Summer began in Georgia with warmer than normal temperatures throughout the state and shows no signs of yielding before fall. Because of the hot temperatures and lack of rainfall, drought expanded across the northern half of the state. By the end of the month of June, nearly half the state was in abnormally dry conditions or drought. Severe drought increased from 4 to 25 percent of the state, and three areas of extreme drought were added. The last time Georgia had any extreme drought was in February 2013.
Georgia temperatures were well above normal in June, ranging from one to almost four degrees above the 1981-2010 average. In the Augusta area, the monthly average temperature was 80.5 degrees – 1.9 degrees above normal. Not only are the temperatures up, but the rainfall average is also down. In the Augusta area, rainfall received was 2.87 inches – 1.85 inches below normal.
The dry conditions had many effects on agriculture. Pastures essentially shut down in northern parts of the state, and cattle farmers were feeding cattle hay because the grazing was so poor.
Dryland crops suffered from the lack of moisture and the hot conditions, particularly corn in higher locations. Some areas were so dry that late soybeans and other crops could not be planted. Some farmers reported having trouble producing enough vegetables for local markets.
Urban landscapers reported that lawns were getting “crunchy” and required extra irrigation. Wine producers, however, noted that the wine grapes this year are almost free of fungal diseases because of the low humidity.
Take these steps to ensure the health of your landscape:
1. Water your plants early in the morning.
Mornings are cool, and water doesn’t evaporate as readily as it does in the heat of the afternoon. Evenings are cool, too, but water sitting on leaves overnight can cause fungal diseases.
2. Water less frequently, but deeply.
Frequent, shallow waterings lead to weak, shallow-rooted plants. Less frequent, thorough waterings encourage roots to grow deep, where the soil stays moist longer.
3. Water the soil, not the plants.
Use a watering can, soaker hoses, drip irrigation or other water-conserving irrigation technique that saturates the soil while leaving the foliage dry.
4. Mulch your plantings.
A two- to three-inch layer of organic mulch such as shredded hardwood mulch, bark or pine straw slows evaporation by shading the soil and slows water runoff.
5. Don’t prune, fertilize or apply pesticides during a drought emergency.
All of these would put additional stress on your plants.
6. Put off major planting projects until water is more plentiful.
All newly established plants require a lot of irrigation. It’s best to delay planting trees, shrubs and large herbaceous plantings until the drought is over.
Robert Wesley Lambert and Rebecca Michelle Johnson applied for a marriage license March 16 and were married March 16 in Evans
Shad Lee Curd and Jennifer Lynn Hughes applied for a marriage license March 21 and were married April 4 in Tybee Island
David Lee Patrick and Natasha Lynn Landry applied for a marriage license May 2 and were married July 2 in
Frederic Carl Metcalfe and Grace Elizabeth Pilialoha Culver applied for a marriage license May 9 and were married July 9 in Grovetown
Daniel Ray Rice and Macy Virginia Knowles applied for a marriage license June 10 and were married July 4 in Union Point
Julian Kirk Pilgrim and Camela Michelle Setzer applied for a marriage license June 17 and were married June 25 in Appling
Herbert Clair Wilson and Anastasia Alexis McClain applied for a marriage license June 20 and were married June 24 in Augusta
Kevin Matthew Stokes and Courtney Jean Shearer applied for a marriage license June 23 and were married June 25 in Martinez
Edward Matthew Maner and Brook Amber Finch Cason applied for a marriage license June 23 and were married July 2 in Grovetown
Tracy Celeste Courson and Amy Marie Moore applied for a marriage license June 30 and were married July 5 in Evans
Jeffrey Alan Thomas Hughes and Cassie Gail Johnson applied for a marriage license June 30 and were married July 2 in Martinez
Kevin Allen Krescanko and Lacreshia J. Andrews applied for a marriage license July 1 and were married July 1 in Martinez
Philip Thomas Hicks and Sarah Nicole Deltoro applied for a marriage license July 5 and were married July 8 in Evans
Ron Abraham and Ritu Ramchandra Joshi applied for a marriage license July 6 and were married July 8 in Evans
James Patrick Caudill and Kaila Michele Cooper applied for a marriage license July 6 and were married July 9 in Augusta
Coty Brandon Bailey and Raven Taylor Lane applied for a marriage license July 8 and were married July 8 in Evans
Ronald Greg Newsome Sr. and Jennifer Lynn Hyatt applied for a marriage license July 11 and were married July 11 in Harlem
Devin Alexander Critell and Azariah Scheherazade Hadarah applied for a marriage license July 13 and were married July 13 in Evans
Alex Shead began the week with no college golf offers as he prepares to enter his senior year of high school.
He can soon expect that to change.
Shead posted a final-round, 1-under-par 71 for a two-shot victory Thursday in the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by PotashCorp at Jones Creek Golf Club.
An 18-year-old Appling resident, Shead claimed his first American Junior Golf Association win. He finished with a 3-under 213 total to defeat Spenser Slayden of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., by two shots. Defending champion Jake Milanowski shot 72 and finished third at 218.
“I really wanted to win this tournament,” Shead said. “I had been playing great coming in. To finally win one and finish it off feels great.”
It was a big week for the three homeschooled Augusta Eagles golfers. While Shead claimed the victory, his teammate, Montgomery Harrison, who earned a spot in the tournament through Sunday’s qualifier, closed with 74 and tied for fourth. Colson Herrin, another Sunday qualifier, shot 80 and tied for 39th.
“It shows we can compete with pretty much every team around here,” Shead said. “It’s good for Montgomery to finally get a good tournament in against a big field. It’s great.”
“I played very well,” said Harrison, an 18-year-old Evans golfer who, like Shead, is entering his senior high school with no college offers yet. “I’m very happy with how I played. This gives me a big confidence boost.”
Elisa Yang of Norcross, Ga., won the girls competition in dominating fashion after closing with 70. The Georgia commit was the lone girl under par all week, finishing with a 211 total for an 11-shot victory over Gabriela Coello, another Georgia commit.
Yang chipped in for birdie at No. 1 and then rolled in a 36-foot birdie putt at No. 3 and put the rest of her round in cruise control. Yang led the field with 13 birdies for the week.
“One of my goals was to shoot consecutive rounds under par and I did that,” said Yang, a rising Wesleyan senior who wore red and black in the final round. “And another goal was to win an AJGA event. It feels great to win after all the hard work I’ve done.”
Entering the final round with a one-shot lead, Shead got off to a strong start in the final round when he spun a 105-yard sand wedge shot into the hole for eagle at the par-3 third. He followed with a double bogey at No. 4 and then bounced back with a pair of birdies at Nos. 5 and 6.
The 18-year-old Shead admitted to being “very nervous” on the back nine, when he led by one. Slayden birdied Nos. 12 and 13 to take a one-shot lead, but Shead rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe at No. 15 to tie for the lead.
After striping his drive at the par-4 17th, Shead watched Slayden hit his ball left into the trees.
Slayden went on to make double bogey, giving Shead an opportunity to close the door on the tournament. Instead, he lipped out a two-foot par putt.
Up one entering No. 18, Shead hit his drive into the middle of the fairway and knocked his approach to 16 feet. While Slayden missed the green and made bogey to finish with 71, Shead two-putted for par to seal the victory.
Shead, who tied for eighth at the AJGA’s Davis Love III Junior Open in June, isn’t done playing golf this summer.
He is playing in a U.S. Amateur qualifier, Tuesday and Wednesday, at Horseshoe Bend Country Club in Roswell, Ga.
He’s also entered in an AJGA tournament next month in Tennessee.
Baseball team looking for youth talent
The 11U Augusta Rivercats are looking to add a player for the upcoming fall season. This is for children entering 5th and 6th grade and who did not turn 11 before May 1, 2016. For tryout information, please contact Bill Cleveland at 706-495-9502 or email@example.com.
Augusta Prep is holding a volleyball camp
Augusta Prep’s 13th annual summer volleyball camps is July 25-28. There are two sessions per camp, Middle School from 9 a.m.-noon (grades 5-8), and High School from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. (grades 9-12). The cost is $130 for the camp. For more info please contact Coach Rich Bland at (706) 414-6145, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.augustaprep.org/CampCavalier
Evans is holding two cheerleading camps
Evans High School is holding a cheerleading kiddie camp, July 18-22. The camp, for ages 5-12, runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Cost is $100.
For more information, contact Sarah Holtzner 706-863-1198 email@example.com
Augusta University holding baseball camp
The Jaguar baseball team is holding its third-annual NIKE Baseball camp, July 18-21, at Jaguar Field located next to Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The camp offers instruction in fundamentals and team play from the Augusta coaching staff and players in a safe, healthy and fun environment. The four-day camp, for boys ages 7-12, costs $235 per person and lasts from 9 a.m. to 3:30 each day. Campers are expected to bring lunch, cleats, sneakers, glove and a water bottle.
The camp features an eight-to-one camper to instructor ratio, daily emphasis on fundamental development, team play and skills, an official NIKE camp T-shirt, prizes, and a NIKE Baseball Camp graduation certificate.
For more details, call 1-800-NIKE-CAMP (1-800-645-3226).
If you have an announcement you’d like to run in the News-Times, send an email to Chris Gay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration open at Christian academy
Registration is open for fall classes in grades 6-12 at Evans Christian Academy. For more information, call (706) 364-3565.
Civil War Roundtable
Civil War Roundtable of Augusta meeting, 6 p.m. July 18, Snelling Center, 3165 Washington Road; dinner, $12; speaker, Edward Hightower, professor of history at Clark Atlanta University, will speak about Georgia’s penal system during Reconstruction; (706) 736-2909, email@example.com
Columbia County Republican Party Breakfast, 9 a.m. July 23, The Garlic Clove, 4534 Washington Road; $8 for breakfast; speakers are Lee Anderson and Greg Grzybowski, candidates for Georgia Senate District 24; ccgagop.org
Tutus for Cancer 5K
Tutus for Cancer 5K, 8 a.m. July 23, Barton Field, Fort Gordon; supports breast cancer awareness; displays and giveaways; wear pink performance gear; (706) 791-4300, fortgordonrunseries.com
10 Miler Qualifier
Army 10 Miler Qualifier, 8 a.m. July 23, Barton Field, Fort Gordon; open to all runners, but only active duty military members stationed at Fort Gordon will be considered for the Fort Gordon Army 10-Miler team; fortgordonrunseries.com
Saturday Chef – Cupcakes, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23, Helms College, 3145 Washington Road; $75; learn to prepare different flavors and simple decorating techniques; taught by Helms College professionals; (706) 651-9707
Wounded Spirits PTSD
Wounded Spirits PTSD Workshop, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. July 23, Holiday Inn at I-20, 441 Park West
Drive; free; biblical approach to dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress; free admission and materials; seating is limited; register by calling (703) 606-3858
Financial assistance for qualifying Grovetown residents’ eyeglasses; Grovetown Lions Club Eyeglass Program, P.O. Box 248, Grovetown 30813
9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1959 Appling-Harlem
Highway, Appling; Columbia County Cares Food Pantry; (706) 541-2834
CSRA Republican Women’s meeting
CSRA Republican Women’s Club monthly meeting, 6 p.m. July 25, Jones Creek Country Club, 777 Jones Creek Drive; speaker, Mary Cunningham, coordinator for Health Care for Homeless Veterans; social and dinner begin at 6 p.m.; dinner costs $12; business meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is free; RSVP on or before July 21; (706) 830-5730
11 a.m. first Saturdays; The Women’s Veterans Club; $24 per year; April Starks at (706) 868-5601
6:30-10:30 p.m. Saturdays, Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive, off Evans to Locks Road; dance lessons, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; dance, 7:30-10:30 p.m.; refreshments; Augusta Christian Singles; $8 members, $10 others; (762) 233-1978
Gold Prospectors Association of America, 7-9 p.m. second Thursdays, Dayspring Baptist Church, 4220 Belair Frontage Road; (706) 496-4611
4:30 p.m. Wednesdays,
Mindbody Stress Reduction Programs, 4210 Columbia Road Suite 4A, Martinez; Mindfulness and Expansive Meditations; $15,
$5 students with ID; (706) 496-3935, mindbodystressreduction
6:30 p.m. third Mondays, Georgia Military College, 115 Davis Road; CSRA Writers Group; free, bring eight copies of up to 10 pages of work (double-spaced); (706) 836-7315
4:30-6:30 p.m. Fridays,
1-6 p.m. Saturdays, Vineyard
Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463, vine11.com
For more local events or to post an upcoming event, visit events.augusta.com.