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Hospital will break ground on expansion

Doctors Hospital will break ground next week on a $55 million expansion that is the largest in the facility's history, CEO Shayne George said in a news release.

Doctors will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Dec. 12 on its three-story tower expansion, which should take about 21 months to complete. The renovation will include two new operating rooms for the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, 24 private rooms and 24 Intensive Care Unit rooms.

Elementary school returning to normal after heavy absences

Activities are returning to normal at Lewiston Elementary School, where 80 children were absent Monday, said Principal Mike Doolittle. He said he did not know if these absences were related to a highly contagious form of the stomach flu that kept 330 children out of school Friday. He said he will not know the reasons for Monday's absences until the children return to school with notes from their doctors.

He also said four staff members missed school Monday.

Ex-court clerk pleads guilty to stealing money; gets probation

A former court clerk accused of siphoning off public funds pleaded guilty Monday.

Mandy Rhodes, 30, was indicted in Richmond County Superior Court on charges of theft and violation of the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet accepted the negotiation plea that called for Mrs. Rhodes to plead guilty to theft, pay $21,114 in restitution and a $10,557 fine and receive probation.

Judge Overstreet imposed 10 years probation. Ms. Rhodes admitted that between June 2004 and June 2006 she stole from the Richmond County Civil and Magistrate Court clerk's office where she worked for 10 years.

McDuffie County robber might have struck at second bank

A man who robbed a bank in McDuffie County Monday morning appears to be the same person who robbed a bank in Watkinsville, Ga., hours later, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said Monday night.

The man who robbed a Regions Bank in Thomson about 11:40 a.m. strongly resembles the man who walked into an Athens First Bank and Trust branch on Epps Bridge Parkway about 3 p.m. and demanded money from a teller, Sheriff Berry said.

Anyone with information can call the FBI at (706) 722-3702.

Fund is established to provide funeral services for 2 children

Area residents interested in contributing to a memorial fund for two children killed at a south Augusta convenience store last week can do so at area Georgia Bank and Trust branches through Dec. 15.

The Shakayla and Jordon Hawes Memorial Fund is established to provide a funeral and burial, said organizer and radio talk show host Helen Blocker-Adams.

After funeral expenses are paid, Ms. Blocker-Adams said any remaining money will be donated to the United Way with specific requests to assist children's and women's non-profit abuse organizations.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Whole Life Ministries, 2621 Washington Road, Augusta.

Aiken-based scientist receives award for work at laboratory

An Aiken-based scientist with the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River National Laboratory was honored recently as recipient of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Robert E. Wilson award.

Dr. William Rhodes, a principal engineer with SRNL's Energy Security Directorate, was recognized for contributions to the nuclear industry spanning the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, Liquid-Metal Fast Breeder Reactor technology development, and leadership roles that promote the role of chemical engineers in the field of national energy security.

Youth mentoring to be topic of Aiken Tech's instruction series

The Workforce and Business Development Division of Aiken Technical College is offering classes that explore the benefits of mentoring by connecting youth to caring adults.

The class will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. The cost is $85. To register, call (803) 593-9954, ext. 1230.

-- From staff reports

Comments (37) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/04/07 - 03:30 am
0
0
Mandy Rhodes got caught

Mandy Rhodes got caught stealing money from the Superior Court and all the could prove was it went on for two years. They don't know about the other 8 years she worked there. Steal $21thousand and only get probation plus restitution? It's a good thing she's not a coach, she'd get the death penalty.

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 12/04/07 - 05:20 am
0
0
We're in the wrong business,

We're in the wrong business, PT. Crime does pay, (in the short run).

JimCox
7
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JimCox 12/04/07 - 06:27 am
0
0
Another deficient verdict

Another deficient verdict courtesy of Carlisle Overstreet.

Moreopinions
0
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Moreopinions 12/04/07 - 07:50 am
0
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I think it is great that so

I think it is great that so many people came together to pay for the funeral of those 2 children. The generosity of the community is inspiring. I am wondering, however, how much and/or if the funeral home offered any of their services at a discount.

jaschild
9
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jaschild 12/04/07 - 07:54 am
0
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you are so right, PT.

you are so right, PT.

What a Day
0
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What a Day 12/04/07 - 08:19 am
0
0
A hardy shout out to Kenny's

A hardy shout out to Kenny's Masterkutz, Island Seafood, and everyone that put forth the effort to assist with the preparation of the Hawes' angels homegoing. May they spirits rest in peace.

change display name
0
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change display name 12/04/07 - 08:59 am
0
0
Dr. Doolittle--the kids have

Dr. Doolittle--the kids have to bring DR excuses--what about the staff members? What ever happened to a parent saying "My kid was sick" and that being good enough. Not all sick children go the doctor every time they are out of school.

Whatthe
0
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Whatthe 12/04/07 - 09:08 am
0
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She didn't steal from

She didn't steal from Superior Court; it was from Magistrate Court.

Augusta Mom
1
Points
Augusta Mom 12/04/07 - 09:18 am
0
0
I totally agree with you on

I totally agree with you on this one, Patricia! Isn't it amazing....and they wonder why we have no respect for our local government. Any one of us would have done some hard time for this crime. She obviously knew someone...or knew where all the bodies were buried.

LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 12/04/07 - 09:22 am
0
0
and doctors hospital will

and doctors hospital will still suck and be a cesspool of infection and poor service. what will they change their name to now?

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 12/04/07 - 09:52 am
0
0
AugustaMom, you reading my

AugustaMom, you reading my mind, too? LOL.

NicoleKelly
7
Points
NicoleKelly 12/04/07 - 10:00 am
0
0
It's ashame that Mrs. Moore

It's ashame that Mrs. Moore was stealing that money all those years and no one knew what she was up to... This sounds so fishy to me. As a result of her stealing, Mrs. Bonner was fired from her job. This is just a shame.... Mrs. Bonner is a great lady... I hope she's doing okay.

lezniack01
0
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lezniack01 12/04/07 - 10:10 am
0
0
many years ago, my father got

many years ago, my father got himself in a bad bind and did the only thing he thought he could,consideringhis family was going to be thrown out of their home. he took some money but repaid every cent before it was discovered missing. Ofcoarse he was caught for it later on and spent a six month period in prison. Wasnt near as much money as this woman stole!

cn683
0
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cn683 12/04/07 - 10:23 am
0
0
I dont knwo what experience

I dont knwo what experience you had there LaTwon...but, when i had my daughter at Drs Hospital. i was treated so well and they did such a great job with everything. thanks so much for the good work drs hospital staff.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 12/04/07 - 10:34 am
0
0
It doesn't sound as if the

It doesn't sound as if the "justice system" is working. A woman steals $27,000.00 dollars (maybe she stole more) and she gets probation, but if a person stole a pair of $20.00 shoes from Wal-Mart, then he would get prison time.

mgr
0
Points
mgr 12/04/07 - 10:38 am
0
0
change display you are

change display you are exactly right. The school system has become a joke. Does this Doolittle think that everyone was going to rush to the doctors office. The mentality of the people that are supposed to be qualified to run our school systems leaves a lot to be desired. I'm now starting to realize why more and more parents are preferring to home school.

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/04/07 - 10:50 am
0
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Home schooling is the only

Home schooling is the only practical solution. It fosters the relationships between parent and children that few of our society have, it instills morality and responsibility to our young, and removes the blame from anyone but the parent if the child fails. Naturally, it takes sacrifice, you won't be driving that Benz, but maybe your kid will be the President that unites America again in 2050!

big-gun
0
Points
big-gun 12/04/07 - 10:55 am
0
0
Way to go Mandy, you beat the

Way to go Mandy, you beat the system. Now you have the opportunity to go on with your life. The former Clerk of Civil and Magistrate Court, who was fired because of your stealing has a new life, also. The rest of the crooks are still working for the court. I heard the new clerk does know which way is up, she is depending on the bookkeeping to call the shots, who at one time was the clerk. If she had been doing the job that she is being paid to do, Mandy and the old clerk would still be employed. Oh, the bookkeeper is up to her old ways of managing the book behind closed doors. It must be nice to draw a paycheck every other week, and sit in your office with the doors closed on the computer planning your next getaway. Oh by the way, everbody know that the bookkeeper was the person who told the clerk to fire the deputy clerk right here at Christmas time, and this poor little clerk has a little boy. She was a probationery employee, who had received little training. That office is a BIG JOKE! Where are the concern citizens, who are suppose to be the watch dogs over county employees. The clerk is an exempt status employee. She reports to work late and leave early. STEALING TIME

Inkjet
2
Points
Inkjet 12/04/07 - 11:00 am
0
0
Clerk shoulda got

Clerk shoulda got psychological help ordered, how else is she going to stop? She should also get barred from any cash handling positions.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
Points
Da Voice Inside Your Head 12/04/07 - 12:01 pm
0
0
In a lot of these

In a lot of these "Constitutional" offices (Elected) the staff isn't covered by the Merit System. Because the Boss Is elected, they are exempt. But like most places they try to pull the ole, If it's to their benifit you are, but if it's to your benifit, you aren't. The Good Ole Girl/Boy System at work. Check and see how many who work at the Courthouse are related to someone else who works there. I'll hire your relative if you hire mine game. it's interbreeding at it's best. See how many Commissioners friends and relatives work at the Marble Pee Trough.That woman should have been made an example out of and given the max sentence. ANY one who works for the taxpayers ought to be held to a higher, not lower standard. I wonder how many back room deals got cut so she would appear before good ole Judge UNDERsentence.I bet it used up several favors.

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/04/07 - 12:07 pm
0
0
Let's see if I got this

Let's see if I got this right: pay county employees less than the private sector and hold them to a higher standard than the private sector. Yeah, that'll work. NOT. The woman caught stealing is being given the second chance that people are clamouring for the child murderer to receive. 10 years of probation is NOT a light sentence. It will be over her head while she attempts to pay restitution and fines. BTW, if she fails to make those payments, the probation is nullified and she goes to prison.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
Points
Da Voice Inside Your Head 12/04/07 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Tall1 you have a lot more

Tall1 you have a lot more faith in the system than I. If you feed at the public trough, you should be held to a higher standard. Those folks know what the job paid when they took it. That is no excuse for dishonesty. I'm sure somewhere down the line her probation, fine and restitution will be "reduced" for some humanitarian reason. I have faith that the system sucks and it's not going to get any better, NO MATTER WHO is in office.

Whatthe
0
Points
Whatthe 12/04/07 - 01:57 pm
0
0
There is not enough room in

There is not enough room in prison to put every thief and drug dealer that pleads guilty. The reality is that even if this person received a lengthy prison sentence, she would have been paroled in a relatively short period of time. Do we incarcerate those we are mad at or those we are scared of? The system is not corrupt, but it is certainly not understood by most.

butterflygina
159
Points
butterflygina 12/04/07 - 02:11 pm
0
0
Let's see what the girl gets

Let's see what the girl gets who changed her social security number and took all the money and checks home from the landfill gets. I hope she doesn't think she will get off this easy. She put a lot more planning in her scheme.

whyme
2128
Points
whyme 12/04/07 - 02:12 pm
0
0
Anyone notice that Mandy

Anyone notice that Mandy Rhodes was listed in the article as taking funds, and a Dr. Rhodes was praised in another for his contribution to SRS?!

Gruvy Legz
0
Points
Gruvy Legz 12/04/07 - 02:25 pm
0
0
I didn't know you had to have

I didn't know you had to have a doctor's note when you were sick either. Especially not if half the school was out. Shoot, we didn't go to the doctor unless we were near death at my house. My mama had a remedy for almost every illness. And her chicken noodle soup was the best!

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/04/07 - 03:14 pm
0
0
DaVoice: If indeed her

DaVoice: If indeed her sentence is reduced, that would be wrong. I've little faith in the justice system. Too many criminal defense lawyers.

big-gun
0
Points
big-gun 12/04/07 - 06:28 pm
0
0
Tall1, Mandy paid her fine,

Tall1, Mandy paid her fine, and restitution in cash on yestereday.
She doesn't have to worry about going back to jail, unless she breaks her probation.
.

DEVGRU
0
Points
DEVGRU 12/04/07 - 06:49 pm
0
0
I have a strange feeling that

I have a strange feeling that money is still going to be missing in the Magistrate's Court. I have had dealings with the Augusta Judicial Curcuit. I watched as a corrupt attorney and a Judge ,who was more interested in scarfing down his breakfast while sitting on the bench, took me to the cleaners. I watched as this MARRIED attorney tried to pick up YOUR wives in the courthouse between his court appearances. He has been well connected to Augusta politics for years. I am still waiting on a Superior Court Judge to make decisions on two of my cases. It's been two years on one a almost a year on the other. That is a violation of a Judges Code of Ethics and they are subject to disciplinary action. Has anyone else had these types of problems? Maybe it's time for a change in this area. The only way to do it is at election time.

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 12/04/07 - 07:30 pm
0
0
Big: That's really none of my

Big: That's really none of my business, but I wish her good luck just the same.

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