News 12 This Morning Local Update - October 20, 2006

Augusta home destroyed in fire

A family is literally without a roof over their heads after their house caught fire around 3:30 this morning. The home is in the 3600 block of Madrid Drive near Naples Drive in Augusta.

Firefighters say it's a total loss.

Fortunately no one was inside. There is no word yet on the cause.

Commissioner perks

In the Augusta government there's big talk about slicing the city budget through department cuts, but commissioners are still taking advantage of their own perks.

Some commissioners continue to use their gas cards.

The fleet manager now tells News 12 the policy is that they can each use 125 gallons a month, or about $250 dollars worth at today's prices.

Commissioners will vote on a new gas policy in the next few weeks.

Barrow vs. Burns in Augusta

They're two fiery candidates who have been taking potshots at each other, and Thursday, John Barrow and Max Burns met face to face.

It looked like their TV ads.

"I want to use the national sales tax to lower the cost for everyone," Barrow said.

"You know, it's amazing how ignorant my opponent is for someone who went to Harvard," Burns said. "He wants to put words in my mouth to tell you what I stand for."

It was a war of words in Augusta between the two men who want to represent the 12th district of Georgia in Washington.

Barrow says he doesn't always agree with fellow Democrats.

"And that's why I've made it a policy to work with folks on the other side of the aisle as often as I can, and I have a record of voting just that way," he said. "My opponent voted with Tom DeLay 99 percent of the time."

"As a conservative, I've always supported tax cuts that make sense for America," Burns said, "that give some relief to working Americans. I have supported the Bush tax cuts and believe they should be made permanent."

The candidates touched on issues like transportation, social security, prescription drugs, and something you heard mentioned in all the ads: taxes.

Man hit by cars on Mike Padgett identified

Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen identified 57-year-old Richard Powers. Powers was hit twice while walking on Mike Padgett Highway.

It happened after 3 a.m. Thursday near Hephzibah-McBean Road in south Augusta.

Bowen says Powers had been drinking before the accident.

Pet adoption event this weekend

Columbia County Animal Care and Control is holding a special pet adoption event this weekend.

You can get dogs or puppies for $10, cats or kittens for $5, and rabbits for $10. They even have goats for $40 each.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 8 o'clock to noon Saturday at the animal shelter located at 6337 Columbia Road in Appling.

Only one pet can be adopted per family.

For more information, call 706-541-4077

Western Carolina State Fair

The Western Carolina State Fair is the first of the season, and it will be going on for the next nine evenings.

Crowds of families filled the Aiken Jaycee fairgrounds for opening night.

The big event was a performance from singer Aaron Tippin.

The fun continues tonight with the Victoria Circus performing at the arena.

For more attractions and events at the fair, click here.

Coming Up

Milk does do the body good by taking care of your bones. But another drink that you may find in your refrigerator is being linked to bone fractures.

Learn what researchers are saying Monday on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30.