Larry Brown returns with violent and bawdy novel

Book tells how tax dollars go up in a cloud of smoke
The federal government wastes billions of dollars a year fighting some forest fires, Douglas Gantenbein writes in A Season of Fire: Four Months on the Firelines of America's Forests.

Book explores Elvis' taste in fashion
NEW YORK -- Take the words "Elvis" and "fashion" and put them together, and unfashionable images might spring to mind: white jumpsuits, loud polyester prints or the divinely tacky decor of Graceland, the King's home.

Magic and realism mix in novel of 1970s Brooklyn

Anne Rice ends vampire chronicles
NEW ORLEANS -- Anne Rice, the author who gave new life to the undead, lives in a house full of saints.

Book explores Elvis' taste in fashion

Best sellers list
Best sellers according to Publishers Weekly.

Best sellers list

Magic and realism mix in novel of 1970s Brooklyn
In his novel "The Fortress of Solitude," Jonathan Lethem tells the story of two boys, one white, one black, both raised by single fathers in 1970s Brooklyn, N.Y., and both of whom become endowed with super powers.

Anne Rice ends vampire chronicles

Larry Brown returns with violent and bawdy novel
For years, Larry Brown has been putting out novels, short stories and nonfiction collections, each of them furthering his reputation as a writer's writer.

Cartoonist offers realistically funny look at family life

Book tells how tax dollars go up in a cloud of smoke

Cartoonist offers realistically funny look at family life
EUGENE, Ore. -- Most of the families in the funnies are your garden-variety nuclear types: There's Blondie and her ever-noshing husband Dagwood, the battling Hagar and Helga and the perennially cheery denizens of Family Circus.

Report: Rose admits in book to betting on baseball
PHILADELPHIA -- Pete Rose admits in his upcoming autobiography that he gambled on baseball, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Saturday.

Report: Rose admits in book to betting on baseball

Losing streak skis away

Teens to be charged with shooting out windows of 120 cars
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Three teenagers used a BB gun to shoot out the windows of about 120 cars and trucks earlier this week in Columbus and suburban Whitehall, police said Friday.

Odds and Ends
CLEVELAND -- Two brothers who hadn't seen each other in more than 20 years were reunited on New Year's Eve - at a hospital.

More companies are tapping into the fitness needs of boomers

New 'Eat Mor Chikin' campaign on hold because of mad-cow

New 'Eat Mor Chikin' campaign on hold because of mad-cow
ATLANTA -- Chick-fil-A is postponing its newest ad campaign featuring cute cows urging people to eat chicken instead of beef to avoid appearing insensitive to concerns about the nation's first confirmed case of mad cow disease.

Miller celebrates 100 years of High Life

Business briefs
Club Car Inc. The company that evolved into Club Car was a small golf-car business founded in Houston in 1958. Augusta businessman Bill Stevens Jr. bought the venture in 1962 and moved it to Augusta. He sold the company in 1973 to Johns Manville Corp. of Denver, which built the Evans factory.

Groups help business leaders network

USDA quarantines third Washington herd
WASHINGTON -- Authorities have quarantined a third herd of Washington state cattle in a widening investigation of mad cow disease after they located another cow from the same Canadian herd as the infected cow.

Low-carb beers target weight-concious drinkers

Jobless rate not likely to change

Business briefs
PARMA, Italy - Investigating judges questioned former Parmalat financial officials, a lawyer and an auditor Friday about a corporate scandal at the dairy giant while doctors examined founder Calisto Tanzi to determine whether he's healthy enough to remain in prison.

Miller celebrates 100 years of High Life
MILWAUKEE - Miller High Life is toasting a century as "the champagne of beers," but the enduring symbol of Milwaukee's brewing past is feeling its age.

North Augusta gets center
The area's biggest private group of family doctors will soon open an office in North Augusta, becoming the first practice to offer X-rays and mammograms in the growing city.

USDA quarantines third Washington herd

Business calendar

Survey: Auto execs say 2003 was bad for profits
DETROIT -- Automotive executives worldwide believe the industry is still at least a couple of years away from returning to peak profitability, but most say the worst is likely in the past, according to a new study.

More companies are tapping into the fitness needs of boomers
NEW YORK -- When Jim Schakenbach is in the mood for a workout, he often bypasses the gym in favor of an afternoon of snowshoeing near his Massachusetts home.

Asian consumers bought what Americans don't eat
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon cattleman Mike Partlow built a business selling beef products that Americans don't eat, from hooves to femur bones to stomach lining, all prized by Asian chefs.

Low-carb beers target weight-concious drinkers
PITTSBURGH -- Cutting calories used to be enough for U.S. beer makers to lure Americans watching their waistlines.

Investigators question Parmalat executives
PARMA, Italy -- Investigating judges questioned Parmalat financial officials and a lawyer, the latest suspects in a corporate scandal, while doctors examined company founder Calisto Tanzi to determine whether he's healthy enough to remain in prison.

Business briefs

Business briefs

On the move
Tim Dalton, the president of Sunbelt Business Brokers in Augusta, has been elected to the Sunbelt Business Brokers National Advisory Council through 2006.

Jobless rate not likely to change
With the economy racing ahead and Wall Street showing solid gains, it's not hard to find financial cheerleaders forecasting a great year in the making.

Unlock potential to succeed in your own business

North Augusta gets center

Investigators question Parmalat executives

Business calendar
Jan. 8: Augusta Metro and Columbia County chambers of commerce 96th annual joint 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.

On the move

Asian consumers bought what Americans don't eat

Economists predict drop in unemployment in 2004
NEW YORK -- Companies are expected to step up hiring in 2004 after a year in which household spending boosted the economy more than business investment, according to a group of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

Report: manufacturing sector expanded robustly in December
NEW YORK -- The nation's manufacturing sector expanded strongly in December, its most robust month in two decades, in a sign that the economic recovery continues to gain ground.

Survey: Auto execs say 2003 was bad for profits

Groups help business leaders network
NEW YORK - The 20 people who gathered at the elegant Penn Club recently to discuss business came from a variety of industries and professions - law, high-tech, public relations, banking and more - and at first glance might have seemed to have little in common.

Unlock potential to succeed in your own business
The new year brings new opportunities, the chance to start anew in this game of life.

Candidate for city attorney still votes his way

Candidate for city attorney still votes his way
Hooray for Augusta Commission member Stephen Shepard, who refused to exchange his vote for the city attorney's job. Mr. Shepard withstood pressure from other commissioners to give them the sixth vote they needed to give Administrator George Kolb the boot.

Clemson's victory ends season on positive note
ATLANTA - From a 45-17 loss against Wake Forest to two quality - almost easy - wins against top 10 competition in the final four contests, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has to be excited about next year.

Emotional Vols flagged for 10 penalties
ATLANTA -- Emotions heated up before the Peach Bowl started, and Tennessee had trouble cooling off.

Tigers make example of Volunteers

Better late than never for Jasmin
ATLANTA - Bear with Clemson running back Chad Jasmin for just a second.

Clemson's victory ends season on positive note

Tigers show fight in another loss to Devils

Tigers show fight in another loss to Devils
CLEMSON, S.C. - Against most teams, it's not difficult to convince your team it can win. Against Duke, simply staying remotely close is often an accomplishment in and of itself.

Clemson beats Tennessee in Peach Bowl
ATLANTA -- Clemson extended Tennessee's woes in the Peach Bowl, thanks to a lot of help from the Volunteers.

Emotional Vols flagged for 10 penalties

Clemson beats Tennessee in Peach Bowl

Better late than never for Jasmin

Tigers make example of Volunteers
ATLANTA - Khaleed Vaughn jumped atop the makeshift stage with Peach Bowl trophy in hand as his teammates and thousands of Clemson fans voiced a raucous serenade of "ACC! ACC!"

Sooners learn to cope without Mike Stoops
NEW ORLEANS -- Oklahoma was almost ready to take its team picture for the Sugar Bowl when Bob Stoops realized someone was missing.

USC says Sugar Bowl means nothing
PASADENA, Calif. -- Let the rest of the country tune in to the Sugar Bowl on Sunday night. The USC Trojans believe college football's championship has already been decided.

Fences, barricades fixtures at Superdome's big events-game

Kansas State's investigation clears name of Roberson

Sooners learn to cope without Mike Stoops

No. 16 Mississippi tops No. 21 Oklahoma St.

Fences, barricades fixtures at Superdome's big events-game
NEW ORLEANS -- No matter which way one approaches the Louisiana Superdome, there's a 6-foot chain-link fence that will corral fans into security checkpoints a good 40 yards from the nearest stadium door.

USC says Sugar Bowl means nothing

Sugar Bowl matchup: LSU vs. Oklahoma, along with humans vs. computers

Nutt mulls 2 million reasons to move from Fayetteville to Lincoln

No. 16 Mississippi tops No. 21 Oklahoma St.
DALLAS -- With another Manning at quarterback, Mississippi finally won another January bowl game.

Bengals staff chosen to coach North team

After Spurrier's demise, NFL not end-all for Sugar Bowl coaches
NEW ORLEANS -- Bob Stoops and Nick Saban shrugged off the possibility of taking jobs in the NFL, which is normal bowl routine for any hot college coach.

Kansas State's investigation clears name of Roberson
TEMPE, Ariz. - Quarterback Ell Roberson started for No. 8 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 7 Ohio State on Friday night, a day after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

After Spurrier's demise, NFL not end-all for Sugar Bowl coaches

White deals with newfound fame after Heisman win
NEW ORLEANS -- Five months ago, Jason White wasn't the most celebrated athlete in his hometown of Tuttle, Okla. He wasn't even tops in his own house.

Sugar Bowl matchup: LSU vs. Oklahoma, along with humans vs. computers
NEW ORLEANS -- The Sooner Schooner is in town, pulled by horses named Boomer and Sooner. The glittery Golden Girls and their 325-member Golden Band from Tigerland are here, too.

Nutt mulls 2 million reasons to move from Fayetteville to Lincoln
LITTLE ROCK -- Nebraska offered Arkansas coach Houston Nutt $2 million to take over the Cornhuskers football program Friday, but family ties and a Razorbacks counteroffer kept Nutt from a quick decision.

White deals with newfound fame after Heisman win

Ohio State jumps out to 14-0 lead in Fiesta Bowl
TEMPE, Ariz. -- John Hollins returned a blocked punt 7 yards for a touchdown and Craig Krenzel threw a 6-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes, giving No. 7 Ohio State a 14-0 lead over No. 8 Kansas State after one quarter of the Fiesta Bowl on Friday night.

Bengals staff chosen to coach North team
CINCINNATI -- Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff will direct the North squad in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24 in Mobile, Ala.

Lions hand Jaguars 8th consecutive loss

Reviewing and previewing local college basketball

Men's basketball roundup

Ernesia Wideman's on a mission

Lady Jaguars improve to 10-1

Local basketball roundup

Master's badges

Mad cow no recruiter

Mad cow no recruiter
"I caution vegetarians from using mad cow disease as a recruiting tool. Mad cow disease is not a good thing no matter how you look at it."

Quality faculty needed
South Carolina's public universities and colleges have been devastated the last three years by more than $100 million in state funding cuts. With the state still in the deficit hole for at least $300 million, more cuts loom - and, possibly for some of the institutions, privatization.

End medical 'lottery'
Let's hope this will be the year that the Georgia legislature gets medical liability out of the critical care ward. If the healing process doesn't start soon there won't be enough doctors in the state - particularly specialists - to service the public.

Iran warming up?

End medical 'lottery'

Explore privatization
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's philosophy that government should focus on doing only those essential services that it can do better than the private sector, is now zeroing in on the state's prison health care system.

Iran warming up?
Even though Iran's leaders are playing it down, U.S. aid to the earthquake victims is having a beneficial effect on relations between the two nations. President Mohammad Khatami, viewed as a political "moderate" by the West, said at a news conference that the aid, while welcome, wouldn't change anything between the two countries.

Explore privatization

Crikey! Steve Irwin takes baby to crocodile feeding
BRISBANE, Australia -- "Crocodile hunter" Steve Irwin may have taken one of his animal stunts a bit too far.

Rock group Rush guitarist arrested after New Year's Eve fight
NAPLES, Fla. -- The lead guitarist for the rock band Rush skirmished with sheriff's deputies, spat blood on one and was arrested on New Year's Eve after his son refused to leave the stage at a fancy hotel, authorities said.

People in the News
LOS ANGELES -- Rapper 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin"' was the top-selling album in 2003, followed by Norah Jones' Grammy-winning debut, "Come Away With Me."

Industry helps workers save more
Resolved to improve your retirement planning in 2004? The investment industry wants to help you save more - by saving you from yourself.

Is there any point in buying bonds now?

Is there any point in buying bonds now?
Q: With interests rates likely to rise this year, is there any point in buying bonds now?

Bond prices fall
NEW YORK -- Bond prices started the year on negative note, falling Friday on unexpectedly strong economic data.

Treasury plans survey on proposed electronic savings bonds

Shares close mixed on first trading day of the new year
NEW YORK -- Wall Street began the new year Friday with the same enthusiasm but also prudence that marked its big comeback in 2003 - after bidding stocks higher sharply, investors changed course and took some profits in blue chips, leaving prices mixed.

Mutual-fund investors mix caution, aggression
NEW YORK - As the Dow Jones industrials sailed back above 10,000 and the Nasdaq composite made 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.

Bond prices fall

Use caution when investing
NEW YORK - Impressed by Wall Street's 2003 run, many investors are looking to raise their stake in the market, but financial planners and portfolio managers say they should proceed with caution.

Use caution when investing

Treasury plans survey on proposed electronic savings bonds
WASHINGTON - The Treasury Department wants to conduct an survey on consumer attitudes toward electronic savings bonds, part of a plan to scrap the current paper bonds.

Shares close mixed on first trading day of the new year

Shares close mixed on first trading day of the new year

Georgia Tech runs wild
BOISE, Idaho - This feels a lot better. In a complete reversal of last year's bowl fiasco, Georgia Tech delivered a record-setting victory - 52-10 against an overmatched Tulsa team in the Humanitarian Bowl - that evolved into a feel-good celebration for the entire program.

Surprising run reaches an end
BOISE, Idaho - Georgia Tech and Tulsa, two teams not expected to be anywhere near a bowl game, find themselves in the most unlikely of bowl locations on the next-to-last day of the college football season.

Georgia Tech notebook
BOISE, Idaho - Georgia Tech left tackle Nat Dorsey announced he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft after the Yellow Jackets' 52-10 victory against Tulsa in the Humanitarian Bowl.

Golden Hurricane thrilled to be in wintery Boise
BOISE, Idaho -- When Tulsa's bowl status was pending, coach Steve Kragthorpe joked that he would snowshoe to Alaska if that's what it took to extend the season.

Humantarian Bowl capsule
Humanitarian Bowl pits Georgia Tech (6-6) against Tulsa (8-4) at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

A look at Saturday's Humanitarian Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Tulsa, at Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho, at 12 p.m. EST.

A look at Saturday's Humanitarian Bowl

Georgia Tech notebook

Surprising run reaches an end

Golden Hurricane thrilled to be in wintery Boise

Prep basketball scores

Canadiens downThrashers

Canadiens downThrashers
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens have another chance at their first winning streak in over two months.

Losing streak skis away
If my family coat of arms had a motto, it would probably be: "We never win anything." Only it would be in Latin and look important.

Car hits sheriff's deputy
A Richmond County sheriff's deputy remained in critical condition and was scheduled for surgery late Friday after being struck by a car on Peach Orchard Road earlier in the evening, according to Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength.

3 children, mom die in home fire
A fire Sunday morning killed an Augusta woman and her three children.

DOE should support Georgia as it does South Carolina
In response to William F. Lawless' Dec. 29 letter, "Georgia monitoring of SRS not needed": William Hooker, Grovetown, Ga.

Inform public of human form of mad cow disease
Just one year ago Dec. 26, my sister died in an Augusta hospital of the human form of the mad cow disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In view of recent newscasts and newspaper articles about the mad cow case which occurred in Washington, I decided to write to you ... -Shirley Evans, Aiken, S.C.

Inform public of human form of mad cow disease

DOE should support Georgia as it does South Carolina

Women's Right to Know bill should be passed
Regarding Mary Beth Pierucci's Dec. 18 letter, "Women's Right to Know bill based on anti-choice lie": -Karmen Anderson, Augusta

Women's Right to Know bill should be passed

Cancellation notice should be sent

Spacecraft enters dust and gas around distant comet

Evidence found of Arctic hunters living in Siberia 30,000 years ago

Follow the divi-divi trees in Aruba

Conduct thorough interviews with potential contractors

Collecting couple has a mouse in the house

Moving day for Calif. Academy of Sciences

In the know

Mars rover is readied for risky Red Planet landing

Local author featured in cookbook

Biking and snacking in Thailand

Mars rover pair dwarfs Sojourner

Mars rover pair dwarfs Sojourner
PASADENA, Calif. - The twin rovers that NASA hopes to land on Mars this month might resemble the plucky Sojourner robot that was the star of 1997's Pathfinder mission, but looks are deceiving.

In the know
As counterprogramming on a big day for football, NBC offers Incredible Dog Challenge, a "canine sporting event." All sorts of dogs, not just purebreds, will compete in a variety of events for puppies, adults and seniors at 3 p.m. Sunday on WAGT-TV (Channel 26).

Augusta Assembly celebrates 51st anniversary
The Augusta Assembly celebrated its 51th anniversary Dec. 27 with its annual winter ball.

Follow the divi-divi trees in Aruba
ORANJESTAD, Aruba - Should you get lost in Aruba, follow the divi-divi trees.

Mars rover is readied for risky Red Planet landing
PASADENA, Calif. -- After a journey of seven months and 303 million miles, a six-wheeled NASA rover will speed like a bullet Saturday night toward the surface of Mars and, if all goes as planned, stop with a bounce.

Collecting couple has a mouse in the house
Call Ruth and Rick Whitaker's North Augusta home the "mouse house." Everyone else does.

Moving day for Calif. Academy of Sciences
SAN FRANCISCO - The snakes will be slipped into socks that can be knotted and tucked into boxes. The penguins will be coaxed into dog kennels.

Local author featured in cookbook
Augusta author Louise Shivers is keeping some good culinary company.

Cancellation notice should be sent
Dear Carson: My brother and his fiance recently canceled their wedding. They have monetary gifts that they need to mail back to family and friends. My mother was wondering whether you could assist with the wording inside the card. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. - Cancellation Correction

Evidence found of Arctic hunters living in Siberia 30,000 years ago
WASHINGTON -- A people who may have been ancestors of the first Americans lived in Arctic Siberia, enduring one of the most unforgiving environments on Earth at the height of the Ice Age, according to researchers who discovered the oldest evidence yet of humans living near the frigid gateway to the New World.

Biking and snacking in Thailand
SRI LANNA NATIONAL PARK, Thailand -- For too many tourists, a visit to Thailand means tiki bars on the beach blasting Bob Marley, or falling prey to the Bangkok "touts" who dupe visitors into buying fake gems or overpriced tailored clothes.

Spacecraft enters dust and gas around distant comet
PASADENA, Calif. -- A NASA spacecraft flew through the bright halo of a distant comet Friday to scoop up less than a thimbleful dust that could shed light on how our solar system was formed.

Conduct thorough interviews with potential contractors
Short and sweet may be great for giving speeches, but long and bland are more apt descriptors for how to conduct contractor interviews.

Vincent's 2 goals, 2 assists lead to win

Lynx notebook
The Augusta Lynx and former NHL goaltender Gregg Naumenko did not part on good terms the last time around.

Vincent's 2 goals, 2 assists lead to win
It took him three games to rediscover his game.

Teammates fail new Lynx goalie

No trades are made by Lynx
The search for another goaltender remains on hold as Augusta Lynx coach Stan Drulia was unable to complete another trade in time for Friday's game against Roanoke.

No trades are made by Lynx

Teammates fail new Lynx goalie
Another goalie for the Augusta Lynx. Another Lynx goalie hung out to dry.

Horses used to create drugs for post-menopausal women being sold
ATLANTA -- Cutbacks of hormone replacement therapy drugs by a pharmaceutical company are sending 20,000 horses to the auction block.

Across South Carolina
EASLEY -An Easley High School graduate has become the first female pilot killed in Iraq.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA - The Public Service Commission has approved a settlement in which a former Georgia natural gas marketer will pay $60,000 in addition to the more than $500,000 in slamming fines it paid during the three years it operated in Atlanta.

Juvenile court judge under investigation

Horses used to create drugs for post-menopausal women being sold

Augusta Canal boat sees early success

Prison cutbacks put pinch on county jail

Cult leader's molestation trial could create circus

Cult leader's molestation trial could create circus
EATONTON, Ga. -- After months of unorthodox tactics and protests by followers dressed as Egyptian pharaohs, mummies and birds, Nuwaubian cult leader Malachi York's child molestation case finally heads to trial Monday.

News you can use

Nuclear burial site sees fall in business
It could be called South Carolina's radioactivity-for-better-reading plan.

Drug fight shifts to outside cities

School districts may sue state over funding
THOMSON - McDuffie County is among a group of poorer Georgia school districts that may decide to sue the state later this year over a decline in state education funding.

Across Georgia

College finds way to spread raises through ranks
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- While raises are rare at most state agencies, a handful of colleges have found ways to give widespread pay increases to workers as they deal with higher health insurance costs.

Perdue proposing 2 percent teacher pay hike

Across the area

State budget woes threaten to delay reduction in pupil-teacher ratios

Juvenile court judge under investigation
ATLANTA -- A Fulton County Juvenile Court judge who has presided over cases of child neglect is being investigated after her 4-year-old daughter was found alone and wandering the street late at night in November.

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

Across the area
Friends and family continued to search for an Augusta man Saturday who has been missing since before Christmas, when he entered the Phinizy Swamp Wildlife Management area to hunt.

Both parties see chance to win control of General Assembly

Kid of the Day

Jury selection to begin in Rivera trial

Reece writes reply to report
A state report on the Richmond County Tax Assessor's Office merits a response from the chief appraiser and his Board of Assessors, Augusta Commission members said earlier this week.

Reactor starts out on last part of trip

Across the area
Richmond County authorities are searching for a man who they said robbed a Walton Way convenience store early Friday morning at gunpoint, officials said.

Across the area

Libraries set up Web filters
ATHENS, Ga. - They say sex sells - even online. But not at the Athens-Clarke County Library.

Across the southeast

Prison cutbacks put pinch on county jail
ATLANTA -- Budget cuts by the state Department of Corrections and an increase in the number of people sentenced to prison are overcrowding county jails, which already have budget woes of their own.

3 children, mom die in home fire

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

Nuclear burial site sees fall in business

Across Georgia

Correction

A few observations for my grandsons
To Zachary and Nicholas Wansley and Brian and Thomas Yarbrough:

Deputy remains hospitalized

Patrol opens crash memorial site
COLUMBIA - Families now have a place to tell the stories of hopes and dreams of people who lose their lives on South Carolina highways.

Drug fight shifts to outside cities
AIKEN - In his seven years of seizing drugs and arresting dealers, Lt. Mike Jones, an investigator for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, has seen the city and the country sides of the drug trade.

Minority leaders seek reform after police kill unarmed man
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- State Rep. Calvin Smyre joined other minority leaders in calling for a series of reforms following last month's fatal shooting of an unarmed Columbus man by a deputy sheriff.

News you can use

Deputy remains hospitalized
A Richmond County sheriff's deputy who was struck by a car while trying to direct traffic on a busy Augusta road Friday remained in critical condition at a hospital Saturday, officials said.

Hundreds remember Beard's devotion to city, spirituality
At Good Shepherd Baptist Church on Saturday afternoon, an air of quiet dignity filled the sanctuary as more than a thousand mourners paid their final respects to Augusta Commission member Lee N. Beard.

Across Georgia
COLUMBUS -A man deep-frying a turkey on a balcony apparently caused Thursday night's fire at a Columbus apartment complex, fire officials said.

Aiken County schools fear growing classes
AIKEN - Even though property owners have been asked for more money for five years in a row, at least 12 percent of Aiken County's classrooms are bumping up against state size limits, and overcrowding could worsen as South Carolina's budget crisis continues.

Across South Carolina

Voter registration thin
AIKEN - The deserted parking lot in front of the Aiken County voter registration office reflected the activity across most of the state Friday, the last day to register in person to vote in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary.

Development upsets resident

Officials prepare for fiscal fighting

Car hits sheriff's deputy

Fatal collision calls attention to dangers
NEW ELLENTON - Sue Townsend isn't waging a campaign against all-terrain vehicles, which, as Aiken County's coroner, she's seen involved in at least three fatal accidents in the past 18 months.

School districts may sue state over funding

Ceremony honors battalion members before departure
Friday was a bittersweet day for Tamara Rutt.

Rants and raves
THIS IS FOR the folks that stole my sign from my house on West Avenue in North Augusta. It's only a matter of time before I get you.

Jackson brings 'Southern Crusade' to South Carolina

Development upsets resident
Tony Carr says he's determined to have his heritage preserved, whether it delays a planned North Augusta riverfront development or not.

Voter registration thin

Reactor starts out on last part of trip
AIKEN - After being delayed by low water levels on the Savannah River and transportation equipment problems, an 820-ton nuclear reactor finally started rolling slowly toward a dump in Barnwell on Saturday and should reach its burial site Monday morning, officials said.

Ceremony honors battalion members before departure

Officials prepare for fiscal fighting
Richmond County lawmakers say they don't need a crystal ball to see what looms ahead during this year's General Assembly session - budget battles.

Rants and raves
THIS IS FOR the folks that stole my sign from my house on West Avenue in North Augusta. It's only a matter of time before I get you.

Lack of money could delay some toxic waste cleanup in Augusta area
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A lack of money could delay further toxic waste cleanup at two sites in the Augusta area, state regulators say.

Correction
The Chem-Nuclear Systems Inc. waste facility in Barnwell County was misidentified in articles in the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday editions of The Augusta Chronicle.

Jackson brings 'Southern Crusade' to South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson will spend three days in South Carolina as part of his "Southern Crusade," an effort targeting racial reconciliation, voter registration and economic security.

Hundreds remember Beard's devotion to city, spirituality

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Mecedes N. Dupiree, 7, of Jackson.

Reece writes reply to report

Kid of the day

Jury selection to begin in Rivera trial
The first of four possible death-penalty trials begins Monday for Reinaldo Rivera.

Car hits sheriff's deputy

State budget woes threaten to delay reduction in pupil-teacher ratios
Taking that final step to lower class sizes might be too costly this year, local educators and lawmakers say.

Fatal collision calls attention to dangers

Across the southeast
MIAMI -A teenager whose life sentence for killing a 6-year-old playmate was thrown out will sign paperwork accepting a plea deal today, further clearing the way for his release from prison, his mother's lawyer said Saturday.

News you can use
JAN. 3, 1933 - CHARLESTON, S.C. - A coroner's jury has ordered Annie Laurie Gray held for the slaying of her husband, James B. Gray, 40, of Augusta, a railroad fireman, as he slept in their home here early yesterday. The jury returned a verdict that Mr. Gray came to his death from "pistol wounds of the head, said wounds inflicted with a pistol in the hands of Annie Laurie Gray."

News you can use
JAN. 4, 1928 An oyster supper and smoker was held at the Junior Order Hall on Walton Way last night to present Mayor William B. Bell a handsome gold watch from his many friends throughout the city.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA - An increase in fees hasn't meant a drop in the number of visitors to South Carolina's state parks.

Kid of the Day
Today's Kid of the Day is Kristie Ploetzke of North Augusta.

A few observations for my grandsons

Augusta Canal boat sees early success
Augusta's newest tourist attraction is fulfilling its mission of luring more visitors to the Augusta Canal.

Perdue proposing 2 percent teacher pay hike
ATLANTA -- Gov. Sonny Perdue will offer teachers a 2 percent across-the-board pay raise when the Legislature convenes this month, coupled with changes which will give the state's most veteran educators an extra salary bump, The Associated Press has learned.

Car hits sheriff's deputy
A Richmond County sheriff's deputy remained in critical condition and was scheduled for surgery late Friday after being struck by a car on Peach Orchard Road earlier in the evening, according to Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength.

A strong finish
ATLANTA - Coaches say it so often it's trite - but true.

Loss to Georgia is tough to take
ATHENS, Ga. - Who didn't see this coming? No. 3 Georgia Tech was off to its best start in the program's history, a perfect 12-0 including a 16-point whipping of No. 1 Connecticut. Unranked Georgia is anything but special, its three losses including a 20-point home defeat to mighty Winthrop.

Mailman misses trip but doesn't go on injured list

Timberwolves defeat Hawks
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Garnett led a well-balanced lineup with 18 points and 15 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Atlanta Hawks 93-75 on Friday night.

76ers 83, Spurs 77
SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan attempted San Antonio's first eight free throws and missed them all.

Timberwolves defeat Hawks

Mailman misses trip but doesn't go on injured list
SEATTLE -- Karl Malone was not with the Los Angeles Lakers for their game Friday night against Seattle, but the team didn't place him on the injured list as had been expected.

76ers 83, Spurs 77

Men's basketball roundup
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Deron Williams expected an easy day his first game back after breaking his jaw. It was anything but easy.

Lady Jaguars improve to 10-1
After missing a potential game-winning layup last year against Paine, Ernesia Wideman wasn't going to get into that situation again.

Local basketball roundup
Sarah Kendrick and Lana Mandic both had career-high point totals to lead the USC Aiken Lady Pacers to a 74-57 victory over Presbyterian College on Saturday at the Courthouse.

Ernesia Wideman's on a mission
Ernesia Wideman doesn't usually cry after basketball games. Unless you count the season-ending contests.

Reviewing and previewing local college basketball
WHO'S HOT North Florida women. An Elite Eight team last season, the Lady Ospreys have won 10 straight.

Womens basketball roundup
MINNEAPOLIS - Lindsay Whalen scored 24 points to surpass 2,000 for her career, and sixth-ranked Minnesota remained undefeated with a 63-53 victory Saturday over South Carolina.

Lions hand Jaguars 8th consecutive loss
Following Paine's 59-48 win over Augusta State on Saturday night, several Lions tried to quiet other players as they walked down the hallway to the locker room.

Dolphins interview Ruskell for GM position

Belichick landslide choice as top coach

End of bowl season could open doors for Atlanta

Colts plan to make most of second chance against Broncos

MVP tie is only third in history

Holmgren, Pack haven't faired well in playoffs since split

Mrs. Bennie Bell    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Quesada    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Featured obituary: Mr. Larry Dick
Larry Dick was an active and civic-minded man, from helping to found a hospital to opening a retirement community and serving Richmond County as a tax assessor.

Miss Heather Smith    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Michael Lynce    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Willie Simmons, Sr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Margaret Baglivio    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Ms. Faye Seymore    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jeannette Walker    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Rountree    (ORANGEBURG, S.C.)
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Mrs. Elsie Norris    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Dr. Sava Roberts    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pam Fidler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Rigsby, Sr.    (ALBANY, Ga.)
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Mrs. Eunice Bragg    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
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Mr. Ernest Reid    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Savannah Dobey    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Quesada    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Bennie Bell    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. J.C. Quattlebaum    (FLORAL CITY, Fla.)
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Miss Heather Smith    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Frances Poole    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Horace Price, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Gwendolyn Strickland    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Carl Myers    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Rosie Patten    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Virginia Guida    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jerelene Allen    (ATLANTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Ruby Edwards    (WHITE PLAINS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Audrey Parry    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mrs. Maude Borum    (FLORENCE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Alma Oliphant    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Joseph Brunson    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Elsie Norris    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Randy Edmonds    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Moss    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Yolanda Christian    (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Isabel McLaurin    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Charlie Bledsoe    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Tremmelyn McFadden    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Fred Anderson    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mrs. Meshelle Magill    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. La'Cretha Tiller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. T.W. Lariscy    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
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Mr. Albert Roberson, Jr.    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
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Mr. Rufus Lane    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Joe Smith    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Ms. La'Cretha Tiller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Parham, Sr.    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Miss Shannon Vaughn    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. James Neville    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Daisy Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Tremmelyn McFadden    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Avery Anderson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. William Hamrick, Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Charlotte Dinkins    (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)
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Rev. Charles Gregory    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Edwin Davis, Jr.    (TENNILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Doris Fennell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Cone    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Calvin Street    (DEARING, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pauline Banks    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Evangeline Dana    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Ms. Lucille Knox    (NEW YORK, N.Y.)
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Mr. Robert Buckhanon    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Miss Jessica Jennings    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Commissioner Lee Beard    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Henry Holston    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Charlie Bledsoe    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. William Hamrick, Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jessie Bowdre    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Nellie Futch    (HARLEM, Ga.)
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Mrs. Georgia Brown    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Eliza Franklin    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ruth Burch    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pam Fidler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Charlie Ferrell    (WASHINGTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Daris Bush    (MIDVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Rufus Lane (MILLEN, Ga.)

Ms. La'Cretha Tiller (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Maude Borum (FLORENCE, S.C.)

Mr. Carl Myers (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Yolanda Christian (NEW ELLENTON, S.C.)

Mr. James Neville (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Jerelene Allen (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Miss Heather Smith (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Georgia Brown (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Mr. Tremmelyn McFadden (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Tremmelyn McFadden (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Joe Smith (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

Ms. Lucille Knox (NEW YORK, N.Y.)

Mrs. Charlotte Dinkins (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)

Mrs. Meshelle Magill (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charlie Bledsoe (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Pauline Banks (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Guida (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charlie Bledsoe (AIKEN, S.C.)

Ms. Ruby Edwards (WHITE PLAINS, Ga.)

Commissioner Lee Beard (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Buckhanon (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ernest Reid (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Featured obituary: Mr. Larry Dick

Mrs. Elsie Norris (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Bennie Bell (EVANS, Ga.)

Mr. Charlie Ferrell (WASHINGTON, Ga.)

Mr. Michael Lynce (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Randy Edmonds (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Fred Anderson (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Eunice Bragg (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Rev. Charles Gregory (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Eliza Franklin (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. James Parham, Sr. (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Frances Poole (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Evangeline Dana (APPLING, Ga.)

Mr. Calvin Street (DEARING, Ga.)

Ms. La'Cretha Tiller (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Dr. Sava Roberts (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elsie Norris (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Alma Oliphant (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Edwin Davis, Jr. (TENNILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Daris Bush (MIDVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Audrey Parry (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Louise Rountree (ORANGEBURG, S.C.)

Mr. T.W. Lariscy (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mrs. Louise Moss (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. Avery Anderson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Henry Holston (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)

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

Miss Shannon Vaughn (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Daisy Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. J.C. Quattlebaum (FLORAL CITY, Fla.)

Mrs. Jessie Bowdre (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Bennie Bell (EVANS, Ga.)

Ms. Faye Seymore (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Hamrick, Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Nellie Futch (HARLEM, Ga.)

Mrs. Jeannette Walker (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Gwendolyn Strickland (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)

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

Mr. Joseph Brunson (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

Burke, Granroth chosen for biathlon team

Overtime

Overtime

Area sports announcements

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.

Overtime
In Helsinki, Finland, the United States reached the final of hockey's world junior championships, beating Finland 2-1 Saturday behind goals from Stephen Werner and Daniel Fritsche.

Overtime
Finland beat defending champion Russia 4-3 on Friday, setting up a semifinal with the United States at hockey's junior world championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Burke, Granroth chosen for biathlon team
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Tim Burke and Sarah Granroth won sprints Friday and qualified for the U.S. biathlon team at next month's world championships.

First deer

First deer
Every young hunter dreams of a trophy buck for his first deer, and sometimes those dreams come true. Robert McCrary IV was hunting from a tower stand near Barnwell, S.C., when this memorable whitetail appeared.

Outdoors calendar

Outdoors calendar
Thurs., Jan. 8: Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society will meet at 7 p.m. at North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Ave. Carol and Larry Eldridge will present a program on wildlife rehabilitation. The public is welcome.

Augusta store was a treasure for outdoorsmen
There are lots of things I will miss about 2003. One of them - Augusta Sporting Goods - passed quietly into oblivion when its owners locked the doors for the last time on a Tuesday afternoon in September.

Both parties see chance to win control of General Assembly
ATLANTA - Entering an election year as pivotal as any in Georgia history, Republicans and Democrats boast strong arguments why their party will capture complete control of what is now a divided General Assembly.

Prep basketball scores
Here is a list of area prep basketball scores for Friday night.

Belichick landslide choice as top coach
Bill Belichick owns three Super Bowl titles, and after leading the New England Patriots in his best coaching job, he was honored Saturday as The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year.

End of bowl season could open doors for Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Following a busy week of interviews, general manager Rich McKay can't say the Atlanta Falcons will hire their next head coach any time soon.

Dolphins interview Ruskell for GM position
DAVIE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay interim general manager Tim Ruskell spent more than three hours Friday interviewing with the Miami Dolphins, who are seeking a new GM to replace coach Dave Wannstedt as the person in charge of personnel.

MVP tie is only third in history
It seems fitting Peyton Manning and Steve McNair shared The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award Friday. After all, their teams finished with the same record and tied atop the AFC South.

Panthers claw past Cowboys
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jake Delhomme could throw, Stephen Davis could run and nothing Bill Parcells and the Dallas Cowboys tried could stop them.

Holmgren, Pack haven't faired well in playoffs since split
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Neither Mike Holmgren nor the Green Bay Packers have had much success in the playoffs since they parted ways five years ago.

McNair finally beats Ravens
BALTIMORE -- With one gritty victory, the Tennessee Titans ended a run of misery against Baltimore and kept alive their hope of returning to the Super Bowl.

Colts plan to make most of second chance against Broncos
INDIANAPOLIS -- Not long after wrapping up the AFC South title last week, the Indianapolis Colts started to think about redemption.

Faith and fellowship calendar
The Faith and Fellowship Calendar is a roundup of church and temple activities. Space is limited. Deadline is noon Monday. Send items by e-mail to send a fax to 722-7403; or mail to Faith and Fellowship, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

Lutheran church to experiment with contemporary service
The congregation at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church is 240 families strong, but few of them are young families with children.

Book traces remarkable faith journey
Until a chance meeting with another author last spring, Janell Matthews Lindsey had not thought about one of her manuscripts she had tucked under her bed about 25 years before.

Pat Robertson: God told him it's Bush in a 'blowout'
NORFOLK, Va. -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Friday he believes God has told him President Bush will be re-elected in a "blowout" in November.

Worshippers enjoy Christian karaoke
Bill Tolbert III is no mind reader, but after 15 years of shepherding karaoke performers across the stage at Augusta-area clubs, he's ready to quell any singer's fears.

Faith digest
Gospel singer Dottie Peoples of Atlanta will perform at 5 p.m. today at Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St. Tickets cost $25-$28.

Augusta store was a treasure for outdoorsmen

A strong finish

Loss to Georgia is tough to take

'Sex and the City' begins final fling

Rankings for basic cable networks

Rankings for basic cable networks
Rankings for the top 15 programs on basic cable networks as compiled by Nielsen Media Research for the week of Dec. 22-28. Each ratings point represents 1,084,000 households. Day and start time (EST) are in parentheses.

'Sex and the City' begins final fling
LOS ANGELES -- If "Sex and the City" puts its fans in the mood for anything these days, it might just be a good cry.

James Watson tells tale of DNA on epic documentary series

James Watson tells tale of DNA on epic documentary series
NEW YORK -- James Watson, who rocked the human race a half-century ago by discovering the DNA molecule's double-helix structure, has only one complaint about "DNA," a documentary series in which he serves as the overarching presence.

People in the News

Bulldogs end Jackets' streak

Bulldogs end Jackets' streak
ATHENS, Ga. - It's unusual for Georgia senior Jonas Hayes to rise early in the morning.

Gophers handle Gamecocks

Gophers handle Gamecocks
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's big two were at it again Saturday, this time showing the rest of the country why the Golden Gophers have become a national power.

Master's badges
The cost of attending the Masters Tournament just went up 40 percent - from $125 in 2003 to $175 for the 2004 tournament.

Teens to be charged with shooting out windows of 120 cars

Odds and Ends

Worshippers enjoy Christian karaoke

Faith and fellowship calendar

Lutheran church to experiment with contemporary service

Faith digest

Book traces remarkable faith journey

Pat Robertson: God told him it's Bush in a 'blowout'