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Police Blotter

The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:

 

Man admits to store thefts

 

An employee of the Mullins Crossing Target store admitted to authorities that he has shoplifted more than $1,700 in merchandise from the store.

Patrick Mulholland signed a statement of admission on Wednesday after being confronted with video evidence of thefts between July 4 and July 17. Target’s security and asset protection personnel documented numerous in which they said showed Mulholland taking merchandise out of the store or allowing an accomplice to do so without paying.

Store officials said he would make an attempt to buys certain items only to have his card declined. The transaction would be voided and Mulholland would have the items placed behind the guest services counter to be paid for later.

Mulholland would return later and take the items without paying.

 

Woman keys spa owner’s car

 

An Evans woman was arrested Wednesday on charges that she keyed another woman’s car.

Police were called to Modish Salon & Spa at 4336 Washington Road just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, where a deputy found Julia Barna parked in a car directly behind another belonging to the spa owner, Patricia A. Thelen. A witnesses stated they saw Barna walk around Thelen’s car and use her key to scratch the driver’s side.

The deputy found scratches on Thelen’s car from the driver’s door to the rear quarter-panel. Barna was arrested and charged with second degree criminal damage to property.

 

Range stolen from house

 

A builder constructing homes in the Berkley Hills neighborhood repported on Monday that someone had taken an appliance from a home on Bella Rose Drive, in Evans. Clay Antonakos, owner of Lee Builders said a Frigidaire range was removed from the building, which was still under construction.

Police found no evidence of forced entry into the house. Antonakos said a number of people had keys to the building.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter

The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:

 

Man admits to store thefts

 

An employee of the Mullins Crossing Target store admitted to authorities that he has shoplifted more than $1,700 in merchandise from the store.

Patrick Mulholland signed a statement of admission on Wednesday after being confronted with video evidence of thefts between July 4 and July 17. Target’s security and asset protection personnel documented numerous in which they said showed Mulholland taking merchandise out of the store or allowing an accomplice to do so without paying.

Store officials said he would make an attempt to buys certain items only to have his card declined. The transaction would be voided and Mulholland would have the items placed behind the guest services counter to be paid for later.

Mulholland would return later and take the items without paying.

 

Woman keys spa owner’s car

 

An Evans woman was arrested Wednesday on charges that she keyed another woman’s car.

Police were called to Modish Salon & Spa at 4336 Washington Road just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, where a deputy found Julia Barna parked in a car directly behind another belonging to the spa owner, Patricia A. Thelen. A witnesses stated they saw Barna walk around Thelen’s car and use her key to scratch the driver’s side.

The deputy found scratches on Thelen’s car from the driver’s door to the rear quarter-panel. Barna was arrested and charged with second degree criminal damage to property.

 

Range stolen from house

 

A builder constructing homes in the Berkley Hills neighborhood repported on Monday that someone had taken an appliance from a home on Bella Rose Drive, in Evans. Clay Antonakos, owner of Lee Builders said a Frigidaire range was removed from the building, which was still under construction.

Police found no evidence of forced entry into the house. Antonakos said a number of people had keys to the building.

Categories: Local

Columbia County's Community and Leisure Services director resigns

Barry Smith, Columbia County’s longtime director of Community and Leisure Services, resigned suddenly Monday without explanation, county officials said.

“He resigned … effective immediately to pursue other opportunities,” Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson said Tuesday.

Johnson said he didn’t know what opportunities the former division director was pursuing, and he directed questions on that subject to Smith, who did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Smith was hired as the director of Community and Leisure Services division in 2003.

During his 12 years he managed operations for Columbia County’s Rental Facili­ties and Venue Depart­ment, Board of Elections, Animal Services, Parks and Recreation, Extension Services, Columbia County Libraries and the Savannah Rapids Pavilion Visitor’s Center.

Johnson indicated that Smith’s resignation was unexpected, occurring after he was called in to speak with Johnson when returned from a three-day vacation.

“After that conversation he informed me of his desire to resign,” Johnson said. “I did not ask for his resignation, quite frankly I was shocked that he would resign, but I told him that I would pass it along to the commission and recommend that it be accepted.”

Johnson said there were no disciplinary actions against Smith and he declined to discuss the content or reason for his meeting with Smith.

“We are not going to get into any performance issues and I’m not at liberty to discuss and disciplinary issues he may or may not have been facing,” he said.

An examination of Smith’s personnel file yielded only one disciplinary matter – an oral reprimand from 2010 failing to properly supervise the production of an updated recreation policy document that contained numerous errors.

Johnson said it is probable that Deputy County Adminis­trator Glenn Kennedy would take on Smith’s responsibilities until a replacement was hired.

He said the position would be advertised soon and that the county was not hoping to promote someone from within the organization.

According to Smith’s contract, he could be eligible for a severance package that would include the payment of seven months of his current $108,793 annual salary. Should commissioners decide to award that severance, it could amount to more than $63,400.

Johnson said he expected commissioners to take up the issue of Smith’s resignation at the Tuesday county commission meeting.

Categories: Local

Columbia County's Community and Leisure Services director resigns

Barry Smith, Columbia County’s longtime director of Community and Leisure Services, resigned suddenly Monday without explanation, county officials said.

“He resigned … effective immediately to pursue other opportunities,” Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson said Tuesday.

Johnson said he didn’t know what opportunities the former division director was pursuing, and he directed questions on that subject to Smith, who did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Smith was hired as the director of Community and Leisure Services division in 2003.

During his 12 years he managed operations for Columbia County’s Rental Facili­ties and Venue Depart­ment, Board of Elections, Animal Services, Parks and Recreation, Extension Services, Columbia County Libraries and the Savannah Rapids Pavilion Visitor’s Center.

Johnson indicated that Smith’s resignation was unexpected, occurring after he was called in to speak with Johnson when returned from a three-day vacation.

“After that conversation he informed me of his desire to resign,” Johnson said. “I did not ask for his resignation, quite frankly I was shocked that he would resign, but I told him that I would pass it along to the commission and recommend that it be accepted.”

Johnson said there were no disciplinary actions against Smith and he declined to discuss the content or reason for his meeting with Smith.

“We are not going to get into any performance issues and I’m not at liberty to discuss and disciplinary issues he may or may not have been facing,” he said.

An examination of Smith’s personnel file yielded only one disciplinary matter – an oral reprimand from 2010 failing to properly supervise the production of an updated recreation policy document that contained numerous errors.

Johnson said it is probable that Deputy County Adminis­trator Glenn Kennedy would take on Smith’s responsibilities until a replacement was hired.

He said the position would be advertised soon and that the county was not hoping to promote someone from within the organization.

According to Smith’s contract, he could be eligible for a severance package that would include the payment of seven months of his current $108,793 annual salary. Should commissioners decide to award that severance, it could amount to more than $63,400.

Johnson said he expected commissioners to take up the issue of Smith’s resignation at the Tuesday county commission meeting.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, Aug. 2, 2015

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Narciso J. Hurtado, 506 Whitby St., $186,900.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Michael S. Maice and Gina M. Maice, 3220 Windwood St., $189,379.

Augusta Property Group LLC to M2 Property Solutions LLC, 210 Pecan Drive, $82,474.

Gregory Scott Davis to Lana Gayle Dunn; 540 Great Falls; $190,000.

Bayview Loan Servicing LLC to Keith Simpson; 912 N. Willowick Drive; $79,900.

Berlin Limited Partnership to Active Climbing LLC; 643 S. Old Belair Road; $575,000.

Cheryl Garrett to Trevor Bullard and Jessica Bullard; 3471 Mistletoe Road; $55,000.

Southeastern Family Homes Inc. to Monica S. Cromer; 2017 Egret Circle; $385,435.

Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Robert D. Williamson and Mary A. Williamson; parcel ID 0681151; $193,000.

Robert T. Bailey to Daniel Albo and Maria Luisa O’Connor-Albo; parcel ID 081B095; $1,050,000.

Christian M. Thomae to Jacob Eichenberger and Amanda Eichenberger; 302 Johns Way; $705,000.

Jacob P. Stone to Louis T.C. Alley; 2438 River Birch Drive; $169,500.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Chandler P. Hall and Lynnsey M. Edmondson; 209 Ryan Lane; $219,900.

Wilson Parker Homes of Hidden Creek Inc. to Miguel Angel Yepes-Wuerth; 8845 Crenshaw Drive; $241,090.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Zachary L. Mallory; 2455 Newbury Ave.; $181,355.

Julian S. Lewis Jr. to Frank T. Kuwanoe; 5900 Harlem-Grovetown Road; $279,500.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Bong Won Park; 228 Ryan Lane; $246,000.

Kenneth R. Miles to Carl Timmons Spivey and Mary Beth Spivey; 7357 Lakeside Drive; $350,000.

Jessie L. Lee to Geovany A. Manjivar; 332 Taylor Circle; $149,700.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Brian M. Stucker and Sarah E. Stucker; 1730 Edenburg Way; $231,695.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Amber L. Zulueta and Steven J. Zulueta Jr.; 2640 Kirby Ave.; $230,375.

Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc. to Anthony A. Keys; 743 Burch Creek Drive; $309,990.

Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc. to Maria Sepulveda and Zachariah Sepulveda; 733 Burch Creek Drive; $379,070.

Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc. to Trisha M. Stratton and Ryan J. Stratton; 5634 Sunbury Loop;
$255,100.

Randal Mark Davidson to The Sanctuary of Augusta Inc.; 417 LaVista Drive; $35,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Andrew Stephen Delmas and Emily Rogers Delmas; 6521 River Bluff Trail; $725,000.

Baldwin Hamptons LLC to Designer Homes and Construction LLC; 1595 Baldwin Lakes Drive; $43,000.

Heath D. Traphagan to Jason Bravo Alisangco; 524 Mauldin Drive; $375,000.

Wayne Wasden Sr. to Joshua Edward Combs; 1670 Cedar Hill Drive; $194,900.

Charles DeWitt Evans to Norman Richard Crews; 7120 Postell Drive; $72,000.

Elizabeth J. Manaloor to William O. Butcher and Karen N. Butcher; 4235 Riverside Drive; $330,000.

Amanda R. Russell to Steven T. Ragans; parcel ID 062742; $187,500.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to JoAnna M. Kelly and Gregory D. Kelly-Skelton; 1157 Waltons Pass; $320,250.

Ashley M. Olstad to Tracey M. Sammons; parcel ID 0651013; $272,000.

Paula D. Kiser to Jacqueline R. Goldsberry; 629 Ventana Drive; $198,500.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to Robert McCoy; 1155 Waltons Pass; $309,000.

Christopher Tison to Jesus Delatorra; parcel ID 074I079; $147,900.

MBH Holdings Inc. to Herbert Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0622628 and 0622629; $85,800.

Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to George P. Mallard; 1203 Tyler Woods Way; $175,000.

Thomas C. Brewster to Dorothy M. Croskey; 509 Midland Passage; $139,900.

James R. Wheeler to Larry M. Ward and Norma Kaye Ward; 101 Central Park Lane; $375,000.

Michael P. Pendleton to Charles C. Brown and Keshia M. Brown; 274 Wentworth Place; $238,500.

Randall T. Plant to Travis J. Austin and Kristine L. Austin; 216 Beale Lane; $330,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to Brenda B. Mercer; 4602 Amberley Drive; $242,500.

Downeast Homebuilders Inc. to Adam Seth Hilderbrandt and Michelle Renee Hilderbrandt; 3260 Windwood St.; $218,950.

Ivey Residential LLC to Lorenzo R. McElveen and Priscilla Green McElveen; 503 Brantley Cove Circle; $170,500.

Ivey Residential LLC to Shannon T. Winfield; 509 Sagebrush Trail; $294,065.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, Aug. 2, 2015

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Narciso J. Hurtado, 506 Whitby St., $186,900.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Michael S. Maice and Gina M. Maice, 3220 Windwood St., $189,379.

Augusta Property Group LLC to M2 Property Solutions LLC, 210 Pecan Drive, $82,474.

Gregory Scott Davis to Lana Gayle Dunn; 540 Great Falls; $190,000.

Bayview Loan Servicing LLC to Keith Simpson; 912 N. Willowick Drive; $79,900.

Berlin Limited Partnership to Active Climbing LLC; 643 S. Old Belair Road; $575,000.

Cheryl Garrett to Trevor Bullard and Jessica Bullard; 3471 Mistletoe Road; $55,000.

Southeastern Family Homes Inc. to Monica S. Cromer; 2017 Egret Circle; $385,435.

Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Robert D. Williamson and Mary A. Williamson; parcel ID 0681151; $193,000.

Robert T. Bailey to Daniel Albo and Maria Luisa O’Connor-Albo; parcel ID 081B095; $1,050,000.

Christian M. Thomae to Jacob Eichenberger and Amanda Eichenberger; 302 Johns Way; $705,000.

Jacob P. Stone to Louis T.C. Alley; 2438 River Birch Drive; $169,500.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Chandler P. Hall and Lynnsey M. Edmondson; 209 Ryan Lane; $219,900.

Wilson Parker Homes of Hidden Creek Inc. to Miguel Angel Yepes-Wuerth; 8845 Crenshaw Drive; $241,090.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Zachary L. Mallory; 2455 Newbury Ave.; $181,355.

Julian S. Lewis Jr. to Frank T. Kuwanoe; 5900 Harlem-Grovetown Road; $279,500.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Bong Won Park; 228 Ryan Lane; $246,000.

Kenneth R. Miles to Carl Timmons Spivey and Mary Beth Spivey; 7357 Lakeside Drive; $350,000.

Jessie L. Lee to Geovany A. Manjivar; 332 Taylor Circle; $149,700.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Brian M. Stucker and Sarah E. Stucker; 1730 Edenburg Way; $231,695.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Amber L. Zulueta and Steven J. Zulueta Jr.; 2640 Kirby Ave.; $230,375.

Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc. to Anthony A. Keys; 743 Burch Creek Drive; $309,990.

Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place Inc. to Maria Sepulveda and Zachariah Sepulveda; 733 Burch Creek Drive; $379,070.

Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc. to Trisha M. Stratton and Ryan J. Stratton; 5634 Sunbury Loop;
$255,100.

Randal Mark Davidson to The Sanctuary of Augusta Inc.; 417 LaVista Drive; $35,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Andrew Stephen Delmas and Emily Rogers Delmas; 6521 River Bluff Trail; $725,000.

Baldwin Hamptons LLC to Designer Homes and Construction LLC; 1595 Baldwin Lakes Drive; $43,000.

Heath D. Traphagan to Jason Bravo Alisangco; 524 Mauldin Drive; $375,000.

Wayne Wasden Sr. to Joshua Edward Combs; 1670 Cedar Hill Drive; $194,900.

Charles DeWitt Evans to Norman Richard Crews; 7120 Postell Drive; $72,000.

Elizabeth J. Manaloor to William O. Butcher and Karen N. Butcher; 4235 Riverside Drive; $330,000.

Amanda R. Russell to Steven T. Ragans; parcel ID 062742; $187,500.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to JoAnna M. Kelly and Gregory D. Kelly-Skelton; 1157 Waltons Pass; $320,250.

Ashley M. Olstad to Tracey M. Sammons; parcel ID 0651013; $272,000.

Paula D. Kiser to Jacqueline R. Goldsberry; 629 Ventana Drive; $198,500.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to Robert McCoy; 1155 Waltons Pass; $309,000.

Christopher Tison to Jesus Delatorra; parcel ID 074I079; $147,900.

MBH Holdings Inc. to Herbert Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0622628 and 0622629; $85,800.

Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to George P. Mallard; 1203 Tyler Woods Way; $175,000.

Thomas C. Brewster to Dorothy M. Croskey; 509 Midland Passage; $139,900.

James R. Wheeler to Larry M. Ward and Norma Kaye Ward; 101 Central Park Lane; $375,000.

Michael P. Pendleton to Charles C. Brown and Keshia M. Brown; 274 Wentworth Place; $238,500.

Randall T. Plant to Travis J. Austin and Kristine L. Austin; 216 Beale Lane; $330,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to Brenda B. Mercer; 4602 Amberley Drive; $242,500.

Downeast Homebuilders Inc. to Adam Seth Hilderbrandt and Michelle Renee Hilderbrandt; 3260 Windwood St.; $218,950.

Ivey Residential LLC to Lorenzo R. McElveen and Priscilla Green McElveen; 503 Brantley Cove Circle; $170,500.

Ivey Residential LLC to Shannon T. Winfield; 509 Sagebrush Trail; $294,065.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, Aug. 2, 2015

David McCabe Darnell and Kelly Anne Lawson applied for a marriage license on July 2, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Mercedes Carmen Diaz and Eleanor Mae Hofsess applied for a marriage license on July 1, 2015, and were married July 12, 2015, in Augusta.

Richard Allen Rayfield Jr. and Blanche Dia Williams Widener applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Michael David Cohen and Ashley Marie Armstrong applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 16, 2015, in Savannah, Ga.

Michelle Leann Kay and Christi Fleming Cook applied for a marriage license on July 16, 2015, and were married July 16, 2015, in Augusta.

Joshua Michael Hilley and Kelly Victoria Ottoson applied for a marriage license on April 10, 2015, and were married June 20, 2015, in Lincolnton, Ga.

Franklin David Thompson and Kathryn Elizabeth Bruce applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Appling.

Timothy Lee Meers and Brunilda Sanchez applied for a marriage license on July 1, 2015, and were married July 18, 2015, in Martinez.

Roy Dee Smith and Logan Arnold Owens applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 8, 2015, in Evans.

Kristopher Lee Ray and Crystal Dianne Jiles applied for a marriage license on July 20, 2015, and were married July 20, 2015, in Evans.

Gabriel Alan Johnson and Alyssa Erinn Lynn Thompson applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 18, 2015, in Augusta.

Ellis Clifford Maxwell III and Deborah Lynn Myrick applied for a marriage license on July 16, 2015, and were married July 18, 2015, in Cleveland, Ga.

John Michael Cowart Jr. and Joann Messina Ross applied for a marriage license on June 19, 2015, and were married June 27, 2015, in Evans.

James Anthony Freeman and Takeisha Annieaque Watkins applied for a marriage license on July 1, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Millen, Ga.

Al Jennings Mims and Yvonne Clyde Presley applied for a marriage license on June 1, 2015, and were married June 20, 2015, in Augusta.

Brian Simmons Broady and Trekesha Deshon Mitchell applied for a marriage license on April 27, 2015, and were married June 19, 2015, in Evans.

William Marcus Fulcher IV and Maria Cecelia Wright applied for a marriage license on July 14, 2015, and were married July 15, 2015, in Harlem.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, Aug. 2, 2015

David McCabe Darnell and Kelly Anne Lawson applied for a marriage license on July 2, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Mercedes Carmen Diaz and Eleanor Mae Hofsess applied for a marriage license on July 1, 2015, and were married July 12, 2015, in Augusta.

Richard Allen Rayfield Jr. and Blanche Dia Williams Widener applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Michael David Cohen and Ashley Marie Armstrong applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 16, 2015, in Savannah, Ga.

Michelle Leann Kay and Christi Fleming Cook applied for a marriage license on July 16, 2015, and were married July 16, 2015, in Augusta.

Joshua Michael Hilley and Kelly Victoria Ottoson applied for a marriage license on April 10, 2015, and were married June 20, 2015, in Lincolnton, Ga.

Franklin David Thompson and Kathryn Elizabeth Bruce applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Appling.

Timothy Lee Meers and Brunilda Sanchez applied for a marriage license on July 1, 2015, and were married July 18, 2015, in Martinez.

Roy Dee Smith and Logan Arnold Owens applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 8, 2015, in Evans.

Kristopher Lee Ray and Crystal Dianne Jiles applied for a marriage license on July 20, 2015, and were married July 20, 2015, in Evans.

Gabriel Alan Johnson and Alyssa Erinn Lynn Thompson applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 18, 2015, in Augusta.

Ellis Clifford Maxwell III and Deborah Lynn Myrick applied for a marriage license on July 16, 2015, and were married July 18, 2015, in Cleveland, Ga.

John Michael Cowart Jr. and Joann Messina Ross applied for a marriage license on June 19, 2015, and were married June 27, 2015, in Evans.

James Anthony Freeman and Takeisha Annieaque Watkins applied for a marriage license on July 1, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Millen, Ga.

Al Jennings Mims and Yvonne Clyde Presley applied for a marriage license on June 1, 2015, and were married June 20, 2015, in Augusta.

Brian Simmons Broady and Trekesha Deshon Mitchell applied for a marriage license on April 27, 2015, and were married June 19, 2015, in Evans.

William Marcus Fulcher IV and Maria Cecelia Wright applied for a marriage license on July 14, 2015, and were married July 15, 2015, in Harlem.

Categories: Local

Proper tree care is important in good landascaping

Trees provide great benefits to our home landscapes. They provide shade, help retain soils and add aesthetic value. Most homeowners tend to pamper the smaller landscape plants with irrigation, fertilizer and selective pruning, but leave the trees of the landscape alone.

It’s important that we take care of our trees properly by providing the same practices. Many things we do for our other plants and turf in the landscape provide benefits to our trees. However, some maintenance practices might unintentionally damage our trees.

Improper mulching might do more harm than good for our trees.

Whenever possible, try to let the mulch extend to the edge of the drip line. This is the area around the tree where the water sheds from the canopy.

Mulch applied too thickly can create many problems. A layer 2-3 inches thick is adequate in most situations. “Volcano mulching,” a practice of building a mulch layer 12 inches deep and sloping to the beds edge around each tree, is not beneficial and will kill the trees eventually. When mulch is piled against the trunk it can create insect and fungus problems. Pull your mulch back 3-5 inches from young trees and 8-10 inches from mature trunks.

Weed control can help your trees but make sure you are doing it properly. Pull any weeds that come up near the trunk. Using a weed eater or mower too closely to the trunk might injure the bark and underlying cambium layers.

Using a post-emergent herbicide around root zones can also damage trees. High concentrations of certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, during warm spring weather could be taken up by tree roots and result in distorted leaves.

Most pre-emergent herbicides won’t harm trees, but always read the label. Herbicides that might cause tree damage have warning statements on the label. Avoid spraying on windy days and use coarse droplets to reduce drift.

Stakes and guy-wires are often used to hold up young trees until they become established.

Many times the wires are forgotten and as the tree grows, they become imbedded in the bark and cambium layers. This can severely girdle the trunk, often resulting in gradual tree death.

Remove plant tags and trunk wrap from the nursery to prevent tree injury in the future.

A good rule of thumb is to remove stakes and guy-wires one year after the trees’ installation.

Tall trees are often seen as a hazard. Many people mistakenly believe that topping trees is a good way to reduce their size. Topping is not a viable method of height reduction, and it does not reduce the hazard. It actually makes trees more hazardous in the long term and doesn’t promote a healthy tree.

During periods of drought, homeowners often water lawns and neglect trees. In situations where turf and trees are growing together, watering lawns can be beneficial to trees if done correctly. Frequent, shallow watering doesn’t meet the needs of either turf or trees and can be harmful to both. Both need the equivalent of 1 inch of water every 7-10 days.

Many people put a lot of hard work into their landscapes every week. Ensuring that maintenance practices aren’t harming trees is a good way to protect the valuable assets that are trees.

Tripp Williams, Columbia County’s agriculture and natural resource extension agent, can be reached at (706) 541-4011, or
trippj@uga.edu.

Categories: Local

Proper tree care is important in good landascaping

Trees provide great benefits to our home landscapes. They provide shade, help retain soils and add aesthetic value. Most homeowners tend to pamper the smaller landscape plants with irrigation, fertilizer and selective pruning, but leave the trees of the landscape alone.

It’s important that we take care of our trees properly by providing the same practices. Many things we do for our other plants and turf in the landscape provide benefits to our trees. However, some maintenance practices might unintentionally damage our trees.

Improper mulching might do more harm than good for our trees.

Whenever possible, try to let the mulch extend to the edge of the drip line. This is the area around the tree where the water sheds from the canopy.

Mulch applied too thickly can create many problems. A layer 2-3 inches thick is adequate in most situations. “Volcano mulching,” a practice of building a mulch layer 12 inches deep and sloping to the beds edge around each tree, is not beneficial and will kill the trees eventually. When mulch is piled against the trunk it can create insect and fungus problems. Pull your mulch back 3-5 inches from young trees and 8-10 inches from mature trunks.

Weed control can help your trees but make sure you are doing it properly. Pull any weeds that come up near the trunk. Using a weed eater or mower too closely to the trunk might injure the bark and underlying cambium layers.

Using a post-emergent herbicide around root zones can also damage trees. High concentrations of certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, during warm spring weather could be taken up by tree roots and result in distorted leaves.

Most pre-emergent herbicides won’t harm trees, but always read the label. Herbicides that might cause tree damage have warning statements on the label. Avoid spraying on windy days and use coarse droplets to reduce drift.

Stakes and guy-wires are often used to hold up young trees until they become established.

Many times the wires are forgotten and as the tree grows, they become imbedded in the bark and cambium layers. This can severely girdle the trunk, often resulting in gradual tree death.

Remove plant tags and trunk wrap from the nursery to prevent tree injury in the future.

A good rule of thumb is to remove stakes and guy-wires one year after the trees’ installation.

Tall trees are often seen as a hazard. Many people mistakenly believe that topping trees is a good way to reduce their size. Topping is not a viable method of height reduction, and it does not reduce the hazard. It actually makes trees more hazardous in the long term and doesn’t promote a healthy tree.

During periods of drought, homeowners often water lawns and neglect trees. In situations where turf and trees are growing together, watering lawns can be beneficial to trees if done correctly. Frequent, shallow watering doesn’t meet the needs of either turf or trees and can be harmful to both. Both need the equivalent of 1 inch of water every 7-10 days.

Many people put a lot of hard work into their landscapes every week. Ensuring that maintenance practices aren’t harming trees is a good way to protect the valuable assets that are trees.

Tripp Williams, Columbia County’s agriculture and natural resource extension agent, can be reached at (706) 541-4011, or
trippj@uga.edu.

Categories: Local

Curb appeal is key for home sellers

First impressions are everything, particularly for individuals looking to sell their home. August has been designated National Curb Appeal Month, and while sellers will want to take note, all homeowners can learn a lesson or two about making their home more attractive from the street.

Local realtor Susan Keller explains that keeping a neatly trimmed and edged yard is a first step in making your home stand out from others.

Trimmed and edged lawns not only look nice, but also help to reduce weeds and improve a lawn’s overall health.

Keller also adds that fertilized and watered grass will stay green and therefore be more attractive to passersby. Seasonal flowers that are in bloom, as well as manicured shrubs, add to the appeal of the landscape.

In addition to making the lawn and gardens more attractive, attention should be paid to the home’s exterior. Rotting wood trim and broken shutters should be replaced.

Experts also suggest thinking of what your home looks like not only during daylight hours, but also at night.

Well-lit homes are not only welcoming, but also add to the security of the home. Solar-powered lights along walkways and garden areas create not only a safe pathway, but also highlight the home. Motion-sensor lighting will also make it easier for visitors to see, while also deterring burglars.

Finally, a welcoming entryway will make your home more inviting. Keller suggests adding “a nice wreath to the door and a welcome mat.

“And, be sure the address is clearly marked on the mailbox,” she said.

These few simple tips not only make your home more attractive, but also add value to your home. Whether someone is viewing your home from the street or up close, put your best foot forward and make it the most attractive home on the street.

Categories: Local

Curb appeal is key for home sellers

First impressions are everything, particularly for individuals looking to sell their home. August has been designated National Curb Appeal Month, and while sellers will want to take note, all homeowners can learn a lesson or two about making their home more attractive from the street.

Local realtor Susan Keller explains that keeping a neatly trimmed and edged yard is a first step in making your home stand out from others.

Trimmed and edged lawns not only look nice, but also help to reduce weeds and improve a lawn’s overall health.

Keller also adds that fertilized and watered grass will stay green and therefore be more attractive to passersby. Seasonal flowers that are in bloom, as well as manicured shrubs, add to the appeal of the landscape.

In addition to making the lawn and gardens more attractive, attention should be paid to the home’s exterior. Rotting wood trim and broken shutters should be replaced.

Experts also suggest thinking of what your home looks like not only during daylight hours, but also at night.

Well-lit homes are not only welcoming, but also add to the security of the home. Solar-powered lights along walkways and garden areas create not only a safe pathway, but also highlight the home. Motion-sensor lighting will also make it easier for visitors to see, while also deterring burglars.

Finally, a welcoming entryway will make your home more inviting. Keller suggests adding “a nice wreath to the door and a welcome mat.

“And, be sure the address is clearly marked on the mailbox,” she said.

These few simple tips not only make your home more attractive, but also add value to your home. Whether someone is viewing your home from the street or up close, put your best foot forward and make it the most attractive home on the street.

Categories: Local

Schools in Richmond, Columbia counties look to reverse increase in crime

While area schools are prepping for the upcoming year, administrators say they’re keeping an eye on an area that could affect student achievement – crime.

The issue is especially relevant because Richmond and Columbia counties saw increases in cases reported in their systems for the 2013-14 school year, according to the Georgia Department of Education’s Web site. Numbers for the 2014-15 school year aren’t yet available.

The numbers also show that different systems grapple with different types of crime. Richmond County, for example, has seen higher numbers in violent crimes and weapon violations.

According to the state-required Unsafe Schools Report, Richmond County saw overall crime increase from 56 cases in the 2011-12 school year to 83 in 2013-14. The latter saw a dozen more nonfelony drug and 10 more felony weapons cases.

There were also two reports of armed robbery, though School Safety and Security Chief Alfonzo Williams said one was really considered a theft by taking. Terroristic threats and acts doubled from four to eight but several other areas – including aggravated battery, arson and rape – remained at zero in the surveyed years.

Though any increase is alarming, Williams said, it can also be seen as a positive. Higher numbers mean that more students are comfortable enough reporting what they see, he said.

“I’ve taken a look at the numbers, and while we’ve had some gains, I don’t know that it’s representative of a large increase in crimes,” Williams said. “I think we’re doing a better job in reporting.

“We hope by studying those numbers that we can deploy resources where they’re most appropriate so that we can see those numbers start to decline.”

Help is on the way, said Richmond County Super­intendent Angela Pringle. Five new school safety officers were hired this summer.

The Columbia County Board of Education didn’t report any batteries or child molestation cases from 2012 to 2014. It also didn’t report any incidents involving battery, arson, kidnapping or rape.

Reports of nonfelony drug offenses, however, were significantly higher in Columbia County. According to the report, there were 96 total incidents reported in Columbia County in 2013-14, 92 of them for nonfelony drugs. That marked an upswing from 2012-13, but still wasn’t as high as the 124 reported in 2011-12.

Part of the challenge with those particular incidents is catching them as they happen, Columbia County’s Director of Discipline and School Climate Don Brigdon said.

A former principal at Evans High School, Brigdon said individual schools are sometimes tasked with finding ways to handle issues on their respective campuses.

In his experience, pupil-run groups such as Students Against Destructive Decis-ions help stem the tide.

Though numbers weren’t available for the 2014-15 school year, Bridgon said that the amount of disciplinary hearings in Columbia County dropped by almost 20 percent.

“We try to stress to our students when we talk to them that if you see something, say something,” Brigdon said.

He added that there might be some disparity in what was reported and the actual amount of incidents. For instance, if three students were involved in a fight, it should count as one incident. In the past, some schools mistakenly reported incidents on a student-by-student basis.

In Georgia, a school is considered “persistently dangerous” when it sees serious crime, such as molestation or robbery, for three years in a row.

The tag is also applied to a school where at least 2 percent of students or 10 students, whichever is greater, is found to have committed a lesser offense.

Staff writer Sean Gruber contributed to this report.

Categories: Local

Schools in Richmond, Columbia counties look to reverse increase in crime

While area schools are prepping for the upcoming year, administrators say they’re keeping an eye on an area that could affect student achievement – crime.

The issue is especially relevant because Richmond and Columbia counties saw increases in cases reported in their systems for the 2013-14 school year, according to the Georgia Department of Education’s Web site. Numbers for the 2014-15 school year aren’t yet available.

The numbers also show that different systems grapple with different types of crime. Richmond County, for example, has seen higher numbers in violent crimes and weapon violations.

According to the state-required Unsafe Schools Report, Richmond County saw overall crime increase from 56 cases in the 2011-12 school year to 83 in 2013-14. The latter saw a dozen more nonfelony drug and 10 more felony weapons cases.

There were also two reports of armed robbery, though School Safety and Security Chief Alfonzo Williams said one was really considered a theft by taking. Terroristic threats and acts doubled from four to eight but several other areas – including aggravated battery, arson and rape – remained at zero in the surveyed years.

Though any increase is alarming, Williams said, it can also be seen as a positive. Higher numbers mean that more students are comfortable enough reporting what they see, he said.

“I’ve taken a look at the numbers, and while we’ve had some gains, I don’t know that it’s representative of a large increase in crimes,” Williams said. “I think we’re doing a better job in reporting.

“We hope by studying those numbers that we can deploy resources where they’re most appropriate so that we can see those numbers start to decline.”

Help is on the way, said Richmond County Super­intendent Angela Pringle. Five new school safety officers were hired this summer.

The Columbia County Board of Education didn’t report any batteries or child molestation cases from 2012 to 2014. It also didn’t report any incidents involving battery, arson, kidnapping or rape.

Reports of nonfelony drug offenses, however, were significantly higher in Columbia County. According to the report, there were 96 total incidents reported in Columbia County in 2013-14, 92 of them for nonfelony drugs. That marked an upswing from 2012-13, but still wasn’t as high as the 124 reported in 2011-12.

Part of the challenge with those particular incidents is catching them as they happen, Columbia County’s Director of Discipline and School Climate Don Brigdon said.

A former principal at Evans High School, Brigdon said individual schools are sometimes tasked with finding ways to handle issues on their respective campuses.

In his experience, pupil-run groups such as Students Against Destructive Decis-ions help stem the tide.

Though numbers weren’t available for the 2014-15 school year, Bridgon said that the amount of disciplinary hearings in Columbia County dropped by almost 20 percent.

“We try to stress to our students when we talk to them that if you see something, say something,” Brigdon said.

He added that there might be some disparity in what was reported and the actual amount of incidents. For instance, if three students were involved in a fight, it should count as one incident. In the past, some schools mistakenly reported incidents on a student-by-student basis.

In Georgia, a school is considered “persistently dangerous” when it sees serious crime, such as molestation or robbery, for three years in a row.

The tag is also applied to a school where at least 2 percent of students or 10 students, whichever is greater, is found to have committed a lesser offense.

Staff writer Sean Gruber contributed to this report.

Categories: Local

Current Events

Companions

Senior Citizens Council seeking companions for income-eligible people ages 55 and older who can serve 20 hours a week with special-needs adults in their homes; need own transportation; (706) 868-0120

Sizzling Summer

Lenwood Holmes and The Sounds Unlimited performing as part of the Sizzling Summer Music Series 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; $6; bit.ly/1R4rEsB

Pride Night Out

Pride Night Out 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, Blue Sky Bar & Kitchen, 990 Broad St.; fundraiser for Augusta Pride 2016; facebook.com/events/392697190920754

Auditions

Columbia County Choral Society auditions 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, First Baptist Church of Evans, 515 N. Belair Road; for ages 18 and older; (310) 497-8047

Book club

Discussing One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M. Kruse, 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, Columbia County Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; copies available at The Book Tavern; amunitedcsra.org/bookclub

Book sale Friends of the Columbia County Libraries Book Sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Aug. 7-8, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, Columbia County Library, second floor, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; fiction and nonfiction Storks, Corks

Storks and Corks 2015 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, 4542 Silver Bluff Road, Jackson; casual dress, food, wine; chance to see wood storks in natural setting; silent auction; $50, reservations required; (803) 471-0291, pkoehler@audubon.org, sc.audubon.org/events/storks-corks

Sizzling Summer

Doc Easton performing as part of the Sizzling Summer Music Series 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; $6; bit.ly/1dxpvmH

Gold club

Gold Prospectors Association of America meets 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, Dayspring Baptist Church, 4220 Belair Frontage Road; (706) 496-4611

Meet and greet

Bee Hive Preschool Meet and Greet 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, Bee Hive Preschool, Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way, Evans; view classrooms, meet teachers; www.beehivepreschool.com

Conference

Women’s Conference: The Refiner’s, Oakey Grove Baptist Church, 911 N. Belair Road, Evans; praise and worship 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14; workshops 8:30 a.m. Aug. 15, topics: Preparation for the Fire, Standing in the Fire and No Smell of Smoke; worship 10:15 a.m. Aug. 16, Sharon Riddle; free

Driving tour

Augusta-Aiken Audubon driving field trip at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, 1858 Lock and Dam Road; drive around Phinizy looking for post-breeding birds and wading birds that come in late summer; beginners welcome; free; augustaaikenaudubon.org

UnityFest

Tabernacle Baptist Church UnityFest noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, Evans Towne Center park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; Tabernacle Baptist Church anniversary, theme Connected To Conquer; performances, games, music, food, bake-off and grilling competition, more; free, open to the public; accepting food and merchandise vendor applications; (706) 724-1230, tbcaugusta.org

Candlelight

Candlelight Wine & Dine: eZra Brown 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; gates open 5 p.m., concert 6 p.m.; bring seating and picnic; $10 advance, $15 day of show; (762) 233-5299, wineanddine15.bpt.me

Anniversary

Tabernacle Baptist Church anniversary 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road, Evans; Dr. William Holmes Robinson, speaker; tbcaugusta.org

Meet writer

Meet Jeffrey Selman, author of God Sent Me: A textbook case on evolution vs. creation, 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, Columbia County Library meeting room, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; copies of book available $15, cash or check; bit.ly/1dvb1ni

Civil War

Civil War Roundtable of Augusta 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, Snelling Center, 3165 Washington Road; supper by Edgar’s $12; Wendy Hamand Venet, author of A Changing Wind, presents the story of Atlanta from pre-war to post-war; open to anyone interested in the history of the American Civil War; annual dues $25 or $40 per couple; (706) 736-2909, gfy@gwenfulcheryoung.com, bit.ly/1mQbLXI

Baseball

Columbia County Community Night at GreenJackets Game 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Road; also SweetWater BOGO Beverages Tuesday, fountain drinks and draft beer buy one get one free; (706) 922-WINS(9467), tdenlinger@greenjacketsbaseball.com, columbiacountychamber.com

Archaeology

Augusta Archaeological Society meeting Thursday, Aug. 20, Big Daddy’s Bar & Grill, 4045 Jimmie Dyess Parkway; primitive skills technologist Scott Jones, speaker; Overview of Lithic Resources and Technology of Georgia, topic; dinner on your own 6:30 p.m., free program 8 p.m.

Newcomers

Augusta Area Newcomers Club Prospective Members Coffee 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, e-mail for location; for people new to the area; e-mail for location; hospitality@augustanewcomers.net; augustanewcomers.net

Categories: Local

Current Events

Companions

Senior Citizens Council seeking companions for income-eligible people ages 55 and older who can serve 20 hours a week with special-needs adults in their homes; need own transportation; (706) 868-0120

Sizzling Summer

Lenwood Holmes and The Sounds Unlimited performing as part of the Sizzling Summer Music Series 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; $6; bit.ly/1R4rEsB

Pride Night Out

Pride Night Out 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, Blue Sky Bar & Kitchen, 990 Broad St.; fundraiser for Augusta Pride 2016; facebook.com/events/392697190920754

Auditions

Columbia County Choral Society auditions 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, First Baptist Church of Evans, 515 N. Belair Road; for ages 18 and older; (310) 497-8047

Book club

Discussing One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M. Kruse, 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, Columbia County Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; copies available at The Book Tavern; amunitedcsra.org/bookclub

Book sale Friends of the Columbia County Libraries Book Sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Aug. 7-8, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, Columbia County Library, second floor, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; fiction and nonfiction Storks, Corks

Storks and Corks 2015 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, 4542 Silver Bluff Road, Jackson; casual dress, food, wine; chance to see wood storks in natural setting; silent auction; $50, reservations required; (803) 471-0291, pkoehler@audubon.org, sc.audubon.org/events/storks-corks

Sizzling Summer

Doc Easton performing as part of the Sizzling Summer Music Series 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; $6; bit.ly/1dxpvmH

Gold club

Gold Prospectors Association of America meets 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, Dayspring Baptist Church, 4220 Belair Frontage Road; (706) 496-4611

Meet and greet

Bee Hive Preschool Meet and Greet 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, Bee Hive Preschool, Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way, Evans; view classrooms, meet teachers; www.beehivepreschool.com

Conference

Women’s Conference: The Refiner’s, Oakey Grove Baptist Church, 911 N. Belair Road, Evans; praise and worship 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14; workshops 8:30 a.m. Aug. 15, topics: Preparation for the Fire, Standing in the Fire and No Smell of Smoke; worship 10:15 a.m. Aug. 16, Sharon Riddle; free

Driving tour

Augusta-Aiken Audubon driving field trip at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, 1858 Lock and Dam Road; drive around Phinizy looking for post-breeding birds and wading birds that come in late summer; beginners welcome; free; augustaaikenaudubon.org

UnityFest

Tabernacle Baptist Church UnityFest noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, Evans Towne Center park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; Tabernacle Baptist Church anniversary, theme Connected To Conquer; performances, games, music, food, bake-off and grilling competition, more; free, open to the public; accepting food and merchandise vendor applications; (706) 724-1230, tbcaugusta.org

Candlelight

Candlelight Wine & Dine: eZra Brown 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; gates open 5 p.m., concert 6 p.m.; bring seating and picnic; $10 advance, $15 day of show; (762) 233-5299, wineanddine15.bpt.me

Anniversary

Tabernacle Baptist Church anniversary 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road, Evans; Dr. William Holmes Robinson, speaker; tbcaugusta.org

Meet writer

Meet Jeffrey Selman, author of God Sent Me: A textbook case on evolution vs. creation, 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, Columbia County Library meeting room, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; copies of book available $15, cash or check; bit.ly/1dvb1ni

Civil War

Civil War Roundtable of Augusta 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, Snelling Center, 3165 Washington Road; supper by Edgar’s $12; Wendy Hamand Venet, author of A Changing Wind, presents the story of Atlanta from pre-war to post-war; open to anyone interested in the history of the American Civil War; annual dues $25 or $40 per couple; (706) 736-2909, gfy@gwenfulcheryoung.com, bit.ly/1mQbLXI

Baseball

Columbia County Community Night at GreenJackets Game 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Road; also SweetWater BOGO Beverages Tuesday, fountain drinks and draft beer buy one get one free; (706) 922-WINS(9467), tdenlinger@greenjacketsbaseball.com, columbiacountychamber.com

Archaeology

Augusta Archaeological Society meeting Thursday, Aug. 20, Big Daddy’s Bar & Grill, 4045 Jimmie Dyess Parkway; primitive skills technologist Scott Jones, speaker; Overview of Lithic Resources and Technology of Georgia, topic; dinner on your own 6:30 p.m., free program 8 p.m.

Newcomers

Augusta Area Newcomers Club Prospective Members Coffee 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, e-mail for location; for people new to the area; e-mail for location; hospitality@augustanewcomers.net; augustanewcomers.net

Categories: Local

Powerball - 08/01/2015

Georgia Lottery - 4 hours 42 min ago
07-13-24-49-57 Powerball: 15 Power Play: 3X Estimated Jackpot: $40 Million
Categories: Local

Fantasy 5 - 08/01/2015

Georgia Lottery - 4 hours 42 min ago
01-04-06-27-39 Estimated Jackpot: $100,000
Categories: Local

All or Nothing Morning - 08/01/2015

Georgia Lottery - 4 hours 42 min ago
03-05-06-08-10-14-15-17-19-20-21-22
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Cash 3 Midday - 08/01/2015

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795
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