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Josey players still affected by Sheppard's death

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 1:15am


In between No. 3 Darius Williams and No. 30 Domonique Hurst sits an empty locker in the T.W. Josey High School gymnasium.

For more than three years, No. 25 belonged to Recardell “C.J.” Sheppard, before the 17-year-old collapsed and died Oct. 13 during a pickup basketball game at the high school.

His cause of death was determined a natural and cardiac-related issue, according to Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen.

Today marks two months since Sheppard’s death, which remains a daily reminder of how precious life can be for coach Justin Durham’s team.

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Aiken Co. Coroner: 24-year-old Graniteville man shot to death in Bath

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 9:08pm

The Aiken County Coroner’s Office says a Graniteville man was shot and killed Friday on Railroad Street in Bath.

Approximately 5:15 p.m., deputies responded to the 100 block of Railroad Street where two victims were found suffering from gunshot wounds, according to Sgt. Jason Feemster.

Cameron G. Clark, 24, of Graniteville, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:30 p.m., according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton. 

Jacob Humphries, 27,  was also shot during the incident and is receiving treatment at Georgia Regents University Hospital.

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Controversial call comes at WACO's expense

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 9:06pm


ATLANTA — A.J. Gray believed he had an interception.

Calhoun coach Hal Lamb thought otherwise.

One official nearest to the ball saw one thing. Another official saw another.

With Washington County and Calhoun tied early in the fourth quarter of their Class AAA championship matchup, Gray appeared to make an interception along the Yellow Jackets sideline. Instead, the call was overturned. No. 2 Calhoun went on to defeat the top-ranked Golden Hawks, 27-20.

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Foundation awards grants to local non-profits

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 3:51pm


When some pediatric nursing students at the University of South Carolina Aiken return to the classroom in January, they will have a new baby to practice caring for.

The SimBaby, a simulated baby mannequin, will do everything a live baby does, from responding to medication to urinating, and will provide students hands-on experience they would not get otherwise.

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Drug bust nets more than 100 pounds of marijuana; no arrests made

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 2:49pm

A search of a south Augusta home led narcotics investigators to more than 100 pounds of high-grade marijuana Friday, authorities said. No arrests have been made.

About 7 a.m., Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 4300 block of Goshen Lake Drive South in regard to trespassers, Sgt. Shane McDaniel said in an e-mail.

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Vehicle pursuit ends in south Augusta living room

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 2:24pm

Authorities say a man crashed through the living room of a south Augusta home while fleeing deputies Friday.

About 11:30 a.m., Richmond County sheriff’s deputies started chasing a vehicle, which took them through several streets in Pepperidge subdivision off Peach Orchard Road, Sgt. Monica Belser said in an e-mail.

The pursuit ended when the driver, Jermaine Lloyd, lost control of his vehicle and drove into the living room of a home in the 3300 block of Cobblestone Court.

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Georgian to head House budget panel

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 1:53pm

WASHINGTON — The incoming Republican chairman of the House Budget panel says he’s going to follow outgoing chairman Paul Ryan’s lead by drafting a fiscal blueprint that would balance the budget in 10 years and call for transforming Medicare into a system that places future retirees in private health insurance plans.

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Historic Augusta to host candlelight tours at Wilson house Saturday

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:55pm


The Boyhood Home President Woodrow Wilson will host candlelight tours on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Historic Augusta announced this week.

The Civil War-era home at 419 7th St. will be decorated with evergreens, and tours will cover details about what Christmas was like in Augusta during the Civil War years, according to a statement from the organization.

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2 cops shot outside Atlanta

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:23am

DECATUR, Ga. — Authorities say they've captured a second suspect who was sought after two police officers were shot in a gun battle Friday morning near the eastern edge of Atlanta.

DeKalb County police Capt. Stephen Fore says the suspect was arrested late Friday morning. He did not immediately have details on the arrest or any charges.

Both officers were taken to hospitals with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

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Measure has MOX funded through next fall

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:14am

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Construction of a plant that would convert weapons-grade nuclear material into reactor fuel will get $345 million to fund operations through October despite the Obama administration’s attempts to put the project on hold.

The money is in a $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. House on Thursday and expected to receive Senate approval, perhaps as early as Friday.

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Blue Cross state health plan favorite

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 9:31am

ATLANTA -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia will remain the dominant insurer for the state’s high-profile employee health plan.

More than 80 percent of State Health Benefit Plan members selected insurance plans from Blue Cross during its recent open enrollment, a state agency said Thursday.

Blue Cross was the sole insurer offering plans for the 2014 coverage year. Through public criticism, rallies and a Facebook campaign, many state employees and teachers in the SHBP sought more choices of health insurers for their 2015 coverage.

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Georgia still 38th in health ranking

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 9:25am


ATLANTA -- Georgia retained its ranking of 38th in a newly released 2014 state-by-state health report card.

Southern states generally ranked at the bottom in the annual report by America’s Health Rankings.

The report says Georgia has strengths that include a low prevalence of binge drinking; a low rate of drug deaths; and a low occupational fatality rate.

Since 1990, Georgia’s infant mortality has decreased by 48 percent from 12.6 to 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, the report said. And in the past year, premature deaths in Georgia decreased by 8 percent.

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SC prisons fight drone drops

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 7:32am

COLUMBIA— State officials are installing new equipment at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville after someone used a drone to try to smuggle contraband into the maximum security prison.

The State newspaper reported two new surveillance towers and thermal imaging cameras are being added to help prevent the smuggling of cellphones, drugs and other contraband.

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Ga. Tech sex attack suspect arrested

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 7:28am

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech police have arrested a west Georgia man accused in the sexual battery of two women on the Atlanta campus.

Georgia Institute of Technology spokesman Matt Nagel said 43-year-old John Perry Smith of Bremen, Georgia, was being held in the Fulton County Jail.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Smith was being held on two misdemeanor charges of sexual battery. Jail records do not indicate whether he has an attorney.

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Ga. football banquet sickens students

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 7:26am

ROSWELL, Ga. — School and health officials are trying to find out what sickened dozens of people after a sports banquet for a metro Atlanta high school.

WSB-TV reports more than 100 people experienced symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after the banquet Monday night in Roswell. They included several football players, their relative and coaches from Centennial High School.

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South Georgia private probation service violated rules

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 5:00am

BRUNSWICK, Ga. --- A private probation office falsely told McIntosh County and Darien probationers they were to be arrested for nonpayment of fees, let probationers buy out of community service, collected more in fines than judges imposed and collected dismissal fees on active warrants, a state review shows.

After conducting its compliance review of South Georgia Probation, the Administrative Office of the Courts informed its director, Shea Smith, of its findings of violations and gave her 20 days to respond.

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Richmond County Board of Education named board of distinction

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:23pm


The Richmond County Board of Education was named a Board of Distinction by the Georgia School Boards Association Dec. 5, joining other boards that “showcase the best practices in school governance and leadership.”

In order to be recognized as a Board of Distinction – the highest level of recognition offered by the GBSA – the board adopted a strategic plan for improving the school system, met or exceeded state training goals, and used superintendent evaluations and other requirements.

Many Georgia counties lack animal control services

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 10:56pm

When a home in north Burke County went into foreclosure last month, the owner packed up, moved out and left five dogs chained on the front lawn.

Days passed, and when a neighbor arrived to get chickens the homeowner said he could take, he noticed the dogs abandoned, without food or clean water, and reported it to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 29, Sgt. Dan Lowe said.

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Utah punter wins Ray Guy Award

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 9:43pm

Tom Hackett has only been in the United States a few years, so he didn’t know exactly what to make of winning the Ray Guy Award on Thursday night.

The Utah punter, who hails from Australia, won the award given to the nation’s top collegiate punter during the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. Hackett will be recognized by the Augusta Sports Council, the owner of the Ray Guy Award, at The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Football Banquet, Jan. 28.

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Jury to get home invasion case Friday

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 8:42pm


DNA evidence that can link a suspect to a crime and free the innocent was far from certain Thursday in the trial of an Augusta teen accused of taking part in a home invasion and sexual assault of a pregnant woman.

The final evidence presented in the case against 19-year-old Sam Samuel was his admission that he committed armed robbery, burglary, false imprisonment and a weapon’s crime. But Samuel maintains he didn’t commit the rape and aggravated sodomy.

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