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Drive-by shooting kills Columbia woman

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:47am

COLUMBIA — Richland County officials have identified a woman who was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Coroner Gary Watts said in a statement that 32-year-old Astrid D. Haynes of Columbia died Wednesday morning after she was shot in the abdomen.

Columbia police are looking for suspects.

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Van pulls up to Atlanta hotel lobby with 3 gunshot victims

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:43am


ATLANTA — Police are investigating after a bullet-riddled van with three gunshot victims inside pulled up to the lobby of the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta, startling some hotel guests.


Police say a total of six people were inside the white van with New Jersey tags when it arrived at the hotel late Wednesday night.


Hotel guest Jeff Johnson tells WSB-TV that he saw the van pull up, and several men jumped out, yelling.


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Warm winter coming? Maybe

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:33am

Warmer-than-normal temperatures – like those experienced Wednesday in Augusta – could extend into the winter, the National Climate Prediction Center predicts.

On Wednesday, the high reached 90 degrees at Daniel Field airport, which ties the record for that location on that date. Records at Daniel Field go back to 1997. At Bush Field airport, which has records going back to 1873, the observed temperature Wednesday was 92 degrees – just two degrees shy of the record high set in 1941.

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4 life sentences for Atlanta child rapist

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:30am


ATLANTA — Fulton County prosecutors say a man who argued that he was a sovereign citizen and immune from prosecution has been given four life sentences for raping a 9-year-old girl.

District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones says 40-year-old Chadrus Brown represented himself in court and was convicted and sentenced Wednesday after a jury deliberated for roughly half an hour.

Brown was charged with rape, aggravated sodomy and child molestation.

Prosecutors say Brown accused the victim of lying despite DNA evidence linking him to the attack.

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Electric vehicle owners in Augusta won't depend on charging stations outside of home

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 10:58pm

In Amisha Amin’s garage in Evans, her Nissan Leaf gets a surge of energy late at night.

Amin’s electric vehicle gets all the fuel it needs from a 110-volt charger she plugs into a regular outlet at home.

Following her daily routine of school drop-off, commuting to work and errands, she has mileage left over from the 80 to 90 miles on a fully-charged battery.

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Fire department to install smoke detectors Saturday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 10:14pm

The Augusta Fire Department and American Red Cross of Augusta are teaming up Saturday to install smoke detectors in area homes.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in residences with no smoke detectors or without working smoke alarms.

“Area residents can take simple actions to reduce the risk of a home fire tragedy by installing and maintaining a smoke alarm on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas,” said American Red Cross of Augusta Executive Director Jennifer Pennington.

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CDC announces enhanced screening efforts to contain Ebola

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:31pm

 ATLANTA — As they mourned the death Wednesday of the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S., officials announced enhanced screening for the 150 travelers a day from Ebola-ravaged countries in Africa flying into America, including new measures at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported some potential progress in one of those countries, Liberia, but cautioned that a long fight was still ahead.

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Early voting starts, new Augusta advance voting site opens Monday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:10pm


Voters ready to cast a ballot early or check out the new Telfair Street entrance to Augusta Municipal Building can do both at once with the opening of Richmond County’s Advance Voting Center at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

“One of the things that makes it so wonderful for advance voting in particular, is people coming in to vote will no longer be required to go through security screening,” Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said. “I think it just makes it a little more convenient.”

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Columbia County affirms financial backing for hospital proposals

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:31pm


Columbia County has reaffirmed its commitment to offer financial backing for three proposed hospital plans, should one win needed approval from state regulators.

Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson transmitted renewed letters of support to officials at the three Augusta hospitals vying to build the county’s first hospital. Each is in the process of seeking a Certificate of Need (CON) from the state, which has already said the area has more than enough hospital beds not to warrant building a new facility.

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Mullins land cleared for River Watch dirt deal

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:28pm

The land has been cleared and trees rendered into pulpwood and mulch, but shoppers shouldn’t expect to ring any cash registers in a new section of Mullins Crossing soon.

County officials confirmed Wednesday there are no immediate plans to develop the 21-acre site at 4263 Washington Road, which is expected at some point to be used for the second phase of Mullins Crossing, an Evans retail center which opened in 2005.

The reason for the land’s recent clearing, however, is a deal for its dirt.

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Aiken man charged with attempted murder after police chase, holdup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:17pm

A man accused of armed robbery and attempted murder was released Wednesday from Aiken Regional Medical Center and transported to Aiken County Detention Center, according to Sgt. Jason Feemster.

On Friday, Oct. 3, about 10:30 a.m., witnesses reported seeing Waymon Eugene Newton, 37, fleeing the scene of an accident near the intersection of Whiskey and Talatha Church roads, according to a statement from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

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Veteran housing project Freedom's Path files for funding again

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 5:10pm


The developers of Freedom’s Path, a low-income housing complex aimed at ending veteran homelessness in the Augusta area, have filed a new tax-credit application for the state’s 2014 funding cycle, after a legal dispute last year threatened to kill the project.

The Augusta nonprofit Hope House and Florida-based developer Don Paxton have asked the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to award them $790,000 in low-income housing tax credits in November, when the agency decides which rental properties should receive federal and state funding.

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Aquinas placed on lockdown Wednesday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 5:02pm

Aquinas High School was placed on temporary lockdown Wednesday, while Richmond County sheriff’s deputies searched for an armed suspect in the area.

Approximately 1:48 p.m., deputies responded to the 1900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in reference to a burglary, according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser.

Upon arrival, officers learned that a black male, wearing camouflage clothing and hat, had taken an unknown number of weapons from a residence and fled on foot.

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Huntsman starts to hire for Augusta plant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 3:37pm


Huntsman is beginning to hire.

The Georgia Department of Labor said Wednesday that it will help Huntsman Pigments recruit about 100 workers for its new manufacturing facility under construction near the Augusta Regional Airport.

Huntsman Corp., based in Woodlands, Texas, paid about $1 billion to acquire the pigment and additives divisions of Rockwood Holdings. Rockwood started building the facility prior to the deal with Huntsman.

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Lottery ticket wins $200,000 for N. Augustan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 2:49pm

A North Augusta man took extra precautions after winning the top prize of $200,000 on an instant lottery ticket.

“My stomach has been in knots,” said the winner, who was not publicly identified, when he cashed in the Money Money Money ticket on Tuesday. “I feel better already.”

He told South Carolina lottery officials he had slept with a gun since he purchased the ticket at Kangaroo Express on Edgefield Drive in Belvedere and saw his prize.

Playing the lottery has been a weekly tradition for the retiree.

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UGA likes early Missouri kickoff

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 1:52pm


ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s football game Saturday at Missouri has an 11 a.m. kickoff local time (noon ET).

And that’s the way Georgia preferred it.

Coach Mark Richt said Wednesday that athletic director Greg McGarity expressed to the Southeastern Conference a desire not to play in one of the other possible windows—6, 7:30 or 9 p.m. ET—because of another road trip the following week against Arkansas in Little Rock.

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Ex-principal no-show at Atlanta school cheating trial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 1:11pm

ATLANTA — A former principal testifying in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial failed to show up in court, prompting the judge to ask prosecutors to find him.

Former Gideons Elementary School Principal Armstead Salters had testified Tuesday for the prosecution and was supposed to return Wednesday for more examination by attorneys, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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Animal shelter hopes to increase adoptions at event Saturday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:59am


Augusta Animal Services will hold its second annual Family Fun Day on Saturday to help get dogs and cats out of the shelter and into homes.

Operations Manager Priscilla Crisler said the event is a push to get shelter animals adopted but is also an effort to help familiarize the public with the shelter and teach proper pet care.

The event will have food, face-painting and games, and families are invited to bring their pets for $10 rabies vaccines and $15 microchipping.

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