Macon will get new baseball team in Southeastern League

Official: Weight-loss drug probably contributed to Bechler death
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A weight-loss drug probably contributed to the heatstroke death of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler, a medical examiner said Tuesday.

Official: Weight-loss drug probably contributed to Bechler death

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.

Macon will get new baseball team in Southeastern League
MACON, Ga. -- Macon will get a new minor league baseball team this summer to replace the Atlanta Braves farm club that moved to Rome, city officials announced Monday.

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

Braves agree to terms with three players
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves agreed to one-year contracts Tuesday with pitchers Andy Pratt and Matt Belisle and infielder Adam LaRoche.

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

Maddux inks out a record contract

Fick learning lessons early in 2003

Sheffield back for final time?

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.

Big money Braves
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - They both had their moments last season. Greg Maddux went 15 straight starts without a loss and finished with the league's second-best ERA.

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.

Big money Braves

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
ATLANTA -- Greg Maddux is used to setting records. On Monday, he claimed another.

Braves agree to terms with three players

Hacker gains access to 5.6 million Visa, MasterCard numbers
NEW YORK -- A computer hacker gained access to more than 5.6 million Visa and MasterCard account numbers by breaching the security of a company that processes transactions for merchants, the card associations said Tuesday.

Increase will cut sales, augment state's funds

Tax tip: Where's my refund?
You filed your tax return and you're expecting a refund. You have just one question and you want the answer now - Where's My Refund?

Business briefs

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.

New SEC chairman sworn in

Stocks gain on bargain-hunting
NEW YORK -- Bargain hunting extended Wall Street's rally to a second session Tuesday, lifting stocks to their highest level in two weeks. Investors were also encouraged by some positive corporate news.

Phone fee increase will assist schools

Investors are bullish on the Baghdad Stock Exchange

Stocks gain on bargain-hunting

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

Phone fee increase will assist schools
Want to support your local schools? Make a long-distance cell phone call.

Business briefs
If you refinanced your home in 2002, you may be eligible to deduct any "points" associated with the loan. In most cases, points must be deducted over the life of the loan. The interest deduction is determined by dividing the points paid by the number of payments to be made over the life of the loan. This information is usually available from lenders. For more tax tips, go to www.augustachronicle.com/taxtips.

New SEC chairman sworn in
WASHINGTON -- President Bush, presiding at a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday to install William H. Donaldson as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, called the Wall Street investment banker "the right man at the right time."

Clemson's Hobbs may try football

Clemson tops Virginia

Clemson tops Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Edward Scott scored 32 points and hit several key buckets down the stretch as Clemson dealt Virginia's NCAA tournament hopes a serious blow with a 73-64 victory Tuesday night.

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.

NCAA alters 'halo' rule

NCAA alters 'halo' rule
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA Football Rules Committee has eliminated the 2-yard "halo" rule on kick returns.

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

SEC notebook

Battle for first in ACC has different feeling

Victories push Tennessee closer to NCAA tourney

Arizona remains No. 1; three newcomers in Top 25

Blake and Scott named ACC co-players of the week

Once upon a time a champion could remain anonymous

France is part of problem

Don't belittle safety

Only part of the picture

Spending disgrace

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.

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

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

Fit to be Thai
I get the winter doldrums about this time every year. Short days, sporadic sunshine and chilly weather leave me longing for an escape - a culinary journey. So this week and next I'll offer recipes with a foreign flair.

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.

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.

In the know
THE WINE: Vichon Chardonnay, $10, from France

Affleck's 'Daredevil' leaps to record President's Day debut
LOS ANGELES -- Movie-goers took Ben Affleck up on his latest dare.

Evan chooses Zora on 'Joe Millionaire' finale
NEW YORK -- "Joe Millionaire" concluded with Evan Marriott asking Zora, not Sarah, to go steady. She said yes, and they toasted their future with a glass of champagne.

Small portions
A book titled Reality-Check Cooking will grab the attention of many stressed cooks, with its implied promise of recipes for the real, workaday world.

Liberal radio network planned as an alternative to Rush Limbaugh
WASHINGTON -- A group planning a liberal-leaning radio network says the idea hasn't caught on in previous attempts because it wasn't marketed properly and wasn't entertaining enough.

Eagles edge Georgia St.
STATESBORO, Ga. -- Georgia State reliever Tony Wright threw a wild pitch while attempting an intentional walk in the sixth inning, scoring the decisive run in a 3-2 victory by Georgia Southern on Tuesday.

Eagles fall to Davidson
STATESBORO, Ga. -- Wayne Bernard scored 20 points, including four of his team's 14 3-pointers, as Davidson beat Georgia Southern 85-76 Tuesday night.

Eagles fall to Davidson

Eagles edge Georgia St.

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

Woods just wants to be like Mark

The world will be watching - and keeping score
She teed it up against men on a course that became known as Hogan's Alley, and while she held her own, the world's best female golfer failed to make the final cut.

The world will be watching - and keeping score

Two months later, not much has changed on PGA Tour

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.

Woods just wants to be like Mark
A fan watching Tiger Woods in his first practice round since surgery was concerned after Woods belted one big drive.

Augusta State routs Clemson

Augusta State routs Clemson
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. - Augusta State made a strong case Tuesday for moving up to the No. 1 spot in the next NCAA Division I collegiate golf poll.

Prep basketball scores

Thrashers top Sabres in OT

Injured groin sidelines Atlanta goaltender

Thrashers place Dafoe, Nurminen on injured reserve; recall Hnilicka

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.

Thrashers place Dafoe, Nurminen on injured reserve; recall Hnilicka
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers placed goatenders Byron Dafoe and Pasi Nurminen on injured reserve Tuesday and recalled Milan Hnilicka from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

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.

British leader says public opposition to war would fade if military action taken
LONDON -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that he believed public opinion in Britain would swing behind military action against Iraq if the government decides to take that course.

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.

Homeland security chief: be prepared but don't panic
CINCINNATI -- Telling Americans to be ready for terrorist attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge launched a public-relations campaign Wednesday that offers families a few basic steps to prepare for the worst.

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.

European nations give Iraq one last chance to disarm
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- "Old" and "new" Europe united Tuesday behind a declaration warning Iraq it has one last chance to disarm, papering over an acrimonious dispute that has set back the continent's push for a single voice in world affairs.

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.

Bush says he won't be deterred by global protests
WASHINGTON -- President Bush declared on Tuesday that he wouldn't be deterred by global protests against war with Iraq, saying "I respectfully disagree" with those who doubt that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace.

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.

Israel's plans for an attack by Iraq are a decade in the making
JERUSALEM -- Israel has been preparing for an Iraqi missile attack since the last Gulf War, and now says it's ready.

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.

Expect a swift thrust toward Baghdad if U.S. goes to war
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. attack on Iraq would be a swift, powerful combination of airstrikes and ground assaults aimed at overwhelming Saddam Hussein's defenses and keeping him from mustering catastrophic retaliation, defense officials and outside experts say.

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.

Wachovia buying Prudential brokerage business
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wachovia Corp. announced Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire Prudential Financial Inc.'s retail brokerage unit, creating the nation's third-largest brokerage.

Murder suspect arrested
Police have arrested an Augusta man in connection with the Friday death of Neville Hall.

Opinions of stars are worthless

Candidate will maximize resources

VA chief notes recent improvements to health care for vets

Stop exercising political favors

Kudzu good analogy for Iraqi war

Supports George W. Bush'sefforts to keep this nation free

Hunt best man to succeed Sellers

Negative letter about Bob Young is hooey

Michael Jackson same as 'normal' people

Women's-rights campaigner Anthony opposed abortion

Politician, district attorney disappointing

Three officials an embarrassment and should be investigated

In the know

Affleck's 'Daredevil' leaps to record President's Day debut

Jackie Chan kids around for animated series

Senior calendar

Liberal radio network planned as an alternative to Rush Limbaugh

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

Small portions

Collector's talk to club will cover hat etiquette

Top videos

Evan chooses Zora on 'Joe Millionaire' finale

Fit to be Thai

Five Questions with Brian Patafie

Augusta forward looks to make most of chance
It's been nearly three seasons since Ryan Lauzon got his first and only taste of life in the National Hockey League.

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.

Five Questions with Brian Patafie
Augusta Lynx Head trainer/Coordinator of Team Services Brian Patafie answers questions for Chronicle staff writer Rob Mueller.

Lynx game night

Augusta forward looks to make most of chance

Elder statesmen meet up Tuesday night

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

Generals extend Lynx's woes
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Bryan Richardson had a goal and two assists to lead the Greensboro Generals past the Augusta Lynx 5-2 at Greensboro Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Atlanta business leaders opposed to state flag referendum
ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and other business leaders are opposed to a vote on the state flag that could lead to the return of the Confederate emblem.

Rainy balancing act

Group pickets in support of YDC guards

Across South Carolina

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.

Perdue proposes more flexibility for school boards

Graham finds big workload in Senate

Mayor resolves deadlock with vote for amendment

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.

Restoration will continue on historic home

Bill would expand pimping laws

Murder suspect arrested

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

System lacks review panels

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

Court to hear case of man suing to recover lost value after wreck

Hunley wallet may hold clues

Adviser retains pension contract

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.

Across Georgia

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.

Clients sue stockbroker over losses

GOP redistricting plan triggers debate

Wachovia buying Prudential brokerage business

Partisan divide greets map plan

Sanford to keep mansion open

News you can use
FEB. 19, 1903 AIKEN - The first case called in court yesterday morning was that of Lawrence Randall, charged with the murder of Arthur Weathersbee. The trial of this case occupied but a short time, and the jury, without leaving their seats, returned the verdict of "not guilty."

ASU student dies of rare blood infection

Consumer group fights proposed cap on medical lawsuits
ATLANTA -- A group of medical malpractice victims gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to fight proposals to limit malpractice claims.

Budget dominates Perdue's agenda

Sanford to keep mansion open
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Governor's Mansion will stay open this year, thanks to cost-cutting and $100,000 in private donations, Gov. Mark Sanford says.

Consumer group fights proposed cap on medical lawsuits

University of Georgia receives $3.2 million gift
ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia has received a $3.2 million trust fund established by a man who graduated from the school nearly 100 years ago.

News you can use

Lawmaker working to change school tardiness laws

Subscriber of the day

Doctor severs ties to old job

Student faces drug charges

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."

Medical University changes burn treatment

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

Across the area

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.

Employee sues health facility

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.

Senate votes for legislative pay cut

Across the area

Perdue's proposal overhauls Barnes' education reforms

Perdue brings in troops to build support for tax hikes

Rants and Raves
MY RAVE IS for the jail workers who put in a complaint. Thank you for putting that in the newspaper. I am an employee at Aiken County Detention Center. The policy and procedure are not even there. We get written up for everything.

Sam Nunn speaks out on nuclear safety

System lacks review panels
Six months ago, outside of public view, children in state custody and their families lost the group of advocates who had stood up to ensure they were treated fairly.

Leaders vote no on Craig inquiry

Changes fail to bring reviews
For two years before she quit in frustration, Janet Weinberger says, she pleaded with the juvenile and superior court judges in Richmond County to turn her part-time job into a full-time position.

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 dominates Perdue's agenda
ATLANTA - In the month since Sonny Perdue became the first Republican governor of Georgia in more than a century, he has been at the center of a host of issues.

USC Aiken will build new housing complex
AIKEN - A new three-story housing complex will offer about 300 University of South Carolina Aiken students a place to call home on campus in 2004.

Across the area
A convicted rapist who failed to register as a sex offender was arrested Tuesday morning, police said.

Perdue proposes more flexibility for school boards
ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue continued to roll back key aspects of his predecessor's education reform Tuesday when he announced legislation to give school systems more flexibility.

Rants and Raves
MY RAVE IS for the jail workers who put in a complaint. Thank you for putting that in the newspaper. I am an employee at Aiken County Detention Center. The policy and procedure are not even there. We get written up for everything.

Senate votes for legislative pay cut
ATLANTA -- Georgia senators voted Tuesday to take a 10 percent pay cut to show voters they are willing to share the pain of state spending cuts.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -A group of medical malpractice victims gathered Tuesday at the Capitol to fight proposals to limit malpractice claims.

S.C. Air National Guard F-16CJs called to duty
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- About 400 members of the South Carolina Air National Guard and their F-16CJs will head toward the Persian Gulf this week to support a potential war against Iraq, officials announced Tuesday.

Across South Carolina
CHARLESTON -The Medical University of South Carolina says it will treat all but the most critically injured burn patients.

Court to hear case of man suing to recover lost value after wreck
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on whether insurers must compensate policyholders for a vehicle's depreciation after a wreck.

Perdue's proposal overhauls Barnes' education reforms
ATLANTA - Key elements of former Gov. Roy Barnes' education reforms would be delayed or scaled back under a plan rolled out Tuesday by the man who defeated him.

University of Georgia receives $3.2 million gift

Restoration will continue on historic home
The Augusta home of George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is getting a makeover.

Medical University changes burn treatment
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Medical University of South Carolina says it will treat all but the most critically injured burn patients.

Student faces drug charges
A student at Glenn Hills High School was arrested Tuesday on charges of having crack cocaine and marijuana on campus, police said.

Military school sees enrollment increase

Employee sues health facility
The author of a once-anonymous letter that sparked state and federal investigations at an Augusta mental health institution filed suit Tuesday, saying she is being demoted and harassed.

Stewart: More needs to be done to protect South Carolina

Mayor resolves deadlock with vote for amendment
By way of a tie, the Augusta Commission broke a monthlong gridlock Tuesday - voting narrowly to amend city laws governing public protest and demonstration.

Officials say nursing homes need more monitoring

Adviser retains pension contract
More than 100 city pensioners said Tuesday that they wanted to keep the financial adviser to their retirement plans local, and the Augusta Commission obliged, voting 8-2 to retain Salomon Smith Barney as an investment manager.

Councilman receives his daughter's kidney

Leaders vote no on Craig inquiry
If an in-depth investigation is good enough for the city, it ought to be good enough for District Attorney Danny Craig.

Board to study resolution of confidence

Subscriber of the day
Today's subscriber of the day is Frank Scoggins of Augusta.

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

Thief damages laundries, takes coins
AIKEN - It's a pattern of smash-and-grabs that has owners of coin laundries in Midland Valley looking for some relief.

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.

Mobile unit helps to promote safety
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency showed off its mobile command vehicle at the Evans Government Complex on Tuesday, part of a tour to support Severe Weather Awareness Week.

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.

ASU student dies of rare blood infection
A rare infection, caused by the same bacterium that causes meningitis, claimed the life of an Augusta State University student early Tuesday.

News you can use

Clients sue stockbroker over losses
Before May 2000, Hazel and Harold Lott's knowledge of financial investments was limited.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Across South Carolina

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

Standing Guard

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.

Across Georgia

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.

Meningitis case found in student

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.

Subscriber of the day

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."

Horsemen bring past alive again

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

Drivers, fans gear up for Rockingham

Daytona winner Waltrip ready for more success

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.

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

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

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

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

Mavs get victory over Hawks
DALLAS -- Michael Finley scored 26 points and reserve Walt Williams added 15 points as the Dallas Mavericks took early control and eased to a 105-79 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

Shaq misses game against Yao
LOS ANGELES -- Shaquille O'Neal ruled himself out of Tuesday night's game against Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets because of a sore left knee.

Shaq misses game against Yao

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.

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

SEC notebook
Though he hasn't disposed of all the trash talk, there's no doubt Tennessee's Ron Slay has toned down his act for his senior season.

Battle for first in ACC has different feeling
DURHAM, N.C. -- Maybe a heated game between Maryland and Duke will spark one of the last two NCAA champions.

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.

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.

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.

Mrs. Christine Beasley    (WRENS, Ga.)
Mrs. Frances Burris    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mrs. Mary Nasworthy    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Gladys Phillips    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
Mrs. Josephine Johnson    (BLUFFTON, S.C.)
Ms. Nancy Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Martha Taylor    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mr. Earl Peoples    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Frank Hutcheson    (ADRIAN, Ga.)
Mrs. Callie Newman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. William Jones    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
Mr. Paul Posey    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
Mrs. Dera Brooks    (AVERA, Ga.)
Mrs. Myrtle Register    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Shirley Yingling    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Lucy Blackmon    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Larry Smith Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Eric Rolland    (HARLEM, Ga.)
Mr. Ovadil Valladares    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
Mr. Leon Savage Jr.    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
Mr. Tommy Wright    (TENNILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Marion Huff    (PHILADELPHIA, Penn.)
Mrs. Lucy Blackmon    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Jessie Howard    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Orsbie Johnson, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Sterling Goldman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Ray Phillips, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Frank Ferris Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Douglas Granger    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Louise Smith    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mrs. Ruth Francis    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mrs. Sandra Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Sibyl Davis    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
Mrs. Viola Wilson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Casey Bentley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Martha Taylor    (DEARING, Ga.)
Mr. Ronald Anderson Jr.    (HARLEM, Ga.)
Mrs. Louise Smith    (THOMSON, Ga.)
Mr. Hollis Williford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Larry Smith Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Sandra Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Louise Rapp    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Gladys Phillips    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
Mrs. Laura Reese    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. James Blocker    (TRENTON, S.C.)
Mr. Robert Raley    (MACON, Ga.)
Mrs. Abbie Booth    (TOOMSUBA, Miss.)
Mr. Gary Osbon    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Corine McPherson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Homer Milford Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Britton McClain    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
Mr. William Jones    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
Mrs. Opal Kent    (MIDVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. Sterling Goldman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Orsbie Johnson Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Thomas Gaines Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mr. Rube Hankinson Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Walter Engle    (MISHAWAKA, Ind.)
Mr. Jose Cordova    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
Mr. Frank Ferris, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. Fannie Mitchell    (AIKEN, S.C.)
Mrs. Marie Crafton    (PERRY, Ga.)
Mr. Homer Milford Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Miss Pauline Constantine    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
Mrs. JoAnn McDaniel    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
Mrs. Dera Brooks    (AVERA, Ga.)
Mr. Thomas McBride Sr.    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
Mrs. Gladyne Malbon    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
Mr. John Byrd    (AIKEN, Ga.)
Mrs. Martha Taylor (DEARING, Ga.)

Casey Bentley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

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

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

Mrs. Laura Reese (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Dera Brooks (AVERA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Gladys Phillips (STAPLETON, Ga.)

Mr. Earl Peoples (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Shirley Yingling (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Sandra Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Sterling Goldman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Nasworthy (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Corine McPherson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Eric Rolland (HARLEM, Ga.)

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

Mr. Jessie Howard (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Gary Osbon (AIKEN, S.C.)

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

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

Mr. Marion Huff (PHILADELPHIA, Penn.)

Mrs. Lucy Blackmon (THOMSON, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Callie Newman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Christine Beasley (WRENS, Ga.)

Mrs. Martha Taylor (DEARING, Ga.)

Mrs. Marie Crafton (PERRY, Ga.)

Mrs. Gladyne Malbon (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

Miss Pauline Constantine (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Abbie Booth (TOOMSUBA, Miss.)

Mrs. Frances Burris (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

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

Mr. Hollis Williford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Walter Engle (MISHAWAKA, Ind.)

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

Mr. Jose Cordova (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Dera Brooks (AVERA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Gladys Phillips (STAPLETON, Ga.)

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.

Don't belittle safety
For months, Bush administration critics have been beating up on the president for not telling the American people what they can do to help protect themselves in the war against terrorism. Then, when the government finally comes out with a list of things to do, it's widely belittled.

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 best man to succeed Sellers
I'm backing Mike Hunt for sheriff in the March 25 Republican primary. I agree wholeheartedly with Carrol Busbee, the retired chief of the Aiken Department of Public Safety, when he said, "We need Mike Hunt as sheriff of Aiken County. Mike is a proven leader with new ideas and a refreshing approach." Greg West, 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.

Opinions of stars are worthless
On politics, I must say I continue to be both amazed and amused at the amount of press coverage being given to the opinions expressed by various "stars" from the Hollywood elite: Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Martin Sheen and others. For goodness sake, these people are children - actors! Their world is make-believe. Why in the world would anyone give credence to the ga-ga, far-left rantings of such a bunch of squirrels? Karl Bankert, Augusta

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.

Supports George W. Bush'sefforts to keep this nation free
If Robert A. Daniels' (Jan. 20 letter, "Augusta's common problem: mayor's poor leadership") can do a better job than Mayor Bob Young, why didn't he run for mayor? Unemployment is caused by former President Lyndon Johnson, who changed the immigration law so that any idiot could enter this country without a security clearance, without a skill required in this country or any knowledge of the English language, opening the door to terrorists and causing 9-11. Robert B. Heynneman, Augusta

Kudzu good analogy for Iraqi war
Look no further than your Georgia backyard for the best analogy for supporting President George W. Bush's war with Iraq - kudzu. Wayne B. Brown, Martinez, Ga.

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

France is part of problem
There's a joke going around that France will soon be sending its "special ops" unit to Iraq - to train Iraqis in the art of surrendering.

Three officials an embarrassment and should be investigated
The Augusta area has had its share of corrupt, unethical and sleazy politicians over the years: a former mayor convicted of extortion and sent to the slammer; a former state senator reportedly under investigation by the FBI and GBI; and a former state representative allegedly lining his pockets with state money. Now, revelations that a serving state senator was actively lobbying the elected district attorney and a Superior Court judge for a lesser sentence for a convicted sex offender (sexual battery of a 3-year-old child). The plot thickens when the district attorney apparently admitted to The Augusta Chronicle that he tried to "cover" for the state senator and the judge. Maurie L. Reardon, Martinez, Ga.

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.

Michael Jackson same as 'normal' people
Regarding Michael Jackson's so-called eccentricities and implied abuse of children: Kevin Palmer, Martinez, Ga.

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

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.

Tyson: Fight with Etienne is back on

Overtime

Overtime

Harding plans to keep boxing

Tyson: Fight with Etienne is back on
LAS VEGAS -- Mike Tyson suddenly changed his mind Tuesday, saying his bout with Clifford Etienne is back on.

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.

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

Overtime
The NCAA Football Rules Committee has eliminated the 2-yard "halo" rule on kick returns.

North Augusta clinches berth
When the North Augusta boys basketball team started the season as the top-ranked squad in Class AAAA, Yellow Jacket guard Quinton Ferrell insisted his team wasn't affected.

Prep basketball matchups
Here are area prep basketball playoff matchups.

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

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.

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.

Breach in left wing still the main theory about shuttle breakup
SPACE CENTER, Houston -- An engineering professor who warned NASA more than a decade ago about the catastrophic risk of launch debris says his analysis looks "more and more likely" now that the Columbia investigation board suspects a wing breach.

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.

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.

New studies of Atkins diet have surprising results
Is it just possible that Dr. Robert C. Atkins was right? That his high-fat, low-carb plan, ridiculed for 30 years as dangerous nonsense, actually is a good, safe way to lose weight?

Bats, not dogs, responsible for most U.S. rabies deaths
ATLANTA -- Bats - not dogs - cause most of the few rabies deaths in the United States, and the species of bats that are usually to blame are rare, federal officials said Friday.

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.

Bulldogs fend off Tide
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Jarvis Hayes scored 23 points and No. 22 Georgia survived a wild comeback attempt to beat Alabama 74-69 Tuesday night, the Crimson Tide's sixth loss in eight games.

Warren's return sparks South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Could South Carolina's turnaround be this simple?

Warren's return sparks South Carolina

Despite troubles, Holtz is optimistic
Lou Holtz has never had much of a problem spinning a negative into a positive. His paychecks for motivational speeches - more than $20,000 a pop, according to some estimates - document that.

Once upon a time a champion could remain anonymous
When the McDonald's at 3804 Washington Road closed recently, it brought to mind one of my favorite Masters Tournament-related stories.

Boy wants neighborhood, parents to overcome racism

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.

Xtreme calendar

Audio best

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

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.

Artist's corner

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

Teens' harmony produces music video

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

Cloning controversy

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.

411

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.

Students tested by requirements schools adopted for graduates

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.

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:

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.

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

Israel's plans for an attack by Iraq are a decade in the making

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

Expect a swift thrust toward Baghdad if U.S. goes to war

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

Bush says he won't be deterred by global protests

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

British leader says public opposition to war would fade if military action taken

EU leaders struggle to narrow rift over Iraq after NATO agreement

European nations give Iraq one last chance to disarm

Homeland security chief: be prepared but don't panic

Implant under the scalp zaps away crippling headaches

FDA approves new test to rule out heart attack