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JANUARY 15, 2015

Table of Contents Ruffin’ It

Local News

Page 7

Page 10


Jenny Is Wright

Page 12

Page 17


Kris Fisher

Page 32

Page 18

The 8

Austin Rhodes

Page 36

Page 38

What will Augusta do about downtown parking?

2016 Electric Boogaloo

And They Lived Happily Ever After

Tolling in Georgia

No Parents, Let’s Party!

Can Senator Jones Solve This Problem?


Fine Whine The new reporters in Augusta don’t know the difference between Summerville and Forest Hills. The TV and radio readers are no better.


Thumbs UP


Save Taco Bell! The chain’s first ever location, located in Downey, California, and opened in 1962, may soon be torn down.

Dammit, now we want a Crunchwrap Supreme!

Renewing the “County Attorney” Debate ALL RIGHT, so last week when Mayor Pro Tem Grady Smith was appointed to his new position, there was a lot of talk about whether or not he owed Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams an enormous favor. The rumor was that Smith was now willing to support Williams’ crusade to fire General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie because he helped Smith get the necessary votes to become mayor pro tem. Well, it appears the deal has been tweaked a bit. This week, Williams brought up the decade-old debate over whether AugustaRichmond County should utilize a “county attorney” as lead counsel alongside its current practice of a general counsel heading the law department. Behaving more civilly toward MacKenzie this week, Williams did not act like a commissioner going for the general counsel’s throat. Instead, it appears that Williams has come up with a new plan to hire a “county attorney” who would report directly to the Augusta Commission and handle the county’s primary legal concerns. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE



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In Williams’ grand plan, MacKenzie would remain in charge of the law department and handle items such as reviewing city contracts, dealing with real estate matters and managing minor lawsuits facing the city. But a proposed county attorney would address any legal concerns directly relating to the Augusta Commission. When Augusta Commissioner Bill Fennoy asked MacKenzie the difference between a “general counsel” and a “county attorney,” the answer was a bit baffling. “A county attorney holds the chief legal office for a county government,” MacKenzie said. “The term of general counsel is used to indicate a person who wears two hats. That is, a person who acts as both city attorney and performs the functions as the county attorney.” Hmmm... But Fennoy pressed MacKenzie to further explain the differences. “Who would report to who?” Fennoy asked, already seemingly comfortable with the idea that the commission may hire a new county attorney. “That would be determined by the commission,” MacKenzie said. Williams seemed pleased with MacKenzie’s answers. So, for now, it doesn’t appear that Williams is looking to ax MacKenzie anymore. Only shift things around a bit. “This body would decide who would do what,” Williams told the commission’s administrative services committee this week. “But the county attorney would not be in the law department, is my thinking. It would be up to the county attorney to advise this

body as to what this body is supposed to do to stay out of trouble. That is what the county attorney has always done.” And MacKenzie would be sort of watching on the sidelines. “The general counsel would handle the other things around this government that come up that is legal, maybe even some court cases,” Williams said. Simply put, Williams wants MacKenzie out of his hair. If MacKenzie doesn’t mind shuffling papers in the law department, it looks like Williams is willing to back down from attempting to fire him just as long as the commission agrees to hire a new county attorney. Could it be that Williams actually misses some of the past county attorneys, such as Jim Wall and Steve Shepherd, who he treated like dirt in the past? Apparently, MacKenzie and Augusta’s law department have taught Williams a valuable lesson: You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Oh, for the good ol’ days with Jim Wall or Steve Shepherd at the helm of the city’s legal issues. To this day, department directors still rave about Wall’s legal advice and direction in serious matters facing the city. For about 10 years, Wall, a highly-respected local attorney, served as county attorney until the Augusta Commission began discussing the creation of an in-house law department. By that time, Wall knew it was time to move on. After all, he had served the position with distinction for almost decade. Before Wall, his former partner, Bob Daniel, had been the county attorney for approximately 20 years prior to his sudden death in 1993. Under both Daniel’s and Wall’s legal representation, Augusta was a force to be reckoned with. Lawsuits were often dropped because attorneys did not want to mess with Augusta. Let’s just say, that not always the case anymore. Augusta’s reputation is not as strong with its current in-house law department. Now, it’s not all bad. Wall, along with several other outstanding private attorneys such as Jim Ellison and Jim Plunkett, are still performing private work for the county on a regular basis with larger lawsuits or contracts facing the county. But it’s for a price. Getting quality legal advice usually costs the county a pretty penny. Now, all of a sudden, Williams is feeling nostalgic and wants a “county attorney” who he can bump heads with on a regular basis. The only problem, there won’t be too many reputable local attorneys racing to get that gig. And, in the end, there will likely be huge costs associated with Augusta having both a county attorney and a general counsel. How much? Taxpayers really won’t want to know.


has developed the reputation as the area’s top deadbeat funkmeister (henceforth known as DF); more often than not, sources say, he does not pay unsuspecting musicians what they are owed. In one recent case brought to our attention, DF spent almost half a year exchanging texts with a fellow musician, the whole time trying to get out of paying him the $250 DF promised him from a gig in Charleston. The Metro Spirit has seen those texts and the excuses are laughable. There are also stories of borrowed gear that was never returned and band equipment stolen, pawned or sold outright. Promoters screwing musicians is one thing; it almost comes with the territory. But a musician screwing a fellow musician? That crosses the


line. How has this gone on so long? One well-known soundman says it’s because DF is quite the smooth talker. Who is this DF? We won’t name names (yet), but you can head downtown this Thursday night to check out his band when they perform at Augusta’s most famous funk bar. If you’re feeling generous, toss a few sheckles in the tip jar. Maybe then he can at least pay off the $250 he owes one of his many “friends.” Hopefully DF will soon clean up his act and start living up to his obligations. Or at least find another place to perform. The irony? This particular guitarist met DF at church. Ouch.



Hardie’s First Week in Office OVERALL, Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis has received high marks from insiders within the Marble Palace during his first week in office. Whenever you are the new kid on the block, especially when you are in a leadership role, that transition can be more than a little tough. After all, as soon as you walk into the building, all eyes are on you, and one little misstep can be someone’s first impression of the new mayor of Augusta. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone. One lesson that Davis may have already learned this past week is it’s not always wise to lean too heavily on your old buddies when you are trying to develop new relationships. Such was the case last week when Davis organized a joint meeting of the local legislative delegation and the Augusta Commission. Davis, who served initially as a state representative in 2007 and then a state senator after being elected in 2010, knows most of the members of the local legislative delegation very well. Since he’s worked with many of them for more than seven years, they have a close relationship. But Davis has been mayor for one week. And while he’s known many of the Augusta commissioners for quite some time, this is the first time he has actually been their “colleague.” So, let’s just say, it’s kind of like Davis is a former baseball player for the Atlanta Braves who just accepted a new position as the head coach of the Augusta GreenJackets. When he runs into the dugout to guide his new minor league team to a winning season, he better not be wearing a navy blue cap with a white letter A on it. Davis is now a GreenJacket, so to speak. Not a Brave. And it’s time for him to completely embrace it. And one way to fully accept that role is to make sure that you communicate with your new team, particularly if you are arranging an important meeting with state elected officials. Here is what went down this week: Apparently, Mayor Davis and State Rep. Wayne Howard have been discussing putting together a joint meeting between the Augusta Commission and the local legislative delegation since November. However, the Augusta commissioners did not know about the planned meeting until this week. Not good. “We wanted to make sure that we are on the same page,” Howard said during his opening remarks to the commission and delegation. “We may not always agree on everything, but there are some major issues when it comes to growth for this city that we care about.” “We all put our name on the dotted line to serve. And being a servant means that all of us care about our city, our districts and our state,” Howard added. “So we wanted to make sure that we put items on the table that mean a lot to the city and this state.” Sounds good, until you realize the “we” in that statement did not include the Augusta commissioners. Most of the commissioners did not have any input in putting together the agenda which included a list of topics to discuss with the delegation. “Mayor Davis and I started this conversation about having this meeting back in November,” Howard said. “We’ve been touching base since November and here we are today to bring it to fruition.” When Howard said the word, “November,” Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams immediately sat up and took notice. Then, it was Mayor Davis’ turn to speak. “This is a new opportunity for us to come together collectively,” Davis said. “Over the last several years, we have not done this... This is a way for us to start those conversations. I think it is vitally important for us in the local government to understand that the state and local governments are partners in this process.” From there the delegation and commission began discussing a number of topics impacting the area, such as transportation projects, the expansion of Fort Gordon, the issues relating to the GBI Crime Lab and concerns about private probation. But before the delegation and commission got too far into the agenda, Marion Williams directed a comment towards the new mayor. “This is a great gathering and I’m glad we are here,” Williams said, adding that such meetings with the local legislative delegation and the commission occurred years ago. 15JANUARY2015

However, in the past, such meetings were done a little differently, Williams said. “We always had this kind of stuff laid out to be able to come together and talk about so everybody would know what direction we are going in,” Williams said. “We, as a elected body, most times would sit down and talk and lay some things out and then prioritize those things and then meet with the legislative delegation and say, ‘Hey look, these are things that are on our radar.’” This time around, the commission was completely unaware of the meeting and the items scheduled to be discussed on the agenda until a few days prior to the meeting, Williams said. “I understand the mayor is coming in new, but you just stated that you and Rep. Howard had a conversation back in November talking about some things. And it is good that we are doing that,” Williams said. “But I just think that we might have had some answers if some dialogue had been shared earlier than today.” In response, Mayor Davis said his main concern was to revive a close working relationship between the Augusta Commission and the legislative delegation. “As it relates to our conversations in November, we did not have an agenda,” the mayor said. “We just knew that it was extremely important for us to reengage both the state delegation and our local elected officials because we have not had these conversations in a long time. And that’s really what we are hoping to accomplish today, to start those conversations.” While Williams was the only one to publicly speak up in the meeting about his concerns, he wasn’t the only one who felt a bit slighted by not being allowed to help establish the agenda. Augusta Commissioner Mary Davis had publicly told the media prior to the meeting that she would like to discuss with the legislative delegation the possibility of giving City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson the authority to hire and fire department heads. Currently, the city charter states that department directors can be hired or fired by the Augusta Commission with simply six votes. Some commissioners believe that allows for elected officials to meddle in city business and micromanage city department heads. But, despite the fact that Commissioner Davis publicly said she wished to discuss the matter during the meeting, her request didn’t make it on the agenda. The meeting ran long and it was abruptly adjourned before the mayor even asked if there was any further business to be discussed. Immediately after the meeting, when WJBF Senior Reporter George Eskola asked Commissioner Davis what happened to her item about the hiring and firing power, she simply shrugged and said, “They set their own agenda.” A little advice Mayor Davis: Talk to commissioners. They will appreciate that simple consideration more than you’ll ever know. AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



Who’s Driving That Car? OKAY, LET’S TAKE CARE OF THE PRIORITY ITEMS FIRST. This past Monday was the college championship football game. I’m sure the game was good, but that’s not what was important. In case you missed it, our hometown supergroup, Lady Antebellum, sung the national anthem. Best national anthem ever. Yeah, I know, it’s not their first rodeo. But something about the arrangement and the harmonies… dang it, you just got to love it when the local boys have done good. So speaking of football, I was one of the few people in Augusta who travelled to see my team play and win a major bowl this year. My team hardly gets any coverage in the local press, but perhaps you’ve heard of them, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Again, if you track the local sports guys, you may not realize that Georgia Tech is actually located in the state of Georgia, just up the road in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets went to the Orange Bowl, and gave Mississippi State all they could handle. It was a great game, and we had a great time. After all, it’s always fun beatin’ the dawgs. Eventually, celebration time ended, and we needed to head back to Augusta. Normally, the nine-hour drive from Miami isn’t that big a deal, but this year was Christmas with the in-laws in Austin. The day before driving to Miami, my family enjoyed the 16-hour ride back from Texas. It was lovely — the 5 a.m. departure, the 7 a.m. car sick episode, the 11 a.m. “I’m hungry” meltdown, the 1-5:30 p.m. Austin & Ally marathon (broken headphones), the 6 p.m. “I’m hungry” meltdown, and the final three hours of “Are we there yet?” (A cold beer never tasted so good.) So needless to say, the drive back from Miami was longer than usual. By the time we got through Statesboro, I don’t think my wife or I particularly cared if we took another road trip for the rest of our life. So when some automakers presented a host of self-driving cars this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, I took a great interest. I’ve always believed that driverless cars would greatly improve the highways. Let’s face it — pretty much all drivers are idiots. The guy in front of you always drives too slow while the guy behind you always drives to fast. No one goes when the light turns green, nobody stops when the light turns red, everyone is on his or her phone, and no one is paying attention. The No. 1 cause of automobile accidents is human error, so what could be better than taking the human out of the loop? The driver assist packages should be the first technology to make it into production. Adaptive cruise control is standard on most high-end cars, and the feature is quickly making its way into mid-range price models. The adaptive cruise control monitors the speed and distance to the car directly ahead and adjusts the car’s speed accordingly to maintain a safe distance. The innovations presented at CES 2015 showcase lane-keeping assist. The lane-keeping assist monitors lane lines and other traffic to ensure the car stays in its lane and avoids obstacles. The combination of speed and position awareness allows the driver to set the controls and relax during a long highway trip or through bumper-tobumper rush hour traffic. To demonstrate advances in the technology, Audi self-drove its driverless model from San Jose to Las Vegas to start the conference. Several other companies, including BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen, all demonstrated their take at autonomous navigation. The vision for the future is starting to take shape. For a trip into the city, one would simply set the destination into the computer. The car would autonomously navigate the route. At the destination, the passengers would exit the car. Here’s one of my favorite parts. The car would locate a parking area and park itself ! When the passengers are ready to go, they would simply signal the car on their smartphone, and it would come pick them up. According to the press reports, the driver assist packages should start showing up in high-end models within the next couple of years. The autonomous navigation will likely take a little longer. But hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before we can take trip to Grandma’s or a bowl game and let the car do all the work. @gregory_a_baker

GREGORY BAKER PH.D. is vice president of CMA Technology and, yes, is actually a rocket scientist who used his doctorate in aerospace engineering at Lockheed Martin. In addition to working at CMA, he also serves the community, sitting on several boards in the area. 15JANUARY2015


2016 Electric Boogaloo I DON’T TALK ABOUT POLITICS MUCH ANYMORE, either in this space or in my day to day life. I eschew this for the same reason I don’t drink milk before going for a 12-mile run: it makes me cramped and gassy, and there’s a fairly good chance that white liquid will start spewing from my nose. It’s tough; without some semblance of political institution, it’s difficult to say how far we’d have developed beyond simple indulgence of our baser tendencies. On the other hand, it’s also given rise to a new kind of platform, a medium in which well-connected individuals can say, and sometimes act, with impunity, inciting fringe elements of their base constituency, and acting as enablers and apologists: see our pervasive, worsening gun violence problem — with its blatantly racial overtones — for the most obvious example. Politics can be little more than a coliseum for s**t-flinging, and our current predicament is depressingly representative. See, that’s another problem: I get off the rails pretty easily. We went from dairy vomit to political discourse in the blink of an eye, which… well, okay, that actually kind of makes my point far more eloquently and succinctly than I’d planned. In any case, the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida has underscored a few things that have gotten me interested again, not the least of which is HOLY CRAP SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN FLORIDA. Granted, Florida is state of many faces, facets and contradictions — large numbers of gay and immigrant residents, yet a politically conservative state overall — but this should drag Alabama and Mississippi right along with it in the ensuring political undertow. Of course, everyone is looking to see how Jeb Bush is going to handle this. A near shoo-in to continue the Bush legacy in the 2000 election, he instead chose to continue governing Florida, which in turn lead to that other guy whose name I forget being foisted upon us. He recently gave a sound-bite to a reporter who caught him coming off the golf course in response to the same-sex marriage situation in Florida, and it underscores three things about the 2016 election:


Looking at the list of high-profile GOP figures, only Bobby Jindal stands out. He has a pretty stellar conservative record, both fiscally and ideologically; he opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage, 100 percent; opposes abortion except in the most extreme of cases, though is open to the exploration of stem cell research, and boasts an A rating from the National Rifle Association. He’s also of Indian descent, and would sate those in the GOP who clamor for a symbol of what they insist is a multicultural, multiethnic party. The problem, however, is the same one that Bush would be facing, and the same one that did in McCain and Romney in the 2008 and 2012 elections: like I mentioned, any Republican who hopes to make it through the primaries has to swing as hard right as possible in order to appease the base. McCain, long a voice of reason within the GOP, became a pandering shadow; Romney, architect of Obamacare (really!), railed against the president’s plan for universal healthcare in 2012. Then, when they got to the general election, they had generated too many crazysounding quotes in order for the country as a whole to put any trust in them. Between Bush and Jindal, Bush wins here, and it’s purely a matter of name value. It’s body armor, a built-in defensive measure against cries of being disingenuous. He has the legacy, the muscle, all the advantage that comes along with it.



Here is his quote, in its entirety: “It ought be a local decision. I mean, a state decision… The state decided. The people of the state decided. But it’s been overturned by the courts, I guess.” That’s a waffling response if ever there was one. Granted, Bush was just coming from a round of golf, but he’s been in the game long enough to know that he needs to have a press-ready response to any developing situation, and this ain’t it. It’s nearly impossible to evoke or detect inflection in print, but his tone seems at best resigned, at worst ambivalent. The good news: taken within its own context, this quote is encouraging to those who feared that Bush might come out swinging against the measure. While he isn’t governor anymore, he still holds a mighty degree of sway in the state, owing both to his political tenure and to the legacy of his name. The flippancy of his response indicates that Bush is resigned to the law not only being there to stay, but to the notion that this is but one of many ripples in the trajectory of same-sex rights in the country. The bad news, at least for Bush, is that he’s going to get destroyed in the primaries for both the flippancy of the response and for the acceptance that it indicates. It also doesn’t instill much confidence in his ability to navigate the inevitable scrutiny of his supporting W’s foreign policies. Still, if he can survive that dogfight, he should make it to the actual election.


the previous 1,023 words.

Many have already pointed this out, but if Jeb or Hillary win in 2016 — as is inevitable — then we’re looking at a scenario in which, for the last 22 years, only eight of them were spent with a Clinton or a Bush not running the country. And even during Obama’s tenure, members of those families have had a major hand in American politics: Hillary as senator and then secretary of state, Jeb Bush as Florida governor. 2016 is, honestly, kind of whatever. What will be interesting, however, is seeing how Americans respond afterwards, when the statistics and all their implications start to pile up. Fair or not, the Bushes and Clintons will come to embody a bipartisan ruling class, and that could be a game-changer. Or we all may just keep with the flinging. Yeah, that’s probably what’ll happen. Disregard

JOSH RUFFIN is a long way from home, having moved from Augusta to Middleton, Wisconsin, with his wife, Michelle. He is a self-described beer guru, so most of his Twitter posts are about what he’s drinking. While drinking, he enjoys writing poetry and watching MMA fights… or writing poetry about MMA fights.





Have something you want to get off your chest? Send your whines to Oh, and the whines may be edited for content but will pretty much be printed exactly as you type them.

“You can’t say you believe in ‘open and transparent government’ I can trust Sonny Pittman to represent my views on the Augusta and yet insist on secrecy.” I’m so proud I live in District 7 and can Commission. I don’t know the man that Grady Smith put in District vote for Sonny Pittman to be my Augusta Commissioner. 7’s seat or why he did it. But, I know and trust Mr. Pittman. I’m going to send Smith a message on March 17th. And I’m calling by friends Participants and readers of online forums, discussion groups, and to ask that they vote for Sonny. facebook pages too lazy to open a link to supporting proof of their opponent’s position, or to provide their own, aren’t there for serious May we ask the Augusta National to please consider having a booth debate and aren’t worth our time. near the road again which can sell at least a few items Masters items? Like a few years ago? Instead of letting certain people profit Re: Accountability Court, Feature. As a sober alcoholic, when I had up to 20 folds of the original value gouging other folks, you would run ins with the law, it was all about money. They hit you with extra have even more grateful customers even if they can’t get in the gates charges to increase their profit. Justice is for people that can afford at all. You still have those green little “huts” around across the it in Georgia. If you have money, you will walk in a second unless you street from the people gates, at least on the Berckman Road side. kill someone. How about it, folks? Some golf balls again? Postcards? Note cards? Key chains? Please?

being on the + le p eo p g in ew r c - apparently “s it DOES = changing you name”. If Spir cover of the Metrinog the alias of Campbell Justin w tak t “Scamming Cam “enino tent to deceive I do not know wha doesn’t prove th does.


Special District rezoning for churches is unlawful. Ever read the supreme court cases? These people deserve refunds for the rezoning fees at the very least. Shame on CC and it’s incompetent law department.

The new reporters in Augusta don’t know the difference between Summerville and Forest Hills. The TV and radio readers are no better. The problem for the Democratic Party is that there are still too many of us out there who recognize BS when we see and hear it. The brothers down at the lodge hall can afford trees for Broad ST? They cant even afford to cut the grass. Should have sent trees to South Augusta. More tax money downtown.

In the article on Cornel West, it stated he was an expert on race relations. By comparison then, Atilla the Hun was an expert on negociation, Stalin was an expert on prison reform. Hitler was an expert on personal relations. When are we going to stop giving credence to people like this. Yes, they make good print, but a raciest is a raciest. Color does not matter.








What Will Augusta Do About Downtown Parking? THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY had

grand plans for a state-of the-art parking system along Broad Street with new computerized meters that would be so user friendly that the public would embrace them. That was the dream. The reality, however, was quite different when the city of Augusta held two public meetings to discuss downtown parking along the Broad Street corridor, which is generally defined as the areas between Fifth Street to 13th Street bounded by Jones Street to the north and Ellis Street to the south. The public was less than thrilled about parking meters, no matter how fancy and easy to use they would be for the downtown area. “I think people were saying definitely no to meters. We are not ready for that yet,” DDA Executive Director Margaret Woodard told the Augusta Commission’s administrative services committee this week. Interim Deputy Administrator Steve Cassell said the majority of the people who attended both public meetings on Dec. 9 agreed that there was a parking problem on Broad Street, particularly between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Approximately 70 people attended each of the meetings the city held, Cassell said. One interesting fact that Woodard said she learned from the public meeting was several downtown business owners admitted that their employees generally park on Broad Street instead of finding alternate spaces on the side streets or designated parking lots. “There are 700 to 800 cars that you can count on a daily basis that are all-day parkers,” Woodard said. Since receiving that information, Woodard said the DDA has canvased the downtown area, asking business owners exactly how many parking spaces they need for their employees. “We started meeting with private property owners who have lots and said, ‘Would you do a decal system?’” Woodard said. “We have one property owner who owns nine lots downtown that are well-lit and safe and convenient to businesses.” The only problem with a parking decal system is the employees have to embrace the program, Woodard said. “I think a lot of businesses, I believe, would invest in a decal system for their employees,” Woodard said. “However, if you don’t change the culture on the street, employees may have that decal but they are still going to want to pull up, right in front... well, maybe not in front of their own store, but in front of the store across the street.” As a result of the public meetings, Cassell and Woodard suggested that the city update its parking ordinance to enforce the two-hour parking limit on Broad Street. “I think really what people are more frustrated with is the fact that it isn’t enforced,” Cassell said. “People are parking there all day.” And if a person happens to get a ticket for exceeding the two-hour limit, they are currently not required to pay the fine, Cassell said. “Broad Street continues to grow and the parking problem keeps getting worse,” Cassell said. “We are just not enforcing the limits at all. Anybody who pays a parking ticket on Broad Street is doing it out of the kindness of 10 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

their heart because there is really no way we have of going after them.” Augusta Commissioner Bill Fennoy, who represents the downtown area in District 1, asked whether changing the ordinance would actually solve the parking problem on Broad Street. “I wouldn’t say it would solve it. It would at least improve it,” Cassell said. “It is doing something. We haven’t done anything in eight years. But I think it all starts with the ordinance.” Fennoy said he wasn’t against updating the city’s parking ordinance, but he felt the downtown area also needed to look at a comprehensive plan for the future.

“We started meeting with private property owners who have lots and said, ‘Would you do a decal system?’” Margaret Woodard said. “We have one property owner who owns nine lots downtown that are welllit and safe and convenient to businesses.”

by Stacey Eisdon

Augusta Commissioner Ben Hasan questioned whether the city would enforce the parking ordinance by having an individual walk along Broad Street marking tires with chalk. He said any enforcement of such an ordinance was going to cost the county a lot of money in the long run. Woodard said the DDA is proposing another method of monitoring cars on Broad Street. “The system that we are proposing right now is not chalking tires,” she said. “It is using a technology that you could partner with meters. It is handheld where staff would be on the street and would be able to take pictures with time limits.” The DDA is also suggesting an “appeals process” for the parking tickets. “We went to Charlotte and they have an appeals process where, once a month, if you want to appeal a ticket, you come before a committee that usually have retired judges and retired police officers and you can appeal your ticket instead of having to create a court,” Woodard said. “That has worked quite well in Charlotte.” However, to enforce the parking ordinance downtown, Woodard estimated it would still cost the city approximately $250,000 a year. “Two dollars and fifty cents?” Hasan jokingly asked, shaking his head. “That is what I’m talking about. Changing the ordinance now is really just a Band-Aid or putting a bow on it at the end of the day.” In the end, the city’s administrative services committee unanimously voted to have Woodard meet with General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie to discuss updating the city’s parking ordinance.

“In order to solve the problem, we are going to have to put our heads together and develop a comprehensive plan that is going to really address the problems and look at alternatives of something that will actually work,” Fennoy said.



Valentine’s Day


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Tolling in Georgia

The Georgia Legislature plans to address whether to legalize tolling practices by courts and private probation companies in misdemeanor cases by Stacey Eisdon DESPITE THE FACT that the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November

that the practice of tolling sentences by courts and private probation companies in misdemeanor cases is illegal, it appears the issue will again take center stage under Georgia’s gold dome this year. There is a great deal of pressure on state legislators to consider a bill that would attempt to reverse the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision and again make it legal for judges and private probation companies to indefinitely extend a probation sentence, a practice called “tolling.” Basically, such a bill would restore the authority of courts and private probation companies such as Sentinel Offender Services to extend sentences in misdemeanor cases beyond the length of an individual’s original sentence for failing to complete the conditions of probation. Under Georgia law, there is a maximum sentence of 12 months for a misdemeanor conviction. The proposed bill could potentially be a huge slap in the Supreme Court’s face. The justices’ ruling was clear and specific in November. “With respect to a misdemeanor conviction, sentences are fixed at one year and once a sentence has been served, jurisdiction over the defendant ceases,” wrote Chief Justice Hugh Thompson in the Nov. 24 decision. However, just last month, members of Augusta’s local legislative delegation met with Richmond County State Court Chief Judge Richard Slaby, who urged them to consider the proposed bill that would legalize tolling. “We met a couple of weeks ago with State Court Judge Slaby to get a briefing on just how that process works,” said state Rep. Wayne Howard, adding that a new proposed bill will likely resemble House Bill 837 which was vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal in an 11thhour move last April before the legislative session ended. The bill would have expanded the authority and powers of private probation companies, but Deal objected to the bill’s language because it would have kept operational information concerning such private probation companies hidden from the public. “House Bill 837 provides updates and certain expansions to the role of private companies in the administration of probation services in Georgia,” Gov. Deal wrote 12 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

in his veto statement last year. “There is language in this legislation that would exempt certain key information about private probation services from the Georgia Open Records Act. I favor more transparency over private probation services and therefore I am not in favor of this information being exempt from the Georgia Open Records Act.” The Southern Center for Human Rights — a nonprofit, public interest law firm dedicated to challenging human rights violations — applauded the governor’s actions, stating the bill would have been “a legislative gift to the private probation industry, with no corresponding benefit to the public.” “In courts around Georgia, people who are charged with misdemeanors and cannot pay their fines that day in court are placed on probation, most under the supervision of for-profit companies until they pay their fines,” stated Sarah Geraghty, the senior attorney for the SCHR, in a press release following the governor’s decision. “On probation, they must pay these companies substantial monthly ‘supervision fees’ that may double the amount that a person of means would pay for the same offense.” The fact is, private companies supervise about 80 percent of all people on probation for misdemeanors in Georgia.

“I personally received a lot of emails and complaints from citizens here that were concerned about due process of law,” State Rep. Gloria Frazier said. “Specifically, complaints about the private probation company coming out and imposing additional fees for fines and stuff that these folks on probation didn’t even know that they had.” 15JANUARY2015


Under the leadership of the private probation industry, Georgia has the highest rate of people on probation of any state in the country, according to the SCHR. The Peach State reported 514,000 felony and misdemeanor probation cases in 2013. The majority — more than 300,000 — were misdemeanor cases. If HB 837 had it become law, Geraghty said the results would have been devastating for people on probation. “It would have permitted private companies to require electronic monitoring for misdemeanor and traffic offenses like driving without a license, failing to stop at a stop sign or possession of a small amount of marijuana,” she wrote in an April 29 statement. “Private companies like electronic monitoring because it makes them huge profits. They routinely charge over $2,000 per year for such monitoring in misdemeanor cases. This is in addition to criminal fines, probation fees and surcharges.” People with limited incomes could have easily faced probation revocation and jail due to the fact that they couldn’t pay the fees, Geraghty stated. “The misdemeanor probation system in Georgia is broken,” she said. “It prioritizes money collection over public safety and rehabilitation.” However, state Rep. Gloria Frazier, who sits on the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, said she anticipates a new version of the bill is definitely going to be on the table again during the 2015 legislative session.

“The misdemeanor probation system in Georgia is broken,” said Sarah Geraghty, the senior attorney for the Southern Center for Human Rights. “It prioritizes money collection over public safety and rehabilitation.” “It will probably be coming up in February,” Frazier said, adding that she has a number of concerns relating to complaints she has personally received regarding the treatment of probationers in Richmond County by Sentinel Offender Services. “I know I personally received a lot of emails and complaints from citizens here that were concerned about due process of law,” Frazier said. “Specifically, complaints about the private probation company coming out and imposing additional fees for fines and stuff that these folks on probation didn’t even know that they had.” While Frazier said she openly listened to Slaby’s reasons for supporting a future bill legalizing tolling, she said she had some concerns over the controversial bill and some of Sentinel’s practices in Richmond County. “The company has problems,” Frazier bluntly said. “Sentinel has problems here in Augusta. And what we are trying to do is iron these provisions out in this bill where our folks will not receive excessive fees for fines that they didn’t even know they had incurred. Because that is what is happening.” In fact, Frazier has heard from several constituents who have said that Sentinel has been ruthless in its attempts to collect these excessive fees in the past. “What is happening is they are going on folks’ jobs and telling them they have to pay these fines or they are going to impose jail time,” Frazier said. “What it is, is that, Sentinel made a lot of money last year on these additional fines that were imposed.” Over the past several years, Sentinel, a private, for-profit probation, has been inundated by more than a dozen lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the statute that allows its existence. The cases alleged that Sentinel overcharged probationers and illegally collected fees, in some instances using incarceration to coerce payment from probationers. Following the Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling in November, attorneys for Sentinel filed a motion for reconsideration, claiming that if tolling is not permitted in misdemeanor cases that it puts judges’ authority over probationers in jeopardy. “If judges do not have authority to toll probated sentences, probationers will have unilateral authority to determine the length of their sentences,” attorney James Ellington wrote in his Dec. 4 filing on behalf of Sentinel. “Indeed, under the court’s ruling, if a probationer can avoid the conditions of probation until her initial term is concluded, she can nullify the effect of her sentence altogether.” In response, Augusta Attorney Jack Long, who represents the plaintiffs in the local lawsuits against Sentinel, filed a Dec. 10 brief opposing Sentinel’s claims. “Examples of the abuses of tolling go on and on,” Long wrote on Dec. 10. “The point is that Sentinel makes money from tolling at the expense of Georgia citizens. It is debt 15JANUARY2015

collection aided by the threat and use of incarceration to compel payment.” After reviewing both arguments, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously denied Sentinel’s motion for reconsideration and stood by its original ruling. It was a big blow to Sentinel and its extensive operations in Georgia. Founded in 1992, Sentinel Offender Services has grown into a powerful player in criminal justice systems around the country. Based in Irvine, California, the company has assets of nearly $32 million, and brought in nearly $5.6 million in revenues in 2012, according to disclosures filed in a separate, federal lawsuit. In Georgia, the bulk of the company’s business comes from collecting fines and fees for private probation and monitoring. Elsewhere, their contracts with municipalities to provide electronic monitoring bring in millions. But with powerful lobbyists for probation companies pushing for this new proposed bill in Georgia, Frazier said she realizes the bill will likely get the support its needs in Atlanta this year.

“Sentinel has problems here in Augusta,” State Rep. Gloria Frazier said. “And what we are trying to do is iron these provisions out in this bill where our folks will not receive excessive fees for fines that they didn’t even know they had incurred.” After all, Sentinel is no stranger to lobbying. Previously, lobbying efforts by DMS Inc., a private probation entity now bought by and absorbed into Sentinel, included a $75,000 bribe to Bobby Whitworth, the former head of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Whitworth was caught accepting the bribe to help pass legislation to benefit this industry and was subsequently convicted. Just last year, Sentinel reportedly spent significant sums of money lobbying for the passage HB 837. However, Frazier insists that there are members of the House who are determined to get a much fairer bill presented this session. “We are going to be making some changes in this bill to make it more affordable to the clients that have these additional fees. So, we look forward to having those debates in Atlanta,” Frazier said. “And, hopefully, Judge Slaby will join us in that conversation... because Sentinel charges such an exorbitant amount for their fees and their services.” AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



Just last year, Slaby strongly urged the Augusta Commission to renew its contract with Sentinel even after a scathing state audit was released criticizing many of the practices by private probation companies. The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts issued an independent audit report in April which analyzed contracts with private probation providers over a four-year period. The 73-page report included allegations that private probation companies were involved in activities such as seeking arrest warrants for probationers who had paid all their court fines, demanding fees for drug and alcohol testing that had not been ordered by the courts, using the threat of jail time to force indigent probationers to choose between paying monthly fees or buying food or other basic needs, paying themselves before paying the courts and poor record keeping. The audit report came up with approximately 50 examples of areas that needed to be fixed.

“Even when probation was public, under the Georgia Department of Corrections before, there was a probation fee,” said state Sen. Harold Jones. “That’s how you just don’t completely lose money.” Halloween Hustle, October 30

World Beer Festival Columbia


While Slaby told Augusta commissioners in October that it was a “very good audit” and that he had “incorporated” some of its suggestions in Sentinel’s 2015 contract with the county, critics said that very few substantive changes were made. And, specifically, no major changes were made to the contract to protect the rights of the probationers. When the local legislative delegation met with the Augusta commissioners this week to discuss their feelings about Sentinel and their reasons for approving the 2015 contract with the private company, some commissioners were surprised to hear that probationers were still paying excess fees to Sentinel. “It was my understanding that that had been resolved and they couldn’t do that any longer,” Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams said. “We asked Judge Slaby several times about whether (Sentinel) was the best company and the best way to do this. And he said he had researched it, he had looked at it, he had checked it out and he had stopped the additional fees. If that is still going on, this is the first I’m hearing about it.” Williams said he also felt more comfortable with Sentinel after Slaby informed the commission that the company had a year-to-year agreement with termination provisions in the contract. When Slaby went before the Augusta Commission earlier this year, he explained that all of the judges in Richmond County State Court were satisfied with Sentinel’s services. “We have all agreed that we would like to continue utilizing them,” Slaby said, adding that the State Court of Richmond County had utilized Sentinel since 1997. “They have always been very responsive to us. They have always been very diligent and professional in how they have dealt with us. Periodically, people complain about things. We have always looked into those complaints and we have always found a resolution or quite frankly found they aren’t valid.” 15JANUARY2015


From time to time, there are reports about people being abused by the system, but Slaby said he doesn’t tolerate such actions. “None of us will tolerate anybody being treated any other way than with courtesy,” Slaby said of the state court judges. “I’m not going tolerate them being abusive with people. I don’t believe in that. I believe you can accomplish a lot more by taking a more gentle tone with people.”

“What is happening is they are going on folks’ jobs and telling them they have to pay these fines or they are going to impose jail time,” State Rep. Gloria Frazier said. “Sentinel made a lot of money last year on these additional fines that were imposed.” “So, if anything comes to light that we don’t like,” Slaby added, “there are provisions for termination.” Freshman State Sen. Harold Jones, who is also a former Richmond County solicitor general, said the issue of tolling in misdemeanor cases must be addressed. “That is going to be the major issue I think coming back to the Assembly this year,” Jones said, adding that the real issue doesn’t involve private probation companies. Instead, he believes the issue is related to the policies and procedures in misdemeanor cases in general. “It is not a private probation question about tolling,” Jones said. “It is probation, period, about tolling, as far as misdemeanor sentences are concerned. So whether the county was running probation or a private company was running it, the question was whether you can toll a misdemeanor sentence. That is what we are going to have to answer.” Of course, Jones said he is not naive to the fact that private probation companies are in

the business to make a profit. “What you are dealing with when you are dealing with private companies is probationers fund probation,” he said. “In other words, probationers are basically funding it, where the county pays little or no money afterwards.” If the state forced private probation companies to lower those fees, the additional costs would fall back on the counties and taxpayers, Jones said. “One of the things that Judge Slaby told us was DeKalb County runs their own misdemeanor probation and they charge $51 a month as far as a fee is concerned,” Jones said. “Sentinel’s fee was like $41 a month. So, for a probationer living in DeKalb County, they are paying more than what our probationers are paying here.” The fact of the matter is, if the state of Georgia forces private probation companies to change its fee structure, Jones said companies such as Sentinel may no longer be interested in providing its services in the Peach State. “If you were to change those fees and come back with a new contract here in Richmond County, you may be in a situation where a private company says it is no longer profitable for them to stay and they get out of it,” Jones said. “And then that is when private probation falls on the county.” About 15 years ago, state legislation allowed counties throughout Georgia to consider the option of outsourcing misdemeanor probation services to private companies, Jones said. “But the statute doesn’t mandate private probation,” Jones told Augusta commissioners. “The statute says you guys and the chief judge can either sign a contract with a private company or he can sign a contract with the county. So, in reality, you guys can actually create a misdemeanor probation department, if you so choose.” But there would be extensive costs related to creating an entire probation department within Richmond County, Jones said. And while many probationers like to paint an ugly picture of private probation companies, any probation service will require fees to cover its operational costs. “Even when probation was public, under the Georgia Department of Corrections before, there was a probation fee,” Jones said. “That’s how you just don’t completely lose money.”

Be safe (and warm) this winter! Sig Cox will check all of your heating system’s connections, the gas pressure, burner combustion and your heat exchanger (A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation). Improperly operating gas (or oil) heating systems are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems.

Call today to schedule your pre-season checkup. 706.722.5304


Books as Art North Carolina author, artist and artisan to lead upcoming workshop

IF YOU ASK NORTH CAROLINA’S LAUREN They are both subjects with which she is well familiar, FAULKENBERRY how she would describe herself and her having taken her first printing class at Washington

work, the owner of Firebrand Press would have a difficult time choosing between author, artist or artisan. “I do feel like I’m kind of a mishmash of a lot of things, but I guess primarily I’d say artist or book artist because that seems to be the thing I focus on the most,” she explained. “I’ve never called myself an author. I don’t know why, but I’ll call myself a writer.” The fact of the matter is, Faulkenberry does all three: she has created artist’s books and children’s books that contain her own text and illustrations, then printed them herself using the letterpress method. “I guess I came to it from an interest in illustration,” she said. “I mean, I’ve always loved books and loved the idea of making books but I never liked the way that I drew.” Faulkenberry will visit the Morris Museum of Art next weekend to lead an Art at Lunch lecture on books as art objects and a two-day workshop on bookbinding (see further information and registration deadlines below).


University in St. Louis in 1998 and later earning an MFA degree in book arts from the University of Alabama. That MFA program covered printing and publishing, bookbinding, papermaking and the history of the book. Faulkenberry’s own history with books reaches back to childhood. Her dream was to be a children’s book illustrator but, as she has already mentioned, she didn’t like the way she drew. She began writing in middle school, but it wasn’t until college that she began to get serious about her work. Faulkenberry says it was a handmade children’s book she created for her thesis project that got the ball rolling. “I started from there and wrote some short stories and novels,” she said. “I had a few short stories published and had no novels published and then started writing the text that I made my artist’s books from in the last few years. The most recent books I’ve done have included some of the text that I wrote and sometimes it’s nonfiction.” Do a quick search of Faulkenberry’s website ( and her Etsy shop ( firebrandpress) and you’ll find prints, cards and artist’s books in a distinctive style that their creator has yet to find a good way to describe. “Sometimes I wonder if I even have a distinctive style,” she says. “It changes based on the content of a given book. Sometimes it’s kind of light, and sometimes it’s these dark woodcuts that have three or four layers of bright color and dark outline that gives it sort of a stained-glass feel. I’m kind of all over the place and it’s

by Amy Christian

determined by the content of the book, but rustic comes to mind. I don’t know if I’d describe my style as folksy, but one or two have come out that way. Part of it is driven by animal imagery, anthropomorphic figures, and I have a weak spot for mythology and bird imagery.” One of the most intriguing artist’s books shown on her website is, in fact, about birds. Well, sort of. “Migration: a Field Guide to Love That Was and Might Have Been” looks like a birdwatcher’s notebook, but instead of text related to bird behavior and migration, it recounts the narrator’s romantic encounters. Though Faulkenberry is the owner of Firebrand Press she says that she has very little equipment of her own, preferring instead to rent space and a cooperative studio where members of the community can also take printing classes. And while she does hold down a couple of parttime jobs in between conducting printing and bookbinding workshops, she’s always working on her craft. “I do try to write something every day and draw something every day,” she said. “It seems like I’m always thinking about book projects: what it’s going to be like and how I can do it. I work in fits and starts. If I find two weeks I can dedicate to printing then I’ll do it. I’ll rent space somewhere and go at it full force for a week or two and then move on to the next project.”

Books at Art Objects

Friday, January 23 Noon Part of the Art at Lunch series, Faulkenberry will discuss books as art forms, showcasing current and historical examples from a variety of artists. Included will be Brian Dettmer, whose exhibit, “Knowledge in Depth,” current shows at the museum. Members, $10; nonmembers, $14. Catered lunch included. Paid reservations due January 21.

Bookbinding: Link, Long and Long-Link Stitch Binding Saturday, January 24, from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday, January 25, noon-4:30 p.m. Faulkenberry will teach participants how to make three different types of handmade book structures. All materials included. Members, $55; nonmembers, $65. Paid reservations due January 16. Call 706-828-3867 15JANUARY2015


And They Lived Happily Ever After BECAUSE I’M ALWAYS WATCHING for people to do crazy things, I was elated about

the inside info I got recently. A crazy thing was about to happen. My friends Erin, Gary and I were sitting at the bar at a local restaurant, when the GM (thanks, Darby!) told us the plan. A guy was coming in to do a singing proposal. “Right here? Right now?” I couldn’t believe my luck. Just as he was wrapping up, important people started to shuffle in. Someone taped a mic to the table. A camera was set up. Family and friends filtered in to the back of the restaurant. Because of where I was sitting, it would’ve been obvious if I turned around to watch the door. The bartender and I came up with a code. It was covert. When he said “would you like a lemon,” I’d know the op was underway. It’s not that any of this was my business, per se. It was their moment. I feel justified for staring. After all, this was in public. At a restaurant. Back in the olden days, when The Man proposed to me, it was a simple affair. Thank goodness. He proposed to me, after a few glasses of wine and some extra liquid courage, on our sweet little screened porch at our sweet little first house. It was funny, and it was ours. I was rocking in the chair, and suddenly he was on the floor. I wondered what in the heck he was doing. He told me he loved me. I loved him back. He told me he really, really loved me. I told him the same. Okay, we love each other. Why are you on the floor? Before I could ask, he was telling me about his great grandparents and their love for each other. He wanted us to have the same love, the kind that lasted for ever. I had to be reminded of the speech later. Once the ring box opened, I had tunnel vision. This was it! The moment. Our moment. If you’ve been paying attention, you know my answer. I wanted to tell the whole world. I asked if my dad and friends knew. He told me I could call them if we could share one glass of wine first. I drank that wine like it was happy hour on a Monday and got on the phone. There are people out there who like something a little more, well, overt. We’ve all seen the viral videos. I’ll cry like a baby while I watch, but that’s not my sort of thing. Not my husband’s either. Thank goodness. The bartender forgot to offer me a lemon, but I helped myself. The proposal people were in place, at the appropriate table. The Proposal Guy (PG) got up, leaving his

(hopefully) Future Bride (FB) to sit and wait. She seemingly had no clue. PG was gone for what I’m sure was eleventy minutes, and the ambient music stopped. This was it! PG wandered up from the back of the restaurant, now appropriately accompanied by a couple of instruments. He started singing. FB was confused. I’m not sure if she loved it or wanted to crawl under a rock. If there are any future PGs out there, let me give you a bit of advice. Pick a short song. Shorten the song you love. All songs are too long for such things. The restaurant waited while PG serenaded FB. The family came from the back, carrying small votive candles. Mood enhancement, I suppose. We couldn’t hear what happened next, but he must’ve proposed. They hugged, so her response was probably of the affirmative nature. They hugged again, this time with FB’s head buried in PG’s shoulder. It was sweet, but as nosy as I am, I still felt a little voyeuristic. It’s what they wanted, though. Actually, it’s what he wanted. Here’s why I don’t have a problem with that: the proposal is probably the very last decision the guy will make, on his own, for the rest of his life. Go for it, buddy. Best of luck to all PGs out there. May your songs be short and your videos viral. Remember your moment. Sincere words and kind gestures (and maybe some bling) will earn you all the yeses you want. Oh, and pick a good honeymoon spot. It’s the reward for wedding planning. Trust me, you’ll need one. Cheers! Are you curious, too? Find the full deal here:

JENNY WRIGHT’S humorous observations on marriage, motherhood and living in Augusta have earned her a devoted following, both in print and on Facebook. When she’s not spying on other parents in the carpool line at school, you’ll probably find her with either a camera, tennis racquet or wine glass in her hand.

Goodwill Industries of Middle GA & the CSRA present the Second Annual


New Brew

Friday, Feb. 6



3165 WASHINGTON RD. NEXT TO EDGAR’S GRILLE Sample craft beers paired with heavy hors d’oeuvres prepared by Helms College chefs and students. Enjoy music by Abel, Baideme, & Lee.

Proceeds benefit Helms College scholarships.


Lager Bennett Yort, Kathy and Cab Stitt In Memory of Cathy Harrington

15JANUARY2015 For the latest details like us on facebook.


Tom and Julie McAfee

Doctors Alice and John David



AB Beverage James K. and Meredith B. Stiff Ann Boardman Antonius Chan, Southern Nicole and Keith Kennedy Company Retirement Strategies Augusta Pet Crematory Ricardo Bravo, LLC Better Homes and Gardens, Toast Wine and Beverage Executive Partners Augusta Walker Chiropractic Dickinson Architects, P.C.




No Parents, Let’s Party!

TREECYCLE Recycle your Christmas tree!



Now - Jan16th



Now - Jan17th B I G L OT S • 9 A M - 2 P M 2 7 0 8 P E AC H O R C H A R D R D .

Follow these two easy steps:

*All Christmas trees accepted: real, flocked and artificial.

1. Make sure to remove everything from the tree – decorations, lights and the tree stand. 2. Place your tree at the curb by 6:00 am on your day of service.


Tires will not be accepted from businesses or commercial customers.


Tires may be on or off the rim. Each resident may bring a maximum of five (5) tires per visit. Each event will run from 9am – 2pm on the 3rd Saturday of every month.








Customer must provide proof of Richmond County residency.

LL 3


JANUARY 17, 2015

Big Lots – Treecycling Event • 2708 Peach Orchard Rd. FEBRUARY 21, 2015 Lake Olmstead 2200 Broad St.

AUGUST 15, 2015 Food Lion 3722 Mike Padgett Hwy

MARCH 21, 2015 K-Mart 1647 Gordon Hwy.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 Augusta Fire Training Center 3125 Deans Bridge Rd.

APRIL 18, 2015 Phinizy Swamp Living Green Day 1858 Lock & Dam Rd.

OCTOBER 17, 2015 Daniel Field- Wrightsboro Rd. Entrance 1775 Highland Ave.

MAY 16, 2015 Warren Road Community Center 300 Warren Rd.

NOVEMBER 21, 2015 Lake Olmstead 2200 Broad St.

JUNE 20, 2015 Diamond Lakes 4335 Windsor Spring Rd.

WE’VE REACHED A MILESTONE IN OUR HOUSEHOLD. At least, I think so. We’ve reached the point of being able to leave our kids home alone. Different parents handle this issue different ways. I know some parents who leave their kids as young as 9 and 10 home alone with no problems. However, as an over-protective parent, this was not an easy step for me. No. 2 is at the age where we can start trusting him with these responsibilities and he’s eager to prove that he can be trusted. So, I guess it’s time for me to come to terms with it, too. However, there was a bit of a learning curve with him. You see, No. 2 has believed for a while that leaving him “in charge” means he can give commands to the others, dole out punishments and create new rules. I understand the feeling because I was the same way. When left in charge I became a bit of a tyrant. My poor little brother. It was almost like a mini version of “Lord of the Flies” except there was no skinny dipping and no pig’s head on a stick. Also, nobody died. So, a much, much tamer version of “Lord of the Flies.” Sunday, when invited over to our friends’ house for Bloody Marys and football, my wife and I thought: “Okay, this will be a good chance to test the kids out for a couple of hours.” Well, I thought that. The wife was already in the car, yelling from the window “they’ll be fine, let’s GO!” Y’see, we don’t get out for adult time together very often. So, I spelled it out for No. 2 that being in charge doesn’t mean that he has to be bossy. It just means that he’s responsible for whatever happens while we’re gone: if the house burns down, it’s his fault. So, don’t burn the house down, don’t break anything and don’t open the door for strangers. He said “yessir” and assured me he that he was up to the responsibility. After letting No.s 3 and 4 know that he was in charge and that I would lock them in the box of shame if they were bad (I’m kidding. There’s no box of shame… that you know of.), the wifey and I were on the way. While at our friends’ house we had really great, long- overdue adult fun. No, not THAT kind of adult fun! We hung out, had grown-up conversations… well, mostly grown-up. We watched some football, had a couple of beverages, played some Scattegories and just enjoyed a relaxing Sunday with great friends. It was everything I thought it could be! To my delight, we returned home to a quiet house with three well-behaved, not arguing kids. No fights broke out, no parties, no scrapes or bruises and not a flame was to be found. It was a stark contrast to the “Project X” scene I had anticipated. But, come to think of it, I did notice the lock on my liquor cabinet busted… KRIS FISHER,former HD98.3 afternoon host,

lives in Martinez and is currently DJing events as 'Life of the Party' Mobile DJ service. Reach him at”. He is happily married to his wife Monica and is proud father of five: three kids and two dogs.

DECEMBER 19, 2015 Carrie J. Mays Park 1014 Eleventh Ave.

JULY 18, 2015 Carrie J. Mays Park 1014 Eleventh Ave.

Each event will run from 9am – 2pm on the 3rd Saturday of every month.


GET OUT! Metro Spirit Staff Picks

The Country Club

Whole Foods

762-333-0260 | Something always seems to be going on at the newly opened Whole Foods, but a quick look at their calendar will tell you that Tuesday and Friday nights are when you should plan a visit. Tasty Tuesday is from 5-7 p.m. and features samples of special creations from different departments. On Fridays from 5-7 p.m. there’s a 5 for $5 wine tasting and the Chef Series with Erik von der Hellen. Then on Saturday, January 17, from 1-4 p.m., there’s the Weed Out the Wheat Gluten-Free Fair, which features gluten-free food samples and more. Well, damn; looks like any time is a good time for a visit.


706-364-1862 |

706-560-9245 |

By now you’ve probably seen the video for Maddie & Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song.” If you haven’t, find it on YouTube; it’s hilarious. Afterwards, head to and shell out $20 to see them Thursday, January 15, at 7 p.m. at the Country Club in the Rock 4 the Cops benefit concert. Proceeds from the concert will fund the Georgia Post Critical Incident Seminar that provides officers with education on trauma, patterns of resolution and coping strategies.

Journey has produced some of the most singable songs in popular music’s history; “Don’t Stop Believin’” is just the most overused example in the band’s repertoire. Departure, a Journey tribute band, plays Coyotes Friday, January 16, and tickets are just $8 each (reserve a table for four for an additional $13). Betcha they won’t mind if you sing along to your heart’s content. In fact, they’ll probably be offended if you don’t.

Soul Bar


706-724-8880 |


Is it just us, or is this place booking more live acts lately? Not that we’re complaining or anything. We’ll happily go see Stereotype on Thursday, January 15, then come back for Willie and the Hand Factory, Beauty Fools and Vilai Harrington on Wednesday, January 21.

Okay, guys, if date night is coming up Saturday, January 17, and you still don’t have a plan, how about this? Grab some traditional Italian (with wine, of course) from Oliviana. Their pizzas are divine, but keep your fingers crossed that risotto is one of the specials. It’s a difficult dish to excel at but Oliviana does just that. Afterwards, simply walk from the middle level of Surrey Center to the upper level — maybe stop by the fountain for a romantic moment if it’s not too cold — to see the Get Right Band at Surrey Tavern. Done and done. You’re welcome.

North Augusta The Highlander 803-278-2796 Manuel's Bread Cafe 803-380-1323 Wine World 803-279-9522

Downtown Augusta 1102 706-364-4075

Jessye Norman Amphitheater 706-821-1754 Joe’s Underground 706-724-9457 Knuckle Sandwiches 706-828-4700 La Maison On Telfair 706-722-4805 Le Chat Noir 706-722-3322

The Hill 5 O'clock Bistro 706-922-9560 Abel Brown 706-738-6491 Buona Caffe 706-869-4074 Calvert's Restaurant 706-738-4514

The Loft 706-828-6600

Club Argos 706-481-8829

Luigi’s 706-722-4056

French Market Grille 706-737-4865

Beamie’s Restaurant 706-724-6593

Mellow Mushroom 706-828-5578

Helga’s 706-736-2880

Bee’s Knees 706-828-3600

Metro Coffee House 706-722-6468

209 Restaurant & Music Lounge 706-722-9692 Bar On Broad 706-955-7954

The Bell Auditorium 706-724-2400 Blue Sky Kitchen 706-821-3988 The Boll Weevil Cafe 706-722-7772 Cotton Patch 706-724-4511 Craft & Vine 706-496-8442 Eagle’s Nest 706-722-5541 Farmhaus Burger 706-496-8771 Fatman's 706-733-1740 Firehouse 706-826-9955 Fox's Lair 706-828-5600 Frog Hollow Tavern 706-364-6906

Indian Queen 706-303-8723

Rhineharts 706-868-6850

Shannon's 706-814-7760

Sidetrack Bar And Grill 706-863-8951

Sheraton 706-396-1000

Takosushi 706-863-0606

Somewhere In Augusta 706-739-0002

T-Bonz 706-814-7083

T-Bonz 706-737-8325

West Augusta Allie Katz Bar & Grill 706-667-9801

Twin Peaks 706-426-4934

Andrews Place 706-426-7904

The Snug Steak & Grill 706-863-1118

Bar West Augusta 706-736-0021

Wild Wing Café 706-364-9453

Buffalo Wild Wings 706-736-1778

South Augusta

Oliviana's 706-723-1242

Cadwalladers Café 706-860-7444

Coyotes 706-560-9245

Mi Rancho 706-724-3366

Sheehan's Irish Pub 706-364-1234

Carolina Ale House (762) 333-0019

Road Runner Café 706-790-8177

Nacho Mama’s 706-724-0501

Surreal at Surrey 706-496-2036

Chevys 706-250-3261

Sconyers 706-790-5411

New Moon Cafe 706-823-2008

Surrey Tavern 706-736-1221

The Country Club 706-364-1862

T’s Restaurant 706-798-4145

Pizza Joint 706-774-0037

Takosushi 706-736-9191

Cue And Brew 706-737-6008

Villa Europa 706-798-6211

Metro Market 706-261-2525

Playground 706-724-2232 Sacred Heart Cultural Center 706-826-4700 Sky City 706-945-1270 Soul Bar 706-724-8880 Soy Noodle House 706-364-3116 The Sports Center 706-724-9307 Stillwater Taproom 706-826-9857

Hildebrandt’s 706-722-7756

Sweet Lou’s Crabshack 706-922-1699

Imperial Theatre 706-722-8341

Tipsey Mcstumbles 706-955-8507

James Brown Arena 706-722-3521

Whiskey Bar (Kitchen) 706-814-6159

Evans/Martinez Augsburg Haus 706-667-818 Bird Dog Grill 706-814-5007 Columbia County Amphitheatre 706-868-3349 Jabez S Hardin Performing Arts 706-726-0366 Lauras Backyard Tavern 706-869-8695 Lady A. Amphitheatre 706-650-5005 Mai Thai 706-210-9008 Mellow Mushroom 706-364-6756 Pizza Joint 706-447-4992 Retreat Tapas Bar 706-250-3717

Double Tree 706-855-8100 Edgar’s Grille 706-854-4700 French Market Grille West 706-855-5111 Hooters 706-736-8454 Limelite Café 706-731-0220 Rack And Grill 706-855-7534 Rae's Coastal Café 706-738-1313 Rhineharts 706-860-2337 Road Runner 706-364-3525 Robbie's Sport Bar 706-738-0866



Aiken Center for the Arts A workshop for adults. $40; pre-registration required. Call 803-641-9094 or visit

Ballroom Dance Center A fundraiser for I’m Aware, a locally run nonprofit to create awareness about human trafficking, this event will feature social dancing, refreshments, prizes, a silent auction, dance contests and entertainment. $15 entray; dance contests are $10 for one and $15 for two. Call 706-854-8888 or email

1pm - 3pm Drawing from Memory with Charlene Montgomery

Sat Jan 17, 2015

Sat Jan 17, 2015

10am - 2pm Introduction to Watercolor Workshop

Morris Museum of Art Part of the Draw with the Morris Series, this event is open to those of all skills levels and supplies are included. $18 with preregistration; $20 at the door. Call 706-7247501 or visit

2pm - 5pm Classic Masters Workshop: Monet’s Water Lilies

Aiken Center for the Arts A workshop for adults. $30; pre-registration required. Call 803-641-9094 or visit


Spring Term Classes

The Kroc Center Classes in music, art and dance begin the week of January 19. Music classes include piano, guitar, ukulele and a jam session for string players. Dance classes include swing, tango, salsa for youth and adults, and salsa-size-a salsa based exercise class. Art classes include weekly classes in home school art, clay, after school art and painting for adults. Workshops include a drawing bootcamp, equine painting, basket weaving, pen and ink, folk art gourd chickens and beginning acrylic workshops. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Face Jugs Clay Class

The Kroc Center An introductory class for youth and adults that meets Mondays, January 19-February 16, at 5 p.m. for youth and 6 p.m. for adults. $60, youth; $75, adults. Call 706364-5762 or visit

Beginning Painting for Adults

The Kroc Center A five-week class for those who want to learn watercolor and acrylic basics. $70. Wednesday, January 21-February 18, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

1pm - 3pm Tango Boot Camp

Kroc Center $20, single; $30, couple. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

7pm - 10:30pm Contra Dance

Heyward Street United Methodist Church Participants should bring clean, soft-soled, non-marking shoes. $8; $5, students with ID. Visit


Swing Dancing Class

The Kroc Center A five-week class for adults of all abilities, who can sign up alone or with a partner. $10. Mondays, January 19-February 16, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Tango Class

The Kroc Center A five-week class that meets Thursdays, January 22-February 19, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Kroc Center and teaches the skills used in the basic Argentine Tango. No previous experience necessary. $55, single; $70, couples. Call 706-364-5762 or visit


Thu Jan 15, 2015

9:30am - 10:30am Open House

Episcopal Day School An event that features school tours, Q&A sessions and more. Call 706-733-1192 or visit

5pm - 6:30pm Marijuana: Should It Be Legal in Georgia Maxwell Branch Library A discussion presented by James Bell of the Georgia Care Project. Pre-registration required. Call 706-793-2020 or visit ecgrl. org.

6pm - 7pm Magnet School Open House


Fri Jan 16, 2015

8pm - 12:30am Dance for Justice

C.T. Walker Call 706-826-1000 or visit

David Burgess began studying guitar at the Estudio de Arte Guitarrístico in Mexico City with the renowned Argentine guitarist Manuel López Ramos. He received a bachelor of arts degree in music at the University of Washington, and later earned a diploma di merito, while on full scholarship at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, where he studied with Oscar Ghiglia. This week, Burgess will appear in Augusta twice. Once on Sunday, January 18, at 2 p.m. at the Morris Museum of Art in a free concert that is part of the Music at the Morris series. Call 706-724-7501 or visit Then, on January 20 at noon, he will appear at Saint Paul’s church in a concert that is part of the Tuesday’s Music Live series. The 30-minute concert is free. Lunch, provided by Edgar’s Grille in the River Room at 12:30, is $10 and requires pre-registration. Call 706-722-3463 or visit

6:30pm - 7:30pm Lower School Open House

Thu Jan 22, 2015

Sat Jan 17, 2015

Maxwell Branch Library A presentation by Corey Rogers of the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. Preregistration required. Call 706-793-2020 or visit

Westminster Schools of Augusta Event includes a campus tour, meetings with teachers and more. Visit

11:30am - 12:30pm The Other Tubmans Augusta Museum of History Part of the Voices of the Past series of character monologues that also shows at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Free with museum admission. Call 706-722-8454 or visit

5:30pm - 6:30pm Pioneers of Equality: Black Leadership in the Augusta Area, 1900-1950

6:30pm - 8pm Middle and Upper School Open House Westminster Schools of Augusta

If you have any questions, or would like to submit an event to our calendar, please email Amy Christian at 22 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



An event that includes campus tours, meetings with teachers and more. Visit wsa. net.

7pm - 8:30pm Tablet Users Group Meeting

Aiken Public Library Discussion will include the ABBE digital branch library and apps needed to download books. Call 803-642-2023 or visit


Women on the Way Applications Accepted

This new Columbia County Chamber program will feature five executive women who will mentor 15 young professionals, ages 23-35, during monthly luncheons that will meet the last Tuesday of each month from February-November. To receive an application, call 706-651-0018 or visit

Augusta Ghost Trolley History Tours

Year-round interactive trolley tours are offered each Friday and Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. Group and private tours are also available. $20, adults; $15, children ages 5-11. Preregistration required. Call 706-432-8883 or email

Joy of Signing

Headquarters Branch Library Meets Thursdays from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Call 706-667-9586 for more information.


GRU’s Literacy Center One-on-one tutoring offered to all ages in all subjects and supervised by a certified teacher at all times. Available by appointment MondayThursday from 4-8 p.m. at the center at 1401 Magnolia Drive. Call 706-737-1625 or visit gru. edu/lcenter/.

GED Class

The Kroc Center A class for ages 15 and older that meets four days a week from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Registration is the first and third Thursday of each month from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Call 706-364-5762 or visit salvationarmyaugusta. org/kroc-center/.

Guided Tours

1797 Ezekiel Harris House Offered by appointment only Monday-Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Last tours of the day begin at 4 p.m. Adults, $2; children, $1. Call 706-722-8454 or visit

North Augusta Driving Tour

The Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta Offered by appointment and includes a 30-45 minute guided tour and admission to the 15JANUARY2015

center. Self-guided tours are also available through an iPhone downloadable audio tour or a Google Maps-based tour. Guided tours: $5, adults; $3, students K-12. Call 803-4414380 or visit


The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson Guided tours, approximately 45 minutes long, are offered Thursday-Saturday on the hour from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Group tours are available by advanced reservation. Adults, $5; seniors, $4; kids K-12, $3; under 5 years, free. Call 706-724-0436 or visit

Historic Trolley Tours of Augusta

Augusta Visitors Center (inside the Augusta Museum of History) Tours aboard the Lady Libby available at the Augusta Visitors Center with 24-hour advanced reservations. Tickets include admission to the Augusta Museum of History. Call 706-724-4067 or visit


A 72-hour film festival with films running continuously, as well as other events and live entertainment. $5, single event; $7, single film admission; $15, three-film punch card; $20, five-film punch card; $50, all purpose pass. Visit

Noon - 1pm Ikebana Flower Arrangement Demonstration

Columbia Museum of Art Free with membership or admission. Call 803799-2810 or visit

4pm - 5:30pm Harpist Vonda Darr with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra

Lutheran Church by the Lake, McCormick, S.C. A reception will follow the performance. $20. Call 864-391-8022 or visit inpraiseofmusic. org.

single film admission; $15, three-film punch card; $20, five-film punch card; $50, all purpose pass. Visit


Sat Jan 17, 2015

6pm - 7pm Meet the Artist

Hire Grounds, Goodwill Campus Stephanie Forbes will speak to those during a viewing of her exhibit “Anxiety and Drepression.” Call 706-650-5760 or visit

Wed Jan 21, 2015

4:30pm - 5pm “The Beauty of the CSRA and Everything About It” GRU’s Reese Library Gallery An exhibit of work by GRU alumna photographer Si-Long Chen. Visit

Mon Jan 19, 2015


Tapp’s Arts Center, Columbia, S.C. A 72-hour film festival with films running continuously, as well as other events and live entertainment. $5, single event; $7,

Morris Museum of Art Shows January 11-April 12. Call 706-7247501 or visit


American Dreams: Paintings by John Mellencamp

Fri Jan 16, 2015 Cinethon

Tapp’s Arts Center, Columbia, S.C. A 72-hour film festival with films running continuously, as well as other events and live entertainment. $5, single event; $7, single film admission; $15, three-film punch card; $20, five-film punch card; $50, all purpose pass. Visit

7pm - 9pm Oscar, Ahmad & George: Three Legends of Piano Jazz

Columbia Museum of Art Part of the CMA Jazz on Main series that begins with happy hour. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. $28, members; $35, nonmembers; $5, students. Call 803-7992810 or visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015 Cinethon

Tapp’s Arts Center, Columbia, S.C. A 72-hour film festival with films running continuously, as well as other events and live entertainment. $5, single event; $7, single film admission; $15, three-film punch card; $20, five-film punch card; $50, all purpose pass. Visit

Noon - 1pm “Norman Rockwell”

Columbia Museum of Art Free with membership or admission. Call 803-799-2810 or visit columbiamuseum. org.

Sun Jan 18, 2015 Cinethon

Tapp’s Arts Center, Columbia, S.C. AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



The Winter Exhibit

The Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta This exhibit, featuring the work of Judy Adamick, Elizabeth Moretz-Britt, Greg Fitzpatrick and Bea Kuhlke, shows January 9-February 20. Call 803-441-4380 or visit

Oil and Water

Sacred Heart Cultural Center This group exhibition featuring the work of Judy Avrett, Lucy Weigle and their students shows January 8-February 27. Call 706-8264700 or visit

Lee Ann Hagler Exhibition

The Kroc Center Featuring the work of Hagler and her students, this exhibit hangs through February 2. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Doug Larson Exhibition The Gala of The Royal Horses, a show that feature a number of performances involving the Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabian breeds and is dedicated to showing off the beauty and maneuvers these horses are capable of, visits the USC Aiken Convocation Center Thursday, January 22, at 7:30 p.m. The show will also feature Spanish flamenco dancers and live music. $37-$67. Call 803-6436901 or visit


Sacred Heart Cultural Center The Aiken artist’s exhibition of oil and acrylic paintings shows through December 31. Call 706-826-4600 or visit


Augusta Museum of History Includes the following: “Augusta, 1864”

(through January 2016); “The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown; “Celebrating a Grand Tradition, the Sport of Golf”; “Augusta’s Story”; “A Community That Heals”; “Into the Interior: A History of the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company”; “Local Legends”; “One Man, Two Ships: Lessons in History and Courage”; “A Quilt Journey”; and “Canteens to Combat Boots”. Call 706-722-8454 or visit


Fri Jan 16, 2015

10:30am - 12:30pm “The Wizard of Oz” North Augusta’s Nancy Carson Library Call 803-279-5767 or visit

4pm - 5:30pm “The Wizard of Oz” 105th Anniversary Celebration

North Augusta’s Nancy Carson Library An event that includes games, crafts, snacks and more. Call 803-279-5767 or visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015

1pm - 5pm “Doctor Who” Episode Marathon

Maxwell Branch Library Call 706-793-2020 or visit



Tue Jan 20, 2015


North Augusta’s Nancy Carson Library Call 803-279-5767 or visit

Meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Library and the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at GRU’s Alumni Center. Call 706-7212609 or visit

5pm - 7pm “The Boxtrolls”

6:30pm - 8:30pm Tuesday Movie Series Headquarters Branch Library Call for movie title. Call 706-821-2600 or visit


Thu Jan 15, 2015

7pm - 8pm Breastfeeding Class

Babies R Us Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706774-2825 or visit

Fri Jan 16, 2015

6:30pm - 9:30pm Weekend Childbirth Education Class

University Hospital Class continues Saturday, January 17, from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-2825 or visit

Mon Jan 19, 2015

1pm - 3pm Look Good, Feel Better

University’s Breast Health Center An American Cancer Society program that aims to help female cancer patients combat the appearance-related side-effects of chemo and radiation. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-4141 or visit

Tue Jan 20, 2015

6:30pm - 8pm United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Augusta Meeting GRU Cancer Center, Room 1305 The subject of January’s chapter meeting will be HPV and cervical cancer. Preregistration required. Visit uaprn.

Wed Jan 21, 2015

9:30am - 12:30pm I’m Fine, And You? Mental Health Summit

GRU’s Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom A two-hour informational session featuring experts in the field who will provide information to participants on topics that affect one’s mental health. There will be Q&A opportunities at the end of each presentation. Resource agencies will offer additional information. Call 706-724-3576 or visit

Thu Jan 22, 2015

7pm - 8:30pm Infant CPR Class

University Hospital Pre-registration required. Call 706-7742825 or visit 15JANUARY2015

Weight Loss Surgery Seminars

Car Seat Classes

Childbirth Preparation Classes are Mondays, January 5-26, Tuesdays, January 13-27, and Wednesdays, January 7-28, at from 7-9:30 p.m. at University Hospital. Free, but preregistration required. Call 706-774-2825 or visit

Safe Kids Office

Held the second Thursday from 5:45-8 p.m. and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9:45 a.m.-noon. Pre-registration required. $10; car or booster seat provided to families who meet financial guidelines. Call 706721-7606 or visit

Child Safety Seat Inspections

Held on first Friday of each month at the Safe Kids Office Building and the second Wednesday of each month at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Substation on Ronald Reagan Drive. All inspections require an appointment. Call 706-721-7606 (Safe Kids), 706-541-3970 (Sheriff’s Office), or visit

Childbirth Tours

Tours of the Labor and Delivery and Mother/ Baby units at Georgia Regents Medical Center are held the second Tuesday of the month from 7:30-8:30 p.m. and second Saturday of each month from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706-721-9351 or visit


H.O. Weeks Center, Aiken Yoga I is offered from 8:45-9:45 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays; Yoga II is offered 8:45-9:45 a.m., Fridays; Evening Yoga is offered 5:30-6:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays. $41 for 10 tickets, residents; $66, non-residents. Call 803-642-7631.

Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease Aquatics Class

Wilson Family Y’s Katie’s Pool Members, free; non-members, $3. Call 706922-9664 or email

Adapted Evaluation

Wilson Family Y’s Katie’s Pool A 30-minute initial and annual evaluation including medical history and water assessment. $25. Call 706-922-9664 or visit

Adapted Special Populations One-on-


One Class

Wilson Family Y’s Katie’s Pool For the physically and developmentally challenged of all ages. Members, $10; nonmembers, $30. Call 706-922-9664 or visit

6:30pm - 7:30pm Sierra Club Meeting Unitarian Universalist Church During the meeting, GRU biologist Dr. Cathy Tugmon will present a PowerPoint on her recent trip to China. Free and open to the public. Email

University Toastmasters Club

University Hospital, Education Wing, third floor, room 3 Meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 6-7 p.m. Call 706-9512970 or visit


Wed Jan 21, 2015


5pm - 9pm Augusta Coin Club Meeting

Kroc Center A class for those who have mastered the basic stitches. Participants should purchase their own supplies. $1 donation. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

10:30am - 11:30am Mudpuppies

Thu Jan 15, 2015

Headquarters Branch Library Call 706-821-2600 or visit

Mon Jan 19, 2015

6pm - 8:30pm Civil War Roundtable Meeting

6:30pm - 8pm Intermediate Knitting

Fri Jan 16, 2015

Kroc Center A five-week class that meets Mondays at 6 p.m. beginning January 19 that is open to those ages 16 and up. $5. Call 706-9228338 or visit

Warren Road Community Center For ages 2-5. $2 per class; no preregistration required. Call 706-860-2833 or visit

Chess Club

Tue Jan 20, 2015

The Cotton Patch Meets Wednesdays, noon-1 p.m. Those interested are invited to learn speech and leadership skills in a fun and supportive atmosphere. Call 706-627-2134.

Maxwell Branch Library Call 706-793-2020 or visit


Warren Road Community Center An arts and crafts program for ages 2-5 that is held each Thursday at 10:45 a.m. Call 706860-2833 or visit


Goodwill’s The Snelling Center Features speaker Tom Elmore, author of “A Carnival of Destruction: Sherman’s Invasion of South Carolina.” Meeting will begin with an a la carte dinner at 6 p.m. Open to the public. Call 706-737-9115 or visit

3:30pm - 5pm Doctor Who Fan Club Meeting

Thu Jan 15, 2015

Georgia-Carolina Toastmasters

10:30am - 11:30am Fun Time Fridays

5:30pm - 7:30pm TAG Scavenger Hunt Headquarters Branch Library Call 706-821-2600 or visit

7pm - 8:30pm Teen Life-Sized Pac-Man Aiken Public Library An after-hours program for those in grades 6-12. Call 803-642-2020, ext. 1141, or visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015

10:30am - noon Emerging Artists & Artisans

Infiniti Gallery A meeting for those ages 13-19 years old who are interested in art who will gain leadership skills and experience. Attendees are encouraged to bring friends and samples of their work. Visit artistguildcc. org.

Noon - 2pm Youth Acting Workshop: Improv

Aiken Center for the Arts For those in grades 3-5. $30; preregistration required. Call 803-641-9094 or visit

Mon Jan 19, 2015

10am - 11am Weaving a New Year

Augusta Museum of History Part of the Mondays at the Museum series for those ages 2-6 and an accompanying adult in which participants will visit a weaving exhibit and then create a paper weaving representing the months of the year. Program is also offered at 1 p.m. $2, members; $4, nonmembers. Pre-registration



required. Call 706-722-8454 or email

Tue Jan 20, 2015

6pm - 9pm On Being a Girl

Trinity Hospital of Augusta A class designed for girls ages 9-12, accompanied by their mother, a female friend or relative, focused on the physical and emotional changes of puberty. $10; preregistration required. Call 706-481-7604 or visit

Wed Jan 21, 2015

4pm - 5pm Winter Drop-In Craft

Maxwell Branch Library Call 706-793-2020 or visit

5pm - 6pm Teens @ Your Library

Diamond Lakes Branch Library An event that includes movies, crafts and/or board games. Pre-registration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit

Thu Jan 22, 2015

9-11. Session 2: Tuesdays, January 20, February 3 and 17 and March 3, from 4:30-6 p.m. for ages 6-8; Thursdays, January 22, February 5 and 19 and March 5, from 4:30-6 p.m. for ages 9-11. $25; pre-registration required. Call 706-210-4027 or email

Little Friends Gym

Warren Road Community Center A parent and child class for those ages 6 months-4 years, it is held each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday September-May from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $2 per visit; $15, 10 visits. Call 706-860-2833 or visit

Young Makers

The A club for technology buffs ages 10-17 that meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month. Call 706-399-0247 or visit

Creek Freaks

Warren Road Community Center An arts and crafts program for ages 2-5 that is held each Thursday at 10:45 a.m. Call 706-860-2833 or visit

Phinizy Center A Georgia Adopt-a-Stream team of middle-and high-school students that meets regularly to monitor the health of Butler Creek. Call 706-796-7707 or visit


Loud Crowd

10:30am - 11:30am Mudpuppies

Mini-Monet Class

The Kroc Center A five-week class for 3-5-year-olds and their adults. $50. Thursdays, January 22-February 19, from 9-10:30 a.m. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

After-School Art Class

The Kroc Center A five-week class for those in grades K512 that will explore the art of Aboriginal Australia and other ancient cultures. $55. Thursdays, January 22-February 19, from 4-5 p.m. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Homeschool Art Class

The Kroc Center A five-week class for those in grades K5-12 that will explore the art of Aboriginal Australia and other ancient cultures. Thursdays, January 22-February 19, from 1-2:30 p.m. $60. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Nature Clubs

Reed Creek Park These clubs encourage children to explore and appreciate the natural world with indoor and outdoor activities. Session 1: Tuesdays, January 20, February 3 and 17 and March 3, from 1-2:30 p.m. for ages 6-8; Thursdays, January 22, February 5 and 19 and March 5, from 1-2:30 p.m. for ages 15JANUARY2015

(706)-854-8576 AUGUSTA | EVANS, GA (803)-787-4366 N. AUGUSTA | AIKEN, SC

A supervised after-school program for those ages 4-12, is Monday Friday from 3-6 p.m. at the following community centers: Warren Road, Blythe, Garrett, Diamond Lakes and McBean. The program follows the Richmond County school calendar. $85, monthly; $25, weekly; $10, drop-in. Visit

Moms Club of Grovetown

A group that accepts any mom who stays at home with her children regardless of parenting style, religion or ethnicity. The group meets for a variety of activities and dues are $20 a year. Visit

Mothers of Advanced Maternal Age (MAMAs)

A group for women with children who are age 35 years or older. Call 706-394-1293 or email

Toddler Time

H.O. Weeks Center, Aiken A play time for those ages 5 and under that meets Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:3011:30 a.m. $3 per visit; $20, 10-visit pass. Call 803-642-7631 or visit

Homeschool PE Time

The Kroc Center For kids ages 5-12 and meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. Members, free; nonmembers, $2 per visit. AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



Face jugs, like a lot of other aspects of southern culture, have historical influences that come from all over the world. Adults and kids alike can learn to make these unique creations during a class at the Kroc Center that meets Mondays, January 19-February 16. The youth class meets at 5 p.m. and adults meet at 6 p.m. $60, youth; $75, adults. Pre-registration required. Call 706-364-5762 or visit Activity follows the Richmond County school calendar. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Book Discussion


7:30pm - 8:30pm

Thu Jan 15, 2015

5:30pm - 8:30pm It’s Your Book Club Headquarters Branch Library Call 706-399-7474 or visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015

2pm - 5pm “Whiskey Road” Book Signing

Aiken Public Library Featuring author Shi Evans. Call 803-6422023 or visit

Mon Jan 19, 2015

6:30pm - 7:30pm CSRA Writers Meeting Georgia Military College All who are interested in improving their creative writing skills are invited. To have work critiqued, bring eight copies of up to five pages single spaced or 10 pages double spaced. Call 706-836-7315.

Tue Jan 20, 2015

10am - 11am “Slaughterhouse Five”

Headquarters Branch Library Call 706-821-2600 or visit

Círculo de Lectores Hispanoamericanos/HispanicAmerican Book Club

GRU’s Allgood Hall, room 227 Description: This is an organizational meeting for this new club for Spanishspeaking readers. Email or


Entries Accepted

The 2015 Porter Fleming Literary Competition, which recognizes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays from writers age 18 and older who reside in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina, is now accepting submissions. The deadline is February 2, 2015. Entry guidelines and forms can be found at


Thu Jan 15, 2015

Noon - 1pm Bach Midday Music 15JANUARY2015


Concert Series

First Presbyterian Church, Aiken Featuring the Galestra-Smith Duo on flute and guitar and Event Horizons. Free. Visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015

7:30pm - 9:30pm Bach Mass in B Minor First Baptist Church of Augusta Part of Symphony Orchestra Augusta’s Symphony Series. $20.37-$43.52. Call 706826-4705 or visit

Sun Jan 18, 2015

2pm - 3pm David Burgess Concert

Morris Museum of Art Part of the Music at the Morris series. Free. Call 706-724-7501 or visit

4pm - 6pm Concerts with a Cause

Saint John United Methodist Church A free concert featuring the Millikin University Choir. An offering to benefit the Jessye Norman School of the Arts will be taken. Call 706-724-9641 or visit

Saint Paul’s Church Featuring guitarist David Burgess. Thirtyminute concert is free; lunch provided by Edgar’s Grille is at 12:30 p.m. in the River Room and is $10. Pre-registration required for lunch. Call 706-722-3463 or visit

The Kroc Center A five-week class for youth and adults who want to learn piano, guitar or ukulele. $60. Tuesdays, January 20-February 17. Call 706364-5762 or visit

Thu Jan 22, 2015

10:30am - 11:30am Golden Games

7pm - 9pm Winter Nocturne: Mendelssohn Piano Trio

Etherredge Center at USC-Aiken Description: $20, general; free, students. Call 803-641-3305 or visit


New Members Needed

The Augusta Choral Society began rehearsals for the second half of the 20142015 season began Tuesday, January 6. Rehearsals are from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of Woodlawn United Methodist Church, and the group is preparing for their March 28 performance of Mozart’s Requiem at Sacred Heart Cultural Center. For more information about joining, call 706-826-4713 or email cdolen@

Tue Jan 20, 2015 Metro Spirit Ad December 2014 Resolution Solution.pdf 1 12/29/2014 1:59:33 PM Noon - 1pm Tuesday’s Music Live

Music Classes


Thu Jan 15, 2015

Appleby Branch Library Call 706-736-6244 or visit

1pm - 1:30pm Got 30 Minutes?

Kroc Center Conducted by the Area Agency on Aging, this workshop provides an overview of services available to caregivers, the aging, and those with disabilities. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Wed Jan 21, 2015

10:30am - 1pm Classic Movies for Seniors Diamond Lakes Branch Library Call 706-772-2432 or visit

Senior Citizens Club

Smith-Hazel Recreation Center Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-noon. Call 803-642-7634.


H.O. Weeks Center Silversneakers Classic Classes offered Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m., while Silversneakers Yoga is offered Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:15 a.m. at the Weeks Center in Aiken. $27, members; $52, nonmembers. Call 803-642-7631 or visit

Computer Classes for Seniors

Kroc Center Taught Mondays and Thursdays. Preregistration required. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Games for Seniors


Silver Sneakers

Wednesday and Friday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Kroc Center. Call 706-364-5762 or visit

Kroc Center A senior exercise class that meets each Monday,

H.O. Weeks Center Include Rummikub each Thursday from 9 a.m.-noon, Mahjong each Thursday from 1-4 p.m., Bridge each Friday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.,

Join any Family Y with NO Joiner’s Fee through Jan. 31 A Gym Changes

Bodies. The Y Changes


Never A Contract: Financial Assistance Available


3165 Washington Road, Augusta, GA 706-854-4700 AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



Bingo each Tuesday 9-10 a.m., Pinochle each Tuesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Canasta on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. 3 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 803-6427631 or visit

SPECIAL EVENTS Thu Jan 15, 2015

10:30am - 11:30am Special Program for Special Needs

Diamond Lakes Branch Library Event includes films, crafts and other activities for adults with disabilities. Preregistration required. Call 706-772-2432 or visit

11am - 2pm Martin Luther King Celebration Carrie J. Mays Family Life Center Call 706-821-1754.

Fri Jan 16, 2015

Noon - 2pm Tri-College MLK Celebration

Paine College’s Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel This joint celebration of Augusta Tech, GRU and Paine College features keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Julius Scott. Visit

7pm - 10pm Jerry Seinfeld

It’s difficult to believe that Pac-Man’s popularity hasn’t waned since the arcade game was developed in 1980, but it’s the truth. You want proof? The Aiken Public Library will hold an after-hours program for those in grades 6-12 on Friday, January 16, at 7 p.m. in which participants can play life-sized Pac-Man. Think we can convince the library to hold a similar program for adults? Call 803642-2020, ext. 1141, or visit $1-$5.50. Call 803-641-3654 or visit rpsec.

and open to the public. Visit

8pm - 10pm 2015 USCA Extra Inning Bull Riding

Thu Jan 15, 2015

James Brown Arena Description:$10-$24. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

Bell Auditorium Description:$50-$125. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

Mon Jan 19, 2015

Sat Jan 17, 2015

First Presbyterian Church of Augusta This 26th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Observance features keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Charles Goodman, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church. Call 706-3991292.

10am - 5pm SnowFest

Evans Towne Center Park Visit

11am - noon Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Downtown Augusta Call 706-821-1754.

1pm - 4pm Open House

The Yoga Center An event that will include free miniclasses, hourly drawings and class package discounts. Call 803-613-0684 or visit

7pm - 8pm “Mission to Mars”

USC Aiken’s Dupont Planetarium Weather permitting, the observatory, housing the Bechtel Telescope, will be available for viewing after each show. $1-$5.50. Call 803-641-3654 or visit rpsec.

8pm - 9pm “Ancient Sky Lore”

USC Aiken’s Dupont Planetarium Weather permitting, the observatory, housing the Bechtel Telescope, will be available for viewing after each show. 30 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

Noon - 1pm Racial Reconciliation: All Lives Matter

Thu Jan 22, 2015

7:30pm - 9:30pm Gala of Royal Horses USC Aiken Convocation Center Features stallions, Spanish flamenco dancers and live music. $37-$67. Call 803-643-6901 or visit


Wine Tastings

Wine World Held the first Friday and third Thursday of each month from 5-8 p.m. $5. Call 803279-9522 or visit


Sun Jan 18, 2015

6:30 - 7:30pm Special Speaker

Abilene Baptist Church Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, recently suspended without pay and then fired for a book he wrote that upholds a biblical view of sexuality, will speak. Free

SPORTS-OUTDOORS 10am - 11am First Month Hike

Mistletoe State Park Description:$5, parking. Call 706-541-0321 or visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015

10am - 4pm Dulcimer Jam

Mistletoe State Park Listen or participate in this musical event featuring dulcimers, fiddles, banjoes, basses and harmonicas. $5, parking. Call 706-541-0321 or visit mistletoe.

Mon Jan 19, 2015

9:30am - 2pm Junior Rangers: Outdoor Fire

Mistletoe State Park Children ages 7-12 will learn the dangers of fire and outdoor fire safety. They will build a fire without a match, watch a wildfire demo, create their own fire starters and fire survival kit. Then they will roast hot dogs and marshmallow over the fire for lunch. $25; pre- registration required. Call 706-541-0321 or visit


Guided Tours

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park Call to schedule custom tours of the park for organizations, kids groups or private parties. Tours included hiking, bicycle or golf cart tours and more. Call 706-8282109 or email

Fencing Classes

Augusta Fencers Club Classes meet at the club’s 464 Greene Street location, and the next round of introductory classes for those ages six through adult begins the week of January 5. Pre-Christmas preregistration discount now offered. Call 706-722-8878.

Daily Canal Tours

Augusta Canal Winter season hours, through March, include Heritage Boat Tours at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday and Civil War Boat Tours daily at 1:30 p.m.. All tickets include admission to the Canal Interpretive Center, admission to which is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors, students and military without a boat tour. Heritage tours: $13, adults; $10.50, seniors, students and military. Civil War tours: $12:50, adults; $10.50, seniors, students or military. Pre-registration required. Call 706823-0440, ext. 4, or visit

Guided Trail Rides

Hilltop Riding Stables Available Saturdays at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Sundays at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon; and Wednesday-Friday at 11 a.m. with reservations 24 hours in advance. All trail rides are on a first-come, first-served basis, and participants should arrive 30 minutes prior to the trail ride starting for sign in procedures. Call 706-791-4864 or visit

South Atlantic Recreation Club

Offers kickball, flag football and bowling leagues. For more information, visit

Weekly Group Runs

Include the Monday Run meeting at Stillwater Taproom at 6 p.m.; Monday Intervals meeting at the Family Y track 15JANUARY2015


on Wheeler Road at 7 p.m.; the Tuesday Nacho Mama’s Group Run at 5:30 and 6 p.m.; Wednesday’s Hill Training Run at the Family Y track on Wheeler Road at 7 p.m.; and Thursday’s Homer Hustle at 6 p.m. Visit

The Augusta Furies Women’s Rugby Football Club

Club practices 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Julian Smith Casino for players 18 and up. Email augusta.furies@gmail. com or visit

Chain Reaction Group Rides

Rides include Tuesdays at 6 p.m.; Thursdays at 6 p.m.; Saturdays at 8 a.m.; and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Participants should bring their own water and helmet. Call 706-855-2024 or visit

Augusta Disc Golf Association Leagues

Meet Thursdays at 6 p.m. at Riverview Park in North Augusta and Mondays at 6 p.m. at Lake Olmstead. Entry fee for each, $5; ace pool, $1. Call 803-215-8181 (North Augusta), 706-833-4263 (Lake Olmstead) or visit

Andy Jordan’s Group Rides

Rides include Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., road bike ride; Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., mountain bike ride; Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., road bike ride; Saturdays at 9 a.m., road bike ride. Front and rear lights, as well as a helmet, are required. Call 706-724-6777 or visit

Outspokin’ Bicycles Group Rides

Rides include Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 p.m., as well as Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. Water and helmet required. Call 706-736-2486 or visit

BlazeSports Swim team

Wilson Family Y’s Katie’s Pool For all ages of physically challenged swimmers who want to train for competition. Members, $30 a month; nonmembers, $40 a month. Call 706-922-9664 or visit

Description:$13, adults; $10, students/ children ages 2-18; $8.50, youth groups. Call 706-722-0598 or visit

Also shows at 8 p.m. $13, adults; $10, students/children ages 2-18; $8.50, youth groups. Call 706-722-0598 or visit

Sat Jan 17, 2015

Mon Jan 19, 2015

2pm “Alice in Wonderland”

3pm “Be More Than Hips”

Augusta Mini Theatre Description:$13, adults; $10, students/ children ages 2-18; $8.50, youth groups. Call 706-722-0598 or visit

Greenbrier High Auditorium This production of the Musical Theatre Workshops also shows at 7 p.m. $12, adults; $8, students; $5, those 5 and under. Call 706-231-1759 or visit

3pm “Be More Than Hips”

Time to

Augusta Mini Theatre Also shows at 8 p.m. $13, adults; $10, students/children ages 2-18; $8.50, youth groups. Call 706-722-0598 or visit

7pm “The Diary of Black Men”

Bell Auditorium A comedy that discusses manhood from a black man’s perspective. $20-$45. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

$20 off First Massage

8pm “All My Sons”

Aiken Community Playhouse $20, adults; $17, seniors; $12, students, $7, children under 12. Active duty military and veterans can buy one ticket and get one free. Call 803-648-1438 or visit

georgia therapeutic massage

Sun Jan 18, 2015 3pm “All My Sons”

Aiken Community Playhouse $20, adults; $17, seniors; $12, students, $7, children under 12. Active duty military and veterans can buy one ticket and get one free. Call 803-648-1438 or visit


You can also find our Georgia Licensed Therapists at Michele James Salon.

3pm “Be More Than Hips” Augusta Mini Theatre

@LiSHia ‘14



Fri Jan 16, 2015

8pm “All My Sons”

Aiken Community Playhouse $20, adults; $17, seniors; $12, students, $7, children under 12. Active duty military and veterans can buy one ticket and get one free. Call 803-648-1438 or visit

8pm “Be More Than Hips” Augusta Mini Theatre 15JANUARY2015





What’s Tonight?

Andrew’s Place - Karaoke w/ DJ Jeff Barnes Beamie’s - Industry Night Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke, Salsa Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane

Monday, January 19 What’s Tonight?

Applebee’s (Evans) - Trivia Chevy’s - Military and F&B Night Joe’s Underground - Poker Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Trivia Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane Somewhere in Augusta - World Tavern Poker Wild Wing - Trivia

Tuesday, January 20 Live Music

Joe’s Underground - Open Mic MAD Studios - Twosday Nite Music Club Metro Coffeehouse & Pub - Jazz 101 w/ the Joel

Cruz Method

The Willcox (Aiken) - Hal Shreck

What’s Tonight?

Believe it or not, tickets are still available to see Jerry Seinfeld at the Bell Auditorium Friday, January 16, at 7 p.m. And some pretty good seats, too. What’s up with that? In any event, get your tickets now to see America’s favorite screechy voiced, sarcastic comedian. It’ll be like “Seinfeld” never stopped airing. Tickets are $50-$125. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

Thursday, January 15 Live Music

Country Club - Maddie & Tae Edgar’s Grille - Happy Thursday w/ Live Local Music Mellow Mushroom (Aiken) - Shep & Jeff Mellow Mushroom (Downtown) - Ruskin Yeargan Mellow Mushroom (Evans) - Keith G Sky City - Author, Capital Arms, Celia Gary Soul Bar - Stereotype Stillwater Taproom - Willie and the Hand Factory Wild Wing - DB Bryant The Willcox - 4 Cats in the Doghouse

What’s Tonight?

Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Fox’s Lair - Trivia, Soup and Suds Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Highlander - Butt Naked Trivia Joe’s Underground - Trivia The Loft - Karaoke MAD Studios - Open Mic-Spoken Word Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Party Mi Rancho (Evans) - Karaoke Pizza Joint (Downtown) - Trivia w/ Kris Fisher Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane Somewhere in Augusta - Karaoke w/ Coach DJ Villa Europa - Karaoke

Friday, January 16 Live Music

Andrew’s Place - Sherry Iles, Atomic Road Bell Auditorium - Jerry Seinfeld Country Club - Tim Elliott


Coyotes - Departure (Journey Tribute) Doubletree - Live Jazz Laura’s Backyard Tavern - John Berret’s LaRoxes MAD Studios - Rudy Simone, The Mothalickas Rose Hill Estate - Bluegrass w/ One Step Ahead Shannon’s - Perfect Picture Sky City - The Independents, Black Cat Attack,

Sick Sick Sick

Somewhere in Augusta - Ray Fulcher Stillwater Taproom - Crying Wolf Surrey Tavern - Live Music Wild Wing - DM Radio

What’s Tonight?

Augusta Elks Lodge 205 - Karaoke Cork and Bull Pub (Aiken) - Karaoke Eagle’s Nest - Salsa Lessons; Latin Dance Party Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Iron Horse Bar & Grill - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke w/ Ryan Moseley Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke w/ Jeff Barnes Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Three J’s Karaoke Rebeck’s Hideaway - Open Mic Roadrunner Cafe - Kuston Karaoke w/ JJ Talynn Soul Bar - Pop Life Vera Cruz Mexican Restaurant - Karaoke w/ Denny

van Valkenburgh

Wooden Barrel - Karaoke Contest

Saturday, January 17 Live Music

The Acoustic Coffeehouse - Open Acoustic Jam

Session w/ Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold Country Club - Shotgun Redd

Fraternal Order of Eagles - Live Music Shannon’s - Borderline Sky City - Josh Pierce, Jacob Beltz, Michael


Stillwater Taproom - Michael Baideme and Phillip


Surrey Tavern - The Get Right Band Wild Wing - Clay Page Band The Willcox (Aiken) - Jon Vaughn

What’s Tonight?

Chevy’s - Ladies Night w/ DJ Nicky B Fishbowl Lounge - Karaoke Helga’s Pub & Grille - Bluegrass Brunch (11

a.m.-3 p.m.); Trivia, nights Joe’s Underground - World Tavern Poker Laura’s Backyard Tavern - Karaoke MAD Studios - Dollar Movie Cult Classic Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Party Mi Rancho (Clearwater) - Karaoke w/ Danny Haywood Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke Robbie’s - Saturday Night Dance Party Vera Cruz Mexican Restaurant - Karaoke w/ Denny van Valkenburgh Wooden Barrel - Kamikaze Karaoke

Sunday, January 18 Live Music

5 O’Clock Bistro - Live Music MAD Studios - Potluck Party w/ Concert and Open


Wild Wing - Kolbeck The Willcox (Aiken) - Jon Vaughn

Chevy’s - Military and F&B Night Fishbowl Lounge - Dart League Limelite Cafe - Bottom’s Up Karaoke Mellow Mushroom - Trivia Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Cornhole Carolina Meeting The Playground - Twisted Trivia w/ Big Troy Roadrunner Cafe - Trivia Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane Somewhere In Augusta - Big Prize Trivia, World

Tavern Poker, Bunco Soul Bar - Soul Night w/ DJ Matto

Wednesday, January 21 Live Music

Andrew’s Place - Steve Chappell Augusta Elks Lodge 205 - Marilyn Adcock Band Metro Coffeehouse - Open Mic Night Shannon’s - Mike & Patrick Soul Bar - Willie and the Hand Factory, Beauty

Fools, Vilai Harrington Wild Wing - Patterson & Nate

What’s Tonight?

Chevy’s - Songs for Shots Karaoke Cotton Patch - Trivia and Tunes The Loft - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Downtown) - Karaoke Mi Rancho (Washington Road) - Karaoke The Playground - Krazy Karaoke w/ Big Troy Polo Tavern (Aiken) - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Somewhere in Augusta - The Comedy Zone w/ Jim

Holder and Bill Boronkay Stillwater Taproom - Pub Quiz Surrey Tavern - Trivia w/ Christian and Mickey Three Dollar Lounge - World Poker Tournament

Upcoming The Vicky Grady Band

- Stillwater Taproom January 22 Earphunk

- Sky City January 23 15JANUARY2015


- The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Duluth January 31

Carlina Wray

- Stillwater Taproom January 23

Harry Connick Jr.

- Johnny Mercer Theatre, Savannah February 5

Merle Haggard

- Columbia County Exhibition Center January 24

Katt Williams

- Philips Arena, Atlanta February 7

James Otto, Cody Webb

- Country Club January 24

Bill Maher

- City Auditorium, Macon February 7

Gypsy Lord, Brian Kaye, Passage, Six Rock

- Sky City January 24

Eric Benet, Johnny Gill, El Debarge

- Fox Theatre, Atlanta February 8

The 200s

- Stillwater Taproom January 24

George Clinton

Charles Cronk Band, Vicky Grady Band, Vilai Harrington

- Variety Playhouse, Atlanta February 11

- Sky City January 29

- Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta February 12

Shovels & Rope

Stephen Wines

Jessie J

- Stillwater Taproom January 29

- Center Stage, Atlanta February 12

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, The Broadcast


- Sky City January 30

- Tabernacle, Atlanta February 13

Sinners and Saints, The Menders

Big Head Todd and the Monsters

- Stillwater Taproom January 30

- Variety Playhouse, Atlanta February 13

Tony Howard’s Motown Revue

Mike Epps

- Imperial Theatre January 31

- Civic Center, Columbus February 14

Underhill Rose

Patton Oswalt

- Stillwater Taproom January 31

- Tabernacle, Atlanta February 15 Young the Giant


- Georgia Theatre, Athens February 19

Martina McBride

Gordon Lightfood

- Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, Atlanta January 16-17

- Grand Opera House, Macon February 20 Lucero

- Georgia Theatre, Athens February 24

Billy Idol

- Tabernacle, Atlanta January 22

Tedeschi Trucks Band

- City Auditorium, Macon February 27

Machine Head

- Masquerade, Atlanta January 25

Willie Nelson

- Tabernacle, Atlanta February 27

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

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Michael Johnson |

Chris Cosby, Elizabeth Lamb and Doug Welch at the inauguration of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Robert Osborne, Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Patrick Clayton at the inauguration of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Matt Duncan, Lonzo Smith and Antonio White at the inauguration of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Barclay Bishop, Edmond and Vanessa Thompson, and Jay Jefferies at the inauguration of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Brandon Kelly with new Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, along with Davis’ wife Evett and son Benjamin, at his inauguration at Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

Barry Davis and Tina Grunfelder with Stephany and Ralph Squillace at the Country Club.

Jan and Faira Payne with Jennifer and Michael Heaberlin at the Southern Soul and Song Sarah Jarosz concert at the Imperial Theatre.

Angie Reasoner, Cindy Mason and singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz at the Southern Soul and Song concert at the Imperial Theatre.

Lorena Pickrell, Carmen Johns, Samantha DesJardins and Nuni Hernacz at Country Club.



THE DESCENT OF MAN By Finn Vigeland / Edited by Will Shortz ACROSS 1 The “1” of 1/4 4 Org. portrayed in “American Hustle” 7 Conceal, in a way 11 Aloof 17 Subj. that gets into circulation? 19 Caterer’s container 20 Starters 22 Spring 23 Greeting at the door 25 Daily newspaper feature, informally 26 Rabelaisian 27 Signs from above 28 Part of U.N.C.F. 30 “Nobody’s infallible, not even me” 32 Literary genre of “David Copperfield” or “Ender’s Game” 34 World-weary 35 U.K. record label 37 States 38 So-called “herb of remembrance” 40 Jimmy 43 Serenader, maybe 45 Something a chair has 47 “Candid Camera” feature 48 To the same extent 51 What a hippie lives in? 54 Takes to court 56 Novelist Frank who wrote “The Octopus” 58 She, in Brazil 59 Hipster beer, for short 61 Most IRT lines in the Bronx, e.g. 62 Cry of discovery 63 ___ cotta 65 Like smoothie fruit 67 Rocker Weymouth of the Talking Heads 71 Title song question in Disney’s “Frozen” 75 ___ jacket 76 Abalone 77 Southern African desert 78 You can bank on it 79 Bygone French coin 81 Foreign policy grp. 82 Window units, briefly 83 ___ Stark, Oona Chaplin’s “Game of Thrones” role 85 Friend’s couch, perhaps 89 Stuffed Jewish dish 92 Leslie of “Gigi” and “Lili” 93 Singer Mann 94 “Tom ___” (#1 Kingston Trio hit) 96 Reclined

98 Sang like Ella 100 What may eat you out of house and home? 103 Hon 107 37-Across, informally 108 Some police attire 110 Academy Award winner who has played both a U.S. president and God 112 Cover subject on Ms. magazine’s debut issue, 1972 115 Easily bribed 116 City burned in Genesis 117 ___ algebra 118 Scope 120 1990s craze 122 Eats up 123 Kitchen gadget 124 Free ad, for short 125 Water carrier 126 See 52-Down 127 Like stereotypical TV neighbors 128 Application info: Abbr. 129 Spanish article DOWN 1 Pioneering urbanologist Jane 2 Inability to recall the names of everyday objects 3 To wit 4 Entertainment 5 Elicit 6 “Delaware Water Gap” painter George 7 Long period of stability ending circa A.D. 180 8 Part of Lawrence Welk’s introduction 9 Enthusiastic, sociable, confident type, it’s said 10 Norma Jean, later 11 Kitchen gadget 12 Certain weanling 13 One of a Greek trio 14 100% guaranteed 15 “Kinderszenen” composer 16 Exclamation repeated in the Monkees’ TV theme song 18 Is a mixologist 21 Drug also known as Ecstasy 24 Big Ten rival of UMich 29 College sr.’s test 31 Award for Hunt and Peck 33 Shooters’ org. 34 Its drafts may be crafts 36 Bothers

39 Fourth word in the “Star Wars” prologue 41 Kind of blue 42 Ones holding hands? 44 “Un Ballo in Maschera” aria 46 Hesitant start to a question 48 + end 49 “Ooh-la-la!” 50 Cold treat, informally 52 With 126-Across, first European to cross the Mississippi 53 Thrills 55 Website billed as “the front page of the Internet” 57 Clinches 60 Repast for a late riser 64 Singer Carly ___ Jepsen 65 ___ favor 66 Good wood for cabinetmaking 68 Where bombs are bursting, per Francis Scott Key 69 “Au contraire!” 70 “Gimme a break!” 72 Quick round of tennis 73 Takes on 74 Summers of old? 80 President Arthur’s nickname 82 Feature of much modern architecture 84 Hill or dale 85 Mama ___ 86 Popular Eastern beverage 87 Largest state of Brazil 88 Deadly viper 90 Suffix with hotel 91 Container in a 34-Down 95 Place to kick your feet up 97 Solid rock center? 99 Very much 101 ___ thruster (NASA system) 102 Wanders (around) 104 Traveling around the holidays, maybe 105 New Jersey town next to Fort Lee 106 1960s-’80s Pontiac 109 Substitute 111 Edward Snowden subj. 113 “Quo Vadis” character 114 Nutty 115 Tries to win 117 You can trip on it 119 Dude 121 Has the ability to





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BOX TOPS Moviegoers love seeing Liam Neeson kick ass; “Taken 3” scores third best January opening ever RANK




































“Selma” EARLY IN “SELMA,” the story of

the 1965 marches from that small Alabama town to Montgomery, we get a disagreeable meeting of two heavyweights. Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) welcomes Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) into the Oval Office to dissuade him, maybe, from the next act of social agitation, whatever that may be. King explains, in terms rarely articulated so clearly in American popular culture, that the matter needing the most attention — voting — will not abide any further delay. Every fashion of Jim Crow law prevents black people from registering. As white people murder black people in the South, he says, they are protected by sheriffs and prosecutors chosen by an all-white electorate and, if ever sent to trial, face all-white juries, as jurors are chosen from among registered voters. If you didn’t skip 10th-grade American history, you know what happened next: Johnson later signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and black Americans gained full civic equality virtually overnight. The law came to see folks of every color and creed as one unified people, worthy of the same rights and respect, provided equal protections in statute as well as in practice. Which is why it’s comforting to watch “Selma” now as a quaint historical artifact, much like the magazines you’re about to recycle, or a tweet from more than 20 minutes ago. Or more likely, we haven’t yet passed the so-called past. No, if anything, “Selma” underlines how far we have come (vis-a-vis cops on horseback bull-whipping fleeing children) while reminding us of the worm-eaten history we’re stuck building our foundation atop. Tim Roth plays Alabama Gov. George Wallace with the right amount of indignation and self-righteousness, insisting as he sends state troopers to terrorize peaceful marchers that he wields no sway over those same people’s ability to cast a vote. That, after all, is a power reserved to county clerks, never mind that Wallace himself might find himself unemployed if all Alabama adults were counted. 36 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

Sam Eifling King’s power at once seems smaller and greater in “Selma.” Aside from his winning the Nobel Peace Prize and holding court at times with Johnson, he appears to have little official sway, exhorting packed church congregations from a pulpit and speaking at times to reporters. But it’s worth asking whence his power derives. Oyelowo’s oration gives us a glimpse: King was a powerful writer and speaker. Paul Webb’s screenplay takes advantage of its subject’s gifts, and yet, in her direction, Ava DuVernay has a funny way of minimizing King on the screen, often positioning him at the margins of the frame, making the words larger than the man. The film’s treatment of King’s extramarital affairs (a cudgel his detractors have swung at his legacy for years), though gentle, seems also arranged to underscore his status as a single, flawed guy. God, religion and prayer make plenty of appearances; as with so many wars, both white and black in the South found justification in scripture for their positions. “Selma” is able to channel the depth of that moral righteousness into a story that feels depressingly, inspiringly current. The rapper/actor Common, who appears in King’s inner circle as James Bevel, just won the Golden Globe with John Legend for their original song “Glory” that plays over the end credits. What will jump out to even a lazy ear are lyrical references to Ferguson, Missouri, in that song. Why, in part, did Ferguson ignite? It’s a two-thirds black town with an all-white city council. Whether that owes to apathy or systemic barriers, the results last summer were the same. Glory, glory hallelujah, no one next year is marching on from Selma to Montgomery. But the struggle continues to elect a government that reflects the will of the governed. It begins with getting yourself and your neighbors to the ballot box.



In Theaters January 16 ACTION

“Blackhat,” rated R, starring Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis. So they expect us to believe that Chris Hemsworth is a master criminal/hacker? Pardon us, but the hacker body type is less Thor and more Michael Moore. Right?


“Paddington,” rated PG, starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent. Yes, it’s the Paddington Bear of fiction. Just, in this incarnation, much, much creepier.



“The Wedding Ringer,” rated R, starring Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Josh Gad, Kevin Hart. Because if you have enough money, you can hire someone to do pretty much anything.




Can Senator Jones Solve This Problem? FORMER RICHMOND COUNTY SOLICITOR HAROLD JONES was sworn in this

week as the new District 22 state senator, succeeding Hardie Davis, the man who has become Augusta’s newest mayor. As a Democrat serving in a Republican-controlled state government, Senator Jones will be limited in what he can pursue as far as wide, sweeping legislation goes, but the rookie senator brings a certain expertise to the Augusta legislative delegation that has not been present for a good while. He has significant experience with the criminal justice system as one of our community’s top prosecutors. As such, he has firsthand knowledge of any number of much needed “fixes” that need to be considered, from the ongoing debate over widespread traffic crackdowns like Operation Thunder to the serious need we have for all certified state law enforcement officers to be outfitted for lapel cameras. Most importantly, Senator Jones knows firsthand how screwed up the Georgia State Crime Lab is, and how the delays and backlog for vital postmortem toxicology reports mean months of waiting for coroners all over the state, as they attempt to close “sudden death” cases caused both naturally and violently. Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen tells me he is currently waiting on lab reports for deaths that occurred back in September, and he estimates that number of cases at 25. Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins handles fewer cases, of course, but he deals with the same backlog. Every coroner in Georgia deals with it. That means hundreds and hundreds of families have no clue exactly why their child died suddenly, what happened to their beloved brother, what it was that killed their sister, or how their apparently healthy 60-year-old spouse dropped dead from what could have been food poisoning, an allergic reaction, an accidental drug overdose or radiation exposure. Understand how this is a problem? And it has been a problem for a long time. Physical autopsies, which (thank God) are being done in a timely manner, can determine certain physical causes of natural or violent death, but the blood and body fluids tests, which are most often needed in such cases, have a four- to sixmonth backlog. It is so bad that Bowen is asking permission to send such tests to an out of state lab, so loved ones and law enforcement officers get those results back in days, and not half a year later. Permission to bypass the Georgia Crime Lab would have to be granted by the state legislature, but here is a novel idea, let’s fix the damn lab and get it done here! I have been writing (and screaming) about this issue for several years now to no avail. The state of Georgia can spend money on everything from school band uniforms to inauguration party security costs, but they can’t seem to figure out how to properly recruit and keep a dozen lab techs who do nothing but run these tests. These blood tests can be knocked out by qualified techs in usually an hour or two. The problem, of course, is that they are stacked six months high in queue, and there is no move to change that dynamic anytime soon.


I am told the state lab doesn’t pay enough to keep certified personnel in place, and they are undermanned even when they have a full complement of techs. Fine. Fix it! Money rarely fixes major problems in our public safety system, but this is one time when writing a check will take care of the problem. Not a soul in this state will object to the cost, whatever it takes. The Republicans who have been in charge of business in Georgia for the last 10 years have no excuse in the world as to how they let this happen, but it happened under their watch, and it seems to be getting worse as each year passes. I would love... LOVE... Senator Jones to stand up and demand the crime lab be given top priority. He has the criminal justice chops to aggressively push the issue and double-dare anyone to debate the importance of getting this problem solved now. If I have any problem with our local legislative delegation in either Richmond or Columbia counties, it is that they almost never raise Hell about anything, even when Heaven itself demands it. Senator Jones has the personality, the technical knowledge and the talent to rattle cages on this. If he gets it done, he can make him a rock star. Or, he can quietly sit back and be “what’s his name” from Augusta. This conservative thinks he can do it. The only question is will he?


The views expressed are the opinions of Austin Rhodes and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.


Metro Spirit - 01.15.15  
Metro Spirit - 01.15.15