AugustaChronicle.com
There was no definitive moment when Sean Moton realized his life's ambition.

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A production of the classic American musical The Music Man demands certain skills from its cast. The performers must be able to sing, dance, be broadly comic and quietly romantic and, perhaps most important, be prepared to do a little ghost busting.

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NEW YORK -- High school outsiders of the world, take note: There's a new off-Broadway musical just for you.

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Here are statistics for area prep baseball players.

Fantasy Baseball: Fantasy beginning gets a new start

Chronicle 2003 draft preview

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With draft day rapidly approaching for fantasy baseball leagues, decision time is here for players and commissioners awaiting the most anticipated event of the year for the "Roto-geeks" of the world.

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Here is The Augusta Chronicle 2003 draft preview, with rankings at each position, based on those who played at least 20 games at those positions in 2002, except for rookies and other players who had abbreviated seasons. This list takes into account projected statistics for 2003 - including home runs, RBI, average, stolen bases and runs scored for hitters; wins, ERA, strikeouts, saves and WHIP for pitchers.

Washington County makes big strides

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The Cross Creek baseball team has fallen into a disturbing pattern, and coach Bob Polewski doesn't like it one bit.

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When Cross Creek finished its post-game meeting after dispatching Silver Bluff on Wednesday, coach Bob Polewski walked toward the dugout with a scowl on his face.

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For the first time in school history, the Washington County baseball team has a place in the state rankings.

Prep baseball statistics

The ides of March are the least of our worries

Helvic Carnard Leverett Jr.

Abigail Grace Bassett

Lauren Elizabeth Luke

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Donald and Susan Skinner of Evans announce the birth of a daughter, Erin Elizabeth Skinner, Thursday, March 6, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Patricia Glover and Don and Darlene Skinner, all of Augusta.

Hunter Regan Coleman

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Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Garner of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Brent Dean Garner, Monday, Jan. 20, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Jim McBrayer of Killeen, Texas, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Garner Sr. of Augusta.

Avery Alexandria Owen

Brianna Madison Bailey

Erin Elizabeth Skinner

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Henry and Tamatha Ruff of Grovetown announce the birth of a son, Collin Alexander Ruff, Monday, March 10, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. John Gabriel and Sophie Morris, all of Evans, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ruff.

Brent Dean Garner

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Robert and Casey Spruill of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Cecilia Nakiesha Spruill, Saturday, March 15, 2003, at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Jack Spruill of Hoschton, Ga., and Mr. and Mrs. Hermie McMillan of Stone Mountain, Ga.

Christopher David Egan

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Charles Alexander Coleman and Michelle Victoria Bates, both of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Hunter Regan Coleman, Sunday, March 2, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Sandra Hicks of Augusta and Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Coleman of North Augusta.

Brennan Gene Johnson

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Kenneth E. and Valerie L. Green of Lincolnton, Ga., announce the birth of a daughter, Grace Lucille Green, Monday, March 10, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. George E. Fanning of Harlem, Mrs. Floyd K. Green of Grovetown and the late Floyd K. Green.

Robert Connor Malone

Grace Lucille Green

Brendan Scot Herring

Collin Alexander Ruff

Shelby Camille Smith

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Dana A. and Ivey Rau of Martinez announce the birth of a son, Jayden Tyler Rau, Thursday, March 13, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Franklin B. Henry of Martinez and the late Paula K. Henry and Alton and Loretta Rau of Augusta.

Jayden Tyler Rau

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The Rev. Michael Bassett and Donna Bassett of Martinez announce the birth of a daughter, Abigail Grace Bassett, Monday, March 10, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Larry N. Hartis of Indian Trail, N.C., and Carol R. Bassett of Danbury, Conn.

Hailie Alice Cliett

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Dennis Gerald Smith Jr. and Aimee Monk Smith of Grovetown announce the birth of a daughter, Shelby Camille Smith, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mark H. and Camille Person of North Augusta, Robert D. Monk of Augusta, Margaret Dodgen Smith of Martinez and Dennis G. Smith Sr. of Appling.

Cecilia Nakiesha Spruill

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Charles Wayne Weathington Jr. and Amanda Stephanie Weathington of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Kalina Marie Weathington, Monday, March 10, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Judith Thompson, Joseph Thompson and Ramona Louise Weathington, all of Augusta, and the late Charles Wayne Weathington Sr.

Ashiana Zamaria Jackson

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Robert Lee Cliett Jr. and Shannon Meleah Cliett of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Hailie Alice Cliett, Monday, March 10, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Jimmy Chalker, Lisa Bennett, Robert Cliett and Donna Munn, all of Augusta.

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William Bailey III and Amie Hale, both of Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Brianna Madison Bailey, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2003, at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Louis and Rose Hale of Augusta and Roy and Carie Bosdell of Waynesboro, Ga.

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David Egan and Heidi Florentine, both of Evans, announce the birth of a son, Christopher David Egan, Friday, March 7, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas J. Florentine Jr. of East Palatka, Fla., and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Egan of Augusta.

Kalina Marie Weathington

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Matthew and Terri Gibbs of Martinez announce the birth of a daughter, Ansley Kate Gibbs, Tuesday, March 4, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Melvin and Julie Roberts and Tina Odum, all of Augusta, Teny Gibbs of Evans and the late Charles F. Gibbs.

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Bill and Jennifer Johnson of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Brennan Gene Johnson, Monday, March 17, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David Mirich of Merrillville, Ind., and Mr. and Mrs. Billie Ray Johnson of Hephzibah.

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Scot A. and Stephanie N. Herring of Martinez announce the birth of a son, Brendan Scot Herring, Monday, March 3, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Garry L. McFarlain of Westlake, La., Margaret Suter of Lake Charles, La., and Nancy L. Hoehn and Edward Giusto, both of Augusta.

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Helvic Carnard and Mialashun Leverett of Hephzibah announce the birth of a son, Helvic Carnard Leverett Jr., Monday, March 10, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Charles and Kathryn Holmes and Harold and Alma Leverett, all of Augusta.

James Walker Mackenzie Knox

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Charles Edward and Kimberly Nations Knox of Augusta announce the birth of a son, James Walker Mackenzie Knox, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Michael Thomas Nations of Atlanta and Mr. and Mrs. Boone A. Knox of Thomson.

Chloe Regan Williams

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Donald and Cheryl LaVigne of Martinez announce the birth of a son, William Bryce LaVigne, Friday, March 14, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Lord and William LaVigne, all of Augusta, and Melinda Gagnon of Marietta, Ga.

Ansley Kate Gibbs

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Lewis and Tami Luke of Harlem announce the birth of a daughter, Lauren Elizabeth Luke, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Donny and Diane Gray of Augusta, Charles and Robbie Curry of Huntsville, Ala., and Marvin and Rachel Luke of Grovetown.

William Bryce LaVigne

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Robert and Melissa Malone of Augusta announce the birth of a son, Robert Connor Malone, Friday, Feb. 28, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are James and Sherry Goodman of Augusta and Lynn Field of Memphis, Tenn.

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Christopher Heath and Casey VanZant-Owen of North Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Avery Alexandria Owen, Friday, March 7, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Montez VanZant of North Augusta and the late William Radford VanZant, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Evangelista of Augusta and Jerry Owen of St. Petersburg, Fla.

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James Jackson III and Aiyana Jackson of Augusta announce the birth of a daughter, Ashiana Zamaria Jackson, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Howard Gist Jr. of Hephzibah, Jerry and Gladys Moore of Evans and James Jackson of Thomson.

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Steffen Williams and Leslie Scott, both of Harlem, announce the birth of a daughter, Chloe Regan Williams, Sunday, March 9, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Aubrey Scott of Martinez, Laura Robin of Thomson and Linda Parker of Gig Harbor, Wash.

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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A DUI coordinator in a Georgia court has resigned after being charged with drunken driving, officials said.

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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A DUI coordinator in a Georgia court has resigned after being charged with drunken driving, officials said.

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A Shetland pony with the Shrine Circus took his show on the road.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - For the Atlanta Braves, Florida has been a spring of hits.

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Greg Maddux made his final start of spring training in front of about 20 fans, on an auxiliary field of the Atlanta Braves complex, with a high school softball tournament underway next door.

Pitching lags as team heads home

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VERO BEACH, Fla. - The Atlanta Braves' roster is taking shape.

Pratt's fall gives Bong a chance in bullpen

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves released left-handed reliever Mike Venafro on Tuesday.

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NEW YORK -- It's the time of the year when Americans can do well because they do good.

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A federal jury acquitted Tyson Foods and three of its managers Wednesday of hiring illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America as part of a nationwide conspiracy to boost production and profits.

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WASHINGTON -- The economy grew at a mediocre 1.4 percent annual rate in the final quarter of 2002, and many economists think it won't do much better - and perhaps worse - in the current quarter as the stagnant job market and war uncertainties make American consumers and businesses more cautious.

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CHICAGO -- Sears, Roebuck and Co. said Wednesday it is considering selling its credit card division, considered one of the top customer databases in the retail industry with about 25 million active accounts.

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A year ago during Masters Week, Augusta Regional Airport officials enticed Continental Express to offer nonstop flights from Augusta to New York and Houston. This time, the mission is Washington, D.C., and the airline is US Airways.

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WASHINGTON -- Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods fell by 1.2 percent in February, the biggest decline in three months, a fresh sign of the struggles facing the nation's battered manufacturing sector.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Westinghouse plans to lay off 32 workers from its nuclear fuel plant here.

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NEW YORK -- Wall Street fluctuated and closed modestly lower Wednesday as investors reacted to disquieting developments in the war in Iraq. Traders also collected profits from Tuesday's advance and last week's big rally.

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WASHINGTON -- About 640,000 white-collar workers could lose overtime pay, while more than a million low-income employees could begin to earn it under a White House proposal to overhaul decades-old labor laws.

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Mariachi musician Martin Silva browses through the shelves of a Wal-Mart store in Juarez, Mexico, after performing in the store's opening ceremonies.

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After 11 years, the former Riverwatch Convenience Store has a new sign.

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The bill to substantially reform South Carolina's troubled Division of Motor Vehicles is making impressive progress in the legislature. This is critically important, not only for Palmetto State vehicle owners and drivers, but also because DMV is the most frequently dealt-with government agency in the state - the face of state government, if you will.

DMV reform en route

Better flag plans

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Wouldn't it be marvelous if Georgia could avoid another long, rancorous debate over the state flag, to be followed by a bitterly divisive referendum on the issue?

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Gov. Sonny Perdue is going to great lengths to conceal his opinion on the Georgia flag - a controversy he helped whip back up last year with his promise of a referendum on the issue.

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Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Mike Hunt's win over interim county Sheriff Jody Rowland in the GOP primary for sheriff Tuesday wasn't that much of a surprise, but the magnitude of the victory certainly was - a 59 to 41 percent thrashing.

The governor's whiff

Primary winners

The budget blues

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The Iraqi war is not preventing Congress from dealing with its legislative business, such as getting on with the budget. It appears as though there'll be some kind of tax cut in the final budget, but not nearly as much as President Bush wants to stimulate the economy.

AugustaChronicle.com
LOS ANGELES -- Don't expect to see Roger Rabbit in a sequel - getting co-stars Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop and Porky Pig together again would be too difficult for producers.

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

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LAUGH UNTIL YOU DROP COMEDY EXPLOSION: 8:30 tonight, Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; with Tyler, Dirty South, Double D and Shawty Shawty; $12-$30; 722-8341, (678) 851-2800 or www.imperialtheatre.com.

AugustaChronicle.com
The newly reconstituted Air Apparent will perform tonight at the Big Easy, Eighth Street Plaza at Riverwalk Augusta.

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NEW YORK -- It's the time of the year when Americans can do well because they do good.

Fishing tournament news

Fishing report

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Ahhh, spring!

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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.

AugustaChronicle.com
We're suspicious of grits cooked by a chef wearing anything other than a bathrobe. It's one of those dishes that seems to require an extra helping of TLC, and that can be hard to come by outside of mom's kitchen.

Malley's offers bagels, grits and much more

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Landscapers and home gardeners are forever looking for new plants for the landscape. One "new" plant to consider is actually a native plant that's underused, the American yellowwood tree (Cladrastis kentuckea).

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Many gardeners can't bear to discard bulbs after they have been forced to blossom in winter. That is the usual recommendation for what to do with these plants because they cannot be forced to bloom again.

Yellowwood is a late-bloomer

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Georgia Southern football coach Mike Sewak admits he detected some uneasiness among fans last year when he made his first tour of the booster-club circuit.

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LUBBOCK, Texas - Andre Emmett scored 29 points to lead Texas Tech past Georgia Tech 80-72 in an NIT quarterfinal game Wednesday night, sending Bob Knight to the tournament's semifinals for the sixth time in his 37 years as a head coach.

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ATLANTA - Youth has been the most popular word around the Georgia Tech basketball program all season.

Georgia Tech hopes team will mature

Every home improvement show has a gimmick

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods was on the first tee before sunrise Wednesday, a 6:20 start to his final practice round for The Players Championship without knowing how long it would last.

Sorenstam may miss Asahi Ryokuken

Haas Jr. rooting hard for father

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Annika Sorenstam, the top female golfer in the world, will prepare for her PGA Tour debut at the Colonial by playing in Japan.

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Augusta State University golfer Jay Haas Jr., is pulling for his father to make the Masters Tournament field for selfish reasons.

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On a stop-start-stop first day of The Players Championship, veterans stole an incomplete show.

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Clemson remained No. 1 in Division I for the fourth consecutive week according to the new Precept Coaches Poll released Thursday.

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NEW YORK -- Martha Burk believes it is "appalling" that women who fight for the United States in Iraq face discrimination at home at private golf clubs like Augusta National.

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LONDON -- A British cabinet minister urged the Royal & Ancient golf club to make sure there is no gender discrimination at all-male clubs hosting the British Open.

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Bruce Edwards usually caddies for John Cook at The Players Championship whenever his regular boss - Tom Watson - isn't playing. He's back at Sawgrass this year, and emotions were running high Wednesday.

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NEW YORK -- Sorry, Martha Burk, you just lost me.

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods' opening tee shot was headed for a thick strand of pine trees when he muttered through clenched teeth, "Get in the rough."

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Scott Hoch became the fourth player to withdraw from The Players Championship, deciding before the first round Thursday he could not play with a wrist injury.

Veterans Haas, Tway share lead

Augusta State drops a spot

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UNITED NATIONS -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed growing concern Wednesday about the "humanitarian casualties" of the war against Iraq and reiterated that the United States is responsible for the welfare of the civilian population.

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NEAR BASRA, Iraq -- British forces battled more than 1,000 die-hard Iraqi loyalists for control of Basra on Wednesday, coming to the defense of inhabitants who rose up against Saddam Hussein in the streets of the country's second-largest city.

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WASHINGTON -- Surprised by the power of Iraq's paramilitaries, the Pentagon is adjusting its tactics in the push to Baghdad, defense officials said Wednesday.

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NEAR KARBALA, Iraq -- The ferocious sandstorm that halted the U.S. drive on Baghdad lifted Thursday and coalition warplanes were back in the sky in force, blasting Iraqi armor that probed American lines.

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TALLIL AIRFIELD, Southern Iraq -- The first U.S. airplane landed Thursday at a key Iraqi airfield, which forces informally renamed "Bush International Airport."

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BASHUR, Iraq -- Denied rights to invade by land from Turkey, the U.S. military instead parachuted about 1,000 Army troops into Kurdish-held northern Iraq in a dramatic nighttime operation that opened another front against Saddam Hussein's regime.

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UMM QASR, Iraq -- The first sizable relief convoy rolled into Iraq in a sandstorm Wednesday as allied forces struggled to clear the way for more aid shipments, using dolphins to remove mines from waterways and trying to subdue Iraqi fighters in the city of Basra.

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With sandstorms finally ended and a new front opened in the north, U.S. commanders said Thursday they would swiftly intensify attacks on Iraqi forces. In the south, a British armored unit destroyed 14 Iraqi tanks trying to break out of the besieged city of Basra.

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia on Wednesday backed away from an announcement that it had made a peace proposal to the United States and Iraq, saying only that it had "general ideas" about ending the war.

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WASHINGTON -- The United States would oppose any United Nations effort to lay out a road map for postwar Iraq that would remove decision-making and control from the coalition forces now seeking to remove Saddam Hussein, Secretary of State Colin Powell said.

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CAMP AS SALIYAH, Qatar -- You've heard of bomb-sniffing dogs, but mine-sniffing dolphins?

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BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's defense minister said Thursday the real battle for Baghdad will be on its streets, making his bold remarks just before the most powerful blasts in days rattled the capital and destroyed communications and command facilities.

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MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- President Bush said Wednesday the war in Iraq is far from over and warned that coalition forces will face "the most desperate elements of a doomed regime" as they close in on Baghdad.

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LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair, before leaving Wednesday for a Washington meeting with President Bush, said the United States and its allies must broaden their agenda beyond Iraq and help build peace in the Middle East and across the globe.

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IN SOUTH-CENTRAL IRAQ -- For the Marines pushing toward Baghdad, it's now less about getting there quickly than leaving a safe road behind.

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This has not been the best of times.

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Jack Nicklaus will play in the Masters for the 43rd time, convinced by two practice rounds at Augusta National that he feels good enough and hits the ball long enough to compete.

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Jim Harrick resigned Thursday amid a scandal in the basketball program that already had led to the firing of his son, an assistant coach.

AugustaChronicle.com
It is amazing to me that there is no other matter that merits the attention of Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's Organizations except the allowance of women as members of the Augusta National Golf Club. This matter is above equal treatment of women in the work place, educational opportunities, pro-life or anything else regarding the equality of women. The Rev. Jesse Jackson I suppose can find no other worthwhile cause to lend him stature. I guess any exposure to the media is better than no exposure. James Sherrill, Evans, Ga.

AugustaChronicle.com
What is going on in the hearts and minds of the American people? As I watch the news and reports coming out of Iraq, it saddens me to see the plight of the Iraqi people. We see Iraqi soldiers (although this is just a pretense, because they are just ordinary Iraqi citizens) who are ill-equipped in both weapons and military skills, being forced to defend a regime that has ruled with tyranny and oppression for 25 years. Carol Null, Evans, Ga.

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Americans were, and always have been, liberators - not aggressors, as the misguided protesters cry out. I say this with good reason. Jenny F. Morris, Augusta

AugustaChronicle.com
Ellen Goodman wrote a good, fluffy column on March 22 ("Nation has gone from 'let's roll' to rolling the dice in Iraq") along with all of the "plays on words," "phrases" and catchy print bytes. What she sorely falls short of is making a compelling argument for sitting back and, as a nation, sticking our collective heads in the sand concerning the Saddam Husseins and the Osama bin Ladens of the world. David B. Caudle, Grovetown, Ga.

AugustaChronicle.com
Regarding the Augusta Human Relations Commission: I oppose allotting this committee any further authority in investigating the sheriff's department of Richmond County. Charlie Hannah, Augusta

AugustaChronicle.com
NEW YORK -- Despite the least-watched Academy Awards since at least 1974, ABC earned a rare prime-time ratings victory last week. Billy Cooper, North Augusta, S.C.

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I would like to congratulate Mike Hunt. He will make the people of Aiken County a good sheriff. George Williams, Langley, S.C.

AugustaChronicle.com
President George W. Bush has committed "a capital crime" in modern international law: an attack against another state in violation of the United Nations Charter. He has abandoned modern-day law and order to plunge the world back into the dark days of warfare and jealously guarded empires. Mohsin Ansari, Evans, Ga.

AugustaChronicle.com
Regarding Leonard Pitts' March 24 column, "Ask the Dixie Chicks: No dissent allowed on our path to isolation": Eric Treesh, Hephzibah, Ga.

AugustaChronicle.com
The time has come when the United States should get out of the League of Nations - oops, sorry - the un-United Nations. Al Kotras, Augusta

AugustaChronicle.com
As many are doing, I've been watching the progress of the war. I hear of the deaths of the young men, and sadness overwhelms me. Joan Kennedy, Grovetown, Ga.

AugustaChronicle.com
If those who continue to criticize Sen. Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, had the courage to visit his office and talk with him, they would soon know what a sincere and honest gentleman he is. I am fortunate to have him as a neighbor. If he sees a need, he does not wait to be asked; as I know from experience, he graciously provides. Ann Hendrick, Augusta

AugustaChronicle.com
There are some days that we need to count our blessings. We in Augusta have District Attorney Danny Craig. He is as good a district attorney as there is in the state of Georgia. The staff that he has assembled, leads and inspires is a group of dedicated, bright energetic prosecutors who collectively handle thousands of cases each year. Our community is a safer place because of their dedicated service. John C. Bell Jr., Augusta

In the know

AugustaChronicle.com
The health and fitness calendar is a listing of support groups, fitness and health activities and lectures. Send information to Health Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send information by fax to 722-7403 and send e-mail to feature@augustachronicle.com. Please include a contact name and phone number.

AugustaChronicle.com
Spring break is a time of revelry, but students need to remember to play it safe.

AugustaChronicle.com
Three hundred and ten episodes, 33 years, eight series and one Great Dane.

AugustaChronicle.com
NEW YORK -- The U.S. publisher of the "Harry Potter" series has revised a controversial program that sells books directly to students. Retailers had complained they were losing business.

Lynx laugh off elimination talk

AugustaChronicle.com
It is a hockey player's best friend, a prized possession, perhaps the most important tool of the trade.

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South Carolina Stingrays at Augusta Lynx.

Lynx laugh off elimination talk

Lynx GameNight

AugustaChronicle.com
Augusta Lynx defenseman Phil Roy said last week's knee surgery was a success and vows to return to the lineup if the Lynx make the playoffs and advance to the second round.

AugustaChronicle.com
It is a hockey player's best friend, a prized possession, perhaps the most important tool of the trade.

Roy may return if team wins in playoffs

AugustaChronicle.com
A jury convicted Michael A. Wilcher of murder Thursday, determining that he, and not Diana Wheeler, inflicted a fatal knife wound.

AugustaChronicle.com
Day cares would be required to have liability insurance under a bill passed overwhelmingly in the Georgia House on Thursday, but the legislation faces a tough road in the Senate.

AugustaChronicle.com
The budget picture in Aiken for the coming fiscal year is sharpening with grim clarity, and garbage and fire fee increases appear almost certain, as does the possibility of a utility fee increase for the second straight year.

AugustaChronicle.com
Written comments on the environmental impact of the construction and operation of the MOX plant will be taken through May 14. Call the Nuclear Regulator Commission at (301) 415-6613 to learn how to submit comments.

AugustaChronicle.com
They came wearing business suits, Boy Scout uniforms and overalls; they celebrated by waving flags, their hands and patriotic pompoms.

AugustaChronicle.com
AIKEN - Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday's decisive primary battle for Aiken County sheriff, the hot air of campaign rhetoric will start getting chilled by this cold fact:

AugustaChronicle.com
ATLANTA -Voice mail traps would be banned from state government offices under a bill passed Thursday by the Georgia House.

Youths will race for prizes

AugustaChronicle.com
Four-year-old William J. Radford was the first of 320 children to make it into Columbia County's preschool program when his name was pulled out of a box Thursday morning.

Across Georgia

AugustaChronicle.com
The National Science Center is branching out, hoping to inspire teachers and pupils statewide.

News you can use

McNeil moves on to 'The Next Level'

AugustaChronicle.com
University of South Carolina Aiken nursing student Lauren Kirkland massages Lynn Way's back during Health and Fitness Fair 2003 at the university.

AugustaChronicle.com
SAVANNAH, Ga. - The DUI coordinator at Chatham County State Court resigned this week after being arrested and charged with drunken driving in Athens, court officials said.

AugustaChronicle.com
Some Augusta-area former prisoners of war say they know firsthand what American soldiers recently imprisoned by the Iraqi government are going through.

AugustaChronicle.com
The Columbia County kindergarten teacher arrested in January on drug charges will not return to the classroom.

AugustaChronicle.com
Today's subscriber of the day is Philip Hedgecoth of Grovetown.

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With a little more than a year of space left in their Baker Place Road landfill, Columbia County officials are wondering what to do next with trash.

Aiken leader urges fee raise

AugustaChronicle.com
THIS IS A RAVE for Johnny Edwards, a staff writer from The Augusta Chronicle. I am enjoying his articles every day and look forward to them. Thank you so much.

AugustaChronicle.com
MARCH 27, 1953 President Eisenhower has stunned the Washington baseball colony by showing only mild interest in the invitation to throw out the first ball of the season at Griffith Stadium next month.

Rants and Raves
THIS IS A RAVE for Johnny Edwards, a staff writer from The Augusta Chronicle. I am enjoying his articles every day and look forward to them. Thank you so much.

AugustaChronicle.com
Today's subscriber of the day is Pam Booker of Martinez.

Science center site benefits teachers

AugustaChronicle.com
NORFOLK, Va. -- Police put out a national alert Wednesday for a Georgia man accused of fatally shooting his father and then killing and mutilating one of the two nuns he abducted to make his escape.

AugustaChronicle.com
Richmond County school officials are investigating why a bus driver didn't report a pupil who pulled a box-cutter on classmates this week.

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CLEMSON, S.C. -- A watchdog group for women and minorities at Clemson University wants administrators to establish a rape hot line and a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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ATLANTA - The Georgia Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a medical liability reform bill that fully satisfies neither the medical nor the legal professions.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- As South Carolina's budget crisis continues, the State Law Enforcement Division is relying more heavily on federal money for its mission to protect the state against terrorism.

Empty table reminds sailors of the lost

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford may not be home every night to help her boys with homework or tuck them into bed, but she's doing her best to juggle parenthood with ceremonial duties while Gov. Mark Sanford spends two weeks at Air Force Reserve officer training.

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On the roads of Augusta, the Richmond County Coroner's Office has recently turned to a symbol that officials hope will provide a powerful message of road safety - the cross.

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ATLANTA -- Lawmakers plan to invite former President Jimmy Carter to address a joint session of the Legislature to honor him for his Nobel Peace Prize.

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IRAQI DESERT - The patient curled in a fetal position on an Army stretcher with his hands tied behind his back and his feet bound at the ankles. Tape covered his mouth.

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ATLANTA -- The Republican-controlled state Senate passed the last of Gov. Sonny Perdue's ethics bills Wednesday, but Democrats in the House say they plan to support their own version of reform.

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MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- About 1,200 mourners packed a hangar Thursday to honor six members of an Air Force rescue team who died in Afghanistan during a nighttime mercy mission.

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North Augusta officials are close to ironing out the final details of an agreement with the city's riverfront developer, who said Wednesday that residential lots along the Savannah River will go up for sale this summer.

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MARCH 28, 1963 A subcommittee of Augusta's City Council will meet next Wednesday with Mayor Millard Beckum to study elimination of parking on Broad Street from Fifth to 13th streets.

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ATLANTA -- Spc. Jamaal R. Addison was his family's computer guru, according to a relative.

Malpractice bill lacks awards cap

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CAMP VIPER, Iraq - The majority of the 319th Transportation Company's truck drivers have been on the road for more than 60 hours straight, delivering much-needed fuel to Marines advancing toward Baghdad.

Preschoolers' parents cheer

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ATLANTA -Jamil Al-Amin attempted to escape from the Fulton County jail last week, according to authorities who said Wednesday they want the convicted murderer transferred back to prison.

Man is convicted of 2000 murder

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Officials at the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Prevention Bureau will check 16 area nightclubs Friday for corrections to fire code violations found last weekend.

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For Olivia Mickalonis, the operations manager of Augusta Trees and Landscaping, preparations for the Masters Tournament coincide with another springtime routine - preparing for pollen.

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Officials at an Augusta mental health center gave sweetheart deals to companies with close ties to administrators or their friends, awarding them contracts that paid big bonuses even the companies could not explain, a state audit shows.

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At Robert C. Daniel Parkway, Walton Way near Monte Sano Avenue, and Washington Road at Baston Road, traffic officials are examining a danger that for motorists is only one turn away.

Day-care measure requires insurance

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ATLANTA - The state Senate overwhelmingly passed the final two pieces of Gov. Sonny Perdue's ethics reform package Wednesday.

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A mother who police and doctors say poisoned her daughter by injecting her with bacteria will begin an eight-year prison sentence Monday.

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ATLANTA - Dealing first-year Gov. Sonny Perdue a major blow, the House on Wednesday soundly rejected a proposal to make up some of Georgia's growing budget shortfall by increasing tobacco taxes.

Airport panel OKs rebuilding

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ATLANTA - Kendal Richardson doesn't plan to spit at a Georgia police officer anytime soon. However, the HIV-positive Atlanta-area resident says he is worried that a bill pending before the state Legislature could send him to jail for clearing his throat in front of a cop.

Rants and Raves
THIS IS A RAVE for all of the teachers in the CSRA. In the midst of this war, you, too, are on the front lines in the classroom. You do a great job in spite of the parents who criticize you and put you down.

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ATLANTA - Just two months after lifting statewide outdoor watering restrictions, Georgia environmental regulators are moving to make odd-even restrictions on lawn sprinkling permanent.

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ABOARD USS HARRY S. TRUMAN - Along the side of the officers dining room, in a corner all its own, is a small table set for one.

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An Augusta woman was charged Wednesday with stabbing her live-in boyfriend in the face after an argument over money, authorities said.

Mother accepts 8 years in jail

Senate passes Perdue reforms

Cross marks road death

Riverfront lots will go on sale

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ATLANTA - Members of the House on Thursday sent Gov. Sonny Perdue a signal that they're not ready to abandon his call for higher tobacco taxes.

Arrested educator loses post

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COLUMBIA -A House subcommittee approved a bill Thursday that would prevent state agencies from using public money to hire lobbyists.

DUI arrest leads official to resign

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A plan approved Thursday by the Augusta Aviation Commission to rebuild Augusta Regional Airport's terminal at its current site will cost the airport much less than a midfield design and will preserve the crosswind runway.

HIV-assault bill stirs controversy

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If a case of smallpox pops up in the community, University Hospital officials will harken back to today.

House stops tobacco plan

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When it came to awarding contracts at a troubled Augusta mental health center, administrators kept it in the family, according to a scathing state audit.

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NORFOLK, Va. -- James Bradley was alone cleaning the floor at a Burger King when a man walked into the closed restaurant early Thursday.

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DECATUR, Ga. -- Kevin Addison looked up to his son as a family leader.

Across the area

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THIS IS A RAVE for all of the teachers in the CSRA. In the midst of this war, you, too, are on the front lines in the classroom. You do a great job in spite of the parents who criticize you and put you down.

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Columbia County children get the chance to stretch their legs for prizes at the 10th Annual Spring Jingle Road Race.

Speaker details plant's security

Across the area

State auditors condemn health center contracts

House to reconsider tobacco tax

State sets watering rules

Hospital will test smallpox response

News you can use

Correction

Audit blasts family deals

Safety of clubs studied

Across South Carolina

Across Georgia and South Carolina

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Former Georgia basketball coach Tubby Smith and former Georgia coaching candidate Mike Brey were working the sidelines of the NCAA's Sweet 16 when the other shoe finally fell on now former Georgia basketball coach Jim Harrick.

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - The countdown to Masters-selection Monday is four days. To say the bubble boys are treading on pins and needles is more than cliche - it's all too literal.

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Turn on the television and you'll find that shows about homes and gardening have become very popular.

Video watch

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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. Call theaters for times. For an online movie guide, check out augusta.com/movies.

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"Head of State" stars Steve Martin and Queen Latifah as an uptight white guy and a funky black woman who form an unlikely friendship after meeting on the Internet.

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JUST OUT: Femme Fatale, Friday After Next, Jackass: The Movie, Maid in Manhattan and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Mini reviews

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It seemed John Travolta couldn't have fallen any farther than "Battlefield Earth." And it seemed director John McTiernan couldn't have fallen any farther than "Rollerball."

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LOS ANGELES -- Roman Polanski's surprise Oscar win for directing "The Pianist" has returned Hollywood's attention to a filmmaking career that includes at least two films considered cinematic classics, "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown."

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The journey-to-the-center-of-the-earth adventure "The Core" isn't quite the pits. It's dumb fun at times, the movie's affable little knot of heroes providing enough heart and humor to occasionally make you forget the sheer stupidity of the premise.

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Leave it to the resilient Charles McNeil to find a way to take his sports broadcasting career to "The Next Level."

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There are few sing-along-with-Sting types in the world of heavy rock. Musically speaking, the distance between blistering rock riffs and the jazzy ex-Police man seems insurmountable.

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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.

Concert calendar

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Sammy Packard watched the Daytona 500 from his home less than two miles from the Daytona International Speedway two months ago.

Road to success

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Tony Stewart was standing in the Oval Office when President Bush looked at the Winston Cup champion and asked, "Aren't you the bad boy of NASCAR?"

Q&A with Greg Biffle

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Kurt Busch wrecked a lot of cars, threw a lot of tantrums and said a lot of shocking things before he learned the biggest difference between winning and losing is the guy behind the steering wheel.

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Here are facts about this weekend's Samsung/RadioShack 500 race.

Racing Facts - Samsung/RadioShack 500

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Greg Biffle, last year's NASCAR Busch Series champion and a current rookie of the year candidate in Winston Cup, failed to qualify for the race at Las Vegas earlier this month. Since then, he's shown a steady improvement with three consecutive top-13 finishes, including a fifth last week at Bristol, Tenn. Despite having one fewer start, he's ranked ahead of 16 other drivers who have appeared in all six events. Looking back, Biffle said missing the race at Las Vegas was the best thing that's happened to his race team. Biffle talked of his recent progress as he prepared for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson did his part to support the U.S. troops Thursday by stuffing care packages during a visit to the Army base in Fort Meade, Md.

NASCAR founder dies at 83

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Cornette Caravan is surely the most dedicated traveling show in the NCAA tournament - two parents following two sons playing on two coasts.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- No need for the Wisconsin Badgers to board a plane. They just jumped on the bus for a four-hour trip to the Metrodome, a cramped but relaxing ride featuring non-stop chatter.

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Minnesota coach Pam Borton had a tough time believing it. In fact, she needed to see the result staring her in the face.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Roy Williams wants no part of a teary-eyed tournament this time.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Assessing the value of Steve Blake to Maryland's basketball team, coach Gary Williams chooses to look past all the points, assists and steals the point guard has amassed as a four-year starter.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Talking about Notre Dame was never pleasant while Luke Walton was growing up.

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NORMAN, Okla. -- One year after helping lead Oklahoma to the Final Four, Ebi Ere is just happy to help the Sooners when he can.

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Mrs. Betty Poston (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. M.B. Norman (PASSAIC, N.J.)

Mrs. Christine Murphy (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Dowell (MIDVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Dorothy Kirk (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Judy George (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mrs. Agnes Radcliffe (McDONOUGH, Ga.)

Mrs. Mable Harris (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Janie Sanders (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mrs. Carrie Nabritt-Williams (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)

Mr. John Heath Jr. (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Agnes Edney (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Emily Stripp (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Beard (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mable Harris (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Homer Deer Jr. (ULMER, S.C.)

Mrs. Maryanne Larkin (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Tanner (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Beatrice Cartledge (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Lillie Wiley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Brenda Neveu (WRENS, Ga.)

Mrs. Geraldine Loar (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Meagan Watkins (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Fannye Wikander (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Ted Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Williams (TEANECK, N.J.)

Mr. Willie Winters (SAVANNAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Betty Poston (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Lillie Wiley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Jessie Morris (EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Arthur Burnett (RICHMOND, Va.)

Col. Wilfred Gladue (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Jethro Brown (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Evelyn Etheridge (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Cuyler Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Cuyler Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Bobbie Dorsey (THOMSON, Ga.)

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

Mr. Henry Lang (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Christine Murphy (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Ouida Harrison (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Maryanne Larkin (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Diann Taylor (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Arthur Houston Jr. (PHILADELPHIA, Pa.)

Mrs. Agnes Edney (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Willie Turner (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Annie Kitchens (WADLEY, Ga.)

Mr. Wayne Addy (COLUMBIA, S.C.)

Mrs. Eloise Hurst (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Bernard Dunstan (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. John Jones (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Raymond Marks (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Louie Kitchens (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Bonds (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Evelyn Etheridge (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruth Gunn (WARRENTON, Ga.)

S. Sgt. Jimmy Thorne (TYLER, Texas)

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GEORGIA'S PEDIATRICIANS have followed carefully the debate in the General Assembly over Gov. Sonny Perdue's proposed excise-tax increase on tobacco products. Our 1,500 statewide members - comprised of general pediatricians as well as pediatric specialists, including pediatric allergists, pulmonologists and neonatologists, are deeply concerned about the quality of healthcare and the health environment for Georgia's children. The powerful tobacco lobby and other legislators who are opposed to any tax increase, even one on tobacco, have proved formidable at the state Capitol. But when considered as a public health measure, the answer is clear: A substantial tax increase on tobacco products is the single greatest public health measure the General Assembly could enact in many years.

Why radicals target the Augusta National
FEMINIST HARPy Martha Burk is pulling out all the stops in the case of the Augusta National Golf Club vs. Radical Feminists. She claims the club's all-male membership is somehow an "affront" to women serving in the U.S. armed forces. "It's appalling that the women who are willing to lay down their lives for democratic ideals should be shut out of this club," she says. "Democratic ideals do not include discrimination."

For children's health, it's time to increase tobacco taxes
GEORGIA'S PEDIATRICIANS have followed carefully the debate in the General Assembly over Gov. Sonny Perdue's proposed excise-tax increase on tobacco products. Our 1,500 statewide members - comprised of general pediatricians as well as pediatric specialists, including pediatric allergists, pulmonologists and neonatologists, are deeply concerned about the quality of healthcare and the health environment for Georgia's children. The powerful tobacco lobby and other legislators who are opposed to any tax increase, even one on tobacco, have proved formidable at the state Capitol. But when considered as a public health measure, the answer is clear: A substantial tax increase on tobacco products is the single greatest public health measure the General Assembly could enact in many years.

AugustaChronicle.com
FEMINIST HARPy Martha Burk is pulling out all the stops in the case of the Augusta National Golf Club vs. Radical Feminists. She claims the club's all-male membership is somehow an "affront" to women serving in the U.S. armed forces. "It's appalling that the women who are willing to lay down their lives for democratic ideals should be shut out of this club," she says. "Democratic ideals do not include discrimination."

Prep athletes of the week

Overtime

Overtime

Harness races set for Aiken track

Team's mettle to get tough test

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The pilot of an Apache attack helicopter shot down over Iraq and taken prisoner is a relative of Texas Rangers catcher and former Evans High School star Todd Greene.

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Individual game tickets to the Augusta GreenJackets for the 2003 season go on sale at 9 a.m. today at the team's business office at 78 Milledge Road.

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- From the start, Serena Williams had Kim Clijsters going in two directions at once, sliding into the splits at the baseline in vain attempts to retrieve overpowering shots.

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PARIS -- The Tour de France is considering tighter security for this summer's race after Lance Armstrong expressed concerns about his team's safety because of the U.S.-led war with Iraq.

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Here are profiles of the area prep athletes of the week

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The 2003 Aiken Harness Race will feature sulkies, a celebrity race and a memorial tribute to one of the event's most generous supporters.

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LOS ANGELES -- Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis sued Vitali Klitschko and the WBC, contending they brokered a deal to force him to defend the title against the Ukrainian boxer.

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Richmond Academy coach Scott Guinn is pleased with his team's performance so far.

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WASHINGTON -- Michelle Kwan could have done this in her sleep.

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CLEVELAND -- LeBron James continues to surpass expectations.

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CLEVELAND -- Close friends and future Purdue teammates, Katie Gearlds and Erin Lawless led the charge as the West beat the East 92-72 Wednesday at the McDonald's All-American High School girls basketball game.

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PHOENIX -- NFL owners changed nothing.

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PHOENIX -- NFL owners have always liked to ponder major rules changes.

Norah Jones pays tribute to Waylon

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The folks at Dualtone Records could never have guessed when Norah Jones recorded a song for their tribute album to Waylon Jennings that she would win eight Grammy Awards.

Life on the Masters' bubble can be taxing

Bulldogs begin life after Harrick

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The way metal melted in debris from the space shuttle Columbia indicates the leading edge of the shuttle's left wing experienced the hottest temperatures, perhaps offering clues as to where fiery gases penetrated the spacecraft, experts said Wednesday.

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Teams searching for debris from the space shuttle Columbia have only a few more weeks before spring growth of brush and trees makes it difficult to find more pieces, NASA officials said Wednesday.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A premium service from America Online aims to make dial-up Internet access more convenient for users who lack a second phone line.

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NEW YORK -- Despite the least-watched Academy Awards since at least 1974, ABC earned a rare prime-time ratings victory last week.

Standing ovations

Applause calendar

Club calendar

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When Tony Cole was kicked off Georgia's basketball team for good last fall, he left his coach with a parting message:

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Jim Harrick resigned Thursday amid a scandal in the basketball program that also cost his son a job as an assistant.

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Watching events unfold in Iraq has filled me with concern, as it has most Americans. We are all concerned about the safety of the troops, far from home and placed in dangerous situations. We are concerned about the state of the world and the effect of the war on alliances, allegiances, the economy and, to some extent, the safety of our homes and families.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- University of South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz has helped fulfill one wish for a McEntire Air National Guardsman stationed in the Middle East.