You've heard the bad news: the economy isn't in great shape and don't expect it to get any better anytime soon.
Just don't tell that to McDuffie County.
There's a new Sears, Dollar Tree, Krystal, strip shopping center and Movie Gallery location - all open or opening soon.
And that's just the beginning.
Three sporting goods stores - stalwart Thomson Sporting Goods and Trophies, national-chain Hibbett Sports and newcomer Big Dawg sports - are facing off in the battle of bats, balls and sports clothing.
Augusta Tech's McDuffie campus has more students than ever - nearing the 600 mark, not counting hundreds of students enrolled in weekend and night classes.
Even the animals in McDuffie County are doing a little better. The county's first foray into animal control - an animal shelter - is taking strays in and adopting them out at a steady pace.
Today in the News-Times, we look at some of the changes coming to McDuffie County. Then, in Wednesday's edition, look for full coverage of the community celebration of the Thomson Bulldog's state championship win.
* New businesses have come to the county
* Three sporting goods stores compete for business
* Augusta Tech's Thomson Campus opens Monday
* McDuffie County's Animal Shelter is a furry success
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