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Kathleen Sebelius resigning from top HHS post

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:04pm

WASHINGTON   — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration after the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, a White House official said Thursday.

Her resignation comes just one week after the end of the first enrollment period for the Obamacare law. While the opening weeks of the rollout were marred by website woes, the administration rebounded strongly by enrolling more than 7 million people in the new insurance marketplaces.

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Bill Haas has clubhouse lead at 4-under

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 5:27pm

Bill Haas posted six birdies en route to an opening 4-under-par 68 to take the clubhouse lead today at the Masters Tournament.

In his fifth Masters appearance, Haas recorded his first round in the 60s. He birdied Nos. 13 and 14 to move to 4-under for the day. Despite making bogey at No. 17, Haas birdied the par-4 18th hole.

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GRU could get marijuana oil trials

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:55pm

Children in Georgia with difficult to treat seizures could get access to a marijuana-derived oil through clinical trials at Georgia Regents University, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday. But even if the state gets selected, it could be three to six months to work out the details, said a lead researcher at GRU who would likely lead the clinical trials.

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Six birdies propel Haas to afternoon lead at Masters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:34pm

Bill Haas posted six birdies en route to 4-under-par 68 to take the clubhouse lead this afternoon at the Masters Tournament.

In his fifth Masters appearance, Haas recorded his first sub-70 round. He birdied Nos. 13 and 14 to move to 4-under for the day. After making bogey at No. 17, Haas birdied the par-4 18th hole.

Haas currently leads defending champion Adam Scott by one. Scott is through 16 holes.

Kevin Stadler, Jonas Blixt, Gary Woodland, Jimmy Walker, K.J. Choi and Brandt Snedeker are all tied at 70.

No arrests for illegal ticket sales so far

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:30pm

 

Warnings have been issued, but so far there have been no arrests for illegal ticket sales during this year’s Masters Tournament.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said there have been reports of possible illegal ticket sales but officers have not filed charges against the buyers or sellers.

Signs warning golf patrons about the law could be behind the low number of incidents.

“We do feel they (the signs) are working,” Gay said Thursday.

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Gas prices up, but summer shouldn't be bad, AAA says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:39pm

Gas prices are rising rapidly, but AAA projects the summer average price will stay below peak prices seen in recent years.

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is the highest since August, causing concern for people planning travel.

Georgia is seeing its highest prices since September. Since last week, the price has risen almost 10 cents to $3.51, 4 cents higher than last year. The price is still 25 cents cheaper than 2013’s peak price and about 40 cents cheaper than peak prices in 2011 and 2012.

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Red Carpet Tour brings industrial site consultants to Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:24pm

 

For decades, state officials have been using the Red Carpet Tour – and its stop at the Masters Tournament on Thursday – as a strategy to attract new business to the state.

This year, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is trying a new approach. The tour buses aren’t filled with prospective business owners, but with site selection experts from some of the largest consulting firms in the world.

The Red Carpet Tour has been coming to Augusta for 55 years. Officials cite 15,000 jobs and $3 billion in investment over those years.

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Cameras catch Athens school bus violators

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:11am

ATHENS, Ga. -- Some motorists who recently ignored school bus stop signals in Athens are beginning to receive hefty fines in the mail.

In its first full week of operation, a new camera system now used on several Clarke County School District buses captured images of 17 violators, said Athens-Clarke County police Sgt. James Carter, who administers the system.

Violators face a $300 fine for their first violation, $750 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third.

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FBI rescues kidnap victim in Atlanta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:56am

ATLANTA — A North Carolina man reported missing from his home days ago was the target of a kidnapping plot, and he was rescued Wednesday from an apartment complex in Atlanta, the FBI said Thursday.

An elite FBI team safely rescued Frank Arthur Janssen shortly before noon Wednesday, FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said in a statement.

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Guilty plea in SC prison guard plot

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:53am

COLUMBIA — An Orangeburg man has admitted conspiring to kill a prison guard in a hit orchestrated by an inmate on an illegal cellphone.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says 30-year-old Sean Echols pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to use interstate facilities in murder-for-hire. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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SC moped crash proves fatal

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:51am

 

ANDERSON, S.C. — Authorities say one person has died after a moped collided with a truck in Anderson County.

 

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says the crash happened at around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

 

Troopers say the driver of a 2009 Honda moped was traveling south, turned left into a private drive and struck a 1991 Nissan truck.

 

Troopers say the moped driver was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was not injured.

 

Authorities are still investigating.

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May 20 ballots to include Democrats' questions

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 8:57pm

Voters choosing a Democratic ballot May 20 will also get to weigh in on a handful of issues.

Monday, the Secretary of State’s Office released the list of non-binding questions that will appear on all Democratic ballots. The Democratic Party of Georgia submitted them during last month’s candidate qualifying period, according to Jared Thomas, the agency’s spokesman.

Questions asked two years ago wound up playing a role in changing state law, when both parties came up with separate versions of a question about whether lobbyists’ gifts to legislators should be limited.

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Fewer uninsured kids but still many in Ga.

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 8:00pm

There are fewer uninsured kids in Georgia because more kids are being covered by Medicaid or PeachCare, a new report out today found. But the state still ranks high in the percentage of kids without health insurance, particularly for low-income kids, according to the report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Those numbers could get a boost in the future from the Affordable Care Act, the report noted.

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Tag office to close; new one opens next week

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:46pm

 

The Richmond County tag office on Laney-Walker Boulevard will close its doors Thursday, to be replaced next week with a new office on Washington Road.

According to a news release from Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick, the 925 Laney-Walker Boulevard tag office will serve its final customers Thursday, with a new office in the Publix Shopping Center, 2816 Washington Road, to open next Wednesday.

Customers may continue to handle their tag business downtown – in the tax commissioner’s office – if they choose, however.

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Davis raises most money among mayoral candidates

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:40pm

Sen. Hardie Davis maintains a healthy fundraising lead over Augusta’s other four mayoral candidates in the latest campaign financial reports due with Richmond County Board of Elections.

Davis began the reporting period with $38,256 on hand from $71,075 he’d raised before the General Assembly convened. He ended the period March 31 with another $11,294 raised and $30,647 in the bank, for a grand total of $82,369 raised since he announced the campaign in August.

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Steam problem triggers shutdown of Vogtle reactor

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:24pm

 

ATLANTA — Plant Vogtle’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor shut down automatically Tuesday morning as a result of a loss of steam pressure, Southern Nuclear announced Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Southern Nuclear, the sister company of Georgia Power that operates Plant Vogtle, said there were no injuries or release of radioactive material. The plant’s Unit 1 was already out of operation due to refueling and maintenance. Two additional reactors are under construction at the site near Waynesboro.

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Shooting victim was found in bed

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 6:54pm

 

NORTH AUGUSTA – Police responding to a North Augusta shooting Tuesday found Dakota Cook in bed, with the covers up to his neck and a wound to the face. A shotgun was at the foot of the bed with the barrel pointed toward the headboard.

That description was among details released Wednesday in the death of Cook, a 21-year-old father of four.

His wife, Terry Cook, 20, was charged with murder. She also faces four counts of unlawful neglect of a child and a charge of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

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Traffic watchers work to keep commute smooth

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 6:14pm

 

An Augusta traffic engineer’s day starts long before the sun comes up during Masters Week.

When the first rush of traffic hits Washington Road after 7 a.m., traffic engineer and interim deputy administrator Steve Cassell is already at his makeshift desk at Westside High School between other engineers.

On a platform in a small auditorium, the four engineers stare over their coffee at large screens of intersections packed with out-of-state visitors headed to the Masters, some seeing Augusta streets for the first time.

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Cops called after customer throws milkshake

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 6:00pm

 

A fast-food employee got a face full of shake Tuesday from an angry customer, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report.

Deputies were called to McDonald’s, 3423 Wrightsboro Road, about 3 p.m. after a man threw a milkshake back through the drive-through window. The 18-year-old who was working the window said the man pulled the lid off the drink and took a sip before he began cursing and asking who made it. He threw the drink back through the window, hitting the employee in the face.

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