Cast members take challenge of more roles
The Augusta Players have put their production of A Christmas Carol on a theatrical diet, reducing cast without sacrificing characters.

Galleries

Galleries
GET LISTED: Send your gallery's exhibit schedule, pricing and other information to Steven Uhles, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

Museum for greatest, and smallest, show on Earth

Museum for greatest, and smallest, show on Earth
SARASOTA, Fla. - The "Greatest Show on Earth" in Howard Tibbals' world is also the smallest, with its diminutive circus acts, tiny spectators and a "big" top that measures just about 4-feet tall.

Christmas on the prairie
Finding Christmas spirit in the hearth and home of America's favorite frontier family, the Ingalls, seems a little bit like shooting fish in a barrel.

Braves rebuilding again after another round of losses
ATLANTA - John Schuerholz was working the phones Wednesday, trying to come up with the replacement parts for 2005. The Atlanta Braves are rebuilding again.

Drew, Ortiz's time in Atlanta is over

Union gets OK for deal on steroids
PHOENIX - Baseball players gave their lawyers the go-ahead Tuesday to reach an agreement with owners on tougher testing for steroids.

Drew, Ortiz's time in Atlanta is over
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves severed their ties to J.D. Drew on Tuesday, deciding not to offer salary arbitration to the outfielder after his breakthrough season.

Braves rebuilding again after another round of losses

Birth Announcements

Birth Announcements
Xavier Lavere Anthony White: Shondell White, of Hephzibah, announces the birth of a son, Xavier Lavere Anthony White, Friday, Nov. 19, 2004, at St. Joseph Hospital. Grandparents are John and Alice White, of Hephzibah.

Odds and Ends
INDIANAPOLIS - A cane that belonged to a 6-year-old boy's grandfather soon will have a new home - and, Collin Anderson hopes, so will his grandfather's ghost.

Soccer player loses finger while celebrating a goal
GENEVA - A Portuguese soccer player lost a finger when he caught his wedding ring on a fence while celebrating a goal for his Swiss team.

Woman survives being impaled through throat
ANDERSON, Ind. - A woman survived being impaled by a 12-foot metal fence post that pierced through her mouth and came out the back of her neck in a car accident, authorities said.

Tree farms thrive as fake trees gain market share

Precious metal prices hit their highest level in a decade
SPOKANE, Wash. - With gold and silver fetching prices not seen in a decade or more, old exploration maps are being dusted off by miners hoping to bore into the recent trend.

GM beefs up incentives after disappointing November sales
DETROIT - General Motors Corp., coming off disappointing November sales and battling to regain U.S. market share, will launch a new promotion Friday that includes cash bonuses on many new models beyond incentives already available.

Business briefs
INDIANAPOLIS - Medical device maker Guidant Corp.'s shares rose more than 5 percent Tuesday after a report that merger talks with Johnson & Johnson could yield a deal for more than $24 billion within a week.

Retailers looking to hang TV's in customers' homes
MINNEAPOLIS - Hanging stockings by the chimney with care? Retailers hope that St. Nicholas soon will be there - to hang a 42-inch plasma-screen TV.

French newspapers face tough choices
PARIS - Join the Paris morning rush and it's easy to get the impression that newspapers here are doing just fine. Across the French capital, subway riders leaf through the headlines as they hurtle toward the city center.

Yams brings child-friendly salon to Evans
For many children, getting a haircut isn't high on their fun list. But sweeten the deal with an airplane barber's chair and children's movies, and you might have a child who is begging for a trim.

Companies develop new DVD disc
TOKYO - Two Japanese companies said Tuesday they have developed a DVD that can play on both existing machines and the upcoming high-definition players, raising hopes for a smooth transition as more people dump old TV sets for better screens.

Report: Calif economy will see growth in 2005
LOS ANGELES - California's economy will experience solid growth next year, but the state's fortunes could change if the national economy falters amid rising consumer debt, a growing trade imbalance and bloated housing market, according to a prominent economic report.

Productivity growth slowest in 2 years
WASHINGTON - The productivity of America's workers grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the slowest pace in nearly two years, the government reported Tuesday.

Study: More federal money needed for energy security
WASHINGTON - Future energy security will require development of new nuclear power plants, coal that is less polluting and tougher federal requirements on automobile fuel economy, a nonpartisan panel of energy experts says.

Dollar hits new low against euro
NEW YORK - The U.S. dollar sank to a new all-time low against the euro Tuesday amid concerns over the U.S. trade and budget deficits and worse-than-expected U.S. employment data.

Yams brings child-friendly salon to Evans

Holiday displays take over more neighborhoods
GENEVA, Ill. - Greg Parcell isn't thinking about the 50,000 lights all around him, or the computer that has them blinking to the beat of "Let it Snow" on the radio.

Colgate-Palmolive plans to cut jobs

Report: Calif economy will see growth in 2005

Nuclear revival foreseen
Flanders Corp. is creating more than just several hundred jobs - it's creating the potential for a resurgence in the area's nuclear energy industry.

Study: More federal money needed for energy security

Tree farms thrive as fake trees gain market share
DAYTON, Maine - With his 4-year-old son at his side and his wife capturing the scene on video, Kevin Houde wielded a saw and cut down a seven-foot tree, the centerpiece of the Christmas season in their home this year.

Prices could rise as profits get squeezed
NEW YORK - Companies like to see their profits go up, up and away. Now they are scared that just the latter will come true.

Colgate-Palmolive plans to cut jobs
NEW YORK - Colgate-Palmolive Co., which makes consumer products including Ajax detergent and Irish Spring soap, plans to cut its worldwide work force by about 12 percent, or about 4,400 jobs, and close one-third of its factories as part of a four-year plan aimed at boosting its sales and profits. Its shares rose 3.6 percent in early trading.

State's economy hinges on talent
ATLANTA - Georgia is not failing when it comes to economic development, but it's not at the head of the class either, according to a national study released today.

State's economy hinges on talent

Jaguar, Land Rover business rolls into area
Paul Revere is too late - the British have arrived. The Hank Aaron Jaguar and Land Rover dealership on Washington Road opened this week, bringing the British-made autos to the market for the first time.

Sentiment grows to cut oil overproduction
CAIRO, Egypt - The possibility of a cut in OPEC production grew stronger Wednesday after the oil minister of heavyweight Saudi Arabia indicated he was aware of majority sentiment in favor of a reduction.

GM beefs up incentives after disappointing November sales

Plant banks on SRS growth
NEW ELLENTON - The number of jobs generated by a proposed $60 million air-filtration and containment factory officially announced Wednesday is tightly tied to the success of Savannah River Site supporters in winning a list of new missions, company officials said.

Dollar hits new low against euro

Sentiment grows to cut oil overproduction

French newspapers face tough choices

Holiday displays take over more neighborhoods

Productivity growth slowest in 2 years

Plant banks on SRS growth

Prices could rise as profits get squeezed

Nuclear revival foreseen

Zook takes over Illinois' football program
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Former Florida coach Ron Zook took over Illinois' struggling football program Tuesday, returning to his roots and promising to turn around a team that has sunk to the bottom of the Big Ten since winning a league title in 2001.

Zook takes over Illinois' football program

Finalists vie for national punter honor

Finalists vie for national punter honor
Consider this the year of underclassmen in college football. A freshman just might win the Heisman Trophy, and there's better than a 50 percent shot that a sophomore will leave sunny Florida tonight with the Ray Guy Award, which is given annually to the nation's best punter.

Georgia rallies to grab win

Youth works against Knights

Amateur prize winners take different paths

Fair treatment

Honoring black pioneers

A Saudi hornet's nest

Honoring black pioneers
With Monday's dedication of a new walk of fame, a rich piece of Augusta history is finally being the given the prominence it deserves - recognition of the city's black pioneers, or as Dr. James Carter put it, "persons (who) have stood the test of time" in a society that denied them opportunities. "They had nothing in their favor but raw talent and work ethic ... but they (did) well under the most hostile environment."

A Saudi hornet's nest
Give Saudi Arabia's security forces credit for putting down the terrorist attack Monday on the U.S. Consulate in the port of Jeddah that took nine lives - five Saudi Consulate employees and four attackers; no Americans.

'Comfort' Fort Gordon
There are lots of claims on your money this time of year, but if you're prioritizing your contributions to good causes, put Fort Gordon's Operation Comfort at or near the top of your list - especially if you want to help soldiers about to be deployed abroad and their families.

How intelligent a bill?
President Bush, who seemed hesitant to spend any political capital to overcome a couple of balky GOP House chairmen holding up the biggest intelligence reorganization bill since World War II, finally cracked the whip and got it passed.

How intelligent a bill?

Fair treatment
Remember the 23 Rock Hill, S.C.-based U.S. Army reservists who refused to carry out a fuel-transport mission last October in Iraq?

Club calendar
Here's a list of entertainment at Aiken-Augusta nightclubs.

People in the News
MANILA, Philippines - "American Idol" contestant Camile Velasco has returned to her native Philippines to perform in a Christmas concert.

'American Bandstand' host Dick Clark has stroke
BURBANK, Calif. - "American Bandstand" icon Dick Clark was hospitalized this week after suffering a mild stroke.

Open tab
Ready for a night on the town? Here's a roundup of entertainment and some drink specials at Augusta and Aiken area nightspots:

Joan, Melissa Rivers back in red-carpet action
LOS ANGELES - Joan and Melissa Rivers are returning to red carpet duty starting with next month's Golden Globes, a job they were shut out of during this year's Emmy Awards because of a contractual tangle.

Augusta has new places to eat, hang out
There's a new ballroom in town, but you have to be round, hard and numbered if you want to dance. Ballroom Billiards opened this week on Broad Street in the space where Studio Art Gro, The Downtown Connection and the Lloyd Jenkins Gallery were once located.

People in the News
BURBANK, Calif. - "The Incredibles," Pixar Animation Studios' tale of a superhero family struggling with supervillians and suburban life, tops the list of nominees for the 32nd annual Annie Awards.

Stir-fried pork in garlic sauce

Pepin's fast food is in a league of its own
WILTON, Conn. - When I learned that world-renowned chef Jacques Pepin had done a cookbook on "fast food," I leaped at the opportunity to test his style of "fast food."

Three healthy party wraps

Stir-fried pork in garlic sauce
Food authority Mark Bittman has great credibility when he offers a recipe for making a tasty dish with a minimum of time and fuss. Usually, he's refined its ingredients and their cooking down to the essentials.

Hardee's unveils Monster Thickburger
ST. LOUIS - At 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat, Hardee's Monster Thickburger couldn't escape notice in these diet-conscious times.

Grubbin': T's restaurant
T'S RESTAURANT 3416 MIKE PADGETT HIGHWAY SIGNATURE DISH: Catfish, seasoned freshwater catfish rolled in cornmeal and deep fried, served with hush puppies and tartar sauce, baked or french-fried potatoes and cole slaw or house salad; two pieces, $7.45; three pieces, $10.95

Small bites

Recipe for skillet American chop suey
CONCORD, N.H. - Almost anything. For a chance to flip one more time through my great-grandmother's recipe box, I would give almost anything. Just for a chance to jot down a few of the favorites by this woman I considered a second mother.

Recipe for skillet American chop suey

Small bites
The entertaining season is here, time to plan spreads full of holiday cheer. Here are some suggestions for feeding a crowd, whether office colleagues, family, friends, or all the above. Make it easy with a potluck party or simple finger foods, enjoy these festive holiday events.

Three healthy party wraps
WASHINGTON - Easy to make and eat, wraps for holiday meals can be fun, festive and healthful.

Hardee's unveils Monster Thickburger

Pepin's fast food is in a league of its own

Wie to play again in PGA Tour event
HONOLULU - Michelle Wie liked playing on the PGA Tour so much she'll do it again.

Wie to play again in PGA Tour event

High school football poll

Emotions run high in Eagles' openers

Prep basketball roundup

High school football poll
The Associated Press Georgia high school football poll representing final 2004 standings, with first-place votes in parentheses and total points.

Keep it simple with lentils, sausage soup
I love soup season, that time of year when the temperature drops, and a big bowl of homemade soup is a very satisfying meal.

Keep it simple with lentils, sausage soup

Police search for missing woman
Richmond County sheriff's deputies are looking for a woman they say has not been seen nor heard from since last night.

Five arrested for allegedly mutilating a bull
Five people have been arrested for allegedly mutilating a bull and leaving it dead in the road, authorities announced Thursday.

Fort Gordon Christmas Tree lighting cancelled
Fort Gordon officials cancelled tonight's Christmas tree lighting because of anticipated bad weather.

Man arrested for stabbing, car theft
Richmond County sheriff's deputies have arrested the man they say stabbed a woman and stole her car.

Skilled judges deservedly draw their high salaries

Priest in traffic dust-up must be held accountable
In response to "Driver should forgive priest in incident" (Dec. 4), I agree that this should happen. However, the driver should still press charges, and the priest should accept full responsibility for his horrible judgment. Jason Perry, Harlem

Skilled judges deservedly draw their high salaries
Democracy cannot survive with a second-rate judiciary. Judges must have the intellectual ability to unravel the complexities of the law, and possess the backbone to look a criminal in the eye and hand down an appropriate sentence. It is best for all of us that judges, like surgeons, be the best and brightest. Mark Charles Fissel, Augusta

Priest in traffic dust-up must be held accountable

City is killing its vital tax base

Teacher's grammar was appalling
On page 1B of the Dec. 1 Metro section, in an article titled "District investigates principal," I read that Renee Toole, the parent of a C.T. Walker Magnet School pupil and a teacher at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, spoke glowingly of Ms. Baker: "Irregardless of the accusations made about Paula ... ." Mary Thompson, North Augusta, S.C.

Improve rotten local government
Your recent editorial "Is there anyone out there?" (Nov. 28) spoke of community activist Woody Merry and his thwarted efforts to improve local government. All of us should be especially concerned by most commissioners' head-in-the-sand outright disregard of his questions. George S. Harrison, Augusta

Parents, not schools, are failing
How can we hold schools and teachers accountable for our children's education when they can't get any cooperation from parents at home? There's no discipline at home, no morals and no encouragement from parents to get an education. R.E. Sanders, Graniteville, S.C.

Local minister expressed mutual sentiments well
Consider this an expression of appreciation for publishing the op-ed column by the Rev. Clarence Grier ("Augusta Chronicle unfair to Walker, blacks," Nov. 19). Robert Bush, Augusta

Aiken EMS is in critical condition
Several national publications have touted Aiken County as a great place to retire. Because of this, the number of new residents in Aiken County is increasing, but the vital service of EMS is decreasing. Proctor Bush, Aiken, S.C.

Local minister expressed mutual sentiments well

City is killing its vital tax base
Will Augusta ever learn? Consider the following: Two-thousand-plus taxpaying families are moving to other counties annually. Cliff Channell, Augusta

Parents, not schools, are failing

Military must keep Boy Scouts
I am a 13-year-old Boy Scout pushing First Class rank. ... The Boy Scouts were founded in 1907 by Lord Baden-Powell, a British general in the Boer War. John Badger, Hephzibah

Reports could spell doom for aging Hubble telescope

Japanese automakers produce greenest vehicles

E-junk recycling still in its infancy

Portable music player measures your pace

Entertainment gift guide

A new era in digital communication is here

Revenge paves way for violent road in 'San Andreas'

Digital fingerprint scans expand to border crossings

'Super Mario' is good way to start off DS experience

When information access is easy, truth can be elusive

Revenge paves way for violent road in 'San Andreas'
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a huge, gritty, violent game with enough bad language to make Quentin Tarantino blush.

Entertainment gift guide
This year, entertainment items - movies, music and the hardware to play them - will rank second only to toys as the most popular items on Christmas lists. Wading through the morass of electronic gadgetry and touted titles, however, can be daunting. Here's a list of hot CDs, DVDs, video games and the gadgets that make them spin. Boot up and enjoy

Reports could spell doom for aging Hubble telescope
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is bracing for a double volley of bad news regarding its tentative, experimental - and some would say wild - plan to send a robot to rescue the Hubble Space Telescope.

Digital fingerprint scans expand to border crossings
NOGALES, Ariz. - Foreigners entering the United States zipped through the lines at the main port here and several other locations in Arizona and California as a new digital screening program went into effect.

'Super Mario' is good way to start off DS experience
So you got a Nintendo DS, but it's not a Christmas present. Why, you greedy little ...

A new era in digital communication is here
Christina Rainie had been trying to reach her friend for three days. For some reason, he wasn't responding to her wireless text messages, online instant messages or cell phone calls.

When information access is easy, truth can be elusive
NEW YORK - Go to Google, search and scroll results, click and copy. When students do research online these days, many educators worry, those are often about the only steps they take. If they can avoid a trip to the library at all, many students gladly will.

E-junk recycling still in its infancy
NEW YORK - When Office Depot, Inc. stores ran an electronics recycling drive last summer that accepted everything from cell phones to televisions, some stores were overwhelmed by the amount of e-trash they received.

Portable music player measures your pace
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. - It's been a few decades since anyone recorded my mile splits as I bounded over hill and dale, immersed in running's intoxicating rhythm.

Japanese automakers produce greenest vehicles
WASHINGTON - Japanese manufacturers continue to make the cleanest-burning vehicles, but automakers are generally doing a poor job in lowering emissions that contribute to global warming, an environmental group said Tuesday.

Relays follow shutout defeat

Scoring streak comes to end
Six different Augusta Lynx players recorded a point in Saturday's 4-3 loss to Louisiana, but Sean Connolly was not one of them.

Relays follow shutout defeat
The Augusta Lynx got embarrassed Tuesday night at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

Scoring streak comes to end

Volunteer group seeks members

Fire chief remembers challenge of Mount St. Helens eruption
As Washington's Mount St. Helens continues to gurgle, boil and ooze lava, Augusta's fire chief remembers his first-hand experience of the volcano's deadly eruption in 1980.

Group looks for answers to health-care problems
ATLANTA - Trying to muddle through the problems contributing to the ballooning cost of health care in Georgia and across the nation, a group of lobbyists, lawyers and advocates touched on a range of issues at a discussion sponsored by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg.

Group looks for answers to health-care problems

Tests show corpse is missing man

Across Georgia

Death hasn't been forgotten
Fourteen years after her death, Dorothy Hearn's passion and concern for others remains a teaching tool for other Medical College of Georgia dental students, one of her professors says.

Lady bowlers set aside balls for annual veterans dinner

Program wins conservation award
A Savannah River Site program that teaches pupils about natural resources has been honored with the 2005 South Carolina Wildlife Federation Conservation Award for Education.

Attorney says jail kept him from talk
An attorney representing a man accused of killing an Augusta woman and her unborn child said Tuesday that Richmond County jail employees, acting on the orders of their administrators, illegally denied him access to his client Sunday.

This week
What the dickens?: Aiken Community Playhouse presentation 8 p.m. today-Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Bechtel Experimental Theater, 126 Newberry St.; $15 adults, $13 seniors, $10 students, $6 ages 12 and younger; (803) 648-1438.

Officials investigate fire at business
Augusta-Richmond County fire crews are looking tonight to determine what caused a damaging fire to a central Augusta business, leading to some traffic delays along a busy road.

Seniors get tuition-free classes at ASU

Lawyer will be asked about graves
Following concerns raised by county residents, Columbia County commissioners agreed Tuesday to defer a vote on relocating at least nine graves from a planned Evans development site until their attorney can review the case.

Kid of the Day
Alexis Hadley is today's Kid of the Day.

Board reveals two school zoning plans
Two zoning options for a new Evans elementary school were presented to parents at a public forum Tuesday.

Tests show corpse is missing man
Officials on Wednesday identified the man whose skeletal remains were found in Oglethorpe County as 76-year-old Joseph Marion Jakes, who went missing more than a year ago from his south Augusta home.

Officials fear funding lapse
AIKEN - State lawmakers from Aiken County said Tuesday that there wouldn't be enough money to fully fund public education next year, despite a projected surplus of $356 million.

Plant banks on SRS growth
NEW ELLENTON - The number of jobs generated by a proposed $60 million air-filtration and containment factory officially announced Wednesday is tightly tied to the success of Savannah River Site supporters in winning a list of new missions, company officials said.

Lighting Augusta requires patience
The holiday lights that give downtown Augusta streets a soft cheerful glow on December evenings might have seemed to pop up overnight, but the workers who put them up say it takes more than a day to bring the holiday spirit to downtown.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Restaurant ratings
The following is a listing of restaurant ratings by the Richmond County Department of Environmental Health. Listed are the restaurant name, address, inspection date and the establishment's score (out of a perfect 100).

Trials often have set path
ATLANTA - Now that former State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, Sen.-elect Charles Walker and ex-Rep. Robin Williams share the fate of having been indicted by federal grand juries, mounting a defense becomes their primary task.

Libraries collect food instead of fines
The Rev. David Hunter entered the Main Library on Greene Street last Thursday with four cans of green beans.

Similar deaths attract queries
The boyfriend of a Medical College of Georgia dental student who police first thought committed suicide in 1990 is now under scrutiny by metro Atlanta authorities in the similar death of his estranged wife this weekend, officials said Tuesday.

Center's holiday camp keeps children learning

Man is convicted in driver's death
A Hephzibah man who caused a fatal wreck while fleeing police was convicted of murder Tuesday.

Fort Gordon Christmas Tree lighting cancelled

Showing their appreciation
Senior Vice Commandant Jim Morris, a member of the James L. Hammons Detachment of the Aiken Marine Corp League and a veteran of the Korean War, and Jim Peterson, a World War II veteran, prepare to raise the U.S. flag to half-mast in honor of Pearl Harbor veterans and victims at Aiken County's Veterans Memorial Park.

Teen follows her passion to bake by opening shop

Committee proposes speed limit for trains
AIKEN - A draft ordinance setting a 25-mph speed limit for trains traveling through Graniteville, the scene of a car-train collision that killed five textile workers last month, was unveiled Tuesday evening at an Aiken County Council committee meeting.

Safety chief warned Larke of possible accidents
Disruptive children on school buses - a problem being discussed in Richmond County this week - was a growing danger Superintendent Charles Larke was warned about seven years ago.

Business catches fire
Augusta-Richmond County fire crews fought against a fire Tuesday night that caused extensive damage to a business and traffic delays along a busy road.

Across the area
A fire destroyed a mobile home near Beech Island on Wednesday evening and the cause is still under investigation, fire officials said.

Once more with feeling
Members of The Accidentals, the University of Georgia men's glee club, sing at St. Paul Baptist Church in downtown Augusta. They performed Tuesday at the Roger Denning Memorial Concert, which is part of the Music Live Concert Series.

Seniors get tuition-free classes at ASU
During the past 14 years, retired psychologist Dr. Arthur Tamkin has taken more than 60 courses at Augusta State University.

Police have suspect in murder case
AIKEN - A Salley man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the stabbing death of his girlfriend's son during a morning argument, authorities said.

Lawyer will be asked about graves

Panel offers tips on base closings
ATLANTA - With a nationwide round of military base closings scheduled for 2005, Georgia communities that are home to the state's 10 defense installations should be preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, a panel of military policy experts said Tuesday.

Augusta women bare all for arts
The Augusta Players recently asked 12 prominent Augusta women to bare more than their souls for the sake of local theater.

Current job not enough to support family of 5
A North Augusta husband and wife who lost their jobs in September are asking for help to give their three children a memorable holiday.

Officials fear funding lapse

Across the area
Richmond County sheriff's deputies were looking for a man suspected in the Tuesday stabbing of a 43-year-old woman and the theft of her car.

Appeal over test scores goes higher

News you can use
Activities and entertainment events scheduled for this week include:

Volunteer group seeks members
A local organization is looking for new members.

Across the region
ATHENS, GA. - The husband of a woman who died while being held on a disorderly conduct charge has filed a lawsuit accusing Clarke County Jail officials of denying his wife proper medical care.

Fisher House ready for holidays
Vanessa Stanley loves decorating for the holidays.

Kid of the Day
Braxton Burns is today's Kid of the Day.

Reunions
This listing runs as space is available. For information to be published, please include the date of the reunion:

Students will pick time of graduation
The great graduation debate continues in Richmond County. Outdoor or indoor? Morning or night? Same day or different day?

Organizations

Aiken family has stressful 'Wife Swap'
Everyone knows what happens when oil and water mix, but that didn't stop Bill and Wendy Ray, of Aiken, from taking their chances.

Police search for missing woman

Kid of the Day

Plant banks on SRS growth

Second chance at scholarship drawing pays off

Death hasn't been forgotten

Augusta graduate shows up by Bush

Girls' accounts of fight differ

This week

Pet of the week

Safety chief warned Larke of possible accidents

News you can use
Activities and entertainment events scheduled for today include:

Change to alcohol rule fails
A plea from Augusta Commissioner Bobby Hankerson to amend the city ordinance that would stiffen penalties for bar and store owners who sell alcohol to minors failed Tuesday.

Commission voices concerns
Raising emergency 911 fees and changing Augusta's government dominated Wednesday's joint meeting between Richmond County's state lawmakers and city commissioners.

Appeal over test scores goes higher
AIKEN - Aiken County school officials will ask the South Carolina Board of Education today to revise its No Child Left Behind Act results, citing a coding error by its own employees that kept the district from gaining an adequate yearly progress grade.

Augusta graduate shows up by Bush
Sheila and James Jenkins had expected to see their son Martin at Christmas, but they got to see him early - standing behind President Bush on CNN.

Across South Carolina
MONROE, LA. - A man wanted in Georgia and South Carolina in two killings, a rape and an armed robbery cleared the way for his transfer out of Louisiana on Wednesday, a day after he was captured in a brief, harrowing chase that ended when he crashed a stolen car.

Three Aiken men accused of illegal dumping
AIKEN - Three Aiken County men have been arrested and accused of operating an illegal landfill near Burnettown in what state environmental officials describe as an ongoing investigation into the dumping of construction and demolition debris from home sites across the county.

Beard calls for end to inquiry
Augusta Commissioner Betty Beard asked the Richmond County legislative delegation Wednesday to do whatever is necessary to resolve the 4-year-old GBI investigation of former Augusta Fire Chief Ronnie Few.

Beard calls for end to inquiry

Poor health makes providing for teen difficult
An Aiken woman raising her granddaughter needs help to ensure the child has a happy holiday.

Girls' accounts of fight differ
Principal Ronald Wiggins might be the only hero in this story. The head of Sego Middle School took life-saving action last month to help 13-year-old Tyeisha Mims after she was run over by her school bus after a fight.

Walker case spawns new complaints
DECATUR, Ga. - The accusations against Sen.-elect Charles Walker are now forming the basis for a lengthy ethics complaint filed against two DeKalb County officials.

Across Georgia
DOUGLASVILLE - The mother of a newborn found dead in a Douglas County garbage facility was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after she pleaded guilty to the child's death.

Man is convicted in driver's death

Short-day plan goes to councils
Columbia County elementary school administrators will ask school councils their opinion on shortening the school day once a week. A school system task force researching pupil performance suggested the shortened day for elementary schools in a November school board meeting.

Officials blame arson for fire at restaurant
SAVANNAH, Ga. - An act of arson caused the fire that razed Williams Seafood Restaurant, four law enforcement agencies announced Monday.

Man arrested for stabbing, car theft

Officials blame arson for fire at restaurant

Tanker-truck accident
Augusta-Richmond County firefighters put away equipment after extricating the driver of a Jeep that was hit by a tanker truck that failed to yield while making a left turn onto Interstate 20 by River Watch Parkway and Claussen Road.

Across the area

Attorney says jail kept him from talk

Showing their appreciation

County trying to increase tourism
The future of tourism promotion in Columbia County might not only bring more visitors but also a 1 percent increase to the county's hotel/motel tax.

Events

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Commission voices concerns

Lady bowlers set aside balls for annual veterans dinner
The Augusta Women's Bowling Association traded in their bowling balls and colorful shoes for plastic gloves and serving utensils Monday.

Across the area

Board reveals two school zoning plans

Once more with feeling

Across South Carolina

Current job not enough to support family of 5

Augusta women bare all for arts

Across the region

Restaurant ratings

Students will pick time of graduation

Memorial honors those who served in Korean conflict
Retired Maj. Gen. Nels Running remembers the day his nephew told him that he was learning about the Korean War in school.

Trials often have set path

Police have suspect in murder case

Lighting Augusta requires patience

Aiken family has stressful 'Wife Swap'

Officials investigate fire at business

School lunch
TODAY: Breakfast bagel, juice and milk *Sausage biscuit and hash browns

Panel offers tips on base closings

Courts
Public records of Richmond County courts.

Committee proposes speed limit for trains

Organizations
Community organizations and their meeting times.

Courts

Second chance at scholarship drawing pays off
When Gary and Sharri Kendrick, of Evans, entered their daughter Holly in the Make Kids Count $10,000 scholarship contest a year ago, she wasn't even selected as one of the contestants, they said.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Area Events
A health fair and business reception will be held at 7 tonight at Gorin's Homemade Cafe and Grill, 1 Seventh St. Guest speaker Lisa Voorhies, the executive vice president of Arbonne International, will lead a discussion of women's health issues.

Short-day plan goes to councils

Pet of the week
Celia, a 3-month-old female terrier mix, is available for adoption from Molly's Militia. Adoptions are held every Saturday at PETsMART in Aiken, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at PETsMART in Augusta from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Five arrested for allegedly mutilating a bull

Events
A holiday classic: 2004 Festival of Trees: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta; trees decorated by Atlanta designers, gingerbread houses, roller coaster, full-size carousel, holiday exhibits, specialty shops; $10 adults, $5 seniors 65 and older, ages 2-12, free for ages 2 and younger; (404) 785-7619.

Tanker-truck accident

Center's holiday camp keeps children learning
Although school will be out for the holidays, that doesn't mean children have to stop learning.

Area Events

Teen follows her passion to bake by opening shop
While most 16-year-olds are thinking about prom and driver's licenses, Anna Reeves, of Blythe, was checking on building prices to open her own bakery.

Flicks

New on DVD
Here's a look at what's new in video and DVD:

At the Movies: 'Ocean's Twelve'
When, oh when, will men ever learn that size doesn't matter? The ads for "Ocean's Twelve" proclaim, albeit in a coolly understated way, that "Twelve is the new eleven."

At the Movies: 'Ocean's Twelve'

New on DVD

At the Movies: 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou'

At the Movies: 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou'
With each new movie he makes, Wes Anderson drifts further away from the rare gem that was "Rushmore."

No favorites yet in Oscar race

Flicks
Movies are listed with theater locations through Wednesday.

No favorites yet in Oscar race
LOS ANGELES - With no J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy to lord over Hollywood's prom night, an eccentric mix of real-life characters may step in to fill the void at the Academy Awards.

Sixth Hour celebrates debut CD at festival

O.D.B. album to be released posthumous

Hot ticket

Sixth Hour celebrates debut CD at festival
Members of the Augusta band The Sixth Hour want to party like rock stars.

New and classic holiday CDs
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.

O.D.B. album to be released posthumous
NEW YORK - An album featuring 15 new songs by rapper O.D.B. is slated to hit stores in January, less than two months after his death.

New and classic holiday CDs

Mary Travers undergoing chemotherapy
NEW YORK - Mary Travers, 67, of Peter, Paul and Mary is undergoing chemotherapy for a form of leukemia, but a full remission is expected within a few months, her publicist, Ken Sunshine, said Tuesday.

Mary Travers undergoing chemotherapy

Kanye West receives 10 Grammy nominations
LOS ANGELES - Producer-turned-rapper Kanye West collected a leading 10 Grammy nominations Tuesday, including album of the year for "The College Dropout" which avoided typical boasting of sex, money and crime in favor of rhymes about everyday life.

Musician Spotlight: Stephanie Staples

Kanye West receives 10 Grammy nominations

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.

Hot ticket
BEST KNOWN FOR: Class of '77 punk coupled with the occasional radio-ready power ballad

Concert calendar
Here's a list of upcoming area concerts. The list includes concerts that are within easy driving distance from the Augusta area.

Musician Spotlight: Stephanie Staples
STEPHANIE STAPLES AGE: 20 HOMETOWN: Born in Atlanta, grew up in Bloomington, Ind. and now living in Evans

Evernham signs female driver
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In the race to find NASCAR's next star, two top organizations signed rising sprint car stars to developmental contracts.

NASCAR Newsmaker
NEW YORK - Matt Kenseth wrapped up his year-long reign as the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion last week when he passed the trophy - and the first parking spot in the garage area - to his Roush Racing teammate, Kurt Busch.

Waltrip gears up for work changes

NASCAR Newsmaker

Waltrip gears up for work changes
NEW YORK - Michael Waltrip will have his third different crew chief in less than a year when he returns for the 2005 season.

Film focuses on personal side of Earnhardt

Evernham signs female driver

Film focuses on personal side of Earnhardt
NEW YORK - It's hard to decide what's more difficult: Trying to pass Dale Earnhardt on the final lap or telling his life story.

Charges filed against Pacers, fans
PONTIAC, Mich. - Five Indiana Pacers players and five fans were charged Wednesday for fighting in the stands and on the court at the end of a game against the Detroit Pistons last month.

Pacers see Redd in loss
INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael Redd scored 28 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first road win of the season, 89-86, over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh easily tops Memphis in Jimmy V
NEW YORK -- Carl Krauser scored all but two of his 17 points at the free-throw line to lead No. 11 Pittsburgh to a 70-51 victory over Memphis on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic.

Malone leaves Lakers after Bryant's comments

Charges filed against Pacers, fans

Malone leaves Lakers after Bryant's comments
LOS ANGELES - Karl Malone has ruled out a return to the Los Angeles Lakers because of comments made by Kobe Bryant in a radio interview, Malone's agent said Tuesday.

Youth works against Knights
LANGLEY - When you're coaching in front of your teammate, your mentor, you don't want to disappoint. In Meadowlark Lemon's eyes, Bruce Capers did just fine.

Georgia rallies to grab win
ATHENS, Ga. - Levi Stukes scored 15 points, including a pair of free throws with 1:09 to play, to lift Georgia to a come-from-behind 67-62 win over Gardner-Webb on Wednesday.

The Holy Grail is in sight

Atlanta receivers struggle to make impact

Manning's favorite receiver to stay on

Jones' talent apparent in dramatic Dallas win

Mrs. Inez Fleming    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mrs. Betty Joyce Aiken    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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Mr. Robbie A. van Eeden    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Odell M. Sikes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Grady L. Oliver    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. John Robert Hogan    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Charles W. Mathis, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Michael Wade Busch    (HERTFORD, N.C.)
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Mrs. Georgia Redd    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Jane Wright    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Edward Lee Goode, Sr.    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. Edward Lee Goode, Sr.    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Georgia Redd    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Annie Mae Walker    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Emily Adkins Smith    (THOMSON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Bertha Mae Croft    (WILLISTON, S.C.)
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Mr. Robert L. Young    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Miss Dorothy Cornelia Flury    (MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.)
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SGM. Franklin D. Swain    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Fred Dunbar    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Edith Rasmussen    (GILBERT, S.C.)
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Mr. James Argyle    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank Lewis Vandegrift    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Jesse C. Busbee    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Jean Oglesby    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Jorge Castro    (MARRIETTA, Ga.)
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Mr. H. Prentice Miller    (BATH, S.C.)
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Mr. Ben Daniels, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Sara Dunn Toulson    (SPARTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Tommy Graham Borders    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. Ben Daniels    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Donald R. Gray    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Marie Keller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Willie L. White    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Ryan R. McCowan    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Harry "Woody" Boyd    (GIBSON, Ga.)
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Mr. Phillip B. Arnett    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
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Landon Ferron    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Tolley Wendt    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James R. Harter    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
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Mr. Jovan "Pop" Grubisa    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. James Irvin Smith    (WARRENTON, GA)
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Mr. Jesse C. Busbee    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Betty Joyce Aiken    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
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Mr. Frank L. Vandegrift    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mr. Tommy Graham Borders    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Helen L. Shackelford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Jovan Grubisa    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Orlando C. Wilder    (MACON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Harriett Griffin    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Jean Oglesby    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mr. James Irvin Smith    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
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Mr. Garnell Bright    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Tolley Wendt (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Jesse C. Busbee (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Edith Rasmussen (GILBERT, S.C.)

Mr. Jovan Grubisa (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Georgia Redd (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Harriett Griffin (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Betty Joyce Aiken (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Harry "Woody" Boyd (GIBSON, Ga.)

Mr. Robert L. Young (TRENTON, S.C.)

Mr. Grady L. Oliver (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. John Robert Hogan (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Orlando C. Wilder (MACON, Ga.)

Mr. Donald R. Gray (AIKEN, S.C.)

SGM. Franklin D. Swain (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Bertha Mae Croft (WILLISTON, S.C.)

Mr. H. Prentice Miller (BATH, S.C.)

Mr. Edward Lee Goode, Sr. (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Jovan "Pop" Grubisa (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Landon Ferron (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Emily Adkins Smith (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Ben Daniels (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Helen L. Shackelford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Willie L. White (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. James Argyle (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Inez Fleming (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Robbie A. van Eeden (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Mae Walker (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Phillip B. Arnett (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mr. Tommy Graham Borders (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Fred Dunbar (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ben Daniels, Jr. (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Frank Lewis Vandegrift (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Charles W. Mathis, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Dorothy Cornelia Flury (MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Ryan R. McCowan (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Michael Wade Busch (HERTFORD, N.C.)

Mrs. Marie Keller (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Sara Dunn Toulson (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Jane Wright (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Jesse C. Busbee (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Odell M. Sikes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Betty Joyce Aiken (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mr. Frank L. Vandegrift (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

IOC looks into doping claims against Jones

IOC looks into doping claims against Jones
LONDON - The IOC opened an investigation Tuesday into doping allegations against Marion Jones, who could eventually be stripped of her five medals from the 2000 Olympics.

Overtime

Area gymnastics squad excited about meet

Overtime

Area gymnastics squad excited about meet
Lauren Gosse would have no problem sleeping at Haydens International Gymnastics Academy.

Overtime
Michelle Wie accepted a sponsor exemption Tuesday night to play in January's Sony Open. Wie came within one shot of making the cut in the PGA Tour event last year.

Overtime
Harlem catcher Amber Klein was named to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Class AAA All-State softball team by state fastpitch coaches Tuesday.

Prep basketball roundup

Emotions run high in Eagles' openers
There can be such a thing as too fired-up. Josey's basketball teams lived that Tuesday in the dedication games at James Henry Roundtree Athletic Complex.

Manning's favorite receiver to stay on
Marvin Harrison is remaining with the Indianapolis Colts as Peyton Manning's primary target.

The Holy Grail is in sight
Not making your league's fantasy football playoffs is a bit like meeting up with the Bridgekeeper in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Atlanta receivers struggle to make impact
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Peerless Price repeated the question, buying himself a little more time to come up with the answer. Still, there was a moment of awkward silence that spoke volumes about his role with the Atlanta Falcons.

Jones' talent apparent in dramatic Dallas win
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys can only imagine how different their season might be had Julius Jones been healthy the whole time.

Local musician spreads holiday sounds

Israel celebrates Jewish festival of Hanukkah
MODIIN, Israel - Israelis celebrated the first day of the festival of Hanukkah on Wednesday, praying at the gravesides of the Jewish heroes the holiday honors, lighting candles and eating traditional deep fried foods.

Local musician spreads holiday sounds
Christmas music is in the air at the Seeds From The Sower Gardens in Metter, Ga.

Movies thrive on love affair between music, Hollywood

Here's who could replace Dan Rather at CBS
NEW YORK - Who will be the new Dan Rather? As we pull ourselves together after last week's big Tom Brokaw send-off, we must go on with our lives and look to the future. That means trying to predict who will be named anchor of "The CBS Evening News" after Rather ends his 24-year reign on March 9.

Scottish actor selected as 'Late Late Show' host
NEW YORK - Scottish actor Craig Ferguson, who played the boss for many years on "The Drew Carey Show," will be the new host of CBS' "Late Late Show."

NBC's Brian Williams gets off to strong start
NEW YORK - It's still early, but NBC's attempt at a seamless transition from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams on "Nightly News" appears to have worked.

Here's who could replace Dan Rather at CBS

People in the News

Augusta has new places to eat, hang out

'American Bandstand' host Dick Clark has stroke

Club calendar

People in the News

Lady Bulldogs get third loss of season

Lady Bulldogs get third loss of season
ATHENS, Ga. -- Kylan Loney had five 3s among her 23 points, and Arizona State used 24 turnovers by 11th-ranked Georgia to win 67-57 on Tuesday night.

Movies thrive on love affair between music, Hollywood
Blame it on The Big Chill. From the day the 1983 Baby Boomer melodrama opened ears with its hit-heavy soundtrack, filmmakers have been scouring their record collections for the just-right collection of songs to accompany on-screen action. Each time a metal guitar shrieks over an action scene, Chill is there. Each time a power ballad lends the right resonance to a tearful farewell, Chill is there. Each time Walking on Sunshine is played over a wacky montage (believe me, it happens a lot), Chill is there.

Gamecocks draw ire of association

Simpson named AP SEC freshman of the year

Gamecocks draw ire of association
COLUMBIA - The Black Coaches Association wants prospective football recruits and assistant coaches to stay away from South Carolina because the school ignored the group's recommendation for a more open coaching search.

Simpson named AP SEC freshman of the year
COLUMBIA, S.C. - When South Carolina safety Ko Simpson got ready for his first college season, he hoped he could one day play like such Southeastern Conference standouts as Thomas Davis of Georgia, Junior Rosegreen of Auburn and Jason Allen of Tennessee.

Amateur prize winners take different paths
Tommy Wessinger and Bill Hardy have this in common: they are Aiken golfers who recently won vehicles for making holes-in-one in the same benefit tournament at Aiken Golf Club.

Soccer player loses finger while celebrating a goal

Woman survives being impaled through throat

Odds and Ends