News 12 This Morning Local Update - November 10, 2006

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Drag strip project gets green light

Some neighbors in south Augusta are unhappy.

A project to build a drag strip off Mike Padgett Highway is getting the green light despite neighbors' fighting the plans.

Thursday the Augusta Commission voted to move forward with securing bonds and working with the Development Authority to purchase the land.

A study shows the racetrack will bring $30 million in revenue to Augusta, but many neighbors say the Commission ignored their concerns about noise and traffic.

"They're going against all of our wishes, all our wishes," said homeowner Debbie Walker. "People who've been out there 40 and 50 years in this area, they're going against our wishes. They don't care what the citizens want."

Commissioners Jimmy Smith, Jerry Brigham, and Don Grantham voted against the plan.

Wrecking company may take city to court

Thompson Wrecking Company brought their crew to the Commission chambers Thursday.

They were asking commissioners to rebid a contract to demolish the old candy factory on Telfair Street.

Thompson Wrecking says they were the low bidder, but left out part of their proposal. They say the Commission gave the project to a higher bidder solely due to a technicality.

The Commission decided not to rebid that project, so Thompson says they may take the city to court.

SRS possible site for plutonium R&D

SRS could still play a big part in the nation's nuclear future.

The Department of Energy was in North Augusta Thursday talking about more nuclear weapons at the Savannah River Site.

The department is considering consolidating research and development of plutonium into one center, and SRS is one possible location.

The DOE talked about that option Thursday. It would bring some new jobs to the site, but also more radioactive material.

Of course, some folks aren't happy about that.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League says neighbors and organizations like theirs don't want it. They say it puts people nearby at danger because they're exposed to nuclear material.

This is all still in the early stages. The center wouldn't be up and running till 2030.

Still no winner in Barrow vs. Burns

Three days after the elections, and the race for the 12th Congressional district is still not official between John Barrow and Max Burns.

With 345 of 346 precincts reporting, the Democrat John Barrow has 71,573 votes while Republican Max Burns has 70,684.

That's a difference of only 889 votes.

The Board of Elections office is already gearing up for a recount in the District 12 race. Executive Director Lynn Bailey says while they haven't received any official word yet, a recount in the close race is inevitable.

Due to the federal holiday today, they expect the recount to happen late next week.

"It's extremely close, and Georgia law provides if there's a difference between the losing candidate and the winner is less than one percent, the loser has a right to a recount...and it is less than one percent," Bailey said.

John Barrow already held his victory celebration Wednesday in Augusta.

Even though Burns won more counties than his opponent, Congressman Barrow managed to take the two that counted most: Chatham and Richmond.

Columbia County Fair

The Columbia County Fair packs up this weekend. It'll be here tonight and tomorrow, and that's it.

So hurry up and take in all the games, rides and fair food. There will also be a bear show and a dog show for you to enjoy.

The fair opens at 5 o'clock this evening. Gate admission is $5 and you get unlimited rides for $15.

Coming Up

The end of the year is almost here. That means year-end tax savings.

Monday, how to save big when you need to most--as the holidays draw closer.

That's on News 12 This Morning starting at 5:30.

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