Latest News from Columbia County News-Times

Syndicate content
Updated: 11 min 15 sec ago

Police blotter

15 hours 54 min ago

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

Suspicious man on dating site

A woman filed a report about a suspicious person with police after a man she met online invited her to come to Egypt to meet him.

According to reports, the woman stated she met Mahoud Abozeed Essa online through an online dating site. She told police that she chatted with him via Skype for several months and that he identified himself as living in Egypt.

The woman told police that she became uncomfortable after he suggested she come visit him and suspected he had other motives.

Junior ROTC rifle missing

A rifle used for drills in a school’s Junior ROTC class was reported missing.

According to the report, Evans High School’s public safety officer was notified of the missing rifle. The rifle was found missing while the teacher was conducting inventory checks.

The entire school was searched as well as former students who participate on the drill rifle team. The rifle is still missing.

Cases of beer taken at hotel

A man was robbed of several cases of beer at a hotel.

According to reports the victim was checking into the Hawthorne Suites on Jimmie Dyess Parkway in Grovetown. When the victim went inside, he left several cases of beer in the bed of his truck with the tailgate down.

The truck was reportedly parked near the front door of the hotel at the time of the theft, but no cameras were pointed at the truck.

The victim does plan to prosecute if suspects are identified.

Categories: Local

Traffic Update

15 hours 55 min ago

River Watch expansion to further traffic delays

Ongoing construction on the River Watch Parkway Expansion project will cause several lane closures in the area.

According to a press release from the Department of Transportation, the $35 million road project requires grading on both sides of McCormick Road at the intersection of Old Petersburg Road. The work will begin at 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily, beginning Monday, through next week, weather permitting, Flaggers will direct traffic as crews work on both sides of the roadway.

In addition, drivers will see continued eastbound lane closures for storm drain installation and grading along Washington Road as well as traffic signal construction near Towne Center Drive.

According to the news release, the work coincides with the parkway extension project.

Baker Place Road reduced to 1 lane

A temporary lane closure and lane shift on Baker Place Road at Baker Place Lane will continue through June while construction crews install a 16-foot water main.

The closure and shift will be on Baker Place Road. between Wrightsboro Road and William Few Parkway and will also include Baker Place Lane. The closure began Friday and traffic will be reduced to one lane in this area between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. until June 1.

Flaggers will direct the driving public during the closure that will require two-way traffic on one lane sections. Drivers are urged to take an alternate route or allow additional time for commuting through this area.

– From staff reports

Categories: Local

Open burning ban set for 54 Georgia counties

15 hours 55 min ago

Beginning today, the Georgia Environ­mental Protection Division has activated an open burning ban in effect for 54 Georgia counties.

According to a news release from the EPD, the open burning ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005 and prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris through Sept. 30. This restriction is in addition to a ban on the burning of household garbage, which is enforced year-round in Georgia.

A person’s health may be negatively impacted by the chemicals and pollutants found in the smoke released from fires, according to the release, and the open burning ban is put into place to protect public health.

Ground-level ozone is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer, the release said. Ground-level ozone can cause lung inflammation as well as other health problems. Open burning also creates particle pollution, which consists of extremely small particles that can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke”

This is especially true of ground-level ozone since hot, sunny days can intensify the creation of ozone.

“We can’t control the weather,” said Karen Hays, chief of the Georgia EPD Air Protection Branch. “But limiting open-burning during these hot summer months when ground-level ozone is so readily formed is one of the easiest ways to help Georgia’s air quality continue to improve.”

Some actions such as campfires and agricultural activities are exempt.

Categories: Local

Property transfers

15 hours 55 min ago

Grace L. Hollingsworth to Max Edward Petitt; 837 Tyler Parkway; $0; Divorce based transfer

M-Homebuilders, Inc. to Barbara Teachey; Map & Parcel number: 065, 653C; $271,002

Bobbie Bear Properties, LLC to Paul Wesley Broome; Map & Parcel number: 018, 0050; $0; Deed of gift

Joe Marmal to Joe Marmal; Map & Parcel number: 077, 576; $0; Deed of gift

Robert S. Boham to Stephanie B. Boyd; Map & Parcel number: 060, 376; $285,000

Stephen W. Brown Jr. to James E. Beasley, Sr.; 4745 Washington Road.; $100,000

Jesse E. Wigelsworth and Maeve N. Wigels­worth to Jesse E. Wigelsworth and
Maeve N. Wigelsworth, Trustees of the Jesse and Maeve Wigelsworth Living Trust Dated March 30, 2016; Map & Parcel number: 082I082; $0; Deed of gift

DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc. to Secretary of Housing and Development; Map & Parcel number: 073-B-240; $10; Government/nonprofit public profit

Carolyn Joan Gibson Cobb to Carolyn Joan Gibson Cobb; Map & Parcel number: 077 G, 112; $10; Deed of gift

American Storage, LLC to 191 III Cube GA Sub LLC; Map & Parcel number: G03001A; $2,171,400

Bonnie Gonzalez to Tony Gonzalez; 569 Blue Ridge Crossing; $0; Deed of gift

Ryan E. Fite to Temitope Akinsebikan; 525 Sebastian Dr.; $158,000\

Dwight D. Johnson to Matthew T. Buerger; 4424 Summerlin Dr.; $134,900

Brookfield Relocation, Inc. to Jarus T. Myles; 321 High Chaparral Drive; $190,000

John W. Kovacs to Capital RE LLC; 4668 Lapointe; $104,000; First transfers foreclosure

Rico Curry to John C. Davitte; 341 McCormick Road; $57,100; First transfers foreclosure

Karen Cartledge to Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, Doing business as Christiana Trust, not in its individual CAPA; Map & Parcel number: 077G-297; $115,000; First transfers in foreclosure

Grovetown Church
of Christ, Inc. to Department of Transportation; 501
E. Robinson Ave.
; $15,000; Public road acquisition

Felecia D. Beamon to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; 1166 Indian Springs Trail; $243,669; Deed in lieu of foreclosure

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. to Secretary of Veterans Affairs; 1166 Indian Springs Trail; $10; Deed in lieu of foreclosure

JR Homes of Alabama, LLC to Wayne White; 395 Bella Rose Drive; $325,000

Categories: Local

Marriage licenses

15 hours 55 min ago

Lucas Lamar Chancey and Daniela Del Valle applied for a marriage license on Feb. 26 and were married April 16 in Hephzibah.

Benajmin David Walker and Lisa Eunhee Kim applied for a marriage license on March 7 and were married April 16 in Evans.

Zachary David Wright and Jennie Lauren Jenkins applied for a marriage license March 8 and were married April 16 in Martinez.

Nathan Alvin Black Jr. and Brittney Renee Nimmons applied for a marriage license on March 10 and were married on April 20 in Waynesboro.

Curtis Eugene Boysworth and Ashley Dawn McDow applied for a marriage license on March 18 and were married April 12 in Dearing.

Morris Kennedy Jr. and Sandra Journell Avery applied for a marriage license on March 24 and were married March 26 in Appling.

William Leighton Hunt and Tiffany Ann Nelson applied for a marriage license March 28 and were married April 2 in Appling.

Drew Shannon Alexander and Jaclyn Victoria Howard applied for a marriage license on March 28 and were married April 16 in Augusta.

James Matthew Penn and Brooke Ashton Shipes applied for a marriage license on March 28 and were married April 16 in Thomson.

Anthony Tyler Gregory and Kaitlyn Sylvia Pierce applied for a marriage license March 28 and were married April 9 in Appling.

Christian Lowell Childress and Nicole Leann Glover applied for a marriage license on March 31 and were married on April 24 in Fairburn.

Joshua Ethan McElhaney and Natalie Marie Richards applied for a marriage license on April 1 and were married on April 16 in Appling.

Ira Dale Wilkes Jr. and Morgan Ashley Pond applied for a marriage license on April 1 and were married April 23 in Evans.

Bradley Schyler Hubbard and Colleen Erin Sykes applied for a marriage license on April 6 and were married April 16 in Appling.

Myung Kevin Chang and Angela Palmer Josey applied for a marriage license April 7 and were married April 23 in Martinez.

Dylan James Rucker and Amanda Kathleen Furbee applied for a marriage license on April 8 and were married April 23 in Crawfordville.

Kevin Matthew Ballinger and Kristen Alexandra Von Plinsky applied for a marriage license April 8 and were married April 16 in Grovetown.

James Letarrance Neal and Brittney Alicia Johnson applied for a marriage license April 8 and were married April 8 in Evans.

Michael Carl Clark and Nancy Caroline Bonner applied for a marriage license April 11 and were married April 15 in

William Caleb Bloodworth and Matthew Thomas Rivera applied for a marriage license on April 11 and were married April 23 in

Lindsay Danielle Roman and Caitlin Breanne Clack applied for a marriage license on April 11 and were married April 20 in Grovetown.

Categories: Local

Current Events

15 hours 55 min ago

Football registration

Registration is now open for the 2016 Evans Pop Warner fall football and cheer season. Participants who register before June 1 will receive a $20 discount. For more information, visit to

Faith concert

Sharon Baptist Church Choir will present the AWESOME GOD CONCERT Sunday, May 1 at 6 p.m. The concert is free and will be held in our Family Life Center behind the Sanctuary. Come as you are and prepare to hear an hour of music that will lift your heart. The church is at 6262 Cobbham Road, in Appling. For more information, call (706) 541-0667

Candidate forum

5:15 p.m. May 2, Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; Candidates from State House District 123 and State Senate District 24 seats; forum begins at 6 p.m.; candidate meet and greet begins 5:15 p.m.; each candidate will have two minutes to make an opening statement; a representative from the Columbia County News Times and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors will each ask questions; (706) 651-0018

Democratic event

Columbia County Democratic Party Public Monthly Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m. May 2, Evans Government Center Auditorium, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Bldg A;

Brown Bash

James Brown Birthday Bash, 5 p.m. May 3, Augusta Common, 836 Reynolds St.; $15 advance, $20 day of show; by Friends with Benefits, City of Augusta and James Brown Family Foundation; benefits JAMP;


The Thomson-McDuffie County Convention & Visitors Bureau will hold a free, public screening of the documentary Blind Willie’s Blues on Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Thomson Depot at 111 Railroad Street in Thomson. After the screening, David Fulmer, writer and producer of the movie, will offer a question & answer session.

Gone but Not Forgotten

“Gone But Not Forgotten” ceremony, 10:30 May 6, Courtyard Pavilion, 36th and Brainard Ave., Fort Gordon; honors fallen comrades; 118 4x6 inch flags will be posted in special plot constructed by a family member of one of the fallen;

Soul Food

Soul Food Festival, 2 p.m. May 7, Lady Antebellum Pavillion, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; $35-$65; Gates open 2 p.m., show starts 4 p.m.; performers include Rick James and Stone City Band; The Bar Kays, Ohio Players, Slave, Midnight Star, Lakeside, and Sapp; $35 general admission, $45 preferred viewing, $65 VIP seating;

Dragon Boats

GoodBoats for Goodwill: Dragon Boat Festival; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 7; Lake Olmstead, 2200 Broad St.; features dragon boat races, food and various vendors, children’s activities and more; to sponsor, volunteer, paddle or be a vendor call (706) 650-5760 or email; Proceeds benefit Helms College

Rock & Run

9 a.m. May 7, Blanchard Woods Park, 4600 Blanchard Woods Road; 5K and 1 mile run run; register at, benefits When Help Can’t Wait; (706) 650-9467

Post-Legislative Breakfast

Columbia County Chamber Post-Legislative Breakfast, 7:45 a.m. May 10, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 1000 Business Blvd.; Post-Legislative Breakfast, presented by the Government Affairs Committee of the Chamber; local
elected officials will be in attendance; keynote speaker, Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, Technical College System of Georgia;

John Michael Montgomery

7 p.m. May 12, Enterprise Mill Event Center, 1450 Greene St.; $100; Food and beverage included; benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; (706) 252-4566

Golf Tournament

10:30 a.m. May 13, Forest Hills Golf Club, 1500 Comfort Road; $95; check in 10:30 a.m., grilled burger buffet, 11:15 a.m.; shotgun start noon; Team Lauderdale with handicaps; prizes, 19th hold party, auctions, raffles; for brochure, go to;

Park party

Party in the Park, 6 p.m.
May 13, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Towne Center Blvd.; free; Acoustic, Guitar-Pull style concert featuring Drew Baldridge, Jacob Bryant, Luke Combs, Ray Fulcher, Faren Rachels and Cole Taylor;

Giant yard sale

Columbia County Giant Community Yard Sale, 7 a.m. May 14-15, Columbia County Fairgrounds, 5642 Columbia Road; Sponsored by Rotary Club of Columbia County; rent a space and keep the profits; register online;

Sips and Sass

7 p.m. May 14, Riverwood
Plantation Barn, 5123 Riverwood
Pkwy.; $20; Benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities; presented by Aiken-Augusta Alumnae Association of Alpha Delta Pi; hor d’oeuvres, drinks, dancing and silent auction; for tickets, go to

Free Shredding

8 a.m.-11 a.m. May 14, The Cleveland Group, 3740 Executive Center Drive; Free shred event for sensitive documents;

Mud Challenge

2016 Marine Mud Challenge,
8 a.m. May 14, Corner of Chamberlain Ave. and 19th Street, Fort Gordon;
$12-$110; drinks, food, music and
activities for everyone;

March of Dimes

8:30 a.m. May 14, Lady Antebellum Pavilion, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; (803) 252-5200,


9 a.m. May 14, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road; Kayak, canoe, and paddleboard event on the Savannah River; for an extra $5, participate in Poker Run;

Art in the Park

2016 Art in the Park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 14; Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Cente Blvd.; Arts festival highlighting the visual and performing arts in Columbia County; this year’s event will include performances by several local performers, a variety of arts vendors, our annual sidewalk chalk contest, demonstrations for adults, and lots of activities for kids;

Food Distribution

Free Food Distribution, 11 a.m. May 14; MCS Augusta, 120 Davant Road; free food for families in need, regardless of religious, social, or racial background; extra food is available for Georgia families with children;

Pops! Under the Stars

7:30 p.m. May 14, Lady Antebellum Pavilion, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; free; Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Food, fireworks; 12th Annual Celebration;

ServSafe Manager Training

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. May 19, Columbia County Extension Office, 6420 Pollards Pond Road; $140; for food service managers/employees and/or anyone who needs food safety training; due to the cost of materials, no refunds for any cancellations are allowed, but substitutions are allowed; first-come, first-serve registration; class size is limited to 20 participants; registration deadline is April 29; no on-site registration available; Betty English,;

Roller Derby

Roller Derby Low Down Throw Down, noon May 20-22; Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Dr.; $15 day, $25 weekend;

Dancing Stars

Dancing Stars of Augusta Dance to End Alzheimer’s, 6 p.m. May 20; Augusta Mariott at the Convention Center, 2 10th St.; local celebrities are paired with professional dancers to raise money by gaining votes in a one-night dance competition; tickets at

Health expo

Health Screenings and Health Education Expo, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 21, Patriots Park Gym, 5445 Columbia Road, Grovetown; University Health Care System and Grovetown High School STEM Program; free screenings include plaque scans (carotid artery ultrasounds that identify signs of heart disease), blood pressure, cholesterol checks (full lipid profile including LDL/HDL/Triglycerides/Total Cholesterol), blood sugar; health education includes information on heart attack and stroke prevention, diabetes, breast health, nutrition, orthopedic services, women’s services, cancer and more

Cake Decorating

Saturday Chef: Cake Decorating, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May 21, Helms College, 3145 Washington Road; $75; learn piping techniques, how to use fondant and buttercream; register at or call (706) 651-9707

Thunder Over Augusta

11 a.m. May 21, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evns Town Center Blvd.; free; Celebration of Armed Forces Day; Fireworks, lumberjack show, motocross, boxing exhibition, K9 working dogs, skydive drop-in; Signal Corps Band;

Summer Basketball Camp

William Avery Summer Basketball Camp, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. May 23-27, Old Columbia Middle School, 6000 Columbia Road; for boys and girls in first through eighth grades; early drop off and late pick up for additional fee; $125 if registered before April 24 and $175 after;

Chamber After Hours

Columbia County Chamber After Hours, 5-7 pm. May 23, Gerald Jones Auto Group, 4022 Washington Road; members only;

Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que

4 p.m. May 27, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; $60 weekend pass; featuring Willie Nelson and Family, Old Crow Medicine Show, Steep Canyon Rangers, Blitzen Trapper, Mountain Faith, Sarah Jaroz, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Susto, Ben Miller, Have Gun Will Travel, Guthrie Brown & the Family Tree, and more; Little Roy & Lizzie Show and more; Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned barbecue competition; craft beer, petting zoo, pig races and more;


Auditions: Nice Work if You Can Get It, 6:30 p.m. May 24 and 26, Dayspring Church, 4220 Belair Frontage Road; Greater Augusta Youth Theater; performance July 22-23 at Augusta Preparatory Day School;

Run for Epilepsy

Step Up for Epilepsy, 9 a.m. May 28, Lakeside High School, 533 Blue Ridge Dr.; $30, $25 students, $40 day of event; benefits the Epilepsy Foundation; pre-register until 5 p.m. May 27; registration begins at 8 a.m. day of run; email or call (706) 294-1750

Wildwood Games

All day, June 4-5, Wildwood Park, 3780 Wildwood Lane; USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships, Wildwood Games, running, open water swimming, disc golf; music, food, vendors, non-competition activities; cycling race, open water swimming June 4; disc golf, trail running races June 5; register at;

Candlelight and Wine

Candlelight and Wine Concert Series, 7:30 p.m. June 18, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; Bring your own seating and picnic; enjoy jazz, soul, R&B, spoken word, rock, funk and gospel music and live art demos; (762) 233-5299

Weeknight Dinners

Saturday Chef: Week Night Dinners, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 18, Helms College, 3145 Washington Road; $75; this course will offer simple solutions to preparing items ahead of schedule; different meals using leftovers, one pot cooking, sous vide techniques and tips on proper sanitation and health tips; register at or call (706) 651-9707;

Classic Rock

Classic Rock Meets Classic South, 6 p.m. June 23, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; $25, $80 VIP; Little River Band with Atlanta Rhythm Section and FireFall; part of the Columbia County Community Concert Series presented by Columbia County and Associated Credit Union; Columbia County has partnered with iHeart Radio for this event - who will be providing concert details via their stations Eagle and WBBQ; gates open at 5 pm with the concert following at 6 p.m.; tickets go on sale April 29;

Christian singles

6:30-10:30 p.m. Saturdays, Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive, off Evans-to- to Locks Road; dance lessons 6:30-7:30 p.m., dance 7:30-10:30 p.m.; refreshments; Augusta Christian Singles; $8 members, $10 others; (762) 233-1978,

Eyeglass help

Financial assistance for qualifying Grovetown residents’ eyeglasses; Grove-town Lions Club Eyeglass Program, P.O. Box 248, Grovetown, GA 30813

Food pantry

9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1959 Appling Harlem Highway, Appling; Columbia County Cares Food Pantry; (706) 541-2834

Gold club

Gold Prospectors Association of America meets 7-9 p.m. second Thursdays, Dayspring Baptist Church, 4220 Belair Frontage Road; (706) 496-4611

Live Wrestling

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

Hospital classes

Classes each month; Doctors Hospital; (706) 651-2450,


4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Mindbody Stress Reduction Programs, 4210 Columbia Road Suite 4A, Martinez; Mindfulness and Expansive Meditations; $15, $5 students with ID; (706) 496-3935,

Female veterans

11 a.m. first Saturdays; The Women’s Veterans Club; $24 per year; April Starks (706) 868-5601

Writers group

6:30 p.m. third Mondays, Georgia Military College, 115 Davis Road; CSRA Writers Group; free, open to the public; for a critique, bring eight copies of up to 10 pages of work (double-spaced); (706) 836-7315

Zumba classes

6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Mondays, Evans Christian Academy, 213 S. Old Belair Road, Grovetown; $5 per class; (706) 364-3565,

Wine tastings

4:30-6:30 p.m. Fridays, 1-6 p.m. Saturdays, Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463,

Categories: Local

Augusta Prep senior Phelps Hunnicutt signs to play football in Tennessee at Sewanee

15 hours 56 min ago

Phelps Hunnicutt wasn’t interested at first in Sewanee.

The Augusta Prep senior believed his football career was over. But after he took a visit to the Tennessee school, he changed his mind.

“I ended up really liking the school,” he said. “I emailed the football coach about how I could help out with the team, whether it was filming games or being the waterboy or whatever. And he ended up finding my game tape online.”

On Tuesday, Hunnicutt officially signed to play football with Sewanee, also known as the University of the South. The school is located 52 miles west of Chattanooga, Tenn.

An offensive/defensive lineman, Hunnicutt was a four-year starter for Augusta Prep, playing on both sides of the ball. Cavaliers coach Harry Bacheller said Hunnicutt’s unselfishness is one of the many great qualities he possesses.

“Suwanee is getting a great kid, as far as character, leadership and hard work,” Bacheller said. “And he’s a pretty good player.”

Hunnicutt fell in love with football in fourth grade when he started watching the Georgia Bulldogs. He started playing recreation football the next season and played at Episcopal Day School for two years. When he got to Augusta Prep, he used his size (5-foot-11, 235 pounds) to help the team continue to build over the past four seasons. During his senior campaign, the Cavaliers set a school record for wins (five) and made their first trip to the state playoffs.

“It’s been incredible,” Hunnicutt said. “The family is so tight here, and that’s the biggest thing. That’s my favorite part about football.”

Sewanee went 1-9 this past season, closing the year on a nine-game losing streak. The Tigers play in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association.

Despite the team’s record, Hunnicutt said he liked what he heard from coach Tommy Laurendine about the program.

“Winning games is our second priority to building a solid foundation of good young men who will be brothers for life,” Hunnicutt said of Laurendine.

At Sewanee, Hunnicutt said he’s interested in either political science or forestry as a major.

He said he’s also interested in taking some agriculture classes.

Categories: Local

Early voting begins May 14

Sun, 4/24/2016 12:07 AM

Voting in the upcoming General Primary and Nonpartisan General Election have begun.

Absentee by mail ballots were sent out beginning April 8, and in-person early voting is scheduled to begin May 2 at the Columbia County Board of Elections office in Evans.

Saturday voting will be available on May 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the elections office, Stevens Creek Community Church and Patriot’s Park.

For the final week of voting May 16 - 20, the three voting sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To confirm voter registration, view sample ballots, or locate polling precincts, voters can visit

Categories: Local

Williams: Prevent large patch with good lawn-care practices

Sun, 4/24/2016 12:03 AM

As spring warm-season lawns continue to green up, diseases rear their ugly heads. The main culprit this time of year is a fungus that causes large patch. Large patch can infect all warm-season grasses, but centipede and St. Augustine are particularly susceptible.

Large patch appears in roughly circular patches that are yellow, tan or straw-brown with orange-brown borders. The patches are initially 2 to 3 feet in diameter, but can expand up to 10 feet or more, as the name “large patch” indicates. Early in the morning, a grayish ring can be seen in the area where the diseased grass and the healthy grass meet.

Large patch occurs in the spring and fall when environmental factors are favorable. Favorable conditions include humid days with temperatures ranging from 75 to 90 degrees and nighttime temperatures above 60 degrees.

The higher temperatures and humidity lead to an extended period of leaf wetness. This April produced perfect conditions for disease infestation.

Turfgrasses are also more susceptible when coming out of – or going into – dormancy. Therefore, spring and fall are the times of year the grass is most vulnerable because it is not growing as actively and is more stressed. The best way to protect your grass from disease is to properly manage the turf.

The best way to prevent large patch in your grass is by following good lawn-care practices. This is much easier and less expensive than the use of fungicides and can be very effective. Here are a few practices to keep in mind:

• Avoid high nitrogen rates on warm-season grasses in mid- to late fall or in early spring. The disease-causing fungus readily attacks the lush growth of grass that nitrogen promotes. Avoid fast-release forms of nitrogen fertilizer.

• Irrigate grass only when needed and to a depth of 4 to 6 inches (1 inch of irrigation water per week). Water early in the morning to reduce extended leaf wetness. This disease can spread fast when moisture is present.

• Avoid spreading the disease to other areas. Remove clippings to prevent spread to other areas during mowing.

• Keep lawns mowed on a regular basis to the proper height for the grass species. Lower than optimum mowing height can increase disease severity.

• Provide good drainage for both surface and subsurface areas. Correct soil compaction by core aeration. Prevent excessive thatch buildup. A pitchfork can be an excellent aeration tool.

• Test the soil, and apply lime according to test recommendations. Disease may be more severe if the soil pH is less than 6.0

Centipede and St. Augustine are at peak growth when soil temperatures reach 65 degrees. In our area, the soil reaches this temperature in late April or early May.

This is the optimum time to fertilize. This is especially true of centipede and St. Augustine. When these grasses are fertilized too early, they turn yellow from stress.

The nitrogen in the fertilizer causes more top growth than the root system can support, and large patch can start.

If prevention is not an option and treatment is warranted, fungicide can control this disease.

There are many fungicides on the market labeled for use on lawns, and most will control large patch. In order for the fungicide to work properly, follow the directions on the product labeling. Products for cobtrol of Large Patch: Azoxystrobin-Propiconazole (Headway $$$$), Pyraclostrobin- triticonazole(Pillar G $$$$) or azoxystrobin + tebuconazole (Strobe T $$$$$) would be the best.

All of these listed are commercial products but can be purchased without a commercial pesticide license. The down side is they are expensive.

If price is a problem, visit big box stores or one of our local hardware/garden stores and look for Myclobutanil (Ferti-Lome F-Stop) or Propiconazole (Bayer Advanced Fungus Control for Lawns $$) for a less expensive fungicide. In order for the fungicide to work properly, follow the directions on the product labeling.

After treatment, the size of the patch should stop increasing. If the size of the patch continues to increase, another treatment is needed.

The grass then will fill in the areas affected by large patch. A good rule of thumb to follow on warm-season grasses is to initiate fungicide sprays when nighttime temperatures reach 60 degrees and stop applications when nighttime lows are forecast to be below 60 degrees for five consecutive days.

Typically, applications are made at 14- to 28-day intervals, depending upon the active ingredient in the fungicide. Also remember to alternate fungicides to prevent a buildup of resistance to a fungicide.

Tripp Williams, Columbia County’s agriculture and natural resource extension agent, can be reached at (706) 541- 4011 or

Categories: Local

Westminster girls win state title for first time in school history

Sun, 4/24/2016 12:03 AM

The Westminster girls tennis team made history this past week.

The Lady Wildcats won the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA championship for the first time in school history.

Westminster defeated Frederica Academy, Deerfield School and Brookwood to claim the state title.

In the team picture the following girls are (from left to right): Amy Grant, Emily Yarid, Michelle Iwama, Sarah Grace Heaton, Mary Garrett McLeod, Kylie Duckworth and Cameron Frank.

Categories: Local

Lakeside boys tennis team advance to third round of state playoffs

Sun, 4/24/2016 12:02 AM

Defending Class AAAAA state champion Lakeside is continuing its winning ways on the tennis courts.

On Thursday, the defending state champs rolled to a 5-0 victory over Riverwood in the second round of the state playoffs.

The Lakeside boys improved to 18-1 on the season, the lone loss coming to a Spartanburg (S.C.) that was ranked fifth nationally last year. The Panthers will play host to a yet-to-be-determined opponent early this week – Lakeside coach Dave Pitock said he was unsure of the exact time and day. If Lakeside wins its third-round match, the Panthers will play at home in the state semifinals.

“Our boys just overpowered them,” Pitcock said of his region champion squad dispatching a tournament No. 3 seed. “From now on, the third round of the state is going to get a little harder and hopefully the fourth round, and if we keep winning, the state finals.”

In the girls competition, Riverwood edged Lakeside, 3-2. Marielle Leahy and Avery Harris each won matches for the Lady Panthers.

Lakeside senior Sam Dromsky wore a green “Range” cap he earned working Masters Week on the driving range at the Augusta National Golf Club. The Lakeside senior, who defeated Gaurav Kunwar, 6-0, 6-1, waited for news from his favorite college while he worked. Finally, Dromsky received a text message last Tuesday. Georgia tennis coach Manny Diaz offered him a preferred walk-on spot with the Bulldogs.

“To be able to have an opportunity and a roster spot, that’s the main goal I’ve always had,” said Dromsky, a National Honor Society member who applied to just two schools, Georgia and Wake Forest – he got accepted to both. Dromsky said he plans to major in biochemistry with the hopes of becoming a dentist, like his father, Joseph.

“I’m excited to get up there and get better.”

Before he heads to Athens, Dromsky is looking to add another state title with his teammates, who had little problems with the charter school from Sandy Springs, Ga.

Thomas Huff defeated Michael Roddey, 6-0, 6-1, while Faulkner Hain beat Ben Shainker, 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, Lakeside’s Drew Harris and Will Barksdale defeated Pascal Acree and Zach Katz, 6-2, 6-2, while Justin Horne and Jack Lawrence knocked off Carter Rozenboom and Slate Fluker, 6-0, 6-0.

“It was a good second-round win,” Dromsky said. “It was a little more competition. Everybody is now a little more challenging, there’s longer points. It’s getting hotter. You just have to make sure you stay focused the entire match.”

Categories: Local

Mildred Pollard Blanchard obituary

Sun, 4/24/2016 12:01 AM


Mrs. Mildred Pollard Blanchard, 95, entered into rest Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

Mrs. Blanchard was preceded in death by her parents, Griffin “Jake” Pollard Sr. and Mattie Kelley Pollard; a sister, June Pollard Crawford; two sons, Perry Caldwell Blanchard and Preston Kelley Blanchard; and the father of her children, John Pierce Blanchard Sr.

Survivors include her children, John Pierce Blanchard Jr. (Deborah); Patrick G. Blanchard (Gwen); and Philip B. Blanchard (Kay); one brother Griffin B. “Jake” Pollard, Jr. (Helen); nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren; daughters-in-law Melissa Blanchard and Tonya Blanchard; and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Blanchard was born on June 18, 1920, in Appling.

She was a devoted wife, mother and homemaker. Mrs. Blanchard was a lifelong member of Kiokee Baptist Church and is remembered for her Christian faith and her love of God.

If so desired, memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

The family gratefully acknowledges the care she received from her special caregivers, Priscilla Davis, Frankie Poole and Gail Cash.

Graveside services were held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2016, in the Kiokee Baptist Church Cemetery with the Rev.
Dr. Roger Bennett officiating.

The family received visitors in the sanctuary of Kiokee Baptist Church on Saturday from 2 until 3 p.m.

Please visit to sign online guestbook. Starling-Evans Funeral Home, 435 W. Milledgeville Road. Harlem, GA. 30814. (706) 556-6524

Categories: Local

Greenbrier's Romanowski accepts preferred walk-on slot with Appalachian State

Sun, 4/24/2016 12:00 AM

Wolfpack senior long snapper Ben Romanowski celebrated with his family, friends and teammates this week as he officially became a preferred walk-on for Appalachian State.

Romanowski had committed to Appalachian State on April 11.

Appalachian State went 11-2 in 2015, beating Ohio in the Camellia Bowl in its first year of bowl eligibility. The Mountaineers are coached by Scott Satterfield, who signed a five-year extension in October.

“They make everything a family,” Romanowski said about the Mountaineers. “Having three different coaches in high school, I really wanted to make sure I had one coach.”

As for the school and the town of Boone, N.C., itself, Romanowski said everything about Appalachian State made him want to go there. He visited the school last summer and returned for two more visits.

Three area players are on the Mountaineers’ roster: offensive linemen Parker Collins and Victor Johnson (both of North Augusta) and receiver Zy Letman (Lincoln County).

“The coach has been telling me I have a possibility of starting my first year,” Romanowski said. “We’re going to be competing, me and the other two guys, but hopefully it’s going to be neck and

There’s one day Ro­manow­ski can’t help but think about, even if it’s more than a year away: Sept. 2, 2017, when Appalachian State is scheduled to visit Geor­gia. That could be Romanowski’s first start.

“I grew up a Dawg, but I’m a Mountain­eer now,” he said.

Categories: Local
Search Augusta jobs