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Board upholds Augusta firefighters' terminations

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:00pm

Augusta’s personnel board has upheld the terminations of two firefighters who admitted picking up items from a Columbia County wreck scene.

After a two-hour hearing Wednesday, the board quickly voted 8-0 to affirm. Member J.R. Riles said the board wanted to send a message.

“The fire department and the police department, you’ve got to be able to trust them to take care of your personal stuff when you’re in a difficult situation,” Riles said.

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Old Evans Road scheduled for brief construction closure

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 2:40pm

Old Evans Road will be closed this weekend as work continues on an extension of Riverwatch Parkway.

The road will be closed Friday for construction and realignment approaching the Old Petersburg Road intersection, according to a Georgia Department of Transportation news release. That morning the Riverwatch Parkway intersection at Blue Ridge Drive will be opened, allowing crews to close Old Evans Road to thru-traffic from south of Blue Ridge Drive to Briarwood Drive until Monday morning.

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SC dad shoots son to prevent house fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:56am

COLUMBIA — Richland County sheriff’s deputies say a man shot and wounded his son to prevent him from burning himself and a home in Columbia.

Multiple media outlets reported that 31-year-old Felton Wayne Swindler doused himself with gasoline and tried to set himself and the house on fire Tuesday morning. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Brittany Scott says Swindler’s father shot him to prevent the fires.

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Canal drainage allowing for work on bridges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 7:47am


The draining of the Augusta Canal is allowing two downtown bridges to be restored.

Work has already begun on the Archibald W. Butt Memorial Bridge on 15th Street and the Broad Street bridge over the Augusta Canal. Although both are structurally sound, traffic engineers said it will allow for some rehabilitation.

Crews started Monday injecting a waterproofing material into the cracks in the underside of both bridges.

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Augusta Commission OKs creating police substation at riverwalk

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 8:13pm

Augusta is on its way to opening a riverfront substation for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The Augusta Commission voted 8-1 on Tuesday for City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson to secure funds to renovate an area in the Port Royal building at Riverwalk Augusta for the station.

Commissioner Sammie Sias was out for the vote while Commissioner Bill Fennoy, whose District 1 includes the riverwalk, downtown, Harrisburg and east Augusta, was the sole “no” vote.

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Mom charged with drowning infant in SC pond

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 12:21pm






COLUMBIA — Authorities say a North Carolina woman drowned her 6-week-old baby in a pond at an outlet mall in Myrtle Beach.


Horry County Police charged 24-year-old Jameisha Alexander of Carrboro, North Carolina, with murder Monday.


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Ga. publisher charges dismissed

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 12:17pm

JASPER, Ga. — A judge has dismissed the charges against a north Georgia newspaper publisher and his attorney who were jailed in an open records dispute.

Multiple news media report that Senior Judge Richard Winegarden on Monday dismissed the charges against Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason and attorney Russell Stookey after holding a hearing.

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Snake bite surge near Myrtle Beach

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 8:27am

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — It seems some pets in the Myrtle Beach area are just snake bit.

Local veterinarians say there’s been a spike in the number of dogs and cats being bitten by snakes this summer.

Tom Hesselbacher of Animal Emergency Hospital of the Strand tells The Sun News of Myrtle Beach it’s been a heavy snake bite season and he has treated six pets for snake bites in the past week. Vets at VCA Palmetto Hospital say they are treating about seven cases a week.

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Thief fires on responding Ga. policemen

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 8:22am




MARIETTA, Ga. — A gunman inside a gun shop near Atlanta began shooting at police officers, who returned fire after responding to reports of a break-in at the business shortly before dawn today, Marietta police said.


No injuries were reported and four suspects have been apprehended at the Deercreek Gunshop in Marietta, just northwest of Atlanta, Marietta police Officer Brittany Wallace told The Associated Press.


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Storm causes major sewage spill

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 1:14am

Heavy rainfall Saturday overwhelmed Au­gusta’s Messerly Wastewater Treatment Plant, pushing 2.8 million gallons of untreated sewage into Butler Creek and the Savannah River.

“The rain was kind of crazy,” Utilities Director Tom Wiedmeier said. “We had a tremendous amount of flow coming to the plant.”

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No relief ahead soon for Greene Street floods

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 12:04am

Joe Holley, a third-generation member of Au­gusta’s Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, wasn’t surprised to find barricades blocking traffic Sunday morning as a lake of water standing in the 800 block of Greene Street slowly drained away.

“It’s two things,” said Holley, the engineer for the city of Grovetown. “One, it’s such a flat grade. Gravity dictates what the water does.”

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Riverfront police substation to go for final approval

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:57pm

Plans to build a police substation inside Port Royal at Riverwalk Augusta will go before the Augusta Commission today for final approval.

The consent agenda item had four supporting votes from a committee last week. Commissioner Sean Fran­tom called for the station after gunfire erupted following the city’s Fourth of July fireworks display.

The former riverfront mall serves as Augusta headquarters for Unisys. Frantom said the station will protect the public and development taking place along the river and downtown.

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Georgia, Augusta preparing for Zika

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:51pm

A “unique” case of Zika infection in Utah that might have spread to a family contact is being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency reported Monday. Meanwhile, Augusta and Geor­gia are preparing for the mosquito-borne virus.

CDC officials say they are looking into the case of a man who died in late June and was found to be infected with Zika, with levels of the virus in his body that were 100,000 times what would normally be expected.

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Teen charged with entering vehicles in Grovetown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 10:39pm

 A teen is facing charges as police continue to investigate a string of cases of illegally entering an auto in Grovetown last week.

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies responded early Thursday to four residences on Keesaw Glen, in a neighborhood off High Meadows Drive, after residents discovered someone had rummaged through their vehicles overnight.

Two of the homeowners told police the vehicles were unlocked. Reports for the other two cases did not indicate whether the vehicles were locked.

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Man arrested after exposing himself in public, police say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 10:31pm


A man is facing charges after a deputy found him exposing himself outside a burned home in Martinez on Saturday, police say.

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 400 block of Beverly Road about 2 p.m. for reports of a man exposing himself.

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Roadwork lane closures on I-20

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 9:26am

Interstate motorists should expect delays for the next four to six weeks from repair work planned in Columbia and McDuffie counties.

Beginning today , according to the Georgia Department of Transportation, concrete slabs will be upgraded, beginning with eastbound lanes near mile 182 in Columbia County.

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Henrik Stenson wins British Open for first major title

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 1:32pm

TROON, Scotland — Henrik Stenson is the Champion Golfer of the Year, thanks to a final round for the ages.

He kept hitting the best shots of his life, one after another, and he needed each one to stay ahead of Phil Mickelson in a British Open duel that ranked among the best in major championship history.

Stenson made 10 birdies, including a 50-foot putt across the 15th green that had him pumping his fist in a rare show of emotion Sunday.

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3 Baton Rouge policemen killed today

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 11:54am

BATON ROUGE, La. — Three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers investigating a report of a man with an assault rifle were killed Sunday, less than two weeks after a black man was fatally shot by police here in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests that reverberated nationwide.

Three other officers were wounded, one critically. Police said the gunman was killed at the scene. Although he was believed to be the only person who fired at officers, authorities said they were unsure whether he had some kind of help.

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Area GOP delegates embrace Trump

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 1:47am

Area delegates attending this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland back presumptive nominee Donald Trump and expect little to disrupt the process.

That’s to be expected, said longtime Augusta GOP leader and Trump supporter Dave Barbee, who saw the same serving as a delegate three times.

“There’s no smoke-filled rooms anymore,” Barbee said. “It’s pretty much cut and dried. It’s staged and the script was ready and written and you just followed it.”

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Woman reports thefts worth $4,350

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/16/2016 - 8:25pm

An Augusta woman told deputies someone got inside her Damascus Road apartment Friday and took electronic items and jewelry valued at $4,350.

The victim said she left her Singleton Apartment residence for work about 6:15 a.m. Friday and when she returned about 8:30 p.m., she found her back door open .

She told deputies thieves took a 40-inch flat-screen TV, a Sony Playstation 4, two DVD players, a gold necklace valued at $500 and a gold diamond ring valued at $2,500.


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