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Augusta, GA

Data shows Augusta has highest animal euthanizations in state

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Data shows Augusta has highest animal euthanizations in state


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Commissioners turned down a plan from Best Friends Animal Society on Tuesday, which would have provided animal services with a veterinarian.

The decision came after the interim administrator told commissioners she didn’t recommend accepting the offer because it came with stipulations.

“The main reason is that it was presented as all or nothing which would require Augusta to participate in every one of the services, they’re promoting one of which is staff embedded program which simply means Best Friends would have representatives,” said Interim Administrator Takiyah Douse.

Data published on the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s website shows Augusta euthanized more dogs in April than any other shelter in the state.

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The data also shows Augusta Animal Services constantly ranks the highest in the state in euthanizations.

SEE THE DATA:



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Augusta, GA

What 911 calls and radio traffic tell us about downtown Augusta shooting

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What 911 calls and radio traffic tell us about downtown Augusta shooting


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – New 911 calls and public safety radio traffic paint a chaotic scene of Saturday’s shootout in downtown Augusta that sent people running for their lives.

In the calls, you can hear the urgency in the voices calling for help after gunfire rang out in the heart of downtown.

At around 1:13 a.m., a deputy calls into dispatch shouting “gunfire” multiple times. Dispatch repeatedly calls to all units, then shouts “one down.”

DOWNTOWN SHOOTING: TEAM COVERAGE

Roughly around the same time, 911 calls started to come in.

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A caller stated they were reporting gun shots around Greene Street, but wasn’t sure exactly where or how many.

As all of this is going on, crowds of people flood to the streets.

“I need everybody on 11th Street to block off. I need 10th Street blocked off. I need the intersections blocked off. The extra units, I need everybody to actually clear everybody on foot. All foot traffic has to go,” said one deputy on the scene.

From left: Amazing Brigham and Seven Whitfield(Contributed)

Deputies and dispatch start discussing how many victims they had.

One deputy asked: “How many victims do we have?”

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Another deputy said: “Right now, it looks like we got one. Right here in front of the Broad Axe Throwing Club.”

Deputies continued rushing to clear the area.

LISTEN TO THE 911 CALLS:

“Everybody that is on scene, I need all the foot traffic between 11th and 10th gone,” said one deputy. “Start pushing everybody out.”

Saturday’s shooting has sparked conversations on whether downtown is safe. The Augusta mayor, Richmond County sheriff and some commissioners say yes.

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It’s also raised the question about police presence in downtown Augusta. Sheriff Richard Roundtree says there is a presence, but some business owners disagree.

Mayor Garnett Johnson says he’s called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for help from Georgia State Patrol.



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Augusta, GA

Tax commissioner candidate indicted in Millen double-murder case

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Tax commissioner candidate indicted in Millen double-murder case


MILLEN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – We’re learning a candidate for Jenkins County tax commissioner has been indicted for murder and other charges.

In addition to murder, Shenice Thompson is accused of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm, making a false statement, hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal and tampering with evidence.

Tyrell Brown and Maxine Jones were shot to death in March, and authorities believe Thompson made a false statement in a homicide investigation and said she was at her mother’s house when the shooting happened.

News 12 spoke with Jones’ daughter, Deeari Grier, about her feelings and thoughts on her mother’s case.

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“That day I was so numb to everything. I was shocked, and it just felt so unreal,” said Grier.

Grier was only a five-minute drive away from where her mother was killed.

Yet hours before that, it was a normal day.

“She came by my job and she was just talking to me and telling me that she was bored and didn’t have nothing to do,” said Grier.

But little did Grier know this was one of the last conversations she would have with her mom.

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“I called her but she wasn’t answering,” said Grier.

It’s a night Grier says she’ll never forget.

“At first I didn’t believe she was gone but once everything happened, I just knew she was gone,” said Grier.

Now, four months later, the alleged suspect in the shooting is running for Jenkins County tax commissioner position.

“Trying to run for something that’s just crazy,” said Grier.

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They also believe Thompson knew Raheem Whitfield committed aggravated assault and harbored him and concealed the gun.

She was indicted Monday.

Sheriff Robert Oglesby said Wednesday afternoon she was not yet in custody.

Whitfield, of Waynesboro, has already been arrested in connection with the March murder.

Brown, 28, of Garfield, and Jones, 48, of Millen, were shot dead just before 1:45 a.m. March 24 at the Annie P. Chance Veterans Center on Acorn Avenue, according to authorities.

After being notified of the shooting, law enforcement arrived and found Jones dead with a gunshot wound. Although Jones had no immediate signs of trauma, she was pronounced dead at the scene, as well, according to GBI.

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A later investigation revealed a gunshot wound to her chest, according to Jenkins County Coroner Henry Young.

“They took a mother of eight kids, and her kids won’t be able to see her no more and it just feel so unreal,” said Grier.



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Augusta, GA

Downtown visitors still on edge after weekend shooting

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Downtown visitors still on edge after weekend shooting


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) –
Saturday’s shooting in Downtown Augusta remains at the top of many minds who live in the area.

It’s been several days since the Downtown Augusta shooting and two people are currently in custody. 

People in the area are still being cautious. Some of them are wondering what the city is planning to do next.

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Sharon Jones works downtown, and she told FOX54 that she is constantly think about what could happen while at work. 

“The first day back on Monday there was a lot of investigators walking around…” Jones explained.

She says that she’s worried that something like that can happen in broad daylight. “I don’t even come downtown anymore.”

As of right now, nothing has been presented publicly. City leaders are discussing options like a potential curfew for certain ages and a no-loitering policy. 

Business owners like Brandi Jones of Tiffinie Bleu Bridal says there need to be a great police presence at night.

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“Cars are definitely not a deterrence for people doing things they are not supposed to.” Said Jones.

Locals and business owners are looking towards the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for answers. 

Some Commissioners applaud their efforts. ” He’s doing the best with what he has.” Said, Tony Lewis, District 6 Commissioner.

While others like District 10 Commissioner, Wayne Guilfoyle believe that more needs to be done.

“Hopefully Roundtree can get his house in order and focus on protecting the citizens.” Said, Guilfoyle

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