Video watch

Ramblin' Rhodes: Singer's popularity goes beyond Texas

Children will find magic in 'Enchanted Well'

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.

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

Children will find magic in 'Enchanted Well'
Princes and princesses, a magician and a happy ending are the stuff Storyland Theatre is made of.

Shakespeare 'n' lust

Standing ovations
The Tuesday Music Live concert at St. Paul's Episcopal Church features the Atlanta trio Cowboy Envy, which has a sound reminiscent of the Sons of the Pioneers and Riders in the Sky.

'Reaper Calls' for mix of comedy and reality

Ramblin' Rhodes: Singer's popularity goes beyond Texas
Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen says folks in his hometown of Bandera still don't know what he does for a living, although his national following includes the new governor of Texas and twins with close ties to the president.

At the Movies: 'Daredevil'

Video watch
JUST OUT: My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Possession, Brown Sugar, Swept Away, Full Frontal and 8 Women

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

'Reaper Calls' for mix of comedy and reality
The components are simple: an isolated cabin, two couples and a murderous heart. It's the recipe for a thousand murder mysteries that have come before.

Club calendar

'Les Mis' production seems tired
The touring production of Les Miserables, in residence at Bell Auditorium through Sunday, opened lock, stock and hydraulically

Rosy romances can turn thorny

Shakespeare 'n' lust
The Augusta Theatre Company will do away with the kind hearts and carnations associated with Valentine's Day with a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream painted in earthy tones.

Mini reviews

Rosy romances can turn thorny
Not to sound like a jaded cynic, but I'm not really a Valentine's Day fan. For me, the chocolates, flowers and softly lighted dinners that mark mid-February have always felt forced, as though couples are scrambling to fill some sort of annual romance requirement. So, while most couples are donating small slices of the children's college funds to confectioners and the greeting card industry, I plan on celebrating cinematically with a batch of the least-romantic movies imaginable. These movies eschew the soft-focus idealism of Hollywood heart-warmers in favor of harsher romance hells:

Applause calendar

Band directors to play for students
The Savannah River Winds will flex their musical muscles tonight when they perform in honor of the teen musicians in the 10th District Honor Band.

'Les Mis' production seems tired

At the Movies: 'Daredevil'
"Daredevil" is a dispassionate affair, buffed to a sheen throughout - from the digitally touched-up images to Ben Affleck's exquisitely tousled mop-top to the painstaking setup of a sequel in the final reel.

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: 'The Pianist'

Jimenez, Ibanez settle, Beltran goes to hearing

Jimenez, Ibanez settle, Beltran goes to hearing
TAMPA, Fla. -- Kansas City outfielder Raul Ibanez and Colorado closer Jose Jimenez settled their arbitration cases Thursday, and Royals outfielder Carlos Beltran went to a hearing.

Macon to get independent baseball team
MACON, Ga. -- Mayor Jack Ellis is expected to announce Monday that an independent league baseball team will be named to replace the Macon Braves, who moved to Rome after 12 years in this central Georgia city.

Valentine's Day gifts come easier for some

New faces boost Braves pitching

Casting call to fill out Braves' bullpen starts

For the newest Braves, losing was getting old

Glavine ready to put Braves in past

Fugitives from losing teams happy to join Braves

Casting call to fill out Braves' bullpen starts
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - In a perfect world, Chris Hammond would have dismissed the Yankees' fortune, Mike Remlinger would have ignored the Cubs' overtures, and Kerry Ligtenberg would have willingly accepted $400,000 to remain an Atlanta Brave.

Braves expect excellence from overhauled pitching staff
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves pitching staff was overhauled this winter, but manager Bobby Cox still expects the same excellence that kept the Braves on top of the NL East for more than a decade.

Fugitives from losing teams happy to join Braves
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers report for spring training Friday, and among them are at least four players who couldn't be happier to get camp started.

Braves expect excellence from overhauled pitching staff

For the newest Braves, losing was getting old
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Roberto Hernandez and Robert Fick couldn't stop smiling. Paul Byrd and Ray King didn't want the day to end.

Glavine ready to put Braves in past
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Tom Glavine checked into camp with the New York Mets on Thursday and immediately found himself talking about his old team.

New faces boost Braves pitching
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - As bullpen catcher Alan Butts strode across the clubhouse Thursday morning, he spotted Russ Ortiz unpacking a duffel bag. He offered a greeting that brought back not-so-pleasant memories of last October: "Thanks for beating our butts twice."

Business briefs
WASHINGTON - Senators were divided Thursday on whether the government should release crude oil from its emergency reserve in an attempt to boost sagging petroleum inventories and dampen soaring energy prices.

Economists predicting rebound once war uncertainties recede
WASHINGTON -- The United States, which struggled through a stop-and-go recovery last year, should see the economy steadily gain strength in 2003, say a panel of prominent economic forecasters.

Stocks trading lower following mixed retail sales news, on war jitters
NEW YORK -- A mixed retail sales report and Wall Street's fears of war with Iraq dragged stocks lower Thursday, extending the market's sell-off to a third day.

Experts caution love can be costly
All the single people without valentines today can take solace in at least one headache they don't have to worry about - the financial pitfalls of love.

Fewer employers come to ASU job fair
When Laura Collins talks about life after her graduation from Augusta State University in May, it's with mixed feelings.

Hospital hands out life-saving devices
It's somewhat ironic that today, Tony Daniels will be learning what to do with a broken heart.

Stocks rise moderately as upbeat economic news weighs against war worries

A global market
Israeli vendor Peretz Blasberg holds a mirror for Jessica Whitten, 14, as her mother, Michele Whitten, puts on a necklace she bought Thursday at the Ramada Plaza Hotel. The hotel was host for TAL Tours' "Buy Israel Now" caravan. The group of Israeli merchants is on a 75-day, 45-city tour of the nation to stimulate Israel's struggling economy. The Augusta stop was sponsored by Watchmen Broadcasting Productions International.

Stocks trading lower following mixed retail sales news, on war jitters

Fed member details optimism
ATHENS, Ga. - The U.S. economy likely will weather the current onslaught of economic woes and dodge the threat of deflation, said Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson.

Stocks rise moderately as upbeat economic news weighs against war worries
NEW YORK -- Battling its own war angst, Wall Street traded higher Friday for the first time in four sessions. The advance was hard fought, however, with stocks fluctuating on mixed economic news and ongoing fears about war with Iraq.

Business briefs
Delta Air Lines and its subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines will add 30 flights, more than 3,300 seats, between Augusta and Atlanta during Masters Week, company officials announced Thursday.

Average gas price in South Carolina reaches record high
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The average price for a gallon of gasoline reached the highest level on record in South Carolina this week, with rumors of war in the Middle East, labor strife in South America and a cold winter in the Northeast all to blame.

A global market

Average gas price in South Carolina reaches record high

Experts caution love can be costly

Fewer employers come to ASU job fair

Hospital hands out life-saving devices

National registry to block unwanted telemarketing calls coming this year, lawmakers say

National registry to block unwanted telemarketing calls coming this year, lawmakers say
WASHINGTON -- A national "do-not-call" list intended to help consumers block unwanted telemarketing calls is moving closer to becoming reality and lawmakers say it will likely go into effect this year.

Harriman's accuracy keeps Jags in groove

Tennessee State's Phillips breaks barrier

No graceful way out

Go for rail relocation

Unorthodox governor

Game's over

Books depict personal struggles
Black History Month is celebrated each year in February. The Children's Department is currently in the process of updating two booklists in celebration of this month. Don't limit yourself to reading these books in February; these are good reads for anybody any time of the year.

Top movies to cuddle by
Whether you are with your sweetie or your single friends, there's a slew of romantic flicks out there. So grab a pillow, some popcorn and take in one of these movies:

Tips for a romantic and memorable Valentine's Day
The Valentine's Day gift you choose for your loved one says a lot about your relationship, so give something that has real meaning to you both. Gifts that come from the heart don't have to be expensive. Since the traditional gifts of flowers or chocolates don't last, express your love in unique, memorable ways:

Surving the winter BLAHS
Maybe it hasn't happened yet, but it will: There will come a time this winter when the weather is awful, the kids are stir-crazy, and you feel like tearing your hair out.

A box of Valentine's Day trivia
Roses, chocolates, cards to your sweetest. Romance comes alive every February 14. Sure, you know that life is like a box of chocolates, but just how much do you know about the holiday? Here's trivia for you.

The things kids say
If I've learned anything as a mom it's this: children call it like they see it! You've got a few goodies tucked away in your memory, I'm sure. Their first reference to a bad toupee, a seriously overweight person, or someone of a different race. It's innocent enough when they're little, but that can change quickly, can't it?

Family scrapbook
The Brownies from Troop 12 recently visited the residents at Morningside assisted living center.

Family calendar
Valentine's Day Disco Friday, February 14 This is an annual event for students ages 12-18 with valid student ID. Located at the Smith-Hazel Recreation Center, Aiken from 7-10 p.m. Cost is $3 per person. Please call (803) 642-7635 for details.

From the editor
One of the great joys of my life is watching my kids accomplish something. Whether it's in sports or academics or some new skill, it's a fun to watch them try.

Simple and satisfying
How does one say, "I love you" to their family? I am a firm believer that it is not so much what we say, but what we do.

At the movies: Frida
Salma Hayek’s dream has become a surreal reality with “Frida.” Ten years in the making — and at one point competing with a similar project that would have starred Jennifer Lopez — Hayek’s portrayal of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo finally makes it to the screen. And it was worth the wait.

Lake legend Shaw marks 80th
Tommy Shaw's 29-year memories of Clark Hill Lake, later called Clarks Hill and now called Strom Thurmond Lake include violent wind storms, high water levels and low water levels.

Fishing tournament news
Sponsoring a bass, crappie, catfish or other fishing tournament? Mail or fax your flyer or information to Fishing Editor, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, Ga. 30903-1928. Fax number: (706) 823-3408. Tournament reports must include first and last names of the participants, total numbers of fish caught and total weight of the catch.

Fishing report

Fishing report
The fish are beginning to turn on at Lake Strom Thurmond as water level and surface temperatures begin to rise.

Lake legend Shaw marks 80th

Fishing tournament news

Red tips respond to heavy pruning

Love will keep blooming
This Valentine's Day, give your love a Chrysler Imperial, French Perfume and French Lace without going into debt.

Love will keep blooming

Plant a primitive garden
Dinosaurs are such popular reptiles these days that it seems appropriate to plan a garden in which they would feel at home. A number of plants whose leaves rustled at the swish of dinosaurs tails are still around today.

Red tips respond to heavy pruning
I have red tips growing along a fence row. I want to keep them as a privacy boundary but they have become very tall and will not fill in at the bottom. A friend told me to cut them back to about a foot above ground and they will bush out and grow new stems. Do you have any suggestions?

Plant a primitive garden

Nicklaus looking to complete full-field Champions Tour event

Nicklaus looking to complete full-field Champions Tour event
NAPLES, Fla. -- Jack Nicklaus completed one tournament last year on the Champions Tour. Now that his bad back has improved, Nicklaus hopes to finish more events - and win them.

Els leads Johnnie Walker Classic

Els leads Johnnie Walker Classic
PERTH, Australia -- Ernie Els played 10 ordinary holes then eight extraordinary ones Friday to take a four-stroke lead in the Johnnie Walker Classic.

Tiger back - and all over the place
SAN DIEGO -- The gallery crammed around the first tee and stood elbow-to-elbow on a clubhouse balcony to get a glimpse of Tiger Woods, playing in his first tournament Thursday since knee surgery two months ago.

Els leads Johnnie Walker Classic
PERTH, Australia -- Ernie Els entertained thoughts of breaking 60. He settled for the lead.

Fair-weather Tiger back in the hunt
SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods' turnaround was just as drastic as the change in weather Friday, from a gloomy fog to spectacular sunshine.

Fair-weather Tiger back in the hunt

Tiger didn't get the welcome he wanted
SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods finally got his first round behind him Friday, finishing with a birdie for a 2-under 70 that left him five strokes behind former college rival Arron Oberholser in the Buick Invitational.

Tiger didn't get the welcome he wanted

Els leads Johnnie Walker Classic

Tiger back - and all over the place

Prep basketball scores

Prep basketball scores

Wildcats' free throws fall when it counts

Prep boys statistics

Thomson sends Greenbrier home

Prep girls statistics

Players of the week

Thrashers tie Lightning

Mighty Ducks emerge as playoff contenders
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Perhaps there's something in the Orange County air, or maybe it's the Rally Monkey.

Thrashers tie Lightning
ATLANTA -- Nikita Alexeev scored with 13:44 left in regulation as the Tampa Bay Lightning overcame a two-goal deficit and tied the Atlanta Thrashers 2-2 Friday night.

Mighty Ducks emerge as playoff contenders

Blix: Inspectors have not found any weapons of mass destruction
UNITED NATIONS -- Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told the Security Council on Friday his teams have not uncovered any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but that Saddam Hussein has not accounted for many banned weapons that his government is suspected of having.

More U.S. military women edging closer to combat positions
WASHINGTON -- Two months after settling into what she thought would be her dream job at Langley Air Force Base, security officer Nina Augustine got her rifle and shipped out.

Pentagon notifying news organizations about how many journalists will go with troops
NEW YORK -- The Pentagon told a series of news organizations this week how many journalists they would be allowed to send with the military in case of a war with Iraq.

French foreign minister: Let inspections continue, no need for war
UNITED NATIONS -- France's foreign minister drew rare applause from his U.N. Security Council colleagues Friday with his declaration that weapons inspections "are producing results" and there was no justification yet for a war with Iraq.

Powell confronts allies opposed to conflict with Iraq
UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary of State Colin Powell pressed reluctant allies Friday to threaten Iraq with force to disarm and not be taken in by "tricks that are being played on us."

U.S. plans to give Iraqis control of their country after ousting Saddam
WASHINGTON -- In case of war, the United States intends to oust Saddam Hussein and liberate Iraq, not occupy it, and then will turn over control of the country and its oil to Iraqis as soon as possible, administration officials told a Senate committee Tuesday.

Key developments concerning Iraq
Developments in the Iraq crisis:

Powell to confront critics of war with Iraq
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Colin Powell, on the eve of another faceoff at the United Nations over disarming Saddam Hussein, said Thursday the American people should be "prepared for a fairly long-term commitment" in Iraq.

Valentine's Day gifts come easier for some
How best to explain today's Valentine's Day?

Plants quarantined at Evans High School
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has quarantined hundreds of geraniums in Columbia County because the plants might be infected with a serious plant disease listed on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's bioterrorism list.

How do we distinguish illegals from terrorists?

Cheeks should be thrown out of office

Could Columbia disaster have been prevented?

Cheeks just made a mistake

Grovetown police Nazi-like

Local government too often does more harm than good

What is writer's definition of 'flawless'?

Parkway should be renamed in Connell's honor

Appalled by fellow senator's behavior

Speak out against war before it's too late

Representatives wrong to support Venezuelan leader

Family scrapbook

At the movies: Frida

From the editor

Tips for a romantic and memorable Valentine's Day

Surving the winter BLAHS

Books depict personal struggles

A box of Valentine's Day trivia

The things kids say

Top movies to cuddle by

Forward hopes to escape fine by hair

Lynx game report
Star of the game: Jackson's John McNabb led the way with two goals, his 26th and 27th of the year.

Fortunes don't reverse for Lynx

Former Lynx come calling
More than 100 trades are made in the ECHL each year, and many end up more like a bitter divorce than an amicable parting of ways.

Forward hopes to escape fine by hair
Augusta Lynx forward Lance Galbraith is hoping to save himself a C-note.

Augusta Lynx Game Weekend

Lynx game report

Former Lynx come calling

Fortunes don't reverse for Lynx
After Wednesday night's humiliating loss to Pee Dee, Lynx coach David Wilkie and assistant coach John Whitwell sat in their office until midnight breaking down the game tape.

Augusta Lynx Game Weekend
Friday: vs. Jackson Bandits, 7:35 p.m.

Obstacles hindering move of reactor to South Carolina

Bill offers tax amnesty plan
ATLANTA - Georgians who never got around to paying taxes in past years could have a chance to come clean under an amnesty plan proposed by Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Martinez.

Correction

DOT launches program to refill job pool
These days, the Georgia Department of Transportation concedes it's having a problem hiring young people.

Correction
A story in Friday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle misspelled the name of a Medical College of Georgia official. Dr. T. Andrew Albritton is the associate dean for curriculum in MCG's School of Medicine.

House approves budget
ATLANTA - After vowing to do all they can to avoid raising taxes, members of the Georgia House overwhelmingly passed a midyear budget Thursday that could end up requiring a tax increase.

Educators voice concerns

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA -An innovative court that handles domestic violence cases in Lexington County is effectively addressing one of South Carolina's worst problems, officials and researchers say.

State puts 6 guards off job
Six youth detention officers at the Augusta Youth Development Campus were suspended with little explanation Thursday by the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Across Georgia
JONESBORO -A suspicious device that prompted the evacuation of a suburban Atlanta high school Thursday turned out to be a container of hand cream with a kitchen timer attached to it.

Doctor cleared of gun charge

Across the area
Three sex offenders wanted in Richmond County for failing to register have been arrested.

Guide gives poetic touch to island tour
JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. - Most people like their horses strong and with good temperament.

Some show little love for Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is the holiday of love, to be sure. It's also the holiday that many singles - with ever-increasing zest - love to hate.

Security changes lead to drop in drug busts

Business is blooming
Floral designer Jasmeen Kahn designs a bouquet as part of the holiday rush for Valentine's Day at Martina's Flowers and Gifts on Washington Road. The business has people working around the clock in preparation for today's deliveries.

Driver is jailed in DUI deaths

Officer calls school fire arson
A fire at Morgan Road Middle School on Wednesday has been ruled an arson.

Valentine's Day means waiting
"I'm hungry," exclaimed LeFaye Davis as she stood near the bar of the Macaroni Grill with her boyfriend, Marcus Collins.

Traffic stop leads to trafficking charges
Three Augusta men were in police custody Friday after a downtown traffic stop uncovered $40,000 worth of crack cocaine.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -The power struggle between Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue and Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker spilled Friday into the GOP-led Senate, where lawmakers threw their support behind the new governor.

Walker wants meeting on protest ordinance
Charles "Champ" Walker Jr. wants local leaders to set aside their political differences and personal agendas to have an open conversation abouta local protest ordinance.

Disease of geraniums is no danger to people
The disease that led the Georgia Department of Agriculture to quarantine hundreds of geraniums across the state Friday poses no danger to people, officials said.

Group will try to shield Fort Gordon
U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood came to Augusta on Friday to organize an effort to keep Fort Gordon from being a target in the next round of military base closings three years from now.

Airport halts renovation plan

Doctor cleared of gun charge
A former Martinez physician was acquitted Thursday of an illegal-weapon charge.

Across the Southeast
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -An Amtrak train smashed into two vehicles at separate crossings 12 miles apart Friday, killing the driver of a pickup in the first crash. No one on the train was injured in either accident.

Security changes lead to drop in drug busts
At Augusta Regional Airport, officials say, the war on terrorism has helped the war on drugs. It's also rooted out everything from head shears to toy guns as the result of increased bag searches since Sept. 11, 2001.

Heart fund-raiser gets the best moves from schoolchildren

Boost to minority recruiting fails to pay off
ATHENS, Ga. - Despite what University of Georgia officials said was an unprecedented effort to recruit minority applicants this year, the number of black applicants for next year's freshman class plummeted by 40 percent.

Bill offers tax amnesty plan

Georgians find state budget cuts
NEWNAN, Ga. - Without glancing at the 700-page book that summarizes Georgia's $16 billion budget, Maurice Britt has an immediate suggestion on how to meet a projected revenue shortfall.

Subscriber of the day

Study faults medical schools
You would think Viagra wouldn't need to come with instructions.

Chemical spills onto busy street

Professor fired in MCG attack
A part-time faculty member at the Medical College of Georgia allegedly attacked a supervisor who had ordered him to leave, spit in a police officer's eye and had to be subdued in the administration building, the college said.

Tax-deductible fire fees proposed

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Ronald Pound of Augusta.

Rants and raves
Because we receive a number of comments and questions about The Augusta Chronicle, we use Saturday's Rants & Raves column to set the record straight.

News you can use
FEB. 14, 1963 Sparks from a coal stove were blamed by fire officials yesterday in the death of an elderly semi-invalid North Augusta woman.

Chemical spills onto busy street
GRANITEVILLE - A tanker truck traveling through Graniteville on Friday ruptured and spilled hundreds of gallons of its chemical contents on Main Street.

Rants and Raves
I AM CALLING about the guardrail recently installed on Windsor Spring Road in Hephzibah. I think we have a more serious problem now. I have seen boys walk on the top of that guardrail. God help them.

Rants and raves
Because we receive a number of comments and questions about The Augusta Chronicle, we use Saturday's Rants & Raves column to set the record straight.

Flu outbreak closes more state schools

Educators voice concerns
JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. - Education reform and how to teach effectively within shrinking school budgets without shortchanging pupils top the agenda for a three-day gathering of Georgia science teachers that began Thursday.

Republicans join Democrats in passing midyear budget

Schools make plans amid terrorism alert
The Columbia County school system is heeding warnings by the federal government to prepare for a chemical or biological attack by supplying schools this week with such items as water, plastic sheeting and duct tape.

Senate panel approves predatory lending bill

Professor fired in MCG attack

Group promotes crime team

House approves budget

Flu outbreak closes more state schools
ATLANTA - The flu is showing no signs of subsiding across Georgia, forcing more schools to close.

Airport halts renovation plan
Citing a lack of state and federal funding because of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Augusta Regional Airport Aviation Commission voted Thursday to re-evaluate its master plan - effectively tossing the airport's future into the air.

Wildlife Expo opens in shaky economy
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Hundreds of wildlife artists and exhibitors will find out this weekend if people are still willing to spend money on prints, paintings and sculptures when the economy is shaky and people are worried about impending war.

Study faults medical schools

Rants and Raves
I AM CALLING about the guardrail recently installed on Windsor Spring Road in Hephzibah. I think we have a more serious problem now. I have seen boys walk on the top of that guardrail. God help them.

Business is blooming

Suspicious device found in school is hand cream

Few leads in Lee County church fire

Across the area

DOT launches program to refill job pool

Efforts to mark King Day being heard

Obstacles hindering move of reactor to South Carolina
SAN DIEGO -- A series of problems over the past several months will likely delay plans to move a decomissioned nuclear reactor from the San Onofre power plant to South Carolina, Southern California Edison officials acknowledged.

Man is sought in theft of trailers, balloon

Schools ready their crisis plans
Aiken County school authorities are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

Efforts to mark King Day being heard
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson and two state lawmakers are gaining support in their push to require all 46 South Carolina counties to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Driver is jailed in DUI deaths
Hattie Umoh was driving her aunt, Daisy Oliver, to a doctor's visit the afternoon of July 30 when David W. Fulcher, beer in hand, crashed his pickup into the back of Mrs. Umoh's car.

Senate panel approves predatory lending bill
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A Senate subcommittee approved a bill Thursday that targets high interest rate loans and the practice of repeatedly refinancing them.

Education board gets 5 newcomers
Patricia Biggerstaff of Lincolnton has been appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to the State Board of Education to replace Augusta board member Roscoe Williams, who resigned at the governor's request.

Sanford proposes Medicaid reform
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In an attempt to save millions of dollars and reform the Medicaid program, Gov. Mark Sanford on Thursday said he would seek to establish a preferred drug list.

Guide gives poetic touch to island tour

Senate approves standards for redistricting
ATLANTA -- The Senate approved a bill Thursday that would set standards for future redistricting, prohibiting bizarre-shaped districts and splitting counties or cities for political reasons.

Valentine's Day means waiting

Republicans join Democrats in passing midyear budget
ATLANTA -- House Republicans joined with Democrats for the first time in years Thursday to pass a midyear state budget. It helped that the budget proposal was crafted by a Republican governor.

Across the Southeast

Perdue's ethics bill unanimously passes Senate
ATLANTA -- The Senate unanimously passed the governor's ethics bill Thursday, approving stricter standards on legislators and prohibiting them from trying to influence the treatment of prisoners.

Across the area

Few leads in Lee County church fire
LEESBURG, Ga. -- Fire investigators have few leads in a church fire in Lee County, but said they have no evidence it was arson.

Schools ready their crisis plans

Suspicious device found in school is hand cream
JONESBORO, Ga. -- The suspicious device found in a Clayton County high school Thursday morning turned out to be a container of hand cream with a kitchen timer attached to it.

Group will try to shield Fort Gordon

Helping hearts
Kathy Harte, the director of dining services at Mattie C. Hall Health Care Center in Aiken, pins a corsage on resident Rose Lybrand before the Sweetheart Dinner. The dinner was held Thursday by the center to help raise money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The event was open to the public.

Across Georgia

Group promotes crime team
The Augusta area took a step Thursday in finding a new way deal with sexual-assault crimes.

Across South Carolina

Man is sought in theft of trailers, balloon
A career criminal was being sought on theft charges Thursday after police recovered a hot-air balloon that was stolen along with its trailer in December.

Boost to minority recruiting fails to pay off

Officials work on new plan for ASU
In the fall, Augusta State University officials hope to present a new master plan that would carry the institution into the next decade.

Officer calls school fire arson

Children in 'Les Miserables' must hit the books on road
Like many children, Justin Steinagle said his favorite part of school is the field trips, but these aren't your average field trips and he's not your average pupil.

Toxins delay plant cleanup
Cleanup activities at a defunct manufactured gas plant on Eighth Street have been halted after air monitors showed elevated levels of toxic benzene.

Across Georgia

Subscriber of the day
Shepphard Williams of Augusta is today's subscriber of the day.

Sanford proposes Medicaid reform

Edgefield County hunts solution to budget cuts
Edgefield County's public school district, like other districts in the state, is feeling the crunch of the most recent round of state budget cuts.

News you can use

Tax-deductible fire fees proposed
A local lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make subscription fees paid to private fire departments tax-deductible in Georgia.

Sheriff invites people to visit

Across the area
Richmond County authorities are investigating the shooting death of a man found outside a residence on Wooten Road off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Officials work on new plan for ASU

Across South Carolina
CHARLESTON -A former Charleston city employee and his son were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of embezzling more than $600,000 from the city.

Children in 'Les Miserables' must hit the books on road

Candidate had SGA win in bag
ATHENS, Ga. - Roger Strauss is something of a legend in University of Georgia Student Government Association folklore.

Subscriber of the day

Sheriff invites people to visit
AIKEN - For the second time in two weeks, interim Aiken County Sheriff Jody Rowland announced a policy change in his office.

Across South Carolina

Heart fund-raiser gets the best moves from schoolchildren
Greenbrier Elementary third-grader Lauren Gubosh attempts some fancy tricks in the school's Jump Rope for Heart fund-raiser.

Plants quarantined at Evans High School

Toxins delay plant cleanup

Some show little love for Valentine's Day

Pacers' webcasts let fans connect
For most Div. II schools, multimillion dollar revenues and huge operating budgets are something athletic directors and sports information directors dream about.

Martin beats crowd for IROC win

Black fans scarce at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- It was a sunny Havoline day with Miller Lite clouds streaking the blue Kodak sky.

Crawford drives fine line to win

Only female driver in truck series ready for first start
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Tina Gordon appreciates her role as the only female full-time driver in one of NASCAR's major series, even though she refuses to let it define her.

Marketing minds want to make it Miller Time for NASCAR fans
In NASCAR, a sport where everything is for sale and no promotional idea goes untapped, the only surprise is that it took until now for someone to come up with the idea.

Still the one: Lester remains only black driver in sport's upper echelon
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- For the sober and uninitiated, the walk through the infield at Talladega can be intimidating.

Crawford drives fine line to win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - No matter how crazy things got in the final two laps of Friday's Florida Dodge Dealers 250 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Rick Crawford wasn't moving off the yellow line that splits the racing surface and the track apron.

Earnhardt Jr., Robby Gordon win qualifiers
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Two races down, and two to go for Junior.

Full-time drivers test out Daytona

Foyt only full-time driver going home
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Rookie Larry Foyt ran out of gas. Former Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope hardly had a chance.

Wallace sent to back of Daytona 500 field for illegal carburetor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Rusty Wallace was booted 30 spots down the starting grid for the Daytona 500 and his crew chief was fined $10,000 for using an illegal carburetor in his qualifying race.

Teamwork wins twin qualifiers
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Forget the new body styles, the smaller gas tank and the stricter inspection process that were all designed to make every car equal in Thursday's Gatorade Twin 125-mile qualifying races.

Full-time drivers test out Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The first three cars on the starting grid for today's Koolerz 300 are driven by men with bigger racing plans at Daytona International Speedway.

Foyt only full-time driver going home

T. Bodine solidifies role as unsung favorite for Daytona 500

Only female driver in truck series ready for first start

Martin beats crowd for IROC win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The International Race of Champions made an impressive sales pitch for future sponsorship at Daytona International Speedway.

Still the one: Lester remains only black driver in sport's upper echelon

Wallace sent to back of Daytona 500 field for illegal carburetor

Earnhardt Jr., Robby Gordon win qualifiers

Cool it? Every cooler to be checked at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Impossible as it may sound, security personnel at Daytona International Speedway will attempt to check every single cooler that comes into the track during race week.

Marketing minds want to make it Miller Time for NASCAR fans

T. Bodine solidifies role as unsung favorite for Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Todd Bodine is making his fourth start in the Daytona 500, but he's never been this close to the front.

Black fans scarce at Daytona

Shuttle investigative board receives unsolicited tips

NASA changes rules for panel investigating shuttle accident

Investigators want to know what caused the breach in the shuttle

Pacers 98 top Hawks in OT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Miller scored 26 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute of overtime, to lift the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers over the Atlanta Hawks 98-97 Friday night.

Pacers 98 top Hawks in OT

Jaguars' alumni could see a title
When Greg Wilson received a copy of the Peach Belt women's basketball coaches preseason poll in October, he acted like a member of the television show Trading Spaces.

Harriman's accuracy keeps Jags in groove
Reviewing and previewing local college basketball:

Tennessee State's Phillips breaks barrier
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- The prospect of making history didn't hit Teresa Phillips until right before she boarded a bus for the one-hour ride to Austin Peay.

Mrs. Birdie Cyrus    (RIDGE SPRING, Ga.)
Mrs. Norma Miller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Leslye Hoffman    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
Mr. Charlie Woodard    (WADLEY, Ga.)
Mrs. Annie Sapp    (STATESBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Maxine Williams    (WADLEY, Ga.)
Ms. Angela Durden    (MILLEN, Ga.)
Mrs. Remelle Washington    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
Mr. Tracy Jenkins    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Miss Eloise Washington    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mrs. Mary White    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Annie Tyson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Oma Boatwright    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. King Thurmond    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Carl Dukes    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Virginia Teeters    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Agnes Harris    (SPARTA, Ga.)
Mr. Herbert Sams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Walter Zepp    (COLUMBIA, S.C.)
Mrs. Lula Robinson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Betty-Jean Lockett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Horace Richardson Sr.    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Mary Atkinson    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Pauline Potter    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Miss Holly Thompson    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
Ms. Anne McGrath    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
Ms. Barbara Roberson    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Mary McCray    ( NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Margaret Cumbee    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Theodore Martin Sr.    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mr. Angelo DAstoli    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Betty-Jean Lockett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Buddy Dunn    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
Mr. Sidney Kitching    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Carolyn Harper    (CHARLOTTE, N.C.)
Mr. Bill Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ollie Hayward    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Mary Atkinson    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Oma Boatwright    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Jaylee Broome    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mr. James Hughes    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Poh Bedinger    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Tracy Jenkins    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Rosa Horton    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mrs. Leslye Hoffman    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
Mr. Sammie Jenkins    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Ruth Gibson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
Mrs. Oren Kemp    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
Mr. Timothy Burton    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Theodore Martin Sr.    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mr. Charlie Evans    (WADLEY, Ga.)
Mr. James Beale    (MILLEN, Ga.)
Mrs. Margaret Cumbee    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Fannie Mitchell    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Rubenia Chamberlain    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
Mr. King Thurmond    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Ruby Butler    (THOMASTON, Ga.)
Mrs. Virginia Teeters    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Eddie Burton    (SPARTA, Ga.)
Ms. Rutha Sams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Mae Powell    (HARRISON, Ga.)
Mr. Horace Richardson    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Jimmie Bostic    (STATESBORO, Ga.)
Featured obituary: Mrs. Ethel Arcuri
There weren't many things in Ethel Arcuri's life that were more important than her faith.

Mrs. Ethel Arcuri    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Pauline Potter (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruby Butler (THOMASTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Margaret Cumbee (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Fannie Mitchell (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Poh Bedinger (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Angela Durden (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Teeters (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Margaret Cumbee (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Mary White (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. King Thurmond (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Theodore Martin Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Charlie Woodard (WADLEY, Ga.)

Mrs. Mae Powell (HARRISON, Ga.)

Mr. Herbert Sams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Birdie Cyrus (RIDGE SPRING, Ga.)

Mrs. Oma Boatwright (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Carl Dukes (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruth Gibson (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. King Thurmond (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Lula Robinson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Leslye Hoffman (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Ms. Rutha Sams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Holly Thompson (BLYTHE, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Maxine Williams (WADLEY, Ga.)

Mrs. Agnes Harris (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. Bill Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Sammie Jenkins (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Theodore Martin Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Timothy Burton (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Atkinson (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. James Beale (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mrs. Remelle Washington (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Oma Boatwright (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Eddie Burton (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Leslye Hoffman (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mrs. Rubenia Chamberlain (McCORMICK, S.C.)

Ms. Barbara Roberson (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Charlie Evans (WADLEY, Ga.)

Mr. James Hughes (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Tyson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Featured obituary: Mrs. Ethel Arcuri

Mrs. Betty-Jean Lockett (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Sapp (STATESBORO, Ga.)

Jaylee Broome (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Angelo DAstoli (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Walter Zepp (COLUMBIA, S.C.)

Mrs. Norma Miller (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Horton (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Jimmie Bostic (STATESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Oren Kemp (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mrs. Betty-Jean Lockett (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Buddy Dunn (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Atkinson (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Sidney Kitching (AIKEN, S.C.)

Cheeks: 'I thought I was doing the right thing! I still think I did!'
I BELIEVE THAT a person is innocent until proven otherwise! The news media, however, have taken it upon themselves to be prosecutor, judge and jury in the Bobby Clark Brassell Jr. case. I would like to give my side of the story.

Grovetown police Nazi-like
I had an unpleasant experience in Grovetown recently. It is time the honest citizens of Columbia County rise up and put an end to their archaic and Nazi-like police practices. This is the city that 35 years or so ago was subjected to a state investigation for giving out more citations than Atlanta. Not much has changed. Larry Waks, Harlem, Ga.

Cheeks should be thrown out of office
Please tell me no one in this town will vote for Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, in his next election. The day we support politicians who defend sexual batterers of children is the day all is lost in the world. Gina Simpson, Martinez, Ga.

What is writer's definition of 'flawless'?
Steffen Williams (Jan. 30, "Tag, track illegal immigrants; learn English or just go home") wants to rid our nation of those who do not speak flawless English. Does his definition of "flawless" encompass flawless grammar and diction? Michael Milnes, Martinez, Ga.

Unorthodox governor
Mark Sanford was a maverick GOP "shrink the government" congressman with a take-no-prisoners record of voting for tax and spending cuts. He was expected to be a highly unusual and interesting South Carolina governor when he was elected to that post last November - and he is living up to expectations.

No graceful way out
Gov. Sonny Perdue may be just a cut below King Solomon.

Could Columbia disaster have been prevented?
It appears obvious the Columbia space shuttle burned up on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. It also seems obvious the chunk of foam from the fuel tank must have damaged or knocked loose a number of the ceramic tiles that protect the ship from burning up on re-entry. James Cline, North Augusta, S.C.

Go for rail relocation
Every five years the federal government appropriates hundreds of millions of dollars for a national transportation plan, part of which is spent to relieve traffic congestion in metropolitan communities.

Representatives wrong to support Venezuelan leader
According to the news, 16 members of the House of Representatives mailed a letter to Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, telling him of their support of his regime. Luis Rodriguez, Warrenton, Ga.

Parkway should be renamed in Connell's honor
I applaud Augusta Democratic Reps. Henry Howard, Quincy Murphy and Pete Warren for introducing a bill that proposes to rename River Watch Parkway in honor of retired Rep. Jack Connell, D-Augusta. Sonny Pittman, Augusta

Game's over
Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and his counterpart, nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei, tried to paint as optimistic a picture as they could in their anxiously awaited report to the U.N. Security Council Friday.

Local government too often does more harm than good
Quoting Robert D. McTeer Jr., president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, "Growth comes through change and causes change." As a resident of Richmond County, I'm convinced that in order for my community to grow and prosper, it's evident that many drastic political changes must be made. E. Maner, Augusta

Cheeks just made a mistake
I do not know what Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, did to The Augusta Chronicle, but he sure must have rubbed someone there the wrong way because you have made a big deal out of the man making a mistake by trying to help a friend in trouble. I know he was wrong for what he did, but it was not headline news. I think he made a big mistake, but let it go. I think everyone needs to let it go. Everybody acts like they have never made a mistake. He was just trying to help a friend. L. Wayne Newman, Augusta

Appalled by fellow senator's behavior
I am appalled that Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, has put the children of Richmond County and the country at risk by protecting a convicted sexual batterer and by trying to conceal the fact that there is a sex offender living in the community. Shame on him! State Sen. Nadine Thomas, Ellenwood, Ga.

How do we distinguish illegals from terrorists?
Provide shelter, jobs and financial assistance at the expense of American taxpayers, and those more unfortunate will take advantage of our kindness by entering our country by any means available. I have no objection to helping others in need, but how do you separate those in need from those who may be terrorists, intent on doing us dreadful harm? Douglas Neal Sr., Augusta

Speak out against war before it's too late
As one who wore the uniform of his country proudly in World War II and who believes military force is sometimes necessary, I still favor those who are protesting a preemptive strike against Iraq. Roy C. DeLamotte, Augusta

Cheeks: 'I thought I was doing the right thing! I still think I did!'
I BELIEVE THAT a person is innocent until proven otherwise! The news media, however, have taken it upon themselves to be prosecutor, judge and jury in the Bobby Clark Brassell Jr. case. I would like to give my side of the story.

Overtime

Pacers' webcasts let fans connect

State title at stake this weekend

Martinez drops out of Qatar Open due to injury

Area duo in Titan Games

Overtime

Overtime
Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd and Tracy McGrady were the first four players chosen for the 2004 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team, with Kobe Bryant conspicuously absent - for now.

State title at stake this weekend
When Ken Heis looks at Christian Kata he sees more than a teen-ager.

Kiwis knocked out of America's Cup opener
AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Two-time defending champion Team New Zealand was forced to withdraw from the opening race of the America's Cup after its boat broke down twice less than 20 minutes after the start Saturday (Friday night EST).

Williams advances to semifinals at Diamond Games
ANTWERP, Belgium -- Top-seeded Venus Williams beat Tina Pisnik 6-1, 6-4 Friday to advance to the semifinals of the $585,000 Diamond Games.

Area duo in Titan Games
Two amateur boxers from the Augusta area are in San Jose, Calif., this weekend to participate in an inaugural festival which incorporates eight sports.

Martinez drops out of Qatar Open due to injury
DOHA, Qatar -- Seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez withdrew from the Qatar Open on Friday because of a right ankle injury, allowing wild card Lina Krasnoroutskaya to advance to the semifinals.

Overtime
Special teams coach Tommy Rayewill not return to Georgia Tech next season, Jackets' officials have confirmed.

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

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

S.C. prep poll
Here is the South Carolina prep basketball pol.l

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

Wildcats' free throws fall when it counts
Laney coach Norman Bonner has seen his team struggle at the free-throw line all season.

Prep basketball scores
Scores from Friday's prep basketball games:

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

Thomson sends Greenbrier home
Earlier this season, Thomson annihilated a Greenbrier team minus the area's leading scorer.

South Aiken tops North Augusta
AIKEN - The Region 4-AAAA basketball showdown between South Aiken and North Augusta Friday night was not the state championship, but both squads played with such intensity that the mistake would have been easy to make.

Faith digest
Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie of Ellicott City, Md., the first woman bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will speak at 11 a.m. today at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1223 Laney Walker Boulevard.

Learn to foster true commitment
Here's hoping your Valentine's Day was filled with lots of love, passion, romance and commitment!

Faith and fellowship calendar
The Faith and Fellowship Calendar is a roundup of church and temple-based activities in the Augusta and Aiken area. Space is limited. Deadline is noon Monday. E-mail items to vanorton@augustachronicle.com; send a fax to 722-7403; or mail to Faith and Fellowship, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928.

AwanaGames help children be strong in faith
Lindsey Byrd's fright over the size of last year's crowd at the Awana nondenominational youth club regional competition in Tucker, Ga., was short lived - it ended when she and Trinity Baptist Church teammates placed first.

Some liberal scholars think biblical Saul and David did exist
TORONTO -- Judging from a session at the year's key gathering of Bible scholars, King Saul and King David aren't dead yet. So to speak.

Shuttle investigative board receives unsolicited tips
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The board investigating the Columbia disaster has received unsolicited letters and documents from former NASA workers and others offering tips on why the shuttle may have disintegrated, the panel's chairman said Thursday.

NASA changes rules for panel investigating shuttle accident
WASHINGTON -- Responding to criticism by some lawmakers, NASA's top official has formally changed some rules for the board investigating the Columbia accident to remove references suggesting the space agency is overseeing the probe of itself.

Investigators want to know what caused the breach in the shuttle
SPACE CENTER, Houston -- The Columbia investigation board is trying to zero in on what caused the hole in the shuttle's aluminum skin that apparently allowed super-hot gases to penetrate the wing and destroy the spacecraft.

Dolly the cloned sheep euthanized
LONDON -- Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal cloned from an adult, was euthanized after being diagnosed with progressive lung disease, her creators said Friday.

Smith & Wesson introduces .50 caliber revolver
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Dirty Harry is now outgunned: Smith & Wesson has introduced its biggest handgun ever, a .50-caliber Magnum.

Study: most people turn their heads to right when they kiss
When you kiss your sweetheart this Valentine's Day you may well turn your head to the right, echoing a preference born in the womb, a researcher suggests.

Simple and satisfying

Bulldogs prevail in two overtimes
Call this an instant classic.

Diamond Dogs bid for third straight NCAA trip

Bulldogs prevail in two overtimes

Diamond Dogs bid for third straight NCAA trip
ATHENS, Ga. -- Entering his second season as Georgia's baseball coach, David Perno has the kind of team he always dreamed of - a squad full of shortstops.

Arkansas wants second season win against South Carolina

Arkansas wants second season win against South Carolina
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The No. 13 Arkansas Lady Razorbacks returned from a 70-60 win at Kentucky on Thursday, only to turn around and head back East for a Sunday afternoon matchup with No. 15 South Carolina.

Family calendar

Overall athletic grades fall slightly

Overall athletic grades fall slightly
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Things were not quite as rosy in the classroom this past semester for South Carolina athletes, including the football and men's basketball teams.

Blix: Inspectors have not found any weapons of mass destruction

More U.S. military women edging closer to combat positions

Powell to confront critics of war with Iraq

Powell confronts allies opposed to conflict with Iraq

Pentagon notifying news organizations about how many journalists will go with troops

U.S. plans to give Iraqis control of their country after ousting Saddam

Study: most people turn their heads to right when they kiss

AwanaGames help children be strong in faith

Some liberal scholars think biblical Saul and David did exist

Faith and fellowship calendar

Faith digest

Learn to foster true commitment