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Strawberries

Senior Citizens Council is taking orders for strawberries from Plant City, Fla.; $20 per flat (12 pints/6 quarts); order/payment deadline March 20; pick up 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 27, Columbia Professional Centre, 4210 Columbia Road Suite 13A, Martinez; (706) 868-0120, katernce@gmail.com

Party election

Election for first vice chairman to take place at Columbia County Democratic Committee meeting 7 p.m. Monday, April 6, Evans Government Center Auditorium

Meet artist Emily Shipe

2-5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez; exhibition on display until June 2; free

Enchanted

Doors 7 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. March 20, 21, 27 and 28, Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive, Evans; a little fairy dust, a clandestine forest meeting, a moat to cross with a dragon in hot pursuit; intrigue, delight and imagination of favorite fairy tales and stories brought to life; dressy to cocktail attire; $25, military ID $22, ages 17 and younger $18; (706) 854-8888, augustaballroomdance.com/at_a_glance.html

Walk For Wishes

7 a.m. Saturday, March 21, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road; help Make-A-Wish Georgia raise $425,000 to help grant the wishes of local children with life-threatening medical conditions; members of any business, organization, hospital, school, religious group, etc., can form a team; day of event volunteers needed, must be 18 or older and available 7 a.m. to noon; (770) 916-9474 ext. 114, kbenjamin@georgia.wish.org, georgia.wish.org

Yard sale fundraiser

8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 21, Jones Creek neighborhood, Furys Ferry and Evans to Locks roads, Evans; benefits the community swim team; rescheduled from March 14 because of weather

Field trip

Augusta-Aiken Audubon field trip, 9 a.m. Saturday, March 21, Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area, Jackson; from Augusta take Old Jackson Highway past U.S. Post Office in Jackson, turn right onto Brown Road just after the ball field, take Brown Road to sign for Crackerneck WMA, turn left onto dirt road, drive to sign-in area; free; beginners welcome; augustaaikenaudubon.org

Breakfast fundraiser

9 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 21, living Wood Christian Center, 3018 Old McDuffie Road; Living Word Christian Center Fish, Shrimp and Grits Breakfast Fundraiser; $6.50 per plate; (706) 798-0123

Gun show

Gun Show of the South 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 22, Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Drive, Grovetown

Road meeting

Community meeting for public to voice concerns on Regional Transportation System 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 21, Warren Road Community Center, 300 Warren Road; discuss issues of increasing traffic congestion, safety, mobility, access, costly transportation infrastructure, highways and traffic signals, improved public transit systems, pedestrian sidewalks and bikeways; (706) 821-1796, augustaga.gov/arts

Easter egg hunt

Wildwood Park Easter Egg Hunt 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, Wildwood Park, 3780 Wildwood Lane, Appling; Easter bunny, more than 4,000 eggs, arts and crafts, balloon art, face painting, cake walk, inflatables, cotton candy, popcorn; two $500 scholarships to be given away; food and games free

Spring carnival

1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3703 Old Petersburg Road, Martinez; trackless train, inflatables, clown, face painting, Chick-fil-A cow, games, policemen doing free fingerprinting for children; door prizes, food, tours; free

YuchiKiokee

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22, Evans Towne Center Park; 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; celebrating Columbia County’s art, music, dance and heritage; performances by Columbia County Choral Society, Musical Theatre Workshops, Company of Job, Columbia County Orchestra Association with finale featuring excerpts from Columbia County Ballet’s Roar of Love; $5 March 21, free March 22; (706) 312-7194, vatkins@columbiacountyga.gov, evanstownecenterpark.com

Basketball game

Hattie Mae Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund Basketball Game 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 21, Sweetwater Park, 1742 Wrens Highway, Thomson; Rev. Perry and the First Mount Carmel Bulldogs vs. Rev. Favors and the Springfield Bulldogs; $5; (678) 245-0276

Consignment sale

Consign for Kids consignment and rummage sale, 8 a.m. Sunday, March 22, Stevens Creek Elementary School, 3780 Evans to Locks Road; benefits Children’s Hospital of Georgia to purchase medical equipment and diversional activities for patients; adult and children’s clothing, home goods, sporting goods, furniture, children and baby items, toys; consignforkids.com

Life in Motion

1:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22, Christenberry Fieldhouse, 3109 Wrightsboro Road; adaptive sports, leisure activities, services available for people living with a disability; local resources on adaptive sports/leisure opportunities, assistive technology, returning to work, behavioral health, accessible housing and more; for survivors of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, adults and children with developmental delays, amputees living with prosthetics, veterans with disabilities, anyone living with a disability; demonstrations by Champions Made From Adversity Bulldogs wheelchair basketball team and the Family Y of Greater Augusta’s Miracle League; participate in adaptive sports on the gym floor; free; vendors: (706) 434-0150, sarahm@waltonfoundation.net, waltonfoundation.net

Augusta Aglow

10 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, Spring Lakes Clubhouse, 104 Spring Lakes Drive, Martinez; Helen Berrong, speaker; (706) 231-1765, Augustaaglow@gmail.com, aglow.org and facebook.com/augusta.aglow

Senior workshop

Prevent Senior Hospitalizations Workshop 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, Washington Commons, 100 Washington Commons Drive, Evans; focusing on new resources, including a Prevent Senior Hospitalizations guide; common risk factors and steps that can be taken to ensure a healthy lifestyle; free; (706) 922-3601, mark.barlow@hominstead.com

Categories: Local

FFA Plant sale

FFA plant sale

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FFA Plant sale

FFA plant sale

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Newsmakers

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Newsmakers

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Mega Millions - 03/17/2015

Georgia Lottery - Wed, 3/18/2015 12:00 AM
11-27-44-45-58 Mega Ball: 03 Megaplier: 5X Estimated Jackpot: $51 Million
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Fantasy 5 - 03/17/2015

Georgia Lottery - Wed, 3/18/2015 12:00 AM
01-07-11-18-21 Estimated Jackpot: $100,000
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Boise State's Webb III grows his game to new heights

ScottMichaux.com - Tue, 3/17/2015 3:26 PM
By Scott Michaux

Augusta fans tuning into Wednesday night’s NCAA Tournament might recognize the name of a Boise State player – but they won’t recognize his game.

 

James Webb III played two seasons at Curtis Baptist in Augusta and another at Adelphi Christian in Aiken before following his coach to a prep school in Hilton Head, S.C., his senior year. But his old teammates in the area won’t believe what they see from Boise State’s 6-foot-9 red-shirt sophomore.

 

“I couldn’t even dunk before going into senior year,” Webb admits of his late-developing game.

 

Not only could Webb not dunk before leaving to play his senior year at The Oaks Virtual Academy, he was never much of a 3-point shooter in high school.

 

That’s all changed. As a rookie in Mountain West play this season, half of Webb’s field goal attempts were 3-pointers – ranking third in the conference hitting 44.9 percent. Equally impressive is his play around the rim, where he led Boise State in rebounds (9.0 per conference game) and dunks (15 in 18 games), shooting 65.4 percent from inside the arc and averaging a total of 12.9 points per game. He posted eight double-doubles this season.

 

“Now I can do pretty much whatever they need me to do,” Webb said.

 

If that caliber of play surprises people back home, well, it came as somewhat of a surprise in Idaho, too. After transferring from North Idaho College and sitting out last season, Webb didn’t score in only 13 total minutes in the Broncos first five games this year. Then senior all-conference center Anthony Drmic was lost to a back injury early in December and Webb stepped into the starting forward role.

 

“His injury was a big blow to the team,” Webb said. “We just had to find something that could replace that and fill that void. I went in and talked to the coaches and they worked with me and gave me little stuff to do. From then on I’ve been doing those little steps each game.”

 

Webb first flashed his potential in only the last 14 minutes off the bench at N.C. State in late November, leading the team scoring with 12. He posted a double-double in his first start on Dec. 9 against Adams State.

 

Once conference play began, however, he emerged as a star. In January he made his presence known in a huge road win at New Mexico that triggered a turnaround to the regular season conference title after opening Mountain West play 0-3. Webb went 7-for-7 on 3-pointers against the Lobos.

 

“You’re hearing a lot of that out there like, ‘Who is he and where did you get him?’” said Boise State coach Leon Rice. “No question you’re hearing that because he just continues to improve and he’s become a big weapon.”

 

Webb was named the Mountain West Newcomer of the Year, made the all-defensive team and was second-team all-conference. In conference play, Boise State outscored its opponents by 211 points with Webb on the floor – the largest margin of any Bronco at a rate of 71.7 to 56.9 per 40 minutes.

 

“Yeah, I think I surprised some people,” Webb said. “I think if you really didn’t know me you’d be surprised, but I kind of knew what I could do all along. I didn’t shoot the 3 that much growing up, but here they worked on my shot.”

 

Webb’s all-around athleticism (he also lettered in tennis, soccer, baseball, track and cross country in high school) has excited the Bronco fan base. He opened eyes with a Jordan-esque game-clinching breakaway dunk at UNLV where he took off from a step inside the foul line and slammed it home on the same night the lights on the Las Vegas strip dimmed in honor of late coach Jerry Tarkanian.

 

“I didn’t think it was mathematically possible,” Rice said of Webb’s high-flying act.

 

Webb’s biggest asset, however, is rebounding. He filled the need after Drmic’s injury and the graduation loss of its best rebounder. He led team in rebounding 23 of 30 games he played, reaching double digits 10 times including highs of 15 against UNLV and Air Force. It was his follow tip-in that sent Boise State into overtime of the conference semifinals before losing to eventual champion Wyoming.

 

“I know I can’t play if I can’t get boards,” Webb said. “It’s just a knack for the ball. I see the ball go up and try to read how it will come off and just and get it.”

 

Boise State basketball doesn’t exactly have the same national profile as its football program. Last week’s brief No. 25 ranking in the AP poll was the first in school history. The Broncos have reached the NCAA Tournament six previous times since 1976 representing the Big Sky, Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences. They’ve earned at-large berths in 2013 and this year. They’re 0-6 in March Madness.

 

That kind of history didn’t exactly earn them a lot of respect from the selection committee. Not only did they get relegated to one of the 11th-seed “play-in” games in Dayton, Ohio, but they got matched up with the hometown Dayton Flyers. Conference rivals San Diego State, which the Broncos beat out for the regular-season title by sweeping two meetings by 15 and 10 points, received a No. 8 seed. Tournament champion Wyoming got a 12 seed but a pass into the so-called “second round.”

 

Is everyone underestimating Boise State?

 

“I think so, but that’s just me being biased,” Webb said. “We’re not really a basketball school and San Diego State has always been a basketball school. That’s fine. We know what we can do. I think we have the team to do it, too. Not many people know about us and how we play. I just think we’re going to shock a couple of people.”

 

That confidence comes from an 8-5 road record this season including wins in tough places like San Diego State, UNLV, Utah State and New Mexico. Four of those five road losses came to tournament teams including No. 1 seed Wisconsin and No. 1 NIT seed Colorado State.

 

“I feel like we can handle it,” Webb said of the Dayton hurdle. “I mean, they have the advantage but that’s neither here nor there. We don’t really care about that. We’re just glad that we get a chance to play. This season we’ve been a great road team so we’re just going to treat it as a road game.”

 

Webb is certainly comfortable on the road. Growing up in a military family, he’s lived in Germany, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and now Idaho. His parents – James and Robin – still live in Augusta after his father retired from the Army.

 

“I’m pretty used to it,” Webb said of his nomadic life that led him to Boise. “It’s pretty quiet here, but it’s a lot better than what people think or imagine. It’s beautiful.”

 

As he develops into a go-to player, he hopes to raised Boise State’s profile along with his own starting tonight in the East Region.

 

“It’s a big a great opportunity for us,” Webb said. “Not many teams know about Boise for basketball and we’re gonna try and turn things around.”

 

 

 

Categories: Local

Case continues against man accused of sex with teen

 

The case against an Augusta businessman accused of sex with a teen will continue after a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

A Columbia County Magistrate judge ruled at the hearing that there is enough evidence against Randy Houston mercer, 57, to proceed with prosecution of the case in Superior Court.

Mercer, of Downing Street, was arrested Feb. 20 and charged with aggravated child molestation, computer pornography, enticing a child for indecent purposes and sexual exploitation of a child. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

Mercer is owner of Peach Augusta, a women’s clothing boutique in Surrey Center, and a professional make-up artist.

The mother of a Evans 15-year-old boy said she found a bag containing sex toys and undergarments in his room.

“She found the bag in the child’s room and questioned him about it,” Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator Brian Jones said at the hearing.

She called authorities after her son reluctantly told her about what she considered an inappropriate relationship with an adult man online. He said the man, later identified as Mercer, gave him the bag by leaving it in a Jones Creek Golf Club bathroom.

The teen told his mother and Jones that he met Mercer on www.grindr.com, an all-male social networking site. He initially said he and mercer never met in person.

“He was very hesitant (to talk) because he was scared, he was embarrassed and his mother was there,” Jones said.

The teen eventually told Jones that he’d met Mercer on the site, asked for the bag of sex toys and undergarments and had met Mercer for sexual encounters three or four times between June 1, 2014, and Jan. 31.

Mercer, who had photos of he and the teen posing and engaging in sexual acts, said the teen told him he was 16. To create an account on www.grindr.com, the teen had to check a box agreeing that he was at least 18, according to Mercer’s attorney, Adam King.

“Mr. Mercer believed the child was of legal age to do what he did in the state of Georgia,” King said.

The teen told Jones that he told Mercer he was 15.

“It was Mr. Mercer’s understanding he was 16,” Jones said. “He said he was 15.”

King asked that the aggravated child molestation charge be dismissed because it is not clear that the sexual acts actually occurred in Columbia County. He also said the enticing and computer pornography charges should be dropped because of insufficient evidence as there is no evidence Mercer ever enticed the teen to go anywhere or took him anywhere or that he used the computer to intentionally seduce or entice the teen.

The prosecutor said the charges should stand because of probably cause as there is a high probability that the communications took place on the teen’s phone at his Evans home.

Mercer has a scheduled hearing Friday to address bond on the aggravated child molestation charge, which can only be addressed by a Superior Court judge.

Categories: Local

Case continues against man accused of sex with teen

 

The case against an Augusta businessman accused of sex with a teen will continue after a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

A Columbia County Magistrate judge ruled at the hearing that there is enough evidence against Randy Houston mercer, 57, to proceed with prosecution of the case in Superior Court.

Mercer, of Downing Street, was arrested Feb. 20 and charged with aggravated child molestation, computer pornography, enticing a child for indecent purposes and sexual exploitation of a child. He is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

Mercer is owner of Peach Augusta, a women’s clothing boutique in Surrey Center, and a professional make-up artist.

The mother of a Evans 15-year-old boy said she found a bag containing sex toys and undergarments in his room.

“She found the bag in the child’s room and questioned him about it,” Columbia County sheriff’s Investigator Brian Jones said at the hearing.

She called authorities after her son reluctantly told her about what she considered an inappropriate relationship with an adult man online. He said the man, later identified as Mercer, gave him the bag by leaving it in a Jones Creek Golf Club bathroom.

The teen told his mother and Jones that he met Mercer on www.grindr.com, an all-male social networking site. He initially said he and mercer never met in person.

“He was very hesitant (to talk) because he was scared, he was embarrassed and his mother was there,” Jones said.

The teen eventually told Jones that he’d met Mercer on the site, asked for the bag of sex toys and undergarments and had met Mercer for sexual encounters three or four times between June 1, 2014, and Jan. 31.

Mercer, who had photos of he and the teen posing and engaging in sexual acts, said the teen told him he was 16. To create an account on www.grindr.com, the teen had to check a box agreeing that he was at least 18, according to Mercer’s attorney, Adam King.

“Mr. Mercer believed the child was of legal age to do what he did in the state of Georgia,” King said.

The teen told Jones that he told Mercer he was 15.

“It was Mr. Mercer’s understanding he was 16,” Jones said. “He said he was 15.”

King asked that the aggravated child molestation charge be dismissed because it is not clear that the sexual acts actually occurred in Columbia County. He also said the enticing and computer pornography charges should be dropped because of insufficient evidence as there is no evidence Mercer ever enticed the teen to go anywhere or took him anywhere or that he used the computer to intentionally seduce or entice the teen.

The prosecutor said the charges should stand because of probably cause as there is a high probability that the communications took place on the teen’s phone at his Evans home.

Mercer has a scheduled hearing Friday to address bond on the aggravated child molestation charge, which can only be addressed by a Superior Court judge.

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Jumbo Bucks Lotto - 03/16/2015

Georgia Lottery - Tue, 3/17/2015 12:00 AM
01-07-14-18-37-46 Estimated Jackpot: $1,700,000
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Fantasy 5 - 03/16/2015

Georgia Lottery - Tue, 3/17/2015 12:00 AM
05-12-16-27-31 Estimated Jackpot: $128,000
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Bubba Watson confirms 'food' for Champions Dinner menu

ScottMichaux.com - Mon, 3/16/2015 4:10 PM
By Scott Michaux

Bubba Watson finally revealed his Champions Dinner menu for his green-jacketed peers.

 

“We are definitely going to have food,” Watson promised on Monday in a teleconference with Augusta National Golf Club announcing his promotional trip to New York next week on behalf of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.

 

The 36-year-old Watson enjoys playing a cat-and-mouse game with anyone who inquires about what he plans to serve his fellow champions at the annual Tuesday night dinner in the Augusta National clubhouse before the Masters. He kept it a secret when he hosted it the first time as defending champion in 2013 and will again this year.

 

“It’s the one chance that I can just hold everything from everybody, so I’m doing it,” Watson said. “And I might never get that chance again.”

 

Two years ago, Watson served caesar salad and grilled chicken breast with sides of green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Dessert was a confetti cake with vanilla ice cream. He would not say if this year’s menu would be different.

 

“I knew what the menu was before I even won,” Watson said. “I let them know and told them the same thing – I’m not going to tell anybody until Wednesday morning when they find out. Unless Nick Faldo tweets it again right after he leaves the dinner.”

 

Faldo tweaked Watson on Twitter immediately after leaving the 2013 dinner: “-@bubbawatson you had a year to decide on, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni & cheese!!! #HappyMeal #PlayLikeaChampion”

 

Watson admits his tastes tip toward the simple.

 

“I eat plain,” he said, revealing that in both years that he won the Masters he ate one or two burritos every single night (including before attending the Champions Dinner) that consisted of only chicken, rice, black beans and cheese.

 

“So maybe this year I should do all burritos again,” he said.

 

His favorite dining spot when he went to school at Georgia was the lunch counter at Ad Drug in the Five Points district of Athens. He’d frequent it with teammate Dave Miller and coach Chris Haack, ordering a cheeseburger and milkshake every time.

 

He’s also partial to Mellow Mushroom and famously ate a post-Masters meal last April with his wife, Angie, and friend, Judah Smith, at the Waffle House on Wheeler Road. He ate a double grilled cheese with his hashed browns “scattered and covered.” He left a generous $148 tip for the wait staff.

 

He also ordered six milkshakes just before midnight at the Steak n’ Shake on South Belair Road, leaving a $24 tip on that tab.

 

If you’re guessing he’d get Waffle House to cater the dinner this time, you’d be wrong.

 

“You can’t use a name brand,” Watson said of the club’s rules that forbid commercialism.

 

“Augusta called and started asking what I wanted within a week after” winning, Watson said of his first go-round as host. “So they knew within two weeks but they wouldn’t tell. This year, not one call. They figure it’ll be easy to get whatever I want.”

 

One thing you can be sure of, the main course won’t come out of Ike’s Pond or any other body of water. Watson declined to eat the surf portion of Adam Scott’s surf-and-turf dinner – Morton Bay Bugs, a crustacean native to the waters off the Gold Coast of Australia.

 

“I didn’t eat the bugs,” Watson said. “I don’t eat seafood. The steak was real good, though.”

 

On Monday after playing this week at Bay Hill, Watson will go to New York to promote the finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship that will take place at Augusta National the Sunday before the first practice round of Masters week. He’ll appear with the green jacket on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night.

 

The next day he’ll be joined by 10-year-old Kelly Xu, who last year became the first female champion at Augusta National by winning the 7-9 girls division. Xu will return as one of 80 finalists this year, this time in the 10-11 age group.

 

Watson and Xu will be guests on CBS This Morning, ESPN’s SportsCenter and Golf Channel before finishing the day at The New York Stock Exchange.

 

“As a kid, I would be honored and thrilled just to try to compete and have a chance to make it to Augusta National,” Watson said, “so this is one of the best things that I’ve seen in recent years to grow the game of golf.”

 

If Bubba needs any menu advice from the youngster, Xu said she would serve Brunswick stew, cornmeal, cornbread, sweet corn, sweet tea and hot peach cobbler as her Champions Dinner menu.

 

 

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Fantasy 5 - 03/15/2015

Georgia Lottery - Mon, 3/16/2015 12:00 AM
02-05-06-09-19 Estimated Jackpot: $100,000
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North Augusta police say man fatally shot by wife

Latest News from North Augusta Today - Tue, 4/8/2014 5:06 PM

Police said a woman shot her husband in their North Augusta Gardens apartment while their four small children were home.

North Augusta Public Safety officers were called to Apartment 1701 at the Marion Avenue complex around 10:30 a.m. and discovered Dakota Cook, 21, with a single gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center where he died from his injuries, Coroner Tim Carlton said in a news release.

Police have charged his wife of four years, 20-year-old Terry Cook, with murder. According to a news release, the shooting appears to be the result of an ongoing domestic dispute.

The couple’s four children, ages 4 months, 1, 3 and 4, were at home at the time of the shooting but were not injured, Lt. Tim Thornton said. The children are in the custody of their grandparents.

Reach Bianca Cain Johnson at

bianca.johnson@augustachronicle.com.

Categories: Local

Local Easter Egg Hunts: Send in your event

Latest News from North Augusta Today - Tue, 4/8/2014 1:36 PM

Easter is right around the corner and we’re compiling a list of Easter egg hunts in North Augusta and Belvedere. If your church, organization or business is having an Easter egg hunt, please send details to nikasha.dicks@northaugustatoday.com.

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