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SC tweaks public information law

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 7:04am

COLUMBIA — Amid worries over identity theft, police work, and the exposure of dead people’s past prescriptions and physical abnormalities, a Senate panel on Thursday advanced a pair of bills aimed at closing some gaps in the Freedom of Information Act.

 Last summer the Supreme Court said that public bodies do not have to provide meeting agendas to the public, and in a separate decision, that autopsies constitute private medical records that are exempt from disclosure under the FOIA.

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Colgrove, 13, claims third Augusta Futurity title

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 9:41pm

Blakley Colgrove is a year older, wears braces and continues to do what she does best – win in Augusta.

The 13-year-old cowgirl added her third Augusta Futurity title in 13 months when she claimed the Unlimited Amateur 5/6-Year-Old finals Thursday night. Aboard Vespaa, Colgrove marked 224 to best the competition by six points.

Colgrove, of Boligee, Ala., collected $3,401 for the victory. Carol Dewrell and SDP Moms TR rung up a score of 218 for $2,900. Wendy DeGroot and TS Reys N Cats placed third (212, $2,400).

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Win turns 'rest of the week around' for Georgia cutter Jordan Vaughn

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 9:10pm


Jordan Vaughn reversed his fortunes Thursday night at the Augusta Futurity.

After struggling in two other events, Vaughn and Wild Haired Fitz found success in the Unlimited Amateur 4-Year-Old finals at James Brown Arena. The pair marked 213.5 to claim the event by 2.5 points.

Earlier in the day, Vaughn and Wild Haired Fitz won the event’s go-round. In the evening, Vaughn, of Forsyth, Ga., collected a check for $3,000. His success came after he lost a cow in the Classic Non-Pro go-round and then missed making the Unlimited Amateur 5/6-Year-Old finals.

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Man dressed as woman steals steaks from Kroger

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 8:50pm

A man dressed as a female allegedly stole $45 worth of meat Thursday from an Augusta business.

Around 12:52 p.m., deputies responded to Kroger in the 3100 block of Deans Bridge Road, where an employee said “a black female dressed in purple tights and a black jacket” was seen concealing packages of meat, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

While exiting the store, the employee said a package of meat fell from the suspect’s shirt, at which time the suspect ran out of Kroger and escaped with four rib-eye steaks.

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Augusta lacks pedestrian safety measures on most dangerous roads

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:44pm

Highway collisions involving pedestrian deaths and injuries more than doubled in Augusta last year from what records show is a dangerous combination of people not paying attention while crossing streets, and lingering road improvement projects.

In 2014, 50 pedestrians were injured and four killed in 72 traffic accidents in Richmond County. Those totals are up from 23 pedestrian injuries and one fatality from 31 incidents in 2013, according to data from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

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Sias pushes public safety in animal ordinance revision

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:02pm

Revamping Augusta’s animal ordinance to include mandatory spay and neuter laws and other protections for animals can’t move forward without also addressing the need to protect humans from aggressive animals, the chairman of the subcommittee studying the ordinance said Thursday.

“I think people deserve our rightful protection,” Augusta Com­mission member Sammie Sias said before Thursday’s subcommittee meeting. “Public safety has been lacking overall with this group.”

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'Throwback' hip-hop replaces rock on 95.5 FM

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 1:48pm

Listeners accustomed to hearing rock music on 95.5 FM will now pick up hip-hop songs from past decades.

A “throwback” hip-hop and R&B station debuted Wednesday, replacing 95 Rock (WCHZ) and The Southern Gospel Station on 93.1 FM (WGUS).

“We are constantly evaluating programming options in an effort to serve, in the best way possible, the interests of the greater Augusta/CSRA market,” Mark Haddon, the vice president and market manager for Augusta’s Beasley Media Group, said in a statement.

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Help inmates, governor tells lawmakers

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 1:35pm


ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal focused only on helping prisoners become productive during a brief address to a joint legislative appropriations committee Thursday, not other aspects of his proposed $21.8 billion spending blueprint.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission names new inspector for MOX facility

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:40pm

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has named a new inspector for the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site, according to a news release.

Chad Huffman was selected as the senior resident inspector at the plant under construction at SRS and intended to convert weapons-grade plutonium to commercial nuclear fuel.

Huffman joined the NRC in 2004 as a reactor risk engineer in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Research in Rockville, Md. He moved to the NRC’s region II office in Atlanta in 2011.

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Jeff Gordon to retire as full-time driver after season

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:06pm

Jeff Gordon, with a nagging back injury, a young family he wanted to spend more time with and a phenom waiting in the wings at Hendrick Motorsports, knew midway through last season that he had one more year in him.

NASCAR’s most charismatic driver, the man behind the wheel of the famed No. 24, had decided it was time to call it quits on one of the most successful careers in motorsports history. The four-time champion conferred with Rick Hendrick and settled on a date.

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Smoking affects millions in Ga.

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 10:48am



ATLANTA -- Tobacco use –– the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States –– has a devastating impact in Georgia.

It causes more than 11,000 deaths in the state annually, and its direct health care costs amount to more than $3 billion a year.

Roughly 1 in 5 Georgia adults are smokers.

Nationwide, tobacco kills 480,000 people a year, and another 16 million Americans are living with a tobacco-caused disease, the Lung Association says.

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Wreck kills Grovetown woman

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 8:39am

 A Grovetown woman died and a man was seriously injured in a single car wreck near Wednesday afternoon.

Kellie Alesha Shipley, 36, of VFW Road, was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:18 p.m. by Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.

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UGA to work on diversity

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:16am

 ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia is “stronger now than at any point in our 230-year history,” said UGA President Jere Morehead on Wednesday.

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Redbox machine vandalized on Tobacco Road

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:16pm

A Redbox movie kiosk’s touch screen was found smashed Wednesday on Tobacco Road.

Around 9 a.m., deputies responded to Bi-Lo in the 2500 block of Tobacco Road, where an estimated $700 worth of damage had been done to a Redbox movie dispenser, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

No movies were reported missing and no suspect information was available.


Elderly woman has bottle thrown at car

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 9:11pm

An elderly woman had a bottle thrown at her vehicle Wednesday after telling two young men to stop littering.

While traveling westbound on Skinner Mill Road, a 76-year-old victim observed a bottle being thrown out of the passenger-side window of the truck in front of her, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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Hephzibah man allegedly hides steaks in pants

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 8:57pm

A Hephzibah man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly trying to conceal steaks in his pants.

Demetress Glenn Howard, 51, was seen on surveillance video taking two packs of T-bone steaks from the Wal-Mart on Deans Bridge Road and hiding them in his pants, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Howard then placed a bag of deli wings in his shopping cart and left the store without paying for any of the items, according to the report.

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Augusta man arrested on cruelty to children charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 8:48pm

An Augusta man was arrested Tuesday on charges of battery and cruelty to children in the third degree.

Bobby Lee Davis Jr., 27, allegedly slapped his 3-year-old daughter in the mouth on Dec. 26, causing her to fall to the floor and her lip to bleed, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. The incident – which took place on Rosier Road – began when Davis and an adult female got into a verbal altercation.

Davis’ other daughter – who’s eight years-old – witnessed the incident, the report stated.

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Former Kaitlyn Wimberly returns to Classic Non-Pro finals

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:05pm


Kaitlyn Wimberly returned this week to the Augusta Futurity for the first time in her new role: mother.

Last January, she gave birth to her first son, Wilder. He is everything she could have ever wanted, she said.

“He’s the coolest kid ever,” Wimberly said. “Every time he sees a horse he wants to get on and ride. He loves playing in the dirt. He’s a typical barn kid.”

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Mayor attending conference of mayors in Washington, D.C.

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 5:43pm


Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis left for Washington on Wednesday to attend the United States Conference of Mayors’ annual winter meeting.

The gathering of about 300 mayors from cities with populations of 30,000 or more is “an important part of discovering and sharing what is working well for local governments” and for “planning for the Augusta I know we will become,” Davis said in a statement.

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Austin Shepard, Paradox Cat win Futurity Open go-round

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 4:49pm

Austin Shepard sat in the stands Wednesday afternoon eating fast food with his wife and son.

As busy as the Summerdale, Ala., cutter is this week, he carved out a little time to eat a late lunch.

Shepard has been helping all week inside James Brown Arena. At the Hippo­drome, he has 24 horses he brought with him to the Augusta Futurity. One of those horses might just help him take home the show’s crown jewel later this week.

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