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Work progresses on safety concerns at empty Savannah River Site building

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 7:40pm


Significant progress has been made addressing ongoing concerns over plutonium hazards in an empty building at Savannah River Site, according to an official at the site.

Work to install an upgraded fire protection and alarm system for Building 235-F, de-energizing unnecessary electrical circuits and removing fixed combustibles such as carpet and walls, will be complete by October, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions project manager Dewitt Beeler said at a meeting Tuesday of the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board.

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Police looking for man using stolen credit card

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:10pm


Police are looking for a man who used a stolen credit card to purchase items at a gas station.

An unidentified white male was captured on surveillance video using the card at Circle K, 2916 Washington Road, around 11 a.m. July 12.

Anyone with information on the man can contact the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020 or Investigator Bert Gates at 821-1059.

Suspect in home invasion arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:15pm


A man shot during a home invasion at Butler Creek mobile home park last week was arrested Monday, police say.

Eric James Harlan, 26, was booked into the Charles B. Webster Detention Center on charges of aggravated assault, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime and burglary in the first degree, according to Richmond County jail records.

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GRU residency program grant award extends additional vaccine opportunities for area seniors

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:16pm


More elderly patients will get a shot in the arm and perhaps avoid flu and pneumonia through a grant to the Family Medicine residency program at Georgia Regents University.

The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation chose GRU’s residency program as one of 16 to receive a $10,000 grant to help it provide more flu and pneumococcal vaccines to the elderly, who account for 90 percent of all flu deaths and 60 percent of hospitalizations, the foundation said.

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Defense contractor plans new Augusta office

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 2:41pm


A Pennsylvania-based information technology and software development firm will be setting up shop in Augusta.

The Augusta Economic Development Authority announced Tuesday that Sabre Systems Inc. will be opening an office in Enterprise Mill, prompted by the upcoming move of Cyber Command to Fort Gordon.

Sabre Systems, headquartered in Warrington, Penn., has five other offices in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. In addition to being a defense contractor, the company has commercial clients, such as ArcelorMittal and Asplundh.

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Goodale House owner gets 60-day extension before trial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 1:51pm

The clock is ticking on Augusta’s historic Goodale House, one of Georgia’s oldest surviving homes.

Richmond County Magistrate Judge H. Scott Allen gave the owner, Wes Sims, 60 days to begin restorations on the 215-year-old Federal-style building Tuesday, nine months after the court declared the property a nuisance.

Sims could have faced a maximum of 60 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, possible demolition of the house and loss of ownership to a private organization, such as Historic Augusta, which deemed the property endangered in 2012 for it to restore the home.

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Former South Carolina State trustee wants racketeering conviction, other charges dropped

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 1:51pm



COLUMBIA— A former South Carolina State University trustee has asked a federal judge to drop his convictions on more than two dozen charges, including racketeering.


In court documents filed last week, Jonathan Pinson said that prosecutors failed to prove the allegations against him and that U.S. District Judge David Norton made mistakes at trial.


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Fairfield, South Carolina sheriff resigns due to health reasons

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 1:48pm


WINNSBORO, S.C. — Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young says he is stepping down after more than 20 years in office because of health reasons.


Young announced his resignation in a news release Tuesday. Chief Deputy Keith Lewis will run the sheriff’s office until an interim sheriff is appointed by the governor.


Young says being sheriff is a stressful job and he thinks it is time to take care of his health and spend more time with his family. He thanked Fairfield County for its support over the years.


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Martinez-Evans Little League team advances in state tournament

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:21pm


The Martinez-Evans Little League 11-12 year-old Americans hopped into the driver’s seat with a 9-1 win over host Warner Robins on Monday night.

The MELL Americans (3-0) earned the top seed out of Pool B in the 2014 Little League State Baseball Championship in Warner Robins, Ga., with the win.

The Americans will face Pool A’s No. 2 seed, Northern Little League, in single-elimination play on Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. The championship game is slated for Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

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Child's mouth taped shut; mom arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:13am


An Augusta mother has been charged after nurses said she had taped her 2-year-old son’s mouth shut to keep him quiet.

Georgia Regents University police were called to the hospital Sunday after a nurse entered a room where the boy was being treated and discovered his mouth “disfigured,” an incident report states.

The nurse told police the mother, Stephanie Nicole Harris, 21, of Second Avenue, admitted to putting tape over his mouth because he was making too much noise.

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Setback for health care law

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:57am


WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama’s health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.


If upheld, the decision could mean premium increases for more than half of the 8 million Americans who purchased taxpayer-subsidized insurance under the law.


It affects consumers who purchased their coverage through the federal insurance marketplace — or exchange— that serves 36 states.


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Giants sign ex-Brave Uggla

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:56am


PHILADELPHIA — The San Francisco Giants have signed former All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla to a minor league contract.


Uggla was released last Friday by the Braves after hitting just .162 and losing his starting job. The move was announced during Monday night’s game against the Phillies.


The Giants haven’t had much production from their second basemen this season. They’re hoping a change in scenery helps Uggla.


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UGA line star arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:08am

ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested early Tuesday on a charge of felony aggravated assault/family violence.

It was his second arrest this offseason, putting his status on the Bulldogs football team in jeopardy.

Police determined that Taylor was the “primary aggressor” in a domestic violence incident at McWhorter Hall, according to university Police Chief Jimmy Williamson.

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Augusta Christian delays college plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 10:29pm


A two-year college that Au­gusta Christian Schools planned to open this fall has been postponed for one year.

Augusta Christian Head of Schools David Piccolo said other projects on the K-12 campus have taken priority, such as the school’s re-accreditation process, which occurs every five years, and the development of other academic programs.

“It’s just been a busy year, and we want to do it right,” Piccolo said.

He said school leadership will reassess the college in January and hope to launch it in fall 2015.

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Richmond County tax commissioner's office closed Thursday, Friday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 8:08pm

The Richmond County tax commissioner’s office will be closed for a half-day on Thursday and all day Friday as operations are moved to a new suite.

The office will re-open at 8:30 a.m. Monday, according to a statement.

For more information, call the tax commissioner’s office at (706) 821-2398.

Voters return to polls to settle runoffs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 8:04pm

Voters will return to the polls today to decide a handful of runoff elections.

Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said she expects, at most, 12 percent of registered voters to participate in the runoff, which will require all regular polling places to be open.

Weather forecasts show an expected high of 90 degrees and a 50 percent chance of rain.

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Beech Island shooting suspect arrested

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 7:32pm


A suspect in last week’s shooting in Beech Island was arrested Monday at the home of a family member, deputies say.

Alex James Pitts, 21, who was wanted for his role in a shooting in the 100 block of Cherry Lane on Thursday, has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to a statement from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested at a house on Hillman Street in Warrenville, S.C.

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Selfless employee embodies mission of Augusta Red Cross

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 7:31pm

Margaret McCord has never had much difficulty finding people to help the local American Red Cross with blood drives, community fundraisers and disaster relief efforts.

Augusta volunteers say there’s a reason why.

For nearly 30 years, the Augusta Red Cross office manager has devoted her life to the nonprofit organization’s mission of “preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.”

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Augusta firefighters battle through summer heat

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 7:07pm

Sgt. David Williams speaks for many of the firefighters at Augusta Station No. 8 when he says summer is the hardest time of year.

“These months aren’t easy,” said Williams, a Glenn Hills High School graduate. “We have to stay in shape. We have to stay hydrated. Most of all, we have a responsibility to our family and the citizens of Augusta to perform our best each and every day.”

Despite the high temperatures, Augusta’s 335 firefighters stay cloaked in three layers – and up to 80 pounds – of breathing equipment and protective uniforms.

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Man shot on Central Avenue

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 6:58pm


A 25-year-old man was shot Monday afternoon in Richmond County.

Deputies responded to the 2000 block of Central Avenue about 6 p.m. and found a black man suffering from two gunshot wounds, according to Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Blanchard said.

The victim “got in some sort of altercation” with two black male suspects, who shot him in the abdominal region and lower leg, according to Blanchard.

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