Alagna and Kasarova star in 'Werther' at the Met
NEW YORK -- To honor Franco Corelli, the Metropolitan Opera dedicated its opening performance of Massenet's "Werther" to the famed Italian tenor, who died in October.

Alagna and Kasarova star in 'Werther' at the Met

Pete Rose in Augusta
Pete Rose will be in Augusta on Feb. 7 for CoachQuest's Baseball and Softball Leadership and Instructional Events.

Baseball star Pete Rose admits he bet on baseball

Baseball star Pete Rose admits he bet on baseball
NEW YORK -- After 14 years of denials, Pete Rose has finally come clean and publicly admitted for the first time that he bet on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He says he never bet against his own team.

Putting away Christmas is easier said than done

Odds and Ends
MARTELL, Neb. -- What Dean Wittstruck found in his field looked to be the leftovers of one very happy New Year's Eve party. What it turned out to be were balloons from a college football game - some 900 miles 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.

Muslim youths change most offending names of football teams
IRVINE, Calif. -- After objections to team names like "Soldiers of Allah" and "Moujahideen" overshadowed a football tournament organized by Muslim youths, the players sacked most of the offending names and took to the field to more cheers than protests.

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.

Ex-brokerage worker plays pivotal role in Martha Stewart trial

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

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.

Ford unveils updated Mustang; Chevrolet shows new Corvette

Business briefs
DETROIT - General Motors Corp. fell short in its bid to increase U.S. market share for a third straight year as the world's largest automaker, along with Detroit rivals Ford Motor Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, saw sales decline in 2003.

Budget focuses on reduction

GM to give away 1,000 cars in $50 million promotion
DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. plans to give away 1,000 cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles in 56 days beginning Monday as part of a $50 million promotion to generate showroom traffic and build awareness of its nine U.S. brands.

Business briefs

GM, Ford, Chrysler post sales declines for 2003

TUMS tablet still a leader in antacids sales

Auto show notebook

GM, Ford, Chrysler post sales declines for 2003
DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. fell short in its bid to increase U.S. market share for a third straight year as the world's largest automaker, along with Detroit rivals Ford Motor Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, saw sales decline in 2003.

Leaders to work on 2003 efforts

Budget focuses on reduction
ATLANTA - Saving state money by turning juvenile offenders out of lockup sooner struck many legislators Monday as a mistake when Gov. Sonny Perdue presented his recommendations for adjusting the current year's budget.

Conservatives simmer as spending mushrooms under Bush
WASHINGTON -- Conservatives wait warily as President Bush makes final decisions about his election-year budget, three years into an administration on whose watch spending has mushroomed by 23.7 percent, the fastest pace in a decade.

Construction activity sets all-time record
WASHINGTON -- Construction spending set another record in November as continued low interest rates powered home building and state and local governments did their part by pushing their activity to all-time highs as well.

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.

Auto show notebook
DETROIT -- Looking to bolster its commitment to producing environmentally friendly vehicles, Honda Motor Co. announced plans to introduce a gas-electric hybrid version of its Accord this fall.

Leaders to work on 2003 efforts
Area chamber of commerce leaders see 2004 as the time to build on vital business initiatives started the year before, such as backing efforts to save Fort Gordon from closure.

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.

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.

GM to give away 1,000 cars in $50 million promotion

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.

Business liquidator opens up shop in Silicon Valley

Ford unveils updated Mustang; Chevrolet shows new Corvette
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. unveiled its new flagship sedan, the Five Hundred, and the Freestyle crossover - two family-oriented vehicles aimed at helping the world's second-largest automaker recapture a piece of the car market.

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.

Carroll wants Trojans humble - and hungry

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.

Spying shenanigans overshadowed only other Oklahoma-LSU matchup

TV ratings up for Rose Bowl, down for title game

TV ratings up for Rose Bowl, down for title game
NEW YORK -- Drama in the polls is no match for drama on the field when it comes to the television ratings for the Bowl Championship Series' title game.

LSU coach is already thinking about next year
NEW ORLEANS -- It didn't take long for LSU coach Nick Saban to put his biggest victory behind him.

Carroll wants Trojans humble - and hungry
LOS ANGELES -- Coach Pete Carroll promised the USC Trojans will remain humble in their reign as The Associated Press' national champion - humble and hungry.

Tranghese: Basketball-style committee could be in BCS future

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.

LSU coach is already thinking about next year

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.

LSU tops Oklahoma in Sugar Bowl

Pacers dump Wingate

Loss to Duke unmasks defending champs' flaws

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

Filling the stocking

Patients' rights near?

A bad gamble
If ever there was a cure worse than the disease, it would be the measures being pushed by state Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, to bring gambling back to South Carolina in order to eliminate the state's ballooning $350 million deficit.

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.

She can't annul this
Britney Spears earns plenty of criticism for how she dresses - or doesn't dress, rather.

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.

A bad gamble

Vets' improved access

The game is up
Bowl Championship Series officials promise they'll fix the system this year. They'll add a game! They'll form a committee! Hey, how about tinkering with the halftime show! That should take care of it, don't you think?

The game is up

Singer-songwriter Ray Davies wounded in robbery attempt
NEW ORLEANS -- Singer-songwriter Ray Davies of the Kinks was shot in the leg while chasing thieves who snatched a purse from a woman he was with, police said Monday. He was not seriously injured.

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.

Limbaugh wins more time to keep medical records private
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Rush Limbaugh's medical records will remain off-limits to prosecutors for at least 15 days more while his attorneys pursue an appeal, a judge ruled Monday.

People in the news
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Grammy-nominated singer Daniel Bedingfield may remain in New Zealand for several months to recuperate from injuries suffered in a car accident.

Britney Spears marriage annuled
LAS VEGAS -- Britney Spears' two-day-old marriage to a childhood friend was dissolved Monday shortly after the pop superstar filed for an annulment, claiming she didn't fully understand what she was doing when she got hitched on the spur of the moment.

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.

''Crocodile Hunter'' answers critics
SYDNEY, Australia -- "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin snapped back at critics who have accused him of endangering his month-old son's life by holding him while hand-feeding a crocodile, saying Monday that he would even do it again.

Putnam board approves 2 percent redemption recommendation
BOSTON -- Putnam Investments said Monday that trustees approved a 2 percent redemption fee on mutual fund shares exchanged or sold within five days of purchase, a move designed to discourage short-term "market timing" trades.

Americans build mountain of debt

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.

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

Americans build mountain of debt
NEW YORK -- As the bills from holiday spending sprees arrive, Americans are finding that the mountain of debt they've built has gotten even higher.

Stocks rise sharply on upbeat economic news

Treasury interest rates post increase at first auction of new year
WASHINGTON -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction to the highest levels in a month.

Fed policy-maker says conditions ripe to keep interest rates low

Stocks rise sharply on upbeat economic news
NEW YORK -- Wall Street began the first full week of 2004 with a solid advance Monday, rising on encouraging interest rate news, a strong semiconductor sales report and an upbeat forecast from software firm Siebel Systems.

Fed policy-maker says conditions ripe to keep interest rates low
WASHINGTON -- With inflation tame and the fragile job market healing, the Federal Reserve has room to hold a main short-term interest rate near rock-bottom levels for some time, a Fed policy-maker said Sunday.

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

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.

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.

Yellow Jackets no longer undefeated after loss to Georgia

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

Win puts Yellow Jackets on the right path

Restrooms, doctors' offices are teeming with mysteries

Tip Anderson, St. Andrews caddie, dies

Tip Anderson, St. Andrews caddie, dies
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- James "Tip" Anderson, the longtime caddie for Arnold Palmer at the British Open, died over the weekend at his home in St. Andrews. He was 71.

Thrashers put Lindsay, Sutton on injured reserve

Thrashers put Lindsay, Sutton on injured reserve
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers put defenseman Andy Sutton and Bill Lindsay on injured reserve Monday.

Putting away Christmas is easier said than done
I pretty much spent the weekend putting away Christmas.

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.

Commissioners appoint new legal counsel
Augusta commissioners voted 7-0 today to appoint new legal counsel, hiring Steve Shepard to serve as city attorney for a one-year term. There were three abstentions, including Mr. Shepard, himself a city commissioner.

DVDs not always compatible with players

Howard Dean can't take the heat

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.

Put deaths in Iraq in perspective
Each passing day brings negative comments about our military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan from some highly partisan Democrats like Anne Cook and Lowell Greenbaum, who continually put partisan politics above our nation's security. Alan R. Jackson, Hephzibah, Ga.

God help us if Bush is re-elected

Don't strap taxpayers with unacceptable arena

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

We should aspire to possess Christian morality

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

Don't strap taxpayers with unacceptable arena
I would like to comment on the proposed new civic center that Augusta Chronicle publisher William S. Morris III and Frank Lawrence want the taxpayers to pay for. Don Turner, Grovetown, Ga.

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.

We should aspire to possess Christian morality
I wish to address the issue of Christian morality and, specifically, the choice to be life-giving in this whole area of Christian social justice to our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Rev. Michael Lubinsky, Augusta (Editor's note: The writer is a parish associate at Most Holy Trinity.)

Put deaths in Iraq in perspective

NASA rover team shifts to Mars time

Seniors calendar

Mars rover yields a 3-D, 360-degree view of Mars

Fresh tricks and new thrills from snowboarding titles

Vehicles are popular, but where can you ride them?

Researchers testing idea of weed-sniffing dog

Student plans surf movie

Visualization technologies enliven Internet search

Astronomers find oldest, most distant galaxy clusters

China orders civet cats slaughtered in anti-SARS measure

China orders civet cats slaughtered in anti-SARS measure
BEIJING -- China on Monday confirmed its first SARS case since an outbreak of the disease was contained in July and authorities ordered the emergency slaughter of some 10,000 civet cats and related species after tests linked a virus found in the animals to the patient.

Seniors calendar
The Seniors Calendar lists activities and groups of interest to senior citizens. Please call the service agencies for information. To have your activity listed, write to Seniors Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

Student plans surf movie
Like many college students, Kristofer Roof will be traveling during his winter break.

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.

Mars rover yields a 3-D, 360-degree view of Mars
PASADENA, Calif. -- Combining 21st-century rocket science and 1950s B-movie technology, NASA on Monday released a 3-D, black-and-white panoramic picture of the bleak surface of Mars snapped by the newly landed rover Spirit.

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?

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

Photos taken by rover on Mars draw heavy Web traffic
PASADENA, Calif. -- A six-wheeled rover appeared on track Sunday to become the biggest Web draw in NASA history, just hours after it safely landed on Mars.

Vehicles are popular, but where can you ride them?
It was a big year for scooters, with parents snatching up Razors, Choppers and Scoodas during the holiday season for preteens and teenagers.

Mars rover comes complete with simple sundial technology
HONOLULU -- The advanced technology of the Mars Rover came fully equipped with one of the simplest devices imaginable - a tiny sundial that can tell time on both Mars and Earth.

Astronomers find oldest, most distant galaxy clusters
ATLANTA -- In observations looking back to the edge of time, astronomers have captured images of the oldest and most distant galactic clusters ever seen, a discovery that shows immense numbers of stars formed less than 2 billion years after the birth of the cosmos.

NASA rover team shifts to Mars time
PASADENA, Calif. -- The watch in Steve Squyres' pocket is off by some 39 minutes - and 106 million miles.

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.

Lynx line chalks up 4 goals

Lynx acquire Naumenko

Lynx acquire Naumenko
With the specter of being without Jason Saal for an extended period, the Augusta Lynx closed the deal on a new No. 1 goaltender Monday when they agreed to terms with former NHL netminder Gregg Naumenko.

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.

Police say woman died trying to put out blaze
A North Augusta woman who died in a fire Sunday night appeared to be trying to extin guish the flames rather then flee her mobile home, authorities said.

Principal at drug-raid high school resigns
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. -- A high school principal announced his resignation Monday following a firestorm over a November drug raid in which police with guns drawn ordered students to the floor.

Dealers address vehicle safety

Gunfire kills woman helicopter pilot from South Carolina in Iraq

S.C. Supreme Court orders new trial in beach slaying case
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A judge should have allowed a jury to see a videotape that challenged eyewitness testimony in a case that sent a man to prison for life in a 1998 Myrtle Beach shooting, the state Supreme Court said Monday.

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.

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.

Airline controls flight's fate
Augusta's chance to obtain a nonstop flight to Washington, D.C., now rests in the hands of US Airways.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Supreme Court on Monday upheld the conviction of a man who sold his urine in kits that allowed people to beat drug tests.

Experts say high beef prices motivate cattle thieves

City to appoint counsel today
Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of government litigation is up for grabs today, and Augusta commissioners will have the final say as to who gets it.

Teacher fires up colleagues
EDGEFIELD, S.C. - After facing disappointing pupil test scores and growing responsibilities, South Carolina educators needed a cheerleader to raise their spirits.

Reactor arrival at site delayed
SNELLING, S.C. - An 820-ton nuclear reactor pressure vessel inching its way across the Savannah River Site came painfully close Monday to finally arriving at its burial site.

State reports fewer fatal traffic accidents
AIKEN - For the first time since 1997, fatal traffic accidents on South Carolina roads dropped below 1,000 last year, a possible indication that aggressive safety campaigns and new traffic barriers are working.

Fingerprinting, photographing foreign visitors gets under way at U.S. airports
ATLANTA -- Authorities began scanning fingerprints and taking photographs of arriving foreigners Monday as part of a new program that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said will make borders "open to travelers but closed to terrorists."

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.

News you can use
JAN. 6, 1953 The federal government yesterday granted Augusta $18,800 to pay for preliminary planning in a slum clearance and urban redevelopment program.

News you can use

Sanford displays lone-wolf tendency

World's tallest flagpole could fly in Georgia

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.

Police say woman died trying to put out blaze

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.

Columbia County elects officers of school board

Tax advocates brace for fight

Georgia State astronomers help unravel mystery of bizarre double star

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

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.

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.

Across Georgia

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.

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.

Commissioners appoint new legal counsel

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

News you can use

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.

Rants and raves
I HAVE A RANT for the police in this area. I have an idea. Take all the DUI task forces and have them actually fight crime. Put them in neighborhoods where there is crime. Anyone can sit down the street from the local bars and catch all the drunks they want.

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.

Martinez scientist to study Mars data
Mike Wolff is having a little trouble living on Martian time.

State reports fewer fatal traffic accidents

Across Georgia
BRUNSWICK -Local, state and federal police put on a show of strength around the federal building in Brunswick on Monday during jury selection for the molestation trial against Nuwaubian cult leader Malachi York.

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.

Across the area
An Augusta woman told police she was kidnapped and stabbed at a south Augusta grocery store parking lot early Monday.

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.

Principal at drug-raid high school resigns
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. -- A high school principal announced his resignation Monday after coming under fire over a November drug sweep in which police with guns drawn ordered students to the floor.

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

Georgia State astronomers help unravel mystery of bizarre double star
ATLANTA -- Gas from a massive star is being stripped by a black hole and turned into high-speed jets that streak into space at slightly less than the speed of light, according to a study presented Monday by a team from Georgia State University.

Across the area

Arguments to begin in Georgia redistricting case
ATLANTA -- A three-judge federal panel will begin hearing a lawsuit challenging Georgia's state and congressional political districts on Tuesday.

Across South Carolina

Committee to consider smoking ordinance
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- It's been almost seven months since hundreds of residents turned out for a public hearing on an ordinance to make Charleston essentially a smoking-free city and city leaders tabled the idea, calling for further study.

Kid of the day

Authorities release new details on house fire
Seven-year-old Brianna Porter woke up to her mother's screams Sunday morning.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Jury pool is narrowed
Potential jurors return through the week for individual questioning. Final juror selection will take place Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Critics spur review of program

Critics spur review of program
AIKEN - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is reviewing an incentive program aimed at retaining experienced public school teachers because critics say it is too expensive and doesn't work.

Committee to consider smoking ordinance

Arguments to begin in Georgia redistricting case

Study: Job cuts hit best-paid workers

Authorities release new details on house fire

Officials of island work on land deal

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.

Across the area

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.

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

Rants and raves
I HAVE A RANT for the police in this area. I have an idea. Take all the DUI task forces and have them actually fight crime. Put them in neighborhoods where there is crime. Anyone can sit down the street from the local bars and catch all the drunks they want.

Victim advocates hope new law cuts domestic violence

Principal at drug-raid high school resigns

Kid of the day

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.

Job-hopper settles on restaurant

Fingerprinting, photographing foreign visitors gets under way at U.S. airports

Teacher fires up colleagues

City to appoint counsel today

Fewer bald eagles die from mysterious illness

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Kaili Shields, 6, of Edgefield.

High-profile state officials to testify in school funding lawsuit

Cumberland Island may expand wilderness area in land trade

Across the southeast

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.

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

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.

Deputy struck by car is dead

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.

Films critics choose "American Splendor" as best picture
NEW YORK -- "American Splendor," the life story of a grumpy file clerk who attains cult celebrity status by becoming a comic book writer, took best picture honors at the National Society of Film Critics awards Saturday.

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

'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.

Producers Guild release best picture nominees

Films critics choose "American Splendor" as best picture

Producers Guild release best picture nominees
LOS ANGELES -- Two tales of Civil War redemption and the last installment of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy were the among nominees for best movie of 2003 announced Monday by the Producers Guild of America.

Some CDs deserve a second look

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.

Some CDs deserve a second look
Each year, thousands of CDs are released - and plenty of worthwhile CDs get overlooked. Here's the AP's look at some CDs from 2003 that deserve some closer attention:

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.

Crackdown appears to be slowing music downloading

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

Survey: Recording industry crackdown appears to be slowing music downloading

O'Neal not expected to play on two-game road trip

O'Neal not expected to play on two-game road trip
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Shaquille O'Neal traveled to Minnesota with the Los Angeles Lakers, but coach Phil Jackson doesn't expect his star center to play on a two-game road trip because of a strained right calf.

Judge in Kobe Bryant case schedules hearings into late March
DENVER -- The judge in Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case scheduled a series of pre-trial hearings that will last until nearly April, making it unlikely the NBA star would go to trial before the season ends.

Spurs' chairman checks into alcohol treatment center
SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio Spurs chairman Peter Holt checked into an alcohol treatment center last week.

Judge in Kobe Bryant case schedules hearings into late March

Spurs' chairman checks into alcohol treatment center

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

Pacers dump Wingate
AIKEN - With USC Aiken losing again at halftime Monday night, Mike Roberts found a perfect opportunity to rip his team.

Favre breaks mark for consecutive playoff games with TD pass

Packers defeat Seahawks in overtime

Panthers play best all-around game of year to advance

Titans-Patriots to highlight second weekend of playoffs

Eagles will meet Packers in a rematch

Colts trample Broncos

Mr. Willie Bibbs, Sr.    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mr. Leonard Cerasoli    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Annie Stephens    (PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.)
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Ms. Edith B. Thigpen    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. William Goodwin    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Beverly Sparks    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Charlie Bledsoe    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Julia Sheppard    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Walter Reid    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
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Mr. Walter Reid    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Betty German    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Horace Price, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Wilmer Kitchings    (KITCHINGS MILL, S.C.)
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Mr. Michael Posivach    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Jacqueline Williams    (BRONX, N.Y.)
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Mrs. Pansy Pierce    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Ms. Jeannette Walker    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Parham, Sr.    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mamie Rogers    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Edna Murrell    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Deputy Kenneth Burton    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Charles Mitchell, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Rose Entwistle    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Mr. Earnest Macklin, Sr.    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Robert Jennings    (Lithonia, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Kaiser    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Kaiser    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Naomi Jones    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Keith Bland    (Augusta, GA.)
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Mrs. Nettie Hinkle    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Edith Beckner-Thigpen    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Virginia Guida    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Phinizy Bennett    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Eddye Fennell    (BATH, S.C.)
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Mrs. Jacquelyn Bledsoe    (ARABI, Ga.)
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Rev. Charles Gregory    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Walden    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Marie Glauzier    (EAST POINT, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jean Smithers    (WARNER ROBINS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pam Fidler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Lillian Rivers-Lewis    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
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Mrs. Doris Fennell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. William Ray    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Walden    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Edith Bush    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Kay Mathis    (STAPLETON, Ga.)
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Mr. James Dudley    (SUMTER, S.C.)
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Col. Henry McCurley    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Pamela Fidler    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Thomas Minor, Jr.    (McCormick, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mattie Price    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Pansy Pierce    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Richard Johnson    (KITE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Evangeline Dana    (APPLING, Ga.)
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Mrs. Naomi Jones    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Cone    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Adelaide Kell    (FORT VALLEY, Ga.)
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Mr. Raymond Byce    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Ms. La'Cretha Tiller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Belinda Blount    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Miss Rebecca Miller    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Robert Edens    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Charles Mitchell, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Charlotte Dinkins    (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)
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Mr. Leon Davis    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Ella Jackson    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Edith Bush (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Mamie Rogers (WARRENTON, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Kay Mathis (STAPLETON, Ga.)

Rev. Charles Gregory (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Rebecca Miller (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Ella Jackson (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Jacquelyn Bledsoe (ARABI, Ga.)

Mr. Frank Walden (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Lillian Rivers-Lewis (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mrs. Naomi Jones (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. James Dudley (SUMTER, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Annie Stephens (PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.)

Mr. Raymond Byce (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Bibbs, Sr. (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Marie Glauzier (EAST POINT, Ga.)

Mrs. Pam Fidler (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Belinda Blount (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Frank Kaiser (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Guida (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Julia Sheppard (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Edith Beckner-Thigpen (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Pansy Pierce (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mr. Thomas Minor, Jr. (McCormick, S.C.)

Mrs. Naomi Jones (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Leonard Cerasoli (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. William Ray (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Mattie Price (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Frank Walden (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Richard Johnson (KITE, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Jennings (Lithonia, Ga.)

Mr. William Goodwin (TRENTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Doris Fennell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Pansy Pierce (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Ms. Jeannette Walker (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Rose Entwistle (EVANS, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Jacqueline Williams (BRONX, N.Y.)

Mrs. Mary Cone (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mr. Keith Bland (Augusta, GA.)

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

Mrs. Pamela Fidler (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Adelaide Kell (FORT VALLEY, Ga.)

Mrs. Betty German (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Evangeline Dana (APPLING, Ga.)

Overtime

Jacobelius, Velisek win boarder cross events

Overtime

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.

Jacobelius, Velisek win boarder cross events
BAD GASTEIN, Austria -- Lindsay Jacobelius of the United States and Tom Velisek of Canada won Snowboard World Cup boarder cross events Monday.

Four Chinese pingpong players off team for romance
SHANGHAI, China -- Pingpong and love apparently don't mix.

Overtime
West Georgia outscored Augusta State 47-29 in the second half and pulled away for an 81-57 non-conference victory over the Jaguars on Monday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Southwest Airlines stars in TV 'reality show'
DALLAS -- The star of the next reality television show isn't a model, an actor or a beach-dwelling survivor; it's an airline.

Southwest Airlines stars in TV 'reality show'

Dimond has put Court TV at the forefront of Jackson story

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.

Process that could select jury for Michael Jackson found unconstitutional

Britney Spears marriage annuled

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

"Crocodile Hunter" answers critics

People in the news

Dogs win, get set for SEC foes

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

411

Teens have tough time fitting in at new school

Teens have tough time fitting in at new school
High school can be hard enough without the added pressure of being the new kid in class.

Audio best
Weekly charts for the nation's best-selling recorded music as they appear in Billboard magazine. Platinum signifies more than 1 million copies sold. Gold signifies more than 500,000 copies sold:

Relationship may be bad idea for couple

Question of the week
Should the HOPE scholarship have an SAT requirement?

Audio best

Your style
John Boyd, 14, is a freshman at Cross Creek High School.

Your style

Relationship may be bad idea for couple
THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: My guy friend is Muslim, and my family is not. Should I accept him for him, or should I still be friends but nothing more because of our differences?

Excellent performances are highlight of 'Smile'
Mona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts and Julia Stiles, put a smile on my face.

411
Appealing to the voyeur in all of us, Found Magazine provides rare glimpses into other people's lives and business.

Xtreme calendar
Welcome back! School's back in session in Richmond and Columbia counties.

Teens can stop violent media
As I sat staring at the 64-inch box full of electronic dots, I began to wonder how much blood can come out of a person.

Excellent performances are highlight of 'Smile'

South Korean quest for flawless English drives tongue surgery for toddlers

Muslim youths change most offending names of football teams

Odds and Ends