News 12 This Morning Local Update - October 4, 2006

Edgefield County residents upset over tax increase plans

There's a tax revolt brewing in Edgefield County.

People there are upset over plans to raise the property tax and possibly the millage rate at the same time.

A number of property owners turned out at last night's County Council meeting to oppose the raise.

Opponents say Edgefield County is trying to push this tax increase through now before a state law kicks in next year that puts a cap on how much counties can raise taxes.

Columbia County school superintendent search

Columbia County continues its search for a new school superintendent.

Last night the board talked about what applicants need for the job.

So far, the board has received three applications.

Deputies respond to Evans High threatening message

A threat scribbled on a bathroom wall at Evans High School has the Columbia County deputies taking precautionary steps this morning.

On-duty officers will be patrolling today inside and outside the school. The principal has also hired an off-duty officer to be at the school for the entire day.

While some students will be in school today, some parents are holding their children back in the name of safety.

"With three recent events, and in particular in a very peaceful place such as the Amish country in Pennsylvania, it makes you think it could happen anywhere," said parent Richard Pope.

Students will be excused today if parents don't feel safe, but they will have to have a parent's note when they return.

Random searches of classrooms, book bags, and lockers may also take place.

Defense to make its case in Payne trial

The defense gets its chance today at the Lottie Payne child neglect trial in Warrenton.

She could get years in prison if she's convicted of actions leading to the deaths of her two children.

More than a dozen witnesses testified against Payne yesterday.

Prosecutors kept finding inconsistent statements about Payne's whereabouts when she says she last saw the children. On one account she said she was in the bedroom, then later in the bathroom.

A paramedic who was the first on the scene said Payne's concern wasn't for the well being of her children, but whether she would go to jail.

District 4 interim commissioner appointed

People living in District 4 finally have a representative on the Augusta Commission.

It took three votes, but commissioners approved on retired military veteran Calvin Stevenson.

He works now at Fort Gordon, and may serve for only a meeting or two before the election.

Stevenson is not a candidate for the job on the November ballot.

At first some commissioners voted against him because they didn't know anything about him.

He was eventually approved on a six to three vote.

Coming Up

He doesn't have the name recognition of the others, but William "Gil" Gilyard says he has the right tools to lead the city of Augusta.

You'll meet this mayoral candidate tonight on News 12 at 6.