As reported 29 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News and The Martinez-Evans Times, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 1980:
Primary surprises to lead to runoffs
Early unofficial results of the Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1980, General Primary show that at least three county races will be decided by runoff elections on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
In the race for the office of Probate judge, Pat Hardaway will face David Huguenin in a runoff.
Incumbent Columbia County Commissioner U.H. Pittman may face A.R. (Ted) Lane in a Democratic runoff for the Martinez commission seat. James A. Strauss will face the winner in the November General Election.
A Democratic runoff between Charles Allen Jr. and Grayson Brown will decide the Evans commission seat. The winner of this runoff will face Republican Richard B. Butler in November.
Sheriff candidate Tom Whitfield surprised everyone by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. He defeated Otis Hensley and Ralph Powell in his first bid for public office. He will be challenged by Republican Harold (Ace) Elliott in November.
Harlem High under an investigation
The first stage of the investigation of Harlem High School by the Professional Practices Commission of the state of Georgia is under way, according to Donald D. Thornhill, associate superintendent of Columbia County schools.
Jerry Carter, assistant executive director of the PSC, met with Thornhill and Superintendent of Schools John Pierce Blanchard on Wednesday, July 30, 1980, to discuss the procedure for the investigation.
The Columbia County Board of Education adopted a resolution on May 29 asking the PSC to conduct a thorough investigation of Harlem High School. The request for the study arose because of groups holding meetings, petitions being circulated and rumors being spread about the school, in addition to a recent incident during which a Harlem High student made derogatory remarks about a teacher.
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