Local Update - April 19, 2007

Armed robbery

Richmond County deputies are looking for three armed robbers who held up the Need More Kuntry Store.

It happened around 2:45 this morning in the 4000 block of Windsor Spring Road.

If you have any information, you're asked to call the sheriff's office.

Teens say kidnapped for cash

Richmond County investigators are looking into claims from a couple who says they were kidnapped at gunpoint at Augusta's Riverwalk.

The teenagers say they were getting into their car on 5th Street around 10:30 Tuesday night (April 17) when three men approached them with a sawed-off shotgun.

They say the men made them drive to several ATMs.

The couple says the suspects also took them to a house in North Augusta, where the men stole a CD player and other things from the teens' car.

Investigators are checking surveillance video from the ATMs.

Local officer weighs in on VA Tech response

A lot of answers were revealed this morning with new footage of Cho, but questions still remain about how the Virginia Tech police department responded to the shooting.

We talked to a local officer who trained with Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum.

Aiken DPS Lt. Mark Farmer says the FBI National Academy trained them both to lead entire departments through tragedies like this.

Lt. Farmer says the chief is good at what he does and did the best job he could under the circumstances.

The lieutenant also tells News 12 their training is helping the chief investigate the country's worst school shooting.

Many of Farmer's classmates have emailed the chief to find out how he's holding up, but so far they haven't heard anything back.

Remembering Ryan Clark

Lakeside High School graduate Ryan Clark died at Virginia Tech.

Clark was one of the first victims at Ambler Johnston, where he was a resident advisor. He was also a 4.0 student just weeks from graduation.

His family lives in Martinez.

This Saturday afternoon (April 21) at 4 o'clock, friends and family will gather at the Lakeside gym to remember him.

Rhodes protests continue

Protests will continue today against a local radio talk show host, with the backing of civil activist Jesse Jackson.

Local NAACP leaders are calling for change. They say they're not backing down until action is taken against Austin Rhodes.

The uproar came about after Rhodes described the woman who accused Duke Lacrosse players of raping her using the same words Don Imus used to describe the Rutgers women's basketball team. Imus was fired for his remarks.

Civil activists will protest today in front of Beasley Broadcasting at 3 pm.

Rev. Jesse Jackson and the president of the SCLC are scheduled to be there.

Rhodes maintains his comments were not racially motivated.

Attorneys for Rhodes did say that because Champ Walker is part of these protests, they will not drop him from the lawsuit that Rhodes filed against radio host Ryan B and his station Rejoice 94.7.

Copenhaver holds community forum

If you want to talk to Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, you have a chance. He's hosting another community forum tonight.

It will be from 6 to 7 pm at the Diamond Lakes Community Center.

Anyone is invited to come and share opinions or ask questions.

Tens of thousands owed for Brown funeral

There's an expensive bill left over from James Brown's funeral.

News 12 has learned the trustee handling the estate owes more than $70,000 for the funeral and the care of Brown's body for nearly three months before it was laid to rest in March.

Charles Reid, the funeral director who handled the arrangements, says he hasn't been pushing the issue.