Local Update - January 3, 2007

Jefferson County inmate escapes

Deputies are searching for a prisoner who escaped from the Jefferson County Jail.

It happened around 5:00 this morning.

The escapee is David Campbell, a probation violator. He climbed over the fence at the jail.

Columbia County meth bust

Columbia County deputies have arrested three people in two separate meth labs.

In an investigation ongoing since October, Jamie Brosious was arrested after a lab was found at her home at 136 Pond View Road in Evans.

Police say Scott Fernandez and Cheree Granade were also arrested after a lab was discovered in the back of their truck as they left that same home.

Bond has not yet been set for the three suspects.

Armed robbers escape after shooting clerk

Investigators are looking through surveillance video to get a description of two armed robbers.

The Richmond Hill Market was robbed around 11 p.m. Monday night.

That's located at 512 Richmond Hill West, near Deans Bridge Road in south Augusta.

Investigators say the armed men burst in, fired several warning shots, and demanded money from the woman working the register.

As they were cleaning that out, a second clerk walked in from a back office, and that's when they shot him twice.

The victim is currently in stable condition at MCG.

Thomson man to be charged with feticide

In Thomson, a man is in jail after authorities say he beat his pregnant girlfriend.

Marone Elam, who was just over four months pregnant, lost her baby. It would have been her fourth child.

Elam and West also have a daughter together.

The GBI is holding West in the McDuffie County Jail.

Investigators plan to charge him with the baby's murder this morning.

If convicted of feticide, he could face life in prison.

Fort Gordon honors President Ford

In honor of President Ford today, Fort Gordon's ceremonial platoon will fire 21 rounds at noon. At 5 o'clock, 50 rounds will be fired, one for each state, at five second intervals after the daily lowering of the flag.

Augusta Commission elects first female pro tem

The Augusta Commission has something new this New Year: its first female mayor pro tem.

Betty Beard beat out Marion Williams and Andy Cheek Tuesday with six votes.

She's the first woman to be elected to the position, and the only woman on the Commission.

Last year the vote was not so easy, with the city going to court for abstentions.

As pro tem, Beard will preside in the mayor's absence and help him appoint committees.

The perks include an office, a parking space, and a $20,000 salary as opposed to the $12,000 the other commissioners get.

Copenhaver sworn in for first full term

Mayor Deke Copenhaver will keep his title for the next four years.

He was sworn in Tuesday for a full term.

He says his goals are to continue to foster cooperation between commissioners and bring more economic development.

Copenhaver received over 60 percent of the vote in November.

"I would really like to thank the people of Augusta for entrusting me with four years to serve this city," Copenhaver said. "To me that is what it is truly about, is public service."

Georgia Trend Magazine named Mayor Copenhaver one of the 100 most influential Georgians for 2007. The magazine says it chooses individuals who "are playing major roles in shaping the world we live in, and the way we feel and think."