Fannie Mae relaxing credit requirements for some borrowers
WASHINGTON -- Mortgage-market giant Fannie Mae, seeking to help more low-income consumers become homeowners, is relaxing its credit requirements for loans to people with ``slightly impaired'' credit.
Area briefs: Auto seller to dump rental businesses
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- AutoNation Inc., the country's largest automobile retailer, said Thursday it will spin off its troubled rental-car division by issuing stock in the new company to current AutoNation shareholders.
Nurse: Industry must unite
Just a couple years after graduation, Cassie Cowling and Julieta Chacon are already caught up in the turbulent changes of Augusta's health care market.
Pizza Hut buying slice of Russian rocket
DALLAS -- Pizza Hut wanted a billboard on the moon. It settled for a Russian rocket bound for space. The company announced Thursday it would pay the cash-starved Russian space agency about half the price of a 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl -- currently up to $2.5 million -- for the right to paint its logo on a Russian Proton rocket.
Economic slowdown sharper than previously thought
WASHINGTON -- The economic slowdown during the spring was sharper than previously believed, with growth at an anemic 1.6 percent rate. But economists point to a big jump in home sales in August as one of a number of signs that the pause in the robust expansion was only fleeting.
GOP slammed for latest proposal
WASHINGTON -- A Republican proposal to delay refunds for more than 20 million taxpayers was criticized as unfair and poor tax policy Wednesday by Democrats and the nation's largest tax preparer.
Hotel unhappy with CBS
NEW YORK -- A posh Fifth Avenue hotel has gone to court to try to stop CBS from using a plaza in front of the General Motors Building to stage its upcoming ``Early Show.''
Additional business news
Interest rate worries drive market down...Analyst: Coke will bounce back...European Union OKs oil mergers...Veterans can go online for claims
SITEL Corp. said it anticipates a mob of job seekers when it comes to town next month. ``We expect to be swamped,'' said Linda Hausman, SITEL vice president of human resources.
Barnes leads Tokyo mission
ATLANTA -- Gov. Roy Barnes is taking his first trade mission -- and first-ever trip out of the country -- Saturday when he flies to Tokyo for a three-day conference.
History plagues old town
SELMA, Ala. -- The history here is as thick as the Spanish moss that hangs from the trees at Old Live Oak Cemetery.
Krispy Kreme has sweet tradition
Hot Doughnuts Now! Krispy Kreme's lighted neon sign can bring traffic to a screaching halt. Those warm, melt-in-your-mouth, sugar-glazed fried confections are as much a Southern tradition as grits -- and some might argue, a lot better-tasting.
Gordon Blaker is a man in search of a polyester leisure suit. ``Lime green would be excellent,'' Mr. Blaker said as wistful visions of wide lapels danced in his head.
Space waste...Crime and punishment...Cancer screening...Clearly it's love...Mother's milk...Diet dilemma...Gentle stroke
In the life of Garth Brooks
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There is a long pause on the other end of the telephone line. Finally, Garth Brooks takes a deep breath and defends himself from the perception that his new album is a thinly disguised attempt to abandon country music for the glories of pop stardom.
Isley Brothers are rock icons
Rhythm and blues greats the Isley Brothers will headline the Harvest for the World concert Saturday at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.
Symphony plays for millennium
The Augusta Symphony opens its Encore Chamber Series tonight with the first of a two-part series, Sounds of the Millennium -- From Yesterday to Y2K, at 8 p.m. at the Universal Unitarian Church on Walton Way Extension.
`Three Musketeers' a macho ballet
For those who think ballet is a chick thing, the Augusta Ballet's production of The Three Musketeers may change their minds.
In the know
The season premiere of ER is at 10 on NBC (WAGT-TV, Channel 26). With George Clooney gone, and Julianna Margulies and Gloria Reuben on the way out, look for new faces at County General, including Michael Michele (Homicide) as a new resident, Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) as a nurse and Goran Visnjic as a Croatian doctor. Alan Alda (as an attending physician) and Rebecca DeMornay (as Dr. Carter's patient) will also make frequent guest appearances.
Starting early key to ridding lawn of nutsedge infestation
Q: Nutgrass is terrible in my yard! And it's everywhere; the lawn, flowerbeds, shrubbery beds, etc. What is my best course of action to control it?
Elegant and stately, Lipizzaner stallions put on quite a show.
When the gardens of summer start to fade, drying can preserve the blooms for enjoyment through the winter months. The slightly muted colors and delicately curled petals characteristic of dried flowers can be achieved with a few simple steps.
Men's rules differ from women's
If a man is talking to himself in a forest, and there's no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?
Hazing hearing planned
ATHENS, Ga. -- A University of Georgia fraternity faces a hearing today before the student judiciary for alcohol-related violations of school rules.
Area briefs: Parents to discuss code enforcement
The Parent Action Committee of Richmond County, a parents-group concerned about the penalties enforced on students who violate Richmond County schools' dress code, will have its second meeting at 8 p.m. today at the Bernie Ward Community Center, 1925 Lumpkin Road, near Butler High School.
Four die in accidents
It was a deadly day on Augusta area roads Wednesday as four people were killed in two unrelated crashes in Augusta and McDuffie County.
Monument marcher makes stop at fort
Ronald Bedford has walked more than 700 miles this month, and he's not even halfway to his destination.
Six ask to be excused from Hill trial
AIKEN -- Six potential jurors in the death penalty trial of David Mark Hill took the stand in court Thursday, spelling out why they shouldn't have to serve on the jury.
Officials discourage campaign materials
AIKEN -- A growing number of video poker opponents are literally wearing their sentiments on their sleeves.
Network questions detention
AIKEN -- ABC television producers for 20/20 were in Aiken County over the past week, putting a national spotlight on a local man's accusations against Tenneco Packaging and the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
Tennants lose water due to landlord's negligence
Residents of an Augusta apartment complex were furious Thursday when the water to their homes was shut off because of their landlord's failure to pay an overdue $12,000 water bill.
Williams found guilty of murder
Today or possibly Friday, a jury will decide whether Bryan Tyrone Williams should spend the rest of his life behind bars or die in the electric chair.
Across the area: Department meets state rescue rules
The Grovetown Department of Public Safety announced Thursday that it has met requirements set by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and has been granted an official Georgia Rescue License.
Police: Truck driver was trying to merge
A Georgia man accused of vehicular homicide after a fatal wreck on Bobby Jones Expressway was trying to merge into traffic when he struck another truck driver, causing an explosion, authorities said Thursday.
Deputies love their outdoor work
Judy Valdez is a witness to the dedication of Columbia County bicycle deputies. She's seen them outside pedaling in temperatures of more than 100 degrees and riding in downpours, always smiling and without complaint.
Jury to sentence killer
The image of Michael D. Stephenson's young widow fighting through tears to explain the loss of her husband was replaced at the end of the day Thursday with a defiant Bryan Tyron Williams telling jurors it didn't matter if they sentenced him to life in prison or death.
Completion of complex stressed
Tommy Taylor fears being burned by the county a second time. And if Richmond County government is successful in condemning land belonging to Mr. Taylor and eight other property owners, the south Augusta man says, his nightmare will come true.
Cellular call ends in arrests
AIKEN -- Police in Aiken have fingered three men in a rash of car break-ins over the weekend, tracking down one of the men after he used a cellular telephone taken from one of the vehicles.
Lawmaker plugs preservation plan
MARIETTA, Ga. -- Gov. Roy Barnes has done his part to save Georgia's natural environment by proposing the state's fastest growing counties preserve 20 percent of their undeveloped land, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said Thursday on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
Marrow donors sought
A 6-year-old Korean-American boy from Augusta will begin bone marrow transplant procedures today in Columbia even as his family still searches for a donor who is a better match.
University to keep race policy
ATHENS, Ga. -- In a decision that will guarantee national debate and further court battles, University of Georgia President Michael Adams said Thursday that race will continue as a factor in admissions of a limited number of students at University of Georgia.
Car taxes part of debate
AIKEN -- At least seven towns in Aiken County have passed resolutions urging residents to vote ``no'' in the Nov. 2 referendum that will decide whether video poker remains legal in South Carolina.
Sand puts out blaze at landfill
THOMSON -- An underground fire at the abandoned Williams-Mesena Road landfill appeared to be under control Thursday, but contractors will remain on the site indefinitely -- just to make sure.
Democrat to file ethics complaint on Schrenko
ATLANTA -- Linda Schrenko has been in charge of Georgia's 1.4 million student public education system for five years, but critics say her campaign is having trouble with elementary school math.
Mom tells slain son's tale on TV
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The tale horrifies the listener with each telling.
Barnes: Alabama vote won't affect HOPE
ATLANTA -- With two weeks to go before Alabama's lottery vote, Georgia officials celebrated their 400,000th HOPE scholar Wednesday, lauding a lottery-funded program that has poured $800 million into college tuition, books and fees since 1993.
Widow fights school for $3.4 million
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- An 89-year-old widow who said her husband made her buy day-old bread even as he stashed away millions is in a legal battle to prevent $3.4 million of his money from going to the University of Missouri.
Baker ordained as 12th bishop of Charleston
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A congregation of almost 3,000 sang, prayed and rej
Vicky Dunn is the only gun-toting secretary in the Richmond County school system.
North Augusta High School Navy Junior ROTC members Michael McFetridge, 15, (left) and Peter Rivera, 14, practice drills Wednesday for a competition Saturday at Easley High School.
Courthouse restoration among improvements
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- The Edgefield County Council has offered County Administrator Wayne Adams a raise and a contract to keep him from taking a higher-paying job elsewhere in South Carolina.
Proposal angers some commissioners
Before he amended it, Mayor Bob Young's ethics ordinance had a major handicap: It barred Augusta commissioners from accepting free Masters Tournament badges.
Internal review was conducted
Two veteran officers tied to a forgery scandal no longer work for the North Augusta Department of Public Safety, agency Director Lee Wetherington said Wednesday.
Mr. Edward Mayo Jr.
WRENS, Ga. -- Mr. Edward Mayo Jr., 63, of 103 Brooke St., died Saturday, Sept. 25, 1999, at Burke County Hospital.
Mr. Otis Bell
MIDVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Otis Junior Bell, 45, of 758 Wadley Coleman Lake Road, died Sunday, Sept. 26, 1999, at Emanuel County Medical Center.
Mr. Johnny Murphy
WRENS, Ga. -- Mr. Johnny Jay Murphy, 31, of 1130 Spurgon Circle, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at McDuffie County Hospital.
Mr. Gerald Roberts
Mr. Gerald Roberts, 53, of 2215 Richards Road, died Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mr. George Derfler
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mr. George E. Derfler, 80, of 80 Dupree Circle, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at his residence.
Mrs. Hattie Hulin
TIGNALL, Ga. -- Mrs. Hattie Louise Hulin, 90, died Sunday, Sept. 26, 1999.
Mrs. Victoria Budacz
MILLEN, Ga. -- Mrs. Victoria Johnson Budacz, 83, of 536 Hillcrest St., died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at Bethany Nursing Center, Millen.
Geraldine Hargrove, 83, dean emeritus
EVANS -- Dr. Geraldine W. Hargrove, 83, of 4275 Owens Road, died Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999, at Brandon Wilde Pavillion.
Ms. Donna Fair
Ms. Donna Mae Fair, 69, of 3722 Walton Way Extension, died Sunday, Sept. 26, 1999.
Mrs. Elma Gaines
LINCOLNTON, Ga. -- Mrs. Elma Schroeder Gaines, 75, of 3272 Double Branches Road, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at Columbia-Augusta Medical Center.
Mr. George Filuta
Mr. George Thomas Filuta, 69, died Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999, at Columbia-Augusta Medical Center.
Mrs. Margaret Johnson
INWOOD, N.Y. -- Mrs. Margaret Burns Johnson, of 49 Walcott Ave., died Sunday, Sept. 26, 1999.
Mr. George Moye Jr.
HARRISON, Ga. -- Mr. George W. Moye Jr., 80, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at Washington County Regional Hospital.
Mr. George Dickerson
Mr. George Dickerson, of 1306 13th St., died Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999, at University Hospital.
Mr. Ronald Davenport Jr.
Mr. Ronald Davenport ``Puggie'' Jr., 23, of 1957 Broad St., died Friday, Sept. 17, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mrs. Willie Cole
AIKEN -- Mrs. Willie Mae Payne Cole, 79, of 1182 Richardson Lake Road, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at her residence.
Mrs. Mary Stein
Aiken -- Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Abbott Stein, 81, of 11 Perth Court, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at her residence.
Mr. Charles Glover
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Mr. Charles Glover, 66, of 1435 Kensington Drive, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at his residence.
Mr. Adam Colin Scott
Funeral services for Mr. Adam Colin Scott, 26, of 3006 Cromwell Court, Hephzibah, Ga., who died September 28, 1999, at the Medical College of Georgia, will be conducted this Saturday, October 3, 1999, at 1 p.m. from Macedonia Baptist Church, with Rev. Dr. Gregory Fuller officiating.
Mrs. Inez Bennett
HARLEM -- Mrs. Inez ``Ida'' Bennett, 89, of 6199 Old Union Road, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at University Hospital.
Mr. Richard Rogers
THOMSON -- Mr. Richard Allen Rogers, 71, of 1040 Wrightsboro Road, died Monday, Sept. 27, 1999, at McDuffie County Hospital.
Ms. Luvenia Sreen
ATLANTA -- Ms. Luvenia Stephens Sreen, 39, of 1145 Gun Club Road, died Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999.
Mrs. Ella Gordon
Mrs. Ella Mae ``Tee Tee'' Gordon, 75, of 818 Forsythe St., died Sunday, Sept. 26, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mr. Willie Gay
Mr. Willie ``Jack'' P. Gay, 52, of 2331 Old McDuffie Road, died Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999, at University Hospital.
Mrs. Daisy Wadley
Mrs. Daisy Bell Wadley, 81, of 2014 Third Ave., died Monday, Sept. 27, 1999, at her residence.
Mr. John Walker
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. John L. Walker, 70, of 521 Cooper St., died Saturday, Sept. 25, 1999, at Wrightsville Manor Nursing Home.
Mr. Paul Hartsoe
LEXINGTON, S.C. -- Mr. Paul Hartsoe, 73, of 335 W. Main St., died Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999, at Lexington County Medical Center.
Mrs. Maudie Peavy
SYLVANIA, Ga. -- Mrs. Maudie Pearl McGuire Peavy, 77, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at Bulloch Memorial Hospital, Statesboro.
Mrs. Edna Walters
JACKSON -- Mrs. Edna Earle Sandifer Peeples Walters, 80, died Monday, Sept. 27, 1999.
Mr. Rogers MacDonald
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Rogers Franklin MacDonald, 75, of 443 Moye Drive, died Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999, at Washington Regional Medical Center.
Mrs. Catherine Newman
Mrs. Catherine Washington Newman, 85, of 2319 Neal St., died Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1999.
Mrs. Sybil Thompson
WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- Mrs. Sybil Agnes Thompson, 77, of 232 Briar Creek Estates, died Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1999, at her residence.
Protests paper's story placement
I am a strong supporter of your newspaper's conservative stances and opinions. Stephen Johnston, Martinez
Augusta's health care
A final meeting of the legislative committee on the future of the Medical College of Georgia and other health care providers ended with support for a new agency to promote regional health care. This is as welcomed as it is overdue.
Backs 'innovative' Dist. 82 candidate
The voters within South Carolina House District 81 have a rare opportunity to elect a representa-tive who carries no political baggage, owes no favors, knows how to solve community problems and listens to his constituents. David Prim, Aiken
Fears turnover of Panama Canal
... On Dec. 31, the Panama Canal will be handed over to Panama, which in turn has already agreed to hand over complete control to the Hutchison-Whampoa Company -- mostly owned by the Chinese. Howard Wayt, Aiken
No Ga. gas tax hike
Every year about this time some leader floats the idea of boosting Georgia's gas tax as a way to solve the state's transportation problems.
Questions editorial on Bible history
Having read the Aug. 15 ``Bible issue festers'' editorial more than once, I must pose a few questions to your editor: Carl S. Champlin,Aiken
When death came to Clifford ``Baldy'' Baldowski on Monday, at age 81, it ended the life of a crusader who penned 15,000 cartoons that spanned a career of 33 years.
Supports plaintiffs in suit against UGA
It is interesting how some readers are in an ``outrage'' over the recent suit against the University of Georgia. Many cry out ``how dare they?'' Amy Beckenhauer Mollohan, Martinez
Wants Red killers also condemned
I am not exactly a lover or follower of Pat Buchanan, but attacking him about his book ex-cerpts about the Holocaust and the Nazis is ridiculous and disgusting. Where are the left-siding liberals with their slogan ``free speech''? Dr. Bela Vitez, Aiken
Opposes giving up firearm rights
President Bill Clinton is blaming guns for violence. More bull from our great and powerful leader ... and his omniscient sidekick Al Gore. D.M. Daniels,Waynesboro
The Clintons' duplicitous modus operandi of trying to have it both ways on every controversial issue isn't serving the first lady very well in her planned bid for New York's U.S. Senate seat.
Casts wary eye upon dress codes
I believe it is critical that we, as a society, provide our children a safe learning environment in our schools. An environment where our children are safe from harm and one that is conducive to learning are the apparent goals of the Columbia and Richmond County school boards. Mark A. MacDonald, Evans
Cites Ga. law concerning class size
Georgia Law 160-5-08 might interest all concerned parents of elementary school students. This states that the maximum system average class size be 21.5 students in grades 1-3 with no paraprofessionals. Diane Vizzari, Martinez
Gore's phony move
When President Clinton hoodwinks the public he does it with a subtlety and nuance that, however dishonest, at least seems plausible; not so with his crony, Vice President Al Gore, who now finds himself in a tough Democrat Party primary race to succeed Clinton.
Sees discriminatory enforcement
With much ado about the dress code in the Columbia County schools, I read in utter amazement the dress code put out by Lakeside High School and the many prejudicial rules concerning dress. Kevin Story, Martinez
Back Norwood petition
The U.S. House GOP leadership will be making a grave mistake if it follows through on the ``poison pill'' amendment to kill the bipartisan managed care consensus bill prepared by Reps. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., and John Dingell, D-Mich.
Hits city over delinquent businesses
I feel the top 20 and other delinquent water and sewer accounts on the city's billing system, which has hit $2.6 million owed since 1996, as reported in the Sept. 26 paper, is a clear message that our local government and water department punish the poor and reward the rich. LeRoy Griffin, Augusta
Satirizes Columbia Co. dress codes
I am a senior at Greenbrier High School, and I have been keeping a close eye on the letters that have been printed about the Columbia County dress code. Nick Fierstos, Evans
Complains students don't have books
It is utterly amazing that we are well into the second month of school and there are book shortages throughout classes in Richmond County. E. Watson, Augusta
Says flag flies against the U.S.A.
The flying of the Confederate flag is an issue that challenges unity under God (``fear God and keep his commandments,'' Ecclesiastes 12:13). This is a challenge to all Americans who, with their hands on their hearts, pledge to be one nation under God ... that stands for liberty and justice for all. ... Rev. Anthony Stephens, Waynesboro
Notes Dist. 81 candidate's service
Scott Singer (candidate for the South Carolina District 81 House seat) has been a major force with the American Red Cross in South Carolina over the past several years. Douglas W. Ambrose, Columbia
Reactor leak injures workers, prompts evacuation in Japan
TOKAIMURA, Japan -- An uncontrolled nuclear reaction at a uranium processing plant in northeastern Japan was contained early Friday, the regional governor said, hours after a leak of radioactive gas seriously injured three workers and possibly contaminated 34 others.
Bar code celebrates 25th anniversary
WASHINGTON -- Academics from some of the nation's top Ivy League schools joined executives from Wal-Mart and other retailers Thursday to praise the bar code -- that ubiquitous and unfathomable collection of lines and numbers that made its debut 25 years ago.
Cancer survivors celebrate
AIKEN -- Rudy Moseley was the most popular man on the dance floor Thursday. He swung his wife to the big-band classics of the Ken Dukes Band with no sign that doctors diagnosed him with lung cancer just three months ago.
CIA sets up company to invest in new technologies
WASHINGTON -- Temporarily forgoing its clandestine ways, the CIA is publicly setting up in California's Silicon Valley to invest in young companies developing technologies with spying potential.
Metric mixup doomed Mars spacecraft
LOS ANGELES -- The $125 million spacecraft that was destroyed on a mission to Mars last week was probably doomed by NASA scientists' embarrassing failure to convert English units of measurement to metric ones, the space agency said Thursday.
Tour de France winner presses for more federal cancer research funding
WASHINGTON -- Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who counts his victory over cancer as the ``proudest achievement'' of his life, urged Congress on Wednesday to increase funding for cancer and other medical research.
Y2K status of some foreign air systems unknown
WASHINGTON -- Thirty-four nations whose airports handled 1 million passengers traveling to and from the United States last year have yet to report on steps taken to remedy possible Y2K computer problems, the Transportation Department inspector general says.
Amazon.com offers new services
NEW YORK -- Amazon.com will start looking like an online flea market Thursday as the Internet powerhouse begins letting anyone -- from industrial giants to artistic grandmothers -- sell products through its Web site.
New SRS vehicles run on ethanol fuel
Savannah River Site's fuel pumps now dispense more than just gasoline. The federal nuclear weapons site has acquired 142 vehicles that burn fuel containing ethanol, an alcohol made from corn -- much like the stuff illegally distilled and jugged during Prohibition.