Top 20 concert tours
The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.

Paris Review announces first annual Plimpton Prize
NEW YORK -- The Paris Review has announced its first winner of the Plimpton Prize, named for longtime editor George Plimpton, who died last fall.

Rollicking Rossini gem is revived at the Met
NEW YORK - In a Rossini comic opera, there comes a moment when the characters stop in their tracks and join together to express varying degrees of bewilderment over the twists and turns of the plot.

Rollicking Rossini gem is revived at the Met

Paris Review announces first annual Plimpton Prize

Padres exercise Bochy's '05 option
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres exercised manager Bruce Bochy's option for 2005 on Tuesday, acknowledging that five straight losing seasons weren't his fault.

Red Sox, Yankees owners fire shots in verbal battle
BOSTON - Red Sox owner John Henry thinks a salary cap could be good for baseball after watching the rival Yankees trade for Alex Rodriguez - a deal his own franchise could not complete.

Puttin' on the pinstripes: Yanks introduce A-Rod
NEW YORK -- When Alex Rodriguez put on the pinstripes for the first time, his shoulders stooped, perhaps feeling the weight of all that tradition on his broad back.

Mets pick up a player, too

Torre might be willing to return in 2005
NEW YORK -- Joe Torre might be willing to stay on with the New York Yankees beyond 2004.

Padres exercise Bochy's '05 option

Tigers hope changes will spur turnaround
DETROIT -- Perhaps curiosity has replaced pity and amusement when people think of the Detroit Tigers.

Puttin' on the pinstripes: Yanks introduce A-Rod

Tigers hope changes will spur turnaround

Tampa Bay OF Hamilton suspended

New teammates eager to welcome Maddux back to Cubs
MESA, Ariz. -- Catcher Paul Bako was cornered by the media as he walked into the Chicago Cubs' spring training complex, with everyone wanting to know about his new teammate.

Deal is hot topic around leagues

Tampa Bay OF Hamilton suspended
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect Josh Hamilton was suspended until March 19 and fined Tuesday for violating major league baseball's drug policy.

Appeals panel upholds lower court ruling in case of struck-out umps

Appeals panel upholds lower court ruling in case of struck-out umps
PHILADELPHIA -- Major League Baseball does not have to rehire 10 umpires who are still out of work following a 1999 mass resignation, a three-judge federal appeals panel ruled Tuesday.

Deal is hot topic around leagues
The New York Mets made light of the big move and the Boston Red Sox tried to downplay it. Still, it was hard to avoid the shock wave the New York Yankees sent through baseball by signing Alex Rodriguez.

Mets pick up a player, too
NEW YORK -- The Yankees weren't the only baseball team in New York to add a player this week.

A-Rod, Jeter pairing has makings of soap opera

A-Rod, Jeter pairing has makings of soap opera
Did I miss it: Had Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter been dating?

CF Byrd signs one-year deal

New teammates eager to welcome Maddux back to Cubs

Red Sox, Yankees owners fire shots in verbal battle

CF Byrd signs one-year deal
PHILADELPHIA -- Center fielder Marlon Byrd signed a one-year, $355,000 contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

Harley Jade Dorsey

Henry Stephens IV
Henry Stephens III and Angalita Stephens, of Grovetown, announce the birth of a son, Henry Stephens IV, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Ellis and Helen Dent and Mattie B. Stephens, all of Augusta, and the late Henry Stephens Jr.

Mary Lorick Brittingham

Daniel James Currie
Frank and Lori Currie, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Daniel James Currie, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Thompson, of Martinez, and Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Currie, of Hephzibah.

David Micah Times

Jacob Roberts Demand
Joe R. Demand III and Angela Demand, of Jackson, announce the birth of a son, Jacob Roberts Demand, Monday, Jan. 12, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Clyde Bulfinch and John Gibson, both of Jackson, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe R. Demand Jr., of Lancaster, S.C.

Dontavis Ronald Dent

Dontavis Ronald Dent
Michael and Shanta Dent, of Harlem, announce the birth of a son, Dontavis Ronald Dent, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Charlie and Jacquelyn Jefferson, of Harlem, Ronald Dent, of Augusta, and Julia Dent, of Clarks Hill, S.C.

Chevy Clark Kitchens
John S. and Kimberly L. Kitchens, of Warrenton, Ga., announce the birth of a son, Chevy Clark Kitchens, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. William L. English, of Dearing, Ga., Mr. and Mrs. Harold D. Cole, of Douglasville, Ga., Mr. and Mrs. John L. Kitchens, of Warrenton, and Mr. and Mrs. David Battles, of Attalla, Ala.

John Gavin Wright
Jason and Christy Wright, of Martinez, announce the birth of a son, John Gavin Wright, Monday, Feb. 2, 2004, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Carswell and Mr. and Mrs. Eli Wright, all of Augusta.

Paige Noelle Andrews
Paul B. and Jayne W. Andrews, of Martinez, announce the birth of a daughter, Paige Noelle Andrews, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. George T. Williams, of Augusta, and Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Andrews, of Lexington, S.C.

Benjamin David Greene
Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Greene, of Jackson, announce the birth of a son, Benjamin David Greene, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Danny Bridges, of Beech Island, Ethel Greene, of Fairfax, S.C., and the late Joe T. Greene.

Paige Noelle Andrews

Garrison Lawrence Hunt
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher L. Hunt, of Thomson, announce the birth of a son, Garrison Lawrence Hunt, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Jack Garrison, of Thomson, and Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Hunt, of Dearing.

David Franklin Tankersley Jr.

Gibson Jay Willing

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 Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Garrett, all of Augusta, and Mr. and Mrs. John J. Brittingham, of Woodbridge, Va.

Chevy Clark Kitchens

Kacie Alyssa Linaweaver
Jason and Latrisha Linaweaver, of Evans, announce the birth of a daughter, Kacie Alyssa Linaweaver, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Holloway and Mr. and Mrs. Lee Linaweaver, all of Martinez.

Harrison Bo Wren
Will D. and Ashley R. Wren, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Harrison Bo Wren, Friday, Jan. 30, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Lt. Col. and Mrs. Harry J. Lubin, of Columbus, Ga., Mr. and Mrs. Terry Robison, of Harker Heights, Texas, and Mr. and Mrs. William Wren Jr., of Wrens, Ga.

David Franklin Tankersley Jr.
David and Nancy Tankersley, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, David Franklin Tankersley Jr., Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Roger and Shari Boisclair, of Disputanta, Va., and Michael and Wanda Boggs, of Edgefield, S.C.

Gibson Jay Willing
Jason and Lynn Willing, of Graniteville, announce the birth of a son, Gibson Jay Willing, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Elaine Sanders, of Warrenville, Mr. and Mrs. McGee Sanders, of Barnwell, S.C., Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Baggs, of Martinez, and David Willing, of Aiken.

Henry Stephens IV

Jeb Anderson Bowers
Peter B. and Kristen M. Bowers, of Martinez, announce the birth of a son, Jeb Anderson Bowers, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2003, at Doctors Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Michael E. Jones, of Augusta, Alice and Ken Roberts and Joe Bowers, all of Beaufort, S.C.

Brayden Robert Lively

Rebecca Ann Weaver
Mr. and Mrs. Luke Weaver, of Evans, announce the birth of a daughter, Rebecca Ann Weaver, Monday, Feb. 2, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Alan Cormier, of White, Ga., and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Weaver, of Augusta.

David Brett Rimes Pattillo

David Micah Times
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Times Jr., of Hephzibah, announce the birth of a son, David Micah Times, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. William Thomas and Yvonne Smith Times, all of Hephzibah, and Arthur Times Sr., of Buena Vista, Ga.

Daniel James Currie

Alyvia Brynne Rose
Jason M. and Crystal A. Rose, of North Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Alyvia Brynne Rose, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Donald Boyd, Robbie Pond, Emma and Deray Boyd, all of Gloverville, Jerry and Robin Schnorenberg, of Oceanside, Calif., and William and Barbara Rose, of Sarasota, Fla.

Brady Nicholas McMillan

David Brett Rimes Pattillo
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Pattillo, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, David Brett Rimes Pattillo, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Lester Ishmael, of Augusta, Mr. and Mrs. William Campbell, of Jacksonville, Fla., and Mr. and Mrs. Les Pattillo, of Blythe.

Jacob Roberts Demand

Brady Nicholas McMillan
Jacob and Angel McMillan, of Augusta, announce the birth of a son, Brady Nicholas McMillan, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Carlton and Charlotte Putnam and Mr. and Mrs. Stephen McMillan, all of Augusta, and Craige Maxim, of Boston, Mass.

Jeb Anderson Bowers

Brayden Robert Lively
Mr. and Mrs. Benny Lively, of Beech Island, announce the birth of a son, Brayden Robert Lively, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Richey Jr., of Beech Island, and the late James Lively.

Benjamin David Greene

Harley Jade Dorsey
Wiley T. Dorsey and Amanda B. Johnson, both of North Augusta, announce the birth of a daughter, Harley Jade Dorsey, Monday, Jan. 26, 2004, at University Hospital. Grandparents are Edward N. Johnson Jr., Martha Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. James Dorsey, all of North Augusta.

Alyvia Brynne Rose

Cookbook features death row inmates' final meals
CROCKETT, Texas -- With recipes for "gallows gravy" and "rice rigor mortis," Brian Price's new cookbook brings a touch of dark wit to a subject seldom welcome at the dinner table: death.

Odds and Ends
SHANGHAI, China -- China's children are getting bigger - and that's bad news for many parents' pocket books.

Coins, necklaces and needles found in patient's belly
BOSTON -- French doctors were taken aback when they discovered the reason for a patient's sore, swollen belly: He had swallowed around 350 coins - $650 worth - along with assorted necklaces and needles.

Odds and Ends
CLEVELAND -- Attala Abboushi couldn't believe his eyes when he opened his store and saw legs dangling from the kitchen ceiling.

Team overhaul brings new faces, lots of questions

Team overhaul brings new faces, lots of questions
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - If last weekend's fanfest at Turner Field is indicative of what is to come, this might be yet another surprising season for the Atlanta Braves.

Business briefs

Schools encourage businesses to get involved

Toy makers unveil toys that interact with TV

FDA raises flag on Posilac

Augusta facility unfazed by probe

Augusta's economy is languid

Cingular agrees to buy AT&T Wireless

Toy makers unveil toys that interact with TV
NEW YORK -- The latest generation of high-tech toys has arrived. A miniature Batmobile can now rev its engine in sync with an animated version on TV, while a plush cat can sing along with a DVD or video.

Parmalat founder's son and daughter arrested

Martha Stewart lawyer tries to head off securities-fraud charge
NEW YORK -- Prosecutors in the fraud case against Martha Stewart showed the jury a stock chart Wednesday in an attempt to prove that she propped up the price of her own company by lying to investors about her sale of ImClone Systems stock.

Appeals court upholds federal do not call registry
DENVER -- A federal appeals court upheld the government's do not call registry Tuesday, dismissing telemarketers' claims that it violates free speech rights and is unfair because it doesn't apply to charitable or political solicitations.

FDA raises flag on Posilac
SAN FRANCISCO - The genetically engineered hormone that induces a third of the nation's dairy herds to make more milk is in very short supply now that federal inspectors found quality-control problems at the factory where it's produced.

Business briefs
MOLINE, Ill. - Increased sales helped Deere & Co. more than double its first-quarter profits, exceeding analysts' expectations and boosting the equipment maker's stock sharply Tuesday.

White House retreats on predictions of new jobs this year
WASHINGTON -- The White House backed away Wednesday from its own prediction that the economy will add 2.6 million new jobs before the end of this year, saying the forecast was the work of number-crunchers and that President Bush was not a statistician.

Industrial production jumps 0.8 percent in January
WASHINGTON -- Big industry production rebounded in January, rising by a strong 0.8 percent, an encouraging sign that the industrial sector's recovery is on track.

Google expands Web index
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. are revving up their online search engines as the once-friendly business partners shift gears and prepare for what promises to be a fierce rivalry.

Industrial production jumps 0.8 percent in January

Residential construction activity slows in January
WASHINGTON --The number of housing projects builders broke ground on in January declined by the largest amount in nearly a year as bad winter weather played havoc with construction activity.

Residential construction activity slows in January

Course assists owners

Martha Stewart lawyer tries to head off securities-fraud charge

White House retreats on predictions of new jobs this year

Maker of AstroTurf files for bankruptcy

First Friday won't get extra security
Extra security is no longer in the plans for First Friday.

Google expands Web index

Local businessman keeps records spinning
Louis Hernandez adjusts the speed of Alan Andrews's turntable. Mr. Hernandez is one of the few audio repair specialists in Augusta .

Local businessman keeps records spinning

Course assists owners
The challenges confronting people starting their own companies, some say, are compounded when they happen to be women or minorities with little experience at turning business models into money-making enterprises.

Parmalat founder's son and daughter arrested
PARMA, Italy -- Italian authorities investigating the Parmalat fraud scandal arrested seven people Tuesday, including company founder Calisto Tanzi's son, daughter and brother, police said. An eighth person was placed under house arrest.

Business briefs
WASHINGTON - The number of housing projects that builders began in January declined by the largest amount in nearly a year as bad winter weather played havoc with construction activity.

Martha Stewart judge says prosecutors can't speculate on phone call
NEW YORK -- A federal judge on Tuesday limited one element of the government's effort to prove Martha Stewart and her stockbroker conspired to lie about Stewart's sale of ImClone Systems stock.

Maker of AstroTurf files for bankruptcy
LEANDER, Texas -- The maker of AstroTurf has filed for bankruptcy protection and is going out of business, putting construction projects in limbo at athletic facilities across the country.

Cingular agrees to buy AT&T Wireless
ATLANTA -- Cingular Wireless, the nation's No. 2 mobile phone provider, won the bidding war to acquire third-largest AT&T Wireless for nearly $41 billion, a deal that could create the nation's largest cell phone company.

Kermit, Miss Piggy joining Mickey Mouse at Disney
LOS ANGELES -- Kermit and Miss Piggy are joining Mickey and Minnie, capping a 14-year effort to bring the Muppets into the Walt Disney family.

Augusta facility unfazed by probe
Monsanto Co. said it is still on track to get its Augusta Posilac facility fully functional by 2005, despite quality-control problems that have arisen at its European plant.

Augusta's economy is languid
ATLANTA - Many aspects of Augusta may be exciting, but not its economy.

Schools encourage businesses to get involved
They may have courted before, but the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and school officials now say they are serious about forging a new relationship to provide better trained workers for the county.

Kermit, Miss Piggy joining Mickey Mouse at Disney

Industrial production jumps 0.8 percent in January
WASHINGTON -- Big industry production rebounded in January, rising by a strong 0.8 percent, an encouraging sign that the industrial sector's recovery is on track.

Disney board rejects Comcast offer

Disney board rejects Comcast offer
LOS ANGELES -- The Walt Disney Company rejected Comcast Corp.'s takeover bid, but it also kept the cable giant's hopes alive by indicating more money might do the trick.

Industrial production jumps 0.8 percent in January

Martha Stewart judge says prosecutors can't speculate on phone call

Appeals court upholds federal do not call registry

Tigers end Wolfpack's winning ways

Tigers end Wolfpack's winning ways
CLEMSON, S.C. - Maybe it was the hangover from upsetting the No. 1 team in the country three days earlier.

Female kicker reveals painful past to columnist

Former Colorado player says she was raped by teammate

Former Colorado player says she was raped by teammate
DENVER -- A female kicker says she was raped by a Colorado teammate four years ago but was too frightened to tell police, another damaging accusation against a reeling program.

Erk Russell cuts ties to Georgia Southern

Town grapples with Colorado's recruiting scandal

LSU's high might be short-lived
BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana State is finally ranked, but it might be handicapped as well.

Town grapples with Colorado's recruiting scandal
BOULDER, Colo. -- Nobel laureate Carl Wieman opened the newspaper and thought, "Not again." The University of Colorado's athletes were back in the news - and not just on the sports page.

LSU's high might be short-lived

Erk Russell cuts ties to Georgia Southern
STATESBORO, Ga. - Erk Russell, who built Georgia Southern into a NCAA Division I-AA football power, has cut ties to the school over the firing of his son.

Female kicker reveals painful past to columnist
DENVER - Katie Hnida came forward with her rape claim at great emotional cost, according to the writer who broke the story.

Knight drops suit against Indiana

Gonzaga set to retire Stockton's number

Shine, Roland spark Aiken Tech to victory

Augusta's Edge ponders potential career move

MCG's global reach
Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics was recently named one of 16 major teaching hospitals by Solucient, the prestigious health-care consultant. This honor is further proof that MCG isn't just a prominent state or regional institution, but enjoys world-class status.

How to curb DUIs

The state's failure
If it focused really hard, and mustered all of its official muscle, the state might be able to foul up its handling of the Augusta Youth Development Campus even more than it has.

The right to bother us?

How to curb DUIs
South Carolina law-enforcers are always looking for ways to get tougher on drunken drivers - and for good reason. The state has the second-highest rate of fatal driving-under-the-influence accidents in the nation, and the number is continuing to rise, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.

MCG's global reach

The state's failure

The right to bother us?
The war to win back your privacy isn't over, not by a long shot.

People in the News
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Guitarist B.B. King says blues music doesn't get much airplay on radio stations, so he continues to bring it to the people with 200 shows a year.

Man pleads innocent to posting Oscar tapes on Internet
LOS ANGELES -- A man accused of helping to illegally post movies for Oscar screeners on the Internet has pleaded innocent to federal charges.

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

Study finds violence, unlabeled content in teen-rated video games
CHICAGO -- Many teen-rated video contain content that is not listed on the label, including sexual themes, alcohol and profanity, a study found.

Stuff to do
The Josh Todd Band, featuring vocalist Mr. Todd, the former front man for Buck Cherry, performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St. Admission costs $7 for age 21 and older, $10 for those under 21. Call 821-3366. See Friday's Applause section for an interview with Mr. Todd.

People in the News
WARSAW, Poland -- A new exhibit on the Jewish ghetto in the southern city of Krakow is scheduled to open this summer, with a grant of about $40,000 from Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, a city official said Tuesday.

Darts hit the spot
There's more to the game of darts than meets the bull's-eye. With two categories - steel tip (traditional boards and darts) and soft tip (electronic gaming boards that register when hit by a soft dart tip) - different leagues and many rankings, plus various types of games in each category, the game is more like an intense sport.

Dollar down, gold up in Europe
LONDON -- The U.S. dollar was down against other major currencies in European trading Tuesday. Gold rose.

Dollar hits record low against euro; gold mixed in Europe

Stocks higher on merger news, manufacturing report
NEW YORK -- Investors sent stocks sharply higher Tuesday as Cingular's $41 billion bid for AT&T Wireless set an upbeat tone on Wall Street, and Disney rejected a hostile takeover proposal from Comcast but said it would consider other offers that fairly valued the company.

Dollar hits record low against euro; gold mixed in Europe
LONDON -- The U.S. dollar sank to a record low against the euro and an 11-year low against the British pound in European trading Wednesday, but gained against the yen.

Rates lower in Treasury bill auction
WASHINGTON -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities fell in Tuesday's auction.

Stocks mixed on disappointing construction report
NEW YORK -- A drop in housing starts and a rally in the U.S. dollar on currency markets sent stocks lower Wednesday as the news gave investors an incentive to collect profits.

State sues Pimco parent, charging fraud
NEWARK, N.J. -- The state attorney general's office filed suit Tuesday against the parent corporation of the Pimco mutual fund group, charging it defrauded investors by allowing a major client to make improper trades worth more than $4 billion.

Rates lower in Treasury bill auction

Stocks higher on merger news, manufacturing report

Stocks mixed on disappointing construction report

Treasury to stop issuing 'HH' bonds
WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department, citing high administrative costs and relatively low demand, said that later this year it will stop issuing new "HH" savings bonds, which pay interest to their owners semiannually.

Small portions

Make perfect Italian entree without the fuss

Healthful stuffing makes pork loin dish low-fat

Cheese goes west, makes name for itself
NEW YORK - Pause to consider that there are indeed classic cheeses besides Gruyere, Roquefort, Stilton and other European aristocrats, often named for their remote place of origin.

Ingredients add exotic flavor to Thai food

Cheese goes west, makes name for itself

Small portions
Travelers looking for unusual snacks, packs and candy around the world may wish to note these new products:

Sweeten up the winter with nutty caramel tart
The warm golden colors of this roasted-peanut caramel tart suggest an antidote to winter blues, even before the good taste hits home.

Tests confirm two new viruses in Georgia's Vidalia onions
TIFTON, Ga. -- Scientists have confirmed two new viruses, one possibly brought in on Peruvian onions, in Georgia's $75 million crop of sweet Vidalia onions, but it may take several growing seasons to determine the full impact of the attack.

Sweeten up the winter with nutty caramel tart

Dining out

Ingredients add exotic flavor to Thai food
HYDE PARK, N.Y. - Lemon grass adds a delicate touch that's part of the unconventional taste range in this Thai hot and sour soup. Shrimp, noodles and vegetables marry with a savory, yet spicy broth, offering a welcome alternative to traditional soups such as chicken noodle or minestrone.

Restaurant is the perfect place for a dinner date
Mimmo's Taste of Italy on Furys Ferry Road in Martinez offers the type of service and environment you only see in Italian restaurants in the movies.

Make perfect Italian entree without the fuss
The focus of this special interest publication is made plain in its title: Simply Perfect Italian (from Better Homes and Gardens, Meredith, $5.99).

Healthful stuffing makes pork loin dish low-fat
The word "stuffed" doesn't sound like a promising characteristic for a low-fat recipe. But when the stuffing adds nutrition and flavor, it merits a closer look.

Dining out
Here are mini-reviews of Aiken-Augusta restaurants.

Irked Erk fires back at school
STATESBORO, Ga. -- Former Georgia Southern football coach Erk Russell is irked.

Georgia Tech can return favor
ATLANTA - Days after having a second Atlantic Coast Conference victory snatched from it, Georgia Tech is looking to steal something for itself tonight at Maryland.

Irked Erk fires back at school

Playing golf, and life, from the rough all the time
He stood in the 18th fairway locked in a playoff and needing to airmail his golf ball 262 yards to clear a pond, which at that moment must have looked as wide to John Daly as the Pacific Ocean shining in the distance.

The fascination with John Daly
One New Yorker said it brought tears to his eyes to see John Daly win, the first time he felt that kind of emotion since the 1980 U.S. hockey team won the gold medal.

The fascination with John Daly

Thrashers defeat Canadiens
MONTREAL -- The Atlanta Thrashers know they can count on Ilya Kovalchuk to get their offense going.

Thrashers defeat Canadiens

Penguins demote Caron, recall Chiodo

Blackhawks goalie to undergo hip surgery

Predators sign forward Walker to contract extension
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have signed forward Scott Walker to a contract extension.

Penguins demote Caron, recall Chiodo
PITTSBURGH -- Penguins goaltender Sebastien Caron was demoted Tuesday to the American Hockey League, a day after being benched during the team's 15th straight loss.

Canucks' Naslund released from hospital after hit on ice
DENVER -- Vancouver forward Markus Naslund was released from a hospital Tuesday after being injured in a game against the Colorado Avalanche by a hit that a Canucks official called a cheap shot.

Blackhawks goalie to undergo hip surgery
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goalie Steve Passmore will undergo hip surgery and will be out of the lineup indefinitely.

Predators sign forward Walker to contract extension

After making your own soup, sample others for food charity
During the winter months, my family's soup bowls are usually brimming with something comforting and warm, but there are other families in our area whose soup bowls are empty on a regular basis.

Up on the roof
A car balances on top of another after two-car accident at Columbia and Belair roads in Martinez Wednesday afternoon.

Soldiers return to fort
James Spruill (left) of the 63rd Signal Battalion embraces wife, Zerphlee, PFC, of the 442nd Signal Battalion, after a ceremony honoring the 63rd at Fort Gordon Thursday. The troops had participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Draw the line with government intervention
It is with great alarm that I read the article in the Feb. 5 issue of The Augusta Chronicle concerning a law being considered by Georgia lawmakers. This new law would make it a crime to smoke in a car with the windows up and children inside. While I am no advocate of smoking - I think it is a very unhealthy habit - I am also opposed to the government stepping in and playing havoc with a citizen's right to privacy. Diane Chiera, Evans, Ga.

Gun control myths
I need to respond to Barbara Thurmond and the lies and myths that she regurgitates from the Brady Campaign and other anti-rights organizations in her Feb. 14 letter, "Georgia gun report card gets low marks." John Bryan, Wrens, Ga.

Gun control myths

Do the right thing - take care of pets

Is among the half who support Bush

Gibson film personifies love of Jesus
Kevin Fournier, a constitutional lawyer and author of seven books, was invited recently to a private viewing of Mel Gibson's film The Passion. The Rev. Michael Lubinsky, Augusta (Editor's note: The writer is the associate pastor of The Church of the Most Holy Trinity.)

Democrats too slick to be trusted
I remember back in the Model T Ford days, these two guys were arguing about which of them knew the slickest roads - one, a rural mail carrier of about 250 pounds; the other, a farmer of about 130 pounds soaking wet. Harry Oliphant, Hephzibah, Ga.

Payday loan service wanted, needed
Thousands of working Georgians have an obvious need for the short-term financial relief that payday-advance services provide. The service is both wanted and needed. It is cheaper and less embarassing than bouncing a check. Penny Scoggins, Augusta

Do the right thing - take care of pets
Finally, our long-awaited animal shelter is open, thanks to the vision and hard work of Dr. Bonnie Bragdon, the former veterinarian. Plaudits should also go to all the hard-working volunteers who spend their time and money to foster dogs and cats that have been so carelessly tossed out on the streets and at the shelter by their owners. Elfriede Howard, Augusta

Is among the half who support Bush
In reading The Chronicle's letters to the editor or Rants & Raves, media reports that we are a 50-50 country seem accurate. Whether you get information from conservative-leaning Fox News or liberal-leaning CNN, those who believe President George W. Bush lied about Iraq and those of us who believe he acted in the best interests of the country will probably not be convinced otherwise. Stephen Johnston, Martinez, Ga.

New test shows promise at reducing unnecessary antibiotic use

Study suggests aspirin may lower risk of Hodgkin's disease

Seniors far more likely to die in crashes, study says

Super Bowl ends many gym-goers' motivation

Edgefield District jugs, jars are becoming prized pottery

Bald eagles waiting to be taken off threatened list

Employees run into unwritten rule of the workplace: urinate on demand

Living briefs

Health and fitness calendar

Asia's human death toll from bird flu rises to 22

Brain scans suggest some people predisposed to smoke

Gene therapy might build super athletes, scientist warns

Study ties antibiotics, breast cancer risk

Living briefs
If your sweetheart were a type of chocolate, what type would he or she be? In a poll of 1,000 adults, sponsored by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, most men and women said "hot chocolate" most aptly described their sweetheart, followed by "solid, plain chocolate."

Seniors far more likely to die in crashes, study says
WASHINGTON -- Drivers in their late 50s and early 60s are among the safest on the roads, but motorists who reach retirement age are much more apt to get into an accident, a AAA study finds.

Asia's human death toll from bird flu rises to 22
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Two 4-year-old boys became the latest victims of the bird flu virus sweeping Asia, bringing the human death toll to 22 on Wednesday.

Super Bowl ends many gym-goers' motivation
WASHINGTON -- It must be one of the shortest sports seasons going. People who know they ought to start exercising begin a gym membership at the new year. But after the Super Bowl, their willpower has waned and they're gone. Outta there.

New test shows promise at reducing unnecessary antibiotic use
LONDON -- A blood test could help doctors determine whether antibiotics are needed for common respiratory infections and may reduce the over-prescribing that creates drug-resistant germs, new research suggests.

It's a microbial world with good guys and bad guys
SEATTLE -- That soap scum that forms on the shower curtain? It's really a biofilm loaded with more than a billion bacteria per cubic inch.

Living briefs
Stage mothers, get ready. BabyTalk is looking for beautiful babies to compete for the chance to be on the cover of the magazine in November.

Bald eagles waiting to be taken off threatened list
CONCRETE, Wash. -- So many bald eagles swoop down from the treetops to pluck their breakfast from the Skagit River, you wouldn't think they were a threatened species.

Study suggests aspirin may lower risk of Hodgkin's disease
WASHINGTON -- Scientists have found a hint that regular aspirin use might lower the risk of Hodgkin's disease, but more research is needed to prove it.

Bird flu virus found in southern Japan among pet birds
TOKYO -- A strain of bird flu has been discovered in a group of pet chickens in southern Japan in the country's first new infections since an outbreak at a chicken farm last month, officials said Tuesday.

Employees run into unwritten rule of the workplace: urinate on demand
Tom Smith worried he was in for trouble on a Wednesday morning last November, when a supervisor pulled the assembly line worker aside and told him to report to the factory nurse's station.

Study ties antibiotics, breast cancer risk
CHICAGO -- A study linking antibiotics with breast cancer doesn't prove that they cause the disease, but should prompt women to make sure they don't use the drugs inappropriately, researchers say.

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 30903-1928. Send information by fax to 722-7403 and send e-mail to feature@augustachronicle.com. Please include a contact name and phone number.

Brain scans suggest some people predisposed to smoke
WASHINGTON -- If you're easy to anger, you might have a brain especially susceptible to nicotine.

Gene therapy might build super athletes, scientist warns
SEATTLE -- A gene therapy that has been shown in rats to double muscle strength and power could illegally be used to build super athletes, a researcher said Monday. Sports officials are looking for ways to detect the genetic manipulation.

Edgefield District jugs, jars are becoming prized pottery
Cool to the touch and sturdy even after more than a century of use and disuse, the antebellum jugs and jars made in South Carolina's Edgefield District have become revered as prized collectibles.

DeMint launches campaign with city tours

More ice storm cleanup
Kenny Templeton, of Southern Roofing Co., replaces gutters on a 1920s-era house along Katherine Street. The gutters replaced Wednesday were damaged in the storm.

Augusta's economy is languid
ATLANTA - Many aspects of Augusta may be exciting, but not its economy.

News you can use
Feb. 18, 1988 AIKEN - A "micro-earthquake" measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale rumbled through Aiken County shortly after noon Wednesday, but no injuries or major property damage was reported.

Saluda County sheriff switches to GOP
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Saluda County Sheriff Jason Booth switched to the Republican Party on Wednesday, saying the Democratic Party has become too liberal for him.

Teacher's discipline of boy questioned
Richmond County school officials are investigating why a teacher disciplined a 9-year-old boy by showing him a newspaper article about the death of a Beech Island teen.

City settles discrimination suit

Debris floods two-man crew
NEW ELLENTON - Michelle Quick is growing weary of seeing the large pile of limbs and natural debris outside her home, left over from an ice storm that swept through Aiken County and surrounding areas three weeks ago.

Growers cut their losses
AIKEN - South Carolina timber farmers lost an estimated $95.8 million in last month's ice storm, South Carolina Forestry Commission officials said Wednesday.

Judge orders teen to detention center
Nineteen seconds after two Richmond County Sheriff's deputies arrived on an "unknown situation" call outside an Overlook Road apartment, one of them radioed dispatch to report he had shot a teenager, according to testimony in a Juvenile Court hearing Tuesday.

State must decide whether to evict Morgan Island monkeys
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Almost two years ago, the state of South Carolina decided to evict thousands of rhesus monkeys from Morgan Island near Beaufort. But with a tight state budget, that could change.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA - Any registered voter may vote a week ahead of the March 2 election, the secretary of state's office announced Tuesday.

Five doctors sentenced for improperly prescribing drugs

Across South Carolina
COLUMBIA - About 90 House members have signed on to Gov. Mark Sanford's plan to reduce the state's income tax rate during the next decade.

Cuts turn away patients
Kenneth Musick's pale, gaunt face hovered like a ghost above the couch in his darkened living room. He had already lost most of his left lung to a vicious fungal infection and recently began coughing up blood again, a sign his aspergillosis might have returned.

Police make meth arrest
An Upstate South Carolina man was charged with trafficking methamphetamine in Burke County after state authorities had been searching for him on other charges, officials said Tuesday.

House restores cuts, funds several projects

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day in Beth Boyd, 9, of Martinez.

Event date is set

Verdict stands in dairy dispute
A judge has rejected the city of Augusta's request to set aside a $550,000 jury award to a Keysville, Ga., family who claimed their cattle and pastures were poisoned by improperly treated sewage sludge.

Law requires visible numbers on houses
Augusta's ambulances, firefighters and police are on the job 24 hours a day, waiting on calls for help.

Police say crimes are not linked
As police search for a man who they said attacked an elderly Augusta man and robbed him in his home, officials said there's no apparent link between several recent home invasions.

Building a city from scratch
If children designed cities, fast-food restaurants might be built next to every home. All shopping centers, movie theaters and fire stations would end up in the middle of town.

DOT won't cross this bridge for a while
A viaduct in North Augusta near the Fifth Street bridge remains abandoned more than five years after its closing, with no money allocated for its removal.

Mother of six charged in death of healthy infant

Federal court to start electronic filing
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It soon will get easier to file a lawsuit or check the status of a criminal case in federal court with just a few clicks on the Internet.

Dean ends presidential campaign

Gunshot victim's body discovered
State and local authorities are investigating the suspicious death of a Lincoln County man as a homicide, officials said Tuesday.

Walker will run despite map change

Rants and raves
I AM A VETERAN who turned down the offer to be recommended for a Purple Heart. I didn't want to cheapen it for someone really hurt. I would love a little more proof of Sen. Kerry's heroics. Not just hearing from him or his liberal buddies. I know of a lot of political ribbons and medals.

Saluda County sheriff switches to GOP

Beaufort base closing committee may soon have more money
BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Beaufort County's committee working to make sure none of the area's military bases are closed may soon have money for consultants and other expenses.

Senate tweaks map plan
ATLANTA -- A Senate committee wasted little time approving a revised political map for the chamber Wednesday, setting up a Friday vote in the full Senate.

Top editor at Clemson paper resigns over plagiarism
CLEMSON, S.C. -- The top editor at the Clemson University student newspaper has resigned after admitting he used plagiarized material for at least six columns.

CDC granted $250 million appropriation to improve aging labs

Columbia hospital system donates defibrillators to high schools
The donation by Palmetto Health assures that every school in the county will have one of the devices that are used to restart hearts stopped by cardiac arrest.

Up on the roof

Man shot after argument in Saluda County
SALUDA, S.C. -- Saluda County deputies are investigating the county's first homicide in four years after a teen shot an acquaintance following an argument, Sheriff Jason Booth says.

Edwards, Sharpton to speak at forum

University wins collection of writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- George V. Higgins was a novelist, a newspaper columnist and a lawyer who worked both sides of the aisle. His literary collection at the University of South Carolina is just as eclectic - including a gun permit and a trumpet.

Cemetery fight pushes forward
The long process to get a veterans cemetery for the Augusta area is still moving along, albeit slowly, Augusta's mayor told a group of veterans Wednesday night.

Animal control officer suspected of beating dog
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- A veteran animal control officer has been accused of beating a dog with a lasso.

Edwards, Sharpton to speak at forum
Two Democratic presidential candidates still in the race and scheduled to be on Georgia ballots in early March have confirmed their appearances at a local forum later this month, an organizer said Wednesday.

CDC granted $250 million appropriation to improve aging labs
ATLANTA -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been granted $250 million from Congress to improve its aging buildings and labs, it was announced Tuesday.

Event date is set
Planning for the Boshears Skyfest 2004 event already has begun, and organizers say they hope a scheduling change this year will help boost the attraction.

'American Idol' finalist to visit Georgia lawmakers
ATLANTA -- Even state legislators aren't immune from the charms of an American Idol.

3 grades beat U.S. average
AIKEN - South Carolina pupils scored above average on a nationally standardized test of reading, language and math skills for the fourth year in a row, which educators say shows that the state's strict academic standards are working.

UGA president tries to rebuild school's financial support
ATLANTA -- University of Georgia President Michael Adams said Tuesday the school will need to increasingly depend on donations to weather cuts in state funding.

January ice storm tree losses top $95 million
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The ice storm that paralyzed much of the Midlands last month did more than $95 million of damages to the state's timber industry, the Forestry Commission reports.

Lawmakers roll out new political maps
ATLANTA -- A proposed map of the state senate districts unveiled Tuesday would force some incumbent Democrats into districts with each other and hand others considerably more Republican-leaning turf to defend.

Across South Carolina

Sharpshooters killing deer in state park
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The state of Georgia has brought in government sharpshooters to thin the deer herd at Red Top Mountain State Park.

Home invader leaves 72-year-old injured

Savannah historian publishes book to coincide with movie about Jesus' death
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Church history scholar Paul Thigpen rushed to publish his book about Jesus' death last week, ahead of Mel Gibson's soon-to-be-released movie "The Passion of Christ."

Federal authorities arrest men acquitted in slaying of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown
ATLANTA -- The men who were acquitted by a DeKalb County jury in the slaying of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown were arrested by federal authorities Wednesday in connection with the case, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Court hearing for Muslim chaplain postponed for fifth time
FORT BENNING, Ga. -- The preliminary hearing for a Muslim Army chaplain charged with adultery and possession of pornography has been delayed again - the fifth time.

News you can use

Pitch is made to council
Backers of a $94 million initiative to build a new sports and entertainment center on property occupied by the vacant Regency Mall made their pitch Tuesday to the Greater Augusta Sports Council.

Growers cut their losses

Council refuses talks on chief
NEW ELLENTON - Residents seeking answers about suspended police Chief Van McMillan on Tuesday night got little satisfaction. New Ellenton City Council members and police officers either refused to discuss questions or said they didn't know the answer.

Law requires visible numbers on houses

Athens awaits word on youth facility
ATHENS, Ga. - Athens lawmakers are waiting for a response from state Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Albert Murray after giving him a proposal they believe could permanently keep open the Athens Regional Youth Detention Center, slated to be shut down in April due to budget cuts.

Clemson president surprised with Order of Palmetto

Officials to revisit proposals in March
Elected officials say they'll save their rubber stamps for another day.

House restores cuts, funds several projects
ATLANTA - The House on Wednesday used "found money" from a fee on nursing homes to restore some of Gov. Sonny Perdue's recommended midyear budget cuts and to fund projects that weren't in the governor's spending plan.

Redistricting debate heats up
ATLANTA - The contentious battle over legislative redistricting began in earnest Tuesday, with candidates and lawmakers considering how new maps released by the House and the Senate could affect their political careers.

Bill introduced to remove state power to ban crabbing
BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A bill has been introduced into the state legislature to remove the authority of the Department of Natural Resources from being able to impose crabbing bans.

Teacher's discipline of boy questioned

University wins collection of writer

Federal court to start electronic filing

Beaufort base closing committee may soon have more money

Judge orders teen to detention center

Lawmakers roll out new political maps

Animal control officer suspected of beating dog

Cuts turn away patients

Kerry seeks to clear field with Wisconsin victory

Kid of the day

Dean to depart campaign trail

Across the area

Verdict stands in dairy dispute

January ice storm tree losses top $95 million

Court hearing for Muslim chaplain postponed for fifth time

Across the area
A man whom authorities have charged in an accidental hunting shooting failed to appear in court Wednesday, and a man injured in the shooting has started to receive harassing phone calls from him, officials said.

Panel opts to keep health agency intact

DeMint launches campaign with city tours
AIKEN - America can't stop domestic job losses by shutting down free trade with China and other countries and raising protective tariffs, Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said Wednesday.

Rants and raves
I AM A VETERAN who turned down the offer to be recommended for a Purple Heart. I didn't want to cheapen it for someone really hurt. I would love a little more proof of Sen. Kerry's heroics. Not just hearing from him or his liberal buddies. I know of a lot of political ribbons and medals.

News you can use
Feb. 19, 1903 AIKEN -The first case called in court yesterday morning was that of Lawrence Randall, charged with the murder of Arthur Weathersbee. The trial of this case occupied but a short time, and the jury, without leaving their seats, returned the verdict of "not guilty."

Debris floods two-man crew

Police net suspected dealers at stadium
STATESBORO, Ga. - Police arrested 47 suspected drug dealers in a roundup Wednesday that turned Georgia Southern University's football stadium into a temporary holding cell.

Redistricting debate heats up

Across Georgia
ATLANTA - The men who were acquitted by a DeKalb County jury in the slaying of Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown were arrested by federal authorities Wednesday in connection with the case, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Workers who braved ice to get day off as bonus

Hunger drive praised for making difference
Something spooky has Evelyn Browne smiling these days.

UGA president tries to rebuild school's financial support

Across South Carolina
WINNSBORO - Fairfield County deputies say they suspect foul play in the death of an 8-month-old girl.

News you can use

Effort targets equity of law
ATLANTA - An Augusta lawmaker is picking up the fight to overhaul Georgia's child-support guidelines.

Top editor at Clemson paper resigns over plagiarism

Rants and raves
THIS IS A RANT for the administration of Greenbrier High School who failed to report the rape charge at their school to the state of Georgia. That failure to report is itself a violation of law. "Oh, it was an error," they will argue. That claim doesn't fly in their assessments of students' rules violations. A thorough investigation should be done.

Police make meth arrest

Five doctors sentenced for improperly prescribing drugs
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Five doctors have been sentenced to federal prison for a variety of charges stemming from an investigation of improperly prescribing narcotics.

Owners of timber feel burn of ice

Study finds bingo in Santee could bring jobs, money
SANTEE, S.C. -- An economic impact study found that the Catawba Indian Nation's proposed high-stakes bingo hall in Santee could attract 2.5 million visitors a year and pump $74.4 million a year into the local economy.

Council refuses talks on chief

Rants and raves
THIS IS A RANT for the administration of Greenbrier High School who failed to report the rape charge at their school to the state of Georgia. That failure to report is itself a violation of law. "Oh, it was an error," they will argue. That claim doesn't fly in their assessments of students' rules violations. A thorough investigation should be done.

Officials to revisit proposals in March

Building a city from scratch

Historic minutes revisited

Families called up for home-front duty
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A quarter-century after thinking diaper duty was over, Mike and Judy Griffin are back at it. But they wouldn't have it any other way.

Columbia hospital system donates defibrillators to high schools

Clemson president surprised with Order of Palmetto
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson University President James Barker has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto for being "an outstanding public servant."

Across South Carolina

Police net suspected dealers at stadium

Man shot after argument in Saluda County

Families called up for home-front duty

House seeks new money sources
COLUMBIA - House budget writers may have $200 million more to work with in next year's spending plan.

Senate tweaks map plan

Historic minutes revisited
Thumbing through the tattered pages of school history in Richmond County, clerk Doris Parks and school board member Kenneth Echols Sr. were struck by how frequently history repeats itself.

Bill introduced to remove state power to ban crabbing

Owners of timber feel burn of ice
SPRINGFIELD, S.C. - When the January ice storm snapped almost all of the pine trees on Jim Furtick's 82 acres of planted timber, it shattered his retirement nest-egg.

Jumping for health

Across the area
An Augusta teenager who told police he was shot while walking down a street remained in the hospital Tuesday evening, officials said.

More ice storm cleanup

Good manners group hands out awards
JASPER, Ga. -- When a 13-year-old singer forgot the words to The Star-Spangled Banner, Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks stepped to her side and guided her through the song.

State must decide whether to evict Morgan Island monkeys

Workers who braved ice to get day off as bonus
City employees who worked through ice and snow late last month will receive an extra day off as compensation because of a vote by the Augusta Commission on Tuesday.

Across the area

Columbia County selects logo
The months-long effort to select a new logo for Columbia County has finally set sail.

Dean ends presidential campaign

Patriots Park shootout
Greenbrier Elementary School third-grader Devin Craig, 8, shoots hoops in Patriots Park's gym before Tuesdays practice with the Columbia County Recreation Department Bulldogs.

Kid of the day
Today's kid of the day is Angelica Harris, 6, of Augusta.

Columbia County selects logo

Home invader leaves 72-year-old injured
An elderly Augusta resident reported that he was the victim of a home invasion early Wednesday morning.

'American Idol' finalist to visit Georgia lawmakers

Mother of six charged in death of healthy infant
A Burke County woman has been charged in the death of her infant son, according to Waynesboro police.

Panel opts to keep health agency intact
COLUMBIA - A Senate subcommittee decided against breaking up the state's health and environment agency as it passed massive government restructuring legislation.

Walker will run despite map change
Former state Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker vows he will run for his old 22nd District seat despite the proposed new map that has him in Sen. Don Cheeks' predominantly white 23rd District.

Kid of the day

City settles discrimination suit
Augusta leaders, while denying any wrongdoing, settled a race discrimination lawsuit Tuesday in the midst of a trial.

Patriots Park shootout

Jumping for health
Bel Air Elementary third-grader Raul Gatewood jumps the hurdles during Wednesday's Jump Rope for Heart event in Martinez, Georgia. Pupils participated in hurdles, hop scotch and basketball contests.

Daly has to follow Masters' plan
This time last year, all the Masters Tournament buildup chatter sounded similar to Jan Brady's most common complaint: Martha, Martha, Martha!

Critical choice

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

'Friedmans' victims ask Academy to deny documentary Oscar
NEW YORK -- Two men whom Jesse Friedman pleaded guilty to sexually abusing as boys have written an open letter to Academy Awards voters, speaking out against the Oscar-nominated documentary about the Friedman family.

'Friedmans' victims ask Academy to deny documentary Oscar

The Darkness among winners at the Brit Music Awards

Record group sues 531 more Internet users over downloads

The Darkness among winners at the Brit Music Awards
LONDON -- Retro rockers The Darkness won three honors at the Brit Music Awards, the equivalent of the Grammys, and Justin Timberlake and Dido each took two.

Jones album has best first-week sales for an act since 2001

Jones album has best first-week sales for an act since 2001
NEW YORK -- Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home," the follow-up to her multiplatinum, Grammy-winning debut album, has sold over 1 million copies in its first week, the highest sales debut for an album since 2001.

Record group sues 531 more Internet users over downloads
WASHINGTON -- The recording industry sued 531 more computer users Tuesday it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet in what has become a routine reminder reminder that college students, teenagers and others can face expensive lawsuits for swapping music online.

TV rating for Daytona 500 second highest ever
NEW YORK -- The Daytona 500 drew its second-highest TV rating since live broadcasts of the race began in 1979.

NASCAR notes
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - The end of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s whirlwind media tour in New York Tuesday was a visit to Late Night with David Letterman. It may have been the best appearance in a day that started before sunrise at NBC's The Today Show and included stops at Live with Regis and Kelly and CNN.

Earnhardt hits talk-show circuit after Daytona win

TV rating for Daytona 500 second highest ever

Earnhardt hits talk-show circuit after Daytona win
NEW YORK -- Weary and emotionally drained, Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath.

NASCAR coming events
The next big event is the Subway 400 (race 2 of 36) with the NASCAR Nextel Nextel Cup Series.

NASCAR newsmaker

NASCAR newsmaker
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. - Six years to the day after his father won his first and only Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his first 500 Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway. The third generation driver stopped long enough to talk about the victory means to him and how it changes the way he looks at stock car racing.

NASCAR coming events

Baker clears waivers, Celtics terminate his contract
BOSTON -- Vin Baker's short, disappointing stay with the Boston Celtics may be over.

Duncan, Spurs topple Toronto
TORONTO - Tim Duncan scored 26 points and tied a season-high with 21 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs won their sixth straight, 86-82 over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Baker clears waivers, Celtics terminate his contract

Gonzaga set to retire Stockton's number
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Gonzaga is retiring John Stockton's jersey number nearly 20 years after the future Hall of Famer last played for the Bulldogs.

Shine, Roland spark Aiken Tech to victory
LANGLEY - Aiken Tech freshman guard Darrin Shine instructed Calvin Roland to run with him in transition this season. For the 6-10 sophomore Aiken Tech center, the move has paid off.

Knight drops suit against Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS -- Bob Knight dropped his breach-of-contract lawsuit against Indiana University almost four years after being fired as its basketball coach.

Vick's brother is arrested

Kasay signs five-year deal with Panthers

Gesser arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

Titans' quarterback Steve McNair undergoes ankle surgery

Mr. Harold Fuller    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Alonia Hill    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Shirley Pilgrim    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Smith, Sr.    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Joseph Robinson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ruth Smith    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Ida Ellis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Eugenia Strom    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Bennie Griffin    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Robert Sturkey    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Ms. Nan Trowbridge    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Robert Townsend    (KITE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Susie Goforth    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Huey Walker    (EVANS, Ga.)
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Lt. Col. Edward Tenney    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Isaiah Allen, Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Miss Netarsha Cummings    (ATLANTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Joan Avery    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Moore    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Janie Barnes    (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)
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Mr. Scott Castillo    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Annette Way    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Elease Ivy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jessie Bonnett    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Elizabeth Smith    (MARYVILLE, Tenn.)
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Ms. Rusher Bradley    (ULMER, S.C.)
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Mrs. Beverly Williams    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Thomas Brantley    (BATON ROUGE, La.)
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Mr. Milton Gaines    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Scott Castillo    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Profile obituary: Mr. Emory Lee Cochran
When Cherie Love thinks about her father, Emory Lee Cochran, she thinks of a man who lived to make people laugh.

Mrs. Alice Martin    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Donald Fauteux    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Vergil Scott    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mrs. Flora Elliott    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Ronald Moon    (UNION POINT, Ga.)
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Mr. Joseph Willis    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ella Beasley    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Gladys Parker    (DEARING, Ga.)
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Mrs. Joan Avery    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Harry Galloway, Jr.    (GIBSON, Ga.)
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Dea. Isaiah Allen Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Lee Billings    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Lt. Col. Edward Tenney    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Alfred Guetti    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Flora Elliott    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Mary Hodge    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Claude Marchman, Sr.    (GREENSBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Annette Way    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Linda Kohler    (COLUMBUS, Nebraska)
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Mr. Ruben Thomas    (PHILADELPHIA, Pa.)
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Mrs. Ella Scott    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Henry Salter    (RIDGE SPRING, S.C.)
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Mr. Jack Richardson    (CLEARWATER, S.C.)
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Ms. Annie Coleman    (FROSTPROOF, Fla.)
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Mr. Bennie Griffin    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. David Shelton    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Addie Gordon    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Mattie Jones    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mr. Alvin Merriweather    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Nora Hilburn    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Gladys Parker    (DEARING, Ga.)
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Mr. Keith Nelson    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Emory Cochran    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Hezzie Johnson    (LEESVILLE, S.C.)
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Miss Netarsha Cummings    (ATLANTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Susan Case    (MARIETTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Annie Coleman (FROSTPROOF, Fla.)

Mrs. Addie Gordon (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Isaiah Allen, Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Emory Cochran (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Alvin Merriweather (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Ruben Thomas (PHILADELPHIA, Pa.)

Mrs. Ruth Smith (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Hodge (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Susan Case (MARIETTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Alonia Hill (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Claude Marchman, Sr. (GREENSBORO, Ga.)

Profile obituary: Mr. Emory Lee Cochran

Mrs. Nora Hilburn (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Gladys Parker (DEARING, Ga.)

Ms. Shirley Pilgrim (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ella Beasley (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

Mr. Lee Billings (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Joan Avery (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mattie Jones (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Ms. Rusher Bradley (ULMER, S.C.)

Mrs. Annette Way (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Flora Elliott (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Harold Fuller (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Jessie Bonnett (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Gladys Parker (DEARING, Ga.)

Mr. Hezzie Johnson (LEESVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Eugenia Strom (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Scott Castillo (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Townsend (KITE, Ga.)

Mrs. Elease Ivy (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ida Ellis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Harry Galloway, Jr. (GIBSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Janie Barnes (BROOKLYN, N.Y.)

Mr. Ronald Moon (UNION POINT, Ga.)

Mr. David Shelton (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mrs. Beverly Williams (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. Milton Gaines (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Keith Nelson (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. James Smith, Sr. (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Bennie Griffin (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Alice Martin (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Alfred Guetti (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Joan Avery (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Linda Kohler (COLUMBUS, Nebraska)

Mr. Huey Walker (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Flora Elliott (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Donald Fauteux (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Bennie Griffin (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Susie Goforth (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mr. Robert Sturkey (THOMSON, Ga.)

Ms. Nan Trowbridge (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Ella Scott (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Elizabeth Smith (MARYVILLE, Tenn.)

Miss Netarsha Cummings (ATLANTA, Ga.)

Mr. Henry Salter (RIDGE SPRING, S.C.)

Demonstrators march against Olympic security

Demonstrators march against Olympic security
ATHENS, Greece -- About 500 protesters tied up traffic in central Athens for an hour Tuesday, demonstrating against massive security measures planned for the Summer Olympics.

IOC chief: Record percentage of women to participate in Athens Olympics
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- A record 44 percent of athletes at the Athens Olympics will be women, and the IOC expects an equal number of men and women to compete in the games within a decade.

Greek military special forces hold Olympic drill

Greek military special forces hold Olympic drill
FLEVES, Greece -- Members of an elite Greek Navy unit held a security drill Wednesday to prepare for the upcoming Olympics, the first exercise involving military troops.

IOC chief: Record percentage of women to participate in Athens Olympics

Overtime

Overtime

Foreman coming out of retirement, King says

Armstrong uses minor Portuguese race to test form

Netherlands edges out the United States in soccer action
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Playing with a full-strength team for the first time since last year's World Cup, the United States lost to the Netherlands 1-0 in an exhibition game Wednesday night as Arjen Robben scored in the 56th minute.

Armstrong uses minor Portuguese race to test form
ALBUFEIRA, Portugal -- Lance Armstrong is thinking big this season, but he's starting small.

Overtime
The Augusta Chronicle requests that coaches and athletic directors fax in schedules for the spring sports season for the daily calendar.

Foreman coming out of retirement, King says
MIAMI -- George Foreman agreed to a tentative $20 million deal to return for a fight celebrating the 30th anniversary of his epic bout with Muhammad Ali, Don King said Tuesday.

Overtime
A female kicker says she was raped by a Colorado teammate four years ago but was too frightened to tell police, another damaging accusation against a reeling program.<

Dean ends presidential campaign
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Howard Dean, bowing to the political realities of a 17-contest losing streak, ended his Democratic presidential campaign Wednesday but promised to keep his "campaign for change" alive while supporting his party's eventual nominee.

Dean to depart campaign trail
WASHINGTON -- Howard Dean will end his campaign for the presidential nomination and oversee a new effort to keep his issues alive and his supporters organized on behalf of Democratic causes, two party officials said Wednesday.

Kerry seeks to clear field with Wisconsin victory
John Kerry clashed with John Edwards and his other Democratic rivals Tuesday in the Wisconsin primary, a major Midwest showdown that may be the last gasp for Howard Dean's presidential bid.

Titans' quarterback Steve McNair undergoes ankle surgery
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Steve McNair underwent surgery Tuesday to remove a cracked bone spur from his left ankle.

Kasay signs five-year deal with Panthers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kicker John Kasay signed a new five-year contract with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, retaining his status as the team's only original member.

Stewart not expected back with Bears
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Kordell Stewart's short and disappointing one-year run with the Chicago Bears could soon be over.

Gesser arrested on suspicion of drunken driving
HONOLULU -- Tennessee Titans third-string quarterback Jason Gesser was arrested on a charge of suspicion of drunken driving.

Vick's brother is arrested
Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick was arrested Tuesday and accused of serving alcohol to three underage girls in his apartment and having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Southern Baptist committee votes to withdraw from worldwide group
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention voted Tuesday to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance, saying it has become too liberal and advocates "aberrant and dangerous theologies."

Daly has to follow Masters' plan

Couples might save more with standard deduction
WASHINGTON -- Married couples accustomed to itemizing their tax deductions every year might want to take a second look at their 2003 tax returns. A higher standard deduction may mean it's more beneficial to leave tedious itemizing behind.

A home can complicate your income taxes
WASHINGTON -- Energized by the lowest mortgage interest rates in more than 40 years, home sales and refinanced loans moved at a record pace last year. The bustling mortgage activity means more taxpayers must master the complex rules that help homeowners win big tax advantages.

'Conan O'Brien' sketch mocking Quebeckers causes furor in Canada
TORONTO -- Canadian politicians are denouncing "The Late Show with Conan O'Brien" over a sketch in which a cigar-chomping sock puppet hurled insults at French Canadians.

The WB cancels supernatural drama 'Angel'
LOS ANGELES -- The WB has done what no vampire slayer could: It killed "Angel," the do-gooder bloodsucker with a soul.

Conan O'Brien offers his apology to offended French Canadians
NEW YORK -- Talk show host Conan O'Brien apologized Wednesday for offending any French Canadians during his NBC show's visit to Toronto last week, but not before trying to wring some laughs out of the flap.

"Fear Factor" helps NBC to solid week in youthful demographic
NEW YORK -- Tanks filled with tarantulas and swarming rats on "Fear Factor" were a winning formula for NBC, which had its best ratings week of the year in the demographic it cares about.

Former CNN chief Kaplan named new MSNBC president
NEW YORK -- Former CNN chief Rick Kaplan was hired Tuesday to run MSNBC, replacing Erik Sorenson at the helm of the last-place cable news network.

'Conan O'Brien' sketch mocking Quebeckers causes furor in Canada

"Fear Factor" helps NBC to solid week in youthful demographic

Man pleads innocent to posting Oscar tapes on Internet

Extras, extras

People in the News

Stuff to do

People in the News

Georgia pledges to boost security
ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia vowed to tighten security at Stegeman Coliseum, where Florida's top player and athletic director had problems after students stormed the court for the second straight basketball game.

Georgia takes ETSU to woodshed
ATHENS, Ga. -- Josh Morris hit a three-run homer and Joey Carroll settled down after a shaky first inning, leading Georgia to an 11-3 victory over East Tennessee State on Tuesday.

Jekyll and Hyde Bulldogs hoping for tourney berth
ATHENS, Ga. - A team that was routed at home by Winthrop - not to mention scored 42 points in one game, 39 in another - actually has hopes of playing in the NCAA tournament.

Georgia takes ETSU to woodshed

Bulldogs put bite on Gators
ATHENS, Ga. -- Talk about two teams going in opposite directions.

Georgia pledges to boost security

Bulldogs put bite on Gators

Irked Erk fires back at school
STATESBORO, Ga. - Former Georgia Southern football coach Erk Russell is irked.

Irked Erk fires back at school

Augusta's Edge ponders potential career move
If she accepts a business opportunity in the coming weeks, Augusta's Mitzi Edge's days as a full-time LPGA Tour golfer will be over.

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

Coins, necklaces and needles found in patient's belly