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Thanks to many 'angels' who have helped with ongoing rehabilitation
There is an angel that lives in all of us. For it is not the angel that is so special, it is that special art of bringing the angel out from inside you and touching someone's life that is special.

Library should not be expected 'to handle special-needs patrons'
I have read several times Jennie Smith's recent letter telling of her experience at the Columbia County Library. It is easy to empathize with her and her family situation. I can picture her boarding her excited children into the family car for a visit to the library.

Kwanzaa celebrates family, community
While many Columbia County families will use the day after Christmas to wind down from the holiday, the Turknett family in Martinez will be just beginning another celebration - Kwanzaa.

Christmas on display
Darrell and Amy Birck host a Christmas display that includes thousands of lights, a huge lighted snowflake and lights covering the house and shrubbery.

Children meant a lot to woman
Evelyn Blanchard remembers her mother, Ila Lee Yelton Bartles, as an excellent and loving person who was always looking to help her family.

Class lesson is Revolutionary
North Columbia Elementary fourth-graders got a taste Friday of what life might have been like for George Washington, Paul Revere and Betsy Ross during the Revolutionary War era.

Avoid fire hazards at Christmas
Christmas decorations might spark more than just the holiday spirit within. If not properly maintained, they could be a fire hazard.

Australian teacher gives pupils jump-start on new lesson
Somewhere between North America and Australia, Santa makes a pit stop, Stevens Creek Elementary School second-graders learned Friday.

Events fill holiday calendar
Many Columbia County churches will continue Christmas Eve traditions Sunday while others will begin new ones with special remembrances of the birth of Jesus.

Class project turns into 'treasure hunt'
A Thursday class project turned Traci Bodine's Grovetown Elementary School first-graders into treasure hunters.

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

Current events
Hands Up Outreach Ministries in Harlem will hold a citywide worship service at 7 p.m. today at Harlem Middle School. The Rev. Philip Vestal, of Harlem Baptist Church, will be the guest speaker.

Photo: Jaguars take championship
The Jaguars, a Columbia County Recreation Department 9- and 10-year-old tackle football team, completed their season with a 13-0 record and won their championship games at Patriots Park.

Pet of the week
This female tabby cat is very playful and loves attention. She is about 6 months old and is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Care and Control. For more information, call (706) 541-4077 or visit

Photo: Generous kids suit up in pj's
Westmont Elementary School collected 6,550 canned-food items for the Salvation Army this year. Mrs. McAnly's fourth-grade class, joined by Assistant Principal Revelle Cox (back row), collected the most canned goods and received a pizza party. The school celebrated reaching its goal with a pajama day.

Photos: Children enjoy breakfast fun with Santa Claus
Dalton Key showed Santa Claus his artwork during the Santa Breakfast. The event was held Saturday at Patriots Park.

Photo: Champs show rings
The 12U baseball club, Terminators Baseball, made up of players from Aiken and Columbia Counties, show off the USSSA SC State Championship rings they won in Lexington, S. C. over the November 18-19 weekend.

Photo: Fire begins in attic
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue firefighters Brian Shepherd (left) and Mike Davis work on the roof of an apartment building at 207 New Petersburg Road in Martinez.

Time capsule
As reported 50 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News, Thursday, Dec. 6, 1956:

Food salvage needs canning
Maybe I'm just feeling charitable in this season of giving. I've put money in every Salvation Army kettle in town, added a few bucks on servers' tips, and tolerated two shopping trips to the mall.

Another Christmas carol
Bah! Humbug! Sometimes she could truly relate to old Ebenezer Scrooge.

Even reindeer have bad air days
Every year in December, I make a trip to the North Pole where I am always welcomed with open arms, lots of eggnog and a great interview.

Full fire service is great gift to county
Though it's probably more of a feature of Christmases past, there will still be plenty of kids waking up Christmas morning with a shiny toy fire truck under the tree.

Evans keeps getting wins
As the Evans High School boys basketball team prepared for the final game before the Christmas break, coach Kevin Kenny gave them one instruction.

AC picks up bragging rights
The Augusta Christian boys and girls basketball teams picked up a pair of bragging rights wins over in-county, private-school rival Augusta Prep during the weekend.

Sports calendar
A USSSA baseball umpires clinic will be held Jan. 20 at Citizens Park in Aiken from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The clinic will be conducted by South Carolina USSSA UIC James Smith.

Greenbrier girls record still undefeated, without starter
When the Greenbrier High School girls basketball team entered the weekend's play, they had an undefeated record, They didn't have starting point guard Michelle Swiec.

Athlete Spotlight: Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams' basketball ability speaks for itself. The Greenbrier High School senior is averaging 14.5 points per game and almost seven rebounds per game this season. He has scored 15 or more points in six of the Wolfpack's first 10 games.

My picks for year's best stories in sports
Another fantastic year for Columbia County sports is in the books. We had great individual performances, terrific team wins and plenty of state titles along the way. Here is a look at my favorite sport stories of 2006.


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