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Fire chief takes new job in South Carolina

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 9:16am

Augusta Fire Chief Chris James has accepted a new job with an old boss in York County, S.C.

Former Deputy City Administrator Bill Shanahan, now York County manager, said James will begin work next month as deputy manager in York, a suburb of Charlotte, N.C.

“We’re pleased that Chris applied; he’s top notch,” said Shanahan, who left Augusta for York about a year after James was named interim fire chief.

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U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson pushes for continued MOX funding

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 6:26pm

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson on Wednesday testified before the House Budget Committee to provide resources for Savannah River Site, particularly funding for the continued construction of its mixed-oxide fuel facility.

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Grovetown lineman D'Ante Smith to play for Pirates

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:29pm


At 6-foot-4 and around 300 pounds, D’Ante Smith will already be a big lineman before he steps foot on a college campus.

But he’s ready to work to get better – and maybe even bigger.

The Grovetown offensive lineman signed on to play for East Carolina during National Signing Day on Wednesday.

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Expect winter cold to return to Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:22pm

The groundhog might have predicted an early spring, but don’t put away your coat just yet.

The Climate Prediction Center’s one-month outlook issued Sunday expects below normal temperatures for the South while the northern half of the country will be warmer. The three-month outlook, however, shows an equal chance of below- and above-normal temperatures.

“As much as the models have been shifting around these days, at this point I will say anything is fair game,” Georgia climatologist Bill Murphey said.

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Georgia woman state's first Zika case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 4:48pm

A woman who traveled to Colombia around the first of the year is Georgia’s first confirmed case of Zika virus infection, the Georgia Department of Public Health said.

The woman, who the state said was not pregnant, is the first to have her test confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but “several” samples are pending from people who have traveled to areas where there is an outbreak of the virus, the department said in a statement released Wednesday.

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PeachCare, Medicaid data breach affects thousands

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 3:04pm

ATLANTA -- A health insurer’s data breach has affected 148,334 Georgians on Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids, state officials say.

That total includes current and former Medicaid and PeachCare members from 2009 to 2015.

The breach occurred when health insurer Centene lost computer hard drives containing about 950,000 individuals’ personal data, including name, address, date of birth, Social Security and member ID numbers, and health information.

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List of local signees

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 2:41pm


Michael Arnold Lakeside Reinhardt

T.J. Bell Jefferson County Savannah State

Cody Brown Thomson Georgia Military College

Jared Butler South Aiken Hutchinson CC

Rashad Byrd North Augusta Georgia Southern

Marquis Carter Jefferson County Delta State

James Coley Lakeside Reinhardt

Cameron Counts Aiken Georgia Prep

Ethan Crawford Aquinas Liberty

Will Evans Aquinas Ohio

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Aquinas' veterans sign with colleges during signing day

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 2:38pm

Ethan Crawford, Will Evans, Corey Pogue and Liam Welch lined up in designated spots, just like they usually did.

Only instead of doing so on the football field, the group did it at a table for signing day.

Aquinas’ veterans sat alongside each other with Crawford (Liberty), Evans (Ohio), Pogue (Reinhardt) and Welch (Samford) all signing with colleges.

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North Augusta's Byrd among four to sign letters of intent

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 2:31pm


NORTH AUGUSTA — Three North Augusta football players joined a decorated teammate Wednesday in signing their letters of intent to play collegiately.

Yellow Jackets standouts Rashad Byrd, Aaron Maddox, Joe Mozone and Jaylon Patten signed during a ceremony at the school, marking another strong class from North Augusta that includes multiple Division I signees.

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Nation's top recruit picks Michigan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 1:26pm

Rashan Gary, the nation’s No. 1 recruit, picks Michigan. The defensive tackle from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey made his announcement on ESPN.

Michigan was the presumptive front-runner. His old high school coach works for the Wolverines, Michigan’s star defensive back Jabrill Peppers also went to Paramus Catholic and there are several other New Jersey players heading to Michigan in this recruiting class.

Clemson was in the running, as well as a few Southeastern Conference schools.


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Severe weather alert issued

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 1:13pm


An approaching cold front is bringing thunderstorms to the Augusta area that could turn severe.

WEATHER: See current conditions, five-day forecast

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Silver Bluff's Jackson headed for Coastal Carolina

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 1:04pm

PETTICOAT JUNCTION — Tarron Jackson accomplished nearly everything he could on the football field at Silver Bluff.

Now he’s taking his talents to the Myrtle Beach area, where he’ll play for Coastal Carolina.

In front of a large gathering of family, students and coaches Wednesday, Jackson signed his letter of intent to play for the Chanticleers.

“It feels great,” Jackson said. “All my work at Silver Bluff, working every day, is paying off. It’s a great school and I’m ready to go to work there.”

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Donald Trump opening Evans headquarters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 12:49pm


The Donald Trump campaign is opening an area headquarters Friday in Evans.

Betsy Sharp, whose Burke County family farm Trump saved 30 years ago from foreclosure, will headline the grand opening ribbon cutting, said event organizer Pat Goodwin, who is co-county manager for Trump.

Goodwin, a recent Republican candidate for state House, said she was drawn to the candidate for his leadership style and ability to engage veterans and average Americans in the presidential election.

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Break-in reported at jewelry store

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 11:54am

Police are investigating a break-in at a Stevens Creek Road jewelry store Monday evening.

Deputies found the door to the showroom and the back door of Van Diamonds, 808 Stevens Creek Road, pried open about 10 p.m. Doors had been broken in and the phone lines and a security light had been damaged.

According to an incident report, surveillance video showed two men in masks and gloves enter the business, move security cameras and break doors with a sledgehammer but never touch the showcases.

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Arrest made in Grovetown slaying

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:42am

A Warren County man was fatally stabbed Tuesday and a Grovetown man is charged in his death.

Tyler Burhans, 35, of Camak, died from a stab wound to the neck, according to Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison.

Grovetown authorities arrested and charged Cassidy James Barrett, 23, of the 7500 block of Senators Ridge Drive, with murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. He’s being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

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UPDATE: Georgia off to good start on National Signing Day

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 9:54am

ATHENS, Ga. -- Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football’s national signing day.

Check below for updates being refreshed from sunrise to sundown from the first national letter of intent to come off the fax machine to the last.

5:58 p.m.: Oconee County inside linebacker Jaleel Laguins reaffirmed his commitment at an evening announcement at his school. His national letter of intent was in at Georgia soon after at 5:51 p.m.

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Rand Paul drops president bid

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 9:31am

COLUMBIA — Republican Sen. Rand Paul dropped his 2016 campaign for president this morning, eclipsed by other candidates who kept his base of support from growing into a viable force in the crowded 2016 field.


Campaign spokeswoman Eleanor May confirmed the move to The Associated Press, saying a statement would be forthcoming.


He is now expected to turn his full attention to his Senate re-election campaign in Kentucky. The 52-year-old ophthalmologist is favored to win that race.

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Augusta Commission approves animal ordinance

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 8:29pm

Pet owners will face new requirements next year after Augusta Com­mis­sion members cobbled together and approved the city’s first new animal ordinance in decades.

Animal advocates, including members of a subcommittee who developed an earlier draft, applauded the ordinance’s passage by a 6-1 vote after extensive discussion Tuesday.

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Georgia Power announces milestone in Plant Vogtle reactor construction

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 5:07pm

Georgia Power notched another milestone Tuesday as workers have placed eight new shield building panels on Unit 3, one of two new reactors being built at Plant Vogtle.

According to a statement issued by the company, the shield building is a system of 160 steel panels designed to protect the Unit 3 containment vessel. Each panel weighs about 10 tons and can be filled with concrete.

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Charges filed in Hahn Village shooting in Aiken

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 4:50pm

Aiken police are filing charges against a man connected to the shooting of two people in Hahn Village on Friday.

Joseph Jay Gartrell III, 31, has been booked into the Aiken County Detention Center on charges of unlawful carrying of a pistol and discharging a firearm within city limits, according to an Aiken Department of Public Safety news release. Further charges are pending as the investigation continues.

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