Monday, February 15, 2010

Despite record of on-time payment, utility cut off power during absence
Jefferson Energy customers beware: Your power could be shut off precipitously!

Marriage records are kept secure
For the better part of the past 30 years, Mary Skidmore, a clerk in Columbia County's Probate Court office in Appling, has logged the names of Columbia County's marrying lovers in large, red, leather books.

Chocolate lovers will want to be at Reed Creek festival
Chocolate and nature collide with Reed Creek Park's Chocolate Festival on Saturday.

Commercial building shows decline in 2009
The numbers of new residential construction started in Columbia County by the end of 2009 amazed some county officials. Applications for single-family building permits jumped 52 percent, from 632 recorded in 2008 to 962 permits issued the following year.

Lakeside senior earns title of STAR Student
The Columbia County STAR student title was awarded to Lakeside High School's Andrew Byrd during a Thursday ceremony in Harlem.

Shepeard consolidates staff as it opens new site Monday
Columbia County residents are urged to give from their hearts when Shepeard Community Blood Center opens a new Evans location the day after Valentine's Day.

School board OKs purchase of buses
The Columbia County school board authorized the purchase of 20 new school buses Tuesday.

Wet conditions can harm camellias
We have been blessed with a surplus of rain, and we hope that it will continue during the summer months. Rain is beneficial to plants, but too much can cause problems.

Pumpkin Center intersection might get roundabout
Pumpkin Center motorists might one day find themselves driving in circles. The state Department of Transportation is considering building a roundabout to replace the four-way stop at Appling-Harlem and Wrightsboro roads.

School board chief in Jefferson retires
Jefferson County School Board Superintendent Carl Bethune announced his retirement to the county's board of education during a meeting Monday. Bethune's last day of work will be May 31.

Property Transfers
J.R. Homes of Alabama LLC to Georgie W. Cummings and Karen T. Cummings, 1333 Highwoods Pass, $245,352.

A tribute to founder of Augusta Disposal and Recycling
Margaret Polonus (from left), Emily Polonus Fraser and Erica Polonus unveil a plaque in memory of John Polonus, one of the founders of Augusta Disposal and Recycling, during a ceremony in front of the company. Polonus, who died in 1999 at age 47, was a supporter of the arts in the community.

Preschool signups
Haydens International Gymnastics Academy's Gym 'n' Learn Preschool and Mother's Morning Out program registration for the 2010-11 year for ages 2-4, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call (706) 364-0641 or e-mail beth@haydensgym.com.

Current events
Area Rotary clubs are helping raise money for Haiti quake victims and collecting "shelter boxes" through www.shelterboxes.org. For information, call Pam Lightsey at (706) 840-2087.

Ballet instructions
Visiting ballet instructor Valery Lantratov gives instructions to Cassondra Machis and other dancers during a lesson at Columbia County Ballet on Furys Ferry Road.

Columbia Middle School honor roll

Get up and go
The Augusta Newcomers Organization will hold a luncheon at the Pinnacle Club at 10 a.m. Thursday. E-mail hospitality@augustanewcomers.com, or call Laura Dobbins at (706) 364-6824.

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

Westminster Honor Roll
Amy Chan, Grace Goodell, Michael Goodell, Grace Halverson, Emily Harless, Madison Malarkey, Emily Mecredy, Arthur Rankin and Kelly Smith.

In the Olympic spirit
Bonnie Dyches and her children Christina, 5, LauraLyn, 3, and Daniel, 1, wear red mittens to show their support for the Vancouver Olympics in Bonnie's hometown. The mittens, like those which will be used in the torch run, are a symbol of the Olympics and were sent by the children's grandmother.

Vacation picture
Judy and Ron Cox, of Evans, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Nov. 20 by going on a tour of Israel with their friends from West Acres Baptist Church. One of the highlights of the trip was being baptized in the Jordan River.

Walk for a cause
James and Shannon Hyder, of Martinez, walk with their 3-year-old son, Ryland, along Gibbs Road in front of West Acres Baptist Church. The Feb. 6 walk, part of Greenbrier High student Taylor Armstrong's senior project, benefited the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association.

Leading principals
Principals from 2009-10 Title I Distinguished Schools are Tami Flowers, Westmont Elementary; Lisa Reeder, South Columbia Elementary; Cory Ellis, Martinez Elementary; Scott Weinand, Grovetown Elementary; Mark Boyd, Bel Air Elementary; and Wanda Golosky.

Martinez Elementary School honor roll

Police lotter
A judge will decide whether to shorten the sentence for a former gynecologist convicted of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl. After a hearing Wednesday, Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet said he would review a motion to reduce the 20-year sentence of Jerry Jackson Lee II, 50, of Evans.

Back to basics in considering rezonings
Perhaps it's time for some Columbia County officials to take Rezoning 101.

Resolutions and matters of the heart
We are all resolved to be loved. Oh, I know what some of you are saying: "What is this mushy nonsense?" Just give me a few more lines to make my argument before you put these words in your bird's cage.

A green light for sucker bets
Can't get enough of being stuck in Columbia County traffic, watching those lights flicker from green to yellow and then stopping on red while your blood pressure rises and your bladder swells? Then you're in luck. Now's your chance to get your very own traffic signal.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for the Sunday, February 14, 2010 edition of the Columbia County News-Times.

Eastman's story could fill many more volumes
Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Al Robinson recognized my dilemma as I tried to craft Robert Eastman's story last week.

Lady Lions surge in fourth to clinch another region title
The Augusta Christian girls basketball team last week could have reveled in its second consecutive region title. The Lady Lions beat region rival Heathwood Hall 53-42 to complete the season sweep.

Evans shows impressive defense against Westside
If defense like this becomes a trend, it could mean good things for the Evans High School boys basketball team during the Region 3-AAAA tournament.

Amateur boasts long list of miracle shots
Rusty Wade is the first to admit he's one of the luckiest golfers around. Wade said he has made 11 holes-in-one since he started playing. The latest came Jan. 15 at Bartram Trail. In addition, Wade claims 10 double eagles.

Lakeside should thank Grooms for job he did
By now, most of you have heard the news that Jody Grooms is stepping down as the head football coach at Lakeside High School to take over the program at Wayne County.

Sports calendar
The Greenbrier High School baseball program will hold its annual Wolfpack Baseball Golf Classic Monday at Jones Creek Golf Club. The tournament will start at noon. Proceeds will benefit the baseball program.

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