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South Carolina law attempts to keeps guns out of the hands of the mentally ill

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 8:04pm

A South Carolina law requiring probate courts to report the names of residents adjudicated mentally ill over the past decade has seen moderate success since it was signed into action in May of last year.

House Bill 3560 effectively created a clearinghouse for information on people who have been found mentally incompetent by a court.

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Young nuclear workers meeting in Augusta for annual conference

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:43pm

Young minds from the nuclear industry will converge on Augusta next week for an annual meeting focused on advancing nuclear power in the United States.

Nearly 100 members of the Southeast chapter of the North American Young Gen­eration in Nuclear leadership group are attending the conference, which features speakers from the Plant Vogtle and V.C. Summer nuclear plants.

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Bus cameras being tested to deal with offenders

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:38pm

They’re big and yellow with flashing lights, but still police frequently see motorists passing stopped school buses and putting children in danger.

“It’s obviously a problem every year,” said Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Danny Whitehead. “Our worse fear is obviously what happened last year.”

In December, 8-year-old Jaidyn Williams, a Sue Reynolds elementary student, was struck by a minivan while attempting to board the bus on Belair Road. He was taken off life support on Dec. 26, two weeks after being hit.

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Augusta Technical College police officers conduct active shooter training

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 5:09pm

It was a statement Augusta Technical College faculty said they never expected to hear: “An armed intruder is on campus.”

Moments after the announcement crackled over the intercom at the school’s Emergency Services Training Center, professors barked orders to students, doors slammed shut and the lights went out.

Outside the building off Lumpkin Road, a man brandishing a handgun paced the sidewalk looking for an entrance. Once inside, he tried the door handles leading to classrooms, reacting angrily when no one would let him in.

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Child deaths rise in Georgia state report

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 4:37pm

ATLANTA — State figures released Friday show that 180 children died last year while under the supervision of the Division of Family and Children Services.

That represents an increase of 28 deaths, or 18 percent, over 2012, but advocates and agency officials caution against drawing immediate conclusions because this year’s report is more comprehensive.

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Police seek Broad Street car thief

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 4:25pm

Police are seeking information on a man who took a vehicle from a Broad Street hotel.

Investigators released surveillance photos of the man who they believe took a white Ford Escape from the parking lot of the Ramada Inn, 640 Broad Street, on July 19.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (706) 821-1080 or Deputy Angela Gates at (706) 821-1088.


Ga. soldier wounded in Afghan attack that killed general

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 1:06pm

ALBANY, Ga. — A solider from Georgia is recovering after he was shot during an insider attack in Afghanistan.


U.S. Army Capt. Jeremy Haynes was shot three times by an Afghan solider who killed Maj. Gen. Harold Greene. The Afghan solider was killed in a subsequent shootout.


Family members say Haynes was being treated this week at a military hospital in Georgia. Authorities were trying to determine if he could be sent to a U.S. hospital.


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SC insurance fraud cases rise

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:58pm

Insurance fraud complaints in South Carolina have reached an all-time high with more than 1,200 pouring in last year, according to a report released Friday by Attorney General Alan Wilson.

The annual report from his office’s Insurance Fraud Division noted attorneys prosecuted cases that resulted in 37 convictions and in more than $700,000 being returned to the victims of insurance fraud.

The report cites several notorious cases.

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SLED probes lottery theft

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:44pm

The South Carolina Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an investigation after numerous people attempted to cash in stolen lottery tickets in North Augusta.

At least five cases have been reported since Aug. 2.

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Ebola concerns: Q&A

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:30am


The recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa and the transport of two American citizens with the virus back from Africa to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta has many U.S. citizens worried about the potential for an Ebola outbreak in this country.

With that in mind, Dr. Christopher Whalen, interim head of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health, answered the following questions posed by the Athens Banner-Herald/


What is Ebola?

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South Carolina woman stuck in ditch 10 hours

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:21am

EUTAWVILLE, S.C. — An alert firefighter rescued a 38-year-old Orangeburg County woman who spent more than 10 hours trapped inside her vehicle in a watery ditch.

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reports Lt. William Rutland of the Eutawville Fire Department spotted a maroon bumper near a concrete bridge as he was driving Thursday evening. When he pulled over, he heard a woman ask for help.

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US launches Iraq airstrikes

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 9:11am

NEW DELHI — The Pentagon says two U.S. fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq towing artillery outside Irbil near U.S. personnel.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it.

President Barack Obama authorized such airstrikes Thursday when the Islamic state militant group advanced on Irbil, in northeaster Iraq, where U.S. military trainers are stationed.

Richmond County police arrest Augusta man for cocaine possession

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:49pm

A 37-year-old Augusta man was arrested late Wednesday for cocaine possession.

About 11:25 p.m., deputies saw Clifton Willingham riding a bicycle in circles at the intersection of Ninth Street and Ellis Street, according to an incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Due to recent car break-ins in the area, deputies approached Willingham and asked if he was carrying any weapons, at which time he said “no, check me,” the report stated.

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Teen murder suspect's bond set at $2 million by North Carolina judge

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 8:56pm

The 17-year-old charged in the shotgun slaying of her father, former Columbia County News-Times sports editor Mike Howell, was granted a $2 million bond in a North Carolina court Thursday.

Crystal Howell, who will turn 18 on Aug. 24, was arrested in Augusta on March 23 after fleeing the home she had shared with her father in the Sheepback community of Maggie Valley, N.C. According to police, her father’s body was discovered the day before inside a plastic storage bin in a shed behind the Howell home. Authorities suspect Mike Howell had been dead for a month.

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Augusta Army Reserve unit celebrates 45 years

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 8:39pm

There was a rule among Army supply fleets in Vietnam not to stop for cargo trucks in distress for fear of enemy fire or attack. The 319th Transportation Company from Augusta never followed it.

From flat tires to rice-paddy rescues, the 148 crew members always came to the aid of a soldier in need in a sense of camaraderie still strong today, 45 years after the close-knit group left Vietnam in August 1969.

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Lady Antebellum selected for Georgia Music Hall of Fame

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:40pm


Country music trio Lady Antebellum will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Lady Antebellum members Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley hail from Columbia County, where they graduated from Lakeside High School in 2000. The group has won seven Grammy Awards and numerous honors from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

The induction ceremony is Oct. 11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The awards will be televised live on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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Girl with rare syndrome brings visitor from Australia

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:24pm


Even before she was born, Laura O’Shields knew that her daughter, Kylee, might be different. She could not have guessed just how rare the girl would turn out to be.

Kylee’s story, spread through Facebook, won over a woman in Australia who is visiting her for a celebration Friday night.

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Thurmond Lake water data now on smartphone app

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:10pm

Thurmond Lake water levels and rainfall predictions can now be more easily accessed.

The Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District has released a smartphone application that puts the same data from its popular water management Web site in the palm of your hand. The free app is available for download from iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon app store.

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Quadcopters - not drones - flying off retail shelves

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:09pm


A North Augusta woman told police they were following her. A Columbia County man uses them to take aerial shots of the Augusta Canal. And a handful of Georgia companies are considering the machines for surveying crops and real estate listings.

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Apartment managers learn how to guard against fire

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:00pm

 Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly provided the title of Jaime Morgan of the Apartment Association of Greater Augusta.

There was one main message that Lt. Carlton Bradley wanted to depart to the 20 representatives from local apartment complexes at a class on fire safety Thursday. “The biggest thing I want y’all to take away from this is to be safe and make your tenants safe,” said the Augusta Fire Department official, who led the two-hour class.

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