News 12 This Morning Local Update - November 30, 2006

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Gordon to run James Brown Arena

A new hire at the James Brown Arena could help cut the city's debt.

The Coliseum Authority is passing the reins to Robert "Flash" Gordon as the new general manager. He'll start Monday.

Gordon has worked in the music business for years, in radio, promotions and sales and with a number of famous artists.

He says the plan is to attract big names to the area, which will bring more tax dollars in and boost the city's budget.

"My thing is to serve...and I want to serve this community to the best of my ability," Gordon said.

"There's a multiplier effect," said Mayor Deke Copenhaver. "The folks that go to shows also eat at the restaurants and patronize downtown spots."

Mayor Copenhaver says the tax on ticket sales will help the city's $7 million budget deficit.

Gordon's two year contract will pay him a $75,000 salary with a $5000 bonus if he cuts expenses by 20 percent.

Columbia County works on school emergency procedures

The Columbia County sheriff says he's willing to work with the school system to develop an emergency calling list of parents.

Four schools were put on lockdown this week. Deputies are still looking for 24-year-old Christopher Ciechan. He was spotted running towards South Columbia Elementary Tuesday.

22-year-old Nicholas Brigham is in custody, charged with breaking into an automobile.

Because Ciechan was spotted running toward the school, the sheriff's office advised the school to go into lockdown. The other schools locked down on their own.

If an emergency list were to be put in place, it would have to be run by the school board.

Members also expressed interest in using the system in the future.

Mike Padgett reopened after fire

Mike Padgett Highway is now open again between Tobacco and Phinizy Roads.

A building caught fire on Dixon Airline Road Wednesday night before 11 o'clock.

That road, Dixon, is actually located between Tobacco and Phinizy Roads.

Two chimneys were left standing from the fire.

Firefighters also fixed some downed power lines.

Deputy faces hearing over email threat

A disciplinary board hearing today will determine if a Richmond County deputy will keep his badge.

Deputy Jason Brown sent a threatening email to a Metro Spirit journalist after he wrote an article about the MySpace web pages of three other deputies.

Deputy Brown has since hand-delivered an apology to the reporter.

One of the other three deputies was fired, and two suspended for the content of their web sites.

Two in runoff for superior court judge

Two attorneys are vying for the superior court judge seat.

Candidates Bill Williams and David Roper will meet face to face today for a forum to tell you why they want to hold down the area's court system.

The candidates will meet at 6:30 in a forum at Williams Memorial Methodist Church downtown.

On December 5, voters in Richmond, Burke, and Columbia counties will decide who will take the bench.

Advance voting

Quite a few people are going to the polls early.

Richmond County was just four voters shy of a thousand in the first two days of advance voting.

In Columbia County, 767 people have voted in three days.

Advance voting ends tomorrow and you can go today until 6:30.

Coming Up

Kicking a cold can be pain and sometimes hard to do...but what if it was as simple as using something in your kitchen?

Friday, we're going inside your refrigerator for help.

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

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