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.

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.

Cartoonist offers realistically funny look at family life

Anne Rice ends vampire chronicles

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

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.

Larry Brown returns with violent and bawdy novel

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.

Best sellers list
Best sellers according to Publishers Weekly.

Book explores Elvis' taste in fashion

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
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.

Best sellers list

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

South Korean quest for flawless English drives tongue surgery for toddlers
SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korean mothers know few bounds in trying to give their kids a leg up in speaking English. They play them nursery rhymes in the womb, hire pricey tutors for toddlers, send preschoolers to America to pick up the accent.

Princess Anne to send dog to animal psychologist, newspaper says
LONDON -- Princess Anne will send her dog to an animal psychologist to avoid having it euthanized after it attacked a royal maid and fatally mauled one of Queen Elizabeth II's beloved corgis, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Groups help business leaders network

Business liquidator opens up shop in Silicon Valley
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Amid rising hopes for a high-tech turnaround, there's this sobering sign: Martin Pichinson - a man who has buried nearly 150 failed startups since 1999 - has swooped into Silicon Valley like a vulture lurking over a pack of wounded animals.

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.

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.

Jobless rate not likely to change

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.

Business calendar

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.

Fashion bargain seekers flock to N.Y. designer sample sales
NEW YORK -- Helen Swerko-Steinberg can't find designer deals like a Victor Costa evening gown at cost in Cape Coral, Fla. So she makes regular trips to New York sample sales in search of high fashion at low prices.

More companies are tapping into the fitness needs of boomers

Miller celebrates 100 years of High Life

Business briefs

On the move

Fashion bargain seekers flock to N.Y. designer sample sales

Low-carb beers target weight-concious drinkers

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.

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.

TUMS tablet still a leader in antacids sales
ST. LOUIS -- A fruity scent fills the air as a multihued stream of tablets click and clack into plastic bottles and then zip away. A few yards away, the aroma turns minty as round, white wafers are sealed tightly into rolls.

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.

Ex-brokerage worker plays pivotal role in Martha Stewart trial
NEW YORK -- Martha Stewart is nothing less than a national icon, a politely smiling media titan whose tasteful imprint graces books and bed linens, garden boots and garlic presses, clipped-out recipes on refrigerator doors and bulletin boards.

U.S. gift of dairy cows change lives in Rwanda
BYUMBA, Rwanda -- Two years ago Celestin Bujyakera was a notorious village drunkard selling banana wine. He never made enough to pay his children's school fees, his wife's medical bills or other family expenses.

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

TUMS tablet still a leader in antacids sales

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.

Business liquidator opens up shop in Silicon Valley

Unlock potential to succeed in your own business

Ex-brokerage worker plays pivotal role in Martha Stewart trial

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.

Lady Tigers fall to No. 14 North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Leah Metcalf and Camille Little each scored 15 points, and No. 14 North Carolina snapped Clemson's nine-game winning streak with a 72-47 victory Sunday.

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.

Tigers show fight in another loss to Devils

Clemson's victory ends season on positive note

Spying shenanigans overshadowed only other Oklahoma-LSU matchup
NEW ORLEANS -- A half-century later, Darrell Royal remembers most everything about the only other football game between Oklahoma and LSU. The big plays, the easy win and even a late hit on an extra point.

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.

LSU tops Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl
NEW ORLEANS -- There's no question who's No. 1 to the thousands of purple-and-gold partyers in tiger stripes who packed the Superdome and Bourbon Street.

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.

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

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.

Tranghese: Basketball-style committee could be in BCS future

Spying shenanigans overshadowed only other Oklahoma-LSU matchup

Tranghese: Basketball-style committee could be in BCS future
NEW ORLEANS -- Conceding "we made a mistake," the head of the BCS said an NCAA basketball tournament-style committee might become part of the selection process next season - reducing the possibility of a split national championship in football.

Sooners learn to cope without Mike Stoops

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

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.

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

LSU tops Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl

Lady Jaguars improve to 10-1

Local basketball roundup

Loss to Duke unmasks defending champs' flaws

Men's basketball roundup

Lions hand Jaguars 8th consecutive loss

Mad cow no recruiter

Patients' rights near?
The U.S. Supreme Court, not Congress, may be the vehicle that finally wins U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood his long, hard fight to get a patients' bill of rights for the American people.

Vets' improved access
You know it's an election year when government responds favorably to important constituencies.

Filling the stocking
Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of area residents whose hearts were full of the holiday spirit, about 4,500 needy local people enjoyed a much merrier Christmas than would have otherwise been the case.

End medical 'lottery'

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.

Patients' rights near?

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."

Filling the stocking

Vets' improved access

Process that could select jury for Michael Jackson found unconstitutional
LOS ANGELES -- When the law speaks of defendants being entitled to a jury of their peers, it's obvious no one contemplated Michael Jackson's place in the justice system.

Britney Spears marries childhood friend in Las Vegas - but quickly annuls
LAS VEGAS -- Pop star Britney Spears married a childhood friend from Louisiana in an early morning ceremony, but quickly arranged to have it annulled, a source close to the singer told The Associated Press on Sunday.

First few trading sessions could set the tone for Wall Street's year

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.

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.

Use caution when investing

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.

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?

Is there any point in buying bonds now?

First few trading sessions could set the tone for Wall Street's year
NEW YORK -- Wall Street rode out 2003 on a wave of optimism this past week as upbeat investors bet that the economic rebound will accelerate. But analysts say the next few trading days may be more telling since early January gains historically bode well for the rest of the year.

Yellow Jackets no longer undefeated after loss to Georgia
ATHENS, Ga. -- When Georgia's players and fans finally completed their celebration at halfcourt, Georgia Tech point guard Jarrett Jack was left to explain the Yellow Jackets' first loss of the 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.

Win puts Yellow Jackets on the right path
BOISE, Idaho - Georgia Tech will remain undefeated for the next eight months.

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.

Man on the run: Georgia Tech's Daniels tops 300 yards
BOISE, Idaho -- P.J. Daniels gained 307 yards and was ready to run for more.

Man on the run: Georgia Tech's Daniels tops 300 yards

Georgia Tech notebook

Win puts Yellow Jackets on the right path

Yellow Jackets no longer undefeated after loss to Georgia

Restrooms, doctors' offices are teeming with mysteries

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.

Columbia County school board officers elected
Roxanne Whitaker was elected chairwoman of the Columbia County school board Monday morning. This marks her second turn as chairwoman in her eight years on the board.

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

Howard Dean can't take the heat
What a piece of work! Howard Dean, who has called his Democratic opponents "dwarves" and "prostitutes," thinks they are being too mean to him. This is the same man, who calls the president of the United States a liar and makes a backward accusation of treason in postulating the theory that President George W. Bush knew in advance about the attacks on 9-11. -Brian C. Coffey, Martinez, Ga.

DVDs not always compatible with players
Digital versatile discs (DVDs) have several standards that both the producers of the discs and the manufacturers of the DVD players adhere to. However, buyers beware of the "regional code" standard. It is only required by the DVD player manufacturers, not the DVD movie producers. Jim Brennecke, Augusta

There are no rules in this war
There is so much discussion about the treatment of war and terrorist prisoners. Why don't you research it and do a report on it? Ernest F. Daniel, Augusta

DVDs not always compatible with players

Howard Dean can't take the heat

God help us if Bush is re-elected

God help us if Bush is re-elected
I did 20 years in the Navy, under many presidents. They all had their faults. -Fred Frantum, Aiken, S.C.

Follow the divi-divi trees in Aruba

Conduct thorough interviews with potential contractors

Local author featured in cookbook

Researchers testing idea of weed-sniffing dog

Biking and snacking in Thailand

Moving day for Calif. Academy of Sciences

Collecting couple has a mouse in the house

Visualization technologies enliven Internet search

Fresh tricks and new thrills from snowboarding titles

Cancellation notice should be sent

In the know

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.

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.

Visualization technologies enliven Internet search
NEW YORK -- As wonderful as Internet search engines are, they have a pretty big flaw. They often deliver too much information, and a lot of it isn't quite what we're looking for. Who really bothers to read the dozens of pages of results that Google generates?

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.

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).

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

Researchers testing idea of weed-sniffing dog
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Someday soon, man's best friend could also be one of his biggest allies in the fight against noxious weeds.

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

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

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

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

Fresh tricks and new thrills from snowboarding titles
I've long fantasized about throwing down a backside 720 corkscrew, polished off with a sweet stalefish grab, and grinding the rails like a 15-year-old.

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

Teammates fail new Lynx goalie

Lynx line chalks up 4 goals

Lynx line chalks up 4 goals
It's been a while since the Augusta Lynx had a line good enough to earn a nickname. The way things are going for Louis Goulet, Paul Vincent and Jonathan Gagnon, a clever moniker can't be too far off.

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

Cherokee Sheriffs arrest 3 suspects in double slaying
WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- A newly formed homicide task force is being credited for the arrests of three men charged in the deaths of two men found beaten to death Christmas night in a Cherokee County park.

Deputy struck by car is dead

Nuclear burial site sees fall in business

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.

Small town suffers big traffic woes
WINDER, Ga. - Doris Bailey thought a move to small-town northeast Georgia would take her away from the congested traffic of her native big-city Texas.

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.

Cumberland Island may expand wilderness area in land trade
CUMBERLAND ISLAND, Ga. -- The wilderness area on Georgia's Cumberland Island could increase by 32 acres if the National Park Service approves a proposed land swap.

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.

Across the southeast

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

Deputy struck by car is dead
A Richmond County sheriff's deputy who was hit by a car Friday while directing traffic around an accident died Sunday, officials said.

Kid of the Day

Across Georgia
WOODSTOCK -A new homicide task force is being credited for the arrests of three men charged in the beating deaths of two men found in a Cherokee County park on Christmas night.

Lawmakers want to save HOPE, but can't agree how

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.

Rants and Raves
IT IS SCARY to realize that nurses can be fired, make terrible mistakes and falsify resumes, yet move on to other positions. I work with two nurses who laugh and joke about being fired. Employers need to do more thorough background checks and interviews to determine who these dangerous and incompetent nurses are.

High-profile state officials to testify in school funding lawsuit
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A lawsuit that claims the state isn't giving some of its poorest students a decent education returns to court Monday, and school district lawyers expect a witness list chock-full of high-profile state officials to attract more interest to the case.

World's tallest flagpole could fly in Georgia

Across the southeast
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -A woman has been charged with murder in the death of her 10-month-old daughter, who deputies say was bitten and violently shaken because she was crying.

Cult leader's molestation trial could create circus following months of strange protests

Sanford displays lone-wolf tendency

Cumberland Island may expand wilderness area in land trade

Kid of the day

Experts say high beef prices motivate cattle thieves

Perdue foresees frugality
ATLANTA - Georgia taxpayers will feel more confident about their state government when they see how tightfisted officials are with the public's money during the session of the Legislature that begins Jan. 12, Gov. Sonny Perdue predicts.

Across the area

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

Dealers address vehicle safety

Job-hopper settles on restaurant
In 30 years of life, Julian Marshall has seen and done a lot.

Gunfire kills woman helicopter pilot from South Carolina in Iraq

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

Perdue foresees frugality

Experts say high beef prices motivate cattle thieves
DALTON, Ga. -- Driving his pickup truck through an expansive piece of hilly north Georgia pasture, David Storey slowed down, leaned forward and pointed through the windshield to a fenced-in area next to a mobile home.

Officials of island work on land deal

Fewer bald eagles die from mysterious illness
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Fewer bald eagles in South Carolina have died from a mysterious illness, but researchers tracking the disease say the problem is far from over.

Tax advocates brace for fight

Cult leader's molestation trial could create circus following months of strange protests
EATONTON, Ga. -- After months of protests by followers dressed as Egyptian pharaohs, mummies and birds, the leader of a quasi-religious cult is headed to trial Monday on charges he molested young followers.

News you can use

Five questions
John A. Rowley, Director, Aiken County Detention Center, answers five questions.

Across the southeast

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.

High-profile state officials to testify in school funding lawsuit

Dealers address vehicle safety
AIKEN - All-terrain vehicle accidents like the one that killed an Aiken County girl last week have increased with the growth in the four-wheeler industry, and manufacturers and dealers have tried to stem tragedies with aggressive safety campaigns.

Across the area

Deputy remains hospitalized

Reactor starts out on last part of trip

Job-hopper settles on restaurant

Jury selection to begin in Rivera trial

Victim advocates hope new law cuts domestic violence

Both parties see chance to win control of General Assembly

Tax advocates brace for fight
ATLANTA - Advocates for Georgians who depend on state services are getting ready to make a lot of noise during the upcoming legislative session.

Perdue proposing 2 percent teacher pay hike

Officials of island work on land deal
CUMBERLAND ISLAND, Ga. - The wilderness area on Georgia's largest barrier island could increase by more than 32 acres if the National Park Service approves a proposed land swap.

News you can use

Across the area
Richmond County sheriff's officers arrested a 38-year-old Augusta man Sunday on charges of making terroristic threats, according to jail records.

Cult leader's molestation trial could create circus

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.

Augusta Canal boat sees early success

Across South Carolina
GREENVILLE -Victims' advocates say they hope to see criminal domestic violence rates fall as a new law takes hold in South Carolina.

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

Sanford displays lone-wolf tendency
COLUMBIA - Somewhere between Gov. Mark Sanford's ambitious campaign goals and the lessons and lumps he picked up during his first year in office are clues to how his remaining tenure will play out.

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.

HOPE changes could usher in return of D grades in some schools
ATLANTA -- The D, long a letter grade that kept struggling students somewhere between average and failing, has disappeared in some Georgia school districts.

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.

World's tallest flagpole could fly in Georgia
LEXINGTON, Ga. -- Towering over northeast Georgia, the world's tallest freestanding flagpole could be built as the centerpiece for a proposed veterans' memorial park.

Rants and raves
Comments from readers:

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.

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

Lawmakers want to save HOPE, but can't agree how
ATLANTA -- Legislators are known for bickering, whether it's over the state budget or a pet project that would please the folks back home.

Across Georgia

Black candidates few for state college boards
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Only a sixth of the candidates seeking seats on state college boards are black.

Drug fight shifts to outside cities

Study: Job cuts hit best-paid workers
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Job cuts during 2002 fell hardest on South Carolina's best-paid workers, according to a newspaper's analysis.

Juvenile court judge under investigation

Victim advocates hope new law cuts domestic violence
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Victim advocates hope to see criminal domestic violence rates fall as a new law takes hold in South Carolina.

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.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Travis Montez Calloway, 20 months, of Augusta.

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.

News you can use
JAN. 5, 1997 Half the Richmond County School Board boycotted a Saturday meeting to pick new leaders, leaving the other half legally unable to vote. But they did anyway and named Andrew Jefferson president.

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.

Rants and Raves
IT IS SCARY to realize that nurses can be fired, make terrible mistakes and falsify resumes, yet move on to other positions. I work with two nurses who laugh and joke about being fired. Employers need to do more thorough background checks and interviews to determine who these dangerous and incompetent nurses are.

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

Correction

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.

3 children, mom die in home fire

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.

Gunfire kills woman helicopter pilot from South Carolina in Iraq
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An Easley High School graduate has become the first woman pilot killed in Iraq.

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.

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

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

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.

Study: Job cuts hit best-paid workers

Hundreds remember Beard's devotion to city, spirituality

Fewer bald eagles die from mysterious illness

Across South Carolina

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.

Restrooms, doctors' offices are teeming with mysteries
It's the beginning of a new year - the start of endless possibilities for us all - so let's talk about bathrooms.

'Return of the King' remains No. 1 at box office
LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood made way for a third straight week of box-office dominance by "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" as no new movies opened in wide release for the New Year's weekend.

'Return of the King' remains No. 1 at box office

Survey: Recording industry crackdown appears to be slowing music downloading

Edie Brickell has first new album in a decade

Survey: Recording industry crackdown appears to be slowing music downloading
NEW YORK -- The recording industry's legal onslaught against Internet song-swappers appears to be having its desired effect. The percentage of Americans who download music online has been sliced in half, according to a report released Sunday.

Edie Brickell has first new album in a decade
NEW YORK -- Edie Brickell has a mischievous smile on her face when the singer says she's a little jealous of her children's musical ability.

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

76ers 83, Spurs 77

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.

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.

Loss to Duke unmasks defending champs' flaws
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Lindsay Harding dribbled nearly the length of the court unimpeded, slicing through Connecticut's defense.

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.

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.

Colts plan to make most of second chance against Broncos

Titans-Patriots to highlight second weekend of playoffs

Panthers play best all-around game of year to advance

Favre breaks mark for consecutive playoff games with TD pass

Belichick landslide choice as top coach

Packers defeat Seahawks in overtime

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

Colts trample Broncos

Eagles will meet Packers in a rematch

Mrs. Charlotte Dinkins    (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)
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Mr. William Hamrick, Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Julia Sheppard    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Carl Myers    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Edith B. Thigpen    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. James Neville    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Edna Murrell    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Elsie Norris    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Phinizy Bennett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Parham, Sr.    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Rev. Charles Gregory    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Horace Price, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Ms. Ruby Edwards    (WHITE PLAINS, Ga.)
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Mr. Joe Smith    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mr. Tremmelyn McFadden    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Michael Lynce    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Horace Price, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Raymond Byce    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Charlie Bledsoe    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mary Cone    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Walden    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Leon Davis    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Virginia Guida    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Robert Edens    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Ms. La'Cretha Tiller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pam Fidler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Cone    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Rev. Charles Gregory    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Robert Buckhanon    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Virginia Guida    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Belinda Blount    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Naomi Jones    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Earnest Macklin, Sr.    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Evangeline Dana    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Quesada    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Charlotte Dinkins    (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)
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Mr. Albert Roberson, Jr.    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Doris Fennell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Miss Heather Smith    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Edwin Davis, Jr.    (TENNILLE, Ga.)
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Ms. La'Cretha Tiller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Eddye Fennell    (BATH, S.C.)
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Mrs. Jeannette Walker    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Nettie Hinkle    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mr. Fred Anderson    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mr. Frank Kaiser    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Bennie Bell    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Charles Mitchell, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. James Parham, Sr.    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pam Fidler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pansy Pierce    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Michael Posivach    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Beverly Sparks    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Walter Reid    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Evangeline Dana    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Mrs. Doris Fennell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jacquelyn Bledsoe    (ARABI, Ga.)
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Ms. Jeannette Walker    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Charlie Bledsoe    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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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.

Mrs. Marie Glauzier    (EAST POINT, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Walden (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Rev. Charles Gregory (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Edith B. Thigpen (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Elsie Norris (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Edens (AIKEN, S.C.)

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

Mr. Raymond Byce (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Bennie Bell (EVANS, Ga.)

Ms. Jeannette Walker (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Featured obituary: Mr. Larry Dick

Mr. Frank Kaiser (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Guida (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Marie Glauzier (EAST POINT, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Evangeline Dana (APPLING, Ga.)

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

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

Mr. Tremmelyn McFadden (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Jacquelyn Bledsoe (ARABI, Ga.)

Mr. Carl Myers (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Nettie Hinkle (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Pam Fidler (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Virginia Guida (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Horace Price, Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Evangeline Dana (APPLING, Ga.)

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

Rev. Charles Gregory (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Earnest Macklin, Sr. (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. Michael Lynce (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Belinda Blount (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Buckhanon (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Mitchell, Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Ms. Ruby Edwards (WHITE PLAINS, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary Cone (WARRENTON, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Edna Murrell (TRENTON, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Doris Fennell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Neville (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Leon Davis (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Jeannette Walker (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Naomi Jones (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mrs. Pansy Pierce (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Julia Sheppard (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

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

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

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

Area sports announcements

Overtime

Overtime

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.

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 Mashantucket, Conn., Acelino Freitas of Brazil knocked down Artur Grigorian four times and captured the WBO lightweight title in a unanimous decision Saturday night.

Freitas wins unanimous decision against Grigorian
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Acelino Freitas of Brazil knocked down Artur Grigorian four times and captured the WBO lightweight title in a unanimous decision Saturday night.

Outdoors calendar

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
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.

Panthers play best all-around game of year to advance
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It wasn't perfect, just as close as the Carolina Panthers can possibly get.

Eagles will meet Packers in a rematch
PHILADELPHIA -- Andy Reid won a Super Bowl as an assistant coach with Green Bay. The Philadelphia head coach will have to beat the Packers to have a chance at winning one this season.

Titans-Patriots to highlight second weekend of playoffs
The New England Patriots' reward for having the NFL's best record might not be much of a prize.

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.

Favre breaks mark for consecutive playoff games with TD pass
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre set an NFL record Sunday by throwing a touchdown pass in his 14th consecutive playoff game.

Packers defeat Seahawks in overtime
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Al Harris streamed down the sideline, his long hair flapping in the frigid wind.

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.

Colts trample Broncos
INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning was finally playoff perfect.

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.

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.

Augusta store was a treasure for outdoorsmen

Loss to Georgia is tough to take

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week
On the season premiere of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David gets whacked in the head by a bathroom door, then drooled on by his doctor ... tries and fails to make time with a pretty girl by riffing on the problems of bowling ... accepts an offer from Mel Brooks, to everyone else's consternation.

Dimond has put Court TV at the forefront of Jackson story

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week

Dimond has put Court TV at the forefront of Jackson story
NEW YORK -- A few months ago, reporter Diane Dimond told Court TV Chairman Henry Schleiff that she was working on a great story and would need him to commit money and manpower to help dig it out.

Britney Spears marries childhood friend in Las Vegas - but quickly annuls

Process that could select jury for Michael Jackson found unconstitutional

Dogs win, get set for SEC foes

Bulldogs end Jackets' streak

Dogs win, get set for SEC foes
ATHENS, Ga. - One season ended with an easy win Sunday and another begins in four days.

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.

South Korean quest for flawless English drives tongue surgery for toddlers