Ramblin Rhodes: Country legend performed twice on stages in Augusta
Fifty years ago this week, Hank Williams' I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive was about to hit No. 1 on the country music charts.

Mini reviews

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

Stardom finally 'Rings' for actor

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.

At the movies: 'National Security'

Entertainment Briefs
MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. officials received a nice post-holiday return on their investment in "Christmas Song," sung by India.Arie and Stevie Wonder.

Wine and dine

Applause calendar

Entertainment Briefs

At the movies: 'A Guy Thing'

Golden Globe nominees still play in limited release

Wine and dine
K.C.'s Korner is the newest place to grab a cup of joe downtown. The bistro opened Monday in the lobby of the Radisson Riverfront Hotel, 2 10th St.

Augusta Opera to showcase musical talent of Sondheim

Golden Globe nominees still play in limited release
LOS ANGELES -- It's got three big-name actresses, ads all over television and seven Golden Globe nominations. But in much of the country it's virtually impossible to find.

At the movies: 'Kangaroo Jack'

Play finds humor in king's dysfunctional family

At the movies: 'Chicago'
The path from stage to screen was arduous and the director could hardly be greener, but the Broadway-spawned "Chicago" is every inch a movie. It's kinetic, dynamic and always entertaining - but also a tad chaste.

Club calendar

At the movies: 'A Guy Thing'
Casting Jason Lee as the lead in a romantic comedy would be a great idea.

Video watch

At the movies: 'National Security'
"National Security" is the best racially mismatched buddy flick hitting theaters this weekend, if only because "Kangaroo Jack" manages to be an even more egregious assault on the senses.

Applause calendar
MARTIN LUTHER KING BIRTHDAY PARADE: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dyess Park Community Center, 902 James Brown Blvd.; will proceed south on James Brown Boulevard, west on Wrightsboro Road, north on Augusta Avenue, east on Laney-Walker Boulevard and north on James Brown Boulevard; Cher Best, 231-7373.

At the movies: 'Kangaroo Jack'
"Kangaroo Jack" isn't so much a movie that merits serious criticism as it is an opportunity to sit in the dark for an hour and a half and think up one-liners.

Legacy of dance

Radio show spotlights bands
When not unleashing ferocious six-string riffs with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band or slinking through The Sopranos as cold-hearted mobster Silvio Dante, Little Steven Van Zandt likes to spend time in the garage.

Video watch
JUST OUT: About A Boy, Blue Crush and Undercover Brother

Stereotype doesn't fit 16-year-old musician
It's easy to be disarmed by Sandra Wolf-Meei Cameron.

Standing ovations
The National Players return to Augusta on Jan. 23 to present the Moliere comedy Tartuffe at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, and Shakespeare's As You Like It at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24, and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

Play finds humor in king's dysfunctional family
Henry and Eleanor are just like any other couple. Their marriage has hit the occasional bump, their offspring squabble and there always seems to be a dispute with the neighbors over where property lines lie.

Stardom finally 'Rings' for actor
The past 18 months have seen actor Viggo Mortensen make a name for himself by hanging with hobbits. But before he picked up sword and saddle to play the dark hero Aragorn in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy, he spent 15 years quietly gaining a reputation as "the guy who should be a star."

Legacy of dance
Although established in 1974 as a training ground for young dancers, the Ailey II dance company has evolved, becoming an important force in the world of dance.

Hollywood looks for repeat business in 2003
LOS ANGELES -- Sequels succeeded so well in 2002 that film studios have decided to do an encore.

Augusta Opera to showcase musical talent of Sondheim
For nearly 50 years, composer/songwriter Stephen Sondheim has been a mainstay in American musical theater. Widely respected for his lyrical prowess, his musical sensibility and emotional approach to musical theater, he has been honored with a trophy case (perhaps two) full of awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, an Oscar and numerous Tonys.

Radio show spotlights bands

At the movies: 'Chicago'

Ramblin Rhodes: Country legend performed twice on stages in Augusta

Hollywood looks for repeat business in 2003

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.

New Hall of Famers let Selig make Rose decision

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

Owners approve giving All-Star game winner Series home-field advantage
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Baseball owners unanimously approved commissioner Bud Selig's proposal to have the league that wins the All-Star game get home-field advantage in the World Series.

Owners approve giving All-Star game winner Series home-field advantage

New Hall of Famers let Selig make Rose decision
NEW YORK -- Baseball's newest Hall of Famers are content to let Bud Selig make the call on Pete Rose's reinstatement.

Peter Alexander Christine

Michael Dean Littleton

Bryce Aidan David Hoover

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.

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

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.

Trevor Malcolm Spears

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.

Ethan Jeffrey Ballard

Nicholas Anthony Mantlow
Ernest F. and Elizabe

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

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.

Cory Elizabeth Craft

Mackenzie Grace Matthews
Russell and Tracie Matthews of M

Riley Annette Owens

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

Riley Annette Owens
Richar

Bryce Aidan David Hoover
Jennifer Hoover of August

Clinton Daniel Quarles
Charles Brian and June

Brandon Harris Cupp

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.

Emilee Paulette Craven

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.

Maurica Savannah Francisco Hood

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

Livingston Patrick Birchfield
Patrick and Gayle Birchfield of Evans anno

Mackenzie Grace Matthews

Jennifer Rose Thigpen
Chris Thigpen and

Kaylah Alyss Henderson

Mia Jolie Thompson
Kris Thompson and Ashley Sym

River Olena Baker

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.

Craver Calvin King

Cooper Davis Carlson
Spencer and Heather Carlson of Aug

Jennifer Rose Thigpen

Brianna Pauline Cascino
Anthony Cascino and

Malik JaKeith Morgan

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.

Livingston Patrick Birchfield

Cory Elizabeth Craft
Fra

Brianna Pauline Cascino

Emilee Paulette Craven
Jeffrey Dwayne and Stephanie Garrett Crav

Zackary Thomas Kennedy

Alexis Lee Brown

Seth Thomas Haas

Pablo Oscar Marquez

Madison Grace Keel

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.

Nicholas Anthony Mantlow

Jeremiah Reese Johnson
M

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

Chase Nicholas DiGiacomo
Rya

Zackary Thomas Kennedy
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin

Megan Lee Steinmeyer

Mia Jolie Thompson

JaQuez Mandrell Taylor

Clinton Daniel Quarles

Jeremiah Reese Johnson

Malik JaKeith Morgan
Christopher Morgan and Shenequa Harden, both of

Peter Alexander Christine
Mr

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.

Engine parts maker plans move into Burke County
Burke County's Kwikset plant is on track to begin manufacturing small-engine parts this year, officials said Thursday.

Business briefs
ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines blamed poor economic conditions and lingering fallout from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as it reported a $363 million loss for the fourth quarter Thursday and signaled that further cost cuts would be necessary.

Stocks fall in cautious trading

CD settlement offers refunds

Consumer prices edged up in December

Customers fume over gas prices

Company plans return

Consumer prices edged up in December
WASHINGTON -- Consumer inflation rose by a mere 0.1 percent in December as the lackluster economy had the effect of holding prices in line, creating a healthier climate for shoppers.

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

Company plans return
Nearly a year after Macy's closed its doors in Augusta Mall, the name is returning, but the department store will not be the same one that shoppers remember.

Atlanta-area Macy's closing; Rich's stores to be renamed
ATLANTA -- Federated Department Stores Inc. said Thursday it is closing its seven metro Atlanta Macy's stores and slashing at least 1,500 jobs, citing competition with its Rich's locations.

Stocks fall in cautious trading
NEW YORK -- Investors grew more cautious Thursday, sending stock prices lower despite better-than-expected earnings from Sears and United Technologies.

Atlanta-area Macy's closing; Rich's stores to be renamed

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.

Recovery is near, economists say
Although the state and Augusta are still feeling the effects of the recession, there might be an end in sight, economic experts said Thursday.

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.

Recovery is near, economists say

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.

Wholesale prices flat in December

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

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.

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.

Lady Tigers fall to North Carolina
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Candace Sutton scored 15 points, including eight during a decisive second-half run, as No. 8 North Carolina won its 12th straight with a 77-55 victory over Clemson on Thursday night.

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 tailbacks fresh from breakthrough seasons

Senior Bowl tailbacks fresh from breakthrough seasons
MOBILE, Ala. -- Larry Johnson and Artose Pinner entered their senior seasons as two of college football's best running backs, but they had little name recognition.

Owls outwork Jaguars for win

College basketball notebook

End education feuds

A new day - or not?

Hodges loses again

One more big caution

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Fishing report
Fishermen visiting Strom Thurmond Lake any day at the crack of dawn might be surprised to note the lake surface temperature is in the 40s. When temperatures dip below 50 degrees, they effectively put the brakes on the fish bite.

Fishing tournament news
Sponsoring a bass, crappie, catfish or other fishing tournament? Mail or fax your flyer or informatio

Fishing tournament news

Plants need proper care
Camellias are a popular landscaping choice because they add so much beauty in winter and spring when few other plants are in bloom. They also are easy to grow, if you take the proper steps. Here are some tips:

Committed to camellias

Committed to camellias
Aiken Camellia Society president Jim Dickson seemed destined to be where he is today, doing what he loves - getting ready for the club's annual show this weekend.

As a licensed driver, I endorse tougher testing

Something was missing for Kelly
HONOLULU - By almost every account, Jerry Kelly had a dream season in 2002. He won for the first time on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open, won again at the Western Open, played in his first Tour Championship and wound up with nearly $3 million.

Perry, Goosen tied for lead.
UPDATES throughout with Perry at 6 under, other scores. EDITS to trim. Optional to follow when first round completed.

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.

Something was missing for Kelly

Measuring how far the apple falls from the tree

Perry, Goosen tied for lead.

Summers heads All-State team

Prep girls basketball statistics

McDuffie brings high expectations to Golden Hawks

Players of the week

Milestone is reached by Nickel

Prep basketball scores

Prep boys basketball statistics

Summers heads All-State team
COLUMBIA - Lexington's Demetris Summers, the most talked about player in South Carolina this fall, heads the 2002 AP All-State High School Football team released Thursday.

Atlanta recalls G Hnilicka, demotes F Vigier

Hamister says Sabres sale agreement is near

Hamister says Sabres sale agreement is near
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo businessman Mark Hamister said Thursday that an agreement with the NHL is near, clearing the way for him to purchase the bankrupt Sabres.

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

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.

In the prelude to possible Iraq war, a national rallying for peace
WASHINGTON -- Demonstrators are mobilizing in Washington and cities across the country for what they consider their last chance to speak as one great multitude against the gathering clouds of an Iraq war.

Heated debate falls short of easy answer
I believe smart people are smart because they know there's a lot they don't know.

Board of education member tells the rest of the story

Columnist blasted for criticism of multiculturalism

God will never bless Democrats

Hubby lauds former councilwoman

Ban smoking at health-care facilities

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

Columnist forgets greatest Republican

Do we need tax cut for the wealthy?

Provides history of Scott Nixon Drive

Mothers' bone-marrow drive successful

Praises employees for contributions

Suggestions for improving race relations in Augusta

Fifth Harry Potter book to be published June 21

Reality shows post high ratings

Blood banks issue urgent appeal for nationwide donations

In the know

Site lets students grade professors

Inferno shut out Lynx
COLUMBIA - Goaltender Patrick Couture stopped 29 shots and recorded his first shutout of the season as the Columbia Inferno defeated the Augusta Lynx 4-0 at Carolina Coliseum on Thursday night.

Lynx game night
Pensacola Ice Pilots at Augusta Lynx.

Lynx road report

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

Dumont returns to face ex-team
In the ECHL, players such as Louis Dumont don't come around every day.

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

Winger revisits Inferno

Dumont returns to face ex-team

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

State is opposed to death for youth
ATLANTA - A poll released Thursday indicates that a majority of Georgians questioned oppose giving the death penalty to children guilty of murder despite a state law requiring it.

News you can use
JAN. 17, 1947 Richmond Academy's 1947 basketballers show their wares for local fans the first time at 9 o'clock tonight when they tackle the high-riding Tech High Smithies from Atlanta in the Academy gym in the feature of a triple-header.

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.

City gets barrier along sinkhole

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.

Subscriber of the day

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.

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.

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.

Mayor rebuts lake plan

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.

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.

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

New law confuses school officials

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

Lowcountry reserve medical unit mobilized
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- About 45 doctors, dentists, nurses and others who are members of the 7224th Medical Support Unit, an Army Reserve outfit, are being mobilized and will report to Fort Stewart, Ga., this weekend, an official said.

School worker claims race bias
Attorneys

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.

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

Pupil takes handgun to school
A disagreement with a small group of boys, police say, led an 11-year-old Jamestown Elementary School pupil to take a .40-caliber handgun and a loaded magazine to school Thursday.

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.

Woman arrested in chase

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.

Directors go on leave

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.

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.

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.

Across the area
Twenty-seven confiscated video poker machines were taken to the Richmond County landfill Thursday to be destroyed.

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.

Across Georgia and South Carolina

Subscriber of the day

Perdue seeks budget cuts, tax increases

Suspect in Grand Strand abduction says victim raped, killed

CDC: Early in season, nationwide influenza cases still light
ATLANTA -- The flu season is off to a slow start, but the pace could pick up soon.

Mental facility will face audit

Suspect in Grand Strand abduction says victim raped, killed
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- One of the men accused of abducting a Galivants Ferry woman two months ago says his co-defendant raped and killed her, according to court documents.

Crane accident leads to DOT investigation

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.

Sanford makes staff announcements on first day

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.

Speaker appoints ethics counselor

Crane accident leads to DOT investigation
An accident at the Bobby Jones Expressway bridge construction site halted crane operations Thursday and prompted an investigation.

Across Georgia

Mental facility will face audit
State auditors will be sent to an Augusta mental health center to do an "investigative audit" in the wake of allegations of corruption and cronyism, the center's chairwoman announced Thursday.

Light snow falls in north Georgia, more predicted

Across Georgia
ALBANY -An Albany man who planted a grapefruit tree as an experiment was surprised to see fruit growing on its branches.

Center's shoddy records cost city

School worker claims race bias

CDC: Early in season, nationwide influenza cases still light

News you can use

News you can use

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.

Business grows out of fire losses

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA -Chief Justice Jean Toal has agreed to allow municipal and magistrate courts to use interpreters who listen to the proceedings on a speaker phone.

Cell phone ban proposed again in Legislature

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.

Rants and Raves
THIS RANT IS for the Richmond County police. Since when does Richmond County provide taxi service for drunks? Had they not taken Robert Carpenter home, he would be alive today.

March of ants grows larger
We're being invaded.

Sick pupils a puzzler for schools
Columbia County health officials are playing detective to uncover the source and diagnose a flulike epidemic that is affecting large numbers of middle school pupils.

Center's shoddy records cost city
Augusta taxpayers could be forced to foot the bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal refunds because of sloppy bookkeeping by a halfway house and an apparent failure by the city to help them clear up those books.

Across South Carolina

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.

Charter schools rebound after problematic starts

Indigent care funding suffers cut from state

Correction

Across the area

Drifter is extradited to Aiken

Father accepts recall

Sanford becomes 115th South Carolina Governor

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.

Cell phone ban proposed again in Legislature
ATLANTA -- Proposals to ban cell phones in cars have floated around the Capitol for years, but a powerful Democrat in the state House says this could be the year a ban becomes law.

Sanford reaches out to people of South Carolina

Pupil takes handgun to school

Work on bridge begins

State is opposed to death for youth

State lifts outdoor water ban, plans for future shortages
ATLANTA -- Officials in two Georgia counties said they are considering keeping a water ban in effect despite the state's decision to lift outdoor water restrictions.

Across the area

Light snow falls in north Georgia, more predicted
ATLANTA -- North Georgians were preparing for more snow after about an inch fell over northern counties Thursday morning.

State lifts outdoor water ban, plans for future shortages

Speaker appoints ethics counselor
ATLANTA -- The new speaker of the Georgia House appointed a first-ever ethics counselor for lawmakers Thursday to guide them on ethics questions and legislation.

Perdue plans to push ethics reform package

Sanford makes staff announcements on first day
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gov. Mark Sanford organized his office and announced his legislative liaison team to start his first day on the job Thursday.

Sick pupils a puzzler for schools

Cancer group launches relay
AIKEN - Tears flowed freely among friends, and tears stained the cheeks of some who attended the American Cancer Society's kickoff for the 2003 Relay for Life campaign Thursday night at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Rants and Raves
THIS RANT IS for the Richmond County police. Since when does Richmond County provide taxi service for drunks? Had they not taken Robert Carpenter home, he would be alive today.

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Mary Jo Pittman of Augusta.

Perdue plans to push ethics reform package
ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday outlined a comprehensive package of ethics reforms aimed at restoring public confidence in a state government beset with negative publicity over real and perceived misdeeds.

Business grows out of fire losses
AIKEN - When Judy Keaton realized there was smoke in her Woodside Plantation home, she had time to make two trips for personal belongings before fire took everything else.

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.

The Golf Channel offers even more for viewers
Everyone has their 15 minutes of fame.

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?

Limiting autograph time won't fix clutter in garage

Petty fastest in second test
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There were no cash bonuses given for the fastest laps at the three-day test session for the Daytona 500. But according to Kyle Petty, his team came away with something more valuable - satisfaction.

Aikman, Staubach coming to NASCAR
Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach quarterbacked the same NFL team. Now they're part owners of the same team - planning to enter a car in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series in 2004.

Petty fastest in second test

Cleveland Grand Prix going under the lights
CLEVELAND -- Gentlemen, start your engines. And turn on your headlights.

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.

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.

Aikman, Staubach coming to NASCAR

Drivers say tires reduce competition

Cleveland Grand Prix going under the lights

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.

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

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.

College basketball notebook
Maryland coach Gary Williams views trips to the state of North Carolina with as much enthusiasm as a visit with an oral surgeon.

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.

McNabb prepared for Bucs' defense

Sapp likes Bucs chances against 'big, bad' Eagles

Jaguars hire Del Rio as coach

Mariucci, fired by 49ers, says he has no plans for future

Raiders bring gaudy reputations, resumes to big game

Douglas inspires Eagles on and off the field

49ers fire Mariucci

Titans are no all-stars, but Super Bowl still beckons

Playoff Picks

Officiating is center stage in NFL playoffs

Mrs. Amy Varnell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Betty Anderson    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
Mrs. Atwell Corbitt    (EVANS, Ga.)
Mrs. Ruby Kelly    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Doris Grisko    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Thelma Lamar    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Ellis Bell    (WADLEY, Ga.)
Mr. Henry Lewis    (SPARTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Corine Campbell    (MILLEN, Ga.)
Mr. James Rikard    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
Mrs. Myrtle Benson    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mr. Henry Jefferson Jr.    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
Mrs. Blanche Toole    (GLOVERVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. W.C. Ivey Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Edna White    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Avalene Hoyal    (MACON, Ga.)
Mrs. Arish Brown    (EHRHARDT, S.C.)
Mr. Roland Harkins    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Ethel Clark    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Elizabeth Harley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ludell Walker    (SPARTA, Ga.)
Mr. Ralph Milburn    (MITCHELL, Ga.)
Mr. Ralph Cliatt    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
Mrs. Lillie Mims    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Idella Evans    (PORTAGE, MICH.)
Mrs. Elizabeth Harley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. James Rikard    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
Mr. Roland Harkins    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Amy Varnell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Virginia Gray    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mr. Harold Welch    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Evelyn Franklin    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Rosa Woolbright    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
Mr. E.B. Trigg    (PERRY, Ga.)
Mrs. Emma Brooks    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Laurie Davis Sr.    (MIDVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Melrose Scruggs    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Willie Cutwright    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Steve Hamby    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
Mr. Curtis Hayes Jr.    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
Mr. William Gale    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
Mr. Charles Hinton    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. James Dixon    (SPARTA, Ga.)
Mr. Cleveland Heath    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Fred Dilendik    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Willie Harris    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Kay Davis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Blanche Toole    (GLOVERVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Robert Curry    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Dolly Pampuch    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Ralph Cliatt    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
Mr. E.B. Trigg    (PERRY, Ga.)
Mrs. Helen Caneda    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
Mr. Thomas Howard Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Robert Brinson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ruby Kelly    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Margie Williams    (KITE, Ga.)
Mrs. Susie Kirkland    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mr. Johnny Braswell    (DAVISBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Alma Leech    (FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y.)
Rev. Harold Davidson    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Steve Mihalovich    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Jessie Ergle    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. George Miller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Alberta Ford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Bertha Moody    (UNION POINT, Ga.)
Mrs. Mary Olah    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
Mrs. Nell Patti    (EVANS, Ga.)
Miss Sharon Vasquez    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mr. Harold Welch (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ralph Cliatt (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Laurie Davis Sr. (MIDVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Bertha Moody (UNION POINT, Ga.)

Mrs. Corine Campbell (MILLEN, Ga.)

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

Mr. Cleveland Heath (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Henry Jefferson Jr. (LANGLEY, S.C.)

Mrs. Edna White (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Atwell Corbitt (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Idella Evans (PORTAGE, MICH.)

Mrs. Willie Harris (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Nell Patti (EVANS, Ga.)

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

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

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

Mrs. Amy Varnell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Curry (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Robert Brinson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ethel Clark (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Susie Kirkland (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Myrtle Benson (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Margie Williams (KITE, Ga.)

Mrs. Alberta Ford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruby Kelly (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Willie Cutwright (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Blanche Toole (GLOVERVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Steve Mihalovich (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Woolbright (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)

Mrs. Blanche Toole (GLOVERVILLE, Ga.)

Miss Sharon Vasquez (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

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

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

Mrs. Dolly Pampuch (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Steve Hamby (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mrs. Evelyn Franklin (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Fred Dilendik (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. E.B. Trigg (PERRY, Ga.)

Mrs. Betty Anderson (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mr. Johnny Braswell (DAVISBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Ralph Milburn (MITCHELL, Ga.)

Mr. W.C. Ivey Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Helen Caneda (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. James Dixon (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Gray (DEARING, Ga.)

Mr. William Gale (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Ludell Walker (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. Henry Lewis (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Kay Davis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Olah (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mrs. Thelma Lamar (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Amy Varnell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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.

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.

One more big caution
Nature and convention have tried, time and again, to provide adequate disincentives to extramarital sex.

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.

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.

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.

End education feuds
The first step to bring Georgia public school education up to par is to get the governor, the state school board and state superintendent of education reading from the same page.

Provides history of Scott Nixon Drive
This is a reply to a reader's inquiry in the Rants and Raves section on Oct. 21 about the origin of Scott Nixon Memorial Drive. Cobbs G. Nixon, Augusta

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.

Ban smoking at health-care facilities
Health-care facilities should ban all smoking in and around their facilities. John Butler, Edgefield, S.C.

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.

Board of education member tells the rest of the story
Regarding Dr. Alice Caldwell's Dec. 31 letter, "Parent frustrated with superintendent's failure to respond": She expresses frustration with what she felt was inadequate response from the Richmond County Board of Education and superintendent Dr. Charles Larke over her complaints about the confiscation, until the end of the school year, of her daughter's cell phone at Davidson High School. Helen Minchew, Augusta

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

Columnist blasted for criticism of multiculturalism
As an instructor at Augusta State University, and as a marriage and family therapist in Augusta, I read with regret the Jan. 1 column written by Walter Williams, "Tax dollars feed cancer of multiculturalism." Susan K. Robertson, Augusta

Columnist forgets greatest Republican
I write this letter in response to Leonard Pitts Jr.'s Jan. 6 column, "To win over black conservatives, GOP needs to provide answers." Greg Porter, Martinez, Ga.

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

Overtime

Agassi, Venus Williams nearly perfect

Overtime

Injured Seles bows out of Open

Kwan still in love with her sport

Injured Seles bows out of Open
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Monica Seles made a surprisingly early exit from the Australian Open.

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.

Overtime
Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees will receive the Thurman Munson Award from the Association for the Help of Retarded Children on Feb. 4.

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.

Prep boys basketball statistics
Here are statistics for area boys prep basketball players.

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 girls basketball statistics
Here are statistics for area girls prep basketball players.

Players of the week
Here are the area athletes of the week.

McDuffie brings high expectations to Golden Hawks
Rufus McDuffie didn't expect to walk into Washington County this season and perform miracles.

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

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.

Jaguars hire Del Rio as coach
The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Panthers defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio as their coach Thursday, two sources within the NFL told The Associated Press.

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.

Sapp likes Bucs chances against 'big, bad' Eagles
TAMPA, Fla. -- Warren Sapp will never forget walking off the field after losing to Philadelphia in the playoffs the past two years. He can't imagine experiencing that pain again.

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.

Officiating is center stage in NFL playoffs
PHILADELPHIA -- The men wearing stripes are getting all the attention on NFL fields these days, thanks to a series of blunders and questioned calls at the most important time of the season.

Playoff Picks
Jon Gruden wants to dispel the notion that his Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't play well in cold weather or at Veterans Stadium.

NFL tells teams they can't trade picks for coaches
NEW YORK -- The NFL barred teams from trading draft picks for the right to sign a coach, the type of swap that allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get Jon Gruden.

Mariucci, fired by 49ers, says he has no plans for future
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- When Steve Mariucci joined the San Francisco 49ers six years ago, he knew all about the organization's exacting standards of success.

Douglas inspires Eagles on and off the field
PHILADELPHIA -- Hugh Douglas walked into the Philadelphia Eagles' locker room wearing large green gloves like The Incredible Hulk, joking and talking to no one in particular.

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.

Titans are no all-stars, but Super Bowl still beckons
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Any player would gladly exchange a trip to the Pro Bowl for a trip to the Super Bowl.

Personal info remains on old hard drives
So, you think you cleaned all your personal files from that old computer you got rid of?

Group says FDA needs to address potential problems with biotech fish
WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration needs to answer questions about a potential threat that genetically engineered fish pose to other species before letting them onto the market, a research group says.

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.

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.

Tax tip: New program lets most taxpayers file returns for free on Internet
WASHINGTON -- Most taxpayers can prepare and file their taxes cost-free this season with an online program the Bush administration announced Thursday.

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.

Dogs' Watson will return
ATLANTA - Tight end Ben Watson, the last of four Georgia juniors to say he would forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, decided to return for his senior season.

Georgia assistant keys on keeping in-state talent
The University of Georgia coaches never really talked about it before the season started, but Bulldogs defensive ends coach Jon Fabris understands the importance of what his team accomplished this season.

Replacing down linemen is high on Dogs' recruiting efforts
ATLANTA -- Georgia, coming off a No. 3 ranking and its first Southeastern Conference title in 20 years, is relying on freshmen and new recruits to help replace seven down linemen.

Replacing down linemen is high on Dogs' recruiting efforts

Dogs' Watson will return

Lady Dogs rout Mississippi
ATHENS, Ga. -- Kara Braxton hit nine of 10 field goals and scored 18 points to lead Georgia to a 96-54 win over Ole Miss Thursday.

Auburn extends SEC streak

Tanner, Gamecocks keep focus after happy offseason
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Ray Tanner has had one conversation over and over since June.

South Carolina center to have career-ending surgery

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.

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

Tanner, Gamecocks keep focus after happy offseason

The most expensive burger in New York City debuts

Group says FDA needs to address potential problems with biotech fish

Personal info remains on old hard drives

Key to obesity treatment might be held by roundworm

Microsoft to give governments access to Windows code

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