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House targets VA bonuses in new bill

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 3:42pm

Five months after making it easier to fire negligent employees, House lawmakers are looking to tighten their grip on the Department of Veterans Affairs, introducing a bill this week to recoup bonuses from staff found to have contributed to poor patient care.

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has introduced a bill that would allow VA secretary Robert McDonald to take back performance pay from employees linked to long wait times, delayed appointments and preventable deaths — with no chance for an appeal.

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Braves trade Gattis to Houston, AJC reports

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 3:17pm

The Atlanta Braves agreed to trade slugger Evan Gattis to the Houston Astros on Wednesday for a package of prospects, a person familiar with the situation told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It wasn’t immediately known which prospects the Braves would get in exchange for Gattis, who was in Houston for a physical examination on Wednesday, as first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

 

Butler boys basketball forfeits four games

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 2:31pm

 

The Butler boys basketball team’s region title hopes took a big hit Wednesday after the Bulldogs were forced to forfeit four games for using a suspended player.

Butler forfeited wins against Josey, Washington County, Heritage and Rich­mond Academy, Steve Figueroa, the Georgia High School Association’s director of media relations, confirmed Wednesday.

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Fort Gordon club opens grants and scholarships programs

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 1:59pm

The Fort Gordon Spouses’ and Civilians’ Club is accepting applications for military spouses, high school seniors and local organizations interested in receiving upwards of $25,000 in community grants and college scholarships this spring.

“It’s important to take an active role in supporting the community,” Debbie Franco, the group’s grants chairwoman, said of the 2015 cycle in a news release. “Our grants allow those professionals dedicated to assisting the community to fulfill their goals and make a difference as well.”

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Augusta man charged for hitting pedestrians with car

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 12:32pm

An Augusta man has been charged after striking two pedestrians with his car in a gas station parking lot in December.

James Bernard Thomas Jr., 24, was booked into the Richmond County jail Tuesday on two counts of aggravated assault.

According to an incident report, Thomas had been involved in a fist fight on Dec. 26 at Smart Grocery, 3221 Wrightsboro Road, just before he got into his car and attempted to flee the parking lot.

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Suspect flees after children found home alone during home invasion

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 12:31pm

Police are seeking a man who broke into an Augusta home early Tuesday while two children were home alone.

The children, ages 13 and 7, told police someone knocked and rang the doorbell at their Nighthawk Drive home around 7:30 a.m. The children ignored the knocks hoping the person would leave, according to an incident report.

Several minutes later they heard a bang and saw an unknown black male in the hallway. When he saw the children, he turned and left the home.

Police searched the area with negative results.

 

Aiken County schools superintendent will retire July 31

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 12:05pm

 

The Aiken County Public Schools superintendent announced she will retire July 31.

The district school board accepted Dr. Elizabeth Everitt’s request Tuesday to retire due to “family obligations,” according to a news release.

“After more than 38 years in education, it’s a bitter-sweet decision to leave a job that I love, but with our amazing staff and dedicated board, I’m confident that the District will continue to provide a great education for the students in Aiken County,” stated Everitt in the release.

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Georgia Regents basketball team returns to Augusta for rare home game

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 8:23pm

Georgia Regents coach Dip Metress is pleased with his team’s win Saturday, but that’s about it.

The Jaguars knocked off then-No. 22 Lander on the road in overtime. How big a victory was it? After losing two of its previous four conference games, the victory kept Georgia Regents alive in the Peach Belt Conference North Division race.

“It was good to get a road win,” Metress said. “To go there and play unified was a step in the right direction.”

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Border Bash Foundation awards 23 grants

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 7:12pm

The Border Bash Foundation presented 23 local nonprofit organizations with grants Tuesday.

Border Bash was created 21 years ago to celebrate the football rivalry between the University of Georgia and University of South Carolina.

The event has totaled more than $800,000 in contributions.

The 2014 event took place Friday, Sept. 12, and featured Kristian Bush of Sugarland. The following day, South Carolina topped Georgia, 38-35.

Country music concert will help raise money for police trauma seminar

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 6:38pm

 

Police hope a country music concert on Thursday will help raise money to fund a seminar for officers who experience trauma in the line of duty.

County duo Maddie & Tae will perform at 7 p.m. Thurs­day at The Country Club. Pro­ceeds from the Rock 4 Cops concert will benefit the Geor­gia Post Critical Incident Seminar through the Police Benevolent Foundation.

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Teenager injured in McDuffie crash released after month in hospital

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 6:17pm

 

After a month of treatment at Georgia Regents Medical Center, teenager Kamaree Spencer has been released after surviving a Dec. 7 wreck that killed four, including his mother, according to hospital spokeswoman Christen Carter.

Spencer, 15, was a passenger in the car accident in McDuffie County.

Spencer was riding in his mother’s Toyota Highlander, which was struck head-on by a Lexus going at more than 100 miles per hour, according to Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Chris Wright.

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Frantom says he'll seek District 7 commission post

Latest from The Augusta Chronicle - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 6:07pm

Sean Frantom told The Augusta Chronicle he is entering the race to replace resigned District 7 Augusta commissioner Donnie Smith.

Candidates have until noon Wednesday to qualify to run in the Richmond County Board of Elections office, 535 Telfair St., for the March 17 special election.

Frantom, development director for Ronald McDonald House, would face interim Commissioner Louis “Hap” Harris and planning commission member Sonny Pittman, who qualified to seek the post Monday.

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