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Six-time Augusta champion Austin Shepard wins Classic Open go-round

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 2:20pm

Austin Shepard is back in Augusta making noise in the event he seems to enjoy the most.

The three-time Classic Open champion will enter the finals of this event later this week with a good chance to add to his number of wins in the Garden City.

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Temperatures to drop again by Friday

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 1:32pm


It may seem like the beginning of spring has arrived this week, but experts say winter is far from over.

Temperatures will shift again on Friday away from the pleasant upper-60s to more January-appropriate numbers. Several back-to-back systems will keep that cold air hanging around for a while.

At least for Thursday evening through Saturday, that temperature change will include some rain. There is a 70 percent chance of rain Friday with expected highs below 50 degrees.

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Ga. cop gives 'eating while driving' ticket

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 1:27pm


ATLANTA — Madison Turner told Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News he had no idea he could be ticketed after Cobb, Ga., police pulled him over last week for eating while driving.

But that’s just what happened to the Alabama man, due in court Feb. 3.

“The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for two miles,” Turner said. “He said specifically three times, ‘You can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.’”

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Darius Rucker returning for Rock Fore! Dough concert

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 10:51am


Three rising country music artists will join Grammy Award winner Darius Rucker for the 11th annual Rock Fore! Dough concert benefitting First Tee of Augusta.

Singer and songwriter Sam Hunt, southern rock band A Thousand Horses and local musician Phillip Lee Jr. take the stage April 7. Rucker is performing at the concert for the eighth time.

The concert, held annually during the week of the Masters Tournament, is at the Lady Antebellum Amphitheater in Evans for the third year. The lineup was announced Tuesday morning.

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Camera knocks out Tiger tooth

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 8:28am


CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — Tiger Woods has another reason not to like cameras — his agent said it cost him a tooth.


Woods made a surprise visit to Italy on Monday to watch girlfriend Lindsey Vonn capture her record 63rd World Cup race. The photo that generated all the buzz was Woods missing his front tooth.


The culprit, according to his agent, was a camera.


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SC paid $5 million in road damages

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 6:38am


South Carolina has paid more than $5 million for damages from the state’s roads in the past year.


The Greenville News reported documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed the state spent more than $5 million in legal claims by motorists and others whose cars were damaged or who were injured or killed.


The figures from the state Insurance Reserve Fund show the state also spent more than $2 million in legal costs in those claims.


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Richmond County Development Authority wants extension for jobs news

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 10:47pm

Augusta committed last month to build a road, extend utilities and do site work at a corporate park if a major manufacturer announces plans to locate here by Feb. 1, but the announcement is now on hold after the unnamed company’s board couldn’t meet due to inclement weather.

According to documents obtained by The Chronicle, the Richmond County Development Authority wants to amend the city’s resolution of support for the inducement package, allowing an announcement by April 1 due to the weather issue.

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Woman, child flee during attempted burglary

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 9:26pm

An Augusta woman and her child fled Sunday evening as burglars allegedly attempted to enter their home.

Around 10:44 p.m., deputies responded to the 2000 block of Garr Drive, where a woman said she heard voices coming from outside her bathroom, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon hearing the voices, the victim went into her daughter’s bedroom and began changing her diaper. Moments later, their burglary alarm sounded, and the victim grabbed her child, ran outside and fled in her truck.

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Suspect sought after ransacking Augusta home

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 9:17pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect accused of stealing a computer and television from an Augusta home early Monday.

Around 6:07 a.m., deputies responded to the 900 block of Hopkins Street, where two victims say an unknown man ransacked their home, according to an incident report.

The victims say they were asleep when they heard “a loud boom” at their front door. One victim says he lept out of bed and noticed the 40-inch living-room television was gone. Also taken was a 17-inch HP laptop computer, valued at $900, according to the report.

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Augusta celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy in service at First Presbyterian

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 8:37pm



Racial tolerance was the message delivered at the annual CSRA Memorial Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. to honor the slain civil right’s leader philosophy on life.

About 750 filled First Presbyterian Church of Augusta on Monday. Choirs offered traditional hymns, spirituals and contemporary Christian songs with equal fervor as those in the church pews danced and sang along.

Many in the church said they believed the celebration truly celebrated the legacy of the movements that fought for racial equality.

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Richmond County authorities report drop in crime in 2014

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 8:29pm


Crime in Richmond County has declined sharply over the last two years, possibly due to shifts in policing tactics, officials say.

According to statistics provided by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office this week, the department received 5,553 reports of violent and property crimes last year, down more than 27 percent from 2012.

During the two-year period, street robberies fell from 216 in 2012 to 139 in 2014, with a drop of more than 34 percent in aggravated assaults involving guns.

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Grovetown man arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 8:18pm

A man was taken into custody Saturday for throwing Molotov cocktails at a home in Grovetown.

Gerald Snodgrass, 59, of Railroad Avenue, has been charged with first-degree damage to property and criminal attempt to murder, according to an incident report from the Grovetown Police Department.

Around 10:41 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to the 600 block of Katherine Street, where two witnesses said Snodgrass was lighting bottles on fire and throwing them at a home.

Snodgrass told deputies he came to the location earlier in the day to buy drugs and had his wallet stolen.

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Jessica Bagley making most of Augusta Futurity opportunity

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:47pm

When her mother was diagnosed with cancer a second time, Jessica Bagley started to appreciate showing cutting horses a little more.

A trip to Augusta this week means a break from doctors’ offices. A 2½-minute trek around the red Georgia clay gives Bagley a little piece of serenity.

And while her daughter finds joy once again inside the pen, Mary Kingsbury watches her compete at the Augusta Futurity.

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Mobile home destroyed by fire, same site as December homicide

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:06pm

An Aiken County mobile home that was the site of a Dec. 12 homicide was destroyed Monday morning by a fire.

The home, located on the 100 block of Railroad Street in Bath, was unoccupied and no one was injured in the blaze, according to Capt. Eric Abdullah.

The cause is under investigation.

“We don’t know if the fire and homicide are connected,” Abdullah said. “And we’re not going to speculate … the investigation is in its early stages.”

On Dec. 12, two men were shot at the residence.

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Fire damages Columbia County structures

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 4:49pm


A Columbia County man escaped unharmed when his outbuilding and house caught on fire Monday afternoon.

Freddy Jones of 1326 Collins Drive was burning leaves in his backyard when wind picked up his controlled burn, spreading it across his back yard and onto the structures. Jones tried to extinguish the blaze himself but could not.

“I got it stopped in different areas then it was too much – got water on the side of the shack and the blaze was going up over there ... said, ‘I can’t stop it now,’ ” Jones said.

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Bill would tighten Ga. elder abuse law

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:47pm



ATLANTA -- Georgia legislators hope to close some loopholes in the state’s elder abuse law with a bill that would boost law enforcement tools in fighting these crimes.

Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, told reporters Friday that House Bill 72 aims to build on legislation passed in 2013 to protect the state’s elderly and disabled adults from abuse and financial exploitation.

“We are on the leading edge’’ in fighting elder abuse, said Willard, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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Columbia cop suspended for punch

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:28pm



COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s capital city is suspending a police officer videotaped punching a man while trying to subdue a fight at a private party.


Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said Monday that investigator Tyrone Pugh was suspended without pay during an internal department investigation and a separate look by state agents of SLED.


Police confirmed that Pugh appears in a video circulating on social media showing the incident in the parking lot of Columbia Soundstage, which hosts concerts and other events.

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Tama Boon, North Carolinian Hali McClure win $50,000 Amateur go-round

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:24pm


Hali McClure whipped out her smartphone Monday, proving Tama Boon has the brains to go with the brawn.

In a video, McClure asked her 9-year-old gelding such questions as: “Do you like Mommy?” Tama Boon shook his head yes. When asked if he liked her husband, the horse didn’t move.

“He’s quite comical,” McClure said. “He’s one of a kind.”

She needed a special horse to overcome a bad draw Monday. McClure and Tama Boon marked 219 to win the $50,000 Amateur Any Age go-round, the first event of the 36th annual Augusta Futurity.

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DOT to replace cross ties on Peach Orchard, Mike Padgett railroad crossings

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:10pm


Railroad crossings on two major Augusta highways will be closed for several days while crews work to improve the tracks.

Georgia DOT crews will block railroad crossings on Peach Orchard Road and Mike Padgett Highway to replace cross ties with long-lasting, pre-built track panels and resurface the track.

Railroad renovations are expected to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday on Peach Orchard Road and Jan. 27 on Mike Padgett Highway. Each closure is expected to last about two days.

Message boards and signs will assist motorists in detours.


Augusta lawmaker introduces 5 bills

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 2:59pm

ATLANTA -- Military veterans, airplane pilots, motorists, divorced parents and public officials could all be getting relief from one of Rep. Earnest Smith’s bills pending in the House of Representatives.

Smith introduced five bills last week, all assigned to different committees. If they each gets considered, it could keep the fourth-term legislator busy.

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