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CDC announces enhanced screening efforts to contain Ebola

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:31pm

 ATLANTA — As they mourned the death Wednesday of the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S., officials announced enhanced screening for the 150 travelers a day from Ebola-ravaged countries in Africa flying into America, including new measures at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported some potential progress in one of those countries, Liberia, but cautioned that a long fight was still ahead.

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Early voting starts, new Augusta advance voting site opens Monday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:10pm


Voters ready to cast a ballot early or check out the new Telfair Street entrance to Augusta Municipal Building can do both at once with the opening of Richmond County’s Advance Voting Center at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

“One of the things that makes it so wonderful for advance voting in particular, is people coming in to vote will no longer be required to go through security screening,” Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said. “I think it just makes it a little more convenient.”

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Columbia County affirms financial backing for hospital proposals

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:31pm


Columbia County has reaffirmed its commitment to offer financial backing for three proposed hospital plans, should one win needed approval from state regulators.

Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson transmitted renewed letters of support to officials at the three Augusta hospitals vying to build the county’s first hospital. Each is in the process of seeking a Certificate of Need (CON) from the state, which has already said the area has more than enough hospital beds not to warrant building a new facility.

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Mullins land cleared for River Watch dirt deal

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:28pm

The land has been cleared and trees rendered into pulpwood and mulch, but shoppers shouldn’t expect to ring any cash registers in a new section of Mullins Crossing soon.

County officials confirmed Wednesday there are no immediate plans to develop the 21-acre site at 4263 Washington Road, which is expected at some point to be used for the second phase of Mullins Crossing, an Evans retail center which opened in 2005.

The reason for the land’s recent clearing, however, is a deal for its dirt.

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Aiken man charged with attempted murder after police chase, holdup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:17pm

A man accused of armed robbery and attempted murder was released Wednesday from Aiken Regional Medical Center and transported to Aiken County Detention Center, according to Sgt. Jason Feemster.

On Friday, Oct. 3, about 10:30 a.m., witnesses reported seeing Waymon Eugene Newton, 37, fleeing the scene of an accident near the intersection of Whiskey and Talatha Church roads, according to a statement from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

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Veteran housing project Freedom's Path files for funding again

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 5:10pm


The developers of Freedom’s Path, a low-income housing complex aimed at ending veteran homelessness in the Augusta area, have filed a new tax-credit application for the state’s 2014 funding cycle, after a legal dispute last year threatened to kill the project.

The Augusta nonprofit Hope House and Florida-based developer Don Paxton have asked the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to award them $790,000 in low-income housing tax credits in November, when the agency decides which rental properties should receive federal and state funding.

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Aquinas placed on lockdown Wednesday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 5:02pm

Aquinas High School was placed on temporary lockdown Wednesday, while Richmond County sheriff’s deputies searched for an armed suspect in the area.

Approximately 1:48 p.m., deputies responded to the 1900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in reference to a burglary, according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser.

Upon arrival, officers learned that a black male, wearing camouflage clothing and hat, had taken an unknown number of weapons from a residence and fled on foot.

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Huntsman starts to hire for Augusta plant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 3:37pm


Huntsman is beginning to hire.

The Georgia Department of Labor said Wednesday that it will help Huntsman Pigments recruit about 100 workers for its new manufacturing facility under construction near the Augusta Regional Airport.

Huntsman Corp., based in Woodlands, Texas, paid about $1 billion to acquire the pigment and additives divisions of Rockwood Holdings. Rockwood started building the facility prior to the deal with Huntsman.

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Lottery ticket wins $200,000 for N. Augustan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 2:49pm

A North Augusta man took extra precautions after winning the top prize of $200,000 on an instant lottery ticket.

“My stomach has been in knots,” said the winner, who was not publicly identified, when he cashed in the Money Money Money ticket on Tuesday. “I feel better already.”

He told South Carolina lottery officials he had slept with a gun since he purchased the ticket at Kangaroo Express on Edgefield Drive in Belvedere and saw his prize.

Playing the lottery has been a weekly tradition for the retiree.

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UGA likes early Missouri kickoff

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 1:52pm


ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s football game Saturday at Missouri has an 11 a.m. kickoff local time (noon ET).

And that’s the way Georgia preferred it.

Coach Mark Richt said Wednesday that athletic director Greg McGarity expressed to the Southeastern Conference a desire not to play in one of the other possible windows—6, 7:30 or 9 p.m. ET—because of another road trip the following week against Arkansas in Little Rock.

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Ex-principal no-show at Atlanta school cheating trial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 1:11pm

ATLANTA — A former principal testifying in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial failed to show up in court, prompting the judge to ask prosecutors to find him.

Former Gideons Elementary School Principal Armstead Salters had testified Tuesday for the prosecution and was supposed to return Wednesday for more examination by attorneys, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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Animal shelter hopes to increase adoptions at event Saturday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:59am


Augusta Animal Services will hold its second annual Family Fun Day on Saturday to help get dogs and cats out of the shelter and into homes.

Operations Manager Priscilla Crisler said the event is a push to get shelter animals adopted but is also an effort to help familiarize the public with the shelter and teach proper pet care.

The event will have food, face-painting and games, and families are invited to bring their pets for $10 rabies vaccines and $15 microchipping.

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Burned body in Stone Mountain park

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:18am


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Police are investigating after a couple walking their dog in a Gwinnett County park found the burned body of a woman.


Gwinnett police Cpl. Ed Ritter said the body was found Wednesday morning on the pathway next to a pavilion in Deshong Park, east of Stone Mountain.


Ritter tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution very few details about the death were available Wednesday morning. Homicide investigators had been called to the scene.


The park is about 20 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Gay marriage application OK'd in SC

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 10:12am

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina court approved a gay marriage application Wednesday and plans to issue a license despite the state’s constitutional ban against the practice and the attorney general’s pledge to defend it.

Charleston County Probate Judge Irvin Condon said he would issue a license for Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon and her partner, Nichols Bleckley, after the state’s required 24-hour waiting period unless overruled by the courts.

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Tuesday Aiken shooting investigated

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 9:55am

Aiken County police are investigating a Tuesday evening shooting that resulted in an adult and juvenile being hospitalized.

Deputies responded to the 100 block of Owl Branch Road about 9:45 p.m. after reports of multiple shots fired.

One man told police he was walking in the road when she was shot in the left hip, according to a news release. The victim, who was transported to an area hospital for treatment, could not provide deputies with any details on the shooter.

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Details offered in 2013 Aiken K-9 death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 9:40am

AIKEN— Authorities say an Aiken County deputy was disciplined last year after the death of a police dog left in a hot car.

Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdulla told The Aiken Standard on Tuesday that an explosives-detecting dog named Cooper died June 7, 2013.

Abdullah says the dog was inside a kennel in a patrol car. Abdullah says the handler, Special Operations Deputy James Taylor, generally kept the dog there during the day, giving him several breaks.

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Eclipse offered stunning sight

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 8:07am


Much of the nation got to see a total lunar eclipse this morning.

The event, called by many the “Blood Moon Eclipse,” was the second of 2014.

Wednesday morning’s event offered a rare cosmic sight, called a “selenelion.”

That means viewers could see both the lunar eclipse and the rising sun simultaneously because the images are refracted by Earth’s atmosphere.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full moon. They offer a photographic opportunity.

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UGA linebacker punched in bar

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:30am

ATHENS, Ga. -- The downtown Athens scene caused a confusing situation for a Georgia football player for the second consecutive weekend.

Senior linebacker Kosta Vavlas was punched in the face at Silver Dollar Bar on College Street early Sunday, a few hours after the Bulldogs win over Vanderbilt.

According to the police report, Vavlas, 22, was punched by Jeffery Cody Bradford, 23, who was arrested for battery and booked on Sunday into jail.

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SC reports season's 1st flu death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:27am

COLUMBIA — Health officials say South Carolina has had its first death of this flu season.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said it was notified Tuesday that someone from the Midlands died from laboratory-confirmed flu. DHEC didn’t release any other details about the person.

Flu season starts in October and typically peaks in February.

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SC man wins 'American Pickers' suit

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:24am

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A Greer man has won a $1,000 judgment against a host of television’s “American Pickers” over a piece of antique farm equipment.

The Greenville News reported Jerry Bruce hopes to open a museum of tools from the 1800s.

On a 2010 episode of The History Channel show, he saw a polarimeter. The devices date to the 1830s and were used to measure sugar content in alcohol.

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