Ballet to showcase young talent

Arts calendar

Play offers chance to teach young actors

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Eight performers, eight pieces and not one thin dime.

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For Young Artists Repertory Theatre Company director John Greene, comedy is Cheaper by the Dozen.

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The Augusta Opera continues its run of Puccini's Tosca with performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St. Tickets are $12-$40. Call 826-4710.

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High school baseball coaches are requested to submit individual hitting and pitching statistics for their teams to The Augusta Chronicle. Please fax the statistics to Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3408 by noon Wednesday.

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Aquinas coach Mike Laney was desperate to play baseball, so he called Cross Creek coach Bob Polewski on Tuesday morning and left him a message on his voice mail.

Prep baseball stats needed

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza had the players' association appeal his five-game suspension Friday, a move that likely makes him available for New York's opener against the Chicago Cubs on March 31.

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The No. 1 ranking is nice, but to North Augusta senior pitcher Nick Godwin, it's not really that important.

Godwin nearly pitcher perfect

Prep baseball statistics

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PHOENIX -- Major league baseball officials will examine the potential impact on the Baltimore Orioles as they consider bids by Northern Virginia and Washington to lure the Montreal Expos.

Prep baseball notebook

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Here are statistics for area prep baseball players.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- While he doesn't view spring training standings as seriously as owner George Steinbrenner does, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre realizes results are being scrutinized more intensely.

Even with three umbrellas, you can still get wet

Atlanta rookie ready to join rotation

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Atlanta Braves second baseman Marcus Giles prefers not to look back at 2002, and for good reason.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Paul Byrd received a cortisone shot in his right elbow Monday in hopes of returning to the mound Saturday.

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Atlanta ace Greg Maddux got knocked around on the mound and at the plate.

Braves turn thoughts to U.S. forces in Iraq, not baseball

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Welcome to the rotation, kid. While Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox hasn't made it official yet, there's no doubt that rookie left-hander Horacio Ramirez has won a job as the No. 4 or No. 5 starter, depending on Paul Byrd's elbow.

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Count Atlanta Braves closer John Smoltz among those who'll be rooting for Annika Sorenstam in her PGA Tour debut in May.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The television in Bobby Cox's office was tuned to CNN on Thursday afternoon. Flickering images of the war against Iraq dominated the screen.

Byrd receives cortisone shot

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WASHINGTON -- The government ran up a deficit of $193.9 billion in the first five months of the 2003 budget year, nearly three times the deficit for the same period a year earlier.

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NEW YORK -- Wall Street advanced for an eighth straight day Friday, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 closer to its best winning streak in nearly six years as U.S.-led troops swarmed through Iraq and seized airfields.

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NEW YORK -- A yardstick of U.S. economic activity declined in February, reversing a four-month trend of gains, the Conference Board reported Thursday. The group's economist said the drop signals a possible slowdown in consumer spending as fears of war and terrorism increase.

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I.M. Pei is renowned worldwide for his contributions to modern architecture.

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Switching from roads to rail is expected to help International Paper Co.'s Augusta mill cut down on costs and remain competitive.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Port of Savannah has overtaken Charleston as the nation's fourth-busiest container port, according to new shipping figures.

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LONDON -- Oil prices jumped Thursday on reports that oil wells in southern Iraq were burning out of control after apparent acts of sabotage.

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ATLANTA -- Business leaders on Thursday urged Georgia companies to fight against the proposed state flag referendum, saying the vote could hurt the state's fragile economy.

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Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC announced Thursday it has completed previously announced plans to expand the production capacity of sulfone monomer at its Augusta plant.

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First Friday was always good for drawing customers off the sidewalks into the downtown novelty and boutique shop Fierce, store owner Russell Hall said.

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NEW YORK -- Wall Street posted a seventh straight day of gains Thursday as investors remained hopeful that the U.S.-led war with Iraq will be quick and successful. Still, the advance was limited as the market anxiously awaited the latest developments.

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WASHINGTON -- Consumer prices shot up by 0.6 percent in February, the largest rise in two years. The prices of gasoline and other energy products soared as the United States headed into a war with Iraq.

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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Herman Demmink's single in the sixth inning scored what proved to be the winning two runs as Clemson beat Maine 7-6 on Friday night.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick, certainly. But here's the apparent mantra for modern warfare:

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"For the governor of our state to suggest that we should capitulate to special interest groups when the Constitution is on our side and we have done nothing wrong is a bit surprising and very disappointing."

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It's hard to believe, but there are many people around the world - including some in our own country - who perceive a moral equivalency between President George W. Bush and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In fact, there are some who believe that the American president is the worse terrorist and larger evil.

Hootie vs. the guv

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We'll leave it to legal authorities to figure out if Juvenile Court Judge Herbert Kernaghan Jr.'s dismissal of charges against a 15-year-old boy charged with breaking into a home and stealing $4,000 was legally correct.

Raise cigarette tax

No moral equivalency

A nonsense ruling

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This newspaper doesn't usually support tax increases to help solve government budget problems. Hiking taxes generally encourages elected officials to duck the root problem of most budget shortfalls - which is overspending.

A smart start

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Columnist Cal Thomas calls it "so amazing I hardly know what to say."

Schlock and yawn

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LOS ANGELES -- The Hollywood Black Film Festival, scheduled to start Tuesday, will be postponed for more than two months because of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

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LOS ANGELES -- A year after two black nominees won the lead-acting prizes for the first time, the Academy Awards are back to a likely sweep of the four actor categories by white performers.

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THE DRIFTERS, THE TAMS AND THE O'KAYSIONS: Master Ballpark Bash, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, Lake Olmstead Stadium; $10 advance, $15 day of show, VIP tables $150; www.tixonline.com or (803) 278-4TIX.

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

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

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

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LOS ANGELES -- Expect less glitz and glamour at the Academy Awards Sunday night.

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WASHINGTON -- Going beyond the usual resolutions of support for U.S. troops in combat, the House voted unanimously Thursday to ease the tax burdens of all American military personnel and their families.

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NEW YORK - Americans who filed their income taxes early already are starting to get refund checks, which the IRS says are averaging more than $2,200 this year.

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WASHINGTON -- Mortgage rates rose sharply this week as it became clear the United States would launch a military strike against Iraq.

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

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The latest "uniform of the day" for fishermen has been the rain suit, thanks to an overabundance of precipitation this week.

Fishing report

Fishing tournament news

Fertilizers promote plant growth

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Q: I need a better understanding of when and how to fertilize flowers and shrubbery in my yard. Could you tell me things I need to know, particularly about the different types of fertilizer?

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Agnus Berenato doesn't doubt her ability. Through 15 seasons of just better than .500 basketball at Georgia Tech, through 10 years of no NCAA appearances, through injuries and close calls and coaching changes, Berenato never doubted herself.

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ATLANTA -- Brandon Boggs and Matt Murton each had four hits Friday to lead an 18-hit attack that powered Georgia Tech to a 13-7 victory over Maryland in the Yellow Jackets' Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Yellow Jackets coach is a believer

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Ernie Els has been chasing titles all over the world. Playing against Tiger Woods for the first time this year hasn't changed a thing.

Humbled Jaguars try to defend title

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PHOENIX -- Annika Sorenstam wanted to play with the men so she could raise the level of her game. She may need to, if her start to the LPGA season is any indication.

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PHOENIX - The top three women golfers in the world found themselves just about where they expected to be Friday - on top the leaderboard of the Safeway Ping tournament.

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SANTO DA SERRA, Madeira Islands -- Spain's Jesus Maria Arruti shot a 6-under-par 66 Thursday and led the rain-delayed Madeira Island Open by one stroke. Half the field was unable to complete the first round.

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Josh Gregory said Augusta State's poor showing in its last golf tournament might have been what the Jaguars needed.

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LONDON -- The World Match Play Championship will offer the second-richest prize in golf, increasing its winner's share to $1.56 million.

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ORLANDO, Fla. - It's early in the Bay Hill Invitational, and no one is watching the leaderboard. Why would they?

Six leaders at 69 take back seat

World Match Play winner to get $1.56 million

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Hephzibah offensive guard Broderick Reid signed a letter-of-intent with Division I-AA Fort Valley State at the school library Thursday.

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MONTREAL - The president of the Montreal Canadiens apologized Friday for fans who booed the U.S. national anthem before Thursday night's game against the New York Islanders.

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ATLANTA - Todd White scored two goals and Karel Rachunek added a goal and two assists as the Ottawa Senators took advantage of the NHL's worst defense in a 5-1 rout of Atlanta on Friday night.

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UNITED NATIONS -- Iraq accused U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday of aiding the U.S. and British attack on Iraq by withdrawing U.N. peacekeepers and weapons inspectors, which allowed the invading force to cross the Kuwaiti border unchallenged.

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CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar -- Two British Navy helicopters collided Saturday over the Persian Gulf, and seven crew members were presumed killed, officials said.

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As the United States and Britain pushed into Iraq, the allies also suffered their first casualties. Two U.S. Marines died in combat and another dozen American and British Marines were killed in a helicopter crash that appeared to be accidental.

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IN THE KUWAITI DESERT -- U.S. Marines were dug into defensive positions south of Kuwait's border with Iraq on Thursday, poised to launch an expected ground invasion.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq -- With the sound of air raid sirens once again blaring, rumblings of explosions could be heard Friday as night descended on the Iraqi capital.

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MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded on Thursday that the United States quickly end its attack on Iraq and said the use of military force against Saddam Hussein was not justified.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A huge explosion shook the center of Iraq's capital before dawn Saturday, hours after the most ferocious attack of the war left Saddam Hussein's Old Palace in flames and Baghdad shrouded in smoke.

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WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon assessed the damage Thursday from its initial strikes against targets in Iraq and primed for a broader assault involving 300,000 U.S. and coalition forces.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The streets of Baghdad were silent and empty Friday night, with fires raging inside Saddam Hussein's Old Palace compound and a halo of smoke hanging in the sky, after the Iraqi capital endured the most ferocious attack of the war.

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WASHINGTON -- Iraq's forces appeared cut off from their leadership after a U.S. attack on a Baghdad compound that intelligence officials believe struck while Saddam Hussein and possibly his sons were still inside, U.S. officials said Thursday.

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SAFWAN, Iraq -- Waving white flags and raising their hands to the sky, dozens of Iraqi soldiers quickly surrendered to coalition forces in southern Iraq on Friday - and some even tried to give themselves up to Western journalists.

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WASHINGTON -- A second round of U.S.-led air attacks was launched Thursday night in Baghdad, but U.S. military officials said the assault was not the beginning of the massive air campaign the Pentagon has planned.

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WASHINGTON -- Withholding their full fury, U.S. forces pinpointed airstrikes Thursday night in Baghdad and made their first forays by ground as they increased pressure on Iraqi troops to surrender. A helicopter crash claimed the first American and British lives.

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WASHINGTON -- President Bush, updating congressional leaders on the war, said Friday the United States is "making progress" in its mission to disarm Saddam Hussein's regime and liberate Iraq.

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Two war veterans sat at a Rhode Island tavern, raising their shots of whiskey up high, offering a toast as Iraqis awoke to falling American bombs.

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CAMP NEW JERSEY, Kuwait -- U.S. troops got their first real scare Thursday when Iraqi missiles streaked across the border into Kuwait, forcing the Americans to climb into protective suits and put on gas masks.

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American and British forces advanced Friday through southern Iraq, some racing unimpeded across the desert, others meeting hostile fire. Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers surrendered and U.S. troops captured a key port along the border with Kuwait.

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KUWAIT CITY -- Sirens wailed and residents scrambled for shelter Thursday in Kuwait City as Iraq launched missiles over the border in retaliation for the U.S.-led military campaign against Saddam Hussein.

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WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Marine helicopter crashed in Kuwait Thursday, killing all 16 American and British soldiers aboard, military officials said.

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These past few days have been soggier than a day-old bowl of Cheerios.

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I will be voting for Jody Rowland for sheriff of Aiken County on March 25. There are many reasons I have made this decision, but several seem to stand out. With a bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice, and being a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, Mr. Rowland has received the best formal education. Add to that many classes, seminars and conferences relating to various aspects of police work in his 22 years of experience, and his education is well-rounded. June H. Cannon, Aiken, S.C.

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How dare Martha Burk and her group of "women's rights activists" plan to use our community as a grandstand in their publicity stunt? All she seeks is her 15 minutes in the spotlight. Only in her wildest dreams does she see a token millionaire female being admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club. But how would her fantasy benefit a woman's daily life? If Ms. Burk were sincere in her cause, she would be rallying for women's rights in China, Africa and the Middle East. Wendy P. Thomas, Martinez, Ga.

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I recently had a near-death experience, and it has haunted me ever since. Though no one put a gun to my head and I did not even see a knife, the experience was shocking. What I, like most Americans who have never been on a battlefield, suddenly realized is there will be a lot of fighting long after the war with Iraq is over. Robert "Tunk" Martin, Edgefield, S.C.

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Most of the discussion surrounding Mike Hunt's law-enforcement career has centered on his outstanding service to the city of Aiken. I want to remind North Augustans that Mr. Hunt began his law-enforcement career as a member of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety. I had the opportunity to supervise him in that capacity and am pleased to support his candidacy for sheriff of Aiken County. Mr. Hunt has always had a remarkable enthusiasm for his work that is based on his love and compassion for the people he serves. He served North Augusta well early on and will continue to serve the entire county well as sheriff. C. Scott Bruder, Graniteville, S.C.

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I am trying to understand - just what do liberals call a country that has a supreme dictator with an SS-like force called the Mukhabarat that oppresses and murders his people and simultaneously exports terrorism and hostile acts against both neighboring and distant states while developing weapons of mass destruction? William J. Welsh, M.D., Augusta

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I am responding to the editorial on smoking that was printed on Feb. 17 ("Time for smoke ban?"). I totally agree to a smoking ban in restaurants in the Augusta area. I disagree with nothing that this editorial had to say. Jake Storm, Evans, Ga.

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I would like to submit to Greg Weis that his March 11 letter, "Signing U.N. Charter was a promise," left out some information on the situation with Iraq. Elden Bolton, Martinez, Ga.

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Isn't it amazing that there are so many people who oppose the war with Iraq? I really have to laugh, especially when noticing the colleges with kids/adults holding signs - peaceful or not - protesting the war. The Rev. Todd Upchurch, Dearing, Ga.

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On March 15, your paper ran an editorial, "Rowland for sheriff." The writer of the article implied our law-enforcement agency hoped that he (Rowland) is elected. Pete Frommer, Aiken, S.C.

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Thank you for the thought-provoking guest column by Henry T. Edmondson on March 9, "There are no shortcuts to solving the issue of Iraq's disarmament." It is indeed time for the United States to re-evaluate which countries we look to for alliance and moral approval. As Dr. Edmondson pointed out, Eastern Europe has significant reason to be leery of the United Nations. So does the United States. Joe Beck, Augusta

Faith digest

Founder's outreach thrives

Faith and fellowship calendar

AugustaChronicle.com
Christian author Robert Elmer wrote his first story, A Way Through the Sea, for his three children.

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As a teen, Kathy Cawley delivered holiday turkeys to the disabled, working alongside volunteers organized by the Rev. Jerry Taylor, founder of Community Outreach Program for the Handicapped.

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Dr. Joseph Bennett of North High Shoals, Ga., will give a historical sketch of Augusta benefactress Emily Tubman at 11 a.m. Sunday at First Christian Church, 629 Greene St.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On weekday afternoons, 104-year-old Laura Keeble sits in her nursing home room, content to watch Oprah Winfrey on television.

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

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When practice ended Thursday morning, Augusta Lynx coach David Wilkie sat in his office bemoaning his team's loss to Atlantic City the previous night.

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There were the forwards with extra jump in their legs, buzzing around with the puck in the Greenville zone, driving hard to the net.

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STAR OF THE GAME: Rookie defenseman Ryan Crane scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime.

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Greenville Grrrowl at Augusta Lynx.

Lynx coach tries to keep perspective

Lynx plan changes

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Looking to restore the luster to what minority owner Mark Vieira called a "tarnished" franchise, the Augusta Lynx have hired 35-year hockey veteran and former National Hockey League coach Larry Kish to be the team's president and general manager.

Lynx GameNight

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AIKEN - Tim Harris, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman, flew from Washington on short notice this week to make a point clear.

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The war in Iraq may be half a world away, but Augusta-area officials say that doesn't mean security at home should be left to chance.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The McEntire Air National Guard Station 169th Fighter Wing is on the front lines of conflict, with aircraft participating in missions over Iraq, officials said Thursday.

Ethics panel hears campaign grievances

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AIKEN - Organizers have been preparing for the second leg of the Aiken Triple Crown for months and say that this year's racing will be enjoyed by more than 30,000 people.

Health board is still divided

News you can use

Frequency change irks police

AugustaChronicle.com
CAMILLA, Ga. -- Tornadoes cut a swath through southwestern Georgia before dawn Thursday, killing at least six people and injuring more than 100 in Worth and Mitchell counties.

Local mosque boosts security

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ATLANTA - The State Ethics Commission will meet today in Evans to consider complaints against Gov. Sonny Perdue, a former state senator and the McDuffie County Democratic Committee.

Across Georgia

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All around, the Aiken Harness Races are a more casual affair than the Triple Crown's first two races.

Ex-judge develops guardian training

State school leaders return to Iowa Test

Southern charm turns on for movie's casting call

AugustaChronicle.com
Today's subscriber of the day is Brandy Beam of Evans.

National answers Perdue's remarks

Troops pack bunkers

Seventh YDC guard suspended

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WASHINGTON -- As America continued its punishing air assaults on Iraq Thursday, congressional Democrats - including the six from Georgia - remained deeply divided on whether it was wise to fight before rounding up more allies.

Forged checks lead to charges

AugustaChronicle.com
Because of inaccurate information furnished to The Augusta Chronicle, a listing of military personnel from the Augusta area in Thursday's editions contained a mislabeled Army Reserve unit. The unit should have been identified as the 359th Signal Brigade.

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Police arrested a Hephzibah man Friday who they say was banking on the fact that a dead man can't talk.

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The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and capture of an Augusta man wanted in a Valentine's Day slaying.

Across Georgia and South Carolina

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AIKEN - The Aiken Training Track, home to the first leg of the Aiken Triple Crown, welcomes racers this year to a new surface.

Democrats suggest separate flag votes

Ethics panel plans meeting in Evans

AugustaChronicle.com
Police are warning the public about a flimflam by three men claiming to be from South Africa, a scam that has already cost three Richmond County victims almost $15,000.

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CAMP COYOTE, Kuwait - A distant boom. A nearby whistle. A soldier yells, "Gas!"

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They'll get the T-shirt, but they won't get the trip.

Augusta beefs up security

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MARCH 21, 1940 Salaries of all Georgia schoolteachers have been ordered withheld by the state Board of Education pending the outcome of litigation under which Richmond, Bibb and Chatham counties are seeking additional funds.

Across the area

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THOMSON - Ron Sellers said goodbye to his wife, Renee, and daughter Sydney for what seemed like several hours.

Club owner disputes ordinance

SRS contractor makes bid to aid in rebuilding Iraq

Vehicles ruin newly resurfaced canal towpath

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

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AIKEN - When the Savannah River Site manager in charge of high-level waste processing needed to replace his plant's main piece of equipment for the first time, he was given his choice of team members.

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AIKEN - The parent company of the contractor that runs Savannah River Site has been asked by the United States to bid on the rebuilding of Iraq.

Con artists make off with nearly $15,000

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On the last business day that protesters could file an application for permission to demonstrate during the third round of this year's Masters Tournament, none was returned to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office on Friday.

AugustaChronicle.com
Thurmond Lake and other Savannah River reservoirs were in flood control stages Thursday after 3.75 inches of rain fell in some portions of the basin.

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

AugustaChronicle.com
The Georgia Department of Education has thrown out the yardstick it has used for the past two years and has gone back to the tried and true way of measuring pupil achievement.

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

AugustaChronicle.com
With a somber face, Ashley Weaver recounted the conversation she had with her stepfather Wednesday night.

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CAMP COYOTE, Kuwait - Roberto Cruz came to Kuwait looking for revenge.

AugustaChronicle.com
JUST WONDERING why the Democrats are even bothering to hold a presidential primary in South Carolina. So far, every Democratic candidate for president has denounced the Confederate flag.

AugustaChronicle.com
Wreckers attempt to tow an overturned truck on Bobby Jones Expressway at Interstate 20.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Security was strengthened Thursday at nuclear power plants in South Carolina, and officials at a former nuclear weapons complex were "manning an emergency operations center."

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CAMP COYOTE, Kuwait - The 319th Transportation Company packed up camp and moved into the Iraqi desert early today.

Schools call off Big Apple band trip

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AIKEN - As an attorney and retired family court judge, Amy Sutherland has been on both sides of the bench with child custody cases.

City panel points out obstacles to program

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AIKEN - A radio frequency switch by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, which leaves six outlying police departments deaf to sheriff's operations, has rural law enforcement angered, including one chief who says Sheriff Jody Rowland assured him the communication gap wouldn't occur.

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ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue's plan to increase tobacco taxes in Georgia cleared a legislative obstacle Thursday, but still could face heavy opposition when it reaches the floor of the House.

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Georgia's governor dodged paying a penalty, but a local political party didn't during Friday's meeting of the State Ethics Commission in Evans.

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Augusta commissioners say they like the idea of a citywide capital improvement program - one that includes a regional coliseum, a downtown performing arts center and a Reynolds Street exhibit and trade show facility.

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Dressed in matching black-and-white striped shirts, black berets and scarves, Kathleen Barbara and Danielle Hogan of Riverside Middle School have taken their fair share of ribbing for representing France in a mock version of a United Nations summit.

AugustaChronicle.com
Nadia Sanford did a little celebratory wiggle, raised her arms above her head and shouted out a single word.

AugustaChronicle.com
ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue doesn't need a mulligan when it comes to his statement about Augusta National Golf Club's exclusion of women. He's happy with his first shot.

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Members of the 878th Engineering Battalion of the Georgia Army National Guard left Augusta on Thursday morning, the same day thousands of American troops crossed into Iraq to wage war.

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Mark Plagenhoef, an employee of Barry's Catering, lines up candelabra that will be placed on tables for the Aiken Spring Steeplechase's prerace dinner.

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BEAUFORT, S.C. -It took five seconds of data, three days of testimony and 30 minutes of deliberation for a South Carolina jury to convict a Hilton Head Island man of reckless homicide in an auto crash that killed a father of three.

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ATLANTA - Georgia's pupils - nearly a third of middle schoolers and more than a quarter of high school students - are too heavy, twice as many as the national figure, state health officials said Friday.

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AIKEN - It's horses and hors d'oeuvres, spring hats and sunglasses - the Aiken Triple Crown has finally arrived.

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COLUMBIA - Gov. Mark Sanford accused fellow Republicans in the GOP-controlled House of preventing his proposal to raise cigarette taxes and lower income taxes from getting a thorough debate.

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AIKEN - Famed horse trainer MacKenzie "Mac" Miller, who retired in 1995, says his adopted home always will be a preferred location for training horses because of its climate and soft soil.

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Johnny Elam of Augusta is today's subscriber of the day.

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The Triple Crown's three horse tracks, all more than 60 years old, remain as vital a part of Aiken's horse community today as they've been in years past.

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AIKEN - It takes a long time to turn a dirt road into blacktop in Aiken County.

Rants and Raves
JUST WONDERING why the Democrats are even bothering to hold a presidential primary in South Carolina. So far, every Democratic candidate for president has denounced the Confederate flag.

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Keeping in touch with loved ones at war is difficult, but some family members of soldiers in the 319th Transportation Company are finding ways to connect to their loved ones overseas.

Speaker touches on plant concerns

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Even putting forth nominations for new members brings out the division in a board governing a troubled Augusta mental health center.

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AIKEN - The parent company of the contractor that runs Savannah River Site has been asked by the United States to bid on the rebuilding of Iraq.

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The owner of a south Augusta nightclub that started showcasing strippers nearly two months ago not only opened an adult entertainment establishment without the necessary city license, but also called police himself to let them know, sheriff's officers said in court Friday.

Tutt Middle helps its pupils adjust

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Another guard at the Augusta Youth Development Campus has been suspended, making him the seventh officer at the long-term detention center for boys to be disciplined since mid-February.

Correction

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CAMP COYOTE, Kuwait - The start of the ground war made for an exhausting night for the 319th Transportation Company at their camp in the northern Kuwaiti desert.

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ATLANTA -Athena Lao, a 13-year-old seventh-grader, is one of the best spellers in the state, taking top honors Friday in the Georgia State Spelling Bee.

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The idea was to make the Augusta Canal towpath friendlier to joggers and bicyclists, but a sand-clay resurfacing mix applied two weeks ago isn't helping.

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Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Islamic Society of Augusta became a target for vandals.

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SAVANNAH, Ga. - Rule No. 1: Speak slowly, and elongate every word you say so that it sounds like it has three syllables.

Across the area

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COLUMBIA - Gov. Mark Sanford, the only governor in the nation with an active military obligation, packed up his office files Friday as he prepared to report for Air Force Reserve officer training this weekend.

Company bids to help rebuild Iraq

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ATLANTA - Two years ago, many Georgians complained that the state flag was changed with no input from the public. On Thursday, the House committee considering a statewide vote on the banner held a hearing in front of about 200 people, discussing different proposals.

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Jack Nicklaus hemmed and hawed and filibustered and postponed - again. The decision on whether he will play in his 43rd Masters Tournament this year will have to wait for one more test.

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JUST OUT: 8 Mile, Abandon, Roger Dodger, Auto Focus, Personal Velocity and Pokemon 4Ever

Mini reviews

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Movies are listed with theater location through Thursday. Reviews without star ratings are from critics other than Roger Ebert. Listings are subject to change.

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Can the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences retroactively revoke Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Oscar?

Video watch

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"Dreamcatcher" is unspeakably bad - and shockingly so - considering that it's an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, from the director of "The Big Chill" (Lawrence Kasdan) and the writer of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (William Goldman).

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It's hard to imagine what attracted Gwyneth Paltrow to "View from the Top," a sputtering, underfueled slapstick romance in which she stars as an aspiring international flight attendant.

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For Tara Scheyer and her band, the Half-Shirt Leroys, playing music is no longer about record deals and landing the big gig.

No pressure

Tritt happy to be an outlaw

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Country singer Travis Tritt doesn't wear a black hat, nor does he wield a blazing six-gun.

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SEPANG, Malaysia -- Michael Schumacher and Ferrari are in an unfamiliar role - playing catch-up.

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BRISTOL, Tenn. - David Green set a track record at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday to win the pole for a Busch Series race.

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BRISTOL, Tenn. -- If someone bumps past Rusty Wallace to win at Bristol again, he might not let it slide this time.

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MONTERREY, Mexico -- Paul Tracy finds himself in a position he hasn't held in nearly three years - leading the CART Champ Car Series.

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MANASSAS, Va. -- Lawyers for sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad asked a judge Friday for permission to hire a mental health expert and investigators to look into their client's background.

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. -- A judge Friday ordered cigarette-maker Philip Morris to pay $10.1 billion for misleading smokers into believing its "light" cigarettes are less harmful than regular labels.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Despite having the fifth-worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks seem unstoppable against the Philadelphia 76ers.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Another flagrant foul, another suspension for Ron Artest.

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CHEHALIS, Wash. -- Portland Trail Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire agreed Thursday to attend drug and alcohol counseling and stay out of legal trouble for the next year to have marijuana charges against him dropped.

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The NCAA women's basketball tournament will start with some grumbling over travel and an outcome in doubt.

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SPOKANE, Wash. -- No need to tear up those brackets. Emeka Okafor and Connecticut sent BYU home early.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins was kicked out in the second half of the Bearcats' NCAA tournament opener against Gonzaga after drawing two technicals on a disputed call Thursday.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Missouri's Rickey Paulding drove the lane for a chance to hit a game-winning shot. He did, but not the way he planned.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- It's known as the "freshman wall" - the point in the season when first-year players lose their legs, their shot and their confidence.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma got by without its best player. Kansas survived a scare against a No. 15 seed.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Travis Diener's career game put Marquette in the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Notre Dame's Mike Brey believes he is the luckiest man left in Indianapolis.

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NEW YORK -- CBS moved the start of its NCAA men's basketball tournament coverage to cable channel ESPN on Thursday because of news coverage of the war in Iraq.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Rick Barnes had big plans. At 23, he wanted to be a basketball coach someday at a Division I school.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hollis Price was bothered by an injury, Kevin Bookout was sick, and Oklahoma couldn't make its shots early.

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TAMPA, Fla. - Too exhausted to talk, let alone walk, Tim Smith was motionless, curled on his side atop the trainer's table in the locker room.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When Kentucky got to the locker room after another dominating performance, a message awaited them on the board: "5 More."

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Mrs. Julie Busby (QUEEN CREEK, Ariz.)

Mrs. Lillian Hooper (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Gloria King (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mr. Quincy Welch (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Williams (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Ms. Mary Bell (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mr. Fred Ruff (CRAWFORDVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Carol Huckabone (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Terry Perdue (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Queenie Wellington (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)

Mrs. Carol Huckabone (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Jeff Miles Sr. (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Rosa Graves (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Dea. Roosevelt Scott (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Margie Scott (ALEXANDER, Ga.)

Mrs. Josephine Colbert (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruby Hutto (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Albert Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Leroy Mims, Jr. (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Alice Henry (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Dea. Daniel Lewis (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Donald Drafts (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Williams-Canty (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Joe Hodges Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga. )

Mrs. Carrie Warren (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Maj. John DeLeeuw Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Delores Simmons (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Evelyn Webb (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Doy Fulcher Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. C.J. Herrington (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. Alex Mayes, Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C)

Mr. Charles Alexander (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ed Ritchie Jr. (EHRHARDT, S.C.)

Mrs. Gailya Evans (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Alexander (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Carrie Warren (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ashley Abel (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Betty Futch (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ora Holmes (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Don Yonce (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Freeman (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mattie Carithers (UNION POINT, Ga.)

Maj. John DeLeeuw Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Ms. Brenda Madison (SAN LEANDRO, Calif.)

Mrs. Jeanette Shelton (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mr. Melvin Holley (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Stewart (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Vera Harrell (MITCHELL, Ga.)

Mrs. Frances Banks (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Ms. Terri Strickland (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mr. Joe Hodges Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Markus Rogers (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Melvin Holley (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mr. Perry Bussey (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mr. Doy Fulcher Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Reese (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Luther Canady Jr. (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Geneva Edenfield (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Stewart (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Alex Mayes Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Williams-Canty (AIKEN, S.C.)

Prep players of the week

Imperial Cup features field with credentials

Horse town now lacks trainers in 1 discipline

Overtime

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Among the horses competing in the headline race at the 37th Aiken Spring Steeplechase on Saturday at Ford Conger Field are the son of the last Triple Crown winner, a divisional champion and several stakes winners.

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Andy Roddick never lost his serve but almost lost his opening match at the Nasdaq-100 Open.

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The mastermind behind the betting scam that nearly produced a $3 million payoff at the Breeders' Cup ended up with the least amount of jail time possible - a year and a day.

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AIKEN - This horse-crazy town is the host of two of the most prestigious events on the National Steeplechase Association's championship circuit, including Saturday's Aiken Spring Steeplechase, with its $85,000 purse.

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USC Aiken's junior center fielder, Ashley Farr, was named Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week. The selection is the ninth in school history and second for Farr in two years.

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

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Two Austrian cross-country skiers and two team officials lost appeals Thursday against their sanctions in a blood-doping case at last year's Salt Lake City Olympics.

Cline's 'Bandstand' tapes lost

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Dr. Joseph Bennett of North High Shoals, Ga., will give a historical sketch of Augusta benefactress Emily Tubman at 11 a.m. Sunday at First Christian Church, 629 Greene St.

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

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On weekday afternoons, 104-year-old Laura Keeble sits in her nursing home room, content to watch Oprah Winfrey on television.

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As a teen, Kathy Cawley delivered holiday turkeys to the disabled, working alongside volunteers organized by the Rev. Jerry Taylor, founder of Community Outreach Program for the Handicapped.

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Christian author Robert Elmer wrote his first story, A Way Through the Sea, for his three children.

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Charlie Dick would be happy if Dick Clark could find tapes of the American Bandstand TV shows featuring Mr. Dick's late wife, Patsy Cline.

It's really a no-brainer: Bear belongs in Augusta

Actor's career bloomed in desert, and beyond

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PALESTINE, Texas -- The discovery this week of the space shuttle's data recorder has boosted the spirits of the thousands of searchers who have been frustrated at finding only shreds of tile and metal.

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan is launching a cybercrimes unit, partly because it had to rely on U.S. investigators to trace e-mails sent by the kidnappers of slain journalist Daniel Pearl.

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TOKYO -- In the grimy, run-down district of Tokyo called Takadanobaba, store owners are hoping a doe-eyed, diminutive comic book hero will bring them a business boom.

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Microsoft's Web site chirps that "Windows XP Home Edition" allows you to "Experience more than you thought possible with your home computer and the Internet."

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NEW YORK -- Breaking up their usual flow of commercials, broadcasters sometimes air so-called public service announcements.

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LOS ANGELES -- "Platinum," a UPN series billed as the first network hip-hop drama, is poised to make its debut next month.

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NEW YORK -- CNN said Friday that its reporters have been expelled from Baghdad by the Iraqi government.

Concert calendar

Club calendar

Applause calendar

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ATHENS, Ga. - Mohamed Abukar, one of the Georgia men's basketball team's most prized signees, said Thursday he isn't sure he wants out of his National Letter of Intent, but he wants to be ready in case he does.

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ATHENS, Ga. -- LSU got six runs out of seven hits in the top of the first inning and never looked back as the Tigers cruised to a 12-5 victory against Southeastern Conference rival Georgia Friday.

Recruit mulls options

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Sunday night, more than 40 years after he raced across the Saharan dunes and into movie history in Lawrence of Arabia, Irish actor Peter O'Toole will be honored with a special Oscar for lifetime achievement. Had his portrayal of the dapper desert warrior T.E. Lawrence remained his only film contribution, Mr. O'Toole would have sealed his cinema stardom. But, to the good fortune of film audiences everywhere, he followed that triumph with a gallery of memorable characters.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- If anyone thought South Carolina star Jocelyn Penn would be slowed at the NCAA tournament by an ankle sprain, forget it.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Lou Holtz crouched close to the ground, his fingers rhythmically twitching in anticipation - and not just because his Gamecocks began spring drills Friday.

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It happened nearly every time South Carolina women's basketball coach Susan Walvius stepped in a taxi during her European recruiting trip last week.

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SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea on Saturday canceled economic talks scheduled for next week, accusing South Korea of raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula by putting its military on heightened alert.