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Outside 'expert' evaluation of Columbia County leaves little to envy
I wonder how many Columbia County residents take time to consider, appreciate and express thanks for all County Commission Chairman Ron Cross and his group of stalwart commission members have done for all of us Columbia County residents.

Sunset Music Series set for amphitheater
The Columbia County amphitheater will be filled with music Thursday.

Church to help prepare community for school opening
With school starting Monday, one local church wants to aid students and parents preparing for the big day.

Pastor was known for vision, humility
Members of Columbia County's only Catholic church mourned the loss of their new leader this week.

Book was written for family
A collection of time-worn letters penned by his great-uncle during the Spanish-American War led Evans resident David Allard to write a book about the young soldier and his experiences.

Students make the grade at orientation
The quizzes have already started for some incoming high school students in Columbia County.

Meteor-shower viewers will have to arise early
Break out the alarm clocks. You'll need them to wake up for the fourth annual Perseid meteor shower viewing at Mistletoe State Park Sunday.

Prayer will be for good year
The Church of the Holy Comforter is hoping to get students and school workers off to a great start this school year with its annual Blessing of the Backpacks ceremony.

Care home gets reprieve
Columbia County Planning Commission agreed Thursday night to a modified version of a plan that could expand a Martinez assisted-living home.

Beatles get a little help from friends
The Columbia County Exchange Club is offering fans of The Beatles a chance to attend a rare live performance of the group's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Photos: Summertime on the Canal
Felix Scheyer, 3, of Augusta, enjoys one of her many trips down the inflatable slide at the third annual Summertime on the Canal on Friday at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. In addition to children's games, there were also eating contests and an evening concert.

Current events
The Columbia County Extension Service's Gardening at Lunch series will be held at 12:10 p.m. today at the Columbia County Library, with a presentation, "Planting in Clay," by Extension Agent Charles Phillips.

Get Up and Go
The public is invited to nominate candidates for Columbia County Arts Inc.'s third annual Individual Artist award, given to a living county artist who is dedicated to excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in Columbia County.

Police Blotter
A former Harlem High School teacher who was convicted of having sex with a student was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday.

Photo: Summertime fun on the canal
Jackson Wingard, 8, of Martinez, digs in during the watermelon-eating contest at the third annual Summertime on the Canal on Friday at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. Jackson beat out four other contestants to take the top prize in the 8- to 10-year-old category.

Pet of the week
This female calico kitten likes to have her belly rubbed. She is 3 to 5 months old and is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Care and Control. For more information, call (706) 541-4077 or visit www.columbiacountyga.gov and follow the links to Animal Care.

Putting blame in right place
This isn't intended to evoke a wave of sympathy for politicians. Lord knows I don't want anyone to think they should feel sorry for elected officials.

Remembering Father John O'Brien
When my sons were elementary- and middle-school ages, I'd drop them off at St. John Catholic School and sometimes I'd step into the almost empty church to have some quiet time with the Lord.

Saving trees is a noble idea, but unlikely
Please pardon the skepticism. County officials the other day, in a Chronicle story, talked about the growing concern for maintaining larger trees in the middle of construction projects. It's a good thought. But in practice? Not so much.

Tough sentence for sex-offender coach
Tempting though it might seem, don't shed a tear for Melissa Chase. She did the crime. Now she has to do the time.

Sports Calendar
The Sonic Blast 13-and-under traveling baseball team will hold tryouts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Riverside Park in Evans and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Harrison Caver Park in Clearwater, S.C. Tryouts will be for the fall 2007 and spring 2008 seasons.

Athlete Spotlight: Tyler Chadwick
Records fell one after another at the 2007 Dixie Youth "O" Zone World Series in Troy, Ala.

Team's moms take the field
Friday nights will soon be filled again with the hard-hitting action of high school football. And because of a brand new football clinic at Augusta Christian, the mothers in the stands won't be confused this season when the pigskin lands in the trenches.

Players pass up sleep for midnight practices
Monday marked the first day the Georgia High School Association permitted football teams to conduct full-contact practices across the state.

Bratton does well north of the border
Former Lakeside High School standout Brian Bratton is making a bit of a splash in the Canadian Football League.

Dramatic finish at inaugural golf tournament
Bartram Trail Golf Club played host to the first-ever Columbia County Junior Golf Championships last week.

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