Interstate work continues
Interstate improvements in Columbia County will last at least another year: Officials project a finish date of July 31, 2003.
That means at last 12 more months of traffic tie-ups. The Georgia Department of Transportation has placed signs warning of delays at the Belair Road and Thomson (state Route 10) exits.
The speed limit also was recently lowered to 50 mph in areas where construction trucks operate. Everywhere else, the limit is 60 mph - a 10 mph drop from what was posted before the work began.
Although travel has slowed, DOT engineer Rusty Merritt said progress on the project hasn't, adding that the work is about 60 percent complete.
'We are on schedule,' he said.
The construction, which affects the highway from the Belair Road exit to the second Thomson exit, is expected to be complete in McDuffie County by September, he said.
In the meantime, Mr. Merritt suggests two detours - Gordon Highway and Georgia Highway 223.
Two men suspected of robbing a Columbia County convenience store were arrested in McDuffie County early Monday.
James Minder, 26, of Stone Mountain, Ga., and Anthony Thompson, 28, of Tampa, Fla., were charged with felony armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.
Police say the two men had entered the the Pump-N-Shop at 4020 Columbia Road and approached the clerk, who was making coffee. One held her while the other took money from the cash register, the report states. The men left in a 1998 Cadillac DeVille and were spotted by a Columbia County deputy on the interstate near the Harlem exit. The McDuffie County Sheriff's Office assisted in the arrests, Capt. Morris said.
Local library officials want students to spend the summer reading.
The theme of this year's summer reading program - called World.wide.Reading@yourLibrary - is travel. The program runs through July 26.
It is open to children old enough to listen to books up through students entering the 12th grade. All children have to do to get involved is visit their neighborhood library and ask for a summer reading passport. Then they can choose between reading 20 books or reading for 10 hours.
Participants who complete the program receive a certificate, a button, a sticker, a reading patch, a coupon for a Krystal hamburger, and two tickets to an Augusta GreenJackets baseball game. There will be other special events for young readers in the summer, including story times and puppet shows.
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