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Incredulous questions remain after much-discussed Lakeside scandal
"I can't believe Coach Hill would do that!" I had run into a former Lakeside High School parent over Thanksgiving in Atlanta. I quickly reassured him Coach Randy Hill hadn't.

Drought restricts open burning
Open burning in Columbia County now faces additional restrictions because of nearby areas that are some of the most drought-stricken in Georgia.

Agencies set blood drive to prepare for holidays
It's the gift-giving season once again, and on Wednesday the Columbia County Emergency Services Division and Shepeard Community Blood Center are asking people to share the gift of life.

Local 'Kid Nation' star gets gold star
Hunter Jeffers earned himself a gold star. But not in his seventh-grade classroom at Riverside Middle School or his Martinez home for finishing chores.

Home construction slowdown considered leveling off locally
Rooftops in Columbia County aren't rising as fast as they were a few years ago, but county officials and builders say that's not a harbinger of doom for the housing market.

I can taste blueberry cobbler now; if you can, also, get to planting
As a boy growing up in South Carolina, I looked forward to June every year. School was over for the summer, it was time to go swimming and a time to relax and explore the surrounding woods and fields.

Board OKs school start of Aug. 10 for 2009-10
School in the 2009-10 academic year would start Monday, Aug. 10, under a tentative schedule that the county school board approved at its Tuesday meeting.

Legislators take on taxes, water at chamber meeting
Columbia County's legislative delegation and the speaker of the state House spoke Tuesday on issues facing lawmakers during a breakfast meeting of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

Grovetown seeks to fill manager's job in early 2008
Two years after Grovetown city officials agreed to expand city government by creating a city administrator position, they expect to have the job filled in the first few months of the new year.

Hometown gifts fill a need
With Christmas less than a month away, many are still seeking the perfect gift for friends and family. For those hoping to find gifts unique to the county, The Columbia County News-Times presents its annual list of hometown products.

Amaryllis bulbs offer colorful variety in time for holidays
A favorite winter plant around many homes, especially during the holiday season, is the amaryllis. Given as a gift by many, the amaryllis has long been known as the hundred-year bulb, according to a local horticulturist.

DOT to share parkway plans
The Georgia Department of Transportation will hold an open house Thursday to provide details on plans to extend William Few Parkway.

Congressman opens local field office
The late Charlie Norwood's 10th District congressional successor chose Columbia County as the site for one of his three field offices. Paul Broun, who was elected to fill Norwood's unexpired term in July, opened an office Monday in Evans.

Senior finds gratification in working to help others
From a family of caregivers has emerged a giver himself. Zack Herzwurm, an Augusta Christian Schools senior, said he plans to follow both his mother and father into the medical field after graduation in May.

Military milestones
Army Pvt. Theodore E. Finley has arrived for duty at Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas. Finley, an infantryman, is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment. He is the son of Albert and Debbie Valente, of Appling, and a 2006 graduate of Greenbrier High School.

Vacation photo
Ted and Nancy Hussey celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Nantucket Island, Mass., with their children and grandchildren from Southern California.

Current events
The annual Merchants Association of Columbia County Martinez-Evans Christmas Parade will begin at 2 p.m. today on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans.

School Lunches
Lunch menus for students attending schools in Columbia County.

Marriage licenses
Lonnie Aaron Pope and Erin Marie Pawlak applied for a marriage license on Oct. 26, 2007, and were married Oct. 27, 2007, in Appling.

Adoption Spotlight
These pets are available for adoption from CSRA Happy Tails Rescue, Inc., a nonprofit licensed animal rescue group committed to the welfare of stray and unwanted dogs and cats in the CSRA. For more information, call Barb Gleitsmann at (706) 836-2708.

Property Transfers
W. Bryan Matthews to Sondra B. Smith and Brian L. Lancaster, 327 Sugarcreek Drive, $405,000.

Community photos
Evans Middle School welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Clark from Fort Gordon as its featured speaker on Veterans Day.

Time capsule
As reported 47 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News, Thursday, Dec. 1, 1960:

Susan E. Hubbard and Charles W. Hubbard, Nov. 19, 2007.

Police blotter
A Richmond County firefighter died Thursday in a two-vehicle wreck on Ray Owens Road near Appling. George Curtis Jr., 54, of Grovetown was pronounced dead at the scene, Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King said.

Class Reunions
The Harlem High School class of 1988 is seeking classmates for a 20-year reunion. Send contact information to or call Sharon Banks Davis at (706) 284-5775.

Blue Ridge Elementary School Honor Roll
First nine weeks honor roll for Blue Ridge Elementary School.

Caroling our way toward Christmas
When we arrived in Germany more than 30 years ago, one of the children on our military installation couldn't wait to tell us how the Germans celebrate Christmas.

Commissioners must reject planning and zoning changes
When Columbia County commissioners Tuesday decide whether to approve changes to the county's planning and zoning commission, those favoring it should be honest about their motive: It's an early Christmas present to their pals in the building and development community.

Holiday stress in perspective
No matter how hectic the Christmas season gets, after chatting the other day with Scott Dean, I'm not going to complain.

Softball season has its share of stellar moments
It was a year to remember on the softball diamond. The Greenbrier-Evans rivalry was stronger than ever thanks to a Lady Knights extra-inning win at Greenbrier's field in regular season play. The Wolfpack avenged the loss by ending Evans' season in the state sectional.

Search is on as football team takes shape
Augusta Prep will soon become the sixth Columbia County school with a football program.

Prep calendar
Columbia County prep sports contests in the week ahead.

Sports notes
The Pete Meadows Baseball Program is holding its 14th annual Christmas Baseball Camp at Putt-Putt Golf & Games on Dec. 26-28 for ages 8-9 and 10-12. For more information, visit or call (706) 863-4979.

Hot shooting carries Harlem past Hephzibah
The first round of Tuesday night basketball games hit Columbia County last week. The games saw Harlem's boys continue their strong shooting start to the season.

Coach will keep post, must pay fine
Columbia County school Superintendent Charles Nagle announced the final punishment for Lakeside football coach Jody Grooms last week.

Lakeside to grapple with rivals
Another wrestling season is under way in Columbia County. Squads at Evans, Greenbrier and Lakeside have hit the mat already, with early matches indicating this could be the most competitive season in years.

Pigskin Picks winner announced
Amber Scott, a server at Rhinehart's Oyster Bar in Evans, reads the name of the grand-prize winner in the 2007 Pigskin Picks contest at Wednesday's drawing party. Keith L. Reese, of Grovetown, won The Columbia County News-Times' weekly football contest of $500 in Rhinehart's gift certificates and four $47.12 catering trays.


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