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Nude sunbather seen near Ga. school

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 2:45pm

ATHENS, Ga. -- A naked sunbather sparked a manhunt Thursday in Oconee County.

An administrator at Oconee Middle School on Mars Hill Road called the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office about 12:40 p.m. to report a nude man was on a small field near the school’s soccer and ball fields.

When first seen, the man was lying facedown on a towel on the field which is not visible from the school, Chief Deputy Lee Weems said.

“When the guy realized he had been seen, he jumped up, put his clothes on and ran off,” Weems said.

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Georgia governor acts after gas pipeline shut down

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 1:51pm


ATLANTA — Georgia’s governor and the leaders of two other Southern states are lifting restrictions on the number of hours that truck drivers delivering fuel can work, hoping to prevent shortages after the shutdown of a pipeline that spilled at least 252,000 gallons of gasoline in rural Alabama.

Motorists in the Southeast and East could pay more for gasoline in coming days because of the shutdown. However, experts say any spike in service-station prices should only be temporary.

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Man accused of killing elderly priest pleads not guilty

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 12:26pm

The man accused of killing an elderly priest in Burke County entered a not guilty plea Friday.

Steven J. Murray, 28, briefly appeared in Burke County Superior Court to enter his plea in the slaying of the Rev. Rene Robert, 71, of St. Augustine, Fla.

Investigators believe Murray fatally shot Robert during a crime spree from Florida to Aiken, between April 10 and 18.

Murray, who is from Aiken, was arrested there after crashing Robert’s vehicle while fleeing from law enforcement officers.

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2 charged in McDuffie clown case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 11:28am

The McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office has charged two Thomson teens with wearing a clown mask and driving around Thurs­day night attempting to scare the public.

A news release identified them as Chris­topher Hayes and Joshua Cain Hadden Jr., both 18. They were cited with disorderly conduct and released to their families. Their case has been scheduled Oct. 20 in McDuffie County Magistrate Court.

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Aiken fire victims still not named

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 10:17am

An autopsy is scheduled this weekend to help positively identify two bodies found Friday morning in an Aiken County house fire.

Chief Deputy Coroner Darryl M. Ables said he hopes the autopsy will also help determine the cause of the blaze reported at 72 Alex Johnson Drive.

Couchton firefighters and deputies were called to the fully engulfed residential fire about 7:20 a.m., Aiken County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah said.

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Accident at River Watch, Furys Ferry

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 7:15am

Traffic at River Watch Parkway and Furys Ferry Road was shut down just after 7 a.m. this morning after an accident.

Traffic had resumed by 8:30 a.m., according to the sheriff's office.



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Samsung Galaxy faces US recall

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 4:46pm

SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. safety regulators announced a formal recall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone Thursday after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage and created a global marketing headache.

Samsung had already initiated a voluntary recall, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stepped in to coordinate. Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye blasted Samsung for trying to do the recall on its own, saying that anyone who believes that a unilateral effort would be sufficient "needs to have more than their phone checked."

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Thomson's Thomas named state player of the week

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 4:06pm


Thomson’s Michael Thomas earned a statewide honor this week after racking up a high yardage total against a state power.

Georgia High School Football Daily named Thomas as the Georgia Player of the Week for his performance against Pace Academy on Sept. 9.

The senior ran 23 times for 284 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat the Knights 38-10 on the road. Thomson moved to 4-0 in the win over Pace Academy, which entered ranked first in Class AAA.

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Two people arrested in Goodwill clothes theft

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:17pm


Two people are facing charges after taking clothes from the donation area at the Columbia County Goodwill without permission.

This is the second case at the location in less than a month.

On Monday, deputies were called to the store at 4074 Washington Road about 6:30 a.m. after a witness observed a couple taking items from the donation drop off area and putting them into a vehicle. A review of surveillance video confirmed the report.

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Arts festival closing downtown streets

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:14pm

The annual Arts in the Heart festival is closing many streets in downtown Augusta this weekend.

According to a statement released this afternoon, the following streets will be closed:

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Georgia newspaper owner wins lottery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 8:18am

ATHENS, Ga. -- Carey Williams Jr. drove into Watkinsville Saturday to take a red velvet cake to a friend whose wife had died, but a stroke of good fortune happened on his way home to Greensboro.

Almost out of gasoline, Williams recalled Wednesday that he stopped by the Golden Pantry on Greensboro Highway and purchased $20 worth of gas and $40 worth of lottery tickets for Fantasy Five.

The next morning, Williams, who owns The Herald-Journal newspaper in Greensboro, called a friend.

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Teens attack SC bus driver, cop

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 7:35am

NEWBERRY, S.C. — Two South Carolina teens have been charged after a school resource officer and a bus driver were attacked during a school bus fight.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said in a statement that two 14-year-old boys started fighting on a bus Wednesday morning. The sheriff said the school resource officer got on the bus and tried to help the bus driver break up the fight.

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Transformation of former library to public defender offices nearing completion

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 11:27pm


Augusta’s first Sales Tax 7 building project is scheduled to open in January, and Kate Mason couldn’t be happier.

“We are walking into paradise here,” said Mason, the Augusta Public Defender. “The clients will be less stressed. … It’s a great use of a wonderful old building.”

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Parking, food truck issues raised at downtown Augusta planning session

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 9:30pm

A second meeting is scheduled Thursday on an update being made to Augusta’s master plan for downtown.

At Wednesday’s session on the plan, participants focused on a handful of issues.

The document is an update to the 2013 plan used by the Urban Redevelopment Agency to issue bonds to renovate the Mu­nic­ipal Building but does more, according to Planning and Development Director Melanie Wilson.

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Inmates get opportunity to earn GED in jail

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 6:01pm

Inmates at the Richmond County jail will now have the opportunity to obtain a GED while incarcerated.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, it hopes the program will equip inmates with the competencies necessary to become productive, crime-free members of society upon their release.

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North Augusta man arrested for stealing lingerie, alcohol

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 4:35pm

A North Augusta man was arrested Tuesday after attempting to steal lingerie and alcohol from Wal-Mart.

About 9 a.m., deputies responded to the Wal-Mart on Wrightsboro Road, where Mitchell Perry Pelham, 50, was seen leaving the garden center without paying for items in his cart. According to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Pelham was caught taking a bra, Fanta soda, Seagram’s wine coolers, Strawbarita beer and Wicked Mango wine coolers.

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Car break-ins reported at Augusta hotel Wednesday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 2:02pm

Police are investigating multiple vehicle break-ins at an Augusta hotel early Wednesday.

Deputies responded to Doubletree Hotel, 2651 Perimeter Parkway, about 6 a.m. after an employee discovered several vehicles with busted windows. According to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office incident report, at least five vehicles belonging to out-of-towners were broken into overnight.

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Police report shooting incident, but no clown involved

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 1:47pm

One person has been charged in a shooting this morning in the Twiggs Street area in an incident that initial reports stated was a man in a clown mask wearing women’s clothes.

Deputies were first called to Hall Street about 10 a.m. for reports of shots fired. Soon after was a call of shots fired on Twiggs Street. During the incident Walter Donahoo, 29, of Hall Street was shot at several times but was not hit.

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Strom Thurmond holds firm in South Carolina football poll

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 12:08pm


Strom Thurmond remains the highest-ranked team among area South Carolina schools in the latest S.C. Prep Writers Poll released Tuesday.

The Rebels held firm at No. 4 in Class AAA after routing Midland Valley 54-7 last week. They moved to 2-1 and have two tough tests coming up in Emerald and North Augusta before starting region play.

North Augusta dropped one spot to a tie for ninth in Class AAAA after falling to Lexington 22-20 on the road this past Friday. It was the Yellow Jackets’ first loss this season.

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City settles in wrongful arrest suit

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 10:45am

The Augusta Commission has authorized a $300,000 settlement with a man incorrectly identified as a suspect and held 10 days in a 2014 smash-and-grab robbery at Costco.

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