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Experience in schools gave support for Veterans Day attendance
I read Marlene Willard's Nov. 11 letter encouraging parents to keep children from attending Columbia County schools on Veterans Day. I shared the same sentiment when I first moved here in 2001. Since then, I have had a change of heart and I would like to explain why.

Man who swiped wallet at checkout stand should return pictures
On Oct. 27, I was paying for my groceries (in a local store) and a man behind me reached up and got my billfold off the check-writing stand. The cashier gave me my change, rang up his groceries, then she said he had taken my billfold. I don't see why she didn't say anything about it when it happened.

Column about seniors' tax exemption 'ignores several realities'
The timing of Barry Paschal's Nov. 11 column, inadvertently pitting the young against the elderly, couldn't have been worse considering that a large segment of the retired Social Security recipients are veterans. Paschal ignores several realities.

Medal of Honor winner addresses pupils
The pupils of Harlem Middle School received a Veterans Day treat no other area school was privileged to have -- the presence of a Medal of Honor winner. Retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs was the guest speaker during the Friday celebration in Harlem Middle's gym.

United Way to use survey to set goals
The United Way might expand its services in Columbia County, and it is using an online survey to determine the extent of that expansion.

A true fairy tale
A love of fairies and books prompted Lenna Cross to write her own story about the minuscule magical creatures. That untitled story, written last school year, recently won the 8-year-old from Martinez the first-grade state championship in the Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition.

Early visits to Lights of South suggested
As visitors travel from near and far to Columbia County's largest light display this holiday season, they will notice several new additions to the popular attraction.

School Information

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.

Preschool Signups
- Trinity Baptist Preschool; 4594 Columbia Road; pre-K 4 openings; (706) 799-0637.

Serving for charity
School board member Mike Sleeper shows Malinda Howell (left) and Rebecca Mooney to their table at the Garlic Clove. The Evans restaurant held its annual Italian Thanksgiving Feast with celebrity waiters Monday to benefit Golden Harvest Food Bank and the Columbia County Cares food bank.

Reading and fun
Jeff Flowers, the husband of Westmont Elementary principal Tammy Flowers, was a guest reader during Camp Read A Lot. He read to Skylar Kitchings (from left), Jeb Bowers and Devin Long.

Current events
Reed Creek Park will hold a program called A Beginner's Guide to Climate Change from 5-6 p.m. today. For information, call (706) 210-4027.

Police blotter
A bookkeeper at a Martinez custom-vehicle business was arrested Friday. Joy Sandlin Mercer, of the 4500 block of Swan Drive in Evans, was a bookkeeper at Trucks & Moore on Bobby Jones Expressway for about two years. She was charged with felony theft by taking.

Get Up & Go
The East Central Georgia Youth Employment Program is accepting applications through Friday for jobs for disadvantaged youths ages 16-20. For information, call 1 (800) 251-3882.

School lunches
Lunch menus for students attending Columbia County schools.

Celebrating veterans
Brookwood Elementary third-graders perform Brookwood Sings America, a compilation of patriotic music and narrative, for the rest of the student body on the day after Veterans Day.

Stallings Island Middle School first nine-week honor roll

Acting accolades
The cast and crew of Harlem High School Drama, led by Roy Lewis, recently participated in the Georgia Theatre conference in Columbus, where Aaron Johnson was selected best actor for the conference.

Erica Eiring, of Evans, received The Hubert Scholars Program for public service internship. Eiring, a member of the class of 2010 at Agnes Scott College, is the daughter of Cynthia and James Eiring.

Time to rock
Paul Dyer, Lola Herskowitz and other Washington Commons residents rock Saturday at the Evans retirement community to help raise money for the American Cancer Society, who teamed up with Holiday Retirement to hold "Move for a Cure."

Tennessee pride
Kari Poss, of Harlem, and Ivey Yaden, of Grovetown, went to the Georgia-Tennessee game in Knoxville on Oct. 10.

School Councils
Lewiston Elementary School: today, Feb. 10 and May 5

Time Capsule
As reported 53 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News, Thursday, Nov. 8, 1956:

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for the Wednesday, November 18, 2009 edition of the Columbia County News-Times.

Kids: Are you stupid enough for drugs?
There is no animal quite so noisy as the high-school rumor-mill, and last week that beast was roaring.

Closing a gap in assault law
It's not clear what took them so long to respond, but there was good news the other day when an Atlanta lawmaker announced his intention to pre-file a bill to close a loophole in Georgia's sexual assault law.

Late fumble spells end to Evans' year
Evans High's football season ended in less than 120 seconds Friday. The Knights fell 18-14 at Ware County and were bounced in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs. The Gator offense scored twice in the final two minutes to snatch the victory.

Prep Calendar

Panthers face tough battle but should win
It was a tough weekend for Evans High School. The Knights appeared to be headed to the second round of the state playoffs with a huge road win at Ware County.

Cheerleaders headed to nationals
Augusta Christian Schools' varsity cheerleaders competed at the Thomson Bulldog Challenge on Oct. 17 and won first place in the Varsity Division and took Overall Grand Champion.

Harlem senior signs with USC-Aiken
Steve Beasley's go-ahead home run to give Harlem the 1981 state championship came just before a downpour halted play early. Almost 30 years later, Beasley's son, Derek, also has made a name for himself at Harlem. The senior signed Friday to play baseball for USC Aiken.

Sports calendar
The Augusta Junior Rowing Team is accepting members. No experience is necessary; potential members can participate for two weeks before deciding whether to join. Practices are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4-6:30 p.m. at The Boathouse on Riverfront Drive in Augusta.

Athlete Spotlight: Anna Bowles
Anna Bowles' 2009 state championship cross country race started after a disappointment the year before. As a sophomore in 2008, Bowles finished second at the Class AAAA meet despite having run a minute faster on the course during practice two weeks before.

Lakeside advances after 4th consecutive shutout
Shortly after earning the first state football playoff victory in school history, the Lakeside Panthers were unsure of who their second-round opponent would be. They were content celebrating the milestone, which was reflected in coach Jody Grooms' post-game address to the team.

Youth squads battle for gridiron title at Greenbrier
Bills player Emon Reeves runs in for a touchdown in the second quarter to put his team up 13-0 against the Chargers during the Columbia County Recreation Department's 10-year-old Youth Football Playoff Championship game, held Saturday at the Greenbrier High School football stadium.

Greenbrier seniors set to play college ball
Four Greenbrier baseball players last week signed letters of intent, binding agreements sending them to four different places after graduation. But as the group celebrated their decisions, each talked about a goal they would like to accomplish before moving on.

Pigskin Picks
The final week of the Pigskin Picks contest saw 82 entries, with no qualifiers getting all 10 correct. One qualifier got nine correct, 14 got eight correct and 26 got the minimum seven correct. Forty-one entries did not get at least seven correct, including one late-mailed entry.


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