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.

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.

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.

Braves rebuilding again after another round of losses

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
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

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.

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.

Odds and Ends
PROVO, Utah - Residents here can now officially own both cats AND dogs.

Plant banks on SRS growth

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.

Bush: No payroll tax hike for Social Security
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Thursday flatly ruled out raising payroll taxes to ensure the solvency of Social Security as he began a push for historic changes in the retirement program.

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.

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.

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.

Artificial trees increasing in popularity
Melani Meeks never had a real Christmas tree when she was young. Her mother said it made too much of a mess.

GM beefs up incentives after disappointing November sales

Jobless claims rise for second straight week
WASHINGTON - New claims for jobless benefits moved higher last week, a possible sign that employers haven't completely let go of their caution and are looking to cut costs.

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.

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.

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.

Sentiment grows to cut oil overproduction

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.

Yams brings child-friendly salon to Evans

Nuclear revival foreseen

Study: More federal money needed for energy security

Crude prices rise on possible OPEC production cut
Nagging concerns about tight heating oil supplies and increasing pressure within OPEC to rein in overproduction helped send oil prices back above $42 a barrel on Thursday.

Tree farms thrive as fake trees gain market share

Some bell ringers taking donations via plastic
PHOENIX - The clang of coins in the Salvation Army's red kettles is being accompanied by the swwwwwipe of credit and debit cards this year as the charity equips some bell ringers to accept plastic.

State cuts back on incentive use
ATLANTA - For Georgia in the past, staying in the game to attract major employers meant trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Artificial trees increasing in popularity

Folgers coffee price increased by 14 percent
CINCINNATI - Procter & Gamble Co. on Thursday announced a 14 percent price increase for its Folgers roast and ground coffee, the biggest rise in a decade, because of sustained increases in the commodity cost of green coffee.

Crude prices rise on possible OPEC production cut

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.

Jobless claims rise for second straight week

Counties advised to work together
The Columbia County Development Authority has a new message for Richmond County: You complete me.

Counties advised to work together

State cuts back on incentive use

Bush: No payroll tax hike for Social Security

Folgers coffee price increased by 14 percent

Report: Calif economy will see growth in 2005

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.

Some bell ringers taking donations via plastic

Auburn's Rogers is tops in secondary
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Auburn's Carlos Rogers won't be playing for the national title this year. But at least he can take one trophy back home with him.

Sophomore puts team in spotlight
The only question for Baylor University's Daniel Sepulveda is, Will his leg have an encore?

Auburn's Rogers is tops in secondary

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.

Sophomore puts team in spotlight

Finalists vie for national punter honor

Auburn's Campbell climbs to stardom
AUBURN, Ala. - Jason Campbell seems the perfect quarterback for No. 3 Auburn. He started the season unheralded, had a surprisingly terrific year and is an odd man out in the hunt for the top prize.

Auburn's Campbell climbs to stardom

Jags finally get shot at Georgia

Boilermakers stop Blue Demons' run

Georgia rallies to grab win

Youth works against Knights

Swinging for the fence?
What kind of baseball player would wait until there was two outs in the ninth inning before even taking a swing?

How intelligent a bill?

Fair treatment

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?

All the market can bear

Math flunked again
More flunking grades for U.S. education: America's 15-year-olds - mostly ninth- and 10th-graders - scored near the bottom of industrialized countries in math skills, according to a just-released international report card.

Math flunked again

All the market can bear
Someday, Americans may not be allowed on cruise ships, in order to keep them afloat. Reports from the Queen Mary II are that obese Americans are already breaking the bar and restaurant chairs on the world's newest, biggest luxury liner.

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.

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:

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

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

Nativity scene stirs controversy
LONDON - Christian leaders denounced a nativity scene at a London wax museum featuring soccer star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, a former Spice Girl, as the parents of Jesus.

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.

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.

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.

People in the News
LOS ANGELES - Steve Guttenberg loves Christmas, so playing Santa's son and heir in a new TV movie was the ideal role for an actor who lives like a big kid.

Mortgage rates fall sharply this week

Mortgage rates fall sharply this week
WASHINGTON - Mortgage rates around the country fell sharply this week, a development that should bring a dose of good cheer for people wanting to buy a home.

Fisherman's Super Fluke flux nets fine fish

Fisherman's Super Fluke flux nets fine fish
It's odd that big catches of fish can be made by doing little things. Such was the case last weekend for Albert Moody of Augusta and his fiance, Pat, who were casting Zoom Super Flukes for schooling hybrid bass on Strom Thurmond Lake below Raysville Marina.

Fishing tournaments
Sponsoring a bass, crappie, catfish or other fishing tournament?

Fishing tournaments

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

Nature's survivor: houseplants
It's no wonder your houseplants are looking ill these days, after having basked outdoors in summer sun and breezes, their leaves washed in rain. Think what a change they've had to endure, brought indoors to dim light, dry air, and perhaps chlorinated municipal water!

Green-thumb gifts easy to find
Gardening is the No. 1 hobby in the United States, and if a friend or loved one enjoys gardening, consider some of the following holiday gift suggestions:

Green-thumb gifts easy to find

Nature's survivor: houseplants

Wie to play again in PGA Tour event

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

High school football poll

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.

Representatives meet to save NHL season
TORONTO - The NHL and the players' association returned to negotiations Thursday for the first time in three months, looking to end the lockout that has threatened the season.

Brawls always included the fans
It seems I cannot pick up a sports page or watch a TV screen without seeing more film footage of the brawl between professional basketball players and unruly fans.

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.

James Brown diagnosed with prostate cancer
NEW YORK - James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" and a legend in rap, rock and funk, has announced that he has prostate cancer.

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

Newspaper casts county in poor light
I read Johnny Edwards' article in the paper relating to our former sheriff ("Womack told GBI of use of inmates," Dec. 6). I think it is a disgrace that your so-called newspaper has nothing else to do except continue to persecute a dead man. George W. Gunn Sr., Millen

Fort Gordon guard acted correctly
Regarding Heidi McDonald's letter ("Gate 1 security went overboard," Dec. 2): I, too, am a military wife of many years. I also have a sticker on my car, but if I didn't, I wouldn't mind being stopped knowing that our Fort Gordon gate guards are on the job and doing what they have been taught. Laurie Johnson, Augusta

Parents, not schools, are failing

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.

New oil drilling is not intrusive
The column by John Passacantando of Greenpeace and the accompanying syndicated cartoon ("Drilling harms fragile ecosystems," Dec 6) are very misleading and very much out of touch with modern oil-drilling technology. James W. Cleary, Keysville

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

Priest must accept responsibility

City is killing its vital tax base

Priest must accept responsibility
I can't really believe anyone would want an individual who was slapped by a priest to just let the incident pass with only forgiveness ("Driver should forgive priest in incident," Dec. 4). Teresa Glackin Callahan, Harlem

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.

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.

PC-controlled lights automate holiday ritual

Reports could spell doom for aging Hubble telescope

When information access is easy, truth can be elusive

Decking the halls can be a dangerous activity

Video games better than tranquilizers

Tips for alleviating technology-related stress

Nostalgic items make great gifts this season

Make office work for you

Entertainment gift guide

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

Revenge paves way for violent road in 'San Andreas'

Burn calories with video games

Decking the halls can be a dangerous activity
ATLANTA - You better watch out: Decking the halls for Christmas brings a sharp increase in injuries from falling off roofs, ladders and living room sofas.

Tips for alleviating technology-related stress
"I find the break from the Internet somewhat refreshing," says Achille, now 19 and a junior at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "After spending a good portion of my freshman and sophomore years holed up here in my dorm room typing away to friends, I feel like I missed just sitting outside and enjoying the weather or going for a walk, just because."

Video games better than tranquilizers
TRENTON, N.J. - Letting children play video games on a Game Boy in the operating room before undergoing surgery can help relax them better than tranquilizers or holding Mommy's hand, researchers say.

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

Nostalgic items make great gifts this season
Let's face it, appealing to Joe Average's nostalgic side during the holidays doesn't take a marketing mastermind.

'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 ...

Burn calories with video games
Since the era of Pong (you do remember Pong, don't you?), video games have kept more than one generation hunched over controllers as they madly battle A) alien life forms sent to destroy Earth, B) alien life forms bent on destroying the universe, or C) a professional sports team.

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.

PC-controlled lights automate holiday ritual
SALINAS, Calif. - It's a chore that can quickly chill the warmth of the holiday season: Trudging outside each winter night to unplug the lights, deflate the blowup snowman and shut off the rest of the outdoor extravaganza.

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.

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.

Make office work for you
A beat-up desk and a small stool crammed into the corner of a room populated with noisy interlopers would be a nightmare work environment at a job, so why would you put up with that at home?

'Lost weekend' would doom season for Lynx

'Lost weekend' would doom season for Lynx
Tired, defeated and humiliated. That's how the Augusta Lynx players looked as they left the ice after Tuesday's shutout loss to Louisiana.

New bus policies win approval

Beard calls for end to inquiry

Ex-sheriff's office worker is indicted
A former Columbia County sheriff's employee was indicted on racketeering, theft and insurance fraud charges Thursday after she was accused of stealing more than $50,000 from a sheriff's office account.

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.

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.

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.

Across Georgia

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

Poinsettias see early demand this year
Judy Sanderlin says more people apparently are learning just how durable the poinsettia can be.

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:

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).

Crash of small plane kills all three aboard

Organizations
Community organizations and their meeting times.

Columbia County may get shooting range

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

Police: Bull mutilation suspects wanted steak
AIKEN - The five people charged with mutilating a bull and leaving it dead in the road had planned to eat the animal, authorities said Thursday.

Courts
Public records of Richmond County courts.

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

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.

Health offices branch will get bigger facility
By this time next year, employees at the Richmond County Health Department's south Augusta branch won't have to speak in hushed tones to keep from revealing their client's confidential matters through the office's thin walls.

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

University of Georgia fights to keep top teachers
ATLANTA - Like sharks circling swimmers in a summer thriller, out-of-state colleges are salivating over the chance to pick off some of Georgia's best professors.

Restaurant ratings

Ice cream weather in December

Events

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Short-day plan goes to councils

Across Georgia

Five arrested for allegedly mutilating a bull

Fire destroyed home of mother, 3 children

Commission voices concerns

Kid of the Day
Jalen Kiara Lovelace Barnett is today's Kid of the Day.

Center will care for homeless patients

New bus policies win approval
Bus monitors will remain on their wish list, but the Richmond County Board of Education on Thursday agreed to make changes in the transportation department that they can actually afford.

Tanker-truck accident

Crash of small plane kills all three aboard
WEST PELZER, S.C. - Three people were killed Thursday when their small plane crashed in a rural area about 15 miles from an airport.

Across the area

Team to receive training at post
Fort Gordon welcomed several hundred Army National Guard members Thursday night who will undergo initial training and processing for mobilization.

Organizations

Councilman wants to change business taxes
AIKEN - City Councilman Pat Cunning has enlisted the help of state legislators to adjust Aiken's business tax in hopes of making the city more friendly to corporate headquarters.

Police search for missing woman

Frequent fliers give miles to needy
Lately, the spirit of giving is even extending to travel dollars. Most major airlines have programs in which customers can donate their frequent flier miles to charities, and there's no more popular time than the holidays for this unorthodox gift, experts say.

This week

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Across South Carolina

Second chance at scholarship drawing pays off

Fort Gordon Christmas Tree lighting cancelled

Police: Bull mutilation suspects wanted steak

Center's holiday camp keeps children learning

Augusta women bare all for arts

Teen follows her passion to bake by opening shop

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.

Tests show corpse is missing man

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.

Safety chief warned Larke of possible accidents

James Brown diagnosed with prostate cancer

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.

Frequent fliers give miles to needy

Girls' accounts of fight differ

Across the area

Volunteer group seeks members

Councilman wants to change business taxes

Plant banks on SRS growth

Courses, museum discussed

Seniors get tuition-free classes at ASU

Columbia County may get shooting range
USA Shooting has set its sights on Columbia County's Baker Place Road Landfill as one of three possible locations for a world-class Olympic shooting range complex.

Pet of the week

Ice cream weather in December
David Mehta, of Augusta, eats ice cream on while waiting for his wife to finish a yoga class on Eighth Street. Thursday, the Mehtas' 10th wedding anniversary, saw tempreatures in the 70s.

Death hasn't been forgotten

Counties advised to work together
The Columbia County Development Authority has a new message for Richmond County: You complete me. The group met with economic development consultants Thursday to get an opinion on its industrial recruiting efforts.

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

Fire destroyed home of mother, 3 children
A Louisville, Ga., mother whose house burned down in October, leaving her and her three children with nothing, asks for assistance this Christmas.

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

Across the area
Richmond County sheriff's deputies are looking for a woman they say has been missing since Wednesday night.

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.

Across Georgia
BUFORD, GA. - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's bomb squad has detonated what appeared to be an old pipe bomb found at Buford Dam.

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.

Across South Carolina
ORANGEBURG - An Orangeburg man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to drunken driving in a car crash that killed a 21-year-old woman.

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.

School board veterans make way for successors
With their replacements waiting in the wings, three Richmond County school trustees said goodbye during their final board meeting Thursday.

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.

Courses, museum discussed
Columbia County and Professional Disc Golf Association officials met Thursday to go over the details of a planned clubhouse building and three disc golf courses to be constructed at Wildwood Park.

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.

Residents protest school site
Find another place. That's the message from residents of an east Augusta neighborhood, who pleaded Thursday with the Richmond County Board of Education not to target their land for a new elementary school.

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.

Center will care for homeless patients
Homeless Augustans have several options when it comes to primary medical treatment. The problem comes when they are released from the hospital and have nowhere to go to finish their recovery.

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.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

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.

Health offices branch will get bigger facility

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.

Group looks for answers to health-care problems

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.

Area Events

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.

Augusta graduate shows up by Bush

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

Ex-sheriff's office worker is indicted

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Lady bowlers set aside balls for annual veterans dinner

Kid of the Day

Across South Carolina

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.

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.

News you can use

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.

Georgia growth stays sluggish

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.

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.

Courts

Residents protest school site

Georgia growth stays sluggish
ATLANTA - The 2001 recession is fading further into the past, but the state's economy just can't seem to shake itself out of slow recovery mode, according to University of Georgia forecasters.

Flicks

New on DVD

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

Flicks
Movies are listed with theater locations through Wednesday.

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.

Musician Spotlight: Stephanie Staples

Sixth Hour celebrates debut CD at festival

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

O.D.B. album to be released posthumous

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

Man who sang 'Beverly Hillbillies' theme, dies at 93

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

New and classic holiday CDs

Jay-Z named president of Def Jam Records
LOS ANGELES - Jay-Z, who has declared himself retired from his rap career, now has a new job to occupy his time - president and chief executive of the Def Jam record label.

Hot ticket

Man who sang 'Beverly Hillbillies' theme, dies at 93
LOS ANGELES - Jerry Scoggins, who sang "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," which introduced the comical clan on "The Beverly Hillbillies," has died. He was 93.

Gunman kills 4 at Ohio heavy metal show

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

Jay-Z named president of Def Jam Records

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

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.

Gunman kills 4 at Ohio heavy metal show
"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was fatally shot during a performance, was a frenetic, ear-shattering guitarist whose riffs for Pantera and more recently Damageplan were a staple of heavy metal music. He was 38.

Kvapil to replace Gaughan in No. 77 Dodge

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.

Kvapil to replace Gaughan in No. 77 Dodge
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Brendan Gaughan was fired Thursday by Penske-Jasper Racing after struggling in his first season of Nextel Cup competition. Travis Kvapil will replace him in the No. 77 Dodge in 2005.

NASCAR Newsmaker

Waltrip gears up for work changes

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.

Film focuses on personal side of Earnhardt

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.

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.

Evernham signs female driver

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.

Charges filed against Pacers, fans

Union pleads its case to arbitrator
NEW YORK - Ron Artest took the witness stand and described, in his words, one of the worst brawls in NBA history. Teammates Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal and Anthony Johnson did the same, and a union attorney and one of O'Neal's bodyguards also testified.

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.

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.

Jags finally get shot at Georgia
It became an annual tradition at Augusta State. Lady Jaguars coach Greg Wilson would call Georgia's director of basketball operations and ask for a game - the equivalent of the class nerd asking the prom queen for a date.

Boilermakers stop Blue Demons' run
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Katie Gearlds scored 21 points for No. 21 Purdue, which handed 15th-ranked DePaul its first loss of the season, 69-61 on Thursday.

The Holy Grail is in sight

Manning's favorite receiver to stay on

Vick hopes he can silence doubters

Atlanta receivers struggle to make impact

Mrs. Jean Carter Boland    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Ben Daniels    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Jonathan Keith Lloyd    (BLAIRSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Landon Ferron    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Robbie A. van Eeden    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Fred Dunbar    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Landon Ferron    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Sara Dunn Toulson    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. James Mitchell    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Inez Fleming    (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Robert L. Robinson    (SAVANNAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Jesse C. Busbee    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Roy Ruff, Sr.    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Garnell Bright    (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Ben Daniels, Jr.    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Phillip B. Arnett    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Geneva W. Greene-Seneca    ( SENECA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Robert L. Young    (TRENTON, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Ruby Knight    (ZAUX HALL, N.J.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Willie L. White    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. H. Prentice Miller    (BATH, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Jane Wright    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Larry "Hot Rod" Williams    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Michael Wade Busch    (HERTFORD, N.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Ernest Williams    (MILLEN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Robbie A. van Eeden    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Odell M. Sikes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Odell M. Sikes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Lillie Bell Williams    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. John Robert Hogan    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Phyllis A. Cooper    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Georgia Redd    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Sara Dunn Toulson    (SPARTA, GA)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Willie Griffin    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Walter Fountain Crutchfield    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. David S. Hardigree    (ELIJAY, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Miss Dorothy Cornelia Flury    (MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Charles E. Holt    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Luther W. Hensley, Sr.    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. H. Prentice Miller    (BATH, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. James Irvin Smith    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Grady L. Oliver    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Marie Keller    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Jean Oglesby    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Rosa Lee Lightfoot    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Edward Lee Goode, Sr.    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Horace Nunally    (KNOXVILLE, Tenn.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Frank Lewis Vandegrift    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. John Robert Hogan    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Betty Joyce Aiken    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Jovan "Pop" Grubisa    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. James Irvin Smith    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. William "Catfish" Reese    (HARLEM, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Harriett Griffin    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Jane Wright    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Jovan Grubisa    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Willie L. White    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Tommy Graham Borders    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Annie Sue Sims    (RAYLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Garnell Bright    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Katherine Scott Brown    (THOMSON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Gerald (Jabbo) Oglesby    (SYLVANIA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Margaret Stainback Anderson    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Robert L. Young    (TRENTON, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

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

Mrs. Geneva W. Greene-Seneca ( SENECA, S.C.)

Mr. James Mitchell (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Ben Daniels (NORTH AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Lillie Bell Williams (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Robert L. Robinson (SAVANNAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Jane Wright (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Roy Ruff, Sr. (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mr. Jovan Grubisa (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. William "Catfish" Reese (HARLEM, Ga.)

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

Mr. David S. Hardigree (ELIJAY, Ga.)

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

Margaret Stainback Anderson (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Georgia Redd (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Garnell Bright (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Landon Ferron (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Gerald (Jabbo) Oglesby (SYLVANIA, Ga.)

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

Ms. Ruby Knight (ZAUX HALL, N.J.)

Mrs. Inez Fleming (SANDERSVILLE, Ga.)

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

Mr. John Robert Hogan (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Betty Joyce Aiken (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Annie Sue Sims (RAYLE, Ga.)

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

Mr. John Robert Hogan (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Sara Dunn Toulson (SPARTA, Ga.)

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

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

Mrs. Sara Dunn Toulson (SPARTA, GA)

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

Mr. Charles E. Holt (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

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

Mr. Larry "Hot Rod" Williams (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

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

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

Mr. Fred Dunbar (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Willie Griffin (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Frank Lewis Vandegrift (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Lee Lightfoot (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Miss Dorothy Cornelia Flury (MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Jean Carter Boland (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Jonathan Keith Lloyd (BLAIRSVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Horace Nunally (KNOXVILLE, Tenn.)

Landon Ferron (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mr. Ernest Williams (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mrs. Jane Wright (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Walter Fountain Crutchfield (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

Overtime

Area gymnastics squad excited about meet

Overtime
North Augusta High wide receiver C.J. Byrd has been named Gatorade South Carolina Player of the Year.

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.

American takes World Cup skeleton lead
IGLS, Austria - American Noelle Pikus-Pace won a women's World Cup skeleton event Thursday to take the overall lead in the season standings.

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.

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.

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

Vick hopes he can silence doubters
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - When AirTran Airways offered him an endorsement deal this summer, Michael Vick loved the concept.

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.

New Roman Catholic archbishop of Atlanta named
ATLANTA - Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the height of the clergy sex abuse crisis, was appointed by Pope John Paul II to serve as Archbishop of Atlanta, the archdiocese announced Thursday.

Christmas tree is placed in St. Peter's
VATICAN CITY - The pope's Christmas tree arrived in St. Peter's Square Thursday, after two days of travel from the Alpine forests of northern Italy.

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

Housewives trump reality in television ratings

Martha Stewart to host new homemaking show
NEW YORK - Martha Stewart may still be in the clink, but it appears there's no caging her appeal as television's domestic diva.

Here's who could replace Dan Rather at CBS

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.

Housewives trump reality in television ratings
LOS ANGELES - Reality television's survivors and junior Trumps have been bumped from the top of the water-cooler agenda - and all it took was four volatile homemakers.

Martha Stewart to host new homemaking show

Augusta has new places to eat, hang out

People in the News

People in the News

Club calendar

'American Bandstand' host Dick Clark has stroke

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

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.

Odds and Ends

Soccer player loses finger while celebrating a goal

Christmas tree is placed in St. Peter's

New Roman Catholic archbishop of Atlanta named