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Mother accused of abuse denied bond

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:02pm

Bond was denied Monday for an Au­gus­ta woman accused of physically abusing her 6-year-old daughter.

Michelle Johnson, 28, has been held without bond since February on charges of first- and second-degree cruelty to children. She has pleaded not
guilty in Richmond County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Jared Wil­liams asked Judge J. David Roper to deny bond.

On Feb. 10, a case worker with the Department of Family and Children Services visited the family and saw the 6-year-old with a black eye.

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Former GreenJackets manager Goff named Marlins bench coach

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:04pm


Former Augusta GreenJackets manager Mike Goff was named the Miami Marlins bench coach Monday.

Goff was announced as part of Miami’s new field staff that includes new manager Dan Jennings, who also holds the general manager position. Previous manager Mike Redmond and part of his staff were fired Sunday following the Marlins’ 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

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1 dead in SC recycling plant fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:01pm




ANDERSON, S.C. — Authorities say one worker is dead and another has been injured in a fire at a metal recycling plant in Anderson.


Local media outlets report the fire broke out about 10 a.m. on Monday at OmniSource metal recycling.


The coroner confirms one man is dead while another was taken to a hospital. The names of the men were not immediately released.


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Gov. Deal bends rules for Capitol gala

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:46am

ATLANTA – The Georgia Chamber of Commerce got preferential treatment from Gov. Nathan Deal who bent rules to allow one of the most politically active organizations in the state to hold a fundraising dinner in the state Capitol.

“The symbolism of a fancy, black-tie gala, for well-to-do business executives at the seat of democracy in our state is concerning,” said Charlie Flemming, president of the Georgia AFL-CIO unions.

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Ga. below average in heavy drinking

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 9:02am

ATLANTA -- Georgia has lower rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking than the national average, a recently released study found.

The study, published last month in the American Journal of Public Health, found that just 6.9 percent of Georgians are heavy drinkers, versus a national rate of 8.2 percent. Heavy drinking is defined as exceeding an average of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men over the past month.

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More than 20 arrested in child sex sting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:48am


Almost two dozen people including a funeral home director, soldier and corrections officers were arrested in a weekend operation aimed at targeting online sexual predators.

The four-day effort, called Operation Mayday, ended Monday morning with 22 suspects, ages 19 to 52. All of the suspects communicated with a “child” online and then traveled to Augusta with the intention of having sex with a child. They are charged with criminal attempt to commit child molestation, but more charges might be added, authorities said.

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Shoplifting suspect shocked 5 times with stun gun

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 5:46pm

A Waynesboro man was shocked with a stun gun five times after trying to shoplift aftershave at Wal-Mart, police say.

Russell Dean Johnson, 53, was seen placing a bottle of aftershave in his pocket, then was confronted by an officer working at the Deans Bridge Road business, according to a May 8 Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report.

Johnson tried to flee but was tracked down, and the deputy “wrestled the suspect to the floor” in an attempt to arrest him, the report said.

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Braves' Miller loses no-hitter with 2 out in 9th

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 3:45pm


MIAMI — Shelby Miller’s no-hit bid ended with two out in the ninth inning Sunday when Justin Bour singled sharply up the middle, and the Atlanta Braves right-hander pitched a two-hitter in a 6-0 win over the Miami Marlins that completed a three-game sweep.


Miller easily retired the first two batters in the ninth before Bour singled on the first pitch, a 95-mph fastball. Dee Gordon then reached on an infield single before Martin Prado popped out.


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Sheriff's office using message boards to find speed hot spots

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 8:04pm

Those electronic message boards posted along the busier thoroughfares in Richmond County recently aren’t just there to remind motorists to watch their speed.

They’re also tattling on speeders.

Since the end of March, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has set up the message boards as part of its educational phase of traffic enforcement, said Lt. Ra­mone Lamkin. The message it wants to send is simple: Slow down.

“That will serve as a warning, because maybe a patrol car will be there next time to pull you over and give you a citation,” he said.

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American Pharoah wins Preakness Stakes in a romp

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 6:24pm


BALTIMORE — Minutes before the Preakness, it was an ominous scene at Pimlico Race Course. Thunder and lightning. Wind and rain. A record crowd scrambling for cover. A drenched racetrack.

Nothing – absolutely nothing – was going to stop American Pharoah, especially the competition.

Thunder rumbled as the starting gate opened, and the Kentucky Derby winner took charge early on and overpowered seven rivals, winning by seven lengths to put trainer Bob Baffert back in the Triple Crown groove.

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Man arrested in Augusta tire slashing scam

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 9:49pm

A man suspected in a multicounty tire slashing scam was arrested in Richmond County on Friday, officials said.

Michael Simoneaux, 48, was charged with four counts of misdemeanor theft by deception and five counts of criminal trespass, according to Richmond County jail records. He was being held at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris confirmed that Simoneaux was one of the suspects in a number of identical scams throughout the area.

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Truck driver cited in Johnston, S.C., train wreck

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 9:43pm


A truck driver who caused a train wreck in Johnston, S.C., after his tractor-trailer stalled on the tracks was charged Friday with disobeying a permit, officials said.

Trans United driver Thomas Blackiston, of Chesterfield, Mich., was cited for violation of a single trip permit, State Transport Police Cpl. Ronald Heitzenrater said.

The permit was issued for carrying an oversized load, he said. Blackiston violated the conditions of the permit when he failed to comply with a restriction at the railroad crossing on Lee Street in downtown Johnston.

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Time will tell if this is a special crop of 3-year-olds

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 5:00pm

On the back side of Churchill Downs – both before and after the running of the 141st Kentucky Derby two weeks ago – the opinion was voiced repeatedly that this is one of the best and deepest crops of 3-year-olds in many years.

In the aftermath of the first leg of racing’s Triple Crown, Bob Baffert – now a veteran of 16 editions of the Kentucky classic and with a fourth victory in his pocket thanks to the exploits of American Pharoah – simply stated, “This was the toughest Derby I’ve been in.”

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Bond denied for Augusta man accused of killing neighbor

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 4:52pm

Bond was denied Friday for an Augusta man accused in the shotgun slaying of his neighbor.

Walter Lee Johnson, 60, has been in custody since May 5, two days after 49-year-old Marion Utley was gunned down at his home on Norris Lane.

On May 3, Johnson spent the day drinking beer, Assistant District Attorney Garon Muller said. He found his roommate’s shotgun that afternoon and fired the weapon inside the house, Muller said.

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