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Cigarette scorches Walton Way lawn

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:33pm

 

Police said a cigarette tossed from a car window resulted in a fire in front of a Walton Way home.

Police were called to 3200 Walton Way at noon after the front yard had caught fire and was spreading toward the home.

Fire officials said the lawn is scorched in multiple spots from similar incidents.

The fire department is asking motorists to avoid throwing cigarettes out of windows. The current dry conditions are making grass and brush fires even more common, officials said.

 

Local developer purchases old Woolworth building

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:26pm

 

The old Woolworth building at the corner of Eighth and Broad streets is off the real estate market.

Local developer and hotelier T.R. Reddy has purchased the 46,000-square-foot boarded-up building for $650,000 with future plans of renovating it into apartments and commercial space, which could possibly include a market or chain retailer.

Reddy said he expects to nail down more definite plans for the property within the next couple of months.

“We’ll talk to the architects and then see what’s best to do,” he said.

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Ga., House seeks to protect student IDs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 1:13pm

ATLANTA -- The House voted unanimously Friday to safeguard student identities from files that could be made public from the agency that administers the HOPE Scholarship.

House Bill 320, additionally allows the state to claim lottery winnings or income-tax refunds from students who refuse to pay outstanding debts without having to go to court. The agency can also request withdrawal of a professional license from a deadbeat owing for a loan, scholarship or grant issued by the state.

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Mayor seeks more powers

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:57pm

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis wants to increase the authority of the mayor’s office to include a veto of commission actions, hiring and firing of city department heads, budgeting and other functions currently overseen by the 10-member commission.

Flanked by a couple dozen area pastors, church members and supporters at a noon news conference Friday, Davis couched the plan as a “call to action” for citizens to initiate amending the city’s consolidation act, to “put a system of checks and balances in place” currently lacking in the consolidated government.

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Augusta sets cold record

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:48pm

Augusta broke temperature records for two straight days, but meteorologists predict warmer weather for the weekend.

The temperature fell to 13 degrees Friday morning, breaking the existing lowest low of 19 degrees set in 1958, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday, the low high of 34 degrees was the coldest for the area in more than 100 years. The record had been 40 degrees set in 1985.

Augusta has experienced a surge of unusually cold weather since temperatures began dropping Wednesday night as a strong cold front pushed through the area.

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Ga. hospital partnerships, purchases rise

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:19pm

ATLANTA -- The hospital partnership dance continues in Georgia. Given the pressures of the health care economy, nobody apparently wants to be a wallflower.

Last week, St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens said it is talking with financially ailing Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center about a possible acquisition of the Lavonia hospital.

That announcement reverberated in northeast Georgia, but it was overshadowed by news of a much bigger potential merger in metro Atlanta, between mega-systems WellStar and Emory Healthcare.

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Aiken County tractor-trailer wreck stalls traffic

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 9:58am

Part of Desoto Drive at Williston Road remains closed after an early morning tractor trailer crash.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said the tractor trailer driver was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center with non life threatening injuries. No other vehicles were involved.

DeKalb official pleads to bribery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:05am

 

ATLANTA — Federal prosecutors say a former member of DeKalb County’s zoning board has pleaded guilty to bribery.

 

Authorities said in a statement that 42-year-old Jeremy Clark of Lithonia pleaded guilty to accepting $3,500 in exchange for voting to allow a business in Tucker to operate as a late-night dance club without obtaining proper county permits.

 

Authorities say the business owner paid Clark $2,000 in cash and donated about $1,500 to a nonprofit Clark was involved in.

 

Clark’s sentencing is set for April 20.

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