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Turnout for county schools' baccalaureate
Editor: I recently attended the baccalaureate service for Columbia County students to see a graduating friend. Two years ago I went to the same service as a parent, and I suppose I was seeing it through a set of different eyes. This year I sat in the balcony and I was surprised to see that only 160 graduating seniors combined from Lakeside, Greenbrier and Evans high schools made it a priority to come to a service that is meant to honor God and bless both their life and their commencement as they pass this milestone in their life.

Christians must know their faith in order to counter 'Da Vinci Code' lies
Editor: In Barry Paschal's May 17 column, "Work of fiction isn't education," Paschal advised us to feel free to be entertained by The DaVinci Code, "but don't expect to be educated," because "it's a work of fiction."

Panel OKs paying for fire service expansion
The Columbia County Commission voted during a Thursday budget session to add funding to cover the expansion of service at three Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue stations in unincorporated parts of the county.

Public gets chance to delve into creek creatures at park
Mistletoe State Park will play host to an event Saturday that will allow the public to discover more about the critters in a creek.

Harlem ready for red hats
Kathy Ham hopes to see Harlem flooded with a sea of red hats this weekend at the city's monthly First Saturday event.

Event's proceeds will aid accident victims
Harlem United Methodist Church is holding a charity motorcycle ride and carnival Saturday to raise money for those injured in a wreck between a car and 10 motorcycles that left one man dead near Harlem on April 1.

New businesses open
The dining, banking and retail sectors of the Martinez-Evans area continue to grow with the addition of several new businesses.

Archaeology camp allows children to get their hands dirty
It's a kids' dream come true - play in the dirt and your parents won't get mad at you. Children ages 11-17 can Dig History! at a summer archaeology camp at Hickory Hill in Thomson.

Fire sale success
Not much is left of the former North Columbia Fire and Rescue department.

Republican commission candidates square off
The first of two debates involving Columbia County's two Republican candidates for commission chairman began Thursday with talk of consolidation, past accomplishments and future growth.

Rhinehart's complaints fade after year
When the topic turns to last year's hubbub over the opening of her Owens Road restaurant, Rhinehart's Oyster Bar co-owner Amy Bailey brushes it aside like a spent crab leg.

Current Events
Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church, 703 Furys Ferry Road, in Evans, will hold its program from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through June 9. For information, call (706) 860-7091.

Florida adventures
Patrick and Sandra Cail and their daughter Lauren, 11, from Appling, went to Orlando, Fla., and saw Disney World, Disney-MGM Studios and Sea World. Dinner show Arabian Nights was their favorite.

Volleyball signing
Greenbrier volleyball player Melissa Lewis (second from left at table) was surrounded by friends as she signed a scholarship agreement with Georgia Southern University on May 16.

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

Pet of the week
These two playful tabby kittens are about four weeks old. They are available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Care and Control. For more information, call 541-4077 or visit and follow the links to Animal Care and Control. Adult animals cost $25 to adopt and the adoption fee for puppies and kittens, such as today's Pet of the Week, cost $20. All animals must be spayed or neutered. Visitors must wear closed-in shoes to visit the kennel area.

Soccer champs
The U-13 Boys Columbia County 93 Patriots completed their Georgia Youth Soccer Association spring season with a 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Fire. They were the division champions with a perfect record of 9-0-0 of the Classic IV East Division. Team members are: Toren Thomas (back row, from left), Heath Robinson, Justin Colby, (captain) Jamie Galvin, Brennan Canada, Daniel Kupar, Hunter Daigle, Joey Cutting and Julian Dickenson; (front row) Kent Brace, Luke Meeks, Michael Coffman, Philip Gladman, Cameron Hardin and Matthew Shank. Not pictured are team manager Sherry Young, assistant coaches Craig Canada and Tony Galvin and head coach/trainer Ray Wilson.

Things to Do
June 14 is the deadline for choosing families to play host to foreign exchange students for the 2006-07 school year. The students will attend Columbia County schools through the Program of Academic Exchange. For information on becoming a host family, call Bob or Frankie Green at (706) 863-9128.

Nathan E. Huff, a senior at Hampden-Sydney College, was named to the Dean's List for the first semester of the 2005-06 academic year. Nathan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Huff of Martinez.

Get Up and Go
Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church, 703 Furys Ferry Road in Evans, will hold Youth and Graduates Day at 10:45 a.m. June 11. The speaker will be Zack Daffin, the executive director of the Columbia County Development Authority. For information, call (706) 860-7091.

Awards go to aspiring poets
Community Guest Reader Dr. Paul M. Fischer (left), opened the sixth annual Poetry Contest awards ceremony last month at the new Columbia County Library. He read a poem about his 19-year-old son, Tariq, written shortly after he and two close friends were killed in a car accident last July. Fischer's reading was followed by the presentation of awards and readings of the winning entries by their respective authors. The contest drew entries from aspiring poets ranging in age from 13 to 60-something.

Another year for the mayor
Dennis Trudeau will be 81 years old Thursday.

Finally, waking up to a Furys Ferry finish
Rip Van Winkle must have felt like this: Waking from his long sleep, finding everything around him had changed.

Not your grandfather's generation

Wolfpack wins send team to GHSA final
For the first time this decade, a Georgia High School Association baseball state championship could return to Columbia County.

Augusta FireBall light up Patriots Park in '06 season
The high school soccer season ended a month ago, but the sport is just heating up in Columbia County.

Lions play as All-Stars
After the team won a second straight SCISA state championship, four members of the Augusta Christian Schools baseball team still had one more game to play.

Softball tournament on tap
Patriots Park might never look the same.

Sports calendar
Aquinas High School is offering summer sports camps for pupils entering grades 5-8. The school will offer basketball camp (Monday-June 9), baseball camp (June 12-15), cheerleading camp (June 19-22), volleyball camp (June 26-30) and soccer camp (July 10-14). Limited space is available, and the cost of each camp is $100, except for soccer camp, which costs is $115.

So what's next? Do they stop scoring?
As I write this column Greenbrier is preparing for their semifinal best-of-three series with Etowah. They are doing so in part because of the pitching of sophomore lefty Nolan Belcher.

Athlete Spotlight
Baseball has always had a hold on Greenbrier senior Rich Poythress.

Cheerleading tryouts set for Saturday
A new wave of cheerleading begins this weekend when Premier Athletics of Augusta holds its first cheerleading tryouts in Columbia County.


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