ATLANTA — Commissioners in Georgia’s most populous county have approved a 17 percent property tax hike.
Fulton County commissioners on Wednesday approved the increase with a 4-3 vote.
The increase is the first of its kind in more than two decades.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://on-ajc.com/1skqrx2) that the tax hike is expected to pay for countywide services like libraries, courts and social services.
It would cost the owner of a $275,000 home an extra $140 a year if the property’s value remains unchanged.
IRMO, S.C. — A new law means drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus in South Carolina are more likely to get hit in the wallet.
The law allows law enforcement to write traffic tickets after reviewing video captured by cameras installed on school buses. Previously, an officer had to personally witness the illegal passing to prosecute — unless injuries resulted and boosted the charge to a felony.
An Augusta man says he was shot at Wednesday while working in the backyard of a residence.
Approximately 3:51 p.m., deputies responded to the 600 block of Bennock Mill Road where a 20-year-old victim said fired shots as he worked outside on a vehicle, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This profile is part of an ongoing series on area law enforcement officers.
There’s just something about traffic enforcement that Lance Cpl. Brandon Rucker loves.
The 29-year-old South Carolina officer always wanted to be in law enforcement, but it was the traffic enforcement side, instead of investigation or other divisions, that seems to be his best fit.
In 2007 he took a position with the S.C. Highway Patrol in the Aiken County area of Troop 7.
Augusta’s pilot project using goats to maintain the city’s hundreds of detention ponds gets under way Thursday with the deployment of a small herd to a Hephzibah-area pond.
The goats will be transported from Augusta Animal Services to the fenced pond area mid-morning, Engineering Director Abie Ladson said, and monitored frequently to see how fast they work.
Thurmond Dam won’t be required to report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the amount of pollutants it’s sending into the Savannah River, as a recent legal settlement ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to do for eight dams in Oregon and Washington.
The Corps, however, will continue to comply with South Carolina discharge permitting and monitoring requirements for pollutants. Only minor oil spills have been reported in recent decades at Thurmond Dam, according to Billy Birdwell, spokesman for the Corps’ Savannah District.
A Tifton, Ga., peanut butter manufacturer donated 1,000 jars of peanut butter to the Golden Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday.
Bell Plantation made the donation to announce its partnership with an upcoming documentary on Georgia’s peanut butter industry by Hephzibah filmmaker Joseph Barnhart. Portions of the documentary “Growing Peanut Butter” will be filmed at Bell Plantation.
At a press conference at Golden Harvest, Mayor Deke Copenhaver encouraged the community to donate peanut butter – a food rich in protein – to the food bank.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning Wednesday about callers scamming money from residents through Green Dot debit cards.
Sgt. Michael McDaniel said the office has received complaints from victims who received fraudulent calls requesting money. The callers claimed to be from a utility company, government agency or fundraising organization. The scammer tells residents to buy a Green Dot card to pay a bill, make a donation or pay a fine in lieu of an arrest.
Victims can notify the sheriff’s office at (706) 821-1020.
A road detour causing headaches for motorists traveling near Augusta’s medical district is entering its third month, but a city official says the end of construction could be near.
On the 1500 block of Wrightsboro Road, a collapsed sewer line near the Dart Container facility prompted the city’s engineering department to close the road in May. The detour has left drivers without an easy way to get around the Georgia Regents University medical campus.
Another parent is facing charges after leaving a small child alone in an unattended, hot vehicle.
In the latest case, the father left the parking lot at Augusta Mall even though his 2-year-old son had been taken from the vehicle by a concerned bystander.
Tyrone Tyson Thomas, 27, of Girard, Ga., was booked into the Richmond County jail Tuesday on a charge of deprivation of a minor.
The incident is one of several locally in which children have been left unattended in cars.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Barely able to tie his shoes three days ago, Tiger Woods is ready to tee it up in the PGA Championship.
Woods caused the biggest sensation of the week Wednesday afternoon simply by driving his silver SUV into the parking lot at Valhalla. He has never arrived so late for a major championship and had so little time to prepare – just nine holes at Valhalla, which he had not seen since winning the PGA Championship in 2000.
But at least he’s playing.
COLUMBIA — State regulators have fined the city of Barnwell $700 for malfunctions at its wastewater treatment facility and ordered the city to make improvements.
Specifically, the S.C. Department of Environmental Control found the site had discharged too much fecal coliform, exceeding the daily maximum. The fine was for the discharge on three days in June, July and January.
The environmental agency said the city had violated the Pollution Control Act and Water Pollution Control Permits Regulation.