Craig Rushing Smith and Joanna Charity Jennings applied for a marriage license on Oct. 28, 2015, and were married Nov. 8, 2015, in Appling.
Tyler Joseph Woodard and Brooke Daniel Robles applied for a marriage license on Oct. 15, 2015, and were married Oct. 24, 2015, in Macon, Ga.
Ronald Glenn Oglesby and Janet Teague Dueringer applied for a marriage license on Oct. 6, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Martinez.
Zachary Michael Brock and Erin Michelle Baker applied for a marriage license on Oct. 9, 2015, and were married Oct. 17, 2015, in Lula, Ga.
Zachary Stephen Cayou and Natasha Kang Mercado applied for a marriage license on Nov. 5, 2015, and were married Nov. 10, 2015, in Evans.
Jeffrey Evan Tatro and Susan Laurel Burke applied for a marriage license on Nov. 10, 2015, and were married Nov. 10, 2015, in Evans.
Joshua Bo Brown and Amanda Nicole McCullough applied for a marriage license on Oct. 16, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Grovetown.
Michael Roy Leite and Christine Howe Houck applied for a marriage license on Oct. 29, 2015, and were married Nov. 6, 2015, in Martinez.
James Anthony Wombles Jr. and Valerie Nichole Deritis applied for a marriage license on Sept. 25, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Appling.
Matthew Kent Bell and Laura Jeannean Cooper applied for a marriage license on Oct. 23, 2015, and were married Nov. 1, 2015, in Appling.
Shawn David Alexander and Carla Renee Sherman applied for a marriage license on July 31, 2015, and were married Nov. 8, 2015, in Evans.
Cameron Joseph Coule and Mary Christen Mickelsen applied for a marriage license on Oct. 16, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Evans.
Victor Manuel Ruiz Cruz and Melissa Sue Zamora applied for a marriage license on Nov. 2, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Hephzibah.
Joni Nicole Poole and Ramsi Nicole Copeland applied for a marriage license on Oct. 30, 2015, and were married Nov. 11, 2015, in Augusta.
Barclay Hubbs Pittman and Wanda Marie Pittman applied for a marriage license on Nov. 3, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Augusta.
Keishawn Deonte Whitfield and Anquameshia Lakelv Whitlow applied for a marriage license on Nov. 12, 2015, and were married Nov. 14, 2015, in Augusta.
Michael Paul Grulke and Melissa Lee Chambers applied for a marriage license on Oct. 30, 2015, and were married Nov. 13, 2015, in Grovetown.
Thomas Lee Wilson and Mary Allyson McLean applied for a marriage license on Oct. 20, 2015, and were married Nov. 7, 2015, in Appling.
Andre Rashad Caldwell and Beth Ann Draeger applied for a marriage license on Nov. 13, 2015, and were married Nov. 14, 2015, in Evans.
Anthony Scott Reese and Heather Denese Reese applied for a marriage license on Feb. 23, 2015, and were married Mar. 20, 2015, in Appling.
Richard Taylor Ramsey and Anna Marie Barnes applied for a marriage license on Nov. 13, 2015, and were married Nov. 14, 2015, in Evans.
James Mikel Luca and Rebecca Edna Colflesh applied for a marriage license on Oct. 23, 2015, and were married Nov. 14, 2015, in Martinez.
Evans Michael McArthur and Mallory Erin Stinson applied for a marriage license on Nov. 5, 2015, and were married Nov. 14, 2015, in Hephzibah.
Justin Denard Coggins and Amanda Lyn Pagnucco applied for a marriage license on Nov. 18, 2015, and were married Nov. 18, 2015, in Evans.
Angela Susan Forestall and James Thomas Forestall, Oct. 27, 2015.
Ann Renay Highsmith-Harvey and Edwin Gerard Highsmith-Harvey, Nov. 3, 2015.
Gregory P. Nale and Samantha M. F. Nale, Nov. 2, 2015.
A. Renee Fry and Trent A. Fry, Oct. 22, 2015.
Joseph Henninger and Kay Lynn Henninger, Oct. 30, 2015.
Ty Stowers and Samantha Stowers, Nov. 16, 2015.
Rafael Gonzalez and Shelby Sheppard, Nov. 10, 2015.
John Sweger and Tina Sweger, Sept. 21, 2015.
Monica B. Henderson and Rufus C. Henderson, Oct. 8, 2015.
Joshua Allen Reid and Jessica Renee Reid, Oct. 27, 2015.
Shannon Jenkins and Stephen Tracy Jenkins, Nov. 10, 2015.
Karen Pryor and Shane Pryor, Nov. 10, 2015.
Abiy Mekoya and Abinet Gebremichael, Nov. 12, 2015.
Steven S. Liberman and Kamika M. Liberman, Nov. 5, 2015.
Trisha Thurman and Harold Thomas Thurman, Oct. 27, 2015.
Kareem Williams and Amanda Williams, Nov. 12, 2015.
Brandon Van Dollar and Kimberly Michelle Dollar, Oct. 28, 2015.
Karen Ann Taylor and Patrick Jonathan Taylor, Oct. 27, 2015.
Tara Allison Hernandez and Mark Angel Hernandez, Nov. 10, 2015.
Jessica Leah Cranford and Richard Thomas Cranford, Nov. 3, 2015.
Scott Martin Hyatt and Shalia Schmidt Hyatt, Nov. 10, 2015.
Robin Shaw Davis and William C. Davis Jr., Nov. 16, 2015.
Sandra L. Williams and Terrance A. Bridges, Oct. 30, 2015.
Kaitlin Cunningham and Joshua Cunningham, Oct. 22, 2015.
Tamela Williams and William Williams, Nov. 2, 2015.
Judith Louise Johnson and Eric Donald Johnson, Nov. 10, 2015.
Dao T. Pham and Ta Minh Cao, Nov. 3, 2015.
Jimmy Munoz Jr. and Karen Munoz, Nov. 9, 2015.
Once he stepped foot on the USC Aiken campus, Daniel Wiggins knew
he found his next baseball stop.
On Monday, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Lakeside pitcher signed a letter of intent to play with the Pacers.
Last season, USC Aiken went 34-17 in the Peach Belt Conference, one of the toughest leagues in NCAA Division II.
“I just got there and it was a perfect fit,” Wiggins said. “It just felt like home the second I got there. I didn’t know much about it before, but once I got on campus it felt like home.”
The 17-year-old Wiggins started playing tee-ball as a youth and played other sports like basketball and golf. A successful sixth-grade tryout led to Wiggins focusing solely on baseball – he said he was one of three sixth-graders to make the Stallings Island Middle School team.
“All my friends were really nervous going into it. I just said I was going to do the best I can,” he said about the tryout. “I did really good. I was really proud of that. I thought I could do really well in the sport.”
He started playing travel ball in sixth grade with weekend tournaments. When he reached high school, Wiggins started playing in weeklong events during the summer and the fall.
Now, the left-handed pitcher throws four pitches: fastball, curveball, changeup and cutter.
He said his best two pitches are his fastball, which hits the low-to-mid 80s, and his changeup.
Wiggins was named first-team, all-region last season, one of two Panthers on the first team.
His highlight of the season came in April when Wiggins pitched a complete-game shutout against No. 1 Greenbrier, handing the Wolfpack their first loss of the year.
“That was a big win for us,” Wiggins said. “That helped us get to the playoffs. That was a big confidence-booster.”
Last season, Lakeside advanced to the first round of the postseason play.
Wiggins said he’s hoping the Panthers will be able to make a deeper run in the playoffs in the spring.
“We’re going to have a really good year,” he said. “We’ve got a great senior class. I’m just hoping for the best.
Overshadowed by talented and more-experienced players her first two years, Evans High School’s girl’s basketball player McKenna Lawrence broke out last year and made her presence known.
One of those schools taking note was Division I Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, Ala.). Lawrence liked the school as well and Friday signed to play for the Lady Gamecocks.
After a junior year in which she averaged 13.1 points-, 5.7 rebounds-, and 2.2 steals-per-game, following it up with a strong AAU season, Lawrence took an unofficial visit in July and followed it up with an official visit last weekend, ruling out Hampton University and Belmont Abbey.
“They’ve been consistent, they’ve been following me for a really long time,” said Lawrence, who was excited to be starting a new chapter in her life. “The school is nice and the team was nice when I went down there. The coaching staff is really like a family, they have your back when you need stuff. They’ll still try to help you through. It’s just a good system.”
That junior year came as no surprise to Evans coach Ryan Morningstar who has seen her potential since she was a freshman.
“I was expecting a big year and she didn’t disappoint on and off the floor, she’s a great kid,” Morningstar said.
Helping with the decision-making process, Lawrence likes the way the Jacksonville State program is going under third-year coach Rick Pietri after the Lady Gamecocks jumped from a 14-win season to a 19-10 mark last year.
“It was good because they just started all over again when they hired Coach (Rick) Pietri,” Lawrence said. “I like his way of playing basketball, it’s a lot similar to my AAU coach.”
An Augusta funeral home bought land at the corner of William Few Parkway and Columbia Road for the eventual
construction of another location.
Thomas Poteet and Son Funeral Home, 214 Davis Road, purchased 16.7 acres of land from Journey Community Church for $970,000.
“The main thing we wanted to do was just secure property so that when it was time to expand, we would be ready,” said Buzz Poteet, president and part owner of the funeral home.
Poteet said there is no definitive timeline on building the second location. “It could take us five to 10 years before we’re out there,” he explained.
Poteet said he was interested in expanding to Columbia County because of the population growth in the county.
“We wanted to be between Washington Road and I-20,” he said.
The location is 5456 Columbia Road. Property records show Journey Community Church paid $363,800 for the land in 2004.
In a news release on the property sale, Bobby Smith, the lead pastor of Journey Community Church, said the sale “moves us one step closer to the expansion of our campus on Hardy McManus Road.”
Poteet said he feels the purchase price was a reasonable amount for property in that area.
The 16.7 acres has a pond, Poteet said, which will be an asset for the aethetics of the new location when they are ready to build.
“That’s why we want to take our time and think about it, get it like we need to get it,” he said.
The plot also already has the zoning that allows for a funeral home.
Poteet said the company discovered the location through former Augusta Commissioner Matt Aitken, who is an agent with commercial real estate firm Sherman and Hemstreet.
The church orginally intended to use the Columbia Road land for expansion, but then bought an existing church at 4798 Hardy McManus Road in 2008.
The funeral home has been on Davis Road, a former church, since 2002, expanding that location in 2006.
Developers of a day care at the entrance of a Martinez neighborhood withdrew their rezoning request to the Columbia County Commission, citing public opinion and a potentially better location.
Two weeks ago, the county’s planning commission recommended the disapproval of the conditional use for a day care in a parcel zoned for professional at 3991 Dowling Drive. The land is at the entrance to Heritage Hill on Columbia Road.
William Trotter III, on behalf of day-care developer Clyde Tant and property owner Walton Way Properties, sent a letter to the county Friday asking that the request be removed from the county commission’s agenda for Tuesday evening.
“We’re looking for a different location that is more suitable for our purposes,” he said. “We don’t have any plans to come back to this site.”
Trotter said a better location in Columbia County was identified for the day care. The exact location was not revealed because of ongoing contract negotiations.
Heritage Hill residents expressed concern the day care would create additional traffic and worsen congestion in that area.
“We had a lot of neighborhood objections that we think was unfounded,” Trotter said. “At the same time, our business depends on making people happy. If we make the
neighbors unhappy, then it doesn’t help the Childcare Network’s business. We don’t want to be where
we’re not wanted, regardless of the reasons.”
Students from across the CSRA struggled with the first round of Georgia Milestones testing, according to results released Monday, with many falling into the two lowest-proficiency categories.
Georgia Milestones replaced the End of Course and Criterion-Referenced Competency standardized tests this year, taking the form of an end-of-grade test for third- through eighth-grade students and a new end-of-course test for ninth grade and above. The new test is meant to bring more “rigor” to Georgia’s assessments, and local school officials expected the higher standards would yield lower scores in this first set of tests.
“As expected, scores were lower, but, given that this was the first administration of these tests, our students performed relatively well, indicating that in many areas our teachers are effectively providing classroom instruction that prepares students for their future,” said Columbia County schools Superintendent Sandra Carraway. “Our students continue to outperform the state at every level. Further, our fifth grade and high school students performed particularly well in math and science.”
The end-of-grade test covers language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. The test includes ninth-grade literature and composition, American
literature and composition, coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, physical science, biology, U.S. history and economics.
Milestones places students in one of four proficiency levels, from “beginning learners” to “distinguished learners.” Students that fall in the two highest categories, proficient or distinguished learner, demonstrate mastery of the subject. Students falling in the beginner or developing learner levels will need additional academic support to be prepared for their next grade level.
The test will represent 20 percent of the student’s final grade in the next wave of testing in the spring. Pupils in third, fifth and eighth grades must show they can “read and comprehend grade-level material” on the test to be promoted. Fifth- and eighth-graders must score at the developing learner level or higher in mathematics to be promoted.
Students across Georgia performed poorly on Milestones tests. Fewer than 39 percent of elementary, middle and high school students were found proficient in English and math, according to statewide results.
In Columbia County, 50.8 percent of third-graders tested proficient or higher on the English language arts section of the end-of-grade test, while 21.1 percent of Richmond County students did. Older students also struggled: only 46.3 percent of Columbia County’s sixth-graders scored proficient or higher on the mathematics section of the end-of-grade test, while 16.9 of Richmond County sixth-graders did.
Columbia County students in general did outperform students from all other districts in the 11-county Central Savannah River Area, although individual schools, such as Davidson Fine Arts and A.R. Johnson Magnet schools in Richmond County, tended to score higher in most areas.
Columbia County high school students were challenged in the literature and economics portions of the test, with roughly 40 percent scoring proficient or higher on those sections. They did better on mathematics and science-related subjects: 58.6 percent tested proficient or higher in biology and 56.3 percent were proficient or better in analytic geometry, the highest percentage in the state for a county district.
Carraway said school officials recognize there is much work to do to bring the achievement levels up.
“We must do a better job preparing our elementary students in the areas of science and social studies and moving students scoring at the Developing level to Proficient or Distinguished,” she said. “Parents should know that the tests this year serve as a benchmark for their children’s performance in the future. They will help teachers improve and/or modify their instruction so that students are not simply better prepared to perform well on the tests, but most importantly, that they have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school and beyond.”
The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:
A Martinez woman told deputies Friday that someone hacked into her online accounts and contacted her friends.
The woman, 44, said that someone hacked into her Facebook and Yahoo e-mail accounts beginning Aug. 25, changed her passwords and sent out messages to her friends and family requesting their personal information. It stopped for a while, but the woman said it began again about two weeks before she called authorities. She had to change her passwords almost daily.
The woman said the hacker must know her personal information to get into the accounts. She doesn’t want to shut down her Facebook account because that’s how she communicates with family and children.
On Friday, the woman said she got a message that her account was changed and the information was provided from an Verizon iPhone. Another message said the hacker changed the phone number attached to her account.
Road rage confrontation
A woman said Saturday that a man upset with her driving followed her and assaulted her.
The 66-year-old woman said she was in the left turn lane at a traffic light on Columbia and Lewiston roads about midnight. The driver of the car behind her honked the horn and gestured at the woman. She made the left turn and went to the Lewiston Express convenience store.
The driver who honked the horn followed her to the store. The woman asked why he was so rude and he yelled obscene language at her. She walked outside to write down the man’s tag number, and he ran out and confronted her. He used his body to block the tag, snatched the pen from her hand and ran away.
The woman did get the man’s tag number. Deputies went to the man’s home, but he didn’t answer the door.
Man finds home burglar
A Grovetown man called authorities early Sunday after he walked in on a man breaking into the house.
The 49-year-old man was staying at a friend’s home at about 2:30 a.m. when he woke to his dog barking. When he went to the kitchen to check on the dog, the man said he saw the rear sliding glass door open and a man’s hand coming through the opening. The burglar was startled and ran away.
Deputies found damage to the back gate. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the man who was staying at the home.
Repairman stole jewelry for girlfriend
A Martinez woman said Thursday that her home repairman stole jewelry to give to his girlfriend.
The 36-year-old woman said she let the man stay at her home while he performed home repairs, but she did not stay at the home. When she returned home, the woman said her jewelry was missing.
She also saw where the man logged onto and used her computer. The woman discovered that he also used the computer to have an e-mail chat with his girlfriend. In the chat, the man told his girlfriend he had a surprise for her and posted photos of the woman’s jewelry stating he was going to give it to his girlfriend.
UGA flags stolen
A Martinez woman told deputies Sunday that two of her University of Georgia flags were stolen.
The woman said that a Georgia Bulldogs garden flag was stolen from a hook on her mailbox. She searched, but was unable to find it.
The woman bought a new flag Friday and hung it on the mailbox Saturday. On Sunday morning, she found the second flag missing. She believes someone deliberately stole both flags.
Motorists on Old Petersburg Road should expect a lane shift this week.
Beginning at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday, traffic will be shifted to newly-constructed lanes on the south side of Old Petersburg Road from Stagecoach Way to Candlewood Drive.
Message signs, barrels and cones will be used to mark the lane shift, according to information provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
The shift is to allow for culvert work associated with the extension of Riverwatch Parkway. Motorists are encouraged to be cautious.
From a press release on the Grovetown High School website:
"Today at 2:30 P.M. Coach Rodney Holder announced to his players this
will be his last season as the Head Football Coach at Grovetown High
School. While leading his team for seven years, Coach Holder has
fostered the growth of a program which now celebrates rich traditions.
His influence on our school and its athletes will leave a lasting footprint
of excellence for all who follow. We wish him well in his future
endeavors and will always consider Coach Rodney Holder an
‘Original Warrior’ who Leads the Way."