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Columbia County school board cuts tax rate

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 8:28pm

As expected, Columbia County school board members voted Tuesday to roll back the school millage rate, which will reduce fall tax bills for county property owners.

Trustees voted to set the tax rate at 18.3 mills, a slight reduction from the 18.59 mill rate, which was set in July 2013 when board members voted to raise the rate a full mill to offset cuts in state funding to local school districts.

The reduction for this year will result in about a $12 decrease in property taxes on a house valued at $100,000.

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GRU Cancer Center expansion on track; will expand its cancer research abilities

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 7:13pm

 

The expansion of cancer research at Georgia Regents University is getting closer and the buildup of the cancer program overall is on pace to bring the GRU Cancer Center closer to a long-sought designation, the center’s director said.

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City of Augusta offers to settle firefighters' overtime complaint filed in a class-action lawsuit

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 7:01pm

 

A week after paying a former deputy coroner $200,000 in Fair Labor Standards Act and whistleblower complaints, the Augusta Commission on Tuesday authorized another settlement with workers alleging they were improperly paid for overtime work.

A class-action lawsuit filed by Augusta Fire Department Lt. Robert Morris last October claimed Morris and approximately 85 of his fire department colleagues hadn’t been paid the appropriate overtime rate based on the extra pay all received to be certified as paramedics or emergency medical technicians.

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Latest Army projections boost Fort Gordon growth to 4,700 personnel

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 6:38pm

 

The number of incoming personnel connected to the Army Cyber Command’s relocation to Fort Gordon’s Cyber Center of Excellence and other growing missions will be even greater than the Army originally thought.

The latest Army models estimate 4,700 soldiers, federal civilians and contractors will move to Fort Gordon by the end of fiscal year 2019, said J.C. Mathews, the installation’s public affairs officer. Original projections were between 3,700 and 4,000 new personnel.

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Augusta man on trial for 2013 Waynesboro bank robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 6:32pm

Testimony continues today in federal court in the trial of an Augusta man accused of being one of two masked men who robbed a Waynesboro bank in 2013.

Damien B. Osborne, 24, has pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court.

Within two days of the Dec. 2, 2013, holdup of the Southern Bank in Waynesboro, Osborne became a suspect because of two fingerprints, according to court testimony Tuesday.

The prints recovered from Southern Bank’s money wrappers were found in a car believed to have been driven by the robbers. The prints led to Osborne.

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Augusta man stands trial for Lincolnton man's 2013 homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 6:00pm

 

Testimony began Tuesday in an Augusta man’s murder trial.

Ezra Lay, 42, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of murder in the Dec. 13, 2013, slaying of James Marshall.

Lay was the person who led a uniformed sheriff deputy to the body of Marshall in the narrow side yard of an abandoned home on Carrie Street.

Lay initially told sheriff Sgt. Chris Langford that Marshall, 44, had stopped by to share a beer with him at his Carrie Street home then walked off with a woman that night.

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Rants & Raves

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 4:49pm

Comments from readers:

WHY IS IT THAT every time you shop at a Wal-Mart there is always someone there asking for money? This makes me not want to shop at Wal-Mart.

I BELIEVE IT IS time now to stop these runaway Supreme Court justices and amend the Constitution that will impose one or two term limits before they destroy our great country.

YEAH, DONALD Trump! Finally a man who can stand up to PC nonsense. I think he may make a really good president. It’s early, but he has my vote.

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Head of Atlanta NAACP chapter wants Confederate symbols taken off all Georgia state property

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 4:41pm

ATLANTA — The president of the Atlanta NAACP says the group wants Confederate symbols – including a giant carving at Stone Mountain Park – removed from all government-owned property and plans to pursue making those changes during the next legislative session.

Some who support flying the battle flag say the symbol represents Southern heritage and pride in Civil War-era leaders. However, Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose and others have argued the flag is a divisive symbol and white supremacy is at the heart of the heritage the flag celebrates.

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Prosecution continues malice murder charge against Martinez man in baby's death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 3:29pm

A judge determined Tuesday there was enough probable cause to continue the prosecution of a Martinez man on murder charges in the death of his girlfriend’s 5½-month-old son.

Jacob Drew Harris, 26, was arrested June 17 along with his girlfriend, Lexis Fay Russell, 23, after her infant son, Bentley, died inside the home in which police said they admitted using drugs.

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Paterno son sought UGA job

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 3:07pm

 

ATHENS, Ga. -- Jay Paterno — son of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno — sent a handwritten letter in December to Georgia coach Mark Richt looking for a job.

He sent similar notes to Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorson, according to court documents released stemming from the legal battle between the NCAA and Joe Paterno’s estate.

The Patriot News in Harrisburg, Pa., first reported the story on Monday.

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Cumbee Center announces new executive director

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 3:04pm

The Aiken-based Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons has a new leader.

The center Tuesday announced Susan Selden as the new executive director succeeding Kay Mixon, who retired in March after more than 30 years at the center, which assists victims of abuse at three locations in Aiken, Edgefield and Barnwell counties.

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Augusta man charged with aggravated assault in dragging deputy at traffic stop

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 2:30pm

An Augusta man is facing charges after dragging a Richmond County sheriff’s investigator with his vehicle last week, police said.

Shavarius Marquette Bell, 25, of Taylor Street, was booked into the Richmond County jail Monday on a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer for the July 6 incident.

Investigators had been investigating Bell for the trafficking of illegal drugs in the downtown area when they stopped a vehicle on Watkins Street for failure to stop for a stop sign.

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Aiken police searching for missing 70-year-old woman with Alzheimer's

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 2:20pm

 

Aiken County police are searching for a 70-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s who has been missing since Monday evening.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, Jean Bird Smith climbed out of the bedroom window of her home on the 400 block of Cumbee Trail Road and left the area. Smith’s son searched for her for several hours before alerting police about 7 p.m. The search was discontinued at midnight and resumed Tuesday morning. The bloodhound tracking team and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is assisting in the search.

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Meeting in Aiken will help churches develop security plans

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 2:18pm

The Aiken Department of Public Safety and FBI will be helping churches develop an emergency operation plan for active shooter situations at a meeting later this month.

All clergy and laypersons from houses of worship in Aiken and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend the event, which will be held at 7 p.m. July 27 at Millbrook Baptist Church, 223 S. Aiken Blvd.

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Warren Road overpass closed after commercial vehicle damages it

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/14/2015 - 12:47pm

The Warren Road Bridge over Interstate 20 will remain closed until further notice after a commercial vehicle carrying an excavator hit and damaged it on Tuesday.

A small amount of debris fell from the bridge’s underside, but no one was hurt and no vehicles passing beneath were damaged, according to a statement from Georgia Department of Transportation official Kyle Collins.

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