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Officials begin overhaul of Richmond County's teacher hiring process, support staff supervision

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 8:47pm


Richmond County school officials are changing the way teachers are hired and support staffs are supervised, moves they say are necessary to attract “qualified” teachers and build stronger bonds between schools and their staff.

The hiring of teachers has been standardized across Richmond County’s 61 schools, adding requirements that potential hires undergo an examination by a school “interview panel” and teach a preliminary “mini lesson” prior to receiving a job offer.

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Fired Georgia Regents Medical Center nurse files whistle-blower lawsuit

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 7:43pm


A nurse who worked at Georgia Regents Medical Center for 37 years, rising in the ranks to become a nurse manager for the oncology unit, has sued the hospital, its chief medical officer, and its chief nursing officer.

Kim Cheely filed the Richmond County State Court whistle-blower lawsuit March 9, alleging she was fired in retaliation for her insistence that the oncology unit and bone marrow transplant unit needed more nurses, which would reduce patients’ infections and injuries.

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Tobacco Road package store liquor license application returns for third time for commission approval

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 7:38pm

Round 3 of a Tobacco Road standoff between a package store owner and her prospective Hephzibah neighbors goes before the Augusta Commission Wednesday.

Ok Kartye’s application to sell beer, wine and liquor at 2811 Tobacco Road for off-premises consumption has twice drawn a crowd this month from area neighborhood associations, and twice commissioners have failed to approve or deny it.

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Nicklaus receives Congressional Gold Medal

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 5:05pm


WASHINGTON — The Golden Bear got a gold medal.

Congress on Tuesday awarded its highest civilian honor to golfing great Jack Nicklaus, who accepted the medal with a few tears, humility and humor.

In a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, the House and Senate leadership bestowed the award on Nicklaus, winner of 18 major championships, including six Masters Tournament titles, five PGA championships and four U.S. Opens.

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City leaders vote to raze historic Wilson-Hoyle House to make way for new library

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 4:52pm


A historic home in downtown Harlem will be demolished to make way for a new library.

City officials decided at Monday’s monthly meeting to raze the Wilson-Hoyle House at 145 N. Louisville St.

Plans are to use the property to construct a new, larger city library.

“This is not an either/or situation with the library and the house,” said Janet Luckey Short, president of the Harlem Arts Council, who have been fundraising and campaigning to save the house. “I believe in compromise. ... There is room to keep the house.”

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Goodwill adding Aiken donation center

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 4:45pm

Goodwill Industries will open a new donation center in downtown Aiken Thursday.

A Goodwill donation truck and attendant will be in the parking lot of Aiken’s First Baptist Church, 120 Chesterfield St., NE, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, according to a press release from Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.

This is Goodwill’s 11th donation site across the area, including two in Aiken County.

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Columbia County Sheriff's Office says deputy hurt in motorcycle crash was "exercising due regard"

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 2:21pm

Columbia County sheriff’s officials said Tuesday that a deputy who was injured in a crash on Furys Ferry Road Saturday was “exercising due regard” when his vehicle collided with another during a charity motorcycle ride.

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Georgia Power's replacement of 280 manhole covers to affect downtown traffic

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 2:15pm


Contractors began Tuesday to replace hundreds of Augusta manhole covers, a project that will take about a year and a half.

Georgia Power will update 280 manhole covers in the downtown area with a new Swiveloc secondary cover.

Ron Lamkin, a Richmond County senior traffic engineer, said regular manhole covers can be lifted by anyone, but the new ones are locked and won’t pop up and slide around from vehicle traffic.

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Autism bill looks stalled in Ga. House

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 2:05pm

/ATLANTA -- The fight over autism treatment coverage continued in a House committee hearing Monday, pitting organizations concerned about costs against those advocating for the most effective services for children.

Senate Bill 1 would require many health insurance plans to cover applied behavior analysis, a treatment designed to help young children with autism reach their full potential in learning ability.

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Michaux: Masters on verge of topping century mark

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:55pm

The Masters Tournament is approaching a milestone its stewards have carefully tried to keep at bay for a half century.

When the deadline for inviting top-50 players hits at the conclusion of this week’s events, the tournament field will be on the brink – if not there – of triple figures for only the fourth time in its history and the first time in 49 years.

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Harlem firefighter Chuck Meadows 'more than likely' to accept offer to fill vacant police chief position

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:46pm



Harlem leaders offered the city’s police chief position to one of their own at Monday’s meeting.


After reviewing more than 40 applicants, they offered the vacant police chief position to Chuck Meadows, who said after the meeting that he will “more than likely” accept the offer.


Meadows will become the city’s sixth police chief in as many years. He’ll replace former Chief Gary Jones, who led the department for 18 months before he left on Nov. 1 for the chief position at the Grovetown Department of Public Safety.


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Truck driver sought after fatality

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:41pm

South Carolina police are seeking a tanker truck driver who left the scene after striking a man left lying on Interstate 20 after an earlier wreck Friday night.

Police said Carl Furillo Polite Jr., 40, of North Augusta, was traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 20 near mile marker 5 around midnight and struck the rear of another vehicle. The impact caused Polite’s car to overturn several times and he was thrown onto the interstate.

Police said Polite was struck by a eastbound tanker trailer truck while lying in the road. The truck left the scene.

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Chase through 3 counties ends in arrest

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:32pm


A Harlem man was arrested Tuesday in South Carolina after leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties.


Columbia County sheriff’s deputies tried to stop Patrick Benjamin Buxton, 24, in a primer gray Oldsmobile on Gordon Highway near Harlem about 9:30 a.m. because he has an outstanding narcotics warrant, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris. Buxton, of Haverhill Drive, refused to stop and led authorities to Interstate 20, where he sped east toward Richmond County.


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Blast injures 2 SC firefighters

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 7:56am

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Two firefighters have been injured after a wall collapsed on them at the scene of a Rock Hill house fire.

Officials tell local media outlets that the firefighters were working to put out the fire Monday afternoon when the wall fell on them. Neighbors reported hearing an explosion, and authorities are still working to figure out exactly what happened.

One person who was home when the fire began wasn’t hurt. He told the Herald of Rock Hill that he runs a petroleum maintenance business in the garage and heard a cracking noise there.

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Feds meet today at Vogtle on nuke issues

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 7:49am

Federal regulators are meeting today to talk about inspection and testing at separate nuclear construction projects in South Carolina and Georgia.


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a public meeting at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro. Regulators say they’ll be discussing two units under construction at that facility.


They’re also talking about two other units being built at V.C. Summer Nuclear Stations in Jenkinsville, S.C.


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10 Richmond County K-9s earn national certification

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:16am


The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit earned national certification earlier this month, achieving high marks in the process, officials said.

According to a statement from Lt. Lewis Blanchard, the unit sent 10 of its canines to participate in the United States Police Canine Association’s annual certification program held March 12 through 14 in Aiken. The event featured 82 dogs representing 18 agencies from three different states.

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School boards fear Deal legislation will lead to state takeover

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:24pm


Board of Education members from Richmond and Columbia counties strongly oppose Governor Nathan Deal’s proposed school opportunity district legislation, saying his plan will ultimately subvert local school board autonomy.

Both school systems have sent letters voicing their opposition to local legislators.

Richmond County Board Chair Helen Minchew said the plan would ultimately lead to “state control of local school board priorities” after placing a heavy load on Georgia school systems already rocked by recent education reforms.

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13 arrested Saturday at Aiken Steeplechase event

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:50pm

Thirteen people were arrested at Aiken Spring Steeplechase on Saturday, according to Aiken County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah.

In separate incidents, Abdullah said, one fight led to five women being arrested and a second altercation ended with eight men in custody.

According to an Aiken County Sheriff’s Office incident report, all five women involved in the fight were under the influence of alcohol, loud and disorderly and using profane language in a public place.

One woman had injuries to her right eye and wished to press assault charges.

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Suspect wanted after theft of cosmetology services

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:40pm

A woman is wanted by police after refusing to pay for services Monday at Georgia Institute of Cosmetology.

Around 11:40 a.m., a customer refused to pay for her hair appointment, telling employees, “one of them other girls lost my hair last time, you get the money from them,” according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

When an employee threatened to call the police, the suspect began cursing and left the business.

No description of the suspect was available.



Patient strikes hospital employee with cup of ice

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:28pm

Editor's note: A previous version of this story did not correctly state the name of the hospital. We regret the error.


An employee at University Hospital said she was struck in the face Monday with ice by a patient.

Around 2:53 p.m., deputies responded to the hospital, where the victim stated 58-year-old Marian Chapelle struck her in the lip with a cup of ice, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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