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Rather than intelligent debate, town halls are 'mob-pandering'
What took place at the "town hall meeting" last Monday night in Evans and is taking place all over the country this month is not democracy at work. It is exploitation by health care lobbyists and mob-pandering and hatefulness by our elected representatives, and it's shameful.

Work to begin on North Belair Road
As one Columbia County road project nears its end, another is soon to begin. Work starts Monday on a widening project for North Belair Road between Washington Road and Industrial Park Drive.

Leadership group to study county
As a member of Leadership Columbia County's inaugural class, Grovetown Merchants Association President Sonny McDowell hopes to network within the group and learn more about resources available in the county.

Open house planned for spec building
The doors to a speculative building near Grovetown will open Wednesday to prospective tenants.

Gardeners have favorite reading lists
Students across the county soon will be given reading lists now that school is back in session. Like teachers, gardeners also have their list of must-reads. For Martinez resident Fran Weber, Walter Reeves and Eric Glasner's Month-by-Month Gardening in Georgia is a must.

Streetlights prove costly for county
Columbia County residents might soon start paying more to light up their streets. County officials are considering an $11 increase on streetlight fees charged each year as part of homeowner property tax bills.

Start looking now for caterpillars before they devour lawns, shrubs
It seems that every season has a pest problem. Right now, I am getting plenty of calls about fleas, leafspot diseases on trees and diseases in grass. It is a never-ending cycle of pests.

Trucker logs million miles en route to championships
After securing the top spot at a Nebraska truck driving event in June, a Martinez resident is gearing up to make his first appearance this week at the 72nd annual National Truck Driving Championships in Pittsburgh.

Word on funding due in November
Columbia County officials recently applied for a federal grant that would provide wireless Internet and other broadband services throughout many areas of the county.

Kayla Chronister, daughter of Rebecca Marsh, graduated from Milton Hershey School, a privately endowed school in Hershey, Pa.

First day of school photos
Pupils and neighbors Madison O'Neal (from left), fifth grade; Katie Plowman, fourth grade; Mackenzie Collett, third grade; Grace O'Neal, second grade; Brayden Collett, first grade; and Caroline Plowman, kindergarten, represent every grade at Riverside Elementary School.

Adoption spotlight
CSRA Happy Tails Rescue Inc. is a nonprofit licensed group committed to the welfare of stray and unwanted dogs and cats. Adoptions are held each Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at Tractor Supply Co. on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez.

Marriage Licenses
Alphonce Michael Assenga and Lynda Agatha Gonsalves applied for a marriage license July 7, 2009, and were married July 7, 2009, in Evans.

Police blotter
Several areas of Columbia County experienced flooding after 3.6 inches of rain fell Wednesday and Thursday.

Property transfers
South Georgia Custom Homes to Bryan Sampay and Rosalinda Sampay, 4104 Shirez Drive, $169,300.

Back to school
Evan Williams (from left) is in fifth grade at Riverside Elementary, Parker Jones is in pre-K at A Child's World and Hana Jones is in second grade at Riverside Elementary.

Nancy L. Mitchell and Scott C. Mitchell, July 29, 2009.

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

Diagnosing America's health care crisis
Most Americans understand that there is a health care financing crisis in America, and it must be addressed now. For weeks you've watched lawmakers in Washington debate the pros and cons of proposed health care legislation. The status quo is simply unacceptable.

Rotten grade for county's Web site?
If you've ever browsed through Columbia County government's Web site, you know it's loaded with content. I've always found it pretty useful, if a tad cluttered. But an organization that reviews government Web sites gives a rotten grade.

Big duh: Don't block fire hydrants
Call this the mother of no-brainers: If there is a fire hydrant in front of your home or business, don't hide it.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for the Sunday, August 16 Columbia County News-Times.

Softball programs have earned rightful respect from state polls
Many parts of the state had quite a head start on Columbia County when it comes to fastpitch softball. Despite that fact, the county has wasted no time in earning a reputation as one of the state's hotbeds for talent.

Sports newsmakers
The Junior Team Tennis team from Petersburg Racquet Club in Martinez won the age 10 & Under state championship July 31-Aug. 2 at the USTA Junior Team Tennis Georgia State Championships in Macon.

Greenbrier hits trail Wednesday
Greenbrier's cross country program last season was headlined by one name: Taylor Snyder. The former Wolfpack standout, who will run at Mercer University this fall, was the one runner the rest of the team looked up to. This year, Greenbrier has a group to share the leadership responsibility.

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.

Practice sites set runners up for success
A topic last fall on a message board for cross country runners and coaches asked which was the toughest cross country course in Georgia. Among the names mentioned most often was Blanchard Woods Park, which on Wednesday will play host to Columbia County's first meet of the season.


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