Local Update - April 23, 2007

Fire on Brown Road in south Augusta

Fire officials are looking into a house fire in the 1500 block of Brown Road, near Cedar Ridge Drive in south Augusta. It happened around 4:00.

No word on any injuries.

Day of Mourning for Ryan Clark

In remembrance of Ryan Clark, a Martinez man killed in the Virginia Tech massacre, Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver has declared today a day of mourning.

Clark's funeral services will be held at noon at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Laney Walker Boulevard.

The Marching Virginians band, of which Ryan was a member, will play at that service. They also played at a memorial service Saturday for Clark.

Family, friends and classmates gathered at his alma mater, Lakeside High School.

Clark was shot last Monday (April 16) at Virginia Tech, the second person killed in his West Ambler dorm.

He was just 22 years old.

"I really appreciate his presence in my life, because he was my best friend," Jeff Czech said. "I miss him and I love him...I really do."

"I still have trouble referring to Ryan in the past tense," said Ryan's high school friend Sarah Bergatti. "It's hard to comprehend someone with so much life and so much life to live is now gone."

The straight-A student and marching band member was set to receive three degrees.

Month-long road closure

King Road will be closed at Davis Road starting today through May 23.

Drivers should use Executive Center Drive as an alternate route, and Prince Drive to access Washington Road from King Road.

I-20 pacing begins

Pacing will begin today in the westbound lanes on I-20, starting at South Carolina exit 1. Pacing will run from 11 am to 4 pm and last through tomorrow.

Click here for more information.

Blue Angels pilot dies in crash

The Navy says they will wait three weeks to release the official cause of a deadly crash at the Blue Angels show.

Yesterday, the pilots flew in a missing man formation in honor of Lt. Capt. Kevin Davis. Davis died after his jet crashed during the final minutes of an afternoon performance in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Eight people were injured when the jet went down near the Laurel Bay housing area, which houses members of the Marine Corps.

The other five Blue Angels pilots landed safely.

Golf club moving forward after fire

Managers at the North Augusta Golf and Country Club are focusing on the future. The clubhouse was destroyed by an early morning fire last Monday (April 16).

The new owner, Fred Layman, bought the club just last week, and investigators are calling the fire suspicious.

The club has since ordered new golf carts and had to let some employees go.

A temporary, double-wide clubhouse will arrive next week.

Voyager learning program evaluated

The end of the school year is approaching, and for Georgia students that means CRCT testing.

That has brought the issue of Richmond County's reading program back to the forefront.

Voyager has been the system's reading program since 2001. It has cost taxpayers $1 million in federal funds and $10 million in state money, and it's still unclear if it even works.

27 of 33 elementary schools have shown declines in third graders passing the CRCT under the Voyager program just last year alone.

Teachers from schools that aren't making the grade in reading will speak at the next board presentation on Voyager. That is open to the public and is next Monday, April 30, at 5 pm.