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Downtown railroad work continues

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:43pm

 

Improvements to a downtown railroad track is expected to continue to close parts of roads through March 6.

The upgrades to a track that runs along Sixth Street were initially expected to be completed by Feb. 26, but a DOT spokesman said the upgrades are being delayed.

After finishing the area of track between Reynolds and Broad streets, crews will move to closures from Telfair to Ellis streets. The Telfair to Ellis streets construction is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 and reopen March 6.

 

Cigarette scorches Walton Way lawn

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:33pm

 

Police said a cigarette tossed from a car window resulted in a fire in front of a Walton Way home.

Police were called to 3200 Walton Way at noon after the front yard had caught fire and was spreading toward the home.

Fire officials said the lawn is scorched in multiple spots from similar incidents.

The fire department is asking motorists to avoid throwing cigarettes out of windows. The current dry conditions are making grass and brush fires even more common, officials said.

 

Local developer purchases old Woolworth building

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:26pm

 

The old Woolworth building at the corner of Eighth and Broad streets is off the real estate market.

Local developer and hotelier T.R. Reddy has purchased the 46,000-square-foot boarded-up building for $650,000 with future plans of renovating it into apartments and commercial space, which could possibly include a market or chain retailer.

Reddy said he expects to nail down more definite plans for the property within the next couple of months.

“We’ll talk to the architects and then see what’s best to do,” he said.

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Ga., House seeks to protect student IDs

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 1:13pm

ATLANTA -- The House voted unanimously Friday to safeguard student identities from files that could be made public from the agency that administers the HOPE Scholarship.

House Bill 320, additionally allows the state to claim lottery winnings or income-tax refunds from students who refuse to pay outstanding debts without having to go to court. The agency can also request withdrawal of a professional license from a deadbeat owing for a loan, scholarship or grant issued by the state.

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Mayor seeks more powers

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:57pm

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis wants to increase the authority of the mayor’s office to include a veto of commission actions, hiring and firing of city department heads, budgeting and other functions currently overseen by the 10-member commission.

Flanked by a couple dozen area pastors, church members and supporters at a noon news conference Friday, Davis couched the plan as a “call to action” for citizens to initiate amending the city’s consolidation act, to “put a system of checks and balances in place” currently lacking in the consolidated government.

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Augusta sets cold record

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:48pm

Augusta broke temperature records for two straight days, but meteorologists predict warmer weather for the weekend.

The temperature fell to 13 degrees Friday morning, breaking the existing lowest low of 19 degrees set in 1958, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday, the low high of 34 degrees was the coldest for the area in more than 100 years. The record had been 40 degrees set in 1985.

Augusta has experienced a surge of unusually cold weather since temperatures began dropping Wednesday night as a strong cold front pushed through the area.

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Ga. hospital partnerships, purchases rise

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:19pm

ATLANTA -- The hospital partnership dance continues in Georgia. Given the pressures of the health care economy, nobody apparently wants to be a wallflower.

Last week, St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens said it is talking with financially ailing Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center about a possible acquisition of the Lavonia hospital.

That announcement reverberated in northeast Georgia, but it was overshadowed by news of a much bigger potential merger in metro Atlanta, between mega-systems WellStar and Emory Healthcare.

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Aiken County tractor-trailer wreck stalls traffic

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 9:58am

Part of Desoto Drive at Williston Road remains closed after an early morning tractor trailer crash.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said the tractor trailer driver was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center with non life threatening injuries. No other vehicles were involved.

DeKalb official pleads to bribery

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:05am

 

ATLANTA — Federal prosecutors say a former member of DeKalb County’s zoning board has pleaded guilty to bribery.

 

Authorities said in a statement that 42-year-old Jeremy Clark of Lithonia pleaded guilty to accepting $3,500 in exchange for voting to allow a business in Tucker to operate as a late-night dance club without obtaining proper county permits.

 

Authorities say the business owner paid Clark $2,000 in cash and donated about $1,500 to a nonprofit Clark was involved in.

 

Clark’s sentencing is set for April 20.

GA BCBS president talks breach, physician contracts, ACA

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 10:47pm

 

It has been a tumultuous year for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, from an improving performance in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace to a massive security breach, an ongoing dispute over a proposed contract amendment and rate changes that angered physicians last year.

But BCBS Georgia President Morgan Kendrick addressed these issues head-on Thursday.

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Augusta firefighters rescue three dogs from burning shed

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 9:35pm

 

Fire crews rescued three dogs from a blazing shed Thursday afternoon.

Members of the Augusta Fire Department responded to the 1600 block of Mill Street, where at least one dog was tied up near the burning shed, according to a statement from the fire department.

Flames destroyed the shed but the dogs were not injured in the fire.

 

 

Student, 16, shot with BB gun after exiting school bus

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 9:04pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the person who shot a student with a BB gun Thursday as the victim exited a school bus.

Deputies responded to the 2600 block of Teakwood Drive about 3:25 p.m., where a 16-year-old said he was shot in the back, according to a police report.

The victim said he noticed a white vehicle parked behind the bus. As the victim and other students exited, the shooter pointed a BB gun out of the car window and began firing at the students, according to the report.

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GBI releases details in mistaken ID, burial of body in Augusta

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 9:01pm

 

The Georgia Bureau of In­ves­tigation discovered it had sent the wrong body for burial in Augusta after an employee at the state crime lab noticed that a corpse being prepared for pickup wasn’t the right person, according to an executive report from the agency.

The GBI mistakenly sent the body of Louie Caldwell, of Clayton County, to Thomas L. King Funeral Home in Mar­ti­nez instead of Johnny Mor­gan Lowe III. Lowe’s family buried Caldwell on Dec. 8 at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

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Moratorium on rezoning concerns property owners, developers

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 7:15pm

 Editor's note: An earlier version of this story did not accurately reflect the price of homes affected by the moratorium.

 

Earl T. Morris hoped to sell nine acres of land he owned in Grovetown near the intersection of Lewiston and Mill Branch roads.

The property, valued at $238,525, was scheduled to go before the Columbia County Board of Commissioners on April 17 to be rezoned for high-density housing.

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Fort Gordon pilot bus service attracting fewer riders than expected in first months

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 7:03pm

 

After years of city leaders pushing for bus service to Fort Gordon, few riders are taking advantage of the route that’s running as a pilot program.

Since beginning Nov. 3, Augusta Public Transit has collected $911.80 from 809 riders through Monday, according to data obtained through a Georgia Open Records Act request. The Monday through Saturday route has run 85 days, meaning an average of fewer than 10 riders daily.

The route’s most popular day of Saturday averages 31.6 riders. Ridership peaked Feb. 7 – also a Saturday – with 72 riders.

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Conservative group seeks to end death penalty

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 5:01pm

 

 

ATLANTA -- A week before the scheduled execution of a Winder woman charged with arranging her husband’s murder, a representative of a national conservative group was at the Capitol Thursday calling for the end of the death penalty.

However, Republican leaders discounted any possibility of capital punishment’s repeal in Georgia soon.

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Winter's coldest night expected

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 2:56pm

 

Bundle up.

The coldest night of the season and chilliest morning after were expected with low temperatures predicted to drop to 15 degrees in the Augusta area and 10 in central South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

The coldest temperature recorded so far this winter at Augusta’s Bush Field had been 15 on Jan. 8, according to the National Weather Service.

Area homeless shelters were taking steps Thursday for another night with a packed house.

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UGA to open 2016 season with Chick-fil-A game

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 2:25pm

ATHENS, Ga. — The neutral site game for the Georgia football team in Atlanta that athletic director Greg McGarity hinted about in January is now set.

The Bulldogs will open the 2016 season against North Carolina at the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 3, it was announced Thursday. Kickoff time hasn’t been determined.

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Clemson alters weekend series to play at Lake Olmstead Stadium

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 1:52pm

 

Lake Olmstead Stadium will be the site for high-profile baseball programs starting Friday and lasting through the weekend.

Clemson announced its three-game series with Maine has been moved to Augusta because of inclement weather at the Tigers’ home.

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Regional spelling bee March 7

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 1:51pm

The 2015 Scripps National Regional Spelling Bee will be held Saturday, March 7, at The Augusta Chronicle in the Morris Auditorium.

The winner from each of the following county district spelling bees will participate in this regional bee; Aiken, Burke, Columbia, Edgefield, Jenkins, Lincoln, McCormick, McDuffie, Richmond, Taliaferro, Wilkes, The All Area Private Schools, Aiken Area Home Educators and CSRA Home Education Association.

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