Local Update - March 7, 2007

Maryland Ave. house fire

This morning, Augusta firefighters are investigating the cause of a house fire in the 1800 block of Maryland Avenue.

Dispatchers received a call from a neighbor around 1:30.

The house sustained serious smoke damage.

The owner was at work when it happened. No one was hurt.

No word on a cause yet.

Georgia residents win Mega Millions lottery

Two winning tickets have been found in New Jersey and Georgia for the Mega Millions jackpot.

If you haven't checked your ticket yet, here are the Mega Millions numbers: 42, 39, 29, 22, 16. The Mega Ball is 20. Good luck!

Volunteers help Warren County storm victims

There's still no state or federal aid for Warren County families dealing with the aftermath of Thursday's storm.

The tornado ripped through the county, leaving about $4 million of damage in its trail.

Now the community is stepping-in with volunteers from Columbia County Fire Rescue and Wesley United Methodist Church in Evans. Tuesday, they spent the day cleaning up Mother Nature's mess.

Victims say while they don't feel helpless, they do feel forgotten.

The volunteers plan on staying in Warren County until the debris has been cleared.

If you'd like to help, you can join in by calling 706-869-0888.

Red Cross service center in McDuffie County

The Red Cross service center in McDuffie County will have its doors open all week.

They're helping those affected by the storm, providing essentials including meals and comfort kits.

The relief center is in the First Baptist Church in Thomson.

It's open through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Veterans say Augusta's VA one of best in country

Hearings continue today into the investigation of the treatment of soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.

Reports released by the Washington Post leads us to wonder about our local military hospitals. We asked people here at home how they feel about Augusta's VA.

One retired Marine says while the country's becoming aware of the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed, Augusta's VA is one of the best in the country.

He says the treatment he's gotten here for physical and psychological damage saved his life.

The military has announced all hospitals and VAs will be inspected because of the issues at Walter Reed.

That includes Augusta's two VA medical centers, both uptown and downtown, and the Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon.

Commission to tour Hyde Park

Today the Augusta Commission will turn its attention to the living situation in the Hyde Park neighborhood. There's a special bus tour scheduled for 1 o'clock.

Leaders in the community will show commissioners the areas they say are unsafe.

Last week, the city brought in a state expert to figure out how bad the contamination problem really is.

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