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Ga. fires back on nursing home payments

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:37am

ATLANTA -- The commissioner of Georgia’s Medicaid agency has written a sharply worded defense of nursing home payments now deemed improper by the federal government.

A federal ruling saying Georgia should return more than $100 million in nursing home payments “is factually and legally incorrect,’’ Clyde Reese, commissioner of the Department of Community Health, wrote in a February letter to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official in Atlanta.

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Marijuana conference set in Columbia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:34am



COLUMBIA — National experts in a variety of fields are gathering in Columbia this week for a summit on marijuana.


A conference entitled “The Blunt Truth: Today’s Marijuana” is taking place Thursday and Friday at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.


The South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services is among sponsors of the event at which experts in fields from pharmacology to law enforcement and public health plan to share information and encourage participants to collaborate at the local level.

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Lost family found in SC park

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:32am

GADSDEN, S.C. — A family of five has been rescued after getting lost in the Congaree National Park southeast of Columbia.

Columbia Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis told local media that the family had been canoeing in the park Tuesday evening when they got lost and called 911.

The parents had three children with them, ages 10, 12 and 15.

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Prosecutor seeks to close SC strip club

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:30am

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The prosecutor in Greenville wants to close a strip club where sheriff’s deputies have been called nearly 300 times in the past three years.

The Greenville News reported the records from the sheriff show that deputies have been called to Platinum Plus 282 times since the beginning of 2012.

Prosecutor Walt Wilkins has filed a lawsuit seeking to close the business as a public nuisance.

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SC names its top teacher

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:28am

COLUMBIA— A Sumter High School teacher has been named South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year.

State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman announced the selection of Suzanne Koty at a banquet in Columbia on Wednesday night.

Koty teaches English and the International Baccalaureate course called Theory of Knowledge.

She receives $25,000 and the use of a new BMW for a year.

The other four finalists receive $10,000.

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Ga. teacher faces student sex charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:25am

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A Georgia high school teacher has been arrested and charged with having sexual contact with her male students.

The Valdosta Daily Times reports 42-year-old Phoebe Chapman turned herself in to authorities Tuesday. Investigators say rumors surfaced in March that Chapman had sexual contact with students at Lowndes High School, where she is a career and technical instruction teacher.

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Vehicle arsonist sought in south Ga.

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:22am

ALBANY, Ga. — Georgia fire investigators are on the hunt for a serial arsonist who has been setting cars on fire.

WALB-TV reports three vehicles have been set on fire this week in Albany. On Tuesday, someone set fire to the gas tank cap of a truck. The gas cap melted and fire damaged the paint. The fire was almost identical to two other vehicle fires about ten minutes away.

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UGA tuition outpaces HOPE aid

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:11am


ATHENS, Ga. -- The expense of a college education remains on a steep upward trend.

The combined annual cost of tuition and fees at the University of Georgia has more than tripled in the past 15 years. With a 9 percent tuition hike going into effect next fall, UGA undergraduates will shell out a total of $11,610 for two semesters, about twice what it cost in 2007.

The declining value of the HOPE Scholarship is also helping drive up the cost of attending UGA.

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Georgia prison-based drug ring busted

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 7:53am

 SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Described as a high-ranking leader of a 3,000-member white supremacist prison gang, Christopher Henry has spent the last three years inside Wilcox State Prison.

 But 36-year-old Henry’s imprisonment inside the medium security facility within the city limits of tiny Abbeville, Ga., has done little to hinder his ability to run a large-scale drug operation outside the prison system.

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