News 12 This Morning Local Update - September 15, 2006

Larke agrees to step down

He'll no longer be running Richmond County's schools. Dr. Charles Larke has agreed to step down, then retire after 40 years of working in the Richmond County school system.

Larke and board members agreed to amended terms in a new contract last night. Larke will step down as superintendent next month and work as a consultant for interim superintendent James Thompson until March.

Dr. Larke has served as superintendent for over ten years, but he says he's glad to put it all behind him.

"I am really excited, I am happy, I'm relieved," Larke said after the meeting. "I think I'll sleep real good tonight and I'm just excited to have this behind me."

"He's still a friend, he'll always be a friend," said board member Ken Echols. "It's just that we didn't agree on several issues about how the school system's run. But I think the healing has begun and we'll move forward now."

The board will meet Tuesday to discuss the nationwide search for a new superintendent.

One man eliminated as suspect in motel murder

Richmond County deputies have ruled out one man as a suspect in a murder at the Red Carpet Inn.

Antwon Rogers turned himself in Wednesday night. He was a person of interest in the case, but after questioning, deputies eliminated him as a suspect.

Eddie Lee Freeman is still being held for questioning, and deputies are still looking for Byron Elliard to question him as a witness.

The sheriff's department found Terrance Moore murdered at the motel early Tuesday morning. They believe the crime was drug related.

Construction leads to downtown lane closures

Construction will close lanes on Gordon Highway in downtown Augusta.

Starting today, the inside lanes for both directions will close from Walton Way to the South Carolina state line.

The closures will last about a month.

Residency challenges costing taxpayers

Residency challenges have become a big money problem for Augusta's electoral process lately, with three challenges filed this election year.

The Board of Elections has had to ask the city administrator for additional funds to help pay for the challenge process.

Once a challenge is filed, a special called meeting is held to determine the validity.

If valid, a hearing date is set and then a hearing takes place.

The most recent hearing was for former commissioner Keith Brown, who they found was ineligible to run for election. After hearing the board's findings, Brown stepped down.

Other challenges filed are against mayoral candidates Ronnie Few and current mayor Deke Copenhaver.

A hearing date for Few is set for September 21.

A date for a special called meeting regarding Mayor Copenhaver's residency is not set yet.

Coming Up

A woman loses her arm in a tragic incident, but she's given a new unique power.

Monday, we'll show you the latest prosthetic technology researchers are using.

That's on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30.