Orchard Square to be sold
Hull/Storey Development LLC has contracted to purchase Orchard Square shopping center.

Partners plan new venture

Partners plan new venture
Partners who turned a ``crazy'' idea into a profitable enterprise plan to take some of their zany ideas down the block from their 4-year-old burrito eatery, Nacho Mama's, to start a new restaurant concept, Blue Sky Kitchen.

Facility may lure conventions

Glassfiber president resigns
Aiken-based Advanced Glassfiber Yarns LLC announced the resignation of President Robert Fisher, who has headed the new company forged from a French-American joint venture 15 months ago.

Business briefs

Marina bought by investors

Orchard Square to be sold

Marina bought by investors
Savannah Lakes Village lodge, restaurant, visitors center and marina has been purchased by four local businessmen who will operate the facility under the new name Savannah Lakes Resort and Marina.

Facility may lure conventions
Workers will break ground Friday on a seven-story riverfront hotel expected to help lure more convention business to Augusta.

Business briefs
WASHINGTON -- Factory orders rose 1.2 percent in November as strong demand for electronic products gave American manufacturers their first increase in orders since August.

Business briefs
WASHINGTON -- Construction spending rose 2.6 percent in November, the biggest increase in 17 months, led by much higher government spending on highways and schools.

Seminoles claim title

Seminoles return most of its defense

Beamer proud, disappointed

Florida man wins $500,000 at Sugar Bowl

Beamer experiences media onslaught

Former Tech assistant moves to Georgia

Past champions

Warrick's performance highlights game

Sugar Bowl notebook: Hokie moms get to see game after all

Return to top unlikely for Hokies

A title, and more gray hair

Waiting game continues for Brooker

Jackets ready for true test

ACC notebook: Tigers open against Tar Heels

Jaguars lose first in league

Conference games begin Wednesday

Gamecocks lose conference opener

Georgia State falls to Campbell

Miss. St. continues win streak

Georgia hits road for SEC opener

Notre Dame upsets No. 2 UConn

Rebels begin at Arkansas

Prince leads 'Cats to win over Jackets

Seminoles edge past Deacons

Gamecocks looking to keep momentum

Kentucky prepares for Tech's big men

Williams lifts Navy to win

Hits increased commercials on radio

Hits NAACP's part in 'race war'

Suggests fire department upgrade

Backs Rocker in style of Voltaire

Urges reader to get facts straight

Raps editorial on education reform

Lauds soul singer

Re-slate comment time

Defends remarks by Braves' pitcher

Wrong question

Wants divisive rebel flag furled

Rips anti-South Carolina `bias'

Answers opinion on drunk driving

Cites road improvements in area

Petty

Defends fire department at River Creek

Capsules
It's easy to let dirty dishes pile up after a holiday party. But nothing could top the pots discovered in a tomb in central Turkey -- they've been waiting for a wash for 2,700 years.

Here we go again
Without question, this week will be remembered for at least three weeks as the Week of the Game Show. Now that ABC and Fox have proven that American TV viewers will tune in game shows in prime time, CBS and NBC are submitting their entries.

Cool-weather warmer
If paying the holiday bills has you contemplating bean cuisine for the rest of the month, look no further than today's easy recipe for crockpot bean soup.

In the know
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.

Panthers roll past Lincoln

Cross Creek girls win, boys lose

Quinn, Bowman to coach NHL All-Star teams

Lynx notes: Mason named All-Star

Senators edge Hurricanes

Prospal called Montreal player a 'frog'

Predators one of NHL's hottest teams

Teen hockey player pleads innocent to aggravated battery

Thrashers win with late goal

Fire damages Edgefield County home
MERRIWETHER, S.C. -- Several firefighters required emergency oxygen as they battled a blaze for hours Wednesday afternoon that threatened to destroy an upscale home in Edgefield County.

Capsules

Here we go again

In the know

Cool-weather warmer

Lawyer hired to clarify zones

Report: Violations aided fire
Several code violations at River Creek apartment complex helped fuel a December fire that destroyed Building 10, according to a fire investigation report released Tuesday.

Graham bolsters MOX plan
AIKEN -- A local congressman said Tuesday that the Energy Department's decision to locate a mixed-oxide fuel plant at Savannah River Site is the one mission that can keep SRS running for several decades.

Hydropower

13 charged in credit card fraud

Ex-girlfriend testifies against man

Highway accident
Debbie Turner and a friend hold umbrellas to keep rain off an injured driver and passenger Tuesday as Aiken County emergency workers and Montmorenci firefighters treat the injured. A car was traveling on U.S. Highway 78 when it hit standing water and the driver lost control. The injured were taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers for treatment.

Johnston expecting new jobs

Budget includes options
ATLANTA -- Georgia's top jailer Tuesday defended his plan to put greater emphasis on less-costly alternatives to state prison cells for nonviolent offenders.

Across the area: Wreck hurts driver, snarls traffic

Celebration set to honor dead soldiers

Fire damages residence
MERRIWETHER, S.C. -- Firefighters required emergency oxygen while battling a blaze Wednesday afternoon that threatened to destroy a home in Edgefield County.

Many agencies report no Y2K problems

Across the area: Wreck hurts driver, snarls traffic
A four-vehicle accident on Walton Way Extension sent one person to the hospital with serious injuries and caused traffic to be backed up for nearly an hour Wednesday.

Lawyer hired to clarify zones
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Edgefield County Council has hired an attorney to help decipher its proposed zoning ordinance, but he's not the expert some residents had hoped for.

Hydropower
Steve Reeves of Martinez steers his remote-controlled boat across Lake Olmstead on Wednesday. Mr. Reeves said it was too cold to go fishing but not too cold to play with his Christmas present. Today's high is expected to be 56 with a low of 38.

Legislator stumps for candidate
AIKEN -- Campaign finance reform is unlikely during the next session of Congress, U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said during a short news conference Tuesday.

New blood screening process confuses donors
It barely raised an eyebrow with Jennifer Jones when she went to give blood Wednesday at Shepeard Community Blood Center. But for Bob Gerardot, it was almost enough to make him stop donating at the center, where he has been giving for nearly 30 years.

Planned Savannah River drawdown criticized

EPD tests sediment in water
Steve Roberts is tired of reeling in blobs of whitish slime whenever he fishes the swirling eddies along the lower Savannah River.

Many agencies report no Y2K problems
ATHENS, Ga. - Lamar Houston said he was happy Monday that University of Georgia spent $2,800 on 5 tons of dry ice in case New Year's power outages put research freezers on the fritz, even though 300 pounds of the stuff is evaporating in the warehouse he oversees on campus.

Warden seeks to end deal
Richmond County Correctional Institution officials want to terminate a contract that allows inmates to work on school property, saying they don't feel comfortable sending them out to work around schoolchildren.

Stallions still have work to do

Ex-girlfriend testifies against man
A year before Sajid F. Leslie became a suspect in the burning death of an ex-girlfriend, he placed a gun to the head of another ex-girlfriend, the woman testified Wednesday during Mr. Leslie's murder trial.

New plants approved for SRS
Bill Richardson put his pen to a promise he made to Savannah River Site a year ago.

SRS contractor cited in report
Savannah River Site's top contractor again has failed to follow safety procedures, even as it faced warnings from federal agencies to improve.

New plants approved for SRS

Celebration set to honor dead soldiers
COLUMBIA -- A weekend celebration of heritage, featuring a show of support for the Confederate flag on South Carolina's capitol, starts Friday as volunteers begin to read the names of the state's 26,000 Confederate soldiers who died in what some Southerners call simply ``the war.''

Highway accident

Johnston expecting new jobs
JOHNSTON, S.C. -- After more than a year of negotiations, a manufacturer is expected to close a deal next month to bring new jobs to Johnston.

Pledging to serve

13 charged in credit card fraud
AIKEN -- The only thing Ellen Looper wanted was a $16 pair of girl's shoes from Aiken Mall.

Parents view school attendance options
As Barbara Ashley looked over a wall map, she was relieved to find that her child will remain at Riverside Middle School next year instead of moving to Columbia County's newest middle school.

Hospitals to oppose state plan
ATLANTA -- Financially struggling rural hospitals want no part of a plan to save tax dollars by expanding managed health care to state and school system employees.

County's highway deaths decline
Despite a pileup of tractor-trailer collisions, alcohol-related crashes and numerous deaths along a stretch of Interstate 20, Aiken County reduced its traffic fatality count by five last year, Coroner Sue Townsend said Tuesday.

SRS contractor cited in report

Soldiers to assist Venezuelan relief
Six Fort Gordon soldiers are leaving on a humanitarian mission to Caracas, Venezuela, this morning.

Hospitals to oppose state plan

Across the area: Christmas tree recycling offered
The Home Depot on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez is accepting Christmas trees through Saturday, when a chipping machine will grind them into mulch.

Across the area: Christmas tree recycling offered

Soldiers to assist Venezuelan relief

Victim burned alive in car

Museum slated for state fort
SAVANNAH -- Fort McAllister is guaranteed $300,000 to begin construction on a museum in June, but park Manager Danny Brown says he hopes the state will provide even more.

Legislator stumps for candidate

Victim burned alive in car
Lori Hastings was burned alive -- doused with gasoline and set afire, according to testimony given Tuesday in the murder trial of an ex-boyfriend.

Graham bolsters MOX plan

Planned Savannah River drawdown criticized
Augusta's legislative delegation wants the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to cancel its plan to lower the Savannah River to demonstrate the impact of decommissioning the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.

Fire damages Edgefield County home

EPD tests sediment in water

County's highway deaths decline

New blood screening process confuses donors

Vote on ethics ordinance delayed
Augusta commissioners delayed a final vote on an ethics ordinance Tuesday until they can see Mayor Bob Young's proposed changes in writing -- along with the version they approved two weeks ago.

Report: Violations aided fire

Budget includes options

Museum slated for state fort

Still waters
U.S. Rowing Team member Elizabeth Smith of Augusta trains on the Savannah River during Tuesday's lower temperatures. Today's forecast calls for sunny skies and highs in the 50s.

Ready for school

Ready for school
Daniel Moretz placed his hand over his heart Tuesday and for the first time in months recited the Pledge of Allegiance with his third-grade classmates at Lake Forest Hills Elementary School.

Vote on ethics ordinance delayed

Still waters

Pledging to serve
Five Augusta commissioners-elect took the oath of office Tuesday, then helped elect Commissioner Willie Mays as mayor pro tem and delay rehiring City Attorney Jim Wall.

Wolves rally past Spurs

Kukoc returns, leads Bulls past Wizards

Suns dump Hornets

Jones to return earlier than expected

Heat lose to Grizzlies

Sonics edge San Antonio

NBA capsules

Warriors drop seventh straight

Hill scores big over Hawks

Internet entrepreneur poised to buy Mavericks

Cowboys remember lead, not loss

Patriots search for new coach

Stallions' countdown has begun

Fired Ditka says he's finished

Reeves plans to return to Falcons

Doleman, Tate unlikely heroes

Prosecutors to use abortion law in Carruth case

Smith and Reeves want to return

Another strange coaching chapter for Jets

Home has never been so sweet for Titans

Warner named MVP

Frerotte makes Washington playoff debut

Young, Rice face uncertain futures

Belichick turns down Jets' coaching job and quits

Mrs. Annie Brown
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mrs. Annie D. Brown, 96, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at Southwood Health Care Facility.

Mrs. Nellie Kendrick
THOMSON -- Mrs. Nellie Ruth McNair Kendrick, 51, of Jones Road, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at her residence.

Mrs. Virginia Baker
Mrs. Virginia Forbes Baker, 81, of Williams Street, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at St. Joseph Hospital.

Mrs. Ruth Bennings
Mrs. Ruth B. Bennings, of Mauge Street, died Thursday, Dec. 30, 1999, at St. Joseph Hospital.

Mr. William Burrow
GRANITEVILLE -- Mr. William T. Burrow, 72, of Taylor Street, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Aiken.

Mrs. Blanche Van Buren
Mrs. Blanche Walden Van Buren, 77, of Sanford Court, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at her residence.

Mrs. Mary Lou Johnson
WEST RIVER, Md. -- Mrs. Mary Lou Johnson, 88, died Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis.

Mr. Carl Richardson
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mr. Carl Richardson, 84, of Talisman Drive, died Monday, Dec. 27, 1999, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mrs. Frances Winter
Mrs. Frances Brandon Winter, 86, of Summer Tyme Place, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Forest Lake Convalescent Care Home.

Mr. Sam Mathis
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mr. Sam Mathis, 70, of U.S. Highway 25, died Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, at Edgefield County Hospital, Edgefield.

Mr. Mitchell Miller
Mr. Mitchell E. Miller, 77, of Goshen Road, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at his residence.

Mr. Jack Chavous
SYLVESTER, Ga. -- Mr. Jack Chavous, 69, died Monday, Dec. 20, 1999, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Brantley Whittle
AIKEN -- Mr. Brantley A. Whittle, 65, of Rushton Road, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, in Long Valley, N.J.

Mrs. Gladys Marshall
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mrs. Gladys Marshall, 87, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at Sun Ridge Nursing Home.

Mrs. Mary Raines
WADLEY, Ga. -- Mrs. Mary Alice Green Raines, 80, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Leroy Lambert
MILLEN, Ga. -- Mr. Leroy Lambert, 73, of Leroy Road, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Bulloch Memorial Hospital, Statesboro.

Ms. Everlena Simpkins
CORONA, N.Y. -- Ms. Everlena Simpkins, 56, of Northern Boulevard, died Friday, Dec. 31, 1999, at New York Hospital, Flushing.

Mr. Carroll Griffith
SALUDA, S.C. -- Mr. Ernest Carroll Griffith, 77, of Chappells Highway, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, in Lexington Medical Center, Lexington.

Mr. Ellis Richardson
MCBEAN -- Mr. S. Ellis Richardson, 94, of Piney Grove Road, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at St. Joseph Hospital, Augusta.

Ms. Julia Kitchens
ATLANTA -- Ms. Julia Kitchens, 33, of East Avenue, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at Georgia Baptist Hospital.

Mr. James Stallings Sr.
Mr. James Stallings Sr., 65, of Oakland Avenue, died Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, at his residence.

Mr. Tyrone Harvey
ALLENDALE, S.C. -- Mr. Tyrone Lanard Harvey, 19, of Patterson Street, died Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1999, in Allendale County.

Mrs. Marion Owens
Mrs. Marion Cook Owens, 95, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at her residence.

Mr. Allen Holliday
UNION POINT, Ga. -- Mr. Allen Holliday, 92, of Washington Highway, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Greene Point Health Care.

Mrs. Linda Lamb
LOUISVILLE, Ga. -- Mrs. Linda Livesay Lamb, 50, of River Road, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

Mr. Jon Baldwin
CRAWFORDVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Jon Howe Baldwin, 55, of Sparta Road Southeast, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at his residence.

Mr. Clifford Hobbs Sr.
THOMSON -- Mr. Clifford S. Hobbs, 86, of Mount Pleasant Road, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Thomson Manor Nursing Home.

Mr. Richard Watzin
Mr. Richard J. Watzin, 72, of Evans, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Sara Forehand
MILLEN, Ga. -- Mrs. Sara Beth Forehand, 73, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Bethany Nursing Home.

Mrs. Mary Lahrman
AIKEN -- Mrs. Mary Lahrman, 64, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Ms. Jensie Schley
Ms. Jensie Schley, of Joanne Circle, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mr. Stephen James
AIKEN -- Mr. Stephen Edward James, 65, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mr. Calvin Lane Sr.
MILLEN, Ga., Mr. Calvin Lane Sr., 99, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at Jenkins County Hospital.

Mrs. Bertha Mashburn
Mrs. Bertha Mae Spivey Mashburn, of Neptune Drive, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at St. Joseph Hospital.

Mrs. Verba Enfinger
COLUMBIA -- Mrs. Verba S. Enfinger, 86, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Providence Hospital.

Mrs. Janie Heyward
BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. -- Mrs. Janie Brown Heyward, 85, of Indian Trail, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mrs. Wanda Stone
WRENS, Ga. -- Mrs. Wanda Jean ``Cricket'' Stone, 37, of Kingsmill Road, died Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, at her residence.

Mrs. Frances Gardner
Mrs. Frances Bland Gardner, 92, of Skinner Mill Road, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Forest Lake Health Care.

Mrs. Annie Mae Howard
Mrs. Annie Mae Germany Howard, 70, of Margate Lane, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at her residence.

Mrs. Donna Dorcas
BONNEVILLE -- Mrs. Donna Dorcas, 29, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at Thomson Manor Nursing Home.

Mrs. Rubye Snider
MITCHELL, Ga. -- Mrs. Rubye Usry Snider, 83, of Highway 123, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at McDuffie County Hospital, Thomson.

Mr. Samuel Turner Jr.
ATLANTA -- Mr. Samuel Wade ``Bud'' Turner Jr., 78, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Crawford Long Hospital.

Mrs. Edna Williams
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mrs. Edna B. Simpkins Williams, 76, of Casalina Drive, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Aiken.

Mr. Augustus Boland Sr.
SPRINGFIELD, S.C. -- Mr. Augustus M. Boland Sr., 75, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000, at Baptist Hospital, Columbia.

Mr. Joseph Ramsey
Mr. Joseph Ramsey, 63, of Roosevelt Drive, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Mr. Richard Cason
BARNWELL, S.C. -- Mr. Richard Harris Cason, 92, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000.

Mr. Arthur Brinson
MILLEN, Ga. -- Mr. Arthur Brinson, 97, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Gertrude Hunt
THOMSON -- Mrs. Gertrude S. Hunt, 85, of Arnall Street, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Gibson Rest Home.

Mr. Eugene Murphey Jr.
Mr. Eugene Roy Murphey Jr., 82, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Melissa Shackelford
METTER, Ga. -- Mrs. Melissa Lynn Bonnett Shackelford, 33, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at St. Joseph Hospital, Savannah.

Mrs. Ann Maher
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mrs. Ann June Maher, 66, died Monday, Jan. 3, 2000, at her residence.

Mr. Minous Ulm
Mr. Minous Lee Ulm, 68, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Daisy Fulmer
GRANITEVILLE -- Mrs. Daisy Martin Fulmer, 85, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Aiken.

Mr. John Kellum
NEW YORK -- Mr. John F. Kellum, of Dumont Avenue, Brooklyn died Friday, Dec. 31, 1999, at Kings County Hospital.

Mr. William Ryerson
Mr. William Harry Ryerson, 80, of Appling, died Friday, Dec. 31, 1999, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mrs. Nellie Kendrick

Mr. William Burrow

Mrs. Gladys Marshall

Mr. Calvin Lane Sr.

Mr. Eugene Murphey Jr.

Mrs. Melissa Shackelford

Mrs. Annie Brown

Ms. Julia Kitchens

Mr. John Kellum

Mrs. Rubye Snider

Mr. James Stallings Sr.

Mr. Jack Chavous

Mr. Leroy Lambert

Mrs. Virginia Baker

Mr. Clifford Hobbs Sr.

Mrs. Wanda Stone

Mrs. Marion Owens

Mr. Tyrone Harvey

Mr. Joseph Ramsey

Mr. Richard Watzin

Mr. Carl Richardson

Mrs. Mary Raines

Mrs. Edna Williams

Mr. Richard Cason

Mr. Sam Mathis

Mr. Samuel Turner Jr.

Mr. Carroll Griffith

Ms. Everlena Simpkins

Mrs. Daisy Fulmer

Mr. Ellis Richardson

Mr. William Ryerson

Mrs. Bertha Mashburn

Mrs. Ann Maher

Mr. Allen Holliday

Mrs. Ruth Bennings

Mr. Jon Baldwin

Mrs. Mary Lahrman

Mr. Mitchell Miller

Mrs. Frances Gardner

Mrs. Blanche Van Buren

Mr. Stephen James

Mrs. Frances Winter

Mrs. Sara Forehand

Mr. Minous Ulm

Nelson: Education plan draws on experience of several states
YOUR RECENT guest columnist, Sue Burmeister, wrote a highly slanted article about the impact of education reform in Kentucky. She used distorted information to imply that the governor's commission would copy it and do great harm to our Georgia education system.

Buggy: SRS employees consider safety site's priority
RICK MCKEE'S Dec. 19 editorial cartoon and the effort at humor it contained prompts my comments on two subjects, safety performance and the value of Savannah River Site employees.

Backs Rocker in style of Voltaire
French philosopher and author Francois Voltaire once wrote, ``I do not agree with what you are saying, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it.'' Ken Anderson, Grovetown

Hits increased commercials on radio
I know that our local radio stations are rapidly approaching their goal of 30 minutes of commercials every half hour, and that they are improving my car mileage by upping the decibels on the auto dealers' blasts (I've been trying to figure how to turn the speakers around to help with braking), but just now I noticed a new gimmick. Kris Kristensen, Martinez

Rips anti-South Carolina `bias'
For the last six years, I have complained about the negative bias of The Chronicle sports department against the two major colleges from South Carolina. Tom Hunter, Augusta

Urges reader to get facts straight
Hila Long (letter Jan. 4) attacked George W. Bush for his handling of the Waco uprising. She confesses that her hatred of Mr. Bush stems from having ``followed him in the news and on TV.'' Keith Shafer, Augusta

A good idea? Yes, sir!
As part of a bipartisan program to build character in South Carolina's public schools, Gov. Jim Hodges is proposing legislation to encourage students to mind their manners.

Raps editorial on education reform
In a recent editorial, you posed the question, ``What will Charles Larke do about the low perform-ing schools in Richmond County?'' Unfortunately, that is the very approach that will cause those schools not to change for the better. Andy Baumgartner, Augusta

Cites road improvements in area
Tom Sibley's Dec. 26 letter is a good example of abuse of right to free speech. He attacks all local elected officials and Department of Transportation officials because he got caught up in the holiday traffic which will always be there. Robert L. Clements, Louisville

Hits columnists criticism of Rocker
Re your sports columnist Rick Dorsey's opinion of his John Rocker: Terrell Wiggins III, North Augusta

Suggests fire department upgrade
... Not knowing where the fire mains or hydrants are in a given area is a serious detriment to anyfire department. Low water pressure is even more serious. Somebody needs to get their act together as soon as possible. Seth Benson, Millen

SRS's happy new year
It is one thing to make promises; it's more difficult to keep them. This is why it was great news for the Aiken-Augusta area Tuesday when Energy Secretary Bill Richardson signed to commit his agency to a $1.4 billion program to construct three plutonium processing plants at Savannah River Site.

Nelson: Education plan draws on experience of several states
YOUR RECENT guest columnist, Sue Burmeister, wrote a highly slanted article about the impact of education reform in Kentucky. She used distorted information to imply that the governor's commission would copy it and do great harm to our Georgia education system.

Buggy: SRS employees consider safety site's priority
RICK MCKEE'S Dec. 19 editorial cartoon and the effort at humor it contained prompts my comments on two subjects, safety performance and the value of Savannah River Site employees.

Critiques three letters to the editor
While reading the Jan. 2 ``Viewpoints'' page, I noted the pithy pertinent comments concerning John Rocker's remarks and three other letters. David Rumbaugh, North Augusta

Re-slate comment time
The Columbia County School Board started the year off making one good change and one bad change. Trustees' good change was to schedule public comments before an issue is acted on instead of afterward when the decision is already made.

Answers opinion on drunk driving
Re the Jan. 2 letter by George Greeley (``Hits publication of DUI offenders''): Ronnie Conrad, Augusta

Tawdry tub gets rich
For decades advertisers have employed celebrities, many with tawdry personal histories, to huckster their product or service to the public. They were hired, not because of a sordid past, but in spite of it. Their celebrity was due to their value as an entertainer or athlete.

Wants divisive rebel flag furled
Recent letters in support of the Confederate flag write only of its justification honoring rebel soldiers and, by extension, honoring their fight to secede from the Union. What these letter writers refuse to acknowledge is that there are more than a million South Carolina citizens who are descendants of slaves, many of whom do not see that war as an honorable struggle or the Confederate solders as their heroes and that, within their memory, the flag has frequently been used as a symbol of white supremacy.Victor Reilly, Aiken

Lauds soul singer
I've been reading this paper on-line for quite awhile now and never have I been so impressed. Your top 20s countdown of local influential people was very informative. P. Lee, Augusta

Hits NAACP's part in 'race war'
As chairman of the South Carolina Council of Conservative Citizens, I'd like to address the charges directed against me and the CofCC by letter writer John Hadden (Dec. 18). Frances L. Bell, Windsor

Wrong question
The Wall Street Journal notes the Democratic National Committee framed ``a tendentious question'' on their Web site clearly designed to draw hoots of derision for what the DNC described as GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush's ``tricky $1.7 million tax (cut) scheme.''

Defends remarks by Braves' pitcher
I disagree with sports columnist Rick Dorsey's opinion that John Rocker deserves harsh punishment. Bill Cawley, Augusta

Defends fire department at River Creek
I cannot sit by while people are still attacking our fire department and its leaders for the fire at River Creek apartments! I admit it was a tragedy, but to keep attacking the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department is ridiculous. Charles M. Davis, Sr., Augusta

Petty
In all those endless lists -- the best of this, the worst of that -- leading up to 2000, it's fortunate for the Augusta Commission that there wasn't one cataloging pettiness.

Overtime: Macon mayor wants apology from Rocker

Nurse trains for Olympics

Olazabal honored by writers

Keep an eye on the ball at the Mercedes

Woods tries to pick up where he left off

Doctors say Van Dyken's surgery successful

Overtime: Stallions' coach to speak at Banquet

Who can measure up to the Tiger test

Tournament could find new home

Pentagon needs to test laser weapon against satellites
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon needs to conduct more test-firings of a laser at orbiting Air Force satellites in order to better understand how an enemy might disrupt American satellites in time of war, the commander-in-chief of U.S. Space Command said today.

Internet company backs out of Super Bowl telecast
NEW YORK -- One Internet company has backed out of its plans to advertise on the Super Bowl telecast, but several others say they have no interest in giving up their spots.

$10 million bid for Web address was probably a hoax
SAN FRANCISCO -- Online auctioneer eBay Inc. said Tuesday that a $10 million bid for the Web address www.year2000.com is apparently a hoax.

South American farmers may have been able to predict El Nino
Farmers in the high Andes Mountains may have been able to predict El Nino for centuries by observing whether nearly invisible clouds dimmed the light from a cluster of stars called the Pleiades. A tradition for potato farming handed down from one generation to the next teaches that the brightness of stars in the constellation during June roughly predicted the rainfall during the growing season from October to May.

Y2K bug experts look for new challenges
WASHINGTON -- With their millennium milestone behind them, the legions of federal and private consultants who battled the Y2K bug are looking to parlay their credentials into new jobs.

Sea lion deaths linked to toxic algae bloom
The deaths of more than 400 California sea lions in 1998 have been traced to toxic algae that literally caused their brain cells to explode. The sea lions died along the California coast in the spring at the same time an algae bloom was observed in Monterey Bay. The algae carried domoic acid, a potent toxin that attacks the brain.

One minor glitch reported by Federal Reserve
WASHINGTON -- The banking system continued to operate largely free of Y2K glitches on Tuesday, the second New Year's business day, after a problem at a regional Federal Reserve bank was fixed.

Jobs drops interim from title at Apple
SAN FRANCISCO -- Capping his remarkable two-year leadership of Apple Computer Inc., chief executive Steve Jobs dropped ``interim'' from his title on Wednesday and unveiled new Internet services and the next generation of his company's operating system.

Lawmakers seek data on pesticide use in schools
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency should make a nationwide effort to determine what pesticides are used in schools and minimize the health risks to children, a Democratic senator said Tuesday.

Pap alternative could reduce cervical cancer deaths
CHICAGO -- A test for the human papilloma virus that doesn't require a pelvic exam may soon rival the Pap smear as an accurate way of screening for cancer and precancerous conditions in the cervix, researchers say

Study: Higher risk of lung cancer in women may be linked to gene
WASHINGTON -- A gene that is more active in women than in men may explain why women smokers are more than twice as likely to develop lung cancer as men smokers, researchers say.

Y2k glitch caused temporary loss of link to satellites
WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department said Tuesday it suffered only one notable Y2K computer breakdown: the loss for several hours on New Year's Eve of a ground station that processes information from spy satellites.

Y2K bug experts look for new challenges

Y2k glitch caused temporary loss of link to satellites

Pap alternative could reduce cervical cancer deaths

Internet company backs out of Super Bowl telecast

One minor glitch reported by Federal Reserve

South American farmers may have been able to predict El Nino

Lawmakers seek data on pesticide use in schools

Jobs drops interim from title at Apple

$10 million bid for Web address was probably a hoax

Study: Higher risk of lung cancer in women may be linked to gene