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Columbia County proposes stormwater utility rate increase to more than double the current rate

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 9:35pm

Facing mounting maintenance problems and dwindling funds, Columbia County’s Board of Commissioners might raise the county’s stormwater utility fee for the first time in its history.

Commissioners approved a first reading on Tuesday of a proposed rate change that would more than double the current fee over the next three years.

Only Commission Chairman Ron Cross voted in opposition. He declined to say why he opposed the rate increase.

County Administrator Scott Johnson said the issue can no longer wait.

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Augusta teen to remain in custody pending May trial on murder charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 4:42pm


An Augusta teen held in custody more than two years on a murder charge will remain in jail pending a May 11 trial date, a judge ruled Friday.

Jeremiah Kelly was 15 when he and then 16-year-old William Clark were arrested in the slaying of 28-year-old Anthony D. King on Crawford Avenue on Aug. 3, 2012.

Investigators believe King was killed in an unsuccessful carjacking attempt.

Although much of the delay can be attributed to several changes in Kelly’s representation, it shouldn’t be held against him, said defense attorney Inga Hicks.

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Bond denied for Augusta man in 92-year-old mother's homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 3:46pm


Bond was denied Friday for an Augusta man accused of killing his 92-year-old mother and setting their home on fire.

Robert Caviston, 56, has been in custody since his arrest Nov. 15 and is charged with murder and arson. At the conclusion of a bond hearing in Richmond County Superior Court, the judge denied bond finding Caviston could pose a danger to the community.

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Procter & Gamble closing Augusta plant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 2:29pm


Procter & Gamble announced Friday that the Augusta plant will shut down by early 2016.

The 40 employees and 150 contractors who work at the Mike Padgett Highway facility were notified Friday morning that manufacturing would cease there within the next 12 to 18 months as part of a company restructuring plan in North America, said P&G spokesman Jeff LeRoy.

LeRoy said the company will offer jobs at different plant locations to the 40 employees whose jobs are being eliminated.

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University Hospital seeking to build $53 million facility in Aiken

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 11:47am


University Hospital has been planning to build a 50-bed hospital in Aiken County even as it was pursuing a 100-bed hospital in Columbia County, which was recently denied but could be appealed, a hospital official said.

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What happens if underdogs win?

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 8:15am

The 12-member College Football Playoff selection committee will gather Saturday in Texas to watch the final weekend of the season play out and then rank the top 25 teams in the country. The top four will compete for the national championship in the sport’s first ever playoff.


How difficult the committee’s job will be depends on the outcome of about a half dozen games to be played Friday and Saturday.


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Ga., SC differ on jobless help

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 8:04am

South Carolina is sweetening its incentives to employers to hire the long-term unemployed, nearly doubling the maximum amount of wage reimbursements.

The longer an individual has been out of work, the more South Carolina will subsidize a company for the new hire’s training period. The top wage reimbursement tier, 90 percent, applies to new hires who were out of a job for 28 weeks or longer.

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Georgia pushing day-care ratings

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 7:38am

ATLANTA -- Georgia officials are trying to convince more of the state’s 5,500 day-care centers to submit to quality rating.

In the second year of the rating program, 420 have completed the process, and another 1,200 are in the middle of it. So far, just 100 have earned the highest rating.

More than 30 other states were rating their day cares before Georgia started.

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UGA player calms strip club brawl

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 7:28am


ATHENS, Ga. -- Athens-Clarke County police arrested a bouncer and patron at a downtown Athens strip club early Thursday following a brawl that started when the customer exposed himself to a dancer.


A University of Georgia football player who witnessed the altercation helped remove the unruly customer from Toppers International Showbar by picking him up carrying him outside, police noted.


Officers said a bouncer then punched the customer.


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Ga. corrections officers sentenced for beatings

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 7:19am


ATLANTA — Federal prosecutors say three former corrections officials have been sentenced for beating an inmate and conspiring to cover it up.


Prosecutors say former Macon State Prison officers Ronald Lach and Delton Rushin and former Sgt. Christopher Hall were sentenced Thursday in the 2010 beating of an inmate and an attempted cover up.


Authorities have said officers beat an inmate in retaliation for prior misconduct and conspired to write false reports about it.


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Crash closes lanes, slows I-20 traffic for several hours

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 6:54am

A crash involving two tractor trailers closed westbound Interstate 20 in Columbia County for nearly three hours Friday morning.

Jonathan Whitehead, 35, of North Carolina, was driving a tractor trailer full of glass on I-20 near the mile marker 180 at about 3:45 a.m., when authorities believe he fell asleep, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris. Whitehead veered into the outside lane sideswiping a Toyota Camry and forcing it into bushes on the shoulder. The driver of the Camry, Amber Smith, of Dearing, wasn’t injured.

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