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Solar panel farm on Fort Gordon part of Army efforts to diversify energy sources

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 10:28pm

U.S. Army initiatives to diversify the nation’s energy grid with renewable sources reached a new benchmark Thursday with the start of construction for a 209-acre solar panel farm on Fort Gordon.

The 30-megawatt solar plant and two other similar-sized facilities at Fort Stewart and Fort Benning will result in 18 percent of the Army’s energy consumption in Georgia when complete. The Fort Gordon plant, on land near the Gordon Lakes Golf Course, is expected to begin producing electricity next year.

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Westminster Schools of Augusta senior wins Youth of the Year award

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 7:37pm

Palmer Brigham is “obviously smart,” her grandmother said Thursday after the Westminster senior was announced as the Augusta Exchange Club’s Youth of the Year. But she added, it’s her heart that sets her apart.

“It’s not surprising,” Patricia Brigham said of her granddaughter. “She’s one who has always given herself to other people.”

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Augusta scores in middle of AARP 'livability' index

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 4:36pm


As Augusta’s senior commissioner pushes to make the city more age-friendly, a new index from AARP gave the city 51 out of 100 points for meeting current and future needs of residents.

The “livability” index gave Augusta a higher score than Columbia County, Aiken County, North Augusta and Ma­con, which all received a 49, but a lower one than Savannah and Columbus, both of which garnered a 52.

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Laney to hold parade to celebrate girls basketball title

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:50pm


The Laney girls basketball team will be honored with a parade Saturday.

The Wildcats won the program’s first GHSA state title in March with a 70-55 win against Beach in the Class AAA state championship.

Starting at noon Saturday, the parade will begin at the football team’s practice field (Mill Street) and then go on Wrightsboro Road to Augusta Avenue. After that it will continue on to Laney-Walker Boulevard and to Eleventh Street. From there, it will go to Wrightsboro Road and back to the football practice field.

Poll shows Ga. GOP surprise

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:13pm

ATLANTA -- As delegates gather at this weekend’s Republican state convention in Athens, a first-time candidate and the winner of Georgia’s ‘08 primary top the list of presidential favorites among party rank and file.

Tied for first, 10 months before the Georgia primary, are neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a political novice who’s among the most recent to formally announce, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who failed to capitalize on his primary win here seven years ago.

Carson and Huckabee were tied with 20 percent.

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Greenville, SC, man dies in Appling crash

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 12:00pm

A Greenville, S.C., man was killed Thursday morning in an Appling traffic accident.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said Garud S. Acharya, 65, died at the scene from blunt-force trauma to the head.

About 10:30 a.m., Acharya was stopped in his Toyota Camry on Bennett Road. He worked for ADT and was in the area for his job, Garrison said.
As he tried to turn left on Ray Owens Road, Acharya pulled into the path of a northbound dump truck, according to sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

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Train hits semi truck in Johnston, but no one hurt

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 11:19am

JOHNSTON, S.C. — No one was injured Thursday when a train traveling through downtown Johnston struck a truck stalled on its tracks, smashing the tractor-trailer and causing debris damage to vehicles in the nearby library parking lot.

The southbound Norfolk Southern train with two locomotives and 59 cars ripped through the truck about 9:45 a.m., according to a statement from company spokeswoman Susan Terpay.

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Lawn equipment stolen

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:35am


More than $4,300 worth of landscaping equipment was stolen from a trailer at Augusta Mall while workers groomed the grounds Wednesday.

One of the landscapers told Richmond County sheriff’s deputies he and his crew were working between 10 a.m. and 10:35 a.m. when he saw a black man jump into a white pickup truck and flee toward Wrightsboro Road. After checking the back of one of his trailers, he saw that two leaf blowers, two edgers, two weed-eaters and two push mowers were missing.

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Columbia County residents invited to give feedback on 20-year development plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:36pm

Columbia County residents will have yet another chance to offer ideas and voice their concerns on the next 20 years of growth and development today at Evans public library.

The public is invited to an all-day “land use charrette” today to provide input for Columbia County’s comprehensive development plan, dubbed “Vision 2035,” which will help planners and elected officials make decisions about the next two decades of growth and change, said Andrew Strickland, the county’s director of Planning Services.

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Richmond County Board of Education approves delay in Murphey-Josey merger to 2017-18

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:33pm


The Richmond County Board of Education has decided to delay the T.W. Josey High School-Murphey Middle School merger until the 2017-18 school year.

The decision made at a Tuesday committee meeting will allow time for the construction of a new wing at Josey and for the entire student body of Murphey to move to their new school as a single unit, school officials said. The board voted 9-0 to approve the delay, with member Frank Dolan absent.

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Decision near on pipeline

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 11:30pm

Georgia Department of Transpor­tation Commissioner Russell McMurry is expected to issue a decision by Tuesday on a controversial, tri-state petroleum pipeline, proposed to run through 210 miles in Georgia.

If approved, Kinder Morgan’s new Palmetto Pipeline will dogleg off the existing Plantation Pipeline in Belton S.C., and transport up to 7 million gallons of oil per day to terminals in North Augusta, Savannah and Jacksonville.

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Mapping vehicle captures Columbia County growth

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 10:58pm


Marshall Square is only about 2,100 feet from Mary Howard’s office, but the retirement resort that opened last November ceases to exist in Columbia County’s Geographic Information System.

The 3½-acre property merely appears as a large plot of undeveloped land on online maps.

“It sure would be great to see that new building,” Howard, the county’s GIS manager, said this week.

By the end of the summer, her wish should come true.

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Twenty high school seniors to be recognized at Best and Brightest Awards

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 9:20pm


Twenty of the CSRA’s most accomplished high school seniors will be recognized during the 2015 Best and Brightest Award banquet Thursday, competing for a $1,000 grand prize.

The students in the running this year were whittled down from 96 applicants. Five will receive cash prizes.

Applicants had to submit short essays detailing their accomplishments, high school transcripts and letters of nomination to be considered for the award, along with an in-person interview.

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Argument over religion led to graveyard shooting, states police report

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:14pm

Police said a man who shot a fellow city employee at an Augusta cemetery Tuesday did it after an argument over religion.

Ed Wilie Jordan Jr., 47, was booked on charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. A Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report said Jordan had to pull the trigger multiple times before the gun fired.

The victim, 43-year-old Theron Rodriquez Wilson, was treated for a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Police said both men are supervisors at the cemetery.

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Rabid bat found in Goshen

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:17pm

A bat with rabies was discovered in the Goshen subdivision, according to the Richmond County Health Department.

Augusta Animal Services retrieved the bat from a home in the south Richmond County neighborhood and it tested positive for rabies, said Randy Wishard, environmental services manager for the health department.

“Sometimes they find their way in through a vent or something,” he said. “We haven’t seen one in about a month or so.”

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Traffic delay in North Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:16pm

Traffic is being diverted in North Augusta at Georgia Avenue and Edgefield Road after a tractor trailer bottomed out in the intersection.

North Augusta Public Safety Lt. Tim Thornton said no traffic can stay left from Edgefield Road onto Knox Avenue because of the location of the truck. Northbound traffic on Knox Avenue is being diverted through the CVS parking lot and onto Edgefield Road. Southbound Edgefield Road is being diverted right onto Georgia Avenue.

It is undetermined how long the intersection will be closed, Thornton said.

Tractor trailer bottoms out, closes Georgia Avenue in North Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:15pm

Tractor trailer bottoms out, closes Georgia Avenue in North Augusta

According to North Augusta Public Safety, Georgia Avenue at Edgefield Road (Knox Avenue) is currently blocked and not open.

A tractor-trailer has bottomed out in the middle of the intersection, Lt. Tim Thornton said in a news release.

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Couple charged with driving impaired with young children in vehicle

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:07pm

An Augusta couple was arrested Tuesday after police were told they were driving under the influence and in possession of drugs while three young children were in the vehicle.

A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy stopped them at a Washington Road gas station about 11:30 p.m. after someone reported the vehicle for reckless driving.

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Bonds set for Blackville teens

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:55pm

BLACKVILLE, S.C. — A bond hearing was held Wednesday for five teenagers arrested in the April 30 shooting of a woman at the Hilda Crossroads.

Judge Jimmy W. “Jay” Gantt denied bond for Javaries Tyrell Washington, 17, of Blackville.

The judge set a $100,000 total bond or 10 percent of that amount on Kendrick David Staley, 19; Jawanzie Lorenzo Mayes, 17; Darren Marquez Ford, 17; Allen Isaiah Harrison, 17, all of Blackville.

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7 now dead in Amtrak crash

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:27pm



PHILADELPHIA — The death toll climbed to seven Wednesday with the discovery of another body in the wreckage Wednesday as investigators tried to determine why an Amtrak train hurtled off the tracks while rounding a sharp curve.


More than 200 people were injured in the wreck that plunged screaming passengers into darkness and chaos Tuesday night.


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