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Georgia solar business booming

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:40am

ATLANTA -- Georgia’s 225-percent increase in jobs related to the solar-energy industry is the highest in the nation as it plays catch-up to other states.

The jump comes largely from a combination of prices and Georgia Power’s program to add solar-generating capacity, according to Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

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Official's car stolen outside Capitol

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:53am

ATLANTA — Thieves stole a car -- along with expensive equipment inside -- from a car parked outside the Georgia Capitol that belongs to the clerk of the Georgia House of Representatives.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Bill Reilly discovered broken glass and his 1993 Chevy Suburban missing from its spot at the curb of the Capitol on Monday.


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GOP Senate debate today in Aiken

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:50am

AIKEN — Five of the six Republicans running against U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham are meeting in a debate in Aiken.

The Aiken Republican Club is sponsoring today’s debate, which will take place after the club’s luncheon in downtown Aiken.

A panel of reporters will ask questions of the candidates. Those scheduled to appear at the event are Columbia pastor Det Bowers, Spartanburg County state Sen. Lee Bright, Upstate businessman Richard Cash, Orangeburg lawyer Bill Connor and Lowcountry businesswoman Nancy Mace.

Graham will not attend the debate.

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Augusta doctor sentenced in pill case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:45am

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- An Augusta physician who worked 14 days at a Brunswick pill mill will serve five years of probation during which he is prohibited from practicing medicine or prescribing drugs.

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Richmond County school board addresses handwriting skills

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:27pm


A 19-year-old woman who testified in the Trayvon Martin murder trial last year gained international attention when she was unable to read a letter handed to her in court because it was written in cursive.

Yet full mastery of a once fundamental skill has be­come less common since national standards adopted by most states do not require the instruction.

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Termite season approaching, experts say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:36pm

Termites are on the move.
“We are gearing up for swarm season,” said Mark Gincerowski, quality manager for Horne’s Pest Control. “It hasn’t really begun yet, but we have had some calls and we do expect it to increase over the next few weeks.”

Swarms can be visible year-round, but pest control professionals said spring conditions are ideal. Gin­cerowski said the insects that resemble winged ants particularly love temperatures in the 80s with a little moisture and a slight breeze.

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Judge offers defendant chance for lesser sentence

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:34pm


In an attempt to extract some justice from a case in which the real drug dealer walked away with probation while a delivery man got prison time, Judge J. David Roper brought the courier back to court Tuesday.

“Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure what I would do today,” Roper said.

It wasn’t that the sentence he imposed on Stefan Ambrose last summer was an abnormality. The abnormality was created when his former co-defendant, Tori Angela, was sentenced by another judge, Roper said.

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Augusta pensioners eye benefit increase

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:29pm

With an eye on the millions of dollars remaining in the city’s oldest pension funds – its 1945 and 1949 plans – a handful of retired city and county employees are reviving a push to increase their monthly benefits.

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Committee for Good Government releases endorsements

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:11pm

Augusta-Richmond County Committee for Good Government endorsed candidates Tuesday in four May 20 Augusta commission elections and the Democratic primary for state senate District 22.

Committee President Richard Isdell said the only endorsement which "really surprised" him was the group's 28-20 vote to endorse attorney Harold Jones over Augusta Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson for the senate seat, for which there are no Republican contenders.

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Health advocates seek stronger ordinance

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:42pm


Advocates for a smokefree workplace in Augusta are taking their case to the pulpit, and the people, before pushing for a stronger smoking ordinance next month, with hopes it will fare better than the last two attempts.

Healthy Augusta steering committee member the Rev. Jeff Flowers is sending out a letter this week to fellow clergy urging them to speak out this Sunday or the following Sunday about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke and the need for stronger protections for workers.

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Augusta man killed in crash on McDade Road

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:34pm

An Augusta man is dead after he cut a corner on his motorcycle and struck a car Tuesday, authorities say.

Ervin A. Gay, 44, died after he crossed into the opposite lane on a curve in the 1800 block of McDade Road and struck the front end of a Ford Mustang headed in the opposite direction, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office release.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen at 6:50 p.m. Blunt force trauma is listed as the cause of death.

Gay was traveling too fast for conditions, the release stated.

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Ga. college tuition rises again

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 4:04pm

Tuition at 27 colleges and universities in Georgia will go up 2.5 percent but will increase 4 percent at Georgia Regents University, after the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to set the rates this afternoon.

The higher rates at Georgia’s four research universities, including GRU, are justified by the higher costs at those institutions, the system said in a news release.

Sheriff to announce safety initiative

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 3:32pm


Sheriff Richard Roundtree will release Thursday morning details of his vision for a safer downtown Augusta downtown.

The public is invited to attend the news conference where Roundtree is expected to introduce a safety initiative that will be deployed first in the downtown business district. Based on its success, future manpower and funding, the initiative could be used in other parts of the county – to include, but not be limited to – the Cabela’s and Shops on Riverwalk projects and the possible GRU mills projects, a news release stated.

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Masters champion Bubba Watson celebrates win at Augusta Waffle House

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 3:29pm


Forget steak and lobster. A late-night Waffle House celebratory meal and Steak n’ Shake milkshake suited 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson.

After winning the green jacket and $1.6 million, Watson feasted on a double grilled cheese with a side of hashbrowns scattered and covered at the Waffle House on Wheeler Road near Doctors Hospital. He also made an 11:55 p.m. trip to Steak n’ Shake off South Belair Road for six milkshakes.

The Waffle House counter was still buzzing Tuesday morning with chatter about the champion’s meal.

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Savannah carriage horse runs wild

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:23pm

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A spooked horse and the carriage it was pulling caused havoc for six blocks Monday afternoon in downtown Savannah, damaging five vehicles along Congress Street and injuring the driver of the carriage.


The driver, Ashley Bignault, was taken to Memorial University Medical Center. The extent of her injuries were unknown Monday afternoon, said police spokesman Julian Miller.


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Dragged by car, SC man dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:11am


LANCASTER, S.C. — A Lancaster County man has died after authorities say he was hit by a car and then dragged underneath it.


The Herald of Rock Hill reported that police were called around 10 a.m. Sunday and found a car in a field that appeared to be stuck in a ditch.


Deputy Coroner Tony Broome says 34-year-old Jeremy Peay of Lancaster had been standing on the side of the road when the car backed over him. Broome says Peay was trapped beneath the car and dragged about 15 feet into a field.


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Heavy winds expected across Ga. today

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:07am

ATLANTA — Wind gusts of up to 40 mph are possible across much of north and central Georgia.


The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. today for several Georgia counties.


Forecasters say they expect that very strong and gusty winds will cause moderate to large branches to fall, as well as trees that have been weakened by recent rains. They also warn drivers of high-profile vehicles to be aware of the strong winds expected today.


Crime plagues Ga. Habitat effort

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:02am


WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A Habitat for Humanity official says that gunfire and gang graffiti are hurting the nonprofit’s efforts to build homes for people in a central Georgia city.


Houston County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Tom Prior said the safety concerns are hampering his organization’s ability to recruit partner families in a Warner Robins neighborhood. He said that people just don’t want to live there.


The Telegraph reports that Prior made the comments Monday at a meeting of the Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency.

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Centennial of iconic Archi­bald W. Butt Memorial Bridge cues renovation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:49pm

Downtown Augusta’s Archi­bald W. Butt Me­morial Bridge is not just another historic landmark.

It tickles tummies with its steep arch and captivates motorists with its gilded lions and Tuscan-style columns.

Most importantly, historians say it honors one of the city’s most famed native sons, a former Army major who died after delivering a message to Pope Pius X for President William Howard Taft when the ship he booked for the trip home – the Titanic – hit an iceberg.

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Thurmond Lake should be full pool for summer season

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:45pm


Water levels at Thurmond Lake should keep water skiers, fishermen and property owners smiling for the remainder of spring and into the summer recreational season.

The reservoir, with a normal summer pool of 330 feet above sea level, was at 329.73 feet Monday. Because of ongoing work on the dam’s flood gates, the level is being kept about a half-foot below normal. Maintaining full pool should not be problematic, said Billy Birdwell, spokesman for the Corps of Engineers Savannah District.

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