The Insider



Low blood sugar impacting SPLOST list

Low blood sugar impacting SPLOST list

In a week where Augusta commissioners spent hours and hours discussing every dollar on the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax list scheduled to go before voters in November, many county departments and local organizations didn’t get the money they requested. But one department definitely got the short end of the stick. Not because this […]

Heat returns to the Augusta Fire Department

Heat returns to the Augusta Fire Department

It’s never a good sign when federal investigators storm into a county department and begin collecting files and computers. But that’s apparently what happened earlier this week at the Augusta Fire Department. Insiders say that investigators with the FBI are searching records relating to Augusta Fire Marshal Jason Beard who was recently placed on paid […]

Meet Professor John Barrow

Meet Professor John Barrow

Starting next Monday, thousands of students will begin the fall semester at University of Georgia. But imagine walking into your new political science class and seeing John Barrow’s mug up behind the podium. Yep. Beginning next week, former U.S. Rep. John Barrow will become a “Scholar in Residence” at the University of Georgia School of […]

Barry Smith’s $80,000 send-off

Barry Smith’s $80,000 send-off

Imagine walking into your boss’s office and telling him you are quitting that very second without any warning or two-weeks notice and he turns to you, pats you on the back and says, “Well, here is a check for $80,000 for doing a ‘good enough job’ over the years.” Not a bad send-off. Well, that’s […]

Why did Barry Smith suddenly resign?

Why did Barry Smith suddenly resign?

Anyone who has ever had any interactions with Barry Smith, Columbia County’s former director of Community and Leisure Services, knows one thing is for certain: he is an extremely loyal employee. He’s not the type of guy to rock the boat. He keeps his head down and works extremely hard. Smith doesn’t like confrontation. He […]

Mayor warns: Don’t play games with SPLOST

Mayor warns: Don’t play games with SPLOST

Around this time last year, the Augusta Commission insisted that it had learned its lesson after voters rejected the proposed $194.3 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax list. Voters last May sent commissioners a clear message: The next phase of SPLOST needs to fund the city’s infrastructure needs, not the community’s “wants.” Citizens laughed […]

The return of Paul Simon

The return of Paul Simon

Local residents beware: Paul Simon, president of Augusta Riverfront LLC, has returned with a new pitch. This time this savvy spokesperson for William S. Morris III, publisher of The Augusta Chronicle, is proposing to expand the Augusta Common. But, as with all of Simon’s deals, there is always a catch. According to the proposal outlined […]

Questions still surround Marshall Square fire

Questions still surround Marshall Square fire

It’s been almost two months since a devastating fire destroyed the Marshall Square retirement community and tragically killed 91-year-old resident Dorothy Carpenter. While investigators with the state fire marshal’s office have officially concluded their on-site investigation of the property, the case is still very much open. Earlier this month, investigators from all over the state, […]

Many  bundle of US 100 dollars bank notes

Pays to be in public relations

When the Insider wrote this past week about Calie Cook, Columbia County’s newly hired public relations manager, it got a lot of attention. Particularly from employees within Columbia County’s government. Cook, who has been in her position about two months, is the former administrative coordinator for the Rental Facilities and Venues Department in Columbia County. […]

Stand up and be a leader

Stand up and be a leader

For decades, the local media has been relentless in its investigations into Augusta-Richmond County’s government. If there is even a slight whiff of a scandal, Augusta commissioners will have at least three news cameras and a half dozen reporters in their faces asking any and every question under the sun. There are no kid gloves. […]