At the movies: 'Narc'

Video watch

New Year, New Art

Standing ovations
The Mary Pauline Gallery, 982 Broad St., will hold an opening reception for its new exhibition today from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibition features work by Augusta artist Philip Morsberger and Dederick Ward, who works in Anacortes, Wash. The exhibition will hang through Feb. 22. For more information, call 724-9542.

At the movies: "Adaptation"

At the movies: 'Narc'
Amid the spectacle and sentimentality that overwhelm the multiplexes every holiday season, the gaudy prestige pictures meant to win over audiences and Oscar voters alike, "Narc" arrives like a piece of cold steel smacked against your unsuspecting temple.

Ramblin' Rhodes: Bluegrass artist had ties to Augusta
Grand Ole Opry star Jim McReynolds, who died on Dec. 31, lived in Augusta in the late 1940s and sang with his brother, Jesse, on the Smokey Mountaineers program on radio station WGAC.

Wine and dine
Looking for traditional, Southern-comfort food downtown? Cafe 209 just may fit the bill.

Mini reviews

Food, service sizzle at T-Bonz
Maybe it was the holiday spirit. Maybe it was the invigorating chill outside. Maybe it was the scent of grilled steaks wafting through the air.

Some film comebacks were memorable

Video watch
JUST OUT: Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat, Signs and Secret Ballot

Concert calendar

New Year, New Art
The Morris Museum of Art has a double-header planned.

Applause calendar

Performing arts center gets mixed reaction
The facts are in.

Wine and dine

Trio bucks trend of chamber quartets
The chamber-music world has long been ruled by the string quartet. It's the chamber configuration most often written for and the chamber performance most often heard.

Ramblin' Rhodes: Bluegrass artist had ties to Augusta

'Dinner Party' makes Georgia debut with Stage III
The Stage III theater company wasn't looking for a Georgia debut when it gained rights to Neil Simon's mystery play The Dinner Party.

At the movies: 'Just Married'

At the movies: 'Just Married'
You don't need to go to a theater to see "Just Married," because you've already seen it.

Club calendar

Mini reviews
Movies are listed with theater location through Thursday. Reviews without star ratings are from critics other than Roger Ebert. Listings are subject to change. Call theaters for times. For an online movie guide, check out augusta.com/movies.

Food, service sizzle at T-Bonz

Concert calendar
A listing of upcoming concerts in the Augusta and surrounding areas.

Performing arts center gets mixed reaction

Applause calendar
GET LISTED: Send your event or group's schedule, pricing and other information to Steven Uhles, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send information by fax to 722-7403. Send e-mail to feature@augustachronicle.com. Please include a contact name and phone number.

At the movies: Antwone Fisher

Club calendar
Ready for a night on the town? Here's a sampling of specials and entertainment at area nightclubs.

Standing ovations

At the movies: Antwone Fisher
Antwone Fisher could have been another "I Am Sam" - a well-intentioned story that aims for Oscar but ultimately is so overwrought that it sags like a multi-hanky made-for-Lifetime flick. Its far more successful than last year's movie starring Sean Penn because it resists that urge, at least for its first three-fourths.

'Dinner Party' makes Georgia debut with Stage III

At the movies: "Adaptation"
This much we know is true: Charlie Kaufman wrote the screenplay for 1999's "Being John Malkovich," about a hidden portal that allows people to enter the actor's mind. It was heralded - and rightly so - for being bold and innovative, the product of a twisted, brilliant brain. The movie earned Kaufman an Academy Award nomination.

Trio bucks trend of chamber quartets

Some film comebacks were memorable
It's easy, when you're putting in your eight hours in a collection of cubicles under the harsh glare of fluorescent lighting, to imagine a life

More die in winter, but is it lack of vitamin D or baseball?

Kieran Tyrence Pound
Lawrence A. Pound Jr.

Ansley Morgan Thurmond

Dallas Lorraine Murray

Rodney Tymel Reid
Rodney Reid and Tammy C

Gabrielle Mariah Brown

Ansley Morgan Thurmond
Bruce and Kimberly Thurmond of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Ansley Morgan Thurmond, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Richard and Betty Ashworth of Augusta and Gene and Genevieve Thurmond of Tignall, Ga.

Marcus D. Dunbar Jr.

Ethan Gabriel Todd
Jason Michael and Sherry Burns Todd of North Augusta announce the birth of a son, Ethan Gabriel Todd, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Jerry and Pam Burns of North Augusta and Gary and Darla Todd of Warrenville.

Jennifer Hailey Gonella

Samuel Hammond Tudor
Mr. and Mrs. Cha

Treyon Ja'Micheal Alexander
Christopher Anthony Alexander and SeQuoia LeAndra Mann, both of Augusta, announce the birth

Kylee Melaina Wheat
Travis John and Kymberley Newman Wheat of Graniteville, S.C., announce the birth o

Travis Michael Faulkner

Victoria Madeline Perryman
Harper D. Deaner and April L. Per

Hannah Elizabeth Wright

J'nya Sanae Benson
James E. Benson Jr. and Tarika Williams, both of Edgefie

Megan Elaine Gordon

Gabrielle Mariah Brown
Michael L. and LaWanda J. Br

Jackson Daniel Evans

Ta'len Rahkeese Brown
A. Tyrone B

Rodney Tymel Reid

Dekota Allen Conner
Pau

Ansley Emelia Aufiero
Michael Kenneth and Sherry Loraine Aufiero of Mar

Cameryn Regan Cook
Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Cook of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Cameryn Regan Cook, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Brenda Hardy, Roscoe Cook and Beverly Carter, all of Augusta.

Alexis Kimberly Langley

Jendayi Genise Cunningham
Mr. and Mrs. Donnell Cunningham of Louisville, Ga., announce t

Cameryn Regan Cook

Maddyx Charlise Driggers
Michael Anthony and Dawn Kristina Driggers of Barnwell, S.C., announce the birth

Ansley Emelia Aufiero

Kieran Tyrence Pound

Quincy Orlando Brooks Jr.

Dekota Allen Conner

Samuel Hammond Tudor

Ta'len Rahkeese Brown

Dallas Lorraine Murray
Nicholas Murray and Kristina Lifsey, both of Harlem, announce the birth of a daughter, Dallas Lorraine Murray, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2002, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Gabriele Lifsey of Harlem and Jesse and Debbie Nutt of Grovetown.

Treyon Ja'Micheal Alexander

Brooks LeAnn Lively
Edmon and Kimberly Lively of Lincolnton, Ga., announce the birth of a daughter, Brooks LeAnn Lively, Monday, Dec. 30, 2002, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Alan LaGrone and Mr. and Mrs. Julious Lively Jr., all of Lincolnton.

Brooks LeAnn Lively

Alexis Kimberly Langley
Keith E. and Kimbe

Ethan Gabriel Todd

Quincy Orlando Brooks Jr.
Quincy Orlando Brooks and Tamara Lareese Worthy, both of August

Maddyx Charlise Driggers

Marcus D. Dunbar Jr.
Marcus D. and Carolina Dunbar of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Marcus D. Dunbar Jr., Monday, Dec. 23, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Enrique and Julia Morales and Mary Davis, all of Augusta.

Kylee Melaina Wheat

Megan Elaine Gordon

Victoria Madeline Perryman

Jennifer Hailey Gonella
James Garrett and Shylah Marie Gonella of Grovetown announce the birth of a daughter, Jennifer Hailey Gonella, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Don and Penny Gonella of Martinez and the late Addie Etheridge.

Jendayi Genise Cunningham

Travis Michael Faulkner
Tony and Beth Faulkner of North Augusta announce the birth of a son, Travis Michael Faulkner, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Abby Cleghorn of Aiken, John and Val Still and Brenda Cain, all of Augusta.

Jackson Daniel Evans
Jack and Cyndi Evans of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Jackson Daniel Evans, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lightner of Danielsville, Ga., and Walter Evans and Linda Fraser, both of Augusta.

Hannah Elizabeth Wright
Bill and Jennifer Wright of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Wright, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2002, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Pete Warren Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wright Sr., all of Augusta.

J'nya Sanae Benson

Can you hold the line for Mr. Castro?
MIAMI -- Two radio show hosts who use jumbled recordings of Fidel Castro to trick callers into believing they're talking with the Cuban president say they have duped another victim - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Odds and Ends
TAMPA, Fla. -- It's a chance of a lifetime to own a piece of history - chads and all.

Parrot saves couple from house fire
NORRFLAERKE, Sweden -- A fire alarm mimic he isn't, but a cockatiel named Gilbert sounded the right siren song when the house he lives in caught fire. His owners said the bird saved their lives.

Braves cut ties with Lockhart
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves didn't agree to a contract with second baseman Keith Lockhart by Wednesday's deadline, ending his six-year tenure with the team.

Braves cut ties with Lockhart

Stocks surge on drop in jobless claims
NEW YORK -- Wall Street bounced back Thursday after a drop in jobless claims raised hopes that the economy is indeed recovering. The Dow Jones industrials rose 180 points, erasing a loss of 178 over the previous two sessions.

Soft drink change-up

Business briefs

Downtown project is stalled

Economic developer appointed
Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce officials Wednesday introduced Richmond County's new economic developer - Walter Sprouse Jr., of North Carolina.

Soft drink change-up
The can of 7Up will taste the same, but it's now being brought to you by a local company.

Stocks fall on Gateway, Alcoa earnings news
NEW YORK -- Discouraging earnings news from Alcoa and Gateway jarred Wall Street Wednesday, giving blue chip stocks their biggest decline in a month as investors unloaded shares on concerns about the corporate outlook.

Economic developer appointed

Retailers confirming the weakest holiday season in decades

Tax tips: Watch out for these scams

Stocks fall on Gateway, Alcoa earnings news

Tax tips: Revving up retirement savings

Tax tips: Revving up retirement savings
WASHINGTON -- Taxpayers 50 and older who are worried they haven't been saving enough for retirement can start to remedy that problem immediately.

Stocks surge on drop in jobless claims

Downtown project is stalled
With $850,000 sitting in a bank, Downtown Development Authority members are wondering when they can start work to improve downtown, above and below the street.

Business briefs
WASHINGTON - Rates on 30-year mortgages edged up this week after dropping to a new low last week. But rates are still sufficiently low to be attractive to those thinking about buying a home and those considering refinancing the home they already own, economists said.

Officials propose growth agency

Officials propose growth agency
Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce officials' plans for luring new business to the area include the creation of a separately funded economic development agency.

Business briefs
TUSKEGEE, Ala. - Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone-Firestone have settled civil charges brought after a tire blowout and crash killed a civil-rights leader and injured two others, the judge said Wednesday.

Tax tips: Watch out for these scams
WASHINGTON -- Don't give money to anyone who promises to get you a tax refund or credit for slavery reparations, Social Security taxes, disabled access to pay telephones or any of the other scams that flourish during the tax-filing season.

Retailers confirming the weakest holiday season in decades
NEW YORK -- The already disappointing holiday shopping season turned out to be even more dismal than anyone anticipated.

Clemson tops Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Chrissy Floyd scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds leading Clemson to a 70-59 victory over Maryland on Thursday night.

Clemson tops Maryland

Planting the college seed

Former Hephzibah hoops star adds to long list of legal run-ins

Jaguars secure sweep

Caution: wrangling ahead

Tax policy backfires

S.C. Medicaid crisis

They're off and running

Fighting cybercrime

Zell Miller, party of one

'Tis the season to feel guilty...
Maybe it's just me, but the close of December - and impending advent of January - is always a guilt-filled time for me. I, along with countless others, am forced to stare FAILURE smack in the face: those resolutions I failed at, once again!

Books to entice kids to read
That's easy if your child enjoys reading. But what about those kids who don't like to read?

Planting the college seed
I grew up knowing that I would go to college. Both of my parents went to college, so there was never any question and I'm sure my fate was determined long before I was even conceived.

What are the symptoms of strep throat and how do I prevent/treat it?
Typical symptoms of strep throat, or Group A streptococcal infection, in a child above age three include: rather sudden onset of a sore throat and fever, without symptoms typical of a cold/upper respiratory infection (such as runny nose, cough, etc.), headache, mild stomach pain and nausea (usually from swallowing the infected mucus) and a sandpaper-type rash. Some vomiting may occur, but usually not more than one or two times. Hoarseness, redness of the eyes and diarrhea are distinctly unusual and may be signs that your child has a viral or other illness.

Family scrapbook
Ginger Pope, of North Augusta, took this photo of four girls sitting atop her husband's new truck. The girls are Ashley Pope, 6 (her daughter), Amnor Markwalter, 4, Anna Kate Nelson, 3, and Maddie Shriver, 5.

College prep begins early
Amy Chudgar, a senior at Lakeside High School, is now in the hand-wringing mode.

Calendar
Attention Parents: You need a night out! To help, we've identified several "Date Night" events for you. Just look for the "**" and make your plans. Sorry, babysitters aren't provided, but many of the events are free.

Now that the holidays have passed, it's time to simplify
Have you had it with elaborate holiday meals? So intricate, so detailed, so sumptuously savory...And so uninteresting to your children?

Feng shui injects passion in fashion
NEW YORK - Feng shui master Carole Swann Meltzer says most people think the ancient Chinese practice is limited to rules about sofa placement.

'Greek Wedding' shows split between immigrants and homeland
ATHENS, Greece -- It's certainly big and fat: squashing big-budget competition at the box office and now gaining extra buzz as a possible Oscar nominee. But is it really "Greek"?

'Sex and the City" to end after sixth season
LOS ANGELES -- "Sex and the City" will end after its sixth season, with the final episode airing early next year.

Fox's 'Joe Millionaire' cashes in with its debut ratings
NEW YORK -- "Joe Millionaire" can now be referred to as "Joe Mega-Hit."

In the know
We want to know what it means to be 30. Are you officially a grown-up on that birthday or is it just another year? Do men think about it the same way as women?

Health calendar
The health and fitness calendar is a listing of support groups, fitness and health activities and lectures. Send information to Health Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle.

ABC scores big in ratings with football coverage
NEW YORK -- ABC rang in 2003 with a sizeable ratings win. Though in third place for the season-to-date, it scored with a slate of college and pro football coverage that included the Orange, Rose, Sugar and top-rated Fiesta bowls.

Fishing report
It's the Year of the Ram for Augusta's Chinese community, but it's the Year of the Striper this year on Strom Thurmond Lake.

Fishing report

This plant makes a nice pet
Despite needing watering, feeding, and occasional help against pests, plants are generally easier to care for than animals. If you do still long for a four-legged pet yet want to avoid the hassles of a real animal, a "chia pet" my be the one for you.

This plant makes a nice pet

Weeds do not stay dormant in winter
Many folks put out pre-emergence herbicides in the fall to prevent winter weeds from rearing their ugly heads, but it doesn't always get them all.

Weeds do not stay dormant in winter

Jackets still perfect at home
ATLANTA - In its first home game in more than two weeks, Georgia Tech rediscovered the comforts of Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

I have trained my books to meet me half way

Home-field advantage goes to Furyk
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Jim Furyk felt right at home Thursday in the Mercedes Championships, where he polished off a 9-under 64 just 300 yards from his house and wound up in a share of the lead with Ernie Els.

Howell says controversy is costing Augusta
KAPALUA, Hawaii - Standing near the western tip of Maui and staring across a finger of the Pacific Ocean at the peaks of Molokai, the Plantation Course is a world away from eastern Georgia.

Masters on their mind

Home-field advantage goes to Furyk

Masters on their mind
KAPALUA, Maui -- Vijay Singh, often the last player to offer his opinion, was the first to bring up the touchiest subject in golf.

Garcia on a mission to stop Woods
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Sergio Garcia's goals remain the same, no matter how lofty they seem. He wants to win major championships and become the first player with money titles on both sides of the Atlantic.

Howell says controversy is costing Augusta

Garcia on a mission to stop Woods

Chomskis resigns as coach

Prep basketball scores

Modest Means

Chomskis resigns as coach
Despite taking over the Evans football program just two years ago, Lee Chomskis resigned from the head coaching job Wednesday.

Evans principal says change was needed
A day after accepting Lee Chomskis' resignation as Evans football coach, the school's principal said he was "looking at what was best for the kids."

Senators miss paycheck but surge to top of NHL

Members of Buzzards practice at open skate
EL PASO, Texas -- Members of the minor league hockey team banned from their home ice because of overdue rent payments paid $5 each to skate during an open session at the facility.

Senators miss paycheck but surge to top of NHL
NEW YORK -- For the past week, the Ottawa Senators played the way they did when they were kids: skating hard, scoring plenty and not thinking about the money.

Thrashers edge Lightning in overtime

Senators file for bankruptcy from creditors

Thrashers edge Lightning in overtime
TAMPA, Fla. -- The struggling Atlanta Thrashers took a valuable point away from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Thrashers reassign forward Chris Herperger to Chicago of AHL

Senators file for bankruptcy from creditors
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators filed for bankruptcy Thursday, seeking protection from creditors while they look for a buyer.

Thrashers reassign forward Chris Herperger to Chicago of AHL
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers sent forward Chris Herperger to Chicago of the AHL on Wednesday.

More die in winter, but is it lack of vitamin D or baseball?
The trouble with life in the fast lane is you get to the other end in an awful hurry.

Choice not more important than life

Kent guest column merely rhetoric

Augusta's legal system exemplary

Don't punish responsible pet owners

Give raises where needed and deserved

City worker dampens spirits

In the know

ABC scores big in ratings with football coverage

'Greek Wedding' shows split between immigrants and homeland

Health calendar

'Sex and the City" to end after sixth season

Family scrapbook

Now that the holidays have passed, it's time to simplify

What are the symptoms of strep throat and how do I prevent/treat it?

'Tis the season to feel guilty...

Books to entice kids to read

Calendar

Feng shui injects passion in fashion

Lynx road report
Friday: vs. Charlotte Checkers, Cricket Arena, 7:35 p.m.

Lynx road report

Police say teachers dealt drugs
Narcotics officers say the evidence found in the home of two teachers arrested on drug charges makes it clear to them that the couple was dealing drugs.

News you can use
JAN. 9, 1953 A sweeping raise for county employees - the first in two years - that leans heavily in favor of the lower-salaried men and women was agreed on last night between members of the county commission and the Richmond legislative delegation.

Federal space planned
Work on a new, federal office building should begin later this year near downtown's U.S. District Courthouse, federal officials confirmed Thursday.

Lottery's spending is debated
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The General Assembly has illegally distributed about $3 million in lottery proceeds to five historically black colleges, the state Attorney General's Office says.

Pupils learn lesson from hockey legend

Evans principal says change was needed
A day after accepting Lee Chomskis' resignation as Evans football coach, the school's principal said he was "looking at what was best for the kids."

Law changes test requirements
Greg Robinson had no idea how close he came Thursday to taking a much more difficult driver's license test.

Hospital cuts EMS overtime hours
EDGEFIELD - Edgefield County EMS workers were told Thursday night that their overtime hours had to be reduced because the hospital they work for is in financial trouble.

Carjack suspects admit to charges

City joins missing-child network
GROVETOWN - The Grovetown Department of Public Safety is now part of a nationwide network dedicated to helping find missing children.

Aiken residents study location for connector
AIKEN - Getting from Silver Bluff Road to Whiskey Road used to mean a quick ride down Dougherty Road for Julie Mhyre and her husband.

School board will vote on moving class
Christian Learning Centers of Augusta may have found a new location to house their Christian-based curriculum for Richmond County pupils.

Date moves forward for sheriff's election
AIKEN - Already hastened by Aiken County Sheriff Howard Sellers' choice to retire midterm, the race to replace the sheriff will occur even sooner than first thought.

Rants and Raves
STROM SHOULD RUN as president for 2008 and Trent Lott as VP.

Across the area
A Beech Island man told police he shot at two men who broke into his house Thursday morning.

Brothers are put in state custody

Suspect is arrested in shooting
Authorities arrested an Augusta man Thursday who they say inadvertently fired two shots into a home on Fieldcrest Drive while shooting at people in a nearby car.

Driver's abductor hid in the back seat

State to take custody of pupil
AIKEN - A judge has ordered into state custodyone of two Aiken Middle School pupils who plotted to shoot fellow pupils and the school's police officer.

Driver's abductor hid in the back seat
North Augusta police are warning residents to be careful after a woman driving home from a grocery store Tuesday night was abducted by a man hiding in the back seat, authorities said.

Carjack suspects admit to charges
Two of the young men accused of taking part in a carjacking that allegedly led to a gang sexual assault in South Carolina pleaded guilty to some charges Wednesday.

Pupils learn lesson from hockey legend
Pupils at Jamestown Elementary School had a brush with history Wednesday.

Bragdon suggests license for pets
The city took a step toward mandatory pet licensing Thursday with the first in a series of public meetings to tell Augusta residents about the ordinance and hear what they have to say.

TV co-host pleads guilty
A former co-host of a Christian TV show for teenagers pleaded guilty to child molestation Wednesday.

Aiken group receives audit

Hospital attracts diners
AIKEN - Think hospital food is bland?

Officials debate issue of Hephzibah sinkhole

Aiken residents study location for connector

Bragdon gives up position
Animal Control Director Bonnie Bragdon has resigned after only 2 1/2 years on the job to accept a veterinary position in the private sector.

Suspect is arrested in shooting

Across the area
A church music teacher and choir director accused of trying to molest one child and sexually abusing a second was convicted of child molestation charges Wednesday.

Law changes test requirements

Across Georgia and South Carolina
ATLANTA - Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has dropped U.S. Rep. Denise Majette, D-Ga., and the Georgia Republican party from her lawsuit challenging the state's open primary system.

Federal space planned

Group tries to sell 1880s townhouse
For a century, the townhouse on Ninth Street was alive with occupants ranging from Chinese launderers to grocers to a shoe repair shop.

Crime increases in Augusta

Crime increases in Augusta
Crime rose 5 percent in Augusta in 2002, an increase sheriff's officials blamed on fewer deputies and a bad economy.

Federal space planned

Bragdon gives up position

Across Georgia and South Carolina

News you can use

Bragdon suggests license for pets

Zell Miller set to retire in 2004

Subscriber of the day

Man tries to steal course sign
A man visiting Augusta wanted to take home a golf souvenir Wednesday.

Evans principal says change was needed

Officials debate issue of Hephzibah sinkhole
Just 15 feet away from Windsor Spring Road is Hephzibah's "Grand Canyon," as some call it - a hole 30 feet deep, 50 feet wide and at least 200 feet long.

News you can use

City joins missing-child network

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Hank Syms of Augusta.

News you can use
JAN. 10, 1922 SPARTA, Ga. - William McPaul, alias Willie Hall, alias "Piano," who recently escaped from the Hancock County chain gang, was recaptured about midday Sunday by Sheriff Hogan of Warren County and is now in the Hancock County Jail.

Across South Carolina
MARION -A Marion teenager killed last week stopped to give a man a ride home and was shot to death, police said.

Across Georgia

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -A Decatur man arrested and charged with the sexual assault of two female students at a Georgia State University dormitory is a suspect in a similar attack at the State University of West Georgia in Carrollton.

Rants and Raves
STROM SHOULD RUN as president for 2008 and Trent Lott as VP.

Plea agreement ends murder case
An Augusta man indicted on charges of murder pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault Wednesday.

Police say teachers dealt drugs

Date moves forward for sheriff's election

Aiken group receives audit
A financial audit of the Aiken Corp. released Wednesday says the economic development group has a clean financial record but needs to improve its budget review and accounting procedures.

Hospital cuts EMS overtime hours

Brothers are put in state custody
Two brothers charged with break-ins and vandalisms at 13 houses, two schools and three businesses - kicking down doors, smashing windows, damaging cars and stealing Christmas presents - were placed in state custody Wednesday by a juvenile court judge.

State to take custody of pupil

Hospital attracts diners

Group tries to sell 1880s townhouse

Across the area

Rants and Raves
THIS JUST GOES to show how far behind Augusta is when a vet can make more going to PetsMart instead of working for Richmond County.

Hospital asks to continue heart procedure
The number of therapeutic heart catheterizations at Doctors Hospital more than doubled in 2002 from the previous year's total, which had already raised questions from regulators because the hospital is not authorized to perform them normally.

Hospital cuts EMS overtime
EDGEFIELD - Edgefield County EMS workers were told Thursday night that their overtime hours had to be reduced because the hospital they work for is in financial trouble.

Commissioners reprimand Kolb
Seven Augusta commissioners have signed off on a letter of reprimand to be placed in City Administrator George Kolb's personnel file.

Zell Miller set to retire in 2004
WASHINGTON - Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, a popular former Georgia governor, announced Wednesday he won't seek re-election in 2004 - a move that could complicate Democratic efforts to retake the Senate.

Across the area

Walker is unfazed by inquiry report
ATLANTA - State Sen. Charles Walker, who leaves the Legislature this month, said Thursday he is not concerned about an Atlanta newspaper's report that he is under investigation for actions while in office.

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Mary Dickens of Hephzibah.

Theater estimate will be appealed
Aiken Corp. Chairman Wade Brodie will appeal the $1.3 million appraisal of the group's downtown office space if the estimate is not increased, members of the group agreed Wednesday.

I have trained my books to meet me half way
Does this ever happen to you: You open a reference book to look something up and turn directly to the very page you need?

That's a wrap for Mac Daddy
If history means anything, you can bet Charles McNeil will land on his feet and resurface on the local airwaves sometime soon.

CART returns to England with road race at Brands Hatch
LONDON -- CART is returning to Europe with back-to-back races in May in England and Germany.

Drivers in favor of autograph control

Japan's Shinozuka seriously injured in Dakar rally crash

NASCAR weighs plan to stop autographs in garage area
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR is considering a plan to prohibit drivers from signing autographs in the garage area at tracks to reduce fan congestion.

NASCAR inspectors assume 'nice cop' role during testing
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There were 21 NASCAR officials patrolling the garage area during this week's test session at Daytona International Speedway, but they weren't looking too hard for problems.

NASCAR weighs plan to stop autographs in garage area

Wallace motoring along with Dodge
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Rusty Wallace eased worries about Dodge's engine program by saying his Penske Racing team already has the same amount of horsepower he had a year ago with a Ford.

Drivers get back into the groove

Wallace motoring along with Dodge

NASCAR inspectors assume 'nice cop' role during testing

CART returns to England with road race at Brands Hatch

Drivers get back into the groove
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Even before his vacation started, Mark Martin was talking about getting back to work.

Japan's Shinozuka seriously injured in Dakar rally crash
PARIS -- Japan's Kenjiro Shinozuka was seriously injured Thursday when his car flipped over in the Libyan desert during the eighth stage of the Dakar rally.

Drivers in favor of autograph control
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR drivers on Thursday supported a proposed effort to limit autographs in the garage area, stressing the importance of finding a way to clear up the current congestion.

Hawks fall to Mavericks
ATLANTA -- The Dallas Mavericks already had blown one big lead, so they weren't going to let it happen again.

Kobe Bryant finds a new zone
LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant rose to stardom with medium-range jumpers, dazzling drives to the basket and soaring dunks.

Hawks fall to Mavericks

Kobe Bryant finds a new zone

Virus keeps Jordan out of practice

Virus keeps Jordan out of practice
WASHINGTON (AP)- Michael Jordan skipped practice with the Washington Wizards on Thursday to try to recover from a virus.

Former Hephzibah hoops star adds to long list of legal run-ins
Former University of Cincinnati basketball player and Hephzibah native Donald Little is in trouble with the law again.

Griffin propels Paine to victory
There were Lions, Tigers and Bears at Carter Gymnasium on Wednesday night. But it was Gustavus Griffin of the Paine College Lions who proved the toughest of the three.

Jaguars secure sweep
Augusta State coach Gary Tuell thinks so highly of USC Spartanburg, he picked it to win the Peach Belt North Division in the preseason.

Vick isn't Atlanta's only running threat

Eagles say they're not worried about Atlanta's 3-4

Mismatch? Falcons receivers vs. Philly's star-studded secondary

Kerney expects fans' worst

Can Pennington pull a Montana?

Third time the charm for Dunn?

Pro picks

Brooks' brilliance carries him to top defensive award

Mr. John Jennings    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Scottie Cowan    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Nancy Battle    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mr. James White    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Rosena Hickson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Christopher Wayman    (NEWINGTON, Ga.)
Mrs. Pearl Beard    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Claudia Waites    (COLUMBIA, S.C.)
Mrs. Evelyn Sebjanies    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. William Towne Jr.    (HILDA, S.C.)
Miss Brenda Edwards    (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)
Mr. Ronald Suber Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Dennis Hester Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Mary Smith    (APPLING, Ga.)
Ms. Sarah Lewis    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Ervin Smalley    (ATLANTA, Ga.)
Mr. James Greene    (AUSTIN, Texas)
Mr. James Sims Sr.    (EAST POINT, Ga.)
Mrs. Delores Wheeler    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Evelyn Sebjanics    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Mildred Bussey    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
Mr. Isiah Barnes    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Henry Daniels    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Caroline Jackson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Trecia Rodgers    (LITHONIA, Ga.)
Mrs. Pearl Beard    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lenora Gibbsons    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Sadie Bennett    (EVANS, Ga.)
Mrs. Carolyn Hudson    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Trecia Rodgers    (LITHONIA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lynne Keller    (BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C.)
Mr. Bob Wisnieski    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Scott Willis Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Ms. Ruth Bradley    (ULMER, S.C.)
Mrs. Anne Flemister    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Thomas Johnson    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Joyce Grice    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
Lt. Col. Linton Paulk    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. James White    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Pamela McKie    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Judson Terry    (GIBSON, Ga.)
Mrs. Rosa McNeil    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Geneva Brewington    (LAURENS, S.C.)
Mrs. Juanita Roberts    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Kathleen Cates    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Hartwell Morris Jr.    (LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Ben Crouch    (SPARTANBURG, S.C.)
Mrs. Mary Brock    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Sterling Deloach    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
Mr. W.J. Bufford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Bennie Ellison    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mrs. Mary Long    (SALUDA, S.C.)
Mrs. Sylvia Hand    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Darrell Murray    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ila Garrett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. James Parker    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Helen Hearst    (PASSAIC, N.J.)
Mr. Willie Powell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Bro. Norman Hill    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mrs. Kathleen Cates    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Caroline Jackson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Thomas Roberson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Ms. Frances Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Juanita Roberts    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Lt. Col. Kline Paulk    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Tom Robertson    (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)
Mr. David Lockhart    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Charles Rogers    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Annie Boynton    (ULMER, S.C.)
Mr. Hubert Neal    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
Mrs. Anna Murphy    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Hartwell Morris Jr.    (LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Daniel Oliver Jr.    (CUMMING, Ga.)
Mr. Jimmy Rich    (ORLANDO, Fla.)
Mrs. Hazel Pirkle    (FLORENCE, S.C.)
Mr. James Rheney Jr.    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Bessie Fox    (MAULDIN, S.C.)
Mr. Thomas Roberson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Evelyn Sebjanies (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Pearl Beard (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sylvia Hand (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Brock (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Delores Wheeler (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Hubert Neal (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mr. James White (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Carolyn Hudson (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Ms. Frances Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Powell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Bessie Fox (MAULDIN, S.C.)

Mrs. Rosa McNeil (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Geneva Brewington (LAURENS, S.C.)

Mr. Bob Wisnieski (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Darrell Murray (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Caroline Jackson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Sterling Deloach (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Scottie Cowan (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Joyce Grice (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mr. Judson Terry (GIBSON, Ga.)

Mr. James Rheney Jr. (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Lynne Keller (BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C.)

Lt. Col. Linton Paulk (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Mildred Bussey (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosena Hickson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Pamela McKie (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Pearl Beard (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Roberts (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Trecia Rodgers (LITHONIA, Ga.)

Mr. William Towne Jr. (HILDA, S.C.)

Miss Brenda Edwards (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. James Parker (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. David Lockhart (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Smith (APPLING, Ga.)

Mr. Christopher Wayman (NEWINGTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Long (SALUDA, S.C.)

Mr. Isiah Barnes (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Ms. Sarah Lewis (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Juanita Roberts (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Hartwell Morris Jr. (LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.)

Bro. Norman Hill (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Daniel Oliver Jr. (CUMMING, Ga.)

Mrs. Lenora Gibbsons (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Thomas Johnson (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Scott Willis Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Rogers (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ervin Smalley (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ronald Suber Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ben Crouch (SPARTANBURG, S.C.)

Mrs. Bennie Ellison (DEARING, Ga.)

Mr. Jimmy Rich (ORLANDO, Fla.)

Mrs. Caroline Jackson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Helen Hearst (PASSAIC, N.J.)

Mr. Tom Robertson (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)

Mr. James Sims Sr. (EAST POINT, Ga.)

Mrs. Nancy Battle (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Ila Garrett (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Ruth Bradley (ULMER, S.C.)

Mrs. Evelyn Sebjanics (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. James White (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Henry Daniels (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Dennis Hester Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sadie Bennett (EVANS, Ga.)

Choice not more important than life
This year's holiday season brought some added attention to a Christmas card produced by the nation's largest single abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Mary Beth Pierucci, the local director of external affairs for Planned Parenthood, attempted to justify this greeting card that is inclusive of everyone except the unborn child, who is destroyed by the so-called "choice," in her letter to the editor on Dec. 28, "Some Christians are pro-choice." Dan Almeter, Augusta

Fighting cybercrime
The debut of the Computer Crime Center in Columbia puts South Carolina on the cutting edge of fighting the most complicated and possibly most potent criminal activity of the 21st century: crime in cyberspace.

Give raises where needed and deserved
I have often wondered why Augustans are so rich and prosperous, yet we cannot support our local law enforcement any better than we do. Ann Rosier, Augusta

City worker dampens spirits
Regarding Jose Torres Jr.'s Dec. 25 letter, "Holiday a joyless one for Augusta city workers": I would like to enlighten Mr. Torres concerning the Dec. 14 employee Christmas party. Lisa R. Sherrouse, Augusta

Tax policy backfires
New York City's cigarette-tax policy is running into some painful realities - both human and economic. Remember that cigarette taxes are essentially schizophrenic, i.e., serving two opposing purposes.

Kent guest column merely rhetoric
Once again, the extreme right indulges in historical revisionism to advance its racially regressive agenda (Phil Kent's Dec. 28 guest column, "Quotas don't deserve redemption"). Shirley J. Wilcher, Washington, D.C.

Augusta's legal system exemplary
There are a lot of things wrong with Augusta, but the legal system isn't one of them. Our judiciary is exemplary. Our district attorney, Danny Craig, is a man of superior training, intellect, experience and proven integrity, as is his staff. The few bad apples in law enforcement have been removed and appropriately punished. Tom Zwemer, Augusta

Don't punish responsible pet owners
As a pet owner, I disagree with any county fees for pet ownership. I have several dogs and cats, and they have all been spayed or neutered. They are like children, and I spend a great deal of money on them annually in vet bills. Every month they are treated for fleas, ticks and heartworms, and when shots are due, they are taken to the vet. Larry Johns, Hephzibah, Ga.

S.C. Medicaid crisis
Medicaid, the federal-state program designed to take care of the medical needs of the poor, is in crisis in South Carolina. The state's escalating deficit - $348 million and growing - stifles the legislature's ability to put enough money into the program.

Zell Miller, party of one
No one should be surprised that Zell Miller doesn't want to run for re-election to a full term as U.S. senator.

They're off and running
"I will neither endorse nor campaign for any candidate seeking this seat, but I will resign within days after the November 2004 election so that my successor can begin to serve immediately and gain additional seniority."

Caution: wrangling ahead
As the 108th Congress convened this week, its plate couldn't have been fuller: budget and spending priorities; economic stimulus package; prescription drug legislation; homeland security funding; judgeship confirmations; Medicare and Social Security rescue plans; environmental, regulatory and tort reforms; the looming war in Iraq and a crisis in Korea.

Overtime

That's a wrap for Mac Daddy

Foreman, McCallum newest boxing Hall of Famers

Overtime

16-year-old jockey off to a galloping start

16-year-old jockey off to a galloping start
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Shannon Uske knew she wanted to race horses by age 4 - and maybe even before that.

Boxers seek Silver lining
Oscar de la Hoya took part in it. Fernando Vargas won it. Vernon Forrest participated, too.

Foreman, McCallum newest boxing Hall of Famers
CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- George Foreman leads the International Boxing Hall of Fame's 2003 induction class.

Overtime
The USC Aiken Lady Pacers fell out of the WBCA/ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll for the first time since December of 2001.

Overtime
Thomas H. Wyman, the former chairman and chief executive of CBS who resigned in December from Augusta National Golf Club because of its all-male membership, has died at age 73.

Prep basketball scores
Here are scores from area prep basketball action.

Modest Means
Hephzibah guard Chantal Murray said it without cracking a smile or winking her eye. Apparently, she was serious.

Players of the week
Here are the area prep players of the week.

Eagles say they're not worried about Atlanta's 3-4
PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb can expect to see plenty of blitzes from the Atlanta Falcons, and not because he's returning from a broken ankle.

Mismatch? Falcons receivers vs. Philly's star-studded secondary
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- This has all the makings of a colossal mismatch.

Pro picks
The oddsmakers don't buy the argument that Michael Vick can cancel out Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

Vick isn't Atlanta's only running threat
PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Vick isn't the only running threat the Philadelphia Eagles have to worry about this week.

Third time the charm for Dunn?
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Warrick Dunn has been in the NFL for six seasons, long enough to gauge whether another week of upbeat practices will translate into another playoff victory.

Can Pennington pull a Montana?
Young Joe Montana against old Joe Montana?

Kerney expects fans' worst
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Based on his experience from the other side, Patrick Kerney knows the Atlanta Falcons will receive a rude greeting Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Brooks' brilliance carries him to top defensive award
Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks is the crown jewel of the NFL's best defense and easily topped Miami end Jason Taylor for The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award Wednesday.

Study: speed of gravity matches speed of light
SEATTLE -- Astronomers have concluded that Einstein was right: The speed of gravity does match the speed of light.

Study: Being fat at 40 cuts 3 years off your life
PHILADELPHIA -- People who are overweight at 40 are likely to die at least three years sooner than those who are slim, meaning that in terms of life expectancy, being fat during middle age is just as bad as smoking, researchers say.

Natural atmospheric scrubber not in decline, study finds
A natural chemical that scrubs pollution from the sky is more abundant than previously believed, leading scientists to wonder if they have been underestimating the atmosphere's ability to cleanse itself.

Alcohol, in moderation, helps prevent heart attacks
Scientists know drinking can prevent heart attacks, but new research shows that how often you imbibe is a lot more important than what or how much.

New computers unveiled
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the Macintosh 12-inch PowerBook G4 computer (left) and the worlds first 17-inch notebook computer Tuesday, after his keynote address at the Macworld Conference and Expo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Microsoft's Gates touts consumer gadgets
LAS VEGAS - Touting an array of "smart" watches and portable video players, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is offering further evidence that the world's largest software company sees slick consumer gadgets as computing's future.

El Nino should linger through end of spring
WASHINGTON -- Storms batter California. Snow piles up in the Northeast. Dry weather persists in the Ohio Valley.

One of sky's biggest stars experiencing series of eruptions
SEATTLE -- One of the brightest and biggest stars in the heavens is going through a series of eruptions and dimming that may lead eventually to a supernova explosion, astronomers say.

Georgia running back Musa Smith going pro

Georgia running back Musa Smith going pro
Musa Smith will enter the NFL draft after becoming the first Georgia running back since 1992 to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

Georgia's Clemons going pro
ATHENS, Ga. -- Linebacker Chris Clemons became the third Georgia underclassman to enter the NFL draft on Thursday, following Musa Smith and Johnathan Sullivan.

Georgia's Clemons going pro

College prep begins early

Bulldogs back in Top 25 thanks to eight-game run

Bulldogs back in Top 25 thanks to eight-game run
ATHENS, Ga. -- Everything changed for Georgia a month ago, when a miraculous, game-winning shot allowed the team to avoid a 1-4 start.

Gamecocks win SEC opener
COLUMBIA - South Carolina's Southeastern Conference opener against Mississippi on Wednesday can be described quite simply:

Howell likely back for Kentucky game Saturday

Gamecocks win SEC opener

Howell likely back for Kentucky game Saturday
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina forward Rolando Howell will likely play in Saturday's game at No. 18 Kentucky, the school says.

Gamecocks wake up
COLUMBIA - South Carolina's Southeastern Conference opener against Mississippi on Wednesday can be described quite simply:

South Carolina edges Mississippi St.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Koretha Johnson hit the game-winning layup with 26 seconds left and Jocelyn Penn led No. 13 South Carolina back from an 18-point deficit to beat 14th-ranked Mississippi State in wild start to the Southeastern Conference season.

Gamecocks wake up

Can you hold the line for Mr. Castro?

Odds and Ends

Parrot saves couple from house fire

Microsoft's Gates touts consumer gadgets

Natural atmospheric scrubber not in decline, study finds

Alcohol, in moderation, helps prevent heart attacks

Study: speed of gravity matches speed of light

New computers unveiled

One of sky's biggest stars experiencing series of eruptions

Study: Being fat at 40 cuts 3 years off your life