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Smith cites 'pressure' in pulling controversial agenda item

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:51pm

A controversial measure that would have allowed the Augusta commission to waive conflicts of interest and allow commissioners to do business with the city was stricken from the commission’s agenda Monday by the man who requested it – Grady Smith.

“I don’t need the grief; if we’ve got people on the commission that are too stupid to realize the name of the game is to save taxpayers’ money,” Smith said, “people aren’t paying attention and doing the job they needed to do.”

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Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree requests to use gun auction funds for new guns, body cameras

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:50pm


Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree turned firearms into cash last year when he auctioned off more than 1,400 forfeited guns to free up storage space.

With the Augusta Commission’s approval, he can turn that money back into firearms for his deputies.

A year ago, the sheriff’s office announced it had run out of space to store abandoned firearms and would auction off its stock in accordance with Georgia law.

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Augusta's engineering director defends need for stormwater fee

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:47pm


Augusta’s proposed stormwater utility fee – a $6.40 monthly charge for a typical household with 2,200 square feet of impervious surface – is the only way to fund millions in needed drainage repairs, En­gi­neer­ing Director Abie Ladson said Mon­day in response to criticism from a west Augusta neighborhood group.

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Lost Purple Heart reunited with family after Aiken auction

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:13pm

Ivan Bolgla could not believe the crowd’s reaction when the Purple Heart of a World War II fighter pilot killed in action hit the auction block last month in Aiken.

Eager bidders fell eerily silent. The auctioneer deferred to his ring man to introduce the item. Bolgla, an Augusta Fire Department commander who collects military artifacts, knew he had to make an offer.

In a sale that saw only two bids, Bolgla rescued the forgotten medal of 2nd Lt. Harley Kempter for $75 from Cheeks Auction Co.

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GRU officials say enrollment numbers in line with planned progress

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:48pm


While total enrollment fell for two years straight at Georgia Regents University, officials say the shift is actually evidence of its progress toward becoming a more selective institution that recruits and retains higher achieving students.

GRU’s fall 2014 enrollment fell 5 percent from last year to 8,530, and it’s undergraduate body dropped 8 percent to 4,899, according to data released last week by the University System of Georgia.

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Barrow moves home to Athens to spend time with family

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:26pm

U.S. Rep. John Barrow will sell his Augusta house, he said in a statement Monday, citing a need to spend time with his family after a 10-year run in the House in which political gerrymandering forced the Democrat to move twice from his home in Athens, Ga.

Barrow’s move to Athens, where he was born, reared and still has a family home not far from his two children, was confirmed by his spokesman, Richard Carbo, on Monday after a for-sale sign went up over the weekend in front of his three-bedroom house on Wheeler Road.

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Fort Gordon soldier appearing on Rachael Ray veterans episode

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:08pm


A Fort Gordon soldier is appearing Tuesday on The Rachael Ray Show, a day-time cooking show.

Sgt. Syretha Crawford is one of 10 participants representing military branches during a Veterans Day Armed Forces cook-off, according to a news release. The episode was taped last week.

During the show, Crawford and other participants cook a meal in 30 minutes. Crawford’s soup-and-sandwich combo dish helped her win an Army cooking competition prior to her TV appearance.

Rachael Ray airs on WRDW-TV at 9 a.m.

Georgia Tech-Georgia game set for noon kickoff

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 2:41pm


Georgia’s final two home football games of the season will have noon kickoffs.

The Nov. 22 game against Charleston Southern and the Nov. 29 contest against Georgia Tech will both be televised by the SEC Network.

Georgia Bank & Trust consolidates broker operations

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:50pm


Georgia Bank & Trust consolidated its broker operations into one office.

The Augusta-based bank moved its Financial Services and Arsenal Advisory Group from locations across the area into an office on Perimeter Parkway.

The two divisions serve the investment, advisory, insurance and financial planning needs of clients. The half-dozen employees are now in the Augusta Corporate Center, 2743 Perimeter Parkway, Building 200, Suite 130, next to the DoubleTree Hotel.

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South Aiken football coach steps down

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:23pm


AIKEN — South Aiken football coach Jeremy West has resigned after five seasons.

West went 2-9 this season and was 9-46 since taking over as head coach for the 2010 season.

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Naked man tells SC cops about body

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:14pm


PIEDMONT, S.C. — Greenville County sheriff’s deputies are investigating after a naked man with blood on him told them about a woman’s body.


Sheriff’s spokesman Jonathan Smith said in a statement that deputies were called to a road in Piedmont shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday where there had been reports of a naked man with a knife.


Smith said the man was acting irrationally and had sustained what appeared to be a self-inflicted chest wound. Smith said the man told them he had harmed his mother.


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Motorcycle fire being investigated as arson

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:09pm


The Augusta Fire Department is investigating a motorcycle fire Saturday.

Firefighters found the three-wheeler engulfed in flames at the rear of the old Hornsby school in the 100 block of Laney-Walker Boulevard Extension about 2:45 p.m.

Arson investigator Carlton Bradley told police the fire was being investigated as arson, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

SC asks gay marriage challenge dismissal

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:06pm



CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge should dismiss a challenge to South Carolina’s constitutional ban on gay marriage following last week’s federal appeals court ruling upholding such bans in other states, Attorney General Alan Wilson says in legal arguments filed Monday.


“The recent tide of same-sex marriage cases has run squarely into the extremely well- reasoned opinion” by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Wilson wrote in a motion filed in federal court in Charleston.


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Beech Island teen suspect in custody

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:50pm


A teen wanted for a September attempted burglary in Beech Island is in custody.

Aiken County police have been searching for Marquise Terrel Green, 18, since he was identified as a suspect in the Sept. 26 attempted burglary of a home on the 300 block of Church Road.

Police located Green on Sunday at a home on Dorsett-Kenzie Road after receiving a tip on his whereabouts.

Green was booked into the Aiken County detention center on a charge of housebreaking/attempting to enter.

Driver eludes deputy despite stun gun

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:38pm


Police said a man drove away from a traffic stop Sunday despite being shot with a stun gun.

According to an incident report, Deputy Matthew Sanderson stopped a silver GMC Yukon about 1:15 a.m. on Stevens Creek Road for following too closely.

The deputy said he checked the tag and found it had been reported stolen Friday and belonged on a different vehicle.

There were two men in the vehicle, Sanderson said, He asked the driver, who said he did not have his wallet or identification, to get out, but he refused.

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Barrow leaving Augusta, moving back to Athens

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:49am


After losing his seat in the U.S. House, Rep. John Barrow is selling his Augusta home.


Barrow spokesman Richard Carbo confirmed Monday that the Democratic congressman put his house on the market after losing his re-election bid last Tuesday. Carbo said Barrow plans to move back to Athens, where his children live and he still has a family home.


Republican Rick Allen, an Augusta construction company owner, received 55 percent of the vote last week to deny Barrow a sixth term in Congress.


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Atlanta judge lifts story ban

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:34am


ATLANTA — The judge presiding over the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating trial has lifted an order barring media outlets from reporting a specific story related to the case.

Media reports said Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter on Friday signed an order that prohibited the media, particularly television station Fox 5 Atlanta, from airing “a certain news story.”

Baxter lifted the order during a hearing Monday before media lawyers got a chance to make arguments.

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Why were political polls off mark?

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:00am


ATLANTA -- Although Georgians may be relieved not to be hearing nine more weeks of political ads, they were likely surprised last Tuesday when the election results proved more decisive than most public surveys had predicted.

For months, the polls had suggested races for governor and senator that would be too close to call, leading to runoffs in December and January when no one got a majority. Even during the Republican primary runoff in May, some polls had Jack Kingston winning instead of the eventual winner, David Perdue.

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Man shoots car during holdup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 11/09/2014 - 9:56pm


Deputies say an armed man fired a shot while robbing a couple late Satur­day.

A 21-year-old man told police that he and his girlfriend had just returned to her home in the 500 block of West Richmond Hill Road when a green Toyota Camry approached and a black male stepped out, asking the man if he knew where to buy marijuana. The victim said he didn’t smoke, and the suspect left but returned a short while later, this time pulling a handgun, a Richmond County sheriff’s report said.

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