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Official lauds success of free school meals program

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:38pm


No matter what’s been on the menu – chicken picante, fish nuggets, fruit salad or a range of other fare – no Richmond County student has spent a penny on school breakfast or lunch in almost two years.

It is part of a national effort under the Obama administration to deliver wholesome meals to needy students so malnutrition is never again a deterrence to academic achievement.

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Sonny Pittman officially announces candidacy for District 7 commission seat

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 5:51pm

West Augusta Alliance president Sonny Pittman formally announced his candidacy Tuesday for the 7th District seat on the Augusta Commission.

The special election to complete former commissioner Donnie Smith’s term is scheduled for March 17. Louis “Hap” Harris, was tabbed by the commission to serve as Smith’s replacement until the election.

Pittman, 68, was raised in west Augusta and serves as Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commissioner for the District.

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North Augusta house fire sends woman to hospital

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 5:33pm

A woman was hospitalized Tuesday following a house fire in North Augusta.

Approximately 3:46 p.m., crews responded to 113 Alpine Ave., where an unidentified female was transported to Doctors Hospital with unspecified injuries, according to North Augusta Department of Public Safety Sgt. Aaron Fittery.

The woman escaped the home prior to fire crews arriving, Fittery said.

The investigation is ongoing and a cause for the fire has not been released.


Michaux: Playoff system isn't perfect, but a good start

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 1:57pm


It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been the BCS.

The inaugural four-team college football playoff is set, and it has all the teams from Big conferences that don’t know how to count arguing about the fuzzy math that brought us to this point.

Turns out Ohio State of the 14-team Big Ten crashed its way into the No. 4 hole with a 59-0 bludgeoning of Wisconsin in the league’s championship game. B10 commissioner Jim Delany couldn’t have engineered it any better if he’d asked the Badgers to tank it for the good of the conference.

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Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is injured in car accident

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 1:28pm


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered fractures to his lower back in a two-car crash Tuesday and spent the night in the hospital, a team spokesman said Tuesday.

Newton was in fair condition, had no other internal injuries and would not need surgery, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said during a news conference outside a Charlotte hospital.

It was unclear if Newton would be able to practice or play Sunday against the Buccaneers, Dayton said.

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Grovetown teen posting Ferguson fliers charged

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 8:35am

A Grovetown teen has been charged with criminal trespass after he was caught putting up fliers on private property related to recent incidents in Ferguson, Mo.

“Want to get away with murder? *be a white cop*,” reads a flier on a fence, according to police reports.

A Columbia County sheriff’s deputy directing traffic at Columbia Middle School about 7 a.m. saw the 16-year-old hammering two documents to the wooden fence on Crown Heights Way at William Few Parkway.

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Savannah port expansion bringing jobs, challenges

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:33am

ATHENS, Ga. -- State leaders highlighted job-creation strategies through education, local assistance and port improvements Monday in a conference for legislators.

Lawmakers, fresh off of the campaign trail where voters said jobs were their main concern, got an overview of the state’s efforts to expand employment during a conference at the University of Georgia.

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Benefits of Ga. factory jobs touted

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:26am


ATHENS, Ga. -- The manager of one of Georgia’s newest, large manufacturers told state lawmakers there is a need to convince students that factory jobs are attractive.


Todd Henry, operations manager for the Athens-based plant of Caterpillar Inc., is also praising the state’s job-training program, Quick Start, as helping prepare unskilled workers.


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Tax hikes looms to fix Georgia roads

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:10am

ATHENS, Ga. -- Finding a source of $1 billion in transportation funding is topping the agenda for the Georgia General Assembly.

On Monday, state leaders hinted at a tax increase.

“We’re not looking for a two-year or three-year plan. We are looking for a long-term plan to bring that much money in every year,” said state House Transportation Chairman Jay Roberts.

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Savannah mall uses fake vultures to frighten flock

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:05am


SAVANNAH, Ga. -- They’re not your usual Christmas decorations. Atop the roof at the Savannah Mall, 10 vulture effigies have been strung up on poles.


They’re meant to scare off a mixed flock of turkey vultures and black vultures that in recent months has at times numbered more than 50 birds. The big feathered scavengers had fouled the common area of the mall roof with their excrement and regurgitation and pecked and pulled at the rubber roof, causing about $5,000 worth of damage.


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2 flu deaths near Savannah

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:02am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the flu-related deaths of two elderly women in the Coastal Health District — one from Chatham County and one from Effingham County, Sally Silbermann, Coastal Health District spokeswoman, said Monday.

These are the first confirmed flu-related deaths in the Coastal Health District this year. However, there have been five more confirmed flu-related deaths statewide. The Coastal Health District is made up of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh counties.

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SC gold mine gets go-ahead

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:53am

COLUMBIA — Environmental regulators have rejected a challenge to a proposed gold mine in Lancaster County.

The State newspaper reported the board at the Department of Health and Environmental Control has turned down an appeal by the Sierra Club.

The agency said Monday that its board has endorsed a permit approved by staff members for Romarco Minerals Inc. to set up the gold mine on about 2,500 acres in the rural part of Lancaster County.

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Execution tonight for Ga. cop killer

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:50am

JACKSON, Ga. — A Georgia death row inmate who killed a sheriff’s deputy is set to be executed.

Robert Wayne Holsey’s execution is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at a state prison in Jackson. A jury in February 1997 convicted Holsey of killing Baldwin County sheriff’s deputy Will Robinson.

Holsey robbed a Milledgeville convenience store early on Dec. 17, 1995. The clerk called police right after he left and described the robber and his car.

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Georgia Tech female assault reported

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:47am

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech police are seeking a suspect accused of assaulting a female student on the Atlanta campus.

The woman told authorities that she was walking behind Brittain Dining Hall near Williams Street Northwest around 5:45 p.m. Monday, when the man approached her from behind and reached under her skirt and touched her.

Police at the Georgia Institute of Technology said in a campus safety alert that the suspect was last seen heading westbound on North Avenue in a red pickup truck.

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90 DeKalb school bus batteries stolen

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:44am

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Police and school officials in metro Atlanta are investigating the thefts of dozens of school bus batteries.

Dekalb County Schools police say a total of 90 school bus batteries have been stolen since October, causing problems for children trying to get to school.

WSB-TV reports ( that some students at Stone Mountain Middle School were late or didn’t make it to school at all after the latest theft was discovered.

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No toxicology tests to be administered in fatal McDuffie County wreck

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 11:14pm


Without a toxicology test, officials may never know if a driver in a McDuffie County collision that killed four people Sunday was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The accident happened about 3 p.m. when a black Lexus was traveling eastbound on Augusta Highway at a high rate of speed before crossing the center line and striking a white Toyota Highlander head-on near Moose Club Road, Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Chris Wright said Sunday.

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Commission abandons plans to audit Hyde Park project, Housing and Community Development Department

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 11:02pm

City commissioners abandoned plans Monday to audit millions spent to relocate residents from Augusta’s Hyde Park neighborhood and declined to expand the audit to the entire Housing and Community Development department, citing a need to keep real estate transactions private.

The commission had OK’d auditing the relocation project last week following the abrupt resignation of HCD Director Chester Wheeler and recent complaints from remaining Hyde Park residents about how $4.5 million had been allocated.

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Qualifying dates set for January in District 7 special election

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 8:27pm

Candidate qualifying in what likely will be a hotly contested District 7 election to complete resigned Augusta Commission member Donnie Smith’s term has been set for Jan. 12-14.

The Richmond County Board of Elections voted 5-0 Monday to call the special election for the next date permitted under state law, March 17, with 2½ days of candidate qualifying to be held, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 12-13 and 8:30 p.m. to noon Jan. 14.

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New Richmond County Schools deputy superintendent Kenneth Bradshaw brings varied skillset to position

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 8:08pm


If there is one thing Richmond County Schools Deputy Superintendent Kenneth Bradshaw knows, it’s how to manage his time.

Throughout his 24 years in education, Bradshaw spent his life balancing the roles of father, soldier and teacher. He worked weekdays as a teacher for the DeKalb County school system. On weekends, he served in the Army National Guard, reaching the rank of captain.

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Shooter who wounded girl sentenced to 10 years in prison

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 6:41pm

An Augusta woman who wounded a teenage girl earlier this year when she fired several gunshots at a vehicle containing the girl and her mother pleaded guilty Monday.

Gina R. George, 29, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated assault and two weapons violations for the Feb. 8 shooting at her home.

Judge J. David Roper sentenced George to serve 10 years in prison followed by five years on probation.

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