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South Carolina Certificate of Need havoc prompted University bid in Aiken

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 10:31pm

The chaos in health care regulation in South Carolina prompted University to first seek to build a 50-bed facility across the river in Aiken, an official said.

The state’s certificate of need law is similar to the ones in Georgia and many other states that seek to regulate the number of hospital beds and health care equipment and construction.

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Council of State Court Judges propose new rules in wake of critical audit of misdemeanor probation operations

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 10:20pm


In response to a scathing performance audit on misdemeanor probation operations that found Georgia courts and probation providers lacking in every regard, the Council of State Court Judges has proposed changes to court rules.

On Friday, the council issued a news release about their proposed amendment to the Uniform Rules for State Courts.

In the audit released April 25, state auditors found courts provided limited oversight of probation providers, often hired without a competitive bidding process.

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Broader audit, more terminations sought as administration changes

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 9:52pm

Other Augusta department heads could soon join outgoing Housing and Community Development Director Chester Wheeler, while Wheeler might see his former department undergo a full audit if several city commissioners get their way.

Wheeler, who the commission granted six months’ severance pay Tuesday if he left immediately, is one of a half-dozen department directors several commissioners said were on a short list for needing replacement, while controversy surrounding Wheeler’s departure continued to mount Friday.

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Columbia County proposes stormwater utility rate increase to more than double the current rate

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 9:35pm

Facing mounting maintenance problems and dwindling funds, Columbia County’s Board of Commissioners might raise the county’s stormwater utility fee for the first time in its history.

Commissioners approved a first reading on Tuesday of a proposed rate change that would more than double the current fee over the next three years.

Only Commission Chairman Ron Cross voted in opposition. He declined to say why he opposed the rate increase.

County Administrator Scott Johnson said the issue can no longer wait.

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