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Georgia denies pipeline plan

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 10:27am

A controversial tri-state oil pipeline planned to cut through 210 miles of Georgia was blocked in the first step of the state’s approval process on Tuesday.

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry denied Kinder Morgan’s application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which would have granted the energy infrastructure company the right to acquire private land through eminent domain.

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Group sues over Ga. gun law revision

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 9:13am

ATLANTA – Now that Gov. Nathan Deal and the legislature just finished with the new laws from this year’s legislative session, they’ve got to address a lawsuit over the wording of two bills changing the gun laws from last year.

The advocacy group Georgia Carry filed suit against Deal and members of the Code Revision Commission for allegedly putting the wrong wording into the Official Code of Georgia, the document lawyers, judges and police depend on for saying what the law is.

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Ex-court clerk indicted in Savannah

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:47am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A federal indictment unsealed Monday charged longtime Chatham County Probate Court Chief Clerk/Court Administrator Kim Birge with stealing or embezzling more than $700,000 from Chatham County Probate Court over a three-year period.

Birge, who started work in 1982, had long been a stalwart in Probate Court.

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Charges dropped against Ga. man who freed dog from hot car

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 7:48am



ATHENS, Ga. -- Authorities have dropped the charges against Athens veteran Michael Hammons, who was arrested after breaking a window to free a dog from a hot car.

According to various reports, Ken Mauldin, district attorney for the Superior Court of Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties, said the car’s owner agreed with his decision to drop the charges.

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Pilot reported problems before fatal Atlanta crash

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 7:22am



ATLANTA — Federal authorities say the pilot of a small plane radioed air traffic controllers, saying he was struggling to gain altitude seconds before slamming into a metro Atlanta freeway, killing all four onboard.


A preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot’s last radio transmissions came about two minutes after departure from DeKalb Peachtree Airport shortly after 10 a.m. on May 8.


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A magnitude 2.4 earthquake rocked Crawfordville

Tue, 05/19/2015 - 1:15am


A magnitude 2.4 earthquake rocked Crawfordville, Ga., Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was recorded about 5:13 a.m. in the center of the city, the county seat of Taliaferro County. It was felt as far away as Alpheretta (144 miles) and Athens (63 miles), according to the agency’s Web site.

There were no reports of tremors in the Augusta area.


Longtime school administrator retiring

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:49pm


Richmond County Assis­tant Superintendent for Ele­men­tary Education Cheryl Jones is retiring June 1 after more than three decades as a local teacher and administrator.

Jones said Monday that she had been planning her retirement for some time, and that her motivation is to be able to focus more on her daughter.

“I have an 11-year-old daughter, and I have for a long time said when she finished elementary school that I would have 35 years and I could be a stay-at-home mom,” Jones said.

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Judge denies bond for stabbing suspect

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:26pm


A judge declined to set bond Monday for a man accused of stabbing an Augusta man seven times in the back.

Bain M. Broome, 57, has pleaded not guilty in Rich­mond County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated assault and two weapon violations.

Attorney William Suss­man sought Broome’s release on bond, noting that he has been taking medication since his arrest in the Sept. 21 incident.

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With Floyd's 72, North Oconee wins Class AAAA state title

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:24pm


KEYSVILLE, Ga. — Rylie Marchman was OK with losing to North Oconee’s Crockett Floyd on high school golf’s biggest stage Monday.

Marchman, a junior at Burke County, and Floyd, a senior, have become best friends after playing together on the junior and high school golf circuits. Just last week, Marchman and her father, Wade, invited Floyd to play a round at Applewood Golf Course.

The extra work paid off.

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University Hospital, MCG partner to add 12 more residency positions

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:12pm


Julia Samaddar is just what University Hos­pital and Georgia officials are looking for.

As someone who grew up in Augusta and graduated from the Medical College of Geor­gia, she is doing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at both MCG and through a residency slot at University, and ultimately she would like to stay in the community. She might soon get a lot more company at University.

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Richmond County school board to vote on 5-year facility plan

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 9:57pm


The Richmond County Board of Education will take a final vote on an updated “five-year facilities plan” at today’s meeting, a document needed for the school system to obtain state funding for school renovations and construction projects.

Georgia law requires the system to submit the plan to the state Depart­ment of Education, providing detailed blueprints for any future projects it is considering for the next five years along with population growth data. The department uses the plans as it determines funding formulas for Georgia’s 181 state districts.

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Gunman sentenced in 2014 drive-by shooting

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:49pm


The gunman in a drive-by shooting at an Augusta restaurant last July that left a 14-year-old critically wounded was sentenced Monday.

Brandon D. Hilton, 17, pleaded guilty in Richmond Coun­ty Superior Court to aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and weapon charges. Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced him to six years in prison followed by nine years on probation.

Hilton fired five shots at Jim­my John’s on Agerton Lane the evening of July 5. The teenage victim was shot in the right side of his chest.

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North Augusta woman dies in motorcycle crash in McCormick County

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:49pm


A North Augusta woman died Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle accident in McCormick County.

Deanna Kimball Strawhorn-Yount, 43, was thrown from her Harley-Davidson after hitting a guardrail on Highway 28, according to S.C. Highway Patrol.

Strawhorn-Yount was pronounced dead at the scene around 3:20 p.m., according to McCormick County Coroner Faye Puckett.

Highway Patrol stated she ran off the highway, struck a guardrail and was thrown from themotorcycle. The patrol didn’t know Monday if Strawhorn-Yount was wearing a helmet.

Augusta Historic Preservation approves RAM Construction Group's plan for 2 new single-family homes in Olde Town

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:54pm


New single-family home construction coming in Augusta’s Olde Town neighborhood will resemble the old.

RAM Construction Group received approval from Augus­ta’s Historic Preservation Com­mis­sion to add two single-family homes in the Olde Town historic district under the stipulation that each home retains the neighborhood’s historic character.

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Daniel Field's Masters Week flights decrease 14 percent

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:39pm


The steep increase in private flights at Au­gusta Regional Airport during Masters Week contributed to a 14 percent decrease at Daniel Field, a small general aviation airport about 3 miles from Augusta National Golf Club.

Daniel Field totaled 1,126 takeoffs and landings during the Masters Tournament, according to Federal Aviation Admin­is­tration data. Operations were down 14.4 percent from 2014, while Augusta Regional’s flights increased nearly 40 percent, to 2,844.

The 4,002-foot runway limits the size of aircraft that can fly into Daniel Field.

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Parking deck delays postpone Medac office opening

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:29pm


Delays in construction of a parking deck have pushed back the opening for Medac Inc. in North Augusta to at least late August or early Sep­tem­ber, according to city administrator Todd Glover.

Employees at Medac, an anesthesia billing company expected to bring more than 500 workers to its new, near-complete facility next to the North Augusta municipal building, were reportedly told of the new timeline in a meeting last week.

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North Augusta man accused of child pornography

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:19pm


A North Augusta man has been accused of sending child pornography via file sharing, according to a South Carolina Attorney General’s office news release.

Benjamin Michael Bruker, 39, was arrested and booked into the Aiken County detention center on two counts of sexual exploitation of minors in the second degree and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the third degree. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

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Fight posted on Facebook leads to woman's arrest

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:12pm


An Augusta mother has been arrested after a Facebook video showed her instigating a fight between her two daughters and another juvenile.

On Saturday, a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was called to a fight involving juveniles at Delta Manor on East Bulla Street, but by the time he arrived it had dispersed. The following day he found footage of the fight on Facebook.

According to an incident report, the video showed Michelle Oatman, 31, instigating a fight between her two daughters, 12 and 10, and another girl, 10, who is a neighbor.

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Mother accused of abuse denied bond

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:02pm

Bond was denied Monday for an Au­gus­ta woman accused of physically abusing her 6-year-old daughter.

Michelle Johnson, 28, has been held without bond since February on charges of first- and second-degree cruelty to children. She has pleaded not
guilty in Richmond County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Jared Wil­liams asked Judge J. David Roper to deny bond.

On Feb. 10, a case worker with the Department of Family and Children Services visited the family and saw the 6-year-old with a black eye.

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Former GreenJackets manager Goff named Marlins bench coach

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:04pm


Former Augusta GreenJackets manager Mike Goff was named the Miami Marlins bench coach Monday.

Goff was announced as part of Miami’s new field staff that includes new manager Dan Jennings, who also holds the general manager position. Previous manager Mike Redmond and part of his staff were fired Sunday following the Marlins’ 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

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