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Updated: 6 hours 2 min ago

Winning strategy keeps working for MELL seniors

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:11 AM

Martinez-Evans Little League Senior League manager Steven Gibbons thought the key to the Southeastern Region Senior Tournament would be to stay in the winner’s bracket.

So far so good for MELL in the seven-team, modified double-elimination tournament in Safety Harbor, Fla. Representing Georgia, they beat Florida 13-2 in their opener Sunday afternoon, then followed that up with a 17-4 win over Tennessee in the 9 a.m. game on Monday.

MELL was set to face Viginia in Monday night’s 7 p.m. contest to determine who would advance unbeaten to the championship round.

“The guys are playing really well and despite the scores, there’s still some adversity in the games,” said Gibbons.

In Monday’s outing, MELL jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning but Tennessee came back and took a 4-2 lead in the second.

“That was it for them,” said Gibbons, whose team responded immediately. “We scored 11 more in the second to answer them and really broke their heart.”

Gibbons said that the team was a combined 28 for 60 in the two games.

“When your team’s hitting close to .500, that’s pretty sweet and good things will happen,” Gibbons said.

Leading the way offensively is Greenbrier High School rising sophomore Ashton “Bam” Thomas, who is 5 for 7 with three home runs. Others making noise for MELL are Eric Becker (3-8), Carter Gibbons (5-9), Jordan Ibarra (4-5), Austin Matthews (4-6), Louie McKelvain (1-3), Zach Rutt (3-7) and Patrick Tom (3-7).

The offensive output has made things easier on the pitching staff.

“We’ve got several right handed pitchers and several left handed pitchers,” said Gibbons, who has been keeping pitch counts under 30 so they are all available for the ensuing game. “I’ve been starting with one and coming back with another.”

Gibbons said he’s gotten good efforts thus far from McKelvain, Alex Mann, Joseph Norris, Ibarra and Patrick Tom.

Teams and organizers have been battling monsoon-like conditions which delayed the start of the tournament by a day.

“They’ve (Little League) been doing a great job but there’s standing water in the outfield and it’s real marshy,” Gibbbons said.

Gibbons says the team is filled with interchangable parts, which is making his job easier, especially with the way they’ve been playing.

“Every single player has contributed – from hits to pinch running to pretty solid defense,” Gibbons said. “The outfielders have played very well with the mess they’ve played in. They’ve run everything down.”

If rain hadn’t washed away the Monday night game, MELL would get a night of rest Tuesday with a win over Virginia, advancing to the winner-take-all championship game Wednesday night.

The 2015 Senior League Baseball World Series is Aug. 2 in Bangor, Maine.

Categories: Local

MELL falls just short in Southeast Regional

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:11 AM

The Martinez-Evans Little League intermediate baseball team’s goal for the Southeast Regional fell one game short.

After making it three games through the seven-team modified double-elimination tournament without a loss, MELL suffered a 5-2 defeat in the winner-take-all championship game Monday afternoon to the team from Florida.

Beginning play on Friday, MELL represented Georgia in Apopka, Fla., with hopes of advancing to Livermore, Calif. to participate in the league’s World Series.

MELL and Florida were no strangers to each other as MELL beat them in a 2-0 nail-biter that opened the tournament Friday, forcing Florida to fight their way back through the loser’s bracket.

Florida defeated North Carolina, 14-4, in Monday’s first game earning the right to face MELL.

In Friday night’s opener, Antwuan Rolling, Preston Price and Alex Matthews combined for the shutout. MELL had three hits; one apiece from Josh Melton, John D’Amelio and a two-run double from Price.

Saturday was the exact opposite as they battered Tennessee, 24-0.

In the rout, 10 players had hits, led by Price and Blake Tucker who both went four for five with inside the park home runs. Others with multiple base hits included Drew Proctor, Matthews, D’Amelio, Brian Peel and Melton.

Alex Matthews, D’Amelio, Cameron Herndon and Tucker took care of pitching duties.

Sunday, in a battle of unbeatens, it was MELL winning 11-4 over North Carolina to set the stage for Monday.

Categories: Local

Camp helps ready Harlem for Pop Warner football

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:11 AM

Even with the high school football season upon them, Harlem High School’s staff, players and cheerleaders took time to inspire the community’s next wave of Bulldogs.

The Harlem Bulldogs gave a free football and cheer clinic to Pop Warner participants, who number ed more than 60, Friday night on the stadium field.

“We’re trying basically to get them excited about next week’s start to the Pop Warner season,” said Bulldogs’ first-year football coach Todd Booker. “It’s huge for Harlem to develop these kids.”

The excitement level for the second-year Pop Warner football program was noticeably higher with 70 registrants as compared to the 25 who were signed up at the same time last year.

Lonnie Morris is the Harlem Pop Warner Football commissioner as well as the high school Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator. He said the high school’s efforts were not entirely altruistic.

“The reason we started this was to benefit Harlem High School five or six years down the road,” Morris said. “The more you can get these little ones out here on the field, out here in the stadium, out here with the other kids and stuff, the more apt they are to stick with it, coming though Pop Warner, coming through the middle school and then coming to the high school.”

The 35-plus football players were broken up into five groups and spent an hour and a half rotating through five stations which put them through basic to slightly more advanced speed and conditioning drills.

“It was good, I learned a couple of things,” said 9-year-old Davis Madden, who will play on the Mighty Mites squad.

While the football players were going though their drills, cheerleaders from age 5 to 13, were learning the ropes from the high school cheerleaders, which led to the camp ending with, “1-2-3-4, what do you think those cleats are for? Stomp ’‘em Bulldogs, stop’em.”

Harlem Pop Warner Cheer Coordinator Taryn Johns said the night went well and was super excited to have the high school girls helping out.

“What we really wanted to accomplish was to get the season started, just to kind of add that fire to the girls, to get them excited about the upcoming season plus to get the high school involved,” Johns said. “Our goal as Pop Warner is to eventually have high school cheerleaders come up, so to be here, to have the girls out here helping, we hope we’re raising future Bulldogs.”

Categories: Local

Evans family searching for adoptive parents for Chinese orphan

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:10 AM

Less than 48 hours after arriving on a plane from China, 6-year-old Noah had adapted to his four-week “vacation” with the Drafts family. He made his bed last week without being asked and interacted with the family’s five other children although he speaks no English.

Noah’s vacation from a Chinese orphanage is much more than a foreign exchange trip or a sightseeing tour of the United States.

It’s his chance to find a new family.

Beth and Ryan Drafts – and their two biological sons and three daughters adopted from China – welcomed Noah into their home to give him a chance to meet families considering adoption.

As host, the Drafts family is an advocate for Noah, trying to connect the boy with adoptive parents.

“My heart is to advocate for orphan children,” Beth Drafts said. “Children in this program will be hard to place because of their age, sex and medical needs.”

Most families pursuing adoption want girls younger than 2, Drafts said.

More boys than girls are available for adoption in China, she said. Noah was left at the gate of a Chi­nese hospital when he was 5 months old. He had a note from his parents with his date of

“This program is Noah’s chance,” Drafts said.

Great Wall China Adoption, an agency based in Austin, Texas, runs the host program during summer and winter holidays, according to its Web site. Thirty children are with host families in the U.S., including five in the Southeast.

The Drafts family used the agency for its three adoptions. Though the family isn’t considering adopting another child, they are eager to help
orphans find loving homes.

They plan to introduce Noah to two local families and a third from Columbia in the next week, and if no families choose adoption, the Drafts family will ask the agency to help search for others.

“We are praying we will know his family before he leaves,” Drafts said.

If a family decides to adopt him, Noah will return to China at the end of the monthlong visit to begin a nine-month adoption process. His new parents will travel to China once, Drafts said.

It’s important for Noah to return to China to say goodbye to his orphanage, she said.

Meanwhile, Noah will experience everyday life with the Draftses, go to church with the family and take a trip to Asheville, N.C. He will meet families over ice cream and at a pool party.

Also, the family will take Noah to an eye doctor, pediatrician and cardiologist. Noah has esotropia in his left eye, meaning his eye turns inward. He also has a heart condition that the family intends to learn more about, including whether surgeries are needed. All the information will help prospective families decide whether to adopt Noah, Drafts said.

“He’s precious. He’s got a great personality,” she said.

Drafts encouraged families to consider hosting a child for adoption even if they are not thinking about adopting.

“If adoption is not possible for your family, you can still be part of the adoption process,” she said.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter for Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:06 AM

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

Theft spotted on store video

The manager of an Evans fast food restaurant reported Thursday that an employee had taken money from the business.

Christopher Pelly, manager at the McDonald’s at 5109 Washington Road, told police the employee was seen on surveillance video in the manger’s office at 10:28 p.m. July 22, counting out money, hiding it in a napkin and leaving the store.

Pelly said $140 was taken from an overflow cash register.

Pelly said he would waive prosecution if the employee returned the money, but several attempts to contact the employee by phone were unsuccessful.

Man reports granddaughter

An Evans man told deputies his granddaughter stole money from his home.

Jack Ginn, 78, of Evans to Locks Road, reported Thursday that between $2,000 and $4,000 was taken from inside his china cabinet. Ginn said he suspects his granddaughter, Shelby Partridge, 20, had taken the money, which was in $50 denominations.

Ginn said Partridge had left his home that evening and was staying at the Baymont Inn & Suites with her infant child.

A deputy confirmed that Partridge was staying at the hotel and located her at a nearby gas station. Partridge consented to a search of her room, where police found 29 $50 bills hidden inside a blanket.

Partridge admitted to the deputy that she had taken approximately $1,850 form Ginn’s home. Partridge was charged with theft by taking and taken to the Columbia County Detention Center.

Burglars take TVs and tools

A Grovetown woman told police on Thursday that someone had stolen several items from her father’s home in Martinez.

Angela Cassedy, 43, told police she was assisting her father with an upcoming estate sale at his home on Lake Shore Drive.

Cassedy said when she came to the residence on Thursday, she noticed that blinds and curtains in a rear bedroom had been disturbed and a step stool had been placed outside the bedroom window.

Two television sets were missing from inside the home. Also, someone had forced his way into the workshop in the back yard and had taken a Craftsman drill set and a container of R22 Freon.

Categories: Local

Grovetown inmate makes brief escape from work detail

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:06 AM

An inmate who walked away from a Grovetown work detail was on the run for about two hours when he was apprehended Sunday afternoon, Grovetown officials said.

Jerome W. Brawner, 46, faces a charge of escape after fleeing from a work detail in front of the Grovetown Public Safety headquarters at 306 E. Robinson Ave., according Grovetown Lt. Johns Nalley.

Nalley said Brawner was working with one other inmate under the supervision of Officer Eisha Bell when he walked away at about 10:53 a.m. Bell noticed his absence within a few minutes and alerted the department, Nalley said.

Richmond County and Columbia County officers aided Grovetown with the search , which ended about 12:52 p.m., when Brawner was located hiding under a mobile home on Polatty Drive, just outside the city limits, Nalley said.

Brawner had been in police custody a little more than a week when the escape occurred.

Nalley said Brawner was arrested on July 18 on shoplifting charges and sentenced three days later to a six-month term in the Grovetown jail for the misdemeanor. He was being held at the Columbia County Detention Center Monday on the escape charge, according to jail records.

The escape happened one day after the year anniversary of Grovetown’s last inmate escape.

In that incident, two inmates, Michael Davis, 25, and Joshua Gray, 22, walked through and unlatched door and broke through a fence to gain their temporary freedom. The two were caught the next day in Augusta when they tried to check into the Knights Inn on Boy Scout Road.

Both were charged with escape and interference with government property and later pleaded guilty to both counts.

Gray was paroled in April and Davis, who was also convicted of a 2012 drug charge, is serving a five-year sentence at Phillips State Prison, according to state Department of Corrections records.

Categories: Local

Experienced leaders step up for new school year

Wed, 7/29/2015 12:05 AM

When school starts next week, students will be welcomed back by several new school and district administrators.

These new administrators bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from their teaching careers.

“They are outstanding leaders,” Columbia County School System Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway said. “The strengths and expertise of the leadership in our school system – that is critical to maintain an outstanding educational system that you have leaders who are visionary and passionate about education and seeking excellence in everything that they do. We have great school leaders.”

Wanda Golosky brings her 38 years of teaching back to the classroom for the sixth time after her 2010 retirement. She taught English at Harlem High School for 17 years.

During her time at Harlem she taught Carraway, school board members Roxanne Whitaker, Harlem High Principal Dietmar Perez, Steven Creek Elementary School Principal Michelle Paschal, former News-Times Publisher Barry Paschal, county Administrator Scott Johnson and Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. and public information officer Steve Morris.

Golosky spent time in various functions at the district office before retiring as the principal of Euchee Creek Elementary School.

Since, she’s been called back to substitute and fill in as an administrator at Greenbrier High School, Columbia Middle School, Belair Elementary School and in the district’s transportation department.

“I’m at it again,” Golosky said.

She’s now returning as part-time principal of North Columbia Elementary School, where she’ll train the assistant principal to fill the slot next year.

“I’ve been a mentor to a lot of assistant principals who have become principals,” Golosky said, adding that she’s proud of the confidence school system leaders have shown in her.

The other two new principals will be leading schools for the first time. Leanne Gregg beginning her 13th year working in Columbia County schools as principal of Cedar Ridge Elementary School, where she served as assistant principal last year. She’s taught a variety of elementary grade levels in Harlem and Grovetown schools and spent five years as an assistant principal at Cedar Ridge.

Gregg said she takes her job seriously because she wants her pupils to have a great beginning to their school careers.

“This (elementary school) is their first experience with school,” Gregg said. “It is actually the setting in which they spend the most amount of time in their school career. It’s really important we leave a positive impact on how they feel about school.”

Kim Romero is looking forward to filling the principal’s chair at Grovetown Elementary, where longtime former principal Scott Weinand was promoted to the director of student learning (pre-K through fifth grades) in the district office.

She spent 19 years as a science teacher in several county middle schools and served as assistant principal at Westmont Elementary School for eight years.

But summer transfers are difficult, especially when the staff feels like family.

“You’re not able to say goodbye to your staff that you’re leaving,” Romero said, adding she’s anxious to get to know her new school and colleagues. “I’m very excited. I think this is going to be an absolutely wonderful staff.”

Romero has been a part of opening three middle schools in the county. She’ll get to open the new Grovetown Elementary, which is slated to be built on the same property and open in 2017.

“We get to watch it as it goes up,” Romero said. “That’s going to be very exciting.”

In total, the school year will begin with 12 new administrators, though they aren’t new to the school system, just their positions.

Michele Sherman, former director of student learning for the elementary grades, will begin the year as assistant superintendent.

That position, Carraway said, was downsized several years ago and has been reinstated with the recent increase in the county tax digest and state funding.

Teri Pettyjohn was named Director of Special Services.

In addition to the three new principals, the school year will also start off with six new assistant principals at the schools – Isaiah Mealing (Lakeside High School), Jeremy Davis (Grovetown Middle School), Paul Bloodworth (Columbia Middle School), Tonya Gambrell (North Columbia Elementary School), Roxanne Hyer (Cedar Ridge Elementary School) and Kristen Carroll (Baker Place Elementary School).

“This group of new assistant principals are quite impressive,” Carraway said.

Categories: Local

Athletic complex moving toward completion

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:04 AM

First approved in July 2012, the new Lakeside High School Athletic Complex is still moving toward completion.

Phase 1, essentially preparing the site for construction to include installation of water, sewer and stormwater systems, building the main road and rough grading of the entire site, was completed within the past month.

Work on the park’s facilities will be determined separately by the school board and county commissioners, with half of the park developed by each government but with all amenities shared after construction. The project is being paid for from both entities’ sales tax funds.

John Paul Stout, Columbia County special projects manager, said the start of Phase 2 for the county largely depends on the funding available through the 2017 to 2022 SPLOST.

“We’ll start collecting January of 2017 when our most recent SPLOST package will begin,” Stout said. “Countywide projects go first in that order. You’re looking late into ’17 and early 2018 when that funding actually breaks. That’s not to exclude options before then. It’s really just a matter of timing and need.”

In 2012, the complex was slated to include:

• A 3,000- to 4,000-seat football stadium and accompanying multipurpose practice field, weight room and fieldhouses

• four regulation-size soccer fields, along with an additional championship soccer field

• a baseball field and soccer field with batting cages in between

• track and field accommodations, including an eight-lane track

• a six-court tennis facility, and,

• walking trails and playgrounds.

Stout couldn’t commit to what the finished complex might look like now.

“The great thing about concepts is that they lend themselves to being flexibile with the needs at the time,” Stout said. “The needs in 2011 are certainly different than the needs in 2015 and might be in 2017. The focus will be on providing another world-class facility for the residents of Columbia County to enjoy.”

While there will be a main entrance through the high school’s campus, other entrance/exit points have yet to be solidified for the 70-acre project.

“I’d love to tell you with finite certainity, but it really is dependent on what the Board of Education and Board of Commissioners ultimately choose to put in,” Stout said.

“Until a formal site plan really locks it in, it lends itself to leniency, as would anything we would develop.”

Categories: Local

Contract talks between county, GRU continue

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:04 AM

In the future, Columbia County may be partnering with Georgia Regents University at Blanchard Woods Park.

The county is in negotiations with the university for the Jaguars’ cross country team to use the park’s course.

Columbia County Community and Leisure Services Division Director Barry Smith thinks it would be a great relationship for both for many different reasons.

“By them partnering with us, it basically sanctions the facility at Blanchard Woods,” Smith said. “To have a sanctioning body, especially on the collegiate level is a great thing.”

Smith said the university already helped when they re-routed the course when it was altered during the construction of the BMX track.

And with the Jaguars on the course, it will be easier to keep it in tip-top shape.

“They’re out there for practice on a regular basis,” Smith said. “If any track repair or track erosion happens, they would report it to the Parks and Recreation department and we would repair it immediately. Another set of eyes on the track is another great reason I’d like to team up with them.”

GRU is currently going over the proposed contract. There had been one in place but it slipped through the cracks.

“This is basically renewing an agreement that had expired about two years ago,” said Smith, adding that GRU would have to have a certain amount of liability insurance and carry certain workmens compensation requirements.

Smith hopes that the agreement will play out favorably for both parties.

“Basically it’s a wonderful relationship we’re glad to have,” Smith said. “If you don’t have a sanctioning university, sanctioning body that sanctions your course, it’s really not as legitimate of a facility as what we have now.”

Even if the university approves the contract, it doesn’t appear as if they will play host to any home meets in 2015 unless they make a change to their existing schedule.

Beginning Sept. 12, the Jaguars will be on the road for four meets until the Peach Belt Conference Championships on Oct. 24.

Categories: Local

Columbia County Schools 2015-2016 Calendar

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:04 AM
Categories: Local

Columbia County Schools Open House Schedule

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:03 AM
Categories: Local

Election date set to fill open House seat

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:03 AM


A special election to fill the House seat left vacant by the resignation of Ben Harbin will be set for Nov. 3., Gov. Nathan Deal’s spokewoman Jen Talaber said Wednesday.

Talaber said Deal will issue a writ calling for the special election in September, 60 days prior to the election date.

The governor’s statement clarifies a cloudy election picture for Columbia County officials and potential candidates who have been waiting for the special election date to be selected since Harbin abruptly announced he would be leaving office to take a job with a lobbying firm on June 29.

Harbin’s resignation, which became effective July 7, set in motion a series of political maneuvers by hopefuls looking to fill the county’s first open House seat in 20 years.

Among those to announce for the seat is Mack Taylor, a lawyer who had recently been elected to fill the Columbia County Commission District 3 seat. On July 1, Taylor announced he would resign after seven months in office to pursue the District 122 seat. His resignation from the commission became effective Tuesday, triggering the need for another special election to fill that opening.

Four candidates, all Republicans, have announced intentions to seek the state House seat. They are Taylor, Pat Goodwin, Jodi Lott and Joe Mullins. Five others are planning to run for the District 3 seat: Jim Bartley, Greg Grzybowski, Gary Richardson, Frank Spears and Russell Wilder.

The prospect of two special elections with undetermined dates had county officials scratching their heads and scrutinizing state election law for a definitive answer on when the elections could occur.

From an administrative and cost standpoint, Columbia County Elections Director Nancy Gay said she and others were hopeful it would be possible to have both elections on the same date, but the laws regulating such events left much to interpretation.

Gay said the governor’s announcement settles the major issue, which was out of local control.

It’s likely now that the county will also set the District 3 special election for Nov. 3, but that process hasn’t started yet. Gay said the county commission must vote on a resolution, which will be given to the Board of Elections, which in turn will set the date.

“I don’t know just yet, because I haven’t been given anything from the county commission to give to the (Board of Elections),” she said.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross said he too was happy with the governor’s decision.

“That’s the best date, I don’t think there is any question,” he said.

Cross said he expects the commission would take up the issue of an election resolution at the next regular meeting on Aug. 4.

Gay said the next scheduled Board of Elections meeting is Aug. 18.

A Nov. 3 election date would allow time for qualifying to be set in late August for the commission race and in September for the House race, she said. In addition to those races, the cities of Grovetown and Harlem will be conducting municipal elections on Nov. 3.

Having all those elections on the same day would be more efficient and would also yield a better voter turnout overall, Gay said.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, July 26, 2015

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:02 AM

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

Evans woman followed home

An Evans woman called authorities Monday after she said a stranger followed her home from work.

The woman said she was driving home from work at Augusta Mall at about 4:30 p.m. and she noticed a man following her car. She said the stranger was a bald white man about 40 years old driving a red jeep. The stranger turned onto every street the woman did. She said she didn’t use her blinker and the stranger would abruptly turn to follow her. The woman said the stranger was taking photos of her vehicle. She was scared, so she ran the four-way stop sign on Blue Ridge Drive and the stranger stopped and didn’t follow her any longer.

Man confronts mailbox vandal

A Grovetown man said Tuesday that he confronted a woman who damaged his mailbox.

The 66-year-old man said that someone hit his vehicle at about 11 p.m. on July 2. He heard a loud vehicle and a loud noise outside his home and immediately thought his mailbox was hit.

The man said he went outside with a flashlight and saw a GMC truck with new bright red paint down the road turning around headed back toward his house.

He turned off the flashlight and hid. The driver got out of the truck and he shined his flashlight in the driver’s face. The driver, who was described as a young white man, quickly drove away.

Women report harassing calls

Two Evans women told deputies early last week that they were receiving harassing phone calls.

One of the women said she got a call at about 9:45 p.m. on Monday from a man who said he worked for the Georgia Department of Driver Services. He asked the woman how she ever got a driver’s license. The woman hung up and told deputies she doesn’t know who called or why. She tried to call the number back, but it was disconnected.

A 73-year-old woman said Tuesday that someone called her home
12 times between 7:30
and 7:45 p.m. from a number with an 855 area code. The caller, who she said sounded like a man with a foreign accent, represented himself as an employee of a tech support company.

The woman told the caller she’s not interested and asked him not to call back. The caller responded by saying, “Oh, I’m going to keep calling.”

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, July 26, 2015

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:01 AM

Blackstone Development Co. LLC to B.E.C. Devel-opment Co. Inc., parcel ID 081444, $34,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Nolan Gunter and Megan Gunter, 734 Neville St., $162,500.

June M. Powell to Oliver Johnson III and Tracey E. Johnson, 1407 Highwoods Pass, $263,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Cindy C. Dickerson, 1349 Royal Oak St., $172,900.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Michael Falkenhagen, 718 Neville St., $196,500.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Chaddrick L. Russell, 459 Weyanoke Drive, $304,125.

Chris M. Burnett to Gary W. Land and Jodi D. Land, 736 William Ave., $330,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Stephen McBride, 1347 Royal Oak St., $188,500.

S & D Construction LLC to Teresa P. Thomas, 559 Wilkins Road, $165,000.

Edward F. Elmore to John W. Murrah and Coral W. Murrah, 1436 Aylesbury Drive, $251,900.

The estate of Janice Holsonbake Cole to Larry E. Rogers and Lois H. Rogers, 5155 Parnell Way, $220,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 749 Coventry Ave., $44,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 753 Coventry Ave., $44,000.

Angela Rhodes Parlier to Brenda Cleveland, parcel ID 068016A, $164,900.

Craig M. Abrams Jr. to Marvin Kerry Bridges and Heather Chism Bridges, parcel ID 065844, $352,500.

Gregory S. Hylton to Benjamin Puffer, parcel ID 071C173, $201,600.

David A. Kintner to Tuyet Thi Phan, parcel ID 072I098, $199,900.

John C. Boesen to Daryl Flink, parcel ID 065A498, $212,000.

Charles Haigler to Aaron Earl Lee Upchurch, parcel ID 065628, $209,900.

James N. White to Jonathon D. Crouch and Nicolette C. Crouch, parcel ID 060005, $160,000.

Richard W. Dant to Jack C. Cozart and Victoria L. Cozart, parcel ID 0621808, $207,000.

Robert F. Deckert aka Robert Francis Deckert to Celina LaChance, parcel ID G07075, $72,000.

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Benjamin Burwinkel, parcel ID 069741, $205,549.

Park Ridge Builders Inc. to Jacqueline L. Triplett, parcel ID 068898, $202,900.

Kingsbury Custom Homes Inc. to Juan E. Acevedo, parcel ID 0622600, $175,900.

Kingsbury Custom Homes Inc. to Jacob Gibbs and Alison Gibbs, parcel ID 059183, $209,900.

Carl T. Spivey to Jeffrey B. Bumgardener, parcel ID 077G859, $270,000.

Kingsbury Custom Homes Inc. to Betsy D. Taylor, parcel ID 0622597, $182,800.

Terry R. Waller to RWG & CPG Investments LP, 4082 Sydney St., $134,000.

MBH Holdings Inc. to Deborah H. Wilkins and James M. Wilkins, parcel ID 007003B, $162,864.

Whisenhunt Children Inc. nka Whisenhunt Properties Inc. to J.R. Construction Services LLC, a portion of parcel ID 0622535, $500,000.

Mary Anne Roth to Conrado N. Tojino and Samantha S. Tojino, 605 Medinah Drive, $520,000.

Amanda W. Davis to Richard D. Crim and Julia D. Crim, 426 Northridge Circle, $260,000.

North Star Home Builders LLC to Christopher Lawrence Horton Sr. and Alexandria M. Horton, 813 Leyland Lane, $342,300.

Advantage GS LLC to Ma’risa L. Young and Bre’Ion Young, 2041 Dundee Way, $151,750.

Helen E. Ownby to Matthew B. Childers and Sharon N. Childers, parcel ID 072022A, $344,000.

Sary O. Beidas to William A. Johnson Jr., parcel ID 069491, $158,400.

William Frederick Franke III to Arash Poursina and Maxine Semaneh Eikani, parcel ID 065A305, $555,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, a portion of parcel ID 0622385, $41,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, a portion of parcel ID 0622385, $41,000.

Douglas T. Wilson to Samuel J. Flood and Tania K. Flood, 1106 Jami Court, $305,000.

Joe K. Norman to Ronny Lee Hein and Cheri Cathey Hein, 215 Watervale Road, $238,900.

Brad Hodge Builders Inc. to Sean M. Ordorica, parcel ID 068983, $184,900.

Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Casey P. Hayden, parcel ID 059240, $282,400.

CSRA Blue Sky LLC to Canterbury Farms LLC, a portion of parcel ID 051070M, $348,480.

David M. Barwick to Gloria C. Lopinto, 2801 Palmetto Drive, $106,000.

Michelle Y. Lanz to Robert D. Baker, 415 Creekwalk Drive, $125,000.

James Erwin Fairey Jr. and Ronna Louise Fairey to Gabriel Lechner, 117 Dresden Drive, $073D372, $134,000.

David J. Hoffmaster to Keith R. Russell Jr. and Manda L. Russell, 1168 Waltons Pass, $233,000.

David C. Yarbrough to Ryan W. Thompson, 3814 Berkshire Way, $214,500.

Melissa J. Bartelt to Samuel T. Link, 4401 Forrest Drive, $120,500.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052708, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052687, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052709, $34,900.

Beazley Builders Inc. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 052686, $34,900.

Robert W. Davidson to Ryan Seth Straughn, 3712 Winchester Trail, $137,000.

Deborah H. Bradham to JEH Holdings Inc., 4620 Woodbridge Court, $180,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Gene Curkovic, 1023 Spotswood Circle, $329,900.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to David William Fiedler and Kathryn Lee Fiedler, 810 Watermark Drive, $212,900.

Christopher V. Cathey to Eric C. Eagle and Nataliya Shatkovska, 6272 Ridge Road, $308,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Dalton Taylor Michael, 1341 Royal Oak St., $173,500.

Kristin Arguedes-Arias to Jairo Arguedes-Arias, 212 Applecross Drive, $11,500.

Christian E. Meriweather to Cynthia D. Rutherford, 749 Hickory Oak Hollow, $165,000.

LD & N LLC to Andrew M. Starcher and Danielle C. Starcher, 5178 N. Tubman Road, 75,000.

Matthew D. Whitley to Damien J. Borel and Ronnie Borel, 783 Osprey Lane, $185,000.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, July 26, 2015

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:01 AM

William Andrew Vincent and Tonya Patricia Kennedy applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 7, 2015, in Evans.

Roy James Williams III and Pamela Elaine Baughman applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 7, 2015, in Augusta.

Aaron Lee Dildy and Ila Irene Maynard-Zieglowsky applied for a marriage license on July 8, 2015, and were married July 8, 2015, in Appling.

Matthew Jamous Bell and Allison Alma Keyser applied for a marriage license on June 23, 2015, and were married June 27, 2015, in Augusta.

Keenan Leslie Rutty and Lolita Ann Funkhouser applied for a marriage license on July 9, 2015, and were married July 9, 2015, in Augusta.

Antonio Sierra-Corona and Claudia Iveth Meza-Gutierrez applied for a marriage license on June 15, 2015, and were married June 20, 2015, in Augusta.

Richard Miller and Jenny Lynn Harbin Graham applied for a marriage license on June 19, 2015, and were married June 20, 2015, in Appling.

Jeffrey Nels Anderson and Leslie Cramer Stegmaier applied for a marriage license on June 29, 2015, and were married July 8, 2015, in Augusta.

Shannon Leah Broxton and Erin Marie Broxton applied for a marriage license on July 8, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Savannah.

Scott Douglas White and Tracie Lyn Williams applied for a marriage license on July 8, 2015, and were married July 12, 2015, in Augusta.

Eugene Laveric Williams and Tuere Maia Porche James applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Atlanta.

Jose Santos Lopez and Katia Yesenia Escobar Rivera applied for a marriage license on July 7, 2015, and were married July 12, 2015, in Augusta.

Justin James Presley and Michael Stephen Siewart applied for a marriage license on July 8, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Vu Anh Tran and Thuy Chau Le applied for a marriage license on July 13, 2015, and were married July 13, 2015, in Grovetown.

Thomas Williams Holtzner Jr. and Sarah Kate Harrington applied for a marriage license on June 30, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Matthew Logan Bradham and Chelsea Lynn Davis applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Evans.

Steve Leroy Mason and Debra Jean Padgett applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 14, 2015, in Martinez.

Anthony Todd Hanchey to Sara Elizabeth Gilluly applied for a marriage license on June 23, 2015, and were married July 10, 2015, in Appling.

Arijuana Turic and Melissa Lavelle Reese applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 14, 2015, in Augusta.

Virginia Lee Marshall and Judith Ann Gregory applied for a marriage license on July 6, 2015, and were married July 12, 2015, in Augusta.

David Bruce Johnston Jr. and Jennifer Conley Eubanks applied for a marriage license on June 25, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Appling.

James Emmett Adair and Mary Allison Lepard applied for a marriage license on June 29, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Helen, Ga.

Zachary Louis Parkes and Anna Brooke Jones applied for a marriage license on July 10, 2015, and were married July 11, 2015, in Augusta.

Categories: Local

Divorces, July 26, 2015

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:01 AM

Joseph M. Turner and Nichole R. Turner, July 2, 2015.

Alonzo Long and Belinda Long, July 16, 2015.

Rebecca Quinn Shelt and Brian Alan Shelt, July 14, 2015.

Christopher M. Love and Megan Jenness Love, July 10, 2015.

Patricia Lynn Caston and Wayne Charles Caston Jr., July 21, 2015.

Lindsay Suzanne McDowell and James Russell McDowell, July 10, 2015.

James Carey Jr. and Heather M. Carey, July 16, 2015.

Stephanie Marie Rangel and Charles Matthew Rangel, July 1, 2015.

Linzee Kaitlin Hayes and Charles Bailey Hayes, July 21, 2015.

Jacqueline Marie Ellison and Colton Lee Ellison, July 9, 2015.

Benjamin Joel Rogers and Cheryl Maureen Rogers, July 16, 2015.

Clyde L. Knox Jr. and Stephanie Fraley Knox, July 8, 2015.

Categories: Local

Sales tax holiday coming up

Sun, 7/26/2015 12:00 AM

Parents can expect a break on buying necessary school supplies the weekend before school starts this year with the annual Georgia sales-tax holiday.

The back-to-school event offers the chance to purchase various items without paying a sales tax free in preparation for children’s return to school.

The holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and extends through midnight on Saturday.

During those days, buyers won’t have to pay sales tax on several back-to-school items. Exempt items are:

• Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item

• Computers, computer components and pre-written computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1,000 or less per item

• School supplies, including art and computer supplies or instructional materials purchased for non-commercial use with a sales price of $20 or less per item

The sales tax exemption does not apply to belt buckles sold separately; costume masks; patches and emblems; sewing equipment and supplies; clothing accessories or equipment; or cell phones.

Categories: Local

No one injured in Evans fire

Wed, 7/22/2015 10:05 AM

No one was injured in a fire that destroyed an Evans home Tuesday night.

A resident of Windmill Plantation called 911 just before 9 p.m. to report a grass fire in the back yard of a home at 946 Windmill Parkway, according to Columbia County Fire Rescue Administrative Chief Jeremy Wallen. Firefighters arrived minutes later and found the entire attic of the house fully involved. The three residents including homeowners Richard and Hae on Davis, were not home at the time.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, but the home was completely destroyed. Firefighters salvaged personal items from the home.

The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately determined, but it began outside the back door, according to Wallen.

The American Red Cross was called to provide temporary housing for the residents.

Categories: Local

Augusta Junior Players to perform Disney's 'Tarzan'

Wed, 7/22/2015 12:21 AM

While a lot of little girls dream of being a Disney princess, Lizzie Drake had her eyes on another character.

“I grew up watching Tarzan. It was one of my favorite Disney movies. I loved (Jane) with her intelligence and quirkiness,” said Drake, a rising senior at Harlem High School.

She will play the role of Jane in the Augusta Junior Players production of Tarzan on July 24-26 at Greenbrier High School.

Drake sees Jane as a multi-layered character – refined and “prissy” on one hand, but extremely interested in learning about the world around her.

Drake is one of about 40 actors between the age of 6 and 19 years-old in this production which is true to the Disney film.

It is filled with the familiar Phil Collins’ songs, according to director Laura Butler.

The most challenging roles in this production come from an unlikely source – the chorus.

“We have an ape chorus instead of a human chorus,” Butler said.

And while the chorus members won’t be dressed up in ape costumes, but will wear a tribal attire instead to give the feel of the jungle, they will move like apes and act like

“When they come to rehearsal, it’s a workout,” she said. “They are in a squatting position, and their movement is different.”

To help members of the chorus get into character, she had them research the animals. She wanted them to learn how they slept, how they reacted when threatened and other habits. The members then shared their findings.

Another challenge was the large age range among players, Butler said. But actors, such as Drake, have taken the younger children under their wings.

“I love helping out the little kids,” Drake said. “I feel like a mentor.”

Scenes of when Tarzan and Turk are youngeruse the younger children.

Tarzan will be performed at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m., Sunday at Greenbrier High School. Tickets are $8 for children 12 years-old and younger and $15 for those 13 years-old and older.

For more information on the show, call the Augusta Players at (706) 826-4707.

Categories: Local

Physician indicted for illegally dispensing pain medication

Wed, 7/22/2015 12:21 AM

A Columbia County physician was recently indicted after he was charged in March with not being properly licensed to dispense pain medication from his Martinez clinic.

A Columbia County Grand Jury indicted Imo Ndem, 55, on a charge of operating an unlicensed pain management clinic, according to the indictment released

Ndem, of Darwood Drive in Grovetown, ran the Pathway to Wellness Center on Old Petersburg

He was arrested March 17 at his office for a violation of the Georgia Pain management Act. The law, enacted in 2013, was designed to curtail the existence of “pill mills” or pain clinics that dispense prescription painkillers indiscriminately.

A license is required as a pain management clinic if “50 percent or more of the annual patient population was treated for chronic pain for non-terminal conditions by the use of Schedule II or II Controlled Substances,” and Ndem is accused of operating under those circumstances without a license from Sept. 27, 2013, through Oct. 29, 2014, according to the

His practice had been under investigation for more than a year and authorities served search warrants on his clinic in October.

Ndem is being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on a $10,100 bond, according to jail records.

Categories: Local
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