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North Augusta lawmaker offers new gun bill

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 4:54pm

COLUMBIA – North Augusta Republican Rep. Bill Hixon has introduced a pared-down version of separate legislation that’s pending to allow concealed-weapon permit reciprocity with states that issue the gun permits.

Under Hixon’s bill, H. 3799, South Carolina would automatically recognize concealed weapon permits issued by Georgia and North Carolina.

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BMX track opens Monday in Evans

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 4:29pm

The long awaited opening of Columbia County’s BMX track will be Monday.

The Blanchard Woods Park BMX Track, which was damaged by a vandal in late December, will open at 4 p.m.

“Monday is basically a soft opening to go ahead and open it up to the public and let them start using it,” said Barry Smith, county Community and Leisure Services Division director.

Members of the Blanchard Woods Parents and Riders Association will be at the soft opening with pads and bikes for the public to use.

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Bond denied for Augusta man in murder case

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 3:51pm


An Augusta man accused of killing an elderly relative and trying to kill his wife of 32 years was denied bond Friday.

Richard Ouzts, 59, has been in custody since his March 1 arrest on charges of murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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Prison term for sex with teen

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 3:45pm

A 26-year-old man who had sex with a former girlfriend’s teenage daughter pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge.

Colton A. Watkins, 26, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to sexual battery for having sex with a 14-year-old girl last year.

Judge Sheryl B. Jolly accepted the negotiated plea and sentenced Watkins to five years in prison.

Agencies ramp up traffic enforcement in advance of St. Patrick's Day celebrations

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 3:43pm


Motorists are being asked to drink their green beers responsibly during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or else they’ll be seeing blue lights in the rearview mirror.

In an effort crack down on drunk driving during the holiday period, law enforcement agencies in Georgia and South Carolina plan to ramp up visibility with additional officers and road checks.

Random highway checks will begin as early as this weekend in the Palmetto state, South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said.

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Tiger Woods to skip Bay Hill, hopes to be ready for Masters

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 3:05pm


Tiger Woods will not be at Bay Hill next week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., the second tournament he has missed since stating a month ago that he would not return to golf until his game was ready.

In a brief statement Fri­day on his Web site, Woods said he wasn’t ruling out the Masters Tournament, which begins April 9.

“I’ve put in a lot of time and work on my game and I’m making strides,” Woods said. “But like I’ve said, I won’t return to the PGA Tour until my game is tournament ready and I can compete at the highest level.”

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Traffic stop leads to drug charges

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 12:57pm

Two Augusta men were arrested after police discovered methamphetamine and a stolen weapon in a vehicle during a Thursday traffic stop.

A Richmond County deputy stopped the red Honda Civic in the 900 block of Broad Street after witnessing the driver, identified as Michael Joseph Sherlock, 33, disregard a traffic signal.

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Marine held in Mexico faces Ga. DUI charge

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 12:00pm

TWIN CITY, Ga. — Georgia authorities say a former Marine who spent eight months in a Mexican jail for crossing the border with loaded guns was arrested during a traffic stop on misdemeanor charges including driving under the influence.

The Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office said in statement that police stopped 26-year-old Andrew Tahmooressi on Wednesday night. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, improper passing and open container violation.

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Project to limit Evans water

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:10am

 Some Evans residents will be without water on Tuesday because of a road widening project.

Water service to homes and businesses along Washington Road between Halali Farm Road and Hardy McManus Road will be temporarily suspended from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The residents most affected by the water loss will be on the 4800 block of Washington Road and all the residents in the Villages at Greenbrier subdivision.

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Demonstrative to be inducted into Aiken hall of fame

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:30am


Demonstrative, the 2014 Eclipse Award winner as champion steeplechase horse, will be inducted into the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday.

The ceremony, which also will include the induction of Palace Malice as the 2014 Aiken-trained Horse of the Year, will be held at 2 p.m. in the courtyard of the Hall of Fame, located at 135 Dupree Place in Hopeland Gardens. The public is invited to attend.

Demonstrative is owned by Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom Jr. of Aiken and is trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Robbie Walsh.

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Why did SC school principals quit?

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 9:27am

UNION, S.C. — The principal and assistant principal at Union County High School have resigned and school district officials have not explained why.

Multiple media outlets reported that Principal Floyd Lyles and Assistant Principal Jenelle Gilliam resigned Wednesday.

Union police arrested three students after a fight at the school Tuesday. It was not clear if the resignations were connected to the fight and arrests.

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Ga. councilman's pig loose at meeting

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:54am

GUYTON, Ga. -- A pig owned by Alderman Ulysess Eaton made a run for it Tuesday night during a closed session of the city council.

Lucky bolted from her fenced front yard next to city hall and crossed Georgia Highway 17 before being caught by Eaton with the help of Guyton police.

When alerted Lucky had escaped, Eaton was in a closed session meeting of the Effingham County town located between Savannah and Statesboro.

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Air force base rescinds 'Blessed Day' ban

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:33am

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- After widespread outcry, the Air Force reversed a decision to ban Robins Air Force Base security personnel from saying “Have a blessed day” to people entering the gates.


The Telegraph newspaper in Macon reports that gate guards were told not to give the greeting after an unidentified airman complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, according to the group’s Web site.

The foundation complained to the base, and the base issued the ban.

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May air show canceled until fall

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:25am

Boshears Skyfest is being postponed until fall due to conflicts, according to a Thursday post on the orgnaization’s Facebook page.

The airshow event had been scheduled for May 16 and 17, but the organization chose to cancel after learning Thunder Over Augusta was also scheduled for May 17.

“It would not be fair to this community to have both events on the same day, as the people would not be able to attend both,” the social media post stated.

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May air show postponed to fall

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:23am

A May air show is being postponed until fall due to conflicts, according to a Thursday post on the organization’s Facebook page.

The Boshears Skyfest air show event had been scheduled for May 16 and 17, but the organization chose to cancel after learning Thunder Over Augusta was also scheduled for May 17.

“It would not be fair to this community to have both events on the same day, as the people would not be able to attend both,” the social media post stated.

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Make-or-break day at Ga. Legislature

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:12am




ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers face a key deadline for bills to maintain a shot at becoming law this year.


A Senate rule requires that bills pass their originating chamber by the 30th day of the legislative session, which is today.


There are loopholes to get around that deadline and keep a bill alive before the General Assembly’s planned adjournment on April 2. Still lawmakers are expected to quickly pass many bills before midnight.


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Status questioned of pipeline meetings

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 7:38am

Hundreds of Georgians have attended five meetings this month from Sylvania to Brunswick about a proposed petroleum pipeline planned to run 210 miles along the Savannah River and the Georgia coast.

State officials, however, have been unable to confirm whether citizens were attending an official public hearing about the Palmetto Pipeline and whether the concerns they aired constituted official public comment.


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Harris leads in District 7 fundraising race

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 10:38pm


Interim Augusta Commission member Louis “Hap” Harris outraised his two opponents in Tuesday’s District 7 special election by about $10,000, candidate filings show.

Harris, a former campaign chairman for Commissioner Grady Smith, reported raising $14,450 between Jan. 6 and March 2, ahead of Sean Frantom’s report of $4,900 and Sonny Pittman’s $4,110.

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Columbia County BMX Park to open this month

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 10:23pm

Columbia County officials said Thursday the Blanchard Woods BMX track will open this month.

The track will have a soft opening March 16, with a grand opening set for March 28.

The BMX skate park will open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., except during practice sessions and races hosted by the track.

For details involving the grand opening, visit Columbia County Park and Recreation’s Facebook page or call (706) 863-7523.



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