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.

Dominican fams unique

Prospect ready for next step

Sosa puts his worth in the range of $160 million

Mariners seek investigation of threat against Griffey

Braves extend talent search

Fashion changes over time

Program offers houses for half price

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.

On the move

Augusta Business Chronicle

Brannen: Employers must recruit creatively

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

Businesses utilize public records

Briefcase

Veteran guides P&G through expansion

Brauer: Law of supply and demand holds

Secret shoppers help businesses

Packaging key to high sales

Education often comes with job

Dirt's no longer cheap

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.

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.

Hokrein: Copycats crowd tech marketplace

Business briefs: Plant is injury-free for a year

Q&A: Think like an entrepreneur

Pocket change

Businesses utilize public records

Kentucky trips up USC

Defense sparks Lady Bulldogs' win

Duke hammers Virginia

Tigers must contain Heels' big men

Buckeyes rout Wolverines

No. 1 Cincinnati handles UAB

Gators run away from Dawgs

Spartans embarrass Huskies

USC-Aiken edges UNC-Pembroke

'Heels trounce Tigers

Auburn blasts Arkansas

Terrapins rally to beat Wolfpack

Women's basketball roundup

Rutgers routs Syracuse, wins fourth straight

Jackets roll past Rattlers

Seeks more public access to river

Sees lock and dam as useless

Slams S.C. Democratic Party chief

FCC pulls back, for now

Slams Ga. religious charities bill

Praises arrest of 'special' student

Says she was taught to respect others

Hits 'outside' voices on flag issue

Urges opponents to local legislators

Prioritize hydrant checks

They're both right!

Resents S.C. prepayment plan

Questions severity of Rocker penalty

Complains of neighborhood traffic

Stick to Constitution!

Lists reasons young voters 'tuned out'

Who's truthful?

Explains selection of '10 Cities'

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.

Fleisher leads after second round

Gogel, Brooks in the lead with Tiger lurking

Park, Parsons share top spot

Record number of Regions Cup events

Singh soars, Woods falters at Pebble

Cross Creek upsets Laney

Thomson wins in overtime

Lady Hornets upset Lexington in OT

Area high school scores

Derrick scores 47 in rout

Spartans build some momentum

Coach fighting cancer behind the bench

Lynx suffer heartbreaking loss

Messier wants what's best for Canucks

Lynx rebound for much-needed win

Oh, brother: Bures lead World Stars

Oh, brother: Bures lead World Stars

Lynx hire new assistant coach

NHL retires Gretzky's No. 99

Pavel and Valeri make a Bure, Bure potent combo

ECHL notebook

NHL retires Gretzky's No. 99

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

NHL authorizes Bettman to seal Olympics deal

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

Messier says league should alter format

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

On the outside

A home of artful expression

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

Ingratitude should not be further rewarded

Family slowly came to accept apparitions

Awards honor best in local advertising

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: McCain will begin 3-day election trip

Local boxer seeks another chance

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.

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.

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.

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.

DSS shooting trial begins today

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.

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.

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

Sign shows where the money goes

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.

Proposed changes spark debate

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

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

Rail-line supporters urge Barnes to commit

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

License lets spa re-open

Answers sought to end fights

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.

Death on the highway

Family moves because of club

Committee to take up midyear spending bill

Opening statements to begin in Hill trial

Ewing's season-high 25 leads Knicks over Heat

Nets beat Warriors, snap streak

Jazz escapes rewriting club futility record

Iverson scores 50 in Sixers' win

Rider leads Hawks past Cavs

Raptors top Bucks

There's been no stopping Lakers' Green since 1986

Hornets outlast Wizards

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Harry Walker Jr.
Mr. Harry Hammond ``Ham'' Walker Jr., 81, 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. Stephen Roberson
AIKEN -- Mr. Stephen H. Roberson, 72, of Jehossee Drive, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at his residence.

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

Mr. Jerry Cowart

Mr. Paul Miller

Mrs. Miriam Chapman

Ms. Miriam Evans

Mrs. Margueriette Griffith

Mrs. Mary Ann Weber

Mr. Marvin Clements

Mrs. Velia Phelps

Mr. William Dudley

Mrs. Juanita Adams

Mr. Pearlie Waters

Mr. Bob Pope

Mr. Frank Lewis

Mrs. Minnie Parker

Miss Helen Jordan

Mrs. Sin Cheung

Mr. Alexander Marshall

Mrs. Nellie Campbell

Mrs. Edwina Grant

Dr. Henry Chou

Mrs. Vondell Boyd

Mr. Raymond Odum III

Mr. Elijah Parker

Mrs. Cathy Andrews

Mr. William East

Mrs. Edwina Grant

Mrs. Lucy Johnson

Mr. Bobby Scott

Mr. Harry Walker Jr.

Mrs. Eleanor Fisher

Mrs. Wynell Scofield

Mrs. Elsie Flanders

Mrs. Sophie Reese

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

Woodruff, Agassi make McEnroe's day in Davis Cup

Pro Bowl showcases young NFL Stars

U.S. women fall to Norway

Gordon's team making fresh start

Smokin' Joe's daughter wins pro debut

Overtime: Wilkerson takes title in Silver Gloves

Good weather cooperates with action in Shootout

Bud Shootout kicks off season

Overtime: USC-Aiken gets second win

World Cup champs hope to keep 'riding the wave'

Prada moves to finals, AmericaOne eliminated

Prep football: Rivalries to remain intact

Options grow for women in soccer

Gunners win U-19 division in Shootout

Local boxer seeks another chance

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.

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

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.''

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.

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.

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.''

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.''

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.

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.

Buying furniture online is catching on

New York planetarium offers virtual tour of universe

Expert says biological attack on U.S. inevitable

Virus testing helps doctors pick most effective treatment

Fund-raising champion Bush lags online

Internet downloads help toys grow

President seeks new Medicaid coverage

Researchers use DNA chips to identify cancer types

Possibility of e-commerce raises spirits of wine sellers

Drought still threatens crops

Advances aid SRS cleanup