Local Update - January 17, 2007

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Aiken home destroyed in fire

A family escaped with their lives, but there's nothing left of their home.

The house caught fire around 2:30 this morning in the 300 block of Cherokee Street.

Investigators are still looking into the cause.

Man wanted in Aiken business burglary

Deputies are searching for a burglary suspect on the run in Aiken County.

Investigators say Larry Bussey broke into Aiken-Augusta Window Tint on Jefferson Davis Highway Tuesday morning.

Investigators say he walked in through a side door, kicked open the office, and grabbed a cash box and money bag.

Tomi Rae to sue for half James Brown's estate

Tomi Rae Brown's attorney says she will sue for half of James Brown's estate once the will is filed.

The attorney says he'll ask a court to rule Tomi Rae is legally married to Brown and is entitled to half of his estate under South Carolina law.

If a judge rules in her favor, the attorney says she will inherit 50 percent of Brown's estate and the trust, and their child will inherit one seventh of the other half.

Tomi Rae's attorney says they will take the fight all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

North Augusta High School adding surveillance cameras

North Augusta High School's principal plans to catch crime at his school on tape.

Principal Kyle Smith hopes to install 22 cameras by next week to help catch thieves and vandals at the school.

The high-tech cameras are already in place at Strom Thurmond High School.

Administrators say because of the cameras, crime on campus has gone down and that it's easier to resolve disputes between students.

Now North Augusta administrators hope the cameras will do the same at their school.

"We're warning them, saying, 'Hey, cameras are on, don't do anything stupid.' But if it does, we spend less time investigating because it's on camera," Principal Smith said.

The cameras will cost the school about $22,000. The school board and the Area 2 Advisory Council will fund the project.

Plans for riverfront trade center stalled

Augusta commissioners are willing to renegotiate with Augusta Riverfront LLC after one of their priority projects hit the wall.

The new event center, part of the most recent penny sales tax, could be a no go.

It's the project Augusta Riverfront was working with the city to build: a trade, exhibit, and event center on the river next to the Marriott.

The company wanted to put it on their property and then give the land to the city, if the city agreed to help pay to operate the center.

But commissioners voted that plan down, saying it's an offer the city can not afford.

The city administrator will look at other locations for the center.

Gas prices down

As of this morning, these are the cheapest gas prices in our area.

In Georgia, the Pilot on Belair Road has gas for $1.97.

And in South Carolina, Greg's Gas Plus in North Augusta at East Buena Vista and Georgia Avenue has gas for $1.95.

To check the most recent gas price information or to post a price you've spotted, click here.


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