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Thomas 'will represent all of us' in County Commission District 4
On Tuesday, we have an opportunity at last to elect a man who is above reproach, a person of the highest integrity, honesty and dependability. This man is obligated to no person or business; his obligation is only to God, his country, his family and the people residing in Columbia County District 4.

If writer is so smart, why did she decide to retire here after warnings?
The person who retired to this area from Oregon said that she had been warned about this part of the country (Barry Paschal's column, March 27, "Delta is ready when you are").

Argument at sewage treatment plant ends in death
A Columbia County employee and father of three was fatally shot Friday while working at a wastewater treatment plant on Stevens Creek Road. Police say Raymond V. Lee, 38, of Grovetown, was shot at least once in the chest by a contracted truck driver hauling waste from the Reed Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Martinez.

Grovetown officials mulling change in construction hours
After a meeting with homebuilders Friday, Grovetown officials are considering a change to construction work hours. "We want to work with our builders," Mayor George James said. "We want to be builder-friendly, but we have got to keep our citizens in our thoughts, too."

Golf fans have new culinary choices
Those in town for Masters Week might notice several new dining options in Columbia County since last year's tournament. Pickles Cafe & Grill opened in November in the former Raising Cane's restaurant on Furys Ferry Road.

Player returning to Evans Saturday
For the second consecutive year, golf legend Gary Player will spend the Saturday of Masters Week autographing bottles of wine at an Evans store. The South African golfer and three-time Masters Tournament champion is scheduled to appear at the Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Businesses complement each other
A physical therapy center and a sports training facility are open in the medical area behind Evans Town Park. Peak Rehabilitation, Fitness and Performance Center and AthElite Sports Training Academy moved in November to 2520 Associates Way, off Hereford Farm and North Belair roads.

Harlem STAR Student nearly halfway to her college degree
Erika Blair is Harlem High School's STAR student -- but she doesn't attend Harlem High. Though the 17-year-old technically is a senior at Harlem High, Erika actually studies at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton as part of the Advanced Academy of Georgia dual-enrollment program.

Coast Guard auxiliary has several responsibilities at Thurmond Lake
Some have wondered what the Coast Guard has to do with Thurmond Lake. The U.S. Coast Guard has responsibility on all of our nation's waters. Having said that, the sheer size of our nation's waterways, compared to the relatively small number of Coast Guard personnel, requires the Coast Guard to concentrate its resources on the greatest needs.

Pet Adoption Spotlight
These pets and others are available for adoption from Heartsong Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies on donations to continue the rescue effort.

Time Capsule
As reported 34 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News and The Martinez-Evans Times, Wednesday, April 6, 1977:

Get Up and Go
The fourth annual Jim Metts Memorial Car Show will be held 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 16 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 325 N. Belair Road, Evans.

Megan Brunson, roomkeeper at the Baymont Inn & Suites/Augusta Riverwatch, which is also owned by Ms. Kondur, received the Outstanding Roomkeeper Stars award (Divison 1).

Current Events
The Oconee River Boys will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Appling Opry, 5701 Whiteoak Road. Admission is free, and musicians are invited to jam afterward.

Enjoying the Rams' run
Numerous non-partisan basketball fans enjoyed seeing underdog Virginia Commonwealth University make a run to the Final Four in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, but the run meant more to Richmond, Va., native Kim Chambers.

On Vacation
Alexandria, Caroline Ava and Carrington Meyers, of Evans, enjoyed activities at the Wrangler Family Fun Day held at James Brown Arena during the Augusta Futurity.

March Madness
The final four competitors in the Math March Madness competition at Grovetown Elementary were Caitlin Wilson, Chase Koss (runner-up), Gabby Murphy and Selena Ortiz (champion).

Police Blotter
An Evans teen was charged Monday in connection with a single-vehicle wreck March 20 that injured four other teens.

Columbia County: So much, so close
Whether you are a Masters' visitor or long-time resident of the area, this a very special time of year, and Columbia County is the best place to spend it.

Nearly two years later, law OK'd
We must have missed all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about "disenfranchisement" and such, but on Monday, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that the federal overlords at the U.S. Department of Justice finally have "precleared" the state's new voter-registration rules.

Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon for the Wednesday, April 6, 2011 Columbia County News-Times.

Health rankings are good news for county
As residents and visitors alike know, Columbia County has a lot of things going for it: Great quality of life, safe streets, terrific public and private schools and excellent proximity to any amenities that aren't readily available.

Fishing tournaments
The Inaugural Military Bass Bash will be held April 16 at Wildwood Park.

Addy gets first win at Gordon Park
Fans witnessed sheet metal-bending crashes, side-by-side racing and three-wide battling for position Saturday at Gordon Park Speedway. Brian Addy captured his first win at Gordon Park from the second starting position in Crate Late Model. Chris Usry and Tommy Snell were close behind in second and third, respectively.

Prep calendar
Prep action coming up in the Columbia County area.

Panthers hope to avoid more playoff heartbreak
Toren Thomas remembers seeing his senior teammates' faces after Lakeside's state quarterfinal loss to Starr's Mill last season. Their high school soccer career was suddenly finished, and they took it hard.

Brown-Wilson will run at Mars Hill
Ask any of Kenneth Brown-Wilson's teammates on Greenbrier High School's 4x100 relay about him, and they'll offer glowing reviews of the senior track standout. On Friday morning, the Greenbrier senior signed to run at Mars Hill (N.C.) College.

Marshall was amazing player, but better person
This time last year, Columbia County lost one of its all-time great athletes.

Golf Tournaments
The Jones Creek Golf Center Junior League will hold a tournament each Saturday from April 16-30. The cost is $10 per round (or $50 for all six) for Jones Creek members or $20 per round (or $100 for all six) 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.

Sports calendar
Best Dam Ride Ever 2011 will be held April 17. It will kick off from Thurmond Dam and end at Clark's Hill Picnic Area. The entry fee is $30 per person and includes a T-shirt and a goody bag, and children younger than 12 accompanied by an adult rider are free. Proceeds will benefit the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Athlete Spotlight: Sam Graham
When Sam Graham sets his mind to do something, it usually leads to trouble for his counterparts. That the junior competes in three sports at Lakeside -- track and field, wrestling, and football -- and has yet to really hit his stride in any of them could spell doom for opponents in the near future.

Grovetown takes two
Grovetown's Rachel Peloquin battles for control of the ball during Thursday's match against Thomson. Grovetown won 10-1 to remain in second place in Region 3-AAA with a 9-1 region record.


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