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Augusta VA expected to keep homeless health care accreditation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 2:39pm

The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center fully expects to have its Health Care for Homeless Veterans program accredited for another three years after international surveyors made no recommendations for improvement during an inspection at the Augusta facility this week, a hospital spokesman said.

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Thomson High security up after weapon found

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 2:35pm

A gun was confiscated Friday morning at Thomson High School. According to McDuffie County School Superintendent Mychelle Rhodes, through the use of metal detection devices at both school entrances, officials found, secured and confiscated the weapon from a student identified as Casey Williams, 18, a ninth-grader.

Law enforcement was notified and agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are handling the case.

Williams was booked into the McDuffie County Jail and faces criminal charges as well as a school tribunal.

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319th Transportation Company to be honored for Vietnam service

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 2:35pm

Two state legislators from Augusta will recognize veterans and surviving family members of the Army Reserve’s 319th Transportation Company this weekend as part of an ongoing nationwide effort to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

During the local unit’s 46th annual reunion Saturday at the Augusta Marriott, Georgia House Reps. Henry “Wayne” Howard and Brian Prince, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, will present a certificate of honor and U.S. Department of Defense lapel pin to each living Vietnam War veteran of the 319th in attendance.

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Video: A meteor shower in Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 12:34pm

This week’s Perseid Meteor Shower might have been a challenge to see if you lived near a town with its street lights and visual distractions. That was not the case, however, in a rural field in Warren County an hour away.

Mark Albertin, an Augusta videographer, got this time-lapse view Wednesday night of the heavens, the stars, the Milky Way and the Perseid meteors before a summer haze dulled the vantage point.

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Car smashes into Grovetown home

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 12:02pm

No one was seriously injured Friday morning when a car crashed into a Grovetown home.

Shane Sternberg was sleeping in his Ellington Drive home off Canterbury Farms Parkway just before 10 a.m. when he heard what he described as a bomb going off. He said he ran downstairs in a haze. “I couldn’t really tell at first what happened because it was really dusty,” Sternberg said.

His fiancée, Lisa-Marie Steighner, was in a back bathroom when a car burst through the front window of their two-story home and into their “bird room.”

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USC Aiken, Savannah River National Laboratory sign scholars agreement

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 11:36am

 

The Savannah River National Laboratory and the University of South Carolina Aiken are joining in a new program to help students prepare for laboratory careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The agreement, signed Tuesday, establishes and funds an SRNL University Scholars Program that provides USC Aiken students with both financial aid and greater exposure to “real-world research and development” through hands-on interaction with laboratory staff. The goal is to train and educate the next generation of researchers, the two agencies said in a news release.

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Beech Island shooting suspect sought

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 11:26am

 

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in finding Jeremy Clinton Lawton.

According to a news release, Lawton is wanted for numerous gun charges connected to a Tuesday shooting on Graystone Drive in Beech Island.

He is also wanted on criminal domestic violence charges. Lawton is considered armed and dangerous, police say.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 648-6811 or 642-1751.

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Augusta man arraigned on murder charge in neighbor's shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 11:25am

An Augusta man accused of killing a neighbor entered a plea of not guilty Friday to charges of murder and weapon violations.

Walter Lee Johnson, 60, has been in custody since his arrest in the May 3 slaying of Marion Utley, 49, in the 1600 block of Norris Lane.

According to earlier reports and court records, an argument between the two men led to the shooting. Utley was shot in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Johnson was arraigned Friday in Richmond County Superior Court.

Ga. argues against Medicaid 'waiver'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 9:28am

ATLANTA -- The state’s Medicaid agency has all but ruled out Grady Health System’s “waiver’’ proposal to cover more uninsured Georgians.

“We’re not going to move forward on this at this time,’’ Clyde Reese, commissioner of the Department of Community Health, said at an agency board meeting Thursday.

He cited “significant costs to the state” to implement the proposal.

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GBI probes Ga. town's SPLOST use

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 7:16am

 

NICHOLSON, Ga. -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation virtually closed down the City Hall in this Athens-area town for about six hours Wednesday as it searched for documents pertaining to allegations of misappropriations of tax money by the city, authorities said Thursday.

Seven GBI agents from the Athens field office entered the building and seized “numerous documents,” GBI Agent Jesse Maddox said.

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1 dead as tractor-trailer rolls away

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 7:11am

Associated Press

EMERSON, Ga. — Authorities say a woman is dead after a tractor-trailer stopped beside a Georgia highway rolled downhill away from its driver and collided with a pickup truck.

The crash happened Thursday night in Bartow County. Police say emergency crews worked two hours to free a man, toddler and infant trapped inside the truck. A woman traveling with them was killed.

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Good news for state employees on insurance

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 5:13am

 

ATLANTA -- Most schoolteachers and state employees will see lower premiums for health care under their 2016 benefits plan unveiled Thursday.

Only people with a high-deductible plan from UnitedHealthcare will have an average increase next year, said Department of Community Health officials at an agency board meeting Thursday.

The health plan options will remain the same, as will employee co-pays, Community Health officials said. This current year’s deductibles generally will be retained as well.

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Ga. consumer protection unit fails, audit says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/14/2015 - 4:40am

ATLANTA -- State auditors released a critical analysis Thursday of the state’s consumer protection unit which recently moved from the governor’s office to the attorney general’s.

Consumer protection involves enforcement of many laws, such as the state’s “lemon law” dealing with defective cars and laws regulating health spas, buying services, garages and home remodelers.

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