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Burnettown officer grew up in police family

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 8:38pm

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


Mark Warchol can’t let himself give up his police uniform completely just yet.

“It’s where my heart’s at, unfortunately,” the part-time Burnettown officer said. “When you get away from it, it drives you insane.”

The 30-year-old is still adjusting to being a part-time officer after leaving the North Au­gus­ta Department of Public Safety for a full-time job at Bridgestone earlier this year.

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Pardon Our Mess: Plant forms on surface of lakes at Diamond Lakes Regional Park

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 8:07pm

WHERE: Diamond Lakes Regional Park

WHAT: A plant has accumulated on the surface of four lakes at Diamond Lakes Regional Park.

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE: Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities

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Small price for fishing license aids local wildlife management; fishing without license costly in Georgia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:50pm

It costs residents only $9 for a one-year fishing license in Georgia, but local rangers say there are still some who chance getting caught casting without a permit on state waters.

From July 1, 2013, through June 30, 757 people statewide and 26 in the Augusta area have been caught fishing without a license.

Richmond County leads its 22-county region with the most citations at 17, while Co­lum­bia and McDuffie counties trail with eight and one violation each, according to the Georgia Department of Natu­ral Resources.

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Plant Vogtle expansion workforce continues to grow

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:08pm


Workforce numbers continue to rise at Plant Vogtle’s construction site as new nuclear reactors and cooling towers take shape.

About 4,200 workers are employed at the Vogtle expansion project, where the first two reactors built in the U.S. in more than three decades are rising from the red clay. In the next 12 to 18 months, the workforce is expected to peak at 5,000, Georgia Power spokesman Brian Green said.

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Germany tops Argentina in extra time, wins World Cup

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 5:36pm


RIO DE JANEIRO — Mario Goetze produced the piece of individual skill that Lionel Messi couldn’t muster.

With two quick, deft touches, Goetze ended Germany’s 24-year wait for another World Cup title with an extra-time winner against Argentina on Sunday – denying Messi the one title he needs to forever take his place among the game’s all-time greats.

It was the moment of brilliance that ensured Germany’s 1-0 victory in a tight and tense final.

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Latta, S.C., backs gay police chief

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 12:14pm


LATTA, S.C. — When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as “questionable,” she expected her two decade career in law enforcement was over.

Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.

The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.

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Thief snatches $100 bill from customer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 11:57pm

An Augusta man is short $100 after a robber snatched the money from his hand as he paid for coffee Saturday morning.

According to a Richmond Coun­ty sheriff’s report, George Owens, 54, said he entered Circle K at 1739 Walton Way about 8:20 a.m. to buy his daily cup of coffee.

When he pulled out a $100 bill to pay for the brew, a man grabbed the bill and tried to flee but was caught by Owens. The man broke free after a brief struggle in which Owens tore the man’s red T-shirt off.

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Arrest made in Jonathan Circle shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 9:48pm


A Keysville, Ga., man has been arrested in connection with a shooting on Jonathan Circle last week that injured a man.

Xavier Lamar Robinson, 20, of East Coursey Road, is charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to Richmond County jail records. He is also charged with felony possession of marijuana over a February incident.

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New Safety Management and Response Team Unit making a presence in downtown Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 4:53pm

It’s been a successful first month for a highly visible team of officers in downtown Augusta.

The new Safety Manage­ment and Response Team (SMART) Unit made up of community safety officers and sheriff’s deputies officially hit the street in late May with the hopes of creating a safer environment downtown.

“I think it’s good,” said Co­co Rubio, who owns two downtown music venues, Sky City and The Soul Bar. “It’s something we needed down here and should have had down here.”

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Body found in Thurmond Lake identified

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 4:51pm


Lincoln County authorities have identified a 36-year-old man who was found dead in Thurmond Lake on Friday.

Coroner Paul Reviere said Saturday that Wayne Pat­rick Mravlja, of Blythe, was pronounced dead about 5:10 p.m. after he was discovered about 100 yards off shore near a small island in the Chamberlain’s Ferry Boat landing area.

Boaters found the body and called the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Of­fice about 4 p.m. Sheriff Bruce Beggs said the preliminary cause of death is drowning, but the investigation is ongoing.

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Vehicle overturns in North Augusta Belk's parking lot

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 2:40pm


An accident in the parking lot of Belk’s in North Augusta caused an SUV to overturn Saturday afternoon, leaving drivers of two vehicles shaken but unharmed.

The driver of a Saturn Aura failed to stop at the proper place and hit a Nissan Xterra at low speed about 2:30 p.m., North Augusta Public Safety Officer B.J. Clark said. The Nissan slid for a few yards before hitting a curb and overturning.

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Body discovered in Lake Thurmond

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:26pm

Lincoln County officials confirmed Friday that boaters had discovered a man’s body in Thurmond Lake.

Approximately 4 p.m., the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call that a white male, around 35-years-old, had been found near the Chamberlain’s Ferry Boat landing area, according to Lincoln County Sheriff Bruce Beggs.

The preliminary cause of death is drowning, although the investigation has not been completed, Beggs stated.

The name of the victim has not been released.


Hephzibah Police Department receives body cameras

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 8:46pm

Chances are the next time you encounter a Hephzibah police officer, they’ll have an extra set of eyes strapped to their chest.

No, the department isn’t experimenting with cyborgs. It’s just the latest to receive body-worn cameras that officials say could cut down on abuses from officers and citizens alike.

“Not only does it help us gather evidence and protect us from complaints, it also lets the officer know they are being recorded,” said Hephzibah Police Chief Dwayne Flowers. “It helps to remind them to be professional at all times.”

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Augusta man sentenced to life in prison for child molestation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 8:05pm


An Augusta man convicted of aggravated child molestation was sentenced to life in prison Friday.

A Richmond County Superior Court convicted Frank K. Jones, 53, of one count of aggravated child molestation. He was acquitted of a second count.

Jones was offered a plea negotiation in which he would have entered what amounts to a no-contest plea to child molestation in exchange for a maximum possible 10-year prison sentence.

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Number of stolen vehicles drops in Richmond County

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 6:56pm


Jasmine Davis awoke Wednesday morning to her best friend frantically shaking her arm. It wasn’t until she looked out the window that she also felt a punch to the gut.

The small patch of road where her prized 1997 Honda Accord had been parked the night before was empty. The 23-year-old Augusta resident’s car had been stolen.

Feelings of violation and fear quickly turned to anger, Davis said.

“I don’t have a car anymore,” Davis recalled saying to herself. “I just got that car and I’m still paying for it.”

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Police looking for Beech Island man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 4:46pm

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a missing Beech Island man.

Willie D. Widener, of Storm Branch Road, has been missing since July 4 when he was dropped off in downtown Aiken by a family member.

Widener is diabetic and his family is concerned he is not receiving medication.

Anyone with information on Widener’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Aiken Department of Public Safety at (803) 642-7620 or Crimestoppers at (888) CRIME-SC.

Drug busts arrest 23

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 4:30pm

Twenty-three people have been charged in drug investigations involving a Harrisburg heroin operation and a south Richmond County methamphetamine operation.

According to a news release, the DEA assisted Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in the two long-term investigations.

Police said the Harrisburg operation has been linked to sales across the county while the south Richmond County methamphetamine sales have also spread to Burke and Jefferson counties.

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LeBron James announces return to Cleveland

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 1:02pm

CLEVELAND — LeBron James is returning home to Ohio, reversing the decision he made four years ago that led to two NBA titles in Miami and crushed Cleveland Cavalier fans.

James told Sports Illustrated for a story published Friday that he was signing with the Cavaliers because his relationship with Northeast Ohio is “bigger than basketball.”

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Protest by Augusta animal activists called off

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:54pm


Animal activists canceled a scheduled protest Friday at Augusta Animal Services after the city’s announcement Thursday that the department would begin working with a rescue group and would refrain from killing animals that aren’t dangerous or diseased.

Activist Becky Peita, who helped organize the protest, said organizers decided to hold off because of the announcements but will keep a close eye on activities at the Mack Lane shelter to ensure the city does what it said. The protest had been scheduled from 11 a.m to 5 p.m.

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