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Deal to speak in Columbia County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:52pm

Gov. Nathan Deal will speak May 7 to the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Post-Legislative Breakfast, according to a news release.

He also plans to hold a bill signing ceremony at the event, which begins at 7:30 a.m. at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans.

There is no charge for Columbia County Chamber members. Non-members can attend for $25. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the chamber at (706) 651-0018 or visiting its Web site at


Georgia hikes college tuition

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:48pm

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Parents and students will be paying $80 million in higher tuition next year in the state’s public schools governed by the University System of Georgia after the Board of Regents voted Tuesday for the hike.

Tuition at the average school would rise 2.5 percent. At the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech it would jump 9 percent because there is so much more demand, according to Vice Chancellor John Brown. Tech gets nine applicants for every student admitted. UGA gets four for each admission.

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Evans mom charged with holding teen party involving sex, drugs, alcohol

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:28pm

An Evans mother was arrested Monday accused of hosting a party with drugs and alcohol for her teenage daughter and her friends.

Rachel Lynn Lehnardt, 35, was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

An Augusta woman told authorities Saturday that she was recently appointed as Lehnardt’s sponsor through Alcoholics Anonymous and Lehnardt told her about a recent incident at her home, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

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Body of Jackson man found in lake

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:25am

A man wanted in South Carolina who disappeared from a lake recreation area over the weekend was found dead in the lake early Tuesday.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King said that a park ranger found Devin T. Wright, 47, of Jackson, S.C., floating 20-30 feet off shore in a cove at West Dam Recreation area about 8:30 a.m. King pronounced him dead at 10:15 a.m. He is presumed to have drowned, but King said an autopsy will be performed at a Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

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Harsh penalties for Atlanta school cheaters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:21am

ATLANTA — All but one of 10 former Atlanta public school educators were sentenced to jail time Tuesday in a widespread conspiracy to inflate student scores on the state's standardized tests, and the judge called the case "the sickest thing that's ever happened in this town."

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Ga. man shoots armadillo; ricochet hits mother in law

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:13am



LEESBURG, Ga. — Authorities say a south Georgia man shot an armadillo, but ended up accidentally wounding his mother-in-law when the bullet ricocheted off the mammal known for its hard shell.

Lee County Sheriff’s deputies tell WALB-TV that 54-year-old Larry McElroy fired his 9 mm pistol at the armadillo Sunday night.

Deputies say the bullet killed the armadillo, but bounced off the animal, hit a fence, traveled through the back door of the mother-in-law’s mobile home and the recliner in which she was sitting, striking her in the back.

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Elderly man charged with murder dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 9:18am


An 86-year-old man accused of killing his caretaker last month has died as a result of natural causes.

John Dickey Obryant was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. today at University Hospital, Coroner Mark Bowen said.

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Toddler who fell in pool last week dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 8:52am


A 1-year-old Augusta boy has died a week after being pulled from a swimming pool in his backyard, Coroner Mark Bowen said Tuesday.

Oliver Jase White was unresponsive after being pulled April 6 from the pool in the backyard of his home on the 3400 block of Cannongate Drive. His mother told police she thought her son was sleeping and estimated he had been in the pool for about five minutes.

Police said that although the backyard was gated, the pool did not have its own fence. The back door of the home had been left open for a dog.

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