Watchdog group criticizes Georgia payday loan bill
A nonprofit watchdog group disputes a lawmaker's claim that his bill will protect consumers from payday lenders. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group says the bill weakens usury laws, not strengthens them.
Channels gear up for sweeps
Tune in tonight for an exclusive report you can't afford to miss! Expect to hear more of that starting Thursday as local television stations roll out the special segments for the February ratings period known as ``sweeps.''
Business briefs: UPS declares jump in year's net income
ATLANTA -- United Parcel Service reported a 37 percent increase in net income for the final three months of 1999, its first quarter since becoming a publicly traded company.
City works to keep incubator
The company operating the city-owned small-business incubator is pulling out amid financial problems.
Sportswear seller will be auctioned
Just For Feet is for sale. The financially troubled Birmingham, Ala.-based sportswear company has been unable to sell the company and will put itself up for auction, a recent corporate statement said. A court hearing to schedule the auction is set for today. Just For Feet Inc., a national chain with more than 100 stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Del., in November.
Wireless phone companies to trade networks
Alltel will trade wireless networks with Bell Atlantic Corp. and merger partner GTE Corp. in 13 states, the company said Tuesday.
Group gave $1.235 million in '99
The CSRA Community Foundation awarded $1.235 million to about 190 area groups and organizations during 1999, it reported this week.
Business briefs: GM rises, Chrysler falls in auto sales
DETROIT -- Major U.S. automakers turned in a mixed performance for January sales, with General Motors Corp. showing a strong gain, Ford Motor Co. seeing a modest increase and the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler AG posting a decline.
In the know
You've heard of the majors in golf? Well, now you can major in golf. Johnson & Wales University's Florida campus in North Miami is offering a bachelor's degree in sports-entertainment-event management with a concentration in golf management.
The Asian markets
Last week we took a trip via a dish with a Mexican flair, so why not put another stamp in your culinary passport with an excursion to the Orient?
In private, Norman is down to earth
NEW YORK -- She's the diva of Girl Scout cookies. Opera star Jessye Norman sold more than 2,000 boxes in the past year -- ``my best year ever,'' she says.
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. Prices below were checked Monday. No coupons or discount cards were used.
Just in time for Black History Month: Good Things to Eat, a reprint of a charming cookbook first published by Rufus Estes in 1911 (Howling at the Moon Press, $19.95).
Forecasters' guesswork 'troubling'
That's my conclusion after more than a week of watching dozens of television weather people stand in front of large, colorful maps with furrowed brows trying to predict whether it will snow, sleet or rain. And you know what?
Labor board finds cause in complaint
AIKEN -- The National Labor Relations Board has found reasonable cause to believe that officials at Tenneco Packaging had an employee, Gary McClain of Jackson, arrested and put in a mental hospital to squelch his union activity.
Across the area: Man changes plea as jury is selected
An Augusta man accused of trying to force his way into a woman's apartment while demanding an act that would constitute aggravated sodomy pleaded guilty but mentally ill Tuesday.
Senate approves ticket resales for state events
ATLANTA -- Licensed brokerages and individuals soon could resell tickets to concerts, plays and sporting events if a bill approved by the Georgia Senate becomes law.
Barnes unveils land preservation plan
ATLANTA -- Forty counties containing 73 percent of Georgia's population would be eligible for land preservation grants under Gov. Roy Barnes' green-space initiative, the governor said Tuesday.
Crew unearths inert weapon
An Atlanta military bomb squad arrived in Augusta on Monday afternoon to investigate what was first believed to be a live explosive excavated from Augusta State University soil. But officials later learned that object was an inert practice round.
Surplus computers contained SRS data
A local businessman said Tuesday that several surplus computers he received from Savannah River Site contained data not meant to leave the federal nuclear-weapons facility.
Group seeks unified option to Corps plan
Cities, agencies and industries that would be most affected by the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to decommission New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam agreed Tuesday to work together to find a solution.
Parachute team to drop in at air show
Another group has been added to the list of participants at Skyfest 2000.
Doctor perishes in blaze
Embers from a fireplace caused the Sunday home fire that claimed the life of a local doctor, according to investigators.
Congress members lobby for dam solution
Augusta's congressional delegation is mulling changes in federal law to compel the Army Corps of Engineers to finance repairs at New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.
Wintry conditions freeze roadways
The wintry weekend didn't drop much snow or ice on Augusta, but it was enough to give some local pupils a break from class Monday morning.
An article in Sunday's editions incorrectly stated that Rick Bernardi of North Augusta had carried and flown a Confederate flag in Vietnam.
A dirty job
Erin Harris (from left), 8, her brother Will, 5, and friend Joey Baldwin, 5, take advantage of Tuesday's higher temperatures to build some sand castles at Hammond Hills Elementary School near their North Augusta homes.
Council may add officer
AIKEN - An additional deputy is very likely to be added to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office when Aiken County Council meets again later this month. But approval of the position did not come easily at the council meeting Tuesday.
Subdivision ordance struck down
A Richmond County Superior Court judge has ruled unconstitutional an ordinance that prohibits developers from building subdivisions with smaller houses than those in adjacent neighborhoods and ordered the city not to enforce it.
South Carolina farm group sets business agenda
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina farmers for years have said they are the Rodney Dangerfields of the business world -- they get no respect in a state that is tops at attracting every other kind of economic development.
Across the area: State suspends Augusta lawyer
The Georgia Supreme Court has suspended Augusta attorney Wayne P. Thigpen from the practice of law.
Birds that stalled road leave nest
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- In 1997, two nesting eagles forced Chatham County highway engineers to reroute Truman Parkway.
Evans sophomore earns wings
For four years, Jamail Larkins' age prevented him from reaching his dream of becoming a licensed pilot. And for one day, winter weather stopped him.
Former officer pleads guilty
NEWBERRY, S.C. -- For the longest time, Edward J. Fallen Jr. denied the crime that nobody wanted to believe he'd committed.
County seeks fund method for highway
AIKEN -- If Augusta's Bobby Jones Expressway is to get jump-started northward beyond the roadblock at the Savannah River, it will be up to Aiken County to do it.
School crime down in Aiken County
COLUMBIA -- Aiken County School Superintendent Linda Eldridge received confirmation Monday that her zero-tolerance approach to school violence works.
Ex-deputy indicted in string of local crimes
A former Columbia County sheriff's deputy was indicted Tuesday in a string of crimes -- including reporting a bomb at a school that turned out to be fake -- in what authorities say was an effort to get attention.
Jury selection begins in Hill slaying case
YORK, S.C. -- The weeklong process of selecting a jury began Monday in the death penalty trial of an Aiken County man accused of shooting three state social workers.
Lawyer: Trooper was in debt
To hear his attorney tell it, there was no one reason why Trooper Edward J. Fallen Jr. chose to rob a BP gas station in Newberry, S.C., at gunpoint last spring and ruin a promising career with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Cellular One disputes 911 tax
Cellular One disputes owing $394,956 for emergency 911 taxes Augusta officials contend the company should have billed its customers on behalf of the city between December 1998 and August.
City votes to settle discrimination suit
City commissioners voted Tuesday to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit by an assistant chief tax appraiser for $50,000.
Mrs. Margaret Williams
AIKEN -- Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth McCarty Williams, 74, of Piper Road, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Mrs. Inez Smalley
LINCOLNTON, Ga. -- Mrs. Inez Harper Smalley, 96, of White Rock Road, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at Lake Crossing Health Center.
Mr. Russell Peel
MILLEN, Ga. -- Mr. Russell ``Rusty'' Edison Peel, 43, of Green Fork Church Road, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at his residence.
Mr. John Tompkins
Mr. John W. Tompkins, 77, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at his residence.
Rev. John Evans
COVINGTON, Ga. -- The Rev. John W. Evans, 76, of Newton Ridge Road, died Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000, at Newton General Hospital.
Mr. Robert Warren
DUBLIN, Ga. -- Mr. Robert W. ``Buddy'' Warren, 56, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Fairview Park Hospital.
Dr. Thomas Blanchard, 65, Augusta urologist
Dr. Thomas Walter Blanchard, a urologist in Augusta for 30 years, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at his residence. He was 65.
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Breana Jean Coursey, infant daughter of Michael and Shannon McCary Coursey Jr. of Seymour Drive, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mr. Hugene Jones
Mr. Hugene Jones of Greene Street, died Friday, Jan. 28, 2000, at Beverly Manor.
Mr. Paul Whiteman
GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Paul E. Whiteman, 75, of Lanier Springs Drive, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000.
Mrs. Dorothy Sims
Mrs. Dorothy Redd Sims, of Lionel Street, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at St. Joseph Hospital.
Dr. Thomas Blanchard
Dr. Thomas Walter Blanchard, a urologist in Augusta for 30 years, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at his residence. He was 65.
Mrs. Patricia Marlowe
CANFIELD, Ohio -- Mrs. Patricia A. Marlowe, 70, of Lake Point Circle, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center, Youngstown.
Mr. John Alfred Harper
BELVEDERE -- Mr. John Alfred Harper, 74, of Audubon Circle, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Mrs. Nina Mathis
Mrs. Nina C. Mathis, of Walton Way, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at Westlake Manor Health Care.
Mrs. Mildred Dockins
WARRENVILLE -- Mrs. Mildred W. Dockins, 87, of Goldfish Lane, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at Brian Center-St. Andrews.
Mrs. Esther R. Groat
Mrs. Esther R. Groat, 95, died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000, at North Augusta Health Care.
Mrs. Mamie King
WASHINGTON, Ga. -- Mrs. Mamie Elizabeth Callaway King, 88, of Lexington Avenue, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Wills Memorial Hospital.
Ms. Donetta Wright
Ms. Donetta Wright, 56, of April Drive, died Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000, at University Hospital.
Mrs. Azerene Bussey
BELVEDERE -- Mrs. Azerene Hacker Bussey, 92, of Teresa Avenue, died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000, at her residence.
Mr. Johnnie Clark Jr.
Mr. Johnnie Clark Jr., of Hillwood Lane, died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.
Ms. Janice Coleman
SWAINSBORO, Ga. -- Ms. Janice Coleman, 44, of Overstreet Road, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Emanuel Medical Center.
Ms. Annie Turner
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Ms. Annie B. Turner, 89, of Five Notch Road, died Friday, Jan. 28, 2000, at University Hospital.
Mr. Morgan Pender
SPRINGFIELD, S.C. -- Mr. Morgan Leroy Pender, 89, of Railroad Avenue, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at Bamberg County Hospital, Bamberg.
Mrs. Verdine Price
Mrs. Verdine Price, 77, of Appling, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at Doctors Hospital, Augusta.
Mr. Reuben Robinson
RINGGOLD, Ga. -- Mr. Reuben Allen Robinson, 75, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000.
Mr. Douglas Busbia
Mr. Douglas Ronald Busbia, 62, of Martinez, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at University Hospital.
Rev. Henry Walker
WHITE PLAINS, Ga. -- The Rev. Henry Grady Walker, 85, of Liberty Church Road, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at St. Mary's Hospital.
WILLISTON, S.C. -- Larrykia Shadazie Dukes, infant daughter of Larry Dukes and Shanda Vanessa Hatcher, died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000.
Mr. Robert McKane
AIKEN -- Mr. Robert H. McKane, 85, of Aiken, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Mr. Ralph Newman
BELVEDERE -- Mr. Ralph Newman, 73, of Briarcliff Place, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, in Marietta, Ga.
Mr. Charlie Key
BELVEDERE -- Mr. Charlie Butler Key, 72, of Sycamore Street, died Friday, Jan. 28, 2000, at his residence.
Mrs. Bertha Videtto
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Mrs. Bertha W. Videtto, 73, of Nectarine Street, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at The Jane Adams House.
Mr. Thomas Callaham
NEW YORK -- Mr. Thomas ``T.L.'' Callaham, 80, of Quincy Street, Brooklyn, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital.
Mrs. Judith Benton
DUBLIN, Ga. -- Mrs. Judith Grandy Benton, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at Fairview Memorial Hospital.
Mrs. Shirley Black
Mrs. Shirley M. Black, 67, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at her residence.
Mrs. Willie Mae Parker
Mrs. Willie Mae Parker, 78, of Dent Street, Martinez, died Friday, Jan. 28, 2000, at her residence.
Mrs. Louise McGahee
STAPLETON, Ga. -- Mrs. Louise McGahee, 88, of Georgia Highway 296, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.
Mr. Quber Baxley
WILLISTON, S.C. -- Mr. Quber Clude Baxley, 73, of Elko Street, died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.
Mr. William Proctor
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Mr. William A. Proctor, 87, died Thursday, Jan. 27, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
Mr. Carl Irvin
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mr. Carl E. Irvin, 89, died Sunday, Jan. 23, 2000.
Mrs. Cora Steele
HAMPTON, S.C. -- Mrs. Cora Lee Steele, 80, died Friday, Jan. 28, 2000, at Hampton Regional Medical Center, Varnville.
Mrs. Patience Rouse
AIKEN -- Mrs. Patience W. Rouse, 83, of Edgefield Avenue, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000, at Mattie C. Hall Health Care Center.
The Rev. Henry Walker
WHITE PLAINS, Ga. -- The Rev. Henry Grady Walker, 85, of Liberty Church Road, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at St. Mary's Hospital, Athens.
Mrs. Lela Smith
WARTHEN, Ga. -- Mrs. Lela Mae Smith, 36, died Friday, Jan. 28, 2000, at Washington County Regional Medical Center, Sandersville.
Mrs. Esther R. Groat
Mrs. Esther R. Groat, 95, died Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000, in North Augusta.
Mrs. Lillian Freeland
MCCORMICK, S.C. -- Mrs. Lillian Wilkie Freeland, 92, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000, at McCormick Health Care.
Mrs. Annie Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ga. -- Ms. Annie Sellars Smith, 83, of Georgia Highway 24, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.
Says Rooney's remarks crossed line
The remarks by Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes on Jan. 23 about symbols crossed the line on objective reporting. The Confederate flag is a banner representing states' rights for a generation of my ancestors who possessed a will to fight for personal beliefs. Jack I. Ramage Sr., North Augusta
Argues against closing lock and dam
This is in reply to the letter writers in favor of decommissioning the New Savannah Lock and Dam. Ronald Swank, Blythe
Finds cursing to be bad manners
Well, now we have another excuse to use bad manners and no self-control. Dr. Timothy Jay, ``a cursing expert,'' says it's ``more democratic and less oppressive.'' Give me a break! Joanne Paulos, Augusta
Fund Ga. charities
Why not let Georgians decide in a statewide referendum if they want any of their tax money to be spent on faith-based charities that help the needy?<
Wants national teacher of year allowed to speak
Kudos to Andy Baumgartner! Debra Samples, Wrens
Is this Cuba?
The year is still young, but not so young we can't present to Georgia House Speaker Tom Murphy, D-Bremen, the award for the most petty, vindictive action of the year. He muzzled the 1999 national teacher of the year, Augusta's Andy Baumgartner!
Is the nation's moral compass out of whack?
Mocks mayor's stand on damage
I am writing in response to Mayor Bob Young saying that the Corps of Engineers should be re-sponsible for the damages caused by the drawdown at the Lock and Dam. To this I say: ``Balderdash.'' You are not in favor of Augusta taking over the responsibility of the day-to-day operations of it (Lock and Dam) nor the financial burden of maintenance and repair. This test should give you a clue as to what will happen when the Corps of Engineers abandon andor remove it. David W. Nowakowski, Waynesboro
Blasts governor's `alliance' on schools
Georgia and its illustrious Gov. Roy Barnes are at it again. A typical Barnes response to a problem is, when in doubt, throw more money at it and maybe it will goaway. I recently read the article on the governor's crony-filled organization called the ``Breakthrough Alliance'' and its million-dollar ad campaign to push education reform in the state. Steve Grinstead, Martinez
Hits judgment of cartoon, article
Your Rick McKee cartoon concerning slime in the Savannah River has mountains to say about self-righteous judgment -- and ditto for the recent sports page article on John Rocker. Dick Donnelly, Martinez
Hits rhetoric of Confederate flag flap
The rhetoric behind the Confederate flag is malarkey. Is this outcry over the flag being used for political gain, to promote votes? Is it election time once again? This is a state issue, not a federal issue to be used as an aid for an election. S. Tool, Hephzibah
Ponders abortion, capital punishment
I find it interesting that the liberals in this country are claiming to try to help all people in society. The liberals always are looking out for the underdog? Well, maybe. But maybe they're only looking out for their opportunity to obtain power. I can't swallow this stupid ``hate crimes'' law, because all crimes should be punished to the highest level. Doug Morehouse, Martinez
Sees opportunity to bridge racial divide
We have lived in South Carolina for about 30 years and in Georgia for about 30 years; therefore, we write this letter with a considerable amount of experience and knowledge. Paul and Anne Cook, Augusta
Warns S.C. could feel retribution
U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., could possibly do harm to South Carolina. He is backing Sen.John McCain, R-Ariz., for president. Herbert L. Grosberg, North Augusta
A lot of people are scratching their heads over Energy Secretary Bill Richardson's weekend announcement that the federal government, for the first time, says ``that people got cancer from radiation exposure in the (Department of Energy's 14 nuclear weapons) plants,'' including the Savannah River Site.
Rips military leaders over vaccine case
The article on Maj. Sonnie Bates indicates how out of touch military leaders are with the troops. The Department of Defense is out of control. Bob Cipperly, Evans
Jabs pro-Bill Clinton letter writer
In regard to the Jan. 19 letter by E. Maner praising Bill Clinton as the greatest president of the century:>br> Harry Oliphant, Hephzibah
Cites steps to real education reform
Gov. Roy Barnes has decided to take on education reform in the state of Georgia. This is a good thing. For far too long, children in our state and our county have been shortchanged. Our tax money goes to administrative and bureaucracy expenditures. This is old news. Something must be done, and Gov. Barnes has decided he will do it. Penny Strader, Augusta
Laments loss of liberty in dam debacle
I wonder if anyone who has suffered extensive damage by the actions of the Corps of Engineers now feels we are living in the land of the free and the home of the brave? I have serious doubts that they do. Jessie B. Hitt, Augusta
Notes there are 'strings attached'
Your headline last Friday should have read, ``President presses for cut in taxes with strings attached.''>br> Carolyn Gatliff, Waynesboro
Defends right to fly Confederate flag
Re Ken Gott's Jan. 26 letter. S. F. Chance, Perkins
Congress moves to improve electronic food stamp program
WASHINGTON -- People using electronic food stamp accounts could obtain groceries in every state under legislation that passed the House on Monday and goes to President Clinton for his signature.
Computer trouble, bad weather delay launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Computer trouble and bad weather forced NASA on Monday to delay the launch of space shuttle Endeavour on a quest to create the finest map of Earth ever produced.
Therapy improves recovery
Radiation after angioplasty prevents future blockages in most patients, a process that University Hospital is hoping to help prove effective.n
AIDS epidemic traced back to 1930
SAN FRANCISCO -- The worldwide AIDS epidemic has been traced back to a single viral ancestor -- the HIV Eve -- that emerged perhaps around 1930.
FDA approves first digital mammograms
WASHINGTON -- The nation's first digital mammograms -- computerized breast X-rays to hunt breast cancer -- were approved by the government Monday.
Matt Whittaker, 11, (left) and his brother Joey, 13, watch a movie of the building of the International Space Station .
Internet ads, commercials pitched at women mark Super Bowl telecast
NEW YORK -- TV's priciest commercials had Internet companies digging deep in their wallets and a few messages to an audience that Super Bowl advertisers have seldom addressed -- women.
Preventive surgery may add years for gene-linked breast cancer survivors
CHICAGO -- Young women with breast cancer associated with two genetic mutations may live years longer by having their healthy breast and their ovaries removed, a study found.
Endeavour's flight off until next week
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Endeavour's mission to map the Earth is off until at least next week because of an unreliable computer.
NASA shares works
What do cable television, cordless power drills and disposable diapers have in common?
New York planetarium offers virtual tour of universe
NEW YORK -- When the new Hayden Planetarium opens to the public Feb. 19, it will not only show kids the heavens but take them there, too.
Relationship should be built on dual trust
``I have a problem with this girl. She thinks I'm cheating for no reason. I love her with all my heart, and I would do anything for her. But she's always spying on me or thinking that I'm doing something wrong.'' -- 16-year-old Augusta boy
Caroline Kobe, 13, an eighth-grader at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School.
School badges just another rite of passage
Teen-agers across the area are riled up due to one of the newest styles to hit our generation.
School badges become part of the problem
OK, you all know the drift by now. Wear the badge ... or else. Since the beginning of the school year, students in Columbia County have been wearing ID badges. Some students at local schools have worn them even longer than that. The issue may be old now, but the feelings are still there.
What's in an ID badge? Not much, according to some teens who attend area schools. Identification badges now are required in most schools as part of stricter dress code policies instituted in the summer in response to last spring's Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.