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Jeb Bush says he's an optimistic option for voters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 7:52pm

AIKEN — Jeb Bush says he’s not an angry candidate. Far from it, in fact.

He says he represents a more positive option for voters as a “happy warrior” who refuses to bend the knee to pessimism.

Instead, Bush says he will run an inclusive presidential campaign in places other Republican candidates won’t go – black churches, the Hispanic community and on college campuses. He says he will campaign with “heart and conviction” and campaign to win. And that, he hopes, will be good enough for the future of America.

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South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier fires back at "enemies"

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 6:31pm

COLUMBIA — Steve Spurrier has a message for all those “enemies” out there, saying he will remain South Carolina’s coach for a long time.

Spurrier said Wednesday that he’s not too old at 70 to coach and is not leaving the school where he has coached the past 10 years and is the team’s career victory leader.

Spurrier essentially said similar things at Southeastern Conference Media Days last week. That hasn’t stopped the questions about how long Spurrier might remain on the sidelines.

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Medical College of Georgia medical students get EMT training

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 4:53pm

Even though she didn’t get to hit the siren during her first shift in the ambulance, Adedayo Oduwole said it was still OK.

“It wasn’t as intense as I thought it would be,” she said. Before she begins her first year at Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, this future doctor will be certified as an emergency medical technician.

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Richmond County without a homicide since June 13, longest stretch in 2015

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 3:49pm


More than 35 days have passed since Richmond County’s last homicide, eclipsing the longest stretch thus far in 2015.

There have been 10 killings – nine charges of murder and one of involuntary manslaughter – but none has occurred since June 13. Before that stretch, the longest that the county had gone without a homicide was two months, in June and July of 2014.

“I’m proud of the effort and strategies (our employees) have put in to reduce our homicide rate,” Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said.

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Former U.S. Rep. John Barrow to teach course on partisan gridlock at UGA

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 2:27pm

Former U.S. Rep. John Barrow announced Wednesday that he will return to his alma mater to teach a subject he became very familiar with during his decade-long run as the Deep South’s last white Democratic congressman – partisan gridlock.

The University of Georgia confirmed in a news release that Barrow, an Athens, Ga., native who has strong ties to the Clarke County college town, will be an in-residence scholar for its School of Public and International Affairs.

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New commander installed for Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:12pm

Army Col. Michael A. Weber was installed as commander of Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon on Wednesday.

Weber replaced Col. John Lamoureux who has been at the hospital since August 2013, according to a news release. He became chief of staff for Southern Region Medical Command.

Previously, Weber served as the assistant program manager in the Office of the Program Manager for the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program, according to a release.

The change of command ceremony was held at Fort Gordon’s Barton Field.

Richmond County school board questions stormwater fee, takes stance district is exempt

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:13pm

The Richmond County Board of Education voted to approve a motion asking the Augusta Commission for more information on the newly passed stormwater fee, with some board members arguing that state law exempts the public entity from paying the fee.

The Augusta Commission approved the fee Tuesday, at $6.40 a month for most households. The fee is designed to raise $14 million yearly to pay for maintenance on Augusta’s rapidly aging storm water drainage systems.

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Augusta VA Medical Center promotes interim chief of staff to permanent one

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 7:41pm

The Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center announced Tuesday that its acting chief of staff will manage the Augusta’s hospital’s 2,445-employee workforce full time.

Starting July 26, Dr. Oladipo Kukoyi, a longtime administrator in the VA’s Southeast network, will become the hospital’s first permanent chief of staff since Michael Spencer resigned the position in May 2014 amid reports of treatment delays and preventable deaths in its gastrointestinal unit.

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Infant left alone in Cheddar's parking lot, mother in custody

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 7:14pm

A one-month old child was hospitalized Tuesday after being left in the parking lot of Cheddar’s on Walton Way Extension.

The child’s mother, Jasmyne Scudder, 21, who was next door at Queens­borough Bank has been accused of attempting to cash a fraudulent check, according to Lt. Allan Rollins of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. She was taken to the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on fraud charges.

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February death of teen with shaken baby syndrome ruled a homicide, officials say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 7:04pm


The February death of an Augusta teen who suffered from shaken baby syndrome has been ruled a homicide, officials said.

Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said the results of a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy were returned last week, determining that September Nicole Watson, 16, died on Feb. 22 as the result of “acute and subacute bronchopneumonia complicating sequela of remote traumatic brain injury.”

Put simply, September’s death can be attributed to head trauma she suffered as an infant on Jan. 30, 1999, Bowen said.

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Josey teacher accused of DUI, causing serious injury in Columbus

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 4:54pm

A T.W. Josey High School teacher is accused of hitting a 14-year-old girl with his truck before plowing into a Columbus, Ga., home while intoxicated.

Jonathan Carr, 24, of Au­gusta, was cited for DUI, serious injury by vehicle, failure to maintain lane, no proof of insurance, failing to yield for a stop sign and striking a fixed object, according to Muscogee County jail records. He was booked Satur­day and released Sunday.

According to an incident report, the Columbus Police Department was called to the scene about 11:40 p.m. on Friday.

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Augusta Commission approves new stormwater fee

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 4:45pm

After months of debate, the Augusta Commission voted Tuesday to approve the first reading of an ordinance implementing a stormwater utility fee effective Jan. 1.

Planned at $6.40 a month for most households, the fee is expected to create approximately $14 million annually for maintenance and expansion of the city’s aging storm drainage infrastructure.

Commissioner Marion Williams, who has voted against the fee or abstained during recent efforts to pass it, became the sixth supporting vote it needed for approval.

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Appellate court wants clarity before ruling on appeal in Augusta homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 2:34pm


What happened at the end of an Augusta man’s murder trial is so muddled, the Court of Appeals of Georgia has sent the case back with instructions to sort it out for a new trial judge.

In a 2-1 opinion released Thursday, the appellate court remanded the case of Devin Washington, 21, back to Richmond County Superior Court.

At a joint trial with Marcus Washington, 26, in May 2013, a jury acquitted both men of malice murder. The jury also acquitted Marcus Washington of felony murder.

The jury convicted both men, who are not related, of weapon violations.

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Wal-Mart employee arrested after cash, merchandise found missing

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 1:58pm

A Wrightsboro Road Wal-Mart employee was arrested Sunday after management discovered nearly $2,000 in cash and merchandise missing.

A manager told Richmond County deputies she was reviewing sales transactions for Ashley Lutrell Owens, 20, when she discovered $1,900 was missing. Upon further investigation she determined Owens had stolen $700 worth of merchandise and the other $1,200 was taken in the form of cash or gift cards, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report.

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Augusta teen arrested after DNA tests confirm fatherhood

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 1:46pm

An Augusta 19-year-old was arrested this week after DNA determined he impregnated a 12-year-old.

The girl’s mother contacted police in January after her daughter’s school called and told her there was a rumor the girl was pregnant. A home pregnancy test confirmed the rumor.

According to a Richmond County sheriff’s report, the girl admitted to her mother she had been having sex with Zavia Anderson since the summer at both her house and an abandoned house. Anderson denied the claims.

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Man charged in wife's murder admits cutting himself

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 1:19pm

The case against a Grovetown man charged in the June 14 stabbing death of his wife will continue.

Columbia County Magistrate Judge Jason R. Troiano decided at a preliminary hearing Tuesday that there is enough evidence to continue prosecution of Philip Stephen West, 46, on a murder charge.

West was charged with malice murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime after the fatal stabbing of his wife, Sherri Kay West, 47, at their Shoreline Drive home.

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Fire destroys Aiken apartment building

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 1:05pm

More than 20 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed an Aiken apartment building late Monday.

Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Jake Mahoney said the department began receiving multiple calls for a fire at The Colony apartments on Greengate Drive about 11:50 p.m.

When firefighters arrived they found heavy fire and smoke coming from the 300 building. The fire spread through all 12 units and the building has been deemed a total loss. Mahoney said 23 residents were displaced.

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Entrance of pro-LGBT Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer defaced with graffiti

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 12:04pm


Vandals spray-painted Tuesday morning a Bible passage that condemns homosexual sex on a downtown church whose pastor was part of the first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Richmond County.

“Burn Leviticus 18:22 Lies” was painted across the double front doors of the Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer on 557 Greene St. On the front steps was another passage, Leviticus 18:20, with the words “You’ll Burn.”

The vandalism comes almost three weeks after a rainbow flag had been stolen from the front of the church.

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Augusta under heat advisory

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:46am

It’s going to be another hot one with temperatures reaching into the triple digits today.

A heat advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. today with temperatures expected to reach between 100 and 102 degrees and heat index values up to 112 degrees.

A heat advisory was also in effect Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, a heat advisory is issued when hot temperatures and high levels of humidity combine to create a situation where heat-related illnesses are possible.

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Power restored after storm outage

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:04am

Power has been restored to the more than 1,000 customers affected by a Monday evening storm.

According to the Georgia Power Web site, there are no outages in the Richmond or Columbia County area.



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