Former Nixon aide writes book in praise of Warren Harding
NEW YORK -- John W. Dean, the former White House counsel to Richard Nixon, has written a book that upholds the life and work of a president ruined by scandal.

Tony winner Sutton Foster bids farewell to 'Millie'
NEW YORK -- Sutton Foster is packing her bags to leave the Tony Award-winning "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in February.

Sara Nelson spends a year reading books, learning about life
NEW YORK - Sara Nelson's friends used to joke that she should set up an 800 number that people could call when they needed help picking books. That way, when they were going on vacation or breaking up with a true love, they would know exactly what to read.

John J. Nance delivers another pulse-pounder
"Fire Flight," the new aviation thriller from John J. Nance ("Pandora's Clock," "Turbulence"), sounds the alarm about the problems involved in the use of aging air tankers in fighting forest fires.

Author sees red hat as 'emblem' for baby boomer women

Inside look at DA's office captures SLA drama
People don't think of Sacramento first when they ponder California's mean streets, which is no surprise when you consider south-central Los Angeles or certain blocks of Oakland. Despite a decade of rapid growth, crime in the state capital amid the Central Valley's rice fields still doesn't compare.

Tony winner Sutton Foster bids farewell to 'Millie'

'Odd Thomas' blends horror with romance
In his new thriller, "Odd Thomas," Dean Koontz tells a story of a cult-driven bloodbath to which he adds some existential eeriness that keeps the reader eagerly anticipating every word.

Atlanta's Shakespeare troupes share Bard, little else

Fact-packed books fit for the coffee table
Facts at Your Fingertips (Reader's Digest, $34.95) claims to contain half a million facts. That's about 50,000 per fingertip.

Former Nixon aide writes book in praise of Warren Harding

Amy Tan recounts life, including ghosts
It was in Montreux, Switzerland, that Amy Tan came into her own as a teenager, meaning that was where she found an unsuitable boyfriend who really irritated her mother.

Olympia Dukakis to star in Aeschylus' 'Agamemnon'
NEW YORK -- Aeschylus, William Shakespeare and Rudyard Kipling. Not a bad trio of authors.

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

Olympia Dukakis to star in Aeschylus' 'Agamemnon'

'Odd Thomas' blends horror with romance

Amy Tan recounts life, including ghosts

Fact-packed books fit for the coffee table

Atlanta's Shakespeare troupes share Bard, little else
ATLANTA -- Jeffrey Watkins and Richard Garner came to Atlanta about 20 years ago and decided the city needed a Shakespeare troupe.

Arts calendar

Inside look at DA's office captures SLA drama

Author sees red hat as 'emblem' for baby boomer women
BUFORD, Ga. -- Empowerment has become a new theme in Haywood Smith's books.

Steinbrenner 'doing well' after fainting
SARASOTA, Fla. -- New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was "doing well" Sunday, a day after he fainted at a memorial service, and his doctor described his health as "excellent."

History books get written one month at a time

Pocket change
EMPLOYER SPOTLIGHT: First National Bank and Trust Co.

Fewer companies offering incentive bonuses this year
By the time executive John Stropki stepped to the podium, more than 200 employees of Lincoln Electric Holdings had crowded into the company cafeteria to hear him. Hundreds more gathered in an on-site auditorium and at a Lincoln plant a few miles away to listen via closed-circuit.

Pocket change

First, best or different makes business No. 1

Digital cameras have not killed the film business
Q: Everybody seems to be switching to digital cameras, but I like my old 35mm camera. Will I still be able to get film in the future?

Business briefs

Tech spending expected to grow in 2004
BOSTON -- The corporate spending that drives the technology sector is as strong as it has been since the end of the 1990s boom, giving the industry optimism as it heads into 2004.

Recovery year has ups, downs

Sudden decisions can hurt business
NEW YORK - When small-business owners deal with the problems that are an inevitable part of running a company, their hope is usually for a quick fix. They want to come up with a solution and move on to something else, something that seems more productive.

First, best or different makes business No. 1
Frank sits in his office and sullenly stares across the road at his competition, where a continuous line of cars streams in and out of the parking lot.

Business calendar
Jan. 8: Augusta Metro and Columbia County chambers of commerce 96th joint annual meeting; Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta convention center, 11:45 a.m.; a celebration of the year's accomplishments and the change of officers; guest speaker Gov. Sonny Perdue; contact Elizabeth Donsbach at 821-1324 or the Augusta Metro chamber at 821-1300.

Recovery year has ups, downs
The 2003 economic year for Augusta was bittersweet: The metro area continued to feel the sting of jobs heading overseas, but at the same time managed to outpace the state and nation in job creation.

Digital cameras have not killed the film business

Club Car ready to unveil Precedent
For five years, it was simply known as Project Cleansheet.

Two years after the fall, here come the Enron trials

Business calendar

Two years after the fall, here come the Enron trials
HOUSTON -- First came Enron Corp.'s scandalous collapse. Then came the crackdowns. Now come the trials.

Fewer companies offering incentive bonuses this year

Business briefs
MEXICO CITY -- The biggest markets for U.S. beef around the world slammed shut Wednesday amid fears about a suspected case of mad cow disease in the United States, as Mexico, Japan and South Korea closed their borders to U.S. beef.

Tech spending expected to grow in 2004

Club Car ready to unveil Precedent

Kuhlke gets laugh from gavel
AUGUSTA COMMISSIONER Bill Kuhlke finally got a gavel. After eight years on the consolidated government board, he never served as chairman of one of four standing committees.

Kuhlke gets laugh from gavel
AUGUSTA COMMISSIONER Bill Kuhlke finally got a gavel. After eight years on the consolidated government board, he never served as chairman of one of four standing committees.

Winslow feels misunderstood in chaotic season

LSU makes short trip to Sugar city, aims for big prize
NEW ORLEANS -- LSU received a police escort to the door of its hotel in this party city, and coach Nick Saban quickly laid out a road map to success at the Sugar Bowl: Staying out of trouble.

Husker coaching situation overshadows Alamo Bowl

Husker coaching situation overshadows Alamo Bowl
SAN ANTONIO -- For four decades, Nebraska has been the most stable program in college football. The last four weeks have been different.

LSU makes short trip to Sugar city, aims for big prize

Winslow feels misunderstood in chaotic season
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Kellen Winslow is a little uneasy in front of television cameras these days. And probably for good reason.

Top 25 roundup

An easy way to help

This just might work
Wouldn't it be great if prison inmates could earn enough money to help compensate their victims, support their families and pay their incarceration costs while learning new job skills?

An easy way to help
Wouldn't you like to help out cash-strapped families whose breadwinners are on active duty in the National Guard or military reserves?

What market will bare
"We do not want this kind of activity in our city." - Augusta Commissioner Bobby Hankerson, on the adult entertainment store Video X-Mart

Fighting the good fight

Fighting the good fight
He spent the year in hiding. No one knows what, if anything of substance, he accomplished during the year. Further, he ended 2003 with the indignity of being fished out of a personal bunker and being checked for head lice.

Assessing the assessor
The Georgia Department of Revenue's performance review of the Richmond County Tax Assessor's Office found out that all is not well. Findings include:

Day-cares have to care
Even if Jackie Boatwright could collect the $33 million Superior Court Judge Albert M. Pickett awarded her last week, she'd still much rather have her son's health back.

Assessing the assessor

Ben Affleck on gossip fans, 'Paycheck' and, Lopez
LOS ANGELES -- Ben Affleck wants to tell you about his new sci-fi thriller "Paycheck." He does NOT want to tell you about the status of his romance with Jennifer Lopez.

Q&A With Renee Zellweger
LOS ANGELES -- Renee Zellweger keeps quietly defying expectations.

Michael Jackson says he was manhandled when he surrendered
NEW YORK -- Michael Jackson says he was manhandled by authorities when arrested last month on child molestation charges - and suffered a dislocated shoulder from the way he was handcuffed.

'Peter Pan' stars 'hyper' 12-year-old boy
LOS ANGELES -- "Peter Pan" is about a boy who never grows up, but usually he's played by women who are old enough to be his mother.

Consider uncluttering your financial life

Young Americans attracted to flexible retirement plans
CHICAGO - They're doing what financial experts say every young person should be doing, even in small amounts. They are twentysomethings, saving for that far-off, almost unimaginable time known as retirement - but not the way their parents did.

Consider uncluttering your financial life
NEW YORK -- Tired of dealing with a blizzard of bills every month? Confused by a flurry of statements from savings accounts old and new, large and small? Overwhelmed by stacks of documents when taxes are due?

The fund costs investors didn't know about
NEW YORK -- As the saying goes, what you don't know may cost you. That's been especially true for mutual fund investors this year.

Fund investors still cautious, but eyeing riskier choices

Clash now over mutual fund fees
NEW YORK -- Sometimes just the threat of the government meddling in your business can do a lot more to spur change than if it ever got involved. That could be exactly what happens in the crackdown on mutual fund fees.

Clash now over mutual fund fees

The fund costs investors didn't know about

Mutual fund investors enjoy remarkable quarter and year

Mutual fund investors enjoy remarkable quarter and year
NEW YORK -- As the Dow Jones industrials sailed back above 10,000 and the Nasdaq composite make its own solid recovery this past year, mutual fund investors held on to a mix of caution and aggression that was the real foundation for Wall Street's remarkable rebound.

China funds offer promise and risk
NEW YORK - Lured by the promise of China's growing economy, many investors are turning to mutual funds geared specifically toward investments in that region. But advisers warn that the potential for big returns comes with high risks and volatility.

Did you get your boss a holiday gift?

Did you get your boss a holiday gift?
Most of us say we're more likely to bestow baubles on co-workers instead of managers, according to a recent poll.

Young Americans attracted to flexible retirement plans

Fund investors still cautious, but eyeing riskier choices
NEW YORK -- While people are more likely to take chances in the stock market now than they were a year ago, most mutual fund investors remain conservative. But analysts say some are starting to take a few risks.

Tech's Dixon adjusts to role
ATLANTA - Three years ago, it was hard to find a Texas high school football player - much less a college recruiter - who didn't know the name Jimmy Dixon, star tailback.

Tech's Dixon adjusts to role

Resolutions, like papers, litter life

Senators defeat Thrashers
OTTAWA -- Marian Hossa scored twice and Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist Sunday to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Senators defeat Thrashers

History books get written one month at a time
We asked readers to vote for the top local story of 2003, and you did. The votes - mail, verbal and online computer - have been tallied, and the winner is last summer's death of South Carolina political giant Strom Thurmond at age 100.

A prayer for us all for the New Year

Pornography matters; war against it must continue
In response to the moving and heartfelt letter written by Gloria Rivera on Dec. 7, "Pornography affects sex addicts": Gary Garner, Augusta

A prayer for us all for the New Year
We will soon close the book on this year and open a new book for 2004. I hope the 2004 book will contain review chapters on good will, tolerance, open-mindedness, thoughtfulness, honesty, spirituality and love. Tracy E. Williams, Augusta

'Insanity' editorial insanely written
I found your Dec. 19 editorial entitled "Insanity" to be very disturbing. First, you call John Hinckley Jr. psychotic. Are you certain he is still psychotic? I believe he has schizophrenia, but if he is being released for unsupervised visits, I am certain that he is not now psychotic. I think you need to understand your terminology a little better. Bonnie A. Parker, Augusta

Georgia monitoring of SRS not needed
Regarding your Dec. 1 article, "River tritium tracking to end," and follow-on articles: William F. Lawless, Augusta

Georgia monitoring of SRS not needed

Planned Parenthood mostly plans lots of abortions
Because Planned Parenthood and their supporters continue to insist they are a benevolent, charitable organization existing only to help women, it might be interesting to look at some facts. Joyce Morris, Appling, Ga.

Online doctor visits may be gaining popularity

Wireless adapter brings PC tunes, pictures to TV

National Air and Space Museum takes off

Living briefs

Old-style home suits family's lavish holiday decorations

Photographers pick their tops shots from past year

Avionics computer gives improves small craft safely

Tunica RiverPark provides another reason to visit Mississippi

Tips offered for holiday partying

Shipwrecks of Great Lakes are popular place for divers

Techbits: Domain name sale, Appliances online

Symphony Guild Cotillion presents 19 debutantes

Mammoth Mountain, a Calif. hot spot for snow lovers

Game review: Voodoo Vince has dry, snarky humor

Living briefs
ABC's TV Guide: Greatest Moments 2003 is a Top 20 countdown that offers TV Guide's choices for the "funniest, hottest and most unforgettable moments" on TV this year.

Avionics computer gives improves small craft safely
BOISE, Idaho -- A new flight computer being marketed to pilots of small aircraft allows them to see through clouds, haze or dense fog, potentially eliminating the kind of disorientation that resulted in 159 fatalities over the last six years.

Home front
If you like to tinker, why not get a clock-making kit? Woodcraft Supply Corp. has an arts-and-crafts-style kit that features a quartz-movement, battery-operated clock with a glass lens. When completed, the clock sits 7 inches tall on a desk or mantel.

Photographers pick their tops shots from past year
Here is a look back at 2003's best local pictures, as picked by the people who took the photographs.

Online doctor visits may be gaining popularity
IRVING, Texas -- As a computer programmer, Kurt Soutendijk is comfortable with technology, so when his physician asked patients to try online doctor visits, he tried it.

Mammoth Mountain, a Calif. hot spot for snow lovers
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. -- For the fourth year in a row, the superpipe and terrain park at Mammoth Mountain's ski resort were the first in North America to open for the season, with storms in the Sierra range making for an early, auspicious start.

Symphony Guild Cotillion presents 19 debutantes
Nineteen debutantes were presented Nov. 28 at the Augusta Symphony Guild Cotillion at Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta.

Shipwrecks of Great Lakes are popular place for divers
MILWAUKEE - Like tourists in an underwater museum, divers in the Great Lakes explore shipwrecks searching for remnants of clothes, containers of food or even floating human remains.

Game review: Voodoo Vince has dry, snarky humor
In early brainstorming for "Voodoo Vince," creator Clayton Kauzlaric made a hasty sketch of what would become the main character, then scribbled a note nearby: "A game where getting hurt good."

Tunica RiverPark provides another reason to visit Mississippi
TUNICA, Miss. - A $26 million museum and ecological park has opened on the banks of the Mississippi River, the latest in a line entertainment developments largely paid for with casino tax money that Tunica County officials hope will lure a wider range of visitors.

Wireless adapter brings PC tunes, pictures to TV
A personal computer in the middle of an entertainment center is overkill, but it would be nice to hear all those songs and view those pictures from the comfort of the living room.

Tips offered for holiday partying
People have asked me many questions about the holidays.

Techbits: Domain name sale, Appliances online
NEW YORK -- One more sign the technology sector is rebounding: An Internet domain name is again commanding seven figures.

Old-style home suits family's lavish holiday decorations
Paula Carter promises herself every year that next Christmas will be different - no more gingerbread anywhere and everywhere in her kitchen.

National Air and Space Museum takes off
CHANTILLY, Va. -- The Enola Gay and a supersonic Concorde. A Blackbird spy plane and the space shuttle Enterprise. All these and many other flying machines can be found in the dazzling exhibits of history and technology at the Smithsonian Institution's new National Air and Space Museum.

Goulet leads Lynx to shootout win against Charlotte

IceGators beat hobbled Lynx

IceGators beat hobbled Lynx
There were two healthy Augusta goaltenders in the building Sunday.

Goulet leads Lynx to shootout win against Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Louis Goulet scored a goal and assisted on another as Augusta beat Charlotte 4-3 on Saturday night in a shootout.

ECHL notebook

ECHL notebook
He spent a lot of time in Chicago and can certainly pass for a mobster in those slick $500 suits he wears.

Chamber tries to ease burdens of growing community

New Year means big work, money for caterers, servers
AIKEN - It's the holidays, and somebody has to make the party happen.

Lynx game holds surprise for 5-year-old spectator
It was 5-year-old Bernisha Dumas' first hockey game - and one she'll never forget.

Attempts at finding hunter to continue
A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said Saturday that it is unlikely an Augusta hunter reported missing in Phinizy Swamp on Dec. 20 will be found alive.

GOP hold on state takes toll on rivals

Autopsy on man gives no answers
The cause of death of a man who was found in an Augusta parking lot Friday night was still undetermined after an autopsy Saturday.

Archbishop: Victims group cannot meet on church grounds

Correction
An article in Monday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle should have said that Goody Two Shoes is a retail store in Augusta.

Bonnie Bragdon
Former Richmond County Animal Control Director Bonnie Bragdon is enjoying the rewards of private practice but misses her old job.

Local Kwanzaa celebrations begin
Against a backdrop of drumbeats and rhythmic chanting, a line of school-age children moved in unison Saturday, marking the second day of Kwanzaa with a "praise dance."

UGA president reflects on year of controversy
ATHENS, Ga. -- Looking back on a year that had some alumni and donors calling for his resignation and fans booing him at a football game, UGA president Michael Adams said he wasn't rattled by the criticism.

Kid of the Day
Today's Kid of the Day is Shelby Balliet.

Across South Carolina

Dasia Turner
Three-year-old Dasia Turner said last week that she was hoping for happy holidays with her family.

'For the Chipper' program converts Christmas trees into mulch

Mohandas Martin
In a classroom at Southgate Christian School, Mohandas Martin sits on a stool, leans on a lectern and, looking down at a textbook, runs through grammar exercises with a class of seventh-graders.

New Year means big work, money for caterers, servers

Orlando Martinez
His decision made him a reviled figure in Augusta, but Orlando Martinez still maintains that he was acting only for the good of children.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is TyQuez Clifton Hodge, 11, of Augusta.

Drivers could be paying to use Hwy. 316 in few years
ATHENS, Ga. -- Future University of Georgia students, commuters and football fans, start saving your spare change.

Hunter search turns up nothing
The Department of Natural Resources said Sunday it will continue periodic searches this week of Phinizy Swamp until Charles Gerald Logan Jr., a hunter missing in the swamp, is found.

Archbishop: Victims group cannot meet on church grounds
ATLANTA -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta will not allow a support group for victims of the church's sex abuse scandal to meet on church grounds.

After a decade in use, law has emerged as compromise for juries
ATLANTA -- A 10-year-old law that allows juries to sentence murderers to life in prison without parole has become an agreeable alternative to the death penalty.

Chamber tries to ease burdens of growing community
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- One community here is trying to find out and solve the problems faced by their growing immigrant population.

War, death are states' top news

Schools try to tackle athlete health concerns
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A handful of South Carolina schools have gone to extraordinary lengths in recent years to help its young athletes determine whether they have a hidden disease that could cause them to die suddenly without symptoms.

Bethune's rich clay inspires potters

"Radio" plays well across the country
ANDERSON, S.C. -- It looks like Radio's story was as well received across the country as it was in South Carolina.

Re-enactors remember Savannah's battle anniversary

Dogs teach impoverished children about character, acceptance
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After a decade in use, law has emerged as compromise for juries

Kevin Millward
It's hard to imagine a middle school athlete - or any athlete, for that matter - having a better year than Kevin Millward.

Custodian takes care of pupils, too

Siyuan Liang

Drivers could be paying to use Hwy. 316 in few years

Across the area
Richmond County authorities said someone robbed an Augusta wireless store Saturday night.

Hunter search turns up nothing

GOP hold on state takes toll on rivals
AIKEN - In days long gone, when yellow dog Democrats ruled the South and almost all of Dixie's politics was stamped with a capital D, the party could count on a rich crop of courthouse and Statehouse politicians ripe and ready to run for governor or U.S. senator.

Five questions
Barbara Morgan, solicitor for South Carolina's 2nd Judicial Circuit, answers five questions.

Across Georgia and South Carolina

Aaron Booher
Last month, 16-year-old Aaron Booher spent his first birthday in years at home instead of in a hospital room.

Aiken plans to guard creek
AIKEN - What city officials termed industrial progress decades ago could pose problems for their successors, who are trying to protect one of Aiken's main water sources.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA -Police have arrested two teenagers in a series of crimes, including the killing of a store manager.

Slain S.C. soldier honored at funeral
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Family and friends on Saturday laid to rest a Taylors soldier who died in Iraq this month.

Student remains confident despite trials of leukemia
Her voice was calm and steady, almost upbeat as she sat next to her bed at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Re-enactors remember Savannah's battle anniversary
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- It's a dubious distinction for Georgia, but dozens of re-enactors gathered this weekend to celebrate the Battle of Savannah, one of the worst American defeats of the Revolutionary War.

Federal decision nears on Macon brick plant's mining expansion request
MACON, Ga. -- A federal decision nears on whether a 50-year permit will be granted to expand mining operations in an area that has ancient mounds, environmental health and flood protection levels.

'For the Chipper' program converts Christmas trees into mulch
A statewide program wants Georgians to give their Christmas trees a second life.

Spc. Steven "Brad" Monaco
EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Spc. Steven "Brad" Monaco has come a long way in the months since the injuries from a truck accident in Iraq sent him home.

Mohandas Martin

Across Georgia and South Carolina
COLUMBUS, Ga. -The Rev. Al Sharpton took his presidential campaign to west Georgia on Friday, vowing to return if investigations don't lead to answers in the death of a black Columbus man shot to death by police.

Aiken plans to guard creek

News you can use
DEC. 29, 1959 President Eisenhower, accompanied by his wife, flew into Bush Field on Sunday for a post-Christmas round of golf, relaxation and work at the Augusta National.

'Chronicle' reviews year's newsmakers
What do a high school teacher, a football kicker and a precocious 3-year-old have in common? What about a former state administrator, a lung-transplant survivor and an adult-bookstore manager? In one way or another, all were local newsmakers during 2003.

'Chronicle' reviews year's newsmakers

Rants and raves
MAYBE SADDAM WAS not sitting on a box of mass destruction like one rant implied, but I'm inclined to think that anyone responsible for the death of thousands and thousands of men, women and children is a weapon of mass destruction.

News you can use

News you can use
Dec. 28, 1978 Augusta's Bush Field is one of 12 airfields in the Southeast that will take part in Phase 1 of the Federal Aviation Administration's new safety radar program, expected to be completed in December 1979. The radar system is intended to provide increased protection against in-flight collisions and "near collisions," according to administration officials.

Slain S.C. soldier honored at funeral

Rants and raves
MAYBE SADDAM WAS not sitting on a box of mass destruction like one rant implied, but I'm inclined to think that anyone responsible for the death of thousands and thousands of men, women and children is a weapon of mass destruction.

State backs firm in charge of YDC

Across the area

Across the area

Kid of the Day

Kid of the day

Kevin Millward

Across Georgia

Siyuan Liang
Last Christmas, Siyuan Liang was stuck in his native China, unable to return to Augusta and be with his family. This year, he spent the holidays in a different world - Disney World.

Airport, road projects will keep division busy

Dan and Angela Hall
Dan and Angela Hall spearheaded change this year in the Columbia County school system's policy governing the way pupils are transported to school-sanctioned events.

UGA president reflects on year of controversy

Attempts at finding hunter to continue

News you can use

Spc. Steven "Brad" Monaco

Board of Education offices to open in February

Local Kwanzaa celebrations begin

Schools try to tackle athlete health concerns

Bethune's rich clay inspires potters
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Otis Norris grew up playing on the rich, clay soil around his Bethune home. But he never dreamed he would make a living molding that same clay into works of art.

Student remains confident despite trials of leukemia

Jimmy Cassandro
Augusta Video X-Mart, an adult video and bookstore that opened Jan. 20 on Gordon Highway and closed this month when its license was revoked, continues to be a community debating point.

Dogs teach impoverished children about character, acceptance

First year challenged Perdue

Lynx game holds surprise for 5-year-old spectator

Autopsy on man gives no answers

Custodian takes care of pupils, too
RIDGE SPRING, S.C. - All of the pupils and faculty at Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary-Middle School know Otis Miles Jr. as a person they can talk to about their problems and always count on for a good laugh.

Bonnie Bragdon

Board of Education offices to open in February
Originally expected to be complete by Christmas, the new downtown headquarters for the Richmond County Board of Education won't open for employees until mid-February, construction officials say.

State backs firm in charge of YDC
Despite its troubling record in other states, Georgia officials say they are more than satisfied with the company picked to take over the Augusta Youth Development Campus next year.

Airport, road projects will keep division busy
If there were a transportation crystal ball for 2004, it would show visions of a new airport terminal project, a completed Bobby Jones Expressway extension and more construction on Interstate 20.

Rants and Raves
HERE'S A RAVE for your Rants and Raves column. It's a moronic column, but it gives us with normal IQs a good laugh almost every day. Thank you.

War, death are states' top news
Jorge and Yolanda Rincon never wanted to be part of the top story in Georgia for 2003. Not this way.

Across the area
An Augusta man told police that someone stabbed him late Saturday while he was walking from a gas station.

Across Georgia
GAINESVILLE -Forecasts of a warm New Year's Day could dampen the chill of the annual Polar Bear Swim.

I resolve to know better for '04
Late-night talk show host David Letterman has his Stupid Pet Tricks. The sports media has its Stupid Human Picks.

Resolutions, like papers, litter life
What did I learn from my mistakes in 2003? How do I hope to improve myself in 2004?

'Return of the King' remains No. 1
LOS ANGELES -- The final installment of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy continued to reign at the box office despite a handful of new openings as Hollywood had its best Christmas weekend ever.

'Return of the King' remains No. 1

Composer Burnett tackles Civil War-era music
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When producer T Bone Burnett set out to make the soundtrack to the Civil War-era film, "Cold Mountain," he drew as much from his love of rock 'n' roll as from traditional American music.

Sound Bites: audio reviews of new albums
"Mona Lisa Smile," the soundtrack for the new Julia Roberts film set in the 1950s, alternates between schmaltzy and sweet, as artists of today tackle classic songs with varying results.

Composer Burnett tackles Civil War-era music

Tokyo catches disco fever, again
TOKYO -- James Brown, circa 1972, is blasting from the speakers. Thousands of drops of light swirl around an otherwise dark, smoky dance floor, where a group of enthusiastic, middle-aged regulars do the soul cha cha, the funky Broadway, the old man.

Tokyo catches disco fever, again

Sound Bites: audio reviews of new albums

War in Iraq overwhelming choice as top news story of 2003

War in Iraq overwhelming choice as top news story of 2003
The "major combat" phase was over in six weeks, but the war in Iraq - from its tumultuous prelude to a still-active insurgency - was in the global spotlight throughout the year.

Atlanta cures Detroit's woes

Atlanta cures Detroit's woes
ATLANTA -- Ben Wallace made two late free throws - his first points of the game - and had a block on the next possession, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Atlanta Hawks 87-84 Saturday night.

Women's roundup
ATLANTA - The guard trio of Doneeka Hodges, Temeka Johnson and Seimone Augustus made sure LSU didn't need much from inside the paint.

Top 25 roundup
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Antonio Burks scored 17 points and Sean Banks added 13 points and eight rebounds in Memphis' 61-59 victory over No. 11 Missouri, the Tigers' third loss in four games.

Panthers beat Giants

Phillips, Del Rio renew relationship in season finale

Lack of opponent forces Belichick to work on all of them

Vick, Falcons top Jaguars

Mrs. Carrie Morgan    (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)
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Mrs. Viola Twiggs    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Rosa Carter    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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SFC Jack Wahl    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Eston Wall    (LEXINGTON, S.C.)
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Mr. George Tebow    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Marjolie Knight    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Eleanor Stephens    (BATH, S.C.)
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Infant Christopher Bradley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. T.J. Stallings    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. T.J. Stallings    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Annie Singletary    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Leila Cody    (MONETTA, S.C.)
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Mr. William Rutledge    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Robert Gladman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Bob Roper    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Marvin Martin    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Marilyn Priester    (BRUNSON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Vera Britt    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Capt. Samuel Piercy    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Kathryn Ashley    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Derrill Owens    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mr. George Tebow    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Marie Oglesby    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Ms. Eliza Winn    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
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Ms. Marian O'Hara    (SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.)
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Mrs. Rosa Carter    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Lukas Morris    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Lucille de Medicis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Carrie Morgan    (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)
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Mr. Hubert Moore    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Hubert Moore    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Herman Haynes    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Robert Mills    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Rozella Little    (BATH, S.C.)
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Mr. Earl McRae    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mr. Earl McRae    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Tsgt. Donald McCloud, Jr.    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
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Mr. Lloyd Burkhart    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Mark Maynard    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Ray Whitfield    (BONAIRE, Ga.)
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Mr. Richard Maulbeck    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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Mr. John Bettis    (ROOSEVELT, N.Y.)
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Mr. Herb Matheson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Terri Usry    (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)
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Mrs. Rozella Little    (BATH, S.C.)
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Ms. Rena Toby    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mrs. Sarawill Lawrence    (CRAWFORDVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Eleanor Stephens    (BATH, S.C.)
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Mrs. Marjolie Knight    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Ms. Annie Singletary    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Aaron Willis, Jr.    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Linda Wooten    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Willie Simmons, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Featured obituary: Mrs. Mae R. Jones
Perseverance and patience are virtues Willie J. Jones learned to appreciate when he met his wife of 37 years, Mae R. Jones.

Mr. Willie Kinard    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mr. Julian Anderson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Ulysses Kendrick, Sr.    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Vera Britt    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Otis Jones    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mrs. Martha Cleland    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Irene Howard    (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Hattie Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Wallace Horne    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Margaret Gillis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. David Hicks    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Kimberly Bell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Featured obituary: Mr. Kester Bodie
AIKEN - Kester Bodie inherited a love of the land from his father and an eye for flowers from his mother.

Mr. Jerome Gilyard    (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)
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Mrs. Donna Henderson    (LITTLE ROCK, Ark.)
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Mrs. Ethelene Greene    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Patricia Heitmann    (TIGNALL, Ga.)
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Mr. Wallace Horne    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mattie Harris    (DEVERAUX, Ga.)
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Ms. Jacqueline Lewis    (HARLEM, Ga.)
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Mrs. Margaret Gillis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Richard Lyons    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Daisy Davis    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Tsgt. Donald McCloud, Jr.    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
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Mrs. Leila Cody    (MONETTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Robert Mills    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Hattie Chavous    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Florence Bishop    (TWIN CITY, Ga.)
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Mrs. Marjolie Knight (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Ms. Marian O'Hara (SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.)

Mr. William Rutledge (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Carrie Morgan (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)

Mrs. Florence Bishop (TWIN CITY, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Mills (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Ms. Rena Toby (MILLEN, Ga.)

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

Mr. Eston Wall (LEXINGTON, S.C.)

Mr. Lukas Morris (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Ms. Annie Singletary (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Patricia Heitmann (TIGNALL, Ga.)

Mr. Hubert Moore (EVANS, Ga.)

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

Mr. Richard Lyons (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rozella Little (BATH, S.C.)

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

Mr. Mark Maynard (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Hattie Chavous (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Wallace Horne (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Marilyn Priester (BRUNSON, S.C.)

Mrs. Eleanor Stephens (BATH, S.C.)

Mrs. Irene Howard (SNELLVILLE, Ga.)

Featured obituary: Mrs. Mae R. Jones

Mrs. Mattie Harris (DEVERAUX, Ga.)

Mrs. Terri Usry (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)

Mr. Bob Roper (THOMSON, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Rosa Carter (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Willie Simmons, Sr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Robert Mills (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mrs. Rozella Little (BATH, S.C.)

Mr. Herman Haynes (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Ethelene Greene (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. John Bettis (ROOSEVELT, N.Y.)

Mrs. Margaret Gillis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Kinard (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Mr. Robert Gladman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Infant Christopher Bradley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Vera Britt (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Kathryn Ashley (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Ms. Jacqueline Lewis (HARLEM, Ga.)

Mr. George Tebow (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Derrill Owens (TRENTON, S.C.)

Mr. Jerome Gilyard (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)

Mr. Lloyd Burkhart (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

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

Mr. Wallace Horne (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Carrie Morgan (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)

Ms. Eliza Winn (McCORMICK, S.C.)

Mr. Ulysses Kendrick, Sr. (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. Otis Jones (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. George Tebow (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Daisy Davis (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mrs. Hattie Chavous (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Viola Twiggs (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Martha Cleland (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Carter (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Julian Anderson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Democratic presidential candidates preach hate
WHAT HAS HAPPENED to "united we stand?" Yes, as Americans, we can disagree and have the right to voice those disagreements, but destructive rhetoric about the war in Iraq for the purpose of self-promotion is demoralizing to our troops and the American people. Unfortunately, we can expect nothing more from the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Their words and their actions are unpatriotic.

Democratic presidential candidates preach hate
WHAT HAS HAPPENED to "united we stand?" Yes, as Americans, we can disagree and have the right to voice those disagreements, but destructive rhetoric about the war in Iraq for the purpose of self-promotion is demoralizing to our troops and the American people. Unfortunately, we can expect nothing more from the candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Their words and their actions are unpatriotic.

Overtime

Area sports announcements

Dooley vs. Adams is No. 1 sports story

Lance Armstrong: AP Male Athlete of the Year

Bowden, Tigers top 2003 South Carolina sports scene

Overtime

Dooley vs. Adams is No. 1 sports story
Here are the top 10 Georgia sports stories of 2003 as voted on by AP members statewide:

Overtime
Former major leaguer Ivan Calderon was shot to death Saturday in Loiza, Puerto Rico. He was 42.

Area sports announcements
Note: Announcements for participatory events must be written, delivered, mailed or faxed to The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928, with a return address and phone number. No phone calls are accepted. Fax number: (706) 823-3408. The announcements will be published weekly.

Bowden, Tigers top 2003 South Carolina sports scene
Almost as soon as Clemson coach Tommy Bowden rushed off the field following his team's demoralizing and inexplicable Tangerine Bowl loss last December, he knew the next 12 months would be like no others.

Lance Armstrong: AP Male Athlete of the Year
AUSTIN, Texas -- For Lance Armstrong, 2003 was a year of personal and professional struggles and triumph.

Overtime
Dogwood Stable of Aiken broke its single-season earnings record when Fond won the Open Mind Stakes at Aqueduct Race Track in New York on Sunday.

Teen bags buck during youth hunt
Katherine Sheetz, 15, took her first deer two seasons ago during a memorable youth hunt on Georgia's Ossabaw Island. This fall, the Columbia County teen was fortunate enough to be drawn for the hunt again.

Outdoors calendar
Sat., Jan. 3: The Savannah River Rifle & Pistol Club will hold its monthly match beginning with sight-in at 11 a.m. at its range near New Holland, S.C. For details call 803-642-6380 or go to www.srrpclub.com.

Lake must be lowered for ramp installation
Columbia County's long-awaited bass tournament complex on Clarks Hill Lake is taking shape - but pouring the concrete for the dual-lane launch ramps will require some creative engineering.

Edwards files in South Carolina vote
COLUMBIA - U.S. Sen. John Edwards focused on Democrats regaining the White House in a speech to supporters outside state Democratic headquarters Saturday.

First year challenged Perdue
ATLANTA - Just one year ago, Georgia was on the brink of huge changes.

Fassel's Giants finale is Fox's and Panthers' prep for playoffs
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There haven't been many signs in the last few days that Jim Fassel is winding up a seven-year tenure as the New York Giants' coach.

Panthers beat Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Carolina Panthers wrapped up the third seed in the NFC playoffs by closing out the career of one New York Giants coach and setting up a date with a former one - Bill Parcells.

Phillips, Del Rio renew relationship in season finale
ATLANTA -- Wade Phillips and Jack Del Rio go back a long way, even though their relationship got off to a rocky start.

Vick, Falcons top Jaguars
ATLANTA -- This day belonged to Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons, and not even one of the worst plays of his career could spoil it.

Falcons get permission to interview Niners' Mora
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Atlanta Falcons have received permission to interview San Francisco defensive coordinator Jim Mora for their head coaching position.

Lack of opponent forces Belichick to work on all of them
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Leave it to Bill Belichick to find something wrong with the best record in the NFL.

Pope presses for greater defense of traditional marriage, saying 'misunderstood' sense of rights alters it
VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II pressed his campaign against gay unions Sunday, calling for greater defense of the institution of marriage between man and woman and saying a "misunderstood" sense of rights was altering it.

Lake must be lowered for ramp installation

I resolve to know better for '04

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week

James Caan tries series TV in NBC's 'Las Vegas'
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- James Caan is not good at sitting still. The star of the NBC series "Las Vegas" is talking, gesturing and fidgeting in a makeup chair while his face and hair are smoothed and a fake tattoo transfer wiped off his forearm.

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week
LOS ANGELES -- Take a quiet interlude on the first evening of 2004 to remember Fred Rogers - that's Mister Rogers, to us - and the integrity he brought to children's television.

Cronkite getting ready for his annual Vienna New Year

Tavis Smiley gets back into TV game on PBS
LOS ANGELES -- A sign that Tavis Smiley's new PBS talk show is not standard-issue for public television: The set was created by tennis star and aspiring designer Venus Williams.

Tavis Smiley gets back into TV game on PBS

Cronkite getting ready for his annual Vienna New Year
NEW YORK -- If there was ever a time to grant Walter Cronkite a pass on his annual New Year's trip to Vienna, this would be it.

James Caan tries series TV in NBC's 'Las Vegas'

'Peter Pan' stars 'hyper' 12-year-old boy

Q&A With Renee Zellweger

Ben Affleck on gossip fans, 'Paycheck' and, Lopez

Bennett leaves mark at Georgia

Richt says team bounces back from poor practice

Bennett leaves mark at Georgia
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Billy Bennett was used to kicking a ball in motion.

Richt says team bounces back from poor practice
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Georgia coach Mark Richt is feeling better about his team.

Bulldogs get revenge on Jackets
ATLANTA - Once was more than enough for the Georgia women's basketball team.

Bulldogs get revenge on Jackets

Remembering the 2000 Outback Bowl
ATHENS, Ga. - The fear and anxiety of the arrival of the new millennium turned out to be much ado about nothing on Jan. 1, 2000, when Georgia played in the Outback Bowl.

Remembering the 2000 Outback Bowl

Caldwell tells Holtz he's returning to Vanderbilt
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Lou Holtz's offseason took another unexpected twist Saturday when recently hired assistant Robbie Caldwell returned to his old position at Vanderbilt.

Caldwell tells Holtz he's returning to Vanderbilt

Pope presses for greater defense of traditional marriage, saying 'misunderstood' sense of rights alters it