Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas on display
The Rickerson's display includes thousands of lights, several inflatable yard ornaments, a lighted ice skating rink, a lighted sleigh with Santa and reindeer, lighted candy canes and lights across the house.

Evans man throws bash to celebrate his 100th birthday
Chung Fu Liu recently celebrated a milestone birthday in style. The resident of Morningside Assisted Living turned 100 on Tuesday and threw a big party - the first time he's celebrated his birthday in years.

Teen takes active volunteer role
When Kristin Dollar was 8 or 9, she remembers walking the streets of her neighborhood in North Augusta to collect food for the Columbia County-based It's Spooky to Be Hungry food drive to benefit Golden Harvest Food Bank.

See more favorite lights
The Columbia County News-Times received numerous nominations for our annual Christmas on Display feature. Though time and available space would not allow for all nominations to be featured, the following are light displays that Columbia County residents endorsed as worthy of inclusion in a tour of Christmas lights:

Voices from the street
The News-Times asked children, "What do you hope Santa leaves under the tree for you?"

Program brings Christmas to children
Christmas morning came early Wednesday for about 35 children who spent a few hours shopping at the Martinez Wal-Mart with Columbia County authorities during the fourth annual Day With a Deputy.

Residents share memories of Christmas
Becky Brickhouse says her favorite Christmas memory was last year, 2005, when I she gave her sister (Joyce Ann Lewis) one of her kidneys.

Mother's best present is son's safe return
The bright red 1967 Ford Mustang that pulled up to the Eckert family home in Martinez on Tuesday wasn't Santa's sleigh, but Jeanine Eckert said it brought her the greatest Christmas present ever - her son, home from war.

Christmas, New Year's closings set
In honor of the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays, governments and post offices in Columbia County are closing.

Police blotter
Local and federal authorities are seeking two men who robbed a Columbia County credit union Wednesday.

Photo: Pupils get into 'Nutcracker'
Hannah Taylor, as the Nutcracker; Alex Kamara, as the mouse; and Sarah Knapp, as Marie, perform The Nutcracker for pupils and parents at Blue Ridge Elementary School.

Photo: Babe in a Manger
Carissa Grisso played Mary and John Tucker and his 2 month-old daughter Zoey played Joseph and Jesus in the nativity scene at Martinez UMC's Bethlehem Village. The angel was played by Karen Hancock.

Photo: Westminister takes another title
Westminster Schools of Augusta put the finishing touch on an 18-2-2 season by winning the GISA AAA State Soccer Championship. The Wildcats are also ranked 5th in the region IV coaches poll. This was Westminster's fourth state title since 2000.

Greyhound of the week
Kiki Angel gets along with people, cats and small dogs. She does not like to be alone and must be adopted by a family that already owns another dog.

Divorces
Wendy Thomas and Charles H. Thomas, Dec. 11, 2006.

Photos: It's all about the children
Greenbrier Elementary fourth-grade teacher Traci Dudley checks the bingo card of Sarah Tesney, 9, on the last day of school before the Christmas break in Evans. The children had to figure out math facts to get the answers for the bingo card.

Get up and go
American Legion Post 194 in Lincolnton will hold a New Year's dance at 8:30 p.m. Saturday featuring Brasstyme.

Photo: Bank breaks ground
Security Federal Bank officials joined with Columbia County representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a new bank at North Belair Road and Evans to Locks Road.

Property transfers
Virginia Dell H. Smith to William D. Smith and Dianna L. Smith, 1417 Pine Needle Drive, $56,000.

Photo: Annual Shop With a Doc
Khadafy Bennett, 6, enjoys a Christmas party at Target in Mullins Crossing before the Shop with a Doc event in Evans.

Current events
The annual Lights of the South Christmas lights display runs from 6-10 p.m. each day through Dec. 30. The display is located off Interstate 20's Appling-Harlem Highway exit, near Grovetown. For information, call (706) 825-6441.

Christmas will be most merry
Just think: Ila Lee Yelton Bartles celebrated Christmas 104 times. Monday would have been her 105th, but she passed away a week ago. We don't know of anyone older in Columbia County, so she might have been our oldest citizen.

Dreaming of a hopeful Christmas
Nostalgia's mirror can be a little foggy.

Have a Christ-centered Christmas
The other day I asked a friend to share his favorite thing about the Christmas story. He thought silently for a moment, and then a huge smile appeared on his face. He looked me square in the eye and with a great sense of satisfaction said, "Red Rider BB gun."

Nine lessons of Christmas
For more years than I can count I have either attended or participated in the traditional Christmas program known as "Nine Lessons and Carols."

Sports calendar
The Augusta Junior Rowing Team will conduct spring tryouts Jan. 8-10 from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Augusta Boathouse at 101 Riverfront Drive. Anyone age 13-18 is invited to participate.

Swimmers finish in top 10 at Georgia championship
Area swimmers will get a slight break over the Christmas season before returning to high school competition.

Alumni compete for fund
Soccer season is still months away, but Panther stadium was filled with several past and present Lakeside soccer stars last weekend.

On Wolfpack, on Knights, on Panthers and Bulldogs
With Monday being Christmas, I decided to give the readers a special Christmas poem:

Santa to drop many presents on the county
This is probably the biggest news I'll ever break in Columbia County. That's right. I have the scoop of the year. Just hand over the Pulitzer now. This is dynamite info.

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