Swimsuit competition questionable for county's fair pageant
Why not a wet T-shirt contest? Is it right to include a swimsuit competition in the family oriented Columbia County Fair's beauty pageant these days?

Churches will have pumpkin patches ready for Halloween
Three Columbia County churches are gearing up to provide a fall holiday staple: pumpkins.

Chamber survey shows members support sales tax
A recent survey of members of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce showed overwhelming support for renewing the 1-cent special purpose local option sales tax, but they were less enthusiastic about funding an aquatics and tennis center.

Young Republicans organize chapter
The beginning stages for a Columbia County chapter of the Young Republicans went into high gear Tuesday as a group assembled for an organizational meeting.

School board honors principals
The Columbia County school board recognized two "High Performing" principals during a Tuesday meeting.

The Dean Bunch
Though it took nearly three years, all nine members of the Dean family finally are living under the same roof.

Firefighters will hone their skills at training site
Columbia County firefighters now have a place to test fire truck pumps. By spring, they'll have a permanent and versatile center to train for just about any scenario.

Divorces
Thyaisa L. Jones and Edwin T. Littles, Sept. 17, 2008.

Police Blotter
Five Augusta teenagers were arrested Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a Grovetown man during what police described as a home invasion.

Cracker Barrel opens
Peggy Bell and her grandson Brandon Blackwell shop in the lobby of the new Cracker Barrel restaurant. The restaurant, on North Belair Road at Washington Road in Evans, opened Monday.

Property Transfers
Faircloth Homes Inc. to Ruben D. Harris Jr. and Felicia M. Harris,1615 Sweet Meadow Lane, $174,100.

Youth Leadership
The Columbia County Youth Leadership Class of 2009 competed in a tug of war during their ropes program.

Breaking ground
The University of Phoenix held a groundbreaking ceremony with the Columbia County Chamber for their expansion project Perimeter Parkway.

At the Republican National Convention
Pamela Lightsey went to the Republican National Convention as a guest of her mother, who is a former state representative from Arizona who was a delegate to the convention.

School Lunch Menus
School Lunch Menus

Newsmakers
The United States Achievement Academy said Jaiden Bowyer, of Grovetown, has been recognized as a student of excellence in mathematics. Jaiden, who attends Grovetown Middle School, was nominated by his teacher, Kemberly Carter.

Marriage Licenses
Brian Lee Segrest and Jessica Lynn Hunter applied for a marriage license on Aug. 26, 2008, and were married Aug. 31, 2008, in Martinez.

Teen Coffee Night
Starbucks of Evans sponsored Riverwood Plantation Teen Coffee Night with local Christian rock band Sidewalk Express performing. Band members are Parker Ellison (back, from left), Matt Poppell, Scott Sizemore, Brian Riddle and Jacob Yount. Fans in front are Haverly Halvorsen (from left), Lauren Hawkins, Savanna Williams, Katie Faircloth and Hannah Baker.

Vacation Gallery
Dr. Frances Sanders, her husband, Carl, and daughter, Renee Sanders, vacationed in Kaua'i, Hawaii (the "Garden Island" of the Hawaiian islands).

Golden anniversary
Robert and Eleanor Gardner celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sept. 16. They have three sons and daughters-in law: Bob and Cathy Gardner, of Roanoke, Va.; Curt and Jeri Gardner, of Martinez; and Mark and Kristen Gardner, of Carlsbad, Ca. Their seven grandchildren are Matthew, Ashley (and husband Brad Townsend), Brian, Beth, Olivia, Becky and Max, and one great grandchild, Elijah. They celebrated their anniversary with a fellowship gathering with friends at Christ the King Lutheran Church on Sept. 14 and a family dinner at West Lake Country Club on Sept 20. They will commemorate their anniversary on a Caribbean cruise with their entire family in November.

Pet Adoptions
CSRA Happy Tails Rescue Inc. is a 501-C3 nonprofit licensed animal rescue group committed to the welfare of stray and unwanted dogs and cats in the CSRA. Adoptions are held each Saturday and Sunday at SuperPetz on Bobby Jones Expressway from 1 to 4 p.m. Please contact Barb at (706) 836-2708 for information about the group or any of the featured animals.

Minor injuries in 4-car wreck
Emergency workers removed a Martinez man from his Toyota Corolla on Tuesday morning after a four-car wreck. Gregory Coryles, 52, was taken to University Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released, Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Ty Mobley said. Coryles, driving eastbound on Old Petersburg Road about 9:15 a.m., ran a red light at Baston Road and collided with a Corolla driven by Shannon Johnson, 20, of North Augusta, who was southbound on Baston Road. The impact pushed Johnson's car into oncoming traffic and through the parking lot of a Shell station before it stopped near the railroad tracks, Mobley said. Coryles's car also hit a GMC Yukon driven by Robin Jackson, 51, of Evans, and a Mitsubishi Galant, driven by Alicia Butler, 25, of Aiken. Both were traveling northbound through the green light on Baston Road. No one except Coryles was injured, Mobley said. Coryles was cited for failure to obey a traffic-control device.

Current Events
Oct. 6 is the deadline for voters to register in time for the November 4 General Election. A voter registration drive will be held at New Hope Worship Center, 715 Old Belair Road, Grovetown, 5:30-7:30 p.m. today, and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Early voting is available at the Columbia County Board of Elections Office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 500 Faircloth Drive in Evans. Call (706) 868-3355.

Work begins after the conventions
"No other country in the world could understand the American political convention." - Will Rogers

Gavin Rowell files his story
Little Gavin Todd Rowell, son of veteran News-Times staff writer Valerie Rowell - jokingly called Lois Lane by local cops and firefighters - made his debut Thursday.

Cartoon
Editorial Cartoon for Sunday, September 28, 2008

Survey spells trouble for pool vote
Elvis famously sang, "I spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E."

'Football-hungry' Augusta Prep gets right man to start up its program
Tom Holodak says he got his man.After months of waiting, including a fruitless initial interview process, the Augusta Prep athletic director found someone in Harry Bacheller who fits the mold set from the beginning.

Harlem drops pair against area teams
Harlem High School volleyball coach Mike Hopkins seemed a little confused Tuesday.

Back from Beijing
Scott Winkler returned from Beijing on Sept. 19 at 1:15 a.m. to a welcoming party at his Grovetown home. The guests included Jeff and Cheryl Snover, of Champions Made From Adversity; Winkler's mother and aunt; some neighbors; and, Olympian Reese Hoffa's father, Steve, and stepmother, Vicki.

Boating education classes are moving toward mandatory status
Last week we reviewed the Coast Guard's on-water missions for Clarks Hill Lake and how volunteers are needed to provide crews and boats. This week we will examine many other Coast Guard missions in the area.

Falling temperatures signal it's time to get trees and shrubs into ground
During the past couple of weekends, there have been many commercial plant nurseries that have had sales. Many gardeners purchased plants at great prices.

Nature provides colorful palette for fall decorating
Nature has long been an inspiration for decorators, and with fall blowing in last week, many people are turning to nature to help them decorate for the season.

Evans' focus is steady despite its early success
Evans High School football coach Marty Jackson likes to tell his players they can have fun at Christmas.

Tourism award
Jackson Marshall, 7, the son of Richard and Robbie Marshall, of Evans, and a pupil at Stevens Creek Elementary School, caught a 12-pound catfish while fishing with his dad at a friend's pond in Evans on Sept. 21.

Sports Calendar
The newly formed CSRA Youth Baseball League is a fall competitive league. It is for players ages 7-18. Each team will play on Tuesdays and Thursdays through early November. Full teams can enter, or individuals can be placed on a team from their area.

Area football player, golfer share name, success
During the past few years, the name Adam McKinney has made plenty of appearances in The News-Times . After all, McKinney was a standout high school quarterback for Augusta Christian before bulking up and becoming a solid collegiate defensive end at Presbyterian College.

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