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Fort Gordon Army chaplain's wife wins 2015 Spouse of the Year award

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 8:06pm


On the first date with her future husband, Corie Weathers dreamed about helping spouses build and sustain strong marriages. Her beau needed no convincing.

“Both of us had the same dream and that’s what made us click. We both had this dream of empowering marriages,” Weathers said.

Through deployments and new cities, the couple found fertile ground and rich opportunities for fulfilling their dream. With her husband, Army Chaplain Matthew Weathers, military life became an invitation for counseling spouses who face difficult situations.

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Columbia County schools have 329 spots available for permissive transfer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:35pm


Columbia County parents or guardians interested in requesting a permissive transfer next year for their children have until March 6 to apply for one of 329 spots available at five public schools.

According to a Columbia County Board of Education report, Harlem High School has the most spaces at 257, followed by 30 at Riverside Elementary, 22 at Stallings Island Middle, 14 at Blue Ridge Elementary and six at River Ridge Elementary schools.

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Survey seeks input from mall shoppers about performance of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:23pm


Richmond County cops asked Augusta Mall shoppers to put their feelings toward police on paper Friday in a survey of their performance.

“We haven’t had any bad ones,” Lt. Allan Rollins said near the end of the day about the surveys.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao to finally square off May 2

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 6:31pm


LAS VEGAS — The Fight is finally on.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. will meet Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a welterweight showdown that will be boxing’s richest fight ever. Mayweather himself announced the bout Friday after months of negotiations, posting a picture of the signed contract online.

The long anticipated bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will almost surely break every financial record ever, and make both boxers richer than ever. Mayweather could earn $120 million or more, while Pacquiao’s split of the purse will likely be around $80 million.

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Kurt Busch suspended indefinitely by NASCAR

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:54pm


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Kurt Busch was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR on Friday after a judge in Delaware determined that “more likely than not” Busch “committed an act of abuse” against his former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll.

Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet now will be driven by Regan Smith in Sunday’s Daytona 500.

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Lawmakers push Augusta Canal funding

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:23pm

 ATLANTA -- The members of the Augusta legislative delegation introduced a resolution Thursday to urge Congress to extend federal funding for the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area.

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C-SPAN to produce feature on Augusta history

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 5:00pm

C-SPAN will be in Augusta on Wednesday to record and feature the city’s history and literary life.

At 1 p.m., officials with the television station will be joined by Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Historic Augusta, Inc. Executive Director Erick Montgomery at the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson.

At Wednesday’s event, C-SPAN representatives will reveal the stories and segments that will be explored by the national network during their stay. During their time in Augusta, C-SPAN representatives will also conduct community and education outreach.

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Gov. Deal appoints Augustan to board

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 4:36pm

 ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed MAU President Randall W. Hatcher, of Augusta, to the state Board of Economic Development.

The governor’s office said in a statement that Hatcher not only had expertise in the workforce industry, but also experience on multiple boards of directors, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and the World Presidents’ Organization Christian Fellowship Network. His appointment was one of 22 made this month.

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Bond granted in Augusta beating death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 4:23pm


An Augusta man charged with murder in the beating death of his girlfriend was granted a $50,000 bond Friday.

Senior Judge William M. Fleming Jr. set the bond in Rich­mond County Superior Court for David M. Kyler, 57.

Kyler was initially charged with aggravated assault after Richmond Coun­ty sheriff’s deputies found 58-year-old Matilda L. Jenkins unconscious in his Maxwell House apartment Feb. 7 while conducting a welfare check.

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Ga. boat titles may come with new option

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:58pm



ATLANTA -- Boat owners could have an easier time getting financing, selling and straightening out their taxes, according to the sponsor of legislation to allow them the option of a title like those for cars and homes.

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Downtown railroad work continues

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:43pm


Improvements to a downtown railroad track is expected to continue to close parts of roads through March 6.

The upgrades to a track that runs along Sixth Street were initially expected to be completed by Feb. 26, but a DOT spokesman said the upgrades are being delayed.

After finishing the area of track between Reynolds and Broad streets, crews will move to closures from Telfair to Ellis streets. The Telfair to Ellis streets construction is scheduled to begin Feb. 26 and reopen March 6.


Cigarette scorches Walton Way lawn

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:33pm


Police said a cigarette tossed from a car window resulted in a fire in front of a Walton Way home.

Police were called to 3200 Walton Way at noon after the front yard had caught fire and was spreading toward the home.

Fire officials said the lawn is scorched in multiple spots from similar incidents.

The fire department is asking motorists to avoid throwing cigarettes out of windows. The current dry conditions are making grass and brush fires even more common, officials said.


Local developer purchases old Woolworth building

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 2:26pm


The old Woolworth building at the corner of Eighth and Broad streets is off the real estate market.

Local developer and hotelier T.R. Reddy has purchased the 46,000-square-foot boarded-up building for $650,000 with future plans of renovating it into apartments and commercial space, which could possibly include a market or chain retailer.

Reddy said he expects to nail down more definite plans for the property within the next couple of months.

“We’ll talk to the architects and then see what’s best to do,” he said.

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Ga., House seeks to protect student IDs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 1:13pm

ATLANTA -- The House voted unanimously Friday to safeguard student identities from files that could be made public from the agency that administers the HOPE Scholarship.

House Bill 320, additionally allows the state to claim lottery winnings or income-tax refunds from students who refuse to pay outstanding debts without having to go to court. The agency can also request withdrawal of a professional license from a deadbeat owing for a loan, scholarship or grant issued by the state.

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Mayor seeks more powers

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:57pm

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis wants to increase the authority of the mayor’s office to include a veto of commission actions, hiring and firing of city department heads, budgeting and other functions currently overseen by the 10-member commission.

Flanked by a couple dozen area pastors, church members and supporters at a noon news conference Friday, Davis couched the plan as a “call to action” for citizens to initiate amending the city’s consolidation act, to “put a system of checks and balances in place” currently lacking in the consolidated government.

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Augusta sets cold record

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:48pm

Augusta broke temperature records for two straight days, but meteorologists predict warmer weather for the weekend.

The temperature fell to 13 degrees Friday morning, breaking the existing lowest low of 19 degrees set in 1958, according to the National Weather Service.

On Thursday, the low high of 34 degrees was the coldest for the area in more than 100 years. The record had been 40 degrees set in 1985.

Augusta has experienced a surge of unusually cold weather since temperatures began dropping Wednesday night as a strong cold front pushed through the area.

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Ga. hospital partnerships, purchases rise

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:19pm

ATLANTA -- The hospital partnership dance continues in Georgia. Given the pressures of the health care economy, nobody apparently wants to be a wallflower.

Last week, St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens said it is talking with financially ailing Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center about a possible acquisition of the Lavonia hospital.

That announcement reverberated in northeast Georgia, but it was overshadowed by news of a much bigger potential merger in metro Atlanta, between mega-systems WellStar and Emory Healthcare.

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Aiken County tractor-trailer wreck stalls traffic

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 9:58am

Part of Desoto Drive at Williston Road remains closed after an early morning tractor trailer crash.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said the tractor trailer driver was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center with non life threatening injuries. No other vehicles were involved.

DeKalb official pleads to bribery

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 7:05am


ATLANTA — Federal prosecutors say a former member of DeKalb County’s zoning board has pleaded guilty to bribery.


Authorities said in a statement that 42-year-old Jeremy Clark of Lithonia pleaded guilty to accepting $3,500 in exchange for voting to allow a business in Tucker to operate as a late-night dance club without obtaining proper county permits.


Authorities say the business owner paid Clark $2,000 in cash and donated about $1,500 to a nonprofit Clark was involved in.


Clark’s sentencing is set for April 20.

GA BCBS president talks breach, physician contracts, ACA

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 02/19/2015 - 10:47pm


It has been a tumultuous year for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, from an improving performance in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace to a massive security breach, an ongoing dispute over a proposed contract amendment and rate changes that angered physicians last year.

But BCBS Georgia President Morgan Kendrick addressed these issues head-on Thursday.

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