News 12 This Morning Local Update - September 29, 2006

Man shot at Club O'Hara in Aiken

Breaking news out of Aiken after an early morning shooting.

Authorities are searching for a suspect after a man was shot around 12:30 this morning at Club O'Hara.

SWAT was called out to a house off Hampton Avenue and Chesterfield Street, but the suspect was not found there.

No word on his name or the victim's.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Aiken Public Safety at 803-642-7620.

Woman shot on Third Avenue in Augusta

Another shooting sends an Augusta woman to the hospital.

It happened last night just before 8 o'clock on Third Avenue and Leonard Drive.

The woman was shot in a fight with other people.

There's no word on the victims name or the extent of injuries.

Augusta plans Gang Task Force

Richmond County law enforcement is looking to install a Gang Task Force to cut down on violence in Augusta.

Investigators are following leads from a DVD called "The Rap DVD". The DVD was produced in Augusta, touring gangs in different neighborhoods in Augusta. Some named in the DVD are the Barton Village O-Dubs, Southside, and the Old Sunset Homes.

Once approved, the gang task force will consist of deputies from Richmond and Columbia County, one FBI agent, and other local officers, including Board of Education police.

It will be 60 to 90 days before the Department of Justice okays the proposal.

NAACP requests federal voting monitors for Augusta

There are some big decisions ahead for voters in November, and the Augusta NAACP says it wants to make sure it's an election with integrity.

That group and Taxpayers for Economic Justice are sending a letter and petition to the US Justice Department asking for federal observers to come to Augusta to monitor the November election.

The groups say they're concerned about Mayor Deke Copenhaver's former campaign manager Tim Moses serving on the Board of Elections. They're also suspicious of the electronic voting machines.

"These machines are unreliable," said Dr. Charles Smith, president of the Augusta NAACP. "It's like a credit card. You scan it. If a person does not go through the whole process or forgets to push the button, the vote won't count."

The decision whether to send federal observers to Augusta lies with the attorney general.

You can learn more about the justice department's federal observers here.

Job fair continues today

The Cross Country Home Services job fair continues this morning. The Fort Lauderdale company is considering moving to the area, which would bring 250 to 300 jobs to Augusta.

You'll find the job fair at the Ramada Inn downtown on Broad Street. It starts at 8 o'clock this morning and runs until 2 o'clock this afternoon.

There's no guarantee that the company will move here just yet. Cross Country says Augusta is competing with two other states for the customer care center, and a final decision will come in 30 to 60 days.

First Friday no more

The Downtown Development Authority is ending its financial support of First Friday in Augusta.

The director, Margaret Woodard, says the event was successful, so they don't need it to promote downtown anymore.

She's confident people will visit Broad Street anyway.

The DDA also says the event has become more expensive, so they're putting the money in other places.

Coming Up

Good physicians are a great defense against sickness and disease, but there could be a shortfall.

Monday, we'll tell you why the line of medical graduates is getting shorter.

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