News 12 This Morning Local Update - December 12, 2006

Body found in downtown Augusta

Investigators are still trying to identify a man whose body was found earlier this morning.

The man suffered a single gunshot wound.

The body was found at Double Gate Court and Walden Drive just before 5 o'clock.

Two wanted in late night robbery

Deputies continue their search this morning for two people after a late night robbery at Wally's convenience store. It's located in the 300 block of North Belair Road in Columbia County.

Just after 11 o'clock last night, dispatchers say two suspects wearing full face masks entered the store.

One was armed with a gun.

Investigation begins into Augusta plant fire

Investigators will begin today looking into a plant fire in Augusta.

Deputies believe homeless people may have caused the blaze in the abandoned building off Glass Factory Avenue Sunday night.

People living near the plant say they see people going in and out of the building all the time for shelter, to steal scrap metal, and to vandalize the property.

The sheriff's office says they're working to get homeless people to go to shelters like the Salvation Army, but if they're caught trespassing they will be charged.

Deputies are designated to patrol certain areas and report anything suspicious.

Man wanted for vehicular homicide in Blythe

A family is mourning the death of 20-year-old Kevin Simpkins, killed in Blythe over the weekend.

Charles Silas is currently listed in good condition at MCG. He's wanted for homicide by vehicle.

Deputies say Saturday night, Silas crossed the center line in his pickup truck on Highway 88 hitting Simpkins' vehicle.

The sheriff's office sent alcohol tests to the state crime lab.

Sex offender wanted for probation violation

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is trying to put a sex offender behind bars for probation violation.

Jeffrey Jennings was convicted of statutory rape in 1994 in Columbia County.

His last known address was 468 White Road in Harlem.

If you know where he is, call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Aiken County schools to pass anti-bullying policy tonight

The Aiken County school board is taking action, looking for ways to handle bullies.

The board will meet tonight at the district office on Brookhaven Drive at 7 o'clock to pass a new anti-bullying policy required by state law.

They'll define what bullying actually is and how they'll punish the bullies.

Parents are welcome.

The law goes into effect in January.

Aiken County Council to discuss suspending Blue Laws on Christmas Eve

Businesses and holiday shoppers in Aiken County will find out today whether they'll be able to do last minute shopping on Christmas Eve.

It falls on Sunday this year, and blue laws mean stores can not sell non-essential items until 1:30 on Sundays.

Counties can suspend the law on an individual basis, so that's what county council members will decide today.

Holiday assistance deadline

If you're in need of some assistance this holiday season, today is your last day to apply.

The Salvation Army will take applications from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. today.

All you have to do is bring a photo ID for all adults in the house, social security cards for everyone, proof of birth for the kids, and proof of income and expenses.

The Salvation Army is located off Greene Street.

Road closures

In Augusta, Toucan Road will close at 9 o'clock and reopen at 4 p.m. People living there should use Ravenwood Drive or Cockatoo Road to get to Pleasant Home Road.

The northbound lane and shoulder on Gibbs Road will close again today at the Washington Road intersection starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. It will also close tomorrow. You'll be able to use southbound lanes.

If you're in Columbia County, lane closures will continue today along William Few Parkway at the entrance to Patriots Park to just north of Aspen Laurel Drive from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. today. The sections won't close all at one time.

Coming Up

You've heard all about the revitalization of Evans, North Augusta, and Aiken...but how about Augusta?

Wednesday, catch the Buzz on the Biz in a once-hot shopping district. That's on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30.