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Georgia eyes new Savannah River bridge, but wreck count low, officials say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 7:35pm


Georgia is eyeing a new Interstate 20 bridge spanning the Savannah River to improve safety, but the number of wrecks is relatively low for the volume of vehicles traveling the corridor, officials say.

There were 25 wrecks on the bridge over the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River from March 5, 2013, to Feb. 2, when Freddie Williams, 70, veered off the road about 9:10 p.m.

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Former Augusta city councilman Oscar Baker dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 6:52pm

Former Augusta city Coun­cilman Oscar Baker died Saturday at a North Au­gusta nursing home, longtime colleague Richard Isdell said.

Baker, noted for his political activism, was a 14-year member of the Augusta City Council, being elected five times, according to Augusta Chronicle archives.

He served the city as a firefighter from 1956 to 1980, when he retired as a captain. He also served as a bailiff in the Richmond Coun­ty court system, and he retired as chief bailiff of State Court in 1997.

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Mystery photo may be Confederate ship

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:39am



SAVANNAH, Ga. — A faded photograph last seen three decades ago at a yard sale in south Georgia could be a historic treasure — the only known image of the armored Confederate warship CSS Georgia.


It’s been 150 years since the CSS Georgia was scuttled in the Savannah River to keep it from the hands of Union troops capturing Savannah. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to raise the sunken ironclad’s remains this year.


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Snowfall possible in Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:32am

Did somebody say snow?

It looks increasingly possible that winter precipitation might occur across parts of Georgia early next week.

“The current forecast for our area is calling for rain (maybe mixed with a little snow),” Pam Tucker, Columbia County’s emergency services director, in an e-mail Saturday.

“This system is still developing and the timing, precipitation type and accumulation information will likely change. We will continue to monitor and keep you posted.”

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New Ellenton crash kills woman, 59

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:16am


A New Ellenton woman was killed in an Saturday morning crash.

Alestine B. Key, 59, of Pineview Drive, was killed in the crash at Main Street South and Sizemore Avenue, which happened after 6 a.m., according to a statement from the Aiken County Coroner’s Office.

Key was trying to cross Main Street South when her vehicle was struck by an SUV driven by Derrick Patterson, of New Ellenton.

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Former RCSO deputy released on bond

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 10:39pm

A former Richmond County deputy was released on bond Friday, according to officials at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

Alton Walker, who's facing felony charges of false imprisonment and cruelty to children in the first degree, had been in jail since Tuesday.

Deputies were called to a home in the 2800 block of Anne Street about 8 p.m. Tuesday after a neighbor reporting seeing a 12-year-old boy being physically abused by a uniformed deputy.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, Walker went to a friend’s home after work to help discipline the child.

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No love lost when Georgia Regents faces USC Aiken in matchup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 9:55pm


Love won’t be in the air tonight when Georgia Regents travels across the river to play rival USC Aiken.

The Peach Belt Confer­ence East Division co-leading Jaguars face the Pacers at 7:30 p.m. at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m.

“I’m sure I’m going to get a Valentine’s present from their fans. Maybe a big heart,” Georgia Regents coach Dip Metress said.

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Suspect sought after allegedly taking chainsaw

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 8:53pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect accused of breaking into a shed Friday and taking a chainsaw.

Around 12:03 p.m., deputies responded to the 200 block of Thread Needle Road, where a 46-year-old mother and her son arrived home to find a suspect in their shed, according to a RCSO incident report.

The suspect allegedly took a chainsaw, valued at $100, and left the scene in a newer model, four-door van, the report stated.

The suspect is described as a white male and was last seen wearing a red hoodie and dark pants.



Savannah River Remediation receives 95 percent of award fee for 2014

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 8:39pm


The contractor managing highly-radioactive liquid waste at Savannah River Site was rewarded in its fiscal 2014 performance review for response to a radiological release in New Mexico.

Savannah River Remediation received 95 percent, or $26.8 million, of the available award fee for its contract work, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Its response to a radiological release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., was among several merits noted in the evaluation determining the award fee.

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Augusta man acquitted of child molestation charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 4:20pm

A 79-year-old Augusta man was acquitted of child molestation charges Friday.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury found Harold “Dusty” E. Rhodes not guilty of rape, child molestation, aggravated sexual battery and three counts of aggravated child molestation. He was accused of sexually assaulting a girl for two years beginning in 2008 when she was 8 years old.

Rhodes, who owned the South Augusta Flea Market for 16 years, maintained his innocence since his arrest in 2013.

Augusta man indicted in mother's homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 4:19pm

An Augusta man accused of killing his elderly mother is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Robert Caviston, 56, was indicted by the Richmond County grand jury on charges of murder and arson.

Caviston was arrested on Nov. 15 when emergency personnel responding to a fire on Wicklow Drive found 92-year-old Agnes Caviston dead on the floor of the living room. According to sheriff investigators she suffered massive head injuries.

Caviston has been held without bond since his arrest.

SC cracks down on food stamp fraud

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 2:54pm

COLUMBIA — With help from federal officials, South Carolina’s top prosecutor has set up a specialized unit in a pilot project to go after people accused of abusing the state’s food stamp program.

At the beginning of this year, Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office began dedicating a prosecutor solely to prosecuting fraud within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

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Ga. man charged in sex with corpse

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 2:44pm

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Police have charged a homeless man with performing a sex act on a woman’s body at a funeral home in Columbus.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports 26-year-old Domonique Smith is charged with necrophilia.

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Investigation into death of Waynesboro woman officially closed, documents show

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 2:41pm

The investigation into the disappearance and death of a 77-year-old Waynesboro woman was quietly closed in July, according to case files obtained by The Augusta Chronicle on Friday.

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Aiken County sees 8 traffic deaths in 5 weeks

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 1:58pm


It’s been a dangerous start to 2015 for Aiken County with eight traffic deaths in just five weeks.

“It’s an increase compared to this time last year, and even one is too many,” said Lance Cpl. Judd Jones of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

In the first week of February alone, Aiken County saw four traffic fatalities, surpassing three fatal crashes in January and February of last year. Neighboring Richmond County has only had two fatalities this year.

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Fort Gordon soldier sends Augusta family Valentines video from Kuwait

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 1:52pm


True love has no boundaries.

Just ask Chief Warrant Officer 2 Maurice Woods, who was deployed from Fort Gordon last November to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait to provide Army leadership with views of potential combat zones for a year as an imagery technician.

Woods, 36, is one of 30 service members from 13 states to send their loved ones video greetings for Valentine’s Day through the U.S. Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, better known in the military community as DVIDS.

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Allen announces district office opening in Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 1:45pm

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen announced Friday the opening of a regional office in Augusta to assist and hear the concerns of constituents in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.

A grand opening will be held from 5-6 p.m. March 9 for the district office at 2743 Perimeter Parkway, Building 200, Suite 225.

In addition to Augusta, Allen will soon be opening district offices in Dublin, Statesboro and Vidalia, according to a news release.

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Saturday Shootout: Montevallo's Brown may be player of the year

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 12:37pm


Troran Brown. The Montevallo guard leads the Peach Belt Conference in scoring (19.0) and assists and might just be the league’s player of the year for the second consecutive season.



Nova Southeastern. Former Augusta State coach Gary Tuell is finding this to be a bad year to play in the Sunshine State Conference, which features No. 1 Florida Southern and No. 6 Barry. The Sharks are 9-12 overall, 0-3 against top-10 opponents.


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Macon linebacker Roquan Smith chooses Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 12:15pm

ATHENS, Ga. — Macon County linebacker Roquan Smith’s final answer for his college choice is Georgia.

After announcing on Feb. 4 that he was heading to UCLA, Smith never sent in a letter of intent and decommitted. He revealed on his Instagram account on Friday morning that he had picked Georgia.

He did not sign a letter of intent, but Georgia confirmed it received signed Southeastern Conference and Georgia Athletic Association financial aid agreements from Smith that have been certified.

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