Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 55°
    Clear sky
Home>Feed aggregator>Sources>Latest from The Augusta Chronicle

Georgia dealers third in nation in incidents of lost, stolen firearms

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:19pm

Nearly 900 firearms were lost or stolen from Georgia gun dealers last year, which ranks the state among the Top 5, according to federal data released this month.

A 2013 analysis conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shows that federal firearms license holders in Georgia ranked third in incidents (134) behind Texas and Florida, and fourth in total guns reported lost or stolen (899) behind Kentucky, New York and Virginia.

read more

Richmond County teachers may have five less furlough days next year in proposed budget

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 9:30pm

With a softer blow expected to hit Georgia’s education funding next fiscal year, the Rich­mond County Board of Edu­ca­tion is planning to eliminate five furlough days in the 2014-15 budget, restoring the full 180-day instructional calendar for the first time in at least three years. 

According to the proposed budget presented Thursday, employees will still be furloughed on four non-student days to save the district about $4 million.

read more

Pedestrian struck, killed on Mike Padgett Highway

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 9:27pm

By Doug Stutsman

Staff Writer

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle Thursday evening on Mike Padgett Highway.

Around 8:15 p.m., Richmond County deputies responded to calls of a traffic accident on the 3100 block of Mike Padgett Highway at the intersection of Payton Drive. The victim, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

read more

School board addresses cursive writing concerns

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 9:26pm

Citing a “strong relationship between learning and writing cursive,” the Rich­mond County Board of Edu­cation on Thursday approved adjusting school curriculums to add 30 to 40 minutes of practicing cursive writing to classroom sessions.

After board members voiced concerns over how much time schools were using to focus on teaching cursive writing skills, Superin­ten­dent Frank Roberson made a presentation describing
the necessity of teaching them.

read more

Deputy injured by combative suspect

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:47pm

A Richmond County deputy was injured Thursday morning while placing an Augusta man in custody.

Claude Davis, 35, allegedly became physically aggressive towards the officer, injuring the deputy’s finger and kicking him in the groin area, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report.

Davis was charged with felony obstruction, as well as simple battery, the report stated.

read more

Health department officials say errors made in school meeting

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:05pm

Officials with the Richmond County Health Department acknowledged Thursday that public health employees improperly denied requests for information and attempted to bar photographs during a public meeting about tuberculosis-testing procedures at Hephzibah High School.

Reporters and photographers from The Augusta Chronicle and local television stations were admonished not to shoot video, take photographs or ask questions during Wednesday’s meeting, which was held to inform the public about possible exposure to TB bacteria at the school.

read more

Investigator glad he changed careers

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:11pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: This profile is part of an ongoing series on area law enforcement officers.


WAYNESBORO — The first time Dan­iel Rodriguez considered a career in law enforcement in the late 1980s, he turned it down because of the low pay. The second time, he was the victim of an armed robbery.

read more

Braves change stadium cop gun policy

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:24pm


ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves will no longer allow some off-duty police officers to carry guns at Turner Field, which has prompted objections.


Under the team’s new policy, off-duty officers from jurisdictions that don’t include Turner Field will no longer be allowed to bring firearms into the stadium.


The policy change will make the ball games less safe, Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins told WSB-TV.


read more

Not guilty plea entered in 2013 homicide case

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:07pm


A man accused of committing the last homicide in Augusta in 2013 pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Marcus A. Coleman, 20, was arraigned in Richmond County Superior Court on charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Coleman is accused of killing 40-year-old Ralph Harrell who was found with a fatal chest wound at the Scottish Inn on Stevens Creek Road on Dec. 29.

Coleman is being held in jail without bond.

Sheriff announces downtown unit

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:41am


Business owners are hopeful a plan unveiled Thursday by Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree will change the perception of a dangerous downtown.

Although he said he thinks Augusta’s downtown is no different than other cities its size, Barry White, president and CEO of the Augusta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said anything that can be done to enhance a feeling of safety downtown will be a benefit.

“It’s a crucial component of making our city a better destination for visitors,” White said.

read more

Sheriff announces downtown unit

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:40am

Business owners are hopeful a plan unveiled Thursday by Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree will change the perception of a dangerous downtown.

Although he said he thinks Augusta’s downtown is no different than other cities its size, Barry White, president and CEO of the Augusta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said anything that can be done to enhance a feeling of safety downtown will be a benefit.

“It’s a crucial component of making our city a better destination for visitors,” White said.

read more

Zelnak to retire from Martin Marietta board

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:10am

 Aiken native Stephen Zelnak Jr. announced Thursday that he will be retiring as chairman of the board of Martin Marietta Materials Inc. in May.

Zelnak, 69, will retire at the stone aggregrate giant’s annual shareholder meeting on May 22. He has been the chairman since 1997.

Martin Marietta, based in Raleigh, N.C., is the nation’s second largest producer of construction aggregates and has several quarries throughout the Augusta metro area.

read more

Athens cops seek 'cross-eyed' peeping Tom

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:55am

 ATHENS, Ga. -- Authorities are searching for a man who spied on a woman while she was in a restroom stall at Athens Technical College.

The suspect was described by the victim as “cross-eyed,” was a black male in his 20s who wore a black beret-style hat, a black jacket and black shoes with red lines on them.

Athens-Clarke County police said the 29-year-old victim entered the school’s library building at about 9 a.m. Tuesday and noticed a man sitting on a bench inside the entrance.

read more

SC school buses might film those who pass

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:38am

COLUMBIA — The last words 12-year-old Adam Kempf shouted over his shoulder to his mother and sister were: “I love you more! See you after school!”

The boy was hit as he attempted to board the school bus near his home in North Carolina. He was thrown 100 feet by a vehicle moving 55 mph. The driver had failed to stop for Adam’s school bus, which had its lights flashing and its stop-arm extended.

read more

Man sitting on tracks hit, killed by train

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:53am


A Warrenville man has died after being struck by Norfolk Southern train Thursday morning in Aiken County.

Coroner Tim Carlton identified the victim as Robert Norman Bisou, 32.

Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Eric Adbullah said Norfolk Southern contacted the sheriff’s office around 4:15 a.m. after the train struck Bisou near Carter Street and Bath Lake Road in Warrenville.

read more

Trees to be removed, pruned at Riverwalk Augusta

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:41pm

Long-awaited tree abatement and pruning hoped to improve visibility and safety at Riverwalk Augusta starts Monday.

Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities Director Robert Levine said the work will take three to four weeks, weather permitting, with pedestrian traffic re-routed in work areas during working hours.

Levine said visitors to the downtown tourist attraction should be aware of the inherent dangers at work areas, which will be clearly marked, and avoid them whenever possible until the work is complete.

read more

Authorities seek information in fraud case

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:40pm


Authorities are seeking information on a person who cashed a stolen or forged document last month.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said the person entered the Peach Orchard Road Wells Fargo on March 20 and cashed the “stolen document” before leaving the scene.

Anyone with information can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020 or 821-1080.

Missing Augusta woman sought

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:40pm

Deputies are searching for a missing woman who hasn’t been seen in almost a month.

Amber Gabrielle Smith, 22, was last seen March 18 in the 1800 block of Kissingbower Road.

Authorities do not think Smith is in any danger.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 821-1020 or 821-1080.


Columbia County completes storm debris cleanup

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:39pm


Nearly two months after debris removal began, Emer­gency and Operations director Pam Tucker confirmed Wednesday evening that cleanup is finished in Colum­bia County.

“It’s been a long and tiring process, but I’m proud to say that a huge part of our cleanup process is 100-percent complete,” Tucker said. “We started the debris removal on Feb. 19 so it’s basically been two months of non-stop work.”

The amount of debris removed from the county totaled 539,587 cubic yards over 48 zones.

read more

Monday is final day to register to vote in May 20 elections

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:50pm

Monday is the last day to register to vote in what has become one of the biggest off-season elections in Augusta history.

“It’s a big election year – I’ve never seen this many options for voters to decide this go-around,” Lynn Bailey, Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director, said.

On May 20, Augusta-Richmond County voters will elect a mayor, four district-level commissioners and decide whether to impose a new special-purpose, location option sales tax.

read more