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School board needs to 'make tough decisions' rather than raise taxes
Re May 15 editorial, "School tax increase has to be on the table": Tax increases when the economy is anemic is not the answer. Tax increases anytime in a bloated system are off the table. Short term you can look at across-the-board cuts, cutting administrative expenses and slashing major expenses, including furloughs of staff.

Events to introduce kids, jazz
An interactive program designed to teach children all about jazz will be held three times at Columbia County libraries this summer.

School board hopes to balance budget
The Columbia County school board likely will vote to raise taxes when it meets Tuesday.

Summertime pests a problem now because of early vegetable planting
The warm days this spring have caused many gardeners to put plant vegetables in earlier than normal.

Augusta Prep looks for stadium-light loophole
Although Columbia County Commission decided last week to turn off the lights on a Martinez private school's plan to illuminate football games, the party might not yet be over.

Officials look to reopen fire station
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue will continue its "Boot a Buck for Burns" donation drives to benefit the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation today in various locations throughout Columbia County. For information, visit

Boating safety course will be Friday at Mistletoe State Park
Two people have died on the water this year, and the Department of Natural Resources is working to prevent other fatalities as summer approaches.

Hello, summer
Thousands of Columbia County children celebrated the last day of school on Thursday.

Commission votes to fund evaluation of Bowen Pond
Columbia County taxpayers are paying a consultant to examine the dam to a pond inside a Martinez gated community.

Federal rule will raise price of lunch
When the Columbia County school board meets Tuesday to consider raising taxes, they likely also will raise the price of school lunches.

Police Blotter
Developer dies in accident while pushing down trees

Current Events
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue will continue its "Boot a Buck for Burns" donation drives to benefit the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation today in various locations throughout Columbia County. For information, visit

River Ridge Elementary School Third Nine Weeks Honor Roll
Third Grade A: Josephine Aguado, Natalie Badir, Brooklyn Butterworth, Jacob Cantrell, Darcie Dalafave, Caroline Dixon, Lindsey Cartledge, Julianne Coughlin, Zach Duffie, Berk Eroglu, Alexis Fox, Ellie Gilliard

Pet Adoption Showcase
Tanner (from left), TyBee and Tux are three males from a litter of six puppies rescued from Douglasville, Ga., along with their mother. All will be ready for adoption soon.

Property Transfers
Lighthouse Assembly of God Inc. to Belair Baptist Church, 599 S. Old Belair Road, $410,000.

Marriage Licenses
Albert Stephen Matthews III and Peggy Lee Mishow applied for a marriage license on April 11, 2011, and were married April 20, 2011, in Augusta.

Miss Lakeside High Pageant
Contestants in the Miss Lakeside High School pageant on Feb. 12 were Miss Freshman second runner up Jenna Berry (from left), Miss Freshman first runner up Alex Stewart, Miss Sophomore second runner up Kendra Cray, Miss Sophomore first runner up Karla Valcourt ...

Vacation Photos
Kris Fausnight enjoyed a picnic at Clarks Hill Lake with his family on Mother's Day, in spite of the cicadas. He is an engineer at Club Car.

Stevens Creek Elementary School Third Nine Weeks Honor Roll
Third Grade A: Rishab Agarwal, Micah Anderson, Pierce Bagby, Zach Bedell, Andrew Best, Sara Bledsoe, Emory Burch, Patty Callaway, Elizabeth Chen, Abby Colvin, Ansley Colvin, Lauren Culbreath, Kulp Dhru, Nate Dixon, Paul Draper, Michael Fisher, Owen Frye, Jenisa Gandhi, Emily Gilbert, Will Grubbs, Sanders Hackett, Peyton Haerle, Evan Hamrick

HOSA winners
Greenbrier High School Health Occupations Students of America were in state medical competitions March 3-5. in Athens. Chelsea Lewis won in dental terminology; Faith Barnett took second in nursing assisting; Kasia Konopka was third in physical therapy; and Kelly Dalton was fourth in human growth and development. They will compete on the national level June 21-26 in Anaheim, Calif.

Riverside Middle School Third Nine Weeks Honor Roll - Amended
Riverside Middle School Third Nine Weeks Honor Roll - Amended

Shannon Koss Odum and John F. Odum , May 10, 2011.

Outdoor education
Augusta Christian pupils looked at a snapping turtle from Savannah River Ecology Lab at Mistletoe State Park on Earth Day.

School budget should share the pain
Columbia County school board members Tuesday are expected to consider two plans for next year's budget, one that fills the final funding gap with a small tax increase - likely less than $50 per year for most county property owners - and another that furloughs school system employees for as many days as it takes to make up the difference.

Grads, listen to grandmas
This past week, though, Guinness World Records certified a 114-year-old Brazilian woman as the world's oldest living person, dethroning Besse Cooper, a 114-year-old woman who lives in Monroe, Ga.

Editorial Cartoon
Editorial cartoon for Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Gingrich, Cain offer style contrasts
Even though they couldn't be considered native sons, two men with Georgia connections are running for the Republican nomination for president. Newt Gingrich was born in Pennsylvania and has resided in Virginia for a while, but he will always be associated with Georgia because he taught at West Georgia College and served for 20 years as one of the state's congressmen.

Orton's hard work pays big dividends
As Breanna Orton gets set to embark on a college volleyball career, the Harlem High School graduate still remembers her rough start in the sport.

Season comes to an end, but Wolfpack's future is bright
Greenbrier High School's pursuit of its sixth state baseball title fell short when the Wolfpack were eliminated in the Elite Eight by perennial powerhouse Marist.

Former Wolfpack star Bailey part of rare feat on softball diamond
Earlier this season, Mercer University junior first baseman Kassie Bailey made a name for herself by starting a triple play.

Camp Calendar
The Evans High School Youth Baseball Camp for ages 5-14 will be held June 6-9 and June 20-23 at the school. The camp will run from 9 a.m. until noon daily. The cost is $80 per session or $140 for both sessions. For information, e-mail coach Ricky Beale at

Sports Calendar
Bartram Trail Golf Club will hold its Walking and Golfing for Multiple Sclerosis Golf Tournament today at 1 p.m. Cost is $40 for members and $65 for nonmembers and includes golf, range balls, food and prizes. Donations also will be accepted. A raffle will be held following play for additional prizes.

Warriors show growth
As Grovetown High School's football program enters its third season, the expectation is that the Warriors are about to hit their stride.

Greenbrier falls to power Marist in quarterfinals
After seeing how polished Marist's baseball team was in Greenbrier High School's season-ending series loss Tuesday, Chris Wilkins put it in perspective.


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