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Lawmaker commended for working to raise pay for judges, DAs
On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I would like to commend state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, for his dedication and effort in the overwhelming approval of House Bill 119 in the final hours of the 2008 legislative session.

EPA honors builder for Energy Star
As energy conservation continues to grow in popularity, some Columbia County builders have been honored for their efforts.

Harlem pastor's can-do attitude is praised
Harlem is losing one of its better-known residents -- the Rev. Roger Vest.

Dead blooms need to be removed
Dorothy Packard cleans up her garden in Jones Creek nearly every morning by deadheading plants whose blooms have died out during the previous day. Doing so, she said, makes her garden look cleaner, but also helps the plant put more energy into producing more blooms.

Nominees for Columbia County Father of the Year
The Columbia County News Times , Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co. and Cudos!, sponsors of the Columbia County Father of the Year Contest, invited readers to tell us why their fathers should be the father of the year. The following are among the essays we received.

Navigation knowledge can keep you safe
Thurmond Lake runs southeast to northwest, is about 40 miles long and has a shore line as long as the state of California. The lake's many side channels and varying depths and obstructions make it important to know how to safely navigate.

Parents see improvement in son's vision after trip
As the two play and laugh, it's clear that Patrick Ford shares a close bond with his 22-month-old son. "Every time I say, 'I love you,' he'll say 'dada mmm,' Patrick Ford said about his son, Will. "We think that's how he tries to say 'I love you.' "

13-year-old gets college's attention
As a 2-year-old, Megan Murphy had little knowledge of what her parents endured when she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, the most common form of malignant soft tissue tumor.

Church building will fill many needs
Harlem Baptist Church is expanding again. On June 1, church officials dug their golden shovels into the earth at the groundbreaking ceremony for the 134-year-old church's multipurpose building.

'News-Times' brings home awards
For the second year in a row, the twice-weekly Columbia County News-Times competed with small daily newspapers in Georgia and still managed a respectable showing in the Georgia Press Association's Better Newspapers Contest.

Nagle completes first year
The Columbia County school board Tuesday had nothing but praise for Superintendent Charles Nagle for his accomplishments in his first year as head of the school system.

Man gave loved ones hope after son's death
Nicole Callison, 18, considers her father, Grady "Bubba" Callison, a rock in her life. He was named the 2008 Columbia County Father of the Year, an annual contest sponsored by The Columbia County News-Times , Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co. and Cudos.

Hot weather brings disease, pest woes
The first day of summer is still a week away, but the last two weeks made you think we were in July or August. The heat, combined with the lack of rain, has caused some problems with lawns and vegetable gardens.

Assistant principal rewarded in arson case
One Columbia County educator earned a hefty reward this past week for assisting in an arson investigation last year.

Parties will hold candidate forums, debate
The Georgia primary election is just one month away, but the deadline to register to vote in that election hits Monday. Registration for the July 15 primary ends at 5 p.m.

Augusta Christian hosts spelling bee
Augusta Christian Schools recently hosted the ACSI District Spelling Bee.

Cindy's Catering and Cafe reopens
Cindy and Rick Crawford, the owners of Cindy's Catering and Cafe, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and county officials to celebrate the reopening of their cafe.

Current events
Absentee voting for the July 15 general primary is now available in the Columbia County Board of Elections Office or via mail. Monday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for voter registration for the primary. For information, call (706) 868-3355.

Things To Do
CSRA Writers will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1336 Augusta West Parkway. Writers needing a support group are invited to attend and bring eight copies of a manuscript to be critiqued. For information, call Steve Fox at (706) 836-7315.

Greenbrier Elementary School Honor Roll
Fourth nine weeks honor roll for Greenbrier Elementary School.

Vacation photos
Laura Tinney had her photo taken with Clifton Davis, from the television series Amen, during the Masters Tournament.

Bianca N. Griffin and Phillip J. Griffin, June 4, 2008.

Property Transfers
R.T. Bailey Construction Inc. to Patricia C. Carpenter and J. Wayne Carpenter, 318 Connor Circle, $150,900.

Dealership raises money for school
The Milton Ruben Chrysler Jeep dealership in Martinez helped raise $590 for Cedar Ridge Elementary with its minivan Drive for the Kids program. The fundraising event was held May 3 in conjunction with the school Spring Carnival sponsored by the Cedar Ridge PTO.

Greenbrier Middle School Honor Roll
Fourth nine weeks honor roll for Greenbrier Middle School.

Martinez Elementary School Honor Roll
Fourth nine weeks honor roll for Martinez Elementary School.

Adoption spotlight
Ellie is a 4-month-old female husky mix with short fur. She weighs about 27 pounds and should grow to only medium size as an adult.

Police blotter
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Additional reports are available at

Responsible fathers: A valuable asset
The annual release of the Kids Count Data Book routinely is accompanied by hand-wringing alarms regarding the status of children in America, and the 2008 version released last week is no different.

Editorial cartoon

Back when Daddy drove the train
I have to laugh whenever letters appear on the editorial page to protest the area's early-morning, whistle-blowing trains. Because one of those noise-makers runs regularly near my house, I hear them, too. But instead of complaining about the whistles, I count them.

A big week for the girls
This past week was all milestones at the Paschal home. Middle daughter and newly minted high school graduate Ellie turned 18. Four of the five people in my household now are legally adults.

Lightning take championship
The Lightning are champions of the Fifth Annual East Georgia Memorial Day Classic.

Youth have opportunity to benefit from a pro
The inaugural Todd Greene Summer Baseball Camp in Columbia County will take place June 23-26 at Riverside Park in Evans. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day and will cover the fundamentals of hitting, throwing, catching, fielding and base running.

Coach holds area's first pole vault camp
Scott Hinds watched carefully as the football players drew closer to where he and many of his pole-vaulting students were practicing.

Dad opens up about his bout with cancer
Pat Richards sat in the metal bleachers behind home plate, watching his son Nick Richards and the Greenbrier baseball team practice before it started the Class AAA state playoffs in May.

Win a fishing trip with bass professional
Local anglers have a chance to win a bass-fishing trip with professional fisherman J. Todd Tucker. The raffle is sponsored by the Thomson-McDuffie County Convention and Visitors Bureau and will benefit the McDuffie Environmental Education Center.


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