The Insider



Columbia County is stranger than Augusta, for once

Columbia County is stranger than Augusta, for once

The Insider 1/15/2014 While Augusta is notorious for airing its dirty laundry out for the entire world to see, Columbia County is the complete opposite.  The Columbia County Board of Commissioners is quiet, discrete, polite and without controversy.   That usually plays to Columbia County’s favor, but the past few weeks, it’s been awkwardly strange.  […]

Former Director Teresa Smith back in the news

Former Director Teresa Smith back in the news

A familiar name hit the news again this week when the Kansas City, Mo.-based American Public Works Association sent out a press release proudly announcing A&S Engineering’s Teresa Smith was recently designated a national Public Works Leadership Fellow. “As a PWLF Fellow, Smith will mentor public works professionals enrolled in the APWA Donald C. Stone […]

The Fox is Guarding the Henhouse

The Fox is Guarding the Henhouse

Last week, the Insider pointed out how several folks in Columbia County are completely baffled by the fact that Commissioner Charles Allen Jr., the husband of Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, is still serving on the board. The FBI has been conducting a joint investigation with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for the past several months […]

The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall

The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall

When news spread after the holidays that Richmond County Deputy Austin Shepherd, the county’s 2013 Deputy of the Year, had been fired, folks around town were floored. According to a statement released last week by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, an internal investigation is underway regarding past conduct of Shepherd. “During the course of the investigation, […]

Fred Russell for mayor? Um… no.

Fred Russell for mayor? Um… no.

There have been wild rumors this week down at the Marble Palace that recently fired City Administrator Fred Russell is considering a run for mayor. What in the world? Augustans can only hope this is a bad joke that county employees are spreading around town to simply make Russell’s awkward exit a little less uncomfortable. […]

Will there be a major fallout regarding Kay Allen?

Will there be a major fallout regarding Kay Allen?

When the Columbia County Commission sent Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal a letter last week asking him to look into alleged misconduct by Tax Commissioner Kay Allen, commissioners were nothing but direct. In the letter dated Dec. 23, the commissioners wrote, “In October of this year, the Columbia County Commission was informed of a situation that […]

The shame of Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten

The shame of Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten

When Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten was arrested last week by the FBI for allegedly keeping a deceased man’s 2004 Nissan Altima and using it as his personal vehicle, Augustans shook their head in disgust. Stealing from a dead person is the lowest of the lows. And to risk your entire career for a 10-year-old […]

Are the newbies hurting growth in Richmond and Columbia counties?

Are the newbies hurting growth in Richmond and Columbia counties?

A few weeks ago, the Insider pointed out how change in both of Richmond and Columbia counties’ planning and development departments might be a difficult transition. Apparently, the growing pains are already starting to be felt throughout the CSRA. Several months ago, Richard Harmon, the long-time director of Columbia County’s Development Services Division, suddenly resigned […]

Charles Walker: Nine months and counting

Charles Walker: Nine months and counting

The countdown has already begun for the much-anticipated release of former state Sen. Charles Walker from federal prison. This week, The Augusta Chronicle shamelessly teased readers by posting a story with the headline, “Charles Walker out of prison,” on its homepage. Walker was far from “out of prison.” He was simply being transferred from the […]

MacKenzie should consider brushing up his resume

MacKenzie should consider brushing up his resume

More than a week has passed since the Augusta Commission voted 7-0 to oust County Administrator Fred Russell. But it is no secret that several commissioners are gunning for General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie to also get the boot. The simple fact that MacKenzie was kicked out of the legal meeting to discuss terminating Russell pretty […]