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Mobile home destroyed by fire, same site as December homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 7:06pm

An Aiken County mobile home that was the site of a Dec. 12 homicide was destroyed Monday morning by a fire.

The home, located on the 100 block of Railroad Street in Bath, was unoccupied and no one was injured in the blaze, according to Capt. Eric Abdullah.

The cause is under investigation.

“We don’t know if the fire and homicide are connected,” Abdullah said. “And we’re not going to speculate … the investigation is in its early stages.”

On Dec. 12, two men were shot at the residence.

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Fire damages Columbia County structures

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 4:49pm


A Columbia County man escaped unharmed when his outbuilding and house caught on fire Monday afternoon.

Freddy Jones of 1326 Collins Drive was burning leaves in his backyard when wind picked up his controlled burn, spreading it across his back yard and onto the structures. Jones tried to extinguish the blaze himself but could not.

“I got it stopped in different areas then it was too much – got water on the side of the shack and the blaze was going up over there ... said, ‘I can’t stop it now,’ ” Jones said.

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Bill would tighten Ga. elder abuse law

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:47pm



ATLANTA -- Georgia legislators hope to close some loopholes in the state’s elder abuse law with a bill that would boost law enforcement tools in fighting these crimes.

Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, told reporters Friday that House Bill 72 aims to build on legislation passed in 2013 to protect the state’s elderly and disabled adults from abuse and financial exploitation.

“We are on the leading edge’’ in fighting elder abuse, said Willard, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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Columbia cop suspended for punch

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:28pm



COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s capital city is suspending a police officer videotaped punching a man while trying to subdue a fight at a private party.


Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said Monday that investigator Tyrone Pugh was suspended without pay during an internal department investigation and a separate look by state agents of SLED.


Police confirmed that Pugh appears in a video circulating on social media showing the incident in the parking lot of Columbia Soundstage, which hosts concerts and other events.

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Tama Boon, North Carolinian Hali McClure win $50,000 Amateur go-round

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:24pm


Hali McClure whipped out her smartphone Monday, proving Tama Boon has the brains to go with the brawn.

In a video, McClure asked her 9-year-old gelding such questions as: “Do you like Mommy?” Tama Boon shook his head yes. When asked if he liked her husband, the horse didn’t move.

“He’s quite comical,” McClure said. “He’s one of a kind.”

She needed a special horse to overcome a bad draw Monday. McClure and Tama Boon marked 219 to win the $50,000 Amateur Any Age go-round, the first event of the 36th annual Augusta Futurity.

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DOT to replace cross ties on Peach Orchard, Mike Padgett railroad crossings

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 3:10pm


Railroad crossings on two major Augusta highways will be closed for several days while crews work to improve the tracks.

Georgia DOT crews will block railroad crossings on Peach Orchard Road and Mike Padgett Highway to replace cross ties with long-lasting, pre-built track panels and resurface the track.

Railroad renovations are expected to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday on Peach Orchard Road and Jan. 27 on Mike Padgett Highway. Each closure is expected to last about two days.

Message boards and signs will assist motorists in detours.


Augusta lawmaker introduces 5 bills

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 2:59pm

ATLANTA -- Military veterans, airplane pilots, motorists, divorced parents and public officials could all be getting relief from one of Rep. Earnest Smith’s bills pending in the House of Representatives.

Smith introduced five bills last week, all assigned to different committees. If they each gets considered, it could keep the fourth-term legislator busy.

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Teen charged in Aiken holdup attempt

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 12:42pm


A teen is facing charges after a shooting and attempted robbery at an Aiken store Sunday evening.

Antonio De’Vonte Jackson, 17, of Aiken, was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center on charges of attempted armed robbery, attempted murder and numerous firearm charges.

According to an Aiken Public Safety news release, Jackson entered Dollar General, 1110 Richland Ave., with a handgun and demanded money from a clerk around 8:15 p.m. After the clerk did not hand anything over, police said Jackson fired a shot at the clerk and then ran from the area.

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2 found shot dead in Atlanta warehouse

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 12:06pm

ATLANTA — Police are investigating after a man and woman were found dead near a Clayton County freight warehouse.

Clayton County police tell WSB-TV an employee of Towne Air Freight found the bodies after hearing noise outside.

Clayton County police Capt. Richard Godfrey tells the television station police were called around 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The caller said screaming was heard, followed by gunshots.

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Holdup suspect shot at fast-food restaurant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 10:19am


DECATUR, Ga. — Police say a man opened fire on a group of men he said tried to rob him at a drive-in fast food restaurant.


Local media report the man told police he was sitting in his car outside a Sonic restaurant on Flat Shoals Parkway in DeKalb County Sunday night when a group of men walked up to his car. A man with a gun demanded money.


Police say the man in the car pulled out his own gun and shot one of the men, who fell to the ground. The suspect was taken to the hospital.


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SC bill would change magistrate selection

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 9:41am

It’s not the first time a lawmaker has sought to change the process, which can result in a politician’s selection of family friends and campaign donors for coveted magistrate judge spots, critics say.

Sen. Lee Bright’s joint resolution, S. 99, would allow voters to change the constitution so that county magistrates would be appointed by a majority vote of the resident circuit court judges in the judicial circuit where the magistrate will serve. Currently state senators, in effect, decide who serves as magistrates for their counties.

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1 injured in Beech Island shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 9:32pm

One person was hospitalized early Saturday after a shooting in Beech Island, deputies say.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office was called to Bell Drive about 3 a.m., Sgt. Jason Feemster said Sunday.

The victim, who has not been identified, was found with a gunshot wound to the back. The severity of the injury wasn’t immediately known.


Pardon Our Mess: Cross-walk pole knocked over at corner of Thirteenth and Reynolds streets

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 9:18pm

WHERE: Corner of 13th and Reynolds streets

WHAT: A crosswalk pole has been knocked over, leaving pedestrians unsure of when it’s safe to cross 13th Street. Wires are exposed at the base.

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE: Augusta Traffic Engineering Department

ACTION PROMISED: Traffic Engi­neering manager Mike Edwards said he’s been in talks with the Georgia Department of Trans­por­tation with the hopes of finding a resolution. He did not provide a timetable.

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Jimmy Walker sets mark in nine-shot win

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 8:46pm


HONOLULU — At least Jimmy Walker is leaving Hawaii with one trophy.

Six days after losing a tournament on Maui he felt he should have won, Walker turned in a command performance Sunday on Oahu. He blew away the field with 7-under-par 63 to win the Sony Open for the second consecutive year.

His fourth career victory was the most impressive of all. On a course that lends itself to a free-for-all, Walker shot 62-63 on the weekend and set a tournament record with a nine-shot victory. The previous record was seven shots, last set in 2000 by Paul Azinger.

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The Way We Were: Mill Villages

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 7:01pm


Few Augustans are as proud of where they grew up as those from the Harrisburg neighborhood.

According to the official narrative of the National Park Service, Harrisburg (also called West End) evolved slowly in the 1800s around the historic home of Ezekiel Harris, a merchant and trader.

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Seahawks rally to stun Packers in OT for NFC title

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 6:54pm


SEATTLE — The loudest stadium in America was silent. A return trip to the Super Bowl was slipping away.

Time for the Seattle Seahawks to show why they are champions.

“You have the belief these guys have in one another, there is nothing you can’t do,” coach Pete Carroll said after an implausible comeback for a 28-22 victory over Green Bay in the NFC Champion­ship Game on Sunday.

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Guns, car seized at scene of Aiken County shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 5:02pm


A car and two guns were seized at the scene of a shooting that hospitalized one person in Belvedere on Saturday afternoon, authorities say.

A 9 mm handgun, a .22-caliber handgun and a Pontiac G6 were collected at the scene in the 100 block of Dundee Drive, Aiken County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Feemster said in a statement Sunday.

Police arriving at the scene Saturday afternoon found a man with a gunshot wound to the arm. His condition is unknown.

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Dominguez wins Latin America Amateur, spot in Masters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 4:59pm


Matias Dominguez grew up dreaming of someday playing in the Masters Tournament. It’s not an uncommon dream among golfers, but the path for Dominguez wasn’t always easy.

The golfer from Chile battled nerves and a four-hour rain delay to win the Latin America Amateur Championship on Sunday to book his trip to Augusta and fulfill his dream of playing for a green jacket.

Dominguez shot 1-under-par 71 in the final round at Pilar Golf Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a one-shot win over Alejandro Tosti, of Argentina.

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Highway patrol reports accident on I-20 in Aiken County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 3:25pm


The South Carolina Highway Patrol is reporting an accident with injuries on Interstate 20 near the Palmetto Parkway junction in Aiken County.

First responders were called to the scene about 2:16 p.m., according to the agency’s Web site. The amount of vehicles involved and the severity of the injuries wasn’t immediately reported.


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