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Sharp skater

Wed, 12/10/2014 12:17 AM

Sharp skater

Categories: Local

Grovetown officials trying to resolve illegal church sign

Wed, 12/10/2014 12:16 AM

 

Grovetown officials and leaders of a city church are hoping to work out an amicable resolution after the church installed a sign that violated a city ordinance in August.

A sign was installed at Fellowship Baptist Church near Gordon Highway on Aug. 22, even though it didn’t comply with city regulations and had been rejected by city officials.

The sign exceeds the 60-square-inch maximum sign face limit and the LED lights on the sign are prohibited in an ordinance passed in December 2012.

“I don’t like the ordinance,” Pastor Sonny Serigney said. “The ordinance is the problem.”

The church applied for and was denied a permit to install the sign. So he applied for a variance with the city Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, which also was denied in July.

On Aug. 22, a city building official saw installation begin on the $15,000 sign and warned them for not having a permit. The crew waited for a Code Enforcement official, who served a stop work order, to leave before completing the installation.

The city can cite and sue the church for the illegal sign or the sign can be moved off the property onto a neighboring piece owned by Meybohm Real Estate in Richmond County.

The Richmond County ordinances don’t prohibit the sign and a sliver of the Meybohm property cuts in front of the church.

Mayor George James said the city attorney is in negotiations with Meybohm attorneys to allow the sign to be moved to the sliver in front of the church.

“That would give the church opportunity to move the sign and it would still pretty much appear to be in front (of the church),” Mayor George James said.

James said he’s just waiting for a response from Meybohm attorneys.

“Once we get that, we’ll present it to the pastor and the church and see how they feel about it,” James said.

Serigney has said he thought the church and the sign should have been grand-fathered in and allowed because the church didn’t know about the new ordinance.

He also said the church doesn’t have money to run electrical lines and have the sign moved.

“It’s not just me, what the church (members currently have to say) we’re really not interested in it, but if push comes to shove …” Serigney said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Serigney said he hasn’t heard much from city officials since he was told a couple of months ago they were going to approach Meybohm. When a decision is reached, Serigney said he’ll take it to the church leadership.

“We’ll just have to wait and see.”

City officials also approved an amendment to the ordinance that clarifies that everyone must have a permit for sign installation.

Also, James said city officials are taking a second look at the ordinance.

“We are thinking about allowing reader signs to be part of the ordinance,” James said.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter

Wed, 12/10/2014 12:16 AM

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

Teen charged
in trespassing

A Grovetown teen was charged with criminal trespass Thursday after he was caught putting up flyers on private property.

A deputy directing traffic at Columbia Middle School at about 7 a.m. saw the 16-year-old hammering two documents to a wooden fence on Crown Heights Way at William Few Parkway.

When the deputy asked what he was doing, the teen said, “Nothing.” When asked, he denied posting the documents on the fence.

The deputy, who witnessed the teen posting the flyers, searched the teen’s backpack and found more flyers.

The ones on the fence and in the backpack read, “Want to get away with murder? *be a white cop*,” and other references to the recent incidents in Ferguson, Mo.

 

Parents report man’s behavior

The suspicious behavior of an Evans man prompted his neighbors to call authorities Saturday.

The couple said they believe the 31-year-old man that lives across the street has an abnormally high interest in their 8-year-old daughter.

They said their neighbor sits on the tailgate of his truck and stares at their daughter as she plays in the yard.

He’s also asked to help the girl ride her bike.

The couple also said they have found beer bottles and cigarette butts, matching the brand their neighbor smokes, in the yard under the girl’s window.

The couple said they have checked under the window and found nothing in the evening, but found the cigarette butts the next morning.

Their neighbor, who has not been seen in their yard but in other neighbors’ yards, said the wind must have blown the butts to the couple’s property.

 

Man sees odd things at home

A Martinez man told authorities Sunday that a theft was the most recent strange incident at his new home.

The 48-year-old man said that between 4 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Sunday, someone stole a tool box full of bungee cords from the bed of his truck.

The man said he and his wife moved into the home only a couple of weeks before the theft.

They have noticed strange things including the gate to the back yard left unlocked and the light bulb on the porch being unscrewed.

 

Man scammed, abandoned

A South Carolina man told deputies Thursday that an acquaintance scammed him out of his paycheck and left him at an Evans gas station.

The 37-year-old man said he was paid for some work with a $970 money order. The amount was too much to cash at a store and the man has no bank account. An acquaintance said she’d cash the money order for him at her bank, so he signed the money order over to her.

They went with a friend of the woman’s to her bank on North Belair Road and she went inside to cash the money order. When she returned, the man said his acquaintance said the bank put a hold on cashing it until the next day.

As they traveled back toward his home in South Carolina, the man said his acquaintance asked him to buy her a soda. He agreed and they stopped at a gas station on Evans to Locks Road. The man said he went inside and bought the soda. When he came back outside, the man said his acquaintance and her friend were gone. They left in a newer model gray Honda and the man said he left his jacket and a Redbox video game inside it.

A deputy confirmed with the woman’s bank that she cashed the money order and was given cash.

 

Residents report thefts from cars

Several residents on a Martinez street told deputies Thursday that someone stole from their vehicles.

Four residents of Timber Wolf Trail said that over the previous night, someone went into unlocked vehicles parked in their driveways and stole items from within.

Purses and wallets containing credit cards, licenses and Social Security cards were stolen form three vehicles and sunglasses and lottery tickets were stolen from a fourth.

It does not appear that force was used to get into any of the vehicles.

Categories: Local

Pet Adoptions

Wed, 12/10/2014 12:15 AM
Categories: Local

Current Events

Wed, 12/10/2014 12:14 AM

Lights of South

6-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 30, 633 Louisville Road, Grovetown; $8.95, ages 4-17; $5.95, ages 3 and younger admitted free; lightsofthesouth.com

Hospice help

Volunteers sought for Hospice Advantage’s Georgia office, 2824 Hillcreek Drive; training provided; flexible volunteer opportunities in the community; (706) 651-9841, hospiceadvantage.com

Celtic guitar

Christmas Celtic Guitar Concert, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, First Baptist Church of Thomson, 253 Jackson St.; $10; benefits MANNA food bank; tickets at church office (706) 595-4252 or Chamber of Commerce (706) 597-1000, bit.ly/1AcBjkJ

Christmas at Cedar Rock

6:30-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 11-13, Macedonia United Methodist Church, 7257 Georgia Highway 80 N., Thomson; hayride through Christmas lights, displays, Life of Christ beginning with live nativity; roast marshmallows, pictures with Santa; free; bit.ly/1AcBjkJ

Hayride

Hayride Through the Life of Christ, 7-9 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 11-14, Columbia County Fairgrounds, 5462 Columbia Road, Grovetown; free; provided by Sharon Baptist Church of Appling; (706) 541-0667, (706) 825-3076, facebook.com/hayride.through.the.life.of.christ

Holiday kitties

The Island of Misfit Kitties, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, Gerald Jones Subaru, 4022 Washington Road, Martinez; holiday event celebrating rescued and homeless kitties; raffles, auctions, treats, door prizes, adoptable kitties; (706) 833-4696, (706) 860-9300

Christmas music

Held by Columbia County Orchestra, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 4921 Columbia Road, Grovetown; free; columbiacco.org

Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Christmas with David Benoit presented by Augusta Amusements, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; contemporary jazz pianist and composer; doors open 6:30 p.m.; $44, $49; (706) 726-0366, augustaamusements.com

Jingle Jam

Safe Homes Jingle Jam 2014 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, Evans Towne Center park; 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; join the race to end domestic violence; safehomesdv.org

Swamp critters

Augusta-Aiken Audubon driving field trip 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, 1858 Lock and Dam Road; meet in parking lot; take trucks and drive around park looking for waterfowl, rails, bitterns and other birds; beginners welcome; Anne Waters and Lois Stacey lead; free; augustaaikenaudubon.org

Gingerbread

10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 13, Hire Grounds Cafe, 3179 Washington Road; for all ages; supplies included; free; limited space, registration required; (706) 650-5760, nbrowning@goodwillworks.org

Santa photos

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, Augusta Harley-Davidson, 4200 Belair Frontage Road; Santa on his sleigh; holiday festivities; food, drinks, activities for the kids; free; augustahd.com

Remembering

National Remembrance Ceremony noon Saturday, Dec. 13, Bellevue Memorial Gardens, 4501 Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown; wreaths places on veterans’ graves; held by Women’s Veterans Club of the CSRA; call to donate a wreath; (808) 779-5429, (706) 667-2297, hula_dancing_girl@msn.com

Beekeeping class

Introduction to Beekeeping 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, Grovetown Farm and Garden Center, 5234 Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown; presented by Keith and Ann Powell of ladybeeshivesandhoney.com; free; call to reserve space; (706) 860-2925

Umpires needed

Augusta Baseball Umpires Association seeking umpires for the upcoming season; training provided; meetings 6 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 15, and Jan. 5-Feb. 9, Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road, Evans; Bob Culbreath (803) 507-1646

West Augusta meeting

West Augusta Alliance 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union meeting room (entrance at right side of building, near flag pole), 205 Davis Road; Lynn Bailey, executive director of Augusta-Richmond County Board of Elections, discussing details about the March 2015 special election; open to the public

Christmas Gala

Fatty Marsha’s fifth annual Christmas Gala 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.; toy drive for those with HIV; dinner, drinks; semiformal; tickets at Pyramid Music and by phone; $20 single, $35 couple; (706) 449-4315, facebook.com/events/1544969542387829

Benefit soccer

Jenny Clark Memorial Scholarship Alumni Soccer Game, 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, Lakeside High School Stadium, 533 Blue Ridge Drive, Evans; annual alumni soccer game open to any player, male or female, who graduated from any high school; $25 – includes game, T-shirt and lunch from Fatz Cafe after game; public invited to watch, free

Bird counts

Augusta count, 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, those without previously assigned areas meet at Popeyes, corner of Walton Way and Gordon Highway, call Anne Waters to be assigned, spotters needed, (706) 793-2788; Aiken count Wednesday, Dec. 24, Aiken County, call Calvin Zippler to participate, no experience required, spotters needed, (803) 295-7460; augustaaikenaudubon.org

Dedication

St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church dedication of new church, 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, 4921 Columbia Road, Grovetown; Rite of Dedication; Gregory J. Hartmayer, speaker; free; st-teresa.com

Christmas program

11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, Canaan of Galilee Baptist Church, 5830 Clarks Hill Road, Appling; free; (706) 541-0851

New Year’s Eve service

10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, Canaan of Galilee Baptist Church, 5830 Clarks Hill Road, Appling; free; (706) 541-0851

BMX race

First race at Blanchard Woods BMX Track 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, Blanchard Woods Park, 4600 Blanchard Woods Drive, Evans; open to the public; spectators free; one day free membership for new riders; blanchardwoodsbmx.com

Panther 5K Run/Walk

9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, Lakeside High School, 533 Blue Ridge Drive, Evans; 3.1 mile course, mostly flat, one hill; $20; register online at panther5k.com or run day registration 8 a.m. in Lakeside cafeteria; benefits Lisa Meitin Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

YuchiKiokee Festival

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 22, Evans Towne Center park; 7016 Evans Town Center Blvd.; celebrating Columbia County’s art, music, dance and heritage; performances by Columbia County Choral Society, Musical Theatre Workshops, Company of Job, Columbia County Orchestra Association with finale featuring excerpts from Columbia County Ballet’s Roar of Love; $5 March 21, free March 22; (706) 312-7194, vatkins@columbiacountyga.gov, evanstownecenterpark.com

ONGOING

Christian singles

6:30-10:30 p.m. Saturdays, Ballroom Dance Center, 525 Grand Slam Drive, off Evans-to-Locks Road; dance lessons 6:30-7:30 p.m., dance 7:30-10:30 p.m.; refreshments; Augusta Christian Singles; $8 members, $10 others; Barbara Nash (803) 640-2075, christiandances.org

Eyeglass help

Financial assistance for qualifying Grovetown residents to purchase eyeglasses; Grovetown Lions Club; Grovetown Lions Club Eyeglass Program, P.O. Box 248, Grovetown, GA 30813

Farmers market

4:30-7 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 30, Columbia County Amphitheater, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd.; Evans Towne Farmers Market; local farmers committed to all-natural growing practices, children’s activities, cooking demos and vegetable gardening education; kim@augustalocallygrown.org, evanstownefarmersmarket.com

Fire information

Advice on fire dangers for Columbia County residents; presented by Georgia Forestry Commission, Columbia County; (706) 556-3962

Food pantry

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

Hospital classes

Variety of classes each month; Doctors Hospital; (706) 651-2450, doctors-hospital.net

Live wrestling

Live action first Saturday every month; doors open 7:30 p.m., belltime 8 p.m., Patriots Park Gymnasium, 5445 Columbia Road, Grovetown; $10 front row, $7 general admission, 5 and younger free; flatlineprowrestling.com

Meditations

4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Mindbody Stress Reduction Programs, 4210 Columbia Road Suite 4A, Martinez; Mindfulness and Expansive Meditations; experience deeper awareness and stress reduction through guided meditations; $15, $5 students with ID; (706) 496-3935, mindbodystressreduction.com

MOMS Club

MOMS Club of Augusta meets 10 a.m. first Wednesdays (except December); chapter includes Augusta, Martinez and North Augusta; e-mail for location; membership@momsclubofaugusta.org, www.momsclubaugusta.org

Orchestras

Columbia County Orchestra and Columbia County Youth; weekly meetings; musicians needed; information can be found online; columbiacco.org

Public speaking

7 p.m. Mondays, University Hospital Education Wing, third floor, room 3; Riverwalk Toastmasters Public Speaking and Leadership Club; Sharma Pogula (706) 855-1081,
7106.toastmasterclubs.org

Scholarships

Barbara C. Beazley Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by The Columbia County Foundation for Children; must be a Columbia County resident and intend to enroll or are currently enrolled in a college or technical school; applications available from school counselors’ offices and online; grants are need-based; deadline to apply and submit documents May 30; ccfchildren.com

Survivors

Fort Gordon’s Survivor Outreach Services, for families of deceased soldiers; (706) 787-4767, myarmyonesource.com

Volunteers

• Grovetown Senior Center; volunteer drivers to deliver meals to shut-ins needed; (706) 210-8699

• Regency Hospice; training provided; Nancy Browning (706) 868-4422

• Golden Harvest Food Bank; help sort donations in warehouse; (706) 736-1199

• Safe Kids East Central Georgia; help with events; lead programs that teach safety to children and teens; training provided; (706) 721-7606

• Columbia County Library, Evans; (706) 863-1946, jthompson@columbiacountyga.gov

• American Cancer Society Augusta chapter; drivers for Road to Recovery program, which provides transportation to cancer patients, needed; (706) 731-9900

• Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), 4210 Columbia Road Suite 13A, Martinez, for ages 55 and older; (706) 868-0120 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

Wine tastings

4:30-6:30 p.m. Fridays, 1-6 p.m. Saturdays, Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463, vine11.com

Women vets

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

Writers group

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

Zumba classes

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

Categories: Local

OH, CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGS

Wed, 12/10/2014 12:14 AM

See how cities in Columbia County kicked off the holiday season.

Categories: Local

Mack Taylor sworn into office

Tue, 12/9/2014 11:00 AM

Attorney Mack Taylor is sworn in as Columbia County's District 3 commissioner by county Probate Judge Alice Padgett Tuesday before committee meetings as his wife, Kim, holds the Bible.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter, Dec. 7, 2014

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:15 AM

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

Potential suitor follows woman

A woman approached a deputy at a Martinez gas station Wednesday because she was being followed.

The woman pulled into the parking lot of the Circle K on Columbia Road at Belair Road at about 7 p.m. and told the deputy that a man in a red Ford Mustang followed her out of the Publix parking lot on Furys Ferry Road. She said the car followed her through her neighborhood and back out onto Washington Road. The woman said she was concerned, so she continued driving on Columbia Road and the Mustang continued to follow her.

The deputy motioned for the driver of the Mustang into the gas station parking lot. The driver told the deputy that he thought the woman was attractive and was attempting to signal her to see if she wanted to exchange phone numbers. The man said he wasn’t trying to intimidate or harass her.

Stranger found in back yard

A Martinez man told authorities Monday that he found a stranger in his back yard.

The man said he was leaving his home at about 7:15 p.m. and saw a man in his gated back yard. As he approached the yard, the stranger opened the gate and tried to quickly walk away. The stranger acted nervously and said he was in the back yard because he was using it as a shortcut to his vehicle parked a couple of streets over.

When the stranger left, the owner of the house said he didn’t notice any vehicles on nearby streets.

The backyard is completely surrounded by a tall privacy fence and the only access is the gate.

Suspicious man stalks woman

A woman called police to the Columbia County Library Monday stating a man followed her there from South Carolina.

The woman said she pulled onto Interstate 20 at exit 5 at about 3 p.m. when an older model white van came up behind her fast. The van driver blew the horn and made obscene gestures at her. The woman said the driver had the opportunity to pass her vehicle several times, but never did.

When the woman got off at the Belair Road exit, she said the van followed, so she drove to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office substation on Ronald Reagan Drive. The van driver pulled into the park across the street and waited. The woman said she then drove to the library and waited as she watched the van drive back and forth in front of the library several times before leaving.

Cat missing after robbery at home

An Evans man said Wednesday that his cat is missing after his home was burglarized.

The 45-year-old man said someone kicked in the back door of his home between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The burglar took a tablet and computer from the living room, and shoes and a wallet from his son’s bedroom.

The man said his black cat was also missing.

Categories: Local

Mack Taylor defeats Trip Derryberry in runoff for Columbia County District 3 seat

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:14 AM

Mack Taylor, a lawyer and former assistant district attorney, de­feated Martinez businessman Trip Derryberry in a Dec. 2 runoff to claim the Columbia County Board of Commissioners’ District 3 seat.
Taylor garnered 1,304 votes, or 58.2 percent, to Derryberry’s 935 votes, or 41.8 percent. More than 10 percent of eligible voters turned out for the runoff, according to unofficial results.

“I want to congratulate Mack Taylor for doing a good job and running a good campaign. I wish him the best of luck,” said Derryberry, who was philosophical about the loss. “It’s like my dad would say when we would lose football games: ‘The sun will come up tomorrow.’ ”

On Wednesday, Taylor traveled to Athens, Ga. to attend new commissioner training. He anticipated being sworn in on Tuesday morning, prior to commission committee meetings at the Evans Government Center. The seat has been vacant since March, when Charles Allen resigned.

On Nov. 4, Taylor was second out of a field of four candidates with just 23 percent of the vote to Derryberry’s 41 percent. Taylor said in the intervening weeks he pushed hard to meet and speak to as many voters as possible.

The work yielded results. Taylor was able to return about 49 percent of his supporters to the polls, while Derryberry’s vote total was only about 20 percent of what he got on Nov. 4. Taylor won seven of the 11 precincts in that voted in the District 3 runoff.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming in, but I was certain that getting out and putting in the hard work makes the difference,” Taylor said.

His first commission meeting will be Dec. 9, and he said he is eager to go to work.

“This isn’t about my platform, it is about what is best for our district and our county,” he said.

Categories: Local

Organization is seeking feedback for 911 call center

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:14 AM

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and 911 Communications Center are undergoing the tri-annual assessment and the public is encouraged to voice their opinions.

An assessment team for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. arrives today to begin the inspection of the sheriff’s office’s and Communications Center’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. A favorable assessment is a highly-coveted recognition of law enforcement excellence.

The sheriff’s office was initially accredited in 1996 and the communications center in 2003.

Both have maintained the accreditation through evaluations every three years. As part of the on-site assessment, employees and the community are invited to provide feedback during a public information session at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Columbia County Justice Center courthouse in Evans. Comments can be provided to the assessment team by phone 3-5 p.m. Tuesday by calling (706) 312-7280.

Comments made at the public meeting and by telephone will be limited to 10 minutes and must address the sheriff’s office’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.

Persons wishing to offer written comments may do so by writing: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155-6693.

The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from out-of-state agencies similar to the Columbia County agencies they are assessing.

Once the assessors complete their review, they will report back to a CALEA commission, which will then decide whether the sheriff’s office will be re-accredited.

A copy of CALEA’s standards for accreditation is available at the sheriff’s office in Appling.

Categories: Local

Live Christmas trees need proper care

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:14 AM

Christmas trees are grown throughout the United States and Canada in a wide variety of species. It takes five to twelve years to grow a Christmas tree. For each tree harvested, two or three seedlings will be planted for Christmases in the future. Christmas trees can be identified by the size, color, and arrangement of their needles. The four common types are pine, fir, spruce and cedar/cypress.

Pine trees have needles arranged in bundles of two to five, and these bundles are held together by a sheath at the base of the needles. The most common pine grown for Christmas is the Virginia pine. This tree is grown throughout Georgia. The Virginia pine has yellow-green needles that are 1 and 1/2-inches long. These needles are slightly twisted and are arranged in bundles of two needles. The majority of the Virginia pines will be dyed a dark green color.

The second most common pine sold is the white pine. It has blue-green needles 3- to 5-inches long and arranged in bundles of five. These pines hold their needles well, but they wilt noticeably. The last pine is the Scotch pine with needles 1 to 1 and 1/2-inches long. The needles are arranged in bundles of two. These trees are usually found on a cut-your-own lot or in a local garden center. Some local garden centers will have prepared these trees for use after the Christmas season. The root system will be balled and wrapped in burlap, also known as “B & B”, to be used in the home as a live Christmas tree and then planted in the landscape after Christmas.

Cedar/cypress trees are grown in and around the Augusta area. The most common of the Cedars is the Eastern Red-cedar. The Eastern Red-cedar has sharp pointed needles and scale-like leaves. The color of the needles ranges from green and blue-green to yellow-green. These trees dry out rapidly after cutting and begin to lose needles. Pay close attention to the water supply for these trees once cut. The Eastern Red-cedar is a traditional southern Christmas tree. The next most common cedar is the Deodar Cedar. The Deodar Cedar has needles arranged in clusters on short spurs on the branches. The color of the needles ranges from waxy blue to blue-green. As for the Cypress, the most common is the Leyland Cypress. This tree has fine, fern-like foliage. They hold up well and show very little wilting. The second most common Cypress is the Arizona Cypress. This tree is similar to the Leyland Cypress, but the Arizona Cypress has foliage that is fine in texture and ranges from light green to bluish green. You can find this type of tree at cut-your-own tree farms.

Firs have needles arranged in rows with one on each side of a branch. The needles are flat, and the cones are upright on the branches. Retail lots most often have the Fraser fir. These are grown in the mountains of North Carolina. The Fraser fir has needles that are ½ to 1 inch long and are dark green.

The other fir for Christmas is the Balsam fir, which has needles that are ½ to 1 inch long and are dark green on the top with two silver lines on the bottom. The buds are rounded, yellowish, and coated with an aromatic resin.

Proper care to ensure the health of the tree during the holiday season is very important. With a cut tree, the care begins during the selection process. First, check the height of the ceiling in the room where you will display your tree. Select a tree that is at least one foot shorter than the ceiling height. The next step is to check for freshness. If the needles are fresh, they will spring back to their original position when the hand is moved down the limb. If the tree is dry, the needles will fall off. Lastly, check the “handle”, the trunk where the stand will be mounted, to be sure it is straight. The handle must be six to eight inches long to allow placement in the tree stand.

After bringing the tree home, remove at least an inch off the bottom of the trunk. This will open the vessels in the tree that take up water. After cutting the trunk, place the tree in the stand and give it plenty of water. Trees may use several quarts of water a day.

Never let the water level fall below the base of the tree. If this occurs, the cut end can seal over and prevent further water uptake. If this occurs, the tree will need to be taken out of the stand and a fresh cut made to the base to reopen the vessels. Research has shown that adding aspirin, soda water, bleach, or sugar to the water in the tree stand is no more effective in keeping the tree fresh than adding plain water each day.

Lastly, keep the tree away from fireplaces and heat ducts. Make sure that the lights on the tree are working and are UL approved for safety. Use nonflammable decorations, and never leave home or go to bed with the tree lights on.

Tripp Williams, Columbia County’s agriculture and natural resource agent, can be reached at (706) 541-4011, or trippj@uga.edu.

Categories: Local

Beekeeping is a growing hobby in the CSRA

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:14 AM

Certified University of Georgia Beekeepers Ann and Keith Powell of Lady Bees Hives and Honey will hold a beekeeping class on Saturday at Grovetown Farm and Garden.

The two-hour class will begin at 2 p.m. and will serve as an introduction to beekeeping.

“Beekeeping is a growing hobby in the CSRA, as well as throughout the U.S.,” said Keith Powell. “With the demise of lots of wild honeybees to pests, viruses and colony collapse disorder, we hope to increase the number of bees kept by concerned beekeepers.”

During the class, participants will learn about basic honeybee biology and colony life.

Potential beekeepers will be introduced to the basics of a beehive, care and identification of bees, startup of a hive, honey production and harvest and basic management of a hive throughout the year.

“This will hopefully give them a desire to start the fun lifelong hobby of beekeeping,” said Powell. “My wife and I started tending our own hives about 5 years ago after being introduced by a close friend and master beekeeper, Sanford Toole, as well as Deborah Sasser of the Clark’s Hill Beekeepers Association.”

The Powells have since attended the University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute and obtained certification. They are owners of a small, family-run honeybee hive manufacturing company, Lady Bees Hives and Honey, found online at ladybeeshivesandhoney.com.

“This class is hoped to bridge the interest of honeybees to becoming of a beekeeper,” Powell said. “Our role as certified beekeepers is to act as ambassadors for beekeeping, as well as act as mentors for new beekeepers. Most beekeepers welcome helping out new beekeepers and invite them to join our association.”

The Powells enjoy catching swarms of bees in the CSRA and giving them new homes.

“Most people aren’t aware, but honeybees are responsible for about 80 percent of pollination of all food crops,” said Powell, adding that bee hives make great Christmas presents.
For more information about Saturday’s introduction to beekeeping or to register for the class, call 706-860-2925 or visit Grovetown Farm and Garden. Pre-registration is required.

Categories: Local

Middle-schooler C.J. Pearson engaging the political process

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:09 AM

Engaged young people are the future of politics and an ambitious 12-year-old from Grovetown is leading that charge, with an eye (for now) on the state Capitol.

“I’ve always had a big interest in the decisions that are made by our elected officials,” said C.J. Pearson, the student body president at Columbia Middle School. “The decisions that are made today will have a big impact on the future generations.”

C.J. founded Young Geor­gians in Government and serves as executive director. The group is pushing a bill to lower the minimum age to run for a Georgia House seat from 21 to 18 and from 25 to 21 in the Senate and expects sponsorship in both chambers from state Republican legislators Ben Harbin, Barry Fleming, Barbara Sims, Josh McKoon, Rusty Kidd and others, he said.

Young Georgians in Government, with teen field representatives in 15 counties, Conrad Close as political director, Alan Hill as north regional director and Sam Heffner as Rich­mond County chairman, is “completely nonpartisan,” C.J. said.

“I’m a Republican, with strong Libertarian leanings,” he said. “I believe that our party, the Republican Party, has taken the biggest steps toward protecting those rights that our Founding Fathers have given us, and protected us with a less intrusive, involved government than the Democratic Party.”
C.J., whose family moved from Augusta to Columbia County two years ago, said his parents support his work despite differing with his views.
“My parents, they’re Democrats,” he said. “While we disagree politically, they’re very supportive of young people, of all people getting involved in the process … It doesn’t really matter which party you get involved in, as long as you get involved, and they’re very supportive of that.”

C.J. said he doesn’t expect his values to change as he grows up, but rather expects his party to shift in response to necessary criticism.
“As far as right now, the party has already shifted,” he said. “I believe that you need to be critical of both parties. If you’re going to get productivity out of Washington, out of Atlanta, out of your local government, you’ve got to get critical.”

He readily criticizes his own party, while “most conservatives now aren’t as critical of their own party. They think that our party is perfect and that’s a downright blatant lie, that’s pure ignorance.”
As an example of that criticism, C.J. said Republicans will accept same-sex marriage, something he supports, within 10 years. The younger generation has “generally been taught to treat everyone equally, no matter who you are,” he said. “If that’s the way you are, then that’s the way you are.”

His faith, lies behind his pro-life stance, but his strongest guiding force is “the vision of my founding fathers,” C.J. said. “Limited government means limited government; there’s no way around it.”

C.J. said voters should decide if a candidate will represent their interests, and not focus on their age or education, adding that young people’s daily lives provide worthwhile experiences just as relevant “as the encounters that older people have.” He offered the growing use of marijuana by children and teens as an example.

“I do believe in limited government, but I also believe in protecting the health of our young people and the futures of our young people,” C.J. said.

Categories: Local

Sports Calendar for Sunday, December 7, 2014.

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:08 AM

Soccer

The Jenny Clark Memorial Scholarship Annual Alumni Soccer game is at Lakeside High School at 2 p.m. Dec. 20 open to all soccer players who have graduated from any area high school. Cost is $25 to play, which includes game, T-shirt and lunch. Proceeds will benefit the Jenny Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Baseball Camp

• The 2014 Ed Amerson Christmas Baseball Camp is at Greenbrier High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 20 for those in grades two through eight. Cost is $50 and includes snack, drink and T-shirt. Contact Jason Osborn at (706) 650-6040 ext. 4151 or at jason.osborn@ccboe.net or David Barnes at david.barnes@ccboe.net

• A-Team Winter Camp is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 21 to Jan. 25, 2015 every Sunday at Riverside Park for those in grades six to 12. Registration fee is $100 from Nov.1 to Dec. 7, after it is $125. Contact Adrian McCladdie at prideathletics00@yahoo.com or (706) 288-8511 Registration is at Hometown Sports.

• The 2014 Grovetown High School Baseball Christmas Camp for those in kindergarten through eighth grade is Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 from 9 a.m to noon. Cost is $40 per camper and $20 per each additional sibling. Each camper will need to bring baseball shoes, glove, baseball pants and bat.Contact Mike Jones at (706) 447-2102 ext. 5833.

Categories: Local

Prep Calendar for Sunday, December 7, 2014.

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:08 AM

Monday, Dec. 8

Augusta Christian at Gray Military, 6 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Greenbrier at Hephzibah, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Christian vs. Fox Creek,
6 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m.
(boys)

Harlem vs. Evans, 6 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside vs. Westside, 6 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Prep at Curtis Baptist, 6:30 p.m. (girls), 8 p.m. (boys)

Friday, Dec.12

Harlem vs. Glascock County, 6 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Augusta Prep vs. Edmund Burke, 6:30 p.m. (girls), 8 p.m. (boys)

Evans at Aquinas, 7 p.m. (girls), 8:30 p.m. (boys)

Greenbrier vs. Westside, 7 p.m. (girls), 8:30 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside at Athens Christian, 6 p.m. (girls), 7:30 p.m. (boys)

Saturday, Dec. 13

Harlem at East Laurens, 3 p.m. (girls), 4:30 p.m. (boys)

Lakeside at Westside, 5 p.m. (girls), 6:30 p.m. (boys)

Grovetown at Hephzibah, 7 p.m. (girls), 8:30 p.m. (boys)

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lakeside vs. Aquinas, Davidson Fine Arts at Augusta Aquatic Center, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 11

Greenbrier vs. Evans, Richmond Academy, Westside at Augusta Aquatic Center, 5:30 p.m.

WRESTLING

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lakeside vs. Burke County, Richmond Academy, Cross Creek, 5 p.m.

Grovetown vs. Greenbrier, Evans, 5:30 p.m.

Augusta Christian at Orangeburg Prep, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 11

Augusta Christian at Hammond, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 12

Grovetown at Santa Slam at South Forsyth, 5:30 p.m.

Lakeside at West Laurens Tournament, 5 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 13

Grovetown at Cross Creek Duals, 8 a.m.

Grovetown at Santa Slam at South Forsyth, 8:30 a.m.

Evans at Oglethorpe County Duals, 9 a.m.

Lakeside at West Laurens Tournament, 5 p.m.

Categories: Local

Property Transfers, Dec. 7, 2014

Sun, 12/7/2014 12:08 AM

Euchee Forest LLC to Ivey Residential LLC, 418 Brantley Cove Circle, $30,500.

Downeast Homebuilders Inc. to Shereeta Lynn Scott, 458 Sebastian Drive, $198,840.

Riverwood Land LLC to M-Homebuilders Inc., 3600 Amberley Road, $44,540.

Riverwood Land LLC to M-Homebuilders Inc., 3602 Amberley Road, $44,540.

Riverwood Land LLC to M-Homebuilders Inc., 3601 Amberley Road, $44,540.

James E. Mills and Leslie Schlein Mills to Lewiston Few Partners LLC, parcel ID 067077B, $355,000.

John Murphy to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 4401 Peregrine Place, $156,000.

Dwight Sabrowsky to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 1022 Leigh Lake Road, $141,000.

Joseph A. Nichols to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight
LLC, 573 Jackson St.,
$127,500.

Sebastian M. Edmundson to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 354 Washington St., $120,000.

John E. Bourquin to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 512 Simoni Place, $130,000.

Consuela Burrell to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 106 Tyler St., $134,000.

Mark W. Williams to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 933 Woody Hill Circle, $206,000.

Lill Manos to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 4135 Bald Eagle Place, $152,000.

Zachary Sutton to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 762 Winding Creek Court, $157,000.

Larry Dale Kent Jr. to American Homes 4 Rent Properties Eight LLC, 110 Tyler St., $130,000.

William C. Easler Jr. and Jackie G. Easler to Roxie Craycraft and Bonnie M. Craycraft, parcel ID 076063, $555,000.

Ivey Residential LLC to Evan W. Godwin II, 2645 Waites Drive, $185,125.

Ivey Residential LLC to Juan F. Jimenez-Cueto, 2544 Ravenna Lane, $247,190.

Christine Elaine Dron to William W. Jenks and Teresa B. Jenks, parcel ID 062987, $193,000.

Harry F. Goeringer as trustee of the Harry F. Goeringer III Living Trust dated March 21, 2001, to Rasp Investments LLC, 4159 Wheeler Road, $260,000.

Kathy Bryan Dunaway as administrator of the Marion Bryan last will and testament to Scott Brown, 211 Hayne Drive, $40,000.

Joseph S. Carswell Jr. to Awicklow 521 LLC, 3918 Loblolly Trail, $135,000.

Bill Beazley Homes Inc. to Randy A. Hirneisen, 1661 Cedar Hill Drive, $134,000.

Fannie Mae aka Federal National Mortgage Association to Walter A. Dachenhausen III and Katie Dachenhausen, 1026 Emerald Place, $312,000.

Ryan D. Williams to Forrest D. Roebuck and Joanne Roebuck, 537 Edgecliff Lane, $80,000.

Joshua H. Smith to Georgia Subcontracting Professionals
LLC, 4728 Rhett Drive,
$8,500.

Metro Homesites LLC to Keystone Homes Inc., parcel ID 0611907, $34,000.

Categories: Local

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