Accused rapist arrested
A man acquitted of three Augusta rapes in February and already facing a new rape charge in North Carolina was picked up by Columbia County deputies last week.
Aaron LeBlanc, 19, had returned to the area after a judge freed him on $100,000 bond. He was charged with rape March 18 by Gastonia, N.C., police.
However, a technicality led a judge to void that bond and issue an order for Mr. LeBlanc's arrest.
On March 22, deputies picked him up just before 3 p.m. Friday on Fairfax Street, which runs off Pleasant Home Road.
"The bottom line is he was in Columbia County so Columbia County caught him," said Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle.
Later that day, Gastonia authorities took him back to North Carolina.
Whittle said LeBlanc's return to jail should help assuage some of the fears of the three local women who accused Mr. LeBlanc of rape.
"I'm sure those three victims feel a little bit of relief that he's back in custody," Sheriff Whittle said. "They are victims in the truest sense of the word. He just happened to be found not guilty."
LeBlanc's bail was raised to $500,000 last week.
Columbia County Board of Education members compromised on the curriculum.
Four schools would have lost half-time teaching positions under guidelines recommended by an equity committee. Trustees Tuesday night voted to allow the schools to maintain those position, while establishing a formula for enrichment teacher allotment - one for every eight classroom teachers.
The guidelines also standardize the minutes of a school day. Of a 420 minute day, 290 minutes must be devoted to teaching core subjects in first through third grades, while fourth and fifth graders must devote 300 minutes to reading, math, science and social studies. Music and art get 45 minutes each week, while physical education is to be taught 120 minutes per week.
It's a schedule that leaves little time for anything else and was a source of controversy for those schools who offered Spanish.
But the guidelines do allow schools to apply for a waiver. The waivers would be brought before the board by school councils.
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