Emergency officials identified a man today, who has been missing since Monday afternoon in the waters of Lake Thurmond’s West Dam recreation area.
Christopher Lee Harper, 43, was last seen just before 3 p.m. Monday riding his Yamaha WaveRunner about 250 yards off shore near Thurmond Dam, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division Capt. Mark Padgett. Witnesses told a park ranger they saw the man fall off the WaveRunner, surface once and go under again. He was not wearing a life jacket.
The search for Harper was called off late Monday as thunderstorms moved into the area. Padgett said emergency crews are using a sonar equipped boat to search the bottom of the lake where Harper went missing.
Padgett said the area of the lake where he disappeared is has a depth of about 40 feet.
Delays in construction of a parking deck have pushed back the opening for Medac Inc. in North Augusta to at least late August or early September, according to city administrator Todd Glover.
Employees at Medac, an anesthesia billing company expected to bring over 500 workers to its new, near-complete facility located next to the North Augusta municipal building, were reportedly told of the new timeline in a meeting last week.
Glover said in an e-mail the setback is due to the combination of a problem prior to the start of construction on the parking deck and then heavier than expected rainfall more recently.
“The delay with the (parking) deck can be summed up with one word: water,” Glover wrote. “We lost four months on the front end dealing with a springhead and lost time recently due to heavier than normal rainfall ... End of August, first of September is achievable. The precast goes up fast and is not weather-dependent.”
Medac, which has had offices in Augusta for more than 20 years, had previously looked into moving into the former Fort Discovery building in downtown Augusta. When the announcement for the move was made last year, the company expected to spend $12 million to consolidate three locations and add 65 jobs.
Medac processes billing for anesthesiology companies and was founded in Augusta in 1992 by Bijon Memar and his brother Kam.
George R. Lumpkin to Jeffrey W. Smith and Tiffany Taliancich, parcel ID 072L125, $241,900.
Joshua N. Lafonataine to Jeffrey D. Nessler, parcel ID 077I407, $176,999.
Iris Grice Fox to Joseph W. Fix, parcel ID 083147, $86,000.
Samuel R. Jones and Linda P. Jones to Adam Wayne Widener and Tonya Gail Widener, parcel ID H02025, $70,000.
Korey D. Williams to Marc & Simons Inc., 4721 Rhett Drive, $20,000.
Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Jason E. Prouty and Jocelyn M. Prouty, parcel ID 079183, $274,900.
Richard Percival to Erin N. Campbell, parcel ID 073B210, $121,500.
Mark W. Perry to Jennifer D. Eremito, 3722 Clark Crossing, $241,900.
Wesley T. Seagraves to Adam K. Hoover, 432 Santa Anna Trail, $165,000.
Euchee Creek Investors Inc. to North Star Home Builders LLC, 808 Long Cane Ridge, $65,000.
First Choice Homebuilders LLC to Larry D. Claussen and Constance M. Claussen, 4061 Dewaal St., $387,500.
Nicole L. Brown to Farida Popal, parcel ID 077F320, $138,000.
Marlene F. Petta to Frank Beavers, parcel ID 074H167, $137,500.
D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Anis R. Waness and Amgade Fahary, parcel ID 060885, $296,805.
Arvind C. Shah to Johnnie Wright, 907 River Bound Court, $190,000.
Richard J. Alford to Nathan M. Johnson and Aimee L. Johnson, 8 Eastberry Court, $266,000.
Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Justin Hoover, 478 Sebastian Drive, $198,900.
Michael H. Newman to Katrina K. Gabriel, 459 Andover Drive, $234,000.
Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Albert Borrego, 707 Neville St., $160,500.
K & N Construction Co. Inc. to James C. Ayers and Lesley Y. Ayers, 803 Madelyn Drive, $329,000.
John L. Adams to Herbert D. Morris and Carolyn K. Morris, 6516 Eubank Drive, $137,000.
Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Vance Jordan Kondon and Elizabeth A. Kondon, 522 Sebastian Drive, $199,900.
Lakeview Augusta LLC to Andre K. Frederick, 529 Scenic Drive, $149,900.
Richard O. McMann Jr. to James R. Molnar and Angela H. Molnar, 977 Windmill Lane, $300,000.
Christina Danielle Jones to Maurice Bonner, 6066 Reynolds Circle, $235,00.
Faircloth Homes Inc. to Steven Keel and Daphne C. Keel, 8605 Crenshaw Drive, $264,175.
Sandy E. Beaver to Serah A. Tyler, 405 Connemara Trail, $147,500.
Philip A. Zaffino to Lewiston Few Partners LLC, 5154 Bluegrass Trail, $373,000.
Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 2640 Waites Drive, $38,500.
Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 3654 Waites Drive, $38,500.
Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Bryan S. Rachels, parcel ID 0681111, $233,800.
Amber Leigh Beasley to Steven R. Anderson, parcel ID 050149, $148,490.
Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611943; $35,000.
Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611950; $39,000.
Donald R. Ristine to Walter C. Cheng and May Y. Cheng; 3764 Murray Road; $50,000.
Mount Paran Homes of Augusta Inc. to Christopher M. Crookshanks and Kelly M. Crookshanks; 1201 Yost Drive; $435,475.
Vector Public Relations LLC to Dayna Kay Krukowski; parcel ID 74B41; $119,900.
Richard M. Lee to Dushyant V. Desai; parcel ID 072C076; $118,000.
Sophia French aka Sophia Volz to Kevin S. Furst; parcel ID 060674; $175,500.
Dennis J. Robey to Rhonda Amerine; parcel ID 067D084; $168,410.
Zina Alicia Searcy aka Zina Alicia Neal to Lindsey M. Pizarro; parcel ID 074B119; $82,000.
Keith ZR. Caudle to Hazem Nazer; parcel ID 072P032; $184,900.
Patricia M. Davis as executor of the estate of Paul V. Davis Jr. to Christopher C. Murphey; a portion of parcel ID 015044; $314,940.
Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC; 409 Brantley Cove Circle; $30,500.
Jacqueline W. Barber to Jason Keith Swygert and Ashley Swygert; parcel ID 073D730; $117,300.
Bart T. Tippins to Brian Michael Marshall and Frances Marie Marshall; 631 Fieldstone Way; $157,900.
Richard A. Runnels and Linda K. Runnels to Robert Steven Clark and Staci W. Clark; parcel ID 072M012; $290,000.
Golzap LLC to South Georgia Custom Homes LLC; parcel ID 0681146; $35,000.
Golzap LLC to South Georgia Custom Homes LLC; parcel ID 0681145; $35,000.
Golzap LLC to South Georgia Custom Homes LLC; parcel ID 0681147; $35,000.
Sadettin Batir to L & M. Holdings LLC and Home Buyers of Augusta LLC; 210 Pinetree St.; $11,000.
Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Suzannah Cordas; 1704 Edenburg Way; $250,610.
Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Jan Elizabeth Easton; 2451 Newbury Ave.; $189,025.
Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Guilford D. Boyd and Zenobia Boyd; 756 Burch Creek Drive; $289,950.
RT Bailey Construction Inc. to Rodney K. Dinkins and Lakishia Flemming Dinkins; 4020 Stowe Drive; $310,000.
Canterbury Farms LLC to Winchester Homes of GA Inc.; 254 Seaton Ave.; $47,500.
Riverwood Land LLC to Winchester Homes of GA Inc.; 1730 Edeburg Way; $43,000.
North Star Homes Builders LLC to Lori A. Camale-Powers and David G. Powers; 887 Leyland Lane; $406,230.
Ivey Residential LLC to John M. Thompson and Matthew D. Blakely; 407 Brantley Cove Circle; $160,470.
Ivey Residential LLC to Everson D. Gammage; 4205 Ellington Drive; $265,050.
LD & N LLC to Craig Johnson and Kat Johnson; parcel ID 058015R; $80,000.
James D. Lanier to Mitchell McCladdie and Sheila McCladdie; parcel ID 082010H; $65,000.
Baldwin Hamptons LLC to Designer Homes and Construction LLC; parcel ID 0681118; $42,000.
Rhodes Farm LLC to R. Lewis Construction LLC; parcel ID 084182; $71,000.
William Brooks to Eric R. Smith; parcel ID G10011D; $99,899.
James DeCampand Vickie DeCamp; 524 Oak Brook Drive; $199,900.
James Grant Keagle Living Trust to Damian Bartholomew; 21 Plantation Hills Drive; $224,000.
Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Steven A. O’Hara and Daisy J. O’Hara; 702 Southwick Drive; $186,565.
Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Ling Li and Yongli Li; 226 Ryan Lane; $220,900.
Norman W. Fox to David J. Patton; 594 Bradford Lane; $165,000.
Wilson Parker Homes of Crawford Creek Inc. to Tracy Lynn McCranie and Sean M. Price; 425 Arden Way; $284,990.
Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Mary F. Schuster; 211 Ryan Lane; $234,900.
Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Annie L. Whitehill; 4505 Coldwater St.; $280,000.
Arborshade Custom Homes LC to William S. Sherrill III and Patricia H. Sherrill; 705 Big Holley Drive; $455,000.
Amy J. Dietc to Nicholas H. Orr and Jessica L. Orr; 574 Country Place Lane; $250,000.
Betty R. Volkert as trustee of the Betty R. Volkert Living Trust to George F. Stoller and Jennifer L. Stoller; 3568 Stevens Way; $310,000.
MBH Holdings Inc. to Herbert Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0622625, 0622626 and 0622627; $128,700.
Brian R. Slusser to Bernard Sosnowski; 132 Shawns Way; $103,000.
Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC; parcel ID 0622562; $30,500.
Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC; parcel ID 0622561; $30,500.
Marvin L. Martin to Shirley Ramsey; 822 Landing Drive; $118,000.
Joseph S. Lucius to Mathew A. Akins and Morgan A. Akins; 1324 Maple Leaf Court; $144,500.
William Howard Gamble Jr. or his successors as trustees of the Gamble Family Trust to Stephen Phillips; 134 Springlakes Drive; $260,000.
North Star Home Builders LLC to Stephen R. Lockman and Audra J. Reitz Lockman; 407 Tugaloo Court; $339,900.
Canterbury Property Management LLC to City of Harlem; parcel ID H04057 and H04068; $116,487.
Wells Fargo Bank to Stella H. Amelung; parcel ID 0621247; $71,000.
Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611960; $35,800.
Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611953;
D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Marques D. Evans; parcel ID 069746; $202,406.
D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Nicole Lynn Brown; parcel ID 0671618; $338,236.
Golzap LLC to Park Ridge Builders Inc.; parcel ID 0681148; $35,000.
Park Ridge Builders Inc. to John I. Neville and Leslie Neville; parcel ID 0681127; $247,500.
Joyce H. Borders to Dustin P. Welch; parcel ID 073A342; $116,000.
D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to ester O. Benson; parcel ID 069718; $234,180.
Windsor Adam Hodges to Carina E. Canales; parcel ID 082A276; $50,000.
Ivey Residential LLC to Kristine V. Cordero; 541 Brantley Cove Circle; $168,700.
Andrew T. Culclasure to Bryce A. Hehner and Theresa J. Hehner; 268 Watervale Road; $204,500.
Ivey Residential LLC to Robert Gerald Bigham; 4404 Amberley Drive; $215,515.
Christopher G. Brett to Carolann Ciambra; 5150 Saddle Circle; $142,000.
Walter L. Barfield and Lennie S. Barfield to Richard Mark Odekirk and Cinday Marie Odekirk; 3721 West Lake Drive; $430,000.
Doris P. Ivey to Catalina Avila; parcel ID 028112; $35,000.
John Michael Kishimoto to Eric Stephen Michenfelder; 3808 Berkshire Way; $212,000.
Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to Cody J. Rivet; 1205 Tyler Woods Way; $175,000.
Ivey Residential LLC to Daniel H., Yi; 2643 Waites Drive; $200,000.
Davin B. Anderson to Thad W. Simmons; 5755 Carriage Hills Drive; $215,000.
Wayne W. Tennant and Janna W. Tennant to Magy A. Youssef and Susan L. Youssef; 452 Connemara Trail; $158,000.
Faircloth Homes Inc. to Aaron D. Robinson and Christine E. Robinson; 1135 Walton Pass; $289,750.
Michael Joseph Alexander to Joel Robert Ferrara; 6296 Keg Creek Drive; $465,000.
Faircloth Homes Inc. to Robin Monique Castigli; 834 Erika Lane; $195,900.
Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Loretta E. Brown; parcel ID 068979; $186,100.
Jackie Faires to Marilyn Harris Coley; parcel ID 077G1215; $132,400.
M. Dian Hendricks to Carolyn D. Teets and William Teets; parcel ID H06093A; $68,616.
William C. Leopard to Richard P. Miller and Nicole L. Miller; parcel ID 051060; $229,900.
Medallion Construction Co. Inc. to R. Steven White and Cynthia B. White; parcel ID 0601111; $271,0852.
Stevenson & Associates LLC to Iris Velazquez; parcel ID H07026; $191,900.
Southern Homesites LLC to Medallion Construction Co. Inc.; parcel ID 0601094; $64,900.
Canterbury Farms LLC to Winchester Homes of GA Inc.; 257 Seaton Ave.; $52,000.
Sudershan Rao Bongu to Dimple Kaur; 4015 Firethorn Court; $250,000.
Laura C. Vaughn to Blake K. Illstone; 4195 Fairfield Circle; $129,620.
Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place to Christina M. Fowler and Johnny Fowler Jr.; 751 Burch Creek Drive; $330,000.
Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc. to Rodney Edmond and Sarah K. Edmond; 5619 Sunbury Loop; $333,060.
Ivey Residential LLC to Heather Yount and Christopher Yount; 752 Coventry Ave.; $289,900.
Ivey Residential LLC to Christopher S. Hao; 1046 Ardrey Circle;
HSBC Bank to Thomas Michael McTier; parcel ID H02086G; $105,000.
All Weathers Construction Co. LLC to Cleveland L. Fann; parcel ID 0651222; $375,000.
Michael D. Kane to Tommie L. Crabb; parcel ID 073F142; $128,000.
Hunter P. Chatelain to Brian C. Boyd; parcel ID 068A015; $81,000.
Medallion Construction Co. Inc. to Danielle Roberge; parcel ID 0601002; $342,900.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. to Arijana Turic and Melissa L. Reese; parcel ID 073L099; $97,500.
Jackie L. McKinnie aka Jackie Jones to Douglas Millard; parcel ID 074C1066; $43,000.
Keystone Homes Inc. to Timothy Evan Slagle; parcel ID H07092; $162,900.
Stephen Michael Bowen and Michelle Marie Chavez applied for a marriage license on April 14, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Grovetown.
Devan Jameel Wells and Serah Njoki Kimani applied for a marriage license on April 14, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Evans.
Charles Ainsworth Rockwood V and Brandi Nichole Layman applied for a marriage license on May 5, 2015, and were married May 5, 2015, in Evans.
Corey Donterral Brown and Rashawn Danae Bennett applied for a marriage license on May 5, 2015, and were married May 5, 2015, in Evans.
Matthew Murray Prickett Jr. and Jessica Walden Arrington applied for a marriage license on April 29, 2015, and were married May 7, 2015, in Evans.
Brandon Michael Golden and Keri Elizabeth Wright applied for a marriage license on April 27, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Appling.
Dwighty Lamont Henderson Jr. and Vianna Marie Massoud applied for a marriage license on May 7, 2015, and were married May 8, 2015, in Evans.
Samuel Thompson Pruett and Courtney Brooke Friend applied for a marriage license on April 24, 2015, and were married May 9, 2015, in Martinez.
Jerry Ned Pruitt II and Lisa Anne Shead applied for a marriage license on March 31, 2015, and were married April 25, 2015, in Augusta.
Ronald Scott Pflieger Jr. and Donna Jean Matrician applied for a marriage license on May 4, 2015, and were married May 9, 2015, on Fort Gordon.
Nathan Edward Kosiba and Regina Annette Hilton applied for a marriage license on May 6, 2015, and were married May 8, 2015, in Augusta.
Antonio White and Natlie Nikita Johnson applied for a marriage license on May 1, 2015, and were married May 11, 2015, in Evans.
Bryce Tanner McDaniel and Samantha Lea Pittard applied for a marriage license on April 22, 2015, and were married May 9, 2015, in Appling.
Devan Anderson Fain and Stephanie Elizabeth Gross applied for a marriage license on March 24, 2015, and were married May 10, 2015, in Martinez.
Stanley Green and Tonya Yvette Robinson applied for a marriage license on May 8, 2015, and were married May 11, 2015, in Savannah.
Brook Kevin Carter and Kelly Delane Payton applied for a marriage license on April 14, 2015, and were married April 25, 2015, in Martinez.
Kelvin Leon Ward and Christine McQueen Ward applied for a marriage license on May 11, 2015, and were married May 11, 2015, in
Dwayne Antonio James and Sherry Rebecca Nycole Hatcher applied for a marriage license on May 5, 2015, and were married May 5, 2015, in Augusta.
Michael Anthony Posada and Katherine Lee Danke applied for a marriage license on April 24, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Augusta.
Jodi Villagram and Matthew Villagram, April 30, 2015.
Susan Barbara Foster and Darrell Wade Foster, April 21,
Lenna Suzanne Tricker and Travis Levi Tricker, April 23, 2015.
Stuart R. St. John and Amber A. St. John, April 24, 2015.
Jessica AnneBell Bagwell and Patrick Bagwell, May 4, 2015.
Diane G. Cummings and Ronald C. Cummings, April 30, 2015.
Kamey Hawk and Thomas J. Hawk Jr., May 8, 2015.
David Scherer and Jacey Scherer, May 6, 2015.
Tammie Joyner Hayward and Ben Barney Hayward Jr., May 8, 2015.
Terri Mullis and Shaun Daniel Mullis, May 8, 2015.
Megan Steptoe and Christopher Steptoe, May 7, 2015.
Tracy Lamont Williams and Nicole Huff Williams, May 6, 2015.
A Greenville, S.C., man was killed in a Thursday morning wreck in Appling.
Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said Garud S. Acharya, 65, died from blunt force trauma to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
At about 10:30 a.m. Acharya was stopped in his Toyota Camry on Bennett Road at Ray Owens Road. He works for ADT and was in the area for his job, Garrison said.
While attempting a left turn on Ray Owens Road, Acharya pulled into the path of a northbound dump truck, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.
The Barry Tabor Paving Inc. dump truck – driven by David Lee Johnson, 58, of Thomson – hit the Camry on the driver’s side and pushed it off the road and into a nearby ditch.
When authorities arrived, the front end of the dump truck was on top of the Camry, according to Morris.
Johnson was not injured.
The Irons in the Fire Golf Tournament for First United Pentecostal Church is June 12 at Jones Creek Golf Club. The entry fee is $100 and includes greens fees, cart and catered lunch. Texas tee, mulligans and throw your ball passes will be available for $5.
Money will go toward the purchase of a handicapped van. Contact Jason Hasty at (706) 814-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
• Augusta Prep’s 13th annual summer volleyball camps are June 1 to June 4 and July 27 to July 30. There are two sessions per camp. Middle school is 9 a.m. to noon for grades five to eight and high school is from 1 to 4 p.m.for grades nine to 12. The cost is $130.
• The 7th Annual Grovetown Warrior Volleyball Camp featuring former Florida State University assistant head coach Gohkan Yilmaz is June 9 to June 11. The beginner camp, costing $50, is from 9 a.m. to noon; the JV camp, ($90) is 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the varsity camp ($90) goes from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. Contact Amy Slagle at (706) 447-2102, ext. 4453 or email@example.com.
• Greenbrier will have two volleyball camps. The first, for rising second- to fifth-graders, is a day camp on July 11 from noon to 4 p.m. costing $40. The second, for rising sixth- to ninth-graders, is July 13 to July 15, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., costing $100. Contact Nicole Abbott at (706) 650-6040 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Greenbrier volleyball website.
• The Evans Youth Basketball camp’s first session is June 1 to June 5 with the second session June 22 to June 26.
It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a cost of $100 with lunch provided; $85 if you bring your own lunch. Early drop off/late pick up is free. Contact Kevin Kenny at email@example.com or (706) 951-3686.
• The 17th Annual Dip Metress Basketball Academy is from
June 8 to June 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday at the Christenberry Fieldhouse on the campus at Georgia Regents University. The camp is for first through 11th graders and costs $160. Contact Dip Metress at (706) 667-4765 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local softball powers Greenbrier and Harlem High are teaming up for the first Columbia County All-Star Softball Camp, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day from June 8 to June 12 at Patriots Park. The camp is for girls in first- through eighth-grade and cost is $100; $75 for siblings and team rates are available. Call Garrett Black at (706) 564-9653 or Mike Leverrett at (706) 836-6026 for more information.
There is a 13U baseball
tournament on June 27 and June 28 at Lake Olmstead Stadium with a $475 entry fee and a 14U baseball tournament on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 at Lake Olmstead Stadium with a $550 entry fee. Call Adrian McCladdie at (706) 288-8511.
New Georgia Impact 14U travel baseball team is looking for outfielders and catchers.
Practices are in Appling. Players must be born after May 1, 2000.
Call (706) 231-6488 for more information.
The Augusta Prep 7th Annual Summer Football Camp at Augusta Prep is July 7-9, hosted by several out-of-town coaches. Contact Harry.email@example.com for more information.
Next year’s Columbia County school budget could come with a tax rollback for property owners, school officials said.
The proposed $199.8 million budget for the 2015-16 school year includes a $12.3 million increase over the current year’s budget. Even so, tax revenue projections mean the school system will have a general fund balance well beyond the state-required figure of 15 percent of the yearly budget, said Superintendent Sandra Carraway.
Carraway said the estimated fund balance will be close to $35 million next year, almost $6 million more than required by the state. With the school board’s approval, she would like to return some excess to taxpayers.
The current mill rate is 18.59 for school taxes. Carraway said lowering it to 18.25 mills would reduce taxes overall by about $1.4 million.
Carraway said increased spending will be offset, for the most part by a predicted 3 percent increase in the county’s tax digest. Total revenue, including state and federal funding is expected to be about, $196.3 million next year, according to the proposed budget.
New expenditures include a 3 percent overall pay increase for teachers and more than 60 additional teaching positions to keep up with growth and reduce class sizes. In the past several years, economic downturn and state funding reductions had forced the school system to cram more children in classes to save money.
Carraway said the improving revenue forecast means it is time to reverse some of those austerity cuts.
“In reality much of it should be called restorations, not improvements,” she said.
Other proposed improvements include $110,000 in increased
supplements for coaches and teachers who supervise extracurricular activities.
Carraway said school officials studied similar districts to come up with a better supplement schedule.
“Our athletic supplements have not been adjusted for more than 10 years,” she said.
The budget proposal, along with a recommendation for a tax rollback will go before the school board on May 26 for tentative approval. The final budget is expected to be approved on June 9, but the school board doesn’t have to officially set the mill rate until July.
School Trustee Mike Sleeper said he would like to see a tax rollback, but he wants to ensure that the system maintains a healthy
fund balance for lean times.
“Personally, I’d like to see us get our fund balance some where between 18 and 20 percent,” Sleeper said.
He said he and other board members will be delving into the budget to make sure all expenditures are prudent and don’t unnecessarily encumber the system for years to come.
He said a tax rollback is still on the table, if the board can agree on the budget that allows it.
“If we can, I want to do it,” he said.
The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:
Children shoot door, man says
A Martinez man told authorities Tuesday that children shot his back door.
The man said he was sitting at the table with his daughter at about 6 p.m. when two children shot his back door with a pellet gun. He said he saw the children run into the woods behind his house toward the next street. He does not know where the children live.
There was a small dent in the door, but the man did not prosecute.
Scammers send woman a check
A Grovetown woman recently said she was the victim of a scam involving mystery shoppers.
The woman said she lives in Washington and came to Columbia County to stay with a friend until she could have a surgery on May 6. While living with her friend, the woman said she filled out several online applications to be a mystery shopper at area retail stores.
About a month ago, the woman applied for a job with Crystal Mystery Shopping Ltd. She received an e-mail stating she would receive payment in the mail, but she had not been assigned any work.
When the woman returned to the home after recovering from surgery, her daughter said a large check arrived in the mail. The woman said the check was for more than $2,000. She got a call from someone claiming to be with the company. She was told to cash the check, keep $200 and send the rest to an address in France.
The woman insisted the deputy take the check because she believed it was a scam.
Kayaks missing from truck bed
An Evans man called police Tuesday after discovering that someone stole his kayaks.
The 28-year-old man said someone stole two kayaks out of the bed of his truck overnight. He said he fell asleep at 2 a.m. and left the kayaks in the truck bed parked in his driveway. In the morning, the kayaks and paddles were gone. The man said four hired workers were at his home for renovations the previous day. They were the only people other than family that he knows were at the home.
Woman finds a cut water hose
A Grovetown woman said Monday that someone damaged her home.
The 43-year-old said someone cut her water hose and left the spigot running. Someone also pulled wires loose from the light in the utility room.
Columbia County officials are expected to allow funding for a sewer improvement project in a growing area of the county at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
County Water Utility Director William Clayton asked officials to remove three projects from the department’s Extension and Renewal funded project list and add a project to upgrade the sewer conveyance system in the Jones Creek Basin.
The fund is one that is made up of Water Utility money leftover after expenses.
That fund is used to extend and maintain the county’s extensive system of water and sewer facilities and systems.
“The great thing about our Extension and Renewal program is we can be so flexible to address things that come up that you didn’t know were going to come up,” Clayton said at a Public Works Committee meeting May 12. “It’s a great mechanism, money we don’t have to borrow.”
Clayton asked to remove three projects – some motor control center and sludge pump work at the Reed Creek Wasterwater Treatment Plant and a 5 million gallon water tank – totaling nearly $2 million on the reserve list.
Instead, he wanted to improve the sewer conveyance system in the Jones Creek Basin.
Clayton said sewage from homes, business and public facilities use the system from Evans Towne Center Park and Ronald Reagan Drive areas and up Furys Ferry Road to Hardy McManus and River Island east to the Savannah River.
And with recent and projected growth in the area, Clayton wants to improve the system before the need is critical.
“All of a sudden, life has bloomed in the Jones Creek Basin,” Clayton said. “We had it on the list. We knew some improvements would have to be done to that.
“It’s started blossoming. I’m thankful that we have the ability to zig and zag when we need to.”
Clayton said the water and wastewater treatments plants and water lines are sufficient to handle the expected growth.
But upgrades are needed in the sewer conveyance system. He said the project, estimated to cost $1.5 to $2 million, includes larger pumps at lift stations and gravity sewer work.
He’s not sure yet if the main sewer lines will need to be larger.
Engineers are currently working to determine exactly what upgrades are needed. Clayton said he’s waiting for the final engineering study to be complete before deciding the specifications of the projects.
“It comes a point in time when you see that much activity, you have a good look at your water and sewer capacities and ask yourself, ‘Do we have enough?’” Clayton said.
Marshall Square is only about 2,100 feet from Mary Howard’s office, but the retirement resort that opened last November ceases to exist in Columbia County’s Geographic Information System. The 3½-acre property appears as a large plot of land on online maps.
“It sure would be great to see that new building,” Howard, the county’s GIS manager, said this week.
By the end of the summer, her wish should come true.
In February, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners approved a $73,240 contract with Cartegraph Systems, an Iowa-based software consulting firm, to collect images of 1,165 miles of roadway as a part of an ongoing asset inventory program.
More than 90 percent of the contract, which runs through June 26, will pay for a vehicle with eight panoramic cameras suspended 8 feet in the air to snap 360-degree, high resolution views of the county, including the 4,058 new addresses that records show have been added since 2013.
The remaining funds will be used to indefinitely store images in the county’s database and enable staff to analyze growth, which Howard said is crucial for an area of Augusta expected to house a majority of the 3,700 cyberdefense workers by 2019. The car – in Evans last week – started making its way through the county on May 1.
“It’s like Google Maps, except we can overlay street data on top of new images to see how certain areas of the county have grown over time,” she said. “Obviously, we already know a lot of this information. This just helps us get a more complete picture...”
She expects the updated pictures to help determine trends along Washington Road, where state construction crews are widening the thoroughfare to handle increase in traffic.
She said the mobile mapping technology will also give the county the ability to inventory infrastructure assets and conduct “virtual field trips” to decrease lengthy outings required for site investigations.
From the office, she said county staff can re-create vehicle accidents, preplan highway bids, measure a property’s slope to gauge stormwater runoff, pinpoint underground cables, and determine if street signs are visible and if intersections have enough line-of-sight.
“The county has gotten so much return on this collection,” she said. “The software that we use to look at the county is super-fast and many times we rely on it as a first response to emergency calls, particularly when we need to resolve discrepancies in address listings.”
Alyssa Thingvold, the senior project manager for Cartegraph, said at least 16 other communities have contracted with the firm for 3-D street mapping services, including counties home to Oakland, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; and parts of the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan regions.
According to documents she provided, the technology achieves a high accuracy rate up to 50 meters and has successfully blurred 80 percent of the faces and license plates that were recognizable on camera.
Howard said the mapping vehicle has visited Columbia County three times in six years, making the trek on a biennial basis. She said it takes about 45 days to process three terabytes of data received, but that it’s not all mundane.
“The technology does blur out faces, but we did have a couple of people showing off their muscles last time,” she said. “It’s always fun to see those little treasures in the images.”
The (Dalton) Daily Citizen
For the first 15 minutes of Tuesday’s Class 5A state semifinal soccer match, Greenbrier was dictating both the pace and physicality of the play against top-ranked Dalton.
But Dalton can play physical too, and once the Catamounts adjusted their play, the Wolfpack was unable to stop Dalton in a 6-0 loss at Harmon Field in Dalton.
The Cats (19-0), winners of the last two state titles in Class 4A before moving up in classification this year, will look to add to their trophy collection, advancing to the state finals Friday at Mercer University in Macon. The victory also pushed Dalton’s unbeaten streak to 64 matches. In four state tournament games, Dalton has outscored its opponents 28-0.
“That is probably the best team in the state in all classifications,” Greenbrier coach Tony Cummings said.
Greenbrier ends its season at 19-2-1.
After allowing the rough play through the first 15 minutes of the first half, the officials started calling the game a little tighter. And after Dalton scored back-to-back goals all in the span of two-and-a-half minutes, the frustration began to show. The Wolfpack were given five yellow cards and coach Graeme Connolly was given a red card and ejected from the game.
“It was frustrating to have to play that way after there were a lot of things that were let go early,” Cumming said. “We didn’t get the calls that they felt we should have got and that was frustrating when they took the lead on us. But that was not the reason we lost this game. We had chances early and couldn’t get on the scoreboard.”
Dalton adjusted its defense and did a better job of marking Greenbrier forward Mekhi Honore, putting junior stopper Hernan Saldana on his hip for the rest of the game. Honore was also hampered by an ankle injury early in the match.
“Once we got the marking straightened out and freed our midfielders, we thought the game would go our way,” Dalton coach Matt Cheaves said. “Once we figured out where their guys were coming from, we had a midfielder free to run, and that changed the complexion of the game. It took us a little bit to adjust because they came out strong.”
Dalton outshot Greenbrier 20-8 in the game and led 3-0 at the half. Most of Greenbrier’s offensive chances came in the first half with six shots on goal and four corner kicks as the Wolfpack applied the pressure early. But Dalton was able to clear and goalie Leuri Fraire had three saves. Isai Hernandez had two goals for Dalton, and Kobe Perez had two as well with one coming on a penalty kick in the second half.
“When there is physical play, you have to play physical, and we can do that,” Cheaves said. “People say we are a skill and finesse team, but we can play physical. When physical play is what is being allowed on the field, you have to match it our you are going to get beat.”
A woman in the custody of Columbia County authorities is facing extradition to Arizona, where she is accused of faking a cancer diagnosis to obtain a state-funded abortion.
Chalice Renee Zeitner, 29, was taken into custody Friday at a residence on Johns Road in Appling by sheriff’s officers who were working with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to serve an Arizona warrant for theft, fraud, identity theft and forgery, authorities said.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed the charges on May 5 related to a scheme Zeitner is alleged to have perpetrated in 2010 in order to obtain an abortion.
According to a statement from Brnovich’s office issued Tuesday, Zeitner went to her obstetrician in March 2010 claiming she was suffering from a stage IV sarcoma and that she was scheduled for immediate treatment in Boston, which would involve removal of tumors in her abdomen and lower spinal area.
Attorney general spokeswoman Kristen Keogh said Zeitner was in the 22nd week of pregnancy when she had an abortion on April 8, 2010 in Phoenix.
At the time, Zeitner was enrolled in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid provider, which covers abortions only “under limited circumstances including if the life of the mother is endangered,” Brnovich’s statement said.
Arizona officials allege that Zeitner deliberately falsified her medical documents to obtain the Medicaid funded abortion. According to Brnovich, the Boston physician that Zeitner claimed was treating her denied he had ever met her and knew nothing about her cancer diagnosis.
“The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is rooting out fraud,” said Brnovich in the statement. “We will investigate corruption wherever it exists. We appreciate the work of our joint state and federal agencies on this case.”
Zeitner, who was living under the alias Al Serkez at the time of her arrest, is being held at the Columbia County Detention Center, officials said. Her 10-year-old daughter was placed in the custody of her mother, Melody Zeitner, at the time of her arrest, according to a sheriff’s report.
The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:
Harlem home hit by gunfire
A Harlem man called authorities early Sunday after discovering someone had shot his home.
The 44-year-old man said he and his wife woke at about 4 a.m. to a rapid succession of loud bangs. He believed the noise was something falling inside the house.
He got up and took a shower. After the shower, the man said he noticed a hole in the wall that wasn’t there previously. He and his wife went downstairs and found eight holes in their dining room wall that appeared to be bullet holes.
Woman’s ID used online
A Harlem woman said Friday that someone used her information to open bank accounts online.
The 71-year-old woman said someone used her Social Security number and an old address to open 47 checking accounts online with Ally Bank.
Mail addressed to the former address is delivered to a post office box in Harlem. The woman hasn’t lost any money because of the accounts. She called Ally Bank , however, and froze all of the accounts.
Man reports strange things
A Grovetown man told deputies Thursday that strange things have been happening at his home.
The man said several suspicious incidents have happened at his house over the previous couple of weeks. He and his wife have heard noises from outside at night. They’ve found the gate to the backyard open, items moved in the front yard, the mailbox cover messed up and the light cover outside the garage moved. The man said his wife recently found a butcher knife in the bushes outside the garage.
Nothing has been destroyed or stolen.
Packages stolen from Ivy Falls
Two residents of Ivy Falls subdivision recently called authorities stating packages were stolen from their porches.
A 52-year-old resident of the subdivision near Grovetown told deputies on Friday that three packages were stolen from her doorstep. She said she returned home on May 4, when the packages were delivered, and nothing was on her doorstep. She checked with neighbors and no one had received the packages.
The woman called UPS about the missing packages, which were valued at $568.70, and the company started an internal investigation.
Another Ivy Falls resident called authorities the same day to say a package was stolen off her porch too. The pregnant woman had ordered $43.47 worth of clothing for her unborn child. The package was delivered on Thursday around 1 p.m., but when she got home from work a few hours later, it was gone.
The woman said she called the United States Postal Service and was told there is video of the package being delivered to her porch.
Woman finds drone on roof
An Evans woman called authorities Saturday after discovering a drone on her roof.
The woman said she heard a buzzing sound coming from her roof at about 6:40 p.m. She went outside and found a drone on her roof. The drone was still on and the rotor blades were chipping pieces off her roof tiles.
While a deputy was at the home, the owner of the drone arrived. He said he’d been flying the drone and lost control of it. He’d been looking for it.
The man said he’d pay for the damage to the woman’s roof.
A Grovetown woman has been charged in a wreck in which former state legislator Ben Joseph “Joey” Brush Jr. died.
Kimberly Chere Crouch, 49, of Carole Drive, turned herself in to authorities at the Columbia County Detention Center just after noon Friday. She was charged with failure to stop or yield at a stop sign and second-degree vehicular homicide, according to jail records. She was released after posting a $2,200 bond, according to jailers.
Brush, 59, of Appling, was driving his Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Columbia Road at about 8:30 a.m. Crouch was traveling north on Louisville Road and stopped at the stop sign at the intersection with Columbia Road. Crouch didn’t see Brush before attempting to drive through the intersection, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.
Brush was pronounced dead at Doctors Hospital a short time later by Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie King. Brush was wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck.
Brush, a builder and developer, served two terms in the state House in the 1990s and was sworn into the state Senate in 1997.
Corie Weathers, the wife of Fort Gordon Army Chaplain Matthew Weathers, was named the 2015 Military Spouse of the Year at a luncheon in the nation’s capital Friday.
Weathers, a mother of two boys and a licensed professional counselor from Grovetown, was selected over five other finalists representing the Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps. The national competition was sponsored by Military Spouse magazine and Armed Forces Insurance.
“I’m so honored to even be in their company,” Weathers said of the other finalists.
The six women were honored on Military Spouses Day, which was created by President Reagan in 1984.
“The power of a thank you means so much, especially to people who usually don’t ask for it,” Weathers said after receiving the honor Friday with her family. The luncheon was streamed live online.
With her husband, Weathers leads marriage retreats and developed an educational curriculum to help military couples strengthen their relationships.
At the Center for Care and Counseling in Martinez, she works with military spouses and founded a therapy program for troubled teenagers.
Weathers thanked her husband, a chaplain for the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, and her sons Aidan and Jackson.
“Together, we call ourselves ‘Team Weathers’ because we serve as a team,” she said. “My sons have joined in that. Our call is to love one another wherever we go.”
Speaking to the other finalists, Weathers said they will work together this year to support service members and their spouses.
“My goal every day is to love other people and, hopefully, someone walks away feeling more loved than when they came,” she said.
Two North Carolina girls remained hospitalized Monday after they were injured in a weekend ATV wreck.
Emma Rae Maples, 14, was in good condition and Olivia Grace Maples, 9, remained in critical condition at the Georgia Regents Medical Center on Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The girls, both of Benson, N.C., were riding an ATV on Magnolia Drive, a private road, at just before 3 p.m. when Emma lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a turn, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office private property accident report.
The ATV was traveling too fast for the turn and went off the shoulder, through a ditch and hit a fence. The ATV then crossed the road and rolled over, ejecting the two girls, the sheriff’s office report stated.
The girls were airlifted to the hospital shortly after the wreck. They were not wearing helmets or safety equipment at the time of the incident, according to the report.
2015 Mr./Miss Columbia County Pageant looking for entrants; deadline to enter Wednesday, May 27; up to age 16, $65 entry fee, ages 17-24, $85; (706) 664-5010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Estate Planning and Elder Care Planning Seminar 3 p.m. Thursday, May 14, Burroughs Elijah LLC, 924 Stevens Creek Road Suite 107; learn about legal strategies to protect family and estate; wills and trusts, estate planning, probate avoidance, power of attorney/advance health care directive, Medicaid and/or VA planning; refreshments; limited seating, registration required; (706) 364-3764, burroughselijah.com
Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Ave.; wildlife biologist Mary Catherine Martin presenting an Overview of Barn Owl Biology and the South Carolina DNR Nest Box Program; refreshments; public welcome; free; augustaaikenaudubon.org
Gold Prospectors Association of America 7-9 p.m. Thursday, May 14, Dayspring Baptist Church, 4220 Belair Frontage Road; meets second Thursdays; everyone welcome; (706) 496-4611
’Til the Cows Come Home 5K Race 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, Steed’s Dairy Farm, 4634 Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown; second annual race on farm with rolling hills; fun and challenging; benefits Christ Community Health Services Augusta; registration 5:30 p.m., race 7 p.m., bring a photo ID; water station at halfway point; $25 advance, $30 race day; http://bit.ly/1FB6iue
2015 Marine Mud Challenge 7 a.m. Saturday, May 16, corner of 19th and Chamberlain, Fort Gordon; adult particpants 13 and older, Children’s Challenge ages 5-12; competitive adult times start 7 a.m., noncompetitive adult times 7:45 a.m.; competitive teams must have four members, non-competitives may have three to five memebers; online registration required; marinemud.com
Rotary yard sale
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Columbia County Fairgrounds; vendor spaces start at $25; benefits campaign to promote literacy; (762) 233-9273, giantcommunityyardsale.com
Augusta-Aiken Audubon field trip 8 a.m. Saturday, May 16, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Road; Looking for birds along Beaver Dam Trail, green and blue trails; free; beginners welcome; Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead; augustaaikenaudubon.org
Are you Water Wise? 8-10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, Wildwood Park, 3780 Dogwood Lane, Appling; presented by Safe Kids Greater Augusta; for K-grade 5 and their parents; identification of where water emergencies happen, what safety equipment is needed, being safe around water, identification of drowning person, safe water rescue techniques, cold water risks, more; life jacket provided to first 25 children registered while sizes and supplies last; free; registration required online or 8-8:30 a.m. the morning of the event; (706) 799-3240, chfishforlife.org
8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16, Augusta Riverfront Marina, 105 Riverfront Drive; canoe/kayak, SUP and homemade raft paddle; online registration required – no race day registration; $40-$75; paddlefestga.com
Free Kid’s Fishing Rodeo and Family Day 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Wildwood Park, 3780 Dogwood Lane, Appling; ages 2-8 and 9-14; bring your own pole and bait; hula hoop contest, bean bag toss, face painting, balloon animals, cake walk, games, prizes, nickels in a haystack, dunking booth, inflatables, casting contest, visit from Mickey Mouse and Anna, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks; all food and games free; register online or 8:30-10 a.m. event day; (706) 830-6439, chfishforlife.org
Repticon Augusta Reptile & Exotic Animal Show 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (VIP entry 9 a.m.) May 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (no VIP early entry) May 17, Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Drive, Grovetown; vendors offering merchandise; seminars; free raffles; $10, ages 5-12 $5, under 5 free; repticon.com/augusta.html
Arts in the Park
Arts in the Park 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Glenn Phillips Memorial Park, South Hicks Street, Harlem; arts being sought to display personal work, from painting to pottery and everything in between; (706) 556-6656, email@example.com
Pedal Into the Past Bike Ride 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, Lake Olmstead Builhead to River Levee Trail and back; free, donations accepted; (706) 823-0440 ext. 4, augustacanal.com
NACA Home Purchase Workshop 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Columbia County Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; no down payment, no closing costs, no fees, no perfect credit, no PMI; learn how to qualify; free; online registration required; naca.com
Shane’s Rib Shack Rib Giveaway 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16, Shane’s Rib Shack, 4446 Washington Road, Evans; first 100 guests receive a free half rack of slow-cooked baby back ribs, 20 ounce beverage and special edition Rib Giveaway T-shirt
Thunder Over Augusta – Armed Forces Day Celebration 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; music by Jeffery Reed and the Rewinders, backed by full band and members of Symphony Orchestra Augusta; free admission; on.fb.me/1KHuQUe
The Magician’s Nephew (A Play in American Sign Language) 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive, Evans; doors 1:30 p.m., show 2 p.m.; play adaptation of The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis; actors signing with English-speaking interpreters; for both the deaf and hearing communities; actors are third year ASL home-school high school students; facebook.com/events/1439567823005997
Saturday Sunset Cruise 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Augusta Canal Discovery Center at Enterprise Mill, 1450 Greene St.; $21, reservations suggested; (706) 823-0440 ext. 4, augustacanal.com
6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Blanchard Woods Park BMX, 4600 Blanchard Woods Drive, Evans; riders of all ages competing; membership information available; spectators admitted free, racers $10; blanchardwoodsbmx.com
Augusta Community Gathering with Georgia Equality 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Edgar’s Grille, 3165 Washington Road; board and staff of Georgia Equality, host; update on current activities, including where we stand on marriage, religious freedom bills, and the Georgia Unites Against Discrimination Campaign; refreshments, learn about the future of the fight for equality in Georgia; free; bit.ly/1KqOJ17
Dr. Bruce Bickley, speaking on The Multiple Legacies of Joel Chandler Harris 2 p.m. Sunday, May 17, The Georgia Writers Museum, 109 S. Jefferson Ave., Eatonton; reservations required; georgiawritersmuseum@gmail.