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Woman gets life sentence in fatal River Watch Parkway crash from 2013

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 1:30pm


On the third anniversary of Amelia Hiltz’s death, the woman responsible was sentenced to life in prison.

Monique Sullivan, 34, apologized Thursday for the horrific crash on the River Watch Parkway that killed Hiltz, nearly killed Maureen Floyd and Kevin Mollenhauer, and altered the lives of the survivors and those who rushed to aid the victims.

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Air-conditioning units stolen from Augusta homes during heat wave

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 1:14pm

As the heat wave continues to hit Augusta, so is a spate of air conditioner thefts.

Since July 8, at least three police reports have been filed about stolen window units.

“I think it’s safe to say these units aren’t being sold for scrap metal,” Richmond County Lt. Allan Rollins said. “It’s been an extremely hot summer, and people seem to be doing whatever it takes to stay cool. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

The reported crimes have come from the 2700 block in Cardigan Court, 3900 block in Wrightsboro Road and 2200 block in Wheeless Road.

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June unemployment rises slightly for Augusta metro area

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 10:43am


Job losses from the end of the school year drove up the metro unemployment rate to 6.9 percent in June, the Georgia Department of La­bor reported Thursday.

The jobless rate was 6.6 percent in May and 7.9 percent in June a year ago.

The number of jobs in Augusta decreased by 2,400, mostly in education and health services, state government, manufacturing and construction. Despite the losses in June, the Labor Department reported that the metro area has 5,500 more jobs than in June 2014.

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Car crashes into pond in Columbia County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 8:17am

The driver of a car that plunged into a pond off Hardy McManus Road early Thursday escaped without injury.

Emergency crews were called to the scene of the single-car accident about 6:30 a.m. near Woodruff Road, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

Morris said the driver, Darien Churchville, 22, of Evans, told deputies she dozed off behind the wheel of her 2003 Toyota Corolla while traveling eastbound on Hardy McManus Road. She was startled awake when her car left the road.

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Suspect sought after armed robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 1:10am

An Augusta business was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon.

A black man armed with a handgun entered Family Dollar in the 1900 block of Broad Street and demanded money, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect – described as 6 feet tall and 150 pounds – left the store on foot and was last seen heading west in the direction of Olmstead Homes.

Anyone with any information can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020.



Augusta landlord removes front door after tenant wouldn't pay

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 1:10am

A landlord removed the front door from his rental home Tuesday after the tenant couldn’t pay the rent.

Richmond County deputies were called to the residence in the 2100 block in Silverdale Road about 2 p.m., and were told by the tenant that her landlord had come to the property and demanded rent money. When she couldn’t produce cash, the landlord ordered two of his employees to remove the front door and turn off the water, according to an incident report.

The tenant told deputies she was moving out.



New Columbia County teachers undergo orientation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 9:16pm

More than 190 new teachers got their first in-depth look at their new school system Wednesday morning, undergoing orientation as Columbia County braces for a predicted population boom.

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Storm fee fuels SPLOST resistance as talks on capital program begin

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 8:38pm

Development of a sales tax package to present to voters Nov. 3 kicks into high gear Friday at a three-hour Augusta Commission meeting.

The content of the special purpose, local option sales tax package will be critical as SPLOST opponents cite Tuesday’s passage of a stormwater fee as another reason to defeat the referendum.

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Jeb Bush says he's an optimistic option for voters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 7:52pm

AIKEN — Jeb Bush says he’s not an angry candidate. Far from it, in fact.

He says he represents a more positive option for voters as a “happy warrior” who refuses to bend the knee to pessimism.

Instead, Bush says he will run an inclusive presidential campaign in places other Republican candidates won’t go – black churches, the Hispanic community and on college campuses. He says he will campaign with “heart and conviction” and campaign to win. And that, he hopes, will be good enough for the future of America.

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South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier fires back at "enemies"

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 6:31pm

COLUMBIA — Steve Spurrier has a message for all those “enemies” out there, saying he will remain South Carolina’s coach for a long time.

Spurrier said Wednesday that he’s not too old at 70 to coach and is not leaving the school where he has coached the past 10 years and is the team’s career victory leader.

Spurrier essentially said similar things at Southeastern Conference Media Days last week. That hasn’t stopped the questions about how long Spurrier might remain on the sidelines.

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Medical College of Georgia medical students get EMT training

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 4:53pm

Even though she didn’t get to hit the siren during her first shift in the ambulance, Adedayo Oduwole said it was still OK.

“It wasn’t as intense as I thought it would be,” she said. Before she begins her first year at Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, this future doctor will be certified as an emergency medical technician.

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Richmond County without a homicide since June 13, longest stretch in 2015

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 3:49pm


More than 35 days have passed since Richmond County’s last homicide, eclipsing the longest stretch thus far in 2015.

There have been 10 killings – nine charges of murder and one of involuntary manslaughter – but none has occurred since June 13. Before that stretch, the longest that the county had gone without a homicide was two months, in June and July of 2014.

“I’m proud of the effort and strategies (our employees) have put in to reduce our homicide rate,” Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said.

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Former U.S. Rep. John Barrow to teach course on partisan gridlock at UGA

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 2:27pm

Former U.S. Rep. John Barrow announced Wednesday that he will return to his alma mater to teach a subject he became very familiar with during his decade-long run as the Deep South’s last white Democratic congressman – partisan gridlock.

The University of Georgia confirmed in a news release that Barrow, an Athens, Ga., native who has strong ties to the Clarke County college town, will be an in-residence scholar for its School of Public and International Affairs.

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New commander installed for Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 12:12pm

Army Col. Michael A. Weber was installed as commander of Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon on Wednesday.

Weber replaced Col. John Lamoureux who has been at the hospital since August 2013, according to a news release. He became chief of staff for Southern Region Medical Command.

Previously, Weber served as the assistant program manager in the Office of the Program Manager for the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program, according to a release.

The change of command ceremony was held at Fort Gordon’s Barton Field.

Richmond County school board questions stormwater fee, takes stance district is exempt

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:13pm

The Richmond County Board of Education voted to approve a motion asking the Augusta Commission for more information on the newly passed stormwater fee, with some board members arguing that state law exempts the public entity from paying the fee.

The Augusta Commission approved the fee Tuesday, at $6.40 a month for most households. The fee is designed to raise $14 million yearly to pay for maintenance on Augusta’s rapidly aging storm water drainage systems.

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Augusta VA Medical Center promotes interim chief of staff to permanent one

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 7:41pm

The Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center announced Tuesday that its acting chief of staff will manage the Augusta’s hospital’s 2,445-employee workforce full time.

Starting July 26, Dr. Oladipo Kukoyi, a longtime administrator in the VA’s Southeast network, will become the hospital’s first permanent chief of staff since Michael Spencer resigned the position in May 2014 amid reports of treatment delays and preventable deaths in its gastrointestinal unit.

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Infant left alone in Cheddar's parking lot, mother in custody

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 7:14pm

A one-month old child was hospitalized Tuesday after being left in the parking lot of Cheddar’s on Walton Way Extension.

The child’s mother, Jasmyne Scudder, 21, who was next door at Queens­borough Bank has been accused of attempting to cash a fraudulent check, according to Lt. Allan Rollins of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. She was taken to the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on fraud charges.

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February death of teen with shaken baby syndrome ruled a homicide, officials say

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 7:04pm


The February death of an Augusta teen who suffered from shaken baby syndrome has been ruled a homicide, officials said.

Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said the results of a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy were returned last week, determining that September Nicole Watson, 16, died on Feb. 22 as the result of “acute and subacute bronchopneumonia complicating sequela of remote traumatic brain injury.”

Put simply, September’s death can be attributed to head trauma she suffered as an infant on Jan. 30, 1999, Bowen said.

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Josey teacher accused of DUI, causing serious injury in Columbus

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 4:54pm

A T.W. Josey High School teacher is accused of hitting a 14-year-old girl with his truck before plowing into a Columbus, Ga., home while intoxicated.

Jonathan Carr, 24, of Au­gusta, was cited for DUI, serious injury by vehicle, failure to maintain lane, no proof of insurance, failing to yield for a stop sign and striking a fixed object, according to Muscogee County jail records. He was booked Satur­day and released Sunday.

According to an incident report, the Columbus Police Department was called to the scene about 11:40 p.m. on Friday.

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Augusta Commission approves new stormwater fee

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/21/2015 - 4:45pm

After months of debate, the Augusta Commission voted Tuesday to approve the first reading of an ordinance implementing a stormwater utility fee effective Jan. 1.

Planned at $6.40 a month for most households, the fee is expected to create approximately $14 million annually for maintenance and expansion of the city’s aging storm drainage infrastructure.

Commissioner Marion Williams, who has voted against the fee or abstained during recent efforts to pass it, became the sixth supporting vote it needed for approval.

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