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Families of former News-Times correspondent express gratitude
With heavy hearts we would like to express our sincere appreciation to each and every one for their thoughtfulness to our families during the illness and death of our beloved Mama, Jennette "Bob" Smith.

Properly handling runoff can turn wet areas into landscape highlights
It seems that we can't ever be satisfied. For most of this year, we have been begging for rain. Now, we need the soil to dry out some.

Gardeners share ideas for presents
This time of year has everyone trying to find the perfect gift for those on their holiday list.

A bed forever empty
A plaid flannel dog bed lies on the floor next to the Christmas tree in Patti Barcklow's living room.

Burn patients enjoy shopping
For the doctors at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital, seeing the children that they treat on a daily basis healing and happy makes their jobs worthwhile.

Concert will provide resources for charity
Those involved with Columbia County Cares hope to instill the spirit of giving Monday by holding a Christmas benefit concert to help provide food for those in need.

Contest to aid group in helping food bank
Last year's Empty Bowl campaign raised more than $20,000 for Golden Harvest Food Bank and Augusta Jewish Community Center. This year, Empty Bowl hopes to surpass that mark with its "Got Soup?" campaign.

Ordinance restricting age of mobile homes defeated
A proposed Grovetown ordinance that would limit the age of mobile homes moving into the city failed at Monday's city council meeting.

Accreditation agency seeks feedback on sheriff's office
Public feedback of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office is being sought from the community as part of the agency's assessment process starting today.

Spanking of pupils taken off the books
The Columbia County school board abandoned corporal punishment for pupils Tuesday.

Columbia County Cares gets award
The people who work with the Columbia County Cares food pantry are accustomed to giving to others. Last month, they were recognized for their accomplishments.

Evans Christian Academy Honor Roll
First nine weeks honor roll.

Grovetown Middle School First Nine Weeks Honor Roll
A and A/B honor rool

Stallings Island Middle School Honor Roll Addendum
The following honor roll students were inadvertently omitted from the earlier publication of the honor roll: Franklin Perhonish , seventh-grade A/B honor roll, and Eric Stokes , eighth-grade A honor roll.

On parade
Carl Tommy Miller, representing the Sons of Confed-erate Veterans, receives a trophy for nonprofit groups from Dot Benoit, Grovetown's planning and zoning clerk, for participating in the city's Christmas parade.

Police Blotter
A two-vehicle wreck on Columbia Road near Belair Road on Wednesday night left a man seriously injured.

Marriage license applications
Dalton Dean Miller and Bethany Carole Dole applied for a marriage license on Nov. 26, 2008, and were married Nov. 26, 2008, in Appling.

Pets of the week
Heartsong Animal Rescue is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Martinez that relies on donations to continue its rescue effort. It rescues from 10 counties. Animals are current on their age appropriate vaccinations and spayed or neutered. Dogs are microchipped, and cats are litter-box trained. To adopt, donate, or for more information, contact Loretta at (706) 855-1241, or go to www.heartsonganimalrescue.com.

Divorces
Cassandra D. Lovings and David G. Burrell, Dec. 2, 2008.

Get up and go
Penny Jackson, principal of the new Grovetown High School, will hold an information meeting for students and parents at 7 p.m. Monday at Patriots Park Gym. For information, go to the school's Web site at www.ccboe.net.

School lunches
Columbia County school lunch menus

Current events
CSRA Happy Tails Rescue provides gift wrapping from 1 to 5 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 20 and at The Crate on Bobby Jones Expressway, along with pet adoptions, photos with Santa and a baked-goods sale from 10 to 4 p.m. today and Dec. 20 and 21 at SuperPetz. The organization's 2009 calendar is available. For information, call (706) 564-9605.

Veterans Day ceremony
The Evans High School JROTC performed at the Veterans Day ceremony at Evans Middle School on Nov. 14.

Newsmakers
Brittany McCladdie, a Greenbrier High School graduate, was selected for membership by Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society at Georgia State University. Brittany is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton McCladdie Jr. and is majoring in biology-premed.

Evans Elementary School Honor Roll
First nine weeks honor roll.

Military newsmakers
Taylor W. Smiley , son of Montica L. Berry, of Evans, recently enlisted in the Marine Corps under the Delayed Entry Program with Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Columbia. Smiley will complete his senior year at Evans High School.

Property transfers
GMAC Mortgage LLC to Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., 4129 Quinn Drive, $177,547.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for Sunday, December 14, 2008.

Paddling died while you weren't looking
Corporal punishment ended in Columbia County with a whimper, not a bang.

Donation time for bellringers
One of my family's firmly entrenched Christmas traditions is this:

Snyder, Bowles honored as top runners in county
Greenbrier High School cross country coach Kati Smallwood recently found a team picture showing a young Taylor Snyder, then a freshman, as one of the smallest members of the Wolfpack team.

Sports newsmakers
Hayden's Gymnastics Level 4 boys team took seventh place at the Crown of the Carolina's Meet in Rock Hill, S.C., on Nov. 16.

Additions at Grovetown reunite football coach, AD
Rodney Holder and Todd Booker worked together for two years on Terry Holder's football staff at Greenbrier, from 1998-2000.

Spartans win first battle with the Knights
After Glenn Hills beat Evans on Tuesday in the first meeting between the new region rivals, players from each team had parting shots for the other side.

Area gaining respect for teams' play on the court
Columbia County has never been considered a basketball hotbed, but during the past few years the county has gained plenty of respect on the hardwood.

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