Group vying to occupy performing arts center at ground zero
NEW YORK -- The New York City Opera is among groups vying to anchor a performing arts center that would sit near the World Trade Center's Freedom Tower, according to a list released Tuesday by development officials.

Painter comes to life
Pablo Picasso walks through a museum exhibit that features his painting and two sculptures. An aspiring artist and many spectators visit - and a series of events unfolds.

Group vying to occupy performing arts center at ground zero

Mota settles with Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Guillermo Mota avoided arbitration with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1,475,000.

Philadelphia re-signs ace

Farnsworth, Cubs agree to $1.4 million deal
CHICAGO -- Reliever Kyle Farnsworth and the Chicago Cubs agreed Wednesday to a $1.4 million, one-year contract and avoided a salary arbitration hearing next week.

Orioles, Ryan agree to one-year deal

Farnsworth, Cubs agree to $1.4 million deal
CHICAGO -- Reliever Kyle Farnsworth and the Chicago Cubs agreed Wednesday to a $1.4 million, one-year contract and avoided a salary arbitration hearing next week.

Philadelphia re-signs ace
PHILADELPHIA - Kevin Millwood agreed Tuesday to an $11 million, one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, avoiding arbitration.

Farnsworth, Cubs agree to $1.4 million deal

Orioles, Ryan agree to one-year deal
BALTIMORE -- Left-hander B.J. Ryan and the Baltimore Orioles agreed on a one-year contract Wednesday, avoiding an arbitration hearing by compromising at the midpoint of their proposals.

Jayden Asaad Wiley
Jerome Wiley and Lawanda Simpkins, both of Evans, announce the birth of a son, Jayden Asaad Wiley, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Charlie and Evelyn S. Lowe, of Evans, Jerome Wiley Sr. and Peggy Key and Darise Key, all of Augusta, and the late Eddie L. Simpkins.

Camilla Anne Hutto
James and Ashlyn Hutto, of Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Camilla Anne Hutto, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Judge and Mrs. Bernard J. Mulherin, of Augusta, Dr. James W. Hutto Sr., of Holly Hill, S.C., and the late Doris R. Hutto.

Samuel Mason Rogers
Matthew W. and Lisabeth C. Rogers, of Evans, announce the birth of a son, Samuel Mason Rogers, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Schlegel, of Chesapeake, Va., and Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Rogers, of Martinez.

Amy Lee Riordan and James R. Riordan III
James R. Riordan Jr. and Carol J. Riordan, of Martinez, announce the birth of twins, Amy Lee Riordan and James R. Riordan III, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2004, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ernest A. Paradis, of Attleboro, Mass., and Mr. and Mrs. James R. Riordan, of Aiken.

Chloe Wright Tharp

Clarence Eugene Waters Jr.
Clarence and Michelle Waters, of Appling, announce the birth of a son, Clarence Eugene Waters Jr., Saturday, Dec. 20, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Sally Forsythe, of Appling, Grady Waters, of Dearing, and the late Mark Scrivner and the late Louise Waters.

Morgan Irene Spratley
Richard W. and Kathleen I. Spratley, of Evans, announce the birth of a daughter, Morgan Irene Spratley, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2004, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Janet I. McMullen, of Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Dicken, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and the late Marshall K. McMullen Sr.

Abigail Lane Hackett
Darren and Kelly Hackett, of Grovetown, announce the birth of a daughter, Abigail Lane Hackett, Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Edwards, of Grovetown, and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hackett, of Hephzibah.

Mackenzie Love McLean
Mark and Carrie McLean, of Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Mackenzie Love McLean, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Michael and Virginia Moss, of Nashville, Tenn., Ruby McLean, of Lawrenceville, Ga, and the late Dan McLean.

Lillian Grace Ertz
John J. Ertz Jr. and Joyce M. Ertz, of Grovetown, announce the birth of a daughter, Lillian Grace Ertz, Monday, Dec. 22, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Michael and Jeanette Matthews, of Augusta, and Mr. and Mrs. John J. Ertz Sr., of Martinez.

Camilla Anne Hutto

Eric Bruce Liveringhouse
John and Sarah J. Liveringhouse, of Evans, announce the birth of a son, Eric Bruce Liveringhouse, Monday, Jan. 26, 2004, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Dr. Reynoldo C. Maniquiz and Linda Maniquiz, of Chippewa Falls, Wis., and Dr. Bruce Liveringhouse and Donna Liveringhouse, of Coon Rapids, Minn.

Nicholas Craig Bailey
Craig and Michelle Bailey, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Nicholas Craig Bailey, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Jesse New, of Forest Park, Ga., Arlene New and Grace Matherson, both of Augusta, Ann Bailey, of North Augusta, and the late Daniel Bailey.

Grayson McGraw LaRussa
Jimmy R. LaRussa Jr. and Krista LaRussa, of North Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Grayson McGraw LaRussa, Monday, Jan. 19, 2004, at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Grandparents are Doug Combs, of Appling, Norma Combs, of Martinez, and the late Jimmy and Landra LaRussa.

Chloe Wright Tharp
Mr. and Mrs. Sterling Tharp, of Harlem, announce the birth of a daughter, Chloe Wright Tharp, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are C.W. Smith, of Amory, Miss., and the late Luna Smith and the late Allen Tharp.

Emma Kaitlyn Wilson

Walker Edwin Scharff
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Scharff, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Walker Edwin Scharff, Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Leopard Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. David E. Scharff, all of Augusta.

Mackenzie Love McLean

Marleya Bra'Kayla Robinson
Marlon B. Bush and Hope L. Robinson, both of Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Marleya Bra'Kayla Robinson, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Charles and Mattie Henderson, of North Augusta, and Shirley Bush, of Augusta.

Mary Lorick Brittingham

Preston James Lugari
Stephanie D. Lugari, of Dearing, announces the birth of a son, Preston James Lugari, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. John R. Lugari, of Dearing.

Walker Edwin Scharff

Samuel Mason Rogers

Connor Johnston Askew
Butch and Renee Askew, of Thomson, announce the birth of a son, Connor Johnston Askew, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. James R. Raley and Mr. and Mrs. Willard O. Askew Sr., all of Thomson.

Connor Johnston Askew

Lillian Grace Ertz

Eric Bruce Liveringhouse

Marleya Bra'Kayla Robinson

Jayden Asaad Wiley

Grayson McGraw LaRussa

Preston James Lugari

Clarence Eugene Waters Jr.

Amy Lee Riordan and James R. Riordan III

Sofia Nikole Bell

Mary Lorick Brittingham
Mr. and Mrs. Brian P. Brittingham, of Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Mary Lorick Brittingham, Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sheehan and Michael C. Garrett, all of Augusta, and Mr. and Mrs. John J. Brittingham, of Woodbridge, Va.

Nicholas Craig Bailey

Sofia Nikole Bell
Brian C. Bell and Jennifer M. Johnson, both of Martinez, announce the birth of a daughter, Sofia Nikole Bell, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Barbara Jones, of Montpellier, Vt., Wayne Bell, of Grovetown, and Barbara Bell, of Martinez.

Abigail Lane Hackett

Emma Kaitlyn Wilson
Thomas Wilson Jr. and Courtney Wilson, of Martinez, announce the birth of a daughter, Emma Kaitlyn Wilson, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. F. Lee Ashley Jr., of Evans, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Wilson Sr., of Appling.

Morgan Irene Spratley

Odds and Ends
TOPEKA, Kan. -- When a restaurant owner invited a hypnotist to perform at his steakhouse, he expected hysterical laughter, maybe one or two people strutting like roosters.

Police hand millionaire a record speeding fine
HELSINKI, Finland -- Police gave a record $216,900 speeding ticket to one of Finland's richest men under a system in which traffic fines are linked to an offender's income, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Odds and Ends
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Barbara Bennett wanted to sell her Brother brand sewing machine, so she bought a classified advertisement under "Miscellaneous" and "Items under $50" in The Columbian newspaper.

Girl dies after being dragged by coat caught in car door
CEDAR CITY, Utah -- A girl was killed Tuesday when her coat got caught in a car door and she was dragged for about three miles on rural roads.

Elderly man says he robbed bank to pay medical bills
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- An elderly man told police he robbed a bank to pay his wife's medical bills.

Markets rise on bullish report
NEW YORK - Investors eager to get back into the stock market jumped on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's bullish economic report Wednesday, sending stocks soaring and propelling the Dow Jones industrial average up 123 points to its highest level in more than 212 years.

Greenville-Spartanburg not good for business says Inc. Magazine

Burger King's president abruptly resigns from fast-food chain

Burger King's president abruptly resigns from fast-food chain
MIAMI -- The president of Burger King has resigned after just a year on the job amid declining sales for the struggling No. 2 fast-food chain.

Greenspan: budget deficits could imperil economy's health
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Wednesday the U.S. economy has made "impressive gains" since last summer and predicted that even the lagging jobs market should perk up in coming months.

Greenville-Spartanburg not good for business says Inc. Magazine
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Greenville-Spartanburg area, home to several national and international automotive companies, is the third-worst city in America to do business, according to rankings by Inc. Magazine.

City makes retirement plans
Building an upscale retirement community in Augusta could create jobs, bring in needed tax dollars and work toward revitalizing a depressed downtown, economic developers say.

Blockbuster faces change in the way people watch movies
DALLAS -- Not long ago, movie and music lovers crowded the aisles of video rental shops like Blockbuster and CD stores like Tower Records.

OPEC to cut oil output by 10 percent in two stages
ALGIERS, Algeria -- In a surprise move, OPEC will cut excess production of crude at once and lower output quotas by 1 million barrels a day effective April 1, several oil ministers said Tuesday.

Oil consortium to cut quotas; gas prices will remain higher
ALGIERS, Algeria - OPEC decided Tuesday to cut its excess production of crude immediately and lower output quotas by 1 million barrels a day effective April 1. The surprise move means consumers will continue to face high prices for gasoline and other refined products, analysts said.

FDA urges hormone warning
WASHINGTON - The government told makers of hormone replacement therapies Tuesday to add yet another warning to their labels - that hormones might increase older women's risk of Alzheimer's or other types of dementia.

Comcast proposes to buy Walt Disney Co.
NEW YORK -- In a surprise move, cable TV giant Comcast Corp. proposed early Wednesday to buy Walt Disney Co., the iconic media and entertainment powerhouse that owns the ABC and ESPN television networks, movie studios and theme parks, for stock valued at about $54 billion.

Taxes can be tricky
Being your own boss has a certain ring to it.

PalmSource develops new strategy for handhelds
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- PalmSource Inc., a maker of operating systems for handheld computers, is shifting gears as the market for so-called smartphones grows and the one for simpler personal digital assistants shrinks.

Viacom plans to shed Blockbuster stake
NEW YORK -- Viacom Inc. announced Tuesday that it plans to shed its controlling stake in Blockbuster, the video rental chain, and take a $1.3 billion charge to write down the value of the business.

Vodafone confirms interest in AT&T Wireless Services

City makes retirement plans

Shopping center nears capacity
With the smell of fresh paint lingering in the renovated movie theater, Howard Dye points out family photos hanging on the walls of his new restaurant in Columbia County.

Stewart altered message log, assistant testifies

Business briefs
NEW YORK - Martha Stewart's lawyer sought Wednesday to discredit the testimony of a government investigator who quizzed the domestic entrepreneur about her sale of ImClone Systems stock.

High-priced properties stay longer on market

World oil demand continues to rise on surging Asian growth
ALGIERS, Algeria -- The global thirst for oil continues to outpace forecasts, led by a surging growth in demand for crude from China, India and other Asian countries, the International Energy Agency reported Wednesday.

FDA urges hormone warning

White House jobs forecast overly optimistic, private economists say
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is overly upbeat in predicting that 2.6 million new jobs will be created this year, private economists say.

Viacom plans to shed Blockbuster stake

Atlanta ranks No. 1 for entrepreneurs
ATLANTA - The home of the world's largest beverage company and shipping carrier is also the top large city for entrepreneurial growth, a magazine says of Atlanta in its ranking of the best cities to do business in America.

OPEC to cut oil output by 10 percent in two stages

Business briefs
ROME - Prosecutors looking into Parmalat have reportedly placed six international banks, the fund management unit of Italy's largest bank and banking executives under investigation for possible market rigging, news reports said Tuesday.

Taxes can be tricky

Stewart altered message log, assistant testifies
NEW YORK -- With an investigation looming, Martha Stewart sat down at her assistant's computer and altered a record of a message left by her stockbroker about ImClone Systems stock, the assistant testified Tuesday.

PalmSource develops new strategy for handhelds

Blockbuster faces change in the way people watch movies

Oil consortium to cut quotas; gas prices will remain higher

Business briefs

World oil demand continues to rise on surging Asian growth

Shopping center nears capacity

Greenspan: budget deficits could imperil economy's health

Comcast proposes to buy Walt Disney Co.

High-priced properties stay longer on market
With interest rates at all-time lows and the economy rebounding, the housing market is booming.

Markets rise on bullish report

Vodafone confirms interest in AT&T Wireless Services
LONDON -- Vodafone Group PLC confirmed Monday it may bid to acquire AT&T Wireless Services Inc., a move that would require the British cell phone company to sell its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.

Barnett: Disciplinarian who can't avoid scandals

Top Miami football recruit surrenders
MIAMI -- Top Miami recruit Willie Williams surrendered Tuesday after more criminal charges were added to a record of 10 arrests the university didn't know about when it signed him.

Barnett: Disciplinarian who can't avoid scandals
BOULDER, Colo. -- When Gary Barnett was hired to coach Colorado's football team five years ago, he was embraced as a disciplinarian who would end an era of loose recruiting practices and return the team to national prominence.

Elder, McCants dazzle ACC fans

Louisville star wears it well

Lady Vols coping without Moore at point guard

Judicial nightmare

We need the expertise

Catch 22 ruling

Whence excellence springs
Barton Chapel Elementary School serves some of Augusta's most poverty-stricken neighborhoods: Barton Village, Trinity Manor, McDuffie Woods. For whatever reason - lethargy, substance abuse, ignorance or, in some cases, working two or more jobs just to stay afloat - parents are largely disengaged from their children's education.

Whence excellence springs

We need the expertise
If youre a mathematician or scientist whos made a very good living, got the kids through college and are now willing to take a pay cut to do something different like teach in the public schools you have to jump through too manyyyjump through too many hoops to get certified. This at a time when theres not only a looming national shortage of teachers, and of college students going into the teaching profession, but more particularly theres also a dearth of qualified math and science teachers. The situation is so bad that many math, science and other tough courses are being taught by teachers who dont know their subject. Then we wonder why students do so badly in tests. To combat this rising tide of ignorance and mediocrity, Georgias Professional Standards Commission will be voting today to allow teacher candidates who pass a series of tests to become certified without having to return to college for two years of how-to-teach classes. Those who pass could start teaching right away, though theyd be required to work with a mentor experienced in classroom management and other areas of pedagogy that are generally taught in colleges of education.

Catch 22 ruling
The federal court that overturned Georgias House and Senate districts Tuesday has thrown the legislature into turmoil.

Judicial nightmare
Massachusetts is holding a convention today to amend its constitution to overturn the state Supreme Court's legislation - and that's what it is, legislation not adjudication - legalizing marriage rights for homosexual and lesbian couples.

People in the News
LOS ANGELES -- Catherine Zeta-Jones has joined Julia Roberts in the cast of "Ocean's Twelve."

Extras, extras
Heading to the video store? Here's a preview of some of the extras on new DVD releases:

'Star Wars' saga to debut on DVD in September
LOS ANGELES -- The original three "Star Wars" films - among the most anticipated on DVD - will be released in the digital format Sept. 21 in North America, LucasFilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox announced Tuesday. International release dates were to be revealed later.

Give yourself a break
The Break Room on Whiskey Road in Aiken is the granddaddy of pool halls.

Stuff to do
Hep cats Big Bad Voodoo Daddy put a big-band swing touch to the classics when they perform a Valentine's concert with the Augusta Symphony on Saturday at Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St. Tickets cost $10 to $40. Call 826-4705.

Woman drops lawsuit over Super Bowl halftime show
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Less than a week after filing a class-action lawsuit because of her outrage over Janet Jackson's Super Bowl stunt, Terri Carlin believes she's made her point.

Hurt snowboarder returns to 'Letterman' as guest
NEW YORK -- A champion snowboarder injured doing a stunt for David Letterman's late-night television show returned to the program for an interview, saying she barely remembered the accident.

Next Jackson hearing likely to be more sedate than last
LOS ANGELES -- Don't expect any dancing at Michael Jackson's next court date. The self-styled King of Pop is staying home.

People in the News
NEW YORK -- Though Anna Kournikova has struggled with her tennis career, she still has plenty to do.

Dollar down, gold up in Europe
LONDON -- The U.S. dollar fell to an 11-year low against the British pound and was lower against other major currencies Tuesday in European trading. Gold prices rose.

Dow hits 2 1/2-year high on Greenspan's outlook
NEW YORK -- Investors anxious to get back into the stock market jumped on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's bullish economic report Wednesday, sending stocks soaring and propelling the Dow Jones industrial average up 123 points to its highest level in more than 2 1/2 years.

Stocks rise as Wall Street waits for Greenspan

Regulators propose mutual fund changes

Dollar down, gold up in Europe

Dow hits 2 1/2-year high on Greenspan's outlook

Stocks rise as Wall Street waits for Greenspan
NEW YORK -- Stocks rode solid fundamentals and strong earnings to modest gains Tuesday in unusually light trading prior to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's congressional testimony.

Regulators propose mutual fund changes
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators, strengthening their response to the mutual fund scandal, proposed Wednesday to ban special incentive payments by fund companies to brokerages and to provide fund investors more information on fees.

Dollar mixed, gold down in Europe
LONDON -- The U.S. dollar was mixed Wednesday against other major currencies in European trading. Gold prices fell.

Dollar mixed, gold down in Europe

Pan-broiled steak cuts out fat
Lean beef, including top sirloin steak, is nutritious and easy to cook when you need dinner on the table quickly.

Dining out
Here is a list of Augusta-area restaurant reviews.

Cooking with cactus is simple
CONCORD, N.H. - Few things inspire interest in the cuisines of warm climates the way a good Arctic blast can.

Pan-broiled steak cuts out fat

Cooking with cactus is simple

Dining out

Chicken soup from scratch is a classic comfort food
WASHINGTON - We take for granted that certain foods can help us get through the cold and flu season; thoughts turn to those old favorites often grouped now as comfort foods.

Small portions

Small portions
In this age of "advanced meat recovery" systems, when a single burger can contain meat from scores of different animals, it seems natural that more and more of us want to exert a little quality control of our own.

Chicken soup from scratch is a classic comfort food

A good breakfast is worth the time

A good breakfast is worth the time
Not bothering to eat breakfast may save time, but just a few minutes spent preparing something nourishing is time well spent. We've all heard explanations of the benefits of a good breakfast, that it provides energy and stamina, and they are true.

Things have changed for Woods
SAN DIEGO - Tiger Woods couldn't help but stop and soak up the view on the 13th tee at Torrey Pines, a blue panorama of clear skies and the Pacific Ocean as far as he could see.

Tiger will be tested at Buick Invitational
SAN DIEGO - Forget the streaks and statistics that identify the best two players in golf.

Ranking system under review

Tiger signs five-year renewal with Buick
SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods will continue to keep Buick on his bag and in his garage, signing a five-year extension Tuesday.

Ranking system under review
SAN DIEGO -- Vijay Singh's streak of 12 consecutive top 10s and three victories in his last nine starts has pulled him within 3.08 points of Tiger Woods in the world ranking, the closest anyone has been since the system was adjusted in September 2001.

LPGA recognizes, but doesn't dispense, Wie hype
PHOENIX -- Despite swarming galleries wherever she goes, Michelle Wie faces an uphill climb to rival Annika Sorenstam in the eyes of the LPGA.

Tiger signs five-year renewal with Buick

LPGA recognizes, but doesn't dispense, Wie hype

Things have changed for Woods

Prep basketball boxes

Hasek out for year
DETROIT - Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek will miss the rest of the season because of an injured groin, although he hopes to play again.

Canadiens recall Beauchemin from Hamilton
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens recalled defenseman Francois Beauchemin from Hamilton of the AHL on Wednesday.

Campbell lashes out at angry goalies

Hasek out for year

Thrashers reactivate Sutton, Robitaille
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers activated defenseman Andy Sutton and forward Randy Robitaille from injured reserve Tuesday, and placed defenseman Yannick Tremblay on injured reserve.

Campbell lashes out at angry goalies
HENDERSON, Nev. -- The NHL's hockey operations director lashed out Wednesday at goaltenders who have criticized proposed rules changes meant to create more scoring.

Thrashers reactivate Sutton, Robitaille

Canadiens recall Beauchemin from Hamilton

Give pork chops a continental flavor
Anyone who's ever enjoyed a good German meal has probably sampled Weiner schnitzel, breaded veal cutlets.

Give pork chops a continental flavor

Clark formally withdraws from presidential race
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Wesley Clark dropped out of the race for the White House on Wednesday, a retired four-star general unable to command significant support as a first-time presidential candidate.

Rivera trial ends; receives multiple life sentences
Reinaldo Rivera, already under a death sentence for murder, was sentenced Thursday to seven life sentences plus 105 years for all of his other crimes in Augusta.

Teen killed, two injured in SUV crash
JACKSON - A seventh-grader who took her mother's SUV without permission died early Tuesday evening after she lost control and was ejected from the vehicle in a one-car accident three days before her 15th birthday, authorities said Wednesday.

Put patients first in health reform
The lawsuit limits your editorial advocated Jan. 31 (S.C. battles tort suits) are a dream come true for insurance companies, but a nightmare for malpractice victims and their families. Allison Kelly, Atlanta, Ga.

Put patients first in health reform

Trying to justify war based on 'maybe' is wrongheaded

Sen. Zell Miller for president?

"Unintelligent designs" to narrow
I scanned the Feb. 1 editorial, Unintelligent designs, and thought it made sense. Later, I read it carefully and decided it is a theological piece to help the Christian Coalition crowd get their world view view taught in public schools. Clifford W. Reynolds, Augusta

Halftime show not entertainment

Sen. Zell Miller for president?
I wonder if the Democratic Party ever thought of Sen. Zell Miller, D-Ga., for president. As for theoup running now, I see none of them having the leadership skills that it takes to lead the country. Keith Smith, Warrenville, S.C.

Trying to justify war based on 'maybe' is wrongheaded
On Jan. 22, 2003, President George W. Bush told an audience in St. Louis that the dictator of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The Bush doctrine of preemptive war was his solution to this potential threat. Larry Jarrett, Warrenville, S.C.

Writer misses point on WMD issue

Writer misses point on WMD issue
Regarding Robert Smock's Jan. 22 letter to the editor, "Democrats are filled with both hate and hypocrisy": Rick Carpenter, Thomson, Ga.

Halftime show not entertainment
The Super Bowl has always been known for having great commercials and a powerful halftime show. Its always been such a surprise to see who this years entertainers will be. ... Debbie Vaughn, North Augusta, S.C

Programmer creates mask for file-sharers

Health and fitness calendar

Fashion Week shines spotlight on de la Renta, Steffe, Herrera

Microsoft warns consumers about major Windows security flaws

Moon-Mars man looking to ordinary Americans for advice

Peering into dyslexic brains to boost kids' reading

China halts poultry imports from U.S. on bird flu fears

Living briefs

Intel researchers find everyday silicon works in optics

NASA rover embarks on "scoot and shoot" on Mars

True love difficult to find for women after turning 35

High iron levels may signal diabetes risk

Cold interrupts planned Mars sprint by NASA's Spirit rover

Tobacco state's edgy anti-smoking ads draw cautious praise

Fighting women's malnutrition could ward off obesity in their children

Atkins' medical records spark another round in diet fight

Living briefs

Hannant, Blass, Chaiken unveil fall 2004 collection

Hannant, Blass, Chaiken unveil fall 2004 collection
NEW YORK -- Sara Kapp looked every bit the Bill Blass model at the fall Fashion Week show on Tuesday in her printed evening gown ensemble dripping with the season's ubiquitous ostrich feathers, practically head to toe.

Cold interrupts planned Mars sprint by NASA's Spirit rover
PASADENA, Calif. -- Cold on Mars forced NASA to keep its Spirit rover parked for a day, interrupting a planned monthlong drive to a nearby crater, the space agency said Wednesday.

Living briefs
Aiken's second annual Sporting Art Show and Sale will include more than 60 painters and sculptors and proceeds from the weekend event will go to the disaster relief fund of the Aiken County chapter of the American Red Cross.

Microsoft warns consumers about major Windows security flaws
WASHINGTON -- Microsoft Corp. warned customers Tuesday about unusually serious security problems with its Windows software that could let hackers quietly break into their computers to steal files, delete data or eavesdrop on sensitive information.

Moon-Mars man looking to ordinary Americans for advice
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The man in charge of setting the president's moon-Mars vision into motion said Wednesday he's looking to the aerospace industry and ordinary Americans for advice on sustaining interest in the program.

High iron levels may signal diabetes risk
CHICAGO -- Women with high levels of iron in their blood may run nearly triple the risk of developing diabetes, a study found.

Living briefs
Walton Options for Independent Living is sponsoring a workshop, Love Shouldn't Hurt: A Forum on Domestic Violence, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Augusta Technical College Auditorium 300, 3200 Augusta Tech Drive.

NASA rover embarks on "scoot and shoot" on Mars
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Opportunity rover has embarked on a "scoot and shoot" on Mars, driving counterclockwise around the rocky inner perimeter of a crater while photographing it in detail.

Fashion Week shines spotlight on de la Renta, Steffe, Herrera
NEW YORK -- The 11th-hour fabric deliveries. The mad dashes to fit models. The late-night meetings to fill the front row with the requisite famous faces. It must be Fashion Week.

Atkins' medical records spark another round in diet fight
NEW YORK -- The debate over Dr. Robert Atkins' popular high-fat, low-carb diet flared posthumously Tuesday when it was learned that Atkins himself was a bloated 258 pounds at his death.

Programmer creates mask for file-sharers
Wyatt Wasicek was so outraged by the recording industry's legal assault on users of free music-downloading sites that he decided to ride to the rescue. He created a program called AnonX that masks the Internet address of people who use file-sharing programs such as Kazaa.

Tobacco state's edgy anti-smoking ads draw cautious praise
RICHMOND, Va. -- He's billed as America's most pathetic superhero: Buttman, an overweight chain-smoker who hacks, spits and gets too winded to respond to emergencies.

Fighting women's malnutrition could ward off obesity in their children
LONDON -- A legacy of malnutrition has left the developing world with an obesity time bomb as new generations increasingly take up an urban lifestyle, according to research released Wednesday by the United Nations.

Tests show avian flu on second Delaware farm
DOVER, Del. -- Avian flu has been found on a second farm in central Delaware, state agriculture officials announced Tuesday.

Health and fitness calendar
The health and fitness calendar is a listing of support groups, activities and lectures. Send information to Health Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

China halts poultry imports from U.S. on bird flu fears
BEIJING -- China banned U.S. poultry imports Tuesday to ease growing fears about bird flu, announcing in an emergency notice that any American fowl that have already arrived at its ports would be returned or destroyed.

True love difficult to find for women after turning 35
True love's path is strewn with plenty of thorns. Many single women would say that path becomes particularly thorny after they hit their 30s, and it just gets worse from there.

Peering into dyslexic brains to boost kids' reading
WASHINGTON -- Nine-year-old Patrick Price bounced up to the huge MRI machine, a powerful brain scanner disguised by drapes to resemble a kid-friendly castle. Inside, he lay nearly motionless as words and symbols flashed on a screen before his eyes.

Intel researchers find everyday silicon works in optics
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- In an advance that could inexpensively speed up corporate data centers and eventually personal computers, researchers used everyday silicon to build a device that converts data into light beams.

Lynx gameday
The Augusta Lynx will square up against the South Carolina Stingrays at 7:05 at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

Lynx gameday

Great Skate Debate sees small turnout
Tickets prices for the Augusta Lynx will increase next year and fewer seats will be available in the upper deck, Lynx general manager Paul Gamsby said Tuesday night.

Democrats tour state to hear moaning about budget cuts

Sierra Club to oppose license
AIKEN - The South Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club is challenging the disposal methods of a 32-year-old nuclear waste facility in Barnwell and is poised to file suit should the facility have its operating license renewed by the state.

Leaders object to Kolb reviews

MCG tests vaccine on children
In a study released a little more than a year ago, Medical College of Georgia researchers successfully tested the first vaccine to prevent a form of cancer.

Injured guests sue motel in fatal fire
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- At least six guests injured in a motel fire in Greenville last month have filed lawsuits accusing the motel management of providing inaqdequate security.

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA - Apparently, store hours mean little to hundreds of bats that have flocked to an employee elevator at the back of a shopping mall near downtown.<

Kid of the day

Across Georgia
ALBANY - Lee County drug agents arrested three men and seized $85,000 worth of cocaine during an undercover operation in a Wal-Mart parking lot.<

Across the area
An Augusta man told Richmond County sheriff's deputies Wednesday that someone attempted to set fire to two vehicles early in the morning, a police report states.

Rants and raves
I AM A REPUBLICAN. I am happy that Bush is in the White House and has guts enough to do what's right in Iraq. I'm also happy that he's trying to build up the military that the Democrats tore down. Instead of people fussing about him, they should be out there cheering him on.

Man envisions judicial center on Broad Street
Mike Teffeteller is trying to use his longtime hobby to gain a say in downtown politics.

South Carolina law firm opens D.C. office
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- One of the state's largest law firms has opened an office in Washington, D.C.

Fire station will remain on Central
A historic firehouse in the heart of Augusta's Summerville neighborhood will not be torn down, city leaders said Tuesday at a public hearing to discuss the fate of Central Avenue's Station No. 7.

Public Service Commission overhaul approved
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Elections for the Public Service Commission have been scheduled for March 3 after a two-year delay as the Legislature argued about overhauling the panel that regulates utilities.

Historic tree can't be saved
It has withstood the test of time for hundreds of years, but Augusta State University officials acknowledged Tuesday that the Arsenal Oak will have to be cut down.

Bill legalizing tattoos headed to House
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Legislators who support a bill legalizing tattooing in South Carolina are increasingly optimistic it might become law after it passed a House committee Tuesday.

News you can use

House bills would strengthen state ban on same-sex marriages
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In the wake of a Massachusetts court ruling that paves the way for gay marriages, some South Carolina lawmakers are introducing legislation to prohibit the Palmetto State's recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Storm cleanup continues
A skid loader from the City of Aiken's Department of Solid Waste piles up branches from trees that fell in Aiken during the ice storm two weeks ago.

Humane Society turns away fraternity members who killed raccoon
ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia fraternity members involved in the killing, skinning and eating of a raccoon were ordered to do community service as part of their punishment - but one organization doesn't want their help.

School board chairman vote moves forward
The preliminary paperwork has been filed, paving the way for legislation to support a referendum that would let Columbia County voters decide if they want an at-large elected school board chairman.

Georgia to launch Internet encyclopedia
ATHENS, Ga. -- In a small corner of the University of Georgia's main library, researchers are busy compiling the nation's first state encyclopedia designed and written for the Internet.

SLED finds no crime in business deal

Coke human resources chief resigning
ATLANTA -- The woman tapped to head Coca-Cola's human resources department four years ago as the company grappled with a costly racial discrimination suit is resigning, leaving only one black female in a senior vice president position or higher.

Rants and raves
THIS IS A RANT about the rant about soccer players. How can they judge soccer when golf is one of the most dumbest sports ever invented? ... Oh! Soccer is played by all free-world and Communist countries.<

Walker could benefit from redistricting plan
A rejected redistricting plan that has state Democrats scrambling could benefit one of Augusta's most powerful black politicians.

Police respond to federal lawsuit in drug sweep

Democrats tour state to hear moaning about budget cuts
ATLANTA -- If you're mad about the governor's proposed budget cuts, Democrats want to hear from you.

Tip helps police get burglary suspect
Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested a man Tuesday who they say was breaking into a south Augusta business and attempting to break into another.

Fired Smyrna official to perform community service to avoid trial
SMYRNA, Ga. -- A fired Smyrna official has agreed to do community service to avoid going to trial for an alleged prank in which he placed an envelope of white powder on a co-worker's desk.

Businesses debate smoking ban

Court overturns Georgia House and Senate redistricting plans
ATLANTA -- A three-judge federal panel on Tuesday overturned Georgia's redistricting plans for the state House and Senate, saying Democrats who drew them when they controlled the Legislature violated the principle of one person, one vote.

Decision further divides parties
ATLANTA - Georgia's politically divided state government was torn anew along party lines Wednesday over how to respond to a federal court's rejection of state House and Senate redistricting plans.

Court orders Georgia remap
ATLANTA - A federal court ruled Tuesday that South Georgia can't keep as many legislative seats as it has because it doesn't have enough population compared with Metro Atlanta.

Fire station will remain on Central

Evans' DMVS stays open
After recent discussions with the state, Columbia County officials said Tuesday that they have worked out an agreement to keep the Evans branch of the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety from closing.

Pregnant woman recovers

Bill would make schools report bullying incidents
Georgia schools would have to track cases of bullying and their outcome under a bill being debated this week in the General Assembly.

Two failing schools look for answers

Augusta Golf Gardens
This downtown attraction encompasses about 17 acres along the banks of the Savannah River on Reynolds Street.

Leaders object to Kolb reviews
The way City Administrator George Kolb evaluates his employees has some Augusta commissioners complaining.

Georgia to launch Internet encyclopedia

Two failing schools look for answers
The Richmond County Board of Education is considering year-round school and staff overhauls as it restructures two poorly performing schools stuck on Georgia's needs-improvement list.

Court overturns Georgia House and Senate redistricting plans

Friend guilty in fatal hit-and-run
A jury rejected Herbert O. Blount's claims he was nowhere around when his friend was run over, convicting Mr. Blount on Wednesday of felony hit-and-run.

Democrats on tour seek budget views

Lawmakers crack down on payday loan outfits
ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers are nearing agreement on a ban on payday loan companies, lenders that give small loans at interest rates that are sometimes higher than 500 percent a year.

Court orders Georgia remap

Judge allows 'no contest' in molestation case
An Evans man accused of having oral sex with an 8-year-old was allowed to plead no contest Wednesday to enticing a child for indecent purposes.

South Carolina law firm opens D.C. office

Across the region
CLARKESVILLE, Ga. - Habersham County has dropped its appeal of a federal judge's order to remove its public Ten Commandments displays because it would cost taxpayers too much money, officials said Wednesday.

Scaled-back gang measure OK'd

Police charge teen in assault
An Augusta teenager was charged Tuesday morning in the shooting of a pregnant Augusta woman, officials said.

MCG tests vaccine on children

Suspect in double killing arrested in Texas
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Authorities arrested a South Carolina man in Texas on Wednesday and charged him in the double killing of his girlfriend and her mother, the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said.

Teen killed, two injured in SUV crash

Scaled-back gang measure OK'd
COLUMBIA - A bill that defines criminal street gangs is heading to the Senate floor, but only after losing some of its teeth Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Audit shows city is owed room taxes
Inadequate records and poor bookkeeping at a handful of Richmond County hotels and motels is shortchanging the city, an internal audit of Augusta's excise tax collections shows.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Laney Aycock, 6, of Licolnton, Ga.

Cities lay out case in capital

Evans' DMVS stays open

News you can use
The annual sale of Georgia state flags opens today under the direction of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as hundred s of church members throughout Richmond County prepare for the double program Sunday in celebration of the Georgia Bicentennial.:

Across the area

New contractors will take control
The company whose tactics cast suspicion on the bidding process to run the Augusta YDC will take control of the campus this weekend as planned.

House bills would strengthen state ban on same-sex marriages

Audit shows city is owed room taxes

City alters stance on police chief

Bill would make schools report bullying incidents

Girl Scouts grows up
AIKEN - Teen members of Troop 713 know Girl Scouts isn't just about selling cookies and wearing uniforms.

Fire chief's exit reveals discord

Businesses debate smoking ban
As a businessman, Bob Robertson says a proposed bill in the Georgia Senate to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and most other public locations would, frankly, be a drag.

Bill legalizing tattoos headed to House

City alters stance on police chief
AIKEN - The stern stance New Ellenton leaders are taking with embattled police Chief Van McMillan is in stark contrast to the hands-off approach they took during past investigations into his work.

New contractors will take control

Fire chief's exit reveals discord
CLEARWATER - When James Richardson abruptly resigned last weekend as fire chief of the Clearwater Volunteer Fire Department, it was another sign that all is not well with Aiken County's rural fire departments.

Girl Scouts grows up

Democrats on tour seek budget views
ATLANTA - If you're mad about the governor's proposed budget cuts, Democrats want to hear from you.

Augusta Golf Gardens

Federal court rules in favor of Atlanta on Lanier water withdrawals

Girl, 14, takes SUV, dies

Across the area
The right eastbound lane of Interstate 20 at the Savannah River bridge will remain closed until Thursday afternoon as crews continue working on a problem with one of the bridge's steel beams.

S.C. ranked first in fighting insurance fraud

Work on tennis club is stopped

Injured guests sue motel in fatal fire

News you can use

Senate committee passes proposed gay marriage amendment

Lawmakers crack down on payday loan outfits

Democrats hear budget fears
State budget cuts threaten the happy home of Sheila Landry, her husband and their 18-year-old developmentally disabled daughter.

Bills would back gay marriage ban
COLUMBIA - In the wake of a Massachusetts court ruling that paves the way for gay marriages, some South Carolina lawmakers are introducing legislation to prohibit the Palmetto State's recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Girl, 14, takes SUV, dies
JACKSON - A seventh-grader who took her mother's SUV without permission died after she lost control and was thrown from the vehicle in a one-car accident three days before her 15th birthday, authorities said Wednesday.

Cities lay out case in capital
AIKEN - Business leaders from both sides of the Savannah River traveled to Columbia Tuesday to speak with South Carolina legislators and to push for tougher tort laws, more cash for the Palmetto Parkway and a research park at the Savannah River Site.

Cities take fire service contract into own hands
Harlem and Grovetown officials, unsatisfied with a contract they received from Columbia County about collecting fire service taxes, have responded by drawing up their own agreement.

News you can use
Feb. 12, 1943 The sale of mixed drinks is, in his opinion, not a violation of the law, Augusta Safety Commissioner John B. Kennedy said yesterday. The commissioners statement was based on a letter received by him from T. Grady Head, former state revenue commissioner , which implied that sales of such drinks were legal.

Evans construction
A construction worker builds concrete steps leading to a dining hall and barbecue pit at the canal head gates in Evans. Work on the buildings should be complete by the end of the year.

S.C. ranked first in fighting insurance fraud
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina leads the nation in convictions per dollar spent fighting insurance fraud, according to an annual report by Attorney General Henry McMaster.

Mayor shares city's successes
NORTH AUGUSTA - Creating storefront shops, parks and other pedestrian-friendly amenities will help North Augusta in its quest for redevelopment, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said Wednesday.

Rants and raves
THIS IS A RANT about the rant about soccer players. How can they judge soccer when golf is one of the most dumbest sports ever invented? ... Oh! Soccer is played by all free-world and Communist countries.

Work on tennis club is stopped
Construction at a west Augusta tennis club was shut down indefinitely Wednesday after its builders were cited for working without a construction permit in a notoriously flood-prone part of the city.

Evans construction

Bush's support falls in poll of Georgians

Trooper charged with misconduct in office
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A South Carolina trooper has been charged with misconduct in office after authorities say he agreed to erase a drunk driving charge from a Horry County man's record in exchange for money.

Kid of the day

Police respond to federal lawsuit in drug sweep
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Goose Creek police acted in their official capacity and did not violate student constitutional rights during a Stratford High drug sweep, during which officers with guns drawn ordered students to the floor, according a response to a federal lawsuit.

ATV laws might be tightened
ATLANTA - Lawmakers are shifting into high gear to prevent the deaths of children who joy ride on all-terrain vehicles.

Senate committee passes proposed gay marriage amendment
ATLANTA -- A state Senate committee on Wednesday approved a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriages after about two hours of sometimes emotional testimony for and against the plan.

Fake traveler's checks found
THOMSON - Counterfeit traveler's checks recently hit two McDuffie County businesses, according to Officer Scott Whittle, of the Thomson Police Department.

Payday loans targeted for eradication
ATLANTA -- Georgia lawmakers are nearing agreement on a ban on payday loan companies, lenders that give small loans at interest rates sometimes higher than 500 percent a year.

Legislative briefs
COLUMBIA - House members had an emotional debate Wednesday on a resolution asking Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow for the display of the Ten Commandments in schools and public buildings.

Former principal resigns following arrest
NORCROSS, Ga. -- A former Duluth High principal resigned as the school's director of Community Schools following his arrest on public indecency charges.

Pregnant woman recovers
Leah Freeman said Wednesday morning that she is feeling better as she recovers at a local hospital from a gunshot wound that threatened her life and the life of her unborn child.

Federal court rules in favor of Atlanta on Lanier water withdrawals
ATLANTA -- A federal judge has ruled in favor of the state of Georgia in a battle that pitted metro Atlanta's bid to draw more water from Lake Lanier against others downstream on the Chattahoochee River.

Fire marshals want more authority to enforce codes
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Fire officials say in some rural areas of South Carolina, fire inspectors have no authority to punish building owners whose structures don't meet the fire code.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day isTimothy Jackson Wise Jr., 4 months, of Augusta.

Payday loans targeted for eradication

Suspect in double killing arrested in Texas

Decision further divides parties

Across the region

Fire marshals want more authority to enforce codes

SLED finds no crime in business deal
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A media company acted legally when it received $500,000 as an incentive in a business deal with the Lancaster County Council, the State Law Enforcement Division says.

ATV laws might be tightened

Two new members join state Education Department board

School board chairman vote moves forward

Troubled teens learn TV production through college program
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- When Comcast Cable Corp. was looking for local help to produce community television shows, a home for troubled teens was an unlikely place to go.

Sierra Club to oppose license

Habersham drops appeal of Ten Commandments ruling
CLARKESVILLE, Ga. -- Habersham County has dropped its appeal of a federal judge's order to remove its public Ten Commandments displays because it would cost taxpayers too much money, officials said Wednesday.

Cities take fire service contract into own hands

Granddaughter to be charged in beating death of woman
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ga. -- A 77-year-old Twiggs County woman was beaten to death in her home Tuesday, and her granddaughter has confessed to the crime.

Glint of good budget news expected from economic board

House debates resolution on Ten Commandments
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A resolution asking Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow for the display of the Ten Commandments in schools and public buildings passed the House on Wednesday.

Democrats hear budget fears

Glint of good budget news expected from economic board
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The state Board of Economic Advisors is expected to deliver the first shot of good economic news in more than a year when it meets Thursday.

Mayor shares city's successes

Sanford requests major disaster declaration from Bush
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gov. Mark Sanford has asked President Bush to declare a major disaster for South Carolina after last month's severe ice storm.

Across the area

Two new members join state Education Department board
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Two new members have joined the South Carolina Education Department board.

Fake traveler's checks found

Bush's support falls in poll of Georgians
ATLANTA - A slip in support for President Bush across the nation is being reflected in Georgia, a state he carried handily four years ago, according to a new poll.

Film challenges taboo of full-frontal male nudity
NEW YORK -- A smitten young man in Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" steals a photo of his inamorata and puts it next to his private parts, then is understandably embarrassed when she forcibly peels off his tighty-whiteys and discovers it.

Film challenges taboo of full-frontal male nudity

Creating the Oscar stage and coaxing celebrities onto it

Oscar planners say 5-second delay won't deter political remarks

Oscar planners say 5-second delay won't deter political remarks
LOS ANGELES -- The producer and director of the upcoming Oscar telecast said the ABC's 5-second delay will be used to shield viewers from any unlikely profanity or nudity - but will not interfere with any political statements winners may make.

Oscar nominees assemble for annual luncheon

Critical choice
Here's what critics are saying about recent movie releases.

Critical choice

Oscar nominees assemble for annual luncheon
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Everybody always says it's an honor just to be nominated for an Oscar - but they always leave out the part about the nifty sweat shirt they get.

Creating the Oscar stage and coaxing celebrities onto it
LOS ANGELES -- It's three weeks before the Academy Awards, and the celebrity presenters are hidden under a white sheet.

Norah Jones releases second disc
NEW YORK -- When Norah Jones' debut CD, "Come Away With Me," was released nearly two years ago, it floated into record stores with little fanfare and no hype.

Norah Jones releases second disc

Daytona: Martin's 20th try
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Mark Martin knows his way around the track at Daytona International Speedway. But as he prepares to race in his 20th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Martin is still looking for his first win on the famous 2.5-mile oval.

Matt Kenseth: The boring champ

Daytona: Martin's 20th try

NASCAR takes steps to expand circuit

More engine gains ahead for Ford
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- As good as his cars have been in winning the Budweiser Shootout and sweeping the front row for Sunday's Daytona 500, Ford racing boss Dan Davis insists there's more to come.

NASCAR takes steps to expand circuit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Still perceived by some to be a regional sport, proof of NASCAR's national popularity is reflected in ratings figures provided by Neilsen Media Research. Those figures show that of the 10 largest television markets across the country with the biggest increase in viewership during the last three years, only two - Memphis and Tampa - are in the South.

NASCAR newsmaker Michael Waltrip

NASCAR Truck Series has a deep talent pool

Gordon relishes role of forgotten driver

Police clears driver of accident

Matt Kenseth: The boring champ
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Should the NASCAR champion have a feisty personality, a flashy nickname, a bit of pizazz?

Tire talk dominates time of racing teams
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - An hour after practice ended Wednesday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, Rusty Wallace was still wearing his driver's suit and climbing under and around his Dodge.

Champ's son waits for shot
INDIANAPOLIS - Arie Luyendyk Jr. will start the season in the developmental Infiniti Pro Series while he tries to line up sponsorship for at least a part-time ride in the Indy Racing League.

Tire wear a key in qualifying races
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The new tires for the Daytona 500 will be given their first major test Thursday, and Ryan Newman hopes he learns the secret to managing them.

Gordon relishes role of forgotten driver
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-Jeff Gordon should not be able to sneak up on anyone. Those four Winston Cup championship trophies tend to clang together when you tiptoe.

NASCAR Truck Series has a deep talent pool
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- Travis Kvapil is not the typical defending series champion.

Tire wear a key in qualifying races

NASCAR newsmaker Michael Waltrip
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Michael Waltrip has won two of the past three Daytona 500 races. He talks about how those victories changed his life and his career.

Police clears driver of accident
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Daytona Beach Police Department cleared a paraplegic driver of blame for Sunday's accident that left a speedway worker dead, but the IPower Dash Series and Daytona International Speedway said their investigations will continue.

More engine gains ahead for Ford

Hundred-hanger honored A half Century later
SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. - Scoring 100 points in a basketball game might seem like the ultimate expression of selfishness.

Trading for Wallace reminiscent of deal for Rider

Thomas suspended one game for head-butting Howard
NEW YORK -- Knicks forward Kurt Thomas was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA on Wednesday for head-butting Mavericks forward Josh Howard.

Thomas suspended one game for head-butting Howard

76ers replace Ayers with assistant Ford
PHILADELPHIA -- Randy Ayers lost his job after less than a season as the Philadelphia 76ers' coach. If the team doesn't turn things around, others might be on their way out, too.

Lakers activate Kobe Bryant

Jazz forward Clark's father sentenced to 65 years in prison
DANVILLE, Ill. -- Utah Jazz forward Keon Clark's father was sentenced to 65 years in prison for killing a friend after a fight over a bicycle.

Kobe Bryant attorneys step up attack on rape-shield law

76ers replace Ayers with assistant Ford

Jazz forward Clark's father sentenced to 65 years in prison

Bryant sits out game against Heat
MIAMI -- Kobe Bryant sat out the Lakers' game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night because the cut on his right index finger is not completely healed.

Magic center DeClercq placed on injured list

Kobe Bryant attorneys step up attack on rape-shield law
DENVER -- Kobe Bryant's defense team stepped up its attack Tuesday on a state law that makes it difficult to bring up the sexual history of alleged rape victims at trial.

Magic center DeClercq placed on injured list
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando Magic center Andrew DeClercq was put on the injured list Wednesday while he recovers from right knee surgery.

Lakers activate Kobe Bryant
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant was taken off the injured list by the Los Angeles Lakers before Wednesday night's game against the Houston Rockets.

Trading for Wallace reminiscent of deal for Rider
ATLANTA -- The last time the Atlanta Hawks traded for a notorious malcontent - from the Portland Trail Blazers, no less - the results were less than acceptable.

Indiana's Ewing benched for academic performance
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana forward Pat Ewing Jr. will not play against Penn State on Wednesday for academic reasons.

Majerus says he won't return to coach Utah
SALT LAKE CITY -- Rick Majerus said Tuesday he will not coach the University of Utah again this season, ending his 15-year association with the school he brought to national prominence.

Lady Vols coping without Moore at point guard
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee is inventing new ways to handle the ball now that point guard Loree Moore is out for the season with a torn knee ligament.

Louisville star wears it well
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Luke Whitehead has the word "Blessed" tattooed on his left forearm for a reason. Several reasons, it turns out.

Elder, McCants dazzle ACC fans
ATLANTA - The acknowledgment was brief, a quick handshake as the teams traded ends of the court. B.J. Elder and Rashad McCants knew this was something special.

Two Red Storm players punished in scandal
NEW YORK -- St. John's guard Elijah Ingram withdrew from the university Wednesday, one week after he and five other teammates broke curfew to go to a strip club.

Pacers pound the Jags
AIKEN With his team on a three-game losing skid, USC Aiken coach Mike Brandt decided to change his coaching philosophy a few days ago. Bye bye, Mr. nice guy.

Pacers, Jags clash
It's an old-fashioned battle of contrasting styles of basketball tonight.

Wyche returns to NFL, raspy voice and all

Giants Jeremy Shockey has knee surgery

Bears hire Dunbar as defensive line coach

Clarett to enter NFL draft after latest ruling in his favor

NFL asks judge to suspend order on draft

Panthers turn focus toward repeat trip to Super Bowl

Mr. William Whisenant    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Joyce Taylor    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Ruth Fuller    (JOHNSTON, S.C.)
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Mr. William Whisenant    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Lovie Glover    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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SFC Bernard Barnett Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Freddie Wright    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Mr. John Barnes    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Joseph Smith    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Ms. Bobbie Barefield    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Barbara Fore    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Freddie Wright    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Annie Hardy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Walters    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Ann Ward    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Thomas Waitzfelder    (WILLSTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Gussie Blockett    (SARDIS, Ga.)
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Mrs. Nellie Tefft    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Annie Hardy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mary Hutto    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Marion Scholten, Sgt. FC    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Willie Craig    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Connie Stone    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
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Miss Leslie Crowley    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mrs. Gina Geddings    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Frances Edwards    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Regina Gregory    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Virginia Hoffman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Jerry G. Walters    (WILLISTON, SC)
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Mrs. Mary Hutto    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Ms. Caroline Allen    (COLUMBIA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Frances Johnson    (NINETY SIX, S.C.)
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Mr. Charlie E. Badie    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ann Livingston    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Geneva Black    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Nancy Harrison    (MCCORMICK, S.C.)
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Mr. James Brady    (KITE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Shirley Palmer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Regina Gregory    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Louise Payne    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
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Mr. John Barnes    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Howard Reed    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Arthur Jackson    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Frances Johnson    (NINETY SIX, S.C.)
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Mr. James Knight    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Cooledge Lewallen    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James May    (RETIRED CIVIL SERVICE THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. James May    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Ms. Gwendolyn Hughes    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. Peter McDonald    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Rev. Freddie Paschal, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Virginia Moore    (EATONTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ella Ree Berry    (WARD, S.C.)
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Mrs. Shirley Palmer    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Janie Stephens    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Payne    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
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Mr. Herbert Simpkins    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Miss Mattie Thomas    (Gough, Ga.)
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Mr. George Toole    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Virginia Hoffman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Regina Gregory (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. James Knight (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Joyce Taylor (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. James May (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Peter McDonald (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James May (RETIRED CIVIL SERVICE THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Joseph Smith (ALLENDALE, S.C.)

Mrs. Janie Stephens (SPARTA, Ga.)

Ms. Bobbie Barefield (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Geneva Black (TRENTON, S.C.)

Mr. Thomas Waitzfelder (WILLSTON, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Ann Ward (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Whisenant (AIKEN, S.C.)

Miss Mattie Thomas (Gough, Ga.)

Mr. Herbert Simpkins (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Virginia Hoffman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Caroline Allen (COLUMBIA, S.C.)

Mrs. Willie Craig (AIKEN, S.C.)

Rev. Freddie Paschal, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Cooledge Lewallen (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ella Ree Berry (WARD, S.C.)

Mrs. Louise Payne (LANGLEY, S.C.)

Mrs. Connie Stone (LANGLEY, S.C.)

Mrs. Lovie Glover (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. John Barnes (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Miss Leslie Crowley (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Nancy Harrison (MCCORMICK, S.C.)

SFC Bernard Barnett Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. George Toole (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Gussie Blockett (SARDIS, Ga.)

Mrs. Regina Gregory (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Arthur Jackson (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Annie Hardy (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Louise Payne (LANGLEY, S.C.)

Mr. Charlie E. Badie (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. Marion Scholten, Sgt. FC (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Shirley Palmer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Frances Johnson (NINETY SIX, S.C.)

Mr. John Barnes (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Moore (EATONTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Ann Livingston (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Frances Edwards (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Ruth Fuller (JOHNSTON, S.C.)

Mr. Freddie Wright (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mrs. Nellie Tefft (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Ms. Gwendolyn Hughes (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

Mr. James Brady (KITE, Ga.)

Mrs. Gina Geddings (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Louise Walters (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Hardy (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Whisenant (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Hutto (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Frances Johnson (NINETY SIX, S.C.)

Mr. Freddie Wright (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Hutto (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Virginia Hoffman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Shirley Palmer (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Costa Rica outs Honduras 2-0

Greek police training for suicide attacks
ATHENS, Greece -- Greek police have been training with Israeli experts to deal with possible suicide bombings during the Olympics and have planned for attacks like the one carried out against the Moscow subway.

Costa Rica outs Honduras 2-0
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Costa Rica qualified for the Athens Olympics on Tuesday, getting goals by Jose Luis Lopez and Alvaro Saborio to beat Honduras 2-0.

Crowd jeers eliminated U.S. team with chants of 'Osama!'

Greek police training for suicide attacks

Tighter safeguards for Olympic credential cards

Sarajevo recalls better times on Olympic anniversary

Sarajevo recalls better times on Olympic anniversary
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- With tears rolling down her cheeks, Katarina Witt watched a video of her 1984 Olympic performance as part of a tribute marking the 20th anniversary of the Sarajevo Games.

Cuban wants his players to choose between team and Olympics
ATLANTA -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban already was against his players participating in international play. Watching forward Eduardo Najera get into a fight during an Olympic qualifying tournament over the summer only added to Cuban's resolve.

Tighter safeguards for Olympic credential cards
ATHENS, Greece -- Olympic organizers will use more secure credential cards in an attempt to thwart forgeries and terrorism at the games.

Crowd jeers eliminated U.S. team with chants of 'Osama!'
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- The boos nearly drowned out "The Star-Spangled Banner," and a few dozen fans chanted "Osama! Osama!" as the United States was eliminated by Mexico in Olympic men's soccer qualifying.

Cuban wants his players to choose between team and Olympics

Kent: Payday loan bills attack working poor
ANYONE TIRED of government's constant assault on free enterprise can look to Georgia as the latest example where a legitimate industry is targeted for destruction.

Kent: Payday loan bills attack working poor
ANYONE TIRED of government's constant assault on free enterprise can look to Georgia as the latest example where a legitimate industry is targeted for destruction.

Overtime

Mexico bests U.S., fans yell 'Osama!'

U.S. soccer team to play Poland twice, Haiti

French teen Golovin wins when Smashnova-Pistolesi quits

Overtime

China, Taiwan can put aside differences in name of sport

Newfoundland, Norfolk terrier favorites

Other stars joined Guy, Bradshaw

China, Taiwan can put aside differences in name of sport
TIANJIN, China - Baseball, not politics, is on Jiao Yi's mind this week as his Tianjin Tigers journey to Taiwan for training.

Nadal advances to second round in Milan
MILAN, Italy -- Spanish teen Rafael Nadal beat 6-foot-10 Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-1 Wednesday to reach the second round of the Milan Indoors.

Newfoundland, Norfolk terrier favorites
NEW YORK - With so many top dogs in town, any win at Westminster is a big deal. So it made perfect sense that Karen Mammano let out a playful yelp when the judge picked her American water spaniel.

Mexico bests U.S., fans yell 'Osama!'
The boos nearly drowned out The Star-Spangled Banner, and a few dozen fans chanted "Osama! Osama!" as the United States was eliminated by Mexico in Olympic men's soccer qualifying Tuesday.

Other stars joined Guy, Bradshaw
The fourth annual Greater Augusta Sports Council Awards Gala featured plenty of stars.

French teen Golovin wins when Smashnova-Pistolesi quits
PARIS -- French teen Tatiana Golovin erased two match points Tuesday and reached the second round of the Gaz de France when sixth-seeded Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi quit with leg cramps.

Overtime
Andre Curtis was named Georgia Southern's defensive ends coach on Wednesday.

Even with shaky defense, Howard keeps winning
LONDON -- Tim Howard keeps watching the ball whiz by him into the net.

U.S. soccer team to play Poland twice, Haiti
CHICAGO -- The United States soccer team will play a pair of exhibition games against Poland and one against Haiti as it prepares for World Cup qualifying.

Overtime
McCormick's Charlie Combs and East Clarendon's Dwayne Howell were announced as head coaches for the 2004 North-South all-star game on Dec. 11 this fall.

Prep basketball boxes
Here are the boy's and girls' area prep basketball boxes from Wednesday night.

Panthers turn focus toward repeat trip to Super Bowl
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Not even a kind note from Joe Torre could help Carolina coach John Fox get past the sting from the Panthers' Super Bowl loss.

Giants Jeremy Shockey has knee surgery
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey had surgery on his left knee Wednesday.

NHL Capsules
PHILADELPHIA -- Rookie Antero Niittymaki stopped 35 shots for his third win in as many starts, leading the Philadelphia Flyers over the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Clarett to enter NFL draft after latest ruling in his favor
NEW YORK -- Maurice Clarett is ready to enter the NFL draft, clearing another legal obstacle Wednesday when a federal judge rejected the league's request to suspend her ruling.

Wyche returns to NFL, raspy voice and all
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Only Sam Wyche's voice sounds rusty - a permanent condition and the result of a severed vocal chord.

NFL asks judge to suspend order on draft
NEW YORK -- The NFL asked a judge Tuesday to suspend her decision to allow high school players into the draft, arguing that an onslaught of teenagers would harm the league, its athletes and college football.

Bears hire Dunbar as defensive line coach
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Karl Dunbar was hired by the Chicago Bears as defensive line coach Tuesday.

Tentative agreement reached to keep Pro Bowl in Hawaii
HONOLULU -- A tentative agreement has been reached to keep the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii through 2009.

France's lower house votes to ban religious apparel in public school
PARIS -- France's lower house of parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to ban students from wearing Islamic head scarves and other religious apparel in public schools.

Soldiers and reservists get special tax breaks
WASHINGTON -- Soldiers in combat live in exceptional circumstances, and the Internal Revenue Service recognizes that at tax time with extended deadlines and special tax breaks.

IRS finds money hidden offshore, shares tax abuse leads with states
WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday it had collected $170 million in taxes and penalties on money hidden offshore and has shared with state tax agencies information about 20,000 taxpayers using scams and shelters to avoid taxes.

Tips to make tax time less taxing
WASHINGTON -- Swamped in tax paperwork with nowhere to turn? Here are some tips to get started and to find help when you need it:

Docudrama takes timely look at murder case
LOS ANGELES - With the Scott Peterson murder case still in pretrial maneuvering, Dean Cain had to make a choice.

Grammys get 26.3 million viewers to lead CBS to ratings win
NEW YORK -- Despite - or maybe because of - the Janet Jackson breast-baring fallout, the Grammys were seen by 26.3 million viewers, making Sunday night's awards show the third-most watched Grammy telecast of the last 10 years.

'Fairly OddParents' is not just for kids
DETROIT -- "The Fairly OddParents" is the second-highest rated program in America for viewers 2 to 11 years old.

Fallout from Jackson's breast-baring continues at TV networks
NEW YORK -- MTV is shifting some of its racier music videos to late night and ABC is skittish about an "NYPD Blue" sex scene - part of the continued fallout from Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flashing.

'NYPD Blue' to return for one last season
LOS ANGELES -- The cops from "NYPD Blue" will be on the beat one more season, their 12th, and then take retirement, ABC announced Monday.

'Fairly OddParents' is not just for kids

Docudrama takes timely look at murder case

Grammys get 26.3 million viewers to lead CBS to ratings win

Fallout from Jackson's breast-baring continues at TV networks

NBC's Tom Brokaw gets first-hand look at war on terrorism
NEW YORK -- Tom Brokaw is getting a renewed appreciation for how difficult it is to find Osama bin Laden during the NBC anchorman's trip this week to where the war against terrorism is being fought.

NFL, Viacom officials to testify on Capitol Hill about Super Bowl show
WASHINGTON -- Janet Jackson's Super Bowl exposure was "a new low for prime-time television," the government's chief broadcast regulator told lawmakers Wednesday.

NFL, Viacom officials to testify on Capitol Hill about Super Bowl show

Extras, extras

Next Jackson hearing likely to be more sedate than last

Woman drops lawsuit over Super Bowl halftime show

People in the News

'Star Wars' saga to debut on DVD in September

Stuff to do

People in the News

Gamecocks roll to victory
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - South Carolina finished the fall golf season with a victory in Hawaii. The Gamecocks began the spring season Tuesday with a victory.

Bulldogs to test talented Gamecocks
If there's a secret to beating No. 6 Mississippi State, not many teams have had success finding it.

Gamecocks fall short in overtime

Gamecocks roll to victory

Gamecocks fall short in overtime
COLUMBIA. - Timmy Bowers hit a late 3-pointer to force overtime, and Branden Vincent's foul shot with 53 seconds left in the extra session gave No. 6 Mississippi State the lead for good in a 79-75 victory over No. 25 South Carolina on Wednesday night.

Bulldogs to test talented Gamecocks

Odds and Ends

Girl dies after being dragged by coat caught in car door

Police hand millionaire a record speeding fine

Odds and Ends

Elderly man says he robbed bank to pay medical bills