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Updated: 3 min 58 sec ago


Wed, 10/22/2014 12:12 AM
Categories: Local

Police Blotter

Wed, 10/22/2014 12:12 AM

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

Statutory rape charge lodged against teen

A Grovetown teen was arrested last week accused of having a tryst with an underage girl.

Grady Laquez Moss, 17, of Overlook Circle, was charged Oct. 15 with statutory rape and electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor.

The mother of a 13-year-old Grovetown girl called authorities on Oct. 5. She said her daughter met with Moss, a Harlem High School student, in the woods near a church on Old Augusta Highway to have sex.

She also found text messages on her daughter’s phone relating to the incident.

The woman said her daughter admitted that she had had sex with Moss.

He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center Thursday after posting a $3,700 bond, according to jailers.


Man reports being watched in bathroom

A man called authorities to a Martinez store Friday after he said a man watched him use the public restroom.

The 32-year-old man said he was using the bathroom at the Wal-Mart on Bobby Jones Expressway at about 2:20 p.m., when he noticed a man looking at him through the crack in the front of the bathroom stall. He wasn’t sure of what he saw at first, but heard the man walk to the sink and wash his hands and get paper towels.

He said the stranger then walked back and watched him through the crack again as he dried his hands. This happened several times until the man said something to the stranger and he left.

A witness said he came into the bathroom and saw a man washing his hands at the sink and looking toward the stalls. He thought it was odd because the man was going through the motions of washing his hands, but the water wasn’t running. He went into a stall next to the man and had to borrow toilet paper from him.

He then heard the man say loudly, “Is there anything I can get for you buddy? You have been staring at me for the past 10 minutes.”

The witness never saw the stranger looking into the stall and both men were gone when he exited the stall.


Woman tries to take back her donation

The cashier at a Mar-tinez store said a woman tried to take back cash she put into a donation jar on Saturday.

The cashier at Dollar General on Baston Road said that a woman came into the store at about 8 p.m. and put an unknown number of dollar bills into a donation jar at the register. The cashier said about 30 minutes later, the woman returned and took money out of the jar. The woman said she wanted her money back. The woman left before deputies arrived.

Student reports missing exhaust

A Greenbrier High School student said Friday that someone stole the exhaust pipe from his truck.

The 17-year-old told the school public safety officer that he arrived at school and parked in the school lot at 7:30 a.m. When he returned to the 2001 Ford truck at about 10:15 a.m., the exhaust pipe was missing from the truck.

Categories: Local

Pet adoptions

Wed, 10/22/2014 12:10 AM
Categories: Local

Current Events

Wed, 10/22/2014 12:09 AM

Trick or treat

Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, Patriots Park Gym, 5445 Columbia Road, Grovetown; admission one canned food item; first 400 children get a free Halloween bag; (706) 650-5034,

Audubon trip

Augusta-Aiken Audubon field trip 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary, 4542 Silver Bluff Road, Jackson; meet at Kathwood Ponds; looking for birds and wildlife around the ponds and other areas; Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead; free;

Benefit tea

Pirates and Princesses for a Cause Tea 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 25, Evans High School Commons, 4550 Cox Road; for ages 4-8; learn manners; decorate a tea cup, wand or sword and crown or pirate hat; tea party with finger foods and tea; wear costumes; $20; benefits Georgia Firefighters’ Burn Association; presented by Evans High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America;

Fall festival

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, Word of Life Church at Keg Creek, 6389 Washington Road, Appling; food, games, prizes, giveaways; free

Columbia fair

Rides, games, food, fun; 5-11 p.m. Oct. 30, Nov. 3-6, 5 p.m. to midnight Oct. 31, Nov. 7, noon-midnight Nov. 1, 8, 1 p.m. until Nov. 2;

Helping veterans

Beulah Grove Baptist Church Veterans Service Outreach Ministry Veterans Workshop 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, Beulah Grove Baptist Church; Dr. W.J. Hillson, Dr. Clarence Brown, Kerry Elders, Linda Singletary, Reuben Wanjala, the Rev. Ray Adams, Willie Williams Sr. and Dr. Paul Kelly, speakers; information on Augusta Warrior Project, Wounded Warriors, Navy Federal Credit Union, claims/compensation and pension, employment and labor force, entrepreneurship and franchise opportunities, more; free; reservations required by Nov. 1; (706) 724-1086,,

Alzheimer’s walk

Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday, Nov. 1, Columbia County Amphitheater; registration 8 a.m., ceremony 9 a.m., walk 9:30 a.m.; 2-mile route; singing, sidewalk chalk, cheering, memory garden; (800) 272-3900,


Lynndale Advocates Vendor/Craft Bazaar 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, Lynndale Inc., 1490 Eisenhower Drive; aromatherapy, creative crafts, pottery, scrapbooks, note cards, handmade bows, beaded jewelry, more; greenhouse open; refreshments;

Hounds Towne

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, Evans Towne Center Park; free admission; pet costume contest, vendors, animal demos; hound blessing 10 a.m.; live music by Doug and the Henrys 11 a.m.; (706) 312-7194,

Casino night

Safe Homes Casino Night 6:30-11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road; blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, prize wheel; reverse raffle for $5,000; $75-$175;

Open house

Westminster Middle and Upper School Open House Drop-In 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, Westminister Schools of Augusta, 3067 Wheeler Road; learn about Westminster’s sixth- through 12th-grade programs; informational table in Building 300, guided tours of Middle and Upper School grounds;


Westminster Schools of Augusta Evening of Theatre 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8, Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; theater featuring our one-act play, The 39 Steps, and our fall play, Alice in Wonderland; $15 adults, $10 students/alumni, $5 ages 10 and under;

Field trip

Augusta-Aiken Audubon Field Trip to Dilane Plantation WMA, meet 7 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, in parking lot of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Road, to carpool to the Wildlife Management Area, which is approximately an hour drive south; annual sparrow trip, sparrows main focus, but many other birds will be spotted, including Red-headed Woodpeckers; bring lunch; Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead; active WMA and hunters may be present – take proper precautions and wear bright colors, preferably orange;


Presented by Greater Augusta Youth Theater 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 15, Greenbrier High School, 5114 Riverwood Parkway, Evans; Broadway hit about an orphan girl who find happiness with a grouchy millionaire and his loving gal; $13-$15; (706) 860-9729,

Guitar Pull

Kicks 99 Guitar Pull presented by Boots, Bridles and Britches; show 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18: Hunter Hayes, Joe Nichols, Kip Moore, Thompson Square, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch; $35;


Christian singles

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; alcohol and smoke free; Augusta Christian Singles; $8 members, $10 others; Barbara Nash (803) 640-2075,

Eyeglass help

Financial assistance for qualifying Grovetown residents to purchase eyeglasses; Grovetown Lions Club; write to Grovetown Lions Club Eyeglass Program, P.O. Box 248, Grovetown, GA 30813

Farmers market

4:30-7 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 30, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; Evans Towne Farmers Market; local farmers committed to all-natural growing practices, children’s activities, cooking demos and vegetable gardening education;,

Fire information

Advice on fire dangers for Columbia County residents; presented by Georgia Forestry Commission, Columbia County; (706) 556-3962

Food pantry

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1959 Appling Harlem Highway, Appling; Columbia County Cares Food Pantry; (706) 541-2834

Hospital classes

Variety of classes each month; Doctors Hospital; (706) 651-2450,

Live wrestling

Live action first Saturday every month; doors open 7:30 p.m., belltime 8 p.m., Patriots Park Gymnasium, 5445 Columbia Road, Grovetown; $10 front row, $7 general admission, 5 and younger free;


4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Mindbody Stress Reduction Programs, 4210 Columbia Road Suite 4A, Martinez; Mindfulness and Expansive Meditations; experience deeper awareness, clarity and stress reduction through guided meditations; $15, $5 students with ID; registration required;
(706) 496-3935,


MOMS Club of Augusta meets 10 a.m. first Wednesdays (except December); chapter includes Augusta, Martinez and North Augusta; e-mail for location;,


Columbia County Orchestra and Columbia County Youth; weekly meetings; musicians needed; information can be found online;

Public speaking

7 p.m. Mondays, University Hospital Education Wing, third floor, room 3; Riverwalk Toastmasters Public Speaking and Leadership Club; Sharma Pogula (706) 855-1081,


Barbara C. Beazley Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by The Columbia County Foundation for Children; must be a Columbia County resident and intend to enroll or are currently enrolled in a college or technical school; applications available from school counselors’ offices and online; grants are need-based; deadline to apply and submit documents May 30;


Fort Gordon’s Survivor Outreach Services, for families of deceased soldiers; (706) 787-4767,

Categories: Local

Columbia County History

Wed, 10/22/2014 12:08 AM
Categories: Local

Driver hits Martinez convenience store

Wed, 10/15/2014 11:41 AM

A man wasn’t seriously injured Wednesday morning when he hit a Martinez gas station with his truck.

Authorities suspect that Matthew Redfern, 26, of Augusta, had a seizure or other medical condition while driving at about 9:45 a.m. on Washington Road, just west of Columbia Road, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Deputy Leonard Newman.

Witnesses Billy Adams and Alex King, both employees of Yard Barber USA, were pumping gas into lawn equipment at the Circle K at 3930 Washington Road when they heard Redfern’s Ford truck speed over a curb and into the parking lot.

“He flew through,” Adams said. “I thought he was just speeding in, hauling butt... He went right behind us.”

Adams and King were at a gas pump when Redfern’s truck sped by within feet of them and hit the side door of the store. The truck continued bumping along the side of the store until it hit a large curb and an ice freezer at the back corner of the building.

“We just ran over there,” King said.

Adams said he opened the truck door and found Redfern having what appeared to be a seizure. He held Redfern’s head up and pumped his chest to make sure he was breathing. The three ended up outside the truck on the ground until emergency personnel arrived.

When they asked, Redfern said he’s had seizures before.

No one inside or outside the store was injured. Redfern was alert and conscious when emergency personnel took him to a nearby hospital.

Categories: Local

Sports calendar

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:13 AM

Golf Tournament

• The Evans High School baseball team will be holding its annual golf tournament on Oct. 25 at Jones Creek Golf Club. Lunch will be served about 11:30 a.m. with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Fees are $70 per player, $280 per four-man team and hole sponsorships are available for $100 each. Contact Ricky Beale at

• The ARC Alumni and Friends golf tournament at Belle Meade Country Club is Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. Cost is $60. Contact or (706) 364-7830.


Baseball Tournament

The Georgia Regents University Augusta Dugout Club is playing host to its first Jaguar Baseball Golf Tournament at Forest Hills Golf Club on Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. Cost is $400 for a four-person team and sponsorships for $100 a hole are available. Call Matt Morrison at (706) 533-6875, Coach Rau at (706) 726-7917 or Clint Hardy at (706) 339-3661.


Swim Lessons

Join the Family Y to enhance your swimming prowess with specific training in endurance and stroke work. Swimmers must be able to swim 50 yards of the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. Session dates are Oct. 14-Nov. 6, Nov. 11-Dec. 12. Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from 5-6 p.m. Cost is $55 for members and $85 for nonmembers. Contact Chris Pinto at or (706) 922-9618.

Categories: Local

Pigskin picks

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:12 AM

Week 7 winners

There were 64 qualified entries for the seventh week of the contest. No contestants picked all 10 games correctly, two picked nine games correctly, 23 picked eight games correctly and 39 picked seven games correctly. Eighteen contestants did not pick at least seven games correctly in order to qualify for the drawing.

Week 7 winners of the Pigskin Picks T-shirt are Darryl L. Giles, of Martinez, Greg Davis, of Evans, and Becky Muckelvaney, of Martinez.

Winners should call the News-Times office at (706) 868-1222 in order to pick up their prizes.

Week 7 qualifiers:

Darryl L. Giles, Greg Davis, Becky Muckelvaney, Mike Edenfield, P.J. Rodgers, Patricia Screws, Joey Hall, Quincy Talley, Bob Klofenstine, Corky Holloway, Tracie D. Long, Bethany Sumner, Courtney Sumner, Jason Gribek, Annette Ports, Pat Hickson, Gavin Davis, Gary Irvin, Alvin M. Davis, Earle Maxwell, Bill Gray, Frances M. Bagley, Ed Manders, Kathy Enright, Don Randolph, Charles Beale, Eric Belton, Courtney Moye, Stephanie Moye, Trudie Dorsey, Steve Hunt, Cheryl Hunt, Moyeen K. Azhar, Charles T. Johnson, Judy L. Johnson, Shelia E. Hilson-Rodgers, Billy Kelley, Janis Long, Ronnie Long, Michelle Giles, Shirley A. Smith, Debbie Holloway, David Whifield, Kyle Klofenstine, Nancy Libengood, Jim Riordan, Norma Griffin, Lenton Griffin, Donna Park, Jim Park, Bill Jones, Jimmy Hickson, Mamie Lawler, Derrelle Lack, Nancy Edenfield, Sherwood Vaughn, Waunice Aldridge, Greg Floyd, Lisha Moody, Tripp Maxwell, Pete Moody, Mike Enright, Dolores Randolph and Tori Moody.

Categories: Local

Lady Wolfpack slug their way to region title

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:11 AM

On a long Thursday of games that started at 2 p.m. and ended almost seven hours later, the Greenbrier High School Lady Wolfpack walked off their home field as Region 2-AAAAA softball champions.

And when Kirsten Titus fired a third strike for the final out against Houston County, the Lady Wolfpack senior pitcher was mobbed by her teammates. Titus’ 10th strikeout in two games against the Lady Bears was the final piece of an improbable win that capped an improbable day as the Lady Wolfpack won three games; beating Evans 10-2 in five innings then topping Houston County 6-2 and 13-8.

“How about those kids, it’s that fight, the Cardiac Pack,” said a visibly emotional Lady Wolfpack coach Garrett Black, who won his 18th region title in 19 years at Greenbrier.

“They get down, they keep battling and battling and I’m just so daggone proud of them.”

The Lady Wolfpack will begin the chase for Black’s second state championship today, playing host in the first round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state tournament.

The Lady Wolfpack (28-5) were forced to beat Houston County twice after the Lady Bears put them in the loser’s bracket, beating them 7-5 the night before.

In Game 1, the Lady Bears scored two runs in the top of the fifth before Greenbrier answered with six runs in the bottom half, going on to the 6-2 win.

In that game, the Lady Wolfpack saw the Lady Bears’ No. 1 pitcher, Emily Hittinger, for exactly three pitches. She was called for an illegal move to the plate and Lady Bears coach Angela Crawford was forced to take her off the mound. Hayley Tierce came in and struck out two Lady Wolfpack and held them down until the fifth inning.

After making Brianna Butler (9-3) the winner against Evans, backing her with 10 hits, the Lady Wolfpack had seven hits, led by two apiece from Nicole Rogers and Monica Mullis.

In Game 2, the Lady Wolfpack (28-4) battered Lady Bears pitching for 20 hits, including an eight-run fifth inning that turned an 8-5 deficit into the final 13-8 margin of victory.

The key hit was a Maddie Hunt bases-loaded triple to the wall in center field that tied the score at eight with one out.

“I’ve gotta do it for my girls is exactly what I was thinking,” said Hunt, who would then score the winning run on a wild pitch. “I held my hands back and ripped it up the middle.”

The comeback erased a horrific start in which the Lady Wolfpack committed five of their seven errors in the second inning as the Lady Bears (22-11) took a 7-1 lead.

Even then, Titus (11-1) knew the game had a long way to go.

“I know the offense has my back and no matter how many runs are scored, we can score just as many if not more,” said Titus, who matched her Game 1 strikeout total with five.

In Game 2, every batter in the lineup had at least one hit. McKenzie Northcraft had four hits and Hunt drove in four runs.

Categories: Local

Lady Warriors prevail in Columbia County-dominated tournament

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:11 AM

By the end of the Area 2-AAAAA volleyball tournament at Grovetown High on Saturday, which was dominated by Columbia County schools, there was little separating the top teams.

In their fourth match of the day, the host Grovetown Lady Warriors prevailed with a 25-17, 29-27, 24-26, 25-14 win over Lakeside’s Lady Panthers to take the title.

In all, Columbia County had three teams qualify for the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state playoffs in volleyball.

Grovetown and Lakeside enter as No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively, and will play host to a first round match tomorrow. Greenbrier qualified as a No. 3 seed and will be on the road.

“That was one of my goals to just win region and now we’re going to state, I’m just so excited right now,” said Grovetown’s Tiara Ramey, who was named the Area 2-AAAAA Player of the Year.

The brackets set up potentially for all four county schools to reach the state round, but Evans lost to Houston County in their Friday night match, putting them in the loser’s bracket early. Grovetown beat Greenbrier (26-24, 25-23) in the first of two sensational battles on Saturday and Greenbrier eliminated Evans 25-18, 25-18 Saturday morning.

“We were confident going in for any match we’d play,” said Evans’ coach Lauren Farr. “We didn’t have our best day, I guess. That happens. It’s a tough loss either way.”

Greenbrier continued on by knocking out Houston County. They then faced Grovetown for the sixth time during the 2014 season after Lakeside beat the Lady Warriors 25-20, 25-21. Grovetown won the first set 25-21, but Greenbrier tied the match with a 25-10 blowout.

“We were done, that was it, I honestly thought it was over at that point,” said Grovetown coach Amy Slagle.

Following a huge kill by Greenbrier’s DeJhana Cotton, the Lady Warriors were on the ropes in the final set, trailing 19-13. They battled back, however, tying it at 24 and went on to win 27-25 on a Skylar Blankenbeckler ace.

While it was a tough loss for Greenbrier, first-year coach Nicole Abbott took solace that the season wasn’t over yet.

“So much hard work, so much effort, so much passion on the floor and now the best part’s not over because they did what they needed to do,” Abbott said. “There’s a lot of mystery left in the season and it’s kind of up to them to see how long it can go.”

After waiting for the lower bracket to be resolved, the Lady Panthers saw the Lady Warriors use a 9-2 run midway through the first set to gain separation.

“We knew going in after beating them earlier in the day that trying to beat them back-to-back in the same day would be tough,” said Lakeside coach Moe McCormack, whose Lady Panthers were the tournament’s No. 1 seed coming in.

“I thought they played a little looser initially (and) we were pretty tight. Being in a championship game for the first time in five years, I think we played tight.”

After two nip-and-tuck sets in which either team could have prevailed, the Lady Warriors used a 7-2 run to propel themselves to the title, adding to ones they won in 2010 and 2011.

“I was mind-blown,” said Lady Warriors’ middle hitter DeAndra King. “I can’t even put into words how amazing it was. I’m so proud of my team.”

Categories: Local

Fire destroys Appling restaurant

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:11 AM

An early-morning fire on Monday destroyed an Appling restaurant.

At about 2 a.m., two Columbia County sheriff’s deputies saw smoke coming from Angie’s Steak and Seafood at 6003 Clarks Hill Road at Pollard’s Corner.

Firefighters spent a couple of hours extinguishing the blaze, which caused extensive damage to the building, according to Columbia County Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Danny Kuhlmann.

No one was inside the restaurant at the time.

The fire department investigator said the fire appears accidental and no foul play is suspected, Kuhlmann said. He was still working Monday afternoon to determine the exact cause and origin of the fire.

Categories: Local

Homeowners dissatisfied with construction, customer service from developer Crown Communities

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:10 AM

The moving truck hadn’t yet unloaded before a host of problems began at Renee Goodrich-James’ new home built by residential developer Crown Communities.

When she arrived for her final inspection, workers were digging up her landscaping and filling trenches with gravel to catch water runoff.

Flooding started immediately, and she hasn’t used her backyard since closing on the Evans home in April 2013. She sold the family dog. Her son has no swing set. She has had no visitors to the house.

For a year and a half, Good­rich-James has tried to get Crown Communities to respond to her complaints. She called her real estate agent and used Crown’s online customer service center. Her online complaints disappeared or were classified as closed before the problem was fixed.

“Nobody ever contacts you. You can’t contact anyone there,” she said.

Goodrich-James isn’t the only homeowner frustrated with Crown Communities, based in Conyers, Ga. The Better Business Bureau has received 106 complaints that Crown Communities has responded to and the agency considers resolved, including the one from Goodrich-James. Even more complaints have been filed but not closed.

Homeowners’ complaints obtained by The Augusta Chronicle include leaking plumbing systems, air conditioners that break within months of closing on the home, floors that aren’t level, cracked concrete driveways and grass sod that was dead upon move-in.

The company didn’t conduct warranty inspections, has poor customer service and routinely did not show up for scheduled repair appointments, according to the complaints.

Crown Communities did not respond to questions about homeowners’ concerns with its construction standards, customer service or warranty coverage. The company said in an e-mailed statement that homeowners should contact it directly with concerns.

“We are committed to superior customer service and providing families with quality homes and neighborhoods in the Augusta area,” the statement said.

A month after Ella Adams closed on her Crown Com­munity home in Grove­town in 2010, puddles of standing water formed in her backyard and underneath the deck. Adams and her husband, who is now deceased, notified the company using its online customer service program, but the damages were never repaired. They paid out-of-pocket to install a drain that didn’t work.

“Everything they said do, we did. Somebody would come and say we’ll be right back, and they never came back,” Adams said.

Homeowner Jennifer Haeff­ner said her attempts to contact the company about her sinking foundation have been fruitless. She was sent back and forth between different people at the company, and her e-mails have not been returned.

Neither Adams nor Haeff­ner filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

Crown Communities has homes for sale in 12 subdivisions in Aiken, Columbia and Richmond counties, according to its Web site. The company also develops neighborhoods in Athens, Atlanta and Columbus and in several cities in South Carolina.

Last month, the company, which is also known as Pillon Communities, was fined $13,750 by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. It was ordered to correct erosion and other water quality control violations at Grove Landing off Harlem-Grovetown Road.

GiGi Turner, the regional director for the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA, said she is concerned about the company doing business in the Augusta area. When alerted to the number of complaints filed against Crown Com­mu­nities, Turner said she would start an investigation.

“There is definitely a pattern of complaints,” she said.

Crown Communities’ rating with the BBB is a B-minus. According to the BBB Web site, the rating was lowered because of the number of complaints but was raised because of the company’s response and resolution of complaints.

On its Web site, Crown Commu­ni­ties markets its “Mili­tary First” program to facilitate home-buying for families at Fort Gordon, Fort Ben­ning in Columbus and Fort Jackson in Columbia.

Haeff­ner’s husband was at Fort Gordon when they bought their North Augusta house in 2012.

It has cracks in the sheetrock, a sloping bathtub and doors that don’t latch. During heavy rain, water in the backyard can be more than a foot deep, she said.

“If I had to sell my house right now, I couldn’t sell my house right now,” she said.

Categories: Local

Volunteers sought for teen-operated court

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:06 AM

Columbia County Community Connections is offering teens a chance to not just learn about the justice system, but experience it while assisting their peers through it.

Community Connections Executive Director Julie Miller said she’s looking for teen volunteers to help operate the court.

The nonprofit group devoted to helping children and families is setting up Columbia County Teen Court. It is an alternative system of justice that Miller said has been in the planning stages for more than a year.

“Teen Court has been shown to be very effective across the county,” Miller said, adding that the court will be the fourth in the state. “A lot of research shows this form of diversion for youth is very effective.”

The court will offer first-time juvenile offenders ages 12-17 an opportunity to admit responsibility for their offenses and receive constructive criticism from their peers. No repeat offenders or those charged with violent or serious crimes will be handled in Teen Court. Referrals will come from the Juvenile Court system.

Those charged with minor crimes will be given the opportunity to participate in Teen Court, with permission from their parent or guardian, in lieu of criminal charges in Juvenile Court. They must voluntarily accept responsibility for their offense.

“This is about accepting responsibility,” Miller said. “They begin to see how their actions impact others, how it impacts the community and what they can do about it.”

Once the case has been adjudicated in Teen Court, the offender will have no criminal record if he complies with Teen Court requirements.

Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan will preside over the court, but all other court positions will be held by teens, including prosecutor, bailiffs, court clerk and jurors.

“We’re excited about it because it’s also a youth development, youth leadership program as well,” Miller said. “Everybody in the courtroom will be teenagers except the judge on the bench.

“The whole goal is to teach kids about how the justice system works.”

The teen volunteers can participate for one or two semesters along with professional mentors, who include attorneys and other professionals in the justice system.

Then, they will train the next group of volunteers.

Miller said the court will not be just youth-friendly, but youth-driven and they will take ownership of the court operations.

Miller said she expects training to begin with teens and mentors in mid-November and hopes to begin handling cases monthly in January.

Anyone interested in volunteering for Teen Court should contact Teen Court Director Kari Poss at (706) 650-5010 or kposs@connect

Categories: Local

Pet adoptions

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:05 AM
Categories: Local

Current Events

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:05 AM


Grant program

Grant Program to enhance tourism in Columbia County; available to qualifying agencies to promote activities, attractions and special events; overseen by Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau marketing committee; to apply, contact Shelly Blackburn for application or information; (706) 447-7677,

Grants available

Columbia County Forward Foundation accepting applications for five $1,000 grants to be awarded to organizations to encourage and
promote philanthropy in Columbia County; compete application at and provide a 300-500 word proposal; application deadline 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31; information: Jessica Perry,


Grovetown Museum, 106 E. Robinson Ave.; open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; children must be accompanied by adult; free, donations accepted; (706) 863-1867


Columbia County Forestry and Pine Seedling Scholarship Pageant – Promoting and Protecting the Forestry Industry; March 7; queens will serve as hosts at the Miss Georgia Forestry Pageant in Tifton, Ga.; winner and three runner-ups in each age group – Baby Miss birth to 23 months, Teeny Miss 2-3 years, Tiny Miss 4-6 years, Little Miss 7-9 years, Junior Miss 10-12 years, Teen Miss 13-16 years, Miss 17-24 years; $85 for Baby Miss through Teen Miss, $100 for Miss entries; optional categories of Prettiest Dress, Prettiest Smile, Photogenic, Prettiest Face, Best Personality and Photogenic $15 each; (706) 664-5010, columbiacounty EmBRAce event

2014 Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day 7-11 p.m. today, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez; live music by Tim Cadiere and the Washboard Road Band; no tickets sold at door; all proceeds benefit The Lydia Project locally and The PSF Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign nationally; $50, and

Candidate forum

Candidates for the contested races in the upcoming general and special elections in Columbia County 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, Evans; Reagan Williams and Steve Crawford, moderators; free, open to the public; (706) 651-0018

Bass tournament

National Wild Turkey Federation Bass Bonanza Fishing Tournament Saturday, Oct. 18, Wildwood Park, Appling; late registration opens 5 a.m. at the ramp; must be checked in by 6 a.m.; starts at safe light; weigh- in 3 p.m.; (803) 637-3106,,

Monster Mash

Monster Mash Canal Dash 5k and Fun Run 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, Savannah Rapids Park, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez; canal tow path starting and ending at the Savannah Rapids Park; benefits Air Force Sergeant’s Association Chapter 480, Fort Gordon; $25, $28, $30;

Protection class

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Executive Partners will host a Protection Awareness Session, 11 a.m., OSaturday, Oct. 17, conducted by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office at West Acres Baptist Church, on Gibbs Road, Evans. No charge and open to all area realtors. Call (706) 364-4855 to RSVP.

Trick or treat

Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, Patriots Park Gym, 5445 Columbia Road, Grovetown; admission one canned food item; first 400 children get a free Halloween bag; (706) 650-5034,

Categories: Local

Police Blotter

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:04 AM

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


Drunken man fights deputy before arrest

An Augusta man was arrested Saturday evening after he was found intoxicated and injured on the side of a busy Evans road.

Myron Leron Edwards, 47, was charged with willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer and public drunkenness.

A deputy saw Edwards walking along Belair Road near Village Square Drive at about 5:30 p.m. The deputy saw a large knot on Edwards’ head and he was on the phone and appeared upset. The deputy smelled alcohol on Edwards’ breath. Before the deputy could finish asking if Edwards was hurt, Edwards began yelling and cursing at the deputy. He continued making racist comments and paced around the deputy.

Edwards attempted to kick the deputy several times before the deputy was able to handcuff him.

Edwards matched the description of a man reported to authorities earlier who had harassed customers in a nearby Applebee’s restaurant and left without paying for the beer he drank. The deputy determined he was the same person from the restaurant based on his clothing.

Edwards continued to yell profanities while en route to the Columbia County Detention Center, where he continued to be combative and was put in a prisoner restraint chair.

Edwards remained in the jail Monday on a $5,700 bond, according to jail records.


Man reports suspicious call

A Martinez man told authorities Friday that he received a suspicious phone call.

The man said he received a call from a restricted phone number at about 6:10 p.m. The caller told the man to bring $200,000 to Hilton Head Island, S.C., or the Internal Revenue Service would be contacted. Vandal paints Grovetown man’s dog

A Grovetown man called authorities Sunday that someone vandalized his home with spray paint.

The 44-year-old man said between 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. Sunday, someone came onto his property and spray-painted various items, including his dog.

Deputies found and collected as evidence the spray can and lid on the man’s property.


West Lake residents report mail theft

Two residents of West Lake subdivision told police last week that packages were stolen from their porches.

A West Lake Drive resident said he found three opened FedEx boxes containing gift baskets addressed to his neighbor in his yard at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The packages had been opened and their contents taken.

The neighbor said she’d been waiting for the packages to be delivered. She said someone stole the packages off her porch.

A resident of Inverness Way said Friday that a package he expected to be delivered never made it. He said he received a notification from the shipper that the package had been delivered on Sept. 20. He believes the package was stolen when other mail in the neighborhood was recently stolen.

Categories: Local

Athlete Spotlight for Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

Wed, 10/15/2014 12:04 AM

One of Holly Sweeting’s goals for the season was realized over the weekend when Lakeside finished second in the Area 2-AAAAA volleyball tournament.

“A good season would be to win region and go to state,” Sweeting said before the tournament started. “It would be the first time to go to state in my four years at Lakeside. It would be awesome.”

Behind Sweeting, who was named first team All-Area 2-AAAAA for the second consecutive year, the Lady Panthers qualified for state and will host a first-round match this week.

Sweeting didn’t play until Sept. 15 after hurting her right knee in club volleyball and having surgery in April. Lakeside coach Moe McCormack was pleased with the way her team performed when Sweeting was out of the lineup but thought her return made a distinct difference.

“She’s used to playing against tough competition and you add that kind of leadership and experience to your lineup, it just boosts your confidence level just having a go-to player,” said McCormack. “All my girls have done a good job stepping up this year, but just having that player that’s used to being the one – we feed her the ball when you need something done – and it’s that confidence.”

Sweeting, who McCormack moved to middle hitter from outside hitter, watched and learned as she recuperated.

“You see more,” Sweeting said. “Like when you’re playing you kind of get caught up and you don’t always see everything. But when I was on the bench, I was like,‘Oh my goodness, I’ve done that mistake before,’ so you kind of just correct yourself. I feel it helps you cheer on your team because it is hard sitting on the bench. So I had to work on cheering on.”

When Lakeside’s volleyball season is over, she plays for Magnum, a club team in Columbia.

“I don’t ever get home until like about 11 o’clock at night, but it’s worth it because it’s fun,” Sweeting said. “I meet new people and it’s really good competition. Every year I get so much better. I learn so much more stuff because you compete at a higher level. It’s just awesome.”

Sweeting missed two big club tournaments because of the knee injury but is hopeful of fulfilling her dream of playing college volleyball.

“It did kind of discourage me, but now that I’m playing again I’m working really hard to get a scholarship,” Sweeting said. “At least play volleyball, even if it is like a small school. I just want to play. It doesn’t really matter where I go.”

While club may provide the exposure she wants to help achieve her dream of playing college volleyball, her time at Lakeside makes her a more well-rounded player.

“I improved on passing more because I actually get to play all the way around at Lakeside,” she said. “I never get to play all the way around on travel. They keep me off the back row. I get to play back row when I play for Lakeside. I think that gives me more confidence, too.”

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, Oct. 12, 2014

Sun, 10/12/2014 12:14 AM

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

Truck returned to first owner

A Harlem woman told police Wednesday that a truck she bought from an auction somehow ended up registered to the woman the truck had been repossessed from.

The Harlem woman said she bought a 1999 Ford F-150 truck on Aug. 14 from Kwik Auto Sales in North Augusta. The truck had been repossessed and auctioned off at the business.

The woman said she was arrested for a probation violation while driving the truck in Henry County. While she was in jail, the woman said the towing company contacted the original owner of the truck and told her to pay $360 to get the truck released. The former owner drove to the Butts County tow company, picked up the truck and parked it at her home while she applied for and received a new title and tag. The truck was then registered to the original owner again.

The woman said she contacted the original owner and she denies everything and says the truck is still registered to her. She told the woman to pay $1,460 and she’d give the truck back.

The woman said she didn’t want deputies to contact the original owner of the truck because she fears the woman will hide the truck. The deputy filed the report as information, but told the woman she needs to file a report in Butts County, where the theft occurred.

Prisoner sends risque letter

An Evans woman said she received a risque letter from a state prisoner in south Georgia.

The woman said she received a letter from a prisoner in the Jimmy Autry Correctional Institution in Pelham, Ga., on Monday. The woman, a real estate agent, received the letter at her office. The inmate said he saw her picture in the newspaper and wanted to get to know her. The inmate wrote that the woman didn’t know him. The letter was very sexual in nature and scared the woman.

The inmate also wrote that he’d be paroled in a few months and could come live with his brother in Evans, which has caused the woman and her husband concern.

Another Evans woman called authorities the same day after she received a letter from the same inmate that she said was unsolicited and unwelcome.

Speeder nearly hits children

A Harlem man called police Monday evening after seeing a truck nearly hit children in the area.

The man said he saw a silver Dodge truck speed along Otis Way in front of his home at about 7:20 p.m. The man said the truck driver headed into a turn near the man’s driveway and slid sideways, almost hitting children who were walking in the ditch near the roadway.

The man wasn’t able to get a tag number from the truck.

Woman gets harassing calls

A Martinez woman said Wednesday that she got harassing phone calls after signing up for a dating Web site.

The 61-year-old woman said she recently signed up on She didn’t include her phone number in the online profile or give it out to anybody.

On Sept. 24, the woman said she received a phone call from a man named Dixon and she ignored it. He called back five or six times Wednesday and yelled at her. The woman said she told the man not to contact her again, but he kept calling. The woman said she has no idea how the man got her phone number.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, Oct. 12, 2014

Sun, 10/12/2014 12:13 AM

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 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 Meade and Maggie 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 to Stephen L. Morris and Sarah D. Morris, 820 Matts Lane, $112,500.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, Oct. 12, 2014

Sun, 10/12/2014 12:12 AM

Joshua Michael Peters and Ivy Elizabeth Clements applied for a marriage license on Sept. 19, 2014, and were married Sept. 19, 2014, in Evans.

Michael Adams Jr. and Doris Rochell Scruggs applied for a marriage license on Sept. 12, 2014, and were married Sept. 19, 2014, in Evans.

Kenneth Joseph McCall Jr. and Karen Lea Tura applied for a marriage license on Aug. 1, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, on Fort Gordon.

Alejandro Daniel Gil-Casado and Amber Lee Colquitt applied for a marriage license on Aug. 8, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Greensboro, Ga.

John Michael Harris and Tequannah Marie Seaberry applied for a marriage license on Aug. 7, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Martinez.

Michael Andrew Raines and Natalie Marie Wolfe applied for a marriage license on Aug. 14, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Appling.

Paul Derek Gormley and Christina Ann Powell applied for a marriage license on Sept. 3, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Evans.

Marwan Alahmedieh and Farah Mirzein applied for a marriage license on Sept. 23, 2014, and were married Sept. 23, 2014, in Evans.

Omar Enrique Diaz and Arays Cruz applied for a marriage license on Aug. 29, 2014, and were married Sept. 13, 2014, in Jekyll Island, Ga.

Christopher Sean Martin and Kara Lynne Belenski applied for a marriage license on Sept. 10, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Augusta.

Brett Keith Wallentine and Patricia Metzler Lord applied for a marriage license on Aug. 28, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

Brian Michael Harris and Caroline Elizabeth Rawlins applied for a marriage license on Sept. 18, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Augusta.

William Kimmey Jones and Ashley Lynn Collett applied for a marriage license on Sept. 22, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

John Tyler Wade and Heather Danielle Potts applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

Jose Raymond Velazquez and Laura Michelle McCafferty Anderson applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

Joshua Eduhrd F-Marrero and Aisha Khadya Grace applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

John Benjamin Witt and Wendy Angelica Vargas Guerrero applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

Dwayne Alexander Whittaker and Marieme Ndiaye applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

Randy Ross Dominique and Shelley Lyn Noel applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Sept. 25, 2014, in Evans.

Harold Ray Westbrooks Jr. and Elizabeth Michelle Hare applied for a marriage license on Sept. 16, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Dearing, Ga.

Christopher Lee Mathis Jr. and Chelsey Luanne Beedle applied for a marriage license on Sept. 11, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Hephzibah.

Kenneth Mark Langley and Sharon Lynn Moyer applied for a marriage license on May 9, 2014, and were married Sept. 26, 2014, in Evans.

Dalton Jervis Madden and Alexandria Nicole Rose applied for a marriage license on Aug. 20, 2014, and were married Sept. 28, 2014, in Martinez.

Matthew Jennings Hewett and Erin Elizabeth Teston applied for a marriage license on Aug. 29, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Appling.

Jeremy Tyler Faircloth and Kayla Lynn Best applied for a marriage license on Sept. 4, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Evans.

Terrell Dean Skinner and Rebecca Toole Cooksey applied for a marriage license on Sept. 5, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Evans.

Jeremy Lee Whipple and Ashley Elizabeth Jackson applied for a marriage license on Sept. 12, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Augusta.

Collin Matthew Colohan and Amanda Brett Lillard applied for a marriage license on Sept. 26, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Appling.

Cameron McDuffy Smith and Erica Ryanne Moore applied for a marriage license on Sept. 15, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Tybee Island, Ga.

Joseph Lee Hawkins Jr. and Meagan Olivia Hamilton applied for a marriage license on Sept. 10, 2014, and were married Sept. 20, 2014, in Martinez.

William Charles Joiner and Allison Lauren Poindexter applied for a marriage license on Sept. 12, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Augusta.

Timothy Cameron Tribble and Abigail Amanda Aaron applied for a marriage license on Sept. 27, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Tignall, Ga.

William Clinton Easler Jr. and Nancy Neef Richards applied for a marriage license on Sept. 12, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Evans.

John Michael Bourassa and Linh Ngoc Thai applied for a marriage license on Sept. 17, 2014, and were married Sept. 27, 2014, in Martinez.

Nick Carl Isbel and Patricia Ann Howe applied for a marriage license on Sept. 19, 2014, and were married Sept. 24, 2014, in Evans.

Michael Douglas James and Deborah Jean Watson applied for a marriage license on Sept. 22, 2014, and were married Oct. 2, 2014, in Evans.

Thomas Corey Harmon and Brittany Johann Wright applied for a marriage license on July 23, 2014, and were married July 31, 2014, in Evans.

Joseph Jesse Allen Oliphant and Loretta Geness Carter applied for a marriage license on Sept. 19, 2014, and were married Sept. 21, 2014, in Augusta.

James Arthur Thomas and Tara Selena Samuels applied for a marriage license on Sept. 30, 2014, and were married Oct. 2, 2014, in Evans.

David Alan James and Zorana Koren Milligan applied for a marriage license on Oct. 2, 2014, and were married Oct. 2, 2014, in Evans.

Christopher David Pratt and Tabitha Jane Parker applied for a marriage license on Oct. 2, 2014, and were married Oct. 2, 2014, in Evans.

Gerry Chad Gibson and Christine Marie Joyner applied for a marriage license on Oct. 3, 2014, and were married Oct. 3, 2014, in Evans.

Benjamin Raymon Cain and Jacquelyn Nicole Loungeway applied for a marriage license on Sept. 4, 2014, and were married Sept. 6, 2014, in Augusta.

Ulysses Abraham Nunez and Lauren Alexandra McKown applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2014, and were married Oct. 3, 2014, in Evans.

Nicholas Gerald Fuller and Tayler Royal-Margaret Hernlen applied for a marriage license on Sept. 30, 2014, and were married Oct. 4, 2014, in Hephzibah.

Michael Blackwell and Sharon Bernice Settles applied for a marriage license on Oct. 2, 2014, and were married Oct. 2, 2014, in Augusta.

Categories: Local

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