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The Latest: More than 500 flights canceled in Chicago

Sat, 11/21/2015 - 3:22pm



The latest developments in a storm bringing snow to parts of the Midwest (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Flight cancellations at Chicago’s two airports are growing as the slow-moving storm system dumps snow in northern Illinois.

Flight-tracking website showed more than 350 flights in and out of O’Hare International Airport had been canceled as of Saturday afternoon. The airport had received 7 inches by midday Saturday.

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Army soldier from South Carolina dies in 'non-combat' incident in Iraq

Sat, 11/21/2015 - 2:10pm

FORT DRUM, N.Y. — The U.S. Army says a soldier from South Carolina has died during a non-combat incident at a military facility in Iraq.

A spokeswoman for the Army says 19-year-old Pvt. Christopher Castaneda died Thursday at the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Young said in a statement Friday that Castaneda died in a “non-combat related incident,” but provided no further details. The Army did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

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Police seize guns, drugs from Georgia home where daycare was operated

Sat, 11/21/2015 - 2:04pm



SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Gwinnett County police say they seized guns and drugs from a home where a daycare was operated.

Police say officers got a tip that a resident of the Snellville home was selling drugs. They pulled over Jimmy Simpkins, who had just left the home around 11:30 p.m. Thursday and arrested him after they found cocaine in the car.

Officers got a search warrant and seized several guns, cash, counterfeit currency, drugs and packaging material. They arrested Eric Zavare Ray and Joseph Simpkins.

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North Augusta loses on late field goal

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 11:58pm

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — North Augusta went down swinging.

The Yellow Jackets very nearly pulled off a playoff upset on the road, but Blythewood kicker Cody Turner made a 20-yard field goal on the final play of the game to give the Bengals a 29-27 victory Friday night.

Blythewood (9-3) had taken a two-score lead in the fourth quarter and appeared to be in complete control as the North Augusta (7-5) offense continued to sputter.

Enter Rashad Byrd.

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Thomas has big night as Thomson rolls past Grady

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 11:15pm


THOMSON — With the star attraction on the other end of the field, Thomson coach Rob Ridings made sure to get his players’ attention.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton traveled Friday to the Brickyard to watch his younger brother, Grady’s Caylin Newton play. And after the contest, the Bulldogs watched the older Newton stride across the field as Ridings tried to hold his post-game discussion.

“Eyes up here on me,” Ridings demanded, wanting his players to focus. After all, there’s more football to be played this year.

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Red Devils falter in first round again

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 10:37pm


LINCOLNTON, Ga. – Ryan O’Neill couldn’t get off Buddy Bufford Field. Every few yards, a teammate, friends, family or fan came up and hugged him as he tried to hold back tears.

“It’s not your fault,” was the same refrain O’Neill heard over and over.

The senior kicker for Lincoln County has been one of the best in the state for four seasons. His big leg has drawn recruiters from Kennesaw State and West Georgia, among others.

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Sibley Mill featured on Destination America show 'Ghost Asylum'

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 7:30pm

Augusta’s Sibley Mill will be featured in the Destination America television show Ghost Asylum, offering viewers a look at the building’s 133-year-old history.

The episode, which will premiere Sunday at 10 p.m., will feature the story of former Sibley worker Maude Williams. Williams was allegedly murdered by a jilted lover in the mill’s weaving room, and according to legend his spirit still inhabits the building.

Hotel attack in Mali capital leaves at least 27 dead

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 9:28am

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Islamic extremists armed with guns and grenades stormed the Radisson hotel in Mali’s capital Friday, and security forces swarmed in to free guests floor by floor. As evening fell, officials said no more hostages were being held and that at least 27 people had been killed.

U.S. and French special operations forces assisted Malian troops in the swift response to the attack by an unknown number of gunmen. Shooting continued into the late afternoon, and a U.N. official said two attackers had been killed.

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Update: Ingleside, Berckmans reopen

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 9:19am



Traffic is moving again after a downed utility pole blocked at Berckmans Road and Ingleside Drive this morning, police said.

A crane struck a utility pole and its lines and the road was blocked, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.


Augusta commissioners agree to increase travel budget but divide money evenly

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 9:14pm

Augusta Commission members approved additional funding for their travel next year and will provide the mayor funds to do likewise.

The board took an informal vote at a Thursday budget workshop to increase its travel budget from $26,000 to $40,000. Each of the 10 members will now get an even split – $4,000 apiece – and the mayor $10,000 for travel during 2016.

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2 arrested in March double homicide in Warrenton

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 4:12pm

Authorities have arrested two people connected to a March double homicide in Warrenton, Ga.

Donovan Raishad Fitts, 22, and Jermanique Vashon Franklin, 24, both of Thomson, were arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of murder, according to a statement from Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Pat Morgan.

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Ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle gets more than 15 years in prison

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 4:03pm


INDIANAPOLIS — Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison on Thursday for trading in child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes, with the judge describing his “perversion and lawlessness” as “extreme.”

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt disregarded prosecutors’ recommendation that Fogle get 12½ years behind bars, opting for a stiffer term of 15 years and eight months in prison. She could have sentenced him to up to 50 years.

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House vote blocks refugees

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:03pm



WASHINGTON — The House has rebuked President Barack Obama by ignoring his veto threat and approving a Republican bill erecting fresh barriers for Syrian and Iraqi refugees trying to enter the United States.


Thursday’s passage came on a 289-137 vote — exceeding the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto.


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Augusta couple plead guilty to arson and insurance fraud

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 1:51pm

A plot to collect on home insurance didn’t work out for an Augusta couple.

On Thursday in Richmond County Superior Court, Tashima K. Gantt, 42, and Mark Lewis, 49, pleaded guilty to first-degree arson and insurance fraud.

Gantt, who had no felony record, was sentenced to five years probation under the First Offender Act. Lewis, who has a long history of property crimes, was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years probation.

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Aiken fugitive back in custody

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 10:37am

A man sought by Aiken authorities after he removed his electronic monitoring device has been captured.

William Todd Sanders was apprehended Wednesday night and is currently at the Aiken County Detention Center, according to police.

Aiken County authorities had sought the 50-year-old man who removed his electronic monitoring device on Monday.

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Paris attack leader killed, prosecutor says

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 7:37am

PARIS — The Paris prosecutor says that the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a police raid.

In a statement today, the prosecutor’s office said that Abaaoud’s body was found in an apartment building targeted in the raid in Saint-Denis north of Paris on Wednesday. It said he was identified based on skin samples.

USC Aiken, coach Mark Vanderslice break through with win over Paine College

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 10:52pm

AIKEN — If nothing else, first-year USC Aiken coach Mark Vanderslice was able to sleep a little better this morning.

Keith Belfield and Jevon Patton combined for 56 points as the Pacers rolled to their first win of the season, a 97-84 defeat of Paine on Wednesday night at the convocation center.

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USC Aiken's Brandt notches 500th overall win

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 10:29pm


AIKEN — The celebration was subdued Wednesday night as USC Aiken picked up its first home win of the season.

You wouldn’t have been able to tell from the reaction, but Pacers coach Mike Brandt notched career win No. 500 as USC Aiken rallied for a 62-56 victory at the convocation center.

“That’s a lot of wins when you look at it,” Brandt said. “In the coaching rounds, you’ve got to have a very supportive family, and my family has been very supportive.

“And it’s the players. I haven’t scored a point.”

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Forecasters suspect tornado struck metro Atlanta area; warning in effect until 3 a.m.

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 9:16pm

ATLANTA -- The National Weather Service says a tornado has likely touched down in the metro Atlanta area.

Meteorologist Ryan Willis says National Weather Service officials are "quite certain" that a tornado hit northern Coweta County and the communities of Fairburn and Palmetto Wednesday evening.

Willis says a survey team will be sent to the area Thursday to evaluate the damage and to measure the storm's strength. Georgia Power's online outage map says more than 8,000 customers are without service.

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Higher stormwater fee applies to homes across Augusta

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 9:13pm

A few feet of paved driveway or the extra-wide roof of a ranch home may soon cause heartburn for thousands of Augusta property owners.

The city’s stormwater fee database, now online at, shows through a few clicks how those few extra feet can double the monthly fee going into effect in January.

Sherry Haire was shocked to learn how she and a neighbor were among a handful of property owners in the large Waltons Landing subdivision who will pay double the standard rate of $6.40.

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