County commissioners should reject Rhinehart's liquor license
Editor: Rhinehart's Oyster Bar was unable to apply for a liquor license (after much protest from parents and neighbors) because the property they want to build on was within the zoning laws of a school, Bel Air Elementary. Florence KnightEvans

County's government of the future needs skill, professionalism
Editor: Typical of most government agencies today, services paid for are being stretched or not even forthcoming, depending on where you live. Apparently regulations and municipal codes mean naught, whether it be a state, federal or local county administration. Floyd BrownEvans

'Red Hot Lover' is coming to dinner
An idealistic, wanna-be adultereris the best description of Barney Chasman, the lead character in Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers.

Public sounds off on tax use
Soccer fields and water lines drew the most supporters at two hearings last week to get one last look at public requests for the use of sales-tax dollars.

County artists meet to organize guild
A support network may be in the works soon for Columbia County visual artists.

'Rocky Horror' benefits troupe
Brad and Janet will relive their strange journey through Transylvania when Harlem High School Drama brings a cult classic to the stage.

Inclined to help
It only took one phone call for Kay Matlock to realize what she meant to her friends at Evans High School.

Planners want local touch at Rapids
As the face lift of the Savannah Rapids Pavilion complex continues, leisure officials are looking for help from residents.

Tree expert tries to fix Christmas evergreen
Columbia County's official Christmas tree, which was bent and misshapen by January's ice storm, was restored almost to its original yuletide shape thanks to a local tree professional.

Children jump to help heart fund
It may look like they are having fun, but all that jumping is to help raise money to combat heart disease - the No. 1 killer in the county.

'Time' magazine features hometown Army officer
Capt. Kirk Appletoft is a model American soldier.

State-champ swimmers
The Augusta Prep Middle School swim team won the GISA 2003-04 State Championship at Riverside Military Academy on Jan. 31 in Gainesville. Team members are Joseph Anderson (front row, from left), O'Brien Aquinde, Rebecca St. Louis, Emilee Friedman, Samantha Osburn; Harry Gilbert (second row, from left) Steven Brown, Daniel Hull, Brandon Wilson, Tara Morgan; Trevor Terris (third row, from left) Roger Boyle, Ryan Trapp, Eric Chiu, Preston Hull, Elizabeth Brown, Celeste Ahlbrandt, Chelsea Robinson, Megan Cutting; Thomas Bigham (back row, from left) Andrew Bunce, Chloe Browne, Kristin Dollar, Coach Tracy Howard and Coach Mary Helen Hull.

Time capsule
As reported 50 years ago in The Columbia News, Feb. 25, 1954:

Celebrating Arbor Day
Harlem Middle School seventh-graders take turns shoveling dirt around a crepe myrtle that was donated by the Pioneer Garden Club to plant at the Harlem Library during an Arbor Day ceremony. The Georgia Forestry Service provided more than 100 dogwood saplings for the pupils to take home and plant. Mayor Scott Dean made the opening remarks and pupils read essays on the importance of growing trees.

Get up and Go
Andy Jordan will lead a Leap Day bicycle tour of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Deadline for entries is Friday. For information, call 828-2109.

School lunch menus
Here are Columbia County school lunch menus.

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

Current events
The MCG Health Systems Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior will hold a free seminar on trauma 6:30-8:30 p.m. today in the Outpatient Psychiatry Building, 1515 Pope Ave., Augusta. For information, call 721-6705.

Bowling for dollars
Lelia Botmick, of Evans, examines clay bowls made by pupils from Lake Forest Elementary School at the Augusta Jewish Community Centers Empty Bowl luncheon Sunday. Patrons at the fund-raiser received the bowls with their tickets and sampled food from area restaurants. The event netted about $9,000, which will be split between the center and Golden Harvest Food Bank.

Punishment fits the crime
The two cases could scarcely have less in common. One is a murder for which a Columbia County man will serve life in prison; the other is an embezzlement for which an Evans woman will spend no time behind bars.

Just checking and re-checking
Obsessive-compulsive disorder: A tendency to dwell on unwanted thoughts, or perform certain repetitious rituals; a defense against anxiety from unconscious conflicts.

Walker boost from flaggers
Up until now, I've largely ignored the fringe folks in such groups as the Southern Heritage Political Action Committee, or SHPAC, as they have railed against legislators who kept the 1956 Georgia flag off next Tuesday's flag referendum.

Bottom Line: Columbia County trio gives college softball team solid core
Over the last few weeks, I've been updating readers on some of Columbia County's baseball players who are now on the diamonds at various colleges around the South.

Knights want to gallop to playoffs
With luck, the Evans High School baseball team will start the 2004 season in style.

Soccer coach sics Dogs on region foe
Harlem High School soccer coach George Berry was worried last Thursday.

Athlete Spotlight
The East Coast Youth Hockey League includes teams from large cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte and Charleston. But when its Squirt Division concluded the 2003-04 regular season this month, three of its top four scorers were members of the Augusta Junior Lynx, and all three attend Columbia County schools.

Sports briefs
The inaugural Daniel Hall & Shane Williams Memorial Golf Tournament will be March 6 at Rocky Branch Golf Club in Lincoln County. The tournament honors the two Greenbrier High School golfers who were killed in an automobile accident last year. Funds raised in the event will help build a golf practice area at Greenbrier, with the facility being dedicated to the lives and memories of Daniel Hall and Shane Williams.

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