WASHINGTON -- A key to economic prosperity that helps keep inflation in check took its biggest leap in seven years, rising at a 6.4 percent rate at the end of 1999.
State minimum wage may go up
ATLANTA - Georgians working for smaller companies could get a pay raise after House passage of a bill Tuesday that proposes an increase in the state's minimum wage.
Morris buys downtown property
The Barrett family, which has operated its industrial pipe wholesale business on Broad Street since 1929, has contracted to sell its property to Morris Communications Corp.
City designates enterprise zone
Hoping to create the economic stimulation needed to revitalize one of the city's more downtrodden areas, the Augusta Commission on Tuesday designated a section of the Laney-Walker district as an enterprise zone.
Strike possible at airline
A potential strike by flight attendants at US Airways later this month could mean trouble for service to and from Charlotte, the airline's gateway to Augusta.
Firms discuss family issues
Sean Womack's wife phoned him at work Monday morning to tell him their year-old son badly burned his hand on their fireplace screen.
Business briefs: Rural satellite TV bill wins approval
WASHINGTON -- Efforts to beam local broadcast signals into millions of rural households won unanimous approval Wednesday by the Senate Banking Committee, whose chairman sidetracked the idea last year.
Rebuts editorial on 'jail disgrace'
The Feb. 27 editorial (``Lincoln County disgrace'') was extremely harsh. We all have areas that need improvement, and the Lincoln County Jail, like most others, can always find areas that need to be improved or made more efficient. But certainly not to the extent that we are a ``disgrace to LincolnCounty, our state and our nation.''Sheriff Edwin L. Bentley, Lincolnton
Calls legislator 'well-paid lobbyist'
As the father of three daughters, my worst nightmare is that I will get a phone call informing me that one of my children has been injured or killed by a drunken driver. I dare say that all of us who are parents share that same concern.Sonny Pittman, Augusta
Canned fruits and vegetables might not look as appealing as their fresh counterparts, but when it comes to nutrition both have their advantages, according to dietitians at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Children's Nutrition Research Center in Houston.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Truth be told, country music sort of irked Shelton Hank Williams III for most of his 27 years. Bearing the most hallowed name in the industry, and hearing every day that ``you are the living, spitting image of your granddaddy'' -- well, it could get on your nerves.
In the know
Hold on to your hedge clippers. Brand Martha is branching out again. Coming in April to a Kmart: Martha Stewart's latest effort to add zing to the lives of mass-market shoppers: stylish outdoor furniture, garden tools, live plants, seeds and barbecue gear -- right down to the mesquite wood chips.
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.
Soccer season has begun, and baseball season is right around the corner. Making it to practices and games on time often requires eating on the run. Fast-food chains offer portable meals, and your grocer's freezer section stocks a bevy of hand-held entrees, including pocket sandwiches, individual pizzas and frozen burritos.
Local artist creates Payne Stewart tribute
When the Bobby Jones mural above Bill Prince's liquor store on Fifth Street started to deteriorate in the bright sunshine, Mr. Prince began to think about a new motif.
Migraines increased sharply during the 1980s, with 1 out of 100 women aged 20 to 29 reporting such headaches, a Mayo Clinic study has found.
Investigators bust marijuana-growing operation
Narcotics investigators made one of their biggest busts in recent memory Tuesday when an ordinary building in South Augusta turned out to house the most complex marijuana lab authorities say they've ever found in the area. Based on an anonymous tip received two weeks ago, investigators moved in on the building at 1302 Clark Drive at 6 p.m. and discovered an extensive marijuana growing operation inside, Lt. Robert Partain said. Ronnie William Hall and his son, Ronnie Shedrick Hall, both of North Augusta, were arrested along with two other men Tuesday, Lt. Partain said. The men used climate-controlled rooms and lights to grow the plants since September. Full story -- The Augusta Chronicle
Braves' Smoltz out for the season
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The sense of disbelief was palpable in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse, an expression of incredulity registered on every player's face. The diagnosis of a torn ligament in John Smoltz's right elbow and the news that he'd miss the 2000 season rocked the team Wednesday morning as severely as news of Andres Galarraga's cancer did last spring. ``That's a big obstacle to overcome because he's a big part of the pitching staff,'' right fielder Brian Jordan said. ``It's not a good day in the neighborhood.'' Smoltz, whose torn medial collateral ligament was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Tuesday night, will undergo Tommy John surgery to replace the ligament March 23. The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Full story --The Augusta Chronicle
Gun-control bill passed in Georgia Senate
ATLANTA -- The Georgia Senate overwhelmingly passed Gov. Roy Barnes' gun-control bill Wednesday, after a coalition of Atlanta Democrats and some Republicans lost by a much closer margin a bid to make the legislation more restrictive. The bill, approved 51-3, would stiffen penalties for gun owners convicted of providing handguns to kids or bringing firearms to or near a school or school bus. It also would make it a crime for a convicted felon to try to get a firearm. But what took up most of a lengthy floor debate Wednesday was an amendment proposed by Sen. David Scott that would make it a misdemeanor to leave a handgun where a ``reasonable person'' would expect it to be accessible to children.Full story -- The Augusta Chronicle
Augusta-area voters favor Bush, Gore
Local primary results mirrored those of the nation Tuesday, as both political parties' favorites won their contests.
Legislators OK tobacco tax break, ban vending machines
ATLANTA -- Overcoming objections that they would be promoting the overseas marketing of tobacco to children, Georgia lawmakers Wednesday passed legislation giving income tax credits to a cigarette manufacturing plant in Macon.
Prices nearly double in 1 year
Alex and Jeanne Derrick's one-hour road trip to Augusta from Columbiacost them only about $1.45 in fuel Wednesday. Their Harley-Davidson gets 50 miles to the gallon, which is twice as economical as any of their cars.
Witness declines to testify
A jury should begin deliberations today to decide if a young Augusta man participated in a drive-by shooting that killed an 83-year-old woman.
State officials feud over local activism
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin denied Wednesday that he told state schools Superintendent Linda Schrenko not to get involved in the Richmond County Animal Control controversy, but Mrs. Schrenko insists he did.
Rank and file
Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Josh Bates, a senior at Midland Valley High School, leads his drill team at Midland Valley High School. The school's Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps held its U.S. Navy Inspection and Pass-in-Review on Wednesday before students and dignitaries.
Harbor project debated
SAVANNAH -- Deepening the Savannah harbor and channel from 42 to 48 feet probably does not threaten the area's drinking water supply; digging it any deeper might.
Accused ringleader pleads guilty in deal
AIKEN -- The leader of a burglary ring that went on a stealing spree last spring in Aiken County to support its members' drug habits pleaded guilty Tuesday, ending a two-day trial that could have resulted in a life prison sentence.
Worker saved after collapse from stale air
ATHENS, Ga. - A University of Georgia worker said Tuesday ``the grace of Jesus Christ and the adrenalin'' helped him and his fellow workers rescue a co-worker who collapsed at the bottom of a campus manhole later found to contain dangerously low levels of oxygen.
Grandson describes drive-by shooting
When Darrell Moore stepped out of his grandmother's Eighth Avenue home the night of July 11, 1997, he dropped to the ground as bullets began flying, he testified Tuesday.
Sheriff candidates decide on parties
With qualifying for November's Richmond County sheriff's election in sight, the two leading candidates have announced which political party banner they will run under.
Car tags, payouts offered to teachers
ATLANTA -- Teachers could get their own car tags and a $75,000 payout if disabled or killed on the job, based on a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Removal bill OK'd by House
ATLANTA -- Members of the General Assembly convicted of a felony would be removed from office under a proposed constitutional amendment passed Tuesday by Georgia's House.
Protesters rally against area facility
Animal activists gathered Tuesday on the front steps of the Municipal Building to protest conditions at the Richmond County Animal Control facility.
Blacksmith teaches craft
DOUGLAS, Ga. -- David "Country" McWilliams' weekend work has a nice ring to it.
Aiken readies for festival
AIKEN -- Aiken is saddling up for this weekend's Festival of Horses, which will give the public a rare look at the elegant side of the city's equine industry.
A banner moment
Eddie George, with the city of Aiken Department of Public Safety Maintenance, tries for a good angle to take a photograph of one of the new banners at the intersection of Laurens Street and Park Avenue. Roger Leduc, Aiken's city manager, had requested Mr. George take the photos Tuesday in hope of getting one on the cover of the upcoming telephone book.
Restaurant faces discrimination suit
ST. HELENA ISLAND - Jesse Gantt's Beaufort Waffle House was ``too black,'' the St. Helena resident remembers his former boss as saying.
Indigent care deal brokered
In a ``spirit of cooperation,'' University Hospital officials agreed Tuesday to a once-unacceptable amount of $1.25 million to care for certified indigent in Richmond County -- a cut of $750,000.
Firm fined for safety breaches
Savannah River Site's top contractor faces $110,000 in fines for failing to ensure that some radioactive-waste containers and equipment met safety standards.
Churches mark start of Lent
Ministers made a cross of ashes on the foreheads of about 60 faithful parishioners Wednesday at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection on Greene Street.
Acoss the area: Passed bill based on teacher attack
ATLANTA -- The Senate passed a bill named for of an Augusta teacher who was attacked by one of her pupils.
Georgia Senate OKs gun-control measure
ATLANTA -- The Georgia Senate overwhelmingly passed Gov. Roy Barnes' gun-control bill Wednesday, after a coalition of Atlanta Democrats and some Republicans lost by a much closer margin a bid to make the legislation more restrictive.
Four men arrested in marijuana bust
Richmond County sheriff's narcotics investigators made one of their biggest busts in recent memory when a building in south Augusta turned out to house the most elaborate marijuana manufacturing operation authorities say they've ever found.
Campaign finance reform bill passes House
ATLANTA -- Without debate, the House unanimously passed a campaign finance bill Tuesday that has a number of provisions public-interest groups favor and one -- increasing contribution limits -- that some loathe.
Early returns favor Bush, Gore
Favorites were besting challengers in early election returns Tuesday in Richmond County.
Task force to study county's structure
A move to add a full-time, elected head for Columbia County's government will wait until at least next year. In the meantime, a civilians' task force will study the county government's structure and make recommendations of any changes.
Squatters say they will fight eviction
The owners of the last ``squatter's cabin'' nestled on public land between the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal don't plan to leave without a fight.
Man arrested in fatal shooting
One man was in custody Tuesday and two others were being sought by sheriff's investigators in the Saturday shooting of a man on Ninth Street.
Early spring: High temperature nears record
With unseasonably high temperatures and sunny days visiting Augusta, residents are reaping the benefits of an early spring.
Landfill poses no area threat, new study says
THOMSON -- Contaminated soil and water beneath the defunct Mesena Road Landfill is confined to the site and poses no threat to nearby residents, according to a new environmental study.
State Democrats expect weak turnout for caucuses
AIKEN -- Democrats will hold caucuses throughout the Palmetto State on Thursday in place of a presidential primary, but party officials are less than optimistic that people will attend.
County to bypass bids
Columbia County Commissioners agreed to bypass its normal bid procedure Tuesday night, in hopes of adding 4 million more gallons of water production by the summer.
DNA test disputed by convict
AIKEN -- A Graniteville man sentenced to die for kidnapping and killing an elderly woman wants his nine convictions and sentences overturned because his lawyers didn't try hard enough to discredit genetic tests used in his 1994 trial.
Council objects to school site
AIKEN - A school for children with emotional or behavioral disorders should not continue with its plans to locate in Monetta or anywhere else in Aiken County, according to a resolution passed unanimously Tuesday by Aiken County Council.
Graham: SRS job loss likely
AIKEN -- Some job losses at Savannah River Site are inevitable as the federal government tries to shrink itself, U.S. Rep. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday.
New library receives top-priority status
Although it is still a work in progress, Columbia County's plan for the next 1 cent, local-option sales tax now includes a main library as a top-priority project.
Across the area: Broken water main disrupts service
McCORMICK -- A 10-inch water main burst Tuesday morning in McCormick County, shutting down the water system for about 600 customers and causing county officials to issue a boil advisory that lasts through this evening.
Mrs. Clarence Smith
Mrs. Clarence ``Casey'' Alford Smith died Monday, March 6, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.
Miss Anne Lyston
MILLEN, Ga. -- Miss Anne Elizabeth Lyston, 77, of South Gray Street, died Monday, Feb. 28, 2000, at Bethany Nursing Center.
Mrs. Rubena Byrd
Mrs. Rubena Allen Byrd, of Collier Road, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mr. Luther Wilhite Jr.
Mr. Luther E. Wilhite Jr., 59, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at Doctors Hospital.
Mrs. Lottie Walden
Louisville, Ga. -- Mrs. Lottie Walden, 67, of U.S. Highway 1, died Thursday, March 2, 2000, at Doctors Hospital, Augusta.
Mrs. Eva Curry
FAIRFAX, S.C. -- Mrs. Eva Ritter Williams Curry, 81, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at C.M. Tucker Nursing Center, Columbia.
Mrs. Louise Flowers
ALLENDALE, S.C. -- Mrs. Louise ``Jinzy'' Johnson Flowers, 81, died Sunday, March 5, 2000, at Harper Nursing Center, Estill.
Mr. Henry Williams Jr.
BRUNSON, S.C. -- Mr. Henry Williams Jr., 93, died Saturday, March 4, 2000, at Lowcountry Medical General Hospital, Ridgeland.
Mr. Charlie Key
WARRENVILLE -- Mr. Charlie Key, 74, of Augusta Road, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Augusta.
Mrs. Mitsue Brown
WARRENVILLE -- Mrs. Mitsue Brown, 67, of Whaley Street, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at her residence.
Mrs. Frances Willingham
AIKEN -- Mrs. Frances Rhoden Willingham, 70, of Parkway South, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at her residence.
Mr. William Hughes
AIKEN -- Mr. William Kent Hughes, 73, of Columbia Highway North, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Mrs. Ruby James
RUTLEDGE, Ga. -- Mrs. Ruby Amsbaugh Ivie James, 87, of Hawkins Avenue, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at Morgan Memorial Hospital and Transitional Care Unit.
Mrs. Nancy Barrow
THOMSON -- Mrs. Nancy D. Barrow, 59, of Grady Street, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at McDuffie County Hospital.
Mr. Robert Baker
Mr. Robert Dennis ``Denny'' Baker, 53, of Martinez, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at University Hospital.
Mrs. Marguret Malcom
HEAD:Mrs. Marguret Malcom
Mr. Scott Priester
AIKEN -- Mr. Scott Leonard Priester, 45, of Cherokee Street, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Mr. Ralph Jones
Mr. Ralph E. Jones, 76, of Martinez, died Friday, March 3, 2000, at his residence.
Mrs. Ethel Norton
WRENS, Ga. -- Mrs. Ethel Norton, 67, of Frederick Street, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at Gibson Rest Home.
Mr. Sidney Gilmore
CONYERS, Ga. -- Mr. Sidney Lee Gilmore, 46, of Fieldstone View, died Friday, March 3, 2000, at his residence.
Mr. Leroy Green
CONWAY, N.C. -- Mr. Leroy Green, 82, died Friday, March 3, 2000, at his residence.
Mrs. Louise Brown
Mrs. Louis Herrington Brown, 75, of Blanchard Road, Evans, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at University Hospital.
Mr. Frederick Jones
NEW YORK -- Mr. Frederick ``Freddy'' Jones died Sunday, Feb. 27, 2000, at Harlem Hospital Center.
Mr. Edmund Garnett
LOS ANGELES -- Mr. Edmund Garnett, 81, of Meramont Drive, died Friday, March 3, 2000, at his residence.
Mr. Clyde Godbee
WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- Mr. Clyde Godbee, 81, of Victory Drive, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.
Mrs. Lena Corley
AIKEN -- Mrs. Lena Padgett Corley, 76, died Sunday, March 5, 2000, at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Mr. Al Posey
LANGLEY -- Mr. Al Posey, 75, of Jackson Street, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Augusta.
MILLEN, Ga. -- LaJasmine Denise Spells, 3 months, infant daughter of LaSwan Powell and Burman Spells, died Sunday, March 5, 2000, at Jenkins County Hospital.
Mrs. Kathryn Childs
Mrs. Kathryn Davenport Childs, 80, of Redwood Drive, died Monday, March 6, 2000, at University Hospital.
Mr. Charlie Key
WARRENVILLE -- Mr. Charlie Key, 74, of Augusta Road, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Augusta.
Hike diabetes funding
Contrast these two dollar amounts: The taxpayer-funded National Institutes of Health spends up to $75 million an hour on medical research.
Urges continuous energy conservation
The world is hanging on hopes that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will increase production so gas and heating oil prices will drop. At the same time, an e-mail message is circulating urging a three-day ``gas-out'' April 7-9 to drive down gasoline prices. Both measures fail to address the long-term solution -- consistent conservation. Estella Hernandez, Martinez
Says Allen's remarks misrepresented
After reading the editorial, ``Insulting Christ'' on the Feb. 25 Opinion page, I was left with the question, ``Who wasn't thinking clearly? Was it Rep. Ben Allen, D-Augusta, or the person writing the article. Melvin Lowry, Augusta
Says McCain should apologize
Let it be noted that U.S. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. -- the South Carolina campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- has an honorary degree from Bob Jones University. Wilma Franz, Aiken
Denies more gun laws will stop killing
I once heard a local news person say that in days gone by, the fastest measurement of time was the speed of light, but today's measurement is the length of time that expires between a shooting and the call by Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy for more gun control. Justen Wonderly, Evans
Maybe one of the people John Rocker was referring to on the subway in New York was Yankees outfielder Daryl Strawberry. N. Carter, Evans
Harbin to the rescue
Columbia County's school system recently lost track of about 150 students because of a glitch in new pupil information software installed last summer. The error might have robbed Columbia schools of nearly $340,000, even though the students were enrolled and attending classes -- that is, if state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Martinez, had not come to the rescue.
Urges firing of animals' 'grim reaper'
You can't begin to comprehend the horror with which I read the March 3 lead news article. The gist was that Richmond County Animal Control Director Jim Larmer hopes to reinstate the gas chamber as a method of euthanizing animals in Richmond County. Is this man insane or just a Machiavellian sadist? Jim Burcham, Hephzibah
Hits coverage of national campaign
The March 3 article on page 9A about the GOP debate in California illustrates the problem the American public has in becoming informed about the positions of the candidates on the issues in the campaign. Gene England, Aiken
Calls legislator 'well-paid lobbyist'
As the father of three daughters, my worst nightmare is that I will get a phone call informing me that one of my children has been injured or killed by a drunken driver. I dare say that all of us who are parents share that same concern. Sonny Pittman, Augusta
Backs Reform Party to fix nation's ills
It should please and amaze voters that our U.S. House of Representatives voted 422-0 to repeal the earning limits on senior citizens on Social Security benefits. The president said he would sign the bill if it did not have any add-on amendments like tax cuts. Robert F. Periano, Augusta
Not on our dime
Gov. Roy Barnes is using a computer program to keep track of legislators' voting habits. So what? Like it or not, in this era of information overload, computers track everything from our spending habits to our medical records. You can't drive your car these days without setting into motion a complicated system of computers. There is simply no escaping it.
Wants action on animal control issue
I question the compassion and competence of the Richmond County Animal Control Director Jim Larmer. I read in The Chronicle recently of his plans to reinstate the animal gas chamber. He mentions this would be less stressful for his employees. The Chronicle article of 1998 told of instances where animals that had been placed in the gas chamber would sometimes ``wake up'' while employees were disposing of their bodies. The employees would have to take them back to the facility and put them in the chamber again. Debra R. McKenzie, Grovetown
It's Bush vs. Gore
Georgia, being one of 16 Super Tuesday primary states, didn't get nearly the attention from GOP presidential candidates that South Carolina's critical stand-alone primary did a few weeks ago. But the result was much the same -- a blowout win for Texas Gov. George W. Bush -- not only in Georgia, but in most of the other states as well.
The Columbia County legislative delegation to Georgia's General Assembly has struck a proper chord by proposing to appoint a panel whose mission would be to create options for a new county governmental structure, with establishment of a county-wide elected chief executive officer as their most attractive proposal.
Slam S.C. legislator for comments
A year ago Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. truly impressed us with his arguments during the Clinton impeachment trial. A few times we even wished we lived onthe other side of the Savannah River so we could help re-elect him this coming November. James and Audrey Keagle, Evans
Rebuts editorial on 'jail disgrace'
The Feb. 27 editorial (``Lincoln County disgrace'') was extremely harsh. We all have areas that need improvement, and the Lincoln County Jail, like most others, can always find areas that need to be improved or made more efficient. But certainly not to the extent that we are a ``disgrace to LincolnCounty, our state and our nation.'' Sheriff Edwin L. Bentley, Lincolnton
Questions statistics on abortions
It always amazes me to read the pro-lifers statistics on how many unborn babies (fetuses) are murdered every year. They say in the millions, but where do they get these figures? I always thought what went on between a patient and her physician was privileged information. Yes, there are other options, but where are the pro-lifers when these young women need help and understanding? Belle LeRoy, Belvedere
Notes Museum of History's importance
The recent announcement of the new name of the Augusta Museum of History offers an opportunity to remind the area residents of the importance of the museum to the city of Augusta. The name change highlights the roles of the museum as a depository of information and artifacts that relate to the history of this region, and as a presenter of this material in ways that increase the understanding of this history. Gary and Rozelle Dinwiddie, Augusta
More reasons to quit smoking
Smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to get life-threatening blood infections or meningitis from a type of bacteria that usually causes pneumonia, a study found.
Studies: Night light won't cause nearsightedness
Two new studies suggest that parents who leave the night light on won't make their children nearsighted after all.
Two scientists assail book on the biology of rape
Two scientists have launched a new attack on the year's most provocative book, ``A Natural History of Rape,'' which portrays rape as a natural product of evolution and suggests all men could be rapists.
Prozac's reign as top antidepressant ending
NEW YORK -- Prozac, the drug that changed the way America thinks about mental illness and became a part of pop culture, is losing its title as the nation's top-selling antidepressant.
Extinction recovery may take roughly 10 million years
For all practical purposes, when a species is gone, it's gone. Scientists analyzed fossils and calculated it takes about 10 million years after a plant or animal becomes extinct before anything resembling it reappears.
A customer at the Shell SmartPump gets a fillup at the Shell station in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday.
Severe heart inflammation readily curable, but under-diagnosed
A rare but deadly heart disease with symptoms that mimic the flu is curable if doctors figure out what it is in time and give the heart some help, researchers say.
More good news for beta blocker use in heart failure patients
CHICAGO -- A drug that has been shown to save the lives of heart failure patients can also ease their symptoms and reduce hospitalizations, an international study of 4,000 people found.
Voters cast ballots in cyberspace
PHOENIX -- Mary Rose Wilcox made election history today simply by touching a computer mouse. At 12:01 a.m., the Maricopa County Supervisor voted in Arizona's Democratic presidential primary via the Internet, the nation's first such ballot cast in a binding election for public office.
USDA releases new national standards for organic food
WASHINGTON -- The government today released new national standards for growing and processing organic food that will bar the use of genetic engineering or irradiation.