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Study finds funding needs to increase to $800 million for Savannah River Site project

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 8:53pm

A new study commissioned by the federal Energy Department found that the U.S. could save $400 million a year if it disposed of weapons-grade plutonium at a New Mexico nuclear waste repository instead of converting the surplus material into mixed-oxide fuel at Savannah River Site.

The report, released Thursday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, was produced by the Red Team, a group of industry experts assembled by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to evaluate cost projections and alternatives to the MOX project.

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Motorcyclist killed in wreck near Grovetown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 8:12pm

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the victim in one reference.


A motorcyclist was killed about 7 p.m. Wednesday in a wreck at Kettle Creek Drive and Wrightsboro Road near Grovetown.

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Five things to watch in Augusta-area high school football

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 5:07pm

After a long offseason of players lifting weights, learning schemes and going through preseason practice, the work gets put to the test for many area high school football teams Friday with the start of the 2015 season. Here’s a quick primer of what to watch for this year:

1. Familiar faces in new places

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First Unit 3 Shield Building panels placed at Plant Vogtle

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 3:45pm

Plant Vogtle is raising its shield.

Georgia Power announced this week that the $14 billion expansion of Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Ga., marked another milestone – the installation of the first six individual steel panels to Unit 3’s shield building, an enclosure that houses the reactor’s containment vessel.

The shield building includes more than 160 steel panels, each of which can weigh more than 10 tons and be filled with concrete, Georgia Power said in a news release.

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Security tighter at Regal Cinemas, including at Augusta movie theater

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 2:30pm

Augusta moviegoers might be subject to bag searches after a new policy change at Regal Cinemas.

The major theater chain, which owns Regal 20 on Agerton Lane, recently posted signs at locations explaining the change.

The sign on the door of Regal 20 states, “For the safety and comfort of all our guests: Backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to entry to this facility.”

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July was Earth's hottest month on record

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 1:49pm

WASHINGTON — Earth just keeps getting hotter. July was the planet’s warmest month on record, smashing old marks, U.S. weather officials said.

And it’s almost a dead certain lock that this year will beat last year as the warmest year on record, they said.

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Antcliff, NeSmith bow out of the U.S. Amateur

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 1:48pm


GRU Augusta’s Maverick Antcliff and North Augusta’s Matt NeSmith each fell today in the second round of the U.S. Amateur match play at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill.

Antcliff, a senior on the Jaguars golf team, fell 5 and 4 to Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley, Calif. Antcliff got off to a bad start when he bogeyed the par-5 first hole. Antcliff followed with bogeys on Nos. 3, 5 and 9 and dug himself a 4-down hole with nine to play.

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Aiken County authorities seek suspects in break-in attempt

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 1:24pm

Aiken County authorities are seeking information on two men caught on camera breaking into a home.

Police said home security cameras captured video of two men at the home on the 2200 block of Edgefield Highway on Monday. Police said one man entered the residence while the other stayed near their vehicle, a 1990s model Chevrolet SUV. The men, who are white, fled when the burglar alarm sounded.

Anyone with information can contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 648-6811 or Crimestoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.

Augusta metro area loses 500 jobs in July

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 11:59am

Job losses in July in state and local government were offset by slight gains in education, construction and manufacturing.

The seven-county Augusta metro area had a net loss of 500 jobs in July, according to data released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.

The metro area lost 800 jobs in government, along with 100 jobs each in retail, transportation, and professional and business services. There were 400 jobs added in education and health services, the department reported, and 100 jobs each in construction and manufacturing.

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800 Myrtle Beach cameras going on-line

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 11:43am




MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Police in Myrtle Beach are getting a better look at the millions of visitors who flock to the resort area each year.


The Sun News reports the city has started the final phase of a $2.1 million program that by year’s end will have more than 800 cameras monitoring streets and beach accesses.


Other communities in the Myrtle Beach area are also adding cameras.


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Clues sought in Ga. family attack

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 11:04am




ATLANTA -- Police hope a sketch of one suspect and video surveillance footage help them to identify four suspects accused of attacking an Atlanta family.


Authorities say Michael Lash was trying to protect his family when he was shot in both of his legs by the gunmen, who stormed into his Atlanta home Sunday evening.


Lash’s relatives tell WSB-TV they expect him to be released from a hospital this week.


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Update: More details in gator death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 10:24am

A 10-foot alligator that had become a popular attraction behind a Washington Road business was removed earlier this week after it became aggressive toward humans, according to wildlife authorities.

Slideshow: Remembering "Big Boy"

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Jimmy Carter 'at ease,' ready for radiation treatment

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 10:14am

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter announced Thursday that his cancer showed up in four small spots on his brain and he will immediately begin radiation treatment, saying he is “at ease with whatever comes.”

“I’m ready for anything and looking forward to a new adventure,” said Carter, appearing upbeat and making jokes as he openly talked about his melanoma during a news conference.

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Parts of Columbia County see 3 inches of rain

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 9:25am

Columbia County received varying amounts of rainfall, from more than 3 inches to less than a half-inch Wednesday, when storms moved through the area.

According to Pam Tucker, director of Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division, most of the rainfall recorded between 7 a.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday fell at Rivershyre Subdivision. The area measured 3.25 inches. Little River Wastewater Treatment Plant on Hardy McManus Road also received 3 inches, whereas Clarks Hill Treatment Plant only got 0.16 inches.

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Fire damages barber shop, salon

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 7:56am

Two hair studios were damaged this morning when a fire started at a south Augusta business.

Firefighters responded reports of a fire at the brick building on Harding Road, just off of Peach Orchard Road, around 6:30 a.m. The building contains two separate hair studios, Five Star Barber Shop and Triple Hair Salon.

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Confederate flag rally in Minnesota

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 7:43am

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota-based group plans to hold a rally in support of the Confederate battle flag at the Minnesota State Capitol.

A permit application for the Sept. 5 rally was approved Wednesday. The application from a group called “Minnesota 10,000 for Southern Heritage” estimates about 25 people will be there.

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Georgia unemployment 7-year low

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 7:39am




ATLANTA — State labor officials say Georgia’s unemployment rate is down to 6 percent, its lowest mark in more than seven years but still above the national average.


The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the new seasonally adjusted figure for July. It is down from 6.1 percent in June and 7.2 percent from July 2014.


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Georgia State Patrol Grovetown post still undermanned despite higher patrol output

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 8:42pm

The undermanned Georgia State Patrol Grovetown post has grown – barely – over the past six months.

In February, the post announced that it had seen its staff decrease from the ideal size of 17 sworn personnel to just 11 while the Atlanta area bulked up in an initiative with the Georgia Department of Transportation to place more troopers along the Interstate 85 and Interstate 75 corridors, Troop E Capt. Allen Marlowe said.

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China gets disaster medicine course from Georgia Regents University foundation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 6:16pm

A foundation at Georgia Regents University soon could be spreading training across the most populous country in the world about how to respond to disasters.

Officials with The National Disaster Life Support Foundation at the Medical College of Georgia at GRU are scheduled to sign an agreement today with the Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai and Xingcheng Medical Consulting & Services Co. to teach its courses on disaster medicine.

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Local goverment e-mail domains turn up in hacked cheating web site data

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 5:50pm

While several local government e-mail addresses were used to create accounts on the extramarital affair dating site, a hacking group’s data dump appeared not to expose any government officials’ infidelities.

A group known as the Impact Team released a 10-gigabyte trove of data Tuesday that included site users’ full names, e-mail addresses and other information, making good on a threat to expose unfaithful partners across the world.

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