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New UGA extension service director

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 8:05am

ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia Extension is getting a new director.

J. Scott Angle, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has announced that Laura Perry Johnson will take the helm of UGA Extension Jan. 1. Her official title will be associate dean of extension.

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Atlanta Ferguson protest planned

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 8:02am

ATLANTA — Activists plan to rally in downtown Atlanta in response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri.

Organizers say the “Community Speakout” is set for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at Underground Atlanta, a shopping area in the heart of the city.

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Fires burn in Ferguson, gunshots heard after no indictment

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 3:58am


FERGUSON, Mo.  — Flames engulfed at least a dozen businesses in Ferguson early today and gunfire kept firefighters at bay after protests over the decision not to indict a police officer in Michael Brown's death turned violent, despite pleas for peace from Brown's family and others.

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Grand jury won't indict Ferguson cop in shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:59pm

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A grand jury has decided not to indict Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by a white officer sparked weeks of sometimes-violent protests and exposed deep racial tension.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced the decision Monday evening. A grand jury of nine whites and three blacks had been meeting weekly since Aug. 20 to consider evidence. The panel met for 70 hours and heard from 60 witnesses.

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Augusta administrator Janice Allen Jackson wants deputy administrators to remain until replacements hired

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:21pm

As her plate of responsibilities continues to fill, new City Admini­strator Janice Allen Jackson asked the Augusta Commission to retain interim administrators Tameka Allen and Steve Cassell in her office until she fills two deputy administrator slots.

After a lengthy closed-door discussion Monday, commissioners authorized returning Allen to deputy administrator and information technology director, a dual role she’s held for a decade, and keeping Cassell on as deputy administrator.

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Georgia emergency management chief Charley English demoted to deputy; Gen. Jim Butterworth named as replacement

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 8:12pm


ATLANTA — The head of Georgia’s emergency management agency has been demoted to a deputy position, months after becoming the public face of the state’s weak response to a January snowstorm that trapped motorists on highways in metro Atlanta for hours.

Adjutant Gen. Jim Butterworth, who was appointed to lead the Georgia National Guard in 2011, will take over as director of the Georgia Department of Emergency Management.

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Sen. Jesse Stone's withdrawal clears way for judge's appointment of Jack Cox

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:56pm


ATLANTA — Sen. Jesse Stone’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration for a vacant judgeship in Burke County paved the way for Gov. Nathan Deal to appoint Jack Cox.

Deal announced the appointment Nov. 18. A retired Richmond County judge has been hearing cases in the meantime.

Cox, Burke County’s solicitor general, and Stone were the only candidates for the Burke County State Court position left vacant with the February death of Judge Jerry Daniel.

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1 arrested in Aiken county child pornography investigation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:05pm


An Aiken County Sheriff’s Office undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography netted one arrest, officials announced Friday.

Beginning Oct. 7, the sheriff’s office opened an investigation on 54-year-old Ronald Gene Gardner, Capt. Eric Abdullah said in an e-mail. He was stopped while driving on Chime Bell Church Road near Whiskey Road about 8:40 a.m.

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South Carolina Supreme Court will hear lawsuit on North Augusta's Project Jackson development

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:58pm


The South Carolina Supreme Court will hear the lawsuit stalling North Augusta’s Project Jackson development, which includes a new baseball stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets.

The state’s highest court issued a decision last week granting the city’s request to take up the suit filed nearly a year ago. Plaintiff Stephen Donohue claimed the city violated the state’s Tax Increment Financing law when it approved an ordinance to fund the development.

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Autopsy reports confirm Aiken County murder-suicide, coroner says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:53pm


Autopsy results for an Aiken couple confirmed earlier reports of a murder-suicide, officials said Monday.

Findings revealed that 55-year-old James Tomac died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said in an e-mail. His death has been ruled a suicide.

His wife, 44-year-old Teresa Tomac, died from multiple gunshot wounds; her death has been ruled a homicide.

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Warrenville, S.C., man accused of hunting illegally

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:25pm


A Warrenville, S.C., man is accused of illegal hunting after a game warden said he caught him and three others shooting a hog from the back of a moving truck Friday.

Daniel Alan Palmer, 24, of Hawk Street, was booked into the Charles B. Webster Detention Center over the weekend on charges of hunting at night with the aid of a light, discharging a firearm from a public road and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to Richmond County jail records. He has since been released.

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Warehouse, office space near Fort Gordon soon to be developed by C&N Properties Limited

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:25pm


Work on creating 20,000 square feet of office and warehouse space just outside Fort Gordon could start by the end of the year.

Anticipating the boom in activity from the U.S. Army Cyber Command headquarters relocating to Fort Gordon, C&N Properties Limited LLC and Budget Commercial properties bought two parcels near Grovetown in March, said Herb Newsome, of C&N Properties.

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South Carolina rises to No. 1 in women's basketball

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:32pm


Dawn Staley and her South Carolina Gamecocks finally have ascended to the top of the poll.

South Carolina took over as the new No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball Top 25 on Monday. It’s the first time in school history that the Gamecocks reached the top spot in the poll. Staley is no stranger herself to being ranked No. 1.

As a player, she helped Virginia reach No. 1. Staley is only the second person in women’s basketball to play and coach a top-ranked team, joining Baylor’s Kim Mulkey.

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Hagel out as defense chief

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:37am


WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure from President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, senior administration officials said Monday, following a tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House’s insular foreign policy team.


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High court rules in probation case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:26am

ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision Monday concluding that it is legal for local courts to contract with private companies to supervise offenders on probation for minor violations.

The court agreed with the trial court judge that sentences cannot be extended for failure to pay monitoring fees, a process lawyers call tolling. By law, misdemeanor sentences are capped at 12 months.

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James Brown Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway tradition continues

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:19am


A light drizzle couldn’t dampen the spirits of those receiving turkeys Monday at the James Brown Turkey Giveaway.

Angelique Harris smiled as she lugged her turkey outside of Dyess Park in the misting rain. This Thanksgiving, more than any other, she said, she’s thankful. For three years she and her daughter had been homeless, but this year they both have homes and turkeys.

“We’re just going to be cooking, eating, laughing and being thankful,” Harris said.

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Woman shot outside MARTA station

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:05am

LITHONIA, Ga. — Authorities say a woman was in critical condition after being shot at a MARTA bus stop in the Lithonia area of DeKalb County.

Police say officers were called to the bus stop around 10 a.m. Sunday. They found the woman lying on the bench with a gunshot wound at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority stop on Fairington Road.

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$1,200 worth of sneakers stolen from Hephzibah home

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:43am

A Hephzibah man told deputies that someone stole more than $1,200 worth of sneakers from his son’s bedroom Friday.

A burglar alarm went off about 4:30 p.m. at the home in the 4500 block of Pineview Lane, according to a Richmond County sheriff’s report. Deputies noticed a window was broken. When the homeowner arrived, he said the only items stolen were seven pairs of sneakers from his son’s bedroom.

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Storm brings heavy rain, property damage reported

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:05am

A storm Sunday brought in winds topping 60 mph, which was enough to severely damage a gas station awning on Washington Road.

The BP gas station at 2701 Washington Road was marked off with yellow caution tape at 11 p.m., and some pumps had shifted from their normal resting places.

Across the street, a billboard next to Goodyear Na­tional Hills Tire and Service was torn. Bits of dangling fabric touched the ground.

Aside from a few power outages, Richmond County dispatch said the only other damage to report was downed signs on Interstate 20.

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Butler High School lunchroom, construction offices vandalized

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 10:21pm

Vandals ransacked a construction company’s trailer at Butler High School on Saturday and caused damage in the school’s lunch room, a police report says.

An alarm went off at the school about 11:30 p.m. Sat­urday. Deputies found a window leading into the lunchroom manager’s office had been busted out. Food was thrown all about the room. Computers in the manager’s office were broken and books were taken from shelves and torn apart.

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