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Ferguson officer modest, private

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:38am


FERGUSON, Mo. — A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.


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Augusta metro jobless rate rises to 8 percent

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 9:28am


Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate increased to 8 percent in July, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The rate in June was 7.4 percent. The rate was 8.8 percent in July a year ago.

Like June, the rate increased because of seasonal factors, such as the summer job loss among non-contract school workers and temporary layoffs, primarily in manufacturing.

All six counties that make up the metro area had higher jobless rates in July. Aiken County was the lowest at 6.3 percent and Burke County was the highest at 11.9 percent.

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Gas prices fall in Georgia and South Carolina

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 7:38pm


Richmond and Aiken County residents are paying the lowest prices in months for fueling up their vehicles, a trend that could continue the remainder of the year, according to industry analysts.

Average prices for a gallon of regular gas in South Carolina and Georgia are $3.127 and $3.33, respectively, according to Both prices are under the national average of $3.427, and the lowest each state has seen since March.

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Jury acquits man in 2013 Augusta homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 7:29pm

A young man jailed for nearly a year awaiting trial on charges of murder was acquitted Wednesday.

The Richmond County Superior Court deliberated for nearly four hours at the end of a three-day trial before reaching the unanimous decision that Killeon S. Cooper, 20, was not guilty.

Cooper was arrested along with Thaddaeus E. Williams Jr., 34, and Curtis Bonman, 30, in connection with the Aug. 27, 2013, slaying of Charlie Davis Jr., 31.

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Judge rules North Augusta didn't have to prove new findings of blight for Project Jackson

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 5:47pm

North Augusta did not have to prove new findings of blight in the redevelopment area where it plans to build a new Augusta GreenJackets stadium, according to the judge who ruled in favor of the city in a lawsuit challenging Project Jackson.

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Columbia County approves $700,000 in incentives for development

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 5:34pm

Columbia County officials have agreed to give $700,000 in economic incentives to a project that could bring a Wal-Mart “competitor” and as many as 500 jobs to the area outside of Grovetown near Interstate 20.

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Commissioner Jackson resigns

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 4:59pm


Joe Jackson resigned from the Augusta Commission on Wednesday, ending two terms on the city board that fellow lawmakers described as an “amicable” experience in achieving some of Richmond County’s most pressing projects.

Jackson, who was elected to represent District 6 in 2007, submitted a letter of resignation about 4 p.m., saying that his departure from city politics would take effect in an hour, commission clerk Lena Bonner said.

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Lakeside-North Augusta is 'Chronicle' Game of the Week

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 2:56pm

The high school football season begins Friday night, and a matchup between two of the area’s top teams will be The Augusta Chronicle’s Game of the Week.

Lakeside travels across the Savannah River to take on North Augusta at 7:30 p.m. in an enticing Georgia vs. South Carolina prep game.

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Police looking for suspects on stolen truck

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 1:16pm

Police are seeking two men who ran from police after crashing a stolen truck into an Aiken County home Wednesday morning.

An Aiken County sheriff’s patrol sergeant first stopped the stolen Ford truck leaving a home in Hunter’s Gate on Silver Fox Way in North Augusta about 3:40 a.m.

Police said the driver failed to stop for lights and siren and soon after left the road, striking a parked vehicle and then a home in the 5200 block of Silver Fox Way, according to a news release.

The men, one black and one white, ran from the truck toward the rear of the home.

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Military air training reported at fort

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 12:25pm

Augusta residents who hear what sounds like a large flyover should not be alarmed.

Fort Gordon’s training area is hosting routine, scheduled Air Force cargo drop training from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, and again tonight from 7 to 10 p.m.

The aircraft involved are Air Force Reserve C-130 cargo planes from Marietta, Ga. The planes are flying at low altitudes as a necessary part of the training.

The sounds of the air training have been heard as far away from the post as Daniel Field.

Latest Vogtle spending approved; plea for water conservation ignored

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 5:56am

The Georgia Public Service Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved an additional $389 million in expenditures for Georgia Power’s two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle while at the same time declining a request to require new water conservation measures at the plant.

The expenditure approval, which covered all of 2013, brings the total construction cost verified to date to $2.599 billion.

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Athens area man charged with fabricating own kidnapping

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 5:41am

WATKINSVILLE, Ga. -- An Athens area man was arrested Tuesday after authorities said he planned his own kidnapping to extort money that he and the kidnappers -- including two from Augusta -- planned to split.

“We had suspicions about (the kidnapping) all along, but we needed the evidence,” Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said.

Detrick F. Favors, 41, of Farmington, is in the Oconee County Jail without bond on charges of conspiracy to commit theft by extortion and making a false statement.

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Coroner granted funds to offset transportation costs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:07pm

The Richmond County Coroner’s Office will get some needed financial relief when it comes to transporting bodies now that it can access funds collected through a partnership with Georgia Regents Medical Center.

On Tuesday, the Augusta Commission approved Coroner Mark Bowen’s request to use $30,000 generated from the department’s agreement with Georgia Regents Medical Center Tissue Donor Services.

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ALS ice bucket funds stay in Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:03pm


Brandy Quarles tried to prepare herself by dumping a glass of ice water over her head Tuesday morning.

“It didn’t help,” she said as she stood shivering outside the Georgia Regents University Medical Office Building, moments after she and seven others in the ALS Clinic had a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads.

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Isakson touts VA overhaul as answer to Augusta's problems

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 9:23pm


Outlining the benefits of a $16 billion reform package he helped negotiate last month, Sen. Johnny Isakson told Augusta veterans Tuesday they can expect more accountability, shorter waits and better health care at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

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Sex trafficking of minor ends with lengthy prison terms

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 9:10pm


Conspirators in the sex trafficking of a teenage girl got a break Tuesday from extremely long sentences recommended under federal sentencing guidelines, but they still will spend years in federal prison.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. agreed with the defense attorneys and prosecutor that the defendants deserved what is called in federal court a “sentencing downward departure.”

Charlie Castillo, 32, whom Bowen described as the most egregious of the group that exploited a 16-year-old girl, was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

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Army official addresses leaders at private meeting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 8:47pm

A top U.S. Army official visited Fort Gordon on Tuesday for a private meeting to address local and state leaders about the post’s future.

Katherine Hammack, the Army’s assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, spoke at a breakfast meeting of the Association of the United States Army’s Fort Gordon chapter. CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon Executive Director Thom Tuckey, who circulated an e-mail to community stakeholders encouraging attendance, said the meeting was not open to the media.

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