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10 Richmond County K-9s earn national certification

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 1:16am


The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit earned national certification earlier this month, achieving high marks in the process, officials said.

According to a statement from Lt. Lewis Blanchard, the unit sent 10 of its canines to participate in the United States Police Canine Association’s annual certification program held March 12 through 14 in Aiken. The event featured 82 dogs representing 18 agencies from three different states.

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School boards fear Deal legislation will lead to state takeover

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:24pm


Board of Education members from Richmond and Columbia counties strongly oppose Governor Nathan Deal’s proposed school opportunity district legislation, saying his plan will ultimately subvert local school board autonomy.

Both school systems have sent letters voicing their opposition to local legislators.

Richmond County Board Chair Helen Minchew said the plan would ultimately lead to “state control of local school board priorities” after placing a heavy load on Georgia school systems already rocked by recent education reforms.

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13 arrested Saturday at Aiken Steeplechase event

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:50pm

Thirteen people were arrested at Aiken Spring Steeplechase on Saturday, according to Aiken County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Abdullah.

In separate incidents, Abdullah said, one fight led to five women being arrested and a second altercation ended with eight men in custody.

According to an Aiken County Sheriff’s Office incident report, all five women involved in the fight were under the influence of alcohol, loud and disorderly and using profane language in a public place.

One woman had injuries to her right eye and wished to press assault charges.

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Suspect wanted after theft of cosmetology services

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:40pm

A woman is wanted by police after refusing to pay for services Monday at Georgia Institute of Cosmetology.

Around 11:40 a.m., a customer refused to pay for her hair appointment, telling employees, “one of them other girls lost my hair last time, you get the money from them,” according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

When an employee threatened to call the police, the suspect began cursing and left the business.

No description of the suspect was available.



Patient strikes hospital employee with cup of ice

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:28pm

Editor's note: A previous version of this story did not correctly state the name of the hospital. We regret the error.


An employee at University Hospital said she was struck in the face Monday with ice by a patient.

Around 2:53 p.m., deputies responded to the hospital, where the victim stated 58-year-old Marian Chapelle struck her in the lip with a cup of ice, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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Murder trial begins for Augusta man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 8:20pm

Not long after Jhalil King got the best of Dameino Roberts in a fist fight, someone shot King to death. A jury began hearing evidence Mon­day to determine whether Roberts is responsible for the fatal shooting.

Roberts, 32, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of murder, criminal damage to property and weapon violations.

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Light manufacturer to add plant in Jenkins County, creating 200-plus jobs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 8:11pm

A South Korea-based light manufacturer will create more than 200 jobs and invest about $30 million over the next two years in opening its first North American headquarters in Millen, Ga., according to Gov. Nathan Deal’s office.

Wells Lighting, established in Jeollabuk-do, South Korea, will move into a 92,000-square-foot building that once housed underwear sewing operations for Jockey International. In 2006, Jockey shut down those operations and eliminated about 200 jobs at the Jenkins County plant.

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National Hills school teachers, alumni recall past as merger with T. Harry Garrett Elementary looms

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 7:33pm


Leslie Olig was nearly brought to tears as she flipped through more than 50 years of National Hills Elementary School history.

Before packing up old scrapbooks and photo albums recently, the media center specialist recalled the Parent Teacher Association successfully leading a campaign in 1983 to stop the Richmond County Board of Education from closing the school and turning it into a book depository.

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Augusta transit director interviews begin

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 7:23pm

Augusta commissioners and city staff started interviews Monday for the position of transit director.

While Augusta pays a private firm, McDonald Transit, to provide bus, paratransit and rural transit service, the city needs a separate department head to monitor the contractor’s performance and compliance with federal laws, two commissioners who attended a Monday interview with candidate Patrick Stephens said.

Commissioner Bill Lockett said he was impressed with Stephens, who retired in 2013 from the Central Ohio Transit Authority, where he was vice president of operations.

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North Augusta High School Robotics Team has strong showing at regional competition

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 7:08pm


Five months into its first year as a full-fledged program, the North Augusta High School Robotics Team set the bar high, finishing 11th out of 72 teams in regional competition this month.

After winning the FIRST state competition in Gaffney, S.C., in January, the school sent two teams – Won & Done and Chabotic – to the FIRST Tech Challenge Super-Regional Championship in San Antonio, Texas on March 10, vying for a chance to advance to the world championship. The event lasted four days.

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House panel OKs Deal's school takeover plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 6:47pm


ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal to take over schools dubbed “chronically failing” appears headed for a vote in the Georgia House after securing a key committee’s approval Monday.

Under Deal’s plan, an appointed superintendent accountable to the governor could select up to 20 schools each year and 100 maximum to be closed, converted into charter schools or subject to a management overhaul. Schools would become eligible if scoring below 60 for three years in a row on the state’s index for measuring student performance and growth.

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Bee's Knees restaurant owners prepare to open growler pub

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 3:54pm

The couple that brought The Bee’s Knees downtown to Tenth Street will soon add a “Hive.”

Eric and Kristi Kinlaw are in the midst of gutting a storefront next to the Bee’s Knees tapas bar for their second full-service eatery, The Hive Growler Bar, a hybrid retail growler shop, restaurant and bar.

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Electrical problem sparks mobile home fire Monday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 3:43pm


An Augusta Fire Department investigator says a fire at Rae’s Creek Mobile Home Park near Gordon Highway early Monday was caused by an electrical problem.

About 2:46 a.m., firefighters were called to the mobile home at 1111 Sadie Drive in reference to the blaze, according to a statement from the department.

Upon arrival, emergency workers saw smoke and flames coming from the home, and learned that a mother and her adult were still inside.

Firefighters extinguished the flames in minutes and both were able to escape the structure unharmed.

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Jenkins County getting jobs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 2:03pm




A Georgia community that lost a huge chunk of its jobs with the closing of an apparel plant nearly a decade ago will get part of them back when a Korean light manufacturer opens its headquarters there.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that Wells Lighting will create more than 200 jobs when it opens its first North American headquarters in Millen.

The company will spend $30 million over the next two years to locate in a 92,000-square foot building, Deal’s office said in a release.

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Window blind cord strangles Ga. girl, 4

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 8:41am




MACON, Ga. — Sheriff’s officials are investigating after a father said he went to wake his 4-year-old girl for church and found her strangled in the cords of a window blind in central Georgia.


Bibb County sheriff’s officials say the cord from the blind was wrapped around her neck when she was found Sunday morning in her home on Ivy Brook Way.


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SC medic vehicle crash injures 5

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 7:50am

LONGS, S.C. — Five people have been injured in a Longs crash involving a medical unit transporting a patient.

Authorities tell local media outlets that Horry County Fire Rescue responded to a crash on Highway 905 at around 10:45 p.m. Sunday. Crews found a medic unit on its side and a second vehicle in a ditch.

Authorities say the Red Bluff-based unit was transporting a patient when it was involved in a crash. More medic crews and fire engines arrived to help people out of the vehicles, and five people were taken to a hospital for injuries.

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Minivan kills Cobb sidewalk pedestrian

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 7:46am




MARIETTA, Ga. — Police say a minivan struck and killed a man on a sidewalk, then careened down an embankment in metro Atlanta.


Authorities say the collision happened Sunday afternoon on Franklin Road in Marietta.


Marietta police identified the man who was killed as 78-year-old Joe Lewis Burns of Marietta.


Police say the driver of the minivan lost control of the vehicle and struck Burns, then continued through a fence and down the embankment.


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You Remembered: Evans intersection

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 1:34am

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week, we showed an image of the intersection of Belair and Washington roads 70 years ago. Here is how one of you remembered that time.


This picture of the intersection of Belair, Evans to Locks and Washington roads brings back many memories.

I transferred from Leah High School to Evans High School in the second grade in 1934.

None of the roads were paved and there were very few, if any, bridges in Columbia County back then.

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The Way We Were: The Red Lion

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 1:34am


The cars in the parking lot may change, but the Red Lion looks pretty much the same today as it did in this 50-year-old photo.

Today it’s just a building. But in the past it was many things to many people and many groups.

The Augusta Chronicle’s archives point this out. Through the 1940s, a host of different groups, clubs, organizations, families, associations and just regular people thought the two-story brick building on Walton Way at Baker Avenue was just the place to meet and greet.

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Man reports robbery on Eve Street

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 9:19pm


An Augusta man was robbed at gunpoint while walking on Eve Street early Friday, police said.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 1800 block of Jenkin Street about 4:10 a.m. The 25-year-old victim said he was walking past a store in the 500 block of Eve Street when he was approached by a black male brandishing a black .22-caliber revolver, an incident report states.

The gunman ordered him to lay on the ground and “give him everything. The man handed over $7, and the gunman left, the report said.

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