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Teen gunshot fatality identified

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 7:58am

 

A teen girl is dead after a drive-by shooting in Aiken County.

The coroner has identified her as Gail McFadgen, 16, of Aiken.

Capt. Eric Abdullah, of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, said the 16-year-old victim was one of several teens sitting outside on the 200 block of Diamond Street in the Beech Island area when she was shot about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

“The investigation is still in its early stages but we do not believe this was a random act,” Abdullah said. “We have some clues and indicators.”

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Georgia Regents looking to defend title at National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 9:01pm

 

Still riding high from its championship a year ago, the Georgia Regents disc golf team hopes to once again slip on silver jackets at the end of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships.

The Jaguars begin their title defense today at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex in North Augusta, where more than 100 teams will compete for titles in four divisions.

Last year, Georgia Regents won its second disc golf title with a six-stroke victory over Ferris State.

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Frantom secures District 7 commission seat

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 8:41pm

Augusta Commission District 7 will have a new representative with Sean Frantom’s Tuesday runoff victory over interim commissioner Louis “Hap” Harris.

Frantom garnered 1,288 or 62.77 percent of votes over Harris’ 764 or 37.23 percent and won all six of the Washington Road-area district’s polling places, in uncertified results posted by Richmond County Board of Elections.

Missing man found dead at lake

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 5:14pm

A man wanted in South Carolina who disappeared from a lake recreation area over the weekend was found dead early Tuesday.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King said a park ranger found Devin T. Wright, 47, of Jackson, S.C., floating 20-30 feet offshore in a cove at West Dam Recreation area about 8:30 a.m. King pronounced him dead at 10:15 a.m. He is presumed to have drowned, but King said an autopsy will be performed at a Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

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Savannah River Site accepting registrations for fishing challenge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:31pm

Savannah River Site is accepting registrations for a fishing challenge for wounded veterans and mobility-impaired individuals, according to a news release.

Registration ends Thursday for the first Ultimate Fishing Challenge that takes place from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 9 at a lake on SRS property. Fifteen participants will be randomly selected from the registrations.

The catch-and-release fishing event pairs a site employee with a participant. Fishing boats, equipment and life jackets will be provided and lunch will be served.

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Soldiers return from Ebola duty tonight

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:27pm

 

The last group of soldiers from Fort Gordon’s 35th Signal Brigade sent to West Africa to help contain the Ebola Virus outbreak returned to Augusta tonight.

The brigade held a small ceremony to welcome the last four of 25 local soldiers sent overseas home at Augusta Regional Airport at 8 p.m.

The soldiers traveled home after completing a 21-day health screening at Fort Bliss, Texas, to ensure all are in good health and none were bringing back deadly viruses, such as Ebola, said Staff Sgt. Ashley Armstrong, public affairs officer for the 35th Signal Brigade.

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Thefts from charter buses reported

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:22pm

 

Police are investigating after someone stole DVD equipment and seats from charter buses at Lewis Bus Lines.

Police were called to the business at 4156 Mike Padgett Highway Monday morning after the theft was recovered. According to a news release, someone removed 28 DVD monitors, six DVD players and two cloth passenger seats from 10 different buses parked on the property.

The employee told police he estimates the theft took place some time since March 30. He stated drivers and employees have access to the buses at all times.

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Defendant in 2010 fatal crime spree pleas guilty

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:17pm

 

The third defendant accused of committing a 2010 crime spree that included armed robbery, sexual assault and homicide pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Michael T. Rewis, 23, was set to stand trial this week in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, four counts of armed robbery and six weapon violations.

Before the jury selection began, however, Rewis opted to plead guilty to murder and two counts armed robbery in exchange for a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

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2 plead guilty to conspiracy in auto parts theft scheme

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:15pm

Two former employees of a McDuffie County auto parts warehouse pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to steal parts estimated at $120,000 to $200,000.

Joseph Battaglia, 38, and Jamaal Bradley, 27, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court. Sentencing dates will be set once pre-sentencing investigations are completed.

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Local court warns of e-mail scam

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:06pm

State court officials are urging local residents to beware of court notices going out by e-mail.

State Court Judge Richard Slaby’s office started receiving information on this week that multiple residents have received e-mails requesting they appear in state court. State court officials said court notices always go out by mail, and never by e-mail.

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Deal to speak in Columbia County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:52pm

Gov. Nathan Deal will speak May 7 to the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Post-Legislative Breakfast, according to a news release.

He also plans to hold a bill signing ceremony at the event, which begins at 7:30 a.m. at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans.

There is no charge for Columbia County Chamber members. Non-members can attend for $25. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the chamber at (706) 651-0018 or visiting its Web site at www.columbiacountychamber.com.

 

Georgia hikes college tuition

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:48pm

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Parents and students will be paying $80 million in higher tuition next year in the state’s public schools governed by the University System of Georgia after the Board of Regents voted Tuesday for the hike.

Tuition at the average school would rise 2.5 percent. At the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech it would jump 9 percent because there is so much more demand, according to Vice Chancellor John Brown. Tech gets nine applicants for every student admitted. UGA gets four for each admission.

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Evans mom charged with holding teen party involving sex, drugs, alcohol

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:28pm

An Evans mother was arrested Monday accused of hosting a party with drugs and alcohol for her teenage daughter and her friends.

Rachel Lynn Lehnardt, 35, was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

An Augusta woman told authorities Saturday that she was recently appointed as Lehnardt’s sponsor through Alcoholics Anonymous and Lehnardt told her about a recent incident at her home, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

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Body of Jackson man found in lake

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:25am

A man wanted in South Carolina who disappeared from a lake recreation area over the weekend was found dead in the lake early Tuesday.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King said that a park ranger found Devin T. Wright, 47, of Jackson, S.C., floating 20-30 feet off shore in a cove at West Dam Recreation area about 8:30 a.m. King pronounced him dead at 10:15 a.m. He is presumed to have drowned, but King said an autopsy will be performed at a Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

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Harsh penalties for Atlanta school cheaters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:21am

ATLANTA — All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators were sentenced to jail time Tuesday in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on the state's standardized tests, and the judge called the case "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town."

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Ga. man shoots armadillo; ricochet hits mother in law

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:13am

 

 

LEESBURG, Ga. — Authorities say a south Georgia man shot an armadillo, but ended up accidentally wounding his mother-in-law when the bullet ricocheted off the mammal known for its hard shell.

Lee County Sheriff’s deputies tell WALB-TV that 54-year-old Larry McElroy fired his 9 mm pistol at the armadillo Sunday night.

Deputies say the bullet killed the armadillo, but bounced off the animal, hit a fence, traveled through the back door of the mother-in-law’s mobile home and the recliner in which she was sitting, striking her in the back.

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Elderly man charged with murder dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 9:18am

 

An 86-year-old man accused of killing his caretaker last month has died as a result of natural causes.

John Dickey Obryant was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. today at University Hospital, Coroner Mark Bowen said.

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Toddler who fell in pool last week dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 8:52am

 

A 1-year-old Augusta boy has died a week after being pulled from a swimming pool in his backyard, Coroner Mark Bowen said Tuesday.

Oliver Jase White was unresponsive after being pulled April 6 from the pool in the backyard of his home on the 3400 block of Cannongate Drive. His mother told police she thought her son was sleeping and estimated he had been in the pool for about five minutes.

Police said that although the backyard was gated, the pool did not have its own fence. The back door of the home had been left open for a dog.

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Augusta Regional Airport busy with Masters travelers

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 04/13/2015 - 10:51pm

 

Donning a green Masters golf hat, Marc Van Niekerk sat at Augusta Regional Airport on Monday, preparing himself for a long trip back to his home in South Africa.

After making stops in Washington, New York and Dubai, Van Niekerk said he was scheduled to arrive in Cape Town by mid-day Wednesday.

Despite the hardship of travel, Van Niekerk said making the trip to Augusta with his father, mother and brother for their first Masters Tournament was “easily worth it.”

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Legal challenge to private probation firms moves into federal court

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 04/13/2015 - 10:26pm

The legal assault on for-profit probation operations in Georgia has moved to federal court, where one lawsuit contends a probation
firm and the small cities it serves regularly commit constitutional violations and crimes such as fraud and extortion.

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