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.

Video watch

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

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

At the movies: "Adaptation"

Some film comebacks were memorable

Performing arts center gets mixed reaction

'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.

Concert calendar

At the movies: 'Just Married'

At the movies: Antwone Fisher

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

Applause calendar

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

'Dinner Party' makes Georgia debut with Stage III

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

At the movies: 'Narc'

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

Standing ovations

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

Performing arts center gets mixed reaction
The facts are in.

New Year, New Art

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

Wine and dine

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.

Trio bucks trend of chamber quartets

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mini reviews

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

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.

Club calendar

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

Rodney Tymel Reid

Dekota Allen Conner

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

Travis Michael Faulkner

Ansley Emelia Aufiero
Michael Kenneth and Sherry Loraine Aufiero of Mar

Ansley Morgan Thurmond

Kieran Tyrence Pound
Lawrence A. Pound Jr.

Jendayi Genise Cunningham

Rodney Tymel Reid
Rodney Reid and Tammy C

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.

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.

Kieran Tyrence Pound

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.

Ta'len Rahkeese Brown

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.

Megan Elaine Gordon

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

Ethan Gabriel Todd

Alexis Kimberly Langley
Keith E. and Kimbe

Jennifer Hailey Gonella

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

J'nya Sanae Benson

Gabrielle Mariah Brown
Michael L. and LaWanda J. Br

Cameryn Regan Cook

Ta'len Rahkeese Brown
A. Tyrone B

Ansley Emelia Aufiero

Dekota Allen Conner
Pau

Quincy Orlando Brooks Jr.

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.

Hannah Elizabeth Wright

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

Marcus D. Dunbar Jr.

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

Treyon Ja'Micheal Alexander

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

Brooks LeAnn Lively

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.

Dallas Lorraine Murray

Megan Elaine Gordon

Jackson Daniel Evans

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.

Maddyx Charlise Driggers

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.

Kylee Melaina Wheat

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.

Samuel Hammond Tudor

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

Victoria Madeline Perryman

Alexis Kimberly Langley

Gabrielle Mariah Brown

Samuel Hammond Tudor
Mr. and Mrs. Cha

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Business briefs

Downtown project is stalled

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.

Tax tips: Watch out for these scams

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

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.

Tax tips: Revving up retirement savings

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.

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.

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.

Economic developer appointed

Soft drink change-up

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.

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.

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.

Retailers confirming the weakest holiday season in decades

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

Stocks surge on drop in jobless claims

Stocks fall on Gateway, Alcoa earnings news

Clemson tops Maryland

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.

Planting the college seed

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

Jaguars secure sweep

Caution: wrangling ahead

Fighting cybercrime

They're off and running

Zell Miller, party of one

Tax policy backfires

S.C. Medicaid crisis

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.

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.

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?

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?

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

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.

'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!

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

'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.

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

Weeds do not stay dormant in winter

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.

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.

This plant makes a nice pet

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

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
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.

Masters on their mind

Garcia on a mission to stop Woods

Howell says controversy is costing Augusta

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.

Chomskis resigns as coach

Prep basketball scores

Modest Means

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."

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

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

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.

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

Senators file for bankruptcy from creditors

Thrashers edge Lightning in overtime

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.

Don't punish responsible pet owners

Augusta's legal system exemplary

Kent guest column merely rhetoric

City worker dampens spirits

Give raises where needed and deserved

Choice not more important than life

'Sex and the City" to end after sixth season

Feng shui injects passion in fashion

'Tis the season to feel guilty...

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

Health calendar

'Greek Wedding' shows split between immigrants and homeland

In the know

Calendar

Family scrapbook

ABC scores big in ratings with football coverage

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

Books to entice kids to read

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

Lynx road report

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.

Subscriber of the day

Carjack suspects admit to charges

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

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.

Federal space planned

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.

Hospital cuts EMS overtime hours

Date moves forward for sheriff's election

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

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.

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

Law changes test requirements

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

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.

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.

Zell Miller set to retire in 2004

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.

Aiken residents study location for connector

Crime increases in Augusta

Across Georgia and South Carolina

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

News you can use

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.

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.

Group tries to sell 1880s townhouse

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.

Across the area

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

State to take custody of pupil

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.

Bragdon gives up position

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.

Across the area

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.

Suspect is arrested in shooting

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.

Federal space planned

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.

Bragdon suggests license for pets

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.

Evans principal says change was needed

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
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.

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.

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.

Hospital attracts diners
AIKEN - Think hospital food is bland?

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Driver's abductor hid in the back seat

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.

Brothers are put in state custody

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.

Across Georgia

News you can use

Aiken group receives audit

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.

Hospital attracts diners

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."

Police say teachers dealt drugs

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.

Officials debate issue of Hephzibah sinkhole

City joins missing-child network

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

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.

Wallace motoring along with Dodge

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.

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.

CART returns to England with road race at Brands Hatch

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.

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
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.

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.

Japan's Shinozuka seriously injured in Dakar rally crash

NASCAR weighs plan to stop autographs in garage area

Drivers in favor of autograph control

Drivers get back into the groove

NASCAR inspectors assume 'nice cop' role during testing

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

Virus keeps Jordan out of practice

Hawks fall to Mavericks

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.

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.

Kobe Bryant finds a new zone

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

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.

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.

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

Vick isn't Atlanta's only running threat

Brooks' brilliance carries him to top defensive award

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

Kerney expects fans' worst

Pro picks

Third time the charm for Dunn?

Can Pennington pull a Montana?

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

Mrs. Pearl Beard (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Ms. Frances Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Mildred Bussey (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Miss Brenda Edwards (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)

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

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

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

Mr. David Lockhart (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Roberts (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Darrell Murray (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Scottie Cowan (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Sterling Deloach (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mrs. Carolyn Hudson (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

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

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

Mr. Christopher Wayman (NEWINGTON, Ga.)

Mr. James White (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Isiah Barnes (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

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

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

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

Mr. Bob Wisnieski (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sylvia Hand (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Pearl Beard (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Roberts (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Powell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sadie Bennett (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Bennie Ellison (DEARING, Ga.)

Bro. Norman Hill (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Lenora Gibbsons (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Caroline Jackson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Judson Terry (GIBSON, Ga.)

Mr. Hubert Neal (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Brock (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Smith (APPLING, Ga.)

Mr. Thomas Roberson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ervin Smalley (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Trecia Rodgers (LITHONIA, Ga.)

Mr. Jimmy Rich (ORLANDO, Fla.)

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

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

Mrs. Rosena Hickson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Ila Garrett (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Nancy Battle (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Rosa McNeil (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Henry Daniels (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mr. James White (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Caroline Jackson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Rogers (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

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

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.

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."

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Overtime

That's a wrap for Mac Daddy

Foreman, McCallum newest boxing Hall of Famers

16-year-old jockey off to a galloping start

Overtime

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Georgia's Clemons going pro

College prep begins early

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.

Bulldogs back in Top 25 thanks to eight-game run

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.

Howell likely back for Kentucky game Saturday

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

Gamecocks wake up

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 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:

Odds and Ends

Parrot saves couple from house fire

Can you hold the line for Mr. Castro?

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

One of sky's biggest stars experiencing series of eruptions

Alcohol, in moderation, helps prevent heart attacks

Natural atmospheric scrubber not in decline, study finds

Microsoft's Gates touts consumer gadgets

Study: speed of gravity matches speed of light

New computers unveiled