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On Vacation

Wed, 3/25/2015 12:07 AM
Categories: Local

Pet Adoptions

Wed, 3/25/2015 12:07 AM
Categories: Local

Current Events

Wed, 3/25/2015 12:07 AM

Vets seminar

Aiken-Augusta Warrior Project Veterans Information Seminar 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, March 26, Southern Wesleyan University, 802 E. Martintown Road Suite 101, North Augusta; information on VA education benefits system; limited seating, register by phone; (706) 434-9296, (706) 434-9297


Doors 7 p.m., show 7:30 p.m. March 27 and 28, Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive, Evans; intrigue, delight and imagination of favorite fairy tales and stories; dressy to cocktail attire; $25, military ID $22, ages 17 and younger $18; (706) 854-8888,

Night of equality

8 p.m. Friday, March 27, Sky City, 1157 Broad St.; performances by She N She and Pixel Adams 9 p.m.;drag cabaret 10 p.m., followed by DJ and dancing; GRU Equality and the Equality Clinic; $7, GRU students $5 with ID;

Fundraising run

Running Through the Decades, themed fun run fundraiser for Christ Church Health Clinic, a free health clinic run by the PA students at Georgia Regents University, 8 a.m. Saturday, March 28, Savannah Rapids Park, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez; 5k individual $25, group $20; 10k individual $40, group $35;

Benefit yard sale

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28, Four Paws, 479 Old Evans Road, Evans; donations being accepted; $5 hot dog combo for humans, $5 nail trim for dog

Yard sale

Tri-Annual Yard Sale Fundraiser 8 a.m. Saturday, March 28, When Help Can’t Wait, 3843 Martinez Blvd., Martinez; golf clubs, décor items, clothing for $1 each, housewares, comforter sets, books and more; benefits area nursing home residents;

Missions event

Miles for Missions 5K and 1 Mile Kids Fun Run Saturday, March 28, Grovetown Elementary School, 300 Ford Ave.; fun run 8:30 a.m., 5K 9 a.m.; benefits Lewis Memorial 2015 Ecuador Mission Team; register online at by searching for Miles for Missions; 5K $20 advance, $25 race day; fun run $10; (706) 836-1913

Egg scramble

Columbia County Easter Egg Scramble Saturday, March 28, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; ages 1-4 10 a.m., ages 5 and older 11 a.m.; Kelley Family Band performing 10:30-11 a.m.; rain date April 4

Farmers market

Evans Towne Farmers Market 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; farm produce, crafters, cooking demos, children’s activities, music, gardening advice; cooking competitions announced online; join the free My Market Club for incentives to return week after week; April 2-July 30; Augusta Locally Grown, host;

First Thursday

5-8 p.m. Thursday, April 2, Midtown Market, 2113 Kings Way; Augusta Partnership for Children Inc., featured organization; music by Chris Hardy; Carol Fuller, artist of the month; hors d’oeuvres, drinks, discounts; free, donations accepted

Camp, canoe

Savannah River Group Sierra Club weekend of camping, canoeing and hiking beginning 4 p.m. Friday, April 3, Congaree National Forest, 100 National Park Road, St. Matthews, S.C.; $25; reservations required;,

Audubon trip

Augusta-Aiken Audubon field trip to Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary 8 a.m. Saturday, April 4, meet at Kathwood Ponds, Silver Bluff Road, where road changes from paved to dirt, to carpool; beginners welcome; free;

Masters event

5:45-10 p.m. Monday, April 6, Augusta Common, 836 Reynolds St.; honoring longtime caddie Carl Jackson; Cole Ford, Joshua Scott Jones and Katie Deal performing; free samples from 40 local restaurants; $10;

Demo election

Democratic Committee election for first vice-chairman 7 p.m. Monday, April 6, Evans Government Center Auditorium, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Building A, Evans; first vice chairman to serve the remainder of 2-year term that began Jan. 1; candidates must be current members of Columbia County Democratic Committee; duties include the bylaws, compliance and parliamentary procedure; (706) 449-2553

Charity show

Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, Evans Towne Center Park, 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; performers include Darius Rucker, Sam Hunt, A Thousand Horses and Phillip Lee Jr.; rain or shine; gates open 4 p.m.; benefits The First Tee of Augusta; $25 through Feb. 14, then $30 advance, $35 day of show;

Summer camps

How to Find and Fund Summer Camps and Enrichment Programs, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 11, Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, 823 Telfair St.; learn about local, state, national, international, specialty and family camps; tips on financing summer camps; free; held by JLJ Resources Inc.; (706) 210-2547,

Self defense

2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 18, Superior Academy 4158 Washington Road, Evans; women’s self defense course; be ready for any situation; how to avoid being a target, the power of body language, tips on being safer, more; no martial arts experience needed; casual or sportswear attire; $20, tickets available online;

Categories: Local

Historic Harlem house to be razed for new library

Tue, 3/24/2015 3:55 PM


A historic home in downtown Harlem will be demolished to make way for a new library.

City officials decided at Monday’s monthly meeting to raze the Wilson-Hoyle House at 145 N. Louisville St.

Plans are to use the property to construct a new, larger city library.

“This is not an either or situation with the library and the house,” said Janet Luckey Short, president of the Harlem Arts Council, who have been fundraising and campaigning to save the nearly 15-year-old house. “I believe in compromise. ... There is room to keep the house.”

The city purchased the property in 2005 through the Harlem Foundation. City leaders voted to use the property for the 10,000-square-foot two-story library that will also include a greenspace park, an outdoor performance venue and parking.

The $3.5 million needed for the project are designated in the 2017-22 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Some residents spoke at the meeting in favor of tearing down the “eyesore” that has fallen into disrepair.

“This is positive growth. This is controlled growth,” Harlem Fire Department Chief and lifelong Harlem resident Tripp Lonergan said. “It is just positive, controlled growth, which is what we need.”

In the midst of an effort to build downtown development in the city, several residents offered that the new library will be more of a draw for business and tourists for events than the building the Arts Council hoped to use for a historical museum and in conjunction with the theater.

Steve Camp said he thinks the library would be a major improvement and that the city could turn the overgrown property “into something we can all use and be proud of.”

Columbia County Board of Education Trustee Roxanne Whitaker and former Harlem Mayor James Lewis agree that the library would be more than a house for books, but a new and advanced place of learning for future generations.

“You don’t have advantage better than to put that library where the (Wilson-Hoyle) house is,” Lewis said.

The Arts Council has already raised $3,000 toward the renovation of the house, which they’d hoped would start with an $8,000 facade facelift. Original estimates obtained by the city more than a decade ago showed it would take about $900,000 to renovate the house. The Arts Council also got quotes estimating the cost to renovate the entire house would be less than $300,000.

The group had already pledged to help renovate the theater, which will take about $1 million to restore to an original condition.

“I would like to see the city’s interests back to the theater,” resident Mickey Lonergan said.

Categories: Local

Harlem officials offer police chief position

Tue, 3/24/2015 1:04 PM


Harlem officials offered the position of the city’s lead lawman to a lifelong resident, former assistant chief and city firefighter at Monday’s meeting.

After a selection committee sorted through 40 applicants, they offered the vacant police chief position to Chuck Meadows, who said after the meeting that he will “more than likely” accept the offer.

Meadows will become the city’s sixth police chief in as many years. He’ll replace former Chief Gary Jones, who led the department for 18 months before he left on Nov. 1 for the chief position at the Grovetown Department of Public Safety.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Meadows, who has been with the department since 2008. “I’ve put in for it several times and hadn’t gotten it. This is something I’ve waited on and is one of my goals that I’ve strived for. I’m just glad I finally achieved it.”

Meadows served the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office from 1993 to 2008, when he became the Harlem department’s assistant chief under former chief Jerry Baldwin. Baldwin resigned in January 2009 and Meadows served as interim chief until Jesse Bowman was hired as chief in March of that year.

Under Bowman’s leadership until he stepped down in 2011, Meadows went back on as a road patrol officer. Interim Director Benje Cowart led the department until David Sward took over in 2012. During Sward’s administration, Meadows left law enforcement and became a Harlem firefighter, where he is currently a sergeant.

Sward left in early 2012 and was replaced by Jones.

Meadows said he’s a lifelong Harlem resident and he hopes to spend the rest of his career serving his hometown.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” Meadows said. “I don’t have any plans of going anywhere. This is one of my goals. If I can stay here and retire right here, I’d be more than happy to do that.”

City leaders also offered the second-in-command captain position to Rob Lewis, who has served the department since 2014. He also served six years with the Richmond County Sheriff’s office and two with the Grovetown Department of Public Safety.

Meadows said he and Lewis work well together and he also expects a good working relationship with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and Grovetown department.

He’s excited that he has the opportunity to fill the chief position, especially since city leaders considered disbanding the department and contracting with the sheriff’s office.

Between 2017 and 2018, the city projects a substantial drop in the amount of Local Option Sales Tax revenue it gets from the county. But after exploring other options, and after a large public outcry from Harlem residents, the city council voted in January to continue the search for Jones’ replacement.

“I’m very glad that didn’t happen,’ Meadows said of the disbanding. “It would have been an injustice to the citizens and businesses and people of Harlem.”

He hopes to continue some of the good programs that Jones started and maybe make some more positive changes.

“I’m going to have a lot on my plate at first,” Meadows said. “I’m just ready to get started. I’m just ready to get started with this next chapter of my life.”

Categories: Local

Harlem man arrested after high-speed chase

Tue, 3/24/2015 11:30 AM

A Harlem man was arrested in South Carolina Tuesday morning after leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties.

Columbia County sheriff’s deputies tried to stop Patrick Benjamin Buxton, 24, in a primer gray Oldsmobile on Gordon Highway near Harlem at about 9:30 a.m. because he has an outstanding narcotics warrant, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

Buxton, of Haverhill Drive, refused to stop and led authorities to Interstate 20, where he sped east toward Richmond

Along the way, Buxton threw narcotics and a handgun out of the moving vehicle. They were recovered by deputies, Morris said.

Buxton continued into Richmond County, where Richmond County sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit.

Once Buxton crossed into South Carolina, Columbia and Richmond County deputies peeled off while North Augusta and Aiken County authorities continued to follow Buxton, Morris said.

Buxton was eventually stopped and arrested on S.C. Highway 278 in Aiken County.

Morris said Buxton faces active narcotics warrants in Columbia County as well as multiple traffic violations associated with the pursuit.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, March 22, 2015

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:11 AM

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

Cell-phone scam reported

A Grovetown man said a caller claiming to be from a cell phone service provider used his credit card to spend more than $750.

The 72-year-old man said he received a call Tuesday from someone claiming to be a Verizon employee. The call came from a restricted number. The caller told the man his son’s account was overdue and the phone would be deactivated if the balance wasn’t paid. The man used his debit card to pay the $22 balance over the phone.

When checking his account activity on Wednesday, the man said he discovered a $763.93 payment made to Verizon LLC out of Tampa, Fla.

The man called Verizon and was told the company had no record of the transaction and it never uses restricted numbers to call customers. His son said his bill wasn’t past due.

The man said he believes someone was posing as a Verizon employee to steal his money.

Restaurant burglarized

The owner of a Martinez restaurant said he initially thought the mess left by a burglar was his son playing a trick.

The owner of The Taj of India at 502 Furys Ferry Road said Monday that someone broke into his restaurant overnight. He said he went in through the front door just before 1 p.m. and found papers and journals kept under the counter next to the cash register were all over the floor. He put them back, thinking his son was playing a trick, not realizing the place had been burglarized.

While picking up the papers, the owner said he noticed $7,300 was missing from an envelope hidden inside a box hidden under the cash register counter. The register, which is closed every night, was open and $150 was missing.

The owner’s son said he closed the restaurant the previous night and everything was in its proper place.

A deputy found pry marks on the back door and door handle.

Students have sex at school

Two Greenbrier High School students were caught Tuesday having sex in the parking lot.

The school public safety officer contacted deputies after he found the teens, 16 and 17, having sex in a car in the parking lot just after 8 a.m.

A report was made for informational purposes because the act was against school policy.

The teens were suspended and turned over to their parents. Brick breaks window

A Martinez man said he was at home early Thursday when someone threw a brick through his window.

The 58-year-old man said that at about 2 a.m., he heard a crashing sound. He went outside to investigate, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The man’s wife went into a front bedroom about two hours later and found the window blinds damaged, the window broken and a brick on the floor.

The man said he doesn’t have any idea who caused the damage, but it was the third incident at his home in the previous 10 days.

He said he did notice a red vehicle leaving the area about the time he heard the crash, but doesn’t know if it is related to the incident at his home.

Categories: Local

Arts group hopes to save historic home in Harlem

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:11 AM

Harlem officials are expected to consider the fate of a historic downtown home at a meeting Monday evening.

Members of the Harlem Arts Council, a volunteer organization that supports arts and preservation in the city, hope to rescue and restore the Wilson-Hoyle House.

“It’s just a fight to preserve our heritage really,” said arts council President Janet Luckey Short.

The city purchased the nearly 150-year-old house and property at 145 N. Louisville Street, next to the Columbia Theatre, in 2005 through the Harlem Foundation. It is one of the oldest houses in the city, Short said.

Plans are to destroy the home, which needs extensive renovation, to make way for a $3.5 million library. The proposed plan is to build the library, a greenspace park and possibly an outdoor performance venue.

Arts council members say there is plenty of room on the lot to preserve the home. They say the house could provide a sound buffer and serve as a barrier for children and the road and still have room for the greenspace, library and parking.

“I really will cry if this house comes down,” Short said. “It really is a gem. It could do so much for the tourism of Harlem. It will be a shame. I do want the library, but I think we can have all three things.”

The arts council has already pledged to help raise funds for the renovation of the theater to turn it into a functional arts and rental space. Estimates to restore it have been estimated at about $1 million.

Member Ann Blalock said the theater cannot function without the space and income the historic home could produce.

The arts council’s priority shifted from the theater to saving the home and proposed to city leaders last fall that they would raise funds to renovate the home if the city agreed not to raze it.

City Manager Jason Rizner has said it would take more than $700,000 to restore the home to usable condition, according to a 2003 estimate.

The arts council got more recent quotes, which estimate it to cost $7,950 to redo the facade unless vinyl siding is used, which raises the estimate to $12,530. Dave Carlsen, arts council member and president of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, said the quotes also includes renovating the first floor for $29,750 plus an estimated $30,000 for electrical and plumbing.

“In total, you have less than $80,000 to do the first floor and then you can move to the second floor,” Carlsen said. “The theater facade looks really nice. It’s really inviting. If we raised a little less than $8,000, we could have the facade of this building looking just as nice.”

Carlsen said the group would like to lease the home, taking all the expense for upkeep off the city.

The group has raised more than $3,000 through Bingo night at the Woman’s Club and other events. Several fundraisers are planned, including an Arts in the Park arts festival on May 16 at the Glenn Phillips Memorial Park, a poker run motorcycle ride and a wild game night put on at the Masonic Lodge.

Lifelong Harlem resident and arts council member Jack Hatcher said the home was one of many used as a boarding house for the summer guests from Augusta and the winter guests from New York, who traveled to the city by train and often enjoyed performances at the former Harlem opera house.

“The history of the arts is really big here in Harlem,” Short said. “The historical aspect of the arts being here is really strong.”

The group hopes to restore the house to include a room to serve as a museum and a reception room/parlor. It could be used in conjunction with events at the theater and library.

“There is really no need to destroy this historic home,” Short said. “Irregardless of whether they let the arts council use it or help with this project, we want it to remain in Harlem.”

Rizner said members of the City Council are expected to consider plans for the property at the Monday meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Harlem Public Safety Building.

Categories: Local

Columbia County voters approve renewal of education sales tax

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:11 AM

Columbia County voters overwhelmingly approved a renewal of the local education sales tax Tuesday, providing officials with a reliable source of revenue to fund improvements in the county’s rapidly growing school system.

Turnout was light for the special election to approve the next five-year round of the education special local option sales tax (ESPLOST), with less than 6 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

The measure passed with about 75 percent in favor of the penny sales tax, which officials say will be used to fund about $140 million in new construction, facility improvements and new equipment, starting in 2017. The final total was 3,253 votes for the sales tax and 1,096 votes against it.

Columbia County Schools Superintendent Sandra Carraway said she was relieved at Tuesday’s outcome.

“It’s a huge relief,” she said. “If the ESPLOST hadn’t passed we would have been forced to halt all of our plans. We are very thankful for all the people who came out to vote.”

School officials have a five-year improvement plan to keep pace with burgeoning growth in the county, in part spurred by additional personnel and new missions being added to Fort Gordon. Officials expect enrollment to grow by at least 700 new students next fall, with similar growth to follow.

The improvement plan includes the replacement and expansion of Grove­town Elementary and Harlem Middle schools, and renovations at all high school athletic facilities in 2017, including a new stadium and sports complex at Lakeside High. The sales tax will fund the purchase of new school buses and outfit schools with new technology, officials said.

Carraway said approval of the sales tax means school officials can proceed with plans to issue up to $55 million in general obligation bonds to fund school construction. The debt will be repaid with proceeds from the sales tax starting in 2017, she said.

“The next order of business
will be to sell bonds so we can begin the projects we have
planned for 2017,” she said.
Carraway expects the bonds to be on the market in a few months and construction on the Grovetown and Harlem projects to begin within the year.

Categories: Local

Sports Calendar for Sunday, March 22, 2015.

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:08 AM

Baseball registration

Registration for Martinez-Evans Little League Spring Baseball is still open. Registration for juniors closes Friday, wee ball ends on March 31 and senior and big finish on May 5. Go to


New Georgia Impact 14U travel baseball team is looking for players. Practices are in Appling. Players must be born after May 1, 2000. Call (706) 231-6488.

Football Camp

The Augusta Prep 7th Annual Summer Football Camp at Augusta Prep is July 7-9, played host by several out of town coaches. Contact

Categories: Local

Prep Calendar for Sunday, March 22, 2015.

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:08 AM

Monday, March 23

Augusta Christian vs. Providence Athletic, 3 p.m.

Harlem vs. Burke County, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24

Greenbrier vs. Cross Creek, 6 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Thomson, 6 p.m.

Lakeside vs. Evans, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25

Harlem vs. Evans, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 26

Augusta Prep at John Milledge Academy, 4:30 p.m.

Augusta Christian vs. Fox Creek,
5 p.m.

Friday, March 27

Augusta Prep at Westminster,
4:30 p.m.

Harlem vs. East Laurens, 5:30 p.m.

Augusta Christian at Ben Lippen,
6 p.m.

Greenbrier vs. Evans, 6 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Lakeside, 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 28

Lakeside at South Aiken, 1 p.m.

Monday, March 23

Augusta Christian at Spartan Invitational at Waynesboro Country Club, 10 a.m.

Greenbrier vs. North Augusta at the River Course

Tuesday, March 24

Evans vs. Richmond Academy at Bartram Trail

Wednesday, March 25

Grovetown vs. Lakeside at Bartram Trail

Thursday, March 26

Augusta Prep vs. Augusta Christian at West Lake, 2 p.m.

Evans vs. North Augusta at Jones Creek

Friday, March 27

Lakeside vs. Marist, 7 p.m. (boys)

Saturday, March 28

Greenbrier at Dunwoody, 1 p.m. (girls)

Lakeside vs. Dunwoody, 1 p.m. (boys)

Greenbrier at GACS, 4:30 p.m. (girls)

Lakeside vs. Decatur, 4:30 p.m. (girls)

Greenbrier at Marist, 5:30 p.m. (boys)

Tuesday, March 24

Augusta Christian vs. Orangeburg Prep, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Prep vs. Gatewood Schools, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Greenbrier vs. Cross Creek, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Grovetown vs. Richmond Academy, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Harlem at Metter, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside vs. Evans, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Thursday, March 26

Augusta Prep vs. Alleluia at Southside Y, 4 p.m., (boys)

Grovetown vs. Lakeside, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Friday, March 27

Harlem vs. Dublin, 5:30 p.m. (girls), 7 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Prep in Crescent Cup at Columbia, TBA, (girls)

Saturday, March 28

Augusta Prep in Crescent Cup at Columbia, TBA, (girls)

Tuesday, March 24

Augusta Christian vs. Hammond, 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 26

Augusta Christian vs. Providence Athletic Club, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24

Grovetown at Cross Creek, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25

Grovetown vs. Greenbrier, 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 26

Augusta Prep vs. Westminster,
3:30 p.m.

Lakeside vs. Greenbrier, 4 p.m.

Friday, March 27

Lakeside at Brunswick tournament, TBA

Saturday, March 28

Lakeside at Brunswick tournament, TBA

Wednesday, March 25

Greenbrier, Lakeside at South Aiken, 4 p.m.

Grovetown at Westside, 4:30 p.m.

Augusta Christian at Heathwood Hall

Saturday, March 28

Wolfpack Classic at Greenbrier (Evans, Lakeside ), 9 a.m.

Categories: Local

Moms get the 'Heads Up' on youth football

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:07 AM

Elisabeth Townley yelled out “One, Two” as she got her feet into the ready position on the football field.

A group of 87 area moms learned footwork techniques in five drills that taught proper tackling Tuesday night. At Evans High School, current and former Atlanta Falcons players spoke about proper equipment fitting and concussion awareness as part of the team’s Moms Football Safety Clinic. Later, the mothers went outside to continue their Heads Up training.

“I was kind of nervous about getting out here and finding out what they were going to have us do,” said Townley, whose 12-year-old son, Caleb, plays football in Columbia County. “But it ended up being fun. I feel like I learned a lot about current tackling.”

Wearing a white “Rise Up” T-shirt, TeQuila Williams was ready for the event. With her 9-year-old son, Jonathan, playing football in west Augusta, she said she learned plenty at the clinic.

“We learned about football. We learned about keeping our kids safe,” she said. “And we actually got to experience a little bit of what they experience on the field.”

Last year, the Falcons held a Heads Up Clinic which featured about 200 children ages 6 to 14 at Grovetown High School. Buddy Curry, who played linebacker for Atlanta for eight seasons during the 1980s, returned for the Moms Clinic with former Falcons Bobby Butler and Ken Oxendine and current players in defensive linemen Cliff Matthews and Malliciah Goodman.

Curry said the clinic gives moms awareness and education about proper tackling techniques, especially with instruction on the field.

“This is an extension, this is the next step,” Curry said. “The kids are going to do what the coaches and moms tell them. Coaches need to understand they can’t coach the way they were coached. They have to be a student of the game.

‘‘They have to change, and that’s a tough thing. And the moms can be a big facilitator.”

Categories: Local

Help Preserve History

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:06 AM
Categories: Local

Author to speak at Garden Club event

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:05 AM

Almost every day for three years, Nancy Ross Hugo has created an arrangement on her kitchen windowsill. She began a blog in which she posted photos of those arrangements, all with the purpose of celebrating the seasons.

A resident of Howardsville, Va., Hugo now shares her windowsill arrangements with others.

Hugo, the author of five books, will be the guest speaker at the Augusta Council of Garden Club’s annual luncheon this week at the Augusta Country Club.

She will share her love of wildflowers, weeds and garden flowers and new and exciting ways to display them. During the event, which is now in its 24th year, Hugo will “demonstrate how this simple art form can hone arranging skills, stretch creative muscles and provide connection to the changing seasons.”

According to her Web site, Hugo will illustrate “how the regular practice of showcasing leaves, seed pods, flowers and other natural materials on the windowsill, or other small platform, improves one’s powers of observation, fires the imagination and carries over into other arranging activities.”

She will share some of her own creations, including everything from veggies and kitchen scraps to gumballs and knotweed stems. Hugo will also explain which techniques, containers and materials best facilitate the process.

The ACGC luncheon is one of the group’s largest fundraisers, according to ACGC President Betty Davis. Items donated by garden clubs and individuals are auctioned off through a silent auction.

During the event, the Club of the Year Award is presented, as well as Standard of Excellence awards to clubs that earn the honor.

“Each year, the president of each garden club sends in a 42-point achievement report of their activities,” said Davis.

“The club with the highest number of points receives the Club of the Year Award. Any clubs answering 24 points receives a Standard of Excellence Award.”

Club yearbooks will be on display at the luncheon and an award will be presented to the club that turns in the best yearbook.

“You do not have to be a member of a garden club to attend,” said Davis. “Many come just to hear a good speaker.”

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, March 22, 2015

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:03 AM

Bobby Dwain Bradford and Elizabeth Marie Self applied for a marriage license on March 11, 2015, and were married March 11, 2015, in Evans.

Marshall Taylor Sanchez and Carol Diane Alles applied for a marriage license on Feb. 17, 2015, and were married March 11, 2015, in Grovetown.

Robert Joseph Mills III and Jennifer Jones Smalley applied for a marriage license on March 6, 2015, and were married March 12, 2015, in Evans.

Phillip Howard McBeath and Ana Celia Ruiz-Calero applied for a marriage license on March 10, 2015, and were married March 10, 2015, in Evans.

David Kaweka Martinez and Kimberly Silas Meadows applied for a marriage license on Feb. 12, 2015, and were married March 4, 2015, in Evans.

Erich Alexie Guerro and Agnes Gage applied for a marriage license on March 5, 2015, and were married March 6, 2015, in Evans.

Mizraim Del Rio-Rios and Cynthia Alicia Anastacia Hinds applied for a marriage license on March 13, 2015, and were married March 13, 2015, in Evans.

Terry Glenn Morrow and Rebecca Lynn Nelms applied for a marriage license on Feb. 27, 2015, and were married March 7, 2015, in Martinez.

Blake Lee Price and Amanda Michele Dunaway applied for a marriage license on March 17, 2015, and were married March 17, 2015, in Evans.

Jessie Tyrone Smith Jr. and Valaie Lashanda Blount applied for a marriage license on March 12, 2015, and were married March 12, 2015, in Evans.

Zebulon Alexander Steele Switzer and Alyssa Renee Hooper applied for a marriage license on March 12, 2015, and were married March 12, 2015, in Evans.

Justen Edgar Peckham and Annica Booc Caberte applied for a marriage license on March 13, 2015, and were married March 13, 2015, in Augusta.

Charles Quinton Rabun and Zoe Christine Snook applied for a marriage license on Feb. 13, 2015, and were married March 14, 2015, in Hephzibah.

Categories: Local

Divorces, March 22, 2015

Sun, 3/22/2015 12:02 AM

Stephen M. Upchurch and Jeanne M. Upchurch, March 3, 2015.

David Browning and Jennifer Browning, March 11, 2015.

Petonya Lajuan White and Wallace Bernard White, March 13, 2015.

Tory Allen Hill and Brittney Nicole Hill, Feb. 9, 2015.
Keela Ann Fruehling and Michael W. Fruehling, March 16, 2015.

Jessica N. Collins and James D. Collins, March 11, 2015.

Deondra Thomas-Walker and Dominique Walker, March 17, 2015.

Erica June Burkett and Ryan Curtis Burkett, March 16, 2015.

Javen Barber and Ashley Barber, March 11, 2015.

Matthew Sanders and Doreen Sanders, March 17, 2015.

Categories: Local

Woman imprisoned for ramming car into Dollar General

Wed, 3/18/2015 3:25 PM


A Martinez woman was sentenced to prison Wednesday after admitting she drove her car into a Dollar General store last spring.

Roshana Lequisha Payne, 38, pled guilty to three counts of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, driving under the influence and driving with an open container of alcohol.

Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced to Payne to a total of 12 years in prison followed by eight years on probation. She also has to pay a $1,300 fine and more than $60,000 in restitution to the three people injured in the incident and to Dollar General.

“Nobody wins in this situation,” Overstreet said before imposing the sentence inside the Columbia County courthouse in Evans.

Payne registered a .12 blood alcohol level after she drive her car through the front doors of the store on Baston Road in Martinez on March 1. She was at the store to return a debit card to her roommate and employee. After an argument with her friend, Payne backed her Volkswagon Jetta into a parking space directly across the small parking lot from the front doors of the store, according to Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers.

A customer told authorities Payne was in her car “revving and racing the engine. Just after 7 p.m., Payne put the car in gear and sped toward the store.

“The tires were actually squealing as she accelerated toward the store,” Myers said.

Store video of the incident showed Payne’s car breaking through the front glass doors and “mowing over” Michelle Phillips, the cashier working at the counter just inside the door. She was pinned under the vehicle and required a leg amputation as a result of her injuries. Two customers suffered minor injuries.

At the sentencing hearing, Payne gave a heartfelt apology to Phillips and the other two people injured.

“I wish that that never would have happened,” Payne said. “I had no intentions of harming anyone.

“I’m so so sorry.”

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