Local Update - May 7, 2007

Man kills another man with 2-by-4

Richmond County investigators have closed another murder case after an Augusta man was found dead this weekend.

54-year-old Richard Hatcher is in jail, charged with the murder of 56-year-old Joseph Brooks.

Brooks was found unconscious outside his home on the 17-hundred block of Wrightsboro Road Saturday morning (May 5). He was later pronounced dead at MCG.

So far, the investigation shows Hatcher struck Brooks one time in the head with a 2-by-4 during a dispute over money.

This is Richmond County's tenth homicide of the year. Nine of those are also considered murder.

Murderer of Aiken teacher still unknown

Public Safety officers in Aiken are looking for a suspect in the murder of an Aiken teacher.

Investigators say the victim's daughter, 21-year-old Christina Mavris, called 911 to report her mother's home on fire.

She was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant.

While she is not a suspect in the murder of her mother, Dana Davis, she is said to be an important witness.

Investigators say there were no signs of forced entry into Davis' Hahn Avenue home.

Investigators say she did not die in the fire, but rather was stabbed to death.

Head-on collision in Aiken

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a head-on collision at the intersection of Banks Mill Road and Pine Log Road. It happened around 8 pm yesterday.

Two vehicles were involved. One of them flipped.

We're told alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

There's no word on any injuries.

Local radio host loses TV hosting gig

News 12 has learned Austin Rhodes will no longer host Comcast Connect Live.

People have been protesting since Rhodes used the same comments about the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case that shock jock Don Imus used about the women on the Rutgers basketball team.

Rhodes says he got the news about Comcast Connect Live Friday afternoon (May 4), describing it as a corporate decision, not a local one.

Waynesboro Primary School's reading scores on the rise

Richmond County's reading program has gotten a lot of attention lately. Right now, the school board's deciding whether or not to keep it.

So far, taxpayers have spent $10 million on Voyager, but reading scores haven't really improved much.

News 12 found that in a Burke County primary school, kids are learning to read using a different system, and instead of declining scores, they are seeing success.

What is Waynesboro Primary School doing right?

We'll take a closer look with News 12's Laurie Ott in her Special Assignment today on News 12 at 6 o'clock.