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Will someone explain Martha Burk's obsession?
I wish someone would give me just 10 minutes with all the protest leaders. I would hope to just shake some sense into them. Where are they living? Not in the same world as most of us. Margaret Ertz, Evans, Ga.

Students 'impressed' judges of senior projects
We have so many things to be proud of in Columbia County. I had the privilege of serving as a judge at Evans High School for the senior class projects. We had six students who made an eight- to 10-minute presentation. These students had done about three months preparation for their projects. These projects ranged from the history of dance to rebuilding an old car, to scuba diving and theater direction.

Where did Georgia's surplus of funds go?
Regarding your March 22 editorial, "Raise cigarette tax." I noticed you forgot to include the tax proposal on alcohol that our so-called Republican governor also would like to increase. It has become easy to pass on "sin taxes" to allow the government's unrestrained spending to continue. Dan Rutensky, Augusta

Condition of I-20 bad as golf protest
Having moved from England to the United States some 12 years ago, it has saddened me to hear of the protests being shown toward the Augusta National Golf Club. Nick Thetford, Charleston, S.C.

Problems at A.R. Johnson High School upsetting
My daughter is an 11th grade student at A.R. Johnson High School. I am just one of many parents who are very upset with the school. I do not know all the details, but we deserve answers. Mary Cowart, Augusta

Name parkway after a real hero
While I usually steer clear of politicians and politics, I feel I must speak on a subject now in the news - the River Watch Parkway. As a business owner and taxpayer within the city of Augusta, I cannot support changing the road's name to honor a politician - a living one, at that. M.E. La Pan II, Augusta

Editorial damaging to economy more than flag
The devastation of good men with good intentions is what happens when you are on the wrong end of a one-issue policy - a policy that means far more than money to a large majority of Georgians... Milton Gresham, Evans, Ga.

Don't like France? Send back Statue of Liberty
All this talk about boycotting France because they don't support the United States in a pre-emptive war on Iraq is sheer idiocy.

Sister's 2001 death was another county tragedy
I was reading the editorial on Brandon Layton in the Sunday, March 9 News-Times. Layton was one of the latest promising young people to die in a tragic accident.

Consider redistricting vote carefully
To the voters in Aiken, S.C., please consider your choice carefully on Tuesday, because it will have consequences. The majority of articles I have seen on the subject of redistricting do not tell the whole story. In the opinion of the majority of the city council and our attorney, who has worked on both of the redistricting plans, there is every indication that a 4-2-1 district voting plan would not be approved. This being the case, we are then left with a 5-1-1 or a 6-1 district-voting plan. Mayor Fred B. Cavanaugh Jr., Aiken, S.C.

A few thoughts on aliens, protests, Democrats
A few recent items struck me as peculiar:

Surprise gift is a hit
John Sandlin and family are admitted baseball fanatics.

Harlem student finds fast way to get an A
Harlem High School student Brandon Carpenter sped his way to an A on his senior project by building his own race car.

Leaders want high-profile restaurant near I-20
McDuffie County leaders say they let an opportunity slip away when it couldn't reach an agreement with Ruby Tuesday to build a restaurant near Interstate 20.

Movie theatre to add screens
Soon the Evans 12 Cinema will be gone. It's becoming the Evans 14.

Familiar face returns to area as leisure
Barry Smith can't wait to trade the moss-covered oaks of Savannah for the pine trees, red clay and rapid growth of Columbia County.

Reservists to flesh out medical units
With active-duty medical personnel being pulled from Army medical centers and deployed during the war with Iraq, a group of Army Reservists is being activated to fill their slots in the Southeast region.

Students's life becomes open book for project
If you ask Barbara Flynn who her parents are, you won't get a simple answer.

New exhibit will have children seeing things
Mindbenders abound in a new exhibit at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery.

Board raises tuition for summer school
Pupils will have to pay a higher price for failing courses this year.

Depot undergoing $130,000 renovation
Thomson's depot is getting a facelift.

Money benefits youth groups
Jerry Noland looked more in awe than anything else.

Meeting would join children of troops deployed in Iraq
Evans Middle School parent Donna Graves asked school officials last week to consider organizing a meeting of children whose parents have been deployed in the war in Iraq.

Young at art
Harlem High School art student Christine Fulch dressed up as Michelangelo to help teach Euchee Creek Elementary School students about art.

Brookwood Elementary honor roll
Brookwood Elementary School A and A/B Honor Roll

Grand opening
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ralph Rivera enters the drawing for a gas grill at the open house for the Columbia County News-Times and the Augusta Chronicle's Columbia County Bureau on Wednesday.

Evans Elementary honor roll
Evans Elementary School A and A/B Honor Roll

Time capsule
As reported in The Columbia News 37 years ago on Thursday, April 1, 1965.

Current events
The Grovetown Heritage Festival committee is seeking vendors to participate in the first festival May 10. Events will begin at 9 a.m. near Grovetown City Hall and the Grovetown Museum.

Columbia Middle School honor roll
Columbia Middle School A and A/B Honor Roll

Westmont Elementary honor roll
Westmont Elementary School A and A/B Honor Roll

Euchee Creek honor roll
Euchee Creek Elementary School A and A/B Honor Roll

North Columbia Elementary honor roll
North Columbia Elementary School Honor Roll

Police blotter
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia and McDuffie county sheriffs' offices.

School lunches
Columbia County school lunch menus

New arena: Good idea, tough sell
If the crowd at a recent public forum is any indication, Co-lumbia County officials have to come up with a pretty good sales pitch to convince local citizens to help pay for a new Augusta arena.

Harlem library was a gift to city
The home of Helen and Frank Walton was deeded to the city of Harlem by Montine Walton, widow of William Walton, on Dec. 24, 1974, to be used for a library and city offices. The library was to be named in memory of Helen and her son, William.

Narrow miss of misfortune
Like a tale out of a pulp novel, heres a headline for a story out of my life at the paper: Now it can be told.

'Rain tax' coming due?
Talk of a new arena wasn't the only thing discussed at last weeks community forum. The countys stormwater utility fee also drew comments.

A 'man of sorrows'
In a recent discussion about the crucifixion of Jesus, someone asked, If Jesus had waited to come to earth now instead of 2,000 years ago, do you think He still would have died for all the sins of the world? There are many more people now, and a lot more sins.

Sports briefs
The Augusta Flash 14-and-under fast-pitch softball travel team is conducting tryouts. For more information call Jeff Towe at 868-8485 or 771-5618, or e-mail

Columbia County's strong baseball dynasty is still alive
A lot of folks around town have been talking about the high school baseball scene in Columbia County, and the discussion is that the dynasty is dead.

High school sports schedule
Monday Baseball: Augusta Christian at Brentwood, 4 p.m.; Harlem at Jefferson County, 5 p.m.

Sports saturate Super Tuesday
If high school sports fans in Columbia County couldn't find an athletic event Tuesday to suite their taste, they just weren't trying hard enough.

Prep's Cavaliers thrown to the Lions, 15-0
The Augusta Christian School baseball team delivered a shellacking to the Augusta Prep Cavaliers with an 15-0 rout that lasted only three innings.

Evans beats county rival in nail-biters
Conventional wisdom says Columbia County's public high school baseball teams have yet to play any "important" games.


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