Higher taxes equal more tension

Higher taxes equal more tension

Augusta rarely sees it. Mayor Deke Copenhaver getting an opportunity to cast a vote and break a tie on the Augusta Commission. But this wasn’t a regular week in Augusta-Richmond County. Following the sudden resignation of District 6 Commissioner Joe Jackson last week, Commissioner-Elect Ben Hasan was sworn in Monday after the commission voted 9-0 […]

Examining Death

Examining Death

When Columbia County Medical Examiner Dr. Butch Garrison resigned about three months ago, Coroner Vernon Collins saw an opportunity to give his staff a raise. “I met with [County Administrator] Scott Johnson and made him aware that we didn’t have a medical examiner anymore and that I didn’t feel the need for one, since I […]

AJC news editor criticized for Ferguson comment

AJC news editor criticized for Ferguson comment

Everyone in Augusta by now has heard the story of the North Augusta mom who dropped the F-bomb in front of her kids at a Kroger grocery store across the river. But this past week, George Mathis, a news editor from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution got an earful from readers of his blog, “News to Me.” The […]

Grady Smith burns bridges on the first day

Grady Smith burns bridges on the first day

Ask the average small business owner in Richmond County what is wrong with Augusta politics and this astute quote from Commissioner Grady Smith in this week’s feature story about the tax increase would sum it up: “Might as well start off on the right foot,” Grady Smith said, sarcastically referring to Augusta Commissioner Ben Hasan’s […]

Diverging Diamond in the Rough

Diverging Diamond in the Rough

When news broke that Columbia County officials had green lighted an incentive package totaling $700,000 for a massive new retail development at the already massively congested I-20 exit in Grovetown, you couldn’t help but hear the massive groan of frustration from those who regularly drive in that area. Make no mistake, all but a stubborn […]

Should Ben Hasan still play a role in Urban Pro Weekly?

Should Ben Hasan still play a role in Urban Pro Weekly?

Much of Augusta was surprised and saddened to hear of Augusta Commissioner Joe Jackson’s resignation last week. But considering the devastating loss of his wife to cancer earlier this year, it is completely understandable why Jackson may need to concentrate more time at home with his daughter and two sons. This week, Augusta commissioners unanimously […]

Tax Increase Was Well-Choreographed Plan

Tax Increase Was Well-Choreographed Plan

Mayor Deke Copenhaver had one important vote blow up on him a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t about to happen again. Monday’s 5-5 split Augusta Commission vote on the 1.75 mill property tax increase, with the Mayor breaking the tie to pass it, was as well planned as any vote in recent memory. Commissioner […]

Getting the Last Laugh

Getting the Last Laugh

Poor Deke. In the twilight of his political career, at least as mayor of Augusta, lame duck Deke Copenhaver’s big finish is turning out to be a dud. It’s not that he’s not trying, he’s just not having much success. On August 14, we learned that after so much early promise (not to mention more […]