The Columbia County Commission passed a balanced budget for next year, with no tax increase and no pay raises for employees.
Based on anticipated revenues of just over $57 million, the $56 million budget shows a surplus of just over $1 million – but that could change as the county’s tax digest is completed.
“It’s a slight increase over last year’s budget,” County Administrator Scott Johnson said. “The digest is a slight increase over last year’s budget. We’ve worked very hard this year to make sure we were very conservative on our revenues as well as our expenditures.”
An Augusta man with a history of beating up his girlfriend pleaded guilty Tuesday in a new case.
Clarence Dunbar, 45, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to felony family violence battery and cruelty to children. Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced Dunbar to serve three years in prison followed by three years probation.
The phones aren’t ringing as much in the Columbia County Tax Assessors Office.
One year after the state lifted a three-year moratorium on tax re-evaluations, resulting in a sudden jump in many property values, this year’s new assessments are more modest, Chief Assessor Debbie Robertson said.
More than 57,000 notices on the $10 billion-plus in real and personal property started landing in mailboxes this week.
Read them, Robertson urged.
A desegregation lawsuit naming the Richmond County school system still open after nearly 49 years might soon be over.
In an uncommon judicial move, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. has ordered the attorneys and parties involved to attend a hearing in the Augusta Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse on June 17, the anniversary of the filing of Robert L. Acree v. the Richmond County Board of Education.
Each side will present reasons to convince the judge that the desegregation case should remain open – else it will be closed.
Michele Canchola spots the termination notice from Georgia Power on the fax machine along with a referral letter from Augusta Oncology Associates and quickly hands it off to Shelly Olmos to get started on paying it immediately.
The Lydia Project will keep a woman being treated for cancer from having her power cut off, one of the many free services the nonprofit provides to women facing cancer.
Then Canchola heads downstairs from the offices on the second floor of the Daksha Chudgar Lydia House to the first, where a whole new level of service for Lydia is about to begin.
A bond hearing for the suspect in a recent Hephzibah triple homicide has been postponed until a mental evaluation can be conducted.
Attorneys for the public defender’s office presented a motion on behalf of 26-year-old Ryan David Jones requesting the evaluation, stating that evidence exists to suggest Jones could be suffering from a mental illness.
On behalf of the state, District Attorney Natalie Paine consented to the motion and Judge Sheryl B. Jolly signed the order Tuesday, Paine said.
A Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was fired Tuesday after an internal investigation into the handling of evidence.
According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, Deputy Wade Smith had been under investigation after a complaint was filed claiming he had improperly handled property seized from a defendant Nov. 2, 2012.
According to a news release, Smith had confiscated a large amount of marijuana, money and a handgun but did not document the property in his report.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree will speak at a District 4 community meeting Wednesday called by District 4 Augusta Commissioner and 2014 mayoral hopeful Alvin Mason.
From 6- 8 p.m. at Diamond Lakes Regional Park Gymnasium, the briefing will cover crime, awareness, prevention and ways citizens can assist the sheriff’s department with fighting crime, according to a news release from the clerk of commission.
“We can no longer sit down and watch Augusta shut down; we have to stand up so that Augusta can stand out,” the release said.
A bride who was injured in an Appling wreck that killed her groom shortly after their Saturday wedding remains in critical condition, according to a Georgia Regents Medical Center spokeswoman.
Crystal Lynn Krentler, 35, was traveling with her husband, Brian Allen Orzechowski, 36, when he crossed the center line on Washington Road around 9 p.m. and struck an oncoming vehicle.
Krentler was airlifted to Georgia Regents Medical Center. Orzechowski died from blunt force trauma.
An employee who stole thousands of dollars from his employer has started a five-year prison sentence.
Gregory Pittard, 28, pleaded guilty to theft on May 9 in Richmond County Superior Court and made full restitution of $17,106.
For about a year starting in November 2011, Pittard stole from The Frame Shop through hidden uses of the company’s credit card.
North Augusta police are searching for two men who robbed a Georgia Avenue convenience store late Monday.
According to a news release, two men entered Circle K in the 200 block of Georgia Avenue shortly before midnight and demanded money from the clerk at gunpoint.
Both ran toward West Avenue.
The Aiken County Bloodhound Team tracked the men to a nearby driveway before losing the scent.
Anyone with information is asked to contact North Augusta Department of Public Safety at (803) 279-2121.
Sometimes, it takes a only a moment to make a man stop and appreciate his relationship with his daughter.
Sometimes, that moment is profound enough to make a man want to share that feeling with as many fathers as he can touch.
Those are the driving forces behind the Father-Daughter Dance and Gala, which is presented by The O’Neal-Murphy Agency and is now in its sixth year. It will be held at the Legends Club on Father’s Day.
Bob O’Neal, who created the event, has always had a close relationship with his daugther, LaTonya O’Neal. .
Richmond County deputies will offer free child seat safety inspections Friday after completing a three-day law enforcement child safety training course.
Richmond County’s sheriff’s Lt. Lewis Blanchard said six Richmond County deputies and several deputies from surrounding agencies will take classes through Thursday. The course is taught using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s curriculum. It is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to become certified as a child passenger safety technician.
ATLANTA – The Augusta businessman who lost a runoff for the Republican nomination last year to challenge Democratic Congressman John Barrow announced Tuesday that he is making another attempt.
Rick Allen defeated two other candidates to make the primary runoff but lost to state Rep. Lee Anderson, who Barrow defeated in the general election.
Picking up on themes from his previous campaign, Allen said the federal government under Democratic control imposes regulations that hinder business owners from expanding employment.
An Evans attorney was nabbed in a bank parking lot after what police say was an attempted robbery Monday afternoon.
Ronald Jin Man Pak, 47, of the 4200 block of Aerie Circle, was arrested as he was leaving the Wells Fargo Bank at 489 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez, said Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.
Pak is a local attorney specializing in immigration and nationality law.
Deputies responded to an alarm at the bank shortly after 2 p.m. when Morris said Pak approached a teller, said he had a gun and demanded cash.