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I-20/ Bobby Jones wreck delays

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 2:00pm

 An overturned tractor trailer off of Interstate 20 is causing delays.

The incident occurred about 1:50 p.m. in on the flyover from westbound Interstate 20 to Bobby Jones Expressway, according to dispatch. Injuries are unknown.


Final federal loan guarantee finalized for Plant Vogtle project

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 1:29pm

Five years after the U.S. Department of Energy offered loan guarantees to three utility partners building reactors at Plant Vogtle, the last agreement was finalized Wednesday with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

Federal loan guarantees totaling $1.8 billion were approved for three subsidiaries of MEAG, according to a DOE news release.

In February 2014, negotiations were completed with Southern Co. and Ogle­thorpe Power for a $6.5 billion loan agreement to finance the first two nuclear reactors licensed in the U.S. in more than 30 years.

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Graniteville man charged in apartment complex shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 1:22pm


A 26-year-old Graniteville man has been charged with attempted murder and kidnapping, accused of shooting into a North Augusta apartment Wednesday morning and hiding from police in another apartment against the residents’ will.

A North Augusta Department of Public Safety officer heard shots fired near Pine Crest apartments on Swiss Street about 12:30 a.m. but was unable to find the source or a victim. Less than an hour later, police went back to the apartment complex after someone reported seeing a gunman in the parking lot, but again didn’t find anything.

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City of Augusta phone service back

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 11:03am

City of Augusta landline phones are back in service after an outage lasting much of Wednesday

Phone service was disrupted when information technology servers were being moved to a new location, officials said. Emergency 911 was not affected.

“Our information technology team and telecommunications provider have restored the problem,” said Lynthia Owens, spokeswoman for Mayor Hardie Davis’ office.

Rapper Rick Ross arrested on kidnap, assault charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:59am

ATLANTA — Rapper Rick Ross is facing kidnapping and assault charges after a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force and deputies arrested him at his mansion south of Atlanta early Wednesday, authorities said.

Ross and a man described as his bodyguard were taken into custody in Fayette County, Jim Joyner, a supervisor with the Marshals’ Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, told The Associated Press.

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Gov. Deal: Change Confederate license plate

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 7:05am

ATLANTA — Georgia’s specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag should be redesigned, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday, after initially telling reporters he wouldn’t urge changes.

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Weed killer in co-worker's drink

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 7:00am

ACWORTH, Ga. — A Georgia man has been arrested after police say he put weed killer in his co-worker’s water bottle.

Multiple news outlets report Anthony Dunton was arrested Saturday and charged with four counts of aggravated assault after police say he put Roundup weed and grass killer in the victim’s water.

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Aiken County School Board of Education names 4 finalists in it superintendent search

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 10:03pm

AIKEN — The Aiken County Board of Education named four finalists Tuesday in the search for a new superintendent to follow retiring Dr. Elizabeth Everitt.

Candidates Dr. Ahmed Sean Alford, King Laurence, Dr. Kevin O’Gorman and Dr. Mark Petersen were announced as finalists after a closed-door meeting of about an hour.

Laurence is an associate superintendent for instruction and accountability with the district, while O’Gorman previously held that position. O’Gorman currently is associate superintendent for instruction and accountability in Berkeley County.

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Columbia County school board votes down petition to start up proposed Columbia County School for the Arts

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 9:08pm

Columbia County school board members voted unanimously Tuesday to deny a charter school petition to the group behind the proposed Columbia County School for the Arts.

The denial is the second in two years for the proposed charter school, which planned to offer a curriculum infused with arts and foreign language instruction that would eventually serve children from kindergarten through high school. The group’s petition can still be approved by the state Charter School Commission, which will hold hearings on the petitions next month in Atlanta.

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Number of bars and restaurants that allow smoking in Georgia increase

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 8:20pm

The number of bars and restaurants in Georgia that allow smoking has nearly doubled after the statewide smoking ordinance was passed, a recent study finds, prompting the authors to call for reforms to the state law. On the local level, however, a group that plans to advocate for a stronger ordinance for Augusta is still in the educational phase.

A study in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found that between 2006 and 2012 the number of bars and restaurants that allowed smoking increased from 9.2 percent in 2006 to 17.6 percent in 2012.

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Coliseum Authority votes to seek $15 million in SPLOST for new Augusta arena

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 7:34pm

Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority on Tuesday agreed to formally request $15 million in the city’s next sales tax package to help fund construction of a $110 million facility to replace the aging James Brown Arena.

If the Augusta Commission authorizes including the project with the next special purpose, local option sales tax package and voters approve it Nov. 3, the money could be used to buy land for the new arena at an undetermined location in downtown Augusta, authority Chairman Cedric Johnson said.

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Aiken, S.C. police seek suspect in shooting incident

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 2:49pm

Aiken police seek suspect in shooting

Cory Quindell Brown, 34, of Hillsboro Drive in Aiken, has been identified as a suspect in the shooting and is facing charges of attempted murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. Anyone with information can contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 648-6811 or Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC.

– From staff reports

OSHA investigates falling death of crane operator at Augusta's International Paper mill

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 2:46pm


OSHA representatives arrived at International Paper mill in Augusta early Tuesday to investigate the death of a Hephzibah man.

On Monday, Michael J. Hill, 44, died when he fell out of the cab of a crane that he was operating. Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said he fell 50 to 70 feet before striking the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:05 p.m.

Mill Communications Manager Samantha Hood said the crane was a permanent-mounted model used in the wood yard to unload log trucks entering the mill.

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Gas line leak hinders traffic

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 2:41pm


A ruptured gas line has resulted in road closures near the Augusta National Golf Course.

The 2-inch gas line on Berckmans Road was reported about 10 a.m. Sheriff’s deputies have blocked Berckmans Road from Heath Drive to Ingleside Drive while crews make repairs. The road is expected to be closed until early afternoon.


Aiken County arrests 7 in burglary ring

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 2:40pm


Seven people are in an Aiken County jail accused of nearly 100 residential burglaries and car break-ins over the last few months.

Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah said the crew of suspects has been connected to nearly 100 crimes since September and are also being investigated in Barnwell, Columbia, Edgefield and Lexington counties.

Aiken County investigators are also continuing to work numerous cases that could be connected to the suspects.

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Slight majority favors moving battle flag

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 1:32pm

COLUMBIA — A slight majority of South Carolina voters favor the removal of Confederate Battle Flag, according to and OpinionSavvy Poll conducted for Morris News, Fox 5 Atlanta, and InsiderAdvantage’s Southern Political Report.

A survey of 752 registered voters in South Carolina conducted Monday evening showed that 50 percent of respondents favor the growing call by public officials and business leaders to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol.

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Deputy shoots man who had rifle in a standoff, victim died Monday at Georgia Regents University Medical Center

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 7:45am

Less than a year before Tyler James Wicks was shot by a Richmond County deputy at his home, he pulled a handgun on two deputies and told them to shoot him.

Wicks died Monday night at Georgia Regents University Medical Center after being shot in his home on the 2600 block of Blueberry Circle.

Police were called to the home near Butler High School about 10:20 p.m. and Wicks, 29, was threatening to shoot any law enforcement officers who responded.

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