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Family seeks prosecution of 2 Georgia inmates in SC slaying

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 9:51pm

More than 12 years ago, Jack Abbott Murray was burned alive, trapped in the trunk of his car.

The men suspected of putting him there – Shannon Devon Patton and Daniel Joseph Newton – have never been prosecuted for murder. Murray’s family believes it long overdue.

On Nov. 18, 2002, Murray’s body was found in the trunk of a burning car off Deep Step Road in Edgefield County. He had been beaten and bound and left to burn to death.

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Woman fired on outside Reese Avenue home

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 9:47pm

Deputies say a 39-year-old Au­gusta woman was shot at while entering her home Friday.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the 2400 block of Reese Avenue about 4 p.m. The woman said she had just arrived home from work when a silver Chevrolet Impala stopped in front of her home, the incident report said. The car, which had all of its windows rolled down, was occupied by four black males wearing red hooded sweatshirts.

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Opinions differ on war memorial that separates soldiers, sailors and airmen by race

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 9:42pm

GREENWOOD, S.C. — It started as a gesture to help rectify wrongs of the past, to honor men who died for a country that treated them like second-class citizens.

When Greenwood, S.C., Mayor Welborn Adams launched a fundraising campaign last summer to replace segregated bronze plaques on an uptown war memorial, he had no idea his effort would be halted by state law.

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Elections Tuesday in Richmond, Columbia counties

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 7:33pm


Tuesday is an election day in Columbia County and parts of Richmond County.

An Augusta Commission special election will be held in Richmond County’s District 7, while an E-SPLOST vote is set for Columbia County.

Interim Commissioner Hap Harris, Sean Frantom and Sonny Pittman are vying to complete the term of former Augusta commissioner Donnie Smith. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held Tuesday, April 14.

In the E-SPLOST vote, Columbia County residents will decide on a 1 percent sales tax for educational purposes.

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Grand Marshal Bob Cashin knows Augusta's Irish community well

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 7:21pm


Bob Cashin is no stranger to marching with an Irish clan.

From his earliest days, Cashin was surrounded by Irish family, friends, classmates and church members. His Irish heritage will be proudly displayed Tuesday when he leads Augusta’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade through downtown.

Cashin was named the parade’s grand marshal by the Irish-American Heritage Society of Augusta. The honor was announced last month at the annual Grand Marshal’s Ball.

Elizabeth Mulherin was named Irish Lady of the Year, and the Mike Mosner family was named Family of the Year.

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Sheriff's office filling manpower shortage

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 7:09pm

Pay raises and other departmental changes have helped fill vacant positions at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, but the roster remains below full strength.

There are 10 jailer vacancies and 16 openings on the road patrol. Though it’s not ideal, officials say, it’s better than last year when shortages stretched deputies to provide coverage to the whole county.

“We had been through a rather harried hiring process in the past,” Lt. Allan Rollins said.

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Man killed in Leland Drive shooting

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 6:09pm


A 65-year-old man was killed in a shooting on Leland Drive on Saturday afternoon and a suspect is in custody, authorities said.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical workers were called to the 2600 block of Leland Drive about 2:20 p.m., dispatch said, and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

Karl Alan Hardge, of Augusta, had been shot once in the upper torso and was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead by Chief Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose at 2:59 p.m.

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Bill for Todd Gurley is last passed Friday

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 6:08am

ATLANTA – The final bill passed on Crossover Day – the deadline for bills  to remain viable this year – was a response to an autograph dealer who triggered the suspension of University of Georgia tailback Todd Gurley.

Numbered House Bill 3 to reflect Bulldog’s jersey number, the bill would make it a crime to lure college athletes into behavior that jeopardizes their eligibility under the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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Bicyclist struck on Mike Padgett Highway

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 1:40am

A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle in the 3100 block of Mike Padgett Highway about 8 p.m. Friday.

Officials said the driver of the vehicle remained on the scene, while the cyclist was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center. The victim’s
condition was not made available.

Augusta man pleads to manslaughter in friend's death

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:18pm

An Augusta man who fatally shot a friend during an argument over illegal drugs pleaded guilty Friday to reduced charges in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence.

Daniell F. Simmons, 27, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter and a weapons charge. When he completes his prison term Simmons will serve five years on probation.

On May 28, Simmons shot 22-year-old Curtis Lamont Carter five times on Second Street.

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Georgia Regents' senior trio has final shot at ring

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:37pm


When Devonte Thomas first arrived in Augusta, he remembers seeing Howard Brown. More specifically, he remembers seeing Brown’s hand.

Howard Brown is the lone Jaguar to win a ring, representing a conference or regional championship, for his five seasons (including a red-shirt year). His bling didn’t go unnoticed.

“Howard had his whole hand full of rings,” Thomas said. “I asked him what I do to get to that. Win.”

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Augusta house cleaning companies see busy Masters schedules

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 5:04pm


Masters Week means more work, but also more business, for area house cleaning companies.

“It’s hard, but it’s nice to see the new faces, meet new people and get new clientele,” said Melissa Testino, owner of Clean As a Whistle. “Masters is big in Augusta and it does help small businesses like myself.”

Not only does her crew clean homes in preparation of the April tournament, but they also handle window and pressure washing needs of clients, Testino said.

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Paine College to use grant for disease, substance abuse outreach

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 5:01pm


Paine College was awarded an $888,000 federal grant it will use to address HIV, substance abuse and hepatitis C among young people in the area, the school announced Friday.

The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be used to launch the Paine College: Informing, Developing and Educating through Active Learning program, or PC-IDEAL, which aims to help underserved communities with disease prevention and education.

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North Augusta lawmaker offers new gun bill

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 4:54pm

COLUMBIA – North Augusta Republican Rep. Bill Hixon has introduced a pared-down version of separate legislation that’s pending to allow concealed-weapon permit reciprocity with states that issue the gun permits.

Under Hixon’s bill, H. 3799, South Carolina would automatically recognize concealed weapon permits issued by Georgia and North Carolina.

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BMX track opens Monday in Evans

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 4:29pm

The long awaited opening of Columbia County’s BMX track will be Monday.

The Blanchard Woods Park BMX Track, which was damaged by a vandal in late December, will open at 4 p.m.

“Monday is basically a soft opening to go ahead and open it up to the public and let them start using it,” said Barry Smith, county Community and Leisure Services Division director.

Members of the Blanchard Woods Parents and Riders Association will be at the soft opening with pads and bikes for the public to use.

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