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Dogwood Stable's Palace Malice retired from racing

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 12:20pm


AIKEN — The mystery behind Palace Malice’s poor performance in the Whitney Handicap has been solved, and it’s not good news for the 4-year-old Dogwood Stable colt.

Dogwood president Cot Campbell announced Friday he was retiring his prized horse from racing. A deep bruise in the cannon bone of his left hind leg was revealed during an examination Thursday at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

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Top trooper says Donnie Smith broke rules before Masters incident

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 11:28am


ATLANTA -- Augusta Commissioner Donnie Smith broke the rules for unauthorized moonlighting months before he was spotted by subordinates in civilian clothes at the Masters Tournament, State Patrol Commander Col. Mark McDonough said Friday.

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Georgia ethics chief placed on leave

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 11:04am

ATLANTA — The head of the state ethics commission has been placed on administrative leave with pay, a few days after she was fined by a judge for failing to turn over key documents in a lawsuit against the agency.

Commission Chairwoman Hillary Stringfellow tells The Associated Press she notified the agency’s director, Holly LaBerge, on Friday that she had been placed on administrative leave. Stringfellow would only say the action followed the advice of counsel.

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Heat hospitalizes 4 at SC school

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 10:01am


BURTON, S.C. — Four Beaufort County school students are fine after they were taken to the hospital suffering from the heat illnesses when their school was evacuated.


The Beaufort Gazette reports students at Robert Smalls International Academy were evacuated for about 90 minutes Thursday when smoke was reported in the building.


Students were taken to shady areas but the temperature was 95 degrees at the time. The four students were treated and released from the hospital later in the day.


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TB tests for Ga. high school students

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 6:51am


MARIETTA, Ga. — Officials say students at two suburban Atlanta high schools will be tested for tuberculosis after one student tested positive for the disease.


Cobb County school officials announced the testing Thursday. They said the student is believed to have contracted the disease over the summer.


School system spokesman Jay Dillon said the student attends Hillgrove High School this year, but attended McEachern High in the spring.


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Toxic vapors at old Ga. Army base

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 6:48am


FOREST PARK, Ga. — Tests have found that toxic vapor is accumulating in some homes near Fort Gillem, a former military depot just south of Atlanta.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports testing this summer found hazardous chemicals in levels high enough to pose a danger to human health in the air of 26 of 29 homes sampled.


The newspaper reports that Army officials are expected to begin informing residents of the results in the coming day, and that Army officials had no immediate comment on the matter.


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Augusta mom arrested, charged with deprivation of 5-year-old son

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 11:09pm

Richmond County Sheriff deputies arrested a 26-year-old mother Wednesday, charging her with deprivation of a minor.

Jamila Desrai Maston, of Augusta, was charged with the misdemeanor crime after leaving her 5-year-old son unattended for more than two hours after he departed the school bus.

Approximately 5:29 p.m., officers responded to 210 Sapelo Court, where Jayvion Maston, 5, was observed by a maintenance supervisor while getting off the bus and walking towards his home, according to a RCSO incident report.

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Augusta food bank expands to serve residents, military

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:56pm

Golden Harvest Food Bank opened a new Augusta warehouse Thursday to serve the growing number of area residents, households and military families who depend on pantries, kitchens and shelters for groceries and meals each year.

In the Augusta area, Golden Harvest estimated that it serves 199,500 people, 49,275 children and 34,710 senior citizens annually in 30 counties, according to a 2014 study the nonprofit participated in that was sponsored by Feeding America, the nation’s largest food bank network.

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Augusta Commission members reluctant to judge Donnie Smith

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:44pm

Augusta Commissioner Donnie Smith’s peers on the commission were reluctant to pass judgment on their colleague Thursday, citing a need to wait for more information and respect they had for his work on the commission.

Smith, 51, retired early from Georgia State Patrol on Monday. A case summary released Thursday on the first part of an investigation ongoing since June affirmed allegations he’d worked for an Augusta hospitality house during Masters Week while also drawing his state patrol salary, a violation of state policy and state law.

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Teenager in custody after home robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 9:07pm

A 17-year-old suspect is in custody after police say he burglarized a home Tuesday in Richmond County.

Approximately 11:43 a.m., deputies responded to the 200 block of Chatham Road, where Patrick O’Neal Bennett is accused of stealing four rings, a fireproof safe, a laptop and Xbox 360, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Bennett gained entry by breaking a kitchen window, stole the items, then fled the scene in a 1999 Dodge Caravan.

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Fort hospital recognized for low surgical complications

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 8:26pm

With new technology and longstanding safeguards in place, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center celebrated a national study this week that found the Fort Gordon hospital has consistently ranked among the best in the country for lower-than-expected surgical complication rates.

The findings of a 2013 study by the American College of Surgeons – first reported by The New York Times this summer – show Eisenhower is among four of the military’s 16 largest hospitals that had surgical complication rates below 2 percent last year.

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Death penalty trial expected to begin next month

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 8:10pm


Only a month remains before Kelvin Johnson’s death penalty trial begins, and the defense has yet to turn over any significant discovery, District Attorney Ashley Wright complained to a judge Thursday.

It’s not fair, Judge J. David Roper agreed, but the rule in death penalty cases is that discovery doesn’t have to be provided until 10 days before trial.

The judge told Wright, however, that he would ensure she had whatever time she needs to adequately prepare for any defense witnesses.

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Third suspect sought in Aiken home invasion, assault

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 6:50pm

Aiken Public Safety investigators are searching for an Aiken man wanted on charges of first degree burglary, kidnapping, strong armed robbery and first degree assault.

Michael Wallace Dorn, 39, is accused in an Aug. 24 home invasion on the 200 block of Williamsburg Street, according to a news release from detective Jeremy Hembree. Dorn, Justin Cooper and Tobias Thomas are accused of forcing their way into the victim’s home, assaulting the victim and stealing electronics and money.

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Islamic Society of Augusta condemns ISIS

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 6:21pm

The Islamic Society of Augusta released a statement Thursday condemning the beheadings of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

“The anti-Islamic terrorist group ISIS has been wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq under the banner of its misinterpretations of Islam,” said Dr. Hossam Fadel, one of three members at large of the Islamic Society of Augusta. “Islamic principles forbid the killing of noncombatants. United States national Muslim organizations have condemned its actions.”

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Police asking for help finding missing man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 3:54pm

Police are asking for assistance in finding a Warrenville man who has been missing since July.

Martine Aguilar, 20, was last seen in the Clearwater area on July 28. He was reported missing by a close friend exactly one month later.

Police said Aguilar suffers from mental retardation.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 648-6811 or Crimestoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.

Joan Rivers dead at 81

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 3:04pm

NEW YORK — Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.

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