I'm unsure how long something needs to go on before it becomes a tradition. But, for the third year in a row, I am bowing to popular demand and awarding Stevies to honor achievers in the arts community. And while third annual might not constitute tradition, it certainly qualifies as habitual. Here are this year's models:
After a career defined by work in television, Jack Klugman is happy to be on stage.
With just two seniors on the squad last season, the Thomson baseball team suffered through a disheartening 9-16 record.

Augusta State gets 13-2 win over Paine
NEW YORK -- At $22 million this year, Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez makes more money than any other baseball player. He makes more money than the entire Tampa Bay Devil Rays team, too.

Bulldogs turn it around in 2003
His teammates screamed for him to circle the bases after he hit a second-inning pitch to center field but John Graham's attempt at an inside-the-park homer stopped short when he pulled into third.
CINCINNATI -- Sammy Sosa became the 18th player to hit 500 career homers, connecting for a solo shot Friday night in the Cincinnati Reds' new ballpark.
Here are statistics for area prep baseball players.

Prep baseball statistics

Americans make quick work of changing jobs

Montreal sweeps away Atlanta
ATLANTA - Montreal went to great lengths Thursday night to spare Atlanta the embarrassment of sweeping the season-opening series from their American cousins.
ATLANTA - The Braves don't expect to be a team of 800 runs like the 1999 club, which featured two hitters who knocked in 100 runs and two others with at least 80 RBI.

Braves' offense comes to life
ATLANTA - Three games into the season and the Atlanta Braves' offense has produced two runs. The tendency, left fielder Chipper Jones suggested, is to try and jump-start the lineup with your next swing.

Early woes cost offense focus
K'Anas Martin works on The Clubhouse's welcome sign in preparation for Masters Week.
NEW YORK -- Wall Street closed modestly lower Thursday, pressured by a pair of disappointing economic reports and investor caution as U.S.-led forces made their final push into Baghdad.
The Georgia Department of Labor's Augusta Career Center and several other organizations will sponsor a job fair at Fort Gordon on May 6.
NEW YORK -- Stocks closed mixed Friday as investor enthusiasm about U.S. advances in Iraq was muted by a weak employment report and speculation that Saddam Hussein was still alive. Tech shares sagged on an earnings warning from PeopleSoft.
NEW YORK -- As the war with Iraq dominates the news, small business owners might notice that some of their workers seem stressed or preoccupied or are less productive. Or some employees might be spending more time talking about the war and less time working.
Goodbye, Oldsmobile; hello, Saab.
WASHINGTON - U.S. companies slashed 108,000 jobs in March after huge cuts the month before as war in Iraq battered the economy at home. But the overall civilian unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent.
Property on Gordon Highway that was home to an abandoned convenience store and, at one time, the city dump is being turned into a truck stop.
NEW YORK -- When companies report their first-quarter earnings this month, Wall Street will have a harder time than usual trying to determine what the numbers mean.
WASHINGTON -- The number of American workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits climbed last week to the highest point in nearly a year as businesses trimmed jobs in the muddled wartime economic climate.
AKRON, Ohio - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. lost $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2002 - its biggest losses ever - because of a large previously-disclosed charge, but said Thursday its recent debt refinancing deal would enable it toimprove.
United Defense's Aiken plant soon will see about $10 million of new work from a companywide defense contract, officials announced Thursday.
When he was carving up defenses as a tailback at North Augusta High School, Reggie Merriweather never really entertained the notion of sitting the bench his first year of college.

Merriweather turns heads at Clemson
When various U.S. eateries took the word "french" out of such things as fries and toast, some said it was childish. And when the French fought nearly all U.S. initiatives to disarm Iraq - then the French foreign minister initially refused to even express a hope that the U.S. coalition would win the war - Bush administration officials shook it off.

Trade policy foul-up
The Bush administration imposed tariffs a year ago to protect the struggling U.S. steel industry - prompting howls of protests from our steel-exporting trading partners and domestic steel users who were forced to pay higher prices as a result of the tariffs.

Monument to mistrust

Freedom to tune out
As fighting has continued in the war against terror in Iraq, the coalition casualties have begun to mount.
How sadly, typically, maddeningly ironic.

French kiss-off

This just in!
Peter Arnett proclaims that the U.S. military plan has "failed."

Heroism under fire
First the Dixie Chicks' lead singer tells a foreign audience she's ashamed President George W. Bush is from Texas. Then Madonna releases a video - only to foreign audiences - in which she utters a profanity and tosses a grenade at a President Bush look-alike. Then the lead singer for the band Pearl Jam, at a Denver concert, impales a President Bush mask on a microphone stand and slams it to the floor.
Jim Belushi will be the first to tell you he has a little trouble separating his passion and his profession.
Ready for a night on the town? Here's a sampling of specials and entertainment at area nightclubs
RHYTHM AND BLUES GALA WITH JIM BELUSHI: 9 p.m. Thursday, Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.; benefits National Science Center's Fort Discovery; reservations required; 821-0607,
Each week, The Augusta Chronicle will highlight a destination or event within easy driving distance. This week: The 3 Rivers Music Festival, through Sunday in downtown Columbia. Performers include B.B. King, Queens of the Stone Age, Peter Frampton, the Donnas, Bubba Sparxxx, Keb' Mo', Mother's Finest and many more. Tickets are $30 for three days or $20 per day and are available at Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (706) 828-7700. For information, see the Web site
With more and more United States citizens earning money from foreign sources, the IRS reminds people that they must report all such income on their tax return, unless it is exempt under federal law. U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income.
Although electronic filing is becoming more and more the filing method of choice for taxpayers, there are still many who file paper returns. If you are one, the IRS recommends that you take a few minutes to make certain that all information is complete and accurate before sealing that envelope. This simple precaution could help you avoid mistakes that may delay your refund or result in correspondence with the IRS.
WASHINGTON -- Mortgage rates around the country fell this week, after climbing for two weeks in a row, reflecting gyrations in financial markets over the war in Iraq.

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

Fishing report
Ahhh, spring!

Fishing tournament news

Wine and dine
Augusta has a new nightclub, Lighthouse Supper Club, 2911 Washington Road in the Washington Crossing shopping center.

Carpenter bees bore into wood
I think I have tennis elbow. I don't play tennis, but I got a sore elbow from swatting carpenter bees with my racket.
As you peruse seed racks and catalogs, you might notice that some seeds are touted as "hybrids." What are hybrid seeds, and are they really "highbred"?
With a French-sounding name and roots planted in the Great White North, one could assume Angus Roy would be stopping pucks for the Augusta Lynx hockey team instead of dealing fastballs for the Augusta GreenJackets.
Call it a classic case of Opening Night jitters.
The Jackets scored three runs in the third inning off starter Josh Shortslef, sparked by a two-run double by Matt Cooper.
Dave Pahucki figured the four games he pitched in Augusta last season would help ease the butterflies on Thursday and make his opening-night start go smoothly.
The phone rang, and the news definitely threw Brian Esposito for a loop.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Get ready LPGA, the nation's top-ranked junior amateur is on the way.
Jay Seawell will squeeze in time from golf this weekend to visit with family and friends.
LOS ANGELES -- Se Ri Pak isn't getting greedy. She just wants to get better.
Alex Hamilton and Kevin Kisner didn't start winning golf titles at South Aiken High School until after Matt Hendrix graduated.
SONOMA, Calif. -- The Champions Tour will have a new name and a new site for its season-ending championship tournament.
Sunday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle will include a guide to the 67th Masters Tournament. Our 68-page special edition is packed with player profiles, course information, a match-play game and more.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Canadian Open is moving west for the first time in nearly 40 years, giving Vancouver another chance to host a PGA Tour event.

Special section offers Masters preview
DULUTH, Ga. - In short order, Lee Janzen has turned his game around, just in time for the Masters Tournament.
LOS ANGELES - Annika Sorenstam had an adventurous first nine holes before steadying Friday for 4-under-par 68 to take the first-round lead in the Office Depot Championship.
DULUTH, Ga. - BellSouth Classic leader Chris DiMarco's black hat was an appropriate choice for Thursday's first round at TPC at Sugarloaf.

Jackets game report

Pitcher is familiar with surroundings

Reliever learns pitching from other side

Jackets win shutout

Evans sorting out football
At the beginning of this week, the Evans football program was in a state of flux - no football coach, no idea if the Knights would have to stay in Class AAAAA after this season.
Thousands of Iraqis fled Baghdad on Friday as U.S. forces seized the international airport on the city's western edge and armored convoys pressed in from the south. Marines claimed the surrender of 2,500 troops of the now-shredded Republican Guard.
Army forces attacked Baghdad's international airport and fought running battles with Iraqi forces on the city's southern edges Thursday, closing in on Saddam Hussein's seat of power. Electricity went out in parts of the capital for the first time in the war.
U.S. armored units backed by warplanes seized control of Baghdad's airport Friday, while 2,500 Republican Guard soldiers south of the city surrendered to Marines, American officials said.
WASHINGTON -- Eight dead soldiers found during the rescue of an American POW in Iraq this week were members of her ambushed Army maintenance unit, the Pentagon announced Saturday.
We like to think that we're a nation on the move.
A 54-year-old inmate escaped from the McCormick County Jail this morning while on a work duty, officials said.
I have read a number of articles and letters on the subject of letting the citizens of Georgia vote on whether or not to replace the current flag with the one that was taken down, and/or also letting them vote on changing to a previous flag or designing a new flag. Clifford Chancey, Blythe, Ga.
I feel obligated to respond to Dr. Bela Vitez's March 25 letter, "Americans not disliked - government is"). I do not have a doctorate degree, and I sincerely hope that Dr. Vitez is a medical doctor and not a professor of history. My limited knowledge of the Hungarian uprising was that it occurred in 1956, not 1957. Secondly, it was not only unsuccessful, it was a slaughter. Some 200,000 Soviet troops with tanks and armored cars intervened. Some 200,000 Hungarians fled the country. Thousands were arrested and executed, including the premier, Imre Nagy. Wayne Johnson, Evans, Ga.
Regarding the difference of support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II and President George W. Bush during our current war with Iraq: It appears that the United States was totally behind Mr. Roosevelt in World War II. Everyone was behind the war effort from children to the elderly. Children saved stamps for war bonds, the women worked in the factories, the senior men guarded the home front, folks had victory gardens and on and on. Lynette G. Oxford, Augusta
Had Ingrid Jansen (letter on March 26, "Rambo-style president paints backers of peace as unpatriotic") been around in 1775-1783 in the colonies, she would have been a Tory, not a Patriot. This might not be the country she alludes to had the majority of the colonists been like-minded. Shelton Chance, Perkins, Ga.
In reference to Leonard Pitts Jr.'s March 24 column, "Ask the Dixie Chicks: No dissent allowed on our path to isolation": John P. Jones, Martinez, Ga.
I am a parent of a student at A.R. Johnson Magnet School. I think someone should be answering questions. This entire matter was handled poorly from the start. Each teacher was told to see the principal of A.R. Johnson, Dr. Dorothy Gandy, sometime on March 21. They went in and were told that they are being "transferred" because they are not "team players." These are teachers who strive for academic excellence for their students and who love teaching. They are expected to have no reaction! That makes no sense. This put the students right in the middle. Now Dr. Gandy won't answer parents' questions! So we are left to help our children make sense of this, but have no supporting facts to do so. If all is legitimate, then what's the problem? Shelley Hounsell, Augusta
I am amazed by the number of people who "stand behind" the president and are willing to have our young soldiers go to war. I want these folks to understand that when those soldiers come home wounded and are retired from the Army for medical disability, these wounded soldiers will have to pay for the treatment of those wounds out of their own pockets. Leo Vazquez, Augusta
Chicago Tribune columnist Jim Mateja wrote March 10 about SUVs. He pointed out that seat belt use is still the most efficient way to reduce one's risk of death in any type crash, and that 72 percent of occupants killed in SUVs had not been wearing their seat belts. Priscilla Bence, Martinez, Ga.
This letter is in response to the "Battle flag never represented racism" letter by Jesse Myers of Millen, Ga., on March 14. I'm calling him out to make a couple of corrections in the Confederate history. Since he took the opportunity to exercise his limited knowledge on the Confederate flag, I will correct his major mistakes. Chris Flagg, Martinez, Ga.
The Augusta National Golf Club and the United States Constitution have a similar origin. Both originated in the minds of great men. However, as great as these men were, they were flawed with a bigoted and intolerant mentality. Kevin Palmer, Martinez, Ga.
What caused what I consider to be the poor showing of people at the "Rally for America" at the Augusta Common on March 27? I was truly embarrassed for my fellow American military people who are placing their lives in harm's way so that we can enjoy the luxury of life as we know it. Al Forbes, North Augusta, S.C.
AMARILLO, Texas - A federal law enacted more than 60 years ago can be used by 21st century military personnel called to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Nine women, recognized for their work in the community, were announced Thursday as recipients of the 2003 Women of Excellence award.

Wounded Iraqis get medical aid from U.S.
When he was young, single and a newly minted soldier, it was much easier for 2nd Lt. Lee Anderson to go to war.
EUTAWVILLE -A man found dead on a busy rural road in Orangeburg County was probably shot someplace else before his body was dumped, authorities say.

Across the area

Calling the Augusta National Golf Club one of the city's most significant corporate citizens, Mayor Bob Young spelled out where his support rests days before Masters Week and accompanying protests are scheduled to start.

Across South Carolina
Mike Holbert parachutes onto the field at Lake Olmstead Stadium during Wednesday's opening-day festivities.
Andrew P. Jones spends seven hours every weekday traveling from his home in Louisville to Augusta's University Hospital to receive chemotherapy. When his eyes brim with tears, however, they are not for his plight.
WESTERN IRAQ - For hours they sit, staring at the horizon.
Kathy Temple of Aiken kept a picture of her 22-year-old son Trent taped to her shirt during a gathering Friday of family members of the 319th Transport Company, now in Iraq.
An Augusta woman was killed early Thursday when she lost control of her vehicle and drove into the path of an oncoming van on Mike Padgett Highway.
ATLANTA - Democratic House leaders said Friday they have met Republicans halfway with a new version of the state budget that slashes spending far beyond what Gov. Sonny Perdue asked.
AIKEN - A decommissioned nuclear reactor vessel from Maine could be shipped up the Savannah River as early as this month.

Senator tries to save SRS work

Augusta gets meeting about child care fund
By the end of business Friday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. still had not issued a ruling on the American Civil Liberties Union's challenge of Augusta's protest ordinance.

Police cars get thrifty update
CAMP VIPER, Iraq - Troops moving through Iraq are leaving behind a not-so-pretty touch of home.
A BIG RAVE to Davidson Fine Arts for a most enjoyable evening. The production of the Wizard of Oz was fantastic! The directors brought out the very best in the many students they coached. From the orchestra to the technical people, the production was stellar. These young people were a breath of fresh air to the community and to the condition of our current educational system.
ST. MARYS, Ga. - A thick cloud of sand gnats swarmed a group of elementary school pupils participating in an outdoor science class, but nobody asked for insect repellent.
APRIL 4, 1953 Outlines of the new cottage to be built at the Augusta National Golf Club for the convenience of President Eisenhower on his visits to Augusta have been staked out on the grounds at the club, and five Augusta firms have been asked to submit bids by Monday for construction.
Don't want a parolee living next door? In Richmond County, your best shot is living in Blythe. In Columbia County, Appling is the place to be.
Today's subscriber of the day is John Barnes of Augusta.

Pupils test water for UGA project

Relatives box items for soldiers of 319th
CAMILLA - As they did three years ago, residents are picking up the pieces left by a tornado that struck before dawn March 20, which took a nearly identical path through Camilla as the one on Valentine's Day 2000. This year's storm left six people dead and dozens injured and destroyed 134 homes.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Members of the House plan to take a three-day furlough later this month to help save money during the state's budget crisis.
ATLANTA -- House leaders rolled out a proposed budget for next year Thursday that is in the red by almost $140 million, a deficit they said could be erased either by deeper spending cuts than they already are recommending or by an increase in the tobacco tax.

Judge gives killer two life sentences
CAMP VIPER, Iraq - Spc. Michael Green, 46, is an Army cook trained to prepare large amounts of food for large numbers of soldiers on a 24-hour basis.
A man accused of having child pornography pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges, receiving a five-year prison sentence.
An FBI spokesman said Thursday that there is no evidence that an al-Qaida suspect ever lived in Augusta, but tenants and workers at an Augusta apartment complex still contend they saw the man.

YDC guards' leave lengthens
ATLANTA -Democratic presidential candidates Sen. John Kerry and former Gov. Howard Dean introduced themselves to Georgians on Thursday as they began pushing for victory in 2004.

Crime witness is charged with taking evidence
YANKTON, S.D. - The American Red Cross has a problem, one that most charities only dream of having: too many donations.

Cancer center has big dreams
ATLANTA - The latest battle over Georgia's emotional state flag issue will wait at least one more day, as lawmakers sift through competing plans for a public vote on the banner.

Woman's killer gets life sentence
The Around the Block briefs column on the cover of Thursday's Richmond County Neighbors contained out-of-date information. The following events have already occurred: the Fresh Start Cessation Program, the Huisman Sickle Cell Foundation banquet, the University Hospital-sponsored weight-management program, the health screenings at Central Christian Church Augusta, the Augusta State University performances of The Music Man, the CSRA Humane Society spend the night with the animals, the American Cancer Society's I Can Cope session and the Tobacco-Free Jamboree.

Across Georgia

Rants and Raves
A BIG RAVE to Davidson Fine Arts for a most enjoyable evening. The production of the Wizard of Oz was fantastic! The directors brought out the very best in the many students they coached. From the orchestra to the technical people, the production was stellar. These young people were a breath of fresh air to the community and to the condition of our current educational system.

Board elects to fire leaders

Across South Carolina

Soldiers on guard prize boring shift
RAVES TO THE noticeable increase in drivers who are pulled over on the side of the road to talk on their cell phones.
Mary Westbrook of Augusta is today's subscriber of the day.
Augusta will be the site of the first of six public hearings in Georgia to receive comments on child care services as outlined in the state's Child Care and Development Fund Plan.

Mayor details views on club
Suspended administrators at a troubled Augusta mental health center were effectively fired when they were booted from the center's management company, officials said.

Soldiers get help on home payment
The paid suspensions of six Augusta Youth Development Campus guards have been extended by almost another month by the state Department of Juvenile Justice as the agency continues its investigation into "alleged misconduct" by the officers.
SPRINGFIELD, Ga. - Patrol cars in Effingham County are getting a new look with some changes Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie hopes will save money on repairs and maintenance.

Across the area
SOUTH OF BAGHDAD - All night Thursday, the old woman sat by her husband's side. She patted him and talked. If the man got sick, the Iraqi woman helped U.S. Army medics clean him.

FBI denies man's Augusta ties
Kenneth Pruitt offered neither apology nor explanation Friday for why Gary Collins had to die a year ago. He stood mute as the judge sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences.
Franklin Prather got some valuable information Thursday.
Brownies from St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School say a prayer for troops overseas during the "Walk of Hope," during which the members of Brownie Troop 115 placed flags along a walkway at the school in honor of the soldiers

Rants and raves
RAVES TO THE noticeable increase in drivers who are pulled over on the side of the road to talk on their cell phones.

Students get idea of work

McCormick County inmate escapes
AIKEN - While Savannah River Site seems to have lost some ground in the behind-the-scenes battle to win a $1.1 billion government demonstration project, Sen. Lindsey Graham's office said Thursday that talks are far from over.
SENECA - Already heightened security at Oconee Nuclear Station will be increased Monday when a reactor head replacement is brought to the plant, officials say.

Deadlock delays flag vote plan

Red Cross halts military program

Child porn case charges reduced
ATLANTA -- The state will pay for the Republican leader of the Georgia Senate to have his own lawyer in a suit challenging the state's legislative and congressional redistricting maps, but only if he doesn't use the money to help the other side win.
MACON, Ga. -- Tobacco industry workers picketed a visit by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday, the first time the governor has seen protests against his plan to hike tobacco taxes to meet the state budget shortfall.
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Army Secretary Thomas E. White visited Fort Stewart, home to about 15,000 soldiers fighting in Iraq, to meet the troops' spouses and National Guard units training to deploy to the region.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to begin an economic boycott of Greenville County by discouraging businesses from investing in Clemson University's proposed auto research park.
MACON, Ga. -- An Elberton man accused of stockpiling hundreds of grenades in his home pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges on Wednesday.

Panel OKs cuts in state budget
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A Senate Finance subcommittee scuttled House plans to refinance tobacco settlement bonds to pay for Medicaid programs while it also rejected a tax trade-off plan Gov. Mark Sanford sought.

Across Georgia
A witness in a homicide investigation was charged Friday with tampering with evidence that was vital to the case, Richmond County authorities said.

Reactor to take trip up river
ATLANTA - Georgia voters would get a new flag and the chance to vote it off the flagpole and replace it under a compromise reached Friday.

Web site reveals parolee locations
The relationship only lasted a few weeks, but it was enough time for Pennenton Mills to accuse and abuse Aisa Moye and finally kill her.
RIDGE SPRING, S.C. - April can be the cruelest month for peach growers, a time to keep fingers crossed that a late frost won't kill the tiny, naked fruit that has just shucked its protective shell.
Standing on the sidelines, Audrey Wright was all smiles cheering for her son just before his race Friday at the 27th annual Richmond County Special Olympics.
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
Guy held captive in a phone booth by a sniper. As a 10-word Hollywood pitch, it sounds like a cool and novel scenario.

Mini reviews
What Amanda Bynes should have wanted from "What a Girl Wants" is a better script - and she deserves it.
It took Sylvester Stallone three "Rambos" and maybe four of his "Rockys" over a 12-year period before he became painful to watch. Vin Diesel has managed the same with just a few movies in a couple of years.
TALLADEGA, Ala. - While the pole position Friday for the Aaron's 499 wouldn't have meant a lot to most drivers at Talladega Superspeedway, it was everything to Jeremy Mayfield.
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is keeping quiet at Talladega Superspeedway.
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Joe Nemechek is on the front row yet again, winning the pole Thursday for the Busch series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Michael Schumacher hopes to put an end to his worst start in 12 years on a track he has dominated for a decade.

Hawks edge Wizards
ATLANTA - Jason Terry made a wager with Michael Jordan before the Atlanta Hawks faced the Washington Wizards in Jordan's final visit to Atlanta as a player Thursday at Philips Arena.
NEW YORK -- Ron Artest was fined $20,000 by the NBA on Thursday for his latest outburst on the court: an obscene gesture to the crowd after being struck by a coin during Indiana's victory at Cleveland.
NEW ORLEANS -- Royal Ivey took a long time to think about who might be able to stop his teammate, star guard T.J. Ford of Texas.
David West knows how to get the most, whether it's points on the court or votes off of it.
NEW ORLEANS -- He had great teams that should have won but didn't. He had good teams that shouldn't have come close but did.
NEW YORK -- Andre Emmet had 23 points and eight rebounds and Texas Tech held off Minnesota 71-61 in the NIT consolation game Thursday night.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Christian Waugh has a reputation as a tough, insightful reporter. He picked Syracuse to make the Final Four and thinks Texas will win the NCAA title.
NEW ORLEANS -- It's all in the eyes. That's where Kueth Duany always looks.
NEW ORLEANS -- Collison and Hinrich. Or is it Hinrich and Collison?
NEW ORLEANS -- Tom Crean is a football coach in a basketball coach's body.
NEW ORLEANS -- Ever since Gerry McNamara started playing basketball a dozen years ago, he's heard the criticism: too skinny, too slow, too weak.
The teams in the Final Four:
Connecticut's Diana Taurasi and Duke's Alana Beard led their teams to the Final Four and now have something else to celebrate: Unanimous selections to the women's basketball AP All-America team.
DURHAM, N.C. -- Gail Goestenkors is always looking for ways to motivate her team. This week, she put together a highlight film of Duke's best offensive moments in the NCAA tournament.
ATLANTA -- Connecticut always makes it look so easy. Lose four brilliant seniors, replace them with high school All-Americans, and just keep winning.
NEW ORLEANS -- Dwyane Wade juggles basketball, books and a baby.
When Rick Barnes took over as coach at Texas five years ago, the program was in disarray under the threat of player lawsuits and defections.
NEW ORLEANS -- Aaron Miles' confidence made him a freshman starter for a Final Four team.
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Mr. Arnold Cleveland (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Geraldine Weibel (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. David Taylor (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Jennie Cheatham (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mr. Melvin Nelson (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Garrie Graham (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Mr. Bernard Grier (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Ms. Amanda Johnson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Arnold Cleveland (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Kay Chustz (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Albertus Meijerink (UNION POINT, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Boyd (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mr. Robert W. Coach III (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Vinson Lott (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Evelyn Culpepper (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Chuck Logan (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Norman Daniels (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Howard Thomas (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Willie Cater (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Louise Comstock (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Janice Thompson (UNION POINT, Ga.)

Mrs. Monica Haskell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Martha Morris (THOMSON, Ga.)

Ms. Annie Mealing (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Katherine Allison (AIKEN, S.C.)

Ms. Mary Germany (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Mandy Lewis (CRAWFORDVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Lucy Williams (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mrs. Kathryn Shirley (WHITE ROCK, S.C.)

Ms. Cammie Turner (SARDIS, Ga.)

Ms. Levette Ellis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Vertrille Boyer (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Miss Eliza Nelson (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Aldine McAvoy (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mr. Butler Patterson Sr. (SYCAMORE, S.C.)

Mr. Rudolph Reimer (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Charlie Johnson Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Johnnie Burns (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Terrell Walker (ESTILL, S.C.)

Ms. Mary Germany (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert W. Coach III (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Kenneth Rooks (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Rena Dalfino (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mr. William Hankerson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. SaNelle Callaway (RAYLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Lillie Young (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Louise Comstock (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Ms. Annie Mealing (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Gloria Lovett (ALEXANDER, Ga.)

Mrs. Eva Chalker (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Haven Peavler (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Pearl Stepongzi (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Jack Hobbs (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Melvin Nelson (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Rufus Owens, Jr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. James Carroll (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Ms. Levette Ellis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Vertrille Boyer (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

The Rev. Lewis Lowe (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Kenneth Rooks (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. William Waters (APPLING, Ga.)

Mrs. Sadie Cooner (BAMBERG, S.C.)

Mrs. Isabella Mobley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Boykin Trumpler (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Charlie Johnson Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mae ORourke (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Dolly Johnson (MONTMORENCI, S.C.)

Mr. Joseph Bishop (BLACKVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Kay Chustz (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. William Cantrell (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Iona Beverly (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Daniel Allen (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Lending law must protect rights of consumers
WHENEVER A NEW law comes before South Carolina's General Assembly, it usually results in a process for legislators not unlike walking a tightrope.
WHENEVER A NEW law comes before South Carolina's General Assembly, it usually results in a process for legislators not unlike walking a tightrope.

Prep athletes of the week


Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett was cleared Thursday of all charges in the alleged sexual assault of a woman in a restaurant bathroom.
ATHENS, Greece -- IOC president Jacques Rogge promised increased inspections of construction projects in Athens leading up to the 2004 Olympics.
ARCADIA, Calif. -- A year ago, Bob Baffert described himself as a passenger on the bus to the Kentucky Derby. He wasn't used to sitting anywhere other than the driver's seat.
Defending champion Laura Coble of Augusta defeatedPatti Huxford of Cumming 4 and 3 to win her third consecutive Georgia Women's Match Play Championship at Sunset Hills County Club in Carrollton, Ga.
Here are profiles of the area prep athletes of the week.

Ramblin' Rhodes: High-energy performers returning to Augusta stages
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In the aftermath of war, Iraq is expected to face a massive humanitarian crisis, with hunger, homelessness and disease threatening the nation's 24 million people.
A 140-foot chip shot can change a life. Ask Larry Mize.
As I write this article, our nation is waging a war against another nation, Iraq, with which we have grave disagreements. And another nation (Israel) in that same region is at serious disagreement with Palestinians.
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; send a fax to 722-7403; or mail to Faith and Fellowship, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928.
WASHINGTON - The United Methodist Church's 2004 General Conference will take up the debate over whether to change its stand against homosexual conduct, despite heavy support for existing policy at the last gathering in 2000.
Two former Augustans known for high-energy performances take to stages tonight in west Augusta.

Unorthodox director defied Hollywood edicts

Standing ovations

Applause calendar

Club calendar

Georgia QB settles into leader's role
During his first two seasons, Georgia quarterback David Greene could lead with the flick of his left wrist or a check into the right play.
The American film industry loves to sing the praises of members of its community who don't necessarily play by its rules. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, who eschewed the Southern California dream factories to ply their trade in the San Francisco Bay area, are regarded as heroes. Sam Peckinpah and Martin Scorsese, who gave modern cinema a violent red patina, are hailed as ground-breaking pioneers.


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