Business briefs: Retail sales rise despite high prices
WASHINGTON -- Americans, unfazed by rising interest rates and higher gasoline prices, snapped up cars, clothing and groceries in February and caused retail sales to jump by 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Financial reforms slow to gain momentum
More than four months after federal legislation removed regulatory barriers among the nation's financial institutions, the people who represent banks, investment agencies and insurance companies say change has been slow to happen.
Davis OKs purchase of 5 stations
Davis Broadcasting Inc., the owner of five Augusta radio stations targeting black consumers, has agreed to be purchased by the nation's largest urban radio network.
Business briefs: Fannie Mae plans minority home loans
WASHINGTON -- Fannie Mae is launching a 10-year, $2 trillion campaign to finance home purchases by minorities, women, new immigrants and other underserved segments of American society.
Golden coins hard to find in Augusta area
It's not real gold. In fact, it's worth only a dollar. But the U.S. Mint's new golden dollar coin is a rare find at local banks and merchants.
Belgian endive is a wonderful little pale-green member of the chicory family.
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.
The best-selling Merck Manual of Medical Information -- Home Edition is now available online for free, at www.merckhomeedition.com. It's ad-free and searchable.
A quiche for real men
They arrive at the station at 7 a.m. to put in a 24-hour shift, leaving behind wives and children to protect my family and yours. Some days they spend hours waiting for the fire bell to ring, but on other days they'll answer half a dozen calls before lunch. They're the envy of every 4-year-old boy, and a hero to anyone who has ever needed their help.
In the know
MR. SPEAKER: Author Richard Hyatt will sign copies of his book, Mr. Speaker, The Biography of Tom Murphy, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1336 Augusta West Parkway. The book about the presiding officer of the Georgia Hou
Every day, the clerks at the Brickle's Cleaners and Laundry in Evans look at the box in the corner collecting dust.
Lease approved for Stallions
The season is still a few weeks away, but Frank Lawrence, owner of the Augusta Stallions arena2football team, is already feeling like a winner. On Tuesday morning, the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority finally approved a lease agreement making the coliseum the Stallions' home field for the next three years. ``I just want to thank the authority for their efforts on our behalf,'' said Mr. Lawrence. ``I'm just really pleased to have a chance to play in the arena. The players are in town, camp starts this week, the players have found enough jobs. The quarterback has a job ... We just look forward to playing in the arena and having a good season.'' In approving the contract, the authority agreed to cover the costs of building a locker room, a training room, showers and toilets for the football team. Full story -- The Augusta Chronicle
New rules may threaten PE classes
On any given day, Sharon Sullivan leads her middle school physical education class through a variety of activities, such as flag football, soccer and volleyball.
Lawmakers water down cruelty bill
ATLANTA -- The Georgia House weakened a controversial bill on animal cruelty Wednesday, reducing the penalties and removing neglect as an offense.
Neighbor starts fund for reward
Concerned over the safety of her three daughters and other children in the community, a neighbor of the 4-year-old Augusta girl critically injured by a hit-and-run driver established a reward fund Wednesday to assist police in finding the driver.
Council begins fulfilling Westinghouse promises
AIKEN -- The Aiken City Council has begun fulfilling its promises to Westinghouse Government Services, easing the corporate giant's move to Aiken.
Firm uses old SRS equipment
Savannah River Site executives took time Wednesday to tour a local business that has found new uses for old SRS equipment.
Budget is approved by panel
ATLANTA -- Besides adding nearly $8 million in ``pork'' projects, Georgia Senate budget writers Tuesday mostly tweaked Gov. Roy Barnes' $14.4 billion 2001 budget request before sending it on to the Senate floor.
Across the area: Man accidentally kills self with gun
An Augusta man accidentally shot himself dead early Wednesday morning after pointing what he thought was an unloaded gun at his face and pulling the trigger, investigators said.
Chief says he will quit second job
Burke County's head of fire, ambulance and transit services Tuesday defended his decision to take on a second job and said he'll quit doubling as a campus officer if it jeopardizes the position he's held for 13 years.
Chairman blasts EMA chief
WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- In a scene resembling a classroom harangue, Burke County Commission Chairman Ellis Godbee blasted the county's Emergency Management Agency chief Tuesday for moonlighting as a campus security guard.
County revises projects scheduled for two cities
Twelve hours after Columbia County commissioners clashed with one another over how much sales tax money Harlem and Grovetown would receive, they presented a revised list of projects to representatives of the cities.
Across the area: Missing cow lured, captured by owner
Haskell Boyd, who accidentally released seven cows onto Atomic Road last week, called police Tuesday and said they can stop looking for the last animal, North Augusta Public Safety said.
Attorneys argue fees in case
Each side got in its final word Wednesday about how much attorneys should be paid for winning a whistleblower's lawsuit, a legal battle that included a victorious detour to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Officials clash over adding workers
Keven Mack and Lee Beard appear to have a difference of opinion.
Corps might change view on lock and dam
The Army Corps of Engineers is eager to renegotiate its position on closing New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, according to a former congressman.
Surveying of teachers draws fire
AIKEN -- South Carolina House Republicans who accused Gov. Jim Hodges of playing ``raw politics'' have been doing exactly the same thing, Aiken County school board Chairman John Bradley said Wednesday.
Animal control under examination
Richmond County Animal Control Advisory Board Chairwoman Sallie Manning finally got to tell city commissioners some of the board's concerns about the city pound Wednesday, and one of them has triggered an internal audit of the facility's records.
Corps may change position on lock and dam
The Army Corps of Engineers is eager to renegotiate its position on closing the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, a former congressman told riverfront homeowners Tuesday night.
City enforces picture rules
AIKEN -- Nestled behind a serpentine wall in the shade of ancient oaks and cedars, Aiken's Hopeland Gardens are a popular backdrop for pictures, especially pictures of brides.
Police have no suspects
What might have been a promising lead in the hit-and-run accident that left a 4-year-old Augusta girl in critical condition turned out to be nothing Tuesday, leaving investigators without a suspect for the second-straight day.
Spelling bee slated for Saturday
Pupils from area school districts will participate Saturday in the local qualifying round for the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.
Mother sentenced in murder-suicide attempt
AIKEN -- A former plastic surgeon who slashed her 7-year-old son's throat in a murder-suicide attempt in 1998 was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in a work-release program and five years probation.
Panel OKs second Hendrick trial bill
ATLANTA -- Georgia's Senate Judiciary Committee recommended passage Tuesday of a bill by Rep. Jack Connell that would give Juvenile Court judges the power to order adult trials for 13- and 14-year-olds accused of aggravated battery.
Committee votes to close reservoir to public
Augusta's city reservoir off Highland Avenue is about to become a lot less like a park and much more like a drinking water treatment plant.
Keyleum Smith, an employee of Ty Tyner, smooths gravel Wednesday afternoon on the greenway on Willow Street in Athens, Ga. The Willow Street Greenway project was made possible by local sales tax dollars.
Schools may cut aides in third-grade classes
Columbia County third-grade classes would be without paraprofessionals under a proposal presented to school board members Tuesday.
Officials to discuss division of sales tax
Columbia County commissioners will meet today with representatives from Harlem and Grovetown to discuss dividing up more than $57 million in projected local-option 1 cent sales tax revenue.
Plan for city art goes nowhere
The Downtown Development Authority's Art In The Round project has landed firmly in the rough.
School counselor will run for Congress
TRENTON, S.C. -- George Brightharp isn't afraid of giants.
Senators approve injection
ATLANTA -- Georgians convicted of capital crimes that occur on or after May 1 will face execution by lethal injection under legislation approved overwhelmingly Wednesday by the state Senate.
Edgefield gets closer to zoning
EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- Time is running out for the Concerned Citizens for Edgefield County.
Baker touts full-sentence mandate
ATLANTA -- State prison inmates convicted of the most serious crimes should be forced to spend 100 percent of their sentences behind bars, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker said Wednesday.
Advisory board under scrutiny
The Richmond County Animal Control board that tried to promote pet adoptions, a spaying initiative and more humane treatment of animals at the county pound might be neutered by a city commission action.
Police seize marijuana plants
For the second time in a week, narcotics investigators have broken up a marijuana factory in south Richmond County.
Three accused in scam
Three people connected with a now-defunct dance studio that was the subject of a successful civil lawsuit were indicted Tuesday on theft and racketeering charges.
Irish get reprieve on Friday
SAVANNAH -- Irish tradition: corned beef on St. Patrick's Day.
House passes measure to protect children
ATLANTA -- Under a bill that passed the House on Tuesday, physicians soon could have the authority to keep children for 24 hours when they suspect abuse.
Democrat proposes public financing bill
ATLANTA -- After months of trying to persuade some Georgia lawmakers to back public financing of state elections, campaign finance reform advocates now have a high-ranking House Democrat working on their behalf.
State looks into board vote
ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia Attorney General's Office has formally asked Clarke County Board of Education members if they privately planned the firing of former Superintendent Lucian Harris through discussions that were ``intended to circumvent'' state open public meetings laws.
Campaign fund bill clears Senate
ATLANTA -- Virtually along party lines, Georgia Senate Democrats passed a campaign finance bill Wednesday that was branded a ``sham'' by their Republican colleagues because it increases contribution limits.
More flights doubtful
ATLANTA -- Augusta's air service is more likely to get worse than better, a senior official with Delta Air Lines told two dozen po-litical and business leaders Wednesday.
Advocate speaks for victims
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The letter announcing an upcoming parole hearing for inmate Charles Bradley landed on the desk of Anne Laver along with a note from Aiken Public Safety Chief Pete Frommer.
School system to buy buses
At least 46 Richmond County school buses are expected to reach retirement age by next year.
Mrs. Bessie Turner
GORDON, Ga. - Mrs. Bessie C. Turner, 76, died Wednesday, March 15, 2000, at McDuffie County Hospital, Thomson.
Mr. Freddie Dunbar
AIKEN - Mr. Freddie Dunbar, 75, of Williams Lane, died Monday, March 13, 2000, at his residence.
Mr. Christopher Andrews
Mr. Christopher A. Andrews, 22, of Garden Brook Drive, died Friday, March 10, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mr. David Dawson
Mr. David Kenneth Dawson, 40, of Flintwood Drive, died Tuesday, March 14, 2000.
Mr. Douglas Faciane
LEESVILLE, La. - Mr. Douglas T. Faciane, 68, of Dawson Drive, died Saturday, March 11, 2000.
Mr. William Barrs Sr.
SCREVEN COUNTY, Ga. -- Mr. William Brooks Barrs Sr., 79, died Friday, March 10, 2000, at Tift General Hospital, Tifton.
Mrs. Ulysses Griffin
GRANITEVILLE - Mrs. Ulysses ``Eunice'' Martin Griffin, 65, of Rainbow Falls Road, died Saturday, March 11, 2000, at Monefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.
Mrs. Pensacola Storey
EASTOVER, S.C. -- Mrs. Pensacola Haithcock Storey, 97, died Monday, March 13, 2000, at her residence.
Mrs. Pat Price
BARTOW, Ga. -- Mrs. Pat Elizabeth Price, 82, died Tuesday, March 14, 2000, at Oconee Health Care.
Mr. Phlanoy Brooks
GIBSON, Ga. - Mr. Phlanoy A. Brooks, 84, of College Street, died Tuesday, March 14, 2000, at University Hospital, Augusta.
Mr. James Pryor Sr.
Mr. James ``Jack'' Pryor Sr., of Grand Boulevard, died Saturday, March 11, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Mrs. Bertie Harvey
SAVANNAH - Mrs. Bertie Bennett Harvey, 77, died Tuesday, March 14, 2000, at Moss Oaks Health Care Center, Pooler.
Mr. Wilson Ryans
Mr. Wilson Bennie Ryans, 78, of Tate Road, died Saturday, March 11, 2000, at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
George Lee III
Bishop George D. Lee III, of Evans, minister and founder of Living Word Christian Center, died Sunday, March 12, 2000, in Atlanta. He was 48.
Mr. William Jordan
WINFIELD, Ga. - Mr. William Thomas Jordan, 67, of Mistletoe Road, died Wednesday, March 15, 2000, at his residence.
Mr. Robert Atkinson
LENEXA, Kan. -- Mr. Robert J. ``Bob'' Atkinson, 60, died Monday, March 13, 2000, at his residence.
Mrs. Nora Swann
UNION POINT, Ga. -- Mrs. Nora Mathis Swann, 92, died Monday, March 13, 2000, at Greene Point Nursing Home.
Mr. John Barnes
WHITE PLAINS, Ga. -- Mr. John Hugh Barnes, 46, of Myrtle Street, died Tuesday, March 14, 2000, at Athens Regional Hospital, Athens.
Mr. William Robertson Sr.
HARLEM - Mr. William ``Bill'' David Robertson Sr., 69, of Miles Road, died Monday, March 13, 2000, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Augusta.
The latest duel between the Clinton-Gore administration and the National Rifle Association and its allies in the Congress is a modern-day version of a wild West shoot-out.
Expresses outrage over quiz show
I never thought I would ever write a letter to The Chronicle, but after what I saw March 7 on ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? I can't help myself -- I am outraged. Eva-Maria Proudfit, Martinez
Opposes use of Messerly plant sludge
As a citizen of Jefferson County, I oppose the Georgia Environmental Protection Division's proposal to amend the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and allow sludge from Augusta's J. B. Messerly Water Pollution Control Plant to be applied on approximately 558 acres in Jefferson County. Larry M. Hodges, Louisville
When a public employee violates a city ordinance he ought to be held accountable, just as any private citizen would. So why is Richard Acree getting off without so much as a slap on the wrist?
Seeks equal standards for firefighters
Did you know that Augusta has never had female firefighters? Did you know that there are six female firefighter trainees at this time? These trainees should be expected to take and pass the same tests that male trainees take, right? You'd think so, but it is not the case. It would be pretty scary should one of these trainees end up at a station in your neighborhood. Should the standards be lowered for the males? I certainly hope not. Someone needs to be able to put out the fire. Someone needs to be able to save a life. Terry Henley, North Augusta
Questions events at rheumatoid clinic
It is beyond my comprehension what is happening at the downtown Veterans Administration's rheumatoid clinic. Effective Feb. 29, we veterans lost three great rheumatologists from the Medical College of Georgia, for whatever reason. All that we are being told is that these three doctors will be replaced by one doctor per visit.
School councils fad
The latest educational fad may be coming soon to a school near you. Gov. Roy Barnes' education reform bill would, among a host of other changes, create school councils that would have the ability to make sweeping policy decisions for public schools all across Georgia.
Wants Larmer to leave shelter now
When I read March 8 Chronicle quoting Augusta Mayor Bob Young as saying the Animal Control Board ``overstepped its bounds'' and was really just a ``dog-bite board,'' it became clear to me that a whitewash job was in progress. Elaine van der Linden, Belvedere
Urges re-evaluation of dress code
It's that time of year again for Columbia County students to wear skirtsshorts and the schools are once again acting like policemen in deciding who should be sent home for being improperly clothed. Unfortunately, it's usually up to the teacher to decide if the shorts are too short, and some teachers think they are playing God in deciding. They choose to interrupt teaching and educating, as they see fit to embarrass each child. They also make us, as parents, feel that we are improperly dressing our child. Why not just call the Department of Family and Children Services on us? Lisa Suppa, Evans
Backs 'model citizen' in marijuana case
Our local prosecutors have been working too hard or just don't have any morals. Lewis Covar Sr. has been a model citizen and has never hurt anybody. Our local prosecutors have to know that by filing this suit it's not doing anything to Lewis Covar Jr. (who was convicted of using marijuana).Joe Nirenberg, Beech Island
Mulls `Rants and Raves,' other topics
As much as I like the idea of the ``Rants and Raves,'' you folks have got to do something to improve it. I have been trying to read your online version because the topics are more forthright there than you will publish in the daily editions. However, one thing really irks me: It is poorly set up and difficult to follow any thread. Get your act together and straighten it up; take a look at any newsgroup program and get a clue. Alan Horner, Augusta
Calls shelter 'barbaric, shameful'
I was upset by the recent euthanizing of more than 80 dogs at Richmond County Animal Control. It is with great interest that I have followed the events leading up to this latest disaster. Based onthe history of this ``shelter,'' I am not at all surprised it came to this. Shawn M. Neal, Evans
Dems help NRA
While President Clinton has been blasting away at the National Rifle Association, top elected Democrats in Georgia backed the nation's premier Second Amendment defender during a crucial state Senate vote.
Sports Council need
Recently we noted the pressing need to stabilize annual funding for the Augusta-Richmond County Museum, at a minimum of $300,000 annually, via a 1998 hike on the local hotel-motel tax. The museum needs the money because the Augusta Commission last year shocked the organization with a $100,000 annual funding cut, with the money running out by 2002.
Advises removing all flags, monuments
I am sick of this mess over the Confederate flag in South Carolina. I have an answer that may solve the whole problem. Take down every flag in the country except the United States flag, and I will fight you to the death to keep that one up. There is also a movement to take down all Confederate monuments. Let's take down all monuments, and I mean the monuments in Washington, D.C., as well, because I'm sure somebody can find something wrong with all of them. We should also take down all pictures honoring anyone, because somebody may be offended. Robert P. McConnell Jr., Hephzibah
A risk worth taking
Now that the major parties' presidential primaries have produced near certain nominees, Vice President Al Gore will likely step up his attacks on GOP rival George W. Bush's ``risky tax scheme.''
Offers ideas to improve animal control
I am getting tired of the so-called animal advisory board and all the do-gooders, including those who live in Columbia County and are not residents in Richmond County. There will always be so-called cruelty to animals until Augusta-Richmond County is united and has enforceable laws that make people responsible for their pets. I would love to see some of the do-gooders spend a few weeks with the employees of the animal shelter and then see what they have to say. Dave Colwell Sr., Augusta
Denies `excuse' cause of funding delay
I want to correct an erroneous statement in your recent editorial, ``Harbin to the rescue,'' which dealt with a funding issue for the Columbia County schools. The issue arose when the Georgia Department of Education was informed on Dec. 16 of the error, due to new software, in student counts submitted by Columbia County for additional mid-year funding. Bill Gambill, Atlanta
Study: Toxic chemicals in diesel exhausts pose cancer risk
WASHINGTON -- Toxic chemicals in diesel exhausts from trucks and buses are responsible for at least 125,000 cancers over a lifetime, according to a study by a coalition of state and local air pollution control agencies.
Arrests made in Internet insider information case
NEW YORK -- Nineteen people have been charged with illegally pocketing more than $8 million from secrets traded in online chat rooms, an insider trading case that prosecutors say was the first to use the Internet.
Demand high for Stephen King's e-story
NEW YORK -- Getting a copy of Stephen King's new ghost story is proving to be a nightmare.
Project aims to improve global sanitation in 25 years
GENEVA -- An estimated 3 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation and more than 5,000 children die daily as a result of diseases related to dirty water, according to a U.N. report published Monday.
New York teen-ager win $100,000 with encryption research
WASHINGTON -- A 17-year-old Romanian-born girl who embedded a computer message in the gene sequence of a strand of DNA has been named the best young scientist in the country.
Scientist sees flies as solution to waste problem
TIFTON, Ga. -- A University of Georgia scientist thinks he has found the solution, in the form of harmless flies, to the growing problem of how to dispose of excess manure at hog and poultry farms.
First pigs successfully cloned
LONDON -- The group that created Dolly the sheep, the world's first clone of an adult mammal, has produced the first cloned pigs, raising hopes of a new source of transplants for humans.
Looking for love in all the odd places
They're the questions that have puzzled poets and singers since time began: what is love and how do you know it's more than just lust? This week, scientists armed with millions of dollars' worth of brain scanners will start a unique series of tests to find their own answer. They'll identify which bit of the brain is fired by feelings of romance and which by feelings of sexual attraction.
Billionaire envisions free 'Ivy League' education online
WASHINGTON -- Computer software billionaire Michael Saylor is donating $100 million to start an online university he says will offer a free ``Ivy League'' education to anyone.
Study of salmon helps Alzheimer's disease research
Eating the fish's meat won't help those who suffer the debilitating illness. But salmon turn out to be an excellent model for Alzheimer's disease and aging in humans.
Study of salmon helps Alzheimer's disease research
Eating the fish's meat won't help those who suffer the debilitating illness. But salmon turn out to be an excellent model for Alzheimer's disease and aging in humans.
Sears, AOL team up in marketing and product development
NEW YORK -- In the latest linkup between companies representing the ``old'' economy and the new, Sears and America Online are forming an alliance to use the Internet to expand their businesses on and off the Web.