Local Update - July 25, 2007

School supply giveaways today

You can cut down your back to school list. There will be two school supply giveaways for children involved in Augusta summer programs.

The Henry Brigham Community Center will give away supplies between 10 am and noon today. Then, from 1pm to 3pm, the Diamond Lake Community Center will open its doors.

The Augusta Professional Firefighters, Augusta Blueprint and Wellcare of Augusta are sponsoring the giveaways.

Aiken house fire

An Aiken family is out of their house after a fire broke out this morning. All the damage is believed to be inside the home.

It happened around 1:30 this morning at 1427 South Boundary Avenue. No word on a cause.

Sports store burglarized

North Augusta Public Safety officers are looking into a break-in at SMS Sports World. The store is in the K-Mart Plaza on Martintown Road.

Surveillance video shows the burglar. He got away with $1300 worth of merchandise.

If you have any information about the break-in, call public safety at 803-279-2121.

Suspect in custody in Allendale murder

Police have Marquis Breeland in custody. He's being questioned about the murder of Laurice Garvin.

Breeland is the only suspect as of now. He has not been charged.

Wagener man charged in series of sexual assaults

Tommy Smith is charged in the sexual assault of two girls over a period of six years, with nine counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and nine counts of a lewd act on a child under 16.

Investigators say between 2002 and this month, Smith sexually assaulted the girls at a home in Wagener.

City faces discrimination lawsuit

How important are race and gender in the Augusta Commission's decisions? Former public works director Teresa Smith thinks they're very important. Her attorney recently filed a lawsuit claiming commissioners fired her in 2005 because she's an African-American woman.

The lawsuit claims that white commissioners, including Don Grantham, led the fight to fire her because white developers did not want to work with a black female.

The city of Augusta has 30 days to decide how to respond to the lawsuit.

Kellogg's distribution center closing

The distribution center at the Kellogg's plant in Augusta will close by the end of September, leaving more than 100 people without a job. It's all part of a company-wide reorganization plan.

Kellogg's will continue to produce their staple products like cookies and crackers in Augusta, but those products will be shipped to a larger regional distribution center.

Ravenel resigns

Suspended South Carolina state treasurer Thomas Ravenel resigned yesterday, more than a month after he was indicted on a federal cocaine charge.

The 44-year-old apologized to his family and to South Carolinians.

Ravenel's next court date is scheduled for August 21.

If convicted, Ravenel faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Lane closures on I-20

There will be some temporary lane closures on I-20 tonight between Belair Road and Bobby Jones Expressway. Workers have to put up a temporary barrier as part of the continuing construction there.

The 45 mile an hour speed limit will be enforced.

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