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Updated: 13 sec ago

Lady Panthers get leg up in area race

12 hours 37 min ago

High School volleyball teams are starting to play their most important games of the year.

Such was the case Thursday night when Lakeside High faced Grovetown for the fourth time. The Lady Warriors led the series 2-1, but none of the games counted toward either’s Area 2-AAAAA record, which is used for seeding the area tournament.

So, while the Lady Panthers’ 25-23, 25-17 victory evened the season series with the Lady Warriors at two wins apiece, it also counted toward both teams’ Area 2-AAAAA record. The Lady Panthers (12-5, 3-0 Area 2-AAAAA) have five more area contests before the area volleyball tournament begins on Friday, Oct. 10.

Lakeside volleyball coach Moe McCormack hopes her team isn’t playing its best yet.

“I thought we peaked a little bit early last year,” said McCormack. “I think the girls are pretty focused on still improving and getting better every day.”

One big addition to the Lady Panthers was the return of senior outside hitter Holly Sweeting, who started playing the previous weekend after off-season knee surgery.

“I’ve seen how our defense has come togther, and on the attacking end having Holly in the middle to go along with all the other kids who have been developing all season anyway, it just gives us a boost and it makes us even more competitive,” McCormack said.

Grovetown rolled out to a 6-0 start to the first set but Lakeside rallied to tie it at six. From that point on it was a back-and-forth affair with neither leading by three.

“You have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat Lakeside, you have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat Greenbrier and I don’t feel like we brought our ‘A’ game,” said Lady Warriors’ coach Amy Slagle. “They’re not going to hand you the game.”

The second set began close, with Grovetown up 6-5, but the Lady Panthers started pulling away with a 10-2 run. Abby Mash had four kills during the run and finished with a team-high eight for the match.

The Lady Warriors would get no closer the rest of the way and Sweeting finished the game with a kill.

“I feel like we had a lot of intensity and really wanted it,” said Sweeting. “They’re really good so it’s fun to play against them.”

After the match, Grovetown (22-5, 0-1 area) rebounded to beat Cross Creek (2-10, 0-2) 25-5, 25-8 and then Lakeside finished off the Lady Razorbacks 25-12, 25-4.

McCormack thought Thursday was a case of two quality teams facing each other and that it would be more of the same at the area competition.

“It’s going to be an interesting area tournament because all the teams I think are pretty good this year,” McCormack said. “It’s going to make for some great volleyball.”

Categories: Local

Swainsboro too much for outmanned 'Dogs

12 hours 38 min ago

The Harlem High School Bulldogs played Swainsboro tough in the first half Friday night but were overwhelmed in the second half.

The Bulldogs trailed the Tigers just 14-6 at halftime, but the Tigers scored two plays into the third quarter and rolled to the 48-12 win.

“We were outmanned,” said Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis, who thought his team played well in the first half. “In the second half we gave out, but I’m proud of the effort, they gave everything they had the whole night.”

The Tigers rushed for 90 yards in the first half and kept the ball on the ground exclusively in the second half, finishing with 312 rushing yards on 48 carries.

Taking the second half kickoff, they scored on a Terry Buley 18-yard run after Stanford ripped off a 33-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and they went on from there.

Conversely, the Bulldogs rushed for 54 yards, led by Bailey Postell, who toted it 18 times for 54 yards.

“We sent him in there to see what he could do,” said Lewis of Postell. “They were just too big up front, they stopped us up front. It’s hard to run when you’re giving away 40-50 pounds a man.”

The win gave the Tigers (2-3, 1-0) a leg up in both squads’ foray into Region 3-AA play as the Bulldogs dropped to 1-4, 0-1.

The halftime score could have been much different but the Tigers were able to take advantage of two Bulldogs’ miscues.

After the Tigers defense sacked Bulldogs quarterback Hunter Rippe and recovered the ensuing fumble, Tigers quarterback Trey Amerson found Eddie Braswell running free down the middle for a 34-yard touchdown with 4:04 left in the first quarter.

It was the only completion for Amerson, who attempted just two passes.

The Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot at the end of the half. A 24-yard punt from their own 16 and a personal foul penalty gave the Tigers a first down at the Bulldogs’ 25. Timothy Stanford rushed for 23 yards down to the 2 and punched it in on the next play.

The sophomore Stanford paced the Tigers’ attack, carrying the ball 18 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Unable to run, the Bulldogs’ aerial attack did some damage. Rippe was 13-of-19 for 155 yards and had scoring strikes of eight yards and one yard.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter

12 hours 39 min ago

Martinez man dies on I-20

A Martinez man died after being struck getting out of his disabled vehicle Sunday night on Interstate 20 in McDuffie County.

Tracey Watson, of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, identified the victim as Gary Pittman Morris, 63.

Police said Morris was driving a black BMW on eastbound Interstate 20 when he hit debris that was falling from a sanitation truck about 8:30 p.m. He pulled his disabled vehicle to the side of the interstate, got out and was hit by a tractor-trailer that was also eastbound.

After striking Morris, the tractor-trailer hit another vehicle that was on the shoulder of the road. No one else was injured.

Watson said all charges are pending. The Georgia State Patrol Collision Reconstruction Team is conducting a follow-up investigation.


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

Woman fights repossession

A repo man called authorities Thursday and said the owner of a car he was repossessing damaged his wrecker.

The employee of CSRA Recovery said he arrived at a business on Davis Road at about 2:20 p.m. to repossess a 2008 Nissan Titan for Fidelity Bank. He verified the vehicle identification and started to secure it to his wrecker. The owner of the SUV came outside and confronted the man, who showed her the repossession paperwork.

While he worked to secure the SUV to the wrecker, he said the woman got in, broke it free from the wrecker and drove it to a nearby business. She damaged her SUV and the wrecker’s hydraulic lift when she hit it as she escaped in the SUV.

The SUV was found several minutes later at Cushman’s Paint and Body on Washington Road in Evans. It was turned over to the recovery company.


Woman claims sexual assault

A Martinez woman said Saturday she was raped by her cousin three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old wo-man said she was walking on Miramar Drive in Martinez at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 10 because she was upset. She said her 18-year-old cousin came up behind her, put his hands over her face and whispered his name in her ear. He forced her to the ground and told her she’d do what he said or he’d “beat her eyes out.”

The woman said her cousin raped her. She told her cousin she didn’t want to do this, but she said he kept forcing her and holding her arms back. As she was crying and shaking, the woman said her cousin continued to rape her.

He then left her by the road. The woman said she walked home alone, took a shower and was scared to tell anyone about the incident at the time.


Obscene photos left at house

An Evans woman said someone has been leaving obscene photos at her home.

The 60-year-old woman said someone rang her doorbell just before 10 p.m. and left a pornographic image on her doorstep. When she answered the door, the woman said she found a photo of the video game character Mario with an image of a penis taped near his face.

The woman said earlier in the week, she came home from work and found a hand-drawn picture of a penis with blood dripping out of it taped to her mailbox.


Impersonators demand money

Several Columbia County residents recently reported they were called by someone claiming to be a deputy and demanding cash to avoid arrests.

An Evans man said on Sept. 26 that he received a call a few days earlier from someone claiming to be Lt. Bobby Williams with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division. The caller stated the man and his wife have warrants for their arrests and needed to pay $900 to avoid being arrested. The caller called back while a deputy was at the home and spoke to the caller. The deputy picked up the phone and the male caller identified himself again as a deputy. When asked what the call was in reference to, the caller said the couple had an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear.

When the deputy identified himself, the caller started cursing and hung up. The deputy called the number back and got a voicemail message stating it was the sheriff office warrants division.

Several other residents received similar messages or calls, but called authorities instead of obtaining cash cards as the caller had requested.

Categories: Local

Annual Oliver Hardy Festival Saturday in Harlem

12 hours 39 min ago

Laurel and Hardy fans are expected to flock to Harlem Saturday for the 26th annual Oliver Hardy Festival.

Harlem, the birthplace of the more rotund member of the famous comedic duo, will be celebrated beginning with a downtown parade at 10 a.m.

“We’re bigger than we’ve been in years,” Stacie Hart, the city’s Community Services director, said of the festival. “We’ve got an awesome parade planned.”

Opening ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. Live entertainment on two stages will go throughout the day including a 45-minute part of Seussical the Musical.

The festival also features about 225 arts, crafts and refreshment vendors and artist demonstrations, including glass-blowing and carved candle-making.
Hart said she expects 25,000-35,000 people to crowd the streets for the family-friendly festival. It also features Laurel and Hardy movies in the Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem, look-a-like contests and skits.

“The festival is going to be awesome,” Hart said. “It’s going to be great.”

The festival runs until 5 p.m.

But the fun continues with a concert at the Harlem City Park.

The second Jammin in the Park concert features Jim Cadiere and the Washboard Band, The Remedy, Ray Fulcher and County Line and The Jeremy Graham Band.

“They’ll be full-blown bands, not acoustic,” Hart said. “This is a full-blown concert.”

Tickets cost $10 for the north side of the pavilion in the park and $20 for the south side closest to the stage. Tickets are available to purchase in advance online at

Tickets are limited. Remaining tickets will be sold at the museum and information booth at the festival and at the gate.

The concert is a fundraiser to benefit the renovation of the former Columbia Theatre.

“Every penny goes to the Columbia Theatre restoration project,” Hart said. “We’re working diligently to get that thing in full swing.”

Categories: Local


12 hours 40 min ago
Categories: Local

Wrestlers grappling for a cure

12 hours 40 min ago

Flatline Pro Wrestling’s Saturday event at Patriots Park will be a special one.

Titled “The Fight for a Cure,” profits from the two-hour, ladder-match extravaganza will go to The Lydia Project to kick off National Cancer Awareness Month.

The Augusta-based non-profit organization offers various types of assistance to women and their families while coping with cancer.

Flatline owners Daniel Mayne and Chris Wiggins were looking to get more involved with the community and one day Wiggins got a call from the group looking for donations from local businesses, and the name rang a bell.

Wiggins’ grandmother had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago and while in Doctors Hospital had been comforted by visits from The Lydia Project members.

“It’s just been an amazing thing kind of happening over the last month or so trying to put this together and making sure we can get this awareness out there that this little non-profit organization helping women with cancer is out there,” said Wiggins. “They can use our help as much as possible and they’re doing great things for many loved ones.”

The announcement of what they would be doing was well-received. “I think everybody that’s in the locker room and that’s a part of Flatline Pro Wrestling is really stoked to be a part of something because it’s home grown, it’s not a large cancer society, it’s something that’s in our own backyard,” Wiggins said.

He didn’t know if wrestlers would be “pinked out” but the ropes will be pink.

Volunteers from The Lydia Project will be speaking on behalf of their organization. Admission for the 8 p.m show is $7 general seating and $10 for front-row seating. Law enforcement professionals and military receive a $3 discount.

Categories: Local

Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15

12 hours 40 min ago

The nearly two-month long open enrollment for Medicare begins in October.

The open-enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, according to information released by the CSRA Area Agency on Aging.

The annual open enrollment period is an opportunity to review, compare and select a healthcare plan for anyone eligible for Medicare, including a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Each year, new healthcare plans become available and changes might be made to existing plans.

For more information visit the Medicare Plan Finder at For a speaker, contact the Area Agency on Aging at (706) 210-2029.

Categories: Local

State has new demands for Columbia County hospital

12 hours 40 min ago

The state says a proposed Columbia County hospital can be built only if the county ponies up 20 percent, which means the county must make a new commitment that could cost it more than $30 million regardless of whether new SPLOST financing is approved by voters.

The new requirements should not be a problem, though, Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said.

At a recent meeting with Georgia Department of Community Health officials, the three Augusta hospitals vying to build the hospital in Columbia County were told that the only exception to the needs standard acceptable to the state would be if the county contributed to the cost of the project, according to documents obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

The hospitals have all acknowledged the saturation of licensed hospital beds in Augusta and that the project would not meet the standards for needed beds that the state would normally apply to a new hospital request. Instead, they were relying on one of three exceptions to that rule: if the applicant were an existing trauma center or teaching hospital or if the county contributed 20 percent to a sole community provider.

Georgia Regents Medical Center applied to build a 100-bed hospital based on all three exceptions; University Hospital and Doctors Hospital proposed similar hospitals, with the county kicking in its part.

According to its additional filing, state officials said that GRMC did not meet the exception for teaching and trauma “since the proposed Grovetown hospital is not an ‘existing facility’ already in operation at that location.”

Though acknowledging that the state has the right to look at it that way, Shawn Vincent, the vice
president for partnerships and strategic alliances for Georgia Regents Health System, said “it was certainly disappointing that DCH (the Department of Community Health) took such a narrow interpretation of the exceptions. The hope is that the trauma and teaching aspects of its proposal still will be seen in a better light” than the other applicants, he said.

In the two other times the state has allowed an exception to the need standard, the county paid 20 percent of the cost to expand existing hospitals.

The state also informed the hospitals, whose
separate applications have been joined so the
state can rule on all three together, that the funding letter from Columbia County and certain conditions it put on the funding would not suffice. Columbia County had said its part of the funding would come from a portion of a special purpose local
option sales tax package going before voters Nov. 4.

The county had capped its contribution at $30 million, with most of the three proposals estimating the cost of the new hospital at about $150 million. The state said the county had to give it assurances of another form of funding should the sales tax vote fail and that its portion must be 20 percent of the cost, which might exceed the cap.

Cross said the county has been meeting with the hospitals and could finance its share through revenue bonds issued by the Development Authority of Columbia County should the vote go against the tax package.

The other new demands also will not be a problem, he said.

“We will do whatever it takes to make them comfortable,” said Cross, adding that the county would meet its obligation.

The state extended its own deadline to make a decision in 30 days, moving it from late October to November, to give the county and the hospitals additional time to respond to its ruling.

Cross took the fact that the state did not already rule against the applications and was refining its requirements as positive signs.

“It shows they’re considering it seriously and it possibly has some merit,” he said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213


Categories: Local

Athlete Spotlight: Jamie Holodak

12 hours 41 min ago

After breaking onto the scene as an eighth-grader, Augusta Preparatory Day School’s Jamie Holodak is still trying to get better each time she hits the cross country course.

Holodak left her mark at the end of the 2013 season, winning the Georgia Independent School Association Region 4-AAA girls meet as the Lady Cavaliers won their 11th consecutive region crown. She then finished second at the state meet and the Lady Cavaliers finished second.

“It’s definitely hard to keep doing better each year,” the Lady Cavaliers freshman said. “Every race I go in trying to get my best time and trying to place very well each time.”

The Lady Cavaliers’ cross country and track coach is Holodak’s father, Tom Holodak, but she credits her older sister Jodie with getting her into running.

“I started running probably because my sister did it, and so I was defintely influenced by her to start running. Once I started, I definitely loved it.”

It was a different experience for Holodak competing on the same squad as her sister, a senior and the team captain.

“It was kind of weird being on the same team as my sister,” Holodak said. “I definitely probably tried to give her her own space. She was really good about the whole experience, so I think it was a good thing for both of us.”

Tom Holodak has had the firsthand look into what has made Jamie so successful so quickly on the course.

“She’s just natural,” Tom Holodak said. “I think what also helps too is she has a great work ethic, but she has shown that for a long time in everything she does, whether it be academics or all other sports. She’ll shoot for hours shooting baskets out in our driveway, doing drills on her own. She sets goals for herself and she’ll do whatever she needs to do to achieve those goals, and I don’t have to push any buttons.”

Dealing with her sister was one thing, it’s a whole other dynamic with her father as head coach.

“He definitely treats me the same, if not he goes harder on me than the others,” Holodak said. “It’s a cool experience to have your dad as your coach. You can learn more about him. Kind of learn more like what he’s passionate about, like coaching cross country and track.”

As well as running cross country and track, Holodak is hoping to join the Lady Cavaliers’ varsity basketball team after playing for the middle school team and a little on the JV a year ago.

“I hope to play varsity,” said Holodak, adding that’s she pretty good handling the ball. “I might be put on both teams. We’ll see.”

When there’s not a cross country meet, one of the things Holodak likes to do is cheer for Clemson, because that’s where her sister goes to college.

“I like to read when I have time, I guess. Mostly over the weekend I just watch football,” said Holodak, who was born in Dallas and is a self-professed huge Dallas Cowboys fan.

Categories: Local

Pet adoptions

12 hours 41 min ago
Categories: Local

Property Transfers, Sept. 28, 2014

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:13 AM

Keystone Homes Inc. to Kenneth Santiago, parcel ID 611756, $181,500.

Amanda Alford to Amy V. Hodge, parcel ID 077362, $145,000.

The United States Department of Urban Development of Washington D.C. to Brian Fossell, parcel ID 032179, $80,300.

Joseph N. Ford to Kingsbury Homes Inc., parcel ID 059143, $179,400.

Alex G. Beacham to Jeffrey L. Lacombe, parcel ID 072311, $6,881.

Denise D. Smith to Paul W. Hogan, parcel ID 071A030C, $325,000.

Anthony J. Moretti to Jeramie P. Martin and Katie J. Martin, parcel ID 065675A, $505,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to Luke Garland Maffey and Sarah Allison Maffey, 5418 Everlook Circle, $229,900.

Michael J. Oddi Sr. to Martha H. Hudgins, 407 Sandleton Way, $194,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to John Arthur Rockelmann III and Jennifer M. Rockelmann, 507 Mauldin Drive, $415,000.

Herbert Homes Inc. to Kevin M. Morris and Stephanie A. Morris, 4439 Grove Landing Drive, $159,900.

Paul W. Hogan to Joseph V. Chiariello and Karen S. Chiariello, 1189 Sumter Landing Circle, $319,000.

Eric R. Kees to Kevin D. Oard and Bevferly A. Oard, 516 Thompkins Lane, $458,000.

Nassau Development Inc. to Jeffrey J. Klima and Debra M. Klima, 503 Fort Augusta St., $327,000.

Keystone Homes Inc. to Kimberly D. Faircloth, 6013 Tyne Lane, $152,900.

William W. Hawn to Cameron K. Nielson and Alana C. Nielson, 8026 Battle St., $149,900.

Tijuana Bush nka Wiggins to Robert Black, 312 Hogan Way, $138,000.

Meera T. Saxena to Kurt C. Lathrop and Elevieria Lathrop, 422 Bakers Ferry Trail, $245,000.

RT Bailey Construction Inc. to Kaitlin Pelep and Stege Pelep, 5547 Connor Drive, $153,400.

Jeffrey T. Long to William A. Jernigan and Barbara J. Jernigan, 7102 Postell Drive, $322,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Nathaniel R. Hicks and Sasha M. Hicks, 327 Clearwater Lane, $259,225.

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Gerald M. McDonald, parcel ID 060842, $229,708.

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to James Jones III and Latoya R. Jones, parcel ID 0622498, $193,763.

MBH Holdings Inc. to Pillon Communities Inc., parcel ID 0622503, 0622502 and 0622501, $94,500.

Rush Enterprises LLC to Thomas Benjamin Baker, parcel ID 073G032, $157,500.

Kenneth E. Habeger to Scott L. Powell and Jodie D. Powell, parcel ID 061301, $169,500.

Johnnie N. Allen and Sandra Negron Realty LLC, 315 E. Robinson Ave., $99,900.

Grenelefe Park Properties LLC to Robert M. Sheffer, 861 Tyler Parkway, $42,900.

Jonathan T. Keller to Jeffrey K. Phipps, parcel ID 073K107, $138,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 2650 Waites Drive, $38,500.

William Stanley Crozier to Justin B. Crozier, 6235 Harlem-Grovetown Road, $150,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 2653 Waites Drive, $38,500.

Ivey Residential LLC to Tffani McMann and Brandon McMann, 5447 Everlook Circle, $252,500.

Wilson Parker Homes of Crawford Creek Inc. to Frederick P. O’Brien III, 1044 Highgrass Court, $377,000.

Keith Gardner to Maria Del Garrido-Calloway, 4010 Ellington Drive, $220,000.

Jerry W. Kendrick to Rafael Jordan, Rios Armstrong and Maria De Lourdes, a portion of parcel ID 068010 and 068010Q, $50,000.

Ashley London to Gary Hegner and Paula Hegner, 423 Aldrich Court, $227,000.

Gearig Brothers Civil Works LLC to David C. meade and Maggie M. Meade, parcel ID 069B037, $134,900.

Vincent C. Minardi Living Trust and Renee J. Minardi Living Trust to Clyde L. Knox Sr. and Janice L. Knox, parcel ID 078H215, $249,000.

Miriam L. Stein to Vira DeWees, parcel ID 073F070, $129,000.

Theodore W. Griffin to David Hutman Jones and Maryana Durden Jones, parcel ID 072M077, $280,000.

Gordon Lennox to Charles Cramer, parcel ID H05057, $113,000.

Charles A. Hall to Carol J. Cory, parcel ID 065704, $212,000.

IDK Homes Inc. to Dennis A. Johnson and Jean E. Johnson, parcel ID 0671357, $208,000.

David J. Deluca to Dennis Rivera, 207 Brookstone Circle, $143,000.

David Bruce Wall to Charles William Conway, 1030 Lancaster Way, $234,900.

Eharat Patel to Justin J. Shields, 318 Frick Lane, $121,000.

Matthew S. Titus to Christopher E. Belt and Sabine Belt, parcel ID G09278, $147,500.

Robert C. Frashuer to Charles V. Swann and Patricia A. Swann, 2070 Sylvan Lake Drive, $139,900.

Steve E. Linker t Stephen L. Morris and Sarah D. Morris, 820 Matts Lane, $112,500.

Grenelefe Park Properties LLC to Park Ridge Builders Inc., parcel ID 068428 and 068429, $99,800.

Robert B. Fox to Sandra Richter, 1930 Kenlock Drive, $157,000.

Pierwood Construction Co. to Lisa Geer and David Geer, 445 Sebastian Drive, $187,900.

James and Linda Tucker Trust to Matthew C. Welch and Erica Saxon, 3910 Almon Drive, $84,000.

Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to Matthew Barksdale, 232 Asa Way, $179,900.

Roy E. Watkins to Richard Guy Spencer ad Carolyn June Spencer, parcel ID 081C009, $155,000.

William M. Harris Sr. to Jair B. Morehouse, parcel ID 071F039, $144,000.

Michael V. Marchek to Eric J. Kolb and Elizabeth A. Kolb, 993 Windmill Lane, $215,000.

Lindsey P. Brown to Deanna R. Beech and D. Bruce Beech, parcel ID 058A031, $329,900.

Barry D. Bramlett to Wesley A. Hamm and Lesley A. Hamm, parcel ID 072M098, $280,000.

Cecil H. Mahan Jr. to William W. Watson and Debra B. Watson, parcel ID 0671444, $350,000.

Wesley A. Hamm to Corey F. Nolan and Amy F. Nolan, parcel ID 067619, $182,000.

George L. Laube Jr. to Brennen K. Forbes and Lindsey C. Blackwell, parcel ID 082J038, $146,750.

Medallion Construction Co. Inc. to Christina Michelle Ansley, a portion of parcel ID 059038X, $214,900.

Ronald C. Abrahamson to Joe Edward Wilson and Olga C. Wilson, parcel ID 062788, $171,000.

Matthew W. Baldwin to Javed M. Khan and Nadia J. Khan, parcel ID 0671087, $239,000.

Ronald C. Smith to Harvey B. Woods III and Ginger L. Woods, 715 Riverbend Drive, $262,000.

Regis Development Co. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 0621401, $26,900.

Regis Development Co. to Bill Beazley Homes Inc., parcel ID 0621428, $26,900.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Rory Patrick Fields and Brianna Lynn Fields, 1660 Cedar Hill Drive, $182,500.

Steven D. Fransoso to K & N Construction Co. Inc., parcel ID 065A312, $84,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Scott R. Fry and Emily E. Fry, 1636 Cedar Hill Drive, $169,357.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Susan E. Warren , 468 Sebastian Drive, $156,900.

Travis S. Boyd to Lionel J. Vanleer, 242 High Meadows Circle, $155,000.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Sangeetha Sukemari Ramesh and Sivaji Chidambaram Subhadra, parcel ID 082392, $287,000.

Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to David B. Powers, 233 Asa Way, $185,455.

Rufus H. Sanders Jr. to Isaac Beard and J.C. Beard, 282 S. Bell St., $58,500.

Gail E. Brinkman as trustee of the Johnson Family Irrevocable Trust dated April 26, 2012 to Joshua Cameron Gainey, 4536 Colonial Road, $75,000.

Downeast Homebuilders Inc. to Tracy L. Williams and Nicole Williams, 448 Sebastian Drive, $198,500.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 2652 Waites Drive, $38,500.

William K. Carpenter to Charles Lanneau Foster II, 127 Sugar Maple, $163,000.

Team Excavating Co. to Mount Paran Homes of Augusta Inc., 1201 Yost Drive, $56,900.

William L. Hartsman to Christina Marie McDaniel, 860 Pawley Court, $75,500.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, Sept. 28, 2014

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:13 AM

John Bradford Fuller and Priscilla Elizabeth Lowman applied for a marriage license on Sept. 10, 2014, and were married Sept. 10, 2014, in Evans.

Cody Aaron Blackmon and Erika Kaitlynn Hopkins applied for a marriage license on Aug. 22, 2014, and were married Sept. 6, 2014, in Appling.

Timothy Charles Brown II and Ryan Ashley Bargeron applied for a marriage license on Aug. 29, 2014, and were married Sept. 6, 2014, in Appling.

Jarvis Levell Smith and Latashia Ann Kennedy applied for a marriage license on Sept. 12, 2014, and were married Sept. 12, 2014, in Evans.

John Bradford Lesko and Katelyn Elizabeth Waldrup applied for a marriage license on Aug. 29, 2014, and were married Sept. 6, 2014, in Martinez.

Robert Wesley Wahl and Celina Marie Zapata applied for a marriage license on Sept. 5, 2014, and were married Sept. 6, 2014, in Augusta.

Kevin Dwayne Smith and Stacey Elaine Bartholomew applied for a marriage license on Aug. 11, 2014, and were married Sept. 6, 2014, in Appling.

Wyatt Dean Spencer and Brittni Nicole Embry applied for a marriage license on Sept. 12, 2014, and were married Sept. 12, 2014, in Evans.

Ross Godwin Peterson and Amy Elizabeth Bumpas applied for a marriage license on July 24, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Appling.

Daniel Jose Alsdorf and Emily Elizabeth Hammond applied for a marriage license on Sept. 2, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Augusta.

Joshua Darren Fields and Ashton Marie Browder applied for a marriage license on Aug. 27, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Appling.

Bradley Joseph Hanson and Shannon Nicole Funk applied for a marriage license on Sept. 9, 2014, and were married Sept. 12, 2014, in Augusta.

Willie James Jennings and Adienne Denise Cummings applied for a marriage license on Sept. 10, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Augusta.

Jeffrey Alan Obetz and Lisa Dawn Labbe applied for a marriage license Aug. 22, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Appling.

Categories: Local

Divorces, Sept. 28, 2014

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:13 AM

Jonathan Kaylor and Mary T. Kaylor, Sept. 12, 2014.

Iraj O’Bryant and Jelyssia O’Bryant, Sept. 19, 2014.

Shelley L. Noel and John C. Noel, Sept. 19, 2014.

Travis P. Dyer and Amber P. Dyer, Sept. 19, 2014.

John Robert Conway and Sunny Elaine Tucker, Sept. 19, 2014.

Toneka Lashon Bland and Duane Edward Bland, Aug. 29, 2014.

Melinda Danielle Wiles and Brian Christopher Wiles, Sept. 19, 2014.

Matthew J. Pulliam and Charlene Barnes, Sept. 10, 2014.

Judith P. McCall and Gregory D. Moye, Sept. 17, 2014.

Sonya Renee O’Hara and Kevin Lee O’Hara, Sept. 12, 2014.

Anthony Todd Brantley and Evelyn Blalock Brantley, Sept. 16, 2014.

Categories: Local

County History

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:11 AM

Nancy Blanchard and William Paschal, members of the Columbia County Historical Society, are making sure the history of the old Leah High School is not forgotten. They have contributed items to the Leah Museum, which is attached to fire station No. 16 on Ray Owens Road.

The museum opened in 2010 after an effort to restore the arch, which led to the school, was completed.

Both Blanchard and Paschal have fond memories of the time they spent at the school, which graduated its last senior class in 1949. The school’s lower school classes closed in 1956.

“Geography was my favorite subject,” said Blanchard. “I also remember playing baseball at recess.”

Paschal, who attended the high school for two years and played on the basketball team, clearly remembers his time there.

“I drove the school bus one year,” said Paschal. “I was just a kid. I also loved to work in the carpenter shop.”

Other memories Paschal has about school don’t have anything to do with education.

“I remember Mrs. Manny Ware (a teacher),” recalls Paschal. “She drove a ’36 Chevy. We picked up the back of her car and put a melon rind under the rear wheels. Then we’d stand back and watch her spin.”

Blanchard also remembers the teachers.

“Mrs. Reese was one of my teachers,” recalls Blanchard. “And Mrs. Goolsby and Mrs. Ward.”

Elizabeth Hardin Reese, 108, still lives nearby.

One of the items in the museum is an old school bell that is believed to be the one that teacher Jessie Ramsey rang to call the children in from recess.

“It was found under a house that Mrs. Ramsey once lived in,” said Blanchard.

A visit to the Leah Museum, which is open by appointment only, can be arranged by calling Nancy Blanchard at (706)

Categories: Local

Event to showcase foods facing extinction

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:10 AM

An international organization with a new local chapter will hold its first event in the area this week at the Evans Towne Center Farmers Market. Dubbed “Ark in the Park,” the event will showcase distinctive foods.

According to its Web site, Slow Food is a “global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.”

Slow Food was founded to counter the “rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.”

The Ark in the Park event will be Thursday from 4:30-7 p.m. It is the organization’s “living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction,” according to Dr. Stephen Fountain of Slow Food Central Savannah River (CSR).

Dr. Fountain said animals like those that were on the ark will be at the event. Local chefs will be preparing and distributing samples of dishes made with ark ingredients.

“Kids will also be able to plant ark seeds and take them home with them,” he said, adding that food samples and seeds will be available.

Those interested in becoming members of the local Slow Food chapter will learn more about the organization and can join Slow Food CSR at the market.

“Many foods on the ark, both plants and animals, are produced right here in our area, and attendees will get to see some of them, and more importantly, to taste some of the wonderful dishes made with these amazing ingredients.”

“You can see the whole USA Ark of Taste catalog at,” said Dr. Fountain. “It’s very cool.”

The Evans Towne Farmers Market is open Thursdays from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Evans Library park through Oct. 30.

Categories: Local

Officials will consider Rhodes building renovations

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:10 AM

A staff recommendation for the renovation of one of the former Rhodes-Murphy buildings will go before Columbia County officials at Tuesday’s semimonthly board of commissioners’ meeting.

The county purchased the three buildings on the Ronald Reagan Drive site in October for $3 million.

Since then, a rainstorm has caused significant damage to the third building, the one farthest from Ronald Reagan Drive.

“The damage was pretty extensive,” Deputy County Administrator Glenn Kennedy said at a recent Development and Engineering Services Committee meeting.

Rainwater collected in the gutters of the building backed up and ran down an interior wall of the building damaging walls and carpet. Upon further inspection, Facilities Services Special Projects Manager John Paul Stout said the roof of the building needs to be repaired as well.

He suggested that the state contractor, Centennial Contractor Enterprises Inc., move in to make the $119,000 worth of repairs. Centennial is already working on $251,000 worth of similar repairs on the front building, where the state Department of Revenue is expected to move into before the end of the year.

Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the county is obligated up to $25,000 of the cost of the front building’s renovation, per the lease agreement with the revenue department.

Stout said the $119,000 price tag is for a “pretty comprehensive overhauling” of the third rain-damaged building. “This is a building we would have the option of leasing out. ... So speed is of the essence.”

The needed repairs include removing wallpaper, repairing sheetrock walls and removing and replacing carpet. Stout also recommended minor roof repairs including adding a water-proof membrane in the gutters, repairing some soft spots on the roof and replacing some flashing to ensure water can’t get inside again.

“I’ve got some reservations about this,” Cross said at the meeting.

Cross said he’d prefer to see the project go out for bid to get the best price and possibly reduce the scope of the renovations.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done on that,” Cross said.

Categories: Local

Sheriff's office gets life-saving, crime-fighting donations

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:09 AM

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office recently received a few new gadgets for its tool box.

Michael Cardenaz, president and co-founder of the J.D. Paugh Memorial Foundation, donated some tools to the sheriff’s office Monday, including a Recon Robitics Throwbot XT and 50 Combat Action Tourniquets.

The throwbot, worth $4,800, is an armored, hand-held robot that can be thrown into a variety of critical incident scenes. It can be remotely controlled from a safe distance and provides video using ambient light and infrared for low-light situations and audio to a hand-held controller.

“This little thing, everybody looks at it as a toy,” said Cardenaz, who was a colleague of Paugh, a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot in the line of duty on Oct. 23, 2011. “Officer safety-wise, it’s tremendous.”

The robot is quiet and can be used to locate armed suspects, confirm the presence of hostages or innocent civilians, monitor the layout of a structure, listen in on conversations and confirm the status of barricaded people.

Sheriff’s office Capt. Butch Askew said it will come in handy most frequently for deputies responding to calls of suicidal people. The throwbot will allow deputies to get information without putting a deputy or canine officer at risk and approach suspects in a less-threatening and stealthier way.

“The biggest thing is just putting eyes on something,” Askew said. “Does he have weapons? Does he have hostages? Has he already committed suicide? Is he in distress?

“It’s just really a lot safer than putting a deputy or a dog in there.”

Askew said such a device was on the sheriff’s office’s list of desired items, but budget restraints never allowed the department to purchase one.

“There’s a difference between have to have and want to have,” Askew said.

Cardenaz, through the foundation, also provided the sheriff’s office with 50 tactical tourniquets.

The tourniquets are designed for quick application in cases of hemorrhages from extremities. Deputies can use them on themselves, each other or civilians in need of assistance.

“These are amazing tools,” said Jordan Desario, of the Georgia Regents University’s Center for Operations Medicine. He is one of the tactical medics for the sheriff’s office’s Special response Team and is responsible for their tactical medical training.

Desario said the long-standing belief that using a tourniquet would result in losing a limb has been debunked. It takes only a few minutes for a person with an arterial hemorrhage to bleed to death, and the tourniquets can be the life-saving device needed for survival in those critical minutes.

Desario said if the tourniquet is applied before the injured person shows signs of shock, they have a 90 percent survivability rate. If it’s applied after symptoms of shock, that rate drops to about 10 percent.

“The sooner we can get this onto someone and have it effectively control bleeding, the better off the patient is,” Desario said.

Cardenaz said he’s glad to hear that the tourniquets are going mainly to the road patrol deputies, who are often first on the scene of wrecks and other incidents.

“If one of those saves a life, saves trauma, for one person, I don’t care if I buy 50 or 5,000, it’s worth it,” Cardenaz said.

Cardenaz said the foundation was founded to raise money for Paugh’s family, who instead wanted the funds to go back to help local law enforcement agencies. Since its inception, the foundation has donated $122,000 worth of supplies and equipment to 11 different local agencies.

Askew said he’s grateful for the donations.

“(Paugh) gave up his life serving, but he still is,” Askew said. “With this memorial, he’s still protecting people through stuff like this.”

Categories: Local

Officials tell Grovetown, Columbia County residents to brace for change

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:09 AM

By Steve Crawford


With rapid growth comes growing pains.

That appeared to be the message many Columbia County leaders wanted to convey to the more than 300 people gathered Tuesday at Liberty Park gym in Grovetown.

Representatives from the county government, the school board, the cities of Harlem and Grovetown and Fort Gordon had come together for the fourth annual State of the Community Address, sponsored by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

County Commission Chairman Ron Cross told everyone to be prepared for many years of road construction.

Miles of Washington Road, a William Few Parkway extension, River Watch Parkway and other traffic arteries will be in various stages of construction over the next few years, and more construction is planned well into the next decade. More roundabouts and bike lanes are also planned.

Cross said there was one thing, however, residents should not expect soon. “I don’t know anything about a new gate at Fort Gordon,” he said, estimating that such a project would cost $100 million. “That’s something I still think needs to start in Washington, well above our heads.”

Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Samuel Anderson said the subject was being discussed with the “most senior leaders” in the Army chain of command.

“This is my No. 1 construction project at Fort Gordon,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, we are not going to see a spade put in the ground any time soon.”

In the meantime, local communities will continue to see growth from an expected 10,000 military personnel and families moving to the area by 2019. That doesn’t include civilian job growth associated with military contractors and other companies, he said.

“The one thing I can’t emphasis enough is that this growth is happening now,” Anderson said, pointing out the more than 570 new students in county schools as evidence.

Grovetown Mayor George James doesn’t need any new evidence. He said he sees it outside on Robinson Avenue every day.

“Morning and afternoon, Robinson Avenue is bumper to bumper to bumper,” he said. “But change is coming.”

James said the city has a plan to address the traffic jams going to and from Fort Gordon, which should move commuters through the city faster and provide alternative routes for city residents.

“You are going to see Robinson Avenue changed, and Wrightsboro Road changed,” he said. “It is going to be all for the better of the community.”

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, Sept. 28, 2014

Sun, 9/28/2014 12:09 AM

Inmate found dead in jail cell

An inmate in the Columbia County Detention Center was found dead in his cell Monday evening.

A jailer said he was serving dinner to inmates and noticed Troy Michael Smith, 50, of Grovetown, face-down on a pillow in his cell. Smith didn’t respond to efforts by the jail’s medical team, according to Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.

Collins said Smith had a seizure disorder and was on medication. He thinks Smith’s death was from a compromised airway due to a seizure.

An autopsy was performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atanta on Wednesday. The official cause of death will not be released until toxicology results come back.

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

Man’s truck is hit by gunfire

A Grovetown man told authorities Monday that someone shot into his truck.

The 26-year-old man said his truck was hit between midnight and 6:30 a.m. while it was parked in the street in front of the home.

Deputies found what appeared to be a bullet hole all the way through the passenger door and a bullet fragment on the floorboard.

A second bullet came through the hood of the truck and two .380 bullet casings were found in the street.

Burglar kicks in door at home

A Martinez woman said a burglar kicked in her front door early Wednesday.

The 20-year-old woman said she found her front door kicked in just after 1 a.m. The burglar stole a television from the master bedroom, went through drawers in the second bedroom and unplugged a television in that room.

The burglar did not take $80 or the television from the second bedroom.

Deputies found fingerprints on the television, DVD player and a shoeprint on the front door.

Wallet thief binge spends

Whoever stole a man’s wallet recently went on a spending spree with his stolen credit cards.

A 60-year-old man said his wallet was stolen from the Home Depot on Belair Road in Evans on Tuesday. When he called his credit card companies, the man said he discovered someone had used them fraudulently.

The man said someone spent $1,500 on one card, $600 on a second and $3,000 with a third credit card.

Categories: Local

Tigers wear down Bulldogs

Sat, 9/27/2014 12:21 AM

The Harlem High School Bulldogs played Swainsboro tough in the first half Friday night but were overwhelmed in the second half.
The Bulldogs trailed the Tigers just 14-6 at halftime, but the Tigers scored two plays into the third quarter and rolled to the 48-12 win.
"We were outmanned," said Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis, who thought his team played well in the first half. "In the second half we gave out, but I'm proud of the effort, they gave everything they had the whole night."
The Tigers rushed for 90 yards in the first half and kept the ball on the ground exclusively in the second half, finishing with 312 rushing yards on 48 carries. Taking the second half kickoff, they scored on a Terry Buley 18-yard run after Stanford ripped off a 33-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and they went on from there.
Conversely, the Bulldogs rushed for 54 yards led by Bailey Postell who toted it 18 times for 54 yards.
"We sent him in there to see what he could do," said Lewis of Postell. "They were just too big up front, they stopped us up front. It's hard to run when you're giving away 40-50 pounds a man."
The win gave the Tigers (2-3, 1-0) a leg up in both squads' foray into Region 3-AA play as the Bulldogs dropped to 1-4, 0-1.
The halftime score could have been much different but the Tigers were able to take advantage of two Bulldogs' miscues.
After the Tigers defense sacked Bulldogs quarterback Hunter Rippe and recovered the ensuing fumble, Tigers quarterback Trey Amerson found Eddie Braswell running free down the middle for a 34-yard touchdown with 4:04 left in the first quarter.
It was the only completion for Amerson who attempted just two passes.
The Bulldogs defense was effective in th first half, holding on downs and forcing three punts. The Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot at the end of the half, however. A 24-yard punt from their own 16 and a personal foul penalty gave the Tigers first down at the Bulldogs' 25. Timothy Stanford rushed for 23 yards down to the 2 and punched it in on the next play with 2:10 left in the half.
The sophomore Stanford paced the Tigers' attack carrying the ball 18 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
Unable to run, the Bulldogs' aerial attack clicked. Rippe was 13-of-19 for 155 yards and threw scoring strikes of eight yards and one yard.
Down 7-0, Harlem mixed runs and passes on an 11-play, 62-yard scoring drive. Under pressure on third down from the 8, Rippe stood tall in the pocket and found Kurt Muns in the middle of the end zone for the touchdown.

Categories: Local

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