Larry Brown returns with violent and bawdy novel

Baxter updates golem legend for new millennium

Baxter updates golem legend for new millennium
"Saul and Patsy." By Charles Baxter. Pantheon. 317 Pages. $24.

Writing duo takes another whack at President Bush
"Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America." By Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose. Random House. 347 Pages. $24.95.

Book tells how billions of tax dollars go up in smoke

Larry Brown returns with violent and bawdy novel
"The Rabbit Factory." By Larry Brown. Free Press. 339 Pages. $25.

Book tells how billions of tax dollars go up in smoke
"A Season of Fire: Four Months on the Firelines of America's Forests." By Douglas Gantenbein. Tarcher-Putnam. 393 Pages. $24.95.

Writing duo takes another whack at President Bush

Magic and realism mix in novel of 1970s Brooklyn

Magic and realism mix in novel of 1970s Brooklyn
"The Fortress of Solitude." By Jonathan Lethem. Doubleday. 511 Pages. $26.

Holidays don't keep sightseers at home

Fire survivor, believed dead and cremated, turns out to be alive in hospital
GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- A woman believed to have died after a house fire has been discovered alive in a Boston hospital.

Crowded classrooms prompt Florida county to buy empty Kmart stores to use as schools
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -- Lines of students instead of shoppers will fill two Kmart stores when county officials convert them into schools by 2005.

Odds and Ends
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Those looking to get their new year off to a sizzling start have a hot option.

Inspectors say runaway escalator at Coors Field lacked safety switch
DENVER -- A major safety switch was missing from an escalator when it malfunctioned at Coors Field this summer, injuring dozens of baseball fans, city inspectors said Tuesday.

School land will go on sale
In the commercial land buffet that covers Washington Road in Evans, the prime entree has real estate agents salivating.

Cobern building gets new life

Foreign workers come to S.C. resort on special visa program

School land will go on sale

Business briefs

Cobern building gets new life
A local businessman has purchased the Cobern Furniture building, saying a resurgent downtown offers many options for one of Broad Street's biggest vacant properties.

Business briefs
DETROIT - Generous incentives and an improving economy appear to be lifting sales of new cars and trucks to one of the highest levels of the year in December.

Euro hits new record high against the dollar, rises above $1.25
FRANKFURT, Germany -- The euro kept on rolling against the U.S. dollar on Monday, climbing above $1.25 for the first time in its five-year history.

Foreign workers come to S.C. resort on special visa program
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Each year around March, hundreds of Jamaicans come to South Carolina to work in seasonal cooking, cleaning and service jobs at area resorts.

Consumer confidence pulls back slightly in December

Treasury Department suggest new rules for tax shelter advisers
WASHINGTON -- Lawyers, accountants and other tax advisers would be required to take certain steps when weighing in on a client's use of a tax shelter, the Bush administration proposed Monday in its latest effort to crack down on dubious tax-avoidance schemes.

Augusta attorneys join firm
Three Augusta attorneys have left a Savannah law firm to merge with a local legal practice.

Consumer confidence pulls back slightly in December
NEW YORK -- Anxiety about the job market is causing consumer confidence levels to dip, while housing sales also are slowing. But economists aren't worried - they say the outlook for improvement remains rosy, and the pullbacks are a normal kink in the economy's path to recovery.

Business briefs
INDIANAPOLIS - Eli Lilly and Co. on Monday said it has won regulatory approval to sell its new drug Symbyax to treat the depressive phase of bipolar disorder.

Euro hits new record high against the dollar, rises above $1.25

Freshman lifts Clemson
CLEMSON, S.C. - As the final seconds ticked away from his team's victory over Boston College on Tuesday night, Vernon Hamilton had no idea he was just one assist from a triple-double.

Bowden: Others had struggles, too

Bowden: Others had struggles, too
ATLANTA - Clemson coach Tommy Bowden hears the critics. He reads the newspaper. He listens to the pundits.

Freshman lifts Clemson

Oddsmakers love SEC - except in national championship game
ATLANTA -- The Las Vegas oddsmakers are in love with the Southeastern Conference this bowl season in every game except the one that matters most - the Sugar Bowl national championship game between second-ranked LSU and No. 3 Oklahoma.

College bowl game overview
MUSIC CITY BOWL- WISCONSIN (7-5) vs. AUBURN (7-5) The Coliseum, Nashville, Tenn., Noon, ESPN COACHES: Barry Alvarez (99-66-4 in 14th year at Wisconsin) and Tommy Tuberville (37-24 in 5th year at Auburn).

Bowl lineups
HOUSTON BOWL

Missouri, Arkansas match dominating quarterbacks, big ground games
SHREVEPORT, La. -- When Arkansas coach Houston Nutt watches Missouri on game film, it's almost like watching a mirror image of his own team. The same goes for the Tigers' Gary Pinkel.

Sun Bowl teams donate 2,000 tickets to soldiers

Oklahoma State, Ole Miss looking for boost from Cotton Bowl

College bowl game overview

Vols looking to avoid repeat of '02 Peach Bowl
ATLANTA -- Tennessee's Casey Clausen walked to the end of the table to sit in the place marked by his name tag.

Vols looking to avoid repeat of '02 Peach Bowl

Auburn's offense finally finding groove

Taylor hoping for repeat performance against FSU

Sun Bowl teams donate 2,000 tickets to soldiers
EL PASO, Texas -- Minnesota and Oregon each donated 1,000 Sun Bowl tickets to soldiers preparing for duty in Iraq.

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma defends title claim

Oklahoma State, Ole Miss looking for boost from Cotton Bowl
DALLAS -- Oklahoma State and Mississippi hope playing in the Cotton Bowl will vault them out of their histories of measured success and into eras of big-time winning.

Missouri, Arkansas match dominating quarterbacks, big ground games

Taylor hoping for repeat performance against FSU
MIAMI -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden placed his hand on his face and tilted his head back slightly, trying to remember the last player to "intimidate" his offense like All-American safety Sean Taylor did in October.

Arkansas prepares to slow down Missouri's Brad Smith
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Arkansas sees a dual-threat every day in practice in its own Matt Jones, who this year set the school's rushing mark by a quarterback for this third straight season.

Auburn's offense finally finding groove
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Auburn's offense went on a crash diet before the regular-season finale against Alabama - with impressive results.

Bowl lineups

Texas Tech sinks Navy
HOUSTON -- B.J. Symons did what he's done all year, busted knee and all.

Arkansas prepares to slow down Missouri's Brad Smith

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma defends title claim
NEW ORLEANS -- Oklahoma defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek has heard all the talk about whether the 12-1 Sooners - No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings but No. 3 in the Associated Press poll - deserve to be here playing LSU for the BCS national title.

Texas Tech sinks Navy

No. 6 Wake Forest defeats North Carolina A&T

No. 12 Georgia Lady Bulldogs mauls E. Kentucky

La Salle rolls past S. Carolina St.

Jaguars lose again as rally falls short

UConn No. 1 for third straight week

Texas Tech reaches highest ranking in women's poll

No. 15 Pittsburgh defeats Georgia

No. 3 Georgia Tech puts sting on VCU

International golf academy calls area home

New Year's resolutions

DOE perils Ga. water

Mad cow? Don't panic

Nature's quiet terrorist
What would the public outcry be like if terrorists were killing 30,000 Americans a year - on U.S. soil?

Nature's quiet terrorist

New Year's resolutions
There's a Web site for just about everything these days, including one on how to keep your New Year's resolutions. And, actually, the advice is pretty good. First, it lists the most frequently made resolutions:

Mad cow? Don't panic
What's a person to believe?

DOE perils Ga. water
It's true, as Savannah River Site manager Jeffrey Allison says, that the state of South Carolina's radiation monitoring program is robust, thorough and detailed.

People in the News
LONDON -- Rock guitarist Pete Townshend considered suicide after his arrest on suspicion of possessing child pornography, a newspaper quoted him as saying.

Nasdaq, Dow up as Wall Street extends year's advance
NEW YORK -- The Nasdaq composite index burst past the 2,000 milestone Monday, and the Dow Jones industrials surged more than 120 points as investors shook off concerns about the impact of mad cow disease and looked optimistically toward 2004.

Nasdaq, Dow up as Wall Street extends year's advance

Stocks mixed in hesitant year-end trading

Stocks mixed in hesitant year-end trading
NEW YORK -- Blue chip shares pulled back, but most stocks finished higher Tuesday, extending a year-end rally that has propelled major market measures to the highest levels in nearly two years.

Company produces King of cookbooks

Holiday spices enliven Moroccan-style lamb dish

Company produces King of cookbooks
NEW YORK - To those of you for whom baked goods come wrapped in plastic, to whom rolling pins are merely wielded by cartoon battle-axes and ovens are convenient places to store household bric-a-brac - King Arthur flour may be just an ingredient.

Holiday spices enliven Moroccan-style lamb dish
Warm cinnamon and saffron combine with coriander and cumin to lend complex flavor to this Moroccan-style dish.

Small portions
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - From romantic sipping to festive New Year's toasts, for many people sparkling wine makes the occasion.

Small portions

Dining guide

Zesty pork chili is a hot item
Lean pork tenderloin cooks up tender in just 5 minutes, yet delivers simmered-all-day flavor. That's good news for times when you need a robust, warming meal at short notice on a cold winter day.

Recipe lets vegetables break gourmet ground
CONCORD, N.H. - Just once I'd like to throw a glamorous New Year's Eve party, something a notch or two above sitting on the couch with my wife, a pizza, a stack of DVDs and the obligatory bubbly.

Dining guide
THE EATERY: Fire Mountain, 1275 Knox Ave., North Augusta, reviewed Dec. 26

Recipe lets vegetables break gourmet ground

Zesty pork chili is a hot item

Restaurant serves up something different
I'll be the first to tell you that I'm no adventurous eater.

Plants cheer up dark corners
The darkest days are upon us, making the darkest rooms that much darker. Let's cheer up those dark rooms with living plants and let's avoid using artificial lights in the process. Artificial light is of limited use, either because plants must be set within just a few inches of them or because they cast an eerie glow over plants and furniture. In either case, darkness might be more hospitable.

Plants cheer up dark corners

Jackets ready for snow
ATLANTA - The weather is promising to be a critical figure in the Humanitarian Bowl. What else would you expect in Boise, Idaho in early January?

Jackets ready for snow

A grand slam, a grand year for Sorenstam

A grand slam, a grand year for Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam started the year just like any other, focusing on the major championships.

So many captains, so few cups

Tales from the tour
Never judge a golf season by first impressions.

So many captains, so few cups
When the Presidents Cup made its debut in 1994, captains Hale Irwin and David Graham were in their late 40s.

Nicklaus has designs on the world
Jack Nicklaus was only half-joking when he spoke of flying along the Southern Cape of South Africa, a spectacular coastline that reminds him of California.

Nicklaus has designs on the world

Tales from the tour

Prep basketball scores

AHL suspends three Philadelphia players for game-ending brawl

AHL suspends three Philadelphia players for game-ending brawl
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Three members of the Philadelphia Phantoms were suspended by the AHL on Tuesday for their roles in a game-ending brawl against the Binghamton Senators over the weekend that forced officials to end the game early because there weren't enough players to continue.

Give dinner a French twist in slow cooker
Although we enjoy fairly mild winters here in the South, January's cooler weather still calls for stick-to-your-ribs fare. This week's recipe for Slow Cooker Cassoulet was inspired by a classic French preparation of beans, sausage and other meats but is quickly assembled in your slow cooker.

Give dinner a French twist in slow cooker

Holidays don't keep sightseers at home
Nothing ever goes away.- - Barry Commoner

Ashcroft bows out of leak probe, sources say
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General John Ashcroft is recusing himself from White House leaks investigation, sources say.

Police search for shooter in afternoon homicide
Richmond County sheriff's deputies are searching for a man who they said was involved in a shooting at an Augusta gas station parking lot this afternoon, officials said.

Commissioner Lee Beard has died
Augusta District 1 Commissioner Lee Beard died this morning at an Augusta hospital, officials said.

Don't live in world with blinders on; keep X-Mart closed
I've read recent articles concerning the X-Mart on Gordon Highway - some against but, unfortunately, most in favor of keeping open such a depraved odious pit of pornography. I would like to point out to those who are for such trash that most problems stem from reading or watching pornography. Barbara A. Mohler, Augusta

Writer's ideology should be kept to himself

Reforms should help doctors, not worry them
It never ceases to amaze me how "experts" like Allison Kelly, (Dec. 21 guest column, "Georgia needs reforms in both insurance, health-care industries") have answers to our health-care problems while never having practiced a single minute of patient care. James C. Sherman, M.D., Augusta

Lottery message erodes drive of capable people
Henry T. Edmondson's guest column of Dec. 18, "Georgia Lottery a victim of its own success," described several problems related to the Georgia Lottery. He described the broad and increasing demand for HOPE Scholarship funds, that the greatest source of lottery income is from low-income people and the very low probability of significant winnings. I agree and would like to extend his remarks. Bill Wolff, Martinez, Ga.

Those who served gave us right to protest
I read with a painful memory Dick Donnelly's Dec. 24 letter, "Declares peaceful protest of Iraq war is his right." Everett Fernandez, Augusta

Those who served gave us right to protest

Discrimination behind replacement of principal
In reference to the Dec. 2 Metro article, "Ex-principal files lawsuit": Doris A. Jones, Augusta (Editor's note: The writer is on the board of directors of the THSAA.)

Writer's ideology should be kept to himself
Regarding the Dec. 10 letter by high-school English teacher R. Brian Clardy, "Describing Bush as spoiled is silly," and his attack on Anne Cook's Nov. 23 letter, "Bush acts as though he was a stubborn child": Pastor Wesley G. Ellis, Hephzibah, Ga.

Lottery message erodes drive of capable people

Reforms should help doctors, not worry them

Compubug's Dubious Achievement Awards

Events help ring in new year

Seniors calendar

Bring your dancing shoes to Club 706

Fears, abuse accompany proliferation of Internet maps

Experts: Antiquated flu vaccine system needs updating

Alaska quake may give insight into next big Calif. temblor

Several drugs fight flu

Hot flashes too bad for some women to quit hormones; antidepressants an option

Peek

In the know
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words and dream live on with a legacy longer than the history books can record.

Peek
Ready for a road trip? Sevendust rocks Atlanta's Tabernacle in an all-ages show at 8 p.m. Saturday. Ill Nino and Element 80 open at the Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St., downtown. Tickets cost $22 and are available through Ticketmaster outlets. See the Web site www.sevendust.com.

Hot flashes too bad for some women to quit hormones; antidepressants an option
WASHINGTON -- About a quarter of women who stop taking hormone replacement therapy because of its risks wind up resuming the pills because of menopause misery, says the first research to explore how easy it is to quit.

Seniors calendar
The Seniors Calendar lists activities and groups of interest to senior citizens. Please call the service agencies for information. To have your activity listed, write to Seniors Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send a fax to 722-7403 or e-mail to feature@augustachronicle.com. Please include the name and phone number of a contact person.

Events help ring in new year
Tonight's the night. Whether you mourn its passing or celebrate its demise, 2003 is officially kaput in a matter of hours. If you still have no plans for tonight, here are some local establishments where you can look for a loved one to smooch when the clock hits midnight:

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

Fears, abuse accompany proliferation of Internet maps
Serial killer Maury Travis used an online mapping service to show a newspaper reporter where he dumped a body. A former Las Vegas exotic dancer convicted of stalking and harassing her ex-lover posted a map on the Web with directions to the married man's home.

Alaska quake may give insight into next big Calif. temblor
FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- When a major earthquake ripped through Black Rapids Glacier in central Alaska, most people dove under tables or ran out their doors. Geologist Peter Haeussler headed for a helicopter.

Bring your dancing shoes to Club 706
It's Saturday, and a couple and one young lady dominate the dance floor at Club 706 on Deans Bridge Road.

Compubug's Dubious Achievement Awards
It's that time of year when nothing much is happening, but newspapers still have to fill all that white space around the ads anyway, so herewith the annual Compubug Dubious Achievement in Personal Computing Awards.

Several drugs fight flu
Q: My pharmacist said that there are effective oral medicines for the flu, but they require a prescription. I didn't manage to get a flu shot this year before they ran out. What can you tell me about flu drugs?

In the know
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words and dream live on with a legacy longer than the history books can record.

Two minutes with #15 Jack Baker

Vincent hopes for longer stay with Augusta this time
The previous stop on his nomadic journey in professional hockey was with the Alabama Slammers of the WHA2, his 19th different team in 10 seasons.

Saal's fate decided on today
The fate of the Augusta Lynx this season could come down to the status one very important left knee.

Saal's fate decided on today

Two minutes with #15 Jack Baker
Two minutes with Augusta Lynx forward, Jack Baker.

Lynx gameday
Today:vs. Columbus Cottonmouths, 4:05 p.m.

Vincent hopes for longer stay with Augusta this time

Lawmakers plan to fight for guardian ad litem program

Pilot dead in Spartanburg County plane crash
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- A 49-year-old Florida man has been tentatively identified as the pilot killed in a plane crash near the North Carolina line.

Coliseum Authority's bonds to be refinanced

Lack of experience, dealing with new vendors led to Georgia's botched flu shot deal

Lieberman files for South Carolina primary

Suing government becomes passion for former businessman

Law has emerged as compromise for juries

Across the area
Authorities said a Grovetown man caused a collision between two motorcycle officers who were escorting a funeral procession in Martinez on Tuesday.

Sharpton visits Spartanburg church
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Rev. Al Sharpton criticized President Bush and the war in Iraq during a campaign stop Sunday at a Spartanburg church.

Program names featured speaker
Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell will be the featured speaker at a local program Thursday to honor the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Mental health center restarts CEO search

Kroger deal will bulldoze Aiken office
AIKEN - After weeks of uncertainty about the status of its lease, an official with American Red Cross Blood Services said Monday that the blood donation center on Whiskey Road is closing its doors to make way for bulldozers and a redevelopment plan.

Pilot dead in Spartanburg County plane crash

Woman shares her home with injured wild animals
OATLAND ISLAND, Ga. - Lisa Basta's two teenage children aren't the wildest creatures in her home these days.

Across South Carolina

Missing parts delay arrival
AIKEN - A nuclear reactor heading for burial at a dump in Barnwell remained afloat Tuesday on the Savannah River because trailer parts needed to haul the 820-ton pressure vessel were missing, officials said.

Federal screeners at airport lose time
A move to change some of Augusta Regional Airport's federal baggage screeners to part-time workers within the past three months has caused the Transportation Security Administration to examine morale problems at the airport.

Lack of experience, dealing with new vendors led to Georgia's botched flu shot deal
ATLANTA -- Nationwide shortages of flu shots brought unlikely partners together in a $1.65 million vaccine deal between Georgia and private companies that ultimately went bust when the state never received the 100,000 doses it was promised.

Perdue pushes college savings plan
ATLANTA - Georgia parents and grandparents are being encouraged to set up a tax-free, state-run savings plan to acquire money for college expenses in light of the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship's money woes.

Kid of the day

Families talk with soldiers in Iraq via satellite link
It was a one-hour ride to Fort Gordon, then an eight-hour wait for Donna Bramblett's 10-minute conversation with her husband.

Deferrals of blood put strain on giving
Eben Jones is a rare man with a common blood type.

Kolb's new contract kicks in
After months of speculation about Augusta Administrator George Kolb's employment future, his contract was automatically extended for another year Monday when a motion not to renew it failed.

New cancer center caters to patients' needs

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.

Across the area

Choice, construction ahead for new year
School choice, testing headaches and construction will dominate headlines next year for the Richmond County Board of Education.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Chiquitta Alexandra Jackson, 5, of Augusta.

Owners await financial impact
ERHARDT, S.C. - Bamberg County cattlemen Todd Rentz and his brother Trent are brave, but they are also anxious about the potential impact the United States' first case of mad cow disease will have on prices when they start shipping calves in five months.

City confronts utility issue
Grovetown is at a crossroads when it comes to the lifeline of the city's growth: borrow more money to expand water and sewer infrastructure and possibly increase rates, or hand over control to the county.

Seven young people killed during police chase along North Carolina highway
TROUTMAN, N.C. -- Reeling from a car wreck that killed seven teenagers Monday, some residents of this small town questioned whether a police officer may have chased them to their deaths.

Kid of the day

Coliseum Authority's bonds to be refinanced
A city commission committee put the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority's bond-refinancing request on the fast track Monday.

Footprints lead to arrest in slaying

Across Georgia
ATLANTA - Twenty-four people - seven more than predicted - were killed in traffic accidents on Georgia roads during the holiday weekend, state troopers said.

Rants and raves
MAYBE WE CAN'T find weapons of mass destruction because they were already used. Did we actually care if they found gas in Auschwitz or the dead bodies?

Rants and Raves
I'M CALLING TO ask the question. I wonder who or what we will find first: Amelia Earhart, D.B. Cooper, Jimmy Hoffa, bin Laden, WMD, the mad cow or, hopefully, common sense?

Area boosts patrolmen
There's a far worse problem locally than murder, according to one public safety official.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Zachary Wilson, 4, of Grovetown, Ga.

Mental health center restarts CEO search
The board of a once-troubled Augusta mental health center voted Tuesday to reopen its search for a permanent CEO. In the meantime, it is looking at whether to swap administrative services with a sister institution in Athens-Clarke County.

After Jan. 1 insurance card won't prove you're insured in Georgia
ATLANTA -- Beginning Jan. 1, a wallet-sized card from your insurance agent won't be enough to save you from a ticket for driving without insurance if you're pulled over by a police officer.

Royston hoping that returning to its past will help its future
ROYSTON, Ga. -- This small town's leaders are trying to recapture Royston's past, hoping the move will boost the local economy.

Perdue picks Alabama official to head Georgia's Juvenile Justice system
ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue has chosen an official from the Alabama prison system to head the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Choice, construction ahead for new year

State levies fines over erosion
Two Columbia County developers will pay fines totaling $18,250 and correct erosion and sediment violations that damaged a lake at the Ivy Falls Plantation subdivision near Grovetown.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA - A man accused of shooting a state trooper will be charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a stolen vehicle after he is released from the hospital, authorities said.

Lawmakers plan to fight for guardian ad litem program
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Some lawmakers say they plan to fight for the financially-strapped guardian ad litem program.

News you can use
DEC. 30, 1966 Georgia Gov. Carl Sanders, of Augusta, said he expected the latest federal court decision upholding school desegregation guidelines.

More students keep Life scholarships in second year
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- More South Carolina students who receive Life scholarships are keeping them, according to information from the state Commission on Higher Education.

Ozone-boosting press will get EPD's approval
State regulators plan to approve an Evans printing plant's $35 million modification, even though it could increase emissions of pollutants that contribute to ozone.

Kershaw County schools look for ways to improve
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Kershaw County School District has sought the input of teachers, parents, board members, district staff and community representatives to determine ways the district could improve.

Judge issues gag order in case of beauty queen charged with murder
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A judge issued a gag order in the case of a Georgia beauty queen charged with murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend, and released her from jail on a $25,000 bond.

Suing government becomes passion for former businessman
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- On a wall in his Greenville office, retired businessman Edward D. Sloan Jr. displays 14 checks from state and local governments reimbursing him for legal fees incurred in lawsuits.

Officials estimate $20 million lost in uncollected gasoline taxes
ATLANTA -- State transportation officials hope new legislation will allow the state to collect millions of dollars in gasoline taxes that are lost to fraud and mistakes each year.

Group wants full funding for indigent defense program
ATLANTA -- A position paper delivered to the governor on Monday says Georgia's criminal justice system is fraught with injustice and inequity.

New cancer center caters to patients' needs
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Workers are perched atop ladders, boxes are being unpacked and the smell of paint lingers at a new cancer center designed to cater to patients' every need.

News you can use

Across the area
Employees and witnesses at the McDonald's, at 4478 Columbia Road, told police that a man wearing a gray stocking over his head and grasping a 12- to 14-inch hunting knife entered the restaurant at about 8 p.m. Sunday and demanded money from a cashier.

Lieberman files for South Carolina primary
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman thinks it's a two-man race for the party nomination between him and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

Officials estimate $20 million lost in uncollected gasoline taxes

S.C. crash victim says driver saw blur on road, then van rolled
LEXINGTON, N.C. -- One of 11 people to survive a wreck that killed three family members said the group was traveling on a South Carolina road when there was a blur in the highway that apparently was a dog.

Seven young people killed during police chase along North Carolina highway

More students keep Life scholarships in second year

Reactor faces slow trip to Chem Nuclear

State levies fines over erosion

College janitors live on 2nd job

Judge issues gag order in case of beauty queen charged with murder

Orangeburg-area prosecutor to retire
ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- State prosecutor Walter Bailey says he will retire Wednesday.

Judge sentences man to prison

Owners await financial impact

Perdue signs grandchildren up for college savings plan
ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue enrolled his three grandchildren Monday in the state's special savings program for college, calling it "a powerful tool" for parents and grandparents to invest in the future.

Group wants full funding for indigent defense program

Deferrals of blood put strain on giving

Kershaw County schools look for ways to improve

Sharpton visits Spartanburg church

Kroger deal will bulldoze Aiken office

Perdue signs grandchildren up for college savings plan

Ozone-boosting press will get EPD's approval

Across Georgia
SAVANNAH - A judge issued a gag order in the case of a Georgia beauty queen charged with murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend and released her from jail on a $25,000 bond.

Perdue pushes college savings plan

Footprints lead to arrest in slaying
AIKEN - Footprints from the scene of last week's abduction of a teenage couple led investigators to the doorstep of their primary suspect in the slaying of one of the victims, according to court documents.

Kolb's new contract kicks in

Gephardt criticizes other candidates' stand on trade
AIKEN - When the subject is free trade and the resulting loss of American manufacturing jobs, U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is a sharp-tongued but bipartisan critic.

Royston hoping that returning to its past will help its future

State workers criticize Sanford's privatization idea

News you can use
Dec. 31, 1944 Plans for post-war construction of the $35.3 million Clarks Hill basin and hydroelectric project, as provided in the flood control bill, which became law recently with the signature of President Roosevelt, received support yesterday when assurance was given in Washington that sufficient money proved for a 'definite project plan' would be made available. Lester S. Moody, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, said in a long-distance telephone message from the capital that Maj. Gen. Thomas Robins, of the Corps of Engineers, had pledged 'several hundred thousand dollars' for preliminary surveys.

Federal screeners at airport lose time

News you can use

Ashcroft bows out of leak probe, sources say

Nursing home neglect is target

Judge has not earned degree
AIKEN - Aiken County's primary bond court judge is still seeking the college degree he promised to earn when appointed to the post last year, drawing an anonymous complaint to his legislative sponsor, state Sen. Tommy Moore, D-Clearwater.

City confronts utility issue

Across South Carolina
MYRTLE BEACH -A Horry County man has been charged with murder in the shooting of a desk clerk at a Murrells Inlet motel earlier this month.

Across Georgia

College janitors live on 2nd job
ATHENS, Ga. - Donald Walker's days are spent like those of most people, only his 9-to-5 grind starts at 5:30 a.m.

After Jan. 1 insurance card won't prove you're insured in Georgia

Judge sentences man to prison
Saying there's no doubt an Augusta man was intent on rape after breaking into a neighbor's home and crawling naked into her bed, a judge ordered him to register as a sex offender.

Holiday Closings

State workers criticize Sanford's privatization idea
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Employees from the state Corrections Department criticized a proposal to privatize health care in the prison system, saying they fear it could cost them their jobs.

Residents clean out homes to qualify for tax write-offs
Ken Woodfield donated his fourth and, likely, final car to the Salvation Army on Tuesday afternoon in what has fast become a family tradition for the Evans man and his four children.

Voters to get school leader question
Two years after the first vote was cast to decide whether people want an at-large elected school board chairman, voters will likely get to vote on it again.

Holiday Closings
The following holiday schedules have been announced:

Woman accused of murder posts bond
ELKTON, Md. -- A North Carolina woman charged with murder after two bodies were found in a car she was riding in has posted bond and returned to the state, officials said.

Nursing home neglect is target
A third and final sub-committee hearing will be in Atlanta during the next legislative session, after which the bill will go before the House Human Relations and Aging Committee.

Area boosts patrolmen

Reactor faces slow trip to Chem Nuclear
AIKEN - There's only one way to safely move an 820-ton radioactive nuclear reactor pressure vessel: very slowly, officials say.

Critical choice
Here's what critics are saying about recent movie releases. See Friday's Applause section for theater listings and movie critic Roger Ebert's reviews of new movies.

Critical choice

Former NASCAR driver hurt in Upstate plane crash
WOODRUFF, S.C. -- Former NASCAR Rookie of the Year Dick Brooks has been hurt in a plane crash near his farm, authorities say.

CART sale could be approved by late January
INDIANAPOLIS -- The CART racing series could win court approval of its proposed sale to a group of team owners by Jan. 28 under a plan a bankruptcy judge approved Tuesday.

Former NASCAR driver hurt in Upstate plane crash

Artest misses morning shootaround
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest missed the team's morning shootaround for Monday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies because he overslept, two nights after being benched during a loss to New Jersey.

Artest misses morning shootaround

Bryant's court case chosen story of 2003
The young hotel worker's accusation was shocking enough: Thrilled by a chance encounter with a celebrity, she went to his room only to be forced over a chair and sexually assaulted.

La Salle rolls past S. Carolina St.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Gary Neal scored 23 points and La Salle shot 53 percent from the floor in a 76-63 victory Monday over South Carolina State in the first round of the Dr Pepper Classic.

No. 12 Georgia Lady Bulldogs mauls E. Kentucky
RICHMOND, Ky. -- Cori Chambers scored 17 points to lead six players in double figures as No. 12 Georgia beat Eastern Kentucky 92-60 in the final round of the Comfort Suites Classic.

No. 12 Georgia puts bite on Morehead State
RICHMOND, Ky. -- As Georgia's lead rose to 20 points, then 30, then 40, the Lady Bulldogs remained focused, coach Andy Landers said.

Texas Tech reaches highest ranking in women's poll
Not even in its national championship season did Texas Tech do this: reach No. 2 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll.

Jaguars lose again as rally falls short
Following his team's 61-59 loss to West Alabama, Augusta State coach Gary Tuell wasn't searching for answers.

No. 6 Wake Forest defeats North Carolina A&T
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Eric Williams scored 17 points and No. 6 Wake Forest used a 29-1 run to beat North Carolina A&T 91-67 on Tuesday night.

UConn No. 1 for third straight week
At least for now, Connecticut put an end to all that switching at No. 1.

No. 15 Pittsburgh defeats Georgia
PITTSBURGH -- Mark McCarroll, a barely used reserve when the season started, scored a career-high 26 points and No. 15 Pittsburgh shrugged off leading scorer Carl Krauser's absence due to injury to beat Georgia 76-55 Tuesday night.

Middle Tennessee tops S. Carolina St.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Tommy Gunn scored 18 of his season-high 23 points in the first half as Middle Tennessee defeated South Carolina State 86-76 Tuesday night in the consolation game of the Dr Pepper Classic.

No. 3 Georgia Tech puts sting on VCU
ATLANTA -- Marvin Lewis scored 19 points and No. 3 Georgia Tech survived a lackluster second half to beat Virginia Commonwealth 86-65 Monday night, giving the Yellow Jackets their best start ever.

Chargers will transfer lawsuit from L.A. to San Diego

Spurrier's statement on leaving Redskins

Atlanta couldn't overcome losing Vick

Coach Dick Jauron fired by Bears

Blank, McKay interview Smith, Mora

Panthers leaning on few playoff veterans for leadership

Falcons get permission to interview Niners' Mora

Suggs wins defensive rookie honors

Mrs. Minnie Golphin    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mr. Richard Nasworthy    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Ernest Reid    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Carrie Morgan    (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)
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Mrs. Elsie Conner    (DILLON, S.C.)
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Tsgt. Donald McCloud Jr.    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
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Mrs. Geneva Parham    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Ms. Annie Singletary    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Betty Sandeford    (MIDVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Richard Maulbeck    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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Mrs. Elizabeth Chaulker    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Marvin Martin    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Hugh Fegan    (WALTHAM, Mass.)
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Mr. Julian Marsh    (LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Gladys Keller    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Rozella Little    (BATH, S.C.)
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Mrs. Frances Poole    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Lackey    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. John Riley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Wesley Jenkins    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Willie Simmons, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Ethelene Greene    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. John Riley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Robert Gladman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. George Clifton    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Jerome Gilyard    (CLARKS HILL, S.C.)
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Mr. Larry Dick    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Dea. Emmit Fuller    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mr. Robert Gladman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Geneva Parham    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ethelene Greene    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Taylor    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Jimmy Mikell Jr.    (STILLMORE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Daisy Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Amie Pearson    (MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Albert Vaughn    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Annie Samples    (TWIN CITY, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Prescott    (MATTHEWS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Patricia Rigot    (MIDLAND, Mich.)
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Mrs. Elsie Conner    (DILLON, S.C.)
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Mr. Albert Roberson Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Hattie Buggs    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mr. John Schuck    (McCORMICK, S.C.)
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McKendrick Cartrette    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Diane Smith    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Milton Roberts    (HARLEM, Ga.)
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Christopher Bradley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Aileen Drexel    (SIMONS ISLAND, S.C.)
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Ms. Darlene Thorpe    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Terri Usry    (PLUM BRANCH, S.C.)
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Miss Tommie Beggs    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jerelene Allen    (ATLANTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jessie Bowdre    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. John Bettis    (ROOSEVELT, N.Y.)
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Mrs. Sonia Cook    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Matrick Sherlock    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mrs. Marie Cruise    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Larry Dick    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Willie Cunningham, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Prescott    (MATTHEWS, Ga.)
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Mr. Albert Vaughn (AIKEN, S.C.)

Ms. Darlene Thorpe (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mr. George Clifton (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. Wesley Jenkins (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ernest Reid (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sonia Cook (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elizabeth Chaulker (EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Larry Dick (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Taylor (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elsie Conner (DILLON, S.C.)

Mr. Larry Dick (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. John Riley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Patricia Rigot (MIDLAND, Mich.)

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

Mr. John Riley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ethelene Greene (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Amie Pearson (MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Julian Marsh (LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.)

Ms. Annie Singletary (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Ethelene Greene (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Dea. Emmit Fuller (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Jerelene Allen (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Marie Cruise (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Milton Roberts (HARLEM, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Cunningham, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Matrick Sherlock (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mrs. Daisy Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Robert Gladman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. James Lackey (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Geneva Parham (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Jessie Bowdre (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Christopher Bradley (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Geneva Parham (EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Gladman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Albert Roberson Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Richard Maulbeck (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Samples (TWIN CITY, Ga.)

Mr. John Schuck (McCORMICK, S.C.)

Miss Tommie Beggs (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mr. Richard Nasworthy (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Teela, Steer capture biathlon titles at Lake Placid

Government announces ban on ephedra

Overtime

Bush, other world leaders invited to Olympics

Jockeys refuse to race at Philly park over late payments

White among seven athletes to fail drug tests
Sprint champion Kelli White and six other American athletes flunked drug tests this summer, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Tuesday.

Overtime
In Denver, a major safety switch was missing from an escalator when it malfunctioned at Coors Field this summer, injuring dozens of baseball fans, city inspectors said Tuesday.

Bush, other world leaders invited to Olympics
ATHENS, Greece -- President Bush and dozens of other world leaders were formally invited to the Athens Olympics on Tuesday, with Greek Premier Costas Simitis asking them to "share the unique Olympic experience."

Jockeys refuse to race at Philly park over late payments
PHILADELPHIA -- Jockeys refused to ride Monday at Philadelphia Park in a dispute over payment delays the track blamed on the state's stricter rules for drug testing of horses.

Government announces ban on ephedra
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is banning the sale of ephedra early next year and urged consumers to immediately stop using the herbal weight control supplement that was linked to the death of a Baltimore Orioles pitcher.

Teela, Steer capture biathlon titles at Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- U.S. biathlon veterans Jeremy Teela and Rachel Steer won men's and women's titles Monday at the U.S. National Championships.

Prep basketball scores
LAKESIDE GIRLS 45 LINCOLN COUNTY 29

Atlanta couldn't overcome losing Vick
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- After Michael Vick broke his right leg four months ago, left tackle Bob Whitfield insisted the Atlanta Falcons were more than a one-man team.

Panthers leaning on few playoff veterans for leadership
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's been seven years since the Carolina Panthers went to the playoffs, leaving them with a roster full of players unfamiliar with postseason expectations.

Suggs wins defensive rookie honors
Although he didn't start until the season finale, Terrell Suggs was so impressive for the Baltimore Ravens that he earned The Associated Press' NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award Tuesday.

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.

Chargers will transfer lawsuit from L.A. to San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- Five weeks after angering city officials by filing a stadium lease lawsuit in Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers said Tuesday they will have the suit transferred to San Diego.

Coach Dick Jauron fired by Bears
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Dick Jauron was fired as coach of the Chicago Bears on Monday after his fourth losing season in five years.

Blank, McKay interview Smith, Mora
ATLANTA -- Falcons' owner Arthur Blank and general manager Rich McKay met with San Francisco defensive coordinator Jim Mora on Tuesday to talk about Atlanta's head coaching position.

Spurrier's statement on leaving Redskins
Statement from Steve Spurrier, who resigned as coach of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday:

Burundi's papal nuncio killed, Vatican says
VATICAN CITY -- The pope's ambassador in Burundi was shot and killed by gunmen who opened fire at his car in the East African nation, the Vatican and a missionary news agency said Monday.

Cardinal says pope unafraid of fresh Vatican terror threat, revealed by Berlusconi
VATICAN CITY -- Despite Italian claims of a terrorist plot to attack the Vatican, Pope John Paul II doesn't fear for his own safety and remains convinced terrorism must be fought by addressing its causes, a top Vatican cardinal said in remarks published Monday.

Harvard professor joins the buzz about Mary Magdalene
Imagine that alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, your New Testament includes a fifth Gospel where "seven Powers of Wrath" interrogate the human soul, accusing it of being a "human-killer" and "space-conqueror."

Wheelchair doesn't hinder 'Ed' actor
NORTHVALE, N.J. - The compliment that Daryl Mitchell savors most these days is when people believe he's acting the part of a man in a wheelchair.

Wheelchair doesn't hinder 'Ed' actor

People in the News

Georgia's Howard not at game
ORLANDO, Fla. - Georgia freshman linebacker Marcus Howard was arrested earlier this month for fighting in a campus parking lot with another student, leading coach Mark Richt to leave him behind for the Bulldogs' trip to Florida for Thursday's Capital One Bowl (1 p.m., ABC-Ch. 6).

Richt gets chance to see Ward play
ORLANDO, Fla. - Talk about good timing.

Richt catches up with an old quarterback
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Talk about good timing.

Thurman's road to glory
ORLANDO, Fla. - The talent was never a question.

Richt catches up with an old quarterback

Thurman's road to glory

Richt gets chance to see Ward play

Georgia's Howard not at game

International golf academy calls area home
The International Golf Academy is exactly what it says it is: a place where students from around the world come for state-of-the-art instruction, with the goal of one day being a tour professional.

Eating right helps you feel better

School group leaves for Florida to perform during bowl game

School group leaves for Florida to perform during bowl game
Spending winter break away from family can be hard, unless you're a member of the North Augusta High School marching band.

Boy should tell girl why he sent flowers
THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: Recently I started "talking" to a girl, and things seemed to be going perfectly. I sent her some flowers, and things just got weird. She said she didn't understand what they were supposed to mean, and things have gone downhill since then. What happened? And now what do I do?

Question of the week
Here is this week's question and the results for last week's question:

Boy should tell girl why he sent flowers

Eating right helps you feel better
Bring out the old Barbie, Tonka Truck and Scooby Doo lunchboxes; it is time for a new routine. Sure, we are no longer in elementary school, but aside from the lunchboxes being a lot more fashionable than a tray that has seen better days, there is a great reason to bring your lunch: cafeteria food.

Question of the week

4-1-1
Still do not know what Kwanzaa means? The official Kwanzaa site, www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org, is a great resource for people unfamiliar with the annual celebration of family, community and culture.

Celebrity's is good hangout spot

4-1-1

My style
THE FACTS: Shanta Elaine Rhodes, 18, a senior at Glenn Hills High School.

Celebrity's is good hangout spot
Don't you hate when Saturday afternoon arrives, a time of reprieve from the rigors of school, and you cannot think of how to spend your weekend? A new club may offer a safe place for teens to meet and party.

Fire survivor, believed dead and cremated, turns out to be alive in hospital

Odds and Ends

Crowded classrooms prompt Florida county to buy empty Kmart stores to use as schools

Inspectors say runaway escalator at Coors Field lacked safety switch

Cardinal says pope unafraid of fresh Vatican terror threat, revealed by Berlusconi

Harvard professor joins the buzz about Mary Magdalene

Burundi's papal nuncio killed, Vatican says