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Public safety impact fees 'are a bad idea,' just a tax by another name
This imposition of "public safety impact fees" is a bad idea. First, let us call "user fees" what they are - taxes. The government extracts the money from you and spends that money on what it wants.

Newly elected arrive
Columbia County commissioners and school board members will ring in the new year by swearing in new members this week.

Gyms help youngsters, adults with fitness
Entering adulthood overweight makes shedding those extra pounds even harder. That's why local gyms work not just with adults setting New Year's weight-loss resolution, but also with youngsters looking to get fit.

A look back at the year's biggest stories
In a county growing as fast as Columbia County, every year is a year of change.

Six are honored for outstanding service during year
Paulette Arrington has only one regret when it comes to her job - that she hasn't been in it longer.

Fort Discovery camp offers creative activities
With string, a brightly colored plastic cup and toothpicks, campers at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery made fowl percussion instruments.

Eagle Scout remains dedicated to troop
Colin Bowers' family has always composted, so it was only natural that his Eagle Scout project involve recycling.

Fire Rescue to elect board at meeting
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue will elect new board members at a public forum Tuesday and look back at a year of significant change within the department.

Smaller crowds expected Sunday
Anyone planning to celebrate New Year's Eve in Columbia County might want to adopt some early resolutions - minimal drinking, no fireworks and keeping quiet.

Fisher House: Newest facility will serve those in VA hospital area
When Lena Richardson looks at the fenced area next to the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center's uptown division, she doesn't see a vacant space.

Teens to 'rink' in new year with church
While many others might bring in 2007 at local watering hole or party, the youth of Abilene Baptist Church will skate and dance their way into the new year.

Islamic holiday celebrates end of pilgrimage
Martinez residents Dr. Mohamed Al-Shabrawey and his wife Amany say this December should serve to unite three of the world's great religions.

Divorces
Brandy L. Sikes and Nicholas D. Sikes, Dec. 21, 2006.

Military milestones
Navy Cmdr. Michael Sheahan, a 1985 graduate of the Academy of Richmond County and son of Bob and Jackie Sheahan, of Martinez, has been named commander of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 7, based in Jacksonville, Fla.

School Councils
The North Columbia Elementary School council will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday and March 1.

Property transfers
Property transfers for the past week in Columbia County.

Current events
Bethesda Baptist Church, 5793 Old Augusta Highway, will hold a New Year's Eve gospel sing featuring the Southern quartet Kindred Spirit from 7-9 p.m. today. The church is located between Grovetown and Harlem just off Gordon Highway at Old Louisville Road.

Military Newsmakers
Army Pvt. Ross D. Moore has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia. He is the great-nephew of Sam Cline, of Grovetown.

Photo: Remembering their special day
Brian and Melissa Brown visited the Smoky Mountain National Park for their fifth wedding anniversary. They were married Nov. 3, 2001, in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

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

Post happenings
Post Happenings lists events, programs and other community notices from Fort Gordon.

Photos: Best of 2006
We've chosen to feature some of the top photos taken by staff in 2006.

Greyhound of the week
Nora is shy 3-year-old female greyhound who will take a little while to warm up to her new owner. She needs someone who will understand her fears and can be patient while she learns to trust. Nora is well behaved and has no bad habits.

Photo: Community helpers
Kindergarteners at Euchee Creek Elementary have completed a unit on community helpers.

Making New Year's Resolutions
We asked area residents to name their New Year's Resolutions for 2007. Here are some of the responses.

Get Up and Go
Augusta area podiatrists are collecting new and used shoes to be distributed to those in need. Donations of shoes of any size, condition or type may be brought to any local podiatrist's office through Friday.

God's resolutions are unbreakable
The only brand-new car I ever owned was just six weeks old when I backed into my son's car - and scraped $1,000 worth of paint and "brand-newness" from one whole side.

Things started earlier, but finished in 2006
This past year didn't seem to be one in which many things were started. But for better or worse, a lot of things were finished in 2006.

If you ask me, you're crazy
Never could I be a good candidate for penning one of those advice columns. "Ask Amy" can be patient and kind and understanding; I'm better at blunt or smart-alecky.

2007 to be unsteady season for area teams
We've dedicated a large portion of the sports section this issue to looking back on the highlights of 2006.

Evans punter makes all-state first team; Greenbrier dominates
A few sports highlights from around the county to wrap up the year:

Three state titles define year
Without a doubt, this year has had many sports memories. On this, the final day of 2006, we'll look back at Columbia County's finest sports moments from the past 12 months.

Sports Calendar
The Augusta Ice Sports Center will hold a free skating clinic from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday, with demonstrations, free skating lessons and free skate time and information about skating and hockey classes.

Football Awards
Awards from the 2006 Augusta Christian football banquet:

Prep Calendar
Greenbrier will take on Lincoln County in basketball on Tuesday.

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