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Augusta Parks and Recreation director Bob Levine resigns

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 8:02pm

In a sudden and unexpected departure, Augusta’s Parks, Recreation and Facilities Director Bob Levine said Tuesday he’s resigning to spend more time with his wife and four children, who reside in various parts of the country.

Levine, 64, submitted his resignation letter to Administrator Janice Jackson Saturday, two days before a $225,000 master plan for his department was pulled from Public Services committee discussion because it conflicted with a $100,000 organizational assessment of his office in the 2015 budget.

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Grant through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation moves up GRU cancer trials for kids

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:52pm


A big grant from a foundation fighting childhood cancer will help Georgia Regents University Cancer Center speed up the start of a clinical trial for kids with brain tumors who are out of good options for treatment.

GRU researcher Theodore Johnson hopes his immunotherapy approach, which was first discovered at Medical College of Georgia in a lab he worked in, could become the beginning of what might be a unique program for children with cancer.

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Two-year-old homicide still unsolved

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:13pm


Hester Jackson’s unsolved homicide two years ago is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, say investigators who continue to be frustrated in their efforts.

“It’s basically gone cold,” Sgt. Chris Langford said of the Dec. 8, 2012 slaying. “We’ve got an idea of who did it but that’s about it.”

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Controlled burn planned at Fort Gordon

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:07pm


Smoke might be visible Wednesday because of a controlled burn at Fort Gordon.

The Fort Gordon Wildland Fire Team was to conduct a prescribed burn of 811 acres in Training Area 27 beginning at 10:30 a.m.


Downtown merchants speak out about parking solutions

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:06pm

The business climate downtown has not warmed enough for parking meters, according to many downtown merchants who gave their opinions Tuesday on a parking plan.

More than 50 people, many of whom were downtown business owners and developers, attended one of two public forums at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library on Telfair Street addressing downtown parking.

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Empty Stocking Fund: Augusta mother asks for Christmas help

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:59pm


A local mother asks for a little bit of Christmas for her children this holiday.

“I am working,” the mother writes, but the regular bills and debts from the past have taken much of the family income.

She says she knows things will eventually work out, but right now, she would like some help to brighten her children’s holiday.

“I don’t want them to suffer,” she said, adding that help from the Empty Stocking Fund will bring some happiness to her home Christmas morning.

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Official lauds success of free school meals program

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:38pm


No matter what’s been on the menu – chicken picante, fish nuggets, fruit salad or a range of other fare – no Richmond County student has spent a penny on school breakfast or lunch in almost two years.

It is part of a national effort under the Obama administration to deliver wholesome meals to needy students so malnutrition is never again a deterrence to academic achievement.

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Sonny Pittman officially announces candidacy for District 7 commission seat

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 5:51pm

West Augusta Alliance president Sonny Pittman formally announced his candidacy Tuesday for the 7th District seat on the Augusta Commission.

The special election to complete former commissioner Donnie Smith’s term is scheduled for March 17. Louis “Hap” Harris, was tabbed by the commission to serve as Smith’s replacement until the election.

Pittman, 68, was raised in west Augusta and serves as Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commissioner for the District.

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North Augusta house fire sends woman to hospital

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 5:33pm

A woman was hospitalized Tuesday following a house fire in North Augusta.

Approximately 3:46 p.m., crews responded to 113 Alpine Ave., where an unidentified female was transported to Doctors Hospital with unspecified injuries, according to North Augusta Department of Public Safety Sgt. Aaron Fittery.

The woman escaped the home prior to fire crews arriving, Fittery said.

The investigation is ongoing and a cause for the fire has not been released.


Michaux: Playoff system isn't perfect, but a good start

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 1:57pm


It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been the BCS.

The inaugural four-team college football playoff is set, and it has all the teams from Big conferences that don’t know how to count arguing about the fuzzy math that brought us to this point.

Turns out Ohio State of the 14-team Big Ten crashed its way into the No. 4 hole with a 59-0 bludgeoning of Wisconsin in the league’s championship game. B10 commissioner Jim Delany couldn’t have engineered it any better if he’d asked the Badgers to tank it for the good of the conference.

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Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is injured in car accident

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 1:28pm


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered fractures to his lower back in a two-car crash Tuesday and spent the night in the hospital, a team spokesman said Tuesday.

Newton was in fair condition, had no other internal injuries and would not need surgery, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said during a news conference outside a Charlotte hospital.

It was unclear if Newton would be able to practice or play Sunday against the Buccaneers, Dayton said.

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Grovetown teen posting Ferguson fliers charged

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 8:35am

A Grovetown teen has been charged with criminal trespass after he was caught putting up fliers on private property related to recent incidents in Ferguson, Mo.

“Want to get away with murder? *be a white cop*,” reads a flier on a fence, according to police reports.

A Columbia County sheriff’s deputy directing traffic at Columbia Middle School about 7 a.m. saw the 16-year-old hammering two documents to the wooden fence on Crown Heights Way at William Few Parkway.

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Savannah port expansion bringing jobs, challenges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:33am

ATHENS, Ga. -- State leaders highlighted job-creation strategies through education, local assistance and port improvements Monday in a conference for legislators.

Lawmakers, fresh off of the campaign trail where voters said jobs were their main concern, got an overview of the state’s efforts to expand employment during a conference at the University of Georgia.

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Benefits of Ga. factory jobs touted

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:26am


ATHENS, Ga. -- The manager of one of Georgia’s newest, large manufacturers told state lawmakers there is a need to convince students that factory jobs are attractive.


Todd Henry, operations manager for the Athens-based plant of Caterpillar Inc., is also praising the state’s job-training program, Quick Start, as helping prepare unskilled workers.


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Tax hikes looms to fix Georgia roads

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:10am

ATHENS, Ga. -- Finding a source of $1 billion in transportation funding is topping the agenda for the Georgia General Assembly.

On Monday, state leaders hinted at a tax increase.

“We’re not looking for a two-year or three-year plan. We are looking for a long-term plan to bring that much money in every year,” said state House Transportation Chairman Jay Roberts.

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Savannah mall uses fake vultures to frighten flock

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:05am


SAVANNAH, Ga. -- They’re not your usual Christmas decorations. Atop the roof at the Savannah Mall, 10 vulture effigies have been strung up on poles.


They’re meant to scare off a mixed flock of turkey vultures and black vultures that in recent months has at times numbered more than 50 birds. The big feathered scavengers had fouled the common area of the mall roof with their excrement and regurgitation and pecked and pulled at the rubber roof, causing about $5,000 worth of damage.


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2 flu deaths near Savannah

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 7:02am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the flu-related deaths of two elderly women in the Coastal Health District — one from Chatham County and one from Effingham County, Sally Silbermann, Coastal Health District spokeswoman, said Monday.

These are the first confirmed flu-related deaths in the Coastal Health District this year. However, there have been five more confirmed flu-related deaths statewide. The Coastal Health District is made up of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh counties.

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SC gold mine gets go-ahead

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:53am

COLUMBIA — Environmental regulators have rejected a challenge to a proposed gold mine in Lancaster County.

The State newspaper reported the board at the Department of Health and Environmental Control has turned down an appeal by the Sierra Club.

The agency said Monday that its board has endorsed a permit approved by staff members for Romarco Minerals Inc. to set up the gold mine on about 2,500 acres in the rural part of Lancaster County.

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Execution tonight for Ga. cop killer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:50am

JACKSON, Ga. — A Georgia death row inmate who killed a sheriff’s deputy is set to be executed.

Robert Wayne Holsey’s execution is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at a state prison in Jackson. A jury in February 1997 convicted Holsey of killing Baldwin County sheriff’s deputy Will Robinson.

Holsey robbed a Milledgeville convenience store early on Dec. 17, 1995. The clerk called police right after he left and described the robber and his car.

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Georgia Tech female assault reported

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 6:47am

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech police are seeking a suspect accused of assaulting a female student on the Atlanta campus.

The woman told authorities that she was walking behind Brittain Dining Hall near Williams Street Northwest around 5:45 p.m. Monday, when the man approached her from behind and reached under her skirt and touched her.

Police at the Georgia Institute of Technology said in a campus safety alert that the suspect was last seen heading westbound on North Avenue in a red pickup truck.

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