Monday, July 12, 2010

Commission chairman 'needs to at least be honest' with information
Recently we have been hearing a great deal from Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross on how much he has done for Columbia County residents and how much he has saved us in property taxes.

McGuire 'should simply tell the truth instead of manipulating statistics'
A few questions for Brett McGuire:

Cross, commissioners 'deserve credit for the great job they are doing'
Change is not always a good thing. This has been proven to be true in Washington, D.C.

Funds set aside for SPLOST Tier III projects should instead pay debt
In the June 2010 issue of "Endless Opportunities," Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross lists 14 voter-approved SPLOST or bond projects budgeted at $29,750,994. The actual bids amounted to $20,995,694, which is a very large under-run of $8,755,300, or 29.4 percent.

After high school, graduates face a period of adjustment
Like many other area teens, Jon DeNio is in transition to life after high school.

Growth in digest allows for slight property tax cut
The Columbia County Commission approved a slight decrease in property taxes Tuesday.

New Islamic center in the works
Augusta officials recently broke ground on the city's TEE Center, and Columbia County will soon have a TIE Center.

Containers give freedom to work even on blazing days
This time of year, when plants in the ground are showing the effects of the summer heat, some gardeners find that container gardening can add instant color to their outdoor space.

Putting holes in compacted lawn is good way to keep your grass healthy
A common question I'm asked, especially at this time of the year, is about lawns with areas that turn a bluish-gray color. These are hard or compacted areas in the lawn.

County votes to let businesses display signs for special events
Columbia County businesses now can take advantage of changes to a sign ordinance.

New rules for mobile homes are prepared
Grovetown officials are rewriting an ordinance regulating mobile homes based on age after a new state law deemed it unenforceable.

Picnic shelters at Savannah Rapids ready for use
Area residents soon will have some new gathering places for family picnics or other outdoor occasions at Savannah Rapids.

Get up and go
A "Smoothie Central" nutrition seminar will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Marshall Family Y. The seminar is free to members, $10 for nonmembers. Go to www.thefamilyy.org.

Military Newsmakers
Training graduates

Ribbon cuttings
All About Organizing, at 921 Sedgefield Circle, in Grovetown, held a grand-opening ribbon-cutting with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on May 26.

Newcomers club
The Augusta Area Newcomers Club board of directors -- Jane Cashin (from left), Hilda Hampton, Jennie Hipsher, Diane McShane, Laura Dobbins, Beth Barrah and Sandy Wright -- donated $4,500 from a charity auction to Aimee Hall (not shown), of SafeHomes of Augusta at the Morris Museum of Art.

Police Blotter
Augusta man drowns at lake

Pet Adoption Showcase
These pets are available for adoption from Heartsong Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations to continue the rescue effort. Located in Martinez, Heartsong rescues from 10 counties. All animals are current on their vaccinations (age appropriate). All dogs are microchipped. All pets are spayed/neutered and cats are litter-box trained prior to placement. To adopt, donate, or for information, contact Loretta at (706) 855-1241, or go to www.heartsonganimalrescue.com.

DUIs
Thomas Michael Hadden , 49, of the 4500 block of Aylesbury Court in Evans, was charged with driving under the influence on March 12, 2010, and was fined $1,504.

Learning to float
The Columbia County Army Junior ROTC programs at Evans High, Lakeside High, Harlem High and Grovetown High participated in Camp Semaphore 2010, a Junior Cadet Leadership Camp, at Fort Gordon the first week in June. In the exercise, cadets learn to make flotation devices out of their uniforms. More than 207 cadets from 13 schools took part in the camp, 64 of whom were from Columbia County schools.

Families celebrate the Fourth
Pam Lightsey (from left), of Martinez; Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; and state Senate candidate Gail Griffin, Lightsey's mother, attended July 4 festivities in Sierra Vista, Ariz.

On vacation
Madison and Hayden Stencel and their cousins Emma Kate and Ann Sanders (above) vacationed at the beach on the Fourth of July with their parents, Mark and Stacy Stencel and Jay and Tara Sanders. All four girls are the granddaughters of Bennie and Sandra Dryden Harbin.

Newsmakers
Paula Dukes (left) and Jane Higgins (right), from Willow Wood Garden Club, presented Jennifer Booze (second from left) and Christine Condliffe, of the Columbia County Library, with an orchid plant for National Garden Club Week, June 6-12.

On Vacation
Pat and Tom Vanderhoof celebrate the completion of their quest to visit all 50 states with a cruise from Vancouver, BC, Canada, to Anchorage, Alaska. To continue the celebration, they flew from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay, spent the night in Deadhorse then traveled 240 miles down Dalton Highway to Coldfoot. After spending the night in Coldfoot it was back on the road, heading toward Fairbanks and stopping off at the Arctic Circle to have their photos taken.

Divorces
List of recent local divorces.

Beta Sigma Phi convention
Women from the Xi Gamma Omicron chapter of Beta Sigma Phi -- Suzette Johnson (front, from left) and Susan Skadan; Susan Lubbers (back), Carol Carter, Brenda McCarthy, Belinda Whitfield and Joyce Roberts -- attended their Georgia convention May 14-16, in Albany.

Wymberly golf cars on parade
The winners of a golf car parade at Jensen's Wymberly were Bob and Judy Allen. Their grandchildren borrowed uniforms from residents who are veterans to represent American troops. Dean and Kay Smith won second place.

Current Events
Advance voting in the July 20 primary is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays through Friday at the Columbia County Board of Elections office, Building E, 500 Faircloth Drive, Evans.

Property Transfers
Leanna Brod to Brian Etzel, 350 S. Louisville St., $87,000.

The identity conundrum
Columbia County authorities were getting ready to take a couple of kids to juvenile court for a hearing. The two boys were involved in vandalizing the middle school at Augusta Prep, and the cops were working on bringing in a third.

Editorial Cartoon
Editorial cartoon for Sunday, July 11, 2010.

Voters will provide Dean's judgment
After this past week's trickle of allegations that Columbia County District 4 Commissioner Scott Dean had sent inappropriate text messages to a married female county employee, there were two basic reactions: Abject disappointment, or unbridled glee.

Sports Calendar
Host families sought

Howell tournament a showcase for area
What do New Zealand, Washington state, Paraguay and Wisconsin have in common?

Safety on the water stressed by group
If you own a boat, do you ever wonder if it's as safe as you think it is?

Ho prepared for next challenge
Cheng Ho's path to Harvard University is well chronicled.

Ex-Lakeside girls lacrosse standout sets precedent with college scholarship
Former Lakeside High School girls lacrosse standout Ashlee Williams has become the first girls player from the area to earn a college lacrosse scholarship. She has inked to play at Erskine College in Due West, S.C.

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