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Georgia candidates will debate on public TV

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:12pm


ATLANTA -- Republican Senate hopefuls Jack Kingston and David Perdue pitch to voters in their own words -- and challenge each other -- in a televised debate Sunday.

It will be their final statewide opportunity before the runoff votes are counted July 22.

Their confrontation is the capstone in a series of half-hour runoff debates organized by the Atlanta Press Club and airing statewide by Georgia Public Broadcasting that also features congressional and school-superintendent races.

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House passes energy and water spending bill with MOX funding

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:38am


The U.S. House passed a $34 billion Energy and Water spending bill that includes funding for the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site.

The appropriations bill that funds the Department of Energy and Army Corps of Engineers was passed late Thursday night. The measure funds construction of the MOX plant in fiscal year 2015 at a cost of $345 million.

A water and energy bill still needs consideration by the Senate where a dispute over amendments has stalled appropriation bills.

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Georgia medicaid change delayed

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 9:23am



ATLANTA -- A state health agency Thursday delayed approval of a change in the Medicaid eligibility system for people in long-term care whose incomes are above the government program’s thresholds.

The Department of Community Health’s board had been set to approve a switch for some lower-income Georgians — who now use “Qualified Income Trusts” (QITs) to qualify for Medicaid — to a “medically needy” eligibility program.

These people make too much money to qualify for regular Medicaid, but not enough money to pay for their health care needs.

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Expect Fort Gordon booms today

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 9:08am

Fort Gordon neighbors might feel a little shake and hear a little boom Friday as the installation continues its explosive testing.

Pam Tucker, the director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division, said the explosive detonations scheduled for Friday could result in loud explosions and some concussions.

The 202nd Explosive Ordnance and Disposal Unit began the training Thursday that will continue through Saturday from 8 a.m. to dusk each day.


Bone marrow drive for child

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 8:57am


The family of a 5-year-old is seeking bone marrow donations to help their son who is suffering from a rare disease.

Alex Moore, the son of Rev. Matthew Moore of Trinity Baptist Church in Martinez, was recently diagnosed with aplastic anemia, which destroys bone marrow. Family members have already been tested but are not a match.

The National Bone Marrow Registry will be sending a team to conduct a bone marrow test drive this weekend.

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Energy officials discuss German waste

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 8:25am

Energy officials discuss German waste in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — U.S. Energy Department officials say the German government is paying researchers at the Savannah River Site near Aiken to study how to handle waste that might be sent to South Carolina.

The research is focused on how to separate materials in the waste.

Gary DeLeon with the Energy Department says if the material is processed, an easier way is needed to handle it. DeLeon says a method has been developed to separate the highly enriched uranium. It could be blended to make fuel for nuclear reactors.

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Georgians support school choice, poll says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 8:11am

ATLANTA -- Georgians, by a wide margin, support tax credits and scholarships for private-school tuition, according to a university survey released Thursday by a foundation that advocates school choice.

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Dead toddler's mom gets lawyer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:24am

ATLANTA - The mother of a Cobb toddler who died after spending seven hours trapped in his car seat has retained legal counsel.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Leanna Harris has not been charged with any wrongdoing but her behavior on the day of her son’s death has been heavily scrutinized by investigators. Atlanta criminal defense attorney Lawrence Zimmerman confirmed he has been hired by the 30-year-old dietitian

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Home Depot fires SUV dad

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:19am


ATLANTA — The Home Depot says it has fired a Georgia man who faces a murder charge in his son’s death in a hot SUV.


Company spokeswoman Catherine Woodling confirmed Thursday that Justin Ross Harris no longer works for the company but wouldn’t say when he was terminated. She said he’d been on leave without pay since his arrest.


Harris faces murder and child cruelty charges in the June 18 death. He has said he left the toddler in the SUV for about seven hours after forgetting to drop him off at day care.


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Athens police to inspect child seats

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:14am

Child car seat inspections to be offered in Athens

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Police in Athens are planning free child safety car seat inspections.

Police said the checks will be offered from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday at outside the Georgia Square Mall on the Atlanta Highway. They are being done in coordination with SafeKids Athens.

Police said in a statement that 80 percent of child safety seats are not installed properly. They’re inviting motorists to have their car seats inspected by a certified technician.

Refunds for those who helped family

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:12am



ATLANTA — The online payment site PayPal says it will give refunds to people who donated to a fundraising campaign for a Georgia family whose toddler died in a hot car.


PayPal spokeswoman Adriana Higuera tells The Associated Press the company will soon be issuing refunds to customers who used PayPal to donate to the campaign at, where a total of more than $22,000 was given.


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RCBOE discusses potential term limit for principals of underperforming schools

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 9:55pm


The Richmond County Board of Education further discussed giving school principals a three-year period to improve student’s academic performance on pain of possible demotion during Thursday’s committee and regular board meetings, with some board members offering fiery comments on the issue.

Board member Barbara Pulliam brought the potential policy to the board during a June 10 committee meeting, saying such a deadline was necessary to make sure administrators continue to push for improvement at their school, even if it’s “just one point on an exam.”

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URA votes to issue bonds for Municipal Building renovation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 8:32pm

Augusta’s Urban Redevelopment Agency agreed Thursday to issue nearly $27 million in revenue bonds to raise up to $28.5 million in cash for ongoing renovations and a new information technology center at the Augusta Municipal Building complex downtown.

With a warning from Deputy Finance Director Tim Schroer saying the city would have to “stop the project” without the funds, the five-member URA panel voted for a second time to approve authorizing the bond issue.

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Inmate charged in medical prison murder

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 6:46pm

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a criminal arrest warrant Wednesday following a homicide that occurred last month at Augusta State Medical Prison.

Tyrafred Amira Campbell, 24, is being charged in the June 29 death of 29-year-old Shannon Levi Grier. Campbell is currently in custody at the Georgia Department of Corrections, and at a later date will be transported to the Columbia County Detention Center in Appling to be formally charged, according to a statement from GBI special agent Patrick Morgan.

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Sculpting helps kids learn science

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 6:46pm

Fay Katz-Smith, 9, was carefully crafting the cell wall of her algae when Georgia Regents University scientist Dr. Erhard Bieberich strolled over for a look.

“That’s a big cell wall,” he said, as she carefully trimmed the clay. “That almost looks like a stadium.”

“Oh yeah,” Fay said, sitting back. “It looks like a stadium. A soccer stadium. Or maybe baseball.”

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Paine AD Tim Duncan leaves for Clayton State

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 5:48pm


In three years at Paine College, Tim Duncan accomplished plenty.

The athletic director helped revive the school’s dormant football program. He helped bring back Paine’s rivalry with USC Aiken. And he did something he felt was most important in February.

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Acting VA chief blames staffing shortages for Augusta woes

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 5:43pm


The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday that the main reason for scheduling problems at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is a shortage of clinicians, adding that too few nurses and doctors has created more work, stress and higher turnover at the Augusta hospital.

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Augusta Ice Sports Center could soon close

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 4:33pm


Augusta’s only public ice skating rink and hub for recreational ice sports could soon be forced to close.

Augusta Ice Sports Center owner Duncan Cre­rar, who is leasing the 35,000-square-foot building, said he received a letter Tuesday telling him that the property owners intend to sell the
center at 1249 Augusta West Parkway unless he can match the $2 million offer in 15 days.

That high price tag is more than Crerar can afford, he said.

Crerar and his family have operated the center, formerly known as the Augusta Ice Forum, for 14 years.

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Halt to killing ordered at Augusta shelter

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 3:29pm


In response to a flood of phone calls and e-mails, Augusta Animal Services has temporarily stopped euthanizing all but sick and vicious animals at its Mack Lane shelter, and is working with a rescue group and clinic to get spayed and neutered animals into loving homes, interim Administrator Tameka Allen said at a Thursday news conference.

“We just wanted to make sure that we address this issue,” Allen said, “to let the public know that we hear their cries and appreciate the passion that they feel.”

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