Local Update - January 16, 2007

Aiken County mobile home destroyed in fire

An investigation is underway into what caused a fire at a mobile home this morning just before 3:30.

It happened off Wadley Drive, not far from Highway 19.

We're told some trees and brush around the trailer also caught fire.

No word if anyone was hurt.

Suspect arrested in Summerville rape case

Richmond County investigators may have found the man to match their sketch of a suspect who raped a 74-year-old woman on Walton Way.

Michael Blocker is in jail charged with rape.

Investigators raided his house in the 2600 block of Hazel Street yesterday.

The 74-year-old woman was attacked and raped almost a week ago. Investigators say the break came in the case after they released items stolen from the victim's house.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is expecting DNA evidence back in about two to three weeks to close the case.

Blocker is a five-time felon, having been convicted for burglary, theft, and having cocaine in different incidents.

Wanted sex offender captured in semi after chase

A police chase with an 18-wheeler ended in an arrest for a wanted sex offender.

Officers tell News 12 Vincent Gaston exposed himself to a woman at Augusta Mall yesterday.

When officers chased him, he took off in his semi through Augusta, North Augusta and Columbia County, where officers used stop sticks to pull him over.

Gaston is a wanted sex offender in Dekalb County.

He was also convicted of cruelty to children and solicitation of sodomy in California in 1986.

Freedom Fund Banquet held at Augusta Towers

The Augusta branch of the NAACP honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. yesterday at their Freedom Fund Banquet.

People gathered at the Augusta Towers hotel, including Congressman John Barrow and Augusta's mayor Deke Copenhaver.

News 12's Jonathan Martin was the emcee for the event. The speaker was Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham.

This is the 33rd annual Freedom Fund Banquet sponsored by the NAACP.