Colon, El Duque traded in three-team deal
NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon got traded Wednesday, but not to the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez wins first Ted Williams hitting award
BOSTON -- Alex Rodriguez never met Ted Williams, instead learning about the Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer from the record books and the books Williams wrote about hitting.

Colon, El Duque traded in three-team deal

River Olena Baker
Willard Ray and Diana Dix Baker Jr. of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, River Olena Baker, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2002, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are John and Barbara Wingrove of Augusta and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Dix.

Malik JaKeith Morgan
Christopher Morgan and Shenequa Harden, both of

Madison Grace Keel
Keith and Beth Keel of Grovetown announce the birth of a daughter, Madison Grace Keel, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie E. Humphries of Evans and Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Keel of Augusta.

Jeremiah Reese Johnson

Mia Jolie Thompson
Kris Thompson and Ashley Sym

JaQuez Mandrell Taylor

Kaylah Alyss Henderson
Christopher Dale and Patricia LuElla Henderson of North Augusta announce the birth of a

Maurica Savannah Francisco Hood

Michael Dean Littleton
Mack C. and Brenda Davis Littleton of Grovetown announce the birth of a son, Michael Dean Littleton, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Margie Davis of Evans, the late Dean Davis and the late Mack and Lena Littleton.

Nicholas Anthony Mantlow

Megan Lee Steinmeyer
Michael and Tammy Steinmeyer of Evans announce the birth of a daughter, Megan Lee Steinmeyer, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Paul of Evans and Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Steinmeyer of Grovetown.

Madison Grace Keel

Clinton Daniel Quarles

Michael Dean Littleton

Chase Nicholas DiGiacomo
Rya

Zackary Thomas Kennedy

Bryce Aidan David Hoover
Jennifer Hoover of August

Brandon Harris Cupp

Craver Calvin King
Bill and Susie King of Aiken announce the birth of a son, Craver Calvin King, Monday, Dec. 23, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Kyle L. Hathcox and Mr. and Mrs. Don P. King, all of Jackson, Tenn.

Brianna Pauline Cascino

Pablo Oscar Marquez
Oscar Marquez and Christina Elizabeth Hall, both of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Pablo Oscar Marquez, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Steve Hall and Cindy Athanaelos, both of North Augusta.

Ethan Jeffrey Ballard

Clinton Daniel Quarles
Charles Brian and June

Livingston Patrick Birchfield

Livingston Patrick Birchfield
Patrick and Gayle Birchfield of Evans anno

Malik JaKeith Morgan

Cory Elizabeth Craft
Fra

Bryce Aidan David Hoover

Alexis Lee Brown

Jennifer Rose Thigpen

Brandon Harris Cupp
Raymond Louis and Tammy Lynn Cupp Jr. of Hephzibah announce the birth of a son, Brandon Harris Cupp, Monday, Dec. 30, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Harris and Raymond Cupp Sr., all of Hephzibah.

Chase Nicholas DiGiacomo

Seth Thomas Haas
Tom D. Haas and Tara S. Miller, both of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Seth Thomas Haas, W

Craver Calvin King

Maurica Savannah Francisco Hood
Stephen Hood and Michelle Francisco, both of Hephzibah, announce the birth

Trevor Malcolm Spears

Jeremiah Reese Johnson
M

Emilee Paulette Craven

Zackary Thomas Kennedy
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin

River Olena Baker

Ethan Jeffrey Ballard
Jeff and Lisa Kile Ballard of Martinez announce the birth of a son, Ethan Jeffrey Ballard, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2002, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. James Kile of Martinez and Linda Beasley Ballard of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Riley Annette Owens

Nicholas Anthony Mantlow
Ernest F. and Elizabe

Seth Thomas Haas

Mackenzie Grace Matthews
Russell and Tracie Matthews of M

Kaylah Alyss Henderson

Riley Annette Owens
Richar

Peter Alexander Christine

Trevor Malcolm Spears
Jamie Louise Spears of Augusta announces the birth of a son, Trevor Malcolm Spears, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparent is Virginia Louise Cooler of Augusta.

Mackenzie Grace Matthews

JaQuez Mandrell Taylor
Jemonica Monique Taylor of Augusta announces the birth of a son, JaQuez Mandrell Taylor, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Edith Blockett and Jessie Taylor, both of Augusta.

Cooper Davis Carlson

Jennifer Rose Thigpen
Chris Thigpen and

Alexis Lee Brown
Marion Pate and Kristi Ann Brown of Appling announce the birth of a daughter, Alexis Lee Brown, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Greg Dross of Evans and Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Borders of Appling.

Cory Elizabeth Craft

Brianna Pauline Cascino
Anthony Cascino and

Megan Lee Steinmeyer

Peter Alexander Christine
Mr

Mia Jolie Thompson

Emilee Paulette Craven
Jeffrey Dwayne and Stephanie Garrett Crav

Pablo Oscar Marquez

Cooper Davis Carlson
Spencer and Heather Carlson of Aug

Odds and Ends
ANDERSON, S.C. -- Three store clerks and a paint can were enough to stop an armed robber last weekend.

The most expensive burger in New York City debuts
NEW YORK -- And yes, it comes with fries. A 20-ounce burger fashioned from ultra-tender Kobe beef debuted this week at the landmark Old Homestead restaurant. At $41, it is the most expensive hamburger in the city.

Wholesale prices flat in December
WASHINGTON -- Wholesale prices were flat in December as falling prices for cars, computers and telephone equipment offset higher prices for gasoline and other energy products.

Relocation will leave empty retail space

Wholesale prices flat in December

Job searching could pay off in Bush proposal
WASHINGTON -- Most anyone would welcome with outstretched arms a $3,000 windfall from the government. For the unemployed, it would be almost like hitting the jackpot.

Job searching could pay off in Bush proposal

Retail sales up, boosted largely by auto sales
WASHINGTON --Sales at the nation's retailers rose 1.2 percent in December as shoppers took advantage of incentives and drove up car sales by the largest amount in over a year.

CD settlement offers refunds

Soldiers' exodus drains town
HINESVILLE, Ga. - Gen. Screven Boulevard, a usually crowded thoroughfare that runs from the front gate at Fort Stewart to the heart of the tiny southeast Georgia town of Hinesville, seems almost deserted except for the outgoing noon and evening traffic on post.

Customers fume over gas prices
Dennis Weatherman says he's heard the talk lately about increasing gas prices.

Tax tip: instant refund fees impact the poor
WASHINGTON -- While a federal tax credit aimed at the working poor helped many families pay bills in 2000, it also helped line the pockets of tax preparers, a study released Monday found.

Kmart to close Aiken store

Soldiers' exodus drains town

Kmart to close Aiken store
DETROIT -- Kmart Corp. will close 326 stores and cut 30,000-35,000 jobs as it works to emerge from bankruptcy by April 30, the retailer said Tuesday.

Stocks fall on mixed Intel news
NEW YORK -- Mixed earnings news from Intel rattled Wall Street Wednesday, sending stocks sharply lower as investors unloaded stocks on worries that corporate profits might not be so strong after all.

Tough decisions awaiting Social Security
WASHINGTON -- Adding personal investment accounts to the Social Security system would require benefit cuts, tax increases or raising the retirement age, a General Accounting Office study said Wednesday.

Business briefs
WASHINGTON - Brisk sales of automobiles offset lackluster holiday business for other merchants and boosted retail sales in December, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Cigar makers set up lawsuit
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida's cigar industry has gone to federal court to overturn the state constitutional amendment that will ban smoking inside businesses starting in July.

Exploding frying pans are recalled
WASHINGTON - An Iowa company is recalling about 8,700 frying pans that can explode or separate during use, posing the risk of property damage and burns from spilled food.

Business briefs
Seventy-two workers will lose their jobs when Kmart Corp. closes its Aiken store on Silver Bluff Road, company officials said Wednesday.

Relocation will leave empty retail space
As shoppers prepare to celebrate North Augusta's newest Wal-Mart, city officials are left with the headache of empty retail space in a shopping center.

Retail sales up, boosted largely by auto sales

Tax tip: instant refund fees impact the poor

Customers fume over gas prices

Business briefs

CD settlement offers refunds
Somewhat embarrassed, Ashley Hartnett admits the first music compact disc she bought with her own money was by the Dixie Chicks a few years ago.

Clemson's streak continues
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Clemson found yet another way to lose in Chapel Hill.

Clark becomes fourth All-American to turn pro early

Clark becomes fourth All-American to turn pro early
Tight end Dallas Clark became the fourth All-American to leave school early for the NFL draft when he decided Wednesday that he would skip his senior season at Iowa.

With legal troubles behind him, Watson tries for NFL draft
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Running back Derek Watson has decided to pursue his lifelong dream of playing professional football and is training for the NFL scouting combine next month.

Senior Bowl is key audition for NFL prospects
MOBILE, Ala. -- First there's the weigh-in, often followed by a series of personality tests. Stop watches and cell phones are the tools of choice.

WSU left holding $750,000 worth of tickets
PULLMAN, Wash. -- As if losing the Rose Bowl and its coach weren't enough, Washington State may end up paying $750,000 for unused tickets to the game.

WSU left holding $750,000 worth of tickets

Auburn's start raises some eyebrows

Owls outwork Jaguars for win

Coble continues statewide dominance

One size fits all

Hodges loses again

It had to be done

Why war is near

A new day - or not?

In the know
It's hard to imagine fans would go this crazy, but Sony Pictures Television launched a Web site last week to let fans of the TV show Dawson's Creek create their own custom music CDs.

Eminem, other big winners no-shows at American Music Awards
LOS ANGELES -- The biggest winners turned out to be MIAs at the 30th annual AMAs, including Eminem, winner of a leading four American Music Awards.

Reality shows post high ratings
NEW YORK -- Who needs highly paid actors? A hunky construction worker, a love-starved former cheerleader and a hymn-singing teen-ager became stars in a landmark week for reality television.

Fifth Harry Potter book to be published June 21
LONDON -- After months of feverish anticipation, J.K. Rowling has completed her fifth book about young wizard Harry Potter, and it will be published in Britain and the United States on June 21, her publishers said Wednesday.

Site lets students grade professors
Turning the tables on tradition, students across the United States and Canada are grading their professors.

'Just Married' rings up $18 million debut weekend
LOS ANGELES -- The honeymoon comedy "Just Married," starring Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher, debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $17.5 million.

Blood banks issue urgent appeal for nationwide donations
WASHINGTON -- The nation's blood banks issued an urgent appeal for blood donations Tuesday, saying much of the country has less than a two-day supply on hand.

In the know
This wine, which is a blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer, is filled with tropical fruit, especially pineapple and melon notes. The finish is layered with honeysuckle sweetness and warm fruit notes.

Small portions
What are the hottest food trends for 2003? According to chefs and staff of the Food Network, organic foods and exotic ethnic cuisines will continue to spice up American plates in the coming year.

Crockpot steak stew puts flavor over fuss
The first meal I ever prepared in a crockpot was pepper steak, and this week I'm revisiting the recipe.

'Touched by an Angel' ending after nine years
LOS ANGELES -- This season will be the last for CBS' popular drama "Touched by an Angel," the series' executive producer said Monday.

Event adds to purse, parade

Event adds to purse, parade
The Augusta Futurity isn't waiting for its 25th anniversary celebration in 2004 to spice up the cutting horse event.

Jackets beat Seminoles
ATLANTA -- Marvin Lewis scored a career-high 33 points and Georgia Tech made 28 of 31 free throws to beat Florida State 81-74 Tuesday night.

Jackets beat Seminoles

As a licensed driver, I endorse tougher testing

The best players deserve a stiffer test

Measuring how far the apple falls from the tree
HONOLULU -- Andy Miller didn't care how long it took him to reach the PGA Tour. His father told him he had enough game to compete against the best players in the world, and that was good enough for him.

Measuring how far the apple falls from the tree

The best players deserve a stiffer test
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- The PGA Tour already runs commercials to explain, "These guys are good." It doesn't need record scoring every week to drive home the point.

Palmer won't fill ceremonial role
Don't count on Arnold Palmer filling the role of honorary starter at the Masters Tournament just yet.

Silver Bluff's Bryant commits to Wake Forest

Milestone is reached by Nickel

Prep basketball scores

Glenn Hills tops Lakeside

Prep basketball scores

Washington County QB commits to Louisville
All it took for Preston Smith was a short trip to the campus last week to decide where he wanted to spend the next four years of his football career.

Silver Bluff's Bryant commits to Wake Forest
During his career at Silver Bluff, De'Angelo Bryant became accustomed to winning. When it came time for Bryant to choose from a slew of NCAA Division I-A scholarship offers, it was the potential for winning which guided his decision.

Thrashers hire Hartley as coach

Thrashers edge Canadiens
ATLANTA -- Bob Hartley is used to winning, and nothing changed in his first game as coach of the woeful Atlanta Thrashers.

Thrashers edge Canadiens

Thrashers hire Hartley as coach
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers hired Bob Hartley as head coach Tuesday, hoping the 2001 Stanley Cup winner can turn around the team with the NHL's worst record.

Atlanta recalls G Hnilicka, demotes F Vigier
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers recalled goaltender Milan Hnilicka on Wednesday, 1 1/2 weeks after he was sent to their AHL team in Chicago.

Atlanta recalls G Hnilicka, demotes F Vigier

Robbery suspect arrested
Columbia County authorities arrested an Evans man today in the armed robbery of a 71-year-old Martinez woman outside an Eckerd Drugs on Sunday.

Perdue wants liquor, tobacco taxes increased
ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue proposed raising the tax on liquor and cigarettes and cutting tax relief for homeowners Wednesday in a pair of tight budgets designed to deal with a huge shortfall and the state's sluggish economy.

Sanford becomes South Carolina's 115th governor
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Republican Mark Sanford took the oath of office Wednesday as the 115th governor of South Carolina.

Jackson to be Coleman liaison
ATLANTA - House Speaker Terry Coleman named former Augusta legislator Bill Jackson to serve as a go-between to foster communication between Republicans and Democrats.

Slaying suspect extradited to Aiken
The Georgia inmate charged in the August 2000 killing of teenager Jessica Carpenter was extradited to Aiken today.

Plague samples reported missing in Texas later accounted for
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Vials containing samples of lethal bubonic plague have disappeared from Texas Tech University, and the FBI was investigating, authorities said Wednesday.

Hubby lauds former councilwoman

U.S. health-care quality ranked low - 37th in the world

Praises employees for contributions

Augusta looks at wrong models for entertainment district

Suggestions for improving race relations in Augusta

'Chronicle' editorial on Thomas racist and inconsistent

Do we need tax cut for the wealthy?

Associated Press leans toward liberals

Trent Lott, John C. Calhoun compared

God will never bless Democrats

Mothers' bone-marrow drive successful

Editorial cartoon insensitive, ignorant

Small portions

Fifth Harry Potter book to be published June 21

In the know

Reality shows post high ratings

Eminem, other big winners no-shows at American Music Awards

Blood banks issue urgent appeal for nationwide donations

Crockpot steak stew puts flavor over fuss

Site lets students grade professors

In the know

Winger revisits Inferno

Winger revisits Inferno
Mike Legg has an infectious smile and a knack for generating instant offense.

Five questions with Andrew Williamson
Augusta Lynx right winger Andrew Williamson answers questions for Chronicle staff writer Rob Mueller.

Lynx center in a holding pattern
Sergei Kuznetsov had already packed his belongings and loaded up the car Tuesday for the next move in his hockey career.

Lynx road report
Thursday: vs. Columbia Inferno, Carolina Coliseum, 7:05 p.m.

Lynx center in a holding pattern

Lynx road report

Five questions with Andrew Williamson

For some added energy, players put selves at risk

For some added energy, players put selves at risk
The Roanoke Express were enjoying the fruits of a hard-fought 3-2 home victory over Atlantic City last week when the celebration suddenly turned to panic.

Jackson to be Coleman liaison
ATLANTA - House Speaker Terry Coleman named former Augusta legislator Bill Jackson to serve as a go-between to foster communication between Republicans and Democrats.

Rants and Raves
THIS IS A RANT for Bell Auditorium and the Coliseum Authority, who allow such idiocy to continue, for placing each chair directly in front of the other at South Pacific and other Bell shows. Go to a movie, guys. There's a reason why the seats are staggered. Avoiding the disturbance of weaving heads and a permanent crick in the neck are only part of it. They care about customer satisfaction.

Corps listens to public

Sanford nears inauguration

Perdue hands off gas-tax increase
ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue said Tuesday that he will not propose a gas-tax increase, but he's not ruling out one if the Legislature initiates it. And legislative leaders know they must generate more tax revenue or cut state spending.

Perdue hands off gas-tax increase

From civilians to soldiers
They arrived in their camouflage fatigues and black berets, lined up in formation in a parking lot in the cold morning air, and with a cry of "Rolling Thunder!" began a busy day of transforming from civilians to full-time soldiers.

Indigent care funding suffers cut from state
Augusta hospitals are getting a double whammy from the faltering economy: The state is cutting funding for indigent care even as more people lose their jobs and their health insurance, officials said.

Soldier is sentenced to 7 years in assault

High court rejects plutonium case
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Gov. Jim Hodges' lawsuit that sought to block federal shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to South Carolina.

Directors go on leave
Two administrators at an Augusta mental health center have been placed on administrative leave but nothing should be read into the move, officials said Wednesday.

School board approves plan to shift pupils
With little fanfare and no comments from parents, the Columbia County Board of Education tentatively approved a zoning proposal Tuesday night that will affect nearly half of the system's elementary schools.

Woman arrested in chase
An Augusta woman was in police custody Wednesday after she led officers on a high-speed chase.

Rants and Raves
REGARDING THE VARIOUS derogatory comments directed at Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson, I'd like to borrow a line from a Monty Python skit: "Let's not call them anything, let's just ignore them!"

Raising a joyous noise
Volunteers at newly renovated Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church happily buried the pews under thousands of new organ pipes Tuesday.

Across Georgia

Subscriber of the day

Perdue seeks budget cuts, tax increases
ATLANTA - Citing a reces-sion he inherited, Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday pro-posed raising taxes on tobacco and alcohol, and he recom-mended significantly reducing property tax cuts started by former Gov. Roy Barnes.

Burns gets ball rolling in Congress
WASHINGTON - Rep. Max Burns needs a better pair of shoes.

Sanford reaches out to people of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Hours after becoming South Carolina's 115th governor, Mark Sanford made an effort to reach out to the people that put him in office.

Slaying suspect extradited to Aiken

Sanford becomes 115th South Carolina Governor
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Republican Mark Sanford repeated campaign themes and the state budget crisis after he took the oath of office Wednesday as the 115th governor of South Carolina.

Mayor rebuts lake plan
Reducing flows in the Savannah River to conserve water in Thurmond Lake could create problems for downstream users, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was warned Wednesday night.

Charter schools rebound after problematic starts
AIKEN - The charter schools in Aiken County are about halfway through their first school year, and spokeswomen from the two schools agree that things are running much more smoothly compared with the rocky start in the fall.

Drifter is extradited to Aiken
AIKEN - The Georgia inmate charged in the killing of Jessica Carpenter was extradited to Aiken on Wednesday, officials said.

Father accepts recall
A Hephzibah father being held in a Tennessee jail on child cruelty charges has waived extradition to Georgia, authorities said Wednesday.

Woman arrested in chase

School worker claims race bias
Attorneys

Police locate missing parents
A Hephzibah couple wanted on child cruelty charges were found Tuesday in Tennessee, where they were starting a new life, authorities said.

Flag vote remains uncertain
ATLANTA - When Georgians could vote on the design of their state flag remains uncertain as lawyers and political strategists research their options.

News you can use
JAN. 16, 1937 Red-haired Patty Berg of Minneapolis, the veterans Helen Hicks of Woodmere, Long Island, and carefree Jane Cothran of Greenville, S.C., yesterday conquered the combined hazards offered by the weather and the Augusta Country Club's rugged Hill course to score one-over-par 80 and take the lead at the end of the first 18 holes of the 54-hole medal play Titleholders' Invitational Golf Tournament.

Rants and Raves
REGARDING THE VARIOUS derogatory comments directed at Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson, I'd like to borrow a line from a Monty Python skit: "Let's not call them anything, let's just ignore them!"

Barbecue stars in inaugural
Twelve barbecue restaurants from around the state were chosen to cater Gov. Mark Sanford's inaugural party today at the State Farmers Market in Columbia.

Sanford becomes 115th South Carolina Governor

Raising a joyous noise

School worker claims race bias

Across South Carolina

Directors go on leave

Plague samples reported missing in Texas later accounted for

Correction

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Randy Sheppard of Augusta.

New law confuses school officials

Lawmakers gain committee spots

Airman says she suffocated son to stop pain

Police fire deputies involved in wreck

Mechanical fault delayed airplane day before crash
ATHENS, Ga. - The doomed commuter airplane that crashed in Charlotte last week was delayed for three hours from arriving at a northeast Georgia airport the previous day because of mechanical problems, a passenger and local airline officials said.

New law confuses school officials
Richmond County school officials will schedule a hearing with the U.S. District Court to update the court on the system's status.

Work on bridge begins

Ruben is back on board
After a six-month break from the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority, mayoral candidate and long-time civic center board member Bonnie Ruben has been re-appointed and will replace her former political foe from the board, Joe Scott.

Mayor rebuts lake plan

City gets barrier along sinkhole
The Hephzibah "Grand Canyon" issue will go before an Augusta Engineering Services Committee meeting at 3 p.m. Jan. 27 on the eighth floor of the municipal building.

News you can use

Airman says she suffocated son to stop pain
CLOVIS, N.M. - A 21-year-old Cannon Air Force Base airman admitted to investigators that she suffocated her 15-month-old son, but she said she did it because she wanted to ease his suffering.

City gets barrier along sinkhole

Lawmakers gain committee spots
ATLANTA - Augusta-area lawmakers gained a number of state Senate committee appointments Tuesday, when Republican leaders announced the new assignments.

Perdue seeks budget cuts, tax increases

Across the area
Six students and two former students from the Academy of Richmond County were arrested Wednesday after a morning brawl at the school.

Across the area

Correction
An article in Saturday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle should have said lawyer Edward Ray Dillard was charged with drunken driving after he struck a tree on Perimeter Parkway on Jan. 9, according to police. Because of incorrect information listed on a jail record, the name of the suspect's law firm was incorrectly reported. Mr. Dillard works for Fleming, Jackson, Ingram & Floyd.

Perdue wants liquor, tobacco taxes increased

Rants and Raves
THIS IS A RANT for Bell Auditorium and the Coliseum Authority, who allow such idiocy to continue, for placing each chair directly in front of the other at South Pacific and other Bell shows. Go to a movie, guys. There's a reason why the seats are staggered. Avoiding the disturbance of weaving heads and a permanent crick in the neck are only part of it. They care about customer satisfaction.

News you can use
JAN. 15, 1927 The mystery of an overturned truck found early yesterday morning buried in sand and water in a creek about 50 feet from the main stream of Briar Creek remained unsolved last night, according to information from Waynesboro.

911 tape reveals errors
George Bowman was more angry than anything Tuesday when he heard a tape of his desperate 911 call to Aiken County dispatchers.

Florida argues over smoking ban loopholes
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - For most Florida voters, it probably seemed simple enough.

Soldier is sentenced to 7 years in assault
If the military judge's preference for punishment had been the final word, an Army private would be spending the next 18 years in prison for what he did to a fellow soldier.

Ship to deploy from Savannah
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Desert-tan Army Humvees and Bradley fighting vehicles rolled onto a Navy ship Tuesday morning in Savannah as preparations continued for a potential war in Iraq.

Sanford nears inauguration
COLUMBIA - The Statehouse grounds will be filled with 3,200 chairs, bleachers and camera platforms. Across town at the State Farmers Market, thousands of palm fronds decorate the Watermelon Shed.

Work on bridge begins
Three towering cranes on the Savannah River's banks foretell a future when motorists will cross the water on a lofty bridge.

Detour ahead
Traffic will be detoured off of Furys Ferry Road between River Watch Parkway and Baston Road until Thursday. Contractors are working on the pipes in the area.

Subscriber of the day

Across Georgia and South Carolina
COLUMBIA -Lions, tigers, bears and other exotic pets are no longer allowed in Lexington County after the council voted to ban the animals.

Police locate missing parents

School board approves plan to shift pupils

Corps listens to public
Closer scrutiny of industries and a network of groundwater wells to help forecast droughts could help the Corps of Engineers conserve water levels at Thurmond Lake, according to a local citizens group.

Agency hunts funds to help warm needy

Across South Carolina
HARRISBURG, Pa. -Two black men charged with murder in the 1969 race-riot slaying of a white police officer have a trial date and a new judge handling the case, a defense attorney said Tuesday.

High court rejects plutonium case

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -A 26-year-old Marietta man has been charged with interfering with a Delta Air Lines crew during a flight from Atlanta to New York's LaGuardia Airport.

Sanford becomes South Carolina's 115th governor

Agency hunts funds to help warm needy
Without energy assistance, Mary Smith, 72, might not be able to pay for her heat.

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Monique Tripp of Augusta.

Indigent care funding suffers cut from state

Across the area
The computer system at the Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers went down for several hours Tuesday, but an official said a backup system ensured continued patient care.

Florida argues over smoking ban loopholes

Old flag's backers march on Capitol
ATLANTA - Southern heritage groups pushing to restore the Confederate battle emblem to the Georgia flag gave Gov. Sonny Perdue Inauguration Day to settle in.

Mechanical fault delayed airplane day before crash

Aiken County buses arrive
AIKEN - Five new school buses have arrived for the use of Aiken County Public Schools, and two others are on the way, officials said Tuesday.

From civilians to soldiers

Health officials are put on leave
Two officials at an Augusta mental health center have been placed on administrative leave as the center's board looks into anonymous allegations of financial and management improprieties, sources said.

911 tape reveals errors

Police fire deputies involved in wreck
Two Richmond County sheriff's deputies whose patrol cars collided in an October accident on Deans Bridge Road have been fired after an internal investigation determined they were being reckless - injuring not only themselves but also a south Augusta woman and her two daughters.

Health officials are put on leave

Court reverses fornication ruling
ATLANTA - A 16-year-old has a constitutional right to privacy, including when he's having sex with his girlfriend in her bedroom, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Burns gets ball rolling in Congress

Detour ahead

Robbery suspect arrested

Drifter is extradited to Aiken

Sanford reaches out to people of South Carolina

Father accepts recall

Across Georgia and South Carolina

Charter schools rebound after problematic starts

As a licensed driver, I endorse tougher testing
A law just took effect in Georgia that requires new drivers to have more on-the-road experience before getting their driver's licenses.

Limiting autograph time won't fix clutter in garage

FIA moves to cut more costs in Formula One

Limiting autograph time won't fix clutter in garage
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - NASCAR completely overhauled the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix. It also gave the Dodge Intrepid a new front bumper and the Ford Taurus a new trunk.

Former Formula One team owner starts CART team
INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Formula One team owner Craig Pollock will field a new team in the CART series this season.

Former executive begins anew

Drivers say tires reduce competition

FIA moves to cut more costs in Formula One
LONDON -- Formula One teams will no longer be able to communicate with their drivers or exchange data between the cars and pits during races in cost-cutting moves imposed by the FIA on Wednesday.

Drivers say tires reduce competition
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - If Rusty Wallace had his way, the tires on his new Dodge Intrepid would wear out every 50 laps. After all, what's another $1,400 when it's the difference in winning a $150,000 race?

Former executive begins anew
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Sam Belnavis stood with his arms crossed as engineers and Todd Bodine poured over a pair of Ford Taurus race cars Tuesday in Daytona International Speedway's garage area.

Hawks fall to Bucks

Charlotte, Johnson agree to arena plans for new NBA team
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Owner Robert Johnson completed a deal with Charlotte that clears the way for construction of a $260 million downtown arena for the NBA expansion team.

NBA launches Chinese-language Web site
BEIJING -- Now China's 1.3 billion people can follow the exploits of favorite son Yao Ming, as well as the Chicago "Male Cows," the Miami "Hot Fire" and the Golden State "Brave Soldiers."

NBA launches Chinese-language Web site

Celtics rout Hawks

Hawks fall to Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Glenn Robinson liked what he heard but not what he saw.

Celtics rout Hawks
BOSTON -- Paul Pierce scored 28 points as the Boston Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak with an 86-66 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Owls outwork Jaguars for win
Before Wednesday's game against Kennesaw State, Augusta State men's basketball coach Gary Tuell showed the Jaguars exactly what they were doing wrong.

Auburn's start raises some eyebrows
Auburn is the surprise of the Southeastern Conference so far, but the Tigers' 13-2 start isn't really much of a shock given their weak nonconference schedule.

Eagles' defense wants more respect

Raiders bring gaudy reputations, resumes to big game

McNabb prepared for Bucs' defense

49ers fire Mariucci

Mrs. Elizabeth Harley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Elamena Terry    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Olive Jenkins    (WAYCROSS, Ga.)
Mrs. Emmie Hallman    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Susie Kirkland    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mrs. Doris Grisko    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Idella Evans    (PORTAGE, MICH.)
Mr. Eugene Grimm    (ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C.)
Mrs. Dorothy ONeal    (UNION POINT, S.C.)
Mrs. Alberta Ford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Quillian Bell    (JONESBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Cleveland Hays    (BRUNSON, S.C.)
Mr. Thomas Howard Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Jessie Ergle    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Doris Grisko    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Featured obituary: Mr. Norman Hill
Norman Hill spent his life worshiping the Lord.

Mrs. Lucile Homer    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Woodrow Dozier    (SALUDA, S.C.)
Mrs. Lillie Mims    (NORTH AUGUST, S.C.)
Mr. Brad Copeland    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
James Bryant Sr.    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mr. Alan Chick    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Harold Welch    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Edna White    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Emma Brooks    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Arish Brown    (EHRHARDT, S.C.)
Mrs. Ruby Kelly    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Emma Brooks    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Curtis Hayes Jr.    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
Mr. Ellis Bell    (WADLEY, Ga.)
Mr. Roland Harkins    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Rosa Woolbright    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
Mrs. Alberta Ford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Harold Welch    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Jessie Ergle    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Miss Sharon Vasquez    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mr. Wallace Hughes    (DAYTONA, Fla.)
Mrs. Amy Varnell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Thelma Lamar    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. E.B. Trigg    (PERRY, Ga.)
Mr. Darrell Murray    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Blanche Toole    (GLOVERVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Minnie Palmer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. James Rikard    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
Mr. Timothy Tarver    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Nell Patti    (EVANS, Ga.)
Miss Sharon Vasquez    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Bertha Moody    (UNION POINT, Ga.)
Mr. Mike Wilson    (MYERS, Fla.)
Mr. George Miller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Miss Marlene Bragg    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Steve Mihalovich    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Rev. Harold Davidson    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Alma Leech    (FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y.)
Mr. Ralph Cliatt    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
Mr. Alan Chick (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Eugene Grimm (ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C.)

Mr. Brad Copeland (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Blanche Toole (GLOVERVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Dorothy ONeal (UNION POINT, S.C.)

Mr. Curtis Hayes Jr. (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Mrs. Emma Brooks (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Jessie Ergle (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Miss Sharon Vasquez (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Miss Sharon Vasquez (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Timothy Tarver (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Woolbright (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)

Mrs. Thelma Lamar (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Alma Leech (FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y.)

Mrs. Alberta Ford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Nell Patti (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Lillie Mims (NORTH AUGUST, S.C.)

Mr. Steve Mihalovich (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Wallace Hughes (DAYTONA, Fla.)

Mr. Thomas Howard Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elamena Terry (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Alberta Ford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Minnie Palmer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Harold Welch (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Mike Wilson (MYERS, Fla.)

Mr. James Rikard (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mrs. Doris Grisko (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Susie Kirkland (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Woodrow Dozier (SALUDA, S.C.)

Mrs. Amy Varnell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

James Bryant Sr. (DEARING, Ga.)

Mr. Roland Harkins (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Featured obituary: Mr. Norman Hill

Mrs. Arish Brown (EHRHARDT, S.C.)

Mr. Cleveland Hays (BRUNSON, S.C.)

Mrs. Idella Evans (PORTAGE, MICH.)

Mrs. Lucile Homer (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Bertha Moody (UNION POINT, Ga.)

Mrs. Edna White (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Harold Welch (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

One size fits all
Regardless of what your stance is on the death penalty, outgoing Illinois Gov. George Ryan's 11th-hour blanket clemency of that state's death-row inmates is inarguably unjust.

Augusta looks at wrong models for entertainment district
The media have supplied opinions against Augusta's "entertainment district" based on public safety costs and the probability that some family-oriented businesses will leave. Priscilla Bence, Martinez, Ga.

Associated Press leans toward liberals
The liberal Associated Press has officially begun its 2004 presidential campaign, selecting this year any liberal Democrat who runs against any Republican: President George W. Bush. Tom Hunter, Augusta

Mothers' bone-marrow drive successful
In mid-October, five mothers who had lost a child to leukemia decided to organize a bone-marrow drive in memory of their lost children. Over the following two months these ladies hand-addressed more than 170 letters to local businesses and industries, soliciting funds to help defray the cost of the effort (it costs $65 per person to register on the National Bone Marrow Registry). Sandra Herrick, Aiken, S.C.

Trent Lott, John C. Calhoun compared
In a span of three weeks, America watched intently as the most powerful senator in the United States succumbed to the pressure of his political party and others and abdicated his position as majority leader. Dr. Charles T. Lockett, Augusta

U.S. health-care quality ranked low - 37th in the world
The American people have been brainwashed into voting for conservative candidates. The policies supported by these conservative politicians will only benefit the richest 1 percent of our citizens. Mark Gelbart, Augusta

It had to be done
Imagine if we elected our president and vice president separately - and George Bush's vice president was Democrat Tom Daschle. Imagine further the complications if, even after Republicans won the majority in the Senate, Democrat Daschle presided over and made committee appointments in the Senate.

Praises employees for contributions
I wanted to thank employees of Augusta State Medical Prison for their contributions to the Augusta community during the past holiday season. The staff donated 100 new bikes and almost 100 new toys so that others could have a chance to smile on Christmas Day. Derrick D. Schofield, Evans, Ga.

Editorial cartoon insensitive, ignorant
Your cartoon on Page 4A of the Dec. 8 paper was not in good taste. Do we need to poke fun of other people's religions? This is unbecoming of a reputable newspaper. The prostration in the Muslim prayer is a mark of submission and humility toward God. It is an essential part of worship to the one and only God. I. A. Jilani, Martinez, Ga.

Suggestions for improving race relations in Augusta
As we begin a new year, we have an opportunity to take a fresh look at race relations and approach them differently. While I commend those persons, civic organizations and religious groups that have already begun to take the initiative, I would like to offer a few general suggestions for our citizens and governmental officials in their continual effort to improve race relations. Tracy E. Williams Jr., Augusta

'Chronicle' editorial on Thomas racist and inconsistent
Your lead editorial on Dec. 27, "Ridiculous protest," revived memories of a line a speech writer crafted for a Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter debate: "There you go again!" Lewis P. Bohler Jr., Augusta

Do we need tax cut for the wealthy?
President George W. Bush unveiled his proposal to eliminate stock-dividend taxes, the centerpiece of his broader economic program. This proposal will cost the federal government an estimated $300 billion over the next 10 years, while yielding few benefits for most Americans. Brian Gridley, Evans, Ga.

Why war is near
Actions speak louder than words, and though Bush administration spokesmen say war with Iraq is not at hand, the president's actions indicate otherwise.

Hubby lauds former councilwoman
I write this letter to express my appreciation to my wife, former Aiken County Councilwoman Susan W. Giddings, for her service and dedication to the residents of Aiken County and District 2 over the past eight years. Curt Giddings, Aiken, S.C.

God will never bless Democrats
Democrats' letters to the editor are always about their God-fearing leaders, yet their agenda highly supports pro-choice (killing of babies). I don't think when God said "Let the children come unto me" that he meant by way of abortion. I think it's time for the Democratic Party to remove that sheep's clothing and let the wolf be seen. Terry Smith, North Augusta, S.C.

Hodges loses again
Last November, Jim Hodges lost his bid to be re-elected South Carolina governor. This week, on the eve of his official departure, the U.S. Supreme Court handed him another defeat. It refused to hear his lawsuit seeking to block shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to the Savannah River Site where the federal Energy Department plans to build a $4 billion plant to convert the plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors.

A new day - or not?
At his hopeful and upbeat inauguration Monday, Gov. Sonny Perdue heralded "a new day for Georgia." And certainly it can be.

Roddick bound for the top, in due course

Overtime

Overtime

Agassi, Venus Williams nearly perfect

Kwan still in love with her sport

Overtime
The architect of one of the NFL's greatest defenses will try to resurrect its worst team.

Overtime
In what qualifies as a huge upset, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the original dance Wednesday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Dallas.

Roddick bound for the top, in due course
MELBOURNE, Australia -- If people would quit asking Andy Roddick when he'll be the next American at No. 1, he might be able to concentrate on getting to the top of the tennis world.

Kwan still in love with her sport
DALLAS -- Michelle Kwan has a message for those who think her best days are behind her: Not yet.

Agassi, Venus Williams nearly perfect
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Andre Agassi lost the first seven points of his second-round match at the Australian Open.

Glenn Hills tops Lakeside
The Lakeside girls basketball team was eager to play Class AAAA defending state champion Glenn Hills on Tuesday.

Milestone is reached by Nickel
It wasn't one of her best shooting nights - she scored just 13 points - but Curtis Baptist guard Jessica Nickel should remember Tuesday's 41-33 overtime win against Edmund Burke for years to come.

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

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

Eagles' defense wants more respect
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles are tired of hearing about Tampa Bay's defense.

Raiders place Armstrong on injured reserve
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders defensive end Trace Armstrong was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a ruptured groin, ending his successful comeback season.

Raiders bring gaudy reputations, resumes to big game
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- It's easy to get lost in Oakland's locker room. Not because of the size of the place, but because of the people in it.

49ers fire Mariucci
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Steve Mariucci was fired as coach of the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday after six seasons without a trip to the Super Bowl.

McNabb prepared for Bucs' defense
PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb had little trouble running away from Atlanta's Keith Brooking and Patrick Kerney. It won't be easy to escape Tampa Bay's Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks.

Music, technology groups agree on copyright plans
WASHINGTON -- The leading trade associations for the music and technology industries, which have been at loggerheads over consumers downloading songs on the Internet, have negotiated a compromise they contend will protect copyrights on movies and music without new government involvement.

Officials predict West Nile increase
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The potentially deadly West Nile virus likely will be more widespread in South Carolina this year with rainfall returning to normal after more than four years of drought, health officials say.

Study: filtering water through cloth can halve cholera cases
WASHINGTON -- Simply filtering water through old sari fabric may be enough to reduce cholera cases by about half in rural villages in Bangladesh, researchers say

Key to obesity treatment might be held by roundworm
Gene manipulation that created sleek and trim roundworms may ultimately help scientists develop new obesity treatments.

Wedding planning is just a click away
When you're in your mid-50s, it's important to look out for falling rocks - especially when they fall on the ring finger of your daughter's left hand.

Microsoft to give governments access to Windows code
SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it will make its prized source code for its Windows operating system available to several governments and governmental agencies, as it tries to stem defections to competitors' software.

Georgia's Watson to enter NFL draft

Georgia's Watson to enter NFL draft
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia tight end Ben Watson will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He is the fourth Georgia player to give up his final year of eligibility for the April draft.

Odom's rant draws both fire, praise

South Carolina center to have career-ending surgery

Auburn extends SEC streak

Auburn extends SEC streak
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina coach Dave Odom saw the player he's been missing Wednesday night.

South Carolina center to have career-ending surgery
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina center Marius Petravicius will have left knee surgery, ending his career with the Gamecocks.

Odom's rant draws both fire, praise
South Carolina's men's basketball team has attracted an average of 12,233 fans to its home games this season. Given the squad's mediocre status and its traditionally indifferent fan support, that's agood number.

Coble continues statewide dominance
Augusta's Laura Coble isn't planning on slowing down just because she's broken Vicki Goetze-Ackerman's record for dominance in Georgia women's amateur golf.

The most expensive burger in New York City debuts

Study: filtering water through cloth can halve cholera cases

Key to obesity treatment might be held by roundworm

Music, technology groups agree on copyright plans

Microsoft to give governments access to Windows code

Wedding planning is just a click away