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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

Evans Middle School students collect water to help Lumberton, N.C. recover from Hurricane Matthew

Wed, 10/19/2016 12:00 AM

Members of the Evans Middle School student council are collecting bottled water this week to donate to a small North Carolina town that is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.

Jennifer Ward, who teaches 8th grade math, said she sent the letter out to the student council students Friday.

“I don’t even know how I came across seeing that the city of Lumberton, N.C. was one of the most ravaged after Hurricane Matthew,” Ward said. “I just thought this would be a great student council project. What better way to help than provide water because their water plant is under water and they’re not going to be up and running, from what I understand until after Thanksgiving at least.”

Ward said the student council’s goal is to collect 1,000 cases of water to deliver to Lumberton this weekend to aid the urgent need for water.

“I have contacted somebody within their county and they said right now they have no water to bathe, no water for anything, cooking, cleaning, nothing. And most of their houses are underwater,” Ward said.

In response to the need, Ward said Ken King has volunteered to help her deliver the water donations free of charge.

“He has offered his services to take it up there this weekend,” Ward said of King. “I am going to go up there this weekend and just help unload. Just to offer whatever I can on behalf of our little community over here.”

Ward has enlisted the help of fellow schools and says water donations can be dropped off at not only Evans Middle School but also Evans Elementary and Evans High School.

The effort has also inspired Ward to hopefully be able to adopt a local school in Lumberton.

“Hopefully once this town gets back on its feet, we want to try and adopt one of the schools to maybe do a school supply drive or to help the teachers,” Ward said. “Right now they don’t even know when the schools are going to reopen. They may have to tear the schools down and rebuild. They may have to ship the kids off to schools in surrounding counties and those kids are going to have nothing. From here, I may springboard into a Fill a Backpack drive or something for these kids.”

In the meantime, Ward said the council’s focus will be on getting water to the devastated town.

“Right now, this is the most important need that they have. And this is what we wanted to do,” Ward said.

Categories: Local

Pop Warner squads prep for regionals

Wed, 10/19/2016 12:00 AM

For the first time in its 5-year history, the Grovetown Warrior Pop Warner Junior Peewee and Mity Mights cheer squads are preparing to hit the road for regional competition in Florida.

Of the 18 girls that comprise the Junior Peewee team, 14 belong to military families and will get to experience participating in a competitive sport for the first time, according to Junior Peewee cheer mom Aurora Dotson.

“We just moved here in January from California at Fort Irwin military installation and it was about 1½ hours to the nearest town with a cheer squad, so this is her first time,” Dotson said of her daughter, Lexi, competing.

“There are lots of things that military kids face that don’t allow for participation in community sports outside of what they offer on base, and what they offer on base is not competitive.”

With only $1,000 collected towards the $7,000 price tag attached to attending the regional competition, the teams are reaching out to the community for

The teams practice two to three times a week in addition to cheering on the Grovetown Warriors Pop Warner football teams each Saturday.

Between weekly performances and practices preparing for the regional competition, several fundraisers have already been put into play and others are planned to help the teams reach their goal.

“We’ve had two bake sales, and right now we are currently doing a $10 from 10 which is basically call grandma, call grandpa, call aunts and uncles and get $10 from everybody,” Dotson said. “BelAir Donuts offered to sell us donuts at a discount basically so we can do preorders.”

Dotson added that the team also plans to hold a car wash on Oct. 23 at the Advanced Auto in Grovetown and will also hold a spaghetti lunch at a local VFW, along with other fundraisers.

But all of the work to go to regionals would not be possible without the team, who are required to maintain certain GPAs in schoolwork in order to be eligible to participate in Pop Warner sports.

“On­ top of all of the demands for cheer, they also have to keep up with their school work,” Dotson said, adding that is a point of pride for the Pop Warner organization.

After achieving the highest score last year at the cheerleading showcase, Dotson said the teams are ready to compete for the chance to win regionals and go on to cheer at the National

“These girls are talented, they’re good, we just need help getting there,” Dotson said.

Categories: Local

Sports announcements

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:05 AM

Evans baseball team holding golf tournament

The Evans High School baseball team is holding a golf tournament, Saturday, Oct. 22, at Jones Creek Golf Club. Cost is $75 per person.

Lunch begins at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at noon.

For more information, contact Ricky Beale at

CSRA Heat Volleyball seeking players

The CSRA Heat is seeking boys and girls, grades third through 12th, for its clinics and travel teams. An information meeting at 7 p.m., Oct. 19, at Augusta Prep’s Hull Fine Arts Center.

For tryout dates, registration, and more information go to

For more information, contact Lance Abbott at (706) 399-4225 or

Baseball prospect camp to be held at Lakeside High

The 2016 CSRA Prospect Camp will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, at Lakeside High School’s baseball field. The camp will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pitchers and catchers check in at 10, while position players check in at 11.

Registration runs from now until Nov. 5, with the camp costing $100. Late deadline registration is $140.

This is a one-day camp that will feature instruction and help high school players graduating between 2017-2020 showcase their talents in front of schools like Augusta University, Georgia College and State University and others.

Registration will be held at Hometown Sports. For more information, contact Adrian McCladdie at (706) 288-8511 or

Dart association seeking players for new season

The Savannah River Dart Association is holding a sign-up day, Oct. 24.

All skill levels are welcome. There will be a 10-week season, including playoffs. Matches will be held Monday nights at The Highlander in North Augusta.

For more information, call Matt Flynn at (706) 414-7525.

Fishing tournament to be held at Wildwood Park

A local high school sports team is holding a fishing tournament, Oct. 29, at the Wildwood Park Boat Ramp.

Cost is $125 per two-man team. Based on a 50-boat registration, first prize will be $2,000, with second place receiving $700 and third place $350, fourth place $200 and fifth place $150.

For more information, contact Kevin Waters at (706) 399-3154.

If you have an announcement you’d like to run in the News-Times, send an email to Chris Gay at

Categories: Local

Carolina Cup champions

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:05 AM

Carolina Cup champs

Categories: Local

Judge halts effort to recall Grovetown councilman

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:04 AM

A judge has halted a petition process to remove former Grovetown mayor and sitting city Councilman Dennis Trudeau from office.

Superior Court Judge Robert W. Adamson ruled Oct. 7 that the reasons listed on a petition for recall application filed by Grove­town resident Allen Transou were insufficient and therefore dismissed after a hearing in
Columbia County Superior Court.

The petition outlined three incidents Transou said he believed warranted the recall application process: that Trudeau threatened Mayor Gary Jones, that he called a special meeting of the council without following proper protocol and that he was
disruptive during council meetings.

In the ruling, Adamson said the claim that Trudeau threatened Jones by saying “Beware my friend, beware,” could not be constituted as an actual threat.

“Such comments even while made in argumentative ways or in anger are in the opinion of this court lawful conduct or expression and not be evidence of misconduct in office or a violation of the
oath of office,” Adamson wrote.

The ruling also explained the insufficiency of the two other claims.

The petition was Transou’s second attempt for a recall application. His first attempt fell short of 100 signatures by about 20. This time, Transou attained the 100 signatures, which were deemed valid by the Columbia County Board of Elections
office. But Trudeau requested a ruling by a Superior Court judge, which is outlined in the recall petition process.

“What he accused me of was wrong,” Trudeau said. “I wasn’t just going to lay down and not put up a battle. I have been with the city almost 30 years, 20 years as a mayor, and I have been on the council for the last seven to eight years, I wasn’t going to fold up my tent
and just move on. I’ve got great dreams for the future of this beautiful town of ours and we’re going to get it done.”

Transou said that while he was not disappointed with the outcome, he believed the will
of the people was overlooked.

“I felt OK with the ruling. There was an appellate process that was available. My goal wasn’t to sink money into it, but to follow whatever options were available to us as taxpayers,” Transou said. “I was disappointed I had over 100 signatures that wanted to move forward, and it seems the court took the process out of the hands of the citizens. The citizens want this, and the court decided the citizens couldn’t have their way.”

Transou said he believes he helped set an important precedent for the city’s leaders.

“We’ll just continue to move forward, and we will see how cooperative he is with the city council and the mayor,” Transou said of Trudeau. “If his conduct becomes disruptive and hinders the mayor in moving the city
forward, then we have grounds to pursue another petition.”

Transou noted that two city council seats are up for election next year and
hinted at a possible run for office.

“I am strongly considering and another citizen strongly considering those seats on the city council so we can give the mayor a city council that will support him,” Transou said.

Trudeau said he is focusing on moving the city forward.

“We’ve got to work together and we’ve got to pull the same direction, and we are starting to do that now and things are starting to move slowly, but they are coming along and
moving in the right direction if we all work together towards the same goal,” Trudeau said.

Categories: Local

Police blotter

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:04 AM

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

Evans store reports theft

Police responded to an Evans business after a $50 gift card was believed stolen by fraudulent means.

A white man entered Academy Sports claiming to be a representative of M&R Homeless and Battered Women’s Shelter, and was asking for donations for a raffle fundraiser. The manager on duty said the store could donate a $50 gift card, but that the man would need to provide a W9 tax form with the charity’s information.

Later, the man returned during an afternoon rush and spoke to a different manager.

The new manager told police that the man handed him some papers and took the gift card.

The manager said he realized that the man had given him only information on the shelter and the raffle and not the W9 form. The manager called the number listed on the flier, but it was disconnected. A loss prevention employee suspended the gift card.

Police entered the tax information provided for the homeless shelter into the IRS Charity verification website and results revealed it was not a registered charity.

Homeless man charged

A homeless man was arrested after being accused of making several calls to 911 with a disconnected cellphone.

According to the incident report, deputies have responded several times within the last month to the 4300 block of Frontage Road for the same number calling 911 and refusing to provide an exact location.

GPS showed the location coming from the Red Roof Inn and Cook Out. The man reportedly making the calls was making moaning noises in the phone.

Upon arrival to the Red Roof Inn, deputies found the cellphone on Miller Abrams and was able to verify the phone’s serial number.

Abrams denied making the phone calls. He was charged with unlawful conduct during a 911 call.

Categories: Local

Hit-and-run arrest made

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:04 AM

Authorities say the Martinez man charged in a fatal hit-and-run had already begun repairing damage to his vehicle before he was arrested early Friday in North Augusta.

Columbia County sheriff’s Maj. Steve Morris said Chris Cheek was found in downtown Augusta late Thursday and followed into North Augusta. Morris said deputies contacted the North Augusta Department of Public Safety for assistance. They stopped his car, and Cheek was arrested without incident.

He is in the Aiken County Detention Center, awaiting an extradition hearing to be returned to Columbia County.

According to Morris, the hood had been repaired on the vehicle Cheek is suspected of driving when 22-year-old Timothy Smith was hit and killed Wednesday evening on Wheeler Road.

Authorities are investigating whether anyone assisted Cheek after the incident but would not speculate on additional arrests or charges, Morris said.

Cheek is charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane.

Police say he fled after striking Smith, who was jogging along the highway while wearing a yellow reflective vest. He was pronounced dead at Doctors Hos­pi­tal.

No bond has been set for Cheek.

According to court records, Cheek has a history of driving offenses, including DUI arrests.

He was charged with driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration in 2009. Two years later, a charge of driving under the influence was reduced to reckless driving. The following year, he was ticketed for driving offenses on at least two occasions.

According to Augusta Chron­icle archives, Cheek is a previous owner of the old Some­where in Augusta location in National Hills.

Staff Writer Bianca Cain Johnson contributed to this article.

Categories: Local

Harlem, Grovetown advance in softball; Greenbrier bows out

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:03 AM


Harlem and Grovetown are the two remaining Columbia County teams in the state softball tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs swept Bryan County, 7-1 and 8-0, Wednesday in the first round of the GHSA Class AA playoffs. Harlem will play host to Monticello on Wednesday afternoon, with the winner advancing to the Elite Eight.

Grovetown, which needed three games to defeat Lakeside to make the Class AAAAAA state playoffs, entered postseason as a No. 3 seed. The Lady Warriors knocked off No. 2 seed Coffee on the road, 4-0, on Thursday, for their first state playoff series victory. Grovetown will travel to play Region 7 champion Cambridge on Wednesday.

Evans, a No. 4 seed, dropped a close series at Region 1 champion Houston County, 1-0 and 5-3.

Greenbrier also bowed out of the playoffs with its 3-0 home loss to Lee County in Game 3 of their first-round series Thursday.

“They deserved to win the series,” said Greenbrier coach Garrett Black, who complimented the Lady Trojans’ defense and approach at the plate. “That’s a great ball club, well-coached. I’m very impressed with their kids.”

Greenbrier (21-12) entered the state tournament as a No. 2 seed. But the Lady Wolfpack played sloppy defense throughout the series and failed to get any timely hits in their final game.

In three games, Greenbrier recorded nine errors. The Lady Wolfpack rallied to win the first game and led 5-2 entering the bottom of the sixth in the second game before falling.

Junior pitcher Brianna Butler allowed just four hits in Game 3, striking out four batters. Still, she took the hard-luck loss.

“Bri threw well enough to win. She threw well enough to win all three games,” Black said. “But when you don’t make plays behind her....We made her throw an extra 100 pitches this series.”

Lee County, the home team in Game 3, started a one-out rally in the first when Amanda Kelley slapped a routine single up the middle and then reached third on a two-base error in the outfield.

The next batter, Ally Clegg, popped harmlessly to the right side of the infield. When second baseman Rachel Crowe and first baseman Kaylie Titus collided, the ball fell to the ground, allowing Clegg to reach second.

Lee County’s Sydney McLarin took advantage, ripping a two-run single up.

“We gave them two runs in the first inning,” Black said. “That kind of set the momentum right there. But we had our chances last night. The bottom line is we did not play defense with routine plays. It’s frustrating. It’s going to take a while to get over this one.”

Lee County pitcher Abby Hughes held the Lady Wolfpack in check, scattering five hits. In the fifth, Crowe, who went 2 for 3, posted a two-out single, while Nicole Rogers followed with another single. But Hughes ended the rally by forcing Butler pop to short.

Categories: Local

Augusta Prep falls to John Milledge for first loss of season

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:02 AM

Augusta Prep dropped its first game of the season Friday night to undefeated John Milledge.

The Cavaliers gave up three touchdowns in the second quarter and lost 31-12.
“I think in the long run it will help us as it was a learning lesson for us against a very talented, well-coached team,” Augusta Prep coach Harry Bacheller said. “We are still a little young, but we grew up a little tonight.”

B.J. Stone scored on a 90-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter and also added a 2-yard rushing touchdown for the Cavaliers.

Augusta Prep closes out the regular when it plays Friday night at Westfield.

• Greenbrier fell to 5-2 overall, 0-2 in Region 3-AAAAAA play after its 35-7 home loss to Heritage.

The Patriots opened up a close game with 21 unanswered points in the second half.

JQ Brown led the Wolfpack with 81 yards on 11 carries. He also added one catch for 22 yards.

Greenbrier returns to action Friday when it plays host to Evans at 7:30 p.m.

• Augusta Christian tried to make a late rally, but it wasn’t enough in a 24-21 loss to Spartanburg Christian.

The Lions allowed 24 points in the second quarter and entered the fourth down by 17. E’mon Reeves scored on a 35-yard run and Jackson Wingard followed with a 25-yard touchdown run in the final two minutes.

Augusta Christian (3-5, 2-2) rushed for 293 yards on 54 carries, while Spartanburg Christian gained 331 total yards.

The Lions play host to Florence Christian at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

• Lakeside played Saturday at Alcovy. The Panthers play host to Heritage at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

• Harlem played Saturday at Josey. The Bulldogs have a bye this week.

Categories: Local

Evans holds on to defeat Grovetown

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:02 AM

In a Region 3-AAAAAA heavyweight bout Friday night, the Evans defense made all the big plays in the final seven minutes.

The Knights intercepted a pass and held Grovetown twice on fourth down late in the game, holding on for a 26-24 victory.

After winning four games last season, Evans improved to 5-2 overall, 2-0 in region play. Second-year Knights coach Lemuel Lackey said he expected his team’s game with the Warriors to be a battle.

“When you get in these rivalry games where you know the kids over there and know the coaches, it’s always going to be nip and tuck,” he said. “Without question, they’ve got some superstars. But we’ve got a good team and we’re going to fight hard.”

Evans started two drives inside its 10-yard line and was backed up to the 13 on another possession. The Knights scored on all three drives, including a 91-yard touchdown run by Corey Watkins in the third quarter that staked Evans to a 26-17 lead. Watkins finished with 22 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns and added a 74-yard kickoff return. Latravious Holiday added 58 yards on seven rushes.

“We’re versatile in a lot of ways,” Lackey said. “I’ve got two good backs and I’ll put them up against anyone. They can run the ball at any place. They fight hard. If you give them a crease, they’ll take it.”

Grovetown (3-5, 1-2) managed just 206 yards of offense, but it scored on a 32-yard Taylor Youngblood scramble and a 91-yard kickoff return by Verenzo Holmes in the first half. Zion Hogan recovered a Levin Lackey fumble in the end zone early in the fourth quarter to pull the Warriors within 26-24.

But Grovetown was called for 14 penalties for 137 yards, including seven personal foul or unsportsmanlike penalty calls.

“It always goes back to the mental stuff for me, all the penalties,” Warriors coach Damien Postell said. “(Evans) made some plays. Those kids broke some tackles and made some long runs. We’ve just got to do the same thing. We’ve got to learn how to finish.”

Grovetown’s Youngblood threw a deep pass midway through the fourth quarter to Holmes, but Dajour Davis fought for the ball and came away with the interception. The Warriors, who recovered a Watkins fumble on the next play, advanced the ball to midfield on their next possession. On fourth and 2, Holiday stuffed Youngblood in the backfield.

Grovetown got another chance, facing fourth and 1 on its 31. Running back D’Angelo Durham, who led his team with 35 yards, took a high shotgun snap and got stuffed in the backfield by Jake Knight with
1:33 to go.

Categories: Local

Property transfers

Sun, 10/16/2016 12:01 AM

Robert Allen Anderson to James Leland Hughes, III; Map & Parcel number: 073K 171;

Cheryl L. Thomas to Tara Vanderlip; Map & parcel number: 077 536; $157,000

Rodgers C. Gentry and Vicky L. Gentry, Trustees of the Rodgers C. Gentry & Vicky L. Gentry to Eric C. Masuda; Map & Parcel number: 078C 239; $126,900

D&MCK Inc. to D.R. Horton-Crown LLC; Map & Parcel number: 069 104G; $1,044,350; Deed of gift

Eric L. Hamacher to William Benitez; Map & Parcel number: 062 2364; $193,500

Findley & Edenfield LLC to Charles Victor Markwalter; Map & Parcel number: 073E523; $95,000

Pierwood Construction Co. to Michael E. Fischer; 909 Avalon Court; $179,900

John H. Schofield to John H. Schofield and Peggy Still; Map & Parcel number: 65A849; $10

Polly Connor Clary to R. Allen Connor; Map & Parcel number: H01 066; $0; Estate Deed

Helen L. Cooper to Marcus A. Cooper; 870 Pointe Comfort Road; $0

Charles A. Fleming to Charles A. Fleming, Trustee of the Charles A. Fleming and Svetlana A. Fleming Living Trust; Map & Parcel number: 067C146; $0; Deed of

Seri L. Christine to Bobby L. Christine; Map & Parcel number: 059A036; $0; Joint Tenant Division

Cassondra Renar Jenkins to Christopher James Jenkins; 534 Capstone Way;

Donald G. Hixon to Donald G. Hixon and Beverly Hixon, JTWROS; Map & Parcel number: 084 104; $10

Michael G. Driscoll and Lori H. Discroll to Craig Van Sciver; Map & Parcel number: 077I 1008; $368,000

IDK Homes, Inc. to Thomas A. Borup and Katya A. Borup, JTWROS; Map & Parcel number: 066 842; $294,500

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to Marc T. Simons; Map & Parcel number; 073A307; $69,000; Govt/Nonprofit public corp.

Jason Lucas Smith and Dorothy Marie Smith to William Thomas Rowe, III and Ermina Rowe, JTWROS; Map & Parcel number: 074B019; $10

Anthony T. Brantley to Jayme L. Hamilton; Map & Parcel number: 078C716; $124,900

Mark B. Johnson and Shelly A. Johnson to James J. Page and Catherine B. Page, JTWROS: Map & Parcel number: 072N117; $210,000

Julie Davis Harris, Jacquelyn Davis Saber, Patricia M. Davis, Executor - Estate of Paul V. Davis to Timothy W. Batchelor; Map & Parcel number: portion of 006 070F; $32,667

Paul V. Davis Jr. Family Properties, LLC to Timothy W. Batchelor; Map & Parcel number: portion of 006 070F; $10

Estate of Paul V. Davis Jr. aka Paul Davis to Darryl K. Lundy; Map & Parcel number: portion of 006 070F; $152,796

Paul V. Davis Jr. Family Properties, LLC to Darryl K. Lundy; Map & Parcel number: portion of 006 070F; $10

Darryl K. Lundy to Darryl K. Lundy and Yong S. Lundy, JTWROS: Map & Parcel number: portion of 006 070F; $10

Categories: Local
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