Local Update - January 11, 2007

Woman, cats die in accidental fire

A 67-year-old woman died in a fire just after midnight in the 3000 block of Sterling Road in Augusta.

Oria Sumrall died of smoke inhalation.

Sumrall owned the home and lived in the back part. Some people renting in the front are okay.

The fire has been ruled accidental. Investigators say it started in a wall heater unit.

Sumrall's cats also died in the fire.

Investigators still searching for Walton Way rapist

A rapist is on the run after assaulting a 74-year-old Augusta woman.

This is a sketch of the suspect from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

It happened early Tuesday morning (January 9) in the 2500 block of Walton Way.

When the woman was returning home from walking her dog, a man forced her into her apartment. He stole jewelry and cash, and then raped her.

Investigators say it's an unusual case because of the victim's age and because it happened in a relatively low-crime area.

"It's not only unusual in that area, it's unusual in Augusta altogether," said Maj. Ken Autry. "We don't have that many stranger to stranger rapes."

The sheriff's department says ten of last year's 91 reported rapes were between strangers.

Augusta's Rape Crisis Center says this type of attack can cause the victim to fear going out in public.

People in the area are making plans to start a neighborhood watch, and more deputy patrols are driving through this area.

Lots of unsolved armed robberies

The victim shot in a robbery last week at the Richmond Hill Market is out of the hospital, but unable to walk.

He's one of several robbery victims only two weeks into January.

Despite the eight working cameras both in and outside the store, Richmond County investigators are still looking for the two men responsible.

Investigators are also searching for the suspects behind four different armed robberies. They want to talk to Harry Mitchell. He could be connected to an armed robbery Monday at Dent's Undertaking on D`Antignac Street.

The victim there says a man walked into the building asking about employment, then demanded money. When he didn't get it, he took the purse of a woman in the lobby.

Mitchell is not a suspect in this case. He is only wanted for questioning.

16-year-old charged as adult in armed robbery

A 16-year-old high school student is facing some adult charges.

Talonda Chandler was charged as an adult for armed robbery.

She's accused of robbing Taylor's Banquet on Tobacco Road.

During that robbery, someone stole cash, a cash register, and 1200 Georgia Lottery tickets.

Chandler is a student at Cross Creek High School.

She is being held at the youth detention center.

Tax Advice Day

H&R associates from around the area will be on hand today for tax advice day.

The forum will be held at the Augusta Common today at 11.

Associates want to help you claim every tax benefit and get every dollar back you deserve.

Afterwards, tax professionals will hand out free tax advice and discount coupons.

Tomorrow on News 12 This Morning

They're one of the few signs of growth for little ones--those teeth coming in.

When's it time for a first dental check up?

12 is On Your Side...Friday on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30 a.m.