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2 girls airlifted to hospital after ATV crash

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 6:50pm


Two girls were hospitalized Saturday after crashing an all-terrain vehicle in Evans.

Emergency crews and police were called to the 5300 block of Magnolia Drive about 3 p.m., Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said. Hurt in the crash were Emma Maples, 14, and Olivia Maples, 9, both of Benson, N.C.

A preliminary investigation found that when Emma was unable to complete a turn, the ATV left the road and struck a fence before hitting rocks and a large fence post. The girls, who weren’t wearing helmets, were ejected across a driveway, Morris said.

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2 wounded in Wrightsboro Road shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 5:08pm


Two men were hospitalized early Saturday after a shooting on Wrightsboro Road, officials said.

The victims, ages 21 and 18, told police that they left U21 at 1511 North Leg Road to walk to Smart Grocery at 3321 Wrightsboro Road about 1:30 a.m. when they noticed a suspicious gold-colored Honda driving in front of the business.

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Employee punched in face during store robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 4:37pm

A store employee was assaulted during a robbery in Augusta on Saturday, police say.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to Family Dollar at 2807 Tobacco Road about 7:35 a.m., according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser.

The robber, described as a black man in his 20s, snatched money from the cashier before punching the employee in the face, the statement said.

No arrests have been made.

Man found shot after burglary call

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 4:29pm


A man was hospitalized early Sat­ur­day after a shooting on Brown Lane in Aiken, officials said.

Officers with the Aiken De­partment of Public Safety were called to a burglary in progress in the 300 block of Brown Lane about 5:30 a.m., according to a statement from Lt. Karl Odenthal.

Deputies found the “non-resident” victim suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center, where his condition is unknown.

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1 hospitalized after accidental shooting in Aiken

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 4:21pm

The Aiken Department of Pub­lic Safety is investigating an accidental shooting that sent one person to the hospital Saturday.

Officers were called to the 300 block of Magnolia Lane Court about 1 p.m., according to a statement from Lt. Karl Odenthal.

The victim, described only as a female, was taken to Aiken Re­gio­nal Medical Centers for injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.

The weapon was secured at the scene by officers. Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses.


Federal Judge Avant Edenfield dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 05/09/2015 - 11:31am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield’s intellect and work ethic were unmatched as were his love for family and the law, friends and colleagues recalled today.

He was “extremely tough in all of his cases but without a doubt, fair. He never played favorites and he tolerated absolutely no nonsense,” said Savannah attorney Dana Braun, the judge’s first law clerk.

Edenfield died this morning at Candler Hospital. He was 80.

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Link departs Paine, heads to Clayton State

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 9:28pm


By early Friday evening, Jimmy Link was in the throws of two life-changing events.

Earlier in the day, the fifth-year Paine basketball coach sent his paperwork back to Clayton State University, officially becoming the Lakers’ next head man. If that wasn’t enough, his wife, Jennifer, was expecting to deliver their third son, Nash, at any moment.

“It’s a crazy, crazy deal for us,” Link said.

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Columbia County sheriff's reserve deputy struck by log truck

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 7:18pm


A Columbia County sheriff’s reserve deputy is in serious condition after being struck by a log truck while bicycling Friday.

According to a Richmond County sheriff’s news release, Arnold Bernat, 67, was bicycling on Gordon Highway at Gate 2 about 1 p.m. when he attempted to make a left turn and was struck by a log truck traveling behind him.

The driver of the truck, 59-year-old Marcus Meriweather, was cited for following too closely.

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Bond denied again for man accused of setting woman on fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 6:50pm

A bond request was again denied Friday for the man accused of setting a woman on fire and later forcing her to have sex.

To hear it from Ronnie Lee Jones – who insisted on talking, against the advice of his attorney – the fire was an accident. The sex, she wanted, he said.

Jones, 30, has been held without bond since his arrest in August. He has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior to charges of rape and aggravated battery. Friday was his third bond hearing.

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Bizarre scam targets Columbia County couple

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 6:26pm

Two women have been arrested in a scam that targeted an elderly Columbia County couple and included a bogus traffic stop by people claiming to be FBI agents.

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Woman charged in Joey Brush death surrenders

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:28pm


The woman who authorities say is responsible for the crash that killed former state Sen. Joey Brush Jr. on Thursday surrendered Friday to face charges.

Kimberly Crouch, 49, of Augusta, surrendered at 12:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Detention Center. She was booked on charges of failure to yield or stop at a stop sign and second-degree vehicular homicide, according to jail records.

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Richmond County deputy used stun gun to help in North Augusta arrest

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:04pm


An off-duty Richmond County deputy used his stun gun to help apprehend a suspect after a fight broke out near his North Augusta home Friday morning, police said.

Deputy Michael Rollins was at his home on Gilmore Drive at about 7 a.m. when his wife alerted him to a disturbance next door.

According to a Richmond County sheriff’s release, Kenneth King and John Blocker were arguing heatedly. Rollins put on his duty belt and badge, and went to his neighbor’s yard, where King had a brick in his hand.

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Woman arrested after child left in car

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:56pm


A woman has been arrested after leaving her 2-year-old unsupervised in an unlocked vehicle at Augusta Mall.

Police were called to the mall on 3450 Wrightsboro Road around 5 p.m. Thursday after someone reported seeing the 2-year-old girl sleeping in a car seat. The vehicle was running and unlocked.

Mall security removed the child while waiting on police to arrive.

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Temporary, permanent road closures for Berckmans Road construction begin Monday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:45pm

Beginning Monday, a few roads near Augusta National Golf Club will be permanently or temporarily closed for construction of a new Berckmans Road.

Stanley Drive will be closed until work is complete in March on the widening and realignment of Berckmans Road with Alexander Drive. A few homeowners on Stanley Drive will still have access to their driveways, traffic engineer Steve Cassell said.

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Sports Council gets new CEO

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:22pm

The Board of Directors of the Augusta Sports Council announced that Stacie Adkins is its new chief executive officer.

She replaces Brinsley Thigpen, who led the organization since 2011.

Adkins comes to the sports council from Columbia County where she was manager of Special Events, directing close to 60 events, festivals, charity galas, and concerts annually. She was responsible for all aspects of community events including negotiating entertainment contracts, design of marketing materials, soliciting private partnerships and volunteer management.

Entries, vendors sought for annual Augusta Pride parade and festival

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 12:20pm


Organizers of the annual Augusta Pride parade and the festival that follows are looking for parade entries and vendors.

The parade takes place June 27 in downtown Augusta, according to Augusta Pride Inc. It begins at the corner of 11th and Jones street at 11 a.m.

An application for entries can be found at For more information, e-mail or

4 dead in I-285 plane crash

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 10:52am


DORAVILLE, Ga. — A small passenger airplane dropped from the sky, grazed the hood of a tractor-trailer and crashed into an Atlanta interstate Friday, killing all four people aboard and starting an intense fire on the busy highway.

The Piper PA-32 took off from DeKalb Peachtree Airport and apparently ran into trouble not long afterward, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

Motorist Don McGhee, 48, said he saw the aircraft nearly hit a traffic light pole near the Interstate 285 onramp.

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Coyote attacks dogs in front of kids

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 8:46am

MARIETTA, Ga. — A coyote attacked a family dog in front of two young children in a Marietta neighborhood.

WSB-TV reports the attack happened Monday afternoon near the Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, feet away from a 5 and 3-year-old girls. The girls’ mother, Courtenay Wall, says they were playing at a nearby creek after school when the incident occurred.

The dog was rushed to the vet, where doctors tended to its injuries. The dog received stitches in eight places and was fitted for a cone collar until they heal.

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Athens sees robbery increase

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 8:40am

ATHENS, Ga. -- After a brief respite, possibly related robberies in and around downtown Athens resumed Wednesday morning when a gang of thieves attacked a University of Georgia student and a boy in his mid-teens in separate incidents.


Between mid-March and mid-April, about a dozen robberies occurred in the downtown business district and outlying streets. Athens-Clarke County police were unable to say why the robberies suddenly stopped prior to their resumption this week.


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