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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.

Former UGA quarterback Shockley to be honored in Augusta

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 3:10pm

D.J. Shockley, who helped lead Georgia to the 2005 Southeastern Conference championship, is the honoree for this year’s Augusta Bulldog Club Kickoff event Thursday at the Legends Club.

The reception and dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., while the program begins at 6:30. Tickets are $25 (adults) and $10 (children 12 and under) and can be purchased at Augusta First, Tudor’s Cleaners, Rick’s Paint and Body, Surrey Center Pharmacy, Wife Saver (North Leg location) and Barney’s Pharmacy (Peach Orchard Road).

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Georgia scrambling to fill cyber security needs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 2:38pm

ATLANTA – Add cyber security to the list of high-paying jobs that go unfilled, a trend Georgia is scrambling to change.

At the same time, the challenge brings an opportunity that could benefit majors in English, history and accounting as well as their parents and taxpayers.

Last week a committee of administrators from eight colleges laid out the situation in the University System of Georgia for its Board of Regents.

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