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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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Bond request denied in Augusta homicide case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 5:24pm

An Augusta man’s request for bond on a charge of murder was denied Wednesday.

Dequan Blake, 18, has been held without bond since his arrest in the March 6 shooting death of 18-year-old Montravious McNair.

McNair was fatally shot in the Kroger’s parking lot on Deans Bridge Road during a fight between two sets of young men.

Paine rape case headed for trial

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 5:08pm


The suspect in the sexual assault inside a Paine College dorm last year is set for trial the week of Aug. 25.

Jarius R. Dantzler, 19, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court where he faces three sets of charges.

Dantzler is charged with rape in the March 7, 2013, sexual assault of a student in a restroom of Paine’s all-female Graham Hall dorm. He is also charged in the attempt rape of another Paine student on Nov. 18, 2012, and the beating and robbery of a woman who was home asleep on Feb. 16, 2013, when she was attacked.

Augusta goat project gets under way

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 4:58pm

Nine goats went to work Wednesday eating overgrown vegetation at an Augusta detention pond in a government pilot project intended to cut costs and help reduce mosquito breeding areas.

D.W. Williams, whose house overlooks the pond, welcomed the new arrivals to his subdivision, popular with current and former military members for its proximity to Fort Gordon’s Gate 5.

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9 arrests in North Augusta sweep

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 3:20pm


Nine North Augusta residents are behind bars after a warrant sweep Wednesday morning.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Fusion Center assisted North Augusta Public Safety officers in making the arrests.


Latoya Chambers, 28, disorderly conduct

Bridget Sherlock, 30, commitment warrant driving under suspension

Johnnie Dingler, 57, commitment warrant driving under suspension

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Sedan crashes into Panera Bread, mayor-elect helps in aftermath

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 1:05pm

A Cadillac crashed into Pane­ra Bread on Robert C. Dan­iel Jr. Parkway during lunchtime Wednesday, sending four people, including the driver, to hospitals.

Trooper 1st Class Ben Rollins, of the Georgia State Pa­trol, which is handling the accident, confirmed the number of victims but indicated that none of the injuries appeared life-threatening.

Still, it was a jarring experience for some inside the restaurant, whose patrons included Augusta mayor-elect Hardie Davis. Davis was eating lunch with four friends just feet away from where the car struck the building.

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UGA lands state's best recruit; Now what?

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:06pm


ATHENS, Ga. -- With the recruiting chase growing exponentially more national than it is local, keeping Georgia boys in line to wear red and black still counts.

The reaction to Trenton Thompson’s decision Tuesday night on Twitter and message boards, hashtags full of overwhelming approval and relief, proved as much.

Increasingly, college football’s best programs are infiltrating the Peach State’s high schools, an indicator that the best recruits are in the Bulldogs backyard.

We’ve known for years the getting was good in our state. It’s getting better.

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90-count indictment in Ga. Alzheimer case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:53am

A Jackson County grand jury has returned a 90-count indictment alleging widespread abuse at an Athens-area Alzheimer’s care facility.

Among other things, staff members at Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce assaulted and illegally restrained patients, according to the indictment filed Monday in Jackson County Superior Court.

The facility’s owner and 17 employees are charged in the indictment.

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Hancock fire prompts changes

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 9:00am

SPARTA, Ga. — Hancock County officials are searching for temporary office space after a historic courthouse was gutted by a fire.


The county’s commissioners may agree Wednesday to lease space from Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s branch in Sparta for $1 a year. WMAZ-TV reports that all county business is at a standstill after Monday’s early morning fire.

One commissioner says people who have to pay bills may get a grace period. The county clerk says employees still will be paid.


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Police: No child kidnapped near Lake Olmstead; 'suspicious situation' instead

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 11:48pm


Reports of an alleged kidnapping from an area playground near Lake Olmstead drew scores of Richmond County deputies and investigators in a heated search for a reportedly missing 2-year-old girl Tuesday evening before officials later called it a “suspicious situation” instead.

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VA awards wrongful-death settlement to local family

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 11:25pm

An east-central Georgia family was awarded a wrongful-death settlement from the Department of Veterans Affairs last week after VA hospitals in Augusta, Dublin and Atlanta failed to treat and diagnose a disabled Army veteran for gallbladder cancer, according to the judgment released Tuesday.

The estate of Jimmy Lee Stapleton, 68, will receive more than $100,000 in damages after he died June 2 at his home in Emanuel County from more than two years of negligent care in the three VA hospitals, said family attorney Chuck Pardue, who practices law in Martinez.

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Board votes to make Pringle interview public, approves new millage

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:34pm

The Richmond County Board of Education made its second interview with superintendent candidate finalist Angela Pringle partly open to the public and finalized the 2015 millage during their committee meeting Tuesday.

A portion of Pringle’s second interview, which will be moderated by a member of the Georgia School Board Association, will be held at the BOE Boardroom on Friday, starting at 1 p.m.

Pringle will be asked questions by the board, and the board will allow a limited number of questions from attendees.

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Georgia Regents Health System refinances $160 million in bonds

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:18pm

Georgia Regents Health System and some of its affiliated foundations have refinanced almost $160 million in bonds to take advantage of lower rates, officials said. The revenue bonds were refinanced last month through the Augusta Economic Development Authority, but that does not mean the agency issued the bonds, authority executive director Walter Sprouse said.

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Deputies searching for accused kidnapper, missing child at Lake Olmstead Park

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 9:20pm

Deputies are searching for a man accused of kidnapping a 2-year-old girl Tuesday evening from Lake Olmstead Park.

About 8:53 p.m., the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office was told that a man took a child from Lake Olmstead Park and was last seen running with the child towards Lake Olmstead Stadium, according to Richmond County dispatch. The child was last seen wearing a pink jumper outfit, according to dispatch.

The suspect is described as a black man wearing black shorts and a white T-shirt.

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Columbia County schools hit record enrollment

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 7:21pm


One week into the new school year, the Columbia County School System already has hit an all-time high enrollment and is projected to keep growing as more students filter in through Labor Day, according to Associate Superintendent Jeff Carney.

Enrollment reached 25,201 students on Tuesday – about 600 more than what the system started and ended with in the 2013-14 academic year.

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Child abuse charge in toddler's death could be upgraded to homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 4:01pm


A Hephzibah woman facing a child abuse charge in the recent death of her 2-year-old son might face indictment on a more serious charge.

At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Richmond County Civil Court, Chief Judge William D. Jennings III ruled that probable cause existed to bind over Mary Katherine Smith on a charge of cruelty to children in the second degree.

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Search continuing for new director of East Central Health Disctrict

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 3:36pm

At least one applicant was to be interviewed today to become the next director of the East Central Health District headquartered in Augusta, the acting director said Tuesday night.

During a meeting of the Richmond County Board of Health, acting director Dr. Diane Weems, who is director of the Coastal Health District in Savannah, said an applicant who had been screened and appeared promising would be interviewed in Atlanta by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

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Grovetown chief returns to work after suspension

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 3:33pm


Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens returned to work Monday after two days of suspension for how he handled the escape of two inmates last month.

City officials suspended Owens without pay on Thursday and Friday, according to Mayor George James.

“He created a hostile work environment for his employees by his actions,” James said. “He hindered the operation of recovering the two escapees.”

Owens had no comment.

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McDuffie hires ex-Effingham administrator

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/12/2014 - 2:26pm


SPRINGFIELD, Ga. -- Former Effingham County Administrator David Crawley has taken a job with McDuffie County.

Crawley will serve as county manager.

Crawley has been working as Springfield’s public works director since he left his position with the county.

He was forced out of his Effingham County job in May of 2013 by three commissioners amid controversy over the county audit.

The chairman and two other commissioners all said there were no major audit issues and no significant problems with county operations.

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