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War serves as 'cash cow' to empower 'evil elitists' in government
I write this letter in the spirit of truth. I believe all governments start out with good intentions, and I believe all governments end up corrupt and controlled by a few evil elitists. Man's sinful nature is universal and constant throughout history.

Hereford rezoning is finally approved
The third time was the charm Thursday for the rezoning of nearly 62 acres on Hereford Farm Road. The Columbia County Planning Commission gave their approval to rezone property at 4935 Hereford Farm Road to single-family residential with a residential cluster overlay.

Family will share daughter's story during radiothon
Amy Johnson doesn't remember much surrounding the days following her daughter's diagnosis with cancer. Instead, she prefers to focus on the positive results of treatment and the long-term outlook.

Tradition dictates latkes be on menu
The Augusta Jewish Com-munity Center will hold its traditional Hanukkah latke dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Christmas concert at church also will offer a little humor
Musicians performing on a nationwide Christmas tour will make their next stop Saturday in Evans. The Ball Brothers, along with pianist and comedian Roy Webb, will be at Jones Creek Baptist Church, 4289 Southern Pines Drive, to present a Christmas concert at 6 p.m.

Event helps parents who have lost children
The holidays are tough for anyone who has lost a loved one, especially a child. For Debra Allsup, December is a difficult but special time to remember her daughter, Katie Ridenhour.

Auction to feature prized lithograph
A framed and signed Marc Chagall lithograph valued at $4,000 is the big prize awaiting art lovers at the Augusta Jewish Community Center's first ever art auction and wine tasting Saturday.

Christmas celebrations
Martinez resident Gary Judy fills a cup with boiled peanuts Saturday at the ninth annual Christmas in America Festival, held at the Columbia County Amphitheater and Memorial Gardens.

Parade Winners
Winners in the 2009 Columbia County Merchants Association Christmas Parade:

Christmas crafts
Brookwood Elementary fifth-grader Sara Hadden applies a glaze to her project, which will be one of the items on display in the school's annual art show Thursday.

Training in fire control
The Grovetown Department of Public Safety, in conjunction with the Georgia Fire Academy, held a Pressurized Container Fire Control class last month. The class introduces students to the hazards associated with incidents involving liquid petrolum gas.

Adoption spotlight
This male gray and white cat is 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.

School Councils
Harlem Middle School: 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, April 13 and May 4.

Current events
A service of comfort for those anticipating difficulties or sadness during the Christmas season will be held at 6 p.m. today at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 2230 Walton Way, Augusta. Call (706) 738-3386.

School lunches
Lunch menus for students attending Columbia County schools.

Police blotter
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Reports are available at

Holiday Happenings
David "Scooter" Knight, an eighth-grader at Harlem Middle School, wore a Santa hat and beard to perform with the school band at the Grovetown Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Get Up & Go
The seventh annual Christmas in the Heart of Downtown Harlem will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, with craft and food vendors and live entertainment. The city's Christmas parade will be at 11 a.m.

Broun-bashers plowing a barren field
It's safe to assume that few minds were changed by a pro-Democrat health insurance reform forum held at the Columbia County Library last week.

Republicans self-destruct
In a perpetual version of Lord of the Flies, the county GOP lives on its own little island. With no real enemy to fight, they inevitably create one from their own ranks.

Donations needed to bridge charity gap
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta needs your help. We need $30,000 to compensate for falling revenues in 2009. Our Share a Night campaign is the perfect way to support families of children hospitalized over the holidays.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for the Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Columbia County News-Times.

Greenbrier girls respond to coach
Strip away the cliches, hyperbole and emotionally charged sound bites associated with Greenbrier-Evans boys basketball contests and there is this: "We know it's going to be close," Evans forward Marcus Gavin said after the Knights' 55-54 home victory Saturday over Greenbrier.

McDavid's return lifts Grovetown
Saddled with three fouls the first half, Warriors sophomore guard Myles McDavid was on the bench as the Panthers jumped out to a large lead at halftime. Back on the floor to start the third quarter, McDavid led Grovetown to a 60-54 comeback victory, the school's first boys basketball win.

Athlete Spotlight: Chad Waddell & Jonathan Hampton
Chad Waddell, Jonathan Hampton and their Greenbrier teammates like to joke around. Wolfpack basketball coach Casey Heckathorn doesn't mind, as long as it doesn't affect their play during games. And to this point, it hasn't.

Sports calendar
Greenbrier High School will hold a baseball clinic for second- to eighth-grade boys Dec. 21-22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Cost is $50 per person, and $25 for siblings. For information, call (706) 650-6040, ext. 5921.

Soccer standout Fransoso should be considered among county's best athletes
When you talk about the great athletes to hail from Columbia County, names such as Lenny Springs, James Shanks and Todd Greene are a few that likely would come up. There are probably a couple dozen more names that might be mentioned before Stephanie Fransoso.

Prep calendar
Evans will take on Josey at 7 p.m. Friday.

Sports newsmakers
The Augusta Arsenal Gunners U12 girls team played up an age group in the recent James Island Cup soccer tournament in Charleston, S.C., and won the U13 Black Division Championship.


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