When she had the chance to talk face-to-face with some of Georgia’s lawmakers about public education Tuesday, Ghazala Turabi came right out and said it.
“We need money,” said the mother of six, the oldest a recent graduate of Westside High School.
Schools are underfunded for the basics. Teachers are being furloughed. And without money for the fun stuff like traveling to mathematics competitions, students are getting discouraged.
And that’s not the half of it.
Homeowners and manufacturers got a break Tuesday in the 2014 budget approved after much debate by the Augusta Commission.
Despite a projected shortfall of $7.9 million, commissioners declined to raise property taxes, or tax manufacturers for the energy they purchase, two suggestions recommended by City Administrator Fred Russell that would have raised as much as $5.5 million.
In the industry of holiday gift giving, federal officials and licensed dealers often refer to firearms as a “retail phenomenon.”
“It’s the one present under the tree that’s not only a gift, but also a liability,” said Steven Fishman, president of Sidney’s Department Store in downtown Augusta.
With firearm sales holding steady nationwide, federal officials and licensed dealers, such as Fishman, are encouraging the 144,000 Americans who FBI records show were approved to buy a firearm on Black Friday to document any transfers of ownership made during the holidays.
NORTH AUGUSTA — Georgia fans Bill Payne and his 9-year-old grandson Dalton were first in line Tuesday for former Bulldogs football coach Vince Dooley’s book signing at Kroger.
Dooley autographed a mug, football and one of his books, Dooley’s Playbook: The 34 Most Memorable Plays in Georgia Football History, for the two.
Dalton was excited about meeting the former coach.
“It was cool,” he said.
Bill Payne’s admiration for Dooley stems from the legendary coach’s accomplishments, he said.
The former finance director at Augusta Regional Airport has filed suit alleging she was fired for refusing to violate the law and city ordinances governing purchasing.
The Richmond County Superior Court petition filed Nov. 26 seeks restitution and income that Tammy Strange contends she would have received but for the illegal conduct of the defendants – the city of Augusta and airport Director Gary Letellier.
A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute. The city will have time to file a response before any court hearing is scheduled.
The Georgia High School Association has placed schools in regions for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. As a result, there are a few regions and sub-regions that are full of Augusta-area schools.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the GHSA allowed Evans, through the isolation rule, to play down in Class AAAAA with other local teams after Evans was originally placed in AAAAAA. Evans will be in Region 2-AAAAA, Sub-region A with Richmond Academy, Cross Creek, Greenbrier, Grovetown and Lakeside. Richmond Academy and Cross Creek both elected to play up a class.
AIKEN — Whiskey Road will be closed from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday to northbound traffic between Mead and Grace avenues. According to a news release from the Aiken Department of Public Safety, crews will be removing a large tree that overhangs Whiskey Road.
Motorists looking to avoid delays should avoid this area if possible and use alternate routes.
The doctor slain in Augusta just before Thanksgiving was lured to town for a sexual encounter, according to the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant for a computer used by the man suspected of killing him.
The computer was at the Dublin Drive home where Glenn Vincent Riggs II, 22, lived with his grandmother. Two days after Dr. Charles Mann III disappeared, Riggs told a Richmond County sheriff’s detective that Mann responded to a Web site post that Riggs had made Nov. 21.
The owner of a tutoring company who taught students in Richmond, Bibb, Muscogee, Dekalb and Clayton counties alledgedly falsified financial documents to qualify as provider under the federal Supplemental Education Services program in 2010, according to a statement from the Georgia Office of the Attorney General released Tuesday.
A Fulton County grand jury on Nov. 26 charged Domonique Scott of A Love of Learning Tutoring with one count of forgery in the first degree and three counts of false statements.
YORK, S.C. — Authorities have ruled the death of a York County jail inmate charged with killing his mother and a neighbor as a suicide.
Coroner Sabrina Gast said Tuesday autopsy results show 34-year-old Matthew Grose died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Grose was arrested in October and charged with running over 53-year-old Sandra Thomas, then beating up and running over his mother, 65-year-old Sandra Grose. Both were found dead in their yards.
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Greenville is considering a ban on any use of a cell phone in a driver’s hand.
The city has created a task force to look at driving safety. Mayor Pro Tem David Sudduth said Monday they determined just a ban on texting was not enough. The task force’s recommendation would also ban talking with a cellphone in a driver’s hand, using the phone as a GPS device or reading directions. Hand-free talking would be allowed.
The location of a meeting today of some of the state’s top leaders has been changed.
The joint town hall meeting for members of the Georgia House and Senate education committees will now be held at the Jaguar Student Activities Center ballroom on the Georgia Regents University Summerville campus. It was originally scheduled in Allgood Hall.
The meeting, to gather input from the public on everything from budget cuts to classroom instruction, is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Thirteen South Carolina prosecutors want one of the state’s Supreme Court justices barred from considering their cases because of comments he made at a recent conference.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the solicitors say Justice Don Beatty showed an anti-prosecutor bias when he said in September the high court would not turn a blind eye to unethical conduct like witness tampering or evidence suppression.
ATLANTA -- Georgia Power agreed last month to settle for a smaller rate hike than it had wanted, an agreement that won endorsement by nearly a dozen consumer, environmental and business advocacy groups, but one organization is fighting it.
The retiree-advocacy AARP is airing radio and online commercials and pushing a petition to urge the five members of the Public Service Commission to nix the agreement negotiated by its public-interest staff that slices the rate hike almost in half. Monday, the 1-million-member group reported collecting almost 3,000 signatures.
Augusta Commission members will again attempt to agree on how to balance next year’s budget, with or without tax increases, staff raises and other adjustments at a Tuesday meeting.
Last week, a handful of commissioners – though not a majority of six – spoke of the need to raise the property tax millage rate, impose an excise tax on manufacturers and dip into the city’s savings to fill a $7.9 million shortfall.
A man with a history of brutalizing women was convicted of crimes that resulted in a sentence of life in prison plus 45 years.
A Richmond County Superior Court jury last week convicted Antoine L. Dishmond, 33, of rape, burglary, aggravated assault and a weapon charge, said District Attorney Ashley Wright, who prosecuted Dishmond.
The Aug. 8 assault was the cumulation of a series of violent acts against the victim, who had obtained a restraining order against him a month earlier.
An Augusta man was forced to crash-land his experimental aircraft in Edgefield County on Monday, less than 10 miles from the site of last week’s fatal plane crash in Trenton, S.C.
About 3:30 p.m., rescue crews were called to the scene at Girl Scout Camp Road near the Trenton Airport in Trenton, S.C., where the man, who has not been identified by authorities, was forced to crash land, Edgefield County dispatch said.
Edgefield County Emergency Management Director Mike Casey said the Piper Tri-Pacer experienced engine trouble.
Police are seeking three people who stole scratch-off lottery tickets from an Augusta gas station Saturday.
About 2 p.m., three suspects – two men and a woman – entered Jack’s Grocery at 4630 Mike Padgett Highway and stole the lottery tickets before fleeing in a 1990s model Dodge Caravan without hubcaps, according to a statement from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information can call the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020 or Richmond County dispatch at (706) 821-1080.
A Grovetown man was arrested Monday on a racketeering charge in the theft of more than $1 million from a contractor where he worked as general manager.
Christopher J. Pizzi, 52, is suspected of stealing the money from Gearig Brothers Civil Works, said attorney Andrew Tisdale, who is representing the company in a civil case against Pizzi and the Bank of America.
The second of three young Augusta men accused of taking part in a 2010 crime spree that included murder, rape and robbery has been convicted on all counts.
The Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted Hamlet H. Perdomo, 26, of all 15 crimes in less than an hour.
Perdomo was sentenced last week to serve life without parole for murder, and six additional life terms plus 60 years for the other crimes, said Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine, who prosecuted the case with Hank Syms.