'Merry Widow' better third time around
NEW YORK -- An unusual thing happened to the Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Merry Widow."

Attendance down, grosses up on Broadway in 2003
NEW YORK -- Still feeling the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and an uncertain economy, Broadway saw fewer people going to the theater in 2003, although the box office was up.

A look back at 2003 in arts and entertainment
From MJ to RK, Arnold to Nemo, Da Vinci to King: a look back at 2003 in arts and entertainment

Attendance down, grosses up on Broadway in 2003

'Merry Widow' better third time around

A look back at 2003 in arts and entertainment

Odds and Ends
HONOLULU -- Hawaii is well-known for its high cost of living, but this year sprucing up the living room for the holidays only takes $1 - even less in some cases.

Odds and Ends
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- Linda Exler is celebrating what she calls her "Christmas miracle."

High court rejects claim by unhappy dog owner
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state's highest court decided Tuesday that dog fancier Jon H. Hammer was barking up the wrong tree.

Farmer collects his severed limb and drives for help
HARRISON, Ark. -- A farmer whose arm was torn off in a tractor accident picked up the limb, climbed back on and headed for home to get help.

Franco close to deal with Braves
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves and Julio Franco are on the verge of finalizing a minor league contract that would pay the veteran first baseman $750,000 if he's added to the major league roster.

Drug industry's big political victory doesn't mute underlying problems
NEW YORK -- Pharmaceutical company executives breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Medicare reform bill excluded two ideas they abhorred: imports of low-priced drugs and government price controls.

U.S. mad cow scare spreads to Asia
TOKYO -- The mad cow disease scare in the United States spread quickly to Asia and Europe, where eight nations including top U.S. market Japan blocked the import of American beef products after a cow in Washington state tested positive for the illness.

Big Three hope new vehicles stem foreign gains
DETROIT -- The Big Three automakers are unofficially dubbing 2004 "the year of the new product push." Together, they're beefing up their lineups with more new cars and trucks than any year in recent memory.

Some winners and losers in the business world in 2003
NEW YORK -- The opening bell of the stock market finally stopped sounding like a funeral chime in 2003, but that doesn't mean everyone was a winner.

Parmalat's financial hole expand ahead of bankruptcy plan

Durable-goods orders drop 3.1 percent in November
WASHINGTON -- America's factories saw orders for big-ticket goods drop by 3.1 percent in November, the largest decline in more than a year, raising new questions about how firm a grip manufacturers have on their own fragile recovery.

Parmalat's financial hole expand ahead of bankruptcy plan
ROME -- The top executive at Parmalat Finanziaria SpA met Tuesday with prosecutors investigating a euro3.95 billion ($4.91 billion) hole in the balance sheet of Italy's biggest diary company.

The AP's top 10 business stories of 2003
NEW YORK -- Greed is not good, but it makes for powerful headlines. Look back at the highlights - and the depths - of business news over the past year, and it's the alleged breaches of trust that stand out.

Retailers hope final days before Christmas will increase sales

Business briefs

Government looks at new fuel economy standards for large SUVs
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is looking at making larger SUVs, such as the Hummer H2, Ford Excursion and GMC Suburban, and large pickup trucks comply with federal fuel economy standards for the first time.

Consumers, beef producers worry about mad cow disease
WASHINGTON -- From consumers to beef producers, Americans braced for the fallout from the apparent discovery of mad cow disease in the United States even as federal officials insisted the food supply was safe.

Business briefs
ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines is canceling executive bonuses for this year and reconsidering its compensation program for high-ranking officials.

Government looks at new fuel economy standards for large SUVs

U.S. companies changes Chinese lives - and corporate culture, too

EPA sets new pollution standards for motorcycles, scooters and mopeds
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday set the first new emission standards for highway motorcycles in 25 years, and the first standards for small scooters and mopeds.

Orders for goods see large drop

Dairy giant files for bankruptcy
ROME - Italian dairy giant Parmalat announced Tuesday that it is seeking bankruptcy protection, as the company faces a widening scandal over a multibillion dollar hole in its balance sheet.

Consumers, beef producers worry about mad cow disease

Orders for goods see large drop
WASHINGTON - America's factories saw orders for big-ticket goods drop by 3.1 percent in November, the largest decline in more than a year, raising new questions about how firm a grip manufacturers have on their own fragile recovery.

The AP's top 10 business stories of 2003

Mad cow scare unlikely to devastate industry if case is isolated
SEATTLE -- Construction worker Jeramy Jernigan savored the last bites of his McDonald's cheeseburger and refused to lose his appetite over news that mad cow disease had apparently been discovered in Washington state.

New year promises more drama in trials of corporate wrongdoing

Last toy maker in Vietnamese village won't quit
HANOI, Vietnam -- When Nguyen Van Nham was younger and times were good, he was Vietnam's version of Santa Claus peddling his homemade toys to stores in Hanoi while hordes of anxious children chased after him yelping for the "vessel king."

Workers and businesses aren't ready to celebrate economic rebound

U.S. companies changes Chinese lives - and corporate culture, too
BEIJING -- From a distance, Shen Hongye resembles the men who trolled the streets of China's capital a quarter-century ago - suit and cap of overcast gray, left breast pocket bearing the ubiquitous scarlet pin of his communist work unit.

Mad cow scare unlikely to devastate industry if case is isolated

Workers and businesses aren't ready to celebrate economic rebound
In the 10 months since Kathe Cronin was laid off from Sprint Corp., she's come up empty trying to replace the $52,000 salary, three weeks paid vacation and the self-confidence she lost along with the job.

Taking gifts back to stores can be made much easier

Industry by industry, executives give their outlook for 2004
Despite a rebounding economy, don't expect consumers to go on big shopping sprees in 2004, says McDonald, who runs the nation's No. 1 jeansmaker.

U.S. mad cow scare spreads to Asia

New year promises more drama in trials of corporate wrongdoing
NEW YORK -- The colorful images of a year of white-collar scandals - toga-party videos, executives lavishing themselves with outrageously expensive toys, corporate looting by the billion - may turn out to be just a warm-up act.

Industry by industry, executives give their outlook for 2004

Toys under the Christmas tree are probably foreign-made

CEO Santa ranks at the top

Business growth best performance in nearly 20 years

Car sales get boost amid holidays

U.S. oil companies angle to return to Libya; exports may boom

Some winners and losers in the business world in 2003

Rodeo Drive gets needed makeover

Big Three hope new vehicles stem foreign gains

Bank expands its reach
After building its banking base around the metro area the past few years, a century-old community lender with rural roots has moved into the heart of south Richmond County.

Drug industry's big political victory doesn't mute underlying problems

Retailers hope final days before Christmas will increase sales
NEW YORK -- A late-buying binge this past weekend didn't turn out to be robust enough for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and other merchants to offset modest sales trends throughout the holiday season, according to preliminary data.

Business briefs

U.S. oil companies angle to return to Libya; exports may boom
LONDON -- For more than 17 years, U.S. oil companies have chafed at sanctions that forced them to abandon prolific oil fields in the Libyan desert.

Taking gifts back to stores can be made much easier
Many consumers would rather tiptoe through a mine field than brave the back of the grueling returns line after Christmas, or figure how to send back an online purchase.

Rodeo Drive gets needed makeover
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Rodeo Drive wasn't quite down and out, but owners of chi-chi stores along the glitzy thoroughfare worried that it was losing its luster.

Business briefs
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 36.07, or 0.4 percent, at 10,305.19 on Wednesday. Trading ended at 1 p.m. The Nasdaq composite index closed down 5.55, or 0.3 percent, at 1,969.23.

Toys under the Christmas tree are probably foreign-made
WASHINGTON -- Parents who are sticklers for buying American may have a rough time as they whisk through toy stores this holiday season.

CEO Santa ranks at the top
It is Christmas Day, so you figure Santa Claus is sprawled on a beach somewhere, sunning his little round belly after working his one day this year.

Business growth best performance in nearly 20 years
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy, propelled by tax cuts and low interest rates, roared ahead at an 8.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the best showing in nearly 20 years, while Americans' incomes and spending both showed healthy gains in November.

Car sales get boost amid holidays
DETROIT - They're impossible to slide down the chimney and pretty hard to cover with wrapping paper, but many Americans still found a way this holiday season to surprise loved ones with a very big gift - a new car.

Durable-goods orders drop 3.1 percent in November

Las Vegas Bowl features two star running backs

Las Vegas Bowl features two star running backs
LAS VEGAS -- Oregon State running back Steven Jackson has picked up plenty of yards, publicity and respect this season.

Kerbalis quietly takes three straight West Lake titles

'Yes, Virginia ...'

The Christmas story
It is traditional for The Chronicle to run this Bible passage every Christmas.

Keep Christmas every day
It was just a football game. But if you knew what to look for, you saw an amazing, uplifting thing happen Monday night in Oakland, Calif.

The Christmas story

Capture of Saddam produces morale boost, stories for years
DURING THE IRAQ war of 2003 and its aftermath, the Fourth Infantry Division has been the Rodney Dangerfield of the United States military - that is, until Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8:26 p.m. Iraqi time, when a weary, confused man in a small dirt hole held up his hands and said, "I am Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq."

Keep Christmas every day

Capture of Saddam produces morale boost, stories for years

Gadhafi's turnaround
"Walk softly and carry a big stick" guided Teddy Roosevelt's foreign policy. It also seems to be a hallmark of President George W. Bush's anti-terrorist doctrine.

'Yes, Virginia ...'
Traditionally, it had been the Augusta Herald's custom at this time of the year to reproduce an editorial that appeared in the old New York Sun in 1897, and which has been handed down as a journalistic classic. The author was Francis Pharcellus Church, but it was not until his death in 1906 that the Sun revealed that the editorial came from his pen.

Defining moments of movies and TV in 2003
Believe it or not, Arnold Schwarzenegger actually got elected California governor by promising to "Terminate" this-or-that, gossip wags fused Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez into one person and "The Matrix" sequels became too geeky for the geeks. Here's one take on Hollywood's dubious moments of 2003:

Judge rules Limbaugh medical records to remain sealed for now
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A judge resealed Rush Limbaugh's medical records Wednesday, giving the conservative radio commentator's attorneys time to appeal his earlier decision allowing prosecutors to examine the files for evidence Limbaugh illegally purchased painkillers.

20th anniversary: 'A Christmas Story
LOS ANGELES -- The phrase "You'll shoot your eye out!" has become as synonymous with the Christmas season as Scrooge's "Bah, humbug!" and Santa's "Ho, ho, ho!"

Timeline of accusations in Jackson case could be problematic
LOS ANGELES -- For jurors to convict Michael Jackson, they would have to believe he would be so bold as to molest a boy while he was under investigation by child welfare authorities in a probe touched off by a TV documentary.

A roll call of deaths in the arts, entertainment in 2003
They made the stages and screens of the 20th century shine. Their music burned with the heat of love or plumbed the soul of the common man. Their writings took us to faraway worlds, or deep within our hearts.

Roy Horn of 'Siegfried & Roy' returns to Vegas for rehabilitation
LAS VEGAS -- Illusionist Roy Horn of "Siegfried & Roy" returned to his home Monday to continue his rehabilitation under the care of a team of doctors and therapists.

Ozzy Osbourne leaves intensive care
LONDON -- Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has been moved out of intensive care as he recovers from the crash of an all-terrain vehicle two weeks ago, his family said Tuesday.

People in the news
MIAMI -- Rapper Trick Daddy, who avoided prison by pleading guilty to cocaine and weapons charges, will make 24 free appearances to talk to high school students about the dangers of guns, AIDS, drugs and violence.

Prosecutors to get Limbaugh's medical records
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Prosecutors can examine Rush Limbaugh's medical records to determine whether he should be charged with "doctor shopping" for prescription painkillers, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Stocks drift higher on trio of economic reports

Stocks drift higher on trio of economic reports
NEW YORK -- Wall Street nudged higher to fresh 19-month highs Tuesday as a trio of economic reports - one on gross domestic product, the others on consumer sentiment and spending - provided investors additional evidence of an improving economy.

Shady dealings won't hurt mutual funds popularity
NEW YORK -- The still-spreading scandal over shady dealings in the mutual funds industry isn't likely to hurt their overall popularity with individual investors. But it could lead to some of the biggest players in the business getting even bigger, as the funds most damaged by the charges struggle to survive.

Pricey gifts are hard to afford
It's hard enough to remember all of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but its getting even harder to afford it.

Rates on 30-year and 15-year mortgages dip for third straight week
WASHINGTON -- Rates on 30-year and 15-year mortgages dipped for the third week in a row, offering a dose of cheer to prospective home buyers.

Ailing IPO market pins its comeback hopes on Google
SAN FRANCISCO -- After three years of fear and loathing, are investors ready to embrace the initial public offerings of seductive startups again? As they do with so many other things in modern life, lots of people are counting on Google to supply the answer.

Bull market returns in 2003, but will it stay?

Bull market returns in 2003, but will it stay?
NEW YORK -- Investors celebrated the long-awaited return of the bull market in 2003, snapping up shares after three years of bitter declines. But 2004 arrives with a warning for an increasingly exuberant Wall Street: The best of the gains is over.

Rates on 30-year and 15-year mortgages dip for third straight week

Stocks lower on mad cow news, worries in manufacturing sector
NEW YORK -- The nation's first case of mad cow disease sent stocks moderately lower Wednesday in a quiet and abbreviated session on Wall Street. A government report that raised concerns about the recovery of the manufacturing sector contributed to the decline.

Outflow of funds drops Putnam to sixth-largest fund firm
BOSTON -- Boston-based Putnam Investments, facing state and federal trading abuse charges, has dropped from being the fifth-largest mutual fund company in the country to sixth after investors withdrew $13 billion from the company in November.

Pricey gifts are hard to afford

Small portions

Chicken cordon bleu stays tasty with less fat

Small portions
Clementines are easily distinguished from other members of the mandarin orange family by their thin skin and lack of seeds - that "zipper skin" is easily pulled from the flesh.

Ginger enlivens monkfish

Chicken cordon bleu stays tasty with less fat
This version of chicken cordon bleu is still an elegant entree, but it's an easy, low-fat recipe. No one will complain: The sauteed chicken breasts are topped with sliced ham and mozzarella, and are served on a bed of baby spinach. Total fat per serving is only about 6 grams.

Ginger enlivens monkfish
The robust flavor of fresh ginger gives this stir-fried dish a pungent, peppery accent - ground ginger just won't do, so cooks should not substitute it. Oyster sauce, which you can find at most supermarkets in the Asian section, contributes richness and creaminess.

Ham for the holiday is packed with flavors

Ham for the holiday is packed with flavors
DALLAS - Chef Kent Rathbun's Dallas restaurant, Abacus, has been a hit since opening in 1999. With a cooking style that draws on culinary influences from around the globe, Mr. Rathbun synthesizes a variety of flavors to create his own "soulful" cuisine with a contemporary edge.

No. 4 Georgia Tech mauls Marist
ATLANTA -- Despite another big offensive display, defense has been the key to No. 4 Georgia Tech's unbeaten season.

2003 club champions at area golf
Here is a list of the 2003 club champions at area golf courses. The divisions listed are for men, women, seniors and juniors. Four clubs - Forest Hills Golf Club, Sage Valley, The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation and Jones Creek Golf Club - did not hold club championships. Of the courses that did have club championships, not all had champions in each division.

2003 club champions at area golf

Roberts misses Masters invite
Masters invitations are in the mail, and Loren Roberts won't be getting one - yet.

Roberts misses Masters invite

Phillips makes right first impression

Georgia All-Area team

Independent All-Area team

Georgia All-State Teams

Kicker makes return to list

All-Area Football Team awards banquet

South Carolina Player of the Year

South Carolina All-Area team

Prep basketball scores

Prep basketball scores

Independent All-Area Player of the Year
Quarterback Jamie Dickey, Brentwood's team leader, couldn't play at the start of the season. The cast on his broken ankle ensured that.

Independent All-Area team
Player of the Year: Daniel Harris, Brentwood

South Carolina Player of the Year
North Augusta coach Joe Long hadn't planned on using Brandon Satcher quite this way.

Georgia All-Area team
Player of the Year: Albert Webb, Swainsboro

Georgia All-Area Player of the Year
After the games were over, Swainsboro running back Albert Webb would shake the hands of his opponents while local children would swarm him for autographs.

All-Area Football Team awards banquet
The Augusta Chronicle 2003 All-Area Football Team awards banquet will be held Jan. 22 at Sheraton Augusta Hotel.

Georgia All-State Teams
Eleven players from area high schools were selected to the Georgia Sports Writers Association's all-state team in their class:

Kicker makes return to list
It was Christmas morning last year, and Obi Egekeze was looking for his early-morning present.

South Carolina All-Area coach of the year
Gentry changes ways; Blue Devils change fortunes

Independent All-Area coach of the year
Without a doubt, this was Jimmy Barnett's toughest year as a football coach.

Phillips makes right first impression
Phillips makes right first impression

South Carolina All-Area team
Player of the Year: Brandon Satcher, North Augusta

Thrashers top the Kings in OT

Thrashers top the Kings in OT
In Atlanta, Marc Savard scored his second goal of the game with 1:23 left in overtime, giving Atlanta a win over Los Angeles in a matchup of first-place teams.

Impress party guests with tasty hors d'oeuvres
Out-of-town guests and the upcoming New Year festivities demand quick and creative finger foods. Though deli-prepared cheese and smoked sausage trays are fine, you can create a more impressive assortment of party fare with a little supermarket savvy.

Impress party guests with tasty hors d'oeuvres

Fire kills Columbia County woman
An early-morning fire in Columbia County has killed an elderly woman in Martinez.

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.

One person killed in five-car accident on I-20
A five-car accident on Interstate 20 killed one person Wednesday morning and stopped traffic for more than an hour.

Four arrested on drug charges after search
Four Graniteville residents were arrested Tuesday after police seized cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana during a search of two homes, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said.

Don't let children fall through our community's cracks

Peaceful protest of Iraq war his right

Has Bush forgotten about bin Laden?

Don't let children fall through our community's cracks
During this holiday season as we celebrate joy and hope for the world, we should not forget that for some children in our community joy and hope are rarely parts of their lives. Julia Rankin Bloodworth, Augusta

Augusta should have capitalized on X-Mart
Back-and-forth dancing between Augusta commissioners and X-Mart, is a waste of time and money for our city. And shows the lack of ability of our government to protect the constitutional rights of its citizens to garner and maintain new diverse industry and a willingness to acknowledge that adult entertainment is a product of municipal advancement and growth.

Peaceful protest of Iraq war his right
Protesting peacefully, I thought, was a right guaranteed to all Americans. There have been many letters and editorials published in The Chronicle criticizing those of us who are opposed to the war. Dick Donnelly, Evans, Ga.

Has Bush forgotten about bin Laden?
I'm confused. After Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush decided - quite rightly - to go after Osama bin Laden. Somewhere along the way our focus changed to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and bin Laden seems to have been forgotten. Kathleen Gibson, North Augusta, S.C.

'Chronicle's' stance on pork-barrel spending a threat
Regarding the Dec. 13 editorial, "Pork? Or not?": The Chronicle's position on pork-barrel spending is typical of Americans today - that an elected official's duty is to "bring home the bacon" and not to "opt out of the D.C. trough." This attitude is possibly the greatest threat to the republic. Michael Mitchell, Augusta

'Chronicle's' stance on pork-barrel spending a threat

'Judicial tyranny': the cry of the ignorant, dissatisfied
Many conservatives have been fussing about "judicial tyranny" lately. They usually use it in reference to the use of the power of judicial review by federal and state courts to advance civil liberties, such as in the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas and the Massachusetts state court case Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, both decisions which were important advances for the rights of homosexuals. Legato Bluesummers, North Augusta, S.C.

The 10 most important scientific breakthroughs of 2003

Last-minute guide for ... Christmas

Controllers ready spacecraft for Christmas landing on Mars

A bigger and greener Christmas tree

Day-in-life pictures are easy to take

A tacky little Christmas

Living briefs

Nursing homes cautious during this flu season

AP Poll: Many say they thought flu vaccine wasn't necessary

Living briefs
We're not sure just how these gimmicks turn into traditions, but anyway, you can watch 10 minutes now, catch the next 10 minutes about 2:10 a.m., or just leave it on the whole time. Peter Billingsley stars in the 1983 movie.

Day-in-life pictures are easy to take
Professional photographers and avid amateur shutterbugs are familiar with the Day in the Life books series. The latest book in this series, Day in the Life of Africa, was published in 2002. Other titles offer a view of a day in the life of India, Israel, Japan and Hawaii.

Nursing homes cautious during this flu season
OMAHA, Neb. -- A brightly colored sign flanked by holiday decorations tells visitors at the front door of the Maple Crest Care Center: If you have flu-like symptoms, please do not come any further.

Health and fitness calendar
The health and fitness calendar is a listing of support groups, activities and lectures. Send information to Health Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

The 10 most important scientific breakthroughs of 2003
WASHINGTON -- Proof that a mysterious force called "dark energy" is pushing the universe to expand endlessly at a faster and faster rate has been selected as the "Breakthrough of the Year" by the editors of Science magazine.

AP Poll: Many say they thought flu vaccine wasn't necessary
WASHINGTON -- A substantial majority of Americans skipped getting a flu vaccine this year and many say they didn't feel they needed one or feared a flu shot would do more harm than good, an Associated Press poll found.

A tacky little Christmas
Death and taxes are two of the most surefire things in life, but in the spirit of the holidays, we'd like to add one more truth. There's no accounting for taste, especially when it comes to decorating.

Last-minute guide for ... Christmas
If you have children, you've probably been up since the crack of dawn.

Living briefs
A little quiet time offers a lot of benefits - for children and adults. Here's a technique to try with your family, from Better Homes & Gardens magazine:

Controllers ready spacecraft for Christmas landing on Mars
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Controllers of Europe's first Mars mission sent final pre-orbit commands through space Wednesday as twin spacecraft streaked toward the Red Planet on a quest to look for possible signs of life.

A bigger and greener Christmas tree
CHINA, Maine -- Clark Granger stands in his snowy field, looking proudly upon thousands of budding Christmas trees. At five years old, they are bigger and thicker than a typical balsam fir, and when they hit the market in two years, Granger doesn't expect to see a sad-looking Charlie Brown tree in the bunch.

Drulia searches for goalie despite temporary backup
Florida Panthers goaltending prospect Simon Lajeunesse will join the Augusta Lynx this week, and coach Stan Drulia plans to start him Friday and Saturday on the road against Columbia and Charlotte.

Lynx slap shots

Lynx slap shots
Friday: Augusta Lynx at Columbia Inferno, 7:35 p.m.

Drulia searches for goalie despite temporary backup

Two minutes with Greg Jacina
Two minutes with Augusta Lynx forward, Greg Jacina.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Desmond Alexander Barnes, 1 year old, of Augusta.

School head is fighting for job

Alabama resident is killed in wreck
A Wednesday morning accident on Interstate 20 killed an elderly Alabama man and slowed holiday traffic for more than two hours.

Partners make pitch for arena

Across the Southeast

Dome work nearly done

Holiday closings

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

Across South Carolina
NORTH CHARLESTON -Three truckers are suing the city of North Charleston to overturn a law banning rigs from parking in neighborhoods.

News you can use

Kid of the day

Across the area

Four arrested on drug charges after search

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

Children keep mom from work
A North Augusta mother hopes to make Christmas better for her three children this year.

Rants and raves
THIS IS IN REGARD to Saddam Hussein's capture. God just gave us an early Christmas present. Now just bring our boys home, please, and the girls as well. It's time to come home. The bad guy's gone. Let God deal with him, not us. Thank you. Merry Christmas, everybody.

News your can use

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.

Four charged after drug raid

Fire kills Columbia County woman

Four charged after drug raid
AIKEN - Four Graniteville residents were in jail Tuesday after a drug raid on two homes netted small amounts of crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana, officials with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office said.

Rants and raves
THIS IS IN REGARD to Saddam Hussein's capture. God just gave us an early Christmas present. Now just bring our boys home, please, and the girls as well. It's time to come home. The bad guy's gone. Let God deal with him, not us. Thank you. Merry Christmas, everybody.

Rants and raves
SOME ADVICE FOR the ranter about spreading germs with those "little square" boxes. Wash your hands prior to eating to rid yourself of germs obtained when handling those boxes, doorknobs and money. Need I say more? Oh, also get a life.

Across the area
The owner of an Augusta nightclub said Monday that someone filled the locks of his business's exterior doors with Super Glue, according to a report filed with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Alabama resident is killed in wreck

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Will Malik Wilson, 23 months, of Augusta.

Papers say soldier's items were burned
When the body of Sgt. 1st Class Eduard Fico was found earlier this month behind a 15th Street garage, it took police a while to identify him because he had no identification.

Cards will be null by January
Starting Jan. 1, the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety will reinstate the electronic insurance compliance system, once again nullifying cards as adequate proof of insurance.

Dome work nearly done
ATLANTA - Homeowners often lament that keeping up their property is a job that's never done. That seems to be the case as well with the home of Georgia's government for more than 110 years.

Van linked to woman's death
Authorities said Tuesday that they found a van in Florida they think is connected with a woman who was found dead at a west Augusta rock quarry last week.

Hispanics blend holiday traditions

Prosecutors prepare to argue MCG case
Prosecutors soon will get the case against a former Medical College of Georgia manager accused of using her state credit card to steal nearly $30,000, an official said.

University saves on holiday break

Candidate exits center search
The Community Service Board of East Central Georgia will meet Tuesday to decide whether to make an offer to its remaining candidate for the director's job at the Community Mental Health Center of East Central Georgia.

Elderly woman killed in fire

Christmas letters keep war buddies' friendship strong
Mr. Gay and his war buddy, John Cardwell, have written Christmas letters to each other since 1946.

Army veterinarian ensures safety, health at Iraqi zoo

Bird enthusiasts wake early to make their Christmas count

Donations surpass 2002 fund-raiser
Many local families will have happier Christmas celebrations this year thanks to contributions made to the Empty Stocking Fund.

Donations surpass 2002 fund-raiser

Across the area

Across South Carolina

Across Georgia
COVINGTON - A 14-year-old girl was accused of trying to sell $250 in methamphetamines, said police, who arrested the girl as part of a drug bust last weekend.

Wrappers tie up the holidays

Papers say soldier's items were burned

Arrest is made in slaying

Groups reach out to prisoners

Cards will be null by January

CPA admits guilt in bank robbery

Elderly woman killed in fire
State investigators are looking into the cause of a house fire that killed an elderly woman in Martinez early Christmas Eve.

Across Georgia

Across South Carolina

Across the area
A state pardons and paroles employee arrested Dec. 12 for identity fraud might have additional charges filed against her, authorities said.

Money dispute stalls ANIC work

University saves on holiday break
ATHENS, Ga. - 'Tis the season to save energy.

Rants and raves
SOME ADVICE FOR the ranter about spreading germs with those "little square" boxes. Wash your hands prior to eating to rid yourself of germs obtained when handling those boxes, doorknobs and money. Need I say more? Oh, also get a life.

Hispanics blend holiday traditions
TRENTON, S.C. - Though thousands of miles away from her birthplace in Mexico, Teresa De Leon still manages to enjoy the nuances of her homeland holiday traditions in South Carolina.

Holiday closings
HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

Testing is still in question
Has Georgia gone test-happy?

Army veterinarian ensures safety, health at Iraqi zoo
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Stories of death and mayhem in Iraq are common, as are stories about developing a new government.

Wrappers tie up the holidays
AIKEN - Wrapping a vacuum cleaner, a large chest with spindly, wooden legs or a salad bowl the size of a large computer monitor is a task gift wrappers at malls and stores everywhere tackle each day during the holiday season.

Groups reach out to prisoners
While malls and other retail outlets are filled with customers seeking last-minute gifts, those behind bars are often forgotten - unless they've been remembered by family and religious groups.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA -Twenty-one people were indicted Tuesday on charges that they filed false accident claims with insurance companies, state Attorney General Henry McMaster said.

School head is fighting for job
A Richmond County principal fighting a five-day suspension from Superintendent Charles Larke has been at odds with the central office before, personnel records show.

Across Georgia
CARROLLTON - Intruders hit four churches in Carroll County last weekend, bringing the total to 16 churches in the area either burglarized or broken into during the past two months.

CPA admits guilt in bank robbery
ATHENS, Ga. - Detectives and FBI agents digging in the back yard of a certified public accountant's house in a fashionable subdivision found more than $10,000 stolen from a bank last week.

Police arrest two in slaying

News your can use
DEC. 25, 1964 Historic treasures continue to flow into Augusta's Mackay House on Broad Street. The latest acquisition is an original pianoforte.

Wreck kills teen, hurts 2 others
AIKEN - Alcohol and speeding are suspected in an early Tuesday wreck that claimed the life of a 16-year-old Aiken girl, authorities said.

Arrest is made in slaying
AIKEN - A North Augusta man who was kidnapped and killed while parked with a girlfriend on a remote dirt road was a victim of random violence, authorities said Tuesday.

Across the Southeast
Judge prepares to rule on right-to-die law

Police arrest two in slaying
After an investigation that had police looking to Florida for two people wanted in the death of a woman found at a rock quarry, investigators found them Wednesday - in Martinez.

Partners make pitch for arena
Promoters of a proposed $94 million sports and entertainment arena at Regency Mall briefed the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority on their plans and asked for their cooperation Tuesday.

Money dispute stalls ANIC work
A day after the board overseeing a long-delayed office building project on Laney-Walker Boulevard gave its builder a March 1 completion deadline and a stiff penalty if it fails to meet it, a dispute over money disrupted work.

X-Mart files appeal to reopen
Attorneys could be headed back to court as early as next week over another attempt by Augusta's only adult bookstore to reopen.

Bird enthusiasts wake early to make their Christmas count
AIKEN - On Christmas Eve, Calvin Zippler, 50, of Aiken, wasn't doing last-minute Christmas shopping or wrapping gifts.

Kid of the day

2003 featured moving stories for all fans
You know of Harrick and Adams and "ring-gate" and Dooley.

At the Movies: 'Cheaper by the Dozen'

The AP reviewers pick their favorite films of 2003

'Return of the King' breaks box office record
LOS ANGELES -- "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" has collected $124.1 million since its Wednesday debut - the highest-grossing five-day opening ever, according to final box office figures Monday.

At the Movies: 'Peter Pan'

The AP reviewers pick their favorite films of 2003
The top 10 films of 2003, according to Associated Press David Germain:

At the Movies: 'Cheaper by the Dozen'
"Cheaper by the Dozen" might be more appropriately titled "Cheesier by the Dozen."

At the Movies: 'Peter Pan'
In a movie world so overrun by dazzling visual effects that they've started to become ho-hum, director P.J. Hogan's "Peter Pan" stands out as a vibrant, refreshing fantasy-landscape.

'Return of the King' breaks box office record

At the Movies: 'Cold Mountain'
"Cold Mountain" plays like a glossy version of "The Odyssey" crossed with "The Simple Life."

At the Movies: 'Paycheck'

At the Movies: 'In America'
Filmmakers who turn deeply personal also can become tediously self-absorbed when they dip into their own experiences with semi-autobiographical tales.

At the Movies: 'Cold Mountain'

At the Movies: 'Paycheck'
Everyone earns their wages on "Paycheck," a solid, entertaining thriller with a bounty of silly but fun gunplay, hand-to-hand brawls and car chases.

At the Movies: 'In America'

Aiken gymnast to compete for Olympic spot
There is a giant-sized Olympic dream brewing inside the heart of a little sprite from Aiken named Grace Taylor.

Top concert grosses for 2003

The AP's top music in 2003
Here is a listing of 2003's hottest albums and songs, according to Billboard.

Top concert grosses for 2003
NEW YORK -- The top concert acts in 2003 and the money grossed from ticket sales, according to the concert industry publication Pollstar:

The AP's favorite albums of the year
The top 10 albums of 2003:

The AP's top music in 2003

Missteps, misfires and misjudgements in the year in pop music

The AP's favorite albums of the year

Missteps, misfires and misjudgements in the year in pop music
When two singers accused of underage sex crimes emerge as two of the music world's most intriguing figures, you know it's been a wild and crazy year. Here's one take on the most memorable 2003 moments in pop music, whether we want to remember them or not ...

Warm NASCAR Christmas tale

Question and anwer session with Jerry Nadeau

Testing begins in Daytona
ATLANTA - Dan Shaver got the 2004 racing season up to full speed last weekend by posting the fastest lap at the Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Feb. 7 Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 for the ARCA Re/Max Series.

Testing begins in Daytona

2003: A racing season to remember

2003: A racing season to remember
ATLANTA - The 2003 racing season will long be remembered as a season of change.

Question and anwer session with Jerry Nadeau
Driver Jerry Nadeau, who suffered a serious head injury in a racing accident May 2 at Richmond International Raceway, continues to make progress. In a question and answer session below, the 33-year-old native of Danbury, Conn., talks about his ongoing recovery and how blessed he feels to be home for the holidays

Warm NASCAR Christmas tale
ATLANTA - Although most NASCAR drivers and officials have reached a level of fame and fortune few of us can even aspire to, they have not forgotten simpler times when a single Christmas gift brought them the richest memory of all.

More aftershocks rattle California

More aftershocks rattle California
PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- More aftershocks rattled the area Tuesday following a magnitude-6.5 earthquake that jolted the central California coast, killing two people, injuring dozens and wrecking a landmark clock tower.

War, gay marriage, abortion - a year of taking sides
For many Americans, 2003 was a year to take sides. From church pews to the courts, from talk shows to the halls of Capitol Hill, debate over social issues - abortion, gay marriage, the right to die - stirred a nation that also was divided over the war in Iraq.

War, gay marriage, abortion - a year of taking sides

View of economy, Iraq war shape presidential race
WASHINGTON -- President Bush began 2003 poised to bring the war on terrorism to Iraq, riding a wave of high approval ratings but facing pressure from Democratic rivals over his stewardship of a shaky economy.

In a data-mining society, privacy advocates shudder

View of economy, Iraq war shape presidential race

In a data-mining society, privacy advocates shudder
Edward Socorro had a good thing going as a sales manager with Hilton Hotels Corp. But not long after he started, a company hired by Hilton to do background checks on new employees reported that Socorro once spent six months in jail.

Basketball star leaves NY hospital after getting cousin's kidney
NEW YORK -- Alonzo Mourning was released Tuesday from the hospital, just days after receiving a kidney donated by a cousin he hadn't seen since childhood.

Basketball star leaves NY hospital after getting cousin's kidney

Hawks beat Celtics
ATLANTA -- Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 25 points and the Atlanta Hawks took advantage of a poor shooting night by Paul Pierce to beat the Boston Celtics 93-88 and end a seven-game losing streak Tuesday night.

Favre heads home for father's funeral

Mr. Fred Yaun, Jr.    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Buddy Kelley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Flora Owens    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbara Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Juanita Heath    (STATESBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. James Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Kate Sherlock    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mamie Thomas    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Earl McRae    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Green Jr.    (STATE COLLEGE, Pa.)
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Rev. Robbie Dix, Jr.    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mr. Lamar Rogers    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Donald Janke    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Peter Passas    (EVANS, Ga.)
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SFC Jack Wahl    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbara Moultrie    (EHRHARDT, S.C.)
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Mrs. Carol Rodgers    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Fannie McGruder    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Mr. Hillman Moody, Sr.    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. Mark Maynard    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Msgt. Donald McCloud, Jr.    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
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Mr. Buddy Kelley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Joel Crenshaw    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. Madison Keefer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Thomas Franklin    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mae Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Frances Ingram    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Donald Janke    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Inez Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Elsie Jackson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Irene Howard    (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. William Smith    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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Miss Hattie Hooks    (GRAY, Ga.)
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Mr. Bob Roper    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Miss Whitney Harley    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Nannie Porter    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Annie Hamm    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Janice Morris    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Albert Haack III    (DOUGLASVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Thomas Mims    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mary Grant    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Fannie McGruder    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Mr. Willie Curry Jr.    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mr. James Lackey    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Tracy Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. John Clements, Jr.    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Joel Crenshaw    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Col. Joseph DiLuciano, MD    (VERO BEACH, Fla.)
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Mrs. Mary Cohens    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbra Elam    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Norman Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Norma Brown    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Annie Hamm    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Tracy Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. William Hughes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Christopher Carroll    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Clyde Jackson, Jr.    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Featured obituary: Mr. George Lyons
His favorite hobby, friends say, was repairing clocks.

Mr. J.M. Johnson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Madison Keefer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Charles Chambers    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mr. Ernie Barnes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Emma Harris    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Christopher Carroll (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. J.M. Johnson (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. William Hughes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Cohens (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Lackey (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elsie Jackson (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. Joel Crenshaw (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Norma Brown (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Nannie Porter (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Green Jr. (STATE COLLEGE, Pa.)

Mr. Madison Keefer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Fannie McGruder (APPLING, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Curry Jr. (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mrs. Inez Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbara Moultrie (EHRHARDT, S.C.)

Mr. Earl McRae (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Fannie McGruder (APPLING, Ga.)

Mrs. Flora Owens (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Buddy Kelley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ernie Barnes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Whitney Harley (AIKEN, S.C.)

Ms. Frances Ingram (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Peter Passas (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Kate Sherlock (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Lamar Rogers (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Norman Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mae Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Hamm (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Grant (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Smith (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Irene Howard (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)

Msgt. Donald McCloud, Jr. (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)

Featured obituary: Mr. George Lyons

Mr. Donald Janke (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Albert Haack III (DOUGLASVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Fred Yaun, Jr. (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Miss Hattie Hooks (GRAY, Ga.)

Mr. Bob Roper (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Joel Crenshaw (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Thomas Mims (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mr. Donald Janke (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbara Wood (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Mamie Thomas (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Janice Morris (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Barbara Wood (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Madison Keefer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Clyde Jackson, Jr. (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mrs. Juanita Heath (STATESBORO, Ga.)

SFC Jack Wahl (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Hillman Moody, Sr. (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Mark Maynard (EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Chambers (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mr. Thomas Franklin (McCORMICK, S.C.)

Remember that Christ is the reason for the Christmas season
FOR MANY YEARS each December, America has commemorated the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. To say that Jesus was actually born on Dec. 25 is debatable; however, at this time of year preachers' sermons often highlight the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary and Nativity scenes are a common sight.(Editor's note: The writer is the pastor of Pauline Gospel Church in Augusta.)

Remember that Christ is the reason for the Christmas season
FOR MANY YEARS each December, America has commemorated the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. To say that Jesus was actually born on Dec. 25 is debatable; however, at this time of year preachers' sermons often highlight the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary and Nativity scenes are a common sight. (Editor's note: The writer is the pastor of Pauline Gospel Church in Augusta.)

Overtime

Overtime

U.S. Taekwondo Union accuses USOC of jeopardizing medal chances

Sports digest

Aiken gymnast to compete for Olympic spot

In the game spotlight

Overtime
"We don't want nuance, explanation, logic, numbers, facts, restraint, perspective, gray area. We want someone's head." - Dan LeBatard in The Miami Herald, on South Florida's frustration with the Miami Dolphins

U.S. Taekwondo Union accuses USOC of jeopardizing medal chances
DENVER -- The U.S. Olympic Committee has jeopardized the United States' chances of earning medals in taekwondo at the 2004 Athens Games by ignoring deadlines to secure an Olympic qualifying tournament, according to a U.S. Taekwondo Union letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Overtime
Prosecutors in the sexual assault case against Kobe Bryant are being helped by a respected investigator who recently was hired to help solve the JonBenet Ramsey slaying.

In the game spotlight
Today's in the game spotlight falls on Keith Hart, 27, of Martinez.

Sports digest
"Favre, a product of his father's coaching, mocked the Raiders with the best first half of his deadlock certain Hall-of-Fame career."

Prep basketball scores
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN 66, AUGUSTA CHRISTIAN 62

Prep basketball scores
Here are prep basketball scores from games played Tuesday.

QB glad he returned for final month
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Michael Vick could have skipped the final month of the season and let his right leg heal completely.

Favre heads home for father's funeral
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre went home to Mississippi on Tuesday, hours after playing one of the best games of his career despite the unexpected death of his father the day before.

2003 featured moving stories for all fans

A happy holiday week for TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer
NEW YORK -- Three different shows produced by the same man - Jerry Bruckheimer - were the three most-watched programs on prime-time television last week.

Memorable TV in 2003

A happy holiday week for TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer

Memorable TV in 2003
There's no doubt about the year's best television show. It was that brief, silent video of Saddam Hussein getting checked for, what - lice, strep, tiny WMDs? Who cares? After a year filled with TV images of conflict, destruction and death, here was Saddam, collared and submitting to a doctor's cootie search.

Defining moments of movies and TV in 2003

20th anniversary: 'A Christmas Story

Roy Horn of 'Siegfried & Roy' returns to Vegas for rehabilitation

A roll call of deaths in the arts, entertainment in 2003

Timeline of accusations in Jackson case could be problematic

People in the news

Prosecutors to get Limbaugh's medical records

Ozzy Osbourne leaves intensive care

Robbie Caldwell named South Carolina offensive line coach
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Robbie Caldwell, Vanderbilt's offensive line coach the past two seasons, has been hired to coach the same position at South Carolina, the school said Wednesday.

Kerbalis quietly takes three straight West Lake titles
Mike Kerbelis III might be the best area golfer the general public's never heard of.

A year in which the conflict in Iraq overshadowed all
It was the year the world was transfixed by a war that overthrew Iraq's murderous dictatorship but opened rifts between longtime Western allies and worsened resentments of the United States.

Peace efforts, terror and oil dominated in Africa - and a pariah departed
DAKAR, Senegal -- It was a year that saw peace deals signed in some of Africa's worst wars, South Africa finally promising to treat AIDS, and the United States stepping up its search in Africa for terrorists - and oil.

Terror groups more decentralized
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Bombings by groups linked to al-Qaida killed dozens of people in 2003, most of them in Islamic countries, leading to a backlash against radical groups among some Muslims.

Europe blundered through a year of discord and dismay

China, world's fastest-growing nation, exhales after an extraordinary year
BEIJING -- The country's newly installed leader said it himself as he accepted the reins of the ruling Communist Party. Over and over, images of tomorrow's China streamed from Hu Jintao's mouth: "New situation." "New century." "New phase in our nation's history."

Peace efforts, terror and oil dominated in Africa - and a pariah departed

U.S. hopes to follow up on Saddam arrest with moves against insurgency
Having found Saddam Hussein if not his weapons of mass destruction, America will focus in the coming year on curbing the insurgency and building an Iraqi government stable and democratic enough to declare the controversial war a success.

U.S. hopes to follow up on Saddam arrest with moves against insurgency

Populist leaders in Latin America bumped up against hard economic realities
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- A new crop of Latin American leaders ushered in 2003 with populist rhetoric and pledges to boost living standards for the continent's countless have-nots, prompting investor fears of a regionwide economic meltdown.

Thumbnails of some Iraqis killed during the postwar insurgency

In Asia, bitter enemies talked peace, but plenty of worries remained
NEW DELHI -- Two of Asia's bitterest enemies, India and Pakistan, gingerly began talking peace in 2003 while across the continent governments dealt with terrorism, weak economies and the SARS outbreak.

In Asia, bitter enemies talked peace, but plenty of worries remained

Europe blundered through a year of discord and dismay
LONDON -- Europe's hopes of emerging as a great power to rival the United States were dented in 2003 as angry governments squabbled over Iraq and the increasingly evident aches and pains of their ambitious merger.

Terror groups more decentralized

Thumbnails of some Iraqis killed during the postwar insurgency
Thumbnails of some Iraqis killed during the postwar insurgency

Populist leaders in Latin America bumped up against hard economic realities

Israelis and Palestinians searched for ways to end violence

Israelis and Palestinians searched for ways to end violence
JERUSALEM -- The year ends with Israelis and Palestinians still searching for ways to calm a violent conflict that has killed thousands, crippled peace efforts and poisoned the atmosphere across the Middle East.

China, world's fastest-growing nation, exhales after an extraordinary year

A year in which the conflict in Iraq overshadowed all

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

Farmer collects his severed limb and drives for help