Kentucky drops out of Top 25

Mutombo has huge night in win

Family comes first for Ainge

Leadoff hitter, bullpen main concerns

Moore, Holden lead Harlem girls to victory

Aiken Tech remain perfect at 13-0

Overtime: Lady Pacer named player of the week

Avery getting off to slow start in NBA

Arizona player to appeal transfer rule

Devil Rays get Castilla in four-team trade, sign Vaughn

Atlanta is lucky for Avery

Shine's shot lifts Seton Hall

No trades by Braves likely before meeting ends today

Auburn crushes Coppin St.

Nine-player, four-team swap sends top players packing

Griffey remains in Seattle

Rout by Blazers helped Hawks become winners

Cavaliers crush Celtics

Raptors stop Pacers' win streak

Internet changes traditions

First Bank last to be Y2K-ready

Legislator touts loan limits
A Macon lawmaker is pushing state consumer-protection legislation that would legalize and regulate loans made to tide over borrowers until their next paychecks at exorbitant interest rates.

First Bank last to be Y2K-ready
ATLANTA - The very last bank in the nation to fix the Y2K computer bug has finally convinced federal regulators that all systems are functioning.

Business briefs: Robust retail report causes stock drop
NEW YORK -- Stocks tumbled Tuesday after the government said retail sales rose more than expected in November, indicating that consumers are spending freely despite higher interest rates. The Nasdaq composite index suffered its worst loss since late September.

Aiken bank offers alternative products
Aiken-based People's Community Bank has started selling investment and insurance products, following the national trend of banks offering nonbanking services.

Bank announces region president
Regions Bank has promoted W. Barry Adams to president of its central Carolina region, making him responsible for the 10 Regions Bank offices in Aiken, Barnwell, Edgefield and McCormick counties.

Beware of holiday scams
Between Christmas generosity and Y2K paranoia, scam artists are cooking up plenty of tricks to part you from your cash this holiday season.

Business briefs: Xerox profit warning shakes up market

Business briefs: Xerox profit warning shakes up market
NEW YORK -- Stock prices ended mixed Monday as a profit warning from Xerox rattled the market but failed to discourage technology investors, who pulled the Nasdaq composite index further into record high territory.

Business briefs: Robust retail report causes stock drop

Beware of holiday scams

Legislator touts loan limits

Munoz's son headed to Tennessee

Eagles' time shared by academics, football

Hamilton chosen as All-America QB

Peterson listed as probable

Turnovers will be key in Eagles game

Clemson hopes to make change in bowl fortunes

Panama takes control of Canal
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- With their partnership approaching its 100-year anniversary, Panama and the United States are officially going their separate ways. Panama gets to keep the real estate; the United States gets the memories.

Carter returns for handover ceremony
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Former President Jimmy Carter, who 22 years ago committed the United States to withdraw from Panama and hand over the Panama Canal, is returning to Panama to witness the fulfillment of that pledge.

Local florist added beauty to city road
Greene Street has its fair share of monuments, with each in memory of someone who made a difference in history. But the beauty of the street itself -- and the azaleas and dogwoods that adorn it -- stand as a monument to James Harbin.

Finds S.C. flag dispute 'un-Christian'

Blast editorial view of 'Chronicle'

Urge Ga. to rethink admissions policy

Says tragedy fuels political struggle

Not just a hockey rink

30 years too harsh

Insists Murphey a safe, quality school

Calls UGA-Tech game memorable

Slams unmerciful Worcester editorial

Honoring Reagan

Decries child molester, supporters

Rips planned proselytizing in Chicago

Honors service of all firefighters

Off the Wall: Don't judge the book by its cover
"I found the title of your first book to be a misrepresentation of the contents," the guy says.

In the know
A clever notion finds regular and recurring cast members appearing as different characters in a flashback episode of JAG at 8 on CBS (WRDW-TV, Channel 12). The story line: Harm meets a woman (Catherine Bell) who relates the tale of how his late father saved her life 30 years before on Christmas Eve.

Small portions
It's grasshopper-eating time in Uganda. During December, tens of thousands of grasshoppers swarm into Kampala, the capital city, after seasonal rains. Everyone, from the wealthy to vagrants, gathers under street lights, which attract the nutritious bright-green insects. Once caught, the grasshoppers are stripped of their wings and legs and fried as a snack to go with beer.

Age old question
Q: I worry all the time. What's wrong with me? -- B.L., Augusta

Price check
Ever wonder if the prices at your regular grocery store are cheaper or more expensive than those up the street? Each Wednesday, Price Check offers price comparisons on goods at area stores. Prices below were checked Monday. No coupons or discount cards were used.

Walken is not like his film characters
One of Christopher Walken's most recent television roles was that of Jacob Witting in Sarah Plain and Tall: Winter's End.Actor Walken is not as dark as characters he portrays on film

Spread good cheer
You're making a list: teachers' gifts, hostess gifts, easy hors d'oeuvres for drop-in guests. Now check it twice, and use today's recipe for boursin cheese spread to fill the bill.

Augusta's first family of football catches up on old times

Lincoln Co.'s Glaze looking for redemption

Coaches masters of hyping virtues of the other team

Brunswick guards against overconfidence

Red Devils know what real loss is

Flyers coach to begin chemotherapy

Internet changes traditions
One charm of Christmas is nostalgia. Another is remembering family and friends. A third is getting together to reaffirm life's connections.

Walken is not like his film characters

In the know

Price check

Spread good cheer

Age old question

Small portions

Holiday hours
All local bank branches plan to close New Year's Day except for the SunTrust Bank banking center inside the Publix store on Fury's Ferry Road. That branch will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Warrenville shooting claims life of teen
A 16-year-old Warrenville girl shot by her father in a weekend murder-suicide died Monday, ending a painful year marked by repeated involvement of police in the family's life.

Puppy chow

Across the area: Joint funeral set for father, daughter
Funerals will be held together Thursday for the Warrenville man and his daughter killed in a weekend shooting.

Settlement rejected by family

Board proposes safety measure

Informant challenging separation
Long before federal investigators cracked a near $12 million Medicare fraud case in Augusta with his help, Michael Haddle stepped up to aid a Sunday school teacher about to be cheated, Mr. Haddle's lawyer told a jury Monday.

Issues delay opening of fire station

Health center board OKs resource agency

Meetings' legality questioned

Court rules for sheriff in death lawsuit

Defense strategy restricted by judge

Empty Stocking Fund: Disabled pair want gifts for grandchildren
They are disabled. This grandmother and grandfather from Windsor, S.C., wrote to the Empty Stocking Fund asking for help.

Land owner sues officials over property

Meetings' legality questioned
CLAXTON, GA. -- Mitchell Peace hired an attorney and incurred a five-figure legal bill in defense of Georgians' right to know.

Assault suspect arrested at graduation

Empty Stocking Fund: Disabled pair want gifts for grandchildren

Sole commissioner called simplest format

Across the area: Joint funeral set for father, daughter

Chairman pushing for talks

Hunting bounds sought

Empty Stocking Fund: Man wants shirts for grandchildren
An Augusta grandfather is having a tough time this holiday season.

Leader blasts senator
ATLANTA -- A key Republican legislator said Monday the public has fresh reason to wonder if the Senate is for sale because of state Sen. Van Streat's attempts to help an inmate whose supporters gave him campaign contributions.

Sole commissioner called simplest format
There are only 10 counties in Georgia with sole commissioners: Bartow, Bleckley, Chattooga, Haralson, Lumpkin, Pickens, Pulaski, Towns, Union and Walker. Frank K. Martin has been the sole commissioner in Pickens County for nearly three years.

Panama takes control of Canal

Sole commissions less open
JASPER, Ga. -- As the sole commissioner in Pickens County, Frank K. Martin doesn't need to hold a debate or build consensus before he makes a decision. He can pass any law he wants.

Test to demonstrate dam's absence
A brief drawdown of the Savannah River to demonstrate the impact of decommissioning the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam has been scheduled for the week of Jan. 16, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Issues delay opening of fire station
AIKEN -- Aiken County's Sage Mill fire station has been ready for occupancy since July, but almost six months later it is still unmanned.

Affidavit law poses no problem

Board proposes safety measure
APPLING -- Columbia County school board members gave tentative approval Tuesday to arming school safety officers with guns.

Across the area: Police use dogs in hunt for robber
Police used search dogs and a helicopter Monday morning in an unsuccessful search for an armed robber.

Puppy chow
Jamey Huff (left) who works at Your Next Affair, on Laurens Street, and Lindsy Elliott, whose father owns Elliott Office Supply next door, feed a homeless mother and her two puppies Tuesday behind their shops.

Settlement rejected by family
Members of a Columbia County family whose home was ruined by sewage from South Columbia Elementary School say they are not happy with the county's $3,000 offer to settle their claim.

Bill would allow pupils to leave failing schools
AIKEN -- Pupils who attend failing schools could choose to transfer to a different one if a bill filed in the House of Representatives maneuvers through the Legislature and gets the governor's approval.

Health center board OKs resource agency
Part-time and ``unclassified'' employees at Community Mental Health Center would be employed through an Augusta human resources agency under a plan approved Monday night by the center's board.

Chairman pushing for talks
Officials with MCG Health and negotiators from the state and Medical College of Georgia need to put aside differences and work out an agreement to transfer facilities, the chairman of MCG Health's board said Tuesday.

Legislator backing national sales tax

Educators say Title I list unfair
Twenty-two area schools are among a list of state schools that receive federal money but have not made progress within the past two years, according to a report from the state Department of Education.

Fired informant in court

Assault suspect arrested at graduation
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Jason Andrew Reeves was handed an arrest warrant along with his college diploma Monday. He now is awaiting arraignment on criminal sexual conduct charges for the alleged rape of an Edgefield County woman he met over the Internet.

Safety policy slated for vote by board

SRS plans cuts to key programs
HEAD:SRS plans cuts to key programs Officials to decide next month how to make up $77 million difference between work plan, budget

Test to demonstrate dam's absence

Land owner sues officials over property
AIKEN -- Elise Faulkner has made good on her promise to sue the city for halting her efforts to develop land near Ford Conger Field, where Aiken's steeplechases are run.

Cities are complying with the law
Georgia's cities, it seems, have seen the light. In a statewide survey, they made public records available 93 percent of the time. That score puts them well ahead of Georgia police departments, sheriff's offices and school boards in complying with the state's sunshine laws.

City will evaluate administrator's job
Augusta commissioners are concerned that the city would be in a bind if City Administrator Randy Oliver decided to leave.

Civil War battle re-enacted
RICHMOND HILL, Ga. -- Richard Phillips Sr., dressed in his gray Confederate uniform, complete with hat and musket, protected the wall around Fort McAllister, defending it from invading Union soldiers.

Educators say Title I list unfair

Court rules for sheriff in death lawsuit
An appeals court has upheld a circuit judge's decision absolving the Aiken County Sheriff's Office of blame in a 1994 domestic violence killing.

Oliver's position reviewed

Monument project on hold
SAVANNAH -- Plagued by problems for the past three years, the restoration of the Pulaski Monument has hit another snag weeks before its scheduled completion.

Bill would allow pupils to leave failing schools

Businesses quiz party sponsors

SRS plans cuts to key programs

Tuesday morning quarterback: Great athletes don't always make lists

Toxin traces in water spark investigation

Safety policy slated for vote by board
After months of wrangling over details, Columbia County school board members may take action today on a procedures manual for school safety officers and a proposal to provide them with weapons.

Local florist added beauty to city road

Teachers earn rewards
At Martinez Elementary School, some staff members already have plans for the $72,000 they'll share as a reward for a year of hard work.

Early visit

Evidence contested in exploitation case
A defense attorney argued Monday to suppress key evidence in the sexual exploitation case against child psychologist Robert Bruce Craft, saying there was no basis for search warrants that turned up photographs being used by prosecutors.

Empty Stocking Fund: Man wants shirts for grandchildren

Businesses quiz party sponsors
Some downtown business owners warned Augusta commissioners on Tuesday that the city will be sued if a scheduled New Year's Eve street party turns ugly.

Informant challenging separation

Legislator backing national sales tax
ATLANTA -- U.S. Rep. John Linder will bring his campaign for a national sales tax to Augusta and Savannah today.

Panel offers terms in ethics measure

Story time
Doug Smith takes time out from cutting down a tree in his yard on Hampton Avenue to listen to his 7-year-old daughter, Rashida read Miss Eva and the Red Balloon. as part of her homework. Rashida's sister Raven, 5, also listens.

Cities are complying with the law

Hunting bounds sought
Hunting bounds sought Grass-roots effort by hunters, land owners would prohibit shooting deer along roadsides

Affidavit law poses no problem
The new open meetings law that requires the mayor or chairman to sign an affidavit after a public meeting has been closed to discuss topics such as personnel, litigation or real estate has posed no major problems to many Augusta area officials.

Panel offers terms in ethics measure
An Augusta Commission committee approved an ethics ordinance Monday that narrowed the definition of relative to an elected official's spouse, parents and children when it comes to doing business with the city.

Monument project on hold

Washed out
William Quackenbush, a local painter, shrugs his shoulders while looking up to his partners, who are pressure-washing the walls of SunTrust's parking garage on Eighth Street in Augusta.

Evidence contested in exploitation case

Carter returns for handover ceremony

Teachers earn rewards

Red Devils know what real loss is

Civil War battle re-enacted

City will evaluate administrator's job

Area governments follow law
Faith Johnson had a purpose as she walked into the Columbia County Commission office in September.

Officials debate indigent care

Toxin traces in water spark investigation
State environmental authorities are investigating the recent discovery of a toxic solvent in groundwater wells that provide drinking water for much of south Richmond County.

Holiday hours

Oliver's position reviewed
Augusta commissioners are concerned that the city would be in a bind if City Administrator Randy Oliver decided to leave.

Across the area: Police use dogs in hunt for robber

Leader blasts senator

Story time

Early visit
Jacob Stelflug, 3, receives a present from Santa Claus at Walton Rehabilitation Hospital. Jacob was one of more than 75 children at the hospital who were presented with a gift Tuesday from Toys for Tots, a program that provides free toys.

Area governments follow law

Fired informant in court
Michael Haddle not only blew the whistle on his employer's multimillion-dollar fraud on taxpayers, but he also taught federal investigators and prosecutors how his bosses did it, witnesses testified Tuesday.

Officials debate indigent care
Both sides on Augusta's indigent care issue brought plenty of ammunition to Tuesday's city commission budget work session.

Defense strategy restricted by judge
Writing that a monetary punishment wasn't enough for Jeannette Garrison's attorneys, a federal judge also sanctioned them by restricting their defense against a whistle-blower lawsuit.

Warrenville shooting claims life of teen

Falcons' season getting more gloomy each week

Carruth sought on murder charge

NFL quarterbacks can find life after rejection

Manning carving out own identity

Newton, Kasay on IR; Carolina signs Shiver, Cunningham

Denver kid learns his Craft with Jaguars

Panthers' Kasay out for season

Mr. John McKinney Sr.
Mr. John Willie McKinney Sr., of Kinchley Court, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at Westlake Manor Nursing Home.

Mrs. Sara Reynolds
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mrs. Sara Mae Reynolds, 70, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999.

Mrs. Muriel Carpenter
BELVEDERE -- Mrs. Muriel Redd Carpenter, 76, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Doctors Hospital.

Miss Brantley Dorn
ABBEVILLE, S.C. -- Miss Brantley Allyson Dorn, 27, of North Main Street, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999.

Mrs. Rachael Bussey
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Mrs. Rachael Mae Bussey, 91, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, in Carlton, Ga.

Mr. Charles Medlock
WARRENVILLE -- Mr. Charles Andrew ``Andy'' Medlock, 45, of Howlandville Road, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at his residence.

Mr. Henry Fitch
Mr. Henry W. ``Hank'' Fitch, 65, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Mrs. Marie Mack
WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- Mrs. Marie Mack, of West Seventh Street, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Burke County Hospital.

Mr. Joseph Merritt
PHILADELPHIA -- Mr. Joseph ``Sunny'' Merritt died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at his residence.

Mr. Archie Williams
HEPHZIBAH -- Mr. Archie L. Williams, 62, of Old Waynesboro Road, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Augusta.

Mrs. Felicity Gordon
Mrs. Felicity Gordon, 73, of Evans, died Saturday, Dec. 11, 1999, at Doctors Hospital.

Mr. William Meadows
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. William Frank Meadows, 63, of West Church Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999, at his residence.

Mr. Harvey Jackson Jr.
WASHINGTON, Ga. -- Mr. Henry Harvey Jackson Jr., 66, of Skull Shoals Road, died Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1999, at his residence.

Ms. Gladys Creech
Ms. Gladys Guy Creech, 94, of Comanche Road, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at her residence.

Mrs. Rita Atkinson
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mrs. Rita Toole Atkinson, 88, of Pine Log Road, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at St. Joseph Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. James Lloyd
SALLEY -- Mr. James Lucious Lloyd, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. S.W. Richardson
CORDOVA, S.C. -- Mr. S.W. ``Jack'' Richardson, 80, of Opie Road, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at Regional Medical Center, Orangeburg.

Mr. Theodore Pixley
WARD, S.C. -- Mr. Theodore Pixley, 65, of Mount Alpha Road, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at his residence.

Mrs. Lucia Mauldin
UNION POINT, Ga. -- Mrs. Lucia Jackson Mauldin, 86, of Washington Highway, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Greene Point Health Care.

Mr. Steven Cobb
THOMSON -- Mr. Steven Cobb, 31, of Lincoln Drive, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at McDuffie County Hospital.

Mr. Hubert Mathis
TENNILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Hubert Dorsey Mathis, 83, of Chandler Street, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at his residence.

Ms. Emma Leverette
MCCORMICK, S.C. -- Ms. Emma Jean Jenkins Leverette, 64, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999.

Dr. Jane Rasmussen
Dr. Jane Spence Rasmussen, 71, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at her residence.

Mr. Cyrus Bryant
JACKSON -- Mr. Cyrus W. Bryant, 64, of Brown Hill Road, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Lawrence Bohling
FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Mr. Lawrence Hermann Bohling, 92, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Presbyterian Manor.

Mrs. Naomi Delcambre
Mrs. Naomi S. Delcambre, of Laney Walker Place, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

Mr. James O'Dowd
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- Mr. James M. O'Dowd, 18, of Smoke Rise Drive, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, in Bethesda, Md.

Mr. Willie Cordry
KITE, Ga. -- Mr. Willie Edward Cordry, 72, of Montgomery Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999.

Mr. Duncan Ware
TIGNALL, Ga. -- Mr. William Duncan Ware, 95, of Danburg Road, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at Lake Crossing Nursing Home, Appling.

Kimberly Medlock
WARRENVILLE -- Kimberly Gail Medlock, 16, of Howlandville Road, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mr. James Smith
JACKSON -- Mr. James B. ``Tiny'' Smith, 68, of Tisdale Street, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at University Hospital.

Lawrence Stephenson
HEPHZIBAH -- Lawrence Blayne ``Mister Blayne'' Stephenson, 9, of McElmurray Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999, at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mr. Harold Conner
CORDELE, Ga. -- Mr. Harold Monroe Conner, 74, of 21st Avenue, died Saturday, Dec. 11, 1999, at Crisp Regional Hospital.

Mr. Saul Hill
Mr. Saul Thomas Hill, 49, of Sturnidae Court, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mrs. Nadine Clark
Mrs. Nadine C. Clark, 86, of Martinez, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at her residence.

Mrs. Catherine Barrow
Mrs. Catherine Watson Barrow, 80, of Owens Road, Evans, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospitals, Augusta.

Mr. Gene Crawford
NEW ELLENTON -- Mr. Wiley E. ``Gene'' Crawford, 69, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at his residence.

Mr. A. Burnham Cooper Jr.
UNION POINT, Ga. -- Mr. A. Burnham Cooper Jr., 71, of Veazey Street, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at his residence.

Mr. Charles Allen
SWAINSBORO, Ga. -- Mr. Charles Edward Allen, 75, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Augusta.

Mrs. Ella Doyle
Mrs. Ella J. Doyle, of Cedarwood Apartments, Richmond Hill Road, died Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mr. Leroy Dean
LANGLEY -- Mr. Leroy Dean, 85, of Pine Log Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mrs. Bessie Gibbs
Mrs. Bessie Mae Gibbs, 88, of Old Barton Road, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at her residence.

Ms. Peggy Morris
BARNWELL, S.C. -- Ms. Peggy Ann Morris, 70, died Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999.

Mrs. Thelma Sherrer
CRAWFORDVILLE, Ga. -- Mrs. Thelma Tuggle Sherrer, 80, of Jennings Street, died Monday, Dec. 13, 1999, at her residence.

Mrs. Gladys Reid
Mrs. Gladys Reid, 73, of Hazel Street, died Saturday, Dec. 11, 1999, at University Hospital.

David L. Cleveland
David L. Cleveland, 7, of Whisperwood Drive, Martinez, died Thursday, Dec. 9, 1999, at the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center, Augusta.

Mrs. Muriel Carpenter

Lawrence Stephenson

Mr. Duncan Ware

Mrs. Lucia Mauldin

Mr. Charles Allen

Mr. John McKinney Sr.

Mrs. Rachael Bussey

Mrs. Felicity Gordon

Mrs. Marie Mack

Mr. Hubert Mathis

Mrs. Ella Doyle

Mrs. Thelma Sherrer

Ms. Peggy Morris

Mr. Lawrence Bohling

Mr. James O'Dowd

Mr. James Smith

Mr. S.W. Richardson

Mr. Harvey Jackson Jr.

Mr. Steven Cobb

Mr. Henry Fitch

Mr. Theodore Pixley

Mr. Joseph Merritt

Mrs. Naomi Delcambre

Miss Brantley Dorn

Mrs. Bessie Gibbs

Kimberly Medlock

Ms. Gladys Creech

Mrs. Catherine Barrow

Ms. Emma Leverette

David L. Cleveland

Dr. Jane Rasmussen

Mr. Saul Hill

Mr. James Lloyd

Mrs. Gladys Reid

Mrs. Sara Reynolds

Mr. Gene Crawford

Mr. William Meadows

Slams unmerciful Worcester editorial
Re the Dec. 10 editorial ``Cruel Worcester irony'': When I read your opinion I cried. No anger, just a deep sadness ... Janice A. Walbring, Windsor

Honors service of all firefighters
I am writing after watching the memorial for the fallen firefighters in Worcester, Mass. This is a particularly sad moment for me and my family. Cheryl Lord, Augusta

30 years too harsh
Was the 30-year jail term meted out Friday to Vanessa Velez-Cruz by Richmond County Superior Court Judge Carl Brown fair?

Blast editorial view of 'Chronicle'
Re the Dec. 10 editorial, ``Cruel Worcester irony'': It is difficult to understand how you, the sponsor of the ``Empty Stocking Fund,'' which has helped so many poor (homeless?) people for so many years, could speak with such disdain, such vitriolic meanness, of many of the very ones you help? Dick Brotherton, Augusta

Insists Murphey a safe, quality school
Being a teacher at Murphey Middle School for many years, it's imperative for me to assure the public that this educational institution is a safe and quality school. Edward Maner, Augusta

Says tragedy fuels political struggle
The tragic story of the six dead fireman in Worcester, Mass., who gave their lives in a conflagration started by two arguing homeless persons who tipped over a candle and then fled, only magnifies the political battle in New York City. First lady Hillary Clinton accuses Mayor Rudy Guilliani of a lack of compassion for his policy of jailing the homeless who refuse to go to city shelters or who are able-bodied and won't work. Keith Shafer, Augusta

Calls UGA-Tech game memorable
Contrary to some of your readers' opinions, I do not consider the reactions of the University of Georgia fans to be that of ``crying and whining.'' Russell Smeak, Martinez

Decries child molester, supporters
He is not a victim. He had choices, something that he stole from hisvictims. Sonia Rodriguez, Martinez

Enforce FOI laws
In a two-state survey running in The Chronicle and other newspapers this week to determine how well government agencies are complying with Georgia and South Carolina's freedom of information laws, the biggest disappointments are law-enforcement agencies.

Tires of unending millennium hype
I am weary of the media hyperbole surrounding the new millenium and predicted Y2K catastrophes. At least come Jan. 1, the latter will be settled. Dale W. Hemman, Evans

Urge Ga. to rethink admissions policy
The Georgia Board of Regents discriminates against home-schooled students. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Webster, Martinez

Rips planned proselytizing in Chicago
A recent Chronicle news item told of the intention of a group of Christians from the South to go to Chicago, Ill. for the purpose of converting Moslems, Hindus and Buddhists to Christian beliefs. A spokesman for that group stated that Hinduism was in total darkness. Gene L. Rickaby, Martinez

Honoring Reagan
There are now 35 American landmarks and dedications honoring the 40th president of the United States -- the newest being Ronald Reagan Drive in Columbia County.

Fair tax town meeting
U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., will be in Augusta today for a 7 to 9 p.m. town meeting at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel to promote H.R. 2525 -- a flat national sales tax.

Not just a hockey rink
Hockey has been a great addition to Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center activities. The Lynx organization, now in its second season, has created a lot of fan enthusiasm, which has boosted traffic, vendors and revenues for the arena.

Finds S.C. flag dispute 'un-Christian'
Re the Confederate flag in Columbia:Ethel Gilpin, Augusta

Enberg reportedly jumping to CBS

Masters ticket allotments for businesses to be cut

Golf club reopens with new name, course

Overtime: Albert to replace Costas on NBC

Tuesday morning quarterback: Great athletes don't always make lists

Moorer, grandfather square off over contracts

LPGA ShopRite gets larger purse

U.S. women ready for final World Cup bow

Dyes leave legacy

Anti-tax forces urge federal panel to keep Internet tax-free
SAN FRANCISCO -- Advocates for a tax-free Internet urged a federal panel Tuesday to recommend that Congress take a hands-off approach, but international officials argued that special treatment for e-commerce makes no sense.

Amtrak plans to pause trains briefly at Y2K rollover
WASHINGTON -- Amtrak will pull its trains into stations briefly on New Year's Eve to ensure that Year 2000 computer problem doesn't affect tracks, railroad crossings or safety equipment.

USDA approves irradiation of raw beef, pork
WASHINGTON -- Processors will be allowed to irradiate raw beef, pork and lamb to eliminate deadly bacteria and other organisms, but products will have to carry labels informing shoppers of the treatment, the government said Tuesday.

Inter-species frozen embryo transfer produces African wildcat
NEW ORLEANS -- A typical house cat gave birth to a rare African wildcat after scientists pulled off what they called the unprecedented feat of transferring a frozen embryo between species.

Space shuttle countdown begins
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After nine weeks of delays and space shuttle trouble, the countdown finally began Tuesday for Discovery's launch to the crippled Hubble Space Telescope.

Surgeon general urges troubled Americans to seek mental health care
WASHINGTON -- Millions of Americans are failing to get the treatment they need to combat mental illness, the surgeon general said Monday in an exhaustive report that blamed social stigmas and lack of money.

Environmentalists trace benefits of dam removals
WASHINGTON -- From the Kennebec River in Maine to Whitestone Creek in Washington state, the removal of 465 dams has boosted local economies and fish habitat while decreasing public safety risks, three environmental groups said Monday.

Brazilian judge bans violent video games nationwide
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- A judge has banned six violent video games throughout Brazil, saying they inspired real violence, the country's media reported Sunday.

NASA clears Discovery for Thursday launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After a weekend of repairs, NASA today cleared space shuttle Discovery for liftoff Thursday to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Microsoft lawyers meets with mediator as rumors of settlement circulate
WASHINGTON -- Microsoft lawyers met privately in Chicago again Tuesday with a federal appeals judge who is trying to negotiate a settlement in the company's antitrust trial.

Battle lines drawn over taxing e-commerce
SAN FRANCISCO -- Traditional retailers are joining forces with state and local government officials this week to try to prevent the Internet from evolving into a tax-free sales haven.

Study: No benefit for taking beta carotene pills
WASHINGTON -- Beta carotene pills, once thought possibly to protect against cancer and heart disease, have flunked another test.

Mood helps elevate 'Sleepy Hollow'

Your style
Nicole Gant, 16, a junior at Davidson Fine Arts High School.

Sometimes it's the simple presents that mean the most

Xtreme calendar
Among the films scheduled to appear in video stores today are three of the latest to feature teen-agers: Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Dick and Drop Dead Gorgeous. The General's Daughter also is available.

Advice line

Advice line
``I live with my father, and I see my mother sometimes. She wants me to live with her, and he wants me to live with him. They're pulling me back and forth, and I don't want to hurt either one's feelings. What should I do?''

Xtreme calendar

Mood helps elevate 'Sleepy Hollow'
After many mysterious deaths in the gloomy town of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane (Mr. Depp) is chosen as the chief investigator of the crimes. In Sleepy Hollow to study and defeat the infamous apparition known as the Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken), who makes up for his lost cranium by decapitating his victims, Ichabod is welcomed into the home of the Van Tassels.

Sometimes it's the simple presents that mean the most
With only 11 more shopping days until Christmas, some teens may be at a loss for gifts for that special someone or Mom and Dad.

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