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Fox Creek's Wesley Brown resigns to take over Spartanburg program

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 6:14pm

After five successful seasons with the Fox Creek Predators, Wesley Brown resigned Tuesday to take over the varsity baseball program at Spartanburg High School in the Upstate, where he will also serve as assistant strength coach.

A pair of area assistant baseball coaches – Darius Washington at Midland Valley and North Augusta’s Sam Line, who is a Spartanburg native – are expected to join Brown with the Vikings.

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Fort Gordon soldiers deploying to aid fight against terrorist group

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:26pm


Fort Gordon soldiers will deploy at the end of May to assist U.S. operations against terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

About 20 troops from the 35th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade are scheduled for a nine-month deployment to provide network and communications support for Operation Inherent Resolve, according to a news release.

The soldiers will support combined joint task force efforts to train, advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces and restore security and stability to the Iraqi government, according to the release.

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City employees involved in cemetery shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:12pm


Two city employees were involved in a shooting at Cedar Grove Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, Augusta Administrator Janice Allen Jackson told city commissioners during a committee meeting.

Around 1:15 p.m., deputies found Theron Wilson, 43, suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen at the cemetery. Wilson, a supervisor with Trees and Park for the City of Augusta, was conscious and alert, according to Richmond County Sheriff’s Lt. Allan Rollins. Wilson, who has been with the city since 2007, was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center.

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Man takes shot at burglar

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 1:10pm


An Augusta man told police he shot at a person he found burglarizing his home while he slept Sunday morning.

The man, 69, told police he woke about 2 a.m. to hear noises coming from the kitchen of his home on Circular Drive. Armed with a .357 revolver, he went to investigate and discovered the silhouette of a man in the kitchen. According to a Richmond County sheriff’s incident report, he fired a shot, prompting the burglar to run out the back door.

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Police investigating threatening note left at fire station

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:59pm


Police are investigating a note left Monday at a fire station warning firefighters to “watch their backs.”

Firefighters at Station 9, 3507 Walton Way Extension, discovered the note stuck between the door and door frame around 2:30 p.m. According to a Richmond County sheriff’s incident report, the note said, “You fools killed my mom watch your backs black lives matter.”

Fire department spokeswoman Dee Griffin said the department is working closely with the sheriff’s office, but at this point they have not determined a suspect.

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Ga. man charged with breaking car window to free dog

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 7:03am

ATHENS, Ga. — An Athens man who saved a dog from a hot car has been arrested for smashing a window to free the animal.

Multiple news outlets report Michael Hammons was charged with criminal trespassing after freeing a small Pomeranian mix in distress from a hot car outside an Athens store. Witnesses say while a group of shoppers waited for police to arrive to free the dog, the Desert Storm veteran took action and smashed the window.

Deputies say the car’s owner insisted Hammons be arrested.

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State transportation board chair calls highway deaths increase "totally unnecessary"

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 1:56am


Don Grantham, the new chairman of Georgia’s transportation board, said Monday that something must be done to stem the increase in the state’s highway-related fatalities.

“That is totally unnecessary and uncalled for,” Grantham, a former Augusta Commission member, said at a news conference Monday announcing the Department of Trans­por­tation’s Drive Alert Arrive Alive campaign. The yearlong campaign is aimed at reducing deaths, which average an estimated 100 per month.

During the first quarter of this year, more than 400 people died on state roads.

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A sharp rise in road fatalities is prompting Georgia officials for a seat belt crackdown

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 1:54am


ATLANTA — Highway fatalities in Georgia jumped 25 percent in the first three months of the year, and state officials vowed Monday to take action with a crackdown on seat belt use.

Transportation Commis­sio­ner Russell McMurry said the 450 automobile-related deaths puts the state on pace to lose 1,200 lives this year. It also represents a reversal of nine years of declines, although McMurry acknowledged that driving has also increased somewhat.

“We know that they are preventable because data tells us a very alarming story,” he said.

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Former legislator Joey Brush remembered as a man with a strong faith and love of family at funeral

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:21am


More than 700 family, friends and colleagues of former state legislator Ben “Joey” Brush Jr. filled the Sanctuary of Augusta church Monday morning to pay their respects and bid him goodbye.

Although known for his career in politics and his profession as a builder, Brush was remembered Mon­day as a family man with a deep connection to his faith by two pastors who worked with him for years in Chris­tian ministry and fellowship.

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University, USCA sign agreement

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:08am

An agreement with University Hospital will allow the University of South Carolina Aiken to offer a new degree program next year, officials announced Monday.

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Historic buildings on committee agenda

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 11:24pm


Debate about the fate of two 19th-century buildings on the city government campus will continue today at a meeting of Augusta’s Public Services Committee.

Augusta accountant Jack Steinberg is not backing down from a proposal to preserve one or more of the buildings – one of which is Georgia’s oldest structure built as a synagogue – by creating a museum of Jewish history at the site.

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Judge refuses to return funds to jailed ex-paralegal

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 10:39pm


The man convicted of stealing more than $600,000 from the Vic Hawk Law Group and its clients was back in court Monday to press his claim that the judge was wrong to seize $6,500 from his jail account.

U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. agreed with Richard Owen that except in rare circumstances Social Security benefits are not subject to garnishment. But Owen didn’t prove the money in his account was solely Social Security benefits sent to Owen by his adopted son, Bowen said.

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GRU graduate Jenny Dickson receives $25,000 annual Beard Award for compassionate care

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:33pm


Hanging in Jenny Dickson’s room is a painting of an owl from her first patient. It’s proof she was good at reaching people even before she graduated as a physician assistant at Geor­gia Regents University.

Dickson’s remarkable work during her clinical rotations earned her the $25,000 Beard Award given annually to a GRU graduating student who exemplifies compassionate care.

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Thousands taken from Christmas Tree Shops

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:32pm

Deputies are searching for a suspect accused of taking $6,500 from a local business.

About 5:08 a.m. Monday, deputies responded to Christmas Tree Shops, in the 200 block of Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway, and found someone had cut open the store’s money safe, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

“At least $6,500” had been removed.


Two charged with stealing fake eyelashes

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 9:30pm

Two Augusta women were arrested Saturday after being accused of trying to steal fake eyelashes from an area business.

Victoria Kibunzi, 19, and Monshay Guilford, 21, were charged with shoplifting and taken to the Richmond County jail after deputies found fake eyelashes and two pairs of sandals concealed in a purse, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

Deputies say the eyelashes were taken from Hair Zone, located in the 3400 block of Wrightsboro Road.


Former caregiver pleads guilty to theft from 95-year-old

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 8:28pm

A woman accused of taking advantage of a 95-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to theft.

Teri R. Watts, 40, entered her plea in Rich­mond County Superior Court. She was initially charged with the exploitation of an elderly or disabled person.

Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. sentenced Watts to 10 years on probation. She will have to repay the victim $7,900 and turn over any claims on his 2006 truck. Brown also imposed a $2,000 fine.

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Georgia high court hears Augusta discrimination case

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 8:25pm


ATLANTA — A former employee of the Richmond County Tax Com­missioner’s Office got her claims of racial discrimination before the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday, claiming she was improperly laid off after 26 years working for the county.

An attorney for Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick said Nancy Coch­ran merely lost out when she gambled after a reorganization by applying for only one job – which she wasn’t qualified for – when there were others that she was better suited to handle.

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SRS expanding biomass power plant

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 7:29pm


A new boiler at Savannah River Site’s biomass power-generating plant will help prevent a loss of steam and electricity production during extreme cold weather.

The U.S. Energy Depart­ment and Ameresco, a renewable energy company, broke ground Monday on an expansion of the original biomass generation facility that began operations in 2012. The heating plant uses wood chips and shredded rubber tires as fuel to power SRS operations.

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