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Health District Director on leave to July

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 6:28pm

The director of the East Central Health District is taking a long leave of absence, apparently to deal with a personal loss, a member of the Richmond County Board of Health said.

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Police seek suspect who used stolen credit card

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 6:12pm


The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a suspect who attempted to use a stolen credit card at an area gas station last month.

About 4:42 a.m. on March 30, a white man entered the Kangaroo Express gas station at 3477 Wrightsboro Road, where he twice attempted to use a stolen credit card, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

The suspect was last seen wearing dark jeans, a dark shirt, a dark coat and a baseball cap.

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Police discover meth lab at area motel

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 5:42pm


Police charged two people with manufacturing methamphetamine after deputies found drugs and paraphernalia in their motel room Friday.

Jackie Ray Beasley Jr., 43, and Heather Studer, 24, have been charged with felony counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of cocaine, according to a statement from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

About 7:30 a.m., deputies were called to the Economy Inn at 3061 Deans Bridge Road, where they found what appeared to be narcotics paraphernalia.

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Restaurants ready for big business from Masters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 5:15pm


Area restaurants once again expect to see green from the annual influx of golf patrons in town for the Mas­ters.

At Wild Wing Cafe, sales for April typically double because of Masters-related foot traffic that week, said owner and operator Tricie Scholer.

“That tells you what one week can do to a month,” she said. “Hands down, every day next week is the best day of the year.”

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Farmers do not get individual aid for cleanup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 5:00pm

As a farmer, Williams Hughes has grown accustomed to being on his own, but when February’s ice storm hit 68 acres of property he owns in Burke County, he thought the federal government would help cover some of the debris-removal costs.

He was wrong.

Because the multimillion-dollar, major-disaster declarations approved in 60 Georgia and South Carolina counties last month only include public assistance – not individual assistance – the Federal Emergency Management Agency will not help farmers clear their land of ice-storm debris, said spokeswoman Cheria Brown.

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Masters 'specials' keep cops busy

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:47pm

An abundance of special duty assignments during Masters Week can mean extra spending money and a change in atmosphere for local deputies.

“Specials” are jobs where deputies dress in uniform, but their time is not being paid for by the sheriff’s office. These jobs range from providing additional security at the mall to restaurants and bars and even weddings and baby showers.

During Masters Week, the number of opportunities increases, particularly from businesses on Washington Road.

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Ga. woman gets teddy bear with heroin inside

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 2:17pm

ATHENS, Ga. -- Police said a woman received an unexpected shipment Thursday -- heroin hidden inside a teddy bear.

The Vineyard Drive resident called police because she received a package from Mexico she wasn’t expecting, police said, and the Hispanic woman didn’t know anyone who lived in the location in Mexico from where the package originated.

The woman opened the package and found it contained an old, smelly teddy bear, according to police.

Suspecting that there might be something dangerous inside, the woman called 911.

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Hospital provider fee unsettled

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 1:35pm

ATLANTA -- Last year, a bill that would renew a financing mechanism for the state’s Medicaid program hurtled irresistibly through the Georgia General Assembly. Gov. Nathan Deal signed it into law almost as soon as it was passed.

The high priority the measure received was easy to understand. The funding mechanism, known as the hospital provider fee — called by opponents a “bed tax” — was designed to fill a nearly $500 million hole in the state’s Medicaid program’s budget.

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Adults charged after child wanders

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 1:05pm


A mother and great-grandmother are facing charges after police said they allowed a 5-year-old to wander to an elementary school to play with children.

A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was called to Copeland Elementary School, 1440 Jackson Road, after the child, who is not a pupil, was seen playing on the playground with others about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The child had also been seen on the grounds on Tuesday and had been returned to his home at Fox Den Apartments, according to an incident report.

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Morning stabbing under investigation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:55pm

Police are investigating a morning stabbing at Champion Pines apartment complex off Wylds Road.

Deputies were called to Doctors Hospital about 9:30 a.m. after the victim, who has not been named, arrived with a stab wound to the upper chest.

The victim told police he was walking to his vehicle this morning when an unknown black male approached and took his keys and several other items before stabbing him.

No further details have been released.


Deputies commended for fire rescue

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:53pm

Two Aiken County sheriff’s deputies are being commended for pulling two people out of a burning home Friday morning on Piper Road.

According to a news release, Deputies Kenneth Lively and Nicholas Lott arrived at the home at 2380 Piper Road about 4 a.m. before the firefighters and heard people inside coughing and calling a cat. The deputies entered the home and found John McKenzie III, 43, and Laura McKenzie, 39.

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Robert Leverett to take over Richmond jail

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:41pm

Robert Leverett, former warden of the Richmond County Correctional Institution is being appointed jail administrator for Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, it was announced Friday.

He will replace Maj. Gene Johnson, who is retiring next month.

Leverett has more than 40 years of law enforcement/corrections experience serving in several leadership/management positions.

Power out in North Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:31pm

NORTH AUGUSTA -- About 200 SCE&G customers off Martintown Road East remain without power, as crews work to repair the issue.

The power outage, affecting portions of Plaza Place, Woodlawn Drive and Spring Oak Lane, could be fully restored by 2:30 p.m., according to the SCE&G online outage map.

An outage affecting nearly 1,200 customers was reported earlier today after a tree limb fell on a power line, said Kim Asbill, of SCE&G’s Public Affairs office.

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DOT halts road closures during Masters

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:18am


The Georgia Department of Transportation is suspending all traffic closures in the Augusta area in anticipation of high traffic volume during Masters week.

Each year, the DOT uses a contract special provision to prohibit closures on Interstate 20, Interstate 520 and other major state routes in the area in anticipation of high traffic volumes entering and exiting Richmond County.

The suspension of closures went into effect midnight Thursday and will continue through midnight April 14.

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SC woman faces court in breast-feeding overdose

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 6:51am

COLUMBIA — A woman faces 20 years to life in prison when she is sentenced for killing her 6-week-old daughter with what prosecutors say was an overdose of morphine delivered through her breast milk.

A Spartanburg County jury found 39-year-old Stephanie Greene guilty of homicide by child abuse Thursday. She is being sentenced at a hearing Friday morning.

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Ga. substitute teacher guilty of holdups

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 6:44am

A Valdosta man will spend 16 years in federal prison for a slew of Dollar General store robberies in South Georgia and North Florida, including some he committed while working as a substitute teacher.

Eddie Battles, 26, pleaded guilty last year to 11 counts of armed robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Marcia Marcia Morales Howard sentenced Battles Wednesday during a hearing in federal court in Jacksonville.

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