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District 7 Augusta Commission candidates lack legal baggage

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 8:50pm

A search of civil and criminal court and other records found little to concern voters about the three men seeking to complete Don­nie Smith’s District 7 Augusta Commission term.

Smith stepped down from the post last year amid a Geor­gia State Patrol investigation alleging that he drew both a state paycheck and an unapproved second salary for working at a hospitality house during Masters Week. The state attorney general later determined he didn’t break state law.

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Jaguar women can't get stop late, lose to Lander

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 6:22pm

When the Georgia Regents women needed a stop most Saturday afternoon, they couldn’t get one.

The Jaguars made a late comeback, but it wasn’t enough in a 72-67 loss to Lander at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Kariel Hutt posted her fifth consecutive double-double to lead Georgia Regents. Hutt recorded 15 points with 11 boards. Camille Gee added 14 points, while Kelsey Fynaardt and Kayla Roberts each added 12.

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Blythe man mistakenly kept at GBI lab receives burial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 6:03pm


A Blythe man whose body was left in Atlanta after a mix-up at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab while another was buried in his place was finally laid to rest Saturday, family members said.

Johnny Morgan Lowe III was buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Augusta, sister-in-law Barbara Lowe said, nearly 80 days after he arrived in Atlanta for an autopsy.

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Georgia Regents extends win streak to 10 on national TV

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 5:15pm


Keshun Sherrill wanted to show his oldest brother he could dunk in a game.

The sophomore guard proved his point on national television.

Sherrill’s fast-break dunk followed by a stellar defensive play by Devon Wright-Nelson gave the Jaguars all the momentum they needed in a 71-61 win over Lander at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

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Suspect sought after Kroger theft

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 2:42am

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect accused of shoplifting beef brisket Friday from an area business.

Around 4:24 p.m., deputies responded to Kroger in the 2800 block of Washington Road, where a man walked out of the store with $72.14 worth of beef brisket, according to a RCSO incident report.

A store employee confronted the suspect, who allegedly pushed the employee and then fled on foot through the parking lot and towards Interstate 20.

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Fort Gordon growth makes sales-tax package critical for Columbia County schools, superintendent says

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:52pm


With considerable job growth at Fort Gordon expected to result in at least 700 new students in Columbia County classrooms next year, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway said Thursday voter-approval of a $140 million sales-tax package is critical to the public school system’s future.

On March 17, voters will have their say on a five-year education-improvement plan to replace and expand Grovetown Elementary and Harlem Middle schools, and complete renovations at all high school athletic facilities in 2017, including a new stadium and sports complex at Lakeside High.

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Grovetown man denied bond, remains in police custody

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:19pm

A Grovetown man who allegedly told a mother he would pay $200 to spend alone time with her children was denied bond Friday and remains in police custody, according to Columbia County Capt. Steve Morris.

Chad Eric Stefani, of Broad Oak Road in Grovetown, has been charged with three counts of child molestation intent.

Police say Stefani approached the mother and her four children in Grovetown and offered her $200 an hour to spend time with her daughters, according to Grovetown Chief Gary Jones.



Columbia County Chamber on Commerce honors builder Mark Herbert with lifetime achievement award

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:05pm

Mark Herbert, a builder and businessman known for his years of public service and dedication to the community, was honored with the Columbia Coun­ty Chamber of Commerce’s Life­time Achievement Award on Friday.

The award was presented at the chamber’s 10th annual Banquet and Red Carpet Gala at the Columbia Coun­ty Exhibition Center. The event celebrates the accomplishments of the business community and honors businesses and individuals.

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Fort Gordon Army chaplain's wife wins 2015 Spouse of the Year award

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 8:06pm


On the first date with her future husband, Corie Weathers dreamed about helping spouses build and sustain strong marriages. Her beau needed no convincing.

“Both of us had the same dream and that’s what made us click. We both had this dream of empowering marriages,” Weathers said.

Through deployments and new cities, the couple found fertile ground and rich opportunities for fulfilling their dream. With her husband, Army Chaplain Matthew Weathers, military life became an invitation for counseling spouses who face difficult situations.

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Columbia County schools have 329 spots available for permissive transfer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:35pm


Columbia County parents or guardians interested in requesting a permissive transfer next year for their children have until March 6 to apply for one of 329 spots available at five public schools.

According to a Columbia County Board of Education report, Harlem High School has the most spaces at 257, followed by 30 at Riverside Elementary, 22 at Stallings Island Middle, 14 at Blue Ridge Elementary and six at River Ridge Elementary schools.

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Survey seeks input from mall shoppers about performance of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:23pm


Richmond County cops asked Augusta Mall shoppers to put their feelings toward police on paper Friday in a survey of their performance.

“We haven’t had any bad ones,” Lt. Allan Rollins said near the end of the day about the surveys.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao to finally square off May 2

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 6:31pm


LAS VEGAS — The Fight is finally on.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing’s richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout Friday after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online.

The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record ever, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao’s split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.

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Kurt Busch suspended indefinitely by NASCAR

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:54pm


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kurt Busch was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on Friday after a judge in Delaware determined that “more likely than not” Busch “committed an act of abuse” against his former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.

Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet now will be driven by Regan Smith in Sunday’s Daytona 500.

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Lawmakers push Augusta Canal funding

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:23pm

 ATLANTA -- The members of the Augusta legislative delegation introduced a resolution Thursday to urge Congress to extend federal funding for the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area.

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C-SPAN to produce feature on Augusta history

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:00pm

C-SPAN will be in Augusta on Wednesday to record and feature the city’s history and literary life.

At 1 p.m., officials with the television station will be joined by Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Historic Augusta, Inc. Executive Director Erick Montgomery at the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson.

At Wednesday’s event, C-SPAN representatives will reveal the stories and segments that will be explored by the national network during their stay. During their time in Augusta, C-SPAN representatives will also conduct community and education outreach.

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Gov. Deal appoints Augustan to board

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 4:36pm

 ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed MAU President Randall W. Hatcher, of Augusta, to the state Board of Economic Development.

The governor’s office said in a statement that Hatcher not only had expertise in the workforce industry, but also experience on multiple boards of directors, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and the World Presidents’ Organization Christian Fellowship Network. His appointment was one of 22 made this month.

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Bond granted in Augusta beating death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 4:23pm


An Augusta man charged with murder in the beating death of his girlfriend was granted a $50,000 bond Friday.

Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. set the bond in Rich­mond County Superior Court for David M. Kyler, 57.

Kyler was initially charged with aggravated assault after Richmond Coun­ty sheriff’s deputies found 58-year-old Matilda L. Jenkins unconscious in his Maxwell House apartment Feb. 7 while conducting a welfare check.

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Ga. boat titles may come with new option

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:58pm



ATLANTA -- Boat owners could have an easier time getting financing, selling and straightening out their taxes, according to the sponsor of legislation to allow them the option of a title like those for cars and homes.

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Downtown railroad work continues

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:43pm


Improvements to a downtown railroad track is expected to continue to close parts of roads through March 6.

The upgrades to a track that runs along Sixth Street were initially expected to be completed by Feb. 26, but a DOT spokesman said the upgrades are being delayed.

After finishing the area of track between Reynolds and Broad streets, crews will move to closures from Telfair to Ellis streets. The Telfair to Ellis streets construction is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 and reopen March 6.


Cigarette scorches Walton Way lawn

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:33pm


Police said a cigarette tossed from a car window resulted in a fire in front of a Walton Way home.

Police were called to 3200 Walton Way at noon after the front yard had caught fire and was spreading toward the home.

Fire officials said the lawn is scorched in multiple spots from similar incidents.

The fire department is asking motorists to avoid throwing cigarettes out of windows. The current dry conditions are making grass and brush fires even more common, officials said.


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