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Temperatures cool down for fall

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 1:18pm

Cooler days are here just as the calendar ordered, with autumn arriving on Monday night.

Temperatures for Friday and Saturday will be especially cool, with expected highs of 81 degrees, according to the National Weather Center forecast.

“Usually sometimes mid- to late September we start to pick up some swings in temperature, but they’re usually more noticeable in October,” said Georgia state climatologist Bill Murphey.

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Harlem's Jeremy Graham Band to open for Montgomery Gentry

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:39pm

Montgomery Gentry concertgoers will have the chance to hear a song from a local band that should hit the radio waves early next year.

Harlem’s Jeremy Graham recently signed a three-year contract with Dominion Entertainment, and he and his band will perform the single Ride Out to Nowhere on Friday at Lady Antebellum Pavilion before Gentry takes the stage.

Ride Out to Nowhere is a song when you have a little something on your mind, and you need some alone time,” said Graham, the band’s lead singer and one of its songwriters.

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Warren Road Elementary pupils back in school after gas smell investigation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:25pm

A strong odor prompted the evacution of Warren Road Elementary School on Wednesday.

The odor was initially feared to be a gas leak but later determined to be the smell of diesel coming from equipment at a nearby construction site. Dee Griffin, spokeswoman for the Augusta Fire Department, said students were sent to nearby Good News Church while the gas company investigated.

The evacuation lasted for an hour.

Augusta man wins car through Georgia Lottery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:37am

An Augusta man has a new set of wheels after winning a Georgia Lottery promotion.

Milton Singleton, 49, was presented the keys to a 2014 Kia Soul on Tuesday at Kia of Augusta on Gordon Highway.

“It was the car, the ticket and the commercial that attracted me,” he said. “When I saw the announcement of the promotion and I saw the car, I just started playing.”

Through the 21 Black Series Second Chance Promotion, lottery players can enter a second contest with their nonwinning 21 Black Series scratch-off tickets online for a chance to win a Kia Soul.

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'Do not swim' order lifted for Savannah River

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:20am


Officials have lifted the “do not swim” order for the Savannah River, but questions still linger on the unknown substance’s origin.

The order was initially issued Sunday after an oily substance was found in the water by a swimmer training for this month’s Ironman 70.3 Augusta.

Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus said Monday that preliminary findings led her to believe the substance was petroleum-based and might have come from storm drains in the Harrisburg area.

“We’re still waiting on the testing to come back,” Bonitatibus said Wednesday.

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Aiken County warns of phone scam

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 9:24am

Callers are scamming Aiken County residents out of money, police warned Wednesday.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning about callers telling residents they have missed jury duty or have outstanding fees that need to be paid because of an impending warrant.

Police said law enforcement will never contact residents over the phone demanding immediate payment for outstanding fines or warrants. Any outstanding fees should be paid to the appropriate Court of Clerk office directly or by mail, but not by phone.

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Nationals clinch NL East title on Braves' turf

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:07pm


ATLANTA — The Washington Nationals are again champions of the NL East, wrapping up their second division title in three years against the team that knocked them out of the top spot last season.

Tanner Roark pitched five-hit ball over seven innings, Ian Desmond’s two-run homer broke a scoreless tie and the Nationals celebrated another trip to the playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

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Warrenton officer placed on leave following profanity-laced post

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 7:54pm


A Warrenton police officer is on administrative leave after he made a profanity-laced post on his personal Facebook page.

Officer Adam Harper is currently being investigated by the Warrenton Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for the comments he made about the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

In the post Harper said Brown “got what he deserved” and challenged anyone who thought otherwise. He also urged his fellow law enforcement officers to “keep it up.”

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Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market under development in south Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 6:26pm


Another Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is coming to the Augusta metro area.

The corner of Windsor Spring and Tobacco roads has been designated for a market-anchored commercial development, according to the leasing firm handling the new North Augusta Wal-Mart, which is almost complete.

The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and two small retail spaces will be constructed at 3693 Windsor Spring Road, adjacent to a Rite-Aid, in south Augusta, according to Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Fletcher Bright Co.

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Jefferson Energy Cooperative phone conversion to take place Thursday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:58pm


Jefferson Energy Cooperative will convert to a new phone system on Thursday between 5 p.m. and midnight, disabling regularly listed numbers, according to a statement from public relations director Steve Chalker.

For assistance during that time, call (762) 245-4281.

Augusta Commission gives OK to hire city administrator

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:53pm

Seven Augusta Com­mission members pushed forward a plan to hire Au­gusta native and former Albany, Ga., city manager Janice Allen Jackson, despite a call to delay the decision by Mayor-elect Hardie Davis and Commissioner Bill Lockett.

Commissioner Ben Hasan said he’d heard often on the campaign trail about dollars wasted on studies and searches, such as the $19,000 the commission spent with The Mercer Group to produce three finalists for the city administrator job, held by Deputy Administrator Tameka Allen on an interim basis since January.

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Richmond County Sheriff's Office hunts Hephzibah man accused of thefts

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:51pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a Hephzibah man accused of multiple burglaries and vehicle break-ins.

Cameron Rogers, 39, of Plantation Road, is wanted on seven counts of entering an automobile and three counts of burglary in the second degree, according to a statement from the department.

He also has an outstanding felony warrant in connection with a robbery in Camden County, N.J., according to the statement.

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More than 14 million beat cancer odds with more new treatments available

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:46pm


Betty Wells didn’t need to be told she faced long odds for survival in March 2002 after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that had already spread across her abdomen.

“No one ever gave me a specific time I could live or anything like that,” said Wells, 88. “But I was knowledgeable enough to know.”

While only 27 percent with her advanced diagnosis survive five years, she is still cancer-free after 12.

“I have been very blessed,” she said.

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Suspect in fatal home invasion pleads guilty

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:36pm


Five years after Tilmon “T.C.” Greene was shot and wounded by a man who robbed his home and killed his wife, he finally heard Kelvin Johnson admit his guilt.

Johnson, 29, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Richmond County Superior Court to all charges filed against him for attacking the Greenes at their Plantation Road home on Aug. 26, 2009.

Johnson, who had faced a death penalty trial next month, agreed to a plea negotiation. He will remain in prison for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole for the murder of 69-year-old Martha Greene.

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Three Richmond County schools make Reward School list

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:10pm


Three Richmond County elementary schools made the cut for the Georgia 2014 list of Reward Schools, according to documents released by the Georgia’s Department of Education.

Monte Sano Elementary, Rollins Elementary and Southside Elementary were included on the “Highest Progress” Reward School list. These Title 1 schools were in the top 10 percent of the state for making progress on statewide assessments.

'Do not swim' order remains in effect for Savannah River

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 3:45pm


A “do not swim” order for the Savannah River will remain in effect while officials await lab results of an oily substance found Sunday.

Though Savannah Riverkeeper expected the ban to be lifted today, Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin said swimming would not be allowed at least until tests conducted by the Augusta Utilities Department were returned.

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9 decontaminated after chemical exposure

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:38pm

Nine people, including two police officers and a firefighter, went through decontamination protocols and were taken to Jefferson Hospital after an incident Monday night in Wrens.

About 8:30 p.m., emergency workers responded to a call requesting assistance because of a strong odor from a chemical used earlier in the day.

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Civil War Symposium returns in November, to feature lectures on Sherman's march and period life in Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:49pm

Area residents can relive the intricacies of life during national conflict when the fourth annual Civil War Symposium returns this November.

The program, The War Comes to Georgia, will feature lectures by Civil War authors and performances by the 8th Georgia Regimental Band of Rome. The symposium will be Nov. 6-8 at the Augusta Museum of History and the Morris Museum of Art.

Nancy Glaser, the executive director of the history museum, said talks will focus predominantly on Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s march through Georgia and its adverse effects on the Augusta area.

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Paine president resigns

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:37pm


George C. Bradley resigned as president of embattled Paine College on Tuesday as the institution continues efforts to maintain its accreditation after several years of financial mismanagement and fiscal instability.

In a statement to alumni, board of trustees Chairman Silas Norman said Bradley “desires to spend more time with his family and believes that the college is in a good state to transition out.”

Samuel Sullivan, the provost and vice president of academic affairs, will serve as acting president, Norman said.

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Barrow to hold annual military academy day

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:06pm

U.S. Rep. John Barrow will hold his annual Academy Day in Augusta this weekend to familiarize students and their families with the application and nominations process for the nation’s military service academies.

The event, which lasts from 10 a.m. to noon Sat­urday at Georgia Regents University’s Maxwell Per­forming Arts Center, is free and open to the public, and high school students and graduates interested in applying are urged to attend.

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