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Gov. Deal chides Georgia mayors

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 11:42am


ATLANTA -- Some communities are still sending too many nonviolent offenders to Georgia prisons because they don’t use the accountability courts the state recently created, Gov. Nathan Deal told local officials Monday.

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60 years ago Athens saw UFO mystery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 11:15am


ATHENS, Ga. -- There were 15 or 20 of them in the skies above Athens that night, flying somewhere below 6,000 feet in a ‘V’ formation. Appearing to be the size and color of grapefruit, they moved smoothly and soundlessly. Going south to north, they sped from horizon to horizon in 10 seconds.

More than 60 years later, though, the most interesting description in the U.S. Air Force Project 10073 Record of what happened at 8:35 p.m. on April 26, 1954, in Athens, typed in all caps, is a single word: “UNIDENTIFIED.”


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SC fire truck overturns

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 7:28am

COLUMBIA — A Columbia-Richland Fire Service firefighter was hurt when the truck he was driving overturned at an intersection southeast of Columbia.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says the wreck happened shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday as the truck was turning off state Highway 48 and rolled over.

Cpl. Sonny Collins said the firefighter was taken to a Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital and was in stable condition. The firefighter’s name has not been released.

The patrol is still investigating the wreck.

Missing couple's car found

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 7:25am

ATLANTA — The car belonging to a Georgia couple who disappeared after traveling to meet a man claiming to sell a classic car has been found in a lake with two bodies nearby.

Telfair County Sheriff Chris Steverson said Monday afternoon that the car was found not far from McRae.

Elrey “Bud” Runion, 69, and his wife, 66-year-old June Runion, had been traveling toward McRae, in southern Georgia. Steverson said the bodies have not been officially identified and that authorities have been in touch with the Runion family.

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Columbia County 225th birthday an extension of recent growth

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 11:18pm

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the schools attended by Kelly Sleeper.

Charlene Sharkey thumbed through historical records last week, amazed at the cost of local government in Columbia County’s first 100 years.

In 1890, it cost anywhere from $1 to $6.50 for a horse-and-wagon crew to make repairs and adjustments to causeways and farm roads.

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Bill Haas pulls away to win Humana Challenge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 9:39pm


LA QUINTA, Calif. — Bill Haas pulled ahead with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th and parred the final two holes for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the Humana Challenge.

Haas closed with 5-under 67 for his sixth PGA Tour title and first since the 2013 AT&T National. He won the 2010 event for his first tour victory.

“Honestly, if you would have told me I would have done this last week, I would have laughed at you,” Haas said. “To be here is an unbelievable feeling.”

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Local builder wants conversation with commission on city's bidding process

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 9:05pm

City projects that are bid on over and over are a waste of time and money for small businesses, said an attorney seeking to “start a dialogue” about possibly changing Augusta’s procurement process.

Larry McCord Design/Build has been the lowest responsible bidder four times on Augusta Housing and Community Development’s Aubern at Barton Chapel complex, said attorney Ben Allen, who has signed up to speak to Augusta’s administrative services committee Monday.

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Man wanted in connection with November shooting incident

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 8:20pm


The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is seeking a man who they say shot a vehicle in November.

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, warrants have been obtained for the arrest of Jonathan Lorenzo Johnson, 31, on charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of the crime. He is accused of shooting at a vehicle on Nov. 16 in the Hyde Park area.

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You Remembered: Harrisburg

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 8:14pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week we asked you to share stories of growing up in the Harrisburg community. Here are some of your stories.


I AM SO PROUD that I grew up in Harrisburg. I am 88, but my memories will never fade. Depression years were rough, 1932 and up, but we never went hungry. I went to Martha Lester School. Claussen’s Bakery was nearby and my brother and I would go there and take the stale cakes and bread when they would sit them out back of the store.

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Austin Shepard looking ahead to 2016 Augusta Futurity

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 4:49pm

Austin Shepard is one of the top showmen on the National Cutting Horse Association circuit.

On Saturday, the Summerdale, Ala., cutter claimed his seventh Augusta Futurity championship. His father, Sam, is a two-time winner in Augusta. His son, 13-year-old Cade, almost claimed his first Augusta Futurity title in the Classic Non-Pro finals.

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Enrollment drop plagues Georgia colleges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 10:42am


ATLANTA — The financial future of 15 Georgia colleges and universities that experienced declining enrollment is dependent on a revised funding formula, the university system chancellor warns.

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Austin Shepard wins Futurity Open finals

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 10:24pm

Austin Shepard looked out at the red Georgia Clay and saw a memory.

When he was just a boy – maybe 7 or 8 – he sat in the stands and watched Augusta Futurity officials drive a truck and trailer into the arena before giving it away.

“I’ll never forget it,” he said. “That’s stuck in my head.”

Now 37, Shepard walked out of James Brown Arena with another memory to add to his collection. The Summerdale, Ala., cutter rung up a score of 222 on Paradox Cat to win the Futurity Open finals Saturday night.

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Sunglasses stolen from Augusta Mall store

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 9:10pm


Three people stole more than $1,000 worth of sunglasses from an Augusta Mall business Saturday.

An employee at Sunglass Hut told deputies that two men and a woman entered the store and began moving about quickly. While the woman stood toward the front, the men began picking up glasses and putting them in their hooded sweatshirts. The three then left without paying for at least five pairs of glasses valued at $1,025, according to a Richmond County sheriff’s report.

Deputies weren’t able to find the suspects in the mall.

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North Carolina cutter Barnwell Ramsey claims Futurity Non-Pro finals

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 9:03pm


Barnwell Ramsey resides in North Carolina, but he considers the Augusta Futurity his hometown show.

On Saturday night, Ramsey finally won at his favorite cutting event. On Mia Sugar Baby, Ramsey marked 216 early in the competition and held on to win the Futurity Non-Pro finals by a point at James Brown Arena.

Ramsey of Huntersville, N.C., collected $4,000 for the win and added $4,912 because of the Stallion Incentive Program. Kaitlyn Wimberly and Kat finished second at 215 for $3,000, while Elizabeth Queen and Princess and the Pea placed third (213.5, $2,400).

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No bombs found on planes in Atlanta after threat

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 4:14pm

ATLANTA — Law enforcement officials found no bombs on two planes at Atlanta's main airport after authorities received what they considered credible threats, FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said.

The threats targeted Southwest Airlines Flight 2492, which arrived at Atlanta from Milwaukee, and Delta Air Lines Flight 1156, which arrived from Portland, Oregon, said Reese McCranie, a spokesman for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Both planes landed safely.

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Cubs legend Ernie Banks dies at 83

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:42pm


CHICAGO — Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks, the two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams, died Friday night. He was 83.

The Cubs announced Banks’ death, but did not provide a cause.

“Mr. Cub” hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career, including five seasons with 40 or more. He was fond of saying, “It’s a great day for baseball. Let’s play two!” That remains a catchphrase at Wrigley Field to this day.

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Queen wins Classic Open title

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:22pm


In the early 1980s, Skip Queen attended the Augusta Futurity and learned all about the sport of cutting.

So when the Allendale, S.C., cutter wins in the place he’s called a second home for three decades, it means a little extra.

Aboard TGI Playtime, Queen marked the highest score of the show this week – 228 – to claim the Classic Open finals Friday night at James Brown Arena.

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Kentuckian Page Bowman wins third Augusta title, claims Classic Non-Pro

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:01pm


Page Bowman made the most of her three chances to win the Classic Non-Pro finals Friday night.

After riding two other horses, Bowman finally connected with Tom E Boy. The pair marked 219.5 to win the event by 1½ points.

Bowman of Simpsonville, Ky., collected $8,001 for her third Augusta Futurity win in 13 months. Cade Shepard and Some Kinda Highbrow finished second at 218 for $7,000, while Kaitlyn Wimberly and Mikaela placed third (216.5, $5,700).

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Augusta high school student to meet with President Obama

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 9:38pm


An Augusta high school student will meet with President Obama, Richmond County school officials announced Friday.

Adejah Nesbitt, a T.W. Josey High School senior, was chosen from a pool of applicants to participate in the signing of a disability act geared toward children, according to a statement from the Richmond County Board of Education.

Nesbitt, who is autistic, came to the attention of the White House after a video of her winning homecoming queen made the rounds on social media this fall.

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Georgia teen Blake Graham wins Area 18 youth finals

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 9:18pm


Blake Graham competed in the Augusta Futurity earlier in the week, returned to East Laurens Middle School in Dublin, Ga., and then hurried back Friday afternoon to Augusta.

The 14-year-old cutter said he enjoys traveling to all the different cutting horse shows. The best part?

“Sometimes,” he said, “I get to skip school.”

Graham wouldn’t dare skip Augusta, especially for the Area 18 Youth Scholarship finals. On Legal Dream, Graham marked 220 to win the event by 2½ points.

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