Garcia wins; players and owners 2-2 in arbitration
TAMPA, Fla. -- Seattle pitcher Freddy Garcia was awarded the third-highest salary ever in arbitration when he won his case against the Mariners on Wednesday.

Garcia wins; players and owners 2-2 in arbitration

Laurel Elizabeth Monroe
Christopher J. Monroe and Sherry Melissa Morris, both of Graniteville, announce the birth of a daughter, L

Copelyn Marie Hodges
Brandon Cl

Ian Harris Hayes
John David and Amy Bartlett Hayes of Martinez announce the birth of a son, Ian Harris Hayes, Friday, Jan. 31, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Donna Pinyan of Warner Robins, Ga., and Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hayes of Blakely, Ga.

Jonathan Matthew Taylor Jr.

Zackary Phoenix Landrum
William Robert Landrum Jr. and Sh

Hannah Nicole Rice
Lashanda Lott and Michael Rice, both of Grovetown, announce the birth of a daughter, Hannah Nicole Rice, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Tony and Donna Abrams of Grovetown and Conway and Tammy Rice of Blythe.

Brianna Nicole Garcia

Chance Anthony Whisnant
J

Sarah Elizabeth Chester

JoiChanteyanna' Kamilah Imahi Jackson

Hayden Andrew Stemple

Trevel Amon Tillman

Jonathan Matthew Taylor Jr.
Jonathan and Christie Taylor of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Jonathan Matthew Taylor Jr., Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2002, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Susan Rhodes and David Taylor and Phylliss Mosley, all of Augusta.

Brayden Joseph Benton

Jessica Lauren Matthews
Kevin Douglas and Karen Lee Matthews of Gloverville announce the birth of a dau

Bradly Fernando Carrillo

Brayden Joseph Benton
Robert and Barbara Benton of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Brayden Joseph Benton, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are John Walls of Evans, Shirley Drake of Grovetown and Ronald and Barbara Benton of Augusta.

Laurel Elizabeth Monroe

Trevel Amon Tillman
Elton Recardo Tillman Jr. and Tawanna Monique Tillman of North Augusta annou

Kyrie Sierre-Lyonne' Williams

Kyrie Sierre-Lyonne' Williams
Chris and Nicole Williams of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Kyrie Sierre-Lyonne' Williams, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Ernest and Birda Bell and Thomas and Maxine Williams, all of Augusta.

Selena Lynn Lopez

Taylor Theron Brawn Hoar
James Hoar and Dana Baldridge, b

Ian Harris Hayes

Zackary Phoenix Landrum

Skylar Re'Gene Cunningham

Katelyn Rose Beasley
John Lawten and Betty Joyce

Christopher Michael Williams Jr.

JoiChanteyanna' Kamilah Imahi Jackson
Brian S. Freeman a

Faith Marie Rawlins

Christopher Michael Williams Jr.
Christopher Michael Williams Sr. and Jackie Lynn Cooper, bo

Copelyn Marie Hodges

Selena Lynn Lopez
April Lott

Sarah Elizabeth Chester

Jorja Natascha May
Gene and Tammy May of Grovetown announce the birth of a daughter, Jorja Natascha May, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Richard and Gertrude Lamont of Grovetown and Ronald and Mary May of Jackson.

Hannah Nicole Rice

Nicole Breen Price
Bill and Suzanne Price of Atlanta announce the birth of a daughter, Nicole Breen Price, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2003, at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Grandparents are Earll and Sue Waller and Bill and Barbara Price, all of Augusta.

Brianna Rose Widener

Faith Marie Rawlins
Christopher and Am

Sophie Helena Crawford

Hayden Andrew Stemple
John and Heather Stemple of Evans announce the birth of a son, Hayden Andrew Stemple, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hoffman of Fairmont, W.Va., and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stemple of Clarksburg, W.Va.

Katelyn Rose Beasley

Samuel Lane Tyler
C. Wyman Tyler III a

Samuel Lane Tyler

Brianna Rose Widener
Brian James Widener and Melissa Hope Summerall, both of Aug

Jessica Lauren Matthews

Bradly Fernando Carrillo
Fernando Carrillo and Ana Jimenez, both

Taylor Theron Brawn Hoar

Sophie Helena Crawford
Stephen B. and Lorin Anne Crawford of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Sophie Helena Crawford, Monday, Jan. 27, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Loren and Carol Marsh of Augusta and Max and Beverly Crawford of Cohutta, Ga.

Chance Anthony Whisnant

Brianna Nicole Garcia
Daniel and Debbie Garcia of Martinez announce the birth of a daughter, Brianna Nicole Garcia, Friday, Jan. 31, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. John Arzbach of Greenville, S.C., and Mary Ann Garcia of Charleston, S.C.

Nicole Breen Price

Jorja Natascha May

Skylar Re'Gene Cunningham
Sam and Cheryl Cunningham of Hephzibah announce the birth of a daughter, Skylar Re'Gene Cunningham, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Joel and Janet Walker of Augusta and the late Sam and Susan Cunningham.

Bowling ball makes bad Valentine's Day gift
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A survey conducted for Wal-Mart Stores found that men will spend 62 percent more on Valentine's Day gifts than women, but experts say that hardly means males are more romantic.

Odds and Ends
ATLANTA -- The new Georgia governor is ready to do something about government fat.

Surhoff agrees to minor league deal, invited to O's camp
BALTIMORE -- Outfielder B.J. Surhoff returned to the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, agreeing to a minor league contract that included an invitation to spring training.

Braves begin spring training with unanswered questions

Braves begin spring training with unanswered questions
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - When you've been with the Atlanta Braves longer than any player in uniform, as John Smoltz has, you gain a unique perspective on things.

Surhoff agrees to minor league deal, invited to O's camp

Greenspan says uncertainty over war harms economic growth
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Tuesday that uncertainties about a war with Iraq represent the biggest cloud hanging over the nation's struggling economy.

First Union signs off

Stocks fall on war worries, economic uncertainty

Stocks fall on war fears, Greenspan's testimony

South Carolina will try to collect internet sales taxes
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- While several large online retailers now are charging sales tax to residents of almost 40 states, South Carolina is not among them. Instead, the will try to collect sales tax from those companies on its own.

Oil stocks decline further to 28-year low

First Union signs off
Augusta's biggest building and its biggest bank will have a new look next week when First Union becomes Wachovia.

Customers show few signs of terrorist fears

Greenspan says uncertainty over war harms economic growth

Company buys rights to process

Stocks fall on war fears, Greenspan's testimony
NEW YORK -- Investors fell deeper into their morass of fear about terrorism and war with Iraq Wednesday, sending stocks lower for a second straight day.

Pocket change
ATLANTA - A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a predatory-lending bill they say is a strong compromise that will help stabilize the state's mortgage industry while protecting vulnerable residents.

Oil stocks decline further to 28-year low
WASHINGTON -- The nation's oil supply dropped another 4.5 million barrels last week, leaving inventories the lowest since 1975 and below what the industry considers necessary for smooth operation.

Business briefs
The Augusta Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that more than 4,300 people are scheduled to attend area conventions, conferences and sporting events during February.

Stocks fall on war worries, economic uncertainty
NEW YORK -- Worries about war and terrorism upset Wall Street Tuesday, sending stocks lower after the release of a tape purportedly of Osama bin Laden expressing solidarity with Iraq.

Customers show few signs of terrorist fears
The government may be on high alert, but some here are taking the warnings in stride.

Company buys rights to process
An Augusta biotech company announced Tuesday that it acquired full title to drug-development technology created at the Medical College of Georgia.

Candle makers turn coconuts into cash crop
Nestled next to the pink flamingos and bobbing hula dancers in Tiki Jim's Myrtle Beach, S.C., novelty stores, several quirky candles made from hollowed-out coconut shells sit, ready to be snatched up by tourists.

South Carolina will try to collect internet sales taxes

Company to offer free e-mail accounts

Greenspan praised by Democrats opposing Bush tax cuts
WASHINGTON -- Democrats praised Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Wednesday for criticizing President Bush's new round of $1.3 trillion in tax cuts as too expensive in light of soaring budget deficits. The White House, meanwhile, was pushing ahead with efforts to build support in Congress.

Pocket change

Panel awaits dispute on tax
Persuading downtown property owners to levy a tax increase on themselves is not going to be an easy task, members of the committee looking to create a business improvement district acknowledged Wednesday.

Candle makers turn coconuts into cash crop

Company to offer free e-mail accounts
An Internet company founded by two North Augusta residents has partnered with the city of Columbia to offer its residents free filtered e-mail accounts.

Governor backs bill to pay Nebraska football players
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Gov. Mike Johanns backs a legislative proposal to pay Nebraska football players.

SEC notebook

Cornwell sets USC Aiken mark

Political hypocrisy

Kill sales tax option

Reducing road risk

Connecting the dots

Pauline 'Mom' Lewis

Thursday proves to be a big night for broadcast TV
NEW YORK -- There was no question which was the most popular night of television last week.

Comedy will hit episode No. 300
LOS ANGELES - The characters may be yellow but The Simpsons hasn't mellowed as it marks its 300th episode Sunday.

Special to air a different view of Michael Jackson interview
NEW YORK -- The Michael Jackson media wars continue, with Fox agreeing to air outtakes the singer selected from his controversial interview with a British journalist.

'Adaptation' earns nomination for writer Kaufman
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Donald Kaufman is a rarity among Academy Awards nominees this year or any year: He doesn't exist.

Miramax roars back with huge nominees list
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Miramax, whose aggressive strategizing helped heighten Hollywood's awards season to the intensity of a political campaign, once again is dominating the Oscars after a three-year dry spell.

'Chicago' leads Oscar nominations with 13
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- "Chicago," the musical adapted from the stage hit about two murderous women competing for tabloid celebrity, led Academy Award contenders Tuesday with 13 nominations, including best picture.

Sassier than ever, 'The Simpsons' hits its 300th episode
LOS ANGELES -- The characters may be yellow but "The Simpsons" hasn't mellowed as it marks its 300th episode Sunday.

Tidbits and trivia from the Academy Award nominations
Trivia from this year's Oscar nominations:

Better loving through chemistry
This Valentine's Day, show your love the traditional way - with a good old box of theobromine mixed with some anadamide.

At the Movies: 'The Quiet American'
"The Quiet American" is the first film that Michael Caine shot after winning his second Academy Award in March 2000 for "The Cider House Rules."

Small portions
If you're planning to celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved one at home, here are suggestions from Nextdaygourmet.com for making a romantic meal:

At the Movies: 'The Pianist'
Adrien Brody's long, slender fingers make him an apt choice to play the title role in "The Pianist," but what one really takes away from the performance are his ceaselessly haunted eyes.

Find feta flavor in a perfect packet
I like to cook something special on Valentine's Day instead of heading out to long restaurant lines. To me, the notion of cooking something special for a loved one is romantic.

In the know
The nose is full of excellent tropical fruit aromas with hints of sweet grapefruit. This bright fruit wine is packed full of lemon zest and citrus flavors.

Hewitt gets more advice
ATLANTA - Former Georgia Tech star John Salley, in town for the NBA All-Star Game last weekend, had some tips for Yellow Jackets coach Paul Hewitt.

Jackets fall to North Carolina State
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Levi Watkins scored a season-high 18 points and Julius Hodge's only field goal was a key one down the stretch as North Carolina State edged Georgia Tech 63-57 Wednesday night.

Hewitt gets more advice

Childhood classmates fading from the picture

Els goes back to work after short break
PERTH, Australia -- After a short break in Bali, Ernie Els is back at work.

Jaguars remain second
The buzz around the Augusta State campus Wednesday was the Jaguars were about to be ranked No. 1 in Division I golf for the first time in school history.

Els goes back to work after short break

Player rethinks remarks

Defending champ, three ex-winners commit to Heritage
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Defending champion Justin Leonard and four-time Heritage winner Davis Love III have committed to this year's tournament, held at Harbour Town Golf Links in April.

Player rethinks remarks
Three-time Masters Tournament winner Gary Player is taking a mulligan on comments he recently made regarding his future participation in the event.

Sorenstam accepts invitation to play Colonial

Sorenstam accepts invitation to play Colonial
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Annika Sorenstam accepted an invitation Wednesday to play in the Colonial, which would make her the first woman in 58 years to compete on the men's pro tour.

Lady Panthers fall just short

Midland Valley clings to playoff hopes in win

School turns off ESPN deal for James

Start dooms Glenn Hills

Prep basketball scores

New steps down as Tigers coach
Saying he - and the Washington-Wilkes football program - needed a change, Tigers coach Ross New said Wednesday he resigned from his position late last month.

Capitals rout Thrashers

Thrashers' McEachern faces surgery
ATLANTA -- Atlanta Thrashers forward Shawn McEachern will undergo surgery for a herniated disk Wednesday, and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.

Avs moving toward playoffs

Thrashers' McEachern faces surgery

Avs moving toward playoffs
DENVER -- Ray Bourque's jersey hangs from the rafters, and he hasn't laced up skates since leading the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup title in 2001. His contributions, however, are unending.

Capitals rout Thrashers
ATLANTA -- Just four minutes into the game, the Atlanta Thrashers already had given up a 3-on-1 and a 2-on-1 - both times with Jaromir Jagr carrying the puck for Washington.

Prime Minister Tony Blair makes moral case for war against Iraq
LONDON -- Going to war with Iraq may be a better solution than continuing economic sanctions that will kill thousands of innocent people, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday.

NATO's faltering unity shadows Bush's push for approval to go to war
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Senate panel Tuesday that what appears to be a new statement from Osama bin Laden shows why the world needs to be concerned about Iraqi ties to terrorism.

U.S. troops live large at base camps in Kuwait
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Men and women relax at umbrella-covered picnic tables on a wide field surrounded by eateries offering burgers, ice cream, pizza and egg rolls.

Man thought to be Osama bin Laden urges followers to back Saddam
DOHA, Qatar -- The purported voice of Osama bin Laden tells his followers to help Saddam Hussein fight Americans even though his government is of "infidels," words U.S. officials said showed the Iraqi leader's ties to the al-Qaida terror network.

Pentagon calls up nearly 40,000 more reservists
WASHINGTON -- A huge increase in the call-up of National Guard and reserve troops in the past week has pushed the number now serving in the counter-terror war to more than 12 percent of the total force, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Iraqi exiles seeking training by U.S. Army hope to help oust Saddam
LONDON -- Fadhel Kalf has volunteered to receive training by the U.S. Army so that he can help get rid of Saddam Hussein, who he claims executed two of his brothers. But he is torn between the urge to avenge his brothers' deaths and a nagging distrust of the United States.

Washington's air defenses strengthened
WASHINGTON -- Air defenses around the nation's capital have been strengthened amid a heightened terrorism alert and a warning from CIA director George Tenet that al-Qaida attacks could occur as early as this week, defense officials said Wednesday.

Lawmakers denounce France, Germany in NATO dispute
WASHINGTON -- Angry lawmakers say U.S. allies have betrayed the United States and the NATO military alliance in a dispute over a possible war with Iraq.

Heating oil, gasoline prices soar because of weather and threat of war
WASHINGTON -- Winter's freeze, a possible war in Iraq and Venezuela's political instability are exposing the fragile nature of today's oil markets.

U.N. inspectors to destroy first banned weapons
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Chemical weapons experts trekked into the Iraqi desert on Wednesday to destroy their first batch of prohibited Iraqi arms under the new U.N. inspections regime, 10 leftover artillery shells filled with burning, disabling mustard gas.

Experts predict no windfall from oil production in a post-war Iraq
LONDON -- The idea that Saddam Hussein's ouster in a U.S.-led war would mean a surge in Iraq's oil output is probably just a petroleum pipe dream.

Air Force buys six new unmanned spy planes from Northrop Grumman
SAN DIEGO -- The Air Force is buying six of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s newest unmanned spy planes for $303 million, company officials said Tuesday.

Foreign Ministers of Russia, China, France to attend critical Security Council meeting on Iraq Friday
UNITED NATIONS -- The foreign ministers of China, France and Russia will return to the United Nations Friday to hear a crucial report from the chief weapons inspectors that will likely set the tone for a heated debate about war with Iraq.

Carrier gives U.S. option for attack from more than one side
ABOARD THE USS HARRY S. TRUMAN -- This nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is in the Mediterranean Sea, far from the Persian Gulf. But that doesn't mean it's not ready to take action should a war against Iraq break out.

Sorenstam to play against the men at PGA Tour's Colonial
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Golfer Annika Sorenstam said Wednesday she has accepted an invitation to play against the men in the Colonial, which will make her the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour.

Governor wants flag vote
ATLANTA -- Georgia's new governor proposed a popularity contest on the state flag next year, first asking voters if the Legislature should change the banner and then whether they prefer the flag dominated by the Confederate battle cross or an earlier version.

'Chronicle' fine example of free press

Diversity a weakness?

New airport terminal would be cost efficient

Thankful to have Bush as our leader

Their behavior will be remembered

Putting protest in perspective

Vicious circle

'Bush-bashers' use class-warfare statements

Lottery: A way to tax without calling it tax

Sassier than ever, 'The Simpsons' hits its 300th episode

Miramax roars back with huge nominees list

Small portions

Special to air a different view of Michael Jackson interview

In the know

Comedy will hit episode No. 300

Thursday proves to be a big night for broadcast TV

'Adaptation' earns nomination for writer Kaufman

At the Movies: 'The Quiet American'

Better loving through chemistry

Find feta flavor in a perfect packet

At the Movies: 'The Pianist'

Pride crush Lynx
The Augusta Lynx ran into their two biggest nemeses Wednesday night: the Pee Dee Pride and themselves.

Lynx notebook

Five questions
Five questions with John Whitwell, Assistant coach

Lynx notebook
The Lynx will have some added depth on the blue line and an all-star up front for tonight's game against the Pee Dee Pride.

Lynx forward faces ECHL fine
Playing for a last-place team, Augusta Lynx center Andrew Williamson probably won't win his second MVP award this season.

Lynx forward knows his role with the team
Josh St. Louis is on pace to score 20 goals this season, which would be a remarkable feat considering how the year began for the second-year Augusta Lynx forward.

Pride crush Lynx

Lynx gamenight
Pee Dee Pride at Augusta Lynx

Lynx forward faces ECHL fine

News you can use

Across South Carolina

Army recalls Guard MPs as 1,100 more S.C. troops head to Gulf

First capital murder trial for Rivera is set
The first of at least three pending capital murder trials for Reinaldo Rivera has been set for March 10 in Richmond County Superior Court.

Dangerous road to get fix
Transportation officials say the days of peril on Deans Bridge Road could be coming to an end.

Police hunt missing sex offenders
Bobby Clark Brassell Jr. isn't the only one who doesn't want to be on the sex offender list.

Small areas to feel crunch

News you can use
FEB. 12, 1943 The sale of mixed drinks is, in his opinion, not a violation of the law, Augusta Safety Commissioner John B. Kennedy said yesterday. The commissioner's statement was based on a letter received by him from T. Grady Head, former state revenue commissioner, which implied that sales of such drinks were legal.

Computer glitch causes headaches for drivers, police
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A glitch in a Division of Motor Vehicles computer system have caused problems for both drivers and police after it incorrectly flagged motorists as having suspended licenses, authorities say.

Leader in party assails Cheeks
Republican state Sen. Don Cheeks should apologize or re-sign from the Legislature, lo-cal Democratic Party officials demanded Tuesday morning. The an-nouncement, made at a news conference, followed newspaper reports that Mr. Cheeks tried to influence the prosecution of a man accused of child molestation.

Crime labs face DNA backlog

Police hope hat leads to robber
Police hope an odd-looking baseball cap will help them find a robber who assaulted a convenience store clerk Monday night at Crown Fast Fare on Mike Padgett Highway.

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

Republicans, Democrats float state budget ideas
ATLANTA -- Georgia House Republicans proposed a tax amnesty program Tuesday to encourage those who owe back taxes to pay up without incurring penalties and help the state struggle out of recession.

Republicans, Democrats float state budget ideas

Teachers may get a tax break on school supplies
ATLANTA -- Several House Republicans want to give Georgia teachers a tax break on school supplies, saying teachers deserve a little help in a year when they probably won't get a pay raise.

Board discusses smoking ban

Flu cases increase in Georgia
ATLANTA -- Flu cases continue to increase across the state, state health officials said Tuesday.

Senate passes bill that raises penalty for elder abuse
ATLANTA -- A bill that would raise the penalty for abusing senior citizens from one year up to five was passed unanimously in the Senate Wednesday.

Red Cross: Particles in blood 'normal blood components'
ATLANTA -- Testing of white particles in quarantined blood bags has revealed they are "normal blood components," the American Red Cross said Tuesday.

Sanford open to charging Governor's school tuition
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Gov. Mark Sanford says he would be open to allowing the two governor's schools in South Carolina to charge tuition to parents who can afford it.

Army recalls Guard MPs as 1,100 more S.C. troops head to Gulf
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina's Army National Guard has mobilized a Florence military police unit for a second year of active duty as more than 1,100 troops got new orders for Persian Gulf service this week, military officials said Tuesday.

Athens proposes collection meters to target panhandlers

Museum agrees to hire consultant for project
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The organizers of a planned $40 million black history museum have agreed to hire a consultant to help create a master plan for the museum and its exhibits.

Small areas to feel crunch
Meeting the state budget crunch might mean closing local government aid and child welfare offices in the state's smallest counties, the Georgia Department of Human Resources has warned. It might also cost some employees their jobs.

Across the area
A Fort Gordon soldier was charged with impersonating a Georgia Highway Patrol officer early Wednesday after deputies found him while investigating a possible vehicle theft, authorities said.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -Hate smelly bathrooms? Some lawmakers say children shouldn't be forced to endure them for 13 years in public school, and a bill before the Georgia House would require local schools to clean up nasty restrooms.

School board foresees higher taxes
Another round of state budget cuts has left school administrators reeling, predicting a second consecutive year of tax increases.

Flu cases increase in Georgia

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is John Nixon of Augusta.

Across Georgia

Council plans fee increase on backyard garbage pickup
AIKEN - Richard Graybill has enjoyed the city's backyard garbage pickup for six years.

Dangerous road to get fix

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -A bill that would raise the penalty for abusing senior citizens from one year to five years was passed unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday.

Teacher is accused of mishandling pupil
A Tubman Middle School teacher was suspended Tuesday for mishandling a female pupil while breaking up a fight, officials said.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA - The parents of an 8-year-old killed at a bus stop have sued, saying the state Education Department, Richland School District 1 and others were negligent in their daughter's death.

Across South Carolina

News you can use
FEB. 13, 1958 A bill that may pave the way for construction of a $100,000 juvenile detention home in Richmond County was passed by the Georgia House yesterday.

Athens proposes collection meters to target panhandlers
ATHENS, Ga. -- Pay a few cents into Athens parking meters and shop for a few hours without getting a ticket. Then add whatever pocket change is left to another meter and keep aggressive panhandlers away.

Rants and Raves
LET ME REMIND all of you who always complain about the weathermen: God is in charge of the weather.

Midyear budget clears House committee
ATLANTA -- The state's midyear budget is on its way to the Georgia House after clearing a legislative committee Wednesday.

Rants and Raves
LET ME REMIND all of you who always complain about the weathermen: God is in charge of the weather.

House approves spending limit bill
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The House on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would limit government spending and growth.

Governor calls for vote on flag
ATLANTA - Reopening one of the state's most controversial issues, Gov. Sonny Perdue presented a plan Wednesday that would let voters help select the state flag.

Three research universities want more freedom

Teachers may get a tax break on school supplies

Midyear budget clears House committee

NAACP threatens boycotts over Georgia flag referendum
ATLANTA -- The nation's largest civil rights group is warning of economic boycotts if Georgia voters choose a state flag dominated by the Confederate battle cross.

Subscriber of the day

Teacher has pupils dancing, spinning in the aisles
Connie Mains wanted to give her kindergartners a glimpse into her life outside the classroom.

2 students are Presidential Scholars candidates
AIKEN - As high school seniors begin looking toward college, there are three more opportunities to take the SAT this school year, officials said Tuesday.

Tie delays decision on pension managers
More than 100 city pensioners said Tuesday that they want to keep their investment advisers local.

Across the area

Three research universities want more freedom
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Officials at the state's top three research universities want to break away from the group that coordinates the state's higher education system.

Decoy assists in robbery

Businessman owns building, court says
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of local businessman Frank Christian in a 1998 dispute over the ownership of an Eighth Street building.

Teenager gets out of detention center

Johnston investigators wait for scene to cool
JOHNSTON, S.C. - With the Johnston Inn still smoldering, investigators are waiting to enter the structure to look for a cause.

News you can use

Board discusses smoking ban
Reviving a controversy from five years ago, the Richmond County Board of Health on Tuesday discussed a smoking ban in restaurants that likely will be posed at its next monthly meeting.

NAACP threatens boycotts over Georgia flag referendum

Correction
An article in Tuesday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle incorrectly described Germany's voting status as a member of the U.N. Security Council. Only the five permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France and Great Britain - have veto power.

Governor calls for vote on flag

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA -South Carolina's Army National Guard has mobilized a Florence military police unit for a second year of active duty as more than 1,100 troops got new orders for Persian Gulf service this week, military officials said Tuesday.

1776 Walton locket returns to Augusta

Across the area
A 78-year-old Aiken man died Tuesday after a farm accident.

Officials respond to letter about jail

Subscriber of the day

Project map expands

Leader in party assails Cheeks

1776 Walton locket returns to Augusta
A small locket that decorated the neck of one of the city's most famous residents more than two centuries ago has returned to Augusta.

Governor wants flag vote

Officials respond to letter about jail
AIKEN - Problems inside the Aiken County Detention Center, detailed in copies of an anonymous letter to county and state officials, either have been remedied or are being investigated, officials said Wednesday.

Across the area

Decoy assists in robbery
A pair of thieves attacked and robbed an Augusta man of $5,000 by using a child as a decoy, a police report states.

Police hunt missing sex offenders

Fire inside closet brings early end to school day
Pupils at Morgan Road Middle School were sent home without lunch Wednesday afternoon after a suspicious fire in a utility closet spread smoke into classrooms and hallways.

2 students are Presidential Scholars candidates

Crime labs face DNA backlog
As police increasingly rely on DNA evidence to find "whodunit," the demand for analysis of the biological samples has led to an overload at crime labs in some states.

Subscriber of the day
Karen Kitchens of Augusta is today's subscriber of the day

Teenager gets out of detention center
Donna Luke gave her son a long, tight hug when he walked into the gatehouse Wednesday morning at the Augusta Youth Development Campus.

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

Doctor denies owning weapon
A former Martinez physician testified Wednesday that he had never seen the fully automatic assault rifle that investigators found at his home the day they discovered his wife covered in bruises.

Red Cross: Particles in blood 'normal blood components'

Project map expands
New road projects could be coming to outlying areas of Augusta, transportation officials said Wednesday.

Correction

Men face murder charge
Three Augusta men serving prison terms for beating an elderly man now face murder charges.

Army reservists head overseas
The second half of the Augusta-based 319th Transportation Company will deploy overseas today as part of the United States' war on terrorism. The first half left Wednesday morning from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga.

Johnston investigators wait for scene to cool

State rivals know each other's pain
North Carolina's fictitious Tobacco Road is widely known as the main thoroughfare to college basketball excellence.

It's not all doom and gloom in South Carolina
COLUMBIA - It has been suggested by more than a few fine citizens of the Palmetto State that some of the opinions expressed in this column might skew to the negative side regarding the institutions of higher learning and athletic achievement in their fair state.

Childhood classmates fading from the picture
While cleaning out the closet recently, I came across my class photo from the seventh grade. I'm ashamed to admit that, although all the faces were familiar, some of the names escape me now.

Thursday's qualifying races crucial for some
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- For some drivers, the twin 125-mile qualifying races are simply a warmup for the Daytona 500. For others, they are their only chance to get into Sunday's race.

Racing Newsmaker

Thursday's qualifying races crucial for some

Five-car crash in practice sends drivers to backups

NASCAR notebook
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Brooke Gordon's attorneys say their attempts to deliver subpoenas at Daytona International Speedway in her divorce with four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon is all about business.

Racing Newsmaker
Q&A with Sammy Packard, the only surviving member of the group that founded NASCAR.

NASCAR officials say Daytona 500 name not for sale
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Fenders and hoods on racecars are adorned with decals of big-dollar sponsors. The horizon at most racetracks is cluttered with billboards. Most race names read like a corporate directory. Track names have been auctioned like mint condition Mickey Mantle baseball cards on the Internet.

NASCAR notebook

Five-car crash in practice sends drivers to backups
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler and Mike Skinner will switch to backup cars after a crash Tuesday proved just how risky even practice for the Daytona 500 can be.

NASCAR officials say Daytona 500 name not for sale

Tapes from Mission Control provide glimpse into final frantic moments of Columbia

NASA: wing fragment came from shuttle's troubled left side

Information policy changes in investigation as a new board takes over

NASA: no problems on Columbia suggested any safety risk

Raptors edge Hawks

Raptors edge Hawks
TORONTO -- Vince Carter has the Toronto Raptors playing their best basketball of the season.

Cornwell sets USC Aiken mark
GREENWOOD, S.C. - Jami Cornwell became USC Aiken's all-time leading scorer as the Lady Pacers beat Lander 72-63 on Wednesday night in a Peach Belt Conference game.

SEC notebook
South Carolina coach Dave Odom is probably wise not to read too much into last week's win at Vanderbilt.

Mrs. Betty Lockett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Martha Beasley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Charlie Howard    (COLUMBIA, S.C.)
Mrs. Catherine Neuburg    (LAKE PANASOFFKEE, Fla.)
Miss Holly Thompson    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
Mrs. Sandy McCauley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Ms. Mary McCray    (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Mary Cooper    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Norma Miller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Ms. Michelle Johnson    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Frank Blanchard    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Miss Ethel Griner    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ophelia Vaughns    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Rev. Timothy Fellows    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Virginia Rogers    (LYONS, Ga.)
Ms. Fannie Doe    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
Mrs. Pearl Olsen    (MCCORMICK, S.C.)
Mrs. Barbara Diehl    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Louise Jordan    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Robert Chapman    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Julie Greene    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Michael Newsome    (APPLING, Ga.)
Mr. Timothy Burton    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lilly Pritchard    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Tracy Jenkins    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Ervin Redd    (WINDSOR, S.C.)
Mr. Oscar Brown    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Oscar Brown Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ethel Arcuri    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Miss Barbara Roberson    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Mary Thompson    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lula Robinson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Ms. Elizabeth Smith    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Elaine Scannon    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lilly Pritchard    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Frank Knight    (GARDEN City, Ga.)
Mrs. Fannie Jenkins    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Barbara Stout    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. John Harris    (SPARTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Tiny Stubblefield    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Norma Miller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Jordan Upton    (TWIN CITY, Ga.)
Mrs. Betty-Jean Lockett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Helen Johnson    (WINDSOR, S.C.)
Ms. Michelle Johnson    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Glindle Williams    (WRENS, Ga.)
Mrs. Ollie Hayward    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Sara Willis    (CANOOCHEE, Ga.)
Mrs. Phyllis Ford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Kathleen Arbogast    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Mabel Chantler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Wayne Bailey    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mrs. Ollie Hayward    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Louise Jordan    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Miriam Hall    (DEARING, Ga.)
Fredrick Brown, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Major Charles Bonner    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Mildred Baqui    (MODOC, S.C.)
Lucy Herrin    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Robert Brinson    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Ophelia Vaughns    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Horace Richardson    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Lula Robinson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Barbara Roberson (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Phyllis Ford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Martha Beasley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Oscar Brown (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Julie Greene (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Sara Willis (CANOOCHEE, Ga.)

Mrs. Ethel Arcuri (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Horace Richardson (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Michael Newsome (APPLING, Ga.)

Mrs. Lilly Pritchard (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Tracy Jenkins (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Sandy McCauley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbara Stout (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Fannie Jenkins (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbara Diehl (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Ophelia Vaughns (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Wayne Bailey (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Louise Jordan (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elaine Scannon (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Brinson (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Ms. Michelle Johnson (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Glindle Williams (WRENS, Ga.)

Fredrick Brown, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ollie Hayward (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Miriam Hall (DEARING, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Rogers (LYONS, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Chapman (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Norma Miller (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Rev. Timothy Fellows (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Fannie Doe (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Mr. John Harris (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Catherine Neuburg (LAKE PANASOFFKEE, Fla.)

Mrs. Lilly Pritchard (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Pearl Olsen (MCCORMICK, S.C.)

Mr. Jordan Upton (TWIN CITY, Ga.)

Ms. Mary McCray (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)

Mr. Frank Blanchard (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charlie Howard (COLUMBIA, S.C.)

Mrs. Tiny Stubblefield (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Lucy Herrin (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Ollie Hayward (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Ophelia Vaughns (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Ervin Redd (WINDSOR, S.C.)

Mr. Oscar Brown Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Cooper (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mr. Frank Knight (GARDEN City, Ga.)

Mr. Timothy Burton (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Michelle Johnson (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Miss Holly Thompson (BLYTHE, Ga.)

Reducing road risk
"This project has been many years in the planning stages, and we are excited that construction will begin soon. The improvement of median openings and intersections, as well as the closing of some median openings, should enhance the operational and safety aspects of Deans Bridge Road."

'Chronicle' fine example of free press
The Augusta Chronicle certainly does not need me to grade the efforts of the newspaper's staff and management - I have indeed, been a very harsh critic of some editorial opinions in the past - but, what a great job by The Chronicle's Sandy Hodson, the irreplaceable Rick McKee and the Opinion page writers regarding the Don Cheeks, Danny Craig, Bobby Clark Brassell Jr. "trinity of evil." Frank Murphy, Aiken, S.C.

Connecting the dots
It's amazing the lengths Islamic extremists will go to draw the Muslim world into a war with America.

New airport terminal would be cost efficient
The Aviation Commission is planning a mini-retreat on Feb. 13, and one of the items to be discussed is a new terminal for Augusta Regional Airport. Malcolm Luxenberg, Augusta

'Bush-bashers' use class-warfare statements
I would like to ask Tim Kelly (Jan. 23, "Bush's economic stimulus plan a windfall for the rich") and the other Bush-bashers what a regular American is and what rich means. It seems that these people do not understand that a tax cut only goes to people who pay taxes. If you pay taxes, you get a reduction. If you do not pay taxes, then you do not get a reduction. David Allen, Aiken, S.C.

Kill sales tax option
Our area legislators are rightly lining up against a bill just introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives that would allow voters of consolidated governments - like Augusta-Richmond County - to double their special local option sales tax.

Diversity a weakness?
Regarding the Feb. 2 letter by Lon Purvis, "Diversity creates weakness," only a racist could possibly believe America's diversity is its weakness. Bernard W. Clark, Keysville, Ga.

Vicious circle
The 80-pound pit bull that attacked and mauled 3-year-old Gage Wright outside the boy's home on Southgate Drive is going to be put down by the Augusta-Richmond County Animal Control after the dog's rabies status is determined. But that's not nearly enough. This is an egregious case in which a child could easily have died.

Lottery: A way to tax without calling it tax
In your article concerning the Georgia Lottery, you say that the state legislature authorized a study of the lottery three years ago, and the findings have already been released. John Ballard, Augusta

Thankful to have Bush as our leader
What a beautiful and moving tribute to our fallen astronauts of the Columbia family on Feb. 4. What a loss of seven such fine, dedicated members of mankind. And what wonderful, supportive families they had. The memorial service of Feb. 4 was very inspiring. The events were well-planned and impressive. Mrs. Evelyn R. Thompson, Aiken, S.C.

Pauline 'Mom' Lewis
Pauline "Mom" Lewis, who died Saturday at age 92, was one of those individuals who wasn't in the public spotlight yet made a tremendous difference in her community and in the success of her family's entertainment and business organization.

Their behavior will be remembered
This is in response to the Feb. 4 article about Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, helping a child molester ("Cheeks intervenes for convict," Metro). Eric Treesh, Hephzibah, Ga.

Political hypocrisy
If Richmond County Democrats had a history of calling to account politicians of their own party who engaged in ethical lapses, then Tuesday's attack on state Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, by Chairman Lowell Greenbaum would have some credibility.

Putting protest in perspective
Americans are allowed to gather and to protest. Since the Augusta National Golf Club is in America, why are we afraid of lawful protests? A peaceful protest done in a reasonable way should be no problem. Jason Jarrard, Augusta

Surprising success secures Reeves' job

Overtime

Names in the Game

Overtime

Seles knocked out of Qatar Open
DOHA, Qatar -- Defending champion Monica Seles was ousted in the second round of the $170,000 Qatar Open on Wednesday, losing 7-5, 7-5 to wild card Lina Krasnoroutskaya.

Surprising success secures Reeves' job
A little more than a year ago, Dan Reeves' coaching career with the Atlanta Falcons seemed as shaky as ever.

Dormant Stallions might be through
Augusta Stallions operator Frank Lawrence might be looking to expand his sports holdings into Cajun country.

Names in the Game
FIORANO, Italy -- Michael Schumacher has set another record.

Overtime
Outfielder B.J. Surhoff returned to the Baltimore Orioles, signing a minor league contract that included an invitation to spring training.

Overtime
Linebacker Takeo Spikes was named as the Cincinnati Bengals' transition player, a disappointment to one of the team's top defensive players and emotional leaders.

Start dooms Glenn Hills
The bus was supposed to be at the school at 4:30 p.m., which would have given the Glenn Hills boys basketball team plenty of time to travel to Cross Creek and get prepared for Tuesday's game.

Midland Valley clings to playoff hopes in win
LANGLEY - In order to preserve its playoff hopes, Midland Valley needed a strong effort on Senior Night against Region 5-AAA rival A.C. Flora on Tuesday.

School turns off ESPN deal for James
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James will be getting a little less TV exposure.

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

Prep basketball scores
Scores from area high school basketball games

Rebounding, defense save Hephzibah girls
The shooting was not pretty, the turnovers even less so.

Lady Panthers fall just short
Lakeside had its dream within reach, but Baldwin Countysnatched it away in the Region 3-AAAA girls tournament on Wednesday at Cross Creek.

It's not all doom and gloom in South Carolina

State rivals know each other's pain

NASA: wing fragment came from shuttle's troubled left side
SPACE CENTER, Houston -- A wing fragment that may be the most significant piece of Columbia debris found since the space shuttle's disintegration came from the space shuttle's troubled left side, NASA determined.

NASA: no problems on Columbia suggested any safety risk
WASHINGTON -- NASA's top official, saying he was "saddened beyond words" about the shuttle Columbia tragedy, told Congress Wednesday the orbiter exhibited no problems during its 16-day mission suggesting the crew's lives were threatened.

Information policy changes in investigation as a new board takes over
SPACE CENTER, Houston -- In the first few days after the Columbia disaster, NASA showed surprising candor and openness, effectively allowing the public to peer over the shoulder of the mission manager each day.

Tapes from Mission Control provide glimpse into final frantic moments of Columbia
SPACE CENTER, Houston -- NASA has released transcripts from some of Columbia's final radio transmissions, chronicling the efforts of Mission Control engineers as they became painfully aware that the shuttle had broken apart.

Photo tips for digital baby pictures
Digital cameras give us the ability to see our pictures right away, and then to share them with family and friends through the Internet, either as attachments to e-mails or as photos posted on a family Web site.

'The Getaway' - game, movie or something in-between?
Is "The Getaway" a videogame, a movie or some mutant offspring of the two?

Something nice about Microsoft
Microsoft's Windows updates have often been a mixed bag, fixing one problem and causing others, but there's one available that deserves a look.

New photograph shows universe forming
WASHINGTON -- NASA released what it called the most vivid snapshot of the infant universe ever taken, capturing such stunning detail that it may be one of the most significant scientific achievements of recent years.

'Cyberbegging' sites popping up all over
CHICAGO -- They make their pleas for help via the World Wide Web. Some are struggling single moms or recent college graduates loaded down with student loans and maxed-out credit cards. Others are childless couples seeking treatment for infertility. One site even makes a pitch for a cat named Buster.

No. 3 'Cats feed Dogs humble pie

No. 3 'Cats feed Dogs humble pie
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky's defense humbled another Southeastern Conference challenger Tuesday night.

Clemson, South Carolina takes Carolina Center stage

Gamecocks top Tigers
COLUMBIA - With 2:45 left, Chuck Eidson swiped a rebound and was fouled by Edward Scott.

Clemson, South Carolina takes Carolina Center stage
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Call this "Rivalry Lite."

Gamecocks top Tigers

New beginnnings
One of these years, the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship won't be hard-pressed for time.

Odds and Ends

Bowling ball makes bad Valentine's Day gift

Heating oil, gasoline prices soar because of weather and threat of war

U.N. inspectors to destroy first banned weapons

Air Force buys six new unmanned spy planes from Northrop Grumman

Experts predict no windfall from oil production in a post-war Iraq

U.S. troops live large at base camps in Kuwait

Man thought to be Osama bin Laden urges followers to back Saddam

NATO's faltering unity shadows Bush's push for approval to go to war

Lawmakers denounce France, Germany in NATO dispute

Washington's air defenses strengthened

Pentagon calls up nearly 40,000 more reservists

Prime Minister Tony Blair makes moral case for war against Iraq

Carrier gives U.S. option for attack from more than one side

Iraqi exiles seeking training by U.S. Army hope to help oust Saddam

Something nice about Microsoft

'The Getaway' - game, movie or something in-between?

New photograph shows universe forming

'Cyberbegging' sites popping up all over

Photo tips for digital baby pictures