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New access to complaints doesn't go far enough
Re the News-Times story about state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, and his House Bill 353 (Cats death spurs bill to change state law):

Tragedies took lives of students 'way too soon'
The following poem was written by my stepdaughter, who is soon to be a senior at Evans High School. It is in memory of the students who were killed this year from Columbia County schools.

County hires first full-time firefighters
THOMSON -- Things just keep getting better for the McDuffie County Fire Department.

How great is your dad? Children tell us in their own words
Children tell us in their own words.

Animal control charges will rise
For the first time in more than five years, it's going to cost a little more to use Columbia County Animal Care and Control.

Small fries get chance to go fish
THOMSON -- It's hard to keep a good fisherman indoors.

Men's career choices are badges of honor
Law enforcement is a family affair at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Brenau University opens Columbia County campus
Gainsville-based Brenau University opened its third Augustaarea site Wednesday morning.

Group dismisses chairman plan
It took more time to create a task force to study the idea of having an at-large elected Columbia County school board chairman than it did for the 19-member group to reach their conclusion.

Tribute humbles adoptive father of two
A Martinez man found out Wednesday how much he means to his two children.

Area braces for softball tourneys
THOMSON -- This summer could be a busy one at Sweetwater Park.

School budget OK'd with no new tax
Columbia County taxpayers likely will not see an increase in school taxes this year under a budget that was tentatively approved by the board Tuesday night.

Coroner's office wins approval for new van
The Columbia County Coroner's Office just found new transportation.

Get up and go
The Church of the Most Holy Trinity is now accepting registration for the Mother's Day Out/Preschool Program to begin August 18 for children walking through four years of age. For more information, call the P.R.E. Office at 722-4400.

Police blotter
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

North Harlem Elementary honor roll
North Harlem Elementary School honor roll for the fourth nine weeks:

Property transfers
Scott Eugene Beebe and Ashley Beebe to Bennie J. English Jr., 2121 Glenn Falls Drive, $135,500.

Current events
The Oliver Hardy Festival Committee of Harlem will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be at The Laurel & Hardy Museum on North Louisville Street. For more information, call Kathy Ham at 556-3448.

Columbia County Christian Academy honor roll
Columbia County Christian Academy honor roll for the fourth quarter

The following area residents have graduated with Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degrees from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens:

Higher speed limit means higher cost
For Columbia County motorists, it has long been understood that the Georgia Department of Transportation does things its own way, often in conflict with locals views.

Bible enriches language
Revolutionary, controversial, hated by some but loved by many more, Jesus could always be counted on to attract a crowd. And crowds - noisy, cheering crowds - there were as Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem a few days before the crucifixion.

Resolution protects U.S. symbol
Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

Write a book? Not quite yet
It seemed just a little surreal. Standing in Pullman Hall, an old Augusta railroad warehouse converted to a banquet hall, hundreds of folks listened to karaoke-like music and stood in line to get books signed.

Spending 'deferment' a bad move
Last spring, then-Gov. Roy Barnes caused an uproar around the state when he produced a budget with no funds for the states groundbreaking elementary foreign language program.

Sports briefs
Softball tournament

Tennis camp
Dave Gleason, director of tennis at Petersburg Racquet Club, gives Lauren Hadden, 10, some pointers on serving during a tennis and swimming camp at the club.

Transfers make swim league's Piranhas more lethal
The Cambridge-Stevens Pointe swim team is riding the Waves this summer, and that might make the Piranhas a big fish in a small pond during the current CSRA Swim League season.

Friends' bond endures through tennis
When they first met as kindergarteners at Evans Elementary School so many years ago, Alli Hillman and Brittany Jackson hit it off and became friends.

Rising stars shine on high school sports
Now that the 2002-03 school year has come to a close, it's a perfect time to look back at all the athletic success during the high school seasons.


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