Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oxendine Announces Reward in Columbia County Arson Case

Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine, Columbia County
Fire Chief Doug Cooper and Bud Ausborn of the Georgia Arson Control Board, Inc.,
today announced the presentation of a $4,000 reward check to a Columbia County citizen
who provided information that led to the conviction of two arsonists.

The check was presented to Melanie Sprouse, an Assistant Principal at Lakeside
High School, in a brief ceremony at the Fire Department’s Main Headquarters,
Commissioner Oxendine said.

The reward was given for information that Sprouse provided that led to the arrest
and conviction of two juveniles for a 2007 woodland fire in Columbia County. Both
juveniles pleaded guilty to the crime and were sentenced to eighteen months probation,
and ordered to serve a period of detention in a short-term treatment program.

Commissioner Oxendine and the Georgia Arson Control Board, Inc., sponsor the
Georgia Arson Control Reward Program and the Georgia Arson Hotline. Rewards of up
to $10,000 are given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist.

Anyone with information about a suspicious fire is asked to call the hotline at 1-800-282-
5804. Calls are taken 24 hours a day; callers can choose to remain anonymous.

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