'Boy From Oz' to shut down while Hugh Jackman vacations
NEW YORK -- The show won't go on while Hugh Jackman takes his vacation from "The Boy From Oz."

Exhibition of servants' portraits strikes a chord

Paul Rudnick chronicles the compulsions of King Ludwig of Bavaria
NEW YORK -- The comic writings of Paul Rudnick range from "Jeffrey" and "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" on stage to the screenplays for such movies as "Addams Family Values," "In and Out" and the upcoming remake of "The Stepford Wives."

Barbara Cook to make her Met debut in New Year's Eve gala
NEW YORK -- Tony Award winner Barbara Cook will make her Metropolitan Opera debut at the New Year's Eve gala performance of Franz Lehar's operetta "The Merry Widow."

Houston hosts Museum of Modern Art exhibit
HOUSTON -- Houston's Museum of Fine Arts welcomes a "greatest hits" compilation of modern art.

Kimbell Museum exhibit features Renaissance prayer books

Kimbell Museum exhibit features Renaissance prayer books
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Some of the most ornate paintings from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance eras do not hang in a museum. In fact, they're not even in frames.

Houston hosts Museum of Modern Art exhibit

Barbara Cook to make her Met debut in New Year's Eve gala

Paul Rudnick chronicles the compulsions of King Ludwig of Bavaria

Exhibition of servants' portraits strikes a chord
LONDON -- Suddenly, servants are headline news.

Fifty-eight players dumped onto free-agent market
NEW YORK -- Outfielder Jay Payton and reliever Braden Looper were among 58 players dumped onto the free-agent market Sunday after their teams failed to offer them 2004 contracts.

Fifty-eight players dumped onto free-agent market

Help us pick biggest story of the year

Texas company making line of talking presidential dolls
HOUSTON -- If Barbie is attracted to leaders of the free world, Ken may have a rival or two.

Unions protest endless playing of Christmas carols in stores
PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Labor unions in the Czech Republic demanded Monday that stores stop playing Christmas carols incessantly or pay compensation for causing emotional trauma to sales clerks.

Odds and Ends
TECUMSEH, Mich. -- A fruitcake that is an estimated 125 years old - an artifact of holiday cheer - is expected to make a tasty debut of sorts when it's introduced on national TV.

Braves sign free agent pitcher Almanza
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves agreed to terms Monday with free agent left-handed pitcher Armando Almanza.

Braves sign free agent pitcher Almanza

Orioles reach agreement with Javy Lopez
BALTIMORE -- Javy Lopez agreed to a $22.5 million, three-year deal with Baltimore on Monday, giving the Orioles a big hitter and another addition to their rebuilding program.

Startup fever dulled by preference for overseas programmers
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Solidcore Systems appears the quintessential Silicon Valley startup, with laptop-lugging, cube-dwelling workers huddling in glass conference rooms and jotting sales strategies on white boards.

McDonald's 'I'm lovin' it' campaign hits its packaging

Shoppers crowd malls on the last weekend before Christmas

Rough flu season highlights economics problems of vaccine industry
NEW YORK -- It's no comfort to people scrambling to find a flu vaccine to learn that last year Aventis Pasteur ended up discarding 5 million extra doses of the 43 million it produced.

Road warriors' new sales weapon is mobile technology
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- In his 20th year at Chase-Pitkin, a home-improvement chain in western New York, Mike Wright is getting more of what sales reps relish above all else: face time.

Health care costs overview

Business briefs
Save-A-Lot owner's earnings decline

Soft pretzel maker experiments with new business twist

Health care costs overview
Health care costs grew at a slower pace this year for the first time since 1997, but a recent survey shows that's small comfort to workers, especially in the South.

AP Poll: public approval of Bush on economy at level not seen all year

Soft pretzel maker experiments with new business twist
PHILADELPHIA -- After scoring global success with a soft pretzel first made at an Amish-country farm stand, Auntie Anne's Inc. has a new vision rising from its secret-formula dough: cafes with pizza, sandwiches, Starbucks coffee and Internet access.

EU warns bailout of Parmalat must comply with rules
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Union's head office warned Rome on Monday that any government move to bail out troubled dairy company Parmalat Finanziaria SpA would have to comply with single market rules.

Road warriors' new sales weapon is mobile technology

Shoppers crowd malls on the last weekend before Christmas
NEW YORK -- Shoppers jammed the nation's malls on the last weekend before Christmas, snapping up bargains and hunting for popular toys, but retailers were anxious after a much-hoped for sales bonanza did not materialize for many of them.

Wineries pursue a market of gay consumers

Euro hits record vs. dollar, gold up in Europe
LONDON -- The euro set a new high Monday against the U.S. dollar, which also sank against other key currencies. Gold rose.

McDonald's 'I'm lovin' it' campaign hits its packaging
CHICAGO -- McDonald's "I'm lovin' it" advertising campaign is jumping from TV and radio commercials to the fast food restaurant's packaging.

AP Poll: public approval of Bush on economy at level not seen all year
WASHINGTON - President Bush is getting good marks on the economy from a clear majority of the public at a time when consumer confidence has risen to its highest levels since early 2002, an Associated Press poll finds.

Unpredictable year for gas prices ends with stability
CAMARILLO, Calif. -- A year of up-and-down gas prices ended with two weeks of stability, but the steady pricing isn't likely to last into the new year, an industry analyst said Sunday.

Startup fever dulled by preference for overseas programmers

Wineries pursue a market of gay consumers
ST. HELENA, Calif. -- Merryvale Vineyards had a well-regarded product but a slim advertising budget. So it decided to try something different - reach out to gay consumers.

N.C. State, Kansas meet in Tangerine Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. -- North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato thought better things would await his team than a bowl game before Christmas.

N.C. State, Kansas meet in Tangerine Bowl

Obscurity suits LSU Tigers just fine

Coach fired by Alabama is hired by Texas school
EL PASO, Texas -- The coach fired by the University of Alabama because he spent a drunken night at a strip club has been hired as head football coach at the University of Texas at El Paso, a spokesman said Sunday.

Coach fired by Alabama is hired by Texas school

Obscurity suits LSU Tigers just fine
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU punter Donnie Jones says the Tigers, ranked No. 2 and in the BCS championship game Jan. 4, have developed a following around the Gulf South. That doesn't mean people recognize the players.

Boise State players are ruled ineligible, quarterback might be ready to return
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt quarterback threw hard again Sunday, a sign his broken throwing hand might be healed enough for him to play Dec. 31 in the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl against Boston College.

Connecticut trounces Saint Joseph's in women's basketball

More court meddling

This is war
This has to be the weirdest war ever.

How to be remembered
All of us should want to be remembered as this community will remember James Curtis Cullum Sr.

Making parents responsible
Richmond County School Board member Barbara Padgett raised some eyebrows with her suggestion that parents be fined $100 for each day their child is absent from school without an excuse. Fannin County has such a program and it seems to be working.

This is war

Painful pact
"This is absolute insanity. How much more pain can we stand? How much more pain can the American people stand?

Making parents responsible

More court meddling
Unelected judges, who have been stretching their constitutionally limited mandate to encroach on aspects of American life not imagined by the Founders, are now extending their reach into the nation's foreign and war policies - areas that the Constitution made clear was to be conducted by the executive branch with funding by the legislative branch.

Painful pact

Oscar nominated actress Hope Lange dies at 70
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Hope Lange, who starred opposite Hollywood's top actors over a decades-long career and earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the 1957 film "Peyton Place," has died, her husband said Sunday. She was 70.

People in the news
LONDON -- Elvis Presley is the all-time singles king in Britain, nearly a half-century after he first crashed into the pop chart here, according to a new list published Monday.

Wayne Newton and company crank up USO tours
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Wayne Newton has received plenty of standing ovations in his day, but the response he got on a USO tour of Iraq was still extraordinary.

People in the news
NEW YORK -- Facing trial on a stock-trading scandal, Martha Stewart says her legal woes have curtailed her holiday plans.

IRS to increase attention to deductions for donated intellectual property
WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service said Monday it will deny improper deductions for donating patents and other intellectual properties to charity.

Rise in Dow, S&P signals shift into large-cap stocks
NEW YORK -- A persistently weak dollar and growing opportunities in China have many portfolio managers predicting that 2004 will be the year of the big multinational stock.

Rise in Dow, S&P signals shift into large-cap stocks

Stocks push higher despite heightened terror alert

Stocks push higher despite heightened terror alert
NEW YORK -- Wall Street pushed to new 52-week highs Monday as investors cautiously picked up shares on expectations of stronger growth in 2004. A heightened terror alert limited gains.

IRS to increase attention to deductions for donated intellectual property

Fund investigation raises thorny issues for prosecutors

Fed study says Freddie and Fannie do little to lower mortgage rates

Fund investigation raises thorny issues for prosecutors
BOSTON -- Word that a federal grand jury in Boston is looking into recent mutual fund scandals highlights the difficult question of just how deeply criminal prosecutors could or should be involved in a matter that has traditionally been the purview of the civil justice system.

Save money, tax free with HSAs
American workers will have a new tax-deductible way to save money for out-of-pocket medical expenses starting next year, under a provision in the Medicare law President Bush signed earlier this month.

Fed study says Freddie and Fannie do little to lower mortgage rates
WASHINGTON -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enjoy huge subsidies from the federal government, but those benefits translate into only a tiny drop in the mortgage rates paid by home buyers, a Federal Reserve economist concluded Monday.

Save money, tax free with HSAs

Georgia Tech rises to No. 4
ATLANTA - Another week, another climb in the poll for Georgia Tech.

Jackets win again
ATLANTA - Will Bynum knows how to make his minutes count. Now the trick for No. 5 Georgia Tech is to find more minutes for him.

Jackets win again

Georgia Tech rises to No. 4

My family finds ways to make Christmas last

O'Grady will be new director of European tour

O'Grady will be new director of European tour
VIRGINIA WATER, England -- George O'Grady will succeed Ken Schofield as executive director of the PGA European Tour. Schofield has held the job since 1975 and confirmed this month he will leave at the end of 2004.

Lonard wins Australian Open
RYE, Australia -- Australia's Peter Lonard won the Australian Open on Sunday, holing a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.

Clark, Devils go down fighting

Laney takes a holiday

Clark, Devils go down fighting
HAWKINSVILLE, Ga. - After another of his errant passes missed the wide receiver by five yards to end a Lincoln County drive, Red Devils coach Larry Campbell approached quarterback Travis Clark, and yelled, "Travis, are you all right?"

Laney takes a holiday
Joycelyn Nelson learned a lesson in poise under pressure Monday night and led her Laney Lady Wildcats to a 46-42 victory over Glenn Hills in the fourth Holiday Round Ball Classic at Richmond Academy.

Thrashers top Flyers
ATLANTA -- Ronald Petrovicky scored twice and Byron Dafoe made 25 saves to help the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 Sunday night.

Thrashers reassign Blatny to AHL
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers reassigned Zdenek Blatny to Chicago of the AHL on Monday, a day after he was called for the first time this season.

Thrashers place Majesky on injured list, recall Blatny

Thrashers place Majesky on injured list, recall Blatny
ATLANTA -- Thrashers defenseman Ivan Majesky was placed on injured reserve Sunday, retroactive to Dec. 13, and Atlanta recalled Zdenek Blatny from Chicago of the AHL.

Thrashers reassign Blatny to AHL

Thrashers top Flyers

Help us pick biggest story of the year
I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Accident kills man in Burke County
A Hephzibah man died Monday as a result of an accident where his car hit a tractor near the Richmond-Burke County line, officials said Tuesday.

Police find van which may be linked to woman's death
Authorities have found a van in Florida that they say may be connected with the death of a woman who was found at a west Augusta rock quarry last week.

Friday off after Christmas hinders transportation

'Choice' editorial offers no real choice

Tolerance, diversity aren't only answers
Tolerance and diversity seem to be the answer given for any social issue today. What happened to being able to reject wrong values or hiring the best man or woman for the job? Nita Zachow, North Augusta, S.C.

Self-righteous Christians protecting us from ourselves

Friday off after Christmas hinders transportation
Once again it appears that Augusta's commissioners took some action without fully considering the consequences for some of our citizens. I am talking about the decision to designate the Friday following Christmas as a holiday. Let me hasten to say I do not object to this - just some of its consequences. Jack T. Eckert, Augusta

Self-righteous Christians protecting us from ourselves
Twenty-six murders in Richmond County so far this year. Obscene. Stabbings, rapes, shootings, robberies, burglaries and child molestation in our neighborhoods. Obscene. Bob Groothand, Augusta

X-Mart shouldn't have closed
I think it's ridiculous that the Augusta-Richmond County Commission voted to close X-Mart. So what if it was on a main highway? Mae's Video is on the same road. Is that going to be the next target? It's not like it was indecent. You couldn't see in from the outside and they card consumers to make sure you're old enough to be in there. OK, so they have the option of relocating, but that's not the point. The point is that because some holier-than-thou, cross-carrying religious fanatics found it offensive, the commission voted to close it. Tasha Rende, Augusta

DOE-funded program a waste

'Choice' editorial offers no real choice
Wait a minute! The Chronicle's editorial writers must have taken a lesson from Saddam Hussein in their Dec. 16 editorial, "Choice must be made," when they characterized leading Democrats as haters of President George W. Bush and wrote that Democrats "must put politics aside and decide whether they are for the United States or the terrorists." Lowell Greenbaum, Augusta

Tolerance, diversity aren't only answers

X-Mart shouldn't have closed

DOE-funded program a waste
According to press reports, well-meaning journalists, politicians and affected Georgia Environmental Protection Division program directors are applying pressure to force the Department of Energy to continue to fund a redundant, environmental radiological-sampling and analysis program. Larry East, Aiken, S.C. (Editor's note: The writer is a former radiological health officer for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.)

These camcorders record directly to DVD

Nuclear-powered spacecraft to explore Jupiter's moons

Tennessee programmer creates treasure hunt for 'WMD'

Diesel soot big contributor to global warming, scientists find

States mulling laws for restaurants, schools and public employees

Experts: Antiquated flu vaccine system needs updating

Techbits: Tiny drives, getting Sirius, e-7-Eleven, cell TV

'Smart' bridges with sensors may help engineers build better structures

The American soldier is named Time magazine's Person of the Year

European space officials rehearse for Christmas Day activation of Mars probe

Ribbons add sparkle to holiday fashion

St. Nick stays busy listening to children, making people smile

'Body Farm' founder says each corpse 'a puzzle' to be solved

Experts: Antiquated flu vaccine system needs updating
SAN FRANCISCO -- The nation's anxiety over the dwindling supply of flu shots has exposed an antiquated manufacturing system that depends on 90 million fertilized chicken eggs and a 9-month process to produce each year's batch of influenza vaccines.

Diesel soot big contributor to global warming, scientists find
WASHINGTON -- Soot mostly from diesel engines is blocking snow and ice from reflecting sunlight, which is contributing to "near worldwide melting of ice" and as much as a quarter of all observed global warming, top NASA scientists say.

'Smart' bridges with sensors may help engineers build better structures
STAR CITY, W.Va. -- Samir Shoukry talks about the 1,000-foot span over the Monongahela River as if it were alive. And in a sense, it is.

Techbits: Tiny drives, getting Sirius, e-7-Eleven, cell TV
TOKYO -- Toshiba Corp. has developed what it believes is the smallest functional hard drive for next-generation cell phones and other portable gadgets - a nickel-sized disk that can store two to three gigabytes of music and video.

Ribbons add sparkle to holiday fashion
NEW YORK - Any good gift-wrapper knows that a satin or velvet ribbon tied up into a perfect bow can elevate otherwise ho-hum wrapping paper. Why not apply this principle to holiday party clothes?

Mars rovers seek to resolve competing clues about planet's past
PASADENA, Calif. -- The prospect of life on Mars has charged the public imagination for more than a century, ever since astronomers first spied what they thought were canals dug to irrigate the planet's ruddy surface.

European space officials rehearse for Christmas Day activation of Mars probe
FRANKFURT, Germany -- A European spacecraft streaked toward Mars on Monday - right on schedule - but mission controllers still rehearsed what could go wrong during the voyage to determine whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

'Body Farm' founder says each corpse 'a puzzle' to be solved
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- "There is nothing better than a dead body to make your day," Dr. William Bass says.

St. Nick stays busy listening to children, making people smile
Hours had passed and Santa Claus was still in his comfortable chair waiting for the next child to walk up and whisper a Christmas wish.

The American soldier is named Time magazine's Person of the Year
NEW YORK -- The American soldier, who bears the duty of "living with and dying for a country's most fateful decisions," was named Sunday as Time magazine's Person of the Year.

Living briefs
All of the presumptive international sensations of Fox's World Idol will get a look at a real international sensation when Elton John takes the stage before a potentially massively worldwide audience.

Tennessee programmer creates treasure hunt for 'WMD'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As computer programmer Shane Messer watched U.S. forces look for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the search struck him as a perverse sort of treasure hunt.

Seniors calendar
The Seniors Calendar lists activities and groups of interest to senior citizens. Please call the service agencies for information. To have your activity listed, write to Seniors Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

Nuclear-powered spacecraft to explore Jupiter's moons
SAN FRANCISCO -- NASA plans to dispatch a hulking nuclear-powered spacecraft to determine whether three of Jupiter's icy, planet-sized moons have the potential to harbor life.

States mulling laws for restaurants, schools and public employees
Fighting to shed a few pounds and control that waistline? For the soaring number of Americans who are becoming dangerously overweight, states and cities across the country want to help.

These camcorders record directly to DVD
With DVD players now in about half of U.S. households, the idea makes sense.

Addicted couple get back on their feet with shoe store
By all accounts, Dotty McGaha says, she should not still be married, running a successful business or raising an adopted child.

State cuts turn holiday plastic
ATLANTA - The state Capitol is decked out with garland and poinsettias, and if most of them are made of plastic, blame the economy.

Holiday closings
The following holiday schedules have been announced for Christmas:

Across Georgia

Rants and raves
Comments from readers: FOR THE INDIVIDUAL who felt the need to inform everyone that the word "gay" only had three letters, they should know that the term "four-letter word" is a cliche, indicating a term which is taboo in the English vernacular, not an actual count in the letters.

State cuts turn holiday plastic

Hurdles await Democrats in S. Carolina

Jacksonville base gets new life after closing

ANIC board sets building deadline
The board overseeing a long-delayed office building project in Augusta's inner city has given its builder a March 1 completion deadline and a $1,000-a-day penalty if it fails to meet it.

Aiken officials investigate fire

Jacksonville base gets new life after closing
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It was a bustling, burning, shrieking, streaking, day-in-and-day-out enterprise where jets danced and aviators reigned.

Gangs are in Augusta now, Craig warns

Addicted couple get back on their feet with shoe store

Base closing process has many steps

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Lauren Ashleigh Lindsey, 12, of North Augusta.

An illuminating message

DOE affirms end to river funds

Across the area

Across the area
Authorities are searching for an Augusta woman they say abandoned her three children Sunday while fleeing police on a shoplifting charge.

Politics permeate closure process

Delays, bills pile up for bypass builder
AIKEN - The long-awaited final leg of the bypass around Aiken is six months behind schedule and the contractor is being penalized $1,400 a day for the delay, transportation authorities said Monday.

Stores battle holiday thieves

Base closing process has many steps
Used to be that a military base could be closed without notice, throwing thousands of workers into unemployment and blindsiding the local community. Streamlined procedures allowed the secretary of defense alone to shutter dozens of the hundreds of World War II-era installations practically on a whim.

Across the area
An employee of an Augusta liquor store told police that one of two would-be robbers he blocked from entering the store late Saturday pointed a gun at him through a glass door, according to a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report.

Hurdles await Democrats in S. Carolina
AIKEN - In the not-so-distant future, political archaeologists might be digging for the fossilized remains of an endangered species - the Southern Democrat.

Man is charged in friend's injury
A Hephzibah teenager was accidentally shot by his friend while deer hunting Sunday, one of several hunting mishaps that wildlife officials say could have been avoided.

Father has fallen on difficult times

Pregnancy keeps woman out of work
A divorced mother of four with another child on the way is asking for help at Christmas.

An illuminating message
Like the candles on a menorah, U.S. Rep. Max Burns told those at Sunday's Hanukkah candlelighting ceremony, Americans must be a light to the world.

Aiken police hunt man's killer
Authorities searched Monday for the person they say shot a 19-year-old Aiken County man to death after abducting him and his girlfriend from a truck parked along a remote dirt road late Sunday.

Kid of the day

Kid of the day
LeAsijah Keona Dunn of Augusta is today's kid of the day.

Holiday closings

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA -State police seized three video gaming machines Saturday in a 10-county sweep of 500 businesses.

Sanford would cut income-tax rate

Locally, effects of alert will be minor
Augusta-area emergency officials say residents will probably not notice changes resulting from the heightened alert the federal government announced Sunday, but precautions are in place.

Rants and raves
THE CLOSING OF X-Mart is a victory on behalf of morality. Now, if we could clean up the rest of the flesh peddling in this town, such as the strip clubs and the Parliament House. The desire for this type of pleasure is just a symptom of a much larger problem.

Aiken officials investigate fire
Aiken authorities are continuing their investigation into a weekend fire at a campsite owned by a church group.

Travel forecast remains high
In spite of the terrorism alert being raised to orange and the conflict in Iraq continuing, travel on the roads and in the skies is expected to be up this Christmas and New Year's holiday.

Across South Carolina
GREENVILLE - A 21-year-old man has died after he was found shot in a Greenville furniture store parking lot, police said.

Perdue vows change in dog law
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Hunters upset with limitations on hunting deer with dogs have been promised some relief.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA - A judge has denied a request by Georgia health clinics to allow women to have Medicaid-funded abortions for pregnancies that are threatening their health.

Letter by mayor upsets ANIC board
The Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corp. board took exception Monday to Mayor Bob Young's request that Gov. Sonny Perdue investigate the corporation's use of $20 million in state grants.

Kid of the day

Union submarine lost place in history
Almost a year before the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank a Union ship in battle, the cigar-shaped Alligator was heading toward Charleston, S.C., on a mission.

Nuclear reactor transfer goes on despite warning
The radioactive reactor is expected to arrive at Savannah River Site on Friday but will not be hauled to its burial site until Monday.

Sanford would cut income-tax rate
COLUMBIA - As a small-business owner, Janice Malafronte knows things haven't been easy for South Carolina workers in recent years.

5 questions with James Cole
Chief of security at Augusta Regional Airport:

BRAC could help rather than hurt Athens school
ATHENS, Ga. -- The Navy Supply Corps School in Athens has survived Base Realignment and Closure cuts in the past, but locals are changing their strategy slightly this time around.

News you can use
DEC. 22, 1955 The Richmond County legislative delegation has announced it is prepared to introduce two bills in the General Assembly in January to help remove Juvenile Courts in the state from criticism.

Politics permeate closure process
In the 1960s, when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was busy closing 60 World War II-era military bases, the political influence of members of Congress guided his selection.

Gangs are in Augusta now, Craig warns
Increased gang activity in Augusta is making it more difficult to solve homicides, according to District Attorney Danny Craig.

Week in advance
As if the Godfather of Soul, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business and Mr. Dynamite weren't enough, music legend James Brown is adding Santa's Soulful Helper to his ever-expanding list of honorariums. Mr. Brown continues his annual tradition of handing out toys to needy children at 10 a.m. Monday at the Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St. Toy donations will be accepted at the theater after 10 a.m. For more information, call 738-1971.

Week in advance

Stores battle holiday thieves
'Tis the season to go stealing. Sneaky opportunists make this the peak shoplifting season of the year, blending in with the hustle and bustle of the holiday crowd to slip away with a few items

Delays, bills pile up for bypass builder

News you can use
DEC. 23, 1945 A Douglas DC-3 transport plane en route from Augusta's Bush Field crashed at the Municipal Airport yesterday, killing one man and injuring another.

Across the Southeast

Across the Southeast
DURHAM, N.C. -Eckerd Corp. has refused to share follow-up records for more than 20 cases in which pharmacists made errors in dispensing drugs, a state agency head says.

Travel forecast remains high

Father has fallen on difficult times
An Augusta father who writes that his life has gone off track lately needs help this holiday season.

Across South Carolina

Across the area

ANIC board sets building deadline

DOE affirms end to river funds
The U.S. Energy Department will not budge from its position that funding for Georgia's Savannah River radiation monitoring program was a one-time allocation that is now expired.

Nuclear reactor transfer goes on despite warning

Aiken police hunt man's killer

Man is charged in friend's injury

Police find van which may be linked to woman's death

News you can use

News you can use

Perdue vows change in dog law

Accident kills man in Burke County

Across Georgia

Union submarine lost place in history

Across Georgia
COVINGTON -Two 11-year-old boys face rape and child-molestation charges after a woman reported they had inappropriate contact with her 8-year-old daughter.

My family finds ways to make Christmas last
Christmas comes but once a year, and it lasts for a month or more. At my house, anyway.

'Return of the King' takes $73.6 million in debut weekend
LOS ANGELES -- Movie audiences shelled out a king's ransom for one last trip to Middle-earth.

'Return of the King' takes $73.6 million in debut weekend

Q&A with singer Kelis

Q&A with singer Kelis
NEW YORK -- Maybe having such a sweet "Milkshake" has a downside.

Newman named Driver of the Year

Newman named Driver of the Year
NEW YORK -- Ryan Newman was honored as Driver of the Year in 2003 after a season in which he won eight races and 11 poles in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series.

Officials, airports respond as Ridge raises terror threat to second-highest level

Attacks possible during holidays; alert level raised to Orange
WASHINGTON -- The head of the Department of Homeland Security on Monday urged people to "just go about your business" despite the decision to raise the nation's terror-attack warning to its second-highest level.

Attacks possible during holidays; alert level raised to Orange

Officials, airports respond as Ridge raises terror threat to second-highest level
Major cities and transportation hubs around the nation increased security patrols Sunday in response to the raising of the national terror alert to its highest level in months.

Knicks fire Scott Layden, hire Isiah Thomas
NEW YORK -- Scott Layden was fired Monday as president of the New York Knicks and Isiah Thomas was hired to replace him, a source told The Associated Press.

Knicks fire Scott Layden, hire Isiah Thomas

Connecticut trounces Saint Joseph's in women's basketball
PHILADELPHIA -- Connecticut shook off a slow start and showed Geno Auriemma just well it could play.

Missed kick lets Jaguars beat Saints

Buchanan upset with treatment

Playoff-bound Panthers beat Lions

Titans top Texans

Cowboys win playoff spot

Brunell a bystander in classic home finale

Mrs. Loretta Smart    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Madison Keefer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Essie Beal    ( BRONX, N.Y.)
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Mr. Jack Ryle, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Grant    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Ernest Baxley, Jr.    (BLACKVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. John Bates Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Atwood    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Eula McMillon    (QUITMAN, Ga.)
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Mr. Fred Allen    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Jud Horton    (SAVANNAH, Ga.)
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Ms. Jody Worman    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Carrie Price    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Leander Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Essie Beal    (BRONX, N.Y.)
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Mr. Frank Ward, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Amos Andrews    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Brisco Tutt    ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Moore    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Charles Storey    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Deborah Luke    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Eula Still    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
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Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
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Ms. Carol Rodgers    ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Freida Harrison    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Guy Remsen    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Dorothy Eggersman    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Thelma Rackley    (SARDIS, Ga.)
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Mr. Jack Ryle, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Carrie Price    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Minnie Bernard    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. Jimmie Prescott    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mamie Thomas    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Jalyn Morton    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Wilson    (WAGENER, S.C.)
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Mr. B.A. Mitchell    (KOSCIUSKO, Miss.)
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Mrs. Lessie Bell    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. George Lyons    (TENNILLE, Ga.)
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Profile obiturary: Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls
Billie Jean Sprawls never had any children of her own, but everyone in Williston saw her as a mother to all the youngsters in town.

Mrs. Debra Luke    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Gary Mitchell    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Teri Jenkins    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Kenyoun Mack    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbera Logan    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ruth Huffman    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Teri Jenkins    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Jud Horton    (SAVANNAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ruth Huffman    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Donna Henderson    ( LITTLE ROCK, Ark.)
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Mr. James Henson Jr.    (CITRONELLE, Ala.)
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CSM Henry Hayes, Jr.    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Elaine Hagood    (VARNVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Freida Harrison    ( EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Isaac Fowler Sr.    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Evelyn Hamon    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ruth Dill    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Grant    ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Thelma Rackley    (SARDIS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ann Giles    ( SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Sallie Seals    (STOCKBRIDGE, Ga.)
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Mr. Isaac Fowler, Sr.    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Norma Brown    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Victor Felbob    ( DAVISBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Lessie Bell    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Dorothy Eggersman    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Featured obituary: Mrs. Eula Whitworth Drew
James H. Drew III needs only one word to describe his mother, Eula Whitworth Drew.

Mr. Richmond Dunn    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Ward, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Roberta Cronic
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Mr. Leander Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Patricia Butler    (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)
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Ms. Jody Worman    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Myrtie Broadway    (SALUDA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbara Atwood    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Haley Black    (GIBSON, Ga.)
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Mr. James Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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CSM Henry Hayes, Jr. (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Ms. Carol Rodgers ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Ann Giles ( SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Carrie Price (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. James Henson Jr. (CITRONELLE, Ala.)

Mr. Jud Horton (SAVANNAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbera Logan (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Brisco Tutt ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Isaac Fowler, Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Roberta Cronic

Haley Black (GIBSON, Ga.)

Mr. Ernest Baxley, Jr. (BLACKVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Eula Still (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mrs. Teri Jenkins (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Freida Harrison (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Evelyn Hamon (EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Guy Remsen (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Freida Harrison ( EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Storey (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbara Atwood (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mrs. Thelma Rackley (SARDIS, Ga.)

Mrs. Mamie Thomas (THOMSON, Ga.)

Ms. Jody Worman (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Jack Ryle, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Grant ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Norma Brown (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Myrtie Broadway (SALUDA, S.C.)

Mr. Gary Mitchell (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Debra Luke (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Eula McMillon (QUITMAN, Ga.)

Mrs. Loretta Smart (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Lessie Bell (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Louise Moore (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Essie Beal (BRONX, N.Y.)

Mr. James Wilson (WAGENER, S.C.)

Mr. Isaac Fowler Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Madison Keefer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Jody Worman (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Profile obiturary: Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls

Mrs. Ruth Huffman (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Teri Jenkins (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Grant (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Kenyoun Mack (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Leander Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Jud Horton (SAVANNAH, Ga.)

Mr. Fred Allen (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Thelma Rackley (SARDIS, Ga.)

Mr. Victor Felbob ( DAVISBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Dorothy Eggersman (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Carrie Price (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Featured obituary: Mrs. Eula Whitworth Drew

Mrs. Essie Beal ( BRONX, N.Y.)

Mr. Frank Ward, Sr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Richmond Dunn (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. George Lyons (TENNILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Lessie Bell (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Patricia Butler (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Dorothy Eggersman (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Barbara Atwood (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mrs. Donna Henderson ( LITTLE ROCK, Ark.)

Mr. Frank Ward, Sr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. B.A. Mitchell (KOSCIUSKO, Miss.)

Mrs. Deborah Luke (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruth Dill (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Jack Ryle, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elaine Hagood (VARNVILLE, S.C.)

Swiss snowboarders dominate World Cup event

Overtime

Overtime

Swiss snowboarders dominate World Cup event
STONEHAM, Quebec -- Swiss snowboarders Urs Eiselin and Ursula Bruhn won World Cup parallel giant slaloms Sunday.

Overtime
Newman wins honor from racing media

Overtime
In Rye, Australia, countryman Peter Lonard won the Australian Open on Sunday, holing a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.

Sports digest
"So this is what happens when you're the Alabama football coach and you pass out with a strange woman in your hotel room. You wake up in El Paso with your head pounding." - Bud Withers in the Seattle Times, on former Alabama football coach Mike Price taking over at Texas-El Paso

Laney takes a holiday
Joycelyn Nelson learned a lesson in poise under pressure Monday night and led her Laney Lady Wildcats to a 46-42 victory over Glenn Hills in the fourth Holiday Round Ball Classic at Richmond Academy.

Prep basketball scores
Prep Boys Results

Butler just too tall for for Thomson
Although Thomson set the pace of the game, Butler's front line controlled the inside to prevail 71-59 and win the Holiday Round Ball Classic at Richmond Academy in a matchup of previously undefeated teams.

Strawberry comforts Jackson during trip to ranch
TAMPA, Fla. -- Pop singer Michael Jackson has found a friend in another celebrity who's had his own brushes with the law - former baseball star Darryl Strawberry.

Buchanan upset with treatment
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Wade Phillips says he doesn't know if Ray Buchanan will dress for the Atlanta Falcons' regular-season finale.

Brunell a bystander in classic home finale
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As a going-away present, Mark Brunell got to see a heck of a game.

Cowboys win playoff spot
IRVING, Texas -- The first time Bill Parcells spoke to the Dallas Cowboys, he told them to "get your expectations up."

Missed kick lets Jaguars beat Saints
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The only thing missing was the band ... and the extra point.

Titans top Texans
HOUSTON -- A wounded Steve McNair is still very dangerous. The Titans quarterback, playing with a cracked bone spur in his left ankle, hit Drew Bennett for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left to lead Tennessee into the playoffs with a 27-24 victory over the Texans.

Playoff-bound Panthers beat Lions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The playoff-bound Carolina Panthers had to make a choice: Rest some of their ailing starters or play them in pursuit a momentum-building win.

Panthers mum on injuries
Tickets to Carolina's first playoff game since 1996 sold out in about 40 minutes Monday morning.

Jesus movie is bound to cause more controversy
NEW YORK -- It wasn't backed by a major studio and it won't even appear in theaters until Ash Wednesday, a full two months after Christmas. Yet Mel Gibson's engrossing epic "The Passion of the Christ" is already among the most-debated films of recent times and a major religious flashpoint.

Muslim women march against head scarf ban
PARIS -- Thousands of people, mainly Muslim women shouting "The veil, my choice," marched through Paris on Sunday against presidential proposals to ban Islamic head scarves from public schools and maybe at work, too.

Joe Namath tells ESPN's Kolber he wants to kiss her

Actor makes comeback from paralysis on NBC's 'Ed'
NORTHVALE, N.J. -- The compliment that Daryl Mitchell savors most these days is when people believe he's acting the part of a man in a wheelchair.

Actor makes comeback from paralysis on NBC's 'Ed'

Joe Namath tells ESPN's Kolber he wants to kiss her
NEW YORK -- Joe Namath's interview on ESPN was cut short when the Hall of Fame quarterback gave curious answers to Suzy Kolber's questions.

Young viewers aren't leaving TV - just prime-time shows

Arab TV specials bring lessons from the West
CAIRO, Egypt -- After more than 20 years in the United States, Auntie Nour returns home to Cairo with a mission: to use her experiences abroad to help her family see others differently.

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week
It's time to open up the Lookout sack of holiday gifts, handed out to a few special people both on TV and watching it.

Young viewers aren't leaving TV - just prime-time shows
NEW YORK -- Andrew Myers, a 20-year-old college student from New York, loves to watch Jon Stewart, David Letterman, "South Park" and "Seinfeld" reruns. Many days, he doesn't turn on the television until 11 at night.

Sunday 'Today' show earns best ratings in six years for Saddam coverage
NEW YORK -- With more than 6.2 million people watching, NBC's Sunday "Today" show earned its best ratings in more than six years for its coverage of the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Arab TV specials bring lessons from the West

Wayne Newton and company crank up USO tours

People in the news

People in the news

Georgia seeks remedy for unruly football fans
ATHENS, Ga. - Officials with the University of Georgia Athletic Association and the Athens-Clarke County government have teamed up to look at ways of changing fan behavior during Georgia home football games.

Purdue coach happy with progress
Purdue coach Joe Tiller was having so much trouble coming up with the right word to describe the transformation of his Boilermaker football team from an offensive-minded program to one where defense is the forte.

Purdue coach happy with progress

South Carolina cruises
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina took advantage of a slow start by South Carolina State to coast to a 86-50 victory over the Bulldogs Monday night.

Low on cash? Gifts can be quick, cheap
So, the day you decided to go gift shopping for friends and family turned out to be an all-about-you day. If you're short on cash and time, I have some great ideas that can save money and employ your creativity:

Question of the week
What's the best present?

Question of the week

Audio best

Girl shouldn't say 'I love you' to appease boy
THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: My boyfriend told me he loves me, but I'm too young to fall in love. I really don't know what to do. He says he loves me a lot and I care about him a lot, but I don't know how to tell him back. I don't want to break up with him. I don't want to say I'm in love with him yet.

Low on cash? Gifts can be quick, cheap

1980s toys once again are all the rage

Your style

Your style
THE FACTS: Tiffany Bias, 16, a junior at Hephzibah High School

1980s toys once again are all the rage
As Clay Buller, 14, grew older, Christmas seemed to get younger. "It's changed a lot since I was little," the freshman at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School said. After watching a little brother who'd get the toys he was too old to get, it was easy to see why.

Xtreme calendar
New DVDs available Tuesday include the teen horror film Jeepers Creepers 2 and Jackie Chan's summer hit The Medallion.

Audio best
Weekly charts for the nation's best-selling recorded music as they appear in Billboard magazine. Platinum signifies more than 1 million copies sold:

Saddam: From tyrant to bum
"The weapon of mass destruction has been found," Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said last week about the capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

411

Christmas changes as we age

Christmas changes as we age
Growing up, most of us were blissfully unaware of the chaotic adult world. In summer, mommy made Kool-Aid and kissed boo-boos on scraped knees. But the real magic of childhood came at Christmas.

411
Looking for a gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Gift baskets are often standardized and impersonal, but not if you make them yourself. Pick up a decorative basket at a department store and fill it with goodies.

Saddam: From tyrant to bum

Girl shouldn't say 'I love you' to appease boy

Odds and Ends

Texas company making line of talking presidential dolls

Muslim women march against head scarf ban

Jesus movie is bound to cause more controversy