Originally created 07/20/98

Ask us: Charter or magnet school?

Q: What's the difference between charter schools and magnet schools?

A: Both are part of the public school system. Magnet schools focus on a certain discipline -- for example, Davidson Fine Arts School and A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering School in Augusta.

Charter schools, on the other hand, are independent public schools designed and operated by educators, parents and community leaders. They operate from three basic principles: accountability, choice and autonomy.

Charter schools are held accountable for how well they educate children, how well they meet goals established by their charter and how well they manage their financial responsibilities. They can be created by parents, community groups, organizations or individuals who want to provide a better educational opportunity than they feel exists in public schools.

They are sponsored by local and state school boards, colleges and universities, or other community agencies. Teachers choose to teach there and students choose to attend. They are autonomous from most regulations that govern regular public schools.

Q: How many episodes are there of Walker, Texas Ranger?

A: The action series starring Chuck Norris, which premiered April 21, 1993, on CBS, has aired 125 episodes. The most recent new episode aired May 16, 1998.

Q: Who were the winner and runners-up of the 1998 Miss Universe Pageant?

A: The winner of the 1998 pageant, held in Hawaii, was Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Trinidad & Tobogo. First runner-up was Miss Venezuela Veruska Tatiana Ramirez. Second runner-up was Miss Puerto Rico Joyce Giraud.

Q: Where can I write to the stars of One Life to Live?

A: Send fan mail to: One Life to Live, 58 West 66th St., New York, N.Y. 10023.

Q: What is the history behind Frankie Silver, the first woman executed in North Carolina?

A: Frankie Silver was hanged in Morganton, N.C. in 1833 for the 1831 ax-murder of her husband, Charles. She was 18 at the time of the murder. Legend has it that she formulated her last words into a ballad, which she attempted to sing from the gallows. Upon hearing her words, her father supposedly cried out from the audience, "Die with it in you, Frankie!"

What he wanted her to keep secret was never determined.

The true story of Frankie Silver and the legends surrounding her are the basis of a new novel by Appalachian writer Sharyn McCrumb, The Ballad of Frankie Silver, which uses her story to draw parallels with a fictional modern-day death row case.

Ever wonder why? Or how much? Or from where? The Augusta Chronicle invites you to Ask Us. Call INFOLINE at 442-4444. Punch in 4444 and you'll have 30 seconds to record a question. Including your name and telephone number will help, in the event we don't fully understand the question or cannot publish an answer for other reasons. We'll print the answers to as many questions as we can, as quickly as possible.


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