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MEETS: Second Friday of the month at 7 p.m. in the University of South Carolina Aiken Science Building.

MEMBERSHIP: Annual dues are $20 for a family or $15 for an individual.

MISSION: To stimulate interest in the collection of gem, fossil and mineral materials; to impart knowledge of lapidary work, mineralogy, collecting and classification of minerals; and the application of the art so greater pleasure may be derived from these activities.

CONTACT: For more information, go to

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Grad rates show improvement by local school systems

Graduation rates in both Richmond and Columbia counties followed the statewide trend of slow and steady increases in 2014, although progress in individual schools varied greatly.
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