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Gator scare closes Tybee beaches

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 1:57pm

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. — Authorities have closed some beaches along the Georgia coast as a precaution after a large alligator was spotted near Savannah.

Tybee Island officials said in a statement that the gator, estimated to be 8 to 10 feet long, was spotted early Friday morning in the water off the beaches on the south end of Tybee Island.

They said all beaches were then closed from the Parker Pier to the back river.

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Former Richmond County Sheriff Bill Anderson dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 1:31pm


Former Richmond Coun­ty Sheriff Bill Anderson died Fri­day morning, former colleagues confirmed.

Anderson was elected in 1971 to fill the term of Sheriff E.R. Atkins, who died in office, and served for five controversial years.

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Overturned truck delays traffic

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 9:54am


An overturned dump truck is causing traffic delays in the Wrightsboro Road area of Columbia County.

The wreck was reported to Columbia County sheriff’s dispatch at 7:57 a.m. at Wrightsboro and Old Wheeler roads. Around 10 a.m., dispatch said a wrecker is still on the scene.

Few details on the wreck are available at this time, but it appears to be a single vehicle crash. No injuries have been reported.

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Georgia Bank & Trust parent to be acquired

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 9:31am


A quarter-century tradition in Au­gusta banking will come to an end early next year when the corporate parent of Georgia Bank & Trust Co., Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., gets folded into South Carolina’s largest bank holding company.

The local company that grew from a startup in 1989 to the metro area’s second-largest financial institution announced Friday that it would be acquired by Columbia-based South State Corp. in a stock deal valued at $334 million.

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Paine's possible loss of accreditation bad news to city officials

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 5:19pm

Augusta officials reacted with shock and uncertainty about news of the city’s lone historically black college being recommended to lose its accreditation.

Many of Augusta’s black leaders attended Paine at some point or earned degrees there, including former mayor Ed McIntyre and former commissioners Betty Beard, Henry Brigham and J.R. Hatney. Current commissioners Bill Fennoy and Bill Lockett completed undergraduate degrees there.

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Wrongful death suit fired over Marshall Square fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 5:09pm


Columbia County and several fire and rescue employees have been named in a $15 million wrongful death lawsuit over the fatal fire at the Marshall Square retirement community last year.

The suit was filed Thursday by Barbara Ellington, the last surviving daughter of Dorothy Carpenter, the lone resident who died in the fire.

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Indictment returned in case of fatal street brawl

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 3:10pm


A dozen people accused of taking part in a street brawl during which an Augusta teen was stabbed to death have been indicted on murder charges.

The Richmond County grand jury returned the indictment Tuesday against:

Demetrius Lamont Harris, 21

Michael Donnell Dean, 20

Eyvette Lashaun Byrd, 39

D’aciea Byrd, 15

Tyteanna Larosie Thomas, 18

Eddie Doneal Carter, 18

Ryheem M. Jobes, 19

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Forgery suspects sought

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 3:04pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s help in locating two unidentified men suspected in committing Forgery in the first degree at the Family Dollar, 3352 Deans Bridge Road.

Anyone with information may contact Investigator Wren (706) 821-1023 at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office or (706) 821-1020 or (706) 821-1080.

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Paine will appeal recommendation to discontinue accreditation, say school officials

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 1:13pm

Even though its accrediting agency recommended against continuing accreditation, Paine College officials said they will mount a vigorous appeal that will contain new evidence of its fiscal solvency even as it seeks more donations to help.

And while that appeal is pending, which could be months, it will remain accredited, officials said.

See photos from the press conference

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Man accused of shoplifting after child left in vehicle

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 9:13am

Police said a man left his young child alone in a vehicle while shoplifting at Wal-Mart on Bobby Jones Express­way.

Columbia County deputies were called to the store about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after a passer-by noticed a young child, whose age was not provided, alone in the vehicle. The witness told police the child had been alone for about 25 minutes. Deputies found the child asleep on the backseat of a vehicle that was unlocked and running.

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Weekend smoke may be seen near fort

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 1:00am

Smoke and emergency responses might be seen in the Fort Gordon area this weekend during an exercise.

Fort Gordon will be conducting the aircraft response exercise 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The exercise is for training purposes.

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James Brown Plaza upgrades to resume

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 9:36pm

Work resumes Monday on an estimated $147,500 upgrade at James Brown Plaza, although the Augusta Commission has yet to name a source for the remaining project funds.

City Engineering Director Abie Ladson said the removal of several large trees surrounding the statue of Brown will begin Monday. The trees shaded the plaza but were damaged when city workers cut through their root system while digging trenches for new irrigation lines.

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Reward offered in Statesboro gun theft case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 3:47pm


A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information about the theft of 55 guns from a Statesboro, Ga., business this month.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, To­bac­co, Firearms and Explosives, someone broke into Backwoods Armory on U.S. Highway 80 East on June 6 and stole the guns. Security cameras captured an image of the person connected to the burglary.

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