Deciding Rocker's fate a tricky issue

Best-laid plans often go awry

High prices deter many from millenium merchandise
With less than 24 hours left in the year 2000 countdown, retailers and risk-taking entrepreneurs are hoping they will sell all their wares commemorating the new year by midnight.

Comcast's cable rates rise
You've probably already noticed Comcast's little white pamphlet in your mail box.

Business licenses expire, taxes due this week

Comcast's cable rates rise

High prices deter many from millenium merchandise

Business briefs: Nasdaq composite closes above 4,000

Business briefs: Stocks finish lower after early advance
NEW YORK -- Stocks drifted lower in a quiet session Thursday, with most market averages slipping back from the record highs set Wednesday. Early gains evaporated as demand waned in the last full session of 1999.

Business licenses expire, taxes due this week
It's time for local businesses to pay up. Business licenses in Augusta-Richmond County expire Friday, and annual occupational taxes for Columbia County businesses are due Saturday.

Business briefs: Nasdaq composite closes above 4,000
NEW YORK -- Technology stocks, the dominant force on Wall Street this year, propelled the Nasdaq composite index to its first close above 4,000 today and boosted broader market indicators to records of their own.

Business briefs: Stocks finish lower after early advance

Bell making most of first bowl game

Opposite forces collide in Peach Bowl

Syracuse rallies to top Kentucky

Va. Tech president preps for kicking contest

Hokies' Davis runs over competition

Boise State tops Louisville, 34-31

Freshman will start in Outback

Bowls a tough sell this year

Jackets' defense has point to make

Freshman comes through for Clemson

Sanks is trying to move on

Warrick, Vick not only weapons in teams' arsenals

Warrick doesn't want to lose this trophy

Clemson falls to Miss. St.

Jackets' defense: Believe in us

Beasley propels Wildcats

Cross-town foes face off at ASU

UConn tops Houston

Syracuse tops Hartford; stays undefeated

Paine drops ninth straight to ASU

Landers wins 500th

Papers captured century's spirit
News item: Housing prices in San Francisco soar. News item: Gambling condemned in New Orleans. News item: Prosperity jitters on Wall Street. Typical headlines as we end the century, right? But take a squint at the date on those newspapers.

New Year's song remains ingrained in public mind
Depending on where you celebrate New Year's Eve tonight, the turntables will spin Prince's 1999, Barry Manilow's It's Just Another New Year's Eve, or even, heaven forbid, Will Smith's Will 2K.

18 lost schools

Commission fooled?

Defends Animal Control chief

Bashes stand on homosexual rights

Canada perils U.S.

Hits inconsistency of sentences

Give CORA a boost

Hits GOP candidates for division

Says Dorsey needs "Logic 101"

Defends 'agenda' of homosexuals

Supports employees at animal shelter

1999's worst quotes

Raps complaints about abandoned cars

Defends actions of chief, firefighters

Notes audible traffic signal in place

Rip Braves' Rocker for comments

Raps Braves' Rocker for comments

Defends ballplayer's free speech rights

It's time to party
Ready or not, it's here. And as Prince (when he was Prince) predicted a number of years ago -- much of the world is gonna party tonight -- because it's the last night of 1999.

Gardening has changed over the past 100 years
What would happen, on top of all the other Y2K end-of-the-millennium worries, if some unforeseen snafu caused us to go back a hundred years? Imagine gardening as our great-great grandparents did in 1899.

Capsules
When it comes to coming unhinged, there's nothing like a snake. Thanks to their startlingly stretchable jaws, snakes can swallow prey whole. But just how their flexible mandibles evolved from the inflexible jaws of their lizard ancestors has been a mystery.

Nickelodeon listens to young viewers on New Year's special
NEW YORK -- Ask 8-year-old Maddy of Lincoln, Neb., what she wants for the new millennium, and her answer reflects the practical concerns of big sisters for at least 2,000 years.

Christmas trees don't have to be thrown away
What do you do with your Christmas tree? Hopefully you will put it to good use in some way. Most folks take their tree to a recycling pickup point, where they're taken to Thurmond Lake and put in the water for fish habitat.

Party favors
Are you ready to party on New Year's Eve? Whether you're attending the Celebrate 2000 New Year's Eve Street Party downtown, heading to a nightclub or restaurant or watching the countdown at home, we thought you could use a few extra party favors.

Garden spaces
What do you want your garden to do besides grow plants? Should it hide you from the world or bring you closer to nature?

New Year's parties are not hard to find
Here's the lowdown on some of the other New Year's Eve events going on around town tonight: Jazz and swing dance fans can celebrate at the Millennium Gala at the Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St. The evening, which starts at 9 p.m., features local outfits All That Jazz and the big band Sophisticated Swing, directed by saxophonist Wayne Hoey.

Musical showcases composer's best works
Although she sings his songs night after night, Amy Persons can't pinpoint why the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber is so popular.

Ramblin' Rhodes: Country stars have plenty to say
Traditionally, my last column of the year is devoted to my favorite quotes from interviews of the past 12 months:

Fishing tournament information

Loon-gull combinations lead to anglers to fish catches

Aiken High girls, Richland boys win

Brentwood comes from behind to beat Prep

State power stops Aiken in semifinals

Vernon goes to Florida in three-way deal

Lynx trade Piersol to Greensboro

Hurricanes cancel Primeau trade

Best-laid plans often go awry
The politician, the bureaucrat and the scientist emerged from a side room to face the lights of a crowded news conference.

Former deputy killed by police after standoff
Sheriff's deputies say they were forced to shoot a former deputy after a standoff at a Martinez home Thursday morning. Investigators gathered evidence from the front lawn Thursday at the 3962 Willowood Road home where the shooting took place. The victim was identified as Scott A. Mauro, 33, a former Columbia County deputy, military police officer and Sardis police officer. He was shot about 1 a.m. as he approached members of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team with a loaded double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun pointed at them, deputies said. Full story -- The Augusta Chronicle

Ramblin' Rhodes: Country stars have plenty to say

Garden spaces

Christmas trees don't have to be thrown away

It's time to party

Musical showcases composer's best works

Party favors

New Year's parties are not hard to find

Nickelodeon listens to young viewers on New Year's special

Gardening has changed over the past 100 years

Capsules

Capture new year forever
Got big plans for New Year's? Expecting some unusual adventures?

Planned track hearing noise from residents

Across the area: Shooting suspects, witnesses sought

Across the area: Two groups to join economic boycott

Party's over, but you get a second chance
How was the party? Most likely your night didn't work out exactly like you planned. Few New Year's Eve parties ever do.

Capture new year forever

Wilson autopsy yields no clues
GRANITEVILLE -- The body of Tiffaney Shereese Wilson was so badly decomposed that toxicology tests will be performed to determine what happened to the teen-ager after she disappeared from a grocery store parking lot Dec. 4.

Papers captured century's spirit

Downtown activities help swing in 2000

Traffic rerouted after fatal I-20 wreck

Crowds gather on Broad St. to ring in millenium
Augustans didn't wait until the hour was late to celebrate the new year.

Police give few details about case

Corrections
An article in Thursday's edition of The Augusta Chronicle contained incorrect information about cab service for those too intoxicated to drive on New Year's Eve. Radio Cab will provide the service at a cost. The pickup location will be at the corner of 10th and Ellis streets.

Wayward mail finally showing up

Party's over, but you get a second chance

Many students need remedial help

Traffic rerouted after fatal I-20 wreck
Two Canadians died when trucks collided head-on on Interstate 20 less than 200 yards beyond the Aiken County line in Lexington County, authorities said Wednesday.

Trash fire

Pictures will capture New Year experience

Officials say murder rate fell in 1999

4 cited in police alcohol sting

Many students need remedial help
ATLANTA -- Nearly half of Georgia's high school graduates admitted to technical schools last year had to take remedial courses, according to a survey released this week.

Details final for local parties

Two abandon lawsuit against university
ATHENS, Ga. -- An Athens couple is pulling their two children out of a race discrimination lawsuit against the University of Georgia, saying attorneys listed the two high-school students in the federal claim without their consent and could have put the students' futures at risk.

New center director to focus on key roads
Andy Crosson couldn't even get an interview the first time he applied for a job at the CSRA Regional Development Center after graduating from college six years ago. Now the 31-year-old is running the place.

Police give few details about case
GRANITEVILLE -- Grim and tightlipped, authorities emerged from a dense pine thicket off Bettis Academy Road on Wednesday with little comment on any new information about the death of Tiffaney Shereese Wilson.

Officials increase patrols
This New Year's Eve, driving drunk will be a whole lot riskier.

Pictures will capture New Year experience
As part of its expanded year 2000 coverage, The Augusta Chronicle will publish a photo section Jan. 9 featuring an assortment of pictures taken by readers between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Friday.

4 cited in police alcohol sting
Four Columbia County businesses were cited Thursday in a police sting investigation targeting sale of alcohol to minors.

Wayward mail finally showing up
Postal Service officials said Wednesday that a few pieces of local mail that have been missing for nearly a month have been delivered to their intended recipients.

Religious sect plans gala event
ATHENS, Ga. -- More than 1,000 members of a quasi-religious sect led by a man who has claimed to be from another galaxy -- and has said ships will descend from the sky in 2003 to claim a selected 144,000 people for ``rebirth'' -- are expected to be at the Classic Center in downtown Athens today for a private New Year's Eve observance.

Trash fire
Richmond County Firefighters saturate a trash pile after it caught fire at the Goldberg Brothers Inc. recycling facility on Dan Bowles Road.

Activities allow children to ring in new year early

Correction
An article regarding the discovery of Tiffaney Shereese Wilson in Wednesday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle contained an error in describing evidence at the scene.

Officials say murder rate fell in 1999
AIKEN -- Even with the death of teen-ager Tiffaney Wilson looming before local authorities, it appears the number of homicides in Aiken County is on the decline.

Council rejects pet tag plan
Augusta's Animal Control Advisory Board found itself barking up the wrong tree when it tried to get city commissioners to adopt a pet tag ordinance as part of next year's budget.

Correction

Fighters land at local strip
Two military jets have made emergency landings at Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field during the past two days.

Fire chief: Hydrant test inadequate

Y2K arrives in Augusta with few glitches

Safety officials see few difficulties

Wilson autopsy yields no clues

Officials increase patrols

Across the area: Two groups to join economic boycott
COLUMBIA -- A national group of lawmakers and the foundation sponsoring an annual conference for black men have agreed to join the NAACP in its economic boycott of South Carolina.

Former deputy killed by police after standoff

Stockade has gone to dogs

Georgia considers dam suit

New Year's song remains ingrained in public mind

Officers kill ex-deputy

Emergency landing

Stockade has gone to dogs
Augusta Mayor Bob Young signed a five-year lease Friday turning over the old city stockade at Lake Olmstead to the CSRA Humane Society.

Y2K ready?

Planned track hearing noise from residents
For more than a year, the speedway sat empty and quiet, all but a forgotten relic of Augusta's rich past in stock car racing.

Changing baby

Downtown activities help swing in 2000
They were rocking at the Riverfront and swinging at Sacred Heart Cultural Center on Friday, counting down the hours to a new year.

Across the area: CSX approves use of new rail switches

Across the area: CSX approves use of new rail switches
CSX Transportation Systems finally has approved the use of remote-controlled switches that should give motorists relief from long waits at railroad crossings downtown, said Augusta Commissioner Stephen Shepard.

Activities allow children to ring in new year early
Long before the lines began to form at concession stands and well before local bands began filling Broad Street with music, a segment of Augusta's population already had begun its Y2K celebrations at the Celebrate 2000 New Year's Eve Street Party.

Y2K ready?
Kenneth Newbegin couldn't stock gallons of water fast enough Thursday at the Bi-Lo grocery store off Wrightsboro Road.

Changing baby
Carita Thorpe (left), 13, of Aiken changes a doll's diaper while nurse Lauren Harris instructs during a Thursday baby-sitting class at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. Young people who completed the class were certified by the American Red Cross.

Emergency landing
Bystanders examine a four-seat plane whose landing gear collapsed Thursday after the pilot made an emergency landing at Thomson-McDuffie Airport. Augusta surgeon George Lionel Zumbro said the engine quit at 7,000 feet on a test flight from Daniel Field to Thomson.

Safety officials see few difficulties
Staff writers Sylvia Cooper and Heidi Coryell<

Georgia considers dam suit
After 11 years on the sidelines, Georgia plans to enter the legal battle between the Army Corps of Engineers and the state of South Carolina over fish kills caused by Russell Dam's reversible turbines.

Y2K arrives in Augusta with few glitches
The biggest worries at Georgia Power Co.'s operations headquarters Friday night were typical -- annoying squirrels and careless drivers, not Y2K.

Officers kill ex-deputy
Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle said his deputies did the right thing when they shot and killed a former officer at a Martinez home early Thursday.

Across the area: Shooting suspects, witnesses sought
Richmond County investigators are looking for people involved in a shooting early Wednesday at an Augusta apartment complex.

Snake lover seeks to preserve indigenous reptile

New Year event will close area
Downtown Augusta will belong to pedestrians Friday night as a slew of holiday festivities get under way.

Details final for local parties
Planners made final preparations Thursday for the New Year's Eve celebration they hope will be one of the largest events in downtown Augusta's history.

City library alterations on the way
An article regarding the discovery of Tiffaney Shereese Wilson in Wednesday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle contained an error in describing evidence at the scene.

Corrections

Fire chief: Hydrant test inadequate
Neither the fire department nor Augusta utilities officials know how much water pressure is in Richmond County's 10,000 fire hydrants.

Snake lover seeks to preserve indigenous reptile
MIDWAY, Ga. -- Tim Lane hopes diamondbacks will be forever in southeast Georgia.

Mills hits trey to edge Hawks

Gugliotta hopes he provides lesson for others

Rider criticizes teammates' will to win

Rams have two top candidates for MVP

Future clouded for two 49er greats

Test shows Carruth is father of baby

Mr. Bobbie Brown
BATH -- Mr. Bobbie L. Brown, 61, of Cathy Drive, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mrs. Mary Smith
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Smith, 66, of Ridgefield Drive, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Louise Jeffers
HEPHZIBAH -- Mrs. Louise Friese Jeffers, 72, of Allendale Court, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

Miss Mary Hallinan
Miss Mary Patricia Hallinan, 79, died Friday, Dec. 30, 1999, at St. Joseph Hospital.

Miss Mattie Hopkins
Miss Mattie Belle McGruder Hopkins, of Greene Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 21, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mrs. Tiffaney Wilson
JACKSON -- Mrs. Tiffaney Turner Wilson, 17, of Cowden Street, died.

Mrs. Thelma Broades
Mrs. Thelma Mitchell Broades, 91, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 1999, at Beverly Manor Health Rehabilitation Center.

Mrs. Sylvia Davis
NEW YORK -- Mrs. Sylvia Buckner Davis, 57, of Erdman Place, Bronx, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Mr. Willard Murray
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mr. Willard Doyle Murray, 73, of Rio Grande Avenue, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999.

Mr. Roy Smith
JACKSON -- Mr. Roy N. Smith, 44, of Burroughs Road, died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at his residence.

Mrs. Rosalie Evans
Mrs. Rosalie Jordan Evans, 91, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Roseddie Dawkins
Mrs. Roseddie T. Dawkins, 74, of Davant Street, Martinez, died Thursday, Dec. 30, 1999, at University Hospital.

Mr. Russell Smyre Jr.
HEPHZIBAH -- Mr. Russell Smyre Jr., of Brothersville Road, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 1999, at his residence.

Mrs. Ruth Williams
THOMSON -- Mrs. Ruth D. Williams, 64, of North Street, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at her residence.

Mr. George Ramsey Jr.
NORCROSS, Ga. -- Mr. George A. ``Pop'' Ramsey Jr. died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Mr. Willie Holloway
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mr. Willie J. Holloway, 73, of Liberty Hill Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Augusta.

Mr. James Goodwin
Mr. James H. Goodwin, 81, of Berkley Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at his residence.

Mr. Alvin McCauley Jr.
Mr. Alvin L. McCauley Jr., 37, of Moseley Road, died Thursday, Dec. 30, 1999, at Sanders Personal Care Home.

Mrs. Helen Napier
Mrs. Helen Saxon Napier, 71, of Cactus Trail, Martinez, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at her residence.

Mr. William Jones Jr.
Mr. William S. ``Bill'' Jones Jr., 64, of Evans, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at St. Joseph Hospital.

Mrs. Jeanette Badger
Mrs. Jeanette T. Badger, 54, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at her residence.

Mr. Paul Murphy
THOMSON -- Mr. Paul Murphy, 71, of Whiteoak Road, died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at McDuffie County Hospital.

Mr. Alfonso Harvey Jr.
FAIRFAX, S.C. -- Mr. Alfonso Harvey Jr., 57, died Friday, Dec. 24, 1999, at his residence.

Mrs. Nancy Leaphart
AIKEN -- Mrs. Nancy Mildred Hair Leaphart, 78, of Edisto Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Ms. Deliah Lamkin
Ms. Deliah D. Lamkin, of Twelfth Street, died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at her residence.

Miss Brianna Keoughan
HEPHZIBAH -- Miss Brianna Keoughan, 10, died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at her residence.

Mrs. Carrie Williams
Mrs. Carrie Lou Williams, 88, of Ellis Street, died Sunday, Dec. 26, 1999, at Salem Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Mrs. Ruby Tankersley
HARLEM -- Mrs. Ruby Collins Tankersley, 37, of Keener Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at her residence.

Ms. Lola Johnson
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Ms. Lola Johnson, 77, of Augusta Road, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 1999, at Gwinett Medical Center, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Mrs. Annie Styron
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Mrs. Annie B. Styron, 89, of Medical Park Apartments, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Edgefield County Hospital.

Mrs. Sara Heskett
Mrs. Sara Herrington Heskett, of Winchester Drive, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mrs. Lucille Jennings
MCCORMICK, S.C. -- Mrs. Lucille Ramsey Jennings, 81, of McCormick Manor, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Wills Memorial Hospital, Washington, Ga.

Mrs. Ema Cipriani
Mrs. Ema Cipriani, 80, of Martinez, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Doctors Hospital.

Mr. Robert H. Young
Mr. Robert H. Young, 59, of Watkins Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at his residence.

Mrs. Velma Davis
HILTONIA, Ga. -- Mrs. Velma Moore Davis, 89, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Statesboro Nursing Home, Statesboro.

Mrs. Amy Leverett
LINCOLNTON, Ga. -- Mrs. Amy Leverett, 84, of Maxim Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Boy James
WAGENER -- Mr. Boy James, 79, of Holly Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at his residence.

Miss Joni Youmans
BELLEVILLE, Kan. -- Miss Joni Lee Youmans, 17, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999.

Mr. Eugene Shelby Sr.
Mr. Eugene M. Shelby Sr., 65, of First Street, died Sunday, Dec. 26, 1999, at his residence.

Mrs. Dovie Wiggins
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mrs. Dovie Barksdale Wiggins, 95, of Aylesbury Lane, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Washington Regional Medical Center.

Mrs. Corine Maize
WADLEY, Ga. -- Mrs. Corine Hill Maize, 87, died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at Glendale Nursing Home.

Mr. Trent Hatcher
AIKEN -- Mr. Trent Heath Hatcher, 29, of Montmorenci Road, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999.

Ms. Effie Hadley
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Ms. Effie Williams Hadley, 86, of Anna Maria Health Care, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Celestine Lamble
THOMSON -- Mr. Celestine ``Chris'' Lamble, 78, of Forest Clary Drive, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Thomson Manor.

Mrs. Mary Brooks
WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- Mrs. Mary L. Brooks, of Tucker Avenue, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at her residence.

Mr. Edwin Robinson
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mr. Edwin E. Robinson, 67, of Woodland Drive, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mr. Jack Turner
Mr. Jack W. Turner, 76, of Leslie Circle, died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Mrs. Theresa Santitoro
Mrs. Theresa Conte Santitoro, 93, died Sunday, Dec. 26, 1999, at Windemere Nursing Home.

Ammye Campbell
FAIRFAX, S.C. -- Mrs. Ammye Loadholt Campbell, a corporate officer with the family owned Fairfax Furniture Corp., died Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999. She was 102.

Mrs. Amy Leverett

Mrs. Tiffaney Wilson

Mr. Alvin McCauley Jr.

Mrs. Theresa Santitoro

Mrs. Ruby Tankersley

Mrs. Annie Styron

Mrs. Roseddie Dawkins

Mrs. Ema Cipriani

Mr. William Jones Jr.

Ms. Effie Hadley

Mrs. Helen Napier

Mrs. Jeanette Badger

Mr. Robert H. Young

Mr. George Ramsey Jr.

Mrs. Carrie Williams

Mr. Edwin Robinson

Miss Joni Youmans

Mrs. Thelma Broades

Mr. Roy Smith

Miss Brianna Keoughan

Mrs. Ruth Williams

Mr. Celestine Lamble

Mrs. Dovie Wiggins

Ms. Lola Johnson

Mrs. Sylvia Davis

Ms. Deliah Lamkin

Mr. Russell Smyre Jr.

Mr. Willard Murray

Mr. Jack Turner

Mrs. Velma Davis

Mrs. Corine Maize

Mrs. Rosalie Evans

Mrs. Mary Brooks

Internet changing the way world does business
(Editor's note: The author, syndicated columnist Philip Terzian, is on the board of the Editorial Information Network.)

Finds justice of sentencing system 'peculiar'
In your paper of Dec. 11 you reported a woman was sentenced to three years for killing a man while she was driving drunk.Arthur Balk, Jr., Augusta

Slams S.C. governor for apology
Gov. Jim Hodges is in trouble. First, he kicked a hornets nest when he tried to trade the Confederate Battle Flag for a Martin Luther King holiday. Milton Gresham, Evans

Protests proposed registration fee
Augusta Administrator Randy Oliver apparently believes we are living in a Communist society. When did the property-owning, tax-paying, responsible citizens ofRichmond County sign over their rights to him? Lori Drawdy, Augusta

Supports employees at animal shelter
I have read all the letters regarding the poor conditions and terrible employees at the Animal Control facility on Mack Lane. I have lived in this area for nearly 20 years and have been to the shelter several times and even adopted pets from there Jerri Strombeck, North Augusta

Bashes stand on homosexual rights
In response to the statement in the Dec. 21 editorial: ``If homosexuals are put on an `equal' level with heterosexuals, the former will naturally ask for the same benefits as the latter,'' I am shocked and outraged. Homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals and should be treated as such.Louis S. Schwartz, Augusta

Rip Braves' Rocker for comments
While I agree in principle that Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker has the right to say whatever he wants, and while I agree that he has the right to earn a living, I also have the right not to support his way of living. If he cannot respect those who make his millionaire salary possible, why should I patronize his team?Luis R. Scott, Grovetown

Notes audible traffic signal in place
It is little known, but Augusta has taken a first step but a giant step on behalf of the blind and vision impaired. There is now installed on Wrightsboro Road, at the entrance to the Veterans Administration Hospital, an audible traffic signal. This is to all appearances the same as a normal traffic signal with one important exception. At the proper time, it issues a verbal command when it is safe to cross the Jack Eckert, Augusta

Says Dorsey needs "Logic 101"
Rick Dorsey, a fledgling sports columnist, has found a political football to kick around. Faber Hance, North Augusta

18 lost schools
Fallout continues from the recent, devastating Georgia Department of Education report that 18 Richmond County schools receiving targeted federal Title I money have made ``no progress'' over the past two years.

Raps complaints about abandoned cars
It is people like letter-writer O. Rogers who are so shallow or hollow inside they don't allow reality to touch them. They have missed an important part of their life -- being human. Rev. M.E. Stokes, Augusta

Defends actions of chief, firefighters
After reading several articles concerning the recent fire at the Rivercreek Apartments, and thecriticism of Chief Ronnie Few and his firefighters, I can only shake my head in dismay. J.A. Malone, Dearing

Finds justice of sentencing system 'peculiar'
In your paper of Dec. 11 you reported a woman was sentenced to three years for killing a man while she was driving drunk. Arthur Balk, Jr., Augusta

Hits GOP candidates for division
As a young person and an eventual Republican, I am ashamed at how the Republican candidates are acting. Amanda Ebersole, Ft. Gordon

Slams S.C. governor for apology
Gov. Jim Hodges is in trouble. First, he kicked a hornets nest when he tried to trade the Confederate Battle Flag for a Martin Luther King holiday. Milton Gresham, Evans

Raps Braves' Rocker for comments
There has been some sporadic support locally for Braves pitcher John Rocker. Although Mr. Rocker's comments are not indicative of the collective mentality of the Braves organization as a whole, nonetheless, they are wholly unacceptable. Mr. Rocker's comments, unfortunately, go well beyond the scope of what the Braves organization can realistically spin or re-state in an effort to make the comments somehow more palatable or understandable to the organization or the community. Can you imagine someone like Brian Jordan sharing the locker room with Mr. Rocker in the future? And wondering precisely who the ``fat monkey'' moniker was designed for? It won't happen. Stephen Musich, Thomson

Defends ballplayer's free speech rights
Hide behind the clause of free speech, columnist Rick Dorsey; we all hide behind the clause of free speech when we express our opinions! Jim Hartman, Aiken

Give CORA a boost
Federal agencies, reports the General Accounting Office, have issued nearly 10,000 new rules in the last three years, costing taxpayers, consumers, workers and businesses billions of dollars.

Hits inconsistency of sentences
I am writing in response to the inconsistent sentencing that has been going on in Augusta. R.A. Brown, Augusta

Internet changing the way world does business
(Editor's note: The author, syndicated columnist Philip Terzian, is on the board of the Editorial Information Network.)

Hits decommissioning Lock and Dam
Now that we have a date that the so-called ``test'' will be run to decide if the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam should be decommissioned, as citizens we should get together to stop this tragedy. Jim Drew, Augusta

Defends Animal Control chief
Recent comments by Mary Kathleen Blanchard and other letter writers to your publication are wrong about Jim Larmer.Dale Brown, Hephzibah

1999's worst quotes
Each year we publish the worst, most biased quotes of the past year, as determined by 44 judges recruited by the press watchdog organization, Media Research Center, headed by L. Brent Bozell.

Commission fooled?
Augusta commissioners did a good job of putting together a budget for the coming year.

Canada perils U.S.
Americans would feel a lot less jittery heading into New Year's Eve celebrations if Canada had a rational immigration policy.

Defends 'agenda' of homosexuals
Your Dec. 21 editorial on ``Gay agenda stalled'' was consistent with your usual bigoted hate mongering ... Don Tate, Evans

Australian teen invited to Masters

Norwegians sweep at World Cup

Overtime: Rogers returns to Rangers

The possibilities of an All-Star race

Tiger has birthday to forget

Government steps up Y2K safeguards
WASHINGTON -- While most Americans appeared unfazed by possible Y2K failures, the government took further precautions Thursday, closing seaports for the New Year's weekend on both coasts and repairing a last-minute bug in a key air traffic computer.

MADD launches campaign against high-risk drunken drivers
WASHINGTON -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced a nationwide campaign Wednesday to get states to crack down on high-risk drunken drivers -- repeat offenders and drinkers caught driving with suspended licenses or particularly high blood-alcohol levels.

Doctors remove woman's 200-pound tumor
CHICAGO -- In a surgery considered almost impossible to peform, doctors at the University of Chicago removed a fast-growing, 200-pound tumor from a woman's abdomen.

Elderly underrepresented in cancer studies
BOSTON -- The number of women and blacks in cancer studies has grown substantially, but elderly people are still underrepresented, a review found.

That old PC in the den won't much care about 2000
ATLANTA -- Whatever ailments befall your old home computer come Saturday morning, spontaneous combustion isn't likely to be one of them.

Study: Chew gum to lose weight
BOSTON -- Could the chewing gum diet be next? There's evidence it really works. A team of researchers calculated that chewing gum burns up about 11 calories an hour.

New nuclear weapons agency chief sought
WASHINGTON -- Energy Secretary Bill Richardson named a high-level search committee Thursday to recommend candidates to head the department's new nuclear weapons agency.

New way of delivering chemotherapy in colon cancer studied
BOSTON -- Pumping chemotherapy drugs directly into the liver's blood supply can improve the odds of survival in patients with advanced colon cancer, a study found.

Internet operators watch for Y2K bug
NEW YORK -- Web site operators and people who run computer systems will be watching for more than the Y2K bug on New Year's Eve: They will be on guard for viruses and other mischief spread by hackers looking for some start-of-the-millennium attention.

Scientists engineer bacteria to consume toxic wastes
The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans already holds the title as the world's toughest organism: It can survive an atomic blast. Now scientists have bioengineered it into a ``superbug'' that can digest the toxic leftovers of the nuclear age.

Programmers double-check for last-minute Y2K bugs
WASHINGTON -- Programmers double-checking for computer bugs just days before the new year are playing a high-priced form of the whack-a-mole arcade game, stomping out pesky errors in government and business computers previously certified as Y2K-ready.

New nuclear weapons agency chief sought

Programmers double-check for last-minute Y2K bugs

Elderly underrepresented in cancer studies

MADD launches campaign against high-risk drunken drivers

Internet operators watch for Y2K bug

That old PC in the den won't much care about 2000

Government steps up Y2K safeguards

Study: Chew gum to lose weight

Scientists engineer bacteria to consume toxic wastes