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Suspect crashes stolen car during traffic stop

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:16pm

Deputies are searching for a male suspect accused of stealing a Honda Civic, then wrecking the vehicle after fleeing a routine traffic stop.

Approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, a Richmond County deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Second Avenue, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Instead of stopping, the suspect turned right onto Bolt Drive, but crashed into a parked vehicle.

The suspect then fled on foot towards First Avenue. The deputy gave chase but lost sight of the suspect, the report stated.

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Summer demands blood donations

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 8:22pm


Even as blood donations dry up during summer months, Grovetown resident Donna Morrow finds the time to give a bit of herself to the community she lives in.

It certainly helps that she has seen firsthand how her blood makes a difference, she said. When a family friend gave birth to a son with a heart defect, Morrow, who had a compatible blood type, decided to donate.

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Richmond, Columbia counties excel in CRCT language arts while Richmond County students fall short in math, science

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 7:47pm


Elementary and middle school pupils in Richmond and Columbia counties continue to perform well in language arts, but Richmond County students fall short in math and science, according to Georgia Department of Education test results.

Students in most grade levels in both counties either increased their scores in reading and language arts or saw minor drops on the 2014 Criterion Referenced Competency Tests.

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Man sought on molestation charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 4:58pm


Police are seeking a man wanted on charges of child molestation and simple battery.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has obtained warrants for Benjamin Warren Evans, 29, charging two counts of child molestation and one count of aggravated child molestation and family violence simple battery. He was last known to reside in the 2000 block of McDowell Street.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can contact the sheriff’s office at (706) 821-1080 or 821-1020.


OSHA investigating fatal fall

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 3:38pm

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fall that killed a Kellogg’s employee.

Coroner Mark Bowen said Chester Wright was working at the plant located at 1550 Marvin Griffin Road on June 24 when he fell from a ladder. Wright, 51, of Beaufort Avenue, was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries on Sunday.

Bowen said the coroner office requested an autopsy from the GBI because of the OSHA investigation but the request was refused.

Aiken police looking for father, son

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 1:38pm

Aiken police are searching for a father and son who fled from them Monday.

A woman told police her ex-husband, Ernest Simpkins, 44, of Graniteville, had started following her vehicle about 4:30 p.m.

She was trying to drive to the sheriff’s office when Simpkins cut her off in traffic, got into her back seat and questioned her about a divorce and adultery, an Aiken Department of Public Safety incident report stated. Simpkins then got back into his vehicle but continued to follow her, fleeing only when she entered the sheriff’s office parking lot.

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Mom left kids in car to shoplift, police say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:15pm

Police say they arrested a woman Tuesday who left her three small children unattended while she was in Wal-Mart, where she was arrested on shoplifting charges.

A special-duty deputy at the Wrightsboro Road store was notified by employees about noon that Lakeesha Noreen Epps, 23, and Brittany Nicole Washington, 26, were putting items into other store merchandise, according to an incident report. At the self-checkout lane, they paid for only a few of the items before trying to leave the store.

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SC cops say woman disappeared to avoid law

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 11:05am

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH — Police say a missing North Carolina woman faked her disappearance to avoid going to court on criminal charges.

City spokesman Pat Dowling says investigators have determined that Amy Arrington, 42, of Lowell, North Carolina, did not drown in the ocean Saturday.

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Ga. energy use up; individual use drops

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:19am

ATLANTA -- The amount of energy individual Georgians use continues to decline while overall demand rose, according to a recent state report that also shows more energy is used for transportation than manufacturing or farming.

The Georgia Energy Report was released last month by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, a state agency that distributes grants and loans for conservation programs and the construction of water and sewer facilities.

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Atlanta cops probe shopping center attacks

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:07am


ATLANTA — Police are investigating the beating and robbery of a woman in the middle of the day in the parking deck of an Atlanta shopping center.


Atlanta police say the attack, which included the theft of the woman’s car, is the second violent robbery in nine days at the Edgewood Retail District on Atlanta’s east side.


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Panel to study Winthrop president pay

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:04am

COLUMBIA— A state commission is slated to consider increasing the salary of Winthrop University interim president Debra Boyd.

The school’s provost took over last month when Winthrop trustees suspended, and later fired, Jamie Comstock Williamson, less than a year into her tenure as president.

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3 hurt in SC prison fight

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:01am

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. — Three corrections officers have been hurt after a disturbance at a state prison in Dorchester County.

Emergency crews were called to Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeland around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Stephanie Givens said in a statement that the lockdown at the maximum security prison was lifted around 3 a.m. today. She said officers had control of the prison throughout the disturbance.

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Suspects sought after armed robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:14pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is searching for four suspects following an armed robbery at an area apartment complex Tuesday.

Approximately 11:29 a.m., Marcus Young III told deputies he was hit with a handgun “twice in the mouth and under his chin” before being robbed at gunpoint on the 2400 block of Amsterdam Drive, according to a Richmond County incident report.

The suspects are accused of stealing $30, as well as Young’s credit card, driver’s license and Nike shoes.

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Contributions pour in for Ben Hasan and Bob Finnegan prior to District 6 runoff

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 9:41pm

Newspaper publisher Ben Hasan led the May 20 election and out-raised second-place finisher Bob Finnegan in the latest campaign financial reports due Tuesday, with significant support from a law enforcement political action committee.

But the tables could turn as local power brokers throw their money behind Finnegan in the July 22 District 6 runoff, which could shift the color balance on the 10-member Augusta Commission.

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Richmond County Sheriff's Office offering reward in armed robbery case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 7:44pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward following an armed robbery Monday at a gas station.

Two victims were held at gunpoint at the BP gas station on 2061 Gordon Highway, according to a statement from Sgt. Michael McDaniel. The suspect – described as a black man between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8, 130 to 140 pounds – was last seen wearing long plaid shorts, a black hooded sweatshirt and a camouflage scarf over his face. He was armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun.

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Gov. Nathan Deal pushes for marijuana drug trials at Georgia Regents University

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 7:34pm


Georgia children with difficult to treat seizures will get access to a marijuana-derived oil in a clinical trial through Georgia Regents University perhaps as soon as this month, or at least by the end of the year, Gov, Nathan Deal said.

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