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Cooler, wetter winter might be ahead for Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 4:40pm

A strong El Niño weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean could signal a wetter, cooler winter than normal for the Southeast, Georgia’s top climatologist said. It could also mean less possibility of a late tropical storm, Hurricane Danny aside, State Climatologist Bill Murphey said.

The El Niño weather pattern is preventing a normal upwelling of cooler water in the Pacific, resulting in extremely warm sea surface temperatures, and that could affect the U.S. weather in the coming months if previous El Niño patterns are a guide, he said.

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Dow Jones drops more than 530 points

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 4:16pm

NEW YORK — Growing concerns about a slowdown in China shook markets around the world on Friday, driving the U.S. stock market to its biggest drop in nearly four years.

The rout started in Asia and quickly spread to Europe, battering major markets in Germany and France. In the U.S., the selling started early and never let up. Investors ditched beaten-down oil companies, as well as Netflix, Apple and other technology darlings. Oil plunged below $40 for the first time since the financial crisis, and government bonds rallied as investors raced into hiding spots.

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Paine College gets new police chief

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 3:47pm


Paine College has appointed a new interim police chief and campus safety director.

Leroy Morgan Jr., was introduced to the campus as its new police chief during the opening conference for faculty and staff help on Aug. 3. He takes over for Joseph Nelson who recently left to become chief of police at South Carolina State University.

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Guilty verdict in brutal assault

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 2:42pm

It took a Richmond County jury only minutes Friday to convict Ronnie Lee Jones of aggravated battery and rape in a brutal assault on a woman a year ago today.

On the anniversary of perhaps the most horrible day of her life, the woman who still bears the scars from being dosed with gasoline and set on fire saw justice done to the man who assaulted her.

Jones, 31, had tried to convince the Richmond County Superior Court jury that what happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 22, 2014, at his father’s garage was an accident that the victim caused.

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Aiken jailer charged in wife's death did not appear in court

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 12:43pm

AIKEN — Matthew Jordan Blakley, a former Aiken County jailer arrested in June and charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, did not appear in an Aiken County courtroom Friday and might be excused again for a second scheduled appearance Oct. 2.

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Sego Middle School locked down after report of gun on campus

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 12:35pm

A prank call by a Sego Middle School student about a gun on campus led police to lockdown the school earlier today.

Communications Specialist Israel Butler said the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office received a call stating a gun was on the campus. The school was immediately put on lockdown while police searched for possible weapons.

After an investigation, police determined the call came from a student’s cellphone. That student has been identified and will be punished, Butler said.

The school remained on a soft lockdown for the rest of the day as a precaution.

Shark bites boy off SC coast

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 11:41am



MURRELLS INLET, S.C. — Officials say a 15-year-old boy is being treated for injuries to his hand and leg after being bitten by a shark on the South Carolina coast near Myrtle Beach.


Assistant Chief J.R. Haney of the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District says the youth was bitten off Garden City Beach on Thursday and taken to a hospital.


In a statement, the hospital says an emergency room physician confirmed that the injuries were shark bites. The boy was expected to be released from the emergency room later Thursday.

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Coyote with rabies found in Columbia County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 11:08am

A coyote found Thursday in the Knob Hill Farm Road area of Columbia County has tested positive for rabies, the county Health Department said.

Because this area consists of both rural pasture land with livestock and suburban communities, the health department will be distributing a letter to homes in the area alerting residents of possible warning signs.

The neighborhoods include homes on Knob Hill Farm, Pryor Drive and Bryant Cove.


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