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Authorities receive autopsy results in Monday double homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:06pm

The Richmond County Coroner’s Office released the autopsy results of two men who were shot dead in a drug deal that went bad Monday night, police said.

According to a statement from the office, 21-year-old Ian Roberts, of Hephzibah, died of a gunshot wound to the head. He was found after Richmond County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at Ethan Way and Matthew Court in Walton Farms subdivision about 8:15 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Scott Dean's habeas corpus petition denied

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:33pm


When Renee Dean’s phone rang early Thursday, she knew something was wrong.

It was her husband, former Columbia County Com­mis­sioner Scott Dean, telling her that his writ of habeas corpus was denied by a south Geor­gia judge.

“He was devastated,” Renee Dean said, adding that his whole family is, too.

The writ, filed on his behalf, alleges that he’s an innocent man being held in prison illegally and places the burden of proof on the state to justify his detention.

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Augusta man pleads guilty in shovel assault

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 2:47pm

A 52-year-old Augusta man who hit his sister in the head with a shovel pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault.

Billy Ray Hendrix also pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a charge of third-degree cruelty to children for assaulting his sister in front of a child. Judge J. Wade Padgett accepted the plea negotiation and sentenced Hendrix, who is serving out a year’s imprisonment for an unrelated domestic violence battery case, to 10 years on probation.

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SC appeals gay marriage ruling

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:00pm

COLUMBIA — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is formally appealing a judge’s ruling that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Wilson on Thursday filed a notice he would be appealing to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. He has called the ruling no surprise and that he is obligated to defend state laws.

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SC lawmakers wary of changing hospital rules

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 7:05am

COLUMBIA — The state health agency is proposing ways to reduce the need for a state permit when a medical facility purchases equipment or upgrades its buildings.

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Georgia university officials move ahead with private dorm plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:44pm

ATLANTA — Georgia university officials are moving ahead with a plan that could make the state the country’s largest user of privatized college dorms.

The Board of Regents, which governs the University System of Georgia, awarded the first phase of a long-term plan to shift management of campus dorms to private companies on Wednesday in Atlanta.

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Man shot in Providence Place apartment complex

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:58pm

Richmond County Sheriff deputies are searching for a suspect after a 25-year-old man was shot Wednesday evening on Southgate Drive.

Approximately 7:37 p.m., deputies responded to Providence Place apartment complex where a black male was found with a gunshot wound to the left thigh, according to Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

According to witnesses, the victim walked down the apartment stairs and was approached by a black male, described as tall, skinny, wearing all black and a ski mask.

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Augusta Commission to discuss budget options

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:50pm

Interim City Administrator Tameka Allen’s three proposals for balancing the 2015 budget, including two that hinge on implementing a new stormwater utility fee, will be on the table at a Thursday work session, but for some commissioners, none make the grade.

Allen, whose last official day as interim administrator is Friday, developed the three alternatives in response to commissioners’ questions about her recommendations to charge residents a stormwater fee and to cut city payments to outside agencies.

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Augusta VA nurses participate in National Day of Action for Ebola Safety

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:34pm

Registered nurses at Au­gusta’s Charlie Norwood Vet­er­ans Affairs Medical Center joined a nationwide movement Wednesday demanding tougher safety precautions for U.S. health care workers dealing with patients possibly stricken with the deadly Ebola virus.

Protesting in front of the Augusta VA’s downtown hospital, nurse Irma Westmoreland said dozens of hospitals still lack enough hazardous materials suits that cover the body head to toe and include electronic, air-purifying respirators to properly protect nurses from Ebola.

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Augusta officials watching Langley Dam release, 'darker' water to flow into Savannah River

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:37pm

The Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency will be “closely monitoring” the draining of Langley Pond following a Wednesday announcement by Aiken County officials that Langley Dam was leaking bad enough to initiate an “immediate release” of water from the dam.

In an evening news release, Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin stated the draining operation will affect the Savannah River.

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Hephzibah mobile home catches fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:24pm

Augusta fire crews extinguished a mobile-home blaze Wednesday afternoon in Hephzibah.

Approximately 4:26 p.m., officials were called to 5057 Deer Trail Drive where a structure had caught fire, according to Richmond County dispatch.

A 76-year-old man sustained burns to the arm and face while trying to extinguish the fire, according to Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin. The victim was transported to the burn center at Doctor’s Hospital. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.



Cannabis oil clinical trial at Georgia Regents University might not be only option

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:08pm

Running a clinical trial of cannabis-derived oil for 50 children with uncontrollable seizures could cost the state of Georgia $7-8 million, an official with Georgia Regents University told a legislative study committee meeting in Augusta on Wednesday.

But outside of that limited number, entities in the state might be authorized to grow and produce the oil for the thousands of others who might benefit from it, the chief proponent for the legislation said.

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Richmond County Sheriff's Office adds radio channels to lower response times

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 5:41pm

The addition of two police radio channels is already alleviating problems for deputies and dispatchers.

The sheriff’s office added the frequencies Wednesday after a year of research and preparation. Although it might not sound like much of a change, Lt. Lewis Blanchard said it will benefit the public in addition to officers.

The change freed up radio air space, making it easier for dispatchers to communicate more quickly with deputies, and vice versa.

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Cotton Patch variation to open next month in Evans

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 5:38pm

The Southern-style cuisine that is a staple of Bryan Mitchell’s Cotton Patch in downtown Augusta will soon be served in Columbia County.

Mitchell and wife Cathy are putting the finishing touches on Eli’s American across from the Evans Wal-Mart and expect to open the restaurant in mid-December.

“It is definitely not a chain,” said Mitchell, who has invested about $500,000 into the 3,000-square-foot space. “This is the restaurant I always wanted to do.”

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