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Jimmy Carter to discuss cancer

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 3:35pm


ATLANTA — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter plans to discuss his recent cancer diagnosis, making his first comments since revealing he has the disease last week.


The Carter Center on Tuesday said Carter will hold a press conference Thursday morning at its offices in Atlanta. The event will be closed to the general public, the statement said.


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Columbia County blasting from site

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 2:25pm

Columbia County residents hearing a boom Tuesday afternoon in the 4600 block of Columbia Road just past Belair Road are advised the sound came from construction blasting for the site of the Shoal Creek development.

According to a statement from Pam Tucker, director of county emergency services, the blasting was to take place 1,000 feet from any residential structures.

Teen charged in armed robbery of Augusta hair salon

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 2:04pm


A 17-year-old has been arrested in Monday’s armed robbery of a Tobacco Road hair salon.

Police responded to Dominion Barber and Beauty Salon, 2862 Tobacco Road, at 3:10 p.m. to investigate an armed robbery. An employee told police a man with a handgun demanded cash. After receiving $40, the man ran from the salon.

Police said a witness helped them identify the suspect as a salon customer, Steven Michael Valentin, of Pepperdine Drive.

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SLED investigating alleged hazing incident involving football players

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 1:37pm

The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division is investigating claims made by two former Allendale-Fairfax High School football players that they were beaten during a “brutal hazing incident” at football camp.

Shakur Chisolm and Dimitrius Drayton Jr. claim they were among a group of new and transfer students who were beaten during the camp, held in Orangeburg County the week of Aug. 3.

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Grovetown man charged with kicking baby

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 1:34pm

A Grovetown man remained in jail Tuesday after his wife said he kicked their baby during the weekend.

Alvaro Sales-Alvarado, 25, of Phinizy Street, was charged with cruelty to children by causing excessive physical or mental pain and three counts of third-degree cruelty to children. He’s being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on a total bond of $29,300, according to jail records.

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Bond for teen in school threat case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 1:32pm


A Columbia County judge granted bond Tuesday to an Aiken teen charged with taking a weapon onto Lakeside High School grounds.

William Jeremiah Hawkins, 18, of Palm Drive, was charged with criminal trespass, disruption or interference with operation of public schools, pointing or aiming a gun at another, and carrying a weapon within a school safety zone. He was arrested Aug. 7 in Aiken County on Columbia County warrants and held until being transferred Friday to the Columbia County Detention Center.

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Man shoots suspect during Aiken home invasion

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 12:49pm


Police said an Aiken County man defended his family and shot one of several adults who broke into his home early Tuesday morning.

According to an Aiken County sheriff’s incident report, three men and a woman forced their way into the home in the 500 block of Cedar Road in Windsor about 12:30 a.m.

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Suspect arrested in attempt to rob Augusta McDonald's

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:56am

One man is facing charges after he tried to rob the Deans Bridge Road McDonald’s with a BB gun Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Police said the suspect, identified as William Ellison McClain, 22, entered the restaurant at 3357 Deans Bridge Road about 12:45 p.m., pointed a gun at an employee and demanded cash. He ran from the area after the employee fled to the back of the business.

Deputies discovered McClain running from the area. He was taken into custody on Spring Grove Road. Police also found the BB gun, which resembled a Colt 1911 pistol, according to a news release.

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PSC OKs Vogtle spending

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:06am



ATLANTA — Regulators have given preliminary approval of $169 million in spending by Georgia Power on its new nuclear power plant.


The Public Service Commission voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve the utility company’s spending on its construction costs at Plant Vogtle for the six-month period ending Dec. 31.


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Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina plan Aiken visits

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:00am

More GOP political candidates are planning visits to Aiken.

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson will be the guest speaker at the Aiken Republican Club’s September Luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Newberry Hall in downtown Aiken.

On Friday, Oct. 2, candidate Carly Fiorina will speak at a noon luncheon held by Sen. Tim Scott at USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center.

Ga. health care enrollment surpasses 55,000

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 10:49am



ATLANTA -- More than 55,000 Georgians signed up for health insurance exchange coverage during a “special” four-month period through the end of June.

This period came after regular open enrollment ended in February.

The signups during the special period included people who lost job-based coverage, got married or had a baby since late February.

Overall, more than 940,000 Americans took advantage of these changes in circumstances to obtain coverage in 37 states that use the federal exchange, part of the Affordable Care Act.

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Charleston schools ban Confederate flag

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 7:49am




CHARLESTON, S.C. — Public schools in the South Carolina city where nine black church members were shot and killed earlier this year have banned students from displaying emblems with the Confederate flag.


The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the Charleston County School District code of conduct for the school year that began this week prohibits students from wearing clothing, jewelry or other apparel bearing the image of the Confederate flag.


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Library director is fired

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 9:57pm

The Augusta-Richmond County Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday night to terminate the employment of library director Darlene Price, according to board President Gwen Rountree.

“Board members felt it was time to go in a different direction,” said Roun­tree, who would not say why Price was fired. “The board is extremely serious about the direction of the library and we want to provide what’s best for the citizens of Richmond County.”

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Nongovernment groups continue push for Augusta SPLOST funds

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 9:07pm

Devoting 4.75 percent of a new sales tax package to nongovernment groups shouldn’t keep Augusta from creating a winning package, a commissioner pushing to include them said Monday.

“We’re talking about less than five percent of the total allocation” of special purpose, local option sales tax funds, Augusta Com­mission member Bill Fennoy said. “Voters will sacrifice a nickel for the (nongovernment organizations) to spend 95 cents.”

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Trial begins for man accused of setting woman on fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 5:36pm

The trial began Monday for an Augusta man accused of setting a woman on fire and sexually assaulting her.

Ronnie Jones, 31, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of aggravated battery and rape.

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Gas prices continue dropping

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 5:35pm

Motorists are getting relief at the pump as gasoline prices continue to drop.

Some stations in the Augusta area are already selling gas for less than $2 a gallon. The average for the area on Monday was $2.14. That’s about 25 cents cheaper than last month and slightly more than a dollar less than last year.

Last week, oil reached its lowest closing price since the Great Recession.

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Man pleads guilty in child molestation

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 5:23pm

An Augusta man accused of sexually abusing a child when she was 11 years old pleaded guilty Monday in Richmond County Superior Court.

Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. said he would accept the plea negotiation of 14 years in prison followed by 26 years on probation for Richard A. Jones only to spare the victim from testifying at trial. She said Monday she just wants to ensure it never happens to another child.

Jones, 49, pleaded guilty to aggravated child molestation and child molestation for sexual contact with the child on Jan. 2, 2012.

Dog's alert on vendor truck puts SRS in 3-hour lockdown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 4:14pm


Savannah River Site was put on a three-hour lockdown Monday afternoon after a bomb-sniffing dog and an electronic scan of a vendor delivery truck prompted security personnel to examine the vehicle for explosive residue, officials at the nuclear reservation said.

The lockdown, which started at 2:38 p.m. and forced the closing of SRS’ barricades to incoming traffic, originated in H-Area near the center of the reservation and resulted in the facility calling law-enforcement agencies from South Carolina and Georgia to assist Centerra, the site security contractor.

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SC ranked 6th in earthquake exposure

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:29pm

COLUMBIA -- The latest data indicates an unsettling reality: South Carolina has the sixth-largest number of people exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes.

The estimates come from updated U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps, which predicts where future earthquakes will occur and how often and how strong they will be.

California has the largest population at risk, followed by Washington, Utah, Tennessee, Oregon, and South Carolina. That’s according to findings the U.S. Geological Survey released last week.

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Aiken County schools begin

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:20pm


Pupils and students in Aiken County returned to classrooms Monday for the new 2015-16 school year.


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