Orioles pitcher dies of heatstroke
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler died of heatstroke Monday, unable to recover from a spring training workout that sent his temperature to 108 degrees.

Don't act surprised; you'll be drilled later

Odds and Ends
BEND, Ore. -- You better hit the shower before you board the bus in Bend.

Military jet's fly-by scares town; aunt says pilot did it 'for his grandma'
GENESEO, Ill. -- As a military plane swooped over an Illinois town, frightened residents called police, but a relative said later that the pilot just wanted to impress his grandmother.

Man finds two 19th century caskets in his front yard
CARROLLTON, Ga. -- Two 19th century caskets have been discovered in the front yard of a Carrollton man's property when a truck pulled into his yard and sank into the ground.

Sheffield back for final time?

Maddux inks out a record contract
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - While Greg Maddux was out on the golf course Monday, his agent and the Atlanta Braves came to contract terms, settling on a $14.75 million deal that is the largest one-year contract in baseball history.

Maddux agrees to record one-year contract worth $14.75 million

Maddux inks out a record contract

Maddux agrees to record one-year contract worth $14.75 million
ATLANTA -- Greg Maddux is used to setting records. On Monday, he claimed another.

Coach adjusting to new job duties
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - There are no black arm bands being worn in memory of Ned Yost. They didn't rename the coaches' room after him, or scratch his initials into the grass beside third base.

Coach adjusting to new job duties

Sheffield back for final time?
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Fresh from dropping his kids at school and driving halfway across the state, Braves right fielder Gary Sheffield made his first appearance in camp Monday.

Fick learning lessons early in 2003
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Robert Fick has his marching orders. No head-first slides. No diving for ground balls.

Smoltz taking things slowly
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Atlanta closer John Smoltz isn't ready yet. He doesn't have to be.

Fick learning lessons early in 2003

Smoltz taking things slowly

Stock volatility level indicates recovery not yet in the making

How do I use my cell phone abroad?

Karaoke fans sing the blues as economy slumps
TOKYO -- After a decade in the karaoke business, lounge owner Kagura Muto has heard her share of sour notes. But business of late has been a different sort of flat.

Increase will cut sales, augment state's funds

Karaoke fans sing the blues as economy slumps

Investors are bullish on the Baghdad Stock Exchange

Stock volatility level indicates recovery not yet in the making
NEW YORK -- Although war fears drove Wall Street shares to four-month lows this past week, some analysts say investors may not be worried enough. That's because stock volatility, one measure of determining market bottoms, hasn't been extremely high, and that forebodes more declines in the weeks ahead.

Increase will cut sales, augment state's funds
Carol Brown buys her cigarettes by the carton.

Investors are bullish on the Baghdad Stock Exchange
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The bell rings and they're off. Old men in tattered pinstripes bark orders to buy and sell, peering through an iron fence with opera glasses to make out the numbers. Traders in baby blue vests sprint across the floor, haggling over dinars and scribbling triumphantly on an erasable white board.

How do I use my cell phone abroad?
Q: I just got a cell phone that's supposed to work overseas. Is that all there is to it, or is there something else I need to do before taking it with me on my European vacation?

Tar Heels edge Tigers
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Coretta Brown scored 19 points and hit a free throw with 4.3 seconds left Sunday as No. 8 North Carolina beat Clemson 70-66.

Clemson's Hobbs may try football

Clemson's Hobbs may try football
CLEMSON, S.C. -- After banging with other forwards on the basketball court, Clemson forward Chris Hobbs may starting banging with defensive linemen on the football field.

Victories push Tennessee closer to NCAA tourney

First five unchanged in women's poll; Texas in Top 10

Slumping Rebels still grasping on to NCAA tournament hopes

Blake and Scott named ACC co-players of the week

Arizona remains No. 1; three newcomers in Top 25

Support Estrada

Spending disgrace

Only part of the picture

Time for smoke ban?

Toy makers expand the universe where toys are sold
NEW YORK -- These days, it's hard to predict where the next hot toy will turn up.

In the know
If eyebrow tweezing has you down and waxing is too much of a (literal) pain, Sudden Change has a solution.

'Joe Millionaire' and 'The Bachelorette' act romantic
NEW YORK -- Less than a week after Valentine's Day, you will learn the funny valentines Evan and Trista chose.

HBO wants to sell sanitized 'Sex and the City'
NEW YORK -- Three of the four biggest broadcast networks said they have no interest in airing a sanitized version of HBO's Emmy Award-winning comedy "Sex and the City."

Say 'Eh-oh!' to 'Brum,' a 'Teletubbies' spinoff
If you - or your child - can decipher the word "Eh-oh!" and are not disturbed by the idea of televisions fixed in the stomachs of rotund, alien-like characters, you've been initiated into the world of Teletubbies.

Jackie Chan kids around for animated series
LOS ANGELES -- As a kid, Jackie Chan liked to watch John Wayne and the cartoon characters Popeye, Superman and Batman.

Company to launch 24-hour news channel aimed at black viewers
NEW YORK -- An Atlanta-based cable company said Tuesday it plans to launch a 24-hour news channel aimed at black viewers late this year or early in 2004.

Top videos
Weekly charts for the nation's most popular videos as they appear in next week's issue of Billboard magazine.

Women keep book club going for 90 years
ESTILL, S.C. -- You might see this one-light Hampton County town and think time has passed it by. You'd be wrong.

Senior calendar
The Seniors Calendar lists activities and groups of interest to senior citizens. Please call the service agencies for information. To have your activity listed, write to Seniors Calendar.

Collector's talk to club will cover hat etiquette
Hats off to Sissy Brodie. Mrs. Brodie, who was one of the (nearly) nude models for the enormously popular Still Magnolias calendar, will focus on the well-dressed head during a hat fashion show and demonstration Thursday at the Augusta Newcomers Club meeting.

Top 20 Concert Tours
The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.

Woods, Els get top two seedings at Match Play

Woods, Els get top two seedings at Match Play
SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods and Ernie Els are the top two seeded golfers for the Match Play Championship, which came as no surprise Monday when the world rankings were released.

Tiger returns in style
SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods returned to the PGA Tour the way he left it - on top.

Wilson leading Jaguars' charge
Oliver Wilson is an assassin around the greens. The Augusta State senior golfer drops opponents with the single shot of his wedge.

Two months later, not much has changed on PGA Tour
SAN DIEGO -- The return of Tiger Woods was all about distance.

Els wins fourth tournament of year in a landslide

Two months later, not much has changed on PGA Tour

Wilson leading Jaguars' charge

Tiger returns in style

Els wins fourth tournament of year in a landslide
PERTH, Australia -- Ernie Els is off to a breathtaking start this year, even by his own demanding standards - four titles in five tournaments, with a second-place finish in the other.

Thrashers top Sabres in OT

Injured groin sidelines Atlanta goaltender
ATLANTA -- Atlanta goaltender Byron Dafoe hurt his left groin during pregame warmups Monday and was replaced by Frederic Cassivi for the Thrashers' game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Injured groin sidelines Atlanta goaltender

Thrashers top Sabres in OT
ATLANTA -- Patrik Stefan scored his first career overtime goal with two seconds left on the power play as the Atlanta Thrashers ended a four-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday afternoon.

Weapons inspectors visit Iraqi missile sites
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.N. weapons inspectors visited three factories involved in missile production Monday, Iraqi officials said, as the United States focused on Iraq's missile program as a litmus test of its commitment to disarmament.

Rice urges United Nations to stand up to Saddam Hussein
WASHINGTON -- Faced with broad opposition to war at the United Nations, President Bush's national security adviser said Sunday the White House might push a new U.N. plan to force a showdown with Saddam Hussein.

Iraq reports first U-2 flight in support of U.N. inspection mission
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq reported the first flight by an American U-2 surveillance plane Monday in support of the U.N. inspection mission, marking another concession by Saddam Hussein's regime to stave off a U.S.-led attack.

The world waits, and worries about destabilization from an Iraq war
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A war to remove Saddam Hussein woul

British foreign secretary says war against Iraq "very difficult" without public support
LONDON -- War against Iraq would be "very difficult" with much of the public opposed to military action, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Monday after a huge anti-war demonstration during the weekend.

Wives of 101st Airborne Division again prepare for husbands' deployments
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- When news out of Afghanistan grew too intense to bear last year, Alison Cox and the other wives in her husband's company in the 101st Airborne Division turned off the news and turned to each other.

EU leaders struggle to narrow rift over Iraq after NATO agreement
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A deeply divided Europe struggled Monday to close a rift over Iraq and speak with one voice to Saddam Hussein, though leaders were encouraged after resolving a monthlong NATO deadlock on defending Turkey.

Iraq mourns civilian victims of Gulf War, celebrates growing anti-war movement
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- At the ruins of a bomb shelter struck by American missiles, Iraqi officials Sunday mourned the civilian victims of their last war with the United States and celebrated global anti-war protests aimed at preventing another one.

Audiotape purportedly from bin Laden claims U.S. war plans against Iraq part of plot to attack Muslim nations
CAIRO, Egypt -- An audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden calls President Bush "stupid" and claims American war plans against Iraq are part of a plot to attack Muslim nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Arab envoys split over plans to stage regional summit on Iraqi crisis
CAIRO, Egypt -- Disagreements between Arab foreign ministers over whether Washington or Baghdad should be doing more to avert war may derail efforts to hold an emergency Arab summit on the Iraqi crisis, diplomats said Sunday.

Ridge says terror alert will likely be lowered
WASHINGTON -- Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Sunday he thought the current terrorism threat level would likely be lowered from the high-risk orange level, but wouldn't say when.

Don't act surprised; you'll be drilled later
It should be no surprise that this is Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Blood infection kills student
A rare infection, caused by the same bacteria that causes meningitis, claimed the life of an Augusta State University student early today.

Candidate will maximize resources

Women's-rights campaigner Anthony opposed abortion

Negative letter about Bob Young is hooey

Stop exercising political favors

Hunt an electable public servant

Politician, district attorney disappointing

Letter writer misinterprets passage

VA chief notes recent improvements to health care for vets

Elected officials should be better educated

You bet that standing up for freedom is worth the fight

We don't need more government intervention on smoking

HBO wants to sell sanitized 'Sex and the City'

Senior calendar

'Joe Millionaire' and 'The Bachelorette' act romantic

Women keep book club going for 90 years

Top videos

In the know

Jackie Chan kids around for animated series

Collector's talk to club will cover hat etiquette

Toy makers expand the universe where toys are sold

Say 'Eh-oh!' to 'Brum,' a 'Teletubbies' spinoff

Company to launch 24-hour news channel aimed at black viewers

Elder statesmen meet up Tuesday night
Tom Draper and Daniel Berthiaume were just a couple of fresh-faced twenty somethings in 1988, a pair of young goaltenders from Quebec trying to establish themselves in the National Hockey League with the Winnipeg Jets.

Lynx game night

Elder statesmen meet up Tuesday night

Weather postpones Lynx-Grrrowl game

Lynx game night
TUESDAY: vs. Greensboro Generals, Greensboro Coliseum, 7 p.m.

Weather postpones Lynx-Grrrowl game
Sunday afternoon's game between the Augusta Lynx and the Greenville Grrrowl was postponed due to an ice storm warning in the Greenville, S.C., area. The game has been tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday, March 11th.

Web site honoring Rivera draws outrage

News you can use

Safety advocacy group for students revived
ATHENS, Ga. - Two months after its doors were nearly shut forever, Safe Campuses Now is again a bustling center of student activity.

Stewart: More needs to be done to protect South Carolina

Web site honoring Rivera draws outrage
A Web site that portrays "Reinaldo Rivera, the human being" is drawing outrage from at least one relative of his alleged victims.

Military school sees enrollment increase

Across the area

Graham finds big workload in Senate

Lawmaker working to change school tardiness laws
ATLANTA -- Schoolchildren shouldn't be marked late if traffic kept them from getting to class on time, said a state lawmaker who wants to change tardiness rules statewide.

Doctor severs ties to old job
Bonnie Bragdon has severed all ties with Richmond County Animal Control after finding the locks changed Sunday at the shelter.

Drought may not be over yet
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Georgia's five-year drought was nearing an end, according to weather experts. The state and many cities recently lifted water bans, rain finally fell on a regular basis in the fall and lakes approached full levels.

Councilman receives his daughter's kidney
A father in Aiken County will be able to live a more active life because of the sacrifice of one of his daughters.

Accident lands man in water fountain
An Augusta lawyer and his pickup landed in the middle of a downtown fountain after a bizarre two-vehicle collision Sunday morning that caused his truck to go airborne.

Horsemen bring past alive again
Leah Hatley, 8, rides on Casanova at Augusta State University as Dallas Miller leads them. Mr. Miller, the president of the Atlanta chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry, was at the campus Monday for a presentation and a question-and-answer session on the regiments of black troops in 1866.

Rainy balancing act

Across the area
A former Medical College of Georgia professor is being held without bond after a judge ruled he might be a threat to others or could flee overseas.

Meningitis case found in student

Across South Carolina
SPARTANBURG - An Upstate lawmaker wants to expand South Carolina's DNA database to include anyone convicted of a felony.

Across South Carolina

Across Georgia
DECATUR - The chairwoman of the Clayton County Board of Education said the board was justified in firing Superintendent Dan Colwell.

Across Georgia

Hunley wallet may hold clues
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Scientists say a leather wallet found on the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley might provide details about one of the eight men who died on the vessel during the Civil War.

Budget battles remain priority

Sam Nunn speaks out on nuclear safety
As a U.S. senator (1973-97), Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn was one of the first legislators to take action against the looming nuclear threat as the Soviet Union dissolved, co-sponsoring

Police think Spartanburg woman abducted from work
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Police are looking for a Spartanburg woman who may have been abducted on her way to work.

Standing Guard
As Allen Blancett walked through the subzero cold of a Moscow night, he wasn't sure what to expect.

Intelligence battalion eavesdrops on enemy
SAVANNAH, Ga. - When Sgt. Gregory Carroll's Savannah-based unit deploys overseas, he stays home.

Sheriff's deputy enjoys his role in justice system
After a decade at Augusta's water department, Kris Kennedy didn't see becoming a sheriff's deputy as a dangerous move.

Intelligence battalion eavesdrops on enemy

Senate passes indigent defense bill
ATLANTA - A bill that replaces county legal systems with state-appointed circuit public defenders for poor criminal defendants unanimously passed the Senate Monday.

Rants and Raves
THIS IS TO the heartless woman who abandoned the yellow lab puppy by the canal last July - thank you very much. She's a beautiful dog, and we love her.

GOP redistricting plan triggers debate
ATLANTA -- A GOP plan to redistrict the Senate sparked more than an hour of debate Monday, with Democrats labeling it a partisan map drawn behind closed doors and Republicans defending it as the product of doing things "the right way."

Lawmaker working to change school tardiness laws

Perdue brings in troops to build support for tax hikes
ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue brought a few dozen friends to the Capitol Monday to help persuade the Legislature to impose the new taxes he proposed last month on tobacco and liquor. So far, lawmakers have not rushed to embrace the idea.

Across Georgia

Graham finds big workload in Senate
COLUMBIA - Nearly four months after taking office, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says both his workload and influence have increased.

Augusta escapes area code division
As technology, the South's population and the economy grew throughout the past decade, Georgia and South Carolina area codes were subdivided six times.

Officials say nursing homes need more monitoring

Massage therapy or prostitution? Lawmakers want to know

Standing Guard

Colleges create agroterror resource

Prisoner labor could be costly
NORTH AUGUSTA - The $460,000 that North Augusta saves each year using prison laborers might not be enough to justify the practice, especially when compared to the thousands of dollars the city could lose if a prisoner were injured, City Administrator Charles Martin said Monday night.

Keeping the cities' secrets

Rainy balancing act
Nathaniel Hooper, of Aiken, maintains a steady balacing act of his cargo, umbrella and bicycle. Despite the rainy, chilly weather, Mr. Hooper took advantage of his day off from work to buy pallets to help level his chair at home.

Subscriber of the day

Doctor severs ties to old job

Businesses worry about possible biker boycott

Businesses worry about possible biker boycott
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Some Grand Strand businesses are worried about a possible biker boycott of the annual Harley-Davidson rally in May.

Minority officials face new challenges

Athens church arson, like many, go unexplained
ATHENS, Ga. -- Parishioners were just starting to arrive at Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens when a fire damaged the church and destroyed another building nearby.

South Carolina Republican strategists make their mark
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Two Republican operatives, who learned their political game in South Carolina, helped win campaigns that gave the GOP control in the U.S. Senate and highlighted how the state has become a hotbed for political strategists.

Colleges create agroterror resource
ATLANTA -- A little-known collaboration between Georgia universities and federal agencies is helping boost national preparedness efforts against agricultural terrorism, officials said.

Hunley wallet may hold clues

Keeping the cities' secrets
Imagine that all the people who work at Savannah River Site, along with their families, schoolteachers and shopkeepers, lived in an opulent,

Massage therapy or prostitution? Lawmakers want to know
ATLANTA -- Ever wondered what goes on in massage parlors that stay open all night? Lawmakers have, too, and some want tough regulations to make sure those neon-lit spas aren't selling sex.

Subscriber of the day

That sweet onion may hold clues to cancer
The red-clay dirt of Georgia nurtures world-famous sweet onions in the Vidalia area. It also contains feeble levels of selenium, a trace mineral that is being tested nationwide to see whether it can help prevent prostate cancer in men.

Sam Nunn speaks out on nuclear safety

Across the area
A man died late Saturday after ingesting a suspicious substance during a police drug raid in Grovetown, authorities said.

Horsemen bring past alive again

Police look for second suspect
A 15-year-old Augusta boy is charged with murder and police are seeking an 18-year-old in connection with a Valentine's Day slaying.

Partisan divide greets map plan

Motives behind arson change

Group pickets in support of YDC guards
A dozen people picketed outside the Augusta Youth Development Campus early Monday, protesting treatment of employees and holding homemade signs reading, "Hostile work environment" and "Discrimination should be of the past."

Athens church arson, like many, go unexplained

Soaring gasoline prices forcing Augusta to save
Soaring gasoline prices aren't squeezing only individuals. The Augusta government is feeling the pinch, too.

Sheriff's deputy enjoys his role in justice system

Partisan divide greets map plan
ATLANTA - Senate Republicans say a new political map for their chamber is a step toward returning fairness to government and putting together communities splintered by the state's last redistricting effort.

Safety advocacy group for students revived

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Charles Stephens of Augusta.

News you can use

Group pickets in support of YDC guards

Ready for anything
Harold Thornton, of North Augusta, tries to stay dry while walking outside the North Augusta Activities Center during a cold rain. Asked what he thought of Sunday's weather, he replied, "I'm ready for summer."

Board to study resolution of confidence

Across South Carolina

Police look for second suspect

GOP redistricting plan triggers debate

GOP operatives make mark

Perdue brings in troops to build support for tax hikes

Across the area

Councilman receives his daughter's kidney

Rants and Raves
THE LAST THING we need is the meddling of Charles "Chump" Walker in the business of the Augusta Commission. His advocacy of a meeting between our commissioners and the Jackson-Burk crowd is as flaky as his political ineptitude demonstrated during the past election.

Board to study resolution of confidence
A resolution that calls for restored confidence in the local judicial system will be considered by the Augusta Commission today.

News you can use
FEB. 18, 1988 AIKEN - A "micro-earthquake" measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale rumbled through Aiken County shortly after noon Wednesday, but no injuries or major property damage was reported.

News you can use
FEB. 17, 1993 The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that Richmond County cannot enforce its nude dancing ban until the court determines whether the ordinance is constitutional.

South Carolina Republican strategists make their mark

Minority officials face new challenges
WASHINGTON - Three Georgia Democrats debuting in Congress this year were elected amid a Republican sweep spanning from governor to dog catcher.

Augusta escapes area code division

Motives behind arson change
ATHENS, Ga. - The arson fires that consumed two properties owned by Prince Avenue Baptist Church last week are evidence of a growing change in the way the crime is perceived, experts say.

Ready for anything

GOP operatives make mark
COLUMBIA - Two Republican operatives who learned their political game in South Carolina helped win campaigns that gave the GOP control in the U.S. Senate and highlighted how the state has become a hotbed for political strategists.

Rants and Raves
THE LAST THING we need is the meddling of Charles "Chump" Walker in the business of the Augusta Commission. His advocacy of a meeting between our commissioners and the Jackson-Burk crowd is as flaky as his political ineptitude demonstrated during the past election.

Lawmaker proposes straw bill
AIKEN - For one state representative, it was the last straw.

Ice storm clips South Carolina
The storm expected to bury the Mid-Atlantic states with up to 2 feet of snow clipped northern South Carolina on Sunday with sleet and freezing rain.

Lawmaker wants DNA database expanded
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- An Upstate lawmaker wants to expand South Carolina's DNA database to include anyone convicted of a felony.

Bill would expand pimping laws

Police think Spartanburg woman abducted from work

Military school sees enrollment increase
Augusta State University and Augusta Technical College aren't the only institutions of higher education in the area with growing enrollments.

Budget battles remain priority
ATLANTA - It's been the main focus of this year's General Assembly session, and this week, the state budget promises to take front and center once again as lawmakers take a break from their daily sessions to home in on the state's finances.

Bill would expand pimping laws
ATLANTA -- The Georgia House is considering broadening state pimping laws to include the act of driving a prostitute to a job.

Across Georgia
BRUNSWICK -Residents angry at Brunswick's elected officials have until March 17 to gather 2,000 signatures that would force a recall election of the mayor and two commissioners.

Body of missing Spartanburg woman found
SPARTANBURG, S.C. --Authorities have found the body of a woman missing since Thursday morning.

Across South Carolina
SPARTANBURG -Police are looking for a Spartanburg woman who may have been abducted on her way to work.

Stewart: More needs to be done to protect South Carolina
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- South Carolina's new Homeland Security director says the state still has much to do before he's comfortable with its preparations to handle a potential terrorist attack.

Meningitis case found in student
Augusta State University officials said Monday that a student has been hospitalized in South Carolina with a case of bacterial meningitis.

Officials say nursing homes need more monitoring
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A federal report found that the agency responsible for inspecting South Carolina nursing homes failed to respond on time to one-third of the most serious complaints about resident care during the 2001 fiscal year.

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Marsha Wooten of Augusta.

So-So Sunday
The weather outside was frightful. Perfectly frightful. Perfect.

Yellow line in effect, with new restrictions

NASCAR gives RJR exec star treatment

Waltrip wins rain-shortened Daytona 500

NASCAR gives RJR exec star treatment
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- There are stars. And then there are the people NASCAR really cares about.

Drivers, fans gear up for Rockingham
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Days before Sunday's Daytona 500, some drivers were eager for the racing season to get started - at Rockingham.

Yellow line in effect, with new restrictions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR tightened its restrictions on its yellow-line rule at the Daytona 500, threatening to penalize drivers who intentionally force a competitor below the mark during the race.

Daytona winner Waltrip ready for more success

Waltrip wins rain-shortened Daytona 500
Waltrip wins rain-shortened Daytona 500

Drivers, fans gear up for Rockingham

Daytona winner Waltrip ready for more success
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- At 40, Michael Waltrip thinks he may finally be a championship contender.

A damp day at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - There were no emotional tugs on the sleeve, no somber whispers when Michael Waltrip returned to Victory Lane Sunday as the winner of the Daytona 500.

A damp day at Daytona

Columbia's final overhaul included new wiring, increased thermal protection

Sound waves help investigators pin down timeline of shuttle's end

Shuttle tape shows how far networks will got to get vital pictures

Houston outdoes Kobe with 53-point performance

Houston outdoes Kobe with 53-point performance
LOS ANGELES -- Allan Houston took the tape off his right hand and came out shooting. The result was the game of his life.

Hawks top Pacers
ATLANTA -- Jason Terry scored 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help the Atlanta Hawks end a four-game losing streak, defeating Indiana 99-86 Sunday night in a game that featured the ejection of Reggie Miller in the first quarter.

Hawks top Pacers

Jordan at 40: in search of a rhythm
WASHINGTON -- Michael Jordan turns 40 Monday, wishing he could switch on his A-game the way he did when he was younger.

First five unchanged in women's poll; Texas in Top 10
Connecticut led a first five that stayed the same in the AP women's basketball poll and a new team finally broke into the Top 10.

Blake and Scott named ACC co-players of the week
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A pair of senior point guards, Maryland's Steve Blake and Clemson' Edward Scott, were named the Atlantic Coast Conference co-players of the week.

Slumping Rebels still grasping on to NCAA tournament hopes
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's longest losing streak in seven years has put the Rebels' NCAA tournament hopes in critical condition.

Victories push Tennessee closer to NCAA tourney
Reviewing and previewing college basketball in the ACC, SEC and elsewhere:

Arizona remains No. 1; three newcomers in Top 25
Arizona was No. 1 in the AP men's college basketball poll for the fourth time in five weeks Monday, while three teams moved in at the bottom of the Top 25, two for the first time this season.

Falcons linebacker enters final days of contract talks

Mr. Ovadil Valladares    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. JoAnn McDaniel    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mr. Paul Posey    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Lula Robinson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Callie Newman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Herbert Sams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Larry Smith Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Leon Savage Jr.    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Callie Newman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Larry Smith Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Orsbie Johnson, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Sandra Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Ms. Nancy Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Reynold Suman    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
Mrs. Sandra Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Earlie Walker    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Eric Rolland    (HARLEM, Ga.)
Mrs. Remelle Washington    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Gladys Phillips    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
Mr. Joseph Wise    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Fannie Mitchell    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. James Blocker    (TRENTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Gladyne Malbon    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Lillie Cox    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Marion Huff    (PHILADELPHIA, Penn.)
Mrs. Dera Brooks    (AVERA, Ga.)
Mr. Tommy Wright    (TENNILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Otis Mims    (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)
Mrs. Viola Wilson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Homer Milford Sr.    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
Mrs. Martha Taylor    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mrs. Grace McWatty    (HARTSVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Louise Smith    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mrs. Myrtice McIntyre    (GREER, S.C.)
Mr. Leon Savage Jr.    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
Mrs. Vernice Keller    (CHARLOTTE, N.C.)
Mrs. Myrtle Register    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Sibyl Davis    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mr. Ray Phillips, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Sibyl Davis    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mr. Earl Peoples    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Willie Jackson    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Wyley Minick    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Rube Hankinson Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Homer Milford Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Douglas Granger    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Thomas McBride Sr.    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Sterling Goldman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. William Jones    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
Mr. Frank Ferris Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Josephine Johnson    (BLUFFTON, S.C.)
Mr. William Peiffer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Jessie Howard    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Paul Posey    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Laura Reese    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lucy Blackmon    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Thomas Gibson    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Ruth Francis    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Helen Gay    (TWIN CITY, Ga.)
Mrs. Gladys Phillips    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
Mrs. Margie Franks    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Imogene Paschall    (TIGNALL, Ga.)
Mrs. Abbie Booth    (TOOMSUBA, Miss.)
Mr. James Blocker    (TRENTON, S.C.)
Mr. William Jones    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
Mr. Ronald Jones    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Fannie Mitchell    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mr. Herbert Sams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Lula Robinson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Helen Gay (TWIN CITY, Ga.)

Mr. Orsbie Johnson, Sr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Reynold Suman (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mr. Ray Phillips, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Wyley Minick (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Thomas McBride Sr. (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Laura Reese (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Gladys Phillips (STAPLETON, Ga.)

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

Mr. Frank Ferris Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sibyl Davis (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. William Jones (LANGLEY, S.C.)

Mr. Thomas Gibson (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Dera Brooks (AVERA, Ga.)

Mrs. Myrtice McIntyre (GREER, S.C.)

Mrs. Abbie Booth (TOOMSUBA, Miss.)

Mr. Homer Milford Sr. (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mrs. Gladyne Malbon (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Vernice Keller (CHARLOTTE, N.C.)

Mrs. Martha Taylor (DEARING, Ga.)

Mr. Ovadil Valladares (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Callie Newman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ronald Jones (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Homer Milford Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Imogene Paschall (TIGNALL, Ga.)

Mr. Marion Huff (PHILADELPHIA, Penn.)

Mrs. Sandra Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Josephine Johnson (BLUFFTON, S.C.)

Mr. Joseph Wise (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Jessie Howard (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Grace McWatty (HARTSVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Eric Rolland (HARLEM, Ga.)

Mrs. Earlie Walker (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Larry Smith Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Blocker (TRENTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Ruth Francis (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Willie Jackson (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Paul Posey (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Rube Hankinson Sr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Earl Peoples (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Leon Savage Jr. (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mr. James Blocker (TRENTON, S.C.)

Mr. Otis Mims (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)

Ms. Nancy Wood (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Margie Franks (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. William Jones (LANGLEY, S.C.)

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

Mr. Sterling Goldman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Remelle Washington (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Politician, district attorney disappointing
In the Feb. 4 article about the sentencing of Bobby Clark Brassell Jr. for sexual assault on a child ("Cheeks intervenes for convict," Metro), I find it sad and disappointing that Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, would use his political influence to talk with this guy's probation officer and to District Attorney Danny Craig to get his sentence modified. Walter Kendrick, Thomson, Ga.

Hunt an electable public servant
Lt. Mike Hunt is the best candidate for Aiken County sheriff. He has over 20 years of local law-enforcement experience, including large amounts of specialized training, and has risen through the ranks of the Aiken Department of Public Safety from public safety officer to lieutenant. Mike McElhaney, Langley, S.C.

You bet that standing up for freedom is worth the fight
I have visited some exotic and mystical places on this Earth, and in the performance of my duty helped to destroy the evil forces of oppression, ignorance and suffering by a mentality of human hatred from dictatorial despots who governed their countries. One such place was Vietnam, where I served as a young Marine. Gregory J. Topliff, Aiken, S.C.

Negative letter about Bob Young is hooey
Who in the world does Robert A. Daniels think he is, writing such a negative letter about Mayor Bob Young ("Augusta's common problem: mayor's poor leadership," Jan. 20)? Leona Norton, Martinez, Ga.

Only part of the picture
You don't see many rallies or demonstrations in favor of self-defense. Or against evil dictators willing to kill masses of innocents. Or in favor of freedom. One supposes these causes aren't exciting enough to inspire marches.

Candidate will maximize resources
Law enforcement is the primary role of government. Without respect for the law, and without the swift and certain punishment of those who trespass the law, organized society ceases to exist. Jan Carpenter, Aiken, S.C.

We don't need more government intervention on smoking
I'd like to respond to the following statements made by Michael Smith in his letter of Feb. 4, "Prohibit smoking at restaurants": James "J.D." Davis, Aiken, S.C.

VA chief notes recent improvements to health care for vets
I want to alert your readers to three recent decisions that will improve health care for veterans in your community and across the nation. Anthony J. Principi, Washington, D.C.

Women's-rights campaigner Anthony opposed abortion
I would like to wish Susan B. Anthony a happy birthday. It was on Feb. 15. That day commemorated the 183rd anniversary of her birthday. June Whitaker, Evans, Ga.

Time for smoke ban?
The Richmond County Board of Health is revisiting the smoking-in-restaurants issue. In 1997, the board nearly banned smoking in all Augusta area eateries, but after restaurateurs' weeping and gnashing of teeth, coupled with threats of lawsuits, it was decided to designate 75 percent of seating space as non-smoking.

Letter writer misinterprets passage
If Daru Ib-Shamiq ("Bible, Mosaic law do not prohibit pro-choice stand," Jan. 14) would spend more time being a careful reader, he might see things in a different light. Thomas G. Paschall Jr., Beech Island, S.C.

Support Estrada
When Democrats controlled the U.S. Senate last year they killed many of President Bush's senior judgeship nominees on a party line vote in the Judiciary Committee, although had the names gotten out on the floor, most of the nominees would have passed.

Spending disgrace
There ought to be a law that Congress can't pass legislation if members don't know what's in it.

Elected officials should be better educated
I recently read that the Augusta commissioners gave City Administrator George Kolb a reprimand without allowing him any say-so. Well, that doesn't surprise me, being that most of the commissioners have a severe intellectual deficit. Joseph Diggs Sr., Augusta

Stop exercising political favors
As disturbing as it was to read that Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, would use his position of influence to have a convicted sex offender not register with the state's sex offenders' registry, it is not surprising. We all know that those in positions of power and authority manipulate laws. Barbara Thurmond, Augusta

Overtime

Harding plans to keep boxing

Overtime

Overtime
Westside's Ginny Millar placed sixth in the 100-yard butterfly at the Class A-AAAA State Swimming Meet in Atlanta on Saturday.

Venus Williams beats Clijsters to win Diamond Games
ANTWERP, Belgium -- Venus Williams won her first title of the season, and a pattern is becoming clear: Just about the only person who can beat her is her sister.

Harding plans to keep boxing
TUNICA, Miss. -- Tonya Harding intends to keep boxing - even if her first professional fight is canceled.

Tyson to miss flight, another indication fight might not happen
LAS VEGAS -- Mike Tyson won't be on his scheduled flight to Memphis Sunday, another indication his comeback fight with Clifford Etienne may be doomed.

Overtime
The Augusta State men's team blitzed the field again on Monday, taking a 10-shot lead heading into the final round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Sawgrass Country Club, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Falcons linebacker enters final days of contract talks
DULUTH, Ga. -- Keith Brooking wouldn't be dining at Falcons owner Arthur Blank's house Monday night if he weren't hopeful of re-signing with the team before Thursday.

So-So Sunday

Shuttle tape shows how far networks will got to get vital pictures
NEW YORK -- During coverage of the space shuttle Columbia's disintegration, the folks in CNN's control room thought the picture they saw on rival Fox News Channel looked familiar.

Columbia's final overhaul included new wiring, increased thermal protection
The space shuttle Columbia's last major overhaul - the largest in the history of the program - involved some components and systems now under suspicion in the investigation into the orbiter's final, disastrous descent.

Sound waves help investigators pin down timeline of shuttle's end
SPACE CENTER, Houston -- Recordings made by instruments sensitive to sound below the threshold of human hearing may help investigators build a timeline of any uncharacteristic movements made by the space shuttle Columbia minutes before it broke apart, scientists say.

HazMat Smart Strip may protect lives of first responders
WHEELING, W.Va. -- A $15 strip of vinyl and paper that changes colors when exposed to nerve agents, cyanide and other chemicals may protect police, firefighters and others who rush unprotected into the heart of a disaster.

Implant under the scalp zaps away crippling headaches
WASHINGTON -- Teresa Lamesch endured a constant, incapacitating headache for almost two years. The slight touch of wind blowing against her forehead caused shocking jolts of pain. Bright sunlight or loud noises could make her retch.

Astronomy technology aims to improve vision
INDIANAPOLIS -- Technology that astronomers developed to take the twinkle out of starlight as it enters their telescopes is now peering in the opposite direction, revealing the eye's complexities as never before.

FDA approves new test to rule out heart attack
WASHINGTON - Doctors have won federal approval of a new blood test to help them tell which patients suffering chest pain aren't really having a heart attack.

Late mistake costs Bulldogs

Late mistake costs Bulldogs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Alexis Kendrick has exhibited maturity beyond her years in her freshman season with the Georgia women's basketball team

South Carolina routs Arkansas

South Carolina routs Arkansas
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina's Jocelyn Penn knows it takes a lot to keep up with her - and she knew No. 13 Arkansas didn't have the energy to do it.

Artist's corner

Donation to Locks of Love typical of girl's generosity
Thirteen-year-old Tessa Shlaer spent the first day of her winter break relaxing while she got her hair cut at Karyn Grace Salon.

Your style
Jessica Currie, 13, is an eighth-grader at Langford Middle School.

Boy wants neighborhood, parents to overcome racism

Students tested by requirements schools adopted for graduates
It was early January, when the wind at ground level chills to the bone.

Audio best

Teens' harmony produces music video
My musical experience is limited to strumming seven chords on the guitar. I wanted to be a rock star when I was younger, but I cannot carry a tune in a bucket. So, when I got the chance Feb. 10 to spend the day on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, I was eager to observe talented teens who were more musically inclined than I am.

Teens' harmony produces music video

Xtreme question of the week
Q: What do you think of senior projects?

Xtreme calendar

Boy wants neighborhood, parents to overcome racism
THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: I live in a neighborhood that's filled with racists. I'm black and have white friends. I don't feel like I can bring them home with me. My parents don't even accept them. What should I do? - 17-year-old Augusta boy.

Xtreme question of the week

411
Got sports skills? Need money for college? The people responsible for bringing you the Got Milk campaign have launched a scholarship campaign to recognize 25 high school senior student athletes who excel in academics, community service and leadership. Twenty-five winners will receive $7,500 scholarships and a spot in the SAMMY Hall of Fame at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

Cloning controversy

411

Cloning controversy
Cloning has always been controversial. Some like the idea of cloning, of possibly being able to grow new organs to use for transplants to save people's lives.

Students tested by requirements schools adopted for graduates

Xtreme calendar
t's the last day to turn in your lyrics for Xtreme's Alternative Lyrics contest. Make up a set of lyrics to a popular song and you could win $50. Send entries by e-mail to jennifer.hilliard@augustachronicle.com, or fax them to 722-7403.

Artist's corner
Trisha Huynh, 17, is a senior at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School. Eagles Wings, an entry for the PTA Reflections Arts Competition, won an award of excellence and will be sent to the state level of the competition.

Audio best
Associated PressWeekly charts for the nation's best-selling recorded music as they appear in Billboard magazine. Platinum signifies more than 1 million copies sold; Gold signifies more than 500,000 copies sold:

Odds and Ends

Man finds two 19th century caskets in his front yard

Iraq mourns civilian victims of Gulf War, celebrates growing anti-war movement

Wives of 101st Airborne Division again prepare for husbands' deployments

Rice urges United Nations to stand up to Saddam Hussein

Audiotape purportedly from bin Laden claims U.S. war plans against Iraq part of plot to attack Muslim nations

Ridge says terror alert will likely be lowered

EU leaders struggle to narrow rift over Iraq after NATO agreement

British foreign secretary says war against Iraq "very difficult" without public support

Iraq reports first U-2 flight in support of U.N. inspection mission

The world waits, and worries about destabilization from an Iraq war

FDA approves new test to rule out heart attack

Implant under the scalp zaps away crippling headaches

Astronomy technology aims to improve vision

HazMat Smart Strip may protect lives of first responders