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UGA to end summer commencement

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 9:05am

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia will no longer conduct summer commencement exercises, university officials announced.

Instead, undergraduates eligible for summer graduation are allowed to walk in spring ceremonies, before they fulfill graduation requirements. Ph.D. and master’s students who finish in the summer are eligible to participate in fall graduation exercises, according to the announcement.

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Dad of 5 dead children returned to SC

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 8:58am

RALEIGH, Miss. — The man accused of killing his five young children and dumping their bodies along a rural Alabama road is on the way to South Carolina to face murder charges.

By 8 a.m. today, 32-year-old Timothy Ray Jones Jr. was loaded into an unmarked SUV and was leaving Mississippi for South Carolina.

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Atlanta thieves take $4,500 in purses

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 8:49am



ATLANTA — Authorities are offering a reward in hopes of apprehending thieves who stole 14 purses valued at $4,500 from an Atlanta department store.


Crime Stoppers Atlanta is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrests of a man and woman accused of stealing the handbags from the Dillard’s store at Atlantic Station on Aug. 30.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the suspects grabbed the bags from a shelf, then fled in a gray 2011 Toyota Yaris that was driven by a third person.

Augusta Commissioner Grady Smith still open to candidates for District 7 seat

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 9:46pm

Augusta Commission member Grady Smith said he wants to take the lead in filling the District 7 seat left vacant by Donnie Smith.

“Let’s be fair to everybody, and let’s see who all puts his name in the hat,” said Grady Smith, who represents Super District 10. He said he will place making the appointment on next week’s meeting agenda.

Donnie Smith, a former state trooper, resigned from the commission Monday, days after a Georgia State Patrol report accused him of accepting a state salary while working for a hospitality company Masters Week.

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Fire Department, responders pull girl, 12, from Augusta canal

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 9:43pm

A 12-year-old girl has been hospitalized after being pulled from the Augusta Canal by Augusta firemen and first responders Wednesday after she fell into the water and was trapped by the current.

About 7:12 p.m., the Augusta Fire Department responded to a call near Lake Olmstead and Goodrich Street, where the girl “was in the water and could not get out,” according to a statement from Augusta Fire Department public information officer Dee Griffin.

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Richmond County principals say influx of Collins K-8 students mostly positive

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 9:33pm


About 200 students from the recently closed Collins K-8 School have entered a world of new teachers, buildings and bus schedules, and Richmond County principals say the transition has gone smoothly.

Though 22 Augusta schools registered at least one student from Collins, which closed in June, some schools gained more than others.

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Landfill mechanic's termination overruled by city personnel board

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 7:33pm

An Augusta landfill mechanic fired last month for alleged safety violations saw his termination overruled Wednesday after a three-hour meeting of the city personnel board.

Board chairman Chip Barbee cast the sole “no” vote in the 4-1 decision to reinstate Jessie Tremble, a maintenance technician since 2008 who earned $41,684 to repair heavy equipment used to haul huge loads of garbage.

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Georgia Regents men's golf team joins MEAC

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 7:15pm

On the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Web site, a banner welcomes its newest school: Georgia Regents.

For the first time in more than two decades, the Jaguars are back in NCAA Division I conference play. The MEAC, comprised of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, unveiled the men’s golf program as its newest member – the women’s team remains an independent.

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Former juvenile inmate acquitted of assaulting guard

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 6:09pm

A jury deliberated about 15 minutes Wednesday before acquitting a former Augusta Youth Detention Center inmate.

The Richmond County Superior Court jury found Brandon S. Breedlove, 18, not guilty of obstruction of an officer and sexual battery.

Breedlove was accused of accosting a female guard on Feb. 7. Defense attorney Alicia Lecroy of the public defender’s officer told the jury in her opening statement that there was an altercation between Breedlove and guards that day, but a handcuffed Breedlove wasn’t the aggressor.

West Nile case in Richmond County prompts new spraying of 'hot spots'

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 5:37pm

The first human West Nile virus infection this year in Augusta is prompting new spraying as Richmond County Mosquito Control seeks to suppress the insects in areas where mosquito-borne viruses have popped up.

“My theory is, if we have one, we’ll have more,” said Fred Koehle, the acting operations manager for mosquito control.

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Richmond County police seeking lawn equipment, utility trailer thieves

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 5:23pm


Police are seeking two men who stole a utility trailer and lawn equipment from a Brendell Drive home last month.

Surveillance video from Aug. 24 shows the two men backing into a yard at 3112 Brendell Drive, hooking the utility trailer loaded with lawn equipment to their black Ford Explorer and driving away.

Anyone with information can contact the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020 or 821-1080.

Paine College committee talks about plans to address school's problems

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:56pm


After their initial meeting with Paine College President George C. Bradley on Wednesday, the three members of a new advisory committee tasked with resolving the school’s accreditation violations assured the public the institution will overcome its challenges and “continue to grow and prosper.”

Committee Chairman Michael Thurmond, a former Georgia labor commissioner, said policies are being strengthened and finances are being scrutinized in order to remove Paine from probation by its accrediting body.

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Event to recognize local heroes

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:16pm

The public is invited to come out Thursday to meet local heroes.

The BFF (Burn Foundation Friend) Blitz, which is sponsored by the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation and other local groups, will be held at Augusta Richmond County Fire Station No. 8, 1898 Highland Ave., from 5-7 p.m.

The community is invited to meet local heroes — firefighters, emergency medical responders and military — while enjoying refreshments and seeing fire and military equipment, including a 1963 fire truck.

The first 100 guests will receive a “special gift,” according to organizers.

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Augusta man pleads to attempted child molestation

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 3:05pm

An Augusta man suspected of planning to sexually molest a 13-year-old boy pleaded guilty to reduced charges Wednesday.

Ralph E. Widner Jr., 40, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to sexual battery and attempted sexual battery. Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet accepted the plea negotiation and sentenced Widner to five years in prison, followed by2 1/2 years on probation.

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CSRA College Night offers information on college, gives away scholarships

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:48pm

Aspiring college students in the Augusta and Aiken area have the opportunity to visit with representatives from 140 different colleges, talk to 10 professional societies and win scholarships during the CSRA College Night today.

The free eventat the James Brown Arena is organized yearly by the U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. Over 7,000 students, parents and school system employees attended last year, according to a Savannah River Nuclear Solutions media release.

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Business and employer summit set for Sept. 30

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:33pm


A business summit is planned for Sept. 30 to help business owners and managers overcome challenges in the workplace.

During the business and employer summit, set for 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Building 1000 at Augusta Technical College, Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler and others will discuss three top issues faced by the business community: the emerging workforce, unemployment insurance regulations and health care compliance.

The event is sponsored by Georgia’s labor department and Augusta area employer committees.

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Augusta GreenJackets release 2015 schedule

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 1:59pm


The Augusta GreenJackets have released their 2015 schedule, which includes a new mix of opponents traveling to Lake Olmstead Stadium.

The GreenJackets will begin on the road with series at Greenville and Charleston. Opening Day is April 9 against the Drive.

Their home opener is April 16 against Rome, marking a return to the traditional late home opener after the Masters Tournament. The GreenJackets started at home the weekend before Masters Week the past two seasons.

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Jay Carney joins CNN

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:37pm


NEW YORK — Former White House press secretary Jay Carney is joining CNN as a political commentator.


The network said Wednesday that Carney will start as part of the coverage of his former boss’ prime-time speech on how the country will deal with the Islamic state.


Carney resigned in May after spending three and a half years as President Barack Obama’s primary spokesman. He was communications director for Vice President Joe Biden from 2009 to 2011 and worked at Time magazine for two decades before that.


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Guilty plea in Aiken shooting death

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 11:08am

AIKEN — A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder in the 2012 shooting death of an Aiken man.

The Aiken Standard reported Circuit Judge Garrison Hill sentenced Morris Dorch to 15 years in prison.

Dorch had been charged with murder in the death of 21-year-old Delance Terez Walton.

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Coroner names murder-suicide victims

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 10:39am

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it is continuing to investigate what it is called a murder/suicide on Tuesday.

In a statement Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said Andre Wingo, 46, and Treasey Wingo, 47, had been married approximately two weeks before both were found dead at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday in the Estates at Perimeter apartment complex off Perimeter Parkway.

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