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SC man facing bigamy charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:23am

NEWBERRY, S.C. — A Newberry man has been charged with bigamy after officials discovered he has married four times since 1988 without divorcing any of the women.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said 49-year-old Darnell Pixley was charged on a single count and surrendered to deputies Wednesday. Foster says the investigation is continuing.

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Augusta mother faces murder charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:58am


Charges against an Augusta mother whose son died after being taken to a hospital have been upgraded to second-degree murder, police said Thursday.

Mary Katherine Smith, 39, of Hephzibah, was jailed July 31 on a charge of second-degree cruelty to children soon after her 2-year-old son, Mason, was hospitalized. He was on life support until his Aug. 3 death.

She told investigators that Mason has a syndrome that causes him to hold his breath until he passes out. She said he fell July 30 while she was making him sit in the corner of his room.

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SC judge scolded for taking sexual favors

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:03am

A county judge from Abbeville County who pleaded guilty to official misconduct of trading money and preferential treatment for sex acts has received one final scolding.

The S.C. Supreme Court reprimanded former magistrate George Ferguson, this month for two counts of misconduct. The public reprimand is the most severe punishment the justices could give Ferguson, because he resigned in April of last year.

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Georgia jobless rate worsens

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 7:15am


ATLANTA — State labor officials say Georgia’s unemployment rate has risen to 7.8 percent.


The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the new jobless figure, which is up from 7.4 percent in June.


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is mostly due to temporary, seasonal layoffs in local government and manufacturing.


Butler said the state’s employment picture is continuing to show positive signs. He said private employers in the state created 8,200 jobs in July.

Animals entering political ads

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 7:10am


WASHINGTON — It’s a jungle out there in political television advertising, what with parrots, chicks, dogs and pigs taking turns in commercials that bite and scratch in a way no nonpartisan pet ever would.


“You can keep it,” squawked a parrot in a Club for Growth Action ad that ran earlier in the year in Arkansas. It was meant to ridicule President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Pryor’s now-abandoned claims that state residents could keep their health insurance if they liked it.


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Augusta family remembers Robin Williams' support of St. Jude hospital

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:57pm


For Augusta leukemia survivor Brennan Simkins, happy memories of a rare meeting with actor and comedian Robin Williams quickly turned to sadness Monday as news of the actor’s death left his fans in shock.

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Hancock County officials to lease office space from local college after courthouse fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:28pm

Hancock County officials will soon have temporary office space after the county’s historic courthouse was gutted by fire earlier this week.

All county business is at a standstill after Monday’s early morning fire. County’s commissioners agreed wednesday to lease space from Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s branch in Sparta for $1 a year. County commission chairman Sistie Hudson said phone and data lines will need to be added before the offices are up and running.

People who have to pay bills may get a grace period during the transition, and employees will still be paid.

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Tiger Woods withdraws his name from consideration for Ryder Cup team

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:55pm


Tiger Woods removed himself from consideration for the Ryder Cup team Wednesday evening with a clear message that he is not healthy enough to play.

One day after U.S. captain Tom Watson said he trusted Woods to give him the “straight skinny” on the condition of his back injury and his game, Woods said he called him to say he would not be available.

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Teenager crashes into rear of Richmond County school bus

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:52pm

A 19-year-old female was hospitalized Wednesday after crashing into a Richmond County school bus.

Approximately 3:40 p.m., deputies responded to Windsor Spring Road, where the unidentified female failed to stop when the school bus attempted to turn right onto Patrick Avenue before striking the rear of the bus, according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser.

The 19-year-old’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

Of the 52 children on the bus, one complained of injuries but was not transported to a hospital, Belser confirmed.

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Democratic candidate for governor stresses innovation during Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School tour

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:09pm

Democratic candidate for governor Jason Carter toured the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School on Wednesday, to see how “innovation” can be implemented into Georgia’s education systems – and to demonstrate to the CSRA that, if elected, he would work to help all sections of the state.

Jason Carter is the grandson of former Georgia governor and president Jimmy Carter, and currently a Georgia state senator. He will be running against incumbent governor Nathan Deal November 4.

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Tiger Woods withdraws name from Ryder Cup consideration

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 8:14pm


Tiger Woods informed the PGA of America and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson on Wednesday night that he was withdrawing his name from consideration from the team because of his lingering health issues.

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FEMA workshop held to boost Augusta disaster preparedness

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 6:16pm

 After a winter in which most of east-central Georgia was crippled by an ice storm, officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency visited Augusta on Wednesday to share inside tips on how counties could win grants and buy equipment to better combat natural disasters.

More than 30 grant writers from Richmond, Bulloch, Effingham, Laurens, Candler and Tattnall counties attended a workshop that U.S. Rep. John Barrow held to help communities understand funding opportunities available through FEMA.

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Bond request denied in Augusta homicide case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 5:24pm

An Augusta man’s request for bond on a charge of murder was denied Wednesday.

Dequan Blake, 18, has been held without bond since his arrest in the March 6 shooting death of 18-year-old Montravious McNair.

McNair was fatally shot in the Kroger’s parking lot on Deans Bridge Road during a fight between two sets of young men.

Paine rape case headed for trial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 5:08pm


The suspect in the sexual assault inside a Paine College dorm last year is set for trial the week of Aug. 25.

Jarius R. Dantzler, 19, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court where he faces three sets of charges.

Dantzler is charged with rape in the March 7, 2013, sexual assault of a student in a restroom of Paine’s all-female Graham Hall dorm. He is also charged in the attempt rape of another Paine student on Nov. 18, 2012, and the beating and robbery of a woman who was home asleep on Feb. 16, 2013, when she was attacked.

Augusta goat project gets under way

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 4:58pm

Nine goats went to work Wednesday eating overgrown vegetation at an Augusta detention pond in a government pilot project intended to cut costs and help reduce mosquito breeding areas.

D.W. Williams, whose house overlooks the pond, welcomed the new arrivals to his subdivision, popular with current and former military members for its proximity to Fort Gordon’s Gate 5.

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9 arrests in North Augusta sweep

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 3:20pm


Nine North Augusta residents are behind bars after a warrant sweep Wednesday morning.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Fusion Center assisted North Augusta Public Safety officers in making the arrests.


Latoya Chambers, 28, disorderly conduct

Bridget Sherlock, 30, commitment warrant driving under suspension

Johnnie Dingler, 57, commitment warrant driving under suspension

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Sedan crashes into Panera Bread, mayor-elect helps in aftermath

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 1:05pm

A Cadillac crashed into Pane­ra Bread on Robert C. Dan­iel Jr. Parkway during lunchtime Wednesday, sending four people, including the driver, to hospitals.

Trooper 1st Class Ben Rollins, of the Georgia State Pa­trol, which is handling the accident, confirmed the number of victims but indicated that none of the injuries appeared life-threatening.

Still, it was a jarring experience for some inside the restaurant, whose patrons included Augusta mayor-elect Hardie Davis. Davis was eating lunch with four friends just feet away from where the car struck the building.

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UGA lands state's best recruit; Now what?

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:06pm


ATHENS, Ga. -- With the recruiting chase growing exponentially more national than it is local, keeping Georgia boys in line to wear red and black still counts.

The reaction to Trenton Thompson’s decision Tuesday night on Twitter and message boards, hashtags full of overwhelming approval and relief, proved as much.

Increasingly, college football’s best programs are infiltrating the Peach State’s high schools, an indicator that the best recruits are in the Bulldogs backyard.

We’ve known for years the getting was good in our state. It’s getting better.

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90-count indictment in Ga. Alzheimer case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:53am

A Jackson County grand jury has returned a 90-count indictment alleging widespread abuse at an Athens-area Alzheimer’s care facility.

Among other things, staff members at Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce assaulted and illegally restrained patients, according to the indictment filed Monday in Jackson County Superior Court.

The facility’s owner and 17 employees are charged in the indictment.

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