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Augusta’s Independent Voice Since 1989 •

February 15, 2018


Table of Contents

Augusta’s Independent Voice Since 1989 •

february 15, 2018 | V29 • N07

The Insider The Residents of Rockdale County Have Spoken by The Insider

Last week, The Insider took news from another part of the state and helped shine a little light on a questionable contract in Rockdale County. Basically, the Metro Spirit was contacted by several concerned citizens living around Conyers, Ga., about a recent contract that the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners approved in January without public discussion. Earlier this year, the five-year, no-bid contract was given to a company called Greenhood Industries to provide “consulting and management” for a residential waste collection program in Rockdale County. Under the contract, the company, Greenhood, would provide a countywide collection program of household waste at a “monthly rate to be determined.” The fact that citizens had no idea what this countywide collection program might cost them down the road and there was no public debate over the contract outraged several residents. But what amazed some of our local citizens was the managing member of Greenhood Industries was Augusta’s own Charles 15FEBRUARY2018

“Champ” Walker, Jr. Walker, the once 12th Congressional District candidate and son of former state Sen. Charles Walker, heads Greenhood Industries. Even more baffling to some Richmond County residents was the fact that the chairman of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners was none other than native Augustan and former Richmond County deputy marshal Oz Nesbitt. While the connection seemed comical here in Augusta, it was no laughing matter in Rockdale County. This was a five-year contract with no specified price tag for its citizens from an out-of-town company that did not go through a bidding process. It had nothing to do with the politics of the Walker family (wink, wink), but the major concern was the fact that there was no public debate over the merits of this contract. Well, needless to say, the citizens of Rockdale County let their voices be heard. More than 200 residents of Rockdale County packed last week’s meeting in reference to the contract.

Jenny is Wright Kris Fisher Whine Line Feature News What’s Up Calendar Nightlife The Eight Sightings

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Is a whitewater rapids park in Augusta’s future? Page 23




The Insider

The Residents of Rockdale County Have Spoken by The Insider > Continued from the previous page


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According to The Rockdale Citizen, a total of 105 people signed up to make comments on the issue, but only 63 were given time to speak during the four-hour meeting. The four-hour long meeting. You know the Rockdale County commissioners loved that gathering. After the huge public outcry over the contract, Nesbitt, who has served two fouryear terms as Commissioner Post 1 in Rockdale County and is currently serving a four-year term as chairman of the commission, quickly tried to put out the flames over the issue. In a recorded video message to citizens last week (which happened to begin with stately music that was almost reminiscent of music played prior to a mock election debate featured on “Saturday Night Live”), Nesbitt addressed the public about the garbage and waste collections contract. “I want each and every one of y’all who came out and spoke and sent a message to know, you were heard,” Nesbitt said, smiling at the camera. “As chairman of Rockdale County, I want all of you to know that you were heard very loud and very clear. As far as I’m concerned, this trash issue is dead in the water, and this contract will not have my support.” Boom. Just like that, the garbage deal was done. It was over for Greenhood Industries in Rockdale County. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to rescind the contract with Greenhood Industries. Nesbitt even apologized to residents for the confusion over the contract, adding that he hoped citizens will continue to be willing to assist the county in stopping illegal dumping, according to The Rockdale Citizen. “I think this conversation in terms of garbage and trash has really sparked a new conversation in this community about cleaning up the image of Rockdale County collectively as a whole,” Nesbitt reportedly said. “I think we will all agree that this is not just one person’s problem, it is not a city of Conyers problem, it is not a county problem, it is a community problem and it is going to take the entire community together to work at cleaning this up.” Nice job to the residents of Rockdale County for “cleaning up” a potential mess headed their way. As for Nesbitt, he learned a valuable lesson this month: Politics ain’t always pretty. In fact, sometimes it’s garbage. The best advice is to stand by your constituents, even if you upset your pals. 15FEBRUARY2018

Jenny is Wright Yes, I Got the Flu Shot by Jenny Wright Y’all. I got the flu twice. Let me clarify. It was suspected that I had the flu twice. A few weeks ago, I had all the symptoms, and because it was too late to get meds, I stayed home and tried to keep the germs to myself. Almost exactly two weeks later, after feeling great for a number of days, it was back. Every symptom, including the achy body that made me want to cry. I joked that the last time I felt such intolerable pain, I got an epidural and a baby. That’s a bit of a stretch, but in the moment, it felt terrible. For the second round, the flu swab was negative, but the doc I JENNY WRIGHT’S humorous observations on marriage, saw didn’t want to take any chances. Home with meds and orders motherhood and living in for isolation, just to be safe. Augusta have earned her a devoted following, both in print In case you’re wondering, the flu swab is no picnic. Much like and on Facebook. When she’s a strep test, it involves a long Q-tip like thing. Unlike the strep test, not spying on other parents in the carpool line at school, you’ll they ram the Q-tip up your nose and spin it around. Mercy. probably find her with either a I was all up in my feelings and had a major pity party about camera, tennis racquet or wine glass in her hand. the inconvenience of being sick again. I ranted about the woman I saw in Walgreens who coughed right out into the open air for 20 minutes. Occasionally, when she would cover her mouth, she coughed on her bare hand, which she’d use to touch everything in the pharmacy section before putting it all back. Resting on the couch, wallowing in my misery, I was thinking about the fact that The Man had jury duty, putting him home later than usual. The kids had a busy week. How would we manage? Who would make my mom’s chicken soup? Ding! My phone. I had a text. “Please pray for us. My husband’s dad had a heart attack this morning and died. We are on the way to be with his mom now.” Gut punch. Sunday night, this husband, father, grandfather and friend was FaceTiming with his granddaughters. Monday morning, his family was making funeral arrangements.


We say it all the time, and it’s a popular cliche, but a reminder never hurts. Life is short. Moments are fleeting. We are busy. We miss those moments. We can’t be around for everything. Life gets busy. My oldest turns 14 this week. I have friends with new babies, which admittedly gives me baby fever. I see why people go back and have another after a decade or more has passed. Our family is the perfect size, so we won’t be adding a bundle to the mix, but I’m reminded to pause. I don’t want to ever be too busy to listen or watch. This moment, once it passes, never comes back. I may sound sappy, and that’s okay. It’s birthday season in our house, and I always get a little weepy. The teenage years come quickly, and you can feel them passing at warp speed. Hold those babies tight. Make sure your husband knows you love him. Don’t just assume; tell him. Hug your people, people. And for the love of all things holy, please cover your mouth when you cough.



Kris Fisher The Ballad of Mr. Steak by Kris Fisher

The wife and I got into an argument the other night. I’m not a fan of arguing. I’ll usually avoid it at all costs. But this was something I just couldn’t take. I had spent the evening seasoning some T-bones, then put them on the grill. The smell when those steaks came off the grill was incredible, mouth-watering. When we started to plate all the meals, she went in the fridge to get the A.1. Sauce. Blasphemy. I told her she might as well put ketchup KRIS FISHER is the midday host and program director for HD98.3 on it — that a good steak shouldn’t need any steak and an Augusta radio staple. He sauce. I explained that, as a man, we take offense is a husband, father of three and lover of all things adventurous, to someone putting steak sauce on our steaks. She as well as activities most people would have outgrown years ago. clapped back: “So, if I bake a cake and you have ice cream with it, I should take offense to that?” It’s at that moment I realized: There are just some things that are important to a man that women will probably never get. Guys have certain things that, as men, we feel gauges our manliness: The essentials of being a man, if you will. Some examples: being decent at sports, being able to drink straight whiskey, knowing our way around a car, being able to grill a great steak, etc. The list can vary from guy to guy. But we all have a list. For example, Chad Bennett says his list includes “blowing things up and fixing things.” My brother’s list included “have some sort of toolbox together, even if you don’t know how to fix anything.” Fenway’s list included “being able to grow a beard”… good one! It’s just like the list of womanly things that only women care about. I don’t know what those things are because I care about that almost as much as women care about our stupid guy list. So, I asked. Her list includes: being creative with hair, cooking amazing meals, helping the kids be creative, fixing boo-boos, multitasking, etc. I’d assume that other women have their own variations of this list. The funny part is that when I asked everyone, they were surprised with the question but came up with their own list rather quickly. I guess we all have things that we feel define us or at least should define us. It most likely comes with upbringing. What’s on your list? However, I think we can all agree that steak sauce should just be outlawed. There’s just no need for it, if the steak is cooked right. But, then again, maybe my steak game isn’t as strong as I like to think it is. 15FEBRUARY2018


“I’m a leader — people love me!” Pammy is going to bring us “fresh air and sunshine.” Well, that will just fix everything, won’t it? Obviously a Democrat in disguise. So CC Comissioner Bill Morris says he is done serving the citizens of CC, essentially “quitting” as a public servant, claiming “it just wasn’t a good fit” for him. So now you tells us Bill?! What changed? You didn’t have any problem circling the wagons with RCross and the other good ole boys and openly chastising Ms. Tucker for feeling the same way you apparently feel now! OH THE IRONY! It’s Tucker Time.


Have something you want to get off your chest? Send your whines to The Metro Spirit reserves the right to edit submitted whines for content, but we will otherwise print them pretty much exactly as you type them… spelling errors and all.

Maybe someone should ask the employees and patients of AU Health how well their strategic plan to minimize their debt is going? Patient and family centered care has become “Upper Management Money and Bottom Line Centered Care.”

Hey trumpy-poo, why did your people resign, if they were only facing “mere allegations”? As many may know School Board member Mike Sleeper spends many nights moonlighting as a host of trivia. Recently a category was called fourletter word and an upcoming category is titled Fake Doctors. Here is an idea for an upcoming topic: Fake Ranger. This way every answer can be Mike Sleeper. Columbia County is this who you want setting policy for our school system. Demand his resignation now.

ABC Network was forbidding any of their newscasters from wearing any American Flag pins or anything that could be construed as patriotic. But I asked that question to WJBF News by email, and Austin Rhodes email, and after a week, no response from either. I’m just trying to verify whether it’s true or not. The campaign disclosure reports are posted in Columbia County and in looking at the one submitted by our sheriff it appears that his administrative specialist is pulling double duty. She was reimbursed for the purchase of a laptop to be used for his campaign. Who other than me believes this was done while working for the taxpayers. It’s ok because the law doesn’t apply to him. Beware Movie goers there are those people who prey on movie goers. Do not allow people to sit too close to you (especially if there’s empty seats else where. Don’t be ashamed to change your seat (loudly)!! There is a drug called Devils Breath that can be flown into the air and out you in a stupor! I awoke with my wallet in my hand!

Praise be to the 1960s Steering Committee of mostly Paine College students who desegregated so much here in Augusta. They went through the bullying, beatings, stabbings, lawsuits and other horrible things through horrible years to pursue rights for all. I hope the students of today will learn and be grateful for all that was done. In 1957, a Senate committee chaired by Senator John F. Kennedy selected John C. Calhoun as one of the five greatest US Senators in history. Since JFK approved of Calhoun, would Commissioner Fennoy be in favor of renaming or removing any mention of JFK? Nasty moldy oldy politics sucks Attention DACA whiners: “You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for”. — Great Sports Quotes. Dems please have someone explain this to you. To the whiner who laughed about this being Barack Obama’s economy, you need to study history and not fox news. Pam Tucker is running for Commission Chairman on a platform of “bringing fresh air and sunshine back to Columbia County.” I live in Columbia County. I never LOST my fresh air or my sunshine. What on earth is this woman babbling about? We need to end the traffic gridlock, give our law enforcement the tools it needs to protect us, and make Columbia County attractive to new business and light industry. And self-proclaimed 12 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989


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The Imperial Theatre survives wars, influenza, Regency Mall

A century on Broad by Amanda Main |

A century sounds like such a long time. It’s a little hard for us to imagine what living was like 100 years ago, but if you look at the history of the Imperial Theatre, you’ll realize that some of the issues we’re dealing with today are similar to things people faced over the past century. The Augusta theater is celebrating its centennial anniversary this week. It’s an amazing accomplishment, but it’s not been without its hurdles. When it first opened on Feb. 18, 1918, it was a silent movie theater and vaudeville house called the Wells Theatre, established by Jake Wells. During the time it was built, in 1917, it brought life back to downtown Augusta, after the great fire of 1916. To get an idea of what the area had just gone through, the Augusta Museum of History helps recount to the public the massive destruction caused by the historic fire. “A fire broke out (shortly after 6 p.m. March 22, 1916) in a shop housed in the Dyer building in downtown Augusta,” according to the Augusta Museum of History’s records. “The fire, fed by strong winds, burned steadily through the night and into the morning hours of March 23. Sweeping through much of downtown, the fire destroyed businesses, schools and residences in its path. Firefighters from Augusta’s 14 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

five engine companies, as well as fire department crews from neighboring cities, including Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston and Columbia, helped battle the massive fire. An area of a quarter square mile, or 25 blocks, was blackened during the fire. There were no deaths caused by the fire; however, many were left homeless. Property loss was estimated at $6 million.” The theater opening up after that destruction created a bright spot in a dark time in Augusta’s history. At the time, the Augusta Chronicle described it as “one of the most magnificent in the South.” Wells opened the space with a plan for rental revenue. Outside of the theater, in what now is the lobby, bar and offices, were a railway office and Western Union. Western Union was in the space for people to send and receive telegrams all the way through the 1950s and ’60s.


The theater was built in the midst of World War I, which ended in November 1918. As the troops were coming back to the U.S., they brought with them strains of influenza that became known as the Spanish flu. Not surprisingly, military towns in the U.S. tended to suffer the effects of the flu worse than nonmilitary towns. This caused quarantines and

restrictions against public gatherings, and the theater suffered. “So Mr. Wells effectively had to close the theater, and the rental income was insufficient to help carry him,” said Charles Scavullo, who has served as the theater’s executive director since 2007. “So he ended up going out of business in late 1918, and at that point, the theater went through a change in ownership. And even in the early 1900s, there were theater consortiums and theater companies, and a theater group bought the building at that point and renamed it the Imperial Theatre. So in 1918, it changed ownership and it was renamed the Imperial Theatre. And you can see that in some photographs we have in the lobby that there was a rather muted marquee for the Wells Theatre. Our marquee (now) is actually a copy, or reproduction, of the 1938 marquee.” The interior of the theater is an Art Deco style. “The color scheme that we have now is 1980s earth tone variety, and it had been painted a few times in the ’30s and ’50s, as well,” Scavullo said. “But the original color scheme was a gray, gold, silver and a rouge red. And the gray was kind of reminiscent of silver; I think in the Augusta Chronicle article, they might have described it as silver, but we found some 15FEBRUARY2018


remnants of it when we did some painting and scraping in the last year or so. “It was very vibrant,” he continued. “The movie theaters were trying to attract the public to come in, and they wanted the experience of coming in to see a movie, coming to see a show to be an exciting experience — think Disney. So all of these walls were popping with color.” The theater was innovative for its time — Scavullo said it was the first building in downtown Augusta that had air-conditioning. “The air-conditioning was accomplished by way of having giant fans that were mounted above the ceiling, actually on the roof of the building,” Scavullo said. “And they would haul blocks of ice up using the pulley system from the alley. They’d haul the blocks of ice up and put them between the fans, and then they’d turn the electric fans on and blow the cool air into the building. So that increased the possibility that the paying public would come in to watch films in June, July and August and September in Augusta, and it also would be one of the coolest spots in Augusta as a result of it being air-conditioned. So even if you want to see a movie, you can come in and chill, and then you’d see the movie and go, ‘Oh, this is pretty cool; I like this, too.’” Back when the theater opened, it seated more than 1,200 people. Now, there are 845 seats. Scavullo said the reduction in seating is due to people being smaller in stature back in the early 20th century, and there apparently were no center aisles in the theater, originally. Although people of all races now are able to buy any seat in the house that they want to, the Imperial came into existence during the segregation era. Like most public places during those decades, black people were forced to sit separately from white people, until sometime around the civil rights movement era of


the 1960s. At the Imperial, the segregated area was all the way up in the second balcony area. A separate restroom and separate box office also existed for black people during those days. Remnants of the segregated box office still exist in the balcony, where the black patrons had to take a separate staircase from white people to get up there. The seats that are still in the balcony were installed in the ’40s and ’50s, and Imperial staff would like to get them reupholstered in the near future, keeping the curved, steel Art Deco look intact.


A beautiful piece of the theater’s history is sitting just outside the entryway to the theater. The Wurlitzer organ on display first was installed in 1925, and it provided background music and sound effects for silent films. The organ looks like the inspiration for elaborate, modern electronic keyboards today, with keys that stand in for different instruments. Pedals at the bottom of the contraption created sound effects like a boat whistle, triangle, siren, a bird chirp, horses’ hooves, the sounds of surf, a Chinese gong, and a fire alarm. In modern times and in our modern economy, people often are left wondering if and when their jobs will be replaced by machines. But that’s nothing new. The organ serves as a reminder that even 100 years ago, technology had the potential to replace people’s jobs. “Each of these buttons (on the organ) is an instrument from an orchestra. So a single person could effectively replace an entire orchestra,” Scavullo said. “And there was a gentleman who actually invented a theater organ with the intention of it being used for silent films. Because before that, if a theater didn’t have a theater organ, they’d have to bring in a quartet or a quintet, and then you’re relying on the pianist coming from Waynesboro and their Model A breaks down, or if on their horse and wagon, the wheel falls off or something or somebody gets a cold, then you’re missing the violinist or the bassoonist or the saxophone. And this way, you just rely on one person to come.” The organ hasn’t always been sitting safely at the Imperial. Some decades back, it was supposed to end up in a senior citizen community somewhere in Augusta. The theater lost track of it, but in 2006, the executive director at the time got a phone call from the American Theatre Organ Society Atlanta AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



chapter. It was just sitting in some guy’s house, and it might have been thrown away. “They had found our organ installed in a house in Marietta,” Scavullo said. “The house was for sale; the gentleman that owned the house and the organ was downsizing, and the real estate agent who was selling the house didn’t know what to do with the organ. The organ essentially resided in an addition that was built to fit the organ and the pipes. And so he was either hoping to find a theater organist, which was far and in between, or he was just gonna throw the whole thing in a dumpster in order to create that space for a potential buyer. So the theater organ people called us and said they’d identified it by the serial number, asked if we’d be interested in getting it back and were told that we’d love to have it back, but there’s no way we could possibly afford to have it dismantled and packed up and shipped, and they provided us with their labor and expertise in building and disassembling organs. So they took the whole thing apart, packed it up real nice in boxes, and all we had to do was pay the freight from Atlanta to Augusta to get it back. “So the theater organ sits here waiting to be installed at some point, and then up in the second floor, we have an area where all of the hundreds if not thousands of pipes live right now, upstairs.” Scavullo said that a future project they’d like to do in the theater is reinstall the organ for use. Movies with prerecorded sound (called “talkies”) started hitting theaters in 1929, so the organ likely originally fell out of use shortly after that, except for maybe some pre-show entertainment. “So as a result, the Imperial Theatre became pretty much a first-run movie theater from the ’30s into the ’60s and 16 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

’70s,” Scavullo said. Some notable movies that showed there over the years included Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1938, “Jaws” in 1975 and “Superman” in 1978.


The stage has been graced with some major names in entertainment history. One of the first would be Charlie Chaplin, a silent movie star and huge name in entertainment back then. He came to the theater in Augusta in April 1918, shortly after its opening, to sell war bonds to support the World War I effort. He and actor/screenwriter Douglas Fairbanks (who didn’t make it to Augusta) went on a national tour during that time to help out during the war. The Augusta Chronicle at the time reported that Chaplin would be celebrating his 29th birthday during the visit. The newspaper quipped: “There is no use to tell who and what Charley Chaplin is for there is no better known man in America, or one more popular with people of every age.” (Note that his name was spelled correctly as “Charlie” in the headline but as “Charley” in the story text.) The newspaper continued: “At much financial sacrifice, he has given up an entire month to tour the country in the interest of Liberty Bonds, and while it is difficult to associate anything so serious and grim as war with this artist of humor who seems to live only to make the world laugh, it is all the more interesting and impressive from force of contrast to have this chance to hear him plead for this patriotic duty of everyone to spend every cent they can spare — and then some — for Liberty Bonds, the bonds that mean defeat for the Kaiser and victory for American and the allies.”

Charlie Chaplin 15FEBRUARY2018


Another famed person during the early years to grace the theater’s stage was Anna Pavlova, a premiere ballerina of her time with the Ballet Russe. She was there in 1924. Over the years, ballet has become an integral part of the Imperial Theatre’s history, with what now is known as the Colton Ballet Company of Augusta having its production of “The Nutcracker” there every year since the 1970s. And it wouldn’t fully be an Augusta stage without the presence of James Brown, who held rehearsals in the building before his worldwide tours. As for the stage, just this past year at the request of Ed Turner and Number 9, it was renamed the Ms. Sharon Jones Stage, in honor of the North Augusta native and lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. She died in November 2016 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.


The theater was a working movie theater until the 1980s. The theater actually closed in 1981, with the building slated for demolition. Why? Because businesses were leaving downtown Augusta. And it involved the Regency Mall, which — though now closed down — is still a potential issue for downtown today. “There was a flight of retail business from downtown in the ’70s as a result of the Regency Mall and the Augusta Mall opening, and then of course, there were the strip shopping centers, National Hills, and Master’s Plaza where 2nd and Charles is,” Scavullo said. “So they had Masters Cinema open there; the National Hills Cinema opened, and then there was Southgate Cinema on Gordon Highway, there was a cinema at Regency Mall and all of that competition, plus the fact that people were not coming downtown anymore because of the retail business moving out, forced the business to close. The film company, the movie theater company that owned the business, owned the theater, closed it, and it was gonna be slated for demolition.” Around the same time, the Bell Auditorium was undergoing a renovation — and the Miller Theater closed. Scavullo said the Imperial was the only possible working theater available for performing arts organizations like the Augusta Players, the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Ballet. “As a result of (those groups) contacting the city and letting them know that they really need this performance and rehearsal space, the building was saved, and it ended up being sold to an outside investor from Savannah, who came in and did the initial renovation in the mid-1980s,” Scavullo said. “And then it changed hands a couple of times, and then in 1992, the building was in foreclosure. At that point in time, the city stepped in and paid off the note and agreed to sell the building to a recently formed nonprofit; a 501(c)(3) organization was formed, the Imperial Community Theatre Inc., and so at that point, the nonprofit assumed ownership of the building and began operating the theater and continues to this day.” In recent years, the theater has been undergoing renovations and restoration to keep it vibrant for years to come. One of the biggest threats to the theater in the past decade was water rushing into the building whenever it rained. Repairs were made to the theater last summer to fix that, but before the repairs, Scavullo himself learned a lot about pumping water out. “That was a significant problem, to the point that before I went over to family’s for Christmas a few years ago, I came down here and turned the sump pumps on Christmas morning to get the water out of the orchestra pit,” Scavullo said. “So having got that resolved, we ended up installing a 15-inch concrete pipe around the perimeter of the building outside, under the sidewalk, and then we poured new sidewalk and concrete. And then we put in catch basins and we tied in the downspouts for the gutter system and led that into the 15-inch pipe, and the 15inch pipe goes down this alley and goes to the storm drain in the street. And that’s effectively solved the water problem that we had. “We also put a new roof on; all of the different buildings in the theater have a new roof, so the possibility of leaks have been reduced if not eliminated. So those are some of the biggest challenges that we had. Being in business, you always have the challenges of keeping up financially, but we’ve fortunately been very blessed over the past few years. We’ve had some really good years, and we are, thank heavens, in a good position financially, so that’s great.” The Imperial staff have also been having the interior of the theater repainted, and they have plans to repair and restore the moldings with faces on the side walls 15FEBRUARY2018

of the theater, as well as the arch over the stage. When asked about the relationship with the Miller Theater, which opened back up this year just down the street from the Imperial, Scavullo was all positive. “I think it’s a symbiotic relationship, in the sense that we I think both have been working well together,” he said. “We have distinct differences, primarily in the size of the venue, which differentiates us from each other. Ours being an 800-seat theater; theirs being a 1,300-seat theater. In the case of promoters and producing companies, they’re looking for a certain size venue, which pretty much sets their budget in terms of their cost structure. … We fit the size parameters of being the smaller of the theaters in the downtown area with 800 seats. Then there’s a 1,300seat Miller Theater, then there’s a 3,000-seat Bell, and then there’s a 6,000-seat James Brown Arena. So promoters and producing performing arts organizations make the decision on their own, but we fit that market for the size theater that we are.”


One local man has been performing on the stage at the Imperial since he was 15 — he’s 75 now. Johnny Hensley formed Augusta’s first rock ’n’ roll band, Johnny Hensley and the Red Hots, back in 1958. The Imperial was 40 years old. “There were plenty of what we call back then, and I guess today, soul bands — AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



primarily black bands back then, but with the advent of Elvis and rock ’n’ roll, there weren’t any white rock ’n’ roll bands in Augusta, so I put together Johnny Hensley and the Red Hots. And I had just turned 15 years old, and every Saturday morning, they had a live radio show from the stage of the Imperial Theatre called Teen Time. “The Imperial is special. What made it special for us was, it was the first theater we ever worked. … Just the atmosphere with having 800 screaming teenagers, that was the best drug around. And I’ll tell you how special it was to me — about 20 years ago, we started putting the old band back together and doing a reunion concert.” Hensley said that before Teen Time, there wasn’t a whole lot going on for teenagers in the way of entertainment specifically for them in Augusta. He said his band has played only at the Imperial — even though they had an offer to play at the Bell Auditorium for free some years back. They’ll be playing their last reunion show on July 28 at the Imperial. “I’ve often said the best show on our reunion concerts is in the audience,” he said. “Those people just come to have a party; they come to have a good time. And these are people that grew up with the band that are now in their 70s. It’s hard to believe that 800 old farts will show up on a Saturday night still to fill up the Imperial Theatre. Just that we meant that much to them, and they certainly meant that much to us. … It’s very emotional. I mean, I’ve teared up more than once on that stage during these reunion concerts, because you look out on that audience and you see old friends, old faces. Old memories.” Coco Rubio, 50, who is co-owner of the Soul Bar and recently became operations manager for the Miller Theater, also has many memories of the


Imperial. He has been a part of bringing acts like A Tribe Called Quest, the Avett Brothers, the Jennifer Nettles Band and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings to the historical stage. Rubio also played a part in bringing a short-lived midnight movie series to the Imperial in the mid-’90s, with showings of movies like “Reservoir Dogs.” That lasted for only a couple of films, though, because of the technical issues with using film in the ’90s, when digital was up and coming. (The theater’s old 35mm film projectors are

still tucked away in the structure of the balcony, and Scavullo hopes to clean them up and put them on display for tours someday.) “One of the best shows, there was a little jazz concert that also tied in some dancing with Ferneasa Cutno, and Wycliffe Gordon,” Rubio said. “(Gordon) was doing jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York. And so he came down to play the music, and he brought with him Wynton Marsalis and the jazz band that played at Lincoln Center. And they played. It was awesome because I was in the balcony up high, and I remembered that they didn’t have any microphones set up. And I was kind of concerned about how it was gonna sound. But it was one of the best-sounding things I’d ever heard there, and it was because those jazz musicians knew how to play soft when they needed to, louder when they needed to, and it sounded incredible. And it was just an amazing concert to hear.” It was also appropriate that the co-owner of the Soul Bar got to see James Brown rehearse in that space. “(In about 2000 or 2001, Brown) invited everyone from the Soul Bar, staff-wise, to come to the Imperial to check out the rehearsal,” Rubio said. “And so we all went there the next day in the afternoon and just sat in the theater with maybe 20 other people that were there and watched James Brown work his band and run through the whole show, because they were gonna go on tour. And it was just amazing to hear the rehearsal. And I had my daughter, Maya, who was probably 2 or 3 years old, with me. James Brown grabbed her, held her and took a picture, and I have that photo still with James Brown and Maya at the Imperial, and it’s an awesome photo and cool memory.” 15FEBRUARY2018


Rubio sees the theater as a reminder of the history on Broad Street. “It’s always been a reminder of how we used to be, but it was also something that was open downtown,” he said. “When a lot of things were closed, it was still a functioning theater, and it’s pretty cool that it never closed. So it was always that kind of bridge from the present to the past, and now of course moving forward into the future, the Imperial’s always been there. It’s pretty cool.” Tammy Westafer, 46, development director for the Colton Ballet Company of Augusta, emphasized how important the theater is to the ballet company. She grew up training at the company and has been going to the Imperial Theatre for over 30 years. “My best memories of the theater include dancing tons of performances of ‘The Nutcracker’ there, especially the years I got to perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy with the Augusta Ballet,” Westafer said. “Also, spending time backstage with so many dear friends during so many ballet, Augusta Players and Augusta Opera performances. We had such fun times in that theater, laughing about mice in the dressing rooms! And also playing pranks on and with the crew (especially Tim Campbell, technical director of Imperial Theatre). Another awesome memory was getting to perform in the production of Hatfields and McCoys with Augusta Ballet and Sam Bush, and getting to perform with the ballet and Wynton Marsalis. Those shows were unforgettable, and they are part of the fabric of the Imperial Theatre.” She said Colton Ballet will always consider the theater its home. “We have performed there for over 50 years (first as the Augusta Ballet, then as Dance Augusta, and now as Colton Ballet Company of Augusta),” she said. “We remember the days of the stage having holes in it that you had to dance around, to photographers falling in the orchestra pit, to the very last moment that Ron Colton appeared on that stage in his wheelchair one year before his death. The Imperial Theatre means everything to us! It holds so many memories of our performances and all the lovely dancers that graced the stage with us there.” Karen Gordon, 48, a musician and founder of Garden City Jazz (and sister of legendary trombonist Wycliffe Gordon) has fond memories of the Imperial, which pretty much all involve her brother playing on the stage. She and her family are originally from the Waynesboro area, and they moved to Augusta in 1978, when she was 8 years old.

“My first Imperial experience would have to have been with one of Wycliffe’s shows. I believe the first one was, it was either the Christmas show — Christmas in the Garden City, or it was when he collaborated with the Augusta Ballet and brought the Wynton Marsalis septet to Augusta. “For Wycliffe’s Christmas in the Garden City show, I was an integral part of the production of that. So I had a chance to be backstage during dress rehearsals, and the night of the show I was on the side of the stage. It was really exciting. And to have so many brilliant artists in the room, but to have them all in this cramped space. The backstage area is only so big, so everybody kind of runs into everyone else. It’s not like at a larger theater; for example, the Maxwell Theatre at Augusta University has several layers of dressing rooms, a couple different floors of backstage space. So sometimes, you don’t even get the chance to see the other artists. But at the Imperial, everyone is in this condensed space so the activity level is high, the excitement is electric — it’s really exciting. So that’s just one of my fondest memories is being back there with musicians who’ve played all over the world and are coming in and getting together with local musicians to make some musical magic happen.” Gordon says she can feel the presence of all the others who were on that stage over the past century. “Performing on the Imperial Stage, it brings back such memories of all the other greats who have performed here before,” she said. “I was especially excited when I learned that James Brown used to rehearse his band on the Imperial stage, and now just very recently to learn that the stage had been named for Sharon Jones. ... But there is something about performing in a historic theater. The walls have ears, I believe that the ghosts (I don’t know if you believe in ghosts; I don’t really believe in ghosts) but just for the sake of the historical theater … it kind of has good juju. “Maybe ‘ghost’ is not the right word, maybe ‘spirit.’ I believe that the spirit and the energy of all of those who have graced the stage prior lives on there. And you can feel it when you’re on that stage.” The Imperial Theatre has some special events in the works this year to help celebrate its centennial. On May 4, it will host A Hat Party: Celebrating the Kentucky Derby (An Imperial Theatre Gala). On Sept. 21, the Columbia County Ballet will perform “Cinderella.” And on Nov. 8, the theater will present A Celebration of Augusta’s Involvement in World War I (recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the war’s end and the Imperial Theatre). For information, visit or call 706-722-8341.




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Is a whitewater rapids park in Augusta’s future? by Stacey Eidson | Just before setting his kayak into the water for an afternoon paddle down the Savannah River, local outdoor enthusiast Andy Colbert said he’s encouraged by the idea that the city might consider developing a whitewater rapids park by the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. “I definitely hope it happens because it would really open things up around the lock and dam,” said Colbert, owner of Outdoor Augusta, a local company that provides rentals of a variety of recreational gear such as canoes, kayaks and paddle boards. “I have attended several different whitewater parks in this region, like there is one in Charlotte, N.C., and one in Columbus, Ga., as well. I think it would be great here in Augusta because it would be one more cool activity to do on the river.” Over the past several years, the popularity of whitewater rapids has surged throughout the country. While some of the most adrenaline-inducing rides down rivers are found out West, many southern towns have become destination cities offering unique whitewater parks of their own. “It would be great in the future, down the line, to have something like that here in Augusta,” Colbert said. “Because the water around the lock and dam has become really stagnant. The fishing that used to happen down there doesn’t happen anymore because the fish don’t really like to hang out in that type of water. A whitewater park could really get things flowing again and draw more people to the river.” Here in the Peach State, Columbus has definitely made a name for itself by embracing rafting and kayaking along the Chattahoochee River. In fact, the Chattahoochee Whitewater Park was recently named one of the “Top 12 Greatest Man-Made Adventures on 15FEBRUARY2018

the Planet” by USA Today. The entire course is said to be the longest, urban whitewater rafting area in the world, consisting of both classic and challenging runs on the same 2.5-mile stretch of river that is operated by a dam-controlled release which occurs daily. It’s not uncommon for the river to undergo daily fluctuations between 800 cubic feet per second in volume, which is ideal for slower, family-friendly runs down the Chattahoochee River, to 13,000 cubic feet per second in volume, which provides visitors with a wilder, more challenging ride. With its close proximity to downtown, Columbus’ whitewater park has become a centerpiece of the community and created a booming rafting industry in area. But success didn’t happen overnight. Back in 2012, the city of Columbus decided to remove two century-old dams and replace the former structures with a state-of-the-art kayak surf wave just blocks from the downtown area. And yet, the city has also respected its links to its industrial past. “Our community has done a heck of a job maintaining the historic character of our downtown,” Richard Bishop, president of Uptown Columbus and manager of the river park recently told Canoe & Kayak Magazine. Colbert believes Augusta also could offer a whitewater park that could be enjoyed by everyone from a novice to experts on the Savannah River. “I think for someone to drive all the way up to the Chattooga River or somewhere like for whitewater, they

are not going to do that, especially someone who has never done it before,” Colbert said. “They are going to be less likely to go out to some far off destination out in the boonies. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful and amazing out there and it’s probably the next step for someone once they’ve had enough experience on the water, but people just starting out would rather go to somewhere like a whitewater park where they can learn.”

“It would be great in the future, down the line, to have something like that here in Augusta. Because the water around the lock and dam has become really stagnant. The fishing that used to happen down there doesn’t happen anymore because the fish don’t really like to hang out in that type of water. A whitewater park could really get things flowing again and draw more people to the river.” — Andy Colbert, owner of Outdoor Augusta Over the years, Colbert said he’s had several customers ask him about the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Since 2006, the USNWC has been offering all-day pass programs, instruction, leadership schools as well as AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



“The only real place to go that is even remotely like that around here is right there at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. There is a little shoot of water that you can go and learn how to surf across with a whitewater boat or just experience what it feels like to flip your boat over and have some turbulent water around you at the same time. But that’s really all you can do. So I hope this happens. I think it would be pretty cool for the entire area and the river.” — Andy Colbert, owner of Outdoor Augusta festivals, races and other outdoor events at its whitewater center. Guests of the park can participate in everything from whitewater rafting and kayaking to stand-up paddle boarding. “Charlotte is a great place just because people new to the sport can really learn alongside top-trained instructors,” Colbert said. “They offer a crash course in safety and techniques and all of that stuff. I don’t know what the projections would be like for something like that in the Augusta area, but I think this community would lend itself to showing more people all of those aspects on the river if there was a whitewater park here.” Just last month, some members of the Augusta Commission supported a $10,000 proposal to hire the Colorado firm McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group to review and evaluate the area around the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. McLaughlin Whitewater has worked with cities and community groups all over the country including Raleigh, N.C., Tulsa, Okla., and Florence, Ala. In fact, it is the same company that designed the popular rapids park on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus. However, just as it appeared that the Augusta Commission was ready to move forward with a preliminary look at the potential of a whitewater park by the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, city leaders decided last week to put the brakes on the proposal for at least the next 60 days. Both Mayor Pro Tem Mary Davis and Commissioner Sammie Sias insisted the city needed to hear from other interested parties about the future of the lock and dam before bringing McLaughlin Whitewater to town. “First off, I want to say, I’m not opposed to this issue. Not at all. However, I think we are moving just a little bit fast on it,” Sias said, referring to the whitewater park proposal. “I think there are some questions we need to get answered first.” Sias said it is imperative for the city of Augusta to fully understand the position of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the lock and dam. “What is the Corps of Engineers doing? What are their plans?” Sias asked. “There are too many unanswered questions. I just want to simply delay this until we get some answers.” There’s no doubt there are complicated issues surrounding the lock and dam, which includes not only the federal government, but state and local governments on both sides of the Savannah River. In December 2016, Congress passed the Water 24 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, known as the WIIN Act, that directly affected the Savannah River just below Augusta. Basically, the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam was authorized in the 1930s to facilitate commercial navigation on the Savannah River. Back then, federal tax dollars were appropriated annually to operate and maintain the project; however, commercial navigation ceased in 1979. Over time, the integrity of the lock and dam gradually degraded, according to the Corps of Engineers. “As such, the structure has fallen into a state of disrepair and poses a safety hazard to the public,” wrote Russell Wicke, the corporate communications officer of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District in 2017. “The WIIN Act acknowledges this and formally deauthorizes the navigation structure. Deauthorization is the official classification when the federal government determines a project no longer has a federal requirement for its original purpose — in this case, commercial navigation.” This deauthorization of the lock and dam superseded former laws that directed the Corps to rehabilitate the historic structure and turn it over to the care of neighboring cities. But just because the lock and dam in “deauthorized” doesn’t mean it instantly vanishes into thin air. “By its mere presence, it acts as an impassable barrier to endangered Atlantic sturgeon, shortnose sturgeon and other fish, denying access to their historic spawning grounds,” Wicke stated, explaining thus the construction of a “fish passage” around the lock and dam is required. The WIIN Act offers two alternatives made possible through deauthorization. The first alternative is the repair of the lock wall and modification of the structure to allow safe passage to the historic spawning grounds of the Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon and maintain the pool for navigation upstream, water supply and recreational activities, Wicke explained. The second alternative calls for the removal of the lock and dam after the construction of a water damming rock structure or “weir” is built further upstream. This weir would continue to provide an upstream pool but also permit fish to pass upstream to historic spawning grounds, according to the Corps. Of course, critics of the plan insist that either alternative is being used as simply mitigation for environmental

damage caused by the inner harbor-deepening project in Savannah more than 180 miles downriver from Augusta. However, the Corps is going ahead with its review of the lock and dam and plans to make a decision on the structure later this year. “The bottom line is that we intend to propose a costeffective solution that addresses and balances the needs of all stakeholders, from local public to endangered species – and taxpayers in general,” Wicke stated last year, adding that the Corps takes their responsibility in the matter very seriously. “We have already been consulting with a number of stakeholders to include the Augusta Consortium, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Augusta mayor and other industrial and municipal partners. “One thing we can assure is this: The final product will be designed with the interests and safety of the stakeholders in mind, and will also be executed in the most cost-effective, environmentally sustainable manner.” With that major decision yet to be determined, Mayor Pro Tem Mary Davis said she agreed that the Augusta Commission should hear from all the parties involved, including representatives from elected officials in both states, such as U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, David Perdue and Lindsey Graham as well as U.S. Rep. Rick Allen. Davis also wanted to make sure local concerned organizations such as The Savannah Riverkeeper and the “Save the Middle Savannah River” group were invited to the table to discuss the matter.

“As such, the structure has fallen into a state of disrepair and poses a safety hazard to the public. The WIIN Act acknowledges this and formally deauthorizes the navigation structure. Deauthorization is the official classification when the federal government determines a project no longer has a federal requirement for its original purpose, in this case, commercial navigation.” — Russell Wicke, the corporate 15FEBRUARY2018


Finally, she asked City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson if she could set up a workshop to discuss the matter that would include all the parties involved, as well as local civil engineer and city planner, Thomas Robertson Jr. of Cranston Engineering Group. Robertson has been a longtime advocate of a “fair and safe Savannah Harbor mitigation project” for the lock and dam, Davis said. “We all want the river in Augusta to be successful,” Davis said. “We just want to make sure we are all playing on the same field.” Savannah Riverkeeper Executive Director Tonya Bonitatibus, who presented the city with the proposal to bring the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group to Augusta, told commissioners last week that the Corps of Engineers will announce its decision on the lock and dam by no later than October. However, she insists that the Corps will not be considering completely repairing or fully funding the restoration of the lock and dam as some locals might be hoping. “By August, September or October, that’s when the Corps of Engineers is going to come out with their plan. And their plan is going to be an in-river solution because that’s what federal law dictates,” Bonitatibus said. “We have a choice that we are going to have to, at that point and time, make: Either decide that we are going to keep the locks and fight for them or there is going to be a rock dam that goes in the river upstream. One of those two solutions are moving forward.” But the reality is, the locks have been closed for years because they pose a safety hazard to the public, Bonitatibus said. “We are at imminent failure status,” she said. “So if we don’t come up with a real reason to fix those locks, I’m afraid we are going to lose them.” Bonitatibus urged the Augusta Commission to look toward the future and the possibilities of a whitewater rapids park.


“We are going to miss the boat,” Bonitatibus said. “We are going to miss the boat if we keep delaying this.” But commissioners agreed to wait approximately 60 days before making a decision on the $10,000 contract to bring the McLaughlin Whitewater

“We are at imminent failure status. So if we don’t come up with a real reason to fix those locks, I’m afraid we are going to lose them.” — Savannah Riverkeeper Executive Director Tonya Bonitatibus Design Group to Augusta. As he geared up for his kayak trip down the Savannah River, Colbert said he understood that there were a lot of details that needed to be worked out before a whitewater rapids park in Augusta could become a reality. However, he was still very hopeful about the possibility. “The only real place to go that is even remotely like that around here is right there at Savannah Rapids Pavilion,” Colbert said. “There is a little shoot of water that you can go and learn how to surf across with a whitewater boat or just experience what it feels like to flip your boat over and have some turbulent water around you at the same time. But that’s really all you can do. So I hope this happens. I think it would be pretty cool for the entire area and the river.”




What’s Up

Calendar: 27 | Music Listings: 34 If you have any questions, or would like to submit an event to our calendar, please email Amanda Main at

GOOD REASONS TO GET DIRTY It seems that as society gets more technologically advanced, people increasingly have less connection with the Earth — and with ourselves. It’s been proven that lots of children these days don’t even know that many foods they eat originated in the ground. A study released by the British Nutrition Foundation, as reported by Newsweek in June, showed that about a tenth of British children ages 8 to 11 think pasta comes from animals, and 29 percent of kids ages 5 to 7 think cheese is a plant. Gardening is a good way for the whole family to learn more about the roots of our food — and the roots of plants. CNN reported some years back that getting in the dirt has loads of health benefits, too. “When you sit at a desk all day, there’s something about literally putting your hands in the dirt, digging and actually creating something that’s really beautiful,” Gillian Aldrich, 42, of Maplewood, New Jersey, told CNN. “There’s something about just being out there that feels kind of elemental.” Gardening is touted as a form of stress relief, a way to improve mental health and brain health, a way to get exercise and to get better nutrition

(and to save money!) — by eating the food you grow outside your home. A couple of free meetings about gardening are happening this week. One is the Environment Matters Lunch and Learn at the Columbia County Library, and the other is the monthly Gardening Club meeting at Woodworth Library on Fort Gordon. Environment Matters Lunch and Learn Columbia County Library 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 Led by Margarete Alligood, this meeting’s subject is eco-gardening and lawn care tips. Participants should bring their own lunches. Pre-registration required. Call 706-863-1946, ext. 4, or visit Gardening Club Woodworth Library, Fort Gordon 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 The Fort Gordon Community Garden Gardening Club meets the fourth Thursday of every month; meetings are open to the public. Call 706-791-4300 or visit event/gardening-club/2018-02-22.





Need a new job but you’re a little intimidated by the interview process? The University of Phoenix is offering its final free career workshops in a series this Saturday and on March 3. This week’s theme is Nail the Interview, and it’s from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the university’s Augusta campus. Sign up at www.

It’s been almost 98 years since women won the right to vote in the U.S., and the League of Women Voters were an integral part of that. The nonpartisan group still exists today to help empower women to be informed and active in government. The local group meets at noon on the third Wednesday of every month at the Friedman Branch Library. Email csra. or visit CSRALeagueofWomenVoters.

Puns usually make us groan, but Paint Your Palate might make you go “yum!” The dinner/open bar fundraiser for the Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the North Augusta Community Center. It features food, drinks, live music, silent and live auctions and more. It’s $70 for members and $75 for nonmembers. Call 803-4414380 or visit

This work, “Camellias and Garland” by Cynthia Farnell, is pigment inkjet print on cotton lawn fabric. Farnell and others’ works will be at the Sentiments & Origins exhibit at Westobou Gallery from Feb. 23 to April 20. The exhibit features contemporary interpretations of flowers and foliage. A reception and artist lecture are set March 2. Call 706-755-2878 or visit

For more information on these events, see our calendar of events on page 27.


Wed Feb 21

10am Computer Boot Camp: Part II

Columbia County Library Pre-registration required. Call 706-863-1946, ext. 4, or visit

11:30am Environment Matters Lunch and Learn

Columbia County Library Led by Margarete Alligood, this meeting’s subject is eco-gardening and lawn care tips. Partici-pants should bring their own lunches. Pre-registration required. Call 706-863-1946, ext. 4, or visit

6pm Tertulia: Spanish Conversation Group

Headquarters Branch Library A group for beginner to intermediate Spanish speakers. Call 317-695-4748 or visit arcpls. org.

Noon Arts: Chinese New Year Lansing B. Lee Sr. Auditoria Center 12:30pm Tue Feb 20 Sponsored by the Augusta University Arts Council and Confucius Institute, this show will highlight the talents of students, staff and faculty with a Chinese cultural twist. Free admission; free food and drinks. Call 706-721-8800 or email


Mon Feb 19

10am - noon Oil Painting Class

Harlem Arts Council Oil painting with Minette Hatcher. Continues Feb. 26. $20 per class. Make reservations at least 24 hours in advance. Call 706-556-6656, visit or email

Tue Feb 20

12:30pm Noon Arts: Chinese New Year

Lansing B. Lee Sr. Auditoria Center Sponsored by the Augusta University Arts Council and Confucius Institute, this show will high-light the talents of students, staff and faculty with a Chinese cultural twist. Free admission; free food and drinks. Call 706721-8800 or email

Wed Feb 21

2pm - 4:30pm Acrylic and Oil Painting Sessions

Aiken Public Library A class for adults and teens that meets Wednesdays through March 28. Preregistration and purchase of your own materials required. Call 803-642-2020, ext. 1131, or visit

This class for kids ages 4-10 is led by Ashley Driggers. $15. Make reservations at least 24 hours in advance. Call 762-383-9743, visit or email

2pm T.A.G. Celebrates Black History Month

H.H. Brigham Community Center Gymnasium Dance teams show off their skills in this event that includes door prizes, movement, music and more. $10. Call 706-284-8252 or email


Winter Dance Classes

North Augusta Activity Center Dances taught include ballroom, line, shag and more. Classes meet from 7 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday through the end of February. For more information, call 803-4414311.


5:30pm Emergency Prep

Columbia County Library Learn the basics of emergency preparedness. Call 706-863-1946 or visit


Fri Feb 16

10am - noon Dance Workshop

Maxwell Branch Library Pre-registration required. Call 706-793-2020

Sat Feb 17

Harlem Arts Council 15FEBRUARY2018

3:30pm - 5pm Spanish for Beginners

or visit

Sat Feb 17

10:30am - 12:30pm Nail the Interview

University of Phoenix, Augusta Campus Sign up for this free career workshop at www. The last workshop in the series is Putting It All Together on March 3.

Mon Feb 19

Thu Feb 22

5pm - 7pm Tech Tutor Session

Aiken Public Library Anyone looking to become more comfortable with computer or device basics is invited to drop in to see a Tech Tutor. No registration is required, but take your charged device with you. Call 803-642-2020, ext. 1131, or visit


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

Maxwell Branch Library Volunteers from AARP will help patrons file their taxes; there is no age requirement. Help is on a first-come, first-served basis. Continues from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Satur-days through April 14. Visit or for information.

3:30pm - 5pm Intermediate Spanish Class

GED Classes

Friedman Branch Library An adult class for those who already know some Spanish, led by Edwin Perez of the Asociacion Cultural Hispanoamericana. Preregistration required. Call 706-736-6758 or visit or

Kroc Center These free classes are offered from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the year for adults 18 and older. Preregistration and entrance testing required. Call 706-771-4131 to register for entrance testing.

5:30pm Beginner Spanish Class

Job Skills Training

Friedman Branch Library An adult class led by Edwin Perez of the Asociacion Cultural Hispanoamericana. Preregistration required. Call 706-736-6758 or visit

Tue Feb 20

10:30am - noon English as a Second Language

Columbia County Library All levels welcome. Email 7022esl@gmail. com.

Kroc Center This three-month, tuition-free program starts in April and provides people of low income the opportunity to gain the practical skills necessary for personal growth and employment success. Call 706-364-4088.

James Brown Family Historical Tour

Augusta Museum of History Available each Saturday at 11 a.m. and lasting approximately two hours, this bus tour includes Brown’s elementary school, his AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989



childhood home, his statue and more. $15 fee, includes admis-sion to the museum, which houses the largest collection of James Brown memorabilia. Reser-vations 24 hours in advance required. Call 803-640-2090 or visit


Dr. Linda Hardy


you’d like to see. Free for AU students with JagCard; $5 for guests. Visit

Tue Feb 20

5:30pm “Cars 3”

Columbia County Library This free screening includes popcorn and is for ages 3 and up. No registration required. Call 706-863-1946 or visit

Sacred Heart Cultural Center Featuring works by Dr. Linda Hardy, this exhibition will be on display through Feb. 23. Call 706-826-4700 or email

5:30pm - 8pm Tuesday Night Movie Series

The Winter Exhibit

Thu Feb 22

Arts & Heritage Center of North Augusta Exhibit of art by Robert Lyon and Alicia Cully in Main Gallery; history exhibit “Palmetto Park and Pond” in Balcony Gallery. Exhibitions will be on display through March 4.

Tactic III and Tom Hubbard: Uncharted

Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art Tactic III is in the main gallery, and Tom Hubbard Transience Series is in the CreelHarison Community Gallery. These exhibits will be on display through Feb. 23. Call 706722-5495 or vis-it


Headquarters Branch Library Eclectic variety of films. Visit or call 706-821-2600.

7pm - 9pm Cinema Series at Augusta University

AU’s Maxwell Theatre Free screening as part of the Cinema Series at Augusta University. Call 706-667-4100 or visit


Thu Feb 15

6pm Breastfeeding Class

University Hospital Free, but pre-registration required. Call 706774-2825 or visit

6:30pm - 9:30pm Breastfeeding Class

Order of St. Helena Episcopal Works including 2D, 3D and mixed media by 18 members of the North Augusta Artists Guild will be on view and for sale through April 13. Visit or

Doctors Hospital Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-2229 or visit

Walter Cumming

Doctors Hospital This event combines three classes: Babies, Bumps and Bruises; Baby 101; and Breastfeeding, along with a tour of the Center for Women. Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-2229 or visit

Sacred Heart Cultural Center Featuring works by Walter Cumming, this exhibition will be on display from March 8 through 29. A free exhibit opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. March 8. Call 706-826-4700 or email kimsacredheart@

Sentiments & Origins

Westobou Gallery Showing from Feb. 23 to April 20, this exhibition features contemporary interpretations of flowers and foliage by artists Frances de La Rosa, Cynthia Farnell, Juan Alberto Negroni, and Pandra Williams in collaboration with Jennifer Garcia-Green. A free artist lecture will take place at 4 p.m. March 2, with a free reception to follow from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will re-main on display until April 20. Call 706-755-2878 or visit

Sat Feb 17

9am - 3pm Super Saturday

Mon Feb 19

6pm Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Class

University Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute A class that offers information, diagnostic exams, lab work, a personal plan and more. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-5548 or visit

6:30pm Refit

Headquarters Branch Library A free cardio dance class. Call 706-821-2600 or visit


Tue Feb 20

8:30pm - 11pm Movie Night

University Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute A class that offers information, diagnostic

Thu Feb 15

AU’s Maxwell Theatre Join The CREW for movie night; vote on Instagram (@aug_thecrew) for what movie 28 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

2pm Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Class

exams, lab work, a personal plan and more. Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-5548 or visit

Thu Feb 22

7pm - 8:30pm Infant CPR Class

University Hospital Pre-registration required. Call 706-774-2825 or visit

HOBBIES Thu Feb 15

6:30pm - 8:30pm PWN AUG Chess Club Meeting The Book Tavern A club open to all ages and skill levels that meets the first and third Thursdays of each month. Participants are encouraged to bring their own chess sets. Call 706-826-1940 or visit

Mon Feb 19

6pm - 8pm Civil War Roundtable Meeting

Georgia HomePLACE, the Digital Library of Georgia and the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System have announced the addition of more than 10,000 digitized pages of African-American funeral programs from 1933 to 2017 to the library system’s funeral program collection. Programs are available for free online at fpro_search.html?Welcome. Email astanley@ or call 404-235-7134.


10am - 12:30pm Story Time Fridays

Aiken Public Library Stories, songs and interactive activities. Story time for babies (0-23 months) begins at 10:15 a.m., toddlers (2-3 years) at 11 a.m. and preschoolers (4-5 years) at 11:45 a.m. Participants and caregivers are encouraged to participate. Call 803-642-2023 or visit abbelib. org.

Goodwill’s The Snelling Center Paul Quigley, a Virginia Tech history professor, presents on “The Confederacy’s European Prob-lem”...Those Russians!” Meetings are $23, including dinner (buffet starts at 5:15). Membership is $25 per year, individual; $40, couple. Call 706-736-2909 or visit

10:30am - noon Story Times

Tue Feb 20

Jessye Norman School of the Arts Participants will read, sing, play musical instruments and explore movement designed to help them develop both literary and cognitive skills. Parents or caregivers participate in the class through age 3. Preschool and kindergarten children may attend with, or without, a parent or caregiver. $10; pre-registration required. Call 706-8287768 or visit

5:30pm Library Chess Tournament

Columbia County Library This chess tournament is open to all ages and skills. Call 706-863-1946 or visit

Thu Feb 22

5pm Gardening Club

Woodworth Library, Fort Gordon The Fort Gordon Community Garden Gardening Club meets the fourth Thursday of every month; meetings are open to the public. Call 706-791-4300 or visit

6:30pm - 8:30pm JavaScript Meetup

North Augusta’s Nancy Carson Library Story time for those ages 0-2 begins at 10:30 a.m., and story time for those ages 3-6 begins at 11:15 a.m. Call 803-279-5767 or visit

12:30pm - 2pm Mr. Kenny’s Wondrous Stories, Songs and Play

6pm Family Forts Night

Columbia County Library Families are invited to bring blankets, flashlights, pillows, and the library will provide game booths, stories and more. Call 706-8631946 or visit This meeting to explore JavaScript is open to any skill level. Pizza and soft drinks will be served at the meeting. Visit JavascriptAugusta or call 706-723-5782.

Sat Feb 17


10am - 3pm Junior Rangers: Backcountry Hike

Basic Genealogy Tutorials

Headquarters Branch Library’s Georgia Heritage Room Free sessions offered by appointment. Call 706-826-1511 or visit

African-American Genealogy

Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System

11am “Mother Bruce” Story Time Barnes & Noble Call 706-737-0012 or visit

Mon Feb 19

Mistletoe State Park An event in which kids will learn about the history, plants and animals of Mistletoe. Take a lunch. Pre-registration required. $20; $5, parking. Call 706-541-0321 or visit

10:30am Jr. Lego Club 15FEBRUARY2018


Columbia County Library Teens will have the opportunity to work on their own projects under staff guidance while using library equipment. Call 706-868-1946 or visit

Tue Feb 20

10am Big Kid Story Time

Headquarters Branch Library For those ages 3-6. Pre-registration recommended. Call 706-821-2623 or visit

10:30am - 11am Ms. Kathy’s Story Time Imagination Station Stories, songs, counting and dancing are a part of this story time. Free for members; included with $10 admission for up to 3 kids for nonmembers. Email imagine.augusta@ or visit

6pm - 7:30pm Big Brother/Big Sister

Doctors Hospital An educational and interactive class for children ages 3-8 who will soon be welcoming a new baby into the home. Pre-registration required. Call 706-651-2229 or visit

Wed Feb 21

10am Music and Movement

Headquarters Branch Library Music, songs, dance and rhymes for children. Groups of six or more require registration. Call 706-821-2623 or visit Maxwell Branch Library Pre-registration required. Call 706-793-2020 or visit

10am Story Time for Tots

Headquarters Branch Library For those ages 0-3. Pre-registration recommended. Call 706-821-2623 or visit

10:05am Toddler Story Time

Appleby Branch Library This is a program best for children ages 18 months-3 years. Call 706-736-6244 or visit

10am Wacky Wednesday Story Time Barnes & Noble Call 706-737-0012 or visit

10:30am Preschool Story Time Appleby Branch Library Songs, finger plays and stories for those 15FEBRUARY2018

10:30am - noon Super Awesome Story Time

Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, Aiken A program for those ages 5-13 that includes homework help, games, snacks and more. It meets Monday-Friday from 2:30-5 p.m. and follows the Aiken County Public School calendar. $20 first child, then a $5 sibling discount. Call 803-642-7634.

The Book Tavern Juice and cookies provided by New Moon Cafe. Call 706-826-1940 or email

11am Homeschool Hub Book Club

North Augusta’s Nancy Carson Library Homeschoolers of all ages are invited to read a fiction or non-fiction book of their choice on love and family and then share it with the group. An activity will follow, and participants are invited to bring a lunch. Call 803-2795767, ext. 1541, or visit

After-School Program

Kroc Tots

Kroc Center A program for parents and children up to age

Here is how it works:

Columbia County Library Teens will have the opportunity to work on their own projects under staff guidance while using library equipment. Call 706-868-1946 or visit


Cheerleader for a Day

Kroc Center For kids ages 5-12 and meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for an hour at 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Members, free; nonmembers, $2 per visit. Activity follows the

Headquarters Branch Library “Freakonomics: The Story of Success” by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt will be discussed. Call 706-793-2020 or visit


4pm Makerspace

Homeschool PE

10am - noon Morning Book Club


Thu Feb 22

Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer A teen hangout and safe space for LGBTQ+ teens, ages 14-17, and allies that meets the first and third Tuesday of each month from 5-8 p.m. The group is also looking for chaperones ages 25 and older and youth mentors 18-24 years old, who must pass a background check. Call 803-617-8352 or email

Thu Feb 22


Headquarters Branch Library Read “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon before this event that will screen the PG-13 mov-ie, with a discussion to follow. Reading the book is not necessary to participate. Call 706-821-2623 or visit arcpls. org.

The Shepard Project



5pm - 8pm Wait? That’s a Book?! Movie Club

Christenberry Fieldhouse Kids are invited to the Augusta University cheerleaders’ annual mini cheer camp from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 24. The girls will be performing at halftime of the women’s basketball game, also on Feb. 24. Cost is $25 per child and includes camp instruction, a healthy snack, temporary tattoo and participant game entry. Visit AUCheerDay to register.

5 that includes work on physical, social and emo-tional development, as well as cognitive skills and language development. Meets most Tues-days at 10 a.m. during the school year. $2, members; $5, nonmembers. Call 706364-5762 or visit


Individuals can RECYCLE UNWANTED SCRAP TIRES, FREE OF CHARGE during the quarterly scrap tire event

Tires will not be accepted from businesses or commercial customers. Business vehicles are not permitted.

Tires may be on or off the rim

Must provide proof of Richmond County residency



10am Story Time

Richmond County school calendar. Call 706364-5762 or visit



4pm Makerspace

ages 18 months to 3 years. Pre-registration required for groups of six or more. Call 706736-6244 or visit


Headquarters Branch Library For those ages 2-4. Legos provided. Preregistration required. Call 706-821-2623 or visit

LL 3

Recycle your scrap tires at the following location:

SATURDAY, FEB. 17th AUGUSTA - RICHMOND COUNTY LANDFILL 4330 Deans Bridge Road Blythe, Georgia 30805 from 8am – 12pm






soloists. $30-$45. Call 803-295-0313 or visit

8pm Ronnie Milsap

Miller Theater $49-$99. Visit or call 800-514-3849.

Sun Feb 18

2pm The Doug Flowers Band

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

Tue Feb 20

Noon Tuesdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Music Live

Saint Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church Featuring a free concert by Peter and Will Anderson Jazz Trio. Lunch afterwards is $12 a person and requires reservation. Call 706-722-3463 or visit

7:30pm - 9pm CSRA Invitational Concert

Augusta University Wind Ensemble with the Parris Island Marine Band AUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maxwell Theatre 7:30pm Wed Feb 21 Free; seating is ďŹ rst-come, ďŹ rst-served. Call 706-667-4100 or email or arcpls. org. (This meeting moved from the Maxwell branch this month because of AARP tax help going on at Maxwell.)


7pm - 10pm Graphic Novel Discussion

The Book Tavern A group open to older teens and up. Call 706826-1940 or email



Fri Feb 16 

17 Years of Ending Hunger Together LEGENDS CLUB


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7pm Brantley Gilbert with Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips

AUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maxwell Theatre The Augusta University Singers and Orchestra present their inaugural CSRA Invitational Con-cert, which will have high school students and AU students performing together. The concert will premiere two commissioned works for choir and orchestra by Wycliffe Gordon. $5, gen-eral; free, AU and EGSC students, faculty and staff. Call 706-667-4100 or email maxwellthea-tre@

8pm Scott Bradleeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Postmodern Jukebox Miller Theater $38-$53. Visit or call 800-514-3849.

Wed Feb 21

7:30pm Augusta University Wind Ensemble with the Parris Island Marine Band

James Brown Arena $34.75-$59.75. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

AUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maxwell Theatre Free; seating is ďŹ rst-come, ďŹ rst-served. Call 706-667-4100 or email maxwellthea-tre@

7:30pm Diana Krall


Miller Theater $79.50-$205. Visit or call 800-514-3849.

Sat Feb 17

11am Guitar Lessons

Harlem Arts Council Guitar lessons with Jeff Jordan. $30. Register at least 24 hours in advance. Call 706-5563756, visit or email

7:30pm Easy to Love Pops Concert The Etherredge Center, Aiken The Aiken Symphony Orchestra performs with the Aiken Choral Society and four


AARP Tax Aide Program

Headquarters Branch Library Volunteers with the AARP Tax Aide program will prepare tax returns at no charge during these walk-in tax clinics from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through April 13. This program is geared toward taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special at-tention to those age 60 and older. Take a picture ID, Social Security card, last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tax returns, and a voided check/accounting/routing number for direct deposit. Call 706-826-1511 or visit 15FEBRUARY2018


6pm - 7:30pm African-American Scholars Recognition Program

AU’s Maxwell Theatre This program recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. Call 706-667-4618 or email

Fri Feb 16

12:30pm CSRA Veg Monthly Meet-Up Curry Hut Meet plant-centric people for a great lunch — veg-curious people welcome. Find out more at

5pm – 9pm Dinner for Two Special Edgar’s Grille Reservations are recommended for this four-course dinner and champagne toast. Benefits Goodwill. $75 per couple. Continues at 5 p.m. Feb. 17. Call 706-854-4700 or visit

Sat Feb 17

6pm “Defying Gravity: It IS Rocket Science!” Dupont Planetarium, Aiken Weather permitting, the observatory, housing the Bechtel Telescope, will be available for view-ing after each show. $2-$6.50. Call 803641-3654 or visit

Mon Feb 19

10am – 6pm Wee-Peats Spring and Summer Consignment Sale 3069 Washington Road, Martinez This sale offers clothing, toys, furniture and more. Continues daily through Feb. 23. Visit

7pm “Seven Wonders”

Dupont Planetarium, Aiken Also shows at 8 p.m. Weather permitting, the observatory, housing the Bechtel Telescope, will be available for viewing after each show. $2-$6.50. Call 803-641-3654 or visit rpsec.

7:30pm Southern Fried Chicks Cage-Free Comedy Tour

Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center Featuring Etta May, Sonya White and Mia Jackson. $42.50. Visit AugustaAmusements. com or call 706-726-0366.

8pm Magic Men Live!

James Brown Arena A show for adults. $27-$102. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

Wed Feb 21

Noon League of Women Voters Meeting Friedman Branch Library Meeting the third Wednesday of every 15FEBRUARY2018

month, the League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in gov-ernment. Suitable for ages 18 and older. Email csra. or visit CSRALeagueofWomenVoters.

7pm Four-Course Wine Dinner

Edgar’s Grille Four courses, four wines. Benefits Goodwill. $69 per person; reservations required. Call 706-854-4700 or visit

Ongoing Attic Sale

Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds A sale of gently used items, including household goods, clothing, furniture, electronics, appli-ances, books, toys and more will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 3. Free admission. A free community health fair will be held at the same time. And from 7 to 10 p.m. March 1, a Preview Party including dinner, live music, raffles and a chance to see and purchase attic sale merchandise will take place for $20. Call 706-736-0033 or visit

Columbia County Democratic Party Meeting

The Columbia County Democratic Party invites the public to its monthly meetings, held on the first Monday of every month (unless it’s a holiday). Next month, it’s at 7 p.m. March 5. Social time takes place before the meetings at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Visit for updated information, or call 706-414-5558.


7pm The Nelons

Bethesda Baptist Church An offering will be received at this free concert featuring the Grammy-nominated, Dove Award winning group. Call 706-556-6818.

Sat Feb 17

4pm – 5:30pm Uplifting Conversations - Do We Have to Agree to Get Along?

Baha’i Community Room This free event features a discussion on how to have meaningful conversations when there are differences of opinion, while exploring the spiritual virtues and conflict resolution techniques that can build bridges of communication. Email baha’isofaugusta@ for information.


9am - 9:30am 4H Yoga in the Park Phinizy Swamp Nature Park Free yoga event outdoors for kids and adults of all experience levels; bring your own mat


Augusta Sports Leagues

This organization offers adult sports leagues and social events, including kickball, soccer, flag football, softball, basketball, indoor and sand volleyball, cornhole, dodgeball and more for coed and men’s leagues. For more information, visit or call 706-309-0280.

SRDA Dart League Sign-up

The Loft All skill levels are welcome to join the league’s 10-week spring season in singles, doubles and team formats. Matches are held Monday nights, and new players can sign up as a team or in-dividuals can join existing teams. Sign up at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at The Loft. Call 706414-7525.

Free Fun Run Thursdays

Evans Towne Center Park Hosted by Fleet Feet Sports, this is intended for anyone looking for a 2- to 5-mile run with a group. It happens at 6 p.m. every first, second, third and fourth Thursday of the month. Wear lights and reflective gear when appropriate for better visibility. Email or visit facebook. com/events/218818291994876.

Hoop Session

Morning Book Club Headquarters Branch Library 10am - noon Thu Feb 22 “Freakonomics: The Story of Success” by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt will be discussed. Call 706-793-2020 or visit or (This meeting moved from the Maxwell branch this month because of AARP tax help going on at Maxwell.) or towel. Call 706-821-2349.

10am - 2pm Pose Run Clinic

Wed Feb 21

Fort Gordon’s Nelson Fitness Center A seminar explaining the Pose Method, which aims to help people run longer, faster and bet-ter. Open to the public, and preregistration is required. Call 706-791-2947 or 706-791-2947, or visit event/pose-running-clinic-0218.

Sun Feb 18

9am Yoga in the Greenhouse

Good Earth Produce & Garden Center This free beginner yoga session, open to all levels, lasts for an hour (donations accepted). Par-ticipants should bring their own towel or yoga mat. Hot tea and light refreshments will be served. Suitable for adults and older children. Call 706-550-0227 or visit face32 METROSPIRIT AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989

6:30pm - 9pm Ladies Night Pickleball

Newman Tennis Center $2 per person; call 706-821-1600 to sign up. Newman Tennis Center will have paddles and balls, but take your own if you have them. Also, free play is available from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays.


Hilltop Lesson Dates

Hilltop Riding Stable, Fort Gordon Private and semi-private horse riding lessons are available for all ages and abilities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Call 706-791-4864 or visit

Game Train, Grovetown This gym is open to play basketball starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for $3 per person. Kids 5 and under can play for free. Concessions available for purchase. Call 706-755-0549, email realgametrain@, or visit events/178772572715451.

SUPPORT Mon Feb 19

6:15pm CSRA GYN Cancer Support Group

Daksha Chudgar Lydia House This free support group is for women with gynecologic cancer and their caregivers. Call 706-825-1544 or email reneemc103@gmail. com.


Recovery International Mental Health Support Group

Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta A weekly group that meets Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. Based on the work of Abraham Low, MD, RI offers its members a low cost method to regain and maintain their mental health by using mental health through will training. People who stick with the RI Method are able to live healthy, productive lives with lower levels of tension, anger, fear, anxiety, stress, compulsions, and other symptoms. Email

Alzheimer’s Support Group Kroc Center

Meeting the first Thursday of every month from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., this support group helps those dealing with Alzheimer’s or someone who is a caregiver of an individual who is affected by Alzheimer’s. Call 706-9228338

Georgia Carolina Toastmasters

Group empowers people to become more effective communicators and leaders. Meets weekly from noon-1 p.m. Wednesdays at Fat Man’s Cafe. Email or call 706-798-5515.

Grief Share Program

Aldersgate United Methodist Church This program is for people who have had a loved one pass away and need to share with others in the difficult journey. There is a $20 registration fee, with free child care and scholarships available. The group will meet Sunday evenings through April 1. Email or call 706-8308741.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) GA, 110 Augusta

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church fellowship hall The group meets Mondays, with weigh-in beginning at 5:15 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Call 706-790-0391 or visit

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)

Pine View Baptist Church The group meets Tuesdays, with weigh-in beginning at 4:45 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 5:15 p.m. Call 706-868-0539 or visit

Celebrate Recovery

Journey Community Church This Christ-centered recovery program meets every Monday night at 7 p.m. The meetings last two hours and childcare is provided. Pre-registration suggested. Visit

Write to Heal Creative Writing Program

Children’s Hospital of Georgia family resource library For patients, family members and caregivers, this program meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Pre-registration required. Call 706-721-5160 or email

Diabetes Youth Support Group

Meets quarterly. Call for more information. Call 706-868-3241.

Overeaters Anonymous

This 12-step, self help program for people who are addicted to food meets for an hour at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays. No dues or fees. Call 706-863-9534 or email oa.augusta. 15FEBRUARY2018


Adult Sexual Assault and Rape Support Group

“Sense and Sensibility”

Provides group counseling at University Hospital for those who have experienced sexual as-sault, incest, rape or childhood sexual abuse. Call 706-724-5200 or visit

Aiken Community Playhouse Showing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24, and at 3 p.m. Feb. 18. An Aiken Youth Wing pro-duction. $20, adults; $17, seniors and active military; $12, students; $7, children. Call 803-648-1438 or visit

Alcoholics Anonymous


Holds several meetings locally. For a current schedule, visit Meetings/meetings.pdf.

Narcotics Anonymous

Trinity Hospital of Augusta Meets Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Visit

Beyond the Bars

A support group for those with incarcerated loved ones. Call 706-855-8636.

THEATER Thu Feb 15

7:30pm “I’ve Got a Little Twist”

Etherredge Center, Aiken $40, general; $15, USC Aiken students. Visit or call 803-641-3305.

Sat Feb 17

7:30pm “Hamlet”

AU’s Maxwell Theatre The traveling Aquila Theatre group presents Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as part of the Lyceum Se-ries. $18, general; $12, AU alumni and military; $7, children, students, AU faculty and staff. Call 706-667-4100 or visit

Sun Feb 18

2pm “Guess Who Showed Up at Dinner” Bell Auditorium $44-$57; group rates available for groups of 10 or more. Call 706-262-4573 or visit


“The Last Romance”

Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre Showing at 8 p.m. Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24, plus March 2 and 3. $28-$53. Call 706-7938552 or visit


Le Chat Noir Showing at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17. $25. Visit

“Last Chance”

Augusta Mini Theatre Showing at 3 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18. $15, adults; $10, students, children ages 2-18 and seniors; $8.50, groups of youths or seniors (10 or more). Call 706-722-0598 or visit 15FEBRUARY2018


Learn to be an



Communities In Schools of Augusta Richmond County

This nonprofit works full-time inside K-12 schools with help from volunteers throughout the community. Opportunities include reading to a classroom of children, helping small groups of elementary school children with basic learning skills (like reading and math flash cards) and tutoring high-schoolers on math. Donations also are accepted. For volunteer opportunities, email salias@ or call 706-550-7716; for donation opportunities, email dkallioko-ski@ or call 706-550-7716. Visit for more information.

Tech Tutors

Aiken Public Library This program is for teens and adults who love working with technology and are looking to vol-unteer. Ask for an application at the reference desk. Call 803-642-2020, ext. 1131, or email

Joe White Publisher 706-373-3636 Amanda Main Arts Editor/Production Director Stacey Eidson Staff Writer Joshua Bailey Lead Designer Johnny Beckworth Circulation Manager COVER DESIGN: KRUHU Contributors Jenny Wright, Austin Rhodes, Kris Fisher, Michael Johnson Metro Spirit is a free newspaper published weekly on Thursday, 52 weeks a year. Editorial coverage includes local issues and news, arts, entertainment, people, places and events. In our paper appear views from across the political and social spectrum. The views do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Visit us at© 15 House, LLC. Owner/Publisher: Joe White. Legal: Phillip Scott Hibbard. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited. One copy per person, please.

Want to advertise in the Metro Spirit? Call or email Joe at 706.373.3636


niversity Hospital’s Stephen W. Brown, M.D. School of Radiography, now in its 35th year, is accepting applications for classes beginning in July 2018. This 24-month program is accredited through the JRCERT, Applicants must possess a minimum of an Associates Degree in any discipline and an overall grade point average of 2.25. College Algebra and English (or Communication) are also required. After completing the

Stephen W. Brown, M.D. School of Radiography University Hospital 1350 Walton Way Augusta, GA 30901-2612 706-774-5010

program, students receive a Certificate of Radiography and are eligible for the National ARRT Registry Exam. applications are available online at school-of-radiography. For information, contact Patty Graham or Nancy Elliott at 706-774-5010, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or write to the address below. Class size is limited. To meet the eligibility deadline, all material must be received by May 15, 2018.

Saturday, February 17 Live Music

Ronnie Milsap Miller Theater 8pm Sat Feb 17 $49-$99. Visit or call 800-514-3849.

The Backyard Tavern - Karaoke Bell Auditorium - Magic Men Live! Country Club - Mat Brantley Coyotes - Mr. Haney ’80s & ’90s Rock The Epicenter - TV Jet Set, Celia Gray, Village Sticks, Dedlox, SubuTech The Etherredge Center (Aiken) - Aiken Symphony Orchestra presents “Easy to Love,” a Pops concert Fox’s Lair - The Moon Bums, The Good Fortunes, The Dround Hounds Miller Theater - Ronnie Milsap Shannon’s - Roadhouse Blues Band Sky City - JGBCB (Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band) Stillwater Taproom - Happy Bones Wild Wing - Spider Spoke Hillbillies The Willcox (Aiken) - John Vaughn World of Beer - Nick and the Nightcrawlers

What’s Tonight?

Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia, then karaoke The Highlander - Karaoke Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center Southern Fried Chicks Cage-Free Comedy Tour Soul Bar - Soul Bar Dance Party

Sunday, February 18 Live Music

Capri Lounge - Vivian Valium & the Lounge Lizard Divas Wild Wing - Chris Hardy The Willcox (Aiken) - John Vaughn

What’s Tonight? Bell Auditorium - “Guess Who Showed Up at Dinner?” Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ Mike Johnson

Monday, February 19 What’s Tonight? Blackberry Smoke with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real Bell Auditorium 8pm Thu Feb 22 $29.50-$59.50. Call 877-4AUGTIX or visit

Thursday, February 15 Live Music

Fox’s Lair - Open Mic Jam w/ Brandy Douglas Mellow Mushroom (Aiken) - Mellow Music Soul Bar - Gloom Cocoon, Possum Rot Wild Wing - Whiskey Run Duo The Willcox (Aiken) - Thursday Night Jazz w/ 4 Cats in the Dog House

What’s Tonight?

Helga’s Pub & Grille - Trivia The Highlander - Butt Naked Trivia Joe’s Underground - Spoken Word w/ J. Martin-Moses Pizza Joint (downtown) - Trivia w/ Mike Sleeper The Scene Nightclub - Fuego (dance party) Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane

Friday, February 16 Live Music

Country Club - Jon Langston Coyotes - Robin Dixon and The Midnight Moon Band


Fox’s Lair - Hannah Thomas The Highlander - Audio Lab James Brown Arena - Brantley Gilbert, Aaron Lewis, Josh Phillips The Loft - False Flag , Fenwick Mazerati’s Event Center - Love Jones Miller Theater - Diana Krall The Red Pepper (Aiken) - Anybody’s Guess Shannon’s - Atomic Road Sky City - Kelen Heller, Zero Day Soul Bar - Pop Life Southbound Smokehouse - Bonnie Blue The Stables Restaurant (Aiken) - Jazz w/ Jimmy Easton Stillwater Taproom - Prettier Than Matt Surrey Tavern - Village Sticks Wild Wing - Phillip Lee Jr. Band The Willcox (Aiken) - John Vaughn World of Beer - Ruskin and Cam

What’s Tonight?

The Backyard Tavern - Karaoke Helga’s Pub & Grille - Karaoke

Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane Wild Wing - Trivia World of Beer - Open Mic Night

Tuesday, February 20 Live Music

Fox’s Lair - Irish Music w/ Dr. John Fisher and the Undefeated Army Miller Theater - Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Joe’s Underground - Open Mic The Willcox (Aiken) - Hal Shreck

What’s Tonight?

The Highlander - Game Night Mellow Mushroom (Aiken) - Trivia Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ David Doane World of Beer - Karaoke

Wednesday, February 21 Live Music Fox’s Lair - Gypsy & Me The Larder - Celia Gary Shannon’s - Hello Betty Band Soul Bar - Vincas, Mother the Car Wild Wing - Mike Reid Duo

Chevy’s - DJ Richie Rich V29|NO7 Pizza Joint (Evans) - Trivia w/ Mike Sleeper Polo Tavern (Aiken) - Karaoke w/ Tom Mitchell Shannon’s - Karaoke w/ Mike Johnson Southbound Smokehouse - Trivia Stillwater Taproom - Pub Quiz World of Beer - Trivia


Blackberry Smoke, Lukas Nelson, Promise of the Real

- Bell Auditorium February 22 Lucero Duo

- Wild Wing February 22 Sir Edward Phillips and The Psychedelic Blue

- The Highlander February 23 The Mason Jars

- Country Club February 23 Caleb Tokarska & Little Brother

- Sky City February 23 Preston and Weston

- Shannon’s February 23 King Cat and the Elders

- Stillwater Taproom February 23 Gordon Lightfoot

- Miller Theater February 25 Phillip Lee Jr.

- Southbound Smokehouse February 25 The Illusionists - Live From Broadway

- Bell Auditorium February 25 Ed Turner and Number 9 w/ Symphony Orchestra Augusta

- Miller Theater March 2 and 3 Sister Hazel

- Country Club March 9 Olate Dogs

- Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center March 9 ETCP Springfest

- Evans Towne Center Park March 10 Daughtry

- Bell Auditorium March 13 Kellie Pickler (benefit concert)

- Evans Towne Center Park March 24 Keith Urban

- Evans Towne Center Park April 5 Major Rager w/ George Clinton & Parlimaent-Funkadelic, The James Brown Band

- Augusta Common April 6 Sir Mix-A-Lot

- Country Club April 13 “Weird Al” Yankovic w/ Emo Philips

- Miller Theater April 14


Rocketman: A Tribute to Sir Elton John

- Koger Center for the Arts, Columbia February 17 Of Mice and Men w/ Blessthefall, Fire From The Gods, Cane Hill, Moscow

- Heaven at the Masquerade, Atlanta February 21 Phillip Phillips

- Georgia Theatre, Athens February 22 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta February 23 Pedro the Lion, Marie/Lepanto

What’s Tonight?

The Backyard Tavern - Karaoke Bar West - Karaoke Capri Lounge - Game Night

- Terminal West, Atlanta February 22 Blue Brindle

- BB King’s, Nashville February 23 George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic 15FEBRUARY2018

- The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta February 25


Flogging Molly

- Music Farm Columbia, Columbia March 1 Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front, Bim Skala Bim

- The Roxy Theatre, Atlanta March 7 Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce

- Philips Arena, Atlanta March 8 Iced Earth, Sanctuary, Kill Ritual

- The Masquerade, Atlanta March 17 Mac Sabbath

- Hell at the Masquerade, Atlanta March 17 Dashboard Confessional, Beach Slang

- The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta March 23 Lee Ann Womack

- City Winery, Atlanta March 29 Cradle of Filth, Jinjer

- The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta April 3 &4 The Avett Brothers

- Township Auditorium, Columbia April 6 &7 Dweezil Zappa

- Variety Playhouse, Atlanta April 7 O.M.D., GGOOLLDD

- Center Stage Theater, Atlanta April 10 Lorde, Mitski, Run the Jewels

- Infinite Energy Center, Atlanta April 14 Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Midland

- Infinite Energy Center, Atlanta April 21 Foo Fighters

- Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta April 28

Real Singles, Real Fun...

706-434-0108 More Numbers: 1-800-926-6000 18+ FREE TRIAL

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In Theaters February 16

ACTION “Black Panther,” rated PG-13, starring

Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya and Martin Freeman. It’s been a while since we’ve been this excited about a superhero movie. (Just how many more “Spider-Man” movies can we take?) Boseman, who shined as James Brown in “Get On Up,” stars as T’Challa/Black Panther in this Marvel release. His character returns home after the death of his royal father, to take his place as ruler of an isolated African nation. We’re really looking forward to taking this one in. 15FEBRUARY2018

ANIMATED “Early Man,” rated PG, starring Tom

Hiddleston, Maisie Williams and Eddie Redmayne. From Nick Park, the creator of “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run,” this movie is set in caveman times. The story centers on Dug, who fights with his sidekick Hognob and their tribe against Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home. If this one lives up to the humor and wit of Park’s previous works, “Early Man” should be entertaining for kids and adults alike.

ACTION “Samson,” rated PG-13, starring Jackson

Rathbone, Billy Zane and Taylor James. A story pulled straight from the pages of the Bible (from the Book of Judges, for anyone keeping track), Samson is a Hebrew figure who experiences betrayal by the oppressive Philistine empire, a betrayal that includes the loss of the love of his life. He draws supernatural strength from God to ultimately pursue victory. Produced by the same company that came out with “God’s Not Dead,” a movie that was amazingly insulting to nonChristians, this one looks much more inspiring. AUGUSTA’S INDEPENDENT VOICE SINCE 1989




Michael Johnson |

Hank and Jenny Roper with Lydia and Russ Williams at Savannah River Brewing Company

Preston Duffie, Avery Kernighan and Bobby Connor a at Savannah River Brewing Company

Oscar and Alma Acosta with Alyssa and Josh Acosta at Savannah River Brewing Company

Emily, Todd and Mallory Stinchcome at Southbound Smokehouse

Jayson and Aubrey Hinkson with Patsy and Mike Davis at Southbound Smokehouse

Ashley Smith, Amy Duckett and Amanda Joyce at Wild Wing Cafe

Lisa Duckett, Lindsey Jones and Audrey Jones at Wild Wing Cafe

Dewayne and Michelle Dodd with Ethan Doff at World of Beer

Bob, Emma and Jennifer D’zio at World of Beer




superb craftsmanship. precise timing.

2635 Washington Road, Augusta, GA Mon - Sat 9am - 9pm | 706.738.7777

Metro Spirit - 02.15.18  
Metro Spirit - 02.15.18