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Officials must fight North Belair changes
Congratulations and thanks to the Columbia County Planning and Zoning Commission for rejecting an application for commercial zoning of property on North Belair Road near the intersection of Ronald Reagan Parkway. The request would have allowed a gas station, car lot, or other development inconsistent with the residential and community usage of North Belair Road.

Attack on witchcraft 'ignorant, bigoted'
In the November 14 issue of The Columbia County News-Times, the column by Rev. Louis Sheldon (Harry Potter: Benign fantasy, or witchcraft indoctrination?) deeply hurt and enraged me. After quite some time contemplating a response, I knew in my heart that it needed to be as positive and informed as possible.

Grovetown accepts 2002 budget
A salary increase and a grant to the senior center has added more than $70,000 to Grovetown's budget for next year.

$10,000 goes to Hardy
The Oliver Hardy Museum needs some work before its grand opening: $10,000 should go a long way in getting that work done.

Harlem moves ahead on community center
Harlem is one step closer to getting a community center.

The season of giving
Some Columbia County pupils might be learning more than reading, writing and arithmetic this holiday season - they also are learning about the joy of giving.

Soldiers help deploy playground equipment
When it came to getting the job done at Brookwood Elementary School on Wednesday, Sam Newton decided to take a drastic measure.

Current events
Brookwood Elementary School will be performing its annual Christmas concert at 2:15 p.m. Dec. 19 at the school. The concert will be free and will feature 25 soloists from all grade levels. The audience also will be asked to participate in some singing. For more information, call Johnny Carr at 855-7596, ext. 217.

Get up and go
The August Mini Theatre is now selling tickets for its revised play Pickin' at 430 8th St. The show, which details tolerance and violence in schools, will be presented at 8 p.m. Jan. 18; 3 and 8 p.m. Jan. 19; and 3 p.m. Jan. 20 at Augusta Technical College's Jack B. Patrick Technology Center. Cost is $8 or $7 per youth in a group of 10 or more. For more information, call 722-0598 or visit

Police reports
Two waffle irons valued at more than $1,000 were reported stolen from the Golden Corral in Martinez on Dec. 11 by someone posing as a waffle iron service representative, records showed.

Columbia newsmakers
Augusta Preparatory High School's Math Team recently competed in the 17 annual High School Mathematics Competition at Mercer University. The team took first place in the GISA competition. The group was led by juniors Ashwin Rajendra and James Pike, who both placed in the top 10 percent of 210 students taking a written exam. Other participants were senior Kevin Brown, junior Michael Fung and sophomores Sawyer Bonsib, Alex Crean, Robbie Pletcher and Bob Wilson.

Blue Ridge Elementary honor roll
Blue Ridge Elementary honor roll

Riverside Middle School honor roll
Riverside Middle School honor roll

Time capsule
As reported in The Columbia News 24 years ago, Dec. 14, 1977

Property transfers
Lee Chira, Stephen Brown, Robert McDonald and Gray Investment Co., LLC to Kevin M. O'Brien and Cindy K. O'Brien, 6123 Ridge Road,$50,500

'Waiver' bomb drops
Students of Stevens Creek Elementary, and supporters of the elementary school foreign language program, got an early Christmas this past week.

What are county priorities? Elected officials to ask
One month from now, Georgias lawmakers will head back to Atlanta. If it feels like they just left, its because they did.

Different child, different king
One friend asks, Are you ready for Christmas? and I wonder what readiness category shes talking about. If she means is my shopping done, my house decorated, or my first greeting card mailed, I tell her, the answers are all, no.

Sports briefs
Evans High School senior Adrienne Daniels was selected to play in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-star fastpitch softball game, which will be held July 10 at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Double dribble
Kim Chambers knew what he was getting into when he signed on last season to coach both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams at Harlem High School.

Christmas tournament puts bragging rights at stake
Basketball bragging rights will be on the line this week when prep squads compete in the Columbia County Christmas Tournament at Lakeside High School.

Football teaches brothers about family
To be successful, the Columbia County Gators had to become a family over the course of the football season.

Lakeside's Synan signs for GCSU
Lakeside High School senior Chris Synan could have played football for the Panthers during the 2001 season, but he opted instead to polish his baseball skills.


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