Local Update - May 8, 2007

Flea market fire

Investigators are looking into what caused yesterday's massive fire at the South Augusta Flea Market.

All over Augusta, people noticed thick clouds of black smoke.

High winds and a lack of water caused the main building, which is about 700 feet long, to burn to the ground. It only took an hour.

Firefighters spent a lot of time running hoses to the nearest fire hydrant, which is about a quarter of a mile away.

The owner, Dusty Rhodes, had been cited with a number of fire violations before the blaze even broke out, including the number of exits and smoke detectors.

He's scheduled to be in court this Thursday (May 10).

There are no reports of injuries in the fire. The cause is still under investigation.

Click here for full coverage of the fire.

Richmond County seeks school bomb threat solution

School and public safety leaders in Richmond County are hoping to find a solution to bomb threats. There have been more than 100 so far at schools this year.

They will meet this afternoon at 2 o'clock in the board room auditorium to talk about ways to work together on the increasing number of bomb threats.

The meeting is open to the public.

Aiken County to choose interim superintendent

In Aiken County, Board of Education members will decide on an interim superintendent today.
That meeting starts at 7 o'clock in the administration building.

Superintendent Linda Eldridge is retiring this summer after 12 years.

The deputy superintendent, Bill Gallman, is also retiring.

Gas prices to $3/gallon in SC

You'll need more money to get around if you're going to be driving in South Carolina.

Gas prices are expected to rise over the next couple of days, pushing the average to $3 a gallon--and that's just for unleaded gas.

Carolina's AAA says the average has risen 30 cents in 30 days.

The national average is a record $3.07 a gallon.

Miller Theater vandalized

Part of Augusta's history was defaced and destroyed. Now investigators are hoping to find those responsible.

In the surveillance video, you can see people entering the back door of the historic Miller Theater on Broad Street on Saturday, April 28.

Investigators believe they initially broke into the vacant building by climbing on top of the roof.

Inside, they spray painted the walls with graffiti and broke antique mirrors and sculptures.

The owner of the building was in the process of renovating the theater.

Investigators believe the burglars were likely teenagers leaving a downtown club.

Call the sheriff's office if you have any information.