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Show dogs not exempt from licensing requirements approved by animal ordinance subcommitee

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:33pm


Performance and show animals won’t be exempt from steep annual licensing fees for owners who chose not to spay or neuter pets under a requirement approved Thursday by an Augusta subcommittee that’s revising the city’s animal ordinance package.

The ordinance – which needs approval from the Augusta Commission – requires microchipping for all animals.

Owners with unaltered animals will be charged a $100 annual fee per animal, not to exceed $500 per owner, while a one-time $10 licensing fee will apply to sterilized animals.

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K-9 training takes place in Augusta

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 5:33pm


Explosives K-9 units from across the state came to Richmond County on Thursday to give their dogs training and their handlers training aid.

“We’re required to do training, but it’s best when we can come together and do it,” Cpl. Bruce Williams, Richmond County sheriff’s bomb squad commander, said of the event that attracted 28 of the 46 Georgia task forces.

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Breanna Gasper awarded mortgage free home in honor of husband Staff Sgt. Frank Gasper who died in 2008

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 5:24pm


The widow of a soldier killed by enemy fire in 2008 during his fourth deployment to Iraq was to be awarded a newly renovated, mortgage-free home in Hephzibah on Thursday night by the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

Breanna Gasper, on behalf of her husband, Staff Sgt. Frank Gasper, was to be recognized and honored as a Project Rebuild True Hero in a special presentation held during a Darius Rucker concert in Alpharetta, Ga., for his service and sacrifice to the country, according to a news release from the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

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Bond granted to two suspects in Operation Mayday sex sting

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 5:23pm


A judge agreed to set $30,000 bonds Thursday for two people arrested this week in a sting operation that targeted adults seeking sexual contact with minors.

Richmond County Superior Court Judge Daniel J. Craig denied bond Tuesday for 21 of the 22 people arrested in the joint state and local undercover Operation Mayday. Craig told them, however, he would consider bond if more information became available.

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Man sentenced for crash that paralyzed child

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 5:06pm

A man whose drunken driving left a child paralyzed was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison.

Fredrick Turner, 33, pleaded guilty in Columbia County Superior Court to two counts of vehicular injury and traffic offenses.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Homlar said Turner’s blood-alcohol level was 0.186 when he crashed head-on into the victims’ vehicle.

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Memorial Day weekend delay likely in search for man missing in Thurmond Lake

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 4:55pm


Lake Thurmond authorities say the search for a personal watercraft operator who went missing Monay at West Dam recreation area will likely be suspended for the holiday weekend.

Christopher Lee Harper, 43, was riding his Yamaha WaveRunner just before 3 p.m. off the beach at the park when some beach-goers saw him flung off, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division Capt. Mark Padgett.

“We’ll go through tomorrow (Friday) and see what it looks like,” Padgett said late on Thursday. “We’ll probably suspend it for the weekend.”

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Man charged in 2012 slaying of Wackenhut guard

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:19pm


The police investigation into the slaying of a Wackenhut guard at Savannah River Site has been closed with an arrest after more than two years.

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Allan Rollins confirmed Thursday that Demarkeo Jarome Lockhart, 21, has been charged in the killing of Hester Jackson.

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Suspect named in DC murder mystery

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:35am



WASHINGTON — Savvas Savopoulos was energized. He spent the day sprucing up his northern Virginia martial arts studio for its grand opening with his family’s longtime housekeeper. Around 5:30 p.m., his wife called, telling him to come home to watch their 10-year-old son because she had plans.


The housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez, was one of the last people to see Savopoulos alive.


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Charleston gaining on Columbia as largest city in South Carolina

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:14am



COLUMBIA— Rapid growth in Charleston means that Columbia is in danger of losing its place as the largest city in South Carolina, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers released Thursday.


The newly released population estimates include cities around the nation as of July 1 of last year.


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Fundraiser for dog burned in doghouse

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:51am



SMYRNA, Ga. — Caregivers are raising money to help a dog that police say was set on fire inside its dog house.


WXIA-TV reports the 1-year-old pit dog named Royalti was taken to the Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic May 12 after she was found burned behind a Smyrna home.


Police arrested the dog’s owner, Caleb Lanier, who faces charges of arson and cruelty to animals. He’s accused of using a flammable accelerant to ignite the dog house with the dog inside.


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Officer's gun charge advances to grand jury

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 11:51pm

An Edgefield County magistrate judge determined Wednesday there is enough evidence to pursue the most recent criminal charge against a North Augusta Public Safety officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in his driveway last year after a 13-mile pursuit.

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Sand Gnats hand GreenJackets seventh loss in a row

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 10:14pm

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Brad Wieck and Jimmy Duff combined on a three-hit shutout and the Savannah Sand Gnats handed the Augusta GreenJackets their seventh consecutive loss, 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Wieck (1-4) allowed all three hits and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings. Duff pitched 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief and struck out three to earn his second save.

Luis Guillorme was 3 for 4 with an RBI for Savannah.

Jonah Arenado went 2 for 4 for Augusta.

Woman steals electronics from Salvation Army, leaves them next door

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 9:43pm

Deputies are searching for a woman accused of stealing electronics from the Salvation Army and leaving them at a nearby business.

Around 7:33 p.m. Monday, officers responded to the Salvation Army on the 1500 block of North Leg Road in reference to a theft, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses said a black woman about 40 years old was seen taking a television and DVD player from the Salvation Army.

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Autopsy results inconclusive in Aiken County death

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 9:24pm

Autopsy results on an Aiken County woman found dead in her apartment were inconclusive Wednesday, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

Lauren McKinney, 28, was found in her Glendale Terrace Apartment about noon Tuesday. According to Carlton, the coroner’s office is awaiting the results of further toxicology testing.

Aiken police are investigating McKinney’s death as a “suspicious death,” Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Jake Mahoney said.

Burglary suspects wanted in North Augusta

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 9:24pm

The North Augusta Department of Public Safety is asking for help in locating a pair of burglary suspects.

On May 17, deputies responded to the Belvedere-North Augusta Rescue Squad in reference to a break-in, according to a statement from Lt. Tim Thornton.

Video from outside the building shows the suspects entering the structure three times in a three-week span.

Anyone with information on the suspects can contact Public Safety at (803) 279-2121.


Appling thoroughfare to be closed for bridge replacement

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 9:15pm

Motorists who use Washington Road to travel between Columbia and Lincoln counties should expect significant delays for more than a year as the bridge over Keg Creek is rebuilt.

Washington Road will be closed to through traffic beginning Wednesday from just north of Wildwood Park to Ray Owens Road and will remain closed for an estimated 540 days, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

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Augusta VA walks to combat veteran homelessness as problem grows in city

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 8:53pm


Hundreds of people from the Augusta-area walked – or rolled – with more than 24,000 Department of Veterans Affairs’ employees nationwide Wednesday to promote wellness and combat a homelessness problem that has grown locally to 71 veterans.

For the first time, the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center opened its annual VA2K event to the community, accepting cash donations and pledges from participants willing to walk on the Augusta Riverwalk in support of the 51 men and 20 women considered to be homeless veterans in the city.

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Warrant canceled for former Burke County teacher charged with sexual involvement with student

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 8:48pm


A bench warrant for the arrest of former Burke County teacher Debra Tanksley has been canceled.

In May 2014, Tanksley, 38, was arrested and charged with criminal attempt sexual assault and electronically furnishing obscene material to minors. She was later fired from Burke County High School. In December, the 2013 Burke County Teacher of the Year did not appear for arraignment and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. That warrant has been lifted, according to Augusta District Attorney Ashley Wright.

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Child sex crime indictments issued in federal court

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 8:38pm

In unrelated cases, three men are facing federal charges involving the sexual abuse of children.

A federal grand jury indicted Bakari Shahid McMillian on a charge of sex trafficking of a minor. He is accused of prostituting a 16-year-old runaway.

The federal jury also indicted Adam Michael Hunt this week on charges of attempted online enticement of a minor and interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and Randy Houston Mercer on charges of production and distribution of child pornography.

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Two arrested in burglary at Boost Mobile in Aiken

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 7:29pm


Two Aiken men have been arrested in connection with an early Wednesday burglary at Boost Mobile in Aiken.

Carl Lorenzo Taylor, 21, and Robert Lee Jones, 20, are charged with second-degree burglary.

According to a news release, the men caused several thousand dollars in damage and lost merchandise when they broke into the store at 1022 York St., Wednesday morning. Investigators recovered items stolen from Boost Mobile as well as additional property stolen from burglaries reported at York Telecom, 1163 York St., on Monday and Tuesday.


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