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Man threatens business after car repossessed

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:55pm


Police said a North Augusta man threatened to blow up a Gordon Highway business after his vehicle was repossessed.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to Auto Credit Sales and Rentals, 2040 Gordon Highway, about 10:40 a.m. Monday after a customer made threats. A police report stated that the threats were made because the man’s car was repossessed after an arrest for cocaine possession in Aiken County.

He was not on the scene when authorities arrived.

The business declined to prosecute but filed a report for documentation purposes.

Federal board: Defense nuclear facilities not prepared for emergencies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:31pm


The nation’s defense nuclear facilities, including Savannah River Site, are not adequately prepared to respond to earthquakes, fires and other emergencies, according to a federal nuclear safety oversight panel.

In a recommendation to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board said the federal government has become complacent on updating emergency response procedures and safety standards at nuclear weapons facilities.

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Ex-Augusta VA director paid $76k, retired after death investigation launched

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 2:54pm


Rebecca Wiley, the former director of the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center, was paid more than $75,000 when she retired last October, one week after Congress began investigating her administration for its role in nine preventable patient deaths in Augusta and Columbia.

According to a confidential settlement obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, Wiley entered into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs on Oct. 3, 2013, to resolve an administrative complaint she filed earlier in the year against the federal health care system.

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Palace Malice half interest sold; colt might race in 2015

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 2:06pm


Palace Malice’s racing career might not be over just yet.

Dogwood Stable announced Tuesday the sale of 50 percent of the colt to Three Chimneys Farm in Lexington, Ky. According to Dogwood president Cot Campbell, the Belmont Stakes winner might go back in training for 2015, but will eventually stand at stud at Three Chimneys.

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Aquinas still clear No. 1 even after close win

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 1:37pm


Aquinas doesn’t have to be dominant every week to be the runaway No. 1 choice.

After the Irish survived at home against Stratford Academy 28-27 by scoring the winning points with 10 seconds to play, Aquinas maintained a firm grip on the top spot in Class A in this week’s Georgia Sports Writers Association high school football poll. The defending Class A private state champions received 14 of 15 first-place votes. Mount Paran Christian, ranked third, had the other No. 1 vote.

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Rosh Hashanah starts Wednesday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 1:32pm

The holiday is the start of a 10-day period of prayer and reflection that celebrates the creation of Adam and Eve and the relationship between God and man. Prayer and a feast will begin the holiday. It will end Oct. 3 with Yom Kippur, a day of atonement. Here is a list of observances at some area synagogues.

Whole Foods has grand opening in Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 12:48pm


Customers flooded the new Whole Foods Market when the store opened early Tuesday, and they continued coming late into the afternoon.

The wait for the new 41,000-square-foot natural and organic foods market in Augusta officially ended with a bread-breaking ceremony that drew about 300 shoppers to the store, which stayed busy all day, said corporate spokeswoman Darrah Horgan.

By late-afternoon, the parking lot at Washington Crossing near Interstate 20 remained crowded.

“People were clamoring to get inside,” Horgan said. “The response has been amazing.”

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Ebola could reach 1.4 million in Africa

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:33am


If nothing were done, the number of cases of people infected with Ebola virus could reach 1.4 million in just two countries in West Africa by early next year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

However, the modeling is based on month-old data and a rapid international response can stem that tide, CDC Director Tom Frieden said.

“A surge now can break the back of the epidemic,” he said.

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Suspect in shooting death turns himself in

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 10:20am


A 25-year-old Augusta man has surrendered to police after the fatal Friday shooting of Anthony Walker on Second Avenue.

Walker, 34, was shot in the chest in the 1900 block of Second Avenue around 4:30 a.m. He later died at Georgia Regents Medical Center.

Police said Gregory Dartrell Patterson, of Haynie Drive, will face charges of murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Patterson turned himself in to the sheriff’s office Monday.


Gander Mountain opens Augusta store

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 9:56am


The line waiting to get inside the new Augusta area Gander Mountain was just as interested in buying as taking a gander around the new outdoor store.

The retail chain opened its 52,000-square-foot store Tuesday in Martinez, on Mason McKnight Jr. Parkway near the exit from Interstate 20, with hundreds of ammunition buyers being separated into small groups to not crowd that part of the store.

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Florida drops its charges against Columbia County murder suspect

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 8:10am


Florida authorities confirmed Tuesday that the extradition process has begun for Columbia County murder suspect Daniel Nelson Robinson.

Robinson, 21, is being held in a Jacksonville jail after he was caught by police in the fatal shooting of Bill DaVitte, of Martinez, on Aug. 14.

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Justices hear arguments in private probation cases

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:58pm


Georgia Supreme Court justices peppered both sides with questions Monday during the oral arguments in the legal battle over private probation. And they directed some of the toughest questions to attorneys representing Sentinel Offender Services.

Sentinel’s attorney James Ellington told the justices that the people who filed 13 civil lawsuits against the company were convicted criminals looking for a financial windfall.

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Movie Memphis Belle takes to Augusta skies

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:38pm

With steady rain falling, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress best known as “The Movie Memphis Belle” sputtered to life on the tarmac at Augusta Regional Airport on Monday.

This time, the mission was different.

One by one, the aircraft’s four 1,200-horsepower engines reached idling speed. The walls flexed and bowed as the craft taxied around the runway until it reached the end.

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West Augusta group demands hearing on commissioner appointment

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:22pm

City leaders appeared to warm to a request Monday by the West Augusta Alliance to hold one or more public hearings before appointing an interim District 7 commissioner to serve until Donnie Smith’s replacement is elected in March.

Speaking on the neighborhood group’s behalf, Phil Williams said the alliance “received numerous communications that have caused us considerable concern” about “back-room deals to secure this appointment” in exchange for future favors or votes.

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Angela Pringle answers questions in community listening session

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 9:54pm

Richmond County school Superintendent Angela Pringle held the first in a series of community listening events at the Academy of Richmond County on Monday, answering questions offered by a small crowd about the school system and its future.

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Wrightboro Road reopens after construction causes gas leak

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 9:27pm

Wrightsboro Road from Flowing Wells to Belair roads was briefly closed Monday after a reported gas leak.

Richmond County firefighters and gas company crews responded to the scene. The leak was caused “by a construction company hitting a service line to a residence,” according to fire department spokesperson Dee Griffin.

The problem was repaired by 12:25 p.m. Monday and all roads were reopened.


Murder trial underway for Augusta man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 9:05pm


The murder trial began Monday for an Augusta man accused of shooting his brother in the back and killing another man.

Ricky Grover Smith, 48, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of murder, aggravated assault and weapon violations.

Smith was arrested in the Jan. 24 fatal shooting of 39-year-old Christopher Padgett and the wounding of his brother, Steve Smith.

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MCG students research during summer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 7:58pm

Noah Koon got there early and stayed late most days and even on the weekends, but spending the summer in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Yu at Georgia Regents University was exactly what the first-year student at Medical College of Georgia wanted.

As he begins his second year, it is something he plans to do “every weekend I can,” he said.

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TV ads spark controversy in Barrow-Allen race

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 7:43pm

Six weeks from Election Day, the race for the 12th District’s seat in the House is heating up, with Democrats and Republicans blaming each other for using dishonest television ads to attack the character of their nominees.

Cries by each party to remove deceitful campaign commercials started last week, when Rick Allen’s staff claimed U.S. Rep. John Barrow and his friends in Washington got “caught red-handed” telling lies about the Republican challenger trying to unseat the five-term Democrat.

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Bill Kirby: Fall is finally here

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 7:28pm

Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.

– Old Farmer’s Almanac

Fall comes in like Carl Sandburg’s fog – on little cat feet. Rarely if barely noticeable.

Today is the first full day of that autumnal equinox, but I’m sure it will be weeks, maybe a month, before we see the need for rakes and sweaters. Fall’s just not much of a Southern season.

We’re summer folk, generally. But autumn, whenever it gets here, will be a welcomed break.

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