News you can use

Chris Thelen/Staff
Celeste Ray (left) and Susan Yarborough, of Augusta, try to stay dry while walking along Broad Street in Augusta. Today's forecast calls for more rainy weather, with temperatures in the 50s.

Officials say one of the most important things you can do is have a smoke alarm installed.


- Most fires happen at night when people are asleep.

- Smoke, not flames, causes most fire deaths.

- The smoke given off by some furnishing materials becomes toxic in the air and can kill very quickly.

- Smoke does not wake people and actually puts them into a deeper sleep.

- A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of death in a fire by nearly 50 percent.

Source: Pam Tucker, Columbia County's emergency services director


AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: 3 p.m. vs. Anderson University, Christenberry Fieldhouse, 3109 Wrightsboro Road;

CHURCH PRODUCTION: 10:30 a.m., Savannah Rapids Pavilion; Church of the Holy Comforter will present a free Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, with music and a performance by ballerina Julia Morgan; (706) 210-1133.


'80s Night: 9 p.m., Soul Bar, 984 Broad St.;

CELEBRATION MENU AND ENTERTAINMENT: The Verandah Grill, The Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way; seating times 6 and 8 p.m.; or call (706) 737-8888.

NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY: 9 p.m., Eagle's Nest Lounge, Ramada Plaza Hotel, 640 Broad St.; $10 at door; DJ; (706) 722-5541.

NEW YEAR'S EVE BASH: 7 p.m., Coyotes, 2514 Peach Orchard Road;

NEW YEAR'S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA: 9 p.m., Cream, 1511 North Leg Road; free champagne when you walk in the door, balloon drop, cash door prize.

SABO AND THE SCORCHERS: Wild Wing Cafe, 3035 Washington Road; free champagne toast and party favors; $3 wine, $3 wells, $1 off all draft; (706) 364-9453.

BLACK MOTIVATED WOMEN INC. EVENT: 9 p.m., Quality Inns and Suites, 1052 Claussen Road; $20 single, $30 couple in advance; at the door: $30 single, $50 couple; buffet, champagne, cash bar;

THE WHITE PARTY: Monday; Tropicabana Latin Night Club, 1253 Broad St.; live music, balloon drop, champagne at midnight and dance contests; to register for the contest, call (706) 828-8500.

NEW YEAR'S EVE BASH: 9 p.m., Modjeska, 813 Broad St.; door prizes, balloon drop at midnight; (706) 303-9700.

NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY: 6:30 p.m., Augusta Elks Lodge 205, 205 Elkdom Court; cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, buffet dinner, music, balloon drop, champagne, coffee and continental breakfast; $40 per person, $75 per couple; (706) 869-9203.

GREG HESTER, KEITH JENKINS, FRED THOMAS AND DANNY RAY: 10 p.m., The Mission, 1157 Broad St.; (706) 722-1233.

MARRIOTT FESTIVITIES: 7 p.m., Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites, 2 10th St.; $269 per couple, includes deluxe guest room, six drink tickets, champagne toast at midnight, dinner and breakfast buffet for two; (706) 722-8900,

PRIME RIB AND SEAFOOD BUFFET: 5-10 p.m., DoubleTree Hotel, 2651 Perimeter Parkway; $24.95, includes a glass of champagne; (706) 855-8100.

PARTY: 8 p.m., 209 Music Lounge, 4 Eighth St.; Eric Mayweather with Brown Sugar Band; party favors, champagne, hors d'oeuvres, brunch; $40 person, $75 per couple; (706) 722-6588.

GALA WITH THE MIKE SWIFT DUO: American Legion Post 205, 2102 Highland Ave.; with food, champagne, party favors and breakfast; (706) 733-4069.

BLACK SHEEP AND CHAMPAGNE GIVEAWAY: 8 p.m., Joe's Underground, 144 Eighth St.; $5 at door; (706) 724- 9457.

CUIZINE CELEBRATION: Cuizine, 100 Laurens St., Aiken; with chef's tasting menu $60, three-course menu $45 (both with festive dessert sampler and champagne toast); reservations accepted; (803) 644-1234.