Pushing aside sports program shouldn't be solution to budget crunch
Editor: I heard that the state is considering cutting out middle school sports next calender year. I would hope that our legislators understand the importance of youth sports and the effect of not having them would be on our communities.

Testing can reveal a lot about soil
Fran Weber touts the benefits of soil analysis and even credits soil testing with helping her garden club achieve a prize-winning garden.

A cutting-edge tool
Plasma recently became a learning tool for metal working students in Columbia County.

Fifth-grader earns consecutive spelling bee championships
Rachael Cundey spelled her way into another historical finish Monday during the Columbia County Spelling Bee.

Knowing as much as possible about plants makes pruning less confusing
There are certain jobs that need to be done in the landscape each year such as fertilization, mulching and pruning. These practices are very important, but can be confusing to gardeners.

Foreclosure put off for shopping center
An Evans shopping center that faced foreclosure will remain in the hands of its current owners, at least for the meantime.

Singers to spread message of faith at Evans concert
Two Grammy-nominated artists will come together Friday to spread the message of love just in time for Valentine's Day.

Columbia Chamber hosts annual awards banquet
The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce honored former state Sen. G.B. "Jake" Pollard with the Lifetime Achievement Award during a Tuesday banquet.

Rezoning request sent back to board
Columbia County commissioners tabled a vote on the rezoning of property on Washington Road on Tuesday and sent the issue back to the planning and zoning board.

Minister spreading Gospel in Spanish
The Rev. Max Guzman might be new to Columbia County, but the Mexico native already is making his presence felt in the Augusta area.

Pets of the week
Heartsong Animal Rescue is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Martinez that rescues from 10 counties.

Evans Middle School eight-graders visit nuclear plant
On Dec. 4, Evans Middle School eighth-graders visited Plant Vogtle. The pupils learned about applying the energy concepts they had studied in science. Along with a guided tour of the nuclear power plant, they visited the simulator and saw how engineers are trained to operate the plant. As a culminating task, pupils got to choose among writing a song, designing a comic strip, creating a children's book or writing a letter to the president.

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

Given a ride
Wesley United Methodist Church's Car Ministry has provided its 203rd vehicle for a family needing wheels. The 2000 Toyota Camry went to the James and Cecilia King family. The Kings are occupants of Action Ministries' Columbia County transitional home. Pictured are Brent (from left), Brice, Cecilia and James King; Chris Dickey, of Wesley; and Rick Herring, of Augusta Urban Ministries.

Property transfers
Pillon Communities Inc. to Terry Irons and Susan K. Irons, 1439 Sawmill Trail, $205,798.

Divorces
Scott Smiley and Tammy Beam Smiley, Jan. 25, 2010.

Vacation pictures
Roy and Marie Ellis, of Evans, ride a camel near a bedouin encampment in the Judean Desert of Israel. They were visiting with a group from West Acres Baptist Church in November.

Columbia County DUIs
George Ronald Cooke Jr., 24, of the 100 block of Silver Maple Road in Martinez, was charged with driving under the influence on Feb. 20, 2009, and was fined $1,224.

Westmont Elementary School Honor Roll
Second nine weeks honor roll.

Greenbrier Middle School Honor Roll
Second nine weeks honor roll.

Columbia County events
Area Rotary clubs are helping raise money and collect "shelter boxes" through www.shelterbox.org. For information, call Pam Lightsey at (706) 840-2087.

Dynamic Duo visits Warren
James Bostic Jr. and Brad Bryant should adopt a cool nickname, like the Dynamic Duo or the A-Team.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for Sunday, February 7, 2010.

Award couldn't go to a nicer guy
Whoever coined the phrase, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy," probably had Jake Pollard in mind.

Aggressive plan will upgrade schools
I appreciate this opportunity to share information regarding the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) and our need to continue this most important 1-cent sales tax.

Lions to support Haiti relief at two home games
Augusta Christian is opening its doors for the final two Lions home basketball games and calling on anyone willing to give.

Sports calendar
The Panther 5K Challenge will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at Lakeside High School.

Hill is Grovetown 's first signee
Seth Hill wanted to be part of something new.

Trio from Lakeside to play college ball
After Ricky McMurtrey narrowed his college choices, the final decision had little to do with his family history.

Tusculum lands 'Pack lineman
The reference was intentional, but Evans High's Brandon Ketchup still paused briefly while deciding if he should choose different words.

Prep calendar
Listing of area prep sporting events.

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