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SC announces drunken driving crackdown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 3:43pm


South Carolina police agencies plan to crack down on drunken driving through the Labor Day weekend and hope social media will spread the word with younger drivers.

“With the kickoff of Sober or Slammer, I cannot stress the importance of not drinking and driving,” Capt. Keith Grice, the Troop 7 commander of the South Carolina High­way Patrol, said at a news conference Thursday in Aiken.

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Isakson to visit Augusta on Tuesday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 3:30pm


U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will be in Augusta on Tuesday for a number of veteran-focused meetings and a defense update.

Isakson will begin his visit with a tour of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, where he will meet with facility staffers, according to a news release.

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Small plane crashes near Charleston

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:30pm

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — A small plane with two people aboard has crashed in Mount Pleasant.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen in Atlanta says the single-engine Cessna 150 crashed shortly before noon Thursday while it taking off from Mount Pleasant Regional Airport.

The plane crashed in a swampy area about 100 feet from the end of the runway.

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Greater Augusta Arts Council to host art events and workshops with newly acquired grant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:24pm


The Greater Augusta Arts Council plans to use a recent grant to provide art events and workshops.

The council was one of this year’s recipients of a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts. The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art and Symphony Orchestra Augusta were other local recipients.

The arts council will begin its series of grant-funded art events and workshops called “Aspirations: Building a Better Community” this fall, according to a news release.

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North Augusta man facing drug charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:18pm

A North Augusta man is facing drug and obstruction charges after he tried to flee from custody Wednesday, police said.

Officers pulled over a Mitsubishi Galant on Walton Way about noon for defective brake lights and an improperly displayed tag. During the stop, a Toyota Camry, which had been following the Galant, pulled over to wait.

While talking with the Camry’s occupants, who were not facing any traffic violations, the officer detected a smell of marijuana, an incident report states.

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Police seek lottery ticket burglar

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:15pm

Police are seeking a man suspected of stealing nearly 400 lottery tickets during a burglary Wednesday morning.

Officers responded to an alarm activation at Esquire Fashion and Beauty Supply, 3250 Wrightsboro Road, about 3 a.m. and found the glass door broken and a brick inside the store.

Surveillance video showed a white man in a gray sleeveless shirt and blue jeans enter the store by smashing the glass and then leave with two columns of lottery tickets.

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Long lines as H&M opens

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:35am

The line stretched out the door this morning as the two-story H&M store opened at the Augusta Mall.

The store was announced in May 2013.

The 23,000-square-foot site will carry apparel and accessories for women, men and children. The Augusta store is the first in eastern Georgia for the Swedish retailer.

Child abandoned, food stamp fraud in SC

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:27am

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — A woman has been accused of abandoning her child in Orangeburg County.

Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said 24-year-old Amanda Leigh Vosburg of Neeses was arrested by Barnwell police Tuesday and charged with abandoning a 2-year-old girl and food stamp fraud.

Ravenell says Vosburg earlier this month left the child at a home where two people were arrested on methamphetamine charges.

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SC man facing bigamy charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:23am

NEWBERRY, S.C. — A Newberry man has been charged with bigamy after officials discovered he has married four times since 1988 without divorcing any of the women.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said 49-year-old Darnell Pixley was charged on a single count and surrendered to deputies Wednesday. Foster says the investigation is continuing.

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Augusta mother faces murder charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:58am


Charges against an Augusta mother whose son died after being taken to a hospital have been upgraded to second-degree murder, police said Thursday.

Mary Katherine Smith, 39, of Hephzibah, was jailed July 31 on a charge of second-degree cruelty to children soon after her 2-year-old son, Mason, was hospitalized. He was on life support until his Aug. 3 death.

She told investigators that Mason has a syndrome that causes him to hold his breath until he passes out. She said he fell July 30 while she was making him sit in the corner of his room.

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SC judge scolded for taking sexual favors

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:03am

A county judge from Abbeville County who pleaded guilty to official misconduct of trading money and preferential treatment for sex acts has received one final scolding.

The S.C. Supreme Court reprimanded former magistrate George Ferguson, this month for two counts of misconduct. The public reprimand is the most severe punishment the justices could give Ferguson, because he resigned in April of last year.

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Georgia jobless rate worsens

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 7:15am


ATLANTA — State labor officials say Georgia’s unemployment rate has risen to 7.8 percent.


The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the new jobless figure, which is up from 7.4 percent in June.


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is mostly due to temporary, seasonal layoffs in local government and manufacturing.


Butler said the state’s employment picture is continuing to show positive signs. He said private employers in the state created 8,200 jobs in July.

Animals entering political ads

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 7:10am


WASHINGTON — It’s a jungle out there in political television advertising, what with parrots, chicks, dogs and pigs taking turns in commercials that bite and scratch in a way no nonpartisan pet ever would.


“You can keep it,” squawked a parrot in a Club for Growth Action ad that ran earlier in the year in Arkansas. It was meant to ridicule President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Pryor’s now-abandoned claims that state residents could keep their health insurance if they liked it.


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Augusta family remembers Robin Williams' support of St. Jude hospital

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:57pm


For Augusta leukemia survivor Brennan Simkins, happy memories of a rare meeting with actor and comedian Robin Williams quickly turned to sadness Monday as news of the actor’s death left his fans in shock.

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Hancock County officials to lease office space from local college after courthouse fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:28pm

Hancock County officials will soon have temporary office space after the county’s historic courthouse was gutted by fire earlier this week.

All county business is at a standstill after Monday’s early morning fire. County’s commissioners agreed wednesday to lease space from Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s branch in Sparta for $1 a year. County commission chairman Sistie Hudson said phone and data lines will need to be added before the offices are up and running.

People who have to pay bills may get a grace period during the transition, and employees will still be paid.

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Tiger Woods withdraws his name from consideration for Ryder Cup team

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:55pm


Tiger Woods removed himself from consideration for the Ryder Cup team Wednesday evening with a clear message that he is not healthy enough to play.

One day after U.S. captain Tom Watson said he trusted Woods to give him the “straight skinny” on the condition of his back injury and his game, Woods said he called him to say he would not be available.

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Teenager crashes into rear of Richmond County school bus

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:52pm

A 19-year-old female was hospitalized Wednesday after crashing into a Richmond County school bus.

Approximately 3:40 p.m., deputies responded to Windsor Spring Road, where the unidentified female failed to stop when the school bus attempted to turn right onto Patrick Avenue before striking the rear of the bus, according to a statement from Sgt. Monica Belser.

The 19-year-old’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

Of the 52 children on the bus, one complained of injuries but was not transported to a hospital, Belser confirmed.

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Democratic candidate for governor stresses innovation during Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School tour

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:09pm

Democratic candidate for governor Jason Carter toured the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School on Wednesday, to see how “innovation” can be implemented into Georgia’s education systems – and to demonstrate to the CSRA that, if elected, he would work to help all sections of the state.

Jason Carter is the grandson of former Georgia governor and president Jimmy Carter, and currently a Georgia state senator. He will be running against incumbent governor Nathan Deal November 4.

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Tiger Woods withdraws name from Ryder Cup consideration

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 8:14pm


Tiger Woods informed the PGA of America and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson on Wednesday night that he was withdrawing his name from consideration from the team because of his lingering health issues.

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FEMA workshop held to boost Augusta disaster preparedness

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 6:16pm

 After a winter in which most of east-central Georgia was crippled by an ice storm, officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency visited Augusta on Wednesday to share inside tips on how counties could win grants and buy equipment to better combat natural disasters.

More than 30 grant writers from Richmond, Bulloch, Effingham, Laurens, Candler and Tattnall counties attended a workshop that U.S. Rep. John Barrow held to help communities understand funding opportunities available through FEMA.

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