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SC names its top teacher

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:28am

COLUMBIA— A Sumter High School teacher has been named South Carolina’s Teacher of the Year.

State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman announced the selection of Suzanne Koty at a banquet in Columbia on Wednesday night.

Koty teaches English and the International Baccalaureate course called Theory of Knowledge.

She receives $25,000 and the use of a new BMW for a year.

The other four finalists receive $10,000.

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Ga. teacher faces student sex charges

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:25am

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A Georgia high school teacher has been arrested and charged with having sexual contact with her male students.

The Valdosta Daily Times reports 42-year-old Phoebe Chapman turned herself in to authorities Tuesday. Investigators say rumors surfaced in March that Chapman had sexual contact with students at Lowndes High School, where she is a career and technical instruction teacher.

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Vehicle arsonist sought in south Ga.

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:22am

ALBANY, Ga. — Georgia fire investigators are on the hunt for a serial arsonist who has been setting cars on fire.

WALB-TV reports three vehicles have been set on fire this week in Albany. On Tuesday, someone set fire to the gas tank cap of a truck. The gas cap melted and fire damaged the paint. The fire was almost identical to two other vehicle fires about ten minutes away.

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UGA tuition outpaces HOPE aid

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:11am


ATHENS, Ga. -- The expense of a college education remains on a steep upward trend.

The combined annual cost of tuition and fees at the University of Georgia has more than tripled in the past 15 years. With a 9 percent tuition hike going into effect next fall, UGA undergraduates will shell out a total of $11,610 for two semesters, about twice what it cost in 2007.

The declining value of the HOPE Scholarship is also helping drive up the cost of attending UGA.

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Georgia prison-based drug ring busted

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 7:53am

 SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Described as a high-ranking leader of a 3,000-member white supremacist prison gang, Christopher Henry has spent the last three years inside Wilcox State Prison.

 But 36-year-old Henry’s imprisonment inside the medium security facility within the city limits of tiny Abbeville, Ga., has done little to hinder his ability to run a large-scale drug operation outside the prison system.

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Cost estimate for MOX facility at Savannah River Site swells to $47.5 billion

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:00pm

The cost estimate to finish building and operating the mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility at Savannah River Site has swelled to $47.5 billion, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration.

A second option for plutonium disposition, called downblending, was estimated to cost $17.2 billion in a report released to Congress on Wednesday, according to the NNSA, a semi-autonomous branch of the U.S. Department of Energy that manages the MOX facility.

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Augusta man previously convicted of manslaughter faces new charges involving firearms

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 4:51pm


An Augusta man previously convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a neighbor was indicted this week on new charges of reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to the indictment returned Tuesday by the Richmond County grand jury, Johnny Dinh, 23, is accused of endangering the safety of others Feb. 1 when he fired a shotgun in the air at a home on James Drive.

Dinh is also accused of possessing a 12-gauge Mossberg that day and a 25-caliber Beretta. As a convicted felon, Dinh is not allowed to have any firearm.

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Azziz talks family, legacy in last address

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 4:17pm

The thing that got to Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz as he gave his last State of the Enterprise address Wednesday was talking about his kids and what they had been through over the last nearly five years.

“Most off all, my gratitude goes to my family. My wife, Cindy, my children, Ashlee, Jonathon and Mallory for their love and support,” Azziz said, choking up. “For their belief in the vision and the righteousness of our mission, for their belief that we were doing the best for our community. To them, thank you.”

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April showers easing rainfall deficit in Augusta area

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 3:01pm

A particularly wet month is helping to drastically drop the rainfall deficit in the Augusta area.

At the end of March, the Augusta area was looking at more than 2 inches of rainfall deficit for the year, but as of Wednesday that number had dropped to 0.48 inches below normal.

“It’s looking good precipitation wise and moisture wise over there,” state climatologist Bill Murphey said the of deficit.

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Woman, 94, dies from March traffic injury

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 2:25pm


An elderly woman who crashed her car into a home last month died earlier this week, Coroner Mark Bowen confirmed Wednesday.

Virginia Rivers Carpenter Long, 94, died Monday at Georgia Regents Medical Center, where she has been hospitalized since the March 8 crash.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies and state troopers arrived at 2914 Walden Drive to find Long’s Toyota Camry wedged into the corner of the single-story brick home.

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