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Man charged in wife's murder admits cutting himself

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 1:19pm

The case against a Grovetown man charged in the June 14 stabbing death of his wife will continue.

Columbia County Magistrate Judge Jason R. Troiano decided at a preliminary hearing Tuesday that there is enough evidence to continue prosecution of Philip Stephen West, 46, on a murder charge.

West was charged with malice murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime after the fatal stabbing of his wife, Sherri Kay West, 47, at their Shoreline Drive home.

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Fire destroys Aiken apartment building

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 1:05pm

More than 20 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed an Aiken apartment building late Monday.

Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Jake Mahoney said the department began receiving multiple calls for a fire at The Colony apartments on Greengate Drive about 11:50 p.m.

When firefighters arrived they found heavy fire and smoke coming from the 300 building. The fire spread through all 12 units and the building has been deemed a total loss. Mahoney said 23 residents were displaced.

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Entrance of pro-LGBT Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer defaced with graffiti

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 12:04pm


Vandals spray-painted Tuesday morning a Bible passage that condemns homosexual sex on a downtown church whose pastor was part of the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Richmond County.

“Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies” was painted across the double front doors of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer on 557 Greene St. On the front steps was another passage, Leviticus 18:20, with the words “You’ll Burn.”

The vandalism comes almost three weeks after a rainbow flag had been stolen from the front of the church.

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Augusta under heat advisory

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:46am

It’s going to be another hot one with temperatures reaching into the triple digits today.

A heat advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. today with temperatures expected to reach between 100 and 102 degrees and heat index values up to 112 degrees.

A heat advisory was also in effect Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, a heat advisory is issued when hot temperatures and high levels of humidity combine to create a situation where heat-related illnesses are possible.

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Power restored after storm outage

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:04am

Power has been restored to the more than 1,000 customers affected by a Monday evening storm.

According to the Georgia Power Web site, there are no outages in the Richmond or Columbia County area.


Temporary city employee ordered to repay Augusta $86,000 for unearned wages claimed

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 11:41pm


A former temporary employee who bilked the city of Augusta out of $86,456.20 must repay the money as a condition of her 10-year probation sentence.

Terrilynn Brown, 52, pleaded guilty June 1 in Richmond County Superior Court to theft by deception. Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. granted Brown’s request to be sentenced under the First Offender Act, which means if she successfully completes probation she will not have a conviction on her record.

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Burglar takes bed, dresser from Augusta home

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 11:32pm

A king-sized bed, dresser and 50-inch television were stolen from an Augusta residence.

About 10 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to the 2500 block in Reese Avenue, where a victim had returned to find her home ransacked, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies checked the home for fingerprints but didn’t find any.

City administrator to propose property tax cut

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 11:00pm


City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson said she’s recommending a slight decrease in property taxes this year, although the effect on individual tax bills likely will be too small to eliminate the need for a proposed stormwater fee.

Jackson said she’ll propose to the Augusta Com­mis­sion on Tuesday that it adopt the rollback mill rate, a few hundredths of a percent less than the rate it approved last year.

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Phinizy Center for Water Sciences studying impact of Savannah River water flow through its insects and fish

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 10:40pm

Fish and water bugs in the Savannah River will play a key role in developing a drought management plan for Thurmond Lake and the waters flowing downstream.

In early July, Phinizy Center for Water Sciences, an Augusta-based water quality research nonprofit, embarked on a 14-month project to study aquatic insects and fish living in the Savannah River. Researchers will use historical data on water flows and new findings to determine appropriate water releases from Thurmond Dam during droughts to protect the river’s ecology.

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More than 1,000 without power in Richmond County

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 10:30pm

An evening storm has caused a string of power outages in Richmond County.

According to Georgia Power’s Web site, 1,157 Augusta customers were without power at about 10 p.m.

An official with the company said it hoped to have everyone’s power back on by midnight.

New GRU president talks of building relationships

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 10:16pm

The office walls were bare and there were few books on the shelf Mon­day for new Georgia Regents Uni­ver­sity President Brooks Keel as he paused during his first day.

“It’s a blank slate,” he said, in more ways than one.

But he has already brought in a key adviser from his former post at Georgia Southern University, he already has ideas of how to better connect his two very different campuses and he is already looking forward to greater connections in health care.

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Civil rights activist, former Paine College chairman Silas Norman Jr. dies at 74

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 9:30pm


Silas Norman Jr., a former Paine College Board of Trustees chairman whose work as a civil rights activist in the 1960s led to the desegregation of Augusta’s city buses, died Friday from cancer. He was 74.

Norman’s fight for social justice began while he was studying at Paine but continued well into his adult years and filtered into his work as a doctor and professor of internal medicine, said longtime friend and Paine historian Mallory Millender.

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Augusta VA wait times increase after early improvements under new director

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 8:40pm


Despite hiring more staff and revamping the patient call center at the Charlie Nor­wood Veterans Affairs Medical Center, average wait times have steadily increased during Maria Andrews’ first 150 days as the hospital’s new director.

According to patient access data updated monthly on the VA’s Web site, Andrews’ administration got off to a strong start in February, achieving the medical center’s lowest wait times since former Director Bob Hamilton resigned Nov. 30.

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Augusta teen, 18, arrested on charges of molesting 12-year-old

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 7:25pm


An Augusta teen is accused of child molestation after deputies say he had sexual contact with a 12-year-old.

Scott Angelo Fiske Jr., 18, of Corbin Place, was arrested Sunday on a charge of non-aggravated child molestation, according to Richmond County jail records. He is currently being held in the Charles B. Webster Detention Center without bond.

According to an incident report, the mother of the child contacted the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office after learning that two had sexual contact on June 15 at a home on Cherry Road.


Marshall Square fire investigation continues, but site released back to owners

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 6:21pm

Fire investigators have finished their work at the Marshall Square Retirement Resort in Evans, but the investigation into the June 2 fatal blaze is still ongoing.

The state fire marshal’s office said Monday that it had released the facility back to its management company and owners, Resort Lifestyle Communities. The announcement comes seven weeks after the early morning fire that killed 91-year-old resident Dorothy “Dot” Carpenter and destroyed the central building and east wing of the senior community. The fire also displaced more than 80 residents.

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Savannah River Site leader moving to U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos, N.M. cleanup office

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 4:27pm

A top U.S. Department of Energy leader at Savannah River Site has been reassigned to a new position at the Los Alamos Field Office in New Mexico.

Douglas Hintze was named manager of DOE’s environmental management Los Alamos Field Office, according to the department. Since September 2012, he served as assistant manager for mission support at SRS.

Hintze has more than 22 years experience working for DOE. The Los Alamos Field Office was created in March during a transition of responsibility for cleanup activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Woman accused of leaving children unattended to go to bar

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:57pm


A Florida mother was arrested early Monday after leaving three children unattended at Waffle House while she went drinking at Wild Wing Cafe, police said.

Police were called to the Waffle House at 3042 Washington Road about midnight Sunday after employees and customers reported that two 12-year-olds and an 11-year-old had been left alone at the restaurant and were crying in the parking lot.

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Augusta man, 82, arrested for child molestation

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:54pm

An 82-year-old man was arrested after he was caught performing oral sex on a teenage girl on Saturday.

A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was called to Lace Lane around 2:30 p.m. for a suspicious vehicle parked in a wooded area.

According to an incident report, the deputy found Ervin Ray Turner Sr., of Oak Ridge Drive, standing outside his truck in only black loafers and white underwear while performing oral sex on a female inside the vehicle.

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Augusta man followed, beaten after leaving Applebee's

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 3:19pm

A man was attacked early Sunday after leaving an Augusta restaurant, police say.

Around 1:34 a.m., deputies responded to Doctors Hospital where Jibril Bowen, 22, of Reserve Lane, was being treated for head injuries.

According to Bowen, after leaving Applebee’s on Windsor Spring Road he noticed an unknown red vehicle following him. The victim stated that when he pulled into his driveway, four black males exited the vehicle and began beating Bowen in front of his home.

Deputies noticed a half-inch laceration on top of Bowen’s head.

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Pedestrian shot on Cooney Circle

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 3:18pm

A Trenton, S.C., man was shot in the buttocks Sunday while walking on Cooney Circle.

Jaquanis Kadeem Grant, 22, said he was walking with his brother about 12:05 a.m. when they passed a group of black males, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report. As Grant walked by the group, he heard a gunshot and began running. After reaching his girlfriend’s house, he realized he had been wounded.

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