Monthly Archives: July 2017



Nick SandlinIn some ways, little has changed in two years for former Greenbrier High School baseball standout Nick Sandlin – and that’s a good thing. He led the Wolfpack to the Class 5A Georgia state baseball title in 2015, and now he is cutting a striking figure at the University of Southern Mississippi as well. 

The sophomore relief pitcher finished this past season with a 10-2 record and had eight saves in 11 opportunities. He had an earned run average of .238 and struck out 80 batters in 56⅔ innings. He allowed only one home run and limited the opposition to a .201 batting average.

Recently selected a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Sandlin attributes his success to USM pitching coach Michael Federico and his teammates.

“I’ve been lucky to have him both years,” Sandlin says about Federico. “Freshman year, I was learning from the older guys on the team and what to expect at the D1 level. I’ve just been on good teams with a good defense behind me.”

Arriving as a freshman at 5-foot-11 and 148 pounds, Sandlin has bulked up to 170 pounds as a result of strength training and a healthy diet. In high school, his fastball peaked in the mid-80 mph range. Now, he’s throwing in the upper 80s and low 90s. 

He also has added a splitter or changeup to complement his fastball and slider. It’s another pitch to confuse batters.

In addition to his pitching prowess, Sandlin recently was named a third team Academic All-American by the College of Sports Information Directors of America. He has earned a 4.0 GPA over two years in construction engineering technology.

“We’ve got a good academic support staff,” Sandlin says. “You gotta learn how to balance them (baseball and academics) your first year in college. Once you figure it out a little bit, it’s not too bad. You stay busy. It’s just the daily routine.”

The Golden Eagles set a school record for wins this season, compiling a 50-16 record. Southern Mississippi lost to Mississippi State 8-6 in the Hattiesburg Regional Final on June 5 to end its season. However, Sandlin has continued to sharpen his skills this summer by pitching for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the Cape Cod League for collegiate players in Massachusetts.

By Jim Irish

Take to the Water


Take to the WaterPaddle leisurely down the Savannah River in your favorite watercraft or vie for top honors in a homemade raft competition at the Big Float.

There are lots of ways to beat the August heat. However, Savannah Riverkeeper gives people the opportunity to cool off with 100 or so of their closest friends — with a little competition on the side as well — during the Big Float on August 26.

Kayaks, canoes, SUPs, inner tubes and homemade rafts are welcome on the 3.4-mile route. Prizes will be awarded in the homemade raft competition in categories such as Top Corporate Raft and Top Recycled Raft. Other awards will go to the most creative/well-executed raft and the most enthusiastic team (look for teams dressed up in themed costumes). 

1.-Batman-float“We want to encourage people to enjoy the Savannah River and celebrate the end of summer with a fun and leisurely day on the water. All registration fees directly support our efforts to protect the Savannah River,” says Elena Richards, the Savannah Riverkeeper communications director. “If you’ve never been on the river before, it’s a great opportunity to do that. We have an expert safety team, and it’s a fun way to cool off and enjoy yourself.” 

The launch will begin at 9 a.m. at the Hammond’s Ferry boat ramp in North Augusta and end at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta. Participants can drop off their vessels at the boat ramp between 7:30-8:30 a.m. and drive their vehicles to the office. A shuttle will take them back to the launch point. 

All participants must have a lifejacket, water, and a paddle or oar, including tube riders. “It’s a completely flat-water route,” says Richards. “Everyone needs to have a paddle so they will have a way to move if there’s not much current.”

An after party with local and regional craft beers, food trucks and live music will be held at the new Savannah Riverkeeper headquarters at 328 Riverfront Drive, Augusta. Spectators also can watch the rafts go by from the Riverwalk– the pavilion at 10th Street offers a great vantage point about 10-11 a.m.

If You Go: 

What: The Big Float

When: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, August 26 

Where: Hammond’s Ferry Boat Ramp, North Augusta

How Much: $30 and up

More Info:

Healing Waters

In The Home
Healing Waters

Photography by Sally Kolar

A view of Bowen Pond and a complete home makeover was the perfect prescription for this West Lake family. 

Columbia County residents Danielle and Jack Rigg have never shied away from adventure – whether it involved new career paths or a change in address. Yet it was another life-altering experience that prompted them to move from Pittsburgh to this area in 2006. Danielle, a young mother whose children Noah and Hannah were 5 and 2 years old at the time, had just undergone treatment for breast cancer.

“It was a long, cold winter,” she says. “Jack asked me what I wanted. I said, ‘Take me to the sun.’” 

Jack, a physician who specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, took a position at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, and the family settled in River Island.

A couple of years ago, however, they decided it was time for another change – new living quarters. They had planned to talk to builders about constructing a new home, but first Danielle decided to talk to her Realtor, Susan Salisbury, to see what was available on the market.

Susan took her to see a home in West Lake that overlooks Bowen Pond. “I walked in, and I was wowed by the property,” says Danielle. 

Pool-2-AfterThe house already had two features that the Riggs wanted in a home – a pool and a basement – so they saw the property’s potential right away. After all, water is a must for any girl who grew up on Long Island, and the lower level was the perfect spot to add a sound-proof studio where Jack, a musician turned physician, could play his music. 

“I was pretty convinced we had to live here. I had a gut instinct. Everything we had ever talked about was here,” says Jack. “It was obvious. It just felt really right to be here.”

Built on a wooded lot in 1981, the home had a lake house ambiance. Danielle, however, has “a proclivity for light and airy,” so she knew extensive renovations would be in order. Fortunately, the house was structurally sound.

“We didn’t have any unpleasant surprises. In fact, all of the surprises were good surprises. We found steel beams behind walls and in floors,” says Danielle. “We’re very grateful to the previous owners. The builder did a fantastic job. The house has good bones. It had good karma, but it was time for a new vision.”

‘The Voice of Life’
The good karma started when the former owners accepted the purchase offer from the Riggs on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. “It gave a spiritual element to it,” says Danielle, who is Jewish.

However, she still had a choice to make. Her cancer had recurred, so she would be battling the disease again at the same time she would be immersed in the home renovation project. 

“I had two voices in my head. One said, ‘Focus on your healing.’ The other said, ‘Be in the game of life,’” says Danielle. “I chose the voice of life. It said, ‘Be in love with the project and happy to be alive every day you’re doing it.’”

The couple hired Tom O’Brien, a New York architect and one of Jack’s former bandmates, to bring Danielle’s ideas to life. “He drew this thing out, and I was just drooling,” she says. 

The first thing she wanted to do was to open up the home, which overlooks the widest part of the pond, to take full advantage of the view.

“None of the other houses on the lake have this exposure or this position,” Danielle says. “I feel like I live at a resort. I pinch myself every day. I don’t want to go anywhere.”

Family-Room-1-AfterThe Riggs removed the wall paneling from the family room, which overlooks the pond, and painted it “Horizon,” a color that pulls in the outdoors. They changed the fireplace mantel and added a cutout in a wall to show the staircase to the lower level. They replaced the bookshelves on the wall separating the dining and family rooms with a wide opening so that they could see the pond from the dining room. 

Opening up the front hallway provided a view of the pond as well. They also revamped the master bedroom to take advantage of the pond view. The room originally had double doors to a small Juliet balcony, which the Riggs replaced with 12 feet of windows. 

“My goal was to make the house contemporary,” says Danielle. “It’s contemporary, but there are some things that are not contemporary.”

For instance, the Riggs kept the antique heart pine floors, which are original to the home, and the stained glass window on the stairwell. Some of the furnishings, such as the master bedroom’s antique chest, are traditional as well. 

In addition to opening up the home, turning the lower level into a music studio for Jack was a high priority. The lower level originally was one big room, but the Riggs made it into two rooms. The soundproof music studio, where Jack rehearses with his band, The Bonaventures, is full of his guitars and drums. A framed gold record, which Jack earned for the Blue Oyster Cult album, “Fire of Unknown Origin,” hangs on a wall. 

“He played with Blue Oyster Cult,” says Danielle. “He wasn’t an official member of the band, but he was good friends with the two brothers who founded the group.”

Music occupies a special place in the couple’s history as well. They met in New York City when she was a law student and he was a musician. “I met him as a groupie when I went to see a show,” says Danielle. “He was playing in a popular New York-based band at the time.” 

The lower level also has 100-percent recycled cork flooring. “It’s soft on your feet,” says Danielle.

The other room in the lower level includes an infrared sauna for Danielle, who became a certified lactation specialist after practicing labor and employment law for five years. 

Kitchen-AfterClean and Contemporary
The health-conscious Danielle enjoys spending time in the kitchen, where she grows wheat grass and sprouts, as well.

“This is a working kitchen. I’m a raw vegan. I eat only uncooked plants, mostly sprouts, and I juice four times a day,” she says. “I was always on a holistic path. When my cancer recurred, I decided I needed to up my game.”

The renovated kitchen features Quartzite countertops, lots of drawer space, a beveled subway tile backsplash, white cabinetry and glass doors on the upper cabinets. The bay window in the breakfast nook and the shiplap wall were part of the original décor.

A co-founder of the Best for Babes Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the cultural perception of breastfeeding, Danielle retreats to her office to work. “It’s conducive to working because it doesn’t face the water. I can get away from the intense light,” she says.

The office, which previously was a living room, has the original fireplace and built-in bookcases, but the Riggs enlarged the space. They added French doors and an antique Turkish rug that they got on their honeymoon in Turkey. However, Danielle says, “There are not a lot of floor coverings in my home, and there is no fabric on the windows. I prefer an open, airy, simple, clean, contemporary look.”

Across from the office, the dining room is a space of understated elegance with mission-style furniture. Artwork includes pieces that Danielle’s grandparents got in Africa, a pair of Israeli pictures on one wall and one of Jack’s paintings on another wall.

Dining-Room-1-After“The dining room needed to showcase some art,” says Danielle. “I wanted the walls to create a simple backdrop. I just wanted to hang art on subtle, beautiful-colored walls.”

In fact, the house is full of art work by Jack, who paints in the furnished apartment above the standalone garage that the Riggs built. “That area was all woods before,” says Danielle.

The lot still has a woodsy feel, however.

“I love the trees and no lawn and the gravel. It’s like I’m at a campground,” Jack says. “I hear the crunch of the car on the gravel when I get home, and it’s like an instant transformation.”

Master-Bedroom-AfterA new breezeway connects the garage to a side porch that the Riggs also added to the house. The side porch borders a covered porch that already was part of the home. The covered porch features the original aged wood ceiling, which is painted white and gray now. “It didn’t stand out before because everything was brown,” Danielle says.

The Riggs also updated the pool and deck areas. The jasmine-covered pergola on the deck already was there. However, they installed a ceiling fan. Adding a personal touch to the space, the deck lounge chair pillows, which were an anniversary gift from Danielle’s mother last year, have a photo of the pool area on them.

Jack and Noah cleared out the area between the pool and Bowen Pond. “There was no beach before,” Danielle says. “That was completely overgrown.”

Her favorite parts of the house fall in this order: the outside, the kitchen and the master bedroom wall of windows. Even though she grew up on Long Island, she now prefers a lake to the beach. “I find myself much more at home on a lake or a river,” she says. “I like the foliage.”

Jack says he spends most of his time at the house in his music studio, but his favorite spot is the covered porch. “I love the breeze,” he says. “Even if I’m just sitting there, I feel like I’m doing something.”

Updated with Style
The Riggs completed the renovations in five months before moving into their new home in March 2016. “It’s not just updated. It has style,” Susan says. “Danielle was hopping and popping like popcorn.”

The house is conducive to entertaining as well – no matter the ages of their guests. “Most Friday and Saturday nights in the warm season, a pack of guys shows up. I put out food, and they go from basketball to fishing to the game room,” says Danielle. “That’s what I love about this house – besides everything.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Avocado, Egg & Bacon Sandwich

  • Avocado Egg-&-Bacon-Sandwich1 avocado
  • Dash lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Bacon slices
  • 4 slices bread
  • Butter for bread
  • 2 eggs
  • Spinach leaves 

Mash avocado with fork and stir in dash lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Cook bacon and drain on paper towels. Poach or fry eggs soft to medium; season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast bread or butter and heat on a griddle or grill. Layer toast with spinach, avocado, egg and bacon. Serve immediately. Makes 2 sandwiches.


Clint Bryant


Augusta University Director of Intercollegiate AthleticsAugusta University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics 

Number of years in position: 30 

Family: Wife, Trish Bryant; daughters, Lauren Ashley Bryant, Washington, D.C., and Kristin Amanda Bryant, Boston 

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I’ve been in intercollegiate athletics since 1977, so I’ve had the opportunity to watch young people grow up. I enjoy seeing people come in as 17- or 18-year-old kids and seeing them leave as 21- and 22-year olds with their degrees. A lot of times they are the first generation in their families to get a college education. 

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: I support a lot of them. I don’t want to leave any out, but a few organizations that I’ve supported are Boys & Girls Clubs, Family Y, The Warrior Alliance, 100 Black Men of Augusta Inc., American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. You name it; I’ve done it. But my biggest passion is helping disadvantaged kids or kids with special needs, and helping kids overcome obstacles. I’m also very passionate about our warriors and wounded veterans.

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: I guess growing up as an inner city kid in Washington, D.C. — I’ve seen how you can go from there to having an opportunity to live the life I’ve lived and travel all over the world. I’ve been to places such as New Zealand, Argentina and every state except one. I’ve never been to North Dakota. Some of the travel has been for pleasure, but most of it has been work-related over the years.

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Probably when I was selected to the NCAA Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team in 2013. The team is made up of former student-athletes who made a difference in competition during their playing days and as civic leaders after they graduated. I was one of 40 people recognized for contributions to the NCAA.

What Your Childhood Self Wanted to Be When You Grew Up: A fireman. There were always a lot of firetrucks around, so I had a thing about firemen.

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: Grilling. I can cook anything – ribs, chicken, all kinds of fish and wild game. If it’s edible, I can grill it. 

Favorite TV Show: Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations”

Favorite Movie: Tombstone

Favorite Sports Team: Golden State Warriors

Favorite Comfort Food: Gumbo. In 1984, Bill Foster and I left Clemson University to restart the basketball program at the University of Miami after it had been on a 15-year hiatus. I recruited a young man out of Lafayette, Louisiana. I stayed at the Radisson, and I went to the concierge and said I wanted some real Cajun food. There were a lot of restaurants around, but I went 10-12 miles out of town. I ended up on this bayou at a place where they put the food on a table with paper and cold beer. The people there took a liking to me because I stopped in there every time I went to the area. The grandmother finally said that if I came back again, she would teach me how to make Cajun food. She taught me how to make the best gumbo.

Favorite App: Vivino. It’s a wine app.

Last Book Read: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

Dream Vacation: I’d like to go to the San Francisco area, Sausalito, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley because I’m crazy about wine.

Something That Has Changed My Life: The birth of my daughters and my basketball coach, Bob Hussey, at Belmont Abbey College. With his help, I had the opportunity to get into college coaching.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: Life is a never-ending process of getting used to things that you never expected.

One Word You Would Use to Describe Yourself: Outgoing

Favorite Hobbies: Cooking, fishing, golf

Secret Aspiration: To write a memoir 

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Cooks Vs. Cons”

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: I was born in rural, coastal, eastern North Carolina in a small town called Bolivia. It is 22 miles south of Wilmington and 24 miles north of Myrtle Beach.

Necco Augusta

Community Groups in Action

calling postNecco Augusta has a new home in Martinez. However, the nonprofit, which provides foster care and adoption services to children from birth to age 21, is more interested in finding forever homes for children.

“Our mission is to build families,” says Natasha Small, the program director. “There are thousands of children in foster care across the state, and it is our mission to provide loving homes and permanency for as many children as possible.”

Service areas for the local office include Columbia, Richmond, Burke and McDuffie counties, and Small says the agency tries to place children in forever homes in their home counties. “Reunification with the birth family is always the goal whenever possible,” she adds. “Otherwise, we try to find the best fit for the child.” 

Necco Augusta receives foster care referrals from state and county departments. The organization recruits potential foster parents through various events, social media and word of mouth. Requirements for becoming a Necco foster parent include passing a background check and being at least 21 years old. “The children we serve are from a variety of backgrounds, so we welcome diversity in our foster families,” says Small.

Support services include in-home case management, 24-hour emergency assistance, competitive reimbursement rates, coordination of services, licensed therapists on staff and ongoing training and outings.

“I believe foster parents are often the angels God sends as an answer to desperate prayers of children who are crying out for loving and caring adults,” says Phil Alexander, CallingPost founder. “I have great respect for people who give of their time and hearts to help children at a most vulnerable time in their lives.”

Necco Augusta will hold an open house at its new location, 432 South Belair Road, from 10 a.m. – noon Saturday, August 19. The organization also holds free weekly orientation sessions 10 a.m. – noon on Tuesdays. Orientation lasts 30 minutes to an hour, and in-home orientation appointments can be scheduled as well.

“Children are children, and youths in foster care need the same supports as other youths,” Small says. “Becoming a foster parent is one of the best ways to provide support.” 

For more information, call (706) 210-3435, visit or check them out on Facebook at Necco Augusta.

Hooked on a Feeling

hooked on a feeling

Heroes on the Water takes veterans, active duty military personnel and retired first responders fishing in kayaks to help them decompress with the therapeutic qualities of the sport. Project Healing Waters is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities.

The local chapters of two national nonprofit organizations take to the water to help veterans heal from their physical and psychological wounds.

Some people know a good catch when they see one – especially volunteers for two nonprofit organizations with like-minded missions. They are getting veterans hooked on healing in a relaxing, recreational setting by taking them fishing to help them through the aftermath of combat or the rigors of rehabilitation. 

Heroes on the Water takes veterans, active duty military personnel and retired first responders fishing in kayaks to help them decompress with the therapeutic qualities of the sport. Project Healing Waters is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities.

“It’s just a relaxing way to spend your time. You forget about the things that are going on in your life,” says Jeff Payne, coordinator of the Fort Gordon chapter of Heroes on the Water.

The local chapters of the two organizations started working together several months ago after Justin Walter, the area Project Healing Waters program lead, offered to teach fly tying at one of Heroes’ kayak events.

hooked on a feeling“We love to share the practice of fly fishing,” says Walter. “We love to get out in the woods or on a lake where the water is calm. There’s something about being out away from cellphones and the hustle and bustle of work. You can fly fish from a kayak or the bow of a boat or the shore.”

Time Well Spent
Heroes on the Water, which has chapters across the Southeast, was founded in 2007, and the local chapter was started in July 2016. “This is the only chapter in Georgia, so it serves people from all across the state and South Carolina,” Payne says.

Project Healing Waters was created in 2005, and the local chapter was started in 2013. “We focus on disabled veterans with a 30 percent or more disability, but we cater to active duty personnel as well,” says Walter.

Kayaking-Bruce-Fox-Retired-First-ResponderHeroes on the Water holds free events every month on area waterways, and the organization provides a one-to-one ratio between guides and participants. The organization also provides participants with tackle and lunch at the outings. The next event is scheduled for July 15 on Lake Olmstead, but Heroes on the Water also takes veterans fishing any time as long as a guide is available. 

“A lot of our volunteers served in the military. It means as much to us as it does to the participants a lot of times,” says Payne. “We suffer from the same ailments.”

According to Payne, the program reduces participants’ stress by 56 percent, hypervigilance by 62 percent and avoidance behavior by 63 percent overall.

“It gives them a chance to relax and let go of some of the things they deal with on a daily basis,” he says. “When they come off the water, you see a smile on their face. You know it’s been time well spent.”

The local chapter has a 10-member leadership board and about 10 additional volunteers. Each guide undergoes basic kayak recovery and CPR training. Other volunteers help with administrative tasks and registration or food coordination at events.

“Each chapter is responsible for raising its own money, and the CSRA has been phenomenal,” says Payne. “Everything we have needed, someone has stepped up and provided it for us.”

Fishing-Making-a-rodSense of Accomplishment
Walter has taught fly fishing and fly tying classes at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center and American Legion and VFW posts. “Fly tying is something you can do on a hot summer day or a cold winter day,” says Walter. “It’s like arts and crafts for adults.”

He has organized fly fishing outings at ponds on Fort Gordon, the Savannah River and Clarks Hill Lake. Depending on where they cast their lines, they will catch and release or harvest the fish. Walter teaches fly rod building as well. 

“It’s fun to make a fly and then catch a fish on a tie you made, and it’s fun to catch a fish with a rod you made,” he says. “To bridge that gap for disabled people and show them they have an ability to fly fish is rewarding to me. It gives people a sense of accomplishment when they learn to do something they don’t think they can do.”

Fishing-Nacoochee-BendProject Healing Waters is funded through its national program and direct donations to the local chapter, and all fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to the participants at no cost. The local chapter has 10 – 20 volunteers. 

“We’re always looking for participants and volunteers,” says Walter. “You don’t have to know anything about fly fishing to volunteer to help with an outing.”

For more information about the two organizations, visit their respective Facebook pages.


Taking a Bite Out of Zika

Dr. Jose Vazquez, chief of infectious disease at MCG at Augusta University, recently attended a seminar about the Zika virus at an infectious disease conference in New Orleans. No Zika cases have been reported in this area, he says, but outbreaks, which occurred in Florida last year, seem to move farther north every year. He also says scientists are working on three promising vaccines for the disease.

Dr. Jose Vazquez, chief of infectious disease at MCG at Augusta University, recently attended a seminar about the Zika virus at an infectious disease conference in New Orleans. No Zika cases have been reported in this area, he says, but outbreaks, which occurred in Florida last year, seem to move farther north every year. He also says scientists are working on three promising vaccines for the disease.

The Zika virus could make a comeback when the threat of mosquito bites returns with the summer heat.

No one likes to be bitten by mosquitoes, but the bug bites are more than an annoyance to some people. With the return of the summer heat and the pesky insects, women who are pregnant or who plan to get pregnant in the next three to six months need to protect themselves from mosquitoes. 

“We had no Zika cases here last year, but every year it spreads a little bit farther north,” says

Dr. Jose Vazquez, chief of infectious disease at MCG at Augusta University.

In the United States last year 77 babies died in the womb due to Zika, and 51 others were born with Zika-related birth defects. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 10 pregnant women with Zika gave birth to a child with serious birth defects. 

“The only people that really need to be concerned about Zika are the folks that are having babies,” says Vazquez. “We don’t know how long the virus will last in the system. We don’t know if a child can develop abnormalities down the road. It’s certainly a possibility.”

While there have been no reports of the Zika virus in Georgia, Vazquez says, pregnant women should avoid areas where it has been reported such as the Caribbean and the middle and southern parts of Florida.

Vazquez-2“The outbreak may be a little bit bigger this year,” he adds. “We might see an outbreak farther north around Disney World that could move its way up here.”

According to reports, however, the virus is not as prevalent this year in some previously hard-hit areas such as Puerto Rico and South America. Vazquez, who attended an American Society for Microbiology infectious disease conference in New Orleans in June, says herd immunity will curtail outbreaks of the virus in these regions.

“When an area has a lot of cases of any virus, everyone gets immunized. A lot of people had it and didn’t know it,” he says. “It’s not expected to be as bad in these areas because the body forms antibodies. In a couple of years, when people lose their immunity, we’ll start seeing it again.” 

Zika, one of several viruses transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and by sexual activity, produces flulike symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, fever, muscle and joint aches, rash and inflammation around the eyes. The symptoms can last about a week. 

“Most people might not even know they had the Zika virus,” says Vazquez. “The biggest problem is with fetal malformation in pregnant women.”

Since the Zika virus has been around only a couple of years, Vazquez says no one knows if it has long-lasting effects. A diagnosis is made by a blood test performed by the CDC. Currently, no vaccine is available for the Zika virus. However, Vazquez says. “Scientists are working on three different vaccines that look pretty efficient.” 

Mosquitoes are most prevalent in the late spring, summer and into the fall, Vazquez says, and the mosquito that causes Zika is out day and night.

To avoid getting bitten by a mosquito, people should use bug repellant that contains DEET and wear long sleeves and long pants when they go outdoors. Vazquez also emphasizes that people should get rid of any reservoirs of standing water on their properties. 

“People should check around their houses once a week to make sure they have no standing water on low-lying land or in birdbaths or tires,” he says.

Reynold Borseth


Reynold BorsethReynold Borseth
Sales Center Manager, Augusta/Milledgeville
Augusta Coca-Cola, A Division of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United 

Number of years in position: 18

Family: Wife, Gwen; son, Jason; daughter, Dena

 Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I feel very fortunate to work for a company such as Coca-Cola United. It is a company that lives by its core values (integrity, respect, quality and excellence), from our CEO and president to all of our associates. It is 115 years old, and our employees have always taken pride in giving uncompromised service, great execution in our market and being involved in our communities. A company has to have great people to be as successful as Augusta Coca-Cola has been over the years. The reputation it has established today came from all the hard work so many people did in the past and that our employees continue to do today. It all goes back to the people. If you have great people and great brands, you are going to be successful and win. 

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: The Merchants Association of Columbia County and the Augusta Sports Council. I know there are a lot of great organizations in our community, but I have been a board member/member of the Augusta Sports Council for more than 20 years and a member of The Merchants of Columbia County for more than 12 years. I just enjoy being a small part of two great organizations and what they give back to the community…which is a lot.

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How:  Losing our son Reynold Jr. in 1998 in a car accident. He had just started college, and there is no doubt we would have watched him on TV playing for a MLB team. When Reynold had his accicdent, you expect your family to be there for support, which they were, but it was our friends that reached out with love and support that helped so much, along with the memories of all the good times we had with Reynold for the 18 years he was with us.

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of:  Since 1989, being a part of all the great teams we have had at Augusta Coca-Cola and what we were able to accomplish. Also, watching our employees grow and advance with their careers.

What Your Childhood Self Wanted to Be When You Grew Up:  When I was young I always thought I would join the military.

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon:  Playing golf and then going out to dinner with my wife and mother-in-law.

Favorite TV Show:  “Blue Bloods”

Favorite Movie:  Saving Private Ryan 

Favorite Sports Team: There is only one team…Georgia Bulldogs! 

Favorite Comfort Food: My wife’s fried rice 

Favorite App: Finance

Last Book Read: Small Giants (Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big) by Bo Burlingham 

Dream Vacation (and Why): To spend the whole month of January in Hawaii. Play golf and attend the two PGA golf tournaments and Champions Golf Tournament.

Something That Has Changed My Life:  The tragedy with our son. Life is too short.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: Gather your facts before you make a decision. Don’t assume or jump to conclusions. 

One Word You Would Use to Describe Yourself: Dependable.

 Favorite Hobbies: I love to play golf and go fishing.

Secret Aspiration: Back in the day, to play on some type of a tennis tour.

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “Amazing Race” with my wife, Gwen. She is so competitive that I know we would win.

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: I played competitive tennis for more than 20 years at the 4.5 level with great friends.