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Pilot reported problems before fatal Atlanta crash

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 7:22am



ATLANTA — Federal authorities say the pilot of a small plane radioed air traffic controllers, saying he was struggling to gain altitude seconds before slamming into a metro Atlanta freeway, killing all four onboard.


A preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot’s last radio transmissions came about two minutes after departure from DeKalb Peachtree Airport shortly after 10 a.m. on May 8.


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A magnitude 2.4 earthquake rocked Crawfordville

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 1:15am


A magnitude 2.4 earthquake rocked Crawfordville, Ga., Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was recorded about 5:13 a.m. in the center of the city, the county seat of Taliaferro County. It was felt as far away as Alpheretta (144 miles) and Athens (63 miles), according to the agency’s Web site.

There were no reports of tremors in the Augusta area.


Longtime school administrator retiring

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:49pm


Richmond County Assis­tant Superintendent for Ele­men­tary Education Cheryl Jones is retiring June 1 after more than three decades as a local teacher and administrator.

Jones said Monday that she had been planning her retirement for some time, and that her motivation is to be able to focus more on her daughter.

“I have an 11-year-old daughter, and I have for a long time said when she finished elementary school that I would have 35 years and I could be a stay-at-home mom,” Jones said.

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Judge denies bond for stabbing suspect

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:26pm


A judge declined to set bond Monday for a man accused of stabbing an Augusta man seven times in the back.

Bain M. Broome, 57, has pleaded not guilty in Rich­mond County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated assault and two weapon violations.

Attorney William Suss­man sought Broome’s release on bond, noting that he has been taking medication since his arrest in the Sept. 21 incident.

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With Floyd's 72, North Oconee wins Class AAAA state title

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:24pm


KEYSVILLE, Ga. — Rylie Marchman was OK with losing to North Oconee’s Crockett Floyd on high school golf’s biggest stage Monday.

Marchman, a junior at Burke County, and Floyd, a senior, have become best friends after playing together on the junior and high school golf circuits. Just last week, Marchman and her father, Wade, invited Floyd to play a round at Applewood Golf Course.

The extra work paid off.

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University Hospital, MCG partner to add 12 more residency positions

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:12pm


Julia Samaddar is just what University Hos­pital and Georgia officials are looking for.

As someone who grew up in Augusta and graduated from the Medical College of Geor­gia, she is doing her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at both MCG and through a residency slot at University, and ultimately she would like to stay in the community. She might soon get a lot more company at University.

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Richmond County school board to vote on 5-year facility plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 9:57pm


The Richmond County Board of Education will take a final vote on an updated “five-year facilities plan” at today’s meeting, a document needed for the school system to obtain state funding for school renovations and construction projects.

Georgia law requires the system to submit the plan to the state Depart­ment of Education, providing detailed blueprints for any future projects it is considering for the next five years along with population growth data. The department uses the plans as it determines funding formulas for Georgia’s 181 state districts.

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Gunman sentenced in 2014 drive-by shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:49pm


The gunman in a drive-by shooting at an Augusta restaurant last July that left a 14-year-old critically wounded was sentenced Monday.

Brandon D. Hilton, 17, pleaded guilty in Richmond Coun­ty Superior Court to aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and weapon charges. Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced him to six years in prison followed by nine years on probation.

Hilton fired five shots at Jim­my John’s on Agerton Lane the evening of July 5. The teenage victim was shot in the right side of his chest.

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North Augusta woman dies in motorcycle crash in McCormick County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:49pm


A North Augusta woman died Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle accident in McCormick County.

Deanna Kimball Strawhorn-Yount, 43, was thrown from her Harley-Davidson after hitting a guardrail on Highway 28, according to S.C. Highway Patrol.

Strawhorn-Yount was pronounced dead at the scene around 3:20 p.m., according to McCormick County Coroner Faye Puckett.

Highway Patrol stated she ran off the highway, struck a guardrail and was thrown from themotorcycle. The patrol didn’t know Monday if Strawhorn-Yount was wearing a helmet.

Augusta Historic Preservation approves RAM Construction Group's plan for 2 new single-family homes in Olde Town

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:54pm


New single-family home construction coming in Augusta’s Olde Town neighborhood will resemble the old.

RAM Construction Group received approval from Augus­ta’s Historic Preservation Com­mis­sion to add two single-family homes in the Olde Town historic district under the stipulation that each home retains the neighborhood’s historic character.

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Daniel Field's Masters Week flights decrease 14 percent

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:39pm


The steep increase in private flights at Au­gusta Regional Airport during Masters Week contributed to a 14 percent decrease at Daniel Field, a small general aviation airport about 3 miles from Augusta National Golf Club.

Daniel Field totaled 1,126 takeoffs and landings during the Masters Tournament, according to Federal Aviation Admin­is­tration data. Operations were down 14.4 percent from 2014, while Augusta Regional’s flights increased nearly 40 percent, to 2,844.

The 4,002-foot runway limits the size of aircraft that can fly into Daniel Field.

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Parking deck delays postpone Medac office opening

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 7:29pm


Delays in construction of a parking deck have pushed back the opening for Medac Inc. in North Augusta to at least late August or early Sep­tem­ber, according to city administrator Todd Glover.

Employees at Medac, an anesthesia billing company expected to bring more than 500 workers to its new, near-complete facility next to the North Augusta municipal building, were reportedly told of the new timeline in a meeting last week.

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North Augusta man accused of child pornography

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:19pm


A North Augusta man has been accused of sending child pornography via file sharing, according to a South Carolina Attorney General’s office news release.

Benjamin Michael Bruker, 39, was arrested and booked into the Aiken County detention center on two counts of sexual exploitation of minors in the second degree and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the third degree. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

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Fight posted on Facebook leads to woman's arrest

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:12pm


An Augusta mother has been arrested after a Facebook video showed her instigating a fight between her two daughters and another juvenile.

On Saturday, a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was called to a fight involving juveniles at Delta Manor on East Bulla Street, but by the time he arrived it had dispersed. The following day he found footage of the fight on Facebook.

According to an incident report, the video showed Michelle Oatman, 31, instigating a fight between her two daughters, 12 and 10, and another girl, 10, who is a neighbor.

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Mother accused of abuse denied bond

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 1:02pm

Bond was denied Monday for an Au­gus­ta woman accused of physically abusing her 6-year-old daughter.

Michelle Johnson, 28, has been held without bond since February on charges of first- and second-degree cruelty to children. She has pleaded not
guilty in Richmond County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Jared Wil­liams asked Judge J. David Roper to deny bond.

On Feb. 10, a case worker with the Department of Family and Children Services visited the family and saw the 6-year-old with a black eye.

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Former GreenJackets manager Goff named Marlins bench coach

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:04pm


Former Augusta GreenJackets manager Mike Goff was named the Miami Marlins bench coach Monday.

Goff was announced as part of Miami’s new field staff that includes new manager Dan Jennings, who also holds the general manager position. Previous manager Mike Redmond and part of his staff were fired Sunday following the Marlins’ 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

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1 dead in SC recycling plant fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:01pm




ANDERSON, S.C. — Authorities say one worker is dead and another has been injured in a fire at a metal recycling plant in Anderson.


Local media outlets report the fire broke out about 10 a.m. on Monday at OmniSource metal recycling.


The coroner confirms one man is dead while another was taken to a hospital. The names of the men were not immediately released.


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Gov. Deal bends rules for Capitol gala

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:46am

ATLANTA – The Georgia Chamber of Commerce got preferential treatment from Gov. Nathan Deal who bent rules to allow one of the most politically active organizations in the state to hold a fundraising dinner in the state Capitol.

“The symbolism of a fancy, black-tie gala, for well-to-do business executives at the seat of democracy in our state is concerning,” said Charlie Flemming, president of the Georgia AFL-CIO unions.

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Ga. below average in heavy drinking

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 9:02am

ATLANTA -- Georgia has lower rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking than the national average, a recently released study found.

The study, published last month in the American Journal of Public Health, found that just 6.9 percent of Georgians are heavy drinkers, versus a national rate of 8.2 percent. Heavy drinking is defined as exceeding an average of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men over the past month.

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More than 20 arrested in child sex sting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:48am


Almost two dozen people including a funeral home director, soldier and corrections officers were arrested in a weekend operation aimed at targeting online sexual predators.

The four-day effort, called Operation Mayday, ended Monday morning with 22 suspects, ages 19 to 52. All of the suspects communicated with a “child” online and then traveled to Augusta with the intention of having sex with a child. They are charged with criminal attempt to commit child molestation, but more charges might be added, authorities said.

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