Eric Johnson



Greenville’s Got it All

Greenville’s Got it All

You’ve heard it before. Pretty much everybody’s heard it before. “If only Augusta could be more like Greenville.” It’s easy to envy Greenville, S.C., and it makes sense to do it. By all accounts, downtown Greenville is a pretty awesome place. It has restaurants and shopping and businesses, and more than that it has people […]

Columbia County SPLOST List Answers Questions, Raises Others

Columbia County SPLOST List Answers Questions, Raises Others

In the wake of Richmond County’s failure to renew its Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), Columbia County is presenting its 2017-2022 SPLOST project list to the public in a series of public meetings scheduled for July. The list, representing $144 million worth of projects, features $30 million earmarked for the well-publicized hospital project, […]

A Conversation with Buddy Dallas

A Conversation with Buddy Dallas

In the next few months, we’re all going to be hearing plenty about the late James Brown. With the August 1 opening of “Get On Up,” a major Hollywood film by acclaimed director Tate Taylor of “The Help,” Augusta’s Soul Brother No. 1 will once again find himself in the spotlight, seven-and-a-half years after his […]

The Land of Studies

The Land of Studies

With so much attention recently given to the state of the downtown properties and with many questioning the effectiveness of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to expand the economic opportunities of the area, the presentation of the retail study commissioned by the DDA last week raised some interest, especially among those already skeptical about yet […]

Columbia County Changes Recycling Fees

Columbia County Changes Recycling Fees

According to Columbia County Deputy Administrator Glenn Kennedy, Green Programs Manager Jenny Hinson is pretty good at what she does. The proof, he says, can be found on the bottom line. “She’s increased revenues this year from $11,000 to now a confirmed $37,000 for this year,” he says. “That’s a sizable increase.” With the addition […]

New Venue for Columbia County’s July Fourth Celebration

New Venue for Columbia County’s July Fourth Celebration

Big changes are in the works for Columbia County’s 20th Annual Fourth of July celebration, and if you don’t pay attention, you might miss it altogether. Not only will this year’s event be bigger and last longer, it’s going to be at a different location. After 19 years of being at Patriots Park, the celebration […]

What’s (Not) in a Name… at Least in Columbia County

What’s (Not) in a Name… at Least in Columbia County

Columbia County commissioners received an unusual request and a gentle admonishment at Tuesday’s Management and Financial Services Committee meeting when they heard a presentation regarding the naming ordinance the county is revising. The presentation, made by Carol Swift, first cousin to the late Pat Hardaway, Columbia County’s long-serving probate judge, pointed out that the county […]

Waiting Game

Waiting Game

It’s a complicated and intriguing series of events that could put Columbia County Commissioner Trey Allen into the state senate; so complicated, in fact, that no one is really sure what’s going to happen, or even when it might happen. “I’ve not heard a thing,” Allen says. “People that I would normally ask are asking […]

Building Success One Vacuum at a Time

Building Success One Vacuum at a Time

When the Metro Spirit last talked to Mark Branum, president of Augusta-based America’s Remanufacturing Company, his business, which remanufactures vacuums, was in the midst of an incredible growth spurt. They were going from handling 20 percent of the North American remanufacturing work for TTI Floor Care, the company that owns Dirt Devil and Hoover, to […]

Five Things Columbia County Learned from the 2014 Primary

Five Things Columbia County Learned from the 2014 Primary

District 4 isn’t like the rest of Columbia County In many ways, the Republican primary for commission chairman was a battle between the old and new. Challenger Jim Bartley, a long-time critic of incumbent Chairman Ron Cross, never backed down from the fact that he doesn’t like the way the county is growing, and nowhere […]