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National Weather Service confirms tornadoes in Augusta area

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:40pm


A National Weather Service survey team determined that a tornado touched down Sunday in Aiken, and another hit Burke and Richmond counties with a third touching down in Edgefield County.

In a statement Monday, the agency said the Aiken tornado was rated as an “EF-2 with wind speeds around 115 mph,” and resulted in significant damage to trees and homes in the Woodside Plantation and Aiken Estates subdivisions.

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22-year-old Hephzibah woman killed in one-vehicle wreck

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 12:15pm


A 22-year-old Hephzibah woman died after a one-vehicle wreck on Old Waynesboro Road Monday morning.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash at Old Waynesboro Road at Gully Springs Drive around 9:35 a.m.

Police said it appeared the driver, Kierra L. Johnson, lost control of the vehicle, overcorrected and struck a tree. The Richmond County coroner’s office said in a news release that Johnson died of blunt force trauma and no autopsy will be performed.

Black lawmakers celebrate legislative gains

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:51am

ATLANTA -- Democrats in the Georgia Legislature last week celebrated their influence in passing two of the most significant bills of the 2015 session.

Rep. Gloria Frazier, D-Hephzibah, cited her efforts to include sickle cell anemia in the medical marijuana bill signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal. On the same day, Senate Democrats praised increased opportunities for minority contractors, resulting from Democratic support for the transportation spending bill.

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Aiken teen charged in armed robbery

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:44am


An Aiken teen charged with the armed robbery of an Aiken business told police he was forced to commit the crime.

Aiken Department of Public Safety police said a man entered In and Out, 580 Laurens St. NW, about 3 p.m. Sunday and demanded money from the clerk at gunpoint. The clerk and other customers recognized the gunman and refused to comply with his demands. He left on foot.

Later the suspect, Emerson Edwards, 18, went to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and reported he was forced to rob the store, according to a news release.

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Migos members arrested after Georgia Southern concert

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:25am

STATESBORO, Ga. — All three members of the hip-hop group Migos face drug and weapon charges following their arrests after they left the stage at a weekend performance at Georgia Southern University, authorities said.

The group and its associates arrived for the Saturday night concert on the Statesboro campus in two vans, Bulloch County sheriff’s officials said in a statement to The Associated Press.

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Ga. pipeline practices changed over time

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 7:54am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Energy giant Kinder Morgan plans to build its Palmetto Pipeline across 210 miles of Georgia to tie into an existing pipeline and bring gasoline and diesel from the Gulf Coast and ethanol from South Carolina to terminals in North Augusta, S.C., Richmond Hill, Ga., and Jacksonville.

Petroleum pipelines have a peculiar past in Georgia. Their history was built on support of national defense in World War II and altered in the 1990s by angry and influential plantation owners.

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Pipeline meeting crowd expected

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 7:45am

The Georgia Department of Transportation is expecting more than 100 people, and anti-pipeline groups are expecting even more at the first of two official public hearings about the controversial Palmetto Pipeline on Tuesday in Richmond Hill near Savannah.


“We’re setting up the room for around 150,” said DOT spokeswoman Jill Nagel.


“I’m bringing buses of people,” said Tonya Bonitatibus of the Augusta-based Savannah Riverkeeper.


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Savannah schools may curb homework

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 7:11am


SAVANNAH, Ga. -- When it meets next month, the Savannah-Chatham school board will consider a proposed policy that would limit the amount of homework students are assigned each day and would require teachers to coordinate test and assignment dates to lighten students’ daily workloads.


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3 women bound, robbed in home invasion

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 1:50am


The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is seeking two men who entered an Augusta home, bound three women and left with cash and personal items Sunday.

About 6:28 p.m., deputies were called to the home in the 1200 block of Holden Drive in reference to a home invasion, according to a statement from Sgt. Shane McDaniel.

Upon arrival, deputies learned that the two female victims, aged 72 and 49, were inside the home when they heard a knock on the door. Shortly thereafter, two black males entered the home - one brandishing a handgun - demanding money.

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Pardon our mess: Dilapidated gas sign

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 9:20pm

WHERE: 2335 Washington Road

WHAT: A dilapidated gas sign sits outside Kelly’s Mini Mart on Washington Road. The gas pumps do not work, but the sign remains.

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE: Owner of Kelly’s Mini Mart

ACTION PROMISED: None. When asked about the sign, the store owner said “I have a plan for it” but wouldn’t say what his plan involved.

– From staff reports

Parole board changes position on paroling convicted rapist

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 8:51pm

An Augusta rapist scheduled to be paroled will remain in prison for now.

Charles Ivey Jr., 54, was slated for parole after serving 20 years of a 30-year prison term imposed in December 1996 for aggravated assault, burglary, rape and aggravated sodomy in connection with attacks on two women in the city’s Hill area.

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Augusta receives 2,100 more mosquito complaints than Columbia County

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 8:36pm

Augusta received nearly 2,100 more mosquito complaints last year than Columbia County for what records suggest could be the result of more residential properties and swimming pools abandoned or neglected.

The Richmond County Health Department received 2,122 complaints through Augusta’s 311 customer-service hotline last year, a total that has steadily grown from the 1,835 and 1,425 mosquito calls made in 2013 and 2012, respectively, according to environmental data.

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Schools prepare for new cybersecurity curriculum

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:54pm


As five schools in Rich­mond and Columbia counties begin implementing a new “cybersecurity” career pathway this summer, teachers and students are busy preparing for the new curriculum.

Born out of a partnership with Fort Gordon’s Army Cyber Command, Georgia universities and Augusta’s major school systems, the new pathway is designed to train students in techniques needed to protect military and civilian computer networks. Classes will feature lessons in computer security practices, ethics and programming.

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How do you get the governor to sign your bill? (Be polite)

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 2:41pm

ATLANTA – When the General Assembly adjourned after having passed hundreds of bills, that’s not the end of the process for people wanting to see their proposals become law. Here’s some advice from experts on how to get the governor to sign them – or veto them.

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Police seek armed robbery suspect

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 1:42pm

Police are seeking a suspect in a Thursday morning armed robbery of a Jones Street business.

Byron Danta Harris, 22, is facing charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, theft by receiving and hit and run.

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Police trying to identify man killed in hit and run

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:58pm

Authorities are seeking help identifying a man killed last night after being struck by two hit and run drivers.

Police said the man was walking near Wrightsboro Road and McDaniel Drive when he was hit by an unknown vehicle that left the scene about 9 p.m. He was then struck by a second vehicle which also left the scene.

Coroner Mark Bowen said the victim died about 9:45 p.m. at Doctors Hospital.

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Police searching for pair of Family Dollar robbers

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 11:11pm


Richmond County sheriff’s deputies are searching for two men suspected of robbing the Family Dollar on Central Avenue in Augusta late Thursday.

Witnesses told police two black men entered the business armed with a silver pistol and sawed-off shotgun and then fled on foot towards Walton Way after demanding and receiving an undisclosed amount of money, according to a news release.

Both suspects were wearing dark clothing and hoodies, according to police.

Pedestrian in critical condition after hit-and-run on Wrightsboro Road

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:43pm


A pedestrian is in critical condition at Doctors Hospital after being struck during a hit-and-run accident in Augusta Thursday night, according to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Michael Shane McDaniel said in a news release the Sheriff’s Office’s Traffic Division is investigating the accident that occurred about 9:05 p.m. on Wrightsboro Road at McDaniel Drive near Jimmy Dyess Parkway. McDaniel said the pedestrian was struck by two vehicles, with the first car involved in the accident fleeing the scene.

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Sylvan Learning Center burglarized, camera stolen

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 9:40pm


A filing cabinet key and surveillance video camera were stolen during an apparent burglary last week at the Sylvan Learning Center on Furys Ferry Road in Augusta, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Owner Mary Gleason told police between 6 p.m. on April 5 and 7:30 a.m. Monday someone entered the business and after an “exhaustive search of the office” took the key and video camera.

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Lady Antebellum tour bus catches fire along Texas interstate

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 7:11pm

GARLAND, Texas - A tour bus for superstar country group Lady Antebellum has caught fire along an interstate near Dallas, though no one was injured.
Singer Hillary Scott posted on the group's Facebook page that she, her husband, their tour manager and the driver were on the Dallas-bound bus when a tire caught fire Thursday.
Photos show the back of the bus badly burned. Scott says everyone evacuated, writing "EVERYONE IS SAFE AND SOUND."

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