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

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

'Merry Widow' better third time around

A look back at 2003 in arts and entertainment

Christmas turns child into Sherlock at home

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

Taking gifts back to stores can be made much easier

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.

CEO Santa ranks at the top

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.

Orders for goods see large drop

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

U.S. mad cow scare spreads to Asia

Delta cancels some Christmas flights because flight attendants unavailable

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.

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

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.

Some winners and losers in the business world in 2003

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.

Consumers, beef producers worry about mad cow disease

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.

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

Big Three hope new vehicles stem foreign gains

Durable-goods orders drop 3.1 percent in November

Business briefs

New year promises more drama in trials of corporate wrongdoing

Mad cow scare unlikely to devastate industry if case is isolated

Workers and businesses aren't ready to celebrate economic rebound

Industry by industry, executives give their outlook for 2004

Stocks lower on mad cow news, worries in manufacturing sector

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.

Christmas debt can be a burden to gift-givers

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.

Legalizing too costly, FDA warns

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.

Business briefs

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.

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.

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."

Wine producers, wholesalers fight over online wine sales
BERKELEY, Calif. -- California vintners are hoping mail-order and online sales will deliver new profits this season, with more states than ever allowing consumers to have wine shipped to them direct from the producer.

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.

Bratz beats Barbie in sales competition
El SEGUNDO, Calif. - For the first time in Ken Grow's 27 years as a toy retailer, Barbie lost ground to a rival fashion doll during the holiday season.

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.

Business briefs
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 in November.

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.

Legalizing too costly, FDA warns
WASHINGTON - In the international mail facility at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, packages of confiscated prescription drugs are stacked floor to ceiling.

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.

Christmas debt can be a burden to gift-givers
'Tis the day after Christmas and all through the house, open presents are scattered, no room for a mouse.

Delta cancels some Christmas flights because flight attendants unavailable
ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines delayed or canceled 33 Christmas Day flights because it didn't have enough flight attendants to get the planes off the ground, a company spokesman said.

Wine producers, wholesalers fight over online wine sales

Harris looks for big finish to career

Tedford's turnaround has Bears in first bowl since '96

Trojans rallied from low point to reach No. 1

Trojans rallied from low point to reach No. 1
LOS ANGELES (AP)- The Southern California Trojans were in deep trouble.

Blue defeats the Gray

Tedford's turnaround has Bears in first bowl since '96
PHOENIX -- Virginia Tech seems a bit disappointed to be in the Insight Bowl. The California Bears hardly could be more thrilled.

Harris looks for big finish to career
DETROIT -- Among Mid-American Conference quarterbacks, Bowling Green's Josh Harris got less recognition than Miami's Ben Roethlisberger.

Oklahoma, LSU take different routes to BCS title game
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma had the look of a national champion from the beginning, even though its top quarterback was a wobbly kneed scrambler with only five career starts.

Oklahoma, LSU take different routes to BCS title game

Blue defeats the Gray
TROY, Ala. -- Butchie Wallace wrapped up his college career healthy and happy, good news for the oft-injured and overshadowed Marshall running back.

Former Masters champ dies

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

Capture of Saddam produces morale boost, stories for years

Fire protection for the future
When Columbia County entered the 21st century, it was still funding its fire departments by subscription - the same way Benjamin Franklin financed his more than 200 years ago in Philadelphia. That is where Franklin started America's first fire department in 1736.

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."

OK to face up to gangs

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.

OK to face up to gangs
When you wonder about your plumbing, you call a plumber.

Keep Christmas every day

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.

Club calendar
Here's a list of entertainment at Aiken-Augusta nightclubs.

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.

Standing ovations
The Augusta Lynx are home for games Sunday with the Louisiana IceGators and on New Year's Eve with the Columbus Cottonmouths at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center. Each game starts at 4:05 p.m., and children are admitted free Sunday. Adult admission costs $8-$12. Call 724-2400.

New Year's revelers have options
'Tis the season to party like it's ... well, there isn't much of a ring to "party like it's 2003." That won't stop revelers of every stripe, though, from gathering Wednesday to watch the calender reset at midnight.

Video watch
JUST OUT: Alex and Emma, Jeepers Creepers 2 and The Medallion.

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!"

Stuff to do
There's a Christmas feast of films opening today, including a live-action version of Peter Pan, the Steve Martin comedy Cheaper by the Dozen, the Ben Affleck science fiction thriller Paycheck and the drama In America.

Top five entertainment list
Here are the top 5 lists of movies, music, video sales and concert tours.

Applause calendar
GET LISTED: Send your event or group's schedule, pricing and other information to Steven Uhles, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

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:

Tax-free savings accounts for health care begin Jan. 1

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.

Few tax law changes expected for 2004
NEW YORK -- While 2003 brought many tax law changes affecting small businesses, it looks as if 2004 might be quieter - unless the Bush administration and Congress, mindful that it's an election year, decide to tweak the laws a little further.

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.

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?

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

Tax-free savings accounts for health care begin Jan. 1
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration advertised new tax-free health savings accounts, which will be available beginning next week, as a way for Americans to gain greater control of health-care spending.

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

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.

Few tax law changes expected for 2004

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.

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.

Gardeners should enjoy the rest
This is the time of year when you might wake any morning to find that your garden has disappeared, replaced by an expanse of white fluff, with sleepy, white mounds where low bushes once grew. Each crosspiece of fencing enclosing your garden might be spread with white icing; and white traces might perch precariously atop the thin branches of trees. A blanket of snow definitively shuts down the garden for the season.

Young trees need preventive care
Shade trees are valuable commodities in the landscape that increase the value of home properties.

Young trees need preventive care

Gardeners should enjoy the rest

Independent All-Area team

Phillips makes right first impression

South Carolina Player of the Year

All-Area Football Team awards banquet

Georgia All-Area team

Kicker makes return to list

South Carolina All-Area team

Georgia All-State Teams

Prep basketball scores

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

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.

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

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

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

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:

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

Phillips makes right first impression
Phillips makes right first impression

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.

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

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.

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

Thrashers back to winning ways in time for Tampa Bay

Thrashers top the Kings in OT

Thrashers back to winning ways in time for Tampa Bay
ATLANTA -- What a difference a year made for the Atlanta Thrashers.

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.

Christmas turns child into Sherlock at home
All children are essentially criminal. -- Denis Diderot

'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

Remember to share road with cyclists
On the evening of Nov. 13, I passed by a wreck on Furys Ferry Road at the entrance of Forrest Creek Subdivision. This wreck involved a motorcycle. The car that hit the motorcycle was severely damaged. If the rider hadn't been killed, he was surely in critical condition. I watched the news and read the newspaper to see if there was a report of the crash. There was none. - Dave Pierson, Evans, Ga.

Has Bush forgotten about bin Laden?

X-Mart not detrimental to the area
I cannot understand what the big deal is about having X-Mart in the Augusta area. It was not in an area that has a lot of businesses or neighborhoods. Tina M. Moore, Hephzibah, Ga.

X-Mart not detrimental to the area

Augusta needs new sense of direction
Bill Kirby touched on an important question on Tuesday, Dec. 9, for those persons living in south Augusta. I'm not sure we have an image problem. Perhaps we have a location problem, but not an image problem. Dale Brown, Hephzibah (Augusta South), Ga.

Augusta needs new sense of direction

'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?
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

The 10 most important scientific breakthroughs of 2003

Day-in-life pictures are easy to take

Controllers ready spacecraft for Christmas landing on Mars

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

Last-minute guide for ... Christmas

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

News you can use

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.

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

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

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.

Police arrest two in slaying

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.

Dome work nearly done

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.

Defenders' caseload at issue
The judge hasn't made up his mind completely, but if the local indigent defense committee wants more money from Augusta taxpayers, the group probably should prove it's really needed.

Across the area

Lawmakers doubt college plan
AIKEN - The University of South Carolina at Aiken, Aiken Technical College and other small state universities will have a difficult time accepting Gov. Mark Sanford's offer to become private institutions, state representatives say.

Donations surpass 2002 fund-raiser

CPA admits guilt in bank robbery

Holiday closings
HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

Kid of the day

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.

Shelter will set restrictions

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.

Defenders' caseload at issue

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.

Across Georgia

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

Across South Carolina

Across South Carolina

Students visit area seniors
About once a month, seniors meet seniors at Sunrise Assisted Living of Augusta.

Lawmakers to tackle HOPE

Across the area
Richmond County authorities are investigating a Christmas Day shooting in which a man was found in an Augusta hotel room with a gunshot wound to his head.

Alabama resident is killed in wreck

Across South Carolina
SUMTER - A Sumter County sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 69-year-old man has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate.

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 Georgia
ALBANY - Alcohol vendors are criticizing a new city ordinance that requires them to list detailed information - including their Social Security numbers - on a card to be publicly displayed.

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. 26, 1974 The Richmond County Sheriff's Department is investigating the theft of $42,000 in recording equipment from a house by burglars who apparently tried to eliminate evidence by setting it on fire.

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.

Lawmakers to tackle HOPE
The HOPE scholarship goes under the knife next month. State lawmakers are the surgeons.

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.

Probation officer studies gangs
ATHENS, Ga. - Gang graffiti was becoming such a problem in Athens several years ago that Jean Horton took up a new hobby - photographing the gangster's "tags."

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

Shelter will set restrictions
Starting next year, homeless men will have to pay to stay at the Salvation Army's Greene Street shelter after two weeks.

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.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Blayton Wade Hegre, 1, of Grovetown, Ga.

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.

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

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.

Across the area

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

Four charged after drug raid

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.

School head is fighting for job

Probation officer studies gangs

Groups reach out to prisoners

Lawmakers doubt college plan

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.

Residents celebrate with spirit

University saves on holiday break

Bird enthusiasts wake early to make their Christmas count

Holiday closings

Across Georgia

Elderly woman killed in fire

Kid of the day

News your can use

Papers say soldier's items were burned

Residents celebrate with spirit
Not everyone was home for the holiday. Some spent time Thursday sharing the seasonal spirit with others.

The AP reviewers pick their favorite films of 2003

Mini movie reviews

At the Movies: 'In America'

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

At the Movies: 'Cold Mountain'

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: 'Cheaper by the Dozen'

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

Mini movie reviews
Movies are listed with theater location through Tuesday.

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: 'Peter Pan'

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

At the Movies: 'Paycheck'

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.

Drummer will tie dad's record
Augusta musician Stewart Ray will reach a milestone 33 years in the making on New Year's Eve.

Concert calendar

Top concert grosses for 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 ...

12 Bands concert takes on family atmosphere
Sometimes a review seems inadequate. On Sunday evening, I made my way downtown for the third annual 12 Bands of Christmas concert. I had planned to review the concert, which would have been easy enough:

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:

12 Bands concert takes on family atmosphere

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

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

Drummer will tie dad's record

Concert calendar
Here's a list of upcoming area concerts. The list includes concerts that are withing easy driving distance from the Augusta area.

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

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

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
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.

2003: A racing season to remember

Warm NASCAR Christmas tale

Question and anwer session with Jerry Nadeau

In a data-mining society, privacy advocates shudder

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

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.

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.

View of economy, Iraq war shape presidential race

Mrs. Fannie McGruder    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Mrs. Janice Morris    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Annie Hamm    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Madison Keefer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Carol Rodgers    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Buddy Kelley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Tracy Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Hillman Moody, Sr.    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Inez Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Willie Curry Jr.    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mr. Earl McRae    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mr. Vester Collins    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
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Mr. Christopher Carroll    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Bob Roper    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Ernie Barnes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Kate Sherlock    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Juanita Heath    (STATESBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. James Lackey    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Violet Dozier    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
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Mr. Thomas Mims    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mr. Mark Maynard    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Wesley Colclough, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. George Palmer    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mary Cohens    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Rev. Robbie Dix, Jr.    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Msgt. Donald McCloud, Jr.    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
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Mrs. Tracy Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Janice Morris    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Henry Dawson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Margaret Gillis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Fred Yaun, Jr.    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Annie Hamm    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Christopher Carroll    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Dorothy Hawkridge    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbara Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. William Hughes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Emma Harris    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. John Clements, Jr.    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. John Dekle    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. David Hicks    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbra Elam    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mae Jones    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Willie Lampkin    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Leila Cody    (MONETTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Emma Harris    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Flora Owens    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Irene Howard    (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Nannie Porter    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Elsie Jackson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Melvin Rocker    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Joel Crenshaw    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Betty Roesel    (MACON, Ga.)
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Mr. Donald Janke    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Norman Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Hattie Buggs    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mr. T.J. Stallings    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Miriam Lyne    (MEHOOPANY, Penn.)
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Mrs. Sarah Walker    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Earl McRae    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mr. Charles Williams    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Margaret Nelson    (WRENS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Wood    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Peter Passas    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Askew    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Mildred Brinson    (WRENS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Kate Sherlock    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Norman Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Sarah Solesbee    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Mr. William Smith    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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SFC Jack Wahl    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Thomas Franklin    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
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Ms. Neudie Whittle    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
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SFC Jack Wahl    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Tommie Willis    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mr. John Clements, Jr.    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Fred Yaun, Jr.    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. J.M. Johnson    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Ernie Barnes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Donald Janke    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Col. Joseph DiLuciano, MD    (VERO BEACH, Fla.)
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Mr. Clyde Jackson, Jr.    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mrs. Barbra Elam    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Ms. Frances Ingram    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. William Hughes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Marjolie Knight    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Fannie McGruder (APPLING, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Louise Askew (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Hughes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Joel Crenshaw (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Ernie Barnes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Buddy Kelley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Barbra Elam (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mr. David Hicks (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Elsie Jackson (MILLEN, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Willie Lampkin (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Irene Howard (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Inez Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. John Clements, Jr. (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Margaret Gillis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. John Dekle (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Tommie Willis (SPARTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Tracy Chavous (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Norman Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Margaret Nelson (WRENS, Ga.)

Mr. William Hughes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Mary Cohens (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Hattie Buggs (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

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

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

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

Mr. Donald Janke (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Smith (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Melvin Rocker (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. George Palmer (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Norman Smith (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Wesley Colclough, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Vester Collins (BLYTHE, Ga.)

Mr. T.J. Stallings (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Sarah Solesbee (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mr. Henry Dawson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Heath (STATESBORO, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Emma Harris (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ernie Barnes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Nannie Porter (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Ms. Violet Dozier (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mr. Bob Roper (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Mark Maynard (EVANS, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Betty Roesel (MACON, Ga.)

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

Ms. Mildred Brinson (WRENS, Ga.)

Mr. Madison Keefer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mae Jones (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Lackey (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Marjolie Knight (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Sarah Walker (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)

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

Mr. Peter Passas (EVANS, Ga.)

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

Mr. Charles Williams (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

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

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

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

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

Mrs. Leila Cody (MONETTA, S.C.)

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

Mr. Donald Janke (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Miriam Lyne (MEHOOPANY, Penn.)

Ms. Neudie Whittle (WILLISTON, S.C.)

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

Overtime

In the game spotlight

Aiken gymnast to compete for Olympic spot

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.

Prep basketball scores
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN 66, AUGUSTA CHRISTIAN 62

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.

Ramblin' Rhodes: Chicks irritate Tippin

Ramblin' Rhodes: Chicks irritate Tippin
My last column for 2003, in keeping with tradition, is a compilation of favorite quotes I obtained from interviews this year:

Amnesia films, remember?

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.

'Sex in the City' marathon kicks off the New Year
"Sex and the City" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" get 2004 started on the right foot with marathons from their latest seasons and, later in the week, the introduction of new episodes.

Memorable TV in 2003

'Sex in the City' marathon kicks off the New Year

Video watch

New Year's revelers have options

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

Stuff to do

Applause calendar

Defining moments of movies and TV in 2003

20th anniversary: 'A Christmas Story

Top five entertainment list

Amnesia films, remember?
I knew that there were a lot of movies about amnesia. Just in the past few years, it's a plot device that has shown up in everything from thrillers (Memento, The Bourne Identity) to animated features (Finding Nemo). But when I sat down to make a list, I couldn't remember a single one.

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.

Former Masters champ dies
Herman Keiser, the 1946 Masters Tournament champion who still holds a record for the largest 36-hole lead by a winner at Augusta National Golf Club, died Wednesday in Akron, Ohio, from complications of Alzheimer's Disease. He was 89.

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

A year in which the conflict in Iraq overshadowed all

Israelis and Palestinians searched for ways to end violence

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

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.

Europe blundered through a year of discord and dismay

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

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.

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

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."

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

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.

Terror groups more decentralized

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.

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.

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.

Populist leaders in Latin America bumped up against hard economic realities

Thumbnails of some Iraqis killed during the postwar insurgency

Odds and Ends