News 12 This Morning Local Update - October 5, 2006

Augusta tire and rim shop destroyed in fire

Nobody was hurt this morning when the Mag Wheel Connection went up in flames this morning.

The tire and rim shop caught fire just after 4:30.

It's located in the 1900 block of Barton Chapel Road, off Gordon Highway.

Still no word on what caused the fire.

Pete Warren passes away

A state representative from Augusta has died.

Pete Warren, who represented District 122, passed away yesterday of complications from pneumonia.

The 59-year-old Democrat took office three years ago and served on House committees that handled agriculture, parks, and veterans issues.

He lost his most recent primary race.

Before going into politics, Warren briefly worked in the auto racing industry after a long career at International Paper for more than 30-years.

Pete Warren is survived by his wife Diane, two children and one grandchild.

Columbia County runs out of flu shots, but no shortage expected

The Columbia County Health Department is waiting for a re-stock after running out of flu shots.

Hundreds of shots were given out Monday, and another clinic yesterday ended just after it started.

They say they are expecting more before the end of the month.

You can get a flu shot in Richmond County at the Laney Walker and South Augusta Health Departments.

Aiken County has clinics scheduled later this month.

Two days left to apply for Salvation Army Christmas assistance

The holiday season is fast approaching, and some families are wondering how they'll afford Christmas.

News 12 is On Your Side, reminding you there are only two more days left to apply for Christmas assistance.

The Salvation Army is taking applications for help through Friday at 3 p.m.

Families needing help must apply in person at the Salvation Army Social Service Center at 1384 Greene Street.

For more information, call (706) 826-7933 or click here.

Lottie Payne defense team makes case

Lottie Kain Payne says she is not to blame for the death of her two children.

The defense team took the stand for the first time on Day 3 of trial.

Payne is accused of neglecting her two toddlers after they were found drowned in a nearby pond.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Deborah Gunnin testified that Payne appeared numb under stress because of abuse she experienced when she was younger.

Payne testified that at 5:44 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, she thought her children were asleep after she left the bathroom.

Payne's attorney, Michael Garrett, asked Payne, "Would you agree with me, small children -- that you've gotta watch them, as you said, with all your eyes every second? You agree with that?"

"Yes I do," Payne testified.

"Did you do it this time?" Garrett asked.


Closing arguments will begin this morning with Judge Dunaway giving the jury an option to return with a lesser charge for Lottie Payne.

Columbia County schools on "soft lockdown"

Columbia County schools are on what's called a soft lockdown today.

This comes after a second school threat---this time found in a bathroom at Lakeside High School.

It said "LHS will blow up on 10/5."

The soft lockdown includes locking all doors and limiting traffic during the school day.

The school also plans to make patrols more visible, have hand-held metal detectors, and conduct locker searches.

Administrators say they were already under heightened alert because of recent school violence across the nation.

The first school threat was found Friday on a bathroom wall at Evans High School.

Coming Up

What's in what your children drink?

Most parents would likely prefer to give children juice over soda...but Friday, we look at what researchers have to say about the beverages.

Join us. News 12 This Morning starts at 5:30a.m.