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Public has a 'vested interest' in protecting property from rising taxes
Barry Paschal's Dec. 9 column regarding "vested interests" and Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson's plan to eliminate property taxes ignored the public's vested interest in controlling property taxes on their homes and businesses.

Absentee voting begins for primary
Starting Friday, Columbia County voters can give an early Christmas present to their favorite presidential candidate.

Truck rises to occasion
Many little boys dream of Santa leaving a shiny, red fire truck under the tree. The grown men of Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue recently got a full-sized version, just in time for Christmas.

Polling locations changed
When voters in several Columbia County precincts head to the polls for the presidential primary in February, they'll cast their ballots at new locations.

Clinic offers gift cards for health care
Come Dec. 25, many will receive gift cards for purchases of clothes, toys, food and other goods.

Postal carrier turns logs into art with chain saw
Some sculptors mold clay. Some chisel away at hunks of marble.

Wait 'til after holiday to give pet
Experts say anyone considering giftwrapping a puppy or kitten for Christmas should reconsider.

Keep your home safe from holiday fire
The Christmas holidays are a festive time of year, but no one wants the warmth of the season to come from the holiday decorations.

Three tapped for U.S. academies
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, a former Marine and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, has announced the names of three Columbia County high school and college students he has recommended for appointment to U.S. military academies.

Wagon loads of wishes
C.J. Dube, 7, helps to unload wagons and other toys for the Wagon of Wishes 2007 donations Dec. 14 at the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center.

Police blotter
Joseph Anthony Capozzi, 50, of George Street in Grovetown, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder at a Columbia County sentencing hearing. Superior Court Judge Duncan Wheale sentenced Capozzi to five years in prison, followed by 15 years' probation.

Pet of the week
This black-and-white female tabby cat is between 1- and 2-years-old and is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Care and Control.

Current events
Bible Cathedral, at 116 Furys Ferry Road, in Evans, will hold a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 6 p.m. Dec. 24. For information, call (706) 863-7090.

Get up and go
A new Marine Corps Motorcycle Association is forming in the Augusta area and is seeking members.

School lunch menus
Columbia County School lunch menus

Donations go to nonprofit groups
Jim Hudson (center), of Jim Hudson Lexus in Martinez, donated more than $12,000 and toys to 12 area nonprofit groups at a ceremony Friday at the dealership on Washington Road.

Jowers honored with street name
Dr. Ron Jowers (left) talks to Columbia County Tax Assessor Kay Allen and state Sen. Bill Jackson after a ceremony in which he was recognized for his longtime service to the county by giving Oak Street North in Martinez the honorary name of Jowers Drive.

Timeout on a Grand Canyon excursion
During a late October, three-day hike into the Grand Canyon, Peter Clause, of Evans, (from left); Tom Ruffin, of Martinez; Michael Wren, of Louisville, Ky.; Mike Wren, of Martinez; Wade Sosebee, of Harlem; and Branan Ruffin, of Martinez, took a break at Pipe Creek Beach on the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon.

Time capsule
As reported 49 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News, Thursday, Dec. 18, 1958:

Plenty (and too much) Christmas cheer
The air finally has turned seasonably cool, we've gotten a little rain, and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

'Good guys' still tainted
Though I never cared much for the politics of Tom Murphy, it's been sad the past few years to hear about his declining health.

Stories from war, at Christmastime
My eyes almost burned with tears as I read the story. My cousin, John R. Jones, had written me an e-mail in which he recounted an episode of Christmas, 1966.

New tournament tips off this weekend
An annual basketball tournament put on by Augusta Christian and Westminster will have a different feel to it this year. The Garden City Classic title is gone, but the teams attending are bigger than ever.

Golfer Matt Motes signs with Armstrong Atlantic
Matt Motes is a golfer in a tennis world. The Augusta Christian senior didn't grow up living next to a golf course like so many other Columbia County golfers did.

All-county offense is led by gang of Knights Evans tops list with 7 selections
Editor's Note: This is the second of three football all-county columns from Ashley Brown. Today's column will concentrate on the offensive all-county team. The all-county coach and player of the year awards ran Dec. 16, and the defensive all-county team will run Sunday.

Game puts Evans atop standings
After a 2-2 start to the season, the Evans Knights have gained full momentum and once again sit atop Columbia County basketball standings.

Patriots claim championship
The 13-to-15-year-old Columbia County Patriots claimed the league championship this past fall.

Athlete Spotlight: Rosbie Mutcherson and Jared Ackerman
Lakeside guard Rosbie Mutcherson has the word "purpose" written across the top of his basketball shoes.


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