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Georgia 'rampage' victim dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 6:53am


ATHENS, Ga. -- One of the victims of a man’s rampage this week in Oglethorpe County has died, while her killer was released from an Athens hospital.

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Savannah State student shot, killed on campus

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 6:46am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A Savannah State University student was fatally wounded Thursday night during an altercation at the student union.

Christopher Starks, a junior from the metro Atlanta area, died at a local hospital, officials said.

Classes were delayed until 10 a.m. today.

Savannah State police said the shooting took place late Thursday night near the student union on campus.

No description of the suspect was available late Thursday night, school spokeswoman Loretta Heyward said.

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Lockdown lifted following Savannah State University campus shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:16am

Savannah State police said a shooting took place late Thursday night near the student union on campus.

One male was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries, said Loretta Heyward, Savannah State spokeswoman. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known.

No description of the suspect was available late Thursday night, Heyward said.

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State commission denies petition for Columbia County charter school

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 10:42pm

For the second consecutive year, the State Charter Schools Commission has denied a local group’s petition to establish an arts-infused charter school in Columbia County.

Organizers behind the Columbia County School for the Arts were anticipating the commission’s decision after receiving a letter earlier this month indicating that the review panel would recommend to deny their petition.

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Former energy secretary backs MOX plutonium disposal

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 9:10pm

Federal lawmakers should work with the U.S. Energy Department to restructure a Savannah River Site project that converts weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial use at nuclear power plants, a former energy secretary recently told the Senate’s ranking Democrat.

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Georgia Regents Health System, University Hospital talk of need for partnerships

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 8:53pm

In separate meetings Thurs­day, the leadership of both Georgia Regents Health System and University Hospital said they were doing well financially but see the need to partner with others in the future.

New health system CEO and GRU President Brooks Keel said some of those talks have been with each other. In coming years, there could be only a handful of very large health systems left in Georgia, University CEO Jim Davis said.

After his first health system board meeting, Keel said he met with Davis about a week ago.

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Perry brings presidential campaign to Aiken Friday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 5:41pm

Former Texas governor Rick Perry will bring his presidential campaign to Aiken on Friday.

Fellow Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush have already visited Aiken County. Visits by Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are scheduled for September and October, respectively.

Perry will speak at the Aiken County Republican Party’s luncheon at 1 p.m. downtown in Newberry Hall. Doors open at Noon.

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Woman charged with murder in death of infant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 4:07pm

A 21-year-old woman has been charged with murder after a Wilkes County infant died Monday.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Takela Jones was caring for Sidney Lewis, who was 5 weeks old, at the time the infant suffered injuries that resulted in her death. Jones was the girlfriend of the infant’s father.

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Stock turmoil won't affect Augusta, report says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 3:38pm

ATLANTA — Ignore the fluctuations in the stock market because the Augusta economy is continuing to grow and add jobs, according to a university forecast released Thursday.

Much of the Wall Street turmoil is in reaction to Chi­na’s shifting monetary policy and an overdue correction in its own stock market. The factors generating growth in the U.S. in the first half of the year – consumer demand and corporate investment – should fuel a healthy second half, too, according to the quarterly outlook from the Economic Forecasting Cen­ter at Georgia State Uni­versity.

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New study: Up to 54 percent of county sales taxes paid by non-residents

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 2:55pm

A new study commissioned by the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce estimates non-county residents pay up to 54 percent of sales tax revenue.

The finding by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government bolsters support for special purpose, local option sales tax 7, also known as SPLOST, which backers say is fair because non-residents help fund sales tax projects inside Augusta-Richmond County, including roads and other infrastructure used by visitors.

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Palace Malice to retire from racing

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 2:24pm

Palace Malice had it all in his career as one of the top thoroughbreds: speed, stamina and charisma.

The colt had the stamina to go the distance and win the Belmont Stakes, and he had the speed to cover shorter distances and win races such as the Metropolitan Mile. Through it all, the son of Curlin out of Palace Rumor exhibited a flair for the dramatic.

Now, the 5-year-old colt’s racing career is over. Dogwood Stable, which jointly owns Palace Malice with Three Chimneys Farm, made it official with a news release Thursday.

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SRNS donates $10,000 for Aiken County's 100th Habitat for Humanity house

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 2:04pm

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions presented Aiken County’s Habitat for Humanity chapter with a $10,000 check this week to help the local nonprofit reach a major milestone -- the construction of its 100th house in more than 25 years of service to the community.

The donation marks the third Habitat house co-sponsored by SRNS, which has previously provided financial support for homes in Aiken County built in 2010 and 2011.

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No Confederate ban in Spartanburg schools

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:59pm


SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Schools in Charleston County have banned Confederate items from clothing, jewelry and cars on campus this year, just a couple of months after the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church.


The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports school officials in Spartanburg County are not singling out Confederate items as banned this year.


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Blasting near Grovetown today

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:51pm

The sound of explosions might be heard this afternoon near Grovetown as construction continues on new sewer lines.

According to a news release, Tiger Blasting will be working today beginning 12:30 p.m. for the development of a project off Georgia Highway 221.

Soldier acquitted of child molestation charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:36pm

A soldier stationed at Fort Gordon was acquitted Thursday of child molestation charges.

A Columbia County Superior Court jury found Brent Briggs not guilty of two counts of aggravated child molestation and one count of child molestation. Briggs was accused of committing the acts between August 2010 and Dec. 31, 2013.

Briggs’ trial began Monday, said his attorney, Richard Goolsby.

Georgia coast facing storm next week

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:22pm




SAVANNAH, Ga. — Emergency officials on the Georgia coast are urging residents to start preparing for possible trouble from Tropical Storm Erika.


The Chatham County Emergency Management Agency on Thursday said Savannah-area residents should have disaster supply kits and evacuation plans ready in case Erika threatens the southern East Coast next week.


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Civil suit will proceed against GRU officers

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:13pm


A civil lawsuit filed by an Augusta man hit with 50,000 volts of electricity during a traffic stop by a Georgia Regents University police officer has survived its first challenge in U.S. District Court.

In an order filed Aug. 21, U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall dismissed a number of claims against the school and police officers, but the claims on eight grounds survived the school’s defense team’s motion to dismiss.

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More commercial development slated for Columbia County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 11:35am

William Few Parkway could see more commercial development in the near future.

A rezoning request for a grocery-anchored center with restaurant and retail space at the corner of William Few Parkway and Columbia Road in Evans is going before Columbia County planning commissioners Sept. 3. The wooded 21-acre parcel is adjacent to Patriots Park.

The preliminary zoning plan shows a 60,000-square-foot grocer anchoring the center, which would also include more than 50,000 square feet of retail space and five out-parcels fronting the intersection.

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Burke slaying suspect arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 11:32am

A 22-year-old is facing a murder charge in connection to a badly decomposed body discovered in Burke County last week.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and sheriff’s offices in Burke and Richmond counties issued an arrest warrant for Walter Salvesen III, of Hephzibah, in Richmond County on Wednesday. He was later arrested.

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Residence Inn opening in Augusta next week

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 11:29am

An extended-stay hotel on Marks Church Road in Augusta is scheduled to open Monday.

Work on the 124-suite Residence Inn by Marriott has been ongoing since early 2014. The four-story hotel is located near the Bobby Jones Expressway interchange and Wheeler Road and includes an indoor swimming pool, exercise room, business center and meeting space.

The hotel will employ between 35 and 40 workers, developers with Warner Robins, Ga.-based PeachState Hospitality said. They estimated the project cost more than $15 million.


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