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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Retailers hope final days before Christmas will increase sales

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.

Government looks at new fuel economy standards for large SUVs

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.

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.

Toys under the Christmas tree are probably foreign-made

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.

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.

Rodeo Drive gets needed makeover

Some winners and losers in the business world in 2003

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.

Taking gifts back to stores can be made much easier

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.

U.S. mad cow scare spreads to Asia

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.

CEO Santa ranks at the top

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.

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

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."

Orders for goods see large drop

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.

Consumers, beef producers worry about mad cow disease

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.

Big Three hope new vehicles stem foreign gains

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.

The AP's top 10 business stories of 2003

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.

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

Business briefs

Durable-goods orders drop 3.1 percent in November

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

New year promises more drama in trials of corporate wrongdoing

Business growth best performance in nearly 20 years

Workers and businesses aren't ready to celebrate economic rebound

Parmalat's financial hole expand ahead of bankruptcy plan

Mad cow scare unlikely to devastate industry if case is isolated

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.

Business briefs

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.

Industry by industry, executives give their outlook for 2004

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.

Car sales get boost amid holidays

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

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

Keep Christmas every day

'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.

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.

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."

The Christmas story

Capture of Saddam produces morale boost, stories for years

'Yes, Virginia ...'

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bull market returns in 2003, but will it stay?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Pricey gifts are hard to afford

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.

Stocks drift higher on trio of economic reports

Ginger enlivens monkfish

Chicken cordon bleu stays tasty with less fat

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.

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.

Small portions

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.

Ham for the holiday is packed with flavors

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.

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

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

Roberts misses Masters invite

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.

South Carolina All-Area team

Kicker makes return to list

All-Area Football Team awards banquet

Georgia All-State Teams

South Carolina Player of the Year

Georgia All-Area team

Phillips makes right first impression

Independent 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.

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

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:

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

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.

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.

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

Phillips makes right first impression
Phillips makes right first impression

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

'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.

Has Bush forgotten about bin Laden?

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.

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.

'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

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.

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

Peaceful protest of Iraq war his right

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

Nursing homes cautious during this flu season

A bigger and greener Christmas tree

A tacky little Christmas

Day-in-life pictures are easy to take

Living briefs

The 10 most important scientific breakthroughs of 2003

Last-minute guide for ... Christmas

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

Controllers ready spacecraft for Christmas landing on Mars

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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:

Drulia searches for goalie despite temporary backup

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

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

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

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.

Wrappers tie up the holidays

Across the Southeast

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

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.

Across South Carolina

Across Georgia

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.

Army veterinarian ensures safety, health at Iraqi zoo

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

Dome work nearly done

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.

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.

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.

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.

Across South Carolina

School head is fighting for job

Fire kills Columbia County woman

Arrest is made in slaying

Partners make pitch for arena

Kid of the day

Across the area

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

News your can use

Elderly woman killed in fire

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

Four charged after drug raid

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

Groups reach out to prisoners

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

Hispanics blend holiday traditions

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.

Cards will be null by January

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.

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.

Money dispute stalls ANIC work

CPA admits guilt in bank robbery

Donations surpass 2002 fund-raiser

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.

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.

Holiday closings
HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

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.

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.

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.

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

Holiday closings

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.

University saves on holiday break

Bird enthusiasts wake early to make their Christmas count

Police arrest two in slaying

Papers say soldier's items were burned

Four arrested on drug charges after search

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.

Alabama resident is killed in wreck

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.

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.

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

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.

Kid of the day

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

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.

Across the area

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

News you can use

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

The AP reviewers pick their favorite films of 2003

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.

'Return of the King' breaks box office record

At the Movies: 'Peter Pan'

At the Movies: 'Cold Mountain'

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

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'

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.

At the Movies: 'Paycheck'

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

'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: '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: '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.

The AP's favorite albums of the year

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

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

The AP's top music in 2003

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 ...

Top concert grosses for 2003

Missteps, misfires and misjudgements in the year in pop music

Question and anwer session with Jerry Nadeau

Warm NASCAR Christmas tale

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.

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

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.

Testing begins in Daytona

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

2003: A racing season to remember

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.

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.

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

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

View of economy, Iraq war shape presidential race

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.

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.

Basketball star leaves NY hospital after getting cousin's kidney

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.

Favre heads home for father's funeral

Mr. Ernie Barnes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. James Lackey    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Nannie Porter    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Norma Brown    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Buddy Kelley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Barbara Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Norman Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. James Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Thomas Mims    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mamie Thomas    (THOMSON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Rev. Robbie Dix, Jr.    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Green Jr.    (STATE COLLEGE, Pa.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Charles Chambers    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Lamar Rogers    (THOMSON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Barbara Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Peter Passas    (EVANS, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Bob Roper    (THOMSON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Barbara Moultrie    (EHRHARDT, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Janice Morris    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Fannie McGruder    (APPLING, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Fannie McGruder    (APPLING, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Mark Maynard    (EVANS, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Joel Crenshaw    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Buddy Kelley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Thomas Franklin    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Madison Keefer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. William Hughes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mae Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Inez Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Donald Janke    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Fred Yaun, Jr.    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Elsie Jackson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

SFC Jack Wahl    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Irene Howard    (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Kate Sherlock    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Miss Hattie Hooks    (GRAY, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Carol Rodgers    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Miss Whitney Harley    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Flora Owens    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Annie Hamm    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Hillman Moody, Sr.    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Albert Haack III    (DOUGLASVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Earl McRae    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mary Grant    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Msgt. Donald McCloud, Jr.    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Willie Curry Jr.    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. John Clements, Jr.    (THOMSON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Joel Crenshaw    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Col. Joseph DiLuciano, MD    (VERO BEACH, Fla.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mary Cohens    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Barbra Elam    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. William Smith    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Annie Hamm    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Tracy Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Juanita Heath    (STATESBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Christopher Carroll    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Frances Ingram    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Clyde Jackson, Jr.    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Donald Janke    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. J.M. Johnson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Madison Keefer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Tracy Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Featured obituary: Mr. George Lyons
His favorite hobby, friends say, was repairing clocks.

Mrs. Emma Harris    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Joel Crenshaw (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Nannie Porter (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mr. Ernie Barnes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Norma Brown (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

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

Mr. Madison Keefer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Bob Roper (THOMSON, Ga.)

Miss Whitney Harley (AIKEN, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Mary Cohens (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Heath (STATESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Elsie Jackson (MILLEN, Ga.)

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

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

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

Mr. Peter Passas (EVANS, Ga.)

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

Mr. James Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mr. Donald Janke (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Grant (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Madison Keefer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Hattie Hooks (GRAY, Ga.)

Mr. Christopher Carroll (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Mamie Thomas (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. William Smith (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Mark Maynard (EVANS, Ga.)

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

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

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

Mr. Lamar Rogers (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. James Lackey (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mae Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Irene Howard (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Norman Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Featured obituary: Mr. George Lyons

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

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

Mrs. Fannie McGruder (APPLING, Ga.)

Mr. Joel Crenshaw (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Inez Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Fannie McGruder (APPLING, Ga.)

Mr. William Hughes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Donald Janke (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Buddy Kelley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Albert Haack III (DOUGLASVILLE, Ga.)

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.)

Sports digest

Overtime

In the game spotlight

Aiken gymnast to compete for Olympic spot

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

Overtime

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

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."

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.

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

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.

Memorable TV in 2003

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.

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

People in the news

Timeline of accusations in Jackson case could be problematic

Defining moments of movies and TV in 2003

Ozzy Osbourne leaves intensive care

Prosecutors to get Limbaugh's medical records

20th anniversary: 'A Christmas Story

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

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.

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.

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
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.

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

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.

Thumbnails of some Iraqis killed during the postwar insurgency

Europe blundered through a year of discord and dismay

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

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.

Terror groups more decentralized

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.

A year in which the conflict in Iraq overshadowed all

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Israelis and Palestinians searched for ways to end violence

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

Populist leaders in Latin America bumped up against hard economic realities

Odds and Ends

Farmer collects his severed limb and drives for help

Odds and Ends