects and the possible GRU mills projects, a news release stated.

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Masters champion Bubba Watson celebrates win at Augusta Waffle House

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 3:29pm


Forget steak and lobster. A late-night Waffle House celebratory meal and Steak n’ Shake milkshake suited 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson.

After winning the green jacket and $1.6 million, Watson feasted on a double grilled cheese with a side of hashbrowns scattered and covered at the Waffle House on Wheeler Road near Doctors Hospital. He also made an 11:55 p.m. trip to Steak n’ Shake off South Belair Road for six milkshakes.

The Waffle House counter was still buzzing Tuesday morning with chatter about the champion’s meal.

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Savannah carriage horse runs wild

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:23pm

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A spooked horse and the carriage it was pulling caused havoc for six blocks Monday afternoon in downtown Savannah, damaging five vehicles along Congress Street and injuring the driver of the carriage.


The driver, Ashley Bignault, was taken to Memorial University Medical Center. The extent of her injuries were unknown Monday afternoon, said police spokesman Julian Miller.


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Dragged by car, SC man dies

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:11am


LANCASTER, S.C. — A Lancaster County man has died after authorities say he was hit by a car and then dragged underneath it.


The Herald of Rock Hill reported that police were called around 10 a.m. Sunday and found a car in a field that appeared to be stuck in a ditch.


Deputy Coroner Tony Broome says 34-year-old Jeremy Peay of Lancaster had been standing on the side of the road when the car backed over him. Broome says Peay was trapped beneath the car and dragged about 15 feet into a field.


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Heavy winds expected across Ga. today

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:07am

ATLANTA — Wind gusts of up to 40 mph are possible across much of north and central Georgia.


The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. today for several Georgia counties.


Forecasters say they expect that very strong and gusty winds will cause moderate to large branches to fall, as well as trees that have been weakened by recent rains. They also warn drivers of high-profile vehicles to be aware of the strong winds expected today.


Crime plagues Ga. Habitat effort

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:02am


WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A Habitat for Humanity official says that gunfire and gang graffiti are hurting the nonprofit’s efforts to build homes for people in a central Georgia city.


Houston County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Tom Prior said the safety concerns are hampering his organization’s ability to recruit partner families in a Warner Robins neighborhood. He said that people just don’t want to live there.


The Telegraph reports that Prior made the comments Monday at a meeting of the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency.

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Centennial of iconic Archi­bald W. Butt Memorial Bridge cues renovation

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:49pm

Downtown Augusta’s Archi­bald W. Butt Me­morial Bridge is not just another historic landmark.

It tickles tummies with its steep arch and captivates motorists with its gilded lions and Tuscan-style columns.

Most importantly, historians say it honors one of the city’s most famed native sons, a former Army major who died after delivering a message to Pope Pius X for President William Howard Taft when the ship he booked for the trip home – the Titanic – hit an iceberg.

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Thurmond Lake should be full pool for summer season

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:45pm


Water levels at Thurmond Lake should keep water skiers, fishermen and property owners smiling for the remainder of spring and into the summer recreational season.

The reservoir, with a normal summer pool of 330 feet above sea level, was at 329.73 feet Monday. Because of ongoing work on the dam’s flood gates, the level is being kept about a half-foot below normal. Maintaining full pool should not be problematic, said Billy Birdwell, spokesman for the Corps of Engineers Savannah District.

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Aiken street closed for accident reconstruction Wednesday

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:22pm


The Aiken Department of Public Safety’s Accident Reconstruction Team will be mapping a traffic collision in the southbound lane of Laurens Street between Hampton and Edgefield avenues from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, according to a police statement.

Eastbound and westbound traffic in the 100 and 200 blocks of Abbeville Avenue will also be affected by the closure.


Woman burned in April 4 fire dies

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:21pm


A woman severely burned in a Crawfordville Drive fire on April 4 died Monday morning, Chief Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose said.

Police were first called to Karla Harter’s home at 3625 Crawfordville Drive after a neighbor found her on fire and helped put out the flames. The 46-year-old was taken to Doctors Hospital’s Joseph M. Still Burn Center with third-degree burns to 85 percent of her body.

Inside the house police discovered the body of Henry Jefferson III, 51, and evidence of fire damage.

Boose said toxicology results are still pending on Jefferson.

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Woman must do rehab program for latest DUI arrest

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:58pm

An Augusta woman repeatedly charged with driving under the influence with her children in the vehicle must complete an in-custody rehab program.

On Monday in Richmond County Superior Court, Judge Sheryl B. Jolly ordered Kenna M. Ware to 90 days in jail in addition to five years’ probation for her latest arrest on a charge of felony DUI, driving after being declared a habitual violator, and three counts of endangering a child by driving under the influence.

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Argument over marijuana leads to fatal stabbing

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:33pm


Police said a 24-year-old was killed Sunday after an argument over money owed for marijuana.

Jackson Police Chief Dennis Rushton said police were called about 7:30 p.m. to a home in the 7500 block of South Silverton Street, where they found Brennan Marshall Tucker, of Duffie Street, with stab wounds. Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said Tucker died as a result of his injuries about 9:30 p.m.

Skyler Keith Wright, 18, of Wrights Mill Road in Aiken, was found Monday morning about three blocks away, hiding in a car.

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