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Mexican gets 18-year drug sentence

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:05am

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A Mexican citizen living in rural south Georgia has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in a drug plot.

According to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eric Arrana-Garcia, 39, who lived in Blackshear, Ga., was sentenced last week by United States District Judge William T. Moore, Jr. to 18 years in prison for his role in a meth conspiracy operating in southeast Georgia and elsewhere.

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Azziz June 30 resignation accepted

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:30am

The Georgia regents have accepted the resignation of GRU President Ricardo Azziz effective June 30.

Azziz did not attend the meeting, and the regents, themselves, made no comments afterward and referred all questions to a spokesman.

Hank Huckaby, Georgia university system chancellor, said this morning he had a letter from Azziz on his desk and that Azziz’s decision to leave was voluntary.

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Ga. health exchange enrollment nears 400,000

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 9:00am

ATLANTA -- Almost 400,000 Georgians are signed up for coverage in the 2015 health insurance exchange, federal officials announced Wednesday.

The Georgia signup total as of Jan. 9 greatly exceeds the state’s 316,543 enrollees during the first open enrollment last year. The enrollment period this year ends Feb. 15.

U.S. Health and Human Services officials, who released Georgia’s 398,781 enrollment figure, did not include details on plan design, age, or other such characteristics.

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Most USC sports grade over 3.0

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 8:39am

COLUMBIA — Football was the only one of South Carolina’s 18 athletic programs to have a grade-point average of less 3.0 for the recently finished fall semester.

The school released its academic report Wednesday. Football finished the semester with a 2.693 GPA.

Women’s tennis led the way at 3.542. South Carolina’s athletes finished with an overall GPA of 3.208, which the department said was the 16th straight semester they’d been at 3.0 or higher.

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Third person charged in death of elderly man

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 8:26am


A third person has been charged in the Jan. 4 death of an elderly Aiken County man, whom police said had been mistreated by his caretakers.

Renee Sharkey, 26, of Windsor, was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center on Wednesday on a charge of abuse or neglect resulting in the death of a vulnerable person.

Two others, Dale Sharkey, 56, and his daughter Danielle Sharkey, 27, had been booked under the same charge Jan. 7.

Dale Sharkey was also cited under the animal nuisance and failure to vaccinate animal ordinances.

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No violent past for Ga. police chief who shot wife

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 8:18am



ATLANTA — The man who dialed 911 to report accidentally shooting his wife as she slept in their suburban Atlanta home early New Year’s Day waited nearly two minutes to mention where he worked.


“You’re the chief of police in Peachtree City?” the dispatcher repeated.


“Yeah, unfortunately, yes,” William McCollom said.


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Update: Missing family found

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 8:12am


Authorities say the search for a Glascock family reported missing ended Thursday when the family was found.

Glascock and McDuffie County police were asking the public’s help in locating the mother, father and child.

Mack and Patricia Johnston, and their 2-year old daughter, Morgan Hope, were last seen around 11 a.m. Monday.

They were safely located mid-day Thursday, police said. 

Florida cops have a 'rug problem'

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 7:54am

LARGO, Fla. — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has a rug problem

Department spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said Wednesday that a new, $500 rug at the sheriff’s administration building said “In Dog We Trust” instead of “In God We Trust.”


The forest green rug with the sheriff’s yellow badge was in the entrance area for a couple of months when the error was discovered Wednesday by a deputy.


Barreda says the error was made by the rug manufacturer and it’s in the process of being corrected. A second rug did not have the misprint.

Ga. lawyer arrested in $500,000 theft

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 7:48am

A Vidalia, Ga., attorney has been arrested on charges of forgery and theft by deception in connection with a $500,000 civil settlement he allegedly never gave his clients.

Wilson Randolph Smith, 63, was arrested Tuesday night by Toombs County sheriff’s deputies and placed in the Toombs County Detention Center awaiting his appearance before a Superior Court judge, Sheriff Alvie Kight said Wednesday.

The arrest came after an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office, Kight said.

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UGA student shot, killed

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 7:36am

ATHENS, Ga. -- A University of Georgia student was fatally shot Tuesday in what police are calling a drug-related homicide.

Min Seok Cho, 21, reportedly was shot in the head when he met someone to buy marijuana.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that the victim met the person or persons responsible for the shooting to exchange marijuana,” Athens-Clarke County police said Wednesday in a media release.

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