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Georgia justice reforms working, report says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 1:41pm


ATLANTA -- Reforms put into place in recent years are paying dividends for taxpayers and offenders, according to the state’s progress report, which also contains recommendations for new reforms, especially for misdemeanor probation.

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'Biosimilar' drug bill clears Senate panel

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 1:37pm

ATLANTA -- $1,300 a month.

That’s how much Kerry Tucker spends for the “biologic” medication to treat her arthritis.

“And I have health insurance,’’ she told lawmakers last week.

Biologic drugs are specially engineered drugs that have made a major difference in people’s ability to handle their symptoms from arthritis and other diseases. But they also carry a high price tag.

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Asians, Hispanics drive UGA diversity

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 10:32am

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia has grown more diverse over the past two decades, but today’s enrollment is not quite the mix that it might have expected back in 1994.


In 1994, more than 87 percent of UGA students were white, according to University System of Georgia statistics. Last fall semester, white students were 70.1 percent of UGA’s enrollment of more than 35,000 students.


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Georgia colleges missing course enrollment projections

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 02/15/2015 - 10:10am

By Walter C. Jones

ATLANTA — Adminis­trators at Georgia’s public colleges have a hard time predicting the popularity of academic majors they offer, according to newly released figures showing a coin toss would be about as accurate.

Of 336 programs approved by the Board of Regents in the past 10 years, just 163, or 49 percent, met or exceeded projected enrollment by their third year, according to the figures of the University System of Georgia.

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Landmark S.C. Supreme Court case affects Aiken murder pleas

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:04pm

During jury selection last month for the murder trial of Aiken Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson, prosecutors say, it became clear what strategy defense attorneys planned to avoid the death penalty for Stephon Carter.

David Miller, the deputy solicitor for South Carolina’s 2nd Judicial Circuit, said the defense asked all 153 potential jurors about their understanding of malice, specifically, whether they knew the legal term “springs from wickedness, depravity and a heart devoid of social duty and fatally bent on mischief.”

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Georgia Regents holds off late USC Aiken rally

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 10:42pm


AIKEN — With his team’s large lead slipping away in the second half, Keshun Sherrill and his Georgia Regents teammates maintained their poise.

Sherrill scored 22 points, Devon Wright-Nelson added 21 and the Jaguars held on late for a closer-than-it-looked 77-66 win over USC Aiken.

In front of a crowd of 2,146 at the convocation center, Georgia Regents led the entire contest. The Jaguars watched their 17-point lead in the second half shrink to one before the team came up big in the waning minutes.

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Moore Road gas leak leads to evacuations

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 9:26pm


Richmond County authorities are evacuating homes in the Moore Road area of south Augusta in response to a gas leak, dispatch confirms.

The leak, which was found in the 1900 block of Moore Road, was called in just after 7:30 p.m.

It isn’t known how many homes were evacuated or what kind of gas is leaking.

Hephzibah home fired on

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 9:11pm

A Hephzibah home was fired on late Friday, but no one inside was injured.

Deputies were called to the home in the 3800 block of Fairington Drive just after midnight, according to a Richmond County sheriff’s report.

A 63-year-old man told police that he was leaving the shower when he heard what sounded like eight gunshots outside. He said one of the bullets entered his bedroom and struck his TV.

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Augusta boy adjusting to 'Trooper' arm

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 9:02pm

 Even in bright yellow SpongeBob SquarePants swim trunks, Liam Porter blends in with his second-grade classmates as they wait outside the pool at the Kroc Center to take a water safety course. He is not wearing the Clone Trooper arm that got him so much attention, and today he doesn’t need it.

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Commissioners' travel expenses can reach outside budget

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 7:55pm

While most Augusta Commis­sion members took fewer taxpayer-funded trips during 2014, and some took none, the commission still easily spent its education and training budget and occasionally reached into other accounts to fund additional travel.

A review of payments to commissioners and credit card charges found Commissioner Bill Lockett led the group in out-of-town travel, obtaining per-diem expense payments totaling $4,442.54 for 10 trips during the year, including events in New Orleans; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C.

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Georgia eyes new Savannah River bridge, but wreck count low, officials say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 7:35pm


Georgia is eyeing a new Interstate 20 bridge spanning the Savannah River to improve safety, but the number of wrecks is relatively low for the volume of vehicles traveling the corridor, officials say.

There were 25 wrecks on the bridge over the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River from March 5, 2013, to Feb. 2, when Freddie Williams, 70, veered off the road about 9:10 p.m.

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Former Augusta city councilman Oscar Baker dies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 6:52pm

Former Augusta city Coun­cilman Oscar Baker died Saturday at a North Au­gusta nursing home, longtime colleague Richard Isdell said.

Baker, noted for his political activism, was a 14-year member of the Augusta City Council, being elected five times, according to Augusta Chronicle archives.

He served the city as a firefighter from 1956 to 1980, when he retired as a captain. He also served as a bailiff in the Richmond Coun­ty court system, and he retired as chief bailiff of State Court in 1997.

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Mystery photo may be Confederate ship

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:39am



SAVANNAH, Ga. — A faded photograph last seen three decades ago at a yard sale in south Georgia could be a historic treasure — the only known image of the armored Confederate warship CSS Georgia.


It’s been 150 years since the CSS Georgia was scuttled in the Savannah River to keep it from the hands of Union troops capturing Savannah. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to raise the sunken ironclad’s remains this year.


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Snowfall possible in Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:32am

Did somebody say snow?

It looks increasingly possible that winter precipitation might occur across parts of Georgia early next week.

“The current forecast for our area is calling for rain (maybe mixed with a little snow),” Pam Tucker, Columbia County’s emergency services director, in an e-mail Saturday.

“This system is still developing and the timing, precipitation type and accumulation information will likely change. We will continue to monitor and keep you posted.”

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New Ellenton crash kills woman, 59

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:16am


A New Ellenton woman was killed in an Saturday morning crash.

Alestine B. Key, 59, of Pineview Drive, was killed in the crash at Main Street South and Sizemore Avenue, which happened after 6 a.m., according to a statement from the Aiken County Coroner’s Office.

Key was trying to cross Main Street South when her vehicle was struck by an SUV driven by Derrick Patterson, of New Ellenton.

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Former RCSO deputy released on bond

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 10:39pm

A former Richmond County deputy was released on bond Friday, according to officials at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center.

Alton Walker, who's facing felony charges of false imprisonment and cruelty to children in the first degree, had been in jail since Tuesday.

Deputies were called to a home in the 2800 block of Anne Street about 8 p.m. Tuesday after a neighbor reporting seeing a 12-year-old boy being physically abused by a uniformed deputy.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, Walker went to a friend’s home after work to help discipline the child.

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No love lost when Georgia Regents faces USC Aiken in matchup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 9:55pm


Love won’t be in the air tonight when Georgia Regents travels across the river to play rival USC Aiken.

The Peach Belt Confer­ence East Division co-leading Jaguars face the Pacers at 7:30 p.m. at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m.

“I’m sure I’m going to get a Valentine’s present from their fans. Maybe a big heart,” Georgia Regents coach Dip Metress said.

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Suspect sought after allegedly taking chainsaw

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 8:53pm

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect accused of breaking into a shed Friday and taking a chainsaw.

Around 12:03 p.m., deputies responded to the 200 block of Thread Needle Road, where a 46-year-old mother and her son arrived home to find a suspect in their shed, according to a RCSO incident report.

The suspect allegedly took a chainsaw, valued at $100, and left the scene in a newer model, four-door van, the report stated.

The suspect is described as a white male and was last seen wearing a red hoodie and dark pants.



Savannah River Remediation receives 95 percent of award fee for 2014

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 8:39pm


The contractor managing highly-radioactive liquid waste at Savannah River Site was rewarded in its fiscal 2014 performance review for response to a radiological release in New Mexico.

Savannah River Remediation received 95 percent, or $26.8 million, of the available award fee for its contract work, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Its response to a radiological release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., was among several merits noted in the evaluation determining the award fee.

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