Local Update - December 7, 2007

Pilot in Walton Way Crash Identified

Investigators have now identified the pilot flying the single engine plane that went down on Walton Way Wednesday night and crashed into the stairs of the Congregation Children of Israel temple. Investigators say he was 19-year old Ron Baker of Cartersville, Georgia. Baker was an employee of Phoenix Air, a company based in Cartersville, Georgia.He was a licensed pilot -- and was flying home in the small plane.

Shooting in Wrens

The Wrens Police Department is working on tracking down a shooter this morning. It happened on Highway 17 in Wrens around 9:15 Thursday night. The victim was flown to MCG.

Aiken Deputy Charged with DUI

An Aiken County deputy is on the other said of the law this morning. Sheriff Michael Hunt has fired one of his deputies, Leonard Canalejo. Richmond County investigators stopped him on Gordon Highway early Thursday morning. His blood alcohol level was 0.15.

Richmond County Sheriff's Son Passes Away

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strenth is mourning the death of his son. Todd Strength was found dead Thursday morning at his home. The coroner says he died a natural death. Todd Strength was 29-years-old.

Apartment Fire

This morning, two apartments are heavily damaged after a cooking accident turns into a fire. It happened in the Forest Hill Racquet Club Apartment Complex, which is near the west end of Walton Way. The grease fire started while a woman was cooking. She took the pot outside but dropped it, catching the patio on fire. Two apartments near it now have heavy smoke and water damage.

Augusta Budget

The Augusta Commission has passed a budget for the coming year. In it, all city employees will get a three percent pay increase for the increased cost of living. The raise will go into effect February first. Richmond County Public Safety employees will get an additional $2,000 raise effective August first.

Norwood's Donations

The family of the late Congressman Charlie Norwood has donated nearly $700,000 of his political fortune to nonprofit organizations. His wife Gloria says she tried to pick things that were "near and dear to his heart," such as Habitat for Humanity and MCG. Norwood's church, a drug addiction treatment center, and a disabled veterans facility will also be rewarded.

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