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Agencies are told to hold the line
Columbia County government and school system officials kicked off this year's round of budget talks last week with the release of a timeline of dates leading up to new budget approvals.

Pruning pampas grass now will aid its growth in spring
With its majestic plumes in the fall and spiky green blades in the spring and summer, pampas grass is a plant commonly used as a hedge or to flank a home's drive.

Top area spellers to compete
Dozens of Columbia County's top spellers will take one another on Tuesday to determine a county champion.

Library cafe becomes yet another footnote
Another restaurateur has failed to make a go of it at the Columbia County Library.

Circus stars to clown around at local library
Children will have the chance to clown around with the Ambassadors of Laughter from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus on Monday during a special story time at the library.

Plan would up water rates over three years
Columbia County water customers might see a rise in their bills come April.

Board votes to ask state for new class-size waiver
Columbia County school officials on Tuesday adopted a resolution to raise class sizes, again.

Armadillo inspires Appling author 's first children 's book
Three Columbia County residents have created their own works of fiction in hopes of captivating the imagination of young readers.

Trees can be protected from disease by using practices that reduce stress
When I am driving down the road or walking through the woods, I see many dead trees. Some of these are pines, but a number are hardwoods.

Harlem 's mayor, two council members take oaths of office
Three Harlem officials took the oath of office for another four-year term at Monday's monthly City Council meeting.

Hungry for dollars
A plan to tamp down debt accumulated by Columbia County pupils charging lunches seems to be failing.

Police Blotter
Police arrested two Greenbrier High School students on Thursday following a warning by one of the student's guardian that he might have a weapon at school.

On Vacation
The Pannu family of Evans celebrated Christmas in Key West, Fla., with the Punias from Houston, Nains from Seattle, Chandras from Denver and grandparents from India. They are pictured here in front of the 7-mile bridge in the Keys.

School Lunch Menus
Monday: Hot Italian sub with sauce, chicken sandwich, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, crinkle cut fries, fresh veggies with dip, lettuce and tomato, chilled fruit cup and milk

Property transfers
HSBC Mortgage Services Inc. to SMU Investments LLC, 338 Saddletree Lane, $85,000.

Columbia County Day at the Capitol
State Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, talks to Choppy Woodward (left) and Doug Varnadore of A.B. Beverage Co. in Evans during Columbia County Day at the state Capitol Wednesday. The annual event, sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and AT&T, featured Mot's Barbecue for lunch and provided an opportunity for state lawmakers and staff to mingle with Columbia County chamber members.

Inspired by Beatrix
The Harlem High drama class presented Tales from Beatrix Potter to a group of 75 adults and children Dec. 11. The students became interested in the life of Potter after performing at Evans Elementary in September. "Our focus was to learn as much as we could about this amazing author of children's literature and to inspire young children to read," said director Roy Lewis.

Current Events
Monday is the deadline for applications for the Ryan Clark Scholarship and Community Service Award. Applications are available from high school guidance counselors, or by e-mailing a request to connectcolumbia@yahoo.com.

Divorces
Tracy A. Palmer and Donna L. Palmer, Jan. 19, 2011.

Newsmakers
The Builders Association named Ken Richards, Pierwood Construction Co., Builder of the Year, and Dorothy Brandon, Security Federal Bank, Associate of the Year.

Marriage Licenses
Lendell George Williams and Rachel Nicole Heaton applied for a marriage license on Dec. 27, 2010, and were married Dec. 31, 2010, in Evans.

Martinez Elementary School Second Nine Weeks Honor Roll
Third Grade A's: Jostin Arguedas, Bayden Blackwell, Kamaya Blount, Tyler Cale, Chandler Corley, Hannah Faircloth, Panthea Fernandez, Cody Grundmeyer, Erica Hargis, Katherine Hill, Reid Lyda, Jerianne Reyes-Crooks, Lena Rodriguez, Kevana Sloan, Logan Strength, Kayon Walker, Tyler Watson and Olivia Wieczorek.

Pet Adoption Showcase
CSRA Happy Tails Rescue Inc. is a non-profit 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. During February, all cats older than 6 months are available for adoption for $50. Valentine pet photos will be available Feb. 13 during adoptions at Tractor Supply. For information or to adopt, call Barb at (706) 955-0438 or go to www.csrahappytails.com.

Editorial Cartoon
Editorial cartoon for Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Appling has changed little since 1967
My first visit to Appling was in January 1967. I was there to be interviewed for a principal's position with the Columbia County school system. Crossing over Kiokee Creek on U.S. 221, the first thing I saw was a monument honoring Daniel Marshall in the middle of the road.

Counties should collect sales taxes
State officials are studying a package of reforms that would derive a greater share of revenues from sales taxes.

No creativity in sentencing
Chief Judge Carlisle Overstreet missed an opportunity to get creative with a sentence.

CSRA Championships Swim results
Tuesday: Augusta Aquatics Center: Team scores: Girls: Greenbrier 533; Lakeside 486; Evans 281; Westside 195; Aquanis 187; Grovetown 144; Cross Creek 75; Davidson Fine Arts 70

Harlem's Davis to sign with Georgia Southern
College football's National Signing Day is Wednesday.

Football player makes progress on hardwood
Anyone who has ever seen Thomas Brown play safety know he possesses a unique football talent.

Braves players, new manager ink autographs at Evans store
A line of several hundred people wound through the aisles at Academy Sports & Outdoors in Evans on Tuesday afternoon.

Prep Calendar
Basketball: Tuesday: Grovetown at Josey, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Sports Calendar
The Augusta Junior Golf League Winter Tournament Series will be held through February at Jones Creek Golf Club. A tournament will be held each Saturday through Feb. 12. The cost is $10 per round for Jones Creek members or $20 for non-members. For information or tee times or to sign up, call Drew Belt at (803) 530-0759 or Carlos Santos at (706) 825-3908.

Clark, Miller win top swimming honor
On a night when Greenbrier High School's girls squad broke through in a big way, one of its star swimmers got a pleasant surprise.

Knights continue timely turnaround
Rarely does a coach express to his players that a game is a "must-win" when there are still many left to play.

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