News you can use

Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Terrance Hankerson enjoys some morning exercise on the basketball court at Riverview Park in North Augusta.


Tips for shopping during the holiday season:


- Shop after 6 p.m. the evening before a sale is advertised to begin. The registers might already be programmed to ring up the sale price. Ask sales associates about any possible upcoming sales.

- Prepare a list, with alternative items.

- Shop early or late to avoid the biggest crowds.

- If you're looking for a specific item, bring the whole ad so you look for the right product at the right store.

- Staple a gift receipt to the merchandise tag to make returns or exchanges easy.

Source: National Retail Foundation


WARRENTON HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS: Downtown Warrenton, Ga.; carriage rides, hayrides, Santa's workshop, open houses in shops, music, candlelit suppers, live nativity, roasted marshmallows and apple slices; (706) 465-9604

THE PERFECT GIFT: 7-9 p.m. through Saturday; Whole Life Ministries, 2621 Washington Road; sidewalk presentation of life of Christ

MARTINEZ-EVANS OPTIMIST CLUB MEETING: Noon at the Jones Creek Clubhouse; (706) 830-5730

TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY): 6 p.m. at Grovetown United Methodist Church, 206 E. Robinson Ave.; nonprofit weight-loss support group; (706) 863-0726

SECOND ANNUAL CLAYWORKS CHRISTMAS SHOW AND SALE: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center for Creative Economies Gallery, 504 Main St., Edgefield

THIRD ANNUAL EVENING OF CHRISTMAS CELTIC GUITAR: 7:30 p.m. at Thomson's Historic Depot; tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; (706) 597-1000

FORT GORDON SIGNAL CORPS BAND CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church on Walton Way Extension; the band and the Augusta State University Wind Ensemble will play holiday music; free

COLUMBIA COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION: 6:30 p.m. at the Evans Government Center Auditorium, 630 Ronald Reagan Drive; (706) 868-3400

AUGUSTA COMMISSION, 2008 BUDGET SESSION: 1 p.m., commission chambers, eighth floor, municipal building, 530 Greene St.

AUGUSTA COMMISSION, REGULAR MEETING: 2 p.m., commission chambers, eighth floor, municipal building, 530 Greene St.

COMMUNITYWIDE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM: 7 p.m. at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2261 Walton Way; with David Stayner; (706) 733-8838

LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH: 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 29, Interstate 20 at Louisville Road, Grovetown; closed Christmas Day; $7 adults, $3 children 6-17; children 5 and younger free; free parking; (706) 825-6441,