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Multimillion dollar water park to be built near Grovetown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 2:53pm


The owner of the popular Lights of the South holiday attraction plans to build a $20 million water and amusement park on the property near Grovetown.

According to planning documents filed with Columbia County on Sept. 12, Benjamin Bell is seeking a rezoning to allow for the construction of a water park called Scuttle’s Island, which will operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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Compass Academy founder gets 14 years for fraud, owes $6.4 million

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 1:49pm

 Jonathan “Jay” Brooks, the founder of Aiken’s failed Compass Academy, is expected to begin a 14-year prison sentence Saturday in South Carolina after pleading guilty this week to using the defunct private school and a fictional account to defraud investors of $6.4 million.

Brooks, 42, is expected to go through in-processing at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia to determine in which South Carolina prison he will spend his term, said Creighton Waters, South Carolina assistant deputy attorney general.

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2.1% inflation expected

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 1:01pm


ATLANTA -- Business executives in the Southeast see inflation a little higher than the Federal Reserve does, according to a survey released Friday.

The survey was conducted last week by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, ahead of this week’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee that sets interest rates paid by banks which most other rates are based on.

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Aiken police get narcotics dog from NFL quarterback grant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:20am


The Aiken Department of Public Safety will be getting a new narcotics dog, thanks to a grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback announced Thursday the foundation will be distributing the grant to Aiken Public Safety when the Steelers play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

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TB case reported at Martinez Elementary

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 8:28am

A Martinez Elementary School pupil was pulled out of school Thursday after it was discovered he was possibly exposed to tuberculosis.

The Georgia Department of Public Health informed school officials to isolate the fourth-grader and send him home until he could be further evaluated, said Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway.

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Man fatally shot on 2nd Ave.

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 6:58am

 A 34-year-old Augusta man was fatally shot Friday morning on Second Avenue.

He was identified as Anthony Walker, of the 1900 block of Second Avenue, according to a statement from Coroner Mark Bowen.

He was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. at Georgia Regents Medical Center, Bowen said. The GBI crime lab in Atlanta will perform an autopsy.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies said they responded to the shooting at 4:44 a.m. today in the 1900 block of Second Avenue.

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Scots reject independence in historic vote

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 1:23am

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scottish voters have rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core.

The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to the British political establishment. Scots voted 55 percent to 45 percent Thursday against independence in a vote that saw an unprecedented turnout.

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Augusta man faces possible indictment on murder, aggravated assault charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:32pm

An Augusta man who shot four people, killing one, faces possible indictment on murder and aggravated assault charges after a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Richmond County Civil Court Presiding Judge H. Scott Allen found probable cause existed to send the case against Robert Anderson Jr., 49, to the grand jury.

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UGA expects enrollment record

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 4:03pm


ATHENS, Ga. -- Final figures aren’t in yet, but the University of Georgia already has set a new enrollment record this year.

As of Sept. 9, the university’s combined graduate, professional and undergraduate enrollment stood at 34,988.

That was right after UGA officials sent out notices to students that they had been dropped for nonpayment of tuition. But enrollment always goes up after that point in the process as students pay up to remain enrolled, said UGA Registrar Jan Hathcote.

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Clemson halts mandatory student sex survey

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 3:45pm

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson says it has suspended a mandatory survey of students the school says was part of a review to prevent sexual discrimination, harassment and assault.

The university said in a news release Thursday the training course will not be reinstated until officials can review and revise the content.

Some students complained the questions being asked were too invasive and did not seem to be addressing preventing sexual harassment and assault.

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Car hits North Augusta City Hall wall

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 3:42pm

One person was injured after crashing into a wall in front of the North Augusta municipal building early Thursday morning.

Lt. Tim Thornton, of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, said the driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle. Police believe he lost control and overturned, striking a brick wall at the building on Georgia Avenue.

Several hours after the crash, it appeared several bricks from the wall had been knocked down, but there was no damage to the building.

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Macon, Ga., pastor wins Augusta VA's resident chaplain of year

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 3:37pm


Not much of a public speaker, Dr. Dianne Lewis had to read from prepared notes Thursday when thanking all the people who helped her graduate from the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Pastoral Education Program.

Luckily, no speech was required after she was named the Augusta area’s resident chaplain of the year.

The first-time award was dedicated to Charlie Norwood, the late congressman for whom the Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center was named in 2008.

Lewis, 52, was left speechless.

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Georgia Department of Labor reports net gain of 600 jobs in August

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 3:37pm

The Augusta metro area showed a net gain of 600 jobs in August, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that there were 221,700 jobs in the six-county Augusta area. Gains were seen in health, education and hospitality, offsetting a loss of jobs in professional and business services.

Students went back to school in August, explaining job gains in local government and education and health services sectors.

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2 teens charged in armed robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 2:43pm

Two teens are facing charges of robbing a woman at gunpoint outside her Madison on the Green apartment last week.

Africk Sanchez Morris and Benny Gary, both 17, have been charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

The 26-year-old victim told police that after she pulled up at her apartment building on River Ridge Drive about 10:20 p.m. Sept. 10, two robbers demanded she hand over her belongings.

She told police she thought it was a joke until she saw the guns.

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Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews to allow women members

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 2:11pm

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews is no longer just for men.

The spiritual “Home of Golf” became the latest club to end years of male-only exclusivity on Thursday when its members voted overwhelmingly in favor of inviting women to join. The vote was effective immediately.

“I can confirm that The Royal & Ancient Golf of St. Andrews is now a mixed membership club,” R&A secretary Peter Dawson said in a brief statement he read just outside the clubhouse at the Old Course.

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Nightmare Plantation in Grovetown keeping doors closed this year

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:05pm

One area haunted house is celebrating its season-opening today, while another is keeping its doors closed for 2014.

The Grovetown-based haunted house Nightmare Plantation released a statement on its Web site saying the attraction is taking the year off but plans to reopen in 2015.

“We closed the haunt due to weather and damage from the (February) ice storm that was worse than we expected,” Chasidy McGill said. “For safety reasons, we decided to not open this year and wait until the damage is fully taken care of.”

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South Carolina judge won't rule again on Project Jackson

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:17am


A South Carolina judge won’t reconsider his ruling in favor of North Augusta’s Project Jackson development.

Circuit Court Judge Ernest Kinard handed down an order Wednesday denying plaintiff Stephen Donohue’s request for reconsideration.

Donohue had filed his motion Sept. 2 in Aiken County, saying North Augusta presented evidence in court that did not prove blight nor declining property values required for a Tax Increment Financing district, the method that North Augusta approved to finance the $144 million development.

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Body found on SC golf course

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 9:54am


CHARLESTON, S.C. — Charleston police are investigating after a body was found at a golf course.


Local media outlets report police were called around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday when a maintenance worker reported finding a man’s body in a pond on the Shadowmoss Golf Course.


The man’s name has not been released.


Police did not immediately release any other details about the death.

SC airport bomb dog dies in hot car

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 9:48am

GREER, S.C. — A bomb-sniffing dog with the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport police department has died after the air conditioning in her handler’s car failed.


Airport spokeswoman Rosilyn Weston tells local media outlets the K-9 named Emma died Tuesday.


Weston says it’s standard procedure for handlers to leave K-9s in running vehicles while a special air conditioning unit in the back of the car is running.


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Summer burn ban ends Oct. 1

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 8:31am


An open burning ban imposed in May will be lifted Oct. 1 for Richmond and Columbia counties.

Permits from the Georgia Forestry Department will still be required to burn. Permits will be issued only when weather conditions are deemed safe for burning and will expire after the day they are issued.

To obtain a permit, call (877) 652-2876 or apply online at

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