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Updated: 45 min 55 sec ago

Wolfpack advance to state championship series

Wed, 5/20/2015 1:04 AM

The Greenbrier High School Wolfpack baseball team advanced to the state baseball championship series for the third time in four years in dramatic fashion Tuesday night.
Facing Allatoona in the GHSA Class AAAAA semifinal, the Wolfpack used a one-hit gem from ace Nick Sandlin as they downed the Buccaneers 5-0 in Game 1.
It looked like the Bucs were going to return the favor in Game 2, leading 5-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning. The Wolfpack rallied for six runs to take the late lead before surrendering the tie run in the bottom of the seventh. The teams battled until the Wolfpack scored twice in the 11th inning. When Adam Sasser gloved a foul pop-up in the bottom of the 11th for the third out, the Wolfpack won 8-6 in a game lasting just over four hours.
"This was crazy," said Sandlin, who came on to pitch three innings beginning in the seventh inning in relief of Sasser in Game 2. "I've played a lot of doubleheaders, but I'm worn out."
Sandlin dominated the Bucs in Game 1, mixing his curveball inside and out, striking out 11 while allowing just a fourth-inning double to the Bucs' Pete Derkay.
Wolfpack head coach Jason Osborn knew his guys would battle until the end.
"The kids didn't give up and there's a lot of special things that have happened on this field and I'm so proud of them," said Osborn.
The Buccaneers took a 5-0 lead on Sasser, who allowed the runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts, into the seventh inning. It appeared the series, already delayed a day because of rain, was headed for a third and deciding game on Wednesday but the Wolfpack refused to die.
Justen Hartfield, who was perfect in two trips to the plate in Game 1, led off the seventh with a single. After a John Dennany strikeout, Braz Staples singled and Ty Snipes singled home Hartfield on a shot off the first baseman's glove. Sasser walked to load the bases and Sandlin ripped a bullet up the middle to plate Staples and Snipes, cutting the lead to 5-3. Garrett Marchman doubled home a run to make it 5-4 and Davis Murray was intentionally walked to load the bases. Avery Smoak struck out but Hartfield reached on catcher's interference, plating the tying run. Dennany followed that up with an unplayable infield nubber between third and short to drive in Marchman with the go-ahead run.
"We wanted to keep playing," said Hartfield. "Nobody wanted to go down without a fight."
The Bucs (30-5) committed four errors in Game 1, including three in a Wolfpack four-run outburst in the third inning, then made five more in the nightcap.
After throwing 81 pitches in Game 1, Sandlin came back out to close it out in the seventh but allowed a walk, overthrew on a pickoff move to first and surrendered a sac fly that tied the game. He would pitch out of jams in the eighth and ninth with runners in scoring position to keep the Wolfpack in it.
"That was a gutsy performance tonight by Nick Sandlin," said Osborn.
In the top of the 11th, Marchman singled, Murray walked then Colin Hoover laid down a sac bunt and was safe on an overthrow as Marchman scored the winning run from second. Hoover would eventually score on a Dennany sac fly to make it 8-6.
Allatoona wouldn't die, however, putting two runners on, but Snipes, who came on in relief in the 10th inning, was able to escape unscathed to earn the win.
The Wolfpack are slated to play host to Gainesville in the Class AAAAA title series. Gainesville is no stranger to teams in Region 2-AAAAA as they beat Evans in the second round of the tournament before sweeping out Jones County in the semifinals.

Categories: Local

Pet Adoptions

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:17 AM
Categories: Local

Police Blotter

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:16 AM

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


Man charged with assault

A Martinez man was arrested for assaulting his wife’s friend at an Evans gym.

Dustin Clay Franks, 31, was charged with battery. Franks’ wife said she was in the Evans Fitness Center at about 6 a.m. on May 7 when her husband assaulted her male friend near the locker rooms. She said Franks pushed her friend from behind, causing him to hit his head on the floor.

The friend said he walked to the middle of the gym and Franks came up behind him and shoved him hard enough for his face to hit the concrete floor. A deputy found the man with a goose egg on his forehead, abrasions on his face, lower lip and left knee.

Franks was released from the Columbia County Detention Center after posting an $1,100 bond, according to jailers.


Phone scam costs woman

An Evans woman called authorities Thursday after discovering she’d been scammed by someone posing as a Columbia County sheriff’s deputy.

The 52-year-old woman said she got home and found a message on her answering machine from a man who identified himself as James Conners with the sheriff’s office’s Warrants Division. He called the woman by name and asked that she call him back. She called the number at 4:11 p.m. and she said the man returned her call at 4:30 p.m.

Once the woman confirmed her identity, the caller said she had two warrants for her arrest for failure to appear and contempt of court for missing a May 4 jury subpoena.

The caller told the woman that if she hung up or told anyone about the circumstances for the next two hours, she’d have additional fines to pay and an additional felony charge. He told the woman she must pay $495 and $395 for the warrants, plus $100 for handling and processing.

The woman got money from an ATM and her mother. The caller told her to go to Kroger in National Hills and buy re-charge cash cards. Once she gave the caller the card numbers, he let her hang up.

The woman has never been in trouble with the police and believed the caller had the authority to arrest her.


Scammer hits bank account

An Evans woman said Thursday that an online loan application allowed someone access to her bank account.

The 51-year-old woman said she applied for a small private loan online through and was contacted by a man who identified himself as Peter Anderson. She said the man asked via e-mail for her Bank of America account information, including her online username and password in order to process the loan money into her account. The woman provided the information because she though it was a normal part of the loan process.

On May 11, the woman said the man did a mobile deposit into her account for $495 without her permission. He then told the woman to withdraw $200 and send it via Moneygram to a man in Florida as a processing fee, which she did. She was then informed by her bank that her account was flagged because of fraudulent activity involving the check and her money was frozen pending an investigation.

While a deputy was at the woman’s home, the man called her and asked for her husband’s banking information. When she said she couldn’t provide any more information until her own account was fixed, the man hung up.

Categories: Local

More than 20 arrested in child sex sting

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:15 AM

More than 20 people including a funeral home director, a soldier and corrections officers were arrested in a weekend operation aimed at curbing the exploitation of children.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation released some details of Operation Mayday in a news release Monday.

According to the release, the 22 suspects, ages 19 to 52, were arrested after communicating with male or female children online and then traveling to meet them for the purpose of having sex.

In addition, the operation targeted those who are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor and the recruitment of victims of child sex trafficking.

All of the suspects are being charged with criminal attempt to commit child molestation. Additional charges may be forthcoming.

One of the people arrested is Ruben Ellis Reese, a jailer at the Columbia County Detention Center. Reese, 52, of Martinez, began working with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in January and was terminated as a result of the arrest Monday, according to sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

Six of the suspects admitted to police they had previous sexual contact with children. One suspect had two firearms in his vehicle at the time of arrest.

All phones and digital devices were seized. Those devices will be processed and analyzed and additional charges may be filed after reviewing the results.

Along with the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the sheriff’s office, 16 additional law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices participated in the operation as part of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Categories: Local

Thunder Over Augusta celebrates military

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:14 AM



Categories: Local

‘Stretching their artistic wings’

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:13 AM
Categories: Local

Home-schooled students celebrate graduation

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:13 AM
Categories: Local

Texas troubadour recalls roots on new record

Wed, 5/20/2015 12:11 AM


Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen set out to make a his most recent record, he knew it would be unlike anything he had ever done, but at the same time, it was the one he always wanted to do.

“This was something that I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time and didn’t ever really get started,” said Keen, about his 12th studio ablumn, Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions. “But I had made some effort in that direction, and for one reason or another the effort was thwarted. So for this one, I literally woke up one morning in the summer and said I have got to make this record, if I didn’t make it now I will never make it.”

Keen called up his friend and producer Lloyd Maines to tell him about his desire and began pulling the pieces together, gathering songs and pulling in a few extra musicians, such as Nickle Creek fiddle player Sara Watkins, to produce his first ever bluegrass record.

“It about six months from the time I said I had to do it, but everybody was on board and I tell you it was like lightning in a bottle once we got started because it was fantastic,” said Keen. “We cut 28 songs in just a handful of days. It was amazing.”

The new record mixes bluegrass classics from genre royalty such as Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, with other less traditional tunes, such as Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.”

The result is a record of that has met near universal acclaim.

The fact that they are all covers from a musician known for his song-writing prowess, is not lost on Keen, who said he set out from the start pay tribute to the music, and not to compete with it.

Keen said from the beginning he decided he would not contribute any original songs to the effort.

“I created that rule for myself before I started. I didn’t want to invite the comparison,” he said. “I wanted to pay tribute to bluegrass, but me being me, I know that a lot of my fans don’t have any clue at all.”

Keen said he wanted to share his love of bluegrass, and of the songs with fans who might not have ever heard of Carter Stanley.

“This is my way of turning people onto music, is by putting it on a record,” he said. “I hope that someone will listen to this and say, I love this Stanley Brothers song, ‘White Dove.” and go out and look up the Stanley Brothers. It is really on of the most exciting things about music, passing it along.”

Keen will be passing along these songs, as well as more familiar tunes from his catalogue at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans on Friday. He will be joined by other national and regional bluegrass artists in the lineup for the sixth annual Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que. The two-day barbecue and bluegrass festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday.

The line-up of live entertainment includes the The Roosevelts, Delta Cane, the Mason Jars, the Little Roy and Lizzie Show, Chatham County Line, Vance Joy and Shovels & Rope. Headliners Leftover Salmon will take the stage at 9:45 p.m. Friday and Trampled By Turtles will close out the festival beginning at 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Keen’s connection to bluegrass music is not a recent development. It date’s back to his earliest days as a musician, when he and four othe classmates at Texas A&M were in a group, known as the Front Porch Boys.

“I always felt like the genesis of my songwriting comes from my lifelong love of bluegrass,” he said.

Although he’s touring in support of his new bluegrass record, Keen said he intends to mix in some of his own songs that many fans will be expecting, such as “The Road Goes on Forever,” and “Merry Christmas from the Family,” his take on the holiday tune that grew out of his attempt to reconcile his “dysfunctional Christmas” experience growing up in Houston, Texas.

“We had this insane Christmas circus and I had to try to capture that,” he said. “On the one hand it’s all about snow and sleigh bells and things like that. On the other hand in Houston, Texas it’s 100 degrees and 90 percent humidity and everybody’s drunk.”

Keen is not finished telling tales through his songs, by a long shot. Most recently, he has been working with some of the big-name country hit makers in Nashville to try for a different kind of success.

“I’ve written a lot of songs over the years but I’ve never had a hit,” he said. “I thought you know what I need to do it write with some of these people.

“The difference between now and back then when I washed out is that now I have some pretty good credibility and so I get to work with some really amazing writers.”

He said the newer country music is more about celebrating life, not “crying in your beer.”

“I wouldn’t say that the ballad is dead, but it is flopping on the beach,” he said. “They are looking for stuff that kind of go with this uber-fast world we are living in. At the same time, songs are songs. They have to get you.”

Keen is optimistic that his new collaborations will result in some big airplay, but even so he doesn’t expect it to change his style as a singer-songwriter.

“I’ve worked real hard at creating audiences. I’ve always felt like the borders of Texas were too small and there was no real valor at being a hero in your own back yard,” he said

“The fact is that what I have done and what I really am is a touring musician.”

In addition to music, Keen also has a few other side endeavors in the works. This past year he introduced Robert Earl Keen Beer, which is only sold in Texas.

“It’s light beautiful, sparkling golden beer,” he said.

Categories: Local


Wed, 5/20/2015 12:11 AM
Categories: Local

Woman arrested after house party

Tue, 5/19/2015 3:42 PM

An Evans woman was arrested after she allowed a party that included underage drinkers.

Courtney Martineau West, 41, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Deputies went to West’s Preakness Drive home for a noise complaint just before midnight on May 15, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

As deputies approached the home, several people including West ran out the back door and into a wooded area.

Two of those people who admitted to drinking alcohol were underage – 16 and 18.

West told deputies that after running away, she gathered her thoughts and returned back to the house, according to the report.

West said that she feared the effect on her custody dispute with her ex-husband, according to the report.

Deputies determined that West hosted the gathering and provided alcohol to those attending.

Jordan Emiel Carter, an 18-year-old from Augusta, was charged with minor in possession and the 16-year-old was charged with minor in possession and unruly juvenile.

West was released from the Columbia County Detention Center May 16 after posting a $1,600 bond, according to jailers.

Categories: Local

North Augusta City Council honors employees, hears about city designation as Tree City USA member

Tue, 5/19/2015 2:08 PM

A brief Tuesday meeting for members of North Augusta City Council saw city employees recognized for collectively losing 461 pounds during a recent fitness challenge, a thank you given to a friend who brightened many days at the activities center and the city recognized as the latest member of a growing roster of American towns and cities to earn membership with Tree City USA.

Employee Health Nurse Susan Bratcher told council members that a team of 62 city employees participated in a 10-week C3 Challenge designed to encourage increased wellness and establish longterm fitness habits.

North Augusta faced off with teams from Aiken County and the City of Aiken, finishing second. Bratcher said she was very proud of the number of participants who joined the city team, which equaled participation from the county and Aiken, which have far more employees.

“We will definitely be doing it again,” Bratcher said of the challenge. “I feel like we did really well.”

Individual winners honored Tuesday included Susan Reynolds (Parks and Recreation), Verne Sadler (Public Safety), Roy Kibler and David Caddell (Operations) and Michael Baldy (Administration).

Already active in tennis and dance, Reynolds said the challenge introduced her to yoga, which she plans to continue practicing.

“I didn’t believe in (yoga), but once I tried it made me feel great,” she said.

Mayor Lark Jones then presented longtime activities center custodian Jonathan Stephens with a plaque and trophy for his eight years of service to the city, thanking him and expressing his gratitude on a job well done.

“We love you,” Jones told Stephens, who is moving to the Tallahassee area in Florida.

Finally, council heard from Everett Sharpe, Jr., of the South Carolina Forestry Commission, who congratulated the city on its recent designation as a new Tree City USA member. The Arbor Day Foundation sponsored organization recognizes towns and cities across the country which display the dedication of a community to the development of natural beautification.

There are around 40 Tree City USA communities in Southy Carolina, according to the foundation’s website.

Sharpe, who was joined in the presentation by Operations employee Roy Kibler, reported the largest Tree City USA member as being New York City with 8 million residents, and its smallest member as Sibley, North Dakota, with a population of just 28 people.

“It’s a beautiful city,” Sharpe said of North Augusta. “You can go through a town and tell whether people there care or not.”

In other business, city council passed third and final reading of zoning ordinance 007-14-17-008 moving a .46-acre parcel located at 505 Sikes Avenue from Planned Development to Small Lot Single-family Residential with no discussion from council members or the public.

Categories: Local

Man missing at lake identified

Tue, 5/19/2015 12:39 PM


Emergency officials identified a man today, who has been missing since Monday afternoon in the waters of Lake Thurmond’s West Dam recreation area.

Christopher Lee Harper, 43, was last seen just before 3 p.m. Monday riding his Yamaha WaveRunner about 250 yards off shore near Thurmond Dam, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division Capt. Mark Padgett. Witnesses told a park ranger they saw the man fall off the WaveRunner, surface once and go under again. He was not wearing a life jacket.

The search for Harper was called off late Monday as thunderstorms moved into the area. Padgett said emergency crews are using a sonar equipped boat to search the bottom of the lake where Harper went missing.

Padgett said the area of the lake where he disappeared is has a depth of about 40 feet.

Categories: Local

Medac opening in North Augusta pushed back to August or September by parking deck delays

Mon, 5/18/2015 5:11 PM


Delays in construction of a parking deck have pushed back the opening for Medac Inc. in North Augusta to at least late August or early September, according to city administrator Todd Glover.

Employees at Medac, an anesthesia billing company expected to bring over 500 workers to its new, near-complete facility located next to the North Augusta municipal building, were reportedly told of the new timeline in a meeting last week.

Glover said in an e-mail the setback is due to the combination of a problem prior to the start of construction on the parking deck and then heavier than expected rainfall more recently.

“The delay with the (parking) deck can be summed up with one word: water,” Glover wrote. “We lost four months on the front end dealing with a springhead and lost time recently due to heavier than normal rainfall ... End of August, first of September is achievable. The precast goes up fast and is not weather-dependent.”

Medac, which has had offices in Augusta for more than 20 years, had previously looked into moving into the former Fort Discovery building in downtown Augusta. When the announcement for the move was made last year, the company expected to spend $12 million to consolidate three locations and add 65 jobs.

Medac processes billing for anesthesiology companies and was founded in Augusta in 1992 by Bijon Memar and his brother Kam.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, May 17, 2015

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:10 AM

George R. Lumpkin to Jeffrey W. Smith and Tiffany Taliancich, parcel ID 072L125, $241,900.

Joshua N. Lafonataine to Jeffrey D. Nessler, parcel ID 077I407, $176,999.

Iris Grice Fox to Joseph W. Fix, parcel ID 083147, $86,000.

Samuel R. Jones and Linda P. Jones to Adam Wayne Widener and Tonya Gail Widener, parcel ID H02025, $70,000.

Korey D. Williams to Marc & Simons Inc., 4721 Rhett Drive, $20,000.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Jason E. Prouty and Jocelyn M. Prouty, parcel ID 079183, $274,900.

Richard Percival to Erin N. Campbell, parcel ID 073B210, $121,500.

Mark W. Perry to Jennifer D. Eremito, 3722 Clark Crossing, $241,900.

Wesley T. Seagraves to Adam K. Hoover, 432 Santa Anna Trail, $165,000.

Euchee Creek Investors Inc. to North Star Home Builders LLC, 808 Long Cane Ridge, $65,000.

First Choice Home­builders LLC to Larry D. Claussen and Constance M. Claussen, 4061 Dewaal St., $387,500.

Nicole L. Brown to Farida Popal, parcel ID 077F320, $138,000.

Marlene F. Petta to Frank Beavers, parcel ID 074H167, $137,500.

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Anis R. Waness and Amgade Fahary, parcel ID 060885, $296,805.

Arvind C. Shah to Johnnie Wright, 907 River Bound Court, $190,000.

Richard J. Alford to Nathan M. Johnson and Aimee L. Johnson, 8 Eastberry Court, $266,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Justin Hoover, 478 Sebastian Drive, $198,900.

Michael H. Newman to Katrina K. Gabriel, 459 Andover Drive, $234,000.­

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Albert Borrego, 707 Neville St., $160,500.

K & N Construction Co. Inc. to James C. Ayers and Lesley Y. Ayers, 803 Madelyn Drive, $329,000.

John L. Adams to Herbert D. Morris and Carolyn K. Morris, 6516 Eubank Drive, $137,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Vance Jordan Kondon and Elizabeth A. Kondon, 522 Sebastian Drive, $199,900.

Lakeview Augusta LLC to Andre K. Frederick, 529 Scenic Drive, $149,900.

Richard O. McMann Jr. to James R. Molnar and Angela H. Molnar, 977 Windmill Lane, $300,000.

Christina Danielle Jones to Maurice Bonner, 6066 Reynolds Circle, $235,00.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to Steven Keel and Daphne C. Keel, 8605 Crenshaw Drive, $264,175.

Sandy E. Beaver to Serah A. Tyler, 405 Connemara Trail, $147,500.

Philip A. Zaffino to Lewiston Few Partners LLC, 5154 Bluegrass Trail, $373,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 2640 Waites Drive, $38,500.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 3654 Waites Drive, $38,500.

Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Bryan S. Rachels, parcel ID 0681111, $233,800.

Amber Leigh Beasley to Steven R. Anderson, parcel ID 050149, $148,490.

Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611943; $35,000.

Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611950; $39,000.

Donald R. Ristine to Walter C. Cheng and May Y. Cheng; 3764 Murray Road; $50,000.

Mount Paran Homes of Augusta Inc. to Christopher M. Crookshanks and Kelly M. Crookshanks; 1201 Yost Drive; $435,475.

Vector Public Relations LLC to Dayna Kay Krukowski; parcel ID 74B41; $119,900.

Richard M. Lee to Dushyant V. Desai; parcel ID 072C076; $118,000.

Sophia French aka Sophia Volz to Kevin S. Furst; parcel ID 060674; $175,500.

Dennis J. Robey to Rhonda Amerine; parcel ID 067D084; $168,410.

Zina Alicia Searcy aka Zina Alicia Neal to Lindsey M. Pizarro; parcel ID 074B119; $82,000.

Keith ZR. Caudle to Hazem Nazer; parcel ID 072P032; $184,900.

Patricia M. Davis as executor of the estate of Paul V. Davis Jr. to Christopher C. Murphey; a portion of parcel ID 015044; $314,940.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC; 409 Brantley Cove Circle; $30,500.

Jacqueline W. Barber to Jason Keith Swygert and Ashley Swygert; parcel ID 073D730; $117,300.

Bart T. Tippins to Brian Michael Marshall and Frances Marie Marshall; 631 Fieldstone Way; $157,900.

Richard A. Runnels and Linda K. Runnels to Robert Steven Clark and Staci W. Clark; parcel ID 072M012; $290,000.

Golzap LLC to South Georgia Custom Homes LLC; parcel ID 0681146; $35,000.

Golzap LLC to South Georgia Custom Homes LLC; parcel ID 0681145; $35,000.

Golzap LLC to South Georgia Custom Homes LLC; parcel ID 0681147; $35,000.

Sadettin Batir to L & M. Holdings LLC and Home Buyers of Augusta LLC; 210 Pinetree St.; $11,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Suzannah Cordas; 1704 Edenburg Way; $250,610.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Jan Elizabeth Easton; 2451 Newbury Ave.; $189,025.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Guilford D. Boyd and Zenobia Boyd; 756 Burch Creek Drive; $289,950.

RT Bailey Construction Inc. to Rodney K. Dinkins and Lakishia Flemming Dinkins; 4020 Stowe Drive; $310,000.

Canterbury Farms LLC to Winchester Homes of GA Inc.; 254 Seaton Ave.; $47,500.­

Riverwood Land LLC to Winchester Homes of GA Inc.; 1730 Edeburg Way; $43,000.

North Star Homes Builders LLC to Lori A. Camale-Powers and David G. Powers; 887 Leyland Lane; $406,230.

Ivey Residential LLC to John M. Thompson and Matthew D. Blakely; 407 Brantley Cove Circle; $160,470.

Ivey Residential LLC to Everson D. Gammage; 4205 Ellington Drive; $265,050.

LD & N LLC to Craig Johnson and Kat Johnson; parcel ID 058015R; $80,000.

James D. Lanier to Mitchell McCladdie and Sheila McCladdie; parcel ID 082010H; $65,000.

Baldwin Hamptons LLC to Designer Homes and Construction LLC; parcel ID 0681118; $42,000.

Rhodes Farm LLC to R. Lewis Construction LLC; parcel ID 084182; $71,000.

William Brooks to Eric R. Smith; parcel ID G10011D; $99,899.

James DeCampand Vickie DeCamp; 524 Oak Brook Drive; $199,900.

James Grant Keagle Living Trust to Damian Bartholomew; 21 Plantation Hills Drive; $224,000.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Steven A. O’Hara and Daisy J. O’Hara; 702 Southwick Drive; $186,565.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Ling Li and Yongli Li; 226 Ryan Lane; $220,900.

Norman W. Fox to David J. Patton; 594 Bradford Lane; $165,000.

Wilson Parker Homes of Crawford Creek Inc. to Tracy Lynn McCranie and Sean M. Price; 425 Arden Way; $284,990.

Oconee Capital Investments LLC to Mary F. Schuster; 211 Ryan Lane; $234,900.

Winchester Homes of GA Inc. to Annie L. Whitehill; 4505 Coldwater St.; $280,000.

Arborshade Custom Homes LC to William S. Sherrill III and Patricia H. Sherrill; 705 Big Holley Drive; $455,000.

Amy J. Dietc to Nicholas H. Orr and Jessica L. Orr; 574 Country Place Lane; $250,000.

Betty R. Volkert as trustee of the Betty R. Volkert Living Trust to George F. Stoller and Jennifer L. Stoller; 3568 Stevens Way; $310,000.

MBH Holdings Inc. to Herbert Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0622625, 0622626 and 0622627; $128,700.

Brian R. Slusser to Bernard Sosnowski; 132 Shawns Way; $103,000.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC; parcel ID 0622562; $30,500.

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC; parcel ID 0622561; $30,500.

Marvin L. Martin to Shirley Ramsey; 822 Landing Drive; $118,000.

Joseph S. Lucius to Mathew A. Akins and Morgan A. Akins; 1324 Maple Leaf Court; $144,500.

William Howard Gamble Jr. or his successors as trustees of the Gamble Family Trust to Stephen Phillips; 134 Springlakes Drive; $260,000.

North Star Home Builders LLC to Stephen R. Lockman and Audra J. Reitz Lockman; 407 Tugaloo Court; $339,900.

Canterbury Property Management LLC to City of Harlem; parcel ID H04057 and H04068; $116,487.

Wells Fargo Bank to Stella H. Amelung; parcel ID 0621247; $71,000.

Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611960; $35,800.

Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc.; parcel ID 0611953;

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Marques D. Evans; parcel ID 069746; $202,406.

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to Nicole Lynn Brown; parcel ID 0671618; $338,236.

Golzap LLC to Park Ridge Builders Inc.; parcel ID 0681148; $35,000.

Park Ridge Builders Inc. to John I. Neville and Leslie Neville; parcel ID 0681127; $247,500.

Joyce H. Borders to Dustin P. Welch; parcel ID 073A342; $116,000.

D.R. Horton-Crown LLC to ester O. Benson; parcel ID 069718; $234,180.

Windsor Adam Hodges to Carina E. Canales; parcel ID 082A276; $50,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to Kristine V. Cordero; 541 Brantley Cove Circle; $168,700.

Andrew T. Culclasure to Bryce A. Hehner and Theresa J. Hehner; 268 Watervale Road; $204,500.

Ivey Residential LLC to Robert Gerald Bigham; 4404 Amberley Drive; $215,515.

Christopher G. Brett to Carolann Ciambra; 5150 Saddle Circle; $142,000.

Walter L. Barfield and Lennie S. Barfield to Richard Mark Odekirk and Cinday Marie Odekirk; 3721 West Lake Drive; $430,000.

Doris P. Ivey to Catalina Avila; parcel ID 028112; $35,000.

John Michael Kishimoto to Eric Stephen Michenfelder; 3808 Berkshire Way; $212,000.

Crawford Creek Homebuilders LLC to Cody J. Rivet; 1205 Tyler Woods Way; $175,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to Daniel H., Yi; 2643 Waites Drive; $200,000.

Davin B. Anderson to Thad W. Simmons; 5755 Carriage Hills Drive; $215,000.

Wayne W. Tennant and Janna W. Tennant to Magy A. Youssef and Susan L. Youssef; 452 Connemara Trail; $158,000.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to Aaron D. Robinson and Christine E. Robinson; 1135 Walton Pass; $289,750.

Michael Joseph Alexander to Joel Robert Ferrara; 6296 Keg Creek Drive; $465,000.

Faircloth Homes Inc. to Robin Monique Castigli; 834 Erika Lane; $195,900.

Designer Homes and Construction LLC to Loretta E. Brown; parcel ID 068979; $186,100.

Jackie Faires to Marilyn Harris Coley; parcel ID 077G1215; $132,400.

M. Dian Hendricks to Carolyn D. Teets and William Teets; parcel ID H06093A; $68,616.

William C. Leopard to Richard P. Miller and Nicole L. Miller; parcel ID 051060; $229,900.

Medallion Construction Co. Inc. to R. Steven White and Cynthia B. White; parcel ID 0601111; $271,0852.

Stevenson & Associates LLC to Iris Velazquez; parcel ID H07026; $191,900.

Southern Homesites LLC to Medallion Construction Co. Inc.; parcel ID 0601094; $64,900.

Canterbury Farms LLC to Winchester Homes of GA Inc.; 257 Seaton Ave.; $52,000.

Sudershan Rao Bongu to Dimple Kaur; 4015 Firethorn Court; $250,000.

Laura C. Vaughn to Blake K. Illstone; 4195 Fairfield Circle; $129,620.

Wilson Parker Homes Retreat at Baker Place to Christina M. Fowler and Johnny Fowler Jr.; 751 Burch Creek Drive; $330,000.

Wilson Parker Homes of Sunbury at Bartram Trail Inc. to Rodney Edmond and Sarah K. Edmond; 5619 Sunbury Loop; $333,060.

Ivey Residential LLC to Heather Yount and Christopher Yount; 752 Coventry Ave.; $289,900.

Ivey Residential LLC to Christopher S. Hao; 1046 Ardrey Circle;

HSBC Bank to Thomas Michael McTier; parcel ID H02086G; $105,000.

All Weathers Construction Co. LLC to Cleveland L. Fann; parcel ID 0651222; $375,000.

Michael D. Kane to Tommie L. Crabb; parcel ID 073F142; $128,000.

Hunter P. Chatelain to Brian C. Boyd; parcel ID 068A015; $81,000.

Medallion Construction Co. Inc. to Danielle Roberge; parcel ID 0601002; $342,900.­

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. to Arijana Turic and Melissa L. Reese; parcel ID 073L099; $97,500.

Jackie L. McKinnie aka Jackie Jones to Douglas Millard; parcel ID 074C1066; $43,000.

Keystone Homes Inc. to Timothy Evan Slagle; parcel ID H07092; $162,900.

Categories: Local

Marriage Licenses, May 17, 2015

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:10 AM

Stephen Michael Bowen and Michelle Marie Chavez applied for a marriage license on April 14, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Grovetown.

Devan Jameel Wells and Serah Njoki Kimani applied for a marriage license on April 14, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Evans.

Charles Ainsworth Rockwood V and Brandi Nichole Layman applied for a marriage license on May 5, 2015, and were married May 5, 2015, in Evans.

Corey Donterral Brown and Rashawn Danae Bennett applied for a marriage license on May 5, 2015, and were married May 5, 2015, in Evans.

Matthew Murray Prickett Jr. and Jessica Walden Arrington applied for a marriage license on April 29, 2015, and were married May 7, 2015, in Evans.

Brandon Michael Golden and Keri Elizabeth Wright applied for a marriage license on April 27, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Appling.

Dwighty Lamont Henderson Jr. and Vianna Marie Massoud applied for a marriage license on May 7, 2015, and were married May 8, 2015, in Evans.

Samuel Thompson Pruett and Courtney Brooke Friend applied for a marriage license on April 24, 2015, and were married May 9, 2015, in Martinez.

Jerry Ned Pruitt II and Lisa Anne Shead applied for a marriage license on March 31, 2015, and were married April 25, 2015, in Augusta.

Ronald Scott Pflieger Jr. and Donna Jean Matrician applied for a marriage license on May 4, 2015, and were married May 9, 2015, on Fort Gordon.

Nathan Edward Kosiba and Regina Annette Hilton applied for a marriage license on May 6, 2015, and were married May 8, 2015, in Augusta.

Antonio White and Natlie Nikita Johnson applied for a marriage license on May 1, 2015, and were married May 11, 2015, in Evans.

Bryce Tanner McDaniel and Samantha Lea Pittard applied for a marriage license on April 22, 2015, and were married May 9, 2015, in Appling.

Devan Anderson Fain and Stephanie Elizabeth Gross applied for a marriage license on March 24, 2015, and were married May 10, 2015, in Martinez.

Stanley Green and Tonya Yvette Robinson applied for a marriage license on May 8, 2015, and were married May 11, 2015, in Savannah.

Brook Kevin Carter and Kelly Delane Payton applied for a marriage license on April 14, 2015, and were married April 25, 2015, in Martinez.

Kelvin Leon Ward and Christine McQueen Ward applied for a marriage license on May 11, 2015, and were married May 11, 2015, in

Dwayne Antonio James and Sherry Rebecca Nycole Hatcher applied for a marriage license on May 5, 2015, and were married May 5, 2015, in Augusta.

Michael Anthony Posada and Katherine Lee Danke applied for a marriage license on April 24, 2015, and were married May 2, 2015, in Augusta.

Categories: Local

Divorces, May 17, 2015

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:09 AM

Jodi Villagram and Matthew Villagram, April 30, 2015.

Susan Barbara Foster and Darrell Wade Foster, April 21,

Lenna Suzanne Tricker and Travis Levi Tricker, April 23, 2015.

Stuart R. St. John and Amber A. St. John, April 24, 2015.

Jessica AnneBell Bagwell and Patrick Bagwell, May 4, 2015.

Diane G. Cummings and Ronald C. Cummings, April 30, 2015.

Kamey Hawk and Thomas J. Hawk Jr., May 8, 2015.

David Scherer and Jacey Scherer, May 6, 2015.

Tammie Joyner Hayward and Ben Barney Hayward Jr., May 8, 2015.

Terri Mullis and Shaun Daniel Mullis, May 8, 2015.

Megan Steptoe and Christopher Steptoe, May 7, 2015.

Tracy Lamont Williams and Nicole Huff Williams, May 6, 2015.

Categories: Local

Greenville, S.C., man killed in Appling wreck

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:05 AM

A Greenville, S.C., man was killed in a Thursday morning wreck in Appling.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said Garud S. Acharya, 65, died from blunt force trauma to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

At about 10:30 a.m. Acharya was stopped in his Toyota Camry on Bennett Road at Ray Owens Road. He works for ADT and was in the area for his job, Garrison said.

While attempting a left turn on Ray Owens Road, Acharya pulled into the path of a northbound dump truck, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

The Barry Tabor Paving Inc. dump truck – driven by David Lee Johnson, 58, of Thomson – hit the Camry on the driver’s side and pushed it off the road and into a nearby ditch.

When authorities arrived, the front end of the dump truck was on top of the Camry, according to Morris.

Johnson was not injured.

Categories: Local

Sports Calendar for Sunday, May 17, 2015.

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:04 AM

Golf tournament

The Irons in the Fire Golf Tournament for First United Pentecostal Church is June 12 at Jones Creek Golf Club. The entry fee is $100 and includes greens fees, cart and catered lunch. Texas tee, mulligans and throw your ball passes will be available for $5.

Money will go toward the purchase of a handicapped van. Contact Jason Hasty at (706) 814-1407 or for more information.

Volleyball camp

• Augusta Prep’s 13th annual summer volleyball camps are June 1 to June 4 and July 27 to July 30. There are two sessions per camp. Middle school is 9 a.m. to noon for grades five to eight and high school is from 1 to 4 p.m.for grades nine to 12. The cost is $130.

Contact coach Rich Bland at (706) 414-6145, or go to for information.

• The 7th Annual Grovetown Warrior Volleyball Camp featuring former Florida State University assistant head coach Gohkan Yilmaz is June 9 to June 11. The beginner camp, costing $50, is from 9 a.m. to noon; the JV camp, ($90) is 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the varsity camp ($90) goes from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. Contact Amy Slagle at (706) 447-2102, ext. 4453 or

• Greenbrier will have two volleyball camps. The first, for rising second- to fifth-graders, is a day camp on July 11 from noon to 4 p.m. costing $40. The second, for rising sixth- to ninth-graders, is July 13 to July 15, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., costing $100. Contact Nicole Abbott at (706) 650-6040 or or go to the Greenbrier volleyball website.

Basketball camps

• The Evans Youth Basketball camp’s first session is June 1 to June 5 with the second session June 22 to June 26.

It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a cost of $100 with lunch provided; $85 if you bring your own lunch. Early drop off/late pick up is free. Contact Kevin Kenny at or (706) 951-3686.

• The 17th Annual Dip Metress Basketball Academy is from
June 8 to June 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday at the Christenberry Fieldhouse on the campus at Georgia Regents University. The camp is for first through 11th graders and costs $160. Contact Dip Metress at (706) 667-4765 or

Softball camp

Local softball powers Greenbrier and Harlem High are teaming up for the first Columbia County All-Star Softball Camp, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day from June 8 to June 12 at Patriots Park. The camp is for girls in first- through eighth-grade and cost is $100; $75 for siblings and team rates are available. Call Garrett Black at (706) 564-9653 or Mike Leverrett at (706) 836-6026 for more information.

Baseball tournaments

There is a 13U baseball
tournament on June 27 and June 28 at Lake Olmstead Stadium with a $475 entry fee and a 14U baseball tournament on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18 at Lake Olmstead Stadium with a $550 entry fee. Call Adrian McCladdie at (706) 288-8511.


New Georgia Impact 14U travel baseball team is looking for outfielders and catchers.

Practices are in Appling. Players must be born after May 1, 2000.

Call (706) 231-6488 for more information.

Football camp

The Augusta Prep 7th Annual Summer Football Camp at Augusta Prep is July 7-9, hosted by several out-of-town coaches. Contact for more information.

Categories: Local

School budget could come with a property tax reduction

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:03 AM

Next year’s Columbia County school budget could come with a tax rollback for property owners, school officials said.

The proposed $199.8 million budget for the 2015-16 school year includes a $12.3 million increase over the current year’s budget. Even so, tax revenue projections mean the school system will have a general fund balance well beyond the state-required figure of 15 percent of the yearly budget, said Superintendent Sandra Carraway.

Carraway said the estimated fund balance will be close to $35 million next year, almost $6 million more than required by the state. With the school board’s approval, she would like to return some excess to taxpayers.

The current mill rate is 18.59 for school taxes. Carraway said lowering it to 18.25 mills would reduce taxes overall by about $1.4 million.

Carraway said increased spending will be offset, for the most part by a predicted 3 percent increase in the county’s tax digest. Total revenue, including state and federal funding is expected to be about, $196.3 million next year, according to the proposed budget.

New expenditures include a 3 percent overall pay increase for teachers and more than 60 additional teaching positions to keep up with growth and reduce class sizes. In the past several years, economic downturn and state funding reductions had forced the school system to cram more children in classes to save money.

Carraway said the improving revenue forecast means it is time to reverse some of those austerity cuts.

“In reality much of it should be called restorations, not improvements,” she said.

Other proposed improvements include $110,000 in increased
supplements for coaches and teachers who supervise extracurricular activities.

Carraway said school officials studied similar districts to come up with a better supplement schedule.

“Our athletic supplements have not been adjusted for more than 10 years,” she said.

The budget proposal, along with a recommendation for a tax rollback will go before the school board on May 26 for tentative approval. The final budget is expected to be approved on June 9, but the school board doesn’t have to officially set the mill rate until July.

School Trustee Mike Sleeper said he would like to see a tax rollback, but he wants to ensure that the system maintains a healthy
fund balance for lean times.

“Personally, I’d like to see us get our fund balance some where between 18 and 20 percent,” Sleeper said.

He said he and other board members will be delving into the budget to make sure all expenditures are prudent and don’t unnecessarily encumber the system for years to come.

He said a tax rollback is still on the table, if the board can agree on the budget that allows it.

“If we can, I want to do it,” he said.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, May 17, 2015

Sun, 5/17/2015 12:03 AM

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

Children shoot door, man says

A Martinez man told authorities Tuesday that children shot his back door.

The man said he was sitting at the table with his daughter at about 6 p.m. when two children shot his back door with a pellet gun. He said he saw the children run into the woods behind his house toward the next street. He does not know where the children live.

There was a small dent in the door, but the man did not prosecute.

Scammers send woman a check

A Grovetown woman recently said she was the victim of a scam involving mystery shoppers.

The woman said she lives in Washington and came to Columbia County to stay with a friend until she could have a surgery on May 6. While living with her friend, the woman said she filled out several online applications to be a mystery shopper at area retail stores.

About a month ago, the woman applied for a job with Crystal Mystery Shopping Ltd. She received an e-mail stating she would receive payment in the mail, but she had not been assigned any work.

When the woman returned to the home after recovering from surgery, her daughter said a large check arrived in the mail. The woman said the check was for more than $2,000. She got a call from someone claiming to be with the company. She was told to cash the check, keep $200 and send the rest to an address in France.

The woman insisted the deputy take the check because she believed it was a scam.

Kayaks missing from truck bed

An Evans man called police Tuesday after discovering that someone stole his kayaks.

The 28-year-old man said someone stole two kayaks out of the bed of his truck overnight. He said he fell asleep at 2 a.m. and left the kayaks in the truck bed parked in his driveway. In the morning, the kayaks and paddles were gone. The man said four hired workers were at his home for renovations the previous day. They were the only people other than family that he knows were at the home.

Woman finds a cut water hose

A Grovetown woman said Monday that someone damaged her home.

The 43-year-old said someone cut her water hose and left the spigot running. Someone also pulled wires loose from the light in the utility room.

Categories: Local
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