News 12 This Morning Local Update - October 31, 2006

Free health screenings for Graniteville victims

People in Graniteville are talking health.

Health officials were on hand Monday night informing people of more health screenings following
Graniteville's train derailment and chlorine spill in January 2005.

Officials from the state's department of health and environmental control are making sure the people who need to be checked get the proper treatment.

The Medical College of Georgia is providing the free screenings for the folks living in Graniteville.

River Watch Parkway to expand to Belair Road

There's a lot of growth in Columbia County, and River Watch Parkway is growing with it.

The Department of Transportation has demolished 12 of the 27 homes standing in the way of the construction.

The plan is to continue the four-lane highway into Old Petersburg Road through Old Evans, ending on Belair.

The estimated $60 million project is forcing several people from their homes and businesses.

Construction won't begin for four more years.

The expansion is designed to help ease some of the congestion on Washington Road.

Advance voting

Advance voting is already underway.

The number of people who cast their ballots during advance voting could affect the outcome on November 7th.

Studies show higher turnouts tend to favor liberal candidates, while lower turnouts favor conservatives.

Political experts say Democrats often have a harder time getting to the polls; bad weather or lack of transportation are more likely to keep them at home.

The Board of Elections expects half of registered voters to turn out, which could make this a close race.

Early voters say they're casting their ballots early to make sure their voices are heard.

"I'm a citizen," said Fred Stallings. "I have that right, and I want to exercise that right."

Click here for advance voting information.

Grandma pulls gun on armed robber

A woman with a gun stops an armed robber in his tracks in Augusta.

Deputies say Lawrence Woolfolk went into Paulos Cleaners on Peach Orchard Road a little after 10 o'clock on Monday morning.

68-year-old Janis Butler, the assistant manager, was busy pressing clothes and trying to calm down her fussy grandbaby when Woolfolk entered and demanded cash.

She told him to take the money, and then she pulled out a gun.

Wookfolk ran away without the cash and was arrested shortly after.

Butler is carrying the gun legally.

Coming Up

On News 12 at 6, it's Halloween...and all the little ghosts and goblins are hitting the streets.

We'll show you how your community marks the year's spookiest holiday.

And Wednesday, a company headquartered in Augusta announces a big promotion for someone in charge of selling a lot of their cars.

We'll have the Buzz on the transportation Biz on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30 a.m.