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Shark attacks Georgia boy off Florida beach

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 7:50am


FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Josh Bitner Jr. was playing Sunday in the waist-deep surf off Fernandina Beach when he yelled to his parents to show them a big seashell, and “something grabbed my leg and turned me around.”


The 12-year-old Georgia boy screamed “shark,” but his father thought he was fooling around. Then it turned him around again biting him a second time, Josh told reporters Monday at UF Health Jacksonville.


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Savannah man saves dog from alligator attack

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 09/22/2015 - 4:57am


SAVANNAH, Ga. -- It started out as a typical morning for Savannah resident David Quarterman and his three Labrador retrievers, but quickly turned into something out of a Hollywood horror film.

Quarterman was at Salt Creek Landing off Ogeechee Road near the intersection of Dean Forest Road playing fetch with his dogs about 5 a.m. Quarterman said he starts almost every morning going to nearby parks to get exercise for his 14-, 7- and 6-year-old pets, which he treats more like children than dogs.

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Coroner says man's death suspicious

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 11:09pm

A body was found Monday night at an Augusta home.

About 8:45 p.m., deputies responded to the 3700 block of Crawfordville Court, where the body of a male victim was located, according to Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen.

The name of the victim was not released and Bowen ruled the incident as a suspicious death.

Turn-signal complaint draws call for patience

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 10:17pm

Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.

– James Thurber

After my comments Fri­day on the lack of local traffic turn-signal use, Hazel Norman, of Appling, urged patience.

“It is better for you to be ‘irritated and aggravated’ than to wreck your car … or worse … Like my mama always said, ‘Wait until you see the car starting to turn before you pull out.’ …


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Funding for $55 million Augusta Municipal building renovations still uncertain

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 9:59pm

The work is done but a funding source remains uncertain for what has become a

$55 million renovation of the downtown Augusta government complex.

The public is invited to view the work – including a new

10,000-square-foot Telfair Street entrance and elevator tower and new 19,000-square-foot Information Technology building – at a dedication and open house today.

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Bainbridge court settles private probation lawsuit

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 9:55pm

The Municipal Court in Bainbridge, Ga., has agreed to a host of reforms to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed over the practices of the court’s private probation company.

The Southern Center for Human Rights filed the federal lawsuit in April on behalf of poor people it contends were injured by the abusive business practices of Red Hills Community Probation in Bainbridge and Pelham courts.

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Man accused of rape pleads to lesser offense

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 9:44pm

An Augusta man accused of rape pleaded to a lesser offense Monday in what both sides described as a difficult case with no evidence but the statements by the victim and the accused.

Hale O. Parriott,

25, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to criminal attempt to commit rape for a five-year probation sentence under the First Offender Act. Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet accepted the negotiated plea and imposed the sentence.

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Gold Cross settles lawsuit in paralyzed child case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 6:13pm

Gold Cross EMS ambulance service has settled a lawsuit against an Alabama hospital that the company said should contribute to a $9 million payment to the guardians of a paralyzed toddler.

The case had been set for trial this week in U.S. District Court. The terms of the settlement reached late last week will not be disclosed.

Gold Cross contended in the lawsuit that the Children’s Hospital of Alabama should share in the financial burden of the settlement it reached with the guardians of Zia’ Kiera Threatts.

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Doctors lawsuit over hospital license dismissed

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 5:35pm

A judge dismissed Monday a lawsuit by Doctors Hospital of Augusta to challenge the state’s authority to grant Georgia Regents Medical Center a license to build a hospital in Columbia County, hospital officials said.

A separate administrative appeal of that license decision by Doctors and University Hospital could come as early as this week, those officials said.

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Former executive gets 28 years for salmonella outbreak

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 5:32pm


ALBANY, Ga. — A former peanut company executive was sentenced Monday to 28 years in prison for his role in a deadly salmonella outbreak, the stiffest punishment ever handed out to a producer in a foodborne illness case.

The outbreak in 2008 and 2009 was blamed for nine deaths and sickened hundreds more, and triggered one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history.

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Walker exits GOP presidential race

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 4:39pm

MADISON, Wis. — Warning the GOP’s presidential race has become too nasty, Scott Walker suspended his 2016 campaign on Monday and called on some of his Republican rivals to do the same, citing an urgent need to “clear the field” to help defeat GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With that in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately,” Walker said in a Madison press conference.

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Thomson remains atop area Power Poll

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 3:57pm


The area’s top 10 football teams as voted on by members of The Augusta Chronicle sports department, WJBF-TV, WRDW-TV, WGAC and other area media. A first-place vote is worth 10 points; a 10th-place vote is worth one point. First-place votes are in parentheses.


1. Thomson (9) 99 4-0 1

2. North Augusta (1) 90 4-0 2

3. Lincoln County 74 4-0 3

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Loaded gun found in bag at Augusta airport

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 3:37pm

Transportation Security Administration officials discovered a loaded gun in a carry-on bag at Augusta Regional Airport this morning.

According to a TSA news release, the Glock handgun was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Richmond County marshals took possession of the carry-on bag and escorted the passenger from the checkpoint area.

Lauren Smith, communications manager at the airport, said the passenger, who has not been identified, was able to produce a valid permit so no criminal charges will be filed.

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North Augusta's new field turf makes debut in the Game of the Week

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 2:31pm

North Augusta is bringing a spotless record to its new artificial turf’s debut.

Undefeated North Augusta is playing its home opener against rival and fellow unbeaten Strom Thurmond in

The Augusta Chronicle’s Game of the Week.

After picking up a pair of wins in Georgia (Lakeside and Burke County) and on the road in South Carolina (Midland Valley and Aiken), North Augusta will try to win in a battle of 4-0 teams.

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UGA-Alabama kickoff set for 3:30

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 1:06pm

Georgia’s clash with Alabama in Athens, Ga., on Oct. 3 will be televised by CBS-Ch. 12. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

This will be Georgia’s second appearance on CBS this season. The Bulldogs defeated Vanderbilt in the second game of the season.

Other Oct. 3 games:

Notre Dame’s visit to Clemson has been tabbed for an 8 p.m. start. The game will be shown on ABC-Ch. 6.

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GBI investigates officer shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 10:02am

According to a GBI news release, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 7:58 p.m. indicating a suicidal person was walking near Baker Place Road. A DNR ranger, who has not been identified, conducting an unrelated investigation in the area was alerted to the suicidal subject and made contact with him.

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Murder charge for woman after infant death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 8:43am


A 31-year-old woman is facing a murder charge after police say she left her infant god-daughter in a vehicle for several hours on Sunday.

Latoya Louise Bell was booked into the Richmond County jail today on charges of murder and cruelty to children in the second degree.

Coroner Mark Bowen said Ja’Karheyonna Houges-Double, 8 months old, was taken to University Hospital Sunday afternoon by her great-grandmother when attempts to revive the infant failed. The baby was pronounced deceased at 6:15 p.m.

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Ft. Gordon gate delays expected

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 09/21/2015 - 6:17am

Fort Gordon’s new Automated Installation Entry system might cause some delays when it goes live today, officials said.

Department of Defense personnel should expect a 10- to 15-second delay when using the system for the first time while the card re-authenticates. Instead of swiping, the card will be scanned by placing the barcode beneath the reader.

Other people, such as contractors and business representatives, will need to reapply for an access card.

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Man dies after crash into canal; driver charged

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 09/20/2015 - 10:26am

A 22-year-old Beech Island man died after a traffic accident early Sunday in which a pickup ended up in the Augusta Canal. The driver has been charged, police say.

The victim was identified as John Jones Jr., according to a statement released by Coroner Mark Bowen.

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