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Downtown Augusta businesses remain hopeful despite ongoing construction

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Downtown Augusta businesses remain hopeful despite ongoing construction


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – It’s fair to say that Augusta saw a busy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Road work was a major factor that impacted some plans. These projects will still be going on as golf lovers head to Augusta.

At almost every corner in downtown Augusta, there are signs of progress and growth, and behind it all is a local shop or two.

“We’re still here. That’s right. You got it. We’ll just hope for the best,” said Luanna Hildebrant, owner of Hildebrant’s.

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Hildebrant’s sits on 6th Street and has for decades.

“The construction has hindered us, but I think it’s going to be better once it’s done,” said Hildebrant.

A couple of streets over is Cafe on 8th, which opened in April 2023.

“It was definitely a slow start and with that going on, it didn’t help anything. There is a patrolman sitting right in front of the restaurant and that kind of throws people off, especially with this road being closed,” said manager Jerome Kenly.

13th Street, 5th Street, 6th Street and Greene Street are set to be completed in 2025, Telfair Street in 2026 and Broad Street in 2027.

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“We get the most success from our customers and clients. They’re putting it up on our reviews and stuff like that. They’re saying don’t let it discourage you just come on down,” said Kenly.

These projects are not small and take time to complete, but businesses are looking ahead at what’s to come.



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Augusta, GA

Augusta Tech gets additional $500K to boost auto repair program

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Augusta Tech gets additional $500K to boost auto repair program


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Master Automotive has pledged $500,000 to support the Automotive Institute at Augusta Technical College.

To be located on the site of former Johnson Cadillac at 1122 Walton Way, the first classes will be offered at the site in fall 2025. The college currently offers a diploma and numerous technical certificates of credit programs in automotive technology.

These offerings will be expanded to include more programs in the new institute, including auto body and collision, and light, medium and heavy diesel.

Augusta Tech also plans to add automotive industry classes to its Associate of Applied Science degrees in the School of Business. The institute will also provide noncredit training and upskilling through the college’s Division of Economic Development.

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At 65,000 square feet, the Automotive Institute will dwarf the college’s current 10,000 square feet occupied by the automotive program.

SCHOLARSHIP FUND:

  • Augusta Technical College President Dr. Jermaine Whirl and his wife, Marqueta, have pledged $10,0000 to create a new endowed scholarship fund at Augusta Tech. Called the Dr. Jermaine Whirl Presidential Leadership Scholarship, the annual award will be given to the student who is elected as the College’s Student Government Association president. The first recipient Rashell Tanner.

As revealed in November 2023, the facility itself will be named the Jim Hudson Automotive Institute in recognition of a $1 million gift from the Jim Hudson Automotive Group. The college also received $1 million each from the Augusta National Golf Club and the Knox Foundation to acquire the facility.

Augusta Tech is currently in conversations with individuals and companies across the automotive industry in the CSRA, throughout Georgia and South Carolina, and even nationally to raise additional money to renovate and equip the building.

“Together with partners like Will Schafer at Master Automotive, we are building a national model for automotive training,” said Dr. Jermaine Whirl, president of Augusta Tech.

Master CEO Will Schafer said: “There is a major need for a facility such as this in our community and we are excited to be a part of it.”

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The institute is among the “big 5″ projects that are turning Augusta Technical College into a destination school.

Also at Augusta Tech …

  • College President Dr. Jermaine Whirl as the distinguished recipient of Georgia Southern University’s 2024 George and Lucy Armstrong Alumni Award. Dr. Whirl earned his second master’s degree in adult education and community leadership from Armstrong State University, which merged with Georgia Southern University in 2018. This accolade is bestowed upon an Armstrong alumnus/alumna who epitomizes the University’s fundamental values, including collaboration, academic excellence, discovery and innovation, integrity, openness and inclusion, and sustainability.



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Augusta, GA

Shooting injures 1 at Circle K on Peach Orchard Road

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Shooting injures 1 at Circle K on Peach Orchard Road


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting on Peach Orchard Road that left one person injured.

On Sunday at 5:15 p.m., deputies responded to the Circle K at 3603 Peach Orchard Road about a shooting.

They say a male victim, who had been shot at least one time, was found at a local hospital where he was being treated for his injuries.

It was the second shooting of the weekend in the CSRA.

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One person was reportedly injured in a shooting early Sunday in Tennille, but the victim couldn’t be found.



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Augusta, GA

AP photographer gets in the right spot for a big swing at the Masters

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AP photographer gets in the right spot for a big swing at the Masters


AUGUSTA, Ga. — AP photographer Matt Slocum knows his way around the bucolic Augusta National Golf Club during the week of the Masters — it’s a difficult task with all the regulations that help preserve the aura of the tournament. So, when he saw the light and clouds combining for a perfect backdrop, he knew exactly where he should go to take some tee shots. He also knew how to stay ahead of the patrons to get to his perfect spot. Here’s what he had to say about making this extraordinary image.

The Masters is one of the most revered tournaments of professional golf — it’s also one of the toughest for photographers and golfers. One of golf’s four majors, it’s full of history and tradition; rules and etiquette; joy and pain for both us and them.

Photographers are not allowed “inside the ropes” at the Masters — patrons are kept from the playing areas such as fairways and greens by ropes that mark the course. Being on the players’ side of the ropes give photographers better sight lines and ease of movement. But The Associated Press is lucky to have a good mix of photographers and editors onsite to help cover the tournament. We work together under the direction of David J. Phillip. With his vast Masters knowledge and experience, he guides us around the course as the day progresses and golfers charge up the leaderboard. Teamwork and communication are vital when covering this tournament. It’s tough to navigate the course quickly. You learn the hard way which crosswalks to avoid at peak times. Photographers that work together and are organized will have more success and less frustration overall.

Because we are not allowed inside the ropes, we tend to camp out at strategic spots and then leapfrog around before the crowds get too big. There are a few tee boxes that have access from behind. Patrons at the Masters are very polite and helpful when asked if we can kneel in front of them to get a key shot. By staying low, we don’t block them, and it allows us to emphasize the golfer and clean up the background. Once you find an area or light that is productive, you tend to work it, group after group to make scenic photos. You can vary the exposure and lens you use to add variety — wide, normal and telephoto.

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In this case, golfers were teeing off toward the back of the box. I carried a fast, moderate-wide angle lens, a Sony 35mm F/1.4 GM and a Sony A1 mirrorless camera in anticipation of making this kind of photo. We are very lucky Sony is onsite to clean, repair and loan equipment. Not that I ever break anything, but many thanks to Van Nguyen, for replacing something I might have broken. I was shooting on a nearby hole when the clouds started to break and the blue sky appeared. This was my 14th Masters; I knew where to go in my area to line up a golfer with the sky.

I set my camera with the lowest native ISO, 100, to emphasize the dramatic sky. As golfer Rory McIlroy walked up the tee, I placed the camera very low and tried to keep him centered among the trees lining the hole. I just about always shoot at the widest aperture available, in this case F/1.4, to keep the emphasis on McIlroy. I was hunched way over on my knees, straining see the built-in level on the back of the screen. The camera was set to its fastest frame rate, 30 frames per second. I set the fastest shutter speed, 1/32,000th, to freeze all movement. I held the shutter release down for less than a second and made 22 crooked frames of the swing sequence. I picked a few visually pleasing moments to send to my editors Chris Carlson and Darron Cummings. It’s not obnoxiously crooked and has a nice feel, but it’s not perfect. “You can do better,” I hear from a ghost my head.

This photo is unique because of the clouds. There was a storm that delayed the start of the tournament that morning. It was dark and grey for most of the day. The shallow depth of field helps keep your eye focused on Rory. Using a very fast shutter speed helps make the bright areas of the image darker. It brings out the clouds, knocks down the crowd and freezes the golfer’s club at the top of his swing. The clouds are still breaking, framing the golfer and starting to add light on his swing.

For more extraordinary AP photography, click here.



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