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'Overtasked and way underpaid,' law enforcement officers need praise
Editor:In the past few weeks, we have seen and read about crime increasing in and around the state. Home invasions have gotten way out of control, as have robbery, carjacking and murder.

Event puts focus on stopping drugs, crime
Grovetown residents can learn a little more about those who protect and serve them at the city's annual National Night Out event on Tuesday.

Some plants bloom until late fall
What can be planted in landscapes that will give color in late summer and fall?

Schools report fewer incidents with discipline
Columbia County schools were safer last school year than the year before.

Firefighters are honored for dedication at annual meeting
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue personnel were honored at the department's annual meeting Monday.

A long walk
Since September, the Augusta community has walked in support of Fort Gordon's troops deployed in Iraq.

School board mulls paying for PSAT
Sophomores in Columbia County might soon be charged to take the PSAT.

Hobby has paid off for local beekeeper
Deborah Sasser looks after what she calls "nature's tiny unsung heroes."

Unincorporated areas will get lower millage
Columbia County's four government agencies met last week to set the 2010 property tax millage.

Marshall Family Y grand opening
The Marshall Family Y held a grand opening ribbon cutting with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on July 23. It is located at 1202 Town Park Lane in Evans.

Marriage licenses
Byron David Callahan and Ashley Brooke Williford applied for a marriage license on June 11, 2010, and were married June 24, 2010, in Evans.

Newsmakers
The following students were named to the 2010 Spring Dean's List at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.:

Grand opening
SarahCare Adult Day Care Center, 801 Oakhurst Drive, in Evans, held a grand opening ribbon cut with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on May 19.

On vacation
The Gaston family vacationed in Costa Rica where they went deep-sea fishing, zip-lined through the rain forest and went white-water rafting. Shown are Bobby Gaston (from left), Robin Gaston, their guide, Sam Gaston and Elizabeth Gaston.

Divorces
Christopher R. Miller and Bobbie R. Miller, July 26, 2010.

Police blotter
Devin Lee Coomer, 17, and Spencer Carino Huff, 18, both of Salem, Ind., were charged with theft by bringing stolen property into the state. They were being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

School partner award
Stan Shepherd (left), AT&T regional director, accepts the Preston Blanchard Outstanding Partner in Education Award from Columbia County School Superintendent Charles Nagle during the 2010 School Business Partner Breakfast Tuesday. Shepherd was instrumental in securing a $100,000 AT&T technology grant for the school system.

Boy Scout attend National Jamboree
Sixty-six Boy Scouts and eight adult scout leaders from the Georgia-Carolina Council went to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., for 10 days. The jamboree included 44,000 scouts and adult leaders from across the country and around world, and marked the 100th anniversary of Scouting.

Current events
Early and advance voting for the Aug. 10 runoff elections will be held 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Columbia County Board of Elections office, Building E, 500 Faircloth Drive, Evans. Call (706) 868-3355.

Class reunions
The Evans High School class of 2000 will hold its 10th reunion 7-11 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Doubletree Hotel. Tickets cost $45 per person or $80 per couple before Aug. 1. Send contact information to evanshigh2000@gmail.com, or go to evanshigh2000. blogspot.com/.

Property transfers
Craftmark Builders LLC to Ryan D. Zimmerman, 9505 Berwick Court, $182,000.

Pet adoption spotlight
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 CSRA. Adoptions are held each Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at Tractor Supply on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez. For information or to adopt, call Barb at (706) 955-0438 or go to www.csrahappytails.com.

School suffers for crackdown
Here's a convoluted kick in the teeth. Follow along with me.

Vet's staffer goes above and beyond
I just love writing about good people, and the person I'm writing about today is not only a good person but someone who goes above and beyond what is expected.

Spending real money, $13 at a time
Columbia County school officials this past week decided to take a little more time before deciding whether to pay the $13 per student for 10th-graders to take the PSAT next year.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for Sunday, August 1, 2010.

Ponytails tourney continues
The Dixie Youth Ponytails World Series continues today at Patriots Park.

Host team
Columbia County is the host team in the Dixie Ponytails World Series, with 10 teams representing 10 states playing through Wednesday at Patriots Park. Players and coaches on the Columbia County team are coach Christy Leeseberg (front, from left), Alexis Wilkerson-Hadley, Kayla Stacks, Jessica Ellis, Brooke Buck, Shannon Cartledge and Ashley Lunz; coach Matthew Leeseberg, Lauren Harper, Jordan Battle, Lauren Barnard, Kallen Leeseberg, Sarah Beth Battles, Julie Underwood and head coach Lester Ellis.

Golf shot of a lifetime comes oh, so close
I was that close to winning a brand-new car.

Ex-Panther pens book about his Florida State days
The Regions Bank Amateur Series will wrap up the 2010 campaign in Columbia County.

Sports camps
A 3v3 soccer tournament will be held Wednesday at Patriots Park with proceeds benefiting Nothing But Nets, an organization dedicated to the eradication of malaria. Teams can have up to five members. Registration is $15 per team. Contact Hilary Matfess at hilary.matfess@gmail.com.

Two Columbia County squads earn USSSA World Series titles
Two very different Columbia County-based travel baseball teams started play July 21 in the United States Specialty Sports Association Global World Series.

Academy blends mechanics of dancing and martial arts
Jason Herrera found a way to marry salsa dancing and martial arts by not thinking about it.

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