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SC plans earthquake drill today

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:08am

COLUMBIA— The S.C. Emergency Management Division wants residents to prepare for a potential earthquake by taking part in a “Southeast Shakeout” drill.

Emergency officials say Thursday’s drill begins with a signal broadcast at 10:16 a.m. on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s tone-alert radio and television broadcasts.

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Record profit for Georgia Lottery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:05am

ATLANTA — The Georgia Lottery Corp. says it earned record revenue for state education initiatives in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.

Officials say the lottery earned more than $227 million dollars for state education initiatives, surpassing last year’s total by more than $3.2 million.

Lottery officials say the first quarter of the agency’s fiscal year spanned July 1 to Sept. 30.

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Miss. to dedicate new burn center

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:02am

JACKSON, Miss. — Central Mississippi Medical Center will dedicate its JMS Burn & Reconstruction program Thursday.

It is affiliated with Joseph M. Still Burn Centers Inc. in Augusta.

Gov. Phil Bryant is scheduled to speak at the 10 a.m. at the hospital.

The burn program treats children and adults. It will now offer a 13-bed burn intensive care unit, 12 clinic rooms and a 20-bed step down unit with a treatment room.

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5 tornadoes touch down Tuesday in Atlanta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:59am


ATLANTA — Authorities say five tornadoes touched down in metro Atlanta as a powerful thunderstorm passed over areas near the airport to the northern suburbs.


The National Weather Service said the strongest of the tornadoes that struck Tuesday was a twister that traveled 7.5 miles through the northern suburbs of Alpharetta and Milton. Crews that surveyed damage estimated that tornado’s maximum wind speed at 105 mph.


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Georgia jobless rate improves

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:57am



ATLANTA — State labor officials say Georgia’s jobless rate has dropped to 7.9 percent.


That’s down from 8.1 percent in August.


The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September early Thursday morning.


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the state is continuing to see strong overall job growth. He said in a statement that Georgia has added 80,000 jobs since September 2013.

Circle of intimacy surrounds Josey student's memorial service

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:48pm


As night fell, many in the audience lit candles. A bonfire burned in Recardell Sheppard’s memory and the school’s band played three songs.

Many of the speakers at Recardell’s Wednesday night memorial service called for T.W. Josey High School to come together for support, but it was clear that was already on their minds.

When the memorial service began outside the school’s gym, the crowd of around 300 pressed tightly around a picture of 17-year-old Recardell.

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Frog Hollow, Harrisburg residents reunite

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:43pm

Everywhere Carolyn Baughman goes she carries memories of Augusta’s Frog Hollow neighborhood with her.

She can remember a time when she would walk with friends to the farmers market to shell beans. She also remembers diving into the Allen Park pool during the hottest days of summer.

It was a time when Frog Hollow residents could leave their front doors unlocked at night and still sleep soundly. After all, neighbors at that time were more like family, Baughman said.

“We was poor but we had a lot of love,” she said with a chuckle.

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South Dakota couple banned from Augusta National grounds

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 9:08pm

Augusta National Golf Club banned a South Dakota couple from club grounds Monday after the duo trespassed and was involved in an altercation at Gate 3.

Approximately 4:32 p.m., Debra Jean Haehn, 60, drove her 2014 Chevrolet Equinox onto Augusta National property with husband, Dennis Raymond Haehn, 69, in the passenger seat, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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New building means new ways to learn at GRU

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:21pm

Medical College of Georgia Dean Peter Buckley looked out through a glass wall of the J. Harold Harrison MD Education Commons Building and saw the steeple of Paine College’s chapel rising up above buildings on the fringe of Georgia Regents University campus and pronounced himself impressed.

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Fired Paine VP sues school

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:36pm

Fired Paine College administrator Brandon Brown filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school and former acting President Samuel Sullivan on Monday seeking $430,000 in lost wages and other damages.

Sullivan was removed from his position earlier this week, according to a source with the college. He wouldn’t comment when reached by phone Wednesday.

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Chief counsel for law center to speak at Augusta Care Pregnancy Center banquet

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:49pm


Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, will speak Thursday at the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center’s 29th annual Fall Banquet.

During his address, he will discuss problems with ISIS, and issues relating to national security and defending America’s religious freedom. According to its Facebook page, ACLJ provides legal advice and services to individuals and governmental agencies and counsels clients on global freedom and liberty issues.

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Columbia County candidates square off at Thursday forum

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:46pm

Candidates for local offices in Columbia County will square off Thursday in a public forum at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center.

The forum, sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia County News-Times will give candidates for tax commissioner and county commission a chance to address questions related to growth, business development, taxes and other issues.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m. Nine candidates running for three offices have been invited to speak.

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Road construction will increase as more transportation tax projects begin

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:43pm


Augusta’s lengthy list of roads under construction will get longer when bids are received and reviewed in the next two months for an additional eight projects funded by the 1 percent transportation tax.

Augusta Traffic Engineer Steve Cassell said roadwork across the city will increase in the final months of the year and throughout next year. Following a timeline for the voter-approved Transportation Investment Act, leaders are pushing to award bids and start construction on projects in Richmond County that are scheduled to begin before the end of 2015.

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Newspaper to sponsor patriotic ROAR rally

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:36pm


Returning to public life and taking responsibility are among the ideas being pushed at an upcoming rally hosted by The Augusta Chronicle and ROAR: Renaissance of American Responsibility, Morris Communications’ new civics initiative.

But it’s not a political event, said ROAR co-founder and Chronicle editorial page editor Michael Ryan.

“It’s not about politics at all. It’s about civics,” he said. “Our desire is to get people excited about civics and self-governance.”

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Autopsy results on Josey senior might take months

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:30pm

An autopsy was completed Wednesday on T.W. Josey High School senior Recardell Sheppard, but results might not be released for months, the Richmond County Coroner’s office said.

Sheppard, 17, died Monday after collapsing during a pickup basketball game in the school gymnasium.

The autopsy findings are pending toxicology and tissue tests, which could take up to 26 weeks for the GBI to finalize.

Richmond County Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose said the delay is not uncommon.

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Truck hits Martinez store

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 2:08pm

A man was not seriously injured Wednesday morning when he hit a Martinez gas station with his truck.

Authorities said they suspect Matthew Redfern, 26, of Augusta, had a seizure or other medical condition while driving at about 9:45 a.m. on Washington Road, just west of Columbia Road, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Deputy Leonard Newman.

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Police seeking suspect in April armed robbery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 2:05pm

Police are seeking a suspect in an April armed robbery at Augusta Metro Clinic.

David Alan Dempsey, 27, is wanted in connection to the incident, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Police made one arrest in the case in June. Francis Eugene Alan Murray, 30, remains in jail on charges of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

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Prison nurse faces contraband charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:24pm

An Augusta State Medical Prison nurse is facing charges after authorities say they caught her bringing items to inmates.

Tara Danielle Belangia, 39, was booked into the Richmond County jail Tuesday on a charge of trading with convicts without permission.

Police said Belangia provided an inmate at the medical prison, 3001 Gordon Highway, with tobacco and rolling papers that she brought into the facility in a Ziploc bag hid in her pockets.

North Augusta man charged in cop fight

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:18pm

A North Augusta man is facing charges after fighting with deputies and damaging a police cruiser during his arrest early Tuesday.

A deputy working special duty at The Playground, 978 Broad St., first encountered Stanforin Carl Felder, 25, around 1:50 a.m. when a patron complained Felder was intoxicated and had spilled his drink on her.

The deputy observed Felder stumble around for awhile before attempting to walk past door security to re-enter the business, according to an incident report.

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Glascock deputy under investigation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:07pm

A Glascock County, Ga., sheriff’s deputy is on administrative leave after accusations of possible criminal wrongdoing.

According to a news release from Glascock County Sheriff Dean Couch, Deputy Tony Arrington is accused of violation of departmental polices and possible criminal activity.

The sheriff has requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter.

The sheriff said he was unable to release further details about the case because it is under investigation.

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