Augusta Business Chronicle
Find out why hot commercial property in Augusta is going fast. Learn how Proctor & Gamble's local chief presides over the company's expansion. Read the Augusta Business Chronicle online or get the print edition in Monday's Augusta Chronicle.

Secret shoppers help businesses
It's no secret, mystery shoppers are becoming a fixture in most retail businesses. Banks. Restaurants. Department stores.

Program offers houses for half price
Richmond County Sheriff's Department Investigator Darryl Hamilton has always dreamed of owning his own home. When he found a program where he could buy a $78,000 home for $39,000, that dream became a reality.

Businesses utilize public records
Lee Neel is looking for some local warehouse space, and one of the first places he visits is the tax assessor's office. For a few dollars, he's able to get a wealth of information, he says.

Antiques craze produces trendy malls
No longer confined to the downtown art district, antique shopping malls are opening throughout the Augusta area to serve eager customers and support dealers looking for a place to sell their wares.

Brannen: Employers must recruit creatively
This is a continuation of last month's column about coping with a tight labor market.

Packaging key to high sales
In the marketing world, it's not just the product that sells. It's also the package.

Brauer: Law of supply and demand holds
In a special new year's edition (Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, p. R31), The Wall Street Journal titled one of its articles ``So Long, Supply and Demand.'' Subtitle: ``There's a new economy out there -- and it looks nothing like the old one

Q&A: Think like an entrepreneur
Staff Writer Damon Cline sat down with Sharon Hoffman-Manning, Procter & Gamble plant manager, to discuss the local operation and its impact on the city.

Briefcase
New hires are more likely to stay at a job when recruited through inside sources, instead of through ads or employment agencies, studies show. Researchers at Ohio State University reanalyzed data from 28 studies involving nearly 39,000 employees to see what types of recruitment sources are most likely to yield long-term workers.

Veteran guides P&G through expansion
Sharon Hoffman-Manning's job performance is put to the test every time a consumer opens a box of Tide. The manager of Procter & Gamble's Augusta powdered soap plant reports to corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, but consumers buying the company's laundry detergents are her ultimate judges.

Businesses utilize public records
Lee Neel is looking for some local warehouse space, and one of the first places he visits is the tax assessor's office. For a few dollars, he's able to get a wealth of information, he says.

Hokrein: Copycats crowd tech marketplace
The marketplace is filled with copycats and television is no different. When producers witnessed the success of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, they salivated at the prospect of developing a hit game show of their own.

Dirt's no longer cheap
Local restaurateur Jim Heaney would have liked to buy property at Augusta Exchange, the city's hottest retail destination during the past three years.

Prospect ready for next step

Mariners seek investigation of threat against Griffey

Sosa puts his worth in the range of $160 million

Dominican fams unique

Braves extend talent search

Fashion changes over time

Dirt's no longer cheap

Program offers houses for half price

Pocket change

Businesses utilize public records

Augusta Business Chronicle

Briefcase

Education often comes with job
Continuing education is a hobby for some. They see going back to school as a matter of picking up another language or learning how to dance the tango.

Veteran guides P&G through expansion

Hokrein: Copycats crowd tech marketplace

Brauer: Law of supply and demand holds

Secret shoppers help businesses

Packaging key to high sales

Business briefs: Plant is injury-free for a year
Employees at BP Amoco's Augusta polymers plant recently surpassed one year without recording an Occupational Safety and Health Administration injury.

Pocket change
Female mentors might provide a comfortable work environment, but male mentors might be better in leading the way to the top of the corporate ladder. Professors at Penn State's Great Valley campus concluded in a recent study that women are better role models and provide better psychological support than men when they act as mentors, but that male mentors are more effective in getting their proteges' careers to advance.

Brannen: Employers must recruit creatively

On the move
Jean M. Moats has joined Bank of America's Merchant Services Division as senior account executive.

Education often comes with job

Q&A: Think like an entrepreneur

On the move

Business briefs: Plant is injury-free for a year

Businesses utilize public records

Jackets roll past Rattlers

Spartans embarrass Huskies

Tigers must contain Heels' big men

'Heels trounce Tigers

Buckeyes rout Wolverines

Rutgers routs Syracuse, wins fourth straight

Kentucky trips up USC

USC-Aiken edges UNC-Pembroke

No. 1 Cincinnati handles UAB

Duke hammers Virginia

Defense sparks Lady Bulldogs' win

Auburn blasts Arkansas

Terrapins rally to beat Wolfpack

Gators run away from Dawgs

Women's basketball roundup

Questions severity of Rocker penalty

Urges opponents to local legislators

Explains selection of '10 Cities'

FCC pulls back, for now

Who's truthful?

Seeks more public access to river

Prioritize hydrant checks

Hits 'outside' voices on flag issue

Slams S.C. Democratic Party chief

Praises arrest of 'special' student

They're both right!

Resents S.C. prepayment plan

Slams Ga. religious charities bill

Complains of neighborhood traffic

Stick to Constitution!

Lists reasons young voters 'tuned out'

Sees lock and dam as useless

Says she was taught to respect others

Raps Clinton for hitting S.C. flag

Arts notebook: Augusta is a garden of strong, blooming musical talent
A city's perception of itself may stem from any number of things. It might be an industry, like the symbiotic relationship Los Angeles shares with the movie business. Sometimes it's a local attraction or geographical formation, such as Denver's proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes history feeds a community's identity, as in Boston and Philadelphia.

Family slowly came to accept apparitions
Shortly after she and her family moved into the old house near Eastman, Ga., Betty Kight saw a "thin, stoop-shouldered old woman" in the flower bed outside her kitchen window.

A home of artful expression
Bill and Evelyn Browne were looking for their seventh home in nine years. They wanted to keep it simple.

Ingratitude should not be further rewarded
Dear Carson: Over the years we have given gifts and checks to young people in our extended family for weddings, graduations, births and holidays. We seldom get verbal thanks and rarely receive a written note.

On the outside
Art need not be limited to galleries and museums. Long a mainstay in urban areas, works of public art have often become visual icons closely associated with their cities. Scattered throughout communities, pieces of statuary and sculpture are proffered to the public for appraisal. Unlike the war memorials and historical markers, so common in the Augusta area, these pieces are not placed as concrete reminders of past events, but rather as works to be appreciated for their aesthetic value.

Gogel, Brooks in the lead with Tiger lurking

Fleisher leads after second round

Singh soars, Woods falters at Pebble

Record number of Regions Cup events

Park, Parsons share top spot

Thomson wins in overtime

Lady Hornets upset Lexington in OT

Spartans build some momentum

Area high school scores

Cross Creek upsets Laney

Derrick scores 47 in rout

Coach fighting cancer behind the bench

No hype, just hockey for Toronto's All-Star game

Lynx suffer heartbreaking loss

Oh, brother: Bures lead World Stars

Lynx rebound for much-needed win

NHL retires Gretzky's No. 99

NHL authorizes Bettman to seal Olympics deal

Messier says league should alter format

Messier wants what's best for Canucks

ECHL notebook

NHL retires Gretzky's No. 99

Pavel and Valeri make a Bure, Bure potent combo

Lynx hire new assistant coach

Oh, brother: Bures lead World Stars

All-Star notebook: Sundin promises special move will bite Cujo

Fashion changes over time
I'll admit it. Women have dressed me most of my life.

On the outside

Arts notebook: Augusta is a garden of strong, blooming musical talent

Family slowly came to accept apparitions

Ingratitude should not be further rewarded

A home of artful expression

Opening statements to begin in Hill trial
Opening statements get under way today in the death penalty trial of David Mark Hill, nearly 3 1/2 years after three Department of Social Service caseworkers were gunned down in their offices.

Answers sought to end fights
When Kelly Briele's 7-year-old son was jumped by three boys at his Richmond County elementary school, she took him to the hospital, filed charges against the boys and placed her son in a private school.

Across the area: McCain will begin 3-day election trip

License lets spa re-open
Some of the first customers to visit Sun Cha McZorn's new business could be undercover vice officers.

Death on the highway

Across the area: McCain will begin 3-day election trip
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Republican presidential candidate U.S. Senator John McCain will speak in North Augusta on Tuesday to kick off a three-day campaign in the Palmetto State.

Committee to take up midyear spending bill

Family moves because of club
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- After battling the booming bass coming from next door for more than two months, Leigh and Todd Coughenhour decided to run up the white flag.

Awards honor best in local advertising
The Augusta Advertising Federation honored the best in local advertising at its annual American Advertising Awards banquet Saturday.

Artist reflects on childhood, world travels
More than a hundred people sat enchanted at the Morris Museum of Art Sunday, as they listened to Plainview, Ga., native and nationally recognized artist Benny Andrews.

Local boxer seeks another chance

Death on the highway
Harlem-Grovetown Road is a treacherous 6 1/2 -mile ribbon of asphalt twisting and winding between the two cities.

Committee to take up midyear spending bill
ATLANTA -- The first of the two annual tussles over state spending should begin in earnest this week in the Georgia General Assembly.

Rail-line supporters urge Barnes to commit
ATLANTA -- Supporters of passenger rail service aren't sitting still for what they believe is the short shrift Gov. Roy Barnes is giving to what they consider a priority.

Family moves because of club

DSS shooting trial begins today
Opening statements get under way today in the death penalty trial of David Mark Hill, nearly 3 1/2 years after three Department of Social Service caseworkers were gunned down in their offices.

Artist reflects on childhood, world travels

Sign shows where the money goes

DSS shooting trial begins today

Across the area: Animal Control ends large bird's flight

Sign shows where the money goes
How does a government get voters to vote themselves a tax? Simple. With plenty of ``Your 1-Cent Sales Tax at Work'' signs.

King of the prom
As the sweet sounds of jazz drifted through the air, hundreds of senior citizens could be found dancing the night away at the ninth annual Seniors Prom.

Across the area: Animal Control ends large bird's flight
Zachary the emu's stint of freedom finally came to an end Saturday.

License lets spa re-open

Proposed changes spark debate
To those who bothered to respond, it sounds like a good plan -- but they're still cautious about the details.

Answers sought to end fights

Miss America attends benefit for veterans
Heather Renee French, Miss America 2000, is not all about swimsuits and talent competitions. The 25-year-old beauty queen came to Augusta on Saturday to raise awareness and speak on an issue very close to her: homeless veterans.

Awards honor best in local advertising

Corps to hold meetings on shoreline policies
Area residents will have three opportunities this week to comment on the often-controversial shoreline management plan used by the Army Corps of Engineers to govern development along Thurmond Lake.

Proposed changes spark debate

Rail-line supporters urge Barnes to commit

Opening statements to begin in Hill trial

Foreign students learn of Augustans' customs
The past six months have been a learning -- and teaching -- experience for a few Augusta students with origins in very different places.

Judge: Hill OK for trial
AIKEN -- David Mark Hill is hoping for a compassionate jury that will understand he was depressed when he gunned down three Department of Social Services workers in 1996, a psychiatrist testified Saturday.

There's been no stopping Lakers' Green since 1986

Ewing's season-high 25 leads Knicks over Heat

Iverson scores 50 in Sixers' win

Hornets outlast Wizards

Nets beat Warriors, snap streak

Raptors top Bucks

Rider leads Hawks past Cavs

Jazz escapes rewriting club futility record

Moss, Alstott carry NFC to victory

Mrs. Marjorie Johnson
Mrs. Marjorie J. Johnson, 73, of Brighton Circle, died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.

Mrs. Edwina Grant
Mrs. Edwina O. Grant, of Chaucer Drive, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.

Mr. Harry Walker Jr.
Mr. Harry Hammond ``Ham'' Walker Jr., 81, died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.

Ms. Miriam Evans
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Ms. Miriam Scott Evans, 84, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at Doctors Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Alexander Marshall
AIKEN -- Mr. Alexander Marshall, of Edgefield Highway, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Mrs. Eleanor Fisher
WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- Mrs. Eleanor Marshall Fisher, 96, of Brentwood Drive, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at Brentwood Terrace Health Care.

Mr. D'non Clark
BLYTHE -- Mr. D'non Phillip Clark, 26, of Etterlee Drive, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000.

Mr. Elijah Parker
Mr. Elijah Parker, of Orange Street, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Nellie Campbell
JACKSON -- Mrs. Nellie Dyer Campbell, 92, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, in Fort Myers, Fla.

Mr. Elijah Parker
Mr. Elijah Parker, of Orange Street, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Mary Ann Weber
Mrs. Mary Ann Nixon Weber, 71, of Parliament Road, Martinez, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at her residence.

Miss Helen Jordan
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Miss Helen Jordan, 87, died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000, at Washington Regional Medical Center.

Mr. William Dudley
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. William David ``Bill'' Dudley, 78, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta.

Mrs. Wynell Scofield
Mrs. Wynell D. Scofield, 83, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Sue Steinberg
Mrs. Sue K. Steinberg, 65, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at her residence.

Mrs. Cathy Andrews
Mrs. Cathy ``Moma'' Dowdy Andrews, 48, of Evans, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mrs. Lucy Johnson
Mrs. Lucy Burton Johnson, of Ninth Avenue, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mr. Frank Lewis
MCCORMICK, S.C. -- Mr. Frank Lewis, 73, of U.S. Highway 378, died Monday, Jan. 31, 2000.

Mrs. Juanita Adams
BATH -- Mrs. Juanita Watson Adams, 71, of Cathy Drive, died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000, at her residence.

Dr. Henry Chou
AIKEN -- Dr. Henry Chou, 57, of Huntsman Drive, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at his residence.

Dr. Josephine Norton
MANCHESTER BY-THE-SEA, Mass. -- Dr. Josephine Hopkins Norton, 98, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000.

Mrs. Mae Boone
MILLEN, Ga. -- Mrs. Mae Burke Boone, 97, of South Gray Street, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Bethany Nursing Center.

Mr. Alexander McIntosh Jr.
MIDVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Alexander McIntosh Jr., 52, of Maple Lane Apartments, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mr. Marvin Clements
WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. -- Mr. Marvin David Clements, 71, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at Fairview Park Hospital.

Mr. Stephen Roberson
AIKEN -- Mr. Stephen H. Roberson, 72, of Jehossee Drive, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Sin Cheung
Mrs. Sin Tao Leung Cheung, 99, of Martinez, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mr. Paul Miller
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Mr. Paul L. Miller, 34, of Beaverdam Street, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Edgefield County Hospital.

Mrs. Vondell Boyd
BURNETTOWN -- Mrs. Vondell ``Bonnie'' Grimes Boyd, 73, of Duncan Road, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, in Graniteville.

Mrs. Sophie Reese
THOMSON -- Mrs. Sophie Lyons Reese, 76, of Ware Street, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Barth Daniel
Mr. Barth D. Daniel, of Martinez, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at his residence.

Mr. Bobby Scott
AIKEN -- Mr. Bobby J. Scott, 59, of Three Notch Road, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at his residence.

Mr. William East
GROVETOWN -- Mr. William Edward East, 64, died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Miriam Chapman
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mrs. Miriam Goff Chapman, 56, of Duncan Road, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Pearlie Waters
SYLVANIA, Ga. -- Mr. Pearlie F. ``Tink'' Waters, 76, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at Memorial Health University Medical Center, Savannah.

Mr. Don Morris
JACKSON -- Mr. Don Carl Morris, 72, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Elsie Flanders
KITE, Ga. -- Mrs. Elsie Eva Stapleton Flanders, 83, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at her residence.

Mr. Raymond Odum III
DEARING -- Mr. Raymond ``Fats'' Odum III, 60, of McCorkle Road, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Minnie Parker
Mrs. Minnie C. Parker, of Broad Street, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000, at University Hospital.

Mrs. Margueriette Griffith
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mrs. Margueriette Griffith, 92, of Walnut Lane, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Augusta.

Mr. Jerry Cowart
SWAINSBORO, Ga. -- Mr. Jerry Cowart, 52, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Emanuel Medical Center.

Mrs. Velia Phelps
WADLEY, Ga. -- Mrs. Velia Gracie Green Phelps, 76, of River Road, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2000, at her residence.

Mrs. Edwina Grant
Mrs. Edwina O. Grant, of Chaucer Drive, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.

Mr. Bob Pope
DUBLIN, Ga. -- Mr. Bob Kenneth Pope, 62, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Mr. Earl Blevins III
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Mr. Earl W. ``Trey'' Blevins III, 27, of Audubon Road, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at his residence.

Mrs. Cathy Andrews

Mr. Pearlie Waters

Mrs. Sin Cheung

Mrs. Minnie Parker

Mrs. Edwina Grant

Mrs. Sophie Reese

Mr. William East

Mrs. Eleanor Fisher

Mrs. Nellie Campbell

Mrs. Margueriette Griffith

Dr. Henry Chou

Mr. Marvin Clements

Mr. Bob Pope

Mr. William Dudley

Ms. Miriam Evans

Mrs. Velia Phelps

Mr. Elijah Parker

Mr. Frank Lewis

Mr. Paul Miller

Miss Helen Jordan

Mrs. Elsie Flanders

Mr. Alexander Marshall

Mrs. Miriam Chapman

Mrs. Edwina Grant

Mr. Jerry Cowart

Mrs. Vondell Boyd

Mr. Bobby Scott

Mrs. Lucy Johnson

Mr. Raymond Odum III

Mr. Harry Walker Jr.

Mr. Don Morris

Mrs. Juanita Adams

Mrs. Wynell Scofield

Mrs. Mary Ann Weber

Kent: McCain's pizza and beer; Roy hits a bump
SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-Ariz., wasted no time after beating Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the New Hampshire Republican primary getting to the Palmetto State, site of a pivotal Feb. 19 GOP slugfest. The senator flew in from his victory press conference in New Hampshire to a long-planned Feb. 1 ``Midnight McCain Rally'' at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (which quickly evolved into a campus-style party that dragged on past 2 a.m.).

Barnes' education reform focuses on the wrong issues
Gov. Roy Barnes' education reform initiative focuses on the wrong issuesTopics of debate should be maintaining due process rights, enhancing curriculum rigor and improving teacher effectiveness

Stick to Constitution!
Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Inhofe is leading a band of nearly 20 Republicans who are planning to block all of President Clinton's judicial nominations until his term is up. Naturally, the senator is drawing heavy fire from all the usual suspects.

Defends flag as symbol of heritage
Re the Rev. Thomas Shepherd's Jan. 25 letter: Donald W. Turner, Grovetown

Backs rights of riverfront residents
Get real, residents of Augusta and North Augusta! The only thing we all really want is to have a beautiful, healthy Savannah River flowing through our area. We are all concerned about the environmental impact as well as the economic impact. We really need to stop throwing stones. Carol H. Terry, North Augusta

104 new programs
President Clinton's State of the Union speech was rightly criticized for being rife with costly new Big Government proposals, but just how plentiful and expensive those proposals are wasn't made explicit until the Cato Institute and the National Taxpayers Union got out their adding machines over the past few days and toted them up.

Slams Ga. religious charities bill
If the Georgia Constitution is amended to allow state money to be used to subsidize religiouscharities, House Republicans will have won a dangerous ideological victory. Minority Leader Bob Irvin, R-Atlanta, is quoted as saying that, although faith-based groups receiving such money cannot proselytize, they are superior to government charities in that they ``instill values in people as well as giving them food and clothing.'' Celeste Ray, Augusta

Lists reasons young voters 'tuned out'
The Chronicle had an editorial lamenting about why the younger voters were ``turned off'' and ``tuned out.'' You were referring to local politics. It is easy to see why, after seeing the ``scandals'' committed by the Augusta city government. Carl S. Champlin, Aiken

Walker: respect home rule
Where does Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker, D-Augusta, stand on the issues of smoking and home rule?

Hits 'outside' voices on flag issue
I would like to point out that 75 percent of the people who showed up at the South Carolina anti-Confederate flag party in Columbia were from out of state and have no voice in the laws that make up South Carolina. ... Joe Nirenberg, Beech Island

Questions severity of Rocker penalty
It amazes me that in Super Bowl XXXIV, 13 players on the field have been arrested for a total of 20 crimes, including drug use, assault, drunken driving, and negligent homicide. ... The players weren't just arrested -- they were actually convicted of these crimes. Yet, they were allowed to play in America's biggest sporting event. Diane Chiera, Augusta

Slams S.C. Democratic Party chief
Who does Dick Harpootlian think he's kidding? Anthony P. Gouge, Aiken

Raps Clinton for hitting S.C. flag
I see President Clinton has put in his two cents worth about South Carolina's famous flag. I believe he should keep his nose out of this one. He's not a Southerner, all he is doing is looking for votes (for Al Gore) in the next election. Sandy A. Tankersley, Appling

Urges opponents to local legislators
I commend Ron Beul for his opposition to the Columbia County government expansion (letter, Jan. 18), wherein our legislative delegation consisting of Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Martinez, Rep. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, and Sen. Joey Brush, R-Appling, would add an elected mayor/CEO to the existing structure of five commissioners. This scheme accomplishes nothing except an increase of cost to the taxpayers and the attendant delays in getting something done. You don't have to look too far to see how a multi-layered government fails to represent its citizens! Richard J. Killien, Evans

FCC pulls back, for now
Federal Communications Commission rulings don't usually draw much attention outside of the media/telecommunications industry. But an FCC decision late last year -- and only recently reversed -- caused great distress in the religious community.

Prioritize hydrant checks
It was reassuring last week to see Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department personnel out testing fire hydrant water pressure in some areas, particularly in wake of the December River Creek Apartments blaze that burned many families out of their homes.

Seeks more public access to river
We are fortunate in Georgia and South Carolina to have much of our ocean beachfront open to everyone for swimming, walking, sailing, fishing and basking in the sun. On the other hand, people in Richmond County have limited access to the banks of the Savannah River. We do have a blessing in the public park along the levee between the Morris Museum and St. Paul's Church, a distance of about four city blocks. Anne Berlin, Augusta

Complains of neighborhood traffic
Recently when I was driving close to my neighborhood, I saw a thick plume of black smoke above the trees in the direction of my home. I started toward the house, but never made it home. What I found was my neighbors' car -- demolished, and engulfed in flames -- in the middle of an intersection. She was still in the car. Lester Williams, Augusta

Who's truthful?
Prominent Augusta attorney, former state senator and current University Board of Regents member Thomas F. Allgood Sr. has told our reporter he did not ask Superior Court Judge Albert M. Pickett to write a letter to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles saying he didn't object to baby-killer Louis Bennie Phipps being released from prison after serving less than half his 15-year sentence.

Explains selection of '10 Cities'
The Georgia Municipal Association is pleased to join this newspaper in congratulating the city of Thomson for being named one of Georgia's ``10 Cities of Excellence.'' (``Cities of excellence,'' Feb. 2) James A. Calvin, Atlanta

Supports Al Gore for U.S. president
Republicans and Democrats would like to see this country continue its economic growth. So we must ask ourselves: Should we change political parties in the White House in the middle of the most prosperous time in our history? Hoyt Goodson, Waynesboro

Says she was taught to respect others
Re Paul and Anne Cook's Feb. 1 letter: I've lived in Georgia for all of my 52 years. I was raised in a small town in north Georgia and I was taught to treat all of my elders with respect, regardless of their color. Even my parents and grandparents used respect toward everyone. Mabel Chambers, Grovetown

Insists war fought for homes, families
Thomas Shepherd filled his Jan. 25 letter with vitriol toward Southern and Northern soldiers, but his main thrust was, of course, against the Confederacy. For me to try to tell Mr. Shepherd of my great-great uncles will be useless, as he has closed his mind and his heart. Still, I must try.

Asks if Communist 'really so bad'
With all the negative talk about Cuba lately in the news, I feel the need to ask a few questions. Coco Rubio, Augusta

Holds Corps responsible for dam
Augusta Mayor Bob Young brought out some interesting facts in his guest column. He asked to do the math, and it seems the Corps of Engineers deferred maintenance on the dam to the tune of $6.8 million dollars. However, I would venture a guess that the Corps was able to write-off these costs through depreciation of assets during this same period of time, which would enhance the overall costs of operation. Bill Getha, Evans

Barnes' education reform focuses on the wrong issues
Gov. Roy Barnes' education reform initiative focuses on the wrong issuesTopics of debate should be maintaining due process rights, enhancing curriculum rigor and improving teacher effectiveness

Resents S.C. prepayment plan
Re two year payments for South Carolina auto tags: J. DeVine, Martinez

They're both right!
From USA Today:

Sees lock and dam as useless
My problem is with the people complaining about the lowering of the river in Augusta. The lock and dam has been a useless piece of equipment ever since shipping ended on the Savannah River. Why would you pay so much money to fix something not in use? I don't pay taxes to protect other people's houseboats. Michael Grant, Martinez

Kent: McCain's pizza and beer; Roy hits a bump
SEN. JOHN McCAIN, R-Ariz., wasted no time after beating Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the New Hampshire Republican primary getting to the Palmetto State, site of a pivotal Feb. 19 GOP slugfest. The senator flew in from his victory press conference in New Hampshire to a long-planned Feb. 1 ``Midnight McCain Rally'' at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (which quickly evolved into a campus-style party that dragged on past 2 a.m.).

Praises arrest of 'special' student
Kudos to the Columbia Middle School administrator(s) with the courage and acumen to secure the arrest of a special education student who attacked another student and paraprofessional there recently! Dr. Craig Spinks, Augusta

Smokin' Joe's daughter wins pro debut

Prada moves to finals, AmericaOne eliminated

Local boxer seeks another chance

Options grow for women in soccer

Gordon's team making fresh start

Gunners win U-19 division in Shootout

Good weather cooperates with action in Shootout

Overtime: Wilkerson takes title in Silver Gloves

Prep football: Rivalries to remain intact

Woodruff, Agassi make McEnroe's day in Davis Cup

Overtime: USC-Aiken gets second win

Pro Bowl showcases young NFL Stars

Bud Shootout kicks off season

U.S. women fall to Norway

World Cup champs hope to keep 'riding the wave'

Possibility of e-commerce raises spirits of wine sellers
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Ron Junge can spot the amateur connoisseurs the minute they set foot into his fine wine stores.

Drought still threatens crops
The first month of 2000 brought much-needed moisture to a parched Palmetto State, but the nearly two-year drought is far from over, meteorologists say.

Researchers use DNA chips to identify cancer types
Scientists say they can more precisely diagnose cancers with a new technology that uses computers to rapidly monitor the activity of thousands of genes in cancer cells.

Black cable network launches Web site
NEW YORK -- An Internet site devoted to the lifestyles and culture of black Americans debuts this week as part of an effort to make the online experience less of a ``World White Web.''

Advances aid SRS cleanup
Tom Heenan has a name for the milestones he sets for the cleanup of Savannah River Site. Mr. Heenan, a U.S. Department of Energy assistant manager at SRS, calls them ``BHAGs'' -- short for ``big, hairy, audacious goals.''

Internet downloads help toys grow
NEW YORK -- Parents long have complained that kids quickly lose interest in their toys. But that may change with the introduction of toys that use the Web to add new games and activities.

Virus testing helps doctors pick most effective treatment
SAN FRANCISCO -- Doctors say they can improve the chance of successfully treating AIDS by measuring how each patient's virus stands up to the drugs intended to kill HIV.

Buying furniture online is catching on
WASHINGTON -- Kick a tire, buy the car. Click a mouse, score a sofa?

President seeks new Medicaid coverage
WASHINGTON -- President Clinton proposed helping states eliminate the barriers poor women face in fighting breast or cervical cancer, saying Saturday he wants them to have access to the ``medical miracles of our time.''

Fund-raising champion Bush lags online
WASHINGTON -- George W. Bush, whose presidential campaign is shattering fund-raising records, is dead last when it comes to donations over the Internet. GOP rival John McCain and Democrats Al Gore and Bill Bradley have gathered significantly more money on the Web.

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.

Expert says biological attack on U.S. inevitable
SAN DIEGO -- Terrorists will likely attack the United States with the small pox or anthrax viruses within the next five to 10 years, says an expert who warns the country is unprepared.

President seeks new Medicaid coverage

New York planetarium offers virtual tour of universe

Buying furniture online is catching on

Internet downloads help toys grow

Advances aid SRS cleanup

Researchers use DNA chips to identify cancer types

Expert says biological attack on U.S. inevitable

Fund-raising champion Bush lags online

Possibility of e-commerce raises spirits of wine sellers

Virus testing helps doctors pick most effective treatment

Drought still threatens crops