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SC appeals gay marriage ruling

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:00pm

COLUMBIA — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is formally appealing a judge’s ruling that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Wilson on Thursday filed a notice he would be appealing to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. He has called the ruling no surprise and that he is obligated to defend state laws.

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SC lawmakers wary of changing hospital rules

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 7:05am

COLUMBIA — The state health agency is proposing ways to reduce the need for a state permit when a medical facility purchases equipment or upgrades its buildings.

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Georgia university officials move ahead with private dorm plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:44pm

ATLANTA — Georgia university officials are moving ahead with a plan that could make the state the country’s largest user of privatized college dorms.

The Board of Regents, which governs the University System of Georgia, awarded the first phase of a long-term plan to shift management of campus dorms to private companies on Wednesday in Atlanta.

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Man shot in Providence Place apartment complex

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:58pm

Richmond County Sheriff deputies are searching for a suspect after a 25-year-old man was shot Wednesday evening on Southgate Drive.

Approximately 7:37 p.m., deputies responded to Providence Place apartment complex where a black male was found with a gunshot wound to the left thigh, according to Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

According to witnesses, the victim walked down the apartment stairs and was approached by a black male, described as tall, skinny, wearing all black and a ski mask.

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Augusta Commission to discuss budget options

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:50pm

Interim City Administrator Tameka Allen’s three proposals for balancing the 2015 budget, including two that hinge on implementing a new stormwater utility fee, will be on the table at a Thursday work session, but for some commissioners, none make the grade.

Allen, whose last official day as interim administrator is Friday, developed the three alternatives in response to commissioners’ questions about her recommendations to charge residents a stormwater fee and to cut city payments to outside agencies.

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Augusta VA nurses participate in National Day of Action for Ebola Safety

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:34pm

Registered nurses at Au­gusta’s Charlie Norwood Vet­er­ans Affairs Medical Center joined a nationwide movement Wednesday demanding tougher safety precautions for U.S. health care workers dealing with patients possibly stricken with the deadly Ebola virus.

Protesting in front of the Augusta VA’s downtown hospital, nurse Irma Westmoreland said dozens of hospitals still lack enough hazardous materials suits that cover the body head to toe and include electronic, air-purifying respirators to properly protect nurses from Ebola.

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Augusta officials watching Langley Dam release, 'darker' water to flow into Savannah River

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:37pm

The Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency will be “closely monitoring” the draining of Langley Pond following a Wednesday announcement by Aiken County officials that Langley Dam was leaking bad enough to initiate an “immediate release” of water from the dam.

In an evening news release, Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin stated the draining operation will affect the Savannah River.

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Hephzibah mobile home catches fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:24pm

Augusta fire crews extinguished a mobile-home blaze Wednesday afternoon in Hephzibah.

Approximately 4:26 p.m., officials were called to 5057 Deer Trail Drive where a structure had caught fire, according to Richmond County dispatch.

A 76-year-old man sustained burns to the arm and face while trying to extinguish the fire, according to Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin. The victim was transported to the burn center at Doctor’s Hospital. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

 

 

Cannabis oil clinical trial at Georgia Regents University might not be only option

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:08pm

Running a clinical trial of cannabis-derived oil for 50 children with uncontrollable seizures could cost the state of Georgia $7-8 million, an official with Georgia Regents University told a legislative study committee meeting in Augusta on Wednesday.

But outside of that limited number, entities in the state might be authorized to grow and produce the oil for the thousands of others who might benefit from it, the chief proponent for the legislation said.

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Richmond County Sheriff's Office adds radio channels to lower response times

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 5:41pm

The addition of two police radio channels is already alleviating problems for deputies and dispatchers.

The sheriff’s office added the frequencies Wednesday after a year of research and preparation. Although it might not sound like much of a change, Lt. Lewis Blanchard said it will benefit the public in addition to officers.

The change freed up radio air space, making it easier for dispatchers to communicate more quickly with deputies, and vice versa.

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Cotton Patch variation to open next month in Evans

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 5:38pm

The Southern-style cuisine that is a staple of Bryan Mitchell’s Cotton Patch in downtown Augusta will soon be served in Columbia County.

Mitchell and wife Cathy are putting the finishing touches on Eli’s American across from the Evans Wal-Mart and expect to open the restaurant in mid-December.

“It is definitely not a chain,” said Mitchell, who has invested about $500,000 into the 3,000-square-foot space. “This is the restaurant I always wanted to do.”

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Aquinas gets No. 2 seed for state playoffs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 2:52pm

The last playoff brackets are set.

The Georgia High School Association revealed the state playoff seeds and brackets for Class A on Wednesday. Aquinas is the second seed for the private playoff while Lincoln County is No. 12 for the public side.

Aquinas (10-0), the defending state champion ranked No. 1 in the poll, will play at home against St. Francis in the first round next week. The Red Devils (7-3), who lost a thriller to Aquinas 15-13 on Halloween, will visit fifth-seeded Charlton County.

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Verizon sues Columbia County over rezoning for tower

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 2:46pm

Verizon Wireless has filed suit against Columbia County in federal court over the denial of a rezoning request.

The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court alleges the county leadership’s decision to deny Verizon’s rezoning and special-use permit on Oct. 7 was made without putting the evidence for the denial in writing, as required by law.

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Sex with teen leads to prison term for Augusta man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 2:42pm

A 24-year-old man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl in late 2012 pleaded guilty to child molestation Wednesday.

Joseph N. Green confessed after he was confronted when the girl became pregnant, said Assistant District Attorney Pierce Blitch. DNA testing revealed the child wasn’t Green’s and the biological father hasn’t been identified yet, Blitch said. The girl and the baby are in foster care now.

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Georgia Regents University hit with age-discrimination suit

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 2:36pm

 

A senior member of the Georgia Regents University staff who was fired last year has filed an age discrimination lawsuit.

The Oct. 30 petition filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on behalf of Anthony W. Duva names as defendants the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Senior Vice President of Advancement Susan Barcus, Vice President of Human Resources Susan Norton, Associate Vice President Jennifer Russ and President Ricardo Azziz.

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Court rules on side of poor South Carolina schools

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 12:48pm

COLUMBIA— The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday for poor, rural school districts in a 21-year-old education funding lawsuit, saying legislators have failed to ensure that their students receive the opportunity to succeed.

The justices’ long-awaited ruling directs legislators and school district officials to work together to solve the state’s “constitutional deficiency.” It says the winners of the case are the children who represent South Carolina’s future.

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Federal judge strikes down South Carolina gay marriage ban

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:49am

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge has struck down South Carolina’s ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Wednesday ruled against the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But marriage licenses can’t be immediately handed out. Gergel gave state Attorney General Alan Wilson a delay until Nov. 20.

A spokesman for Wilson says he’s reviewing the ruling.

Last month, Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley applied for a marriage license in Charleston County.

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Ex-Gulfstream officer arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 8:57am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A former finance director with Georgia-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has been arrested in California and charged with stealing at least $8.5 million from Gulfstream’s Long Beach and Las Vegas operations.

Marvin Jay Caukin was held without bail after his initial appearance in U.S. District Court last Friday on charges of identity theft and conspiracy to launder money and commit mail fraud, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

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Single-car accident on Walton Way injures 4

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:56am

Police said alcohol might have played a role in a one-vehicle accident on Walton Way that sent four people to the hospital Wednesday morning.

The 3000 block of Walton Way near Langford Middle School was limited to one-way traffic for nearly two hours as deputies dealt with the accident. A red sneaker, keys, a hat and other items were left in the eastbound lane, where the vehicle had lost control and wrecked.

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