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Still no arrest in fatal hit-and-run

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 5:31pm

The identities of the three drivers who hit two teenage boys on Gordon Highway, killing one of them, remains a mystery.

“We know someone out there – at least three people – have information because three cars were involved,” said Sgt. Danny Whitehead of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Devontae Sims and Zykeith Harris, both 14, were crossing Gordon Highway about midnight April 12 when they were hit by vehicles that didn’t stop.

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Insurance navigators still working as 300,000 questioned

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 4:56pm

Terri Gant’s role as an insurance navigator helping people through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace never really ended.

Months after open enrollment ended and months before the next one begins, she is still enrolling people and answering questions. For 20,000 people in Georgia and hundreds of thousands of others nationwide, that might be a good thing because they could lose the coverage they gained.

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Deputy suffers concussion in scuffle

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 3:29pm


Richmond County sheriff’s deputies spent more than an hour Friday searching for a suspect after a deputy was struck in the head and suffered a minor concussion.

Deputy Jason Cunningham was conducting a check at the Knights Inn, 210 Boy Scout Road, about 12:18 p.m. on a report of suspicious activity.

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Florida man arrested in fatal shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 3:04pm


Florida authorities captured a Jacksonville man early Friday suspected in a shooting Thursday night that killed a Martinez man and injured his wife.

Daniel Nelson Robinson, 21, was arrested several hours after he shot William “Bill” Roundtree Davitte, 55, and injured his wife in the parking lot of Marvin United Methodist Church, police said.

“We don’t know who he was here visiting, what his business was here,” Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.

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Bus burns in Augusta Exchange

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 1:00pm

A charter bus was burnt beyond repair after shrubbery in a Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway parking lot caught fire Friday.

Firefighters were called to the area about 11 a.m. where they found a Horizon Motor Coach bus on fire and heavy black smoke, according to Dee Griffin, the public information officer for the Augusta Fire Department.

Firefighters said it appears that heat from the exhaust ignited shrubbery in the parking lot where the bus was parked. The flames from the shrubbery ended up igniting the bus.

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Appointment waits shrinking at Augusta VA

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:51pm

The Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center is making gradual strides toward achieving its goal of getting patients off waiting lists and into clinics for appointments.

The latest data released from the Department of Veterans Affairs this week showed that the Augusta hospital has scheduled all of the 133 patients who have gone a decade without requested appointments and that the number of veterans who waited at least 90 days for an appointment has decreased from 63 to 28 in one month.

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Martinez shooting suspect has criminal history

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 11:39am

A Jacksonville man suspected in Thursday night’s fatal shooting at a Martinez church has a criminal history in his Florida hometown.

Daniel Nelson Robinson, 21, was captured by state troopers in Florida, several hours after police said he shot William R. Davitte, 55, of Martinez, and injured Davitte’s wife at Marvin United Methodist Church.

He is believed to have fled Columbia County in the couple’s 2010 Nissan Murano.

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Paine selects Kohn as athletic director

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:15am


Selina Kohn began Friday by chauffeuring her three boys to school. A few hours later, she was announced as the first female athletic director at Paine College during a morning press conference.

While Kohn ascends to the No. 1 position in the school's athletic department, her boys - all 8 and under - still see her as the same person.

"To them, I'm still 'Mommy'," she said, "and dinner needs to be served soon."

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Man killed, wife injured outside Martinez church

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:16pm


Editor's note: Earlier information provided by law enforcement has been updated.

A suspect has been captured in Florida after a man was fatally shot and his wife injured last night outside a Martinez church.

Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Daniel Nelson Robinson, 21, of Jacksonville, was taken into custody in his hometown this morning.

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GRU neuroscientist uses grant in study of zebrafish in attempt at human brain mapping

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 10:35pm

Studying the brains of tiny translucent fish could help provide clues to what is happening inside your head.

Georgia Regents University neuroscientist Albert Pan recently was awarded a $1.9 million grant to develop a way of mapping the brains of tiny zebrafish, whose skin is clear enough to aid in observing organ development. In fact, Pan will be using an albino form of zebrafish dubbed Casper (like the cartoon ghost) because the skin is even more transparent. That will be important as Pan studies the live fish through a sophisticated microscope.

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Poll: Deal and Carter tied, Perdue on top

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:28pm


ATLANTA — The governor’s race is essentially tied, and the Senate contest has Republican David Perdue ahead, according to a survey released Thursday.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has a small lead over Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, but the difference between Deal and Carter falls within the survey’s 4 percent margin of error. Deal has 43 percent and Carter 39 percent. Libertarian Andrew Hunt trails with 7 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

The telephone poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday among 719 likely voters by InsiderAdvantage and Opinion Savvy.

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Augusta mills campus proposal dropped

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 9:02pm

The Augusta Regional Collabo­ra­tion Project is officially backing down from a proposal to incorporate two shuttered textile mills into the campus of Georgia Re­gents Univer­sity.

The project, founded by Mayor Deke Copenhaver, spent more than $300,000 in city funds to develop the proposal. It blames its change of direction on voters’ defeat of a sales tax package in May.

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Defense asks evidence be suppressed in triple-homicide case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 8:55pm


Richmond County Cpl. Mitchell Freeman was on his way to work May 21, 2013, when a long-time friend called him in a panic.

Steven Jones, of Macon, hadn’t been able to reach his parents, Roosevelt and Edna Jones, or brother, Russell Jones, in about a day.

After a disturbing exchange with his other brother, Ryan, Steven Jones had a gut feeling something was wrong.

When Freeman arrived at the home on Pinnacle Place Drive for a welfare check, he saw three cars parked in the yard but got no answer at the door.

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Man robbed outside skate park

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 8:40pm

Richmond County deputies are searching for a male suspect accused of “robbing a man by force” Wednesday outside a local business.

Approximately 10:29 p.m., deputies arrived at Vice Versa Skate Park on the 1800 block of Killingsworth Road, where a 20-year-old victim said he was robbed after a physical altercation with an unidentified suspect, according to a RCSO incident report.

According to the victim, during the fight, the suspect stole his cell phone and fled on a white bicycle towards Gordon Highway.

The suspect was last seen turning southbound onto Wilco Avenue.

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False police reports rare in Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 8:25pm

Police expect some embellishment when investigating a crime, but records show that false reports of a missing mountain lion in Aiken and a child abduction in Augusta this week are rare – and rather bizarre – occurrences.

So far this year, 14 crimes have been falsely reported in Richmond and Columbia counties, and as a result, 10 people have been arrested, mostly for bogus claims of sexual assault, robbery, gun violence, and stolen or damaged property, according to records provided by those counties’ sheriff’s offices.

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SC announces drunken driving crackdown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 3:43pm


South Carolina police agencies plan to crack down on drunken driving through the Labor Day weekend and hope social media will spread the word with younger drivers.

“With the kickoff of Sober or Slammer, I cannot stress the importance of not drinking and driving,” Capt. Keith Grice, the Troop 7 commander of the South Carolina High­way Patrol, said at a news conference Thursday in Aiken.

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Isakson to visit Augusta on Tuesday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 3:30pm


U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will be in Augusta on Tuesday for a number of veteran-focused meetings and a defense update.

Isakson will begin his visit with a tour of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, where he will meet with facility staffers, according to a news release.

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Small plane crashes near Charleston

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:30pm

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — A small plane with two people aboard has crashed in Mount Pleasant.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen in Atlanta says the single-engine Cessna 150 crashed shortly before noon Thursday while it taking off from Mount Pleasant Regional Airport.

The plane crashed in a swampy area about 100 feet from the end of the runway.

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Greater Augusta Arts Council to host art events and workshops with newly acquired grant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:24pm


The Greater Augusta Arts Council plans to use a recent grant to provide art events and workshops.

The council was one of this year’s recipients of a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts. The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art and Symphony Orchestra Augusta were other local recipients.

The arts council will begin its series of grant-funded art events and workshops called “Aspirations: Building a Better Community” this fall, according to a news release.

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North Augusta man facing drug charge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 1:18pm

A North Augusta man is facing drug and obstruction charges after he tried to flee from custody Wednesday, police said.

Officers pulled over a Mitsubishi Galant on Walton Way about noon for defective brake lights and an improperly displayed tag. During the stop, a Toyota Camry, which had been following the Galant, pulled over to wait.

While talking with the Camry’s occupants, who were not facing any traffic violations, the officer detected a smell of marijuana, an incident report states.

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