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Greenbrier baseball's championship series set for Monday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 2:41pm

Championship baseball hits the area on Memorial Day.

The Greenbrier baseball team will play at home against Gainesville in the Class AAAAA state championship series starting with Monday’s 3 p.m. doubleheader. If the two teams split, the deciding game will be played at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Wolfpack are trying to win the school’s first state title since 2007. But Greenbrier has been close since, as it has reached at least the state semifinals for four seasons in a row.

Greenbrier most recently played for the state championship in 2013, losing to Pope.

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VA deputy secretary, Fox News anchorman co-delivering keynotes at warrior care symposium

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 11:42am

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson and Fox News anchor Jon Scott will deliver keynote addresses at a two-day symposium on care for military veterans being held in Augusta.

At the second annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium, 350 people from about 28 states are meeting at the Augusta Convention Center on Thursday and Friday to discuss ways to connect veterans and their families to nonprofits. It is hosted by America’s Warrior Partnership, a national nonprofit based in Augusta and the umbrella organization of Augusta Warrior Project.

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Forecast: Augusta economy to grow

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 11:12am




ATLANTA – Augusta’s employment will grow by 3.1 percent this year, slightly ahead of the state overall, according to a forecast released Wednesday by Georgia State University.

Metro Augusta has already added 1,500 jobs in the first three months of this year.

“Strong employment gains occurred in the sectors of education and health (650), leisure and hospitality (500), manufacturing (400) and construction (300) in the first quarter,” wrote Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center that released the outlook.

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Mom, boyfriend charged in child death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 7:08am

SOPERTON, Ga. — A Treutlen County couple has been arrested after police say they killed a 2-year-old and told authorities he drowned.

Multiple news outlets report 22-year-old Porshia Johnson and her boyfriend 21-year-old Travis Jordan were arrested Sunday.

A GBI spokeswoman says Johnson’s son, Aerick McManus, was found dead May 14 in a plastic wading pool in Soperton.

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Ga. teacher accused of allowing sex in class

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 7:06am

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — An Atlanta-area teacher has been arrested after a parent complained he allowed middle school students to have sex in a storage unit in his classroom.

Multiple news outlets report 25-year-old Quentin Wright, a math teacher at The Champion School in Stone Mountain, was taken into custody Tuesday. He has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

An arrest warrant says Wright arranged times with students when the classroom would be empty and gave them condoms.

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Athens men freed from 'slave house'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 6:54am

ATHENS, Ga. -- A man’s complaint that Emma Lois Heard was “running a slave house” in west Athens evidently prompted authorities last week to search the home on Landor Drive and rescue four men who allegedly were being held against their will.


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School board OKs budget, Pringle's employee reorganization

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 10:53pm


The Richmond County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a far-reaching reorganization of school employees, which includes moving several school administrators to new positions in the district.

Superintendent Angela Pringle said the reorganization, a critical part of the potential 2016 budget, is predicted to save $1 million by eliminating or combining “redundant” jobs and moving employees to positions “that best fit them.” It will also create several new positions meant to address “our school system’s upcoming changes.”

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Part of Augusta man's statement to deputy regarding 2013 murder of James Marshall could be inadmissible, judge rules

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:34pm


A murder suspect’s statement to a sheriff’s investigator will be admissible at trial, but some of it may be deleted, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Ezra Lay, 42, is scheduled to stand trial June 8 in Richmond County Superior Court, where he has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.

Lay is accused of fatally shooting 44-year-old James Marshall the night of Oct. 13, 2013, at Carrie and D’Antignac streets.

Just after 1 a.m., Lay approached a deputy getting gas at a nearby gas station on Walton Way and told the officer he knew where there was a body.

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Absent Augusta Commissioners spur delays in decisions on controversial stormwater utility fee, demolition of historic buildings

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:18pm


With four colleagues absent and facing a critical gallery Tuesday, Augusta commissioners again delayed action on two controversal items – implementing a stormwater fee and deciding whether to demolish two historic city-owned buildings.

Former Commissioner Moses Todd, who calls the fee a “tax” and says it will burden the poor and nonprofits prevalent in Augusta-Richmond County, told commissioners the city already bills property owners 16 mills for maintenance and operations and sales taxes for transportation and capital projects.

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Bond denied to defendants in sex sting operation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:12pm

Bond was denied Tuesday for 21 people arrested in an online sting operation aimed at catching people soliciting minors for sex. The 22nd defendant waived his hearing.

Each of the accused faces a charge of criminal attempt to commit child molestation as a result of Operation Mayday, a four-day joint undercover investigation between state and local law enforcement.

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Parolee returned to prison for sexual texts to teen

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:07pm


A murder parolee accused of exchanging graphic sexual text messages with a teenager pleaded guilty Tuesday.

John Willie Williams, 60, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to obscene Internet contact with a child. Judge Michael N. Annis accepted the plea-negotiated sentence and the sentenced Williams to 20 years in prison.

On July 5, the mother of a 15-year-old girl discovered the text messages on her daughter’s phone.

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Plea deal reached in death of child hit while crossing road

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 8:05pm


The family of an 8-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered when he was hit by a car while trying to get on his school bus asked for justice Tuesday. The family of the young man who killed the child asked for mercy.

At the end of an emotional hearing in Richmond County Superior Court, 21-year-old Scott W. Hancock was led out of the courtroom to begin serving a three-year prison term. He will have an additional seven years on probation when released.

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GRU presidential finalists could be next month, chairman says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 6:45pm


Finalists to be the next president of Georgia Regents University could be named by mid-June, the chair of the search committee said.

Chair Jim Hull of Augusta, who sits on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, said finding a replacement for outgoing GRU President Ricardo Azziz is progressing nicely.

“Everything from my perspective is going well,” he said. The committee was to meet soon with consultant Parker Executive Search and begin considering cutting down its list of candidates.

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Regents approve tuition installment plan statewide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 5:17pm


ATLANTA – Tuition may be rising many times faster than the overall inflation rate, but now students and parents will be able to pay it in installments.

The Board of Regents voted Tuesday to extend its three-year test of the pay plan beyond Georgia Tech to all of the public schools in the University System of Georgia.

“Georgia Tech has had great success with their plan,” said Vikki Williamson, the system’s associate vice chancellor for fiscal affairs.

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Leaders talk opening resource center to solve low homeless count

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 4:44pm


Emergency housing leaders proposed opening a centralized resource facility in Augusta on Tuesday to more quickly and effectively connect community outreach programs with the city’s homeless population, which many officials felt was underrepresented in this year’s count.

Daniel Evans, planning coordinator with Augusta’s Housing and Community Development Department, said the center could be project ready by year’s end and help the city’s homeless population more easily access and navigate intervention programs through streamlining the referral process.

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Aiken woman found dead in apartment

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:59pm

An Aiken woman was found dead inside her apartment Tuesday.

Lauren McKinney, 28, was discovered at Glendale Terrace Apartments around noon, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

Aiken police are investigating McKinney’s death as a “suspicious death,” Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Jake Mahoney said.

“We can’t determine the cause of death,” Mahoney said. “Because of that, we are considering it a crime scene.”

Evans mother charged with allowing underage drinking at her house

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:49pm

An Evans mother was arrested, police say, after she allowed a party that included some underage drinkers last weekend.

Courtney Martineau West, 41, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Deputies went to West’s Preakness Drive home for a noise complaint just before midnight Friday, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

As deputies approached the home, several people, including West, ran out the back door and into some woods behind the house.

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Board of Regents approves new operating room, student center renovation in GRU's health-sciences student center

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:39pm



ATLANTA – The construction of a new operating room and renovation of the health-sciences student center at Georgia Regents University each got a green light from the Board of Regents Tuesday.

The $12 million operating room includes renovating existing hospital space to add rooms for heart surgery, patient preparations and recovery with 26 beds. Also getting a makeover will be the pharmacy, nurses’ station, offices and staff lounge as well as the wiring and ventilation system.

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Regents help fund University Hospital residency expansion

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:19pm

ATLANTA — State taxpayer funds will cover some of the costs of University Hospital’s expansion of its residency program for new physicians after the University System of Georgia Board of Regents gave its OK on Tuesday.

The board approved the recommendation to grant $800,000 to the Augusta hospital, which, despite its name, is not part of nearby Georgia Regents University. The hospital will partner with GRU’s Medical College of Georgia Family Medicine program.

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Expect higher traffic on the road and in the air for Memorial Day 2015

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 3:12pm


You might find the roads and the airports a little busier than normal this Memorial Day.

AAA is predicting the highest travel numbers in the past decade for the unofficial summer kickoff, a period that runs from Thursday to Monday. AAA projects 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the weekend. Georgia is expected to have an estimated million travelers, an increase in almost 5 percent compared to last year.

Both gas and airfare are lower this year, while hotel and car rental rates are slightly higher.

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