Local Update - February 20, 2007

Family loses home, livelihood in fire

A fire destroyed Lora Bollinger's home and her home business in Evans yesterday.

Firefighters say they believe the blaze started in the garage, then made its way through the ceiling and to the rest of the house, destroying everything in its path.

Lora says she tried to extinguish the fire before realizing it was bigger than she could handle.

"I was asleep and I heard a loud boom. I thought my son had fallen out of the bed and ran in there and he was sleeping."

Everyone was okay, but the family still needs basic necessities. Email diane.cho@wrdw.com to find out how you can help.

James Brown ruling expected today

A ruling is expected today in the fight over James Brown's estate.

News 12 has learned the judge in the case could make a decision.

We'll stay on top of this for you and will pass along any information as soon as we get it.

Man convicted of killing two police officers to be sentenced today

Life or death? An Abbeville man convicted of murder could learn his fate today.

Steven Bixby was found guilty of killing two Abbeville police officers.

Letters written by Bixby say he considers himself a patriot and has no regrets about the deadly shootings.

The jury will meet today to decide if Bixby will get the death penalty.

Bixby's parents are also charged in the case. They're still waiting for a trial date.

Whitehead to run for District 10

A third person is in the running for the US Congress seat now open in Georgia's 10th District.

Jim Whitehead says he wants to represent District 10.

Rep. Barry Fleming has decided not to run and says he'll endorse Whitehead's campaign instead.

Sen. Whitehead will have to give up his State Senate seat when he qualifies.

State Sen. Ralph Hudgens of Athens is also running, as is Democrat Terry Holley, who Congressman Norwood defeated in the November election.

Governor Sonny Perdue has until Friday to call for a special election.

Aiken County Council meets on smoking ban

Today the Aiken County Council will hold their final public hearing on a smoking ban.

The council wants to hear what you have to say about it.

They're hoping to settle the question of whether the ban would be county-wide or would exclude the cities of Aiken and North Augusta.

The council will meet at 736 Richland Avenue. That's the Aiken County Council Annex building.

Federal money sought for Augusta housing

Augusta's Housing and Community Development department is taking the first steps to get federal grant money for housing.

That department held a public hearing Monday.

They're working to create an action plan to create more affordable housing.

News 12 talked to a member of JWC's Helping Hands who helps with housing on Augusta's south side.

That member says the department is doing a good job.

Columbia County road closure

Dodge Lane in Columbia County will be closed today from 8 am until 4 pm. It will stay that way until March 6.

Crews will be paving the asphalt there.

Motorists are asked to use an alternate route.

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