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Disaster update process started
Columbia County's leaders started planning Thursday for the Hazard Mitigation Plan update. The process started at a Local Emergency Planning Meeting with a presentation by Scott Sherman, with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Grovetown High opens; shakes up other schools
The first day back to school Monday was marked by loss, new beginnings and new challenges for thousands of Columbia County's pupils. As students arrived at Greenbrier High School, two seniors were greatly missed -- Chris Smith and Haley Van Pelt.

Delay might force schools to get loan
Property tax assessment notices will be mailed Friday to Columbia County homeowners and businesses. Chief Tax Appraiser Debbie Robertson confirmed last week that her office is on schedule to send out notices Friday, about three months later than normal.

Wounded veteran is given a home
Retired Army Sgt. Darryl Wallace and his family have a new brick home in Harlem -- thanks to the generosity of a lot of people. Wallace's wife, Tiffany, accompanied by the couple's 5-year-old son, Chase, was presented the keys and the deed to their new home after ceremonies Friday morning.

Planning commission to keep eye on storefronts
Empty storefronts became a topic of conversation Thursday for the Columbia County Planning Commission.

School lunches
Fifth-graders Josh Mackie and Elizabeth Metress are on their way for their first day at Lewiston Elementary School.

Police blotter
A 36-year-old man is charged with raping a Grovetown woman at his home early Sunday.

Current events
Grovetown Masonic Lodge 730 is holding a school supply drive, with a collection box at Grovetown City Hall.

Military newsmakers
Air Force Airman 1st Class Gregory M. Boutwell graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Mark Boutwell of Grovetown, and graduated in 2006 from Harlem High School.

Vacation Photos
Ali Bowles, Holden Usherwood and Ashton Bowles recently visited the Summit at Pikes Peak in Colorado while visiting friends.

Helping the hungry
Grace Garrett, 7, of Martinez, donates a "hunger relief bag" at the Furys Ferry Road BI-LO during the inaugural "Fill the Truck" event, held by BI-LO Charities and the Golden Havest Food Bank. More than 1,000 bags were collected Saturday.

Adoption spotlight
These pets are available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Care and Control. For more information, call (706) 541-4077 or visit and follow the links to Animal Care and Control. Adult animals cost $25 to adopt. The adoption fee for puppies and kittens is $20.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for the Wednesday, August 12, Columbia County News-Times.

Right balance on roadside memorials
Far too often, Columbia County's roads have been the spot where one of our residents has drawn his or her last breath. County commissioners, who oversee roadside rights-of-way for county streets, have taken the right path in responding to the touchy issue of roadside shrines.

Stalled now, but it'll open
The parking lot of the new shopping center at the corner of Columbia and Lewiston roads has looked like an eerily modernized ghost town lately. The lack of any activity at the site, naturally, has raised a frequent question: Is the center dead before it even opens? Has Food Lion pulled out?

Chambliss, Isakson show their priorities
If you are trying to figure out what your congressmen really believe in, don't focus on what they say - look closely at what they do when it comes time to vote.

Poythress' pro start in Tennessee respectable
Former Greenbrier High School and University of Georgia star Rich Poythress is a professional baseball player. The first baseman signed with the Mariners July 26. Poythress had a base hit and RBI in his first game with the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx and is off to a respectable start.

Harlem not fazed by its young team
Harlem High School softball coach Mike Leverett closed practice last week and dragged a hose from near the visitor's dugout to douse the infield. After a minute, he directed the spray toward the Bulldogs' home dugout, scattering his players as they prepared to head home.

Athlete Spotlight: Jay Blackburn
Jay Blackburn has enjoyed golf more than 30 years with the game rarely moving past the point of just being fun. The Harlem resident will tell you he's not fond of practice. He tried making the game a profession a decade ago, but didn't find it a good fit.

Georgia team has 'experience of a lifetime '
News quickly spread in the Patriots Park parking lot Saturday that the bus had arrived. Family and friends who had gathered to greet Columbia County's Dixie Youth "O" Zone team set off their vehicle's panic alarms as the bus approached.

Sports calendar
Lakeside High School cheerleading will play host to a "kiddie" camp Aug. 29 at the high school. The camp is open to participants pre-K to eighth grade and will run from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Cost is $30, and includes lunch and a T-shirt.


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