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Local actor appears in 'Step Up: All In'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:30am


Including stays in Atlanta and Los Angeles, Stephen Jones has spent the past 13 years pursuing a professional dance career.

Finally, he’s caught his break in Hollywood.

Despite minimal acting experience, the 2000 Lakeside High School graduate earned the role of Jasper Tarik in the upcoming 3-D dance film Step Up: All In – which opens nationwide Friday.

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Lake murders remain middle Ga. mystery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 7:35am


EATONTON, Ga. -- In the days and weeks since early May when his elderly parents were killed, Keith Dermond has been as puzzled as anyone else.


Russell and Shirley Dermond had been married 62 years. Both in their late 80s, they fell prey to unspeakable violence -- savagery as the Putnam County sheriff has called it -- and whoever inflicted it seems to have left nary a trace.

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Boy, 4, drowns near Atlanta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 7:17am


JONESBORO, Ga. — Authorities are investigating after a 4-year-old boy drowned in a pool at a home south of Atlanta.


Clayton County police say they responded around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to the home in Jonesboro, where they found the boy in the pool. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Police said in a statement that a preliminary investigation suggests the child and his parents were visiting from out of town.


Police said the drowning appears to be accidental.

Atlanta county hikes taxes 17%

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 7:15am

ATLANTA — Commissioners in Georgia’s most populous county have approved a 17 percent property tax hike.

Fulton County commissioners on Wednesday approved the increase with a 4-3 vote.

The increase is the first of its kind in more than two decades.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports ( that the tax hike is expected to pay for countywide services like libraries, courts and social services.

It would cost the owner of a $275,000 home an extra $140 a year if the property’s value remains unchanged.

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School bus cameras can be used for ticketing

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 7:10am

IRMO, S.C. — A new law means drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus in South Carolina are more likely to get hit in the wallet.

The law allows law enforcement to write traffic tickets after reviewing video captured by cameras installed on school buses. Previously, an officer had to personally witness the illegal passing to prosecute — unless injuries resulted and boosted the charge to a felony.

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Augusta man says he was shot at while working on vehicle

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 9:13pm

An Augusta man says he was shot at Wednesday while working in the backyard of a residence.

Approximately 3:51 p.m., deputies responded to the 600 block of Bennock Mill Road where a 20-year-old victim said fired shots as he worked outside on a vehicle, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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Graniteville native was sold on law enforcement career early

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 7:25pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: This profile is part of an ongoing series on area law enforcement officers.



There’s just something about traffic enforcement that Lance Cpl. Brandon Rucker loves.

The 29-year-old South Carolina officer always wanted to be in law enforcement, but it was the traffic enforcement side, instead of investigation or other divisions, that seems to be his best fit.

In 2007 he took a position with the S.C. Highway Patrol in the Aiken County area of Troop 7.

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Goat project aimed at maintenance of retention ponds going to work Thursday in Hephzibah

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 6:49pm

Augusta’s pilot project using goats to maintain the city’s hundreds of detention ponds gets under way Thursday with the deployment of a small herd to a Hephzibah-area pond.

The goats will be transported from Augusta Animal Services to the fenced pond area mid-morning, Engineering Director Abie Ladson said, and monitored frequently to see how fast they work.

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Corps of Engineers' settlement won't change Thurmond Dam operations

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 6:11pm

Thurmond Dam won’t be required to report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the amount of pollutants it’s sending into the Savannah River, as a recent legal settlement ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to do for eight dams in Oregon and Washington.

The Corps, however, will continue to comply with South Carolina discharge permitting and monitoring requirements for pollutants. Only minor oil spills have been reported in recent decades at Thurmond Dam, according to Billy Birdwell, spokesman for the Corps’ Savannah District.

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Peanut butter manufacturer makes donation to Golden Harvest

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 5:51pm

A Tifton, Ga., peanut butter manufacturer donated 1,000 jars of peanut butter to the Golden Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday.

Bell Plantation made the donation to announce its partnership with an upcoming documentary on Georgia’s peanut butter industry by Hephzibah filmmaker Joseph Barnhart. Portions of the documentary “Growing Peanut Butter” will be filmed at Bell Plantation.

At a press conference at Golden Harvest, Mayor Deke Copenhaver encouraged the community to donate peanut butter – a food rich in protein – to the food bank.

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