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Walter Lee of Greenbriar Creek farm in Bishop examines one of the trees on his farm. He has participated in the Trees for Troops program since its inception in 2005. (Photo by WAYNE FORD)

Growing support: Christmas tree farmers show appreciation for troops

Walter Lee of Bishop and Greg Smith of Nicholson have helped provide the families of U.S. soldiers with Christmas trees for the past 10 years. And this Christmas season will be no different. Since 2005 the men, who each operate a Christmas tree farm, will be the go-to men in this area for the Trees for Troops, a program under the nonprofit organization Christmas Spirit Foundation and partner with FedEx, a worldwide business that volunteered to transport the trees to various military bases. Both farms, Smith’s 7 G’s Farm in Jackson County and Lee’s Greenbriar Creek farm in Oconee County, are accepting $40 sponsorships for…

Steve Scruggs addresses the crowd during the ribbon-cutting that included a barbecue plate dinner provided by Hot Thomas BBQ. (Photo by WAYNE FORD)

Ribbon-cutting opens new program at Hardigree Wildlife Sanctuary


Highway 441 project the topic at public information meetings


Oconee County's softball team (contributed photo)

Oconee County softball team qualifies for Elite Eight with a sweep against Eastside

Oconee County’s softball team is heading back to Columbus for the 17th time in program history. The Lady Warriors qualified for the Class AAAA Elite Eight with a sweep against Eastside last week in the second round of the state tournament. The Lady Warriors won game one 9-3 and game two 11-2. “It is a tradition here. We probably haven’t made it as often as what they did earlier in the 2000s and the mid- to late-90s,” said head coach Bryan Eades. “It is very competitive now. I am not trying to diminish any of the accomplishments because I was…