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Augusta woman accused of DUI, reckless driving on Walton Way

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 8:26am

An Augusta woman is facing numerous charges after flipping her car Wednesday morning on Walton Way.

Keshia Lavscaitte Hicks, 39, has been charged with DUI, failure to maintain lane, DUI with a passenger under 14 years of age, serious injury by vehicle and reckless driving, according to Richmond County jail records.

The incident occurred around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday on the 3000 block of Walton Way when Hicks was headed to the Academy of Richmond County to drop off a student, according to Sgt. Danny Whitehead.

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SC man sentenced for bodies in barrels

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 8:12am

ANDERSON, S.C. — A second man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for helping dispose of bodies found in Lake Hartwell.

Local media outlets report that Shaine David Fischer was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to two counts of accessory after the fact to murder.

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Mystery illness hits 74 Emory students

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 8:01am

ATLANTA — Emory University officials say dozens of students have been stricken by gastrointestinal illnesses in recent days.

School officials said that as of Thursday night, 74 students had been treated on campus and at the Emory University Hospital emergency department.

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Savannah River Ecology Lab scientists track gray wolves at Chernobyl site

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 9:34pm


In a strange wilderness once inhabited by people, research scientists from the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory are tracking gray wolves that have taken over land contaminated by the world’s most catastrophic nuclear disaster.

The 30-kilometer zone surrounding the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine is the only area in the world to analyze the effects of radiation exposure on free-ranging wildlife, said SREL ecologist Jim Beasley. Very little is known about radiation’s long-term effects on animals, he said.

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Doctors, Trinity named Top Performers by hospital accrediting body The Joint Commission

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 8:55pm

It is deja vu for Trinity Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Augusta.

For the third year in a row, Trinity was a named Top Performer by the hospital accrediting body The Joint Commission, while Doctors’ earned the honor for the fourth consecutive year, something only 147 hospitals have done.

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Authorities receive autopsy results in Monday double homicide

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 4:06pm

The Richmond County Coroner’s Office released the autopsy results of two men who were shot dead in a drug deal that went bad Monday night, police said.

According to a statement from the office, 21-year-old Ian Roberts, of Hephzibah, died of a gunshot wound to the head. He was found after Richmond County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at Ethan Way and Matthew Court in Walton Farms subdivision about 8:15 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Scott Dean's habeas corpus petition denied

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:33pm


When Renee Dean’s phone rang early Thursday, she knew something was wrong.

It was her husband, former Columbia County Com­mis­sioner Scott Dean, telling her that his writ of habeas corpus was denied by a south Geor­gia judge.

“He was devastated,” Renee Dean said, adding that his whole family is, too.

The writ, filed on his behalf, alleges that he’s an innocent man being held in prison illegally and places the burden of proof on the state to justify his detention.

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Augusta man pleads guilty in shovel assault

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 2:47pm

A 52-year-old Augusta man who hit his sister in the head with a shovel pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault.

Billy Ray Hendrix also pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a charge of third-degree cruelty to children for assaulting his sister in front of a child. Judge J. Wade Padgett accepted the plea negotiation and sentenced Hendrix, who is serving out a year’s imprisonment for an unrelated domestic violence battery case, to 10 years on probation.

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SC appeals gay marriage ruling

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 12:00pm

COLUMBIA — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is formally appealing a judge’s ruling that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Wilson on Thursday filed a notice he would be appealing to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. He has called the ruling no surprise and that he is obligated to defend state laws.

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SC lawmakers wary of changing hospital rules

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 7:05am

COLUMBIA — The state health agency is proposing ways to reduce the need for a state permit when a medical facility purchases equipment or upgrades its buildings.

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Georgia university officials move ahead with private dorm plan

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 10:44pm

ATLANTA — Georgia university officials are moving ahead with a plan that could make the state the country’s largest user of privatized college dorms.

The Board of Regents, which governs the University System of Georgia, awarded the first phase of a long-term plan to shift management of campus dorms to private companies on Wednesday in Atlanta.

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Man shot in Providence Place apartment complex

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:58pm

Richmond County Sheriff deputies are searching for a suspect after a 25-year-old man was shot Wednesday evening on Southgate Drive.

Approximately 7:37 p.m., deputies responded to Providence Place apartment complex where a black male was found with a gunshot wound to the left thigh, according to Lt. Lewis Blanchard.

According to witnesses, the victim walked down the apartment stairs and was approached by a black male, described as tall, skinny, wearing all black and a ski mask.

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Augusta Commission to discuss budget options

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:50pm

Interim City Administrator Tameka Allen’s three proposals for balancing the 2015 budget, including two that hinge on implementing a new stormwater utility fee, will be on the table at a Thursday work session, but for some commissioners, none make the grade.

Allen, whose last official day as interim administrator is Friday, developed the three alternatives in response to commissioners’ questions about her recommendations to charge residents a stormwater fee and to cut city payments to outside agencies.

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Augusta VA nurses participate in National Day of Action for Ebola Safety

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 9:34pm

Registered nurses at Au­gusta’s Charlie Norwood Vet­er­ans Affairs Medical Center joined a nationwide movement Wednesday demanding tougher safety precautions for U.S. health care workers dealing with patients possibly stricken with the deadly Ebola virus.

Protesting in front of the Augusta VA’s downtown hospital, nurse Irma Westmoreland said dozens of hospitals still lack enough hazardous materials suits that cover the body head to toe and include electronic, air-purifying respirators to properly protect nurses from Ebola.

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Augusta officials watching Langley Dam release, 'darker' water to flow into Savannah River

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:37pm

The Augusta-Richmond County Emergency Management Agency will be “closely monitoring” the draining of Langley Pond following a Wednesday announcement by Aiken County officials that Langley Dam was leaking bad enough to initiate an “immediate release” of water from the dam.

In an evening news release, Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin stated the draining operation will affect the Savannah River.

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Hephzibah mobile home catches fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:24pm

Augusta fire crews extinguished a mobile-home blaze Wednesday afternoon in Hephzibah.

Approximately 4:26 p.m., officials were called to 5057 Deer Trail Drive where a structure had caught fire, according to Richmond County dispatch.

A 76-year-old man sustained burns to the arm and face while trying to extinguish the fire, according to Augusta Fire Department spokeswoman Dee Griffin. The victim was transported to the burn center at Doctor’s Hospital. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.



Cannabis oil clinical trial at Georgia Regents University might not be only option

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:08pm

Running a clinical trial of cannabis-derived oil for 50 children with uncontrollable seizures could cost the state of Georgia $7-8 million, an official with Georgia Regents University told a legislative study committee meeting in Augusta on Wednesday.

But outside of that limited number, entities in the state might be authorized to grow and produce the oil for the thousands of others who might benefit from it, the chief proponent for the legislation said.

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