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'Judas Chambliss' should be rejected for 'treachery,' 'betrayal'
One can imagine that the 11 disciples might have had this conversation if they had the faith and principles practiced by many of today's Republicans: Al Gray, Evans

Tourism agency's board recommends approval of aquatic center
Recently, the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau adopted a position in support of the general obligation bond referendum to finance the construction of an aquatic and tennis center. Here's why: Beda Johnson, Director, Columbia County CVB

Aquatic center would benefit too few residents
Sorry, but we cannot support the proposed Columbia County aquatic and tennis center because it will benefit so few in our county. After all, not everyone swims or plays tennis. F. Fischer, Harlem

SPLOST referendum should be rejected, come back for vote later
I am asking the voters in Columbia County to please vote no on the SPLOST referendum on Nov. 4. The fact is we have two years to vote on this SPLOST, as it does not run out until 2011. For some unknown reason, the powers-that-be in Columbia County are intent on rushing it to the polls this election cycle. Jim Bartley, Evans

Vote for Obama would 'undo our progress in keeping the enemy from our shores'
Army memories, while stationed at three free world borders, haunt me as we enter the election cycle. I have seen the empty eyes of people beyond our safe and abundantly blessed borders: East Berliners lined up to buy bread; scraggly beggar children in Juarez; and those making a new life who fled China and North Korea for the shores of Hawaii. Priscilla Bence, Martinez

Passage of Amendment 1 could cost counties millions in revenue
The Nov. 4 ballot amendment No. 1 question reads like this: Steve Norton, Wrens, Ga

Environmental groups object to proposed Amendment 3
As a lobbyist for environmental groups at the General Assembly, I read the Oct. 5 News-Times' editorial regarding the ballot's constitutional amendments with interest. Neill Herring, Jesup, Ga.

Chamber members call for SPLOST passage
The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce recently surveyed its membership about the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) vote which appears on the November general election ballot. More than 80 percent of chamber members responding to the survey support extension of the already existing penny SPLOST. John Carney, Bobby L. Christine, Co-chairs, Government Affairs Committee, Columbia County, Chamber of Commerce

Building aquatic center 'is a quality of life issue'
Our family is not involved in year-round swimming or high school swimming. We are one of many families who live in Columbia County that see a need for a community pool. Colleen Hergott, Martinez

County would benefit more if all voted 'no' on the aquatic center
I've noticed that in the last several issues that the editorial page has been dominated with those folks who are pro-aquatic and tennis center, telling us all the reasons why we need to spend millions of dollars to build the center (and who knows how much to keep it going), and how it will benefit all those in Columbia County... . Mike Milford, Evans

Many are running unopposed
Restaurant sales of liquor by the drink might come to pass if Harlem voters approve two special election questions on Tuesday's ballot.

School enrollment might increase
Columbia County school officials approved an enrollment projection Tuesday suggesting the system might grow by 261 pupils next school year.

County worker to retire after 44 years
After Charles Norris gives up maintaining roads, he intends to spend some time on them.

Veterans Day services will honor those who sacrificed for country
On Nov. 11, Col. John Holwick, Fort Gordon's garrison commander, will be among the many active-duty personnel taking part in Veterans Day observances.

Scholarship honors shooting victim
An Augusta man who was killed in June was honored Tuesday by the Columbia County West Rotary Club with the establishment of a scholarship fund in his name.

One business on hold, others boom
Though many new businesses recently opened or are planned for Columbia County in the coming months, a new phase for a major Evans shopping center might start later than anticipated.

Shots for rabies are available
Columbia County Animal Care and Control will conduct a rabies vaccination clinic at 1 p.m. Saturday in Appling.

Toys for Tots drive opens at Wildwood
The holiday season will arrive soon, and the Marine Corps Reserve in Augusta is preparing for what it hopes will be its most successful Toys for Tots drive.

Marines running in honor of fallen comrades
Until 3 p.m. Friday, at least one Marine will be running around Fort Gordon's Barton Field in honor of the Marines and Navy corpsmen who've lost their lives in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Military Milestones
- Air Force Airman 1st Class Demarious S. Beard , son of Dwight Merriweather, of Hephzibah, has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio.

Greenbrier senior recovers from limb-lengthening surgery
By the end of his senior year of high school, Blake Collins not only plans to graduate but also hopes for a personal achievement that is his own.

Army Reserve Pvt. Tasha D. Barber has graduated from the Dental Specialist Advanced Individual Training course at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio. Barber is the daughter of Dawn and Curtis Barber, of Keysville, Ga., and her grandmother, Betty Barber, lives in Evans.

Guild features local artists in fundraiser
A showcase for area artists -- amateur and professional -- will be held Saturday in Evans.

Poll shows support for center
As election day approaches, the big-ticket local items voters will see on the ballot Tuesday are a renewal of a 1-cent sales tax and a bond referendum to build a swimming pool.

Police Blotter
Grovetown police intercepted a Fed-Ex delivery heading for Whiskey Road on Tuesday morning that contained nearly 20 pounds of marijuana.

Pet Adoption
These pets are available for adoption from CSRA Happy Tails Rescue Inc., a non-profit 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.

Cedar Ridge Elementary School Honor Roll
Celina Burner, Wolfgang Davis, Isaiah Enger, Jared Enger, Keanu Exum, Hailey Holland, Edgar Mendez, Asya Peyton, Sarah Reville, Sincere Rose, Quenten Samuels, Hunter Boyce, Raven Cupid, Chase Oberdick, Christopher Wise, Kiara Nogueras, Wayne Anderson, Haley Harris, Lamar Price, Chloe Pugh, McKenzie Tankersley, Britney Armstrong, Keenan Bass, Deangelo Davis, Caitlin Girard, Jared Tildon, Isaac Magana, Hayden McPeake, Madison Moore, Carmelita Moreno, Julius Pantoja, Hunter Rodgers, Shelby Simmons, CJ Tanner, Hannah Sherrill, Brandon Jones, Angelica Mendoza, Samiah Leggett, Brittany Evans, Andy Brown, Claudia Mustin, and Kaitlyn Dwyer.

Columbia County fair opens
Jack Ledbetter, 3, rides the merry-go-round at the Columbia County Merchants Association Fair on Friday evening.

Church Events
The Dove Brothers will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Damascus Baptist Church, on Ridge Road in Leah.

Catharine L. Blakely and William J. Blakely, Oct. 20, 2008.

School Lunch Menus
School Lunch Menus

Cruising the Mediterranean
Jin and Russell Brown of Grovetown paused for a moment at the Croatian seaside resort of Cavtat in September during their Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to Venice, Italy, on Holland America's MS Zuiderdam. The Browns visited destinations in France, Monaco, Greece, Albania, and Croatia, as well as five cities in Italy, including Sicily.

First in forestry
The Columbia County 4-H Forestry Junior Team won first place in the district in forestry competition. Ryan Rose (above) placed third among 78 competitors. Ryan, a Lakeside Middle School student, is president of the Northeast Junior Board of Directors for 2008-09.

Brookwood Elementary School Honor Roll
Gianna Capobianco, Agam Chauhan, Jasmine Coleman, Alex Hawes, Avery Lewis, Basem Marmal, G. Kyle Young, Rachel Abrahams, Briana Beck, Malary Bush, Patrick Daniel, Jayla Demaine, Veronica Egbuka, Malcolm Gayle, Lacey Green, Madison Hobbs, Cameron Johnson, McKenzie Weekley, Hannah Baine, Alyssa Coleman, Nadya Maiben, Gabriel Short, Hallie Stierwalt, Allison Wood, Victoria Young, Cameron Ashley, Kyle Capell, Jeremy Froebel, Andrew Grant, Ethan Harris, Alexis Inglett, Paula Lugo, Madelyn Rice, Marissa Thomas, Marcia Tubman, Abigail Wilson, Amber Bell, Asa Capell, Isaac Devries, Lee Dubar, Roshelle Horejsi, Dylan Huffman, Bethany Johnson, Alexis Jones, Fletcher Peka, Joron Powell, Lauren Saunders, Ty Turner and Jasmine Wratee.

Current Events
The Columbia County Merchants Association Fall Fair is open from 1-11 p.m. today, 5-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and noon to midnight Saturday at the fairgrounds on Columbia Road. For information, call the fair hotline at (706) 210-3603, or go

Columbia County Fair Schedule
Cost: $5 for admission, $1 off with church bulletin; $18 for unlimited rides

Property Transfers
Victor Homes Inc. to Wesley R. Jeep and Rondl Newman, 315 Padrick St., $123,900.

Editorial Cartoon
Editorial Cartoon for Sunday, November 2, 2008.

Stumbling to the finish line
After they finish chewing on the aftermath of Tuesday's election, how will the 24-hour cable television media fill its time?

Yes to aquatic center, no to SPLOST renewal
Leading up to this year's referendums on renewal of Columbia County's special purpose local option sales tax and the proposed aquatic center, much of the community's discussion has focused not on the proposals themselves, but on the difficult choice of making long-range economic decisions in a time of national economic uncertainty.

Composting can rebuild soil
The gardener's equivalent to recycling is composting, and one local man has been doing just that for years, saving a nursery where he once worked thousands of dollars in soil costs.

Cavaliers win girls GISA state crown
Augusta Prep cross country coach Mike Burley's speech to his team before its state meet didn't deal with individuals his runners would have to beat.

Sports Calendar
CSRA Heat Volleyball Club will hold a parent information meeting for traveling teams and developmental clinics today at 2 p.m. at Goodwin Commons at Augusta Prep. Tryouts will follow on Nov. 9 and 16. Girls will need to attend both tryouts to allow the coaches to best determine their placement on a team. The teams and developmental clinics are open to girls in fifth through 12th grades. For information visit or call Lance Abbott (706) 860-8539 or Laurie Ulmer (803) 640-1166. E-mail

Wolfpack offense fails to show up in playoffs
Greenbrier High School's softball team made its run to the Class AAAAA state finals with defense.

Postseason for softball unkind to area pair
What a year for fastpitch softball in Columbia County.

Diligent care controls Florida betony
This past spring, as a 50th wedding anniversary present for my parents, we redid the landscape in the front of their home. The plant materials were old and doing poorly.

Auto class rolls along at Harlem
The 1960 Plymouth Barracuda housed in the garage at Harlem High School shows its age.

Seniors show commitment to South Aiken's track team
Ben Stoner and Tim Hawkins started planning for the fall cross country season not long after school let out for summer break.


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