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Special-needs child's ouster from library shows no accommodations
I have a 5-year-old child with special needs. He is not welcome at the Columbia County Library.

'Setting record straight' on Board candidacy includes lawsuit's reason
I would like to set the record straight in regard to comments published in The New-Times. The News-Times seems to be constantly pointing out that I have a lawsuit against the Columbia County Board of Education. It constantly overlooks the fact that Superintendent Tommy Price and the current Board of Education broke the law in my termination. It leaves out the fact that there are 70-plus employees along with myself in the lawsuit.

Christmas on display
Family: Don, Pat and Jim Richey

Christmas show will be at ASU Saturday
Augusta West Dance companies are celebrating the holiday season by bringing to life a timeless Christmas story. More than 50 cast members, ages 8-18, from the studio's four performing companies will take to Augusta State University's performing arts stage Saturday to put on an adaptation of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, to be called It's the Night Before Christmas.

Program gives bikes to kids
A shiny bicycle is often at the top of Christmas wish lists, and this December about 100 needy children will see that dream realized with the combined efforts of Master Pontiac Buick GMC and other area organizations.

School has bountiful food drive
Pupils and staffers at Grovetown Elementary School shared the bounty of their tables with the less fortunate in Grovetown on Friday, wrapping up a two-week food drive to benefit United We Care.

'Mirror' is named legal organ
The McDuffie Mirror will become the legal organ for McDuffie County, Thomson and Dearing starting Jan. 1.

Many events scheduled for this weekend
Harlem will celebrate the Christmas season in a big way with several citywide events planned for this weekend. The festivities begin with the lighting of Harlem's Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Thursday on the lawn in front of City Hall. The event features holiday music from the Harlem Elementary School chorus and hot chocolate.

Grovetown, Evans welcome the season
Columbia County officially rang in the Christmas season last weekend with tree-lighting ceremonies and parades in Grovetown and Evans.

Service will celebrate kids' lives
Martinez resident Debra Allsup knows the grief that follows the death of a child.

Dancers give parents a break
For parents who need to get holiday shopping done without the children or who are just looking to enjoy a quiet evening, dancers from Evans High School are offering to baby-sit.

Shopping for the children
Angela Stiger (from left), Kristen Price and Hope Marshall were among the members of the Columbia County Employees for Excellence Committee who shopped at Wal-Mart for Christmas presents to benefit 41 needy children.

As far as you can go
Taking a trip out of town, or just planning to spend some time at the lake or a local park? Send us a family photo, and we'll publish it in The News-Times. Bring or mail a photo to our office at 4272 Washington Road, Suite 3B, Evans, GA 30809, or e-mail photos to cnt@newstimes Be sure to write a few words to tell readers about your trip.

Current events
Sunday's Fort Gordon page in The News-Times incorrectly reported the date of a flu clinic at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. There will be no clinic this Saturday. For information, call Jennifer Chipman at (706) 787-5301.

Grovetown parade winners
- The Grand Marshal Trophy: Grovetown Senior Center (Judge Pat Hardaway was the grand marshal)

Pet of the Week
This male Labrador retriever mix is playful and loves attention. He is about a year old. He is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Care and Control.

Martinez-Evans Christmas Parade Winners
Standard Category: Augusta Housing, first place; Graystone Ranch, second place; Columbia County magazine, third place.

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

Families at Thanksgiving
Jacob (front row, from left), Luke and Ansleigh; and Taylor (back row) and Aaron Youngblood enjoy dressing up for Thanksgiving and eating a great feast.

Learning to make do at Christmas
Other than the Biblical Christmas story, from which most others have sprung, my favorite story of the season would have to be, "The Gift of the Magi," by early 20th-century American author O. Henry.

Development rules take the right approach
Columbia County commissioners were expected Tuesday to take another step in approving new development rules for some of the county's commercial intersections.

For the feds, eight is eight
Now bunking across the river in the Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution, Inmate No. 56447-018 - known around here as Merle Temple - has begun serving his eight-year sentence for wire fraud and conspiracy.

Sports calendar
The Lakeside High School soccer program will hold alumni matches at 2 p.m. Dec. 17 at Panther Stadium. Former Lakeside High School men and women soccer players are invited to attend, as well as any former player from the CSRA.

Early tournament offers experience
A three-day, 34-game basketball classic last weekend was the perfect setting for several local basketball coaches. With the 2006-07 basketball season still in its infancy, the 2006 Garden City Classic offered back-to-back-to-back games and gave teams plenty of experience similar to that of a state tournament format.

Photo: Perfect season
The U-10 Patriots United Boys soccer team went undefeated in regular season, winning the fall regular season title and their third-straight Sandlapper Championship Tournament in a row.

Swim results
Results from the Whitewater "Big Splash" Invitational Swim Meet held Saturday at the new Steve Lunquist Aquatic Center in Jonesboro, Ga.

Athlete Spotlight: Laura Kopald and Mary Beth Horton
Last year marked a new beginning for the Augusta Prep girls basketball program. Head coach Jeremy Burden was in his first season as coach and began his campaign to rebuild the program.

Cross Country Stats
The 2006-07 cross country season wrapped up in November with Greenbrier once again leading the way. The Wolfpack squads finished sixth (boys) and 11th (girls) at the GHSA Class AAAA state meet. Lakeside's girls (25th) and boys (29th) also placed at state along with Evans' girls (18th).

Local star athlete will take field with East Carolina in Bowl
Former Evans and Lakeside standout Steven Rogers will spend part of his Christmas holidays in Birmingham, Ala. Rogers and his East Carolina teammates will square off with South Florida in the inaugural Bowl on Dec. 23rdon Legions Field.

Greenbrier girls team remains unbeaten
All 12 local high school basketball teams were in action this past weekend. Both Augusta Christian and Augusta Prep took part in a three-day tournament, while most public school teams participated in Friday and Saturday games.

Lakeside coach builds talent pool for area
A lack of qualified officials prompted the cancellation of the annual Black Cat wrestling tournament Saturday. Despite losing a big weekend match, Lakeside wrestling coach Randy Hill didn't hesitate to take advantage of the open date.

Pigskin Picks winner congratulated
Columbia County News-Times publisher Barry Paschal (left) congratulates Lenton Griffin on being the grand prize winner in the annual Pigskin Picks football contest.


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