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'Difficult to see' improvement from changes in county's gifted program
I'm writing this letter in response to an article in Columbia County's "Educationally Speaking" back-to-school newsletter regarding the "positive" changes to the county's Gifted and Talented Program.

Big acts headline series
A new concert series featuring well-known acts premieres in September at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center.

Vaccination clinic to be held for pupils
The Columbia County Health Department is making sure children are ready for their return to school by holding a Back-to- School Immunization Walk-In Clinic this week.

Leaf spot makes plants unsightly
About this time every year, I get calls and e-mails from people who are worried about spots or holes in the leaves of their plants.

Dogs get their own special place to play
Hot weather didn't keep area residents from bringing their four-legged friends out to the grand opening of Columbia County's first dog park Thursday.

Proper use of pest controls will not harm environment
When the Environmental Protection Agency takes a commonly used household chemical off the market, finding a replacement can be frustrating for homeowners.

Event aims to protect citizens
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office hopes to help citizens protect themselves against crime with a National Night Out event Tuesday.

History on wheels
In a rear bay of the Gold Cross Emergency Medical Service headquarters on Wheeler Road, Bo Pounds has amassed a dozen antique vehicles chronicling the progression of ambulances dating back to the 19th century.

More students go to summer school
The recently concluded Columbia County summer school session showed substantial enrollment growth, according to data released Tuesday during a school board meeting.

New store opens in Martinez, specializes in casual furniture
As one furniture store in Martinez closed recently, another opened in its place.

Marriage Licenses
Rodriguez Montrell Howard and Ladonna Tenise Riddick applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2011, and were married July 6, 2011, in Evans.

Good deeds
Boy Scout Troop 643 of Evans planted bushes and trees to add shade around the playgrounds at River Ridge Elementary as part of an Eagle Scout project by Alec Masella. Pictured are Jim Masella (from left), Chris Clegg, Bill Ewanis, Alec Masella, Claire Hsieh, Zach Ewanis, Jacob Wilkerson, Jonathan Helfgott, Rick Richards, Anna Marie Walker, Will Walker, Ben Walker and Caleb Walker.

Ribbon-cuttings
Doctors Hospital Emergency Room held a Ribbon Cut with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on May 24.

Divorces
Angela H. Hutto and Fred W. Hutto, July 18, 2011.

Cub Scouts camp at Wildwood
Cub Scouts attending the Kiokee District day camp at Wildwood Park raise each other's hands for a buddy check while swimming in the lake.

Newsmakers
Bojangles Famous Chicken & Biscuits, 343 South Belair Road in Martinez, held a Grand Opening Ribbon Cut with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on June 28.

Police Blotter
Emergency responders crouch to push a stretcher carrying an injured motorist under utility lines after a Monday crash.

Property Transfers
C. Murray Williams as trustee to Robert R. Collier Sr., 901-A Point Comfort Club Drive, $80,000.

Pet Adoption
Lilly, a pit bull mix, is available for Adoption from Heartsong Animal Rescue, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies on donations to continue the rescue effort. Located in Martinez, Heartsong rescues from 10 counties.

Evans cheer camp
Participants in the annual Evans High School cheerleading camp perform for their parents on the final day of camp. More than 60 girls enrolled in the camp this summer.

Current Events
Blood drives: Shepeard Community Blood Center is holding a blood drives today, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at New Hope Worship Center, 715 South Old Belair Road, Grovetown; Aug. 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mosaic United Methodist Church, 478 Columbia Industrial Blvd.

Your Photos
Tim Rupert (from left), University of Georgia coach Mark Richt and Laura Tinney at the Augusta Bulldog Club.

Money for literacy
The Greater Augusta Partnership for Literacy's Chuck LaMarsh (left) is presented a check for $500 from Publix Charities by Phil Caldwell, store manager of the Publix store on Furys Ferry Road.

Great summer for Georgia Power
This has been a good summer for Georgia Power, the company that provides electricity to millions of customers around the state.

Editorial Cartoon
Editorial Cartoon for Sunday, July 31, 2011

Welcome reduction in N.Y. entourage
Hooray for moderation.

Making the most of a second chance
As sometimes happens, I disagreed with a decision this past week by Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan.

Sports Calendar
Sports physicals will be offered at Stallings Island Middle School on Thursday from 4-5:30 p.m. The physicals are good for one year and will be accepted at all Columbia County middle and high schools. Cost is $25. Forms will be available on site. E-mail Casey Heckathorn at casey.heckathorn@ccboe.net.

Martinez-Evans junior team ends long wait for state title
Just when Martinez-Evans' Junior League All-Stars were hitting their stride during the state tournament, manager Matt Brosious got a reminder of just what his team was playing for.

Coach pitch champions
The Martinez-Evans Little League Thunder won the coach pitch championship on June 13.

County players had impact on Pacers over past decade
USC Aiken head baseball coach Kenny Thomas recently announced the Pacers' All-Decade Team for 2000-10.

Practice rounds give new perspective for onlookers
Attending Augusta National Golf Club for tournament rounds is a special experience. But there's something just a bit more special about attending the practice rounds.

State Champions
The Columbia County National squad took home the Dixie O-Zone state title recently in the tournament held at Riverside Park, outscoring its opponents 107-7.

Eyes on the ball
Jack Gibbs of Evans tees off during Wednesday's round of the EZGO Vaughn Taylor Championship at Jones Creek Golf Club in Augusta.

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