Michael Crichton plunges into environmental debate
NEW YORK - Michael Crichton is a big man with big ideas, a storyteller of nearly 7 feet who turns popular science into popular fiction.

Macedonian relics depict life and times of world conqueror
NEW YORK - Don't expect titillating revelations about Alexander the Great from a collection of ancient relics showing life and times in his Macedonian kingdom.

War veterans pour experiences into art
BERKELEY, Calif. - Ehren Tool never fired a gun in the Persian Gulf War. When his Marine buddies went trophy hunting in the trenches, he stayed put, warned by his Vietnam veteran dad not to seek out the naked face of war.

Macedonian relics depict life and times of world conqueror

Tommy Chong takes stage in 'Marijuana-Logues'
LOS ANGELES - It was pot that made him famous and pot that helped put him in prison. So it seems only natural that Tommy Chong's first big gig since leaving the joint would be in a play called "The Marijuana-Logues."

Tommy Chong takes stage in 'Marijuana-Logues'

War veterans pour experiences into art

Michael Crichton plunges into environmental debate

McCain optimistic about testing change
PHOENIX - Sen. John McCain is "guardedly optimistic" that major league baseball and its players could reach an agreement on tougher testing for steroids.

Take a stab at Christmas music trivia

Odds and Ends
WEST COVINA, Calif. - Always wanted to leave a lump of coal in some Scrooge's Christmas stocking? Then Alec Nystrom has a deal for you.

Girl, 10, cuffed for scissors in school
PHILADELPHIA - A 10-year-old girl was placed in handcuffs and taken to a police station because she took a pair of scissors to her elementary school.

Braves get new closer, Smoltz to start

Braves get new closer, Smoltz to start
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Atlanta acquired All-Star closer Dan Kolb from the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday for prized pitching prospect Jose Capellan and a player to be named, allowing the Braves to move John Smoltz back into the starting rotation.

Shippers expect holiday joy

Shippers expect holiday joy
DECATUR, Ga. - Major shippers, including UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp., are predicting strong peak holiday volume despite a lackluster start to the season in sales at major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Limited Brands and Federated Department Stores.

Tommy Hilfiger buys Karl Lagerfeld trademarks
NEW YORK - Tommy Hilfiger Corp. - whose once-hot preppy clothing business has cooled - is making a play to rekindle growth by buying luxury brand Karl Lagerfeld.

Oracle snaps up PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion
SAN FRANCISCO - Ending 18 months of bad blood, Oracle Corp. raised its takeover bid for bitter rival PeopleSoft Inc. by 10 percent to seal a $10.3 billion deal that will create the world's second largest maker of business applications software.

Shoppers flock to stores this weekend

Bojangles' exports its Cajun-spiced treats to China

Retail sales rise by 0.1 percent in November

Bojangles' exports its Cajun-spiced treats to China
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Cajun-spiced fried chicken and "dirty rice" may not have enticed the Irish palate, but officials at Bojangles' are betting China will be a much hotter market.

Make it easy to take gifts back

'House flipping' target of state, federal probes
ALBANY, N.Y. - A four-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath colonial for only a $450 monthly mortgage payment? How can you go wrong?

Attendance at theme parks increases
ORLANDO, Fla. - Attendance at North America's 50 most popular theme and amusement parks jumped almost 4 percent in 2004, the first overall increase since the 2001 terrorist attacks slowed the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

Fed emerging from era of mystery
WASHINGTON - A master of mystery much of the time, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has vastly improved the central bank's communications with Wall Street and Main Street over the past decade.

Make it easy to take gifts back
If the holiday season is about giving, then the days after are about taking back. And your gift could be the next to go.

Retail sales rise by 0.1 percent in November
WASHINGTON - Shoppers showed a bit of cheer at the cash registers in November, boosting sales at the nation's retailers by 0.1 percent.

A&W debuts new restaurant that plays up brand's roots

Counties consider economic partnership
Officials from Richmond and Columbia counties will meet Wednesday in a last-ditch attempt to salvage plans for a regional economic development organization.

Online store finds success with one-item-only sales
DALLAS - Each weekday at midnight, self-described "gadget geek" Dan Paddock is poised in front of his computer on his favorite Web site, looking for bargains too good to pass up.

Tommy Hilfiger buys Karl Lagerfeld trademarks

A&W debuts new restaurant that plays up brand's roots
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A&W Restaurants Inc., the chain best known for its frothy root beer floats, is tapping its past for a new drive-in that serves up a big helping of nostalgia along with some new twists.

Counties consider economic partnership

Shoppers flock to stores this weekend
NEW YORK - With less than two weeks of shopping left until Christmas, the nation's malls and stores stepped up discounts over the weekend, but business appeared to be mixed, according to analysts.

AOL accellerates ad-supported model

AOL accellerates ad-supported model
DULLES, Va. - The walls surrounding America Online Inc.'s well-manicured gardens are crumbling.

'House flipping' target of state, federal probes

Fed emerging from era of mystery

Oracle snaps up PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion

Huskies hire Willingham

Leinart says he wants to return to USC

Weis poised to play like a champion
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Charlie Weis says his job as Notre Dame's new football coach is to raise expectations and win games. It's as simple as that.

Leinart says he wants to return to USC
NEW YORK - Matt Leinart owns a Heisman Trophy and a national title - and he's got a shot at another championship coming up in less than a month.

Huskies hire Willingham
SEATTLE - Just two weeks after being firing by Notre Dame, Tyrone Willingham was introduced Monday as the new football coach at Washington.

Western Michigan tops College of Charleston

Holiday pounds can be avoided
OK, so four years ago the New England Journal of Medicine reported that holiday weight gain isn't so bad after all - only 1 pound per year on average.

Law punches at brawlers
Michigan law is now taking a punch at the celebrated basketbrawlers whose fights in the stands and on the court did so much last month in Detroit to tarnish the image of the National Basketball Association.

Law punches at brawlers

He still 'feels good'
James Brown's millions of fans around the world were distressed to hear "the Godfather of Soul" has prostate cancer. The world renowned rock legend, who has deep roots in Augusta, announced he will undergo surgery for the disease Dec. 15.

Disfigured

Disfigured
It isn't just Viktor Yuschenko's face that's been disfigured by poison. Ukraine's young democracy has been just as scarred.

What improvement?
Much of the talk at the annual pre-legislative meeting between Richmond County's state lawmakers and Augusta commissioners centered on what to do to make the eight-year-old consolidated government charter more responsive and effective.

He still 'feels good'

Shooting needs to stop
Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik appeared to have all the earmarks of a superb Homeland Security chief - a tough, no-nonsense cop who's been through war and helped a city through the attendant ravages.

Shooting needs to stop

Regis to replace Dick Clark on New Year's show
BURBANK, Calif. - A week after suffering a mild stroke, Dick Clark remained hospitalized and his spokesman announced that Regis Philbin will fill in as host of ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve 2005."

People in the News
OSLO, Norway - Oprah Winfrey didn't have to think twice when she was asked to host this year's Nobel Peace Prize Concert with Tom Cruise.

'Sideways' leads Golden Globes nominations
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - The road-trip flick "Sideways" led Golden Globe contenders Monday with seven nominations, including best musical or comedy film, three acting nominations and best director, while Jamie Foxx scored a record three nominations.

Q&A with teen queen Lindsay Lohan
NEW YORK - Lindsay Lohan seems like a typical 18-year-old. She's really concerned with boys and her hair, she's fidgety and giggly, and she just bought these fuzzy purple boots from a Marc Jacobs sale.

People in the news
LOS ANGELES - Showtime's new series "Huff" has yet to generate ratings to match its critical acclaim, so the channel tried a "minimarathon" to draw viewers.

Sands looking to become gambling giant with IPO

How to find a decent used car for $1,000
Q: I need a car, but can only spend $1,000. Is it possible to find something I can afford?

Sands looking to become gambling giant with IPO
LAS VEGAS - When billionaire Sheldon Adelson sold his successful Comdex computer show and decided to build a lavish hotel-casino with thousands of rooms, gambling executives ridiculed his business model.

How to find a decent used car for $1,000

Culinary philosopher George Lang still cooking at 80
Eating as entertainment: Culinary philosopher George Lang still cooking up ideas at 80

Culinary philosopher George Lang still cooking at 80

Navigating the holiday dessert table
Does it seem as though the season of giving has become a two-month cycle of gaining?

Navigating the holiday dessert table

Georgia Tech falls to Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. - Jillian Robbins had 20 points, 18 rebounds and nine blocks Sunday as Tulsa beat Georgia Tech 55-47.

Georgia Tech falls to Tulsa

It's never too early for Christmas

Woods on a roll as season ends
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - At this rate, Tiger Woods probably can't wait for the 2005 season to start.

India's Randhawa wins Masters of Asia

Schwartzel wins Dunhill in playoff

Schwartzel wins Dunhill in playoff
MALELANE, South Africa - South Africa's Charl Schwartzel captured the Dunhill Championship on Sunday for his first European tour title, recovering from a poor finish in regulation to win the first playoff hole against England's Neil Cheetham.

Woods on a roll as season ends

India's Randhawa wins Masters of Asia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - India's Jyoti Randhawa won his first title of the year, capturing the Volvo Masters of Asia on Sunday by beating Australia's Terry Pilkadaris on the second playoff hole.

NHL owners prepare counteroffer to union
NEW YORK - The NHL reportedly will reject the latest proposal from the players' union that was meant to end the lockout and salvage the season.

NHL owners prepare counteroffer to union

NASCAR fans hope to find racing gear under the tree
Got a credit card with plenty of room under the spending limit and access to the Internet? If so, you don't have to fight traffic and the mall crowds to buy Christmas gifts for a NASCAR fan. Forget the usual sack of T-shirts, caps and car flags. Many NASCAR drivers make it easy to buy those hard-to-find gifts by logging onto their personal Websites or NASCAR.com.

Sterling Marlin: Loves Rocky Top and UFOs
Sterling Marlin, a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, loves the University of Tennessee Volunteers almost as much as he does racing.

Stewart would like you to play solitaire
Tony Stewart is a fiery competitor who often struggles with restraint. He's been through anger management and he's spent much of his racing career under the cloud of NASCAR probation.

Busch in a league of his own
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - There were plenty of breaks in Kurt Busch's racing career that led him to the Nextel Cup Series championship.

Take a stab at Christmas music trivia
Part of what makes Christmas special is the music. No other holiday has the depth and scope and variety of holiday tunes. With that in mind, I pass along these musical questions.

Georgia Tech's Tenuta wants Ohio U. head coaching job
ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech may be on the verge of losing defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta.

Jury gives Peterson death penalty
The same jury of six men and six women found Peterson guilty Nov. 12, when about 1,000 people descended on the streets outside the San Mateo County Courthouse, most cheering when the verdicts were read.

Officers investigate elderly man's shooting
AIKEN -- Police continued an investigation today that could lead to criminal charges against an elderly Aiken man who was wounded in a gun battle with an off-duty officer who had knocked on his door to investigate a loud-music complaint, authorities said.

Get to root of underage drinking
Regarding the article "Change to alcohol rule fails" (Dec. 8): Tony Martin, North Augusta, S.C.

Rash letter writer errs about priest
After reading the letter from Teresa Glackin Callahan ("Priest must accept responsibility," Dec. 10) I had to respond. Patricia Howard, Martinez

Segregation, not 'Ray,' is the issue
For the past several years, I have been comfortable keeping my opinions about public issues private. However, the hoopla appearing in The Chronicle concerning the movie Ray - and its license to say that Ray Charles was banned from Augusta, and Georgia, because of his refusal to perform for a segregated audience at Bell Auditorium - is ridiculous. Grady Abrams, Martinez

Segregation, not 'Ray,' is the issue

Get to root of underage drinking

Rash letter writer errs about priest

Don't fret the incorrect 'Ray' movie
I read the editorial in The Chronicle saying that what was depicted in the Ray Charles movie was offensive and put Augusta in a bad light ("Ray gives state black eye," Dec. 7). I have a story to tell if you think the movie put Augusta in a bad position. Joseph Diggs Sr., Augusta

Principal makes great role model
Dressed in his Sunday best, Principal Hartley Gibbons of Glenn Hills Middle School stood recently at the school's entrance like a preacher who had just faced the biggest day of his ministerial career. Sylvia Granade, Evans

Don't fret the incorrect 'Ray' movie

We must fight to preserve values
The ACLU - the Anti-Christian Liberties Union - and athiests are far more dangerous to the moral fabric of the United States than all Muslim fundamentalists combined. Robert P. Schloesser, Augusta

Smoking ban robs us of our rights
The photo of Chuck Sprowls smoking in the Evans Diner in Columbia County, accompanying the story "Business owners prepare for ban" (Dec. 6), is as good an argument as any against the county's smoking ban. Gene Rickaby, Martinez

Smoking ban robs us of our rights

West Virginia issues warning about mercury in fish

Flu shot supply grows, demand withers

Seniors calendar

Game review: Two polished multiplayer titles

Techbits: Adware wars, Grammy iTunes and more

Sunglasses-turned-digital music player are no bargain

NASA administrator to resign

From screen to tree

Waterproof housing for the iPod mini is all wet

Laser tools zap inaccurate household measurements

Health and fitness calendar

From screen to tree
It started with Howdy Doody lunchboxes, progressed into talking car models, and reached a new plateau this year with diamond-shape yellow signs that say "Desperate Housewife on Board."

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

West Virginia issues warning about mercury in fish
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginians were warned Monday to limit their consumption of game fish caught in state waterways to avoid possible mercury contamination, the first time a general advisory has been issued for the pollutant.

Game review: Two polished multiplayer titles
If my experiences with two new massively multiplayer online role-playing games have taught me one thing, it's that if I really wanted, I'd never have to interact face-to-face with another person again.

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

Techbits: Adware wars, Grammy iTunes and more
SAN FRANCISCO - Online DVD rental leader Netflix Inc. is putting social networking on its marquee of coming attractions for next year.

NASA administrator to resign
WASHINGTON - Sean O'Keefe, who has spent three tumultuous years running the nation's space program, is preparing to resign, a government official says.

Sunglasses-turned-digital music player are no bargain
LOS ANGELES - It seems like a cool idea - sunglasses with a built-in digital music player and speakers.

Flu shot supply grows, demand withers
SEATTLE - Rod Watson had to cancel 1,000 flu-shot clinics in four states when the national vaccine shortage cut off his supply two months ago.

Waterproof housing for the iPod mini is all wet
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - After you've joined the music revolution and plunked down $250 for an Apple iPod mini, it's easy to become quite protective of the little gizmo.

Laser tools zap inaccurate household measurements
Forget eyeballing straight lines to level wallpaper, pictures and sundry other projects. Let lasers do it.

Eleven sentenced in loan scam case

Alcohol license is near passage
Unlike a meeting in March, a new request for an alcohol license by the owners of Rhinehart's Oyster Bar on Monday came without any public clamoring.

Ga. lawmakers receive lessons in ethics
ATHENS, Ga. - As many Georgians sat in church pews Sunday morning, the state's newest lawmakers heard about the temptations of kickbacks and the sin of conflicting interest.

Former fire chief wants probe resolved
Technically, the special grand jury investigation of city government, much of which focused on former Augusta Fire Chief Ronnie Few, started in 2000 and ended two years later. But that timetable doesn't work for Mr. Few.

Across the area
A greeter will be at Augusta's downtown post office today and Dec. 20 to aid customers.

Airport, wildlife benefit from work of 'Bird Lady'
What may sound like a tame, yet interactive safari is actually Tina Rhodes' job at Augusta Regional Airport.

Zoning rules halt salon project
AIKEN - One woman's push to open a beauty salon in a predominantly residential Aiken neighborhood sparked a rigorous debate about zoning Monday night that left the city council ready to revisit its guidelines.

Officials say keg law fails
ATLANTA - Nearly four years after state lawmakers created a beer-keg tracking system, many prosecutors say the law has done little to achieve its original goal of helping to bring criminal charges against adults who provide alcohol to minors.

Female prisoners get fewer calories
ATLANTA - Female inmates in Georgia's state prisons have a lot less food for thought these days.

Tests at driving schools could be a success
The way teenagers receive their driver's licenses could be changing forever in Georgia.

Female prisoners get fewer calories

Burglars hit home of Iraq worker
AIKEN - The soundtrack to Ken Rusack's life includes the nightly chatter of small arms fire, the whoosh-bang of a rocket and the metallic thunk of a mortar round leaving the tube and arcing to its target.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA -- Four people have been arrested in the killing of a 27-year-old man who was shot while delivering newspapers in DeKalb County.

School board career ends tonight for Muns
Lee Muns will serve on his last official Columbia County School Board meeting this evening.

Across South Carolina
CHARLESTON -- The governor has fired the chairman of state-owned utility Santee Cooper, and a second board member has resigned, The (Charleston) Post and Courier reported Sunday. Both had clashed with Gov. Mark Sanford about changes at the utility.

Here we come a-caroling
Jamey Garrow leads the Song Birds, all members of W.O.W. (Wise Outrageous Women), as they sing carols to residents of the Cumberland Village senior living community in Aiken.

Across the southeast
NEW ORLEANS -- NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe is a top candidate for Louisiana State University chancellor after nearly three years leading the space agency through a tumultuous period marred by the Columbia shuttle disaster.

Across Georgia
HAHIRA - The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has fined the city of Hahira more than $6,000 for inaccurate reports dealing with the city's water and wastewater systems.

Hospital, Columbia County to negotiate land price
Columbia County's plan to purchase a tract of land owned by Doctors Hospital in Evans is now in the negotiation phase.

Across the area

Hospital, Columbia County to negotiate land price

Cameras on buses no longer function

Ga. lawmakers receive lessons in ethics

Across South Carolina

5 Questions - Post office clerk Glenda Howard
Evans post office window clerk Glenda Howard answers five questions for The Augusta Chronicle.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Fort job options open to civilians
As the nation's military pushes to put more men and women in uniform in war-fighting positions, new civilian jobs are opening at Fort Gordon, officials said.

Going for a ride

Bringing holidays home

Zoning rules halt salon project

North Charleston mayor, family attacked

Georgia Tech's Tenuta wants Ohio U. head coaching job

Across Georgia

Prisons face crowding crisis

Recreation fees could rise
An Augusta Commission committee approved Monday increased fees for youth recreation programs and facility rental.

School board career ends tonight for Muns

Bringing holidays home
The Aiken Jaycees Parade makes its way down Park Avenue before turning onto Laurens Street.

Burglars hit home of Iraq worker

Printing trouble delays delivery
A series of problems with The Augusta Chronicle's presses Saturday night and early Sunday was to blame for many readers receiving their newspaper as late as Sunday evening.

The week ahead

The week ahead
The thrill's not gone just yet.

Jury gives Peterson death penalty

Abbey's Nativity collection attracts thousands

Woman needs help to provide for 5-year-old

Across South Carolina

Holiday theft watch begins

Kid of the Day

Budget woes limit S.C. legislature's plans

Kid of the Day

Across Georgia

Across the southeast

Thurmond's letters give insight into marriage
COLUMBIA, S.C. - It was a coupling that set tongues wagging and gossips whispering throughout South Carolina in the late 1960s.

Tests at driving schools could be a success

Holiday theft watch begins
Black Friday brought more than eager shoppers to retail stores throughout the area. Police and many retailers say one of the busiest shopping days of the year also marks the start of a busy month of shoplifting.

News you can use

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Oldest S.C. lawyer still loves the law

Budget woes limit S.C. legislature's plans
AIKEN - South Carolina lawmakers pre-filed 223 bills last week in anticipation of the state's 116th General Assembly, which starts Jan. 11.

Jefferson boasts tradition of academic excellence

Across the area
A pipe fitter from Louisiana who was working at the Augusta International Paper plant died early Monday when he fell from scaffolding, according to Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten.

Printing trouble delays delivery

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

Airport, wildlife benefit from work of 'Bird Lady'

Prisons face crowding crisis
ATHENS, Ga. - Doing the crime could soon mean not doing as much time behind bars, at least for some nonviolent offenders.

Former fire chief wants probe resolved

Cameras on buses no longer function
None of the cameras installed on Richmond County school buses are working, and they haven't worked for years, Transportation Director Michael Shinn acknowledged Monday.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Here we come a-caroling

Police shut down nude musical
ATLANTA - Police shut down a bar that was showing a Broadway-style musical revue featuring nudity because the business didn't have an adult entertainment license.

Across South Carolina
CHARLESTON - The Citadel's elite Summerall Guards will appear next month in the inaugural parade for President Bush, the state military college announced.

Abbey's Nativity collection attracts thousands
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Some are elaborately painted and decorated, others are simply fashioned of wood or clay, while one is even made of discarded Coke cans. But the hundreds of Nativity scenes from around the world at Mepkin Abbey tell the same story of the birth of Jesus Christ in a lowly stable.

Going for a ride
Mara Nance walks down Broad Street with her dachshund, Holly Molly Polly. Her dog is a therapy dog, and Ms. Nance takes her everywhere, including to work and on jogs.

Eleven sentenced in loan scam case
COLUMBUS, Ga. - Two mortgage company managers and nine of their employees have pleaded guilty in a loan scheme that bilked more than $3 million from banks and loan companies.

Jobless couple request help
An unemployed Augusta woman needs assistance to give her 5-year-old son presents this Christmas. The 29-year-old woman was recently laid off, and a back injury she sustained in a car wreck keeps her from being hired.

Oldest S.C. lawyer still loves the law
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Henry Hammer goes to work every day in his downtown Columbia law office, neatly dressed in a suit and tie.

Organization donates books to local school
Not all children in America have a home library. That's why Washington, D.C., lawyer Kyle Zimmer began First Book, a national organization that has handed out 20 million books to children since 2001.

Jefferson boasts tradition of academic excellence
JEFFERSON, Ga. - Teaching is a tradition for many families in Jefferson, and that's one reason academic excellence also is a tradition for the city's school system.

Thurmond's letters give insight into marriage

North Charleston mayor, family attacked
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The mayor of North Charleston was shot at after he pursued three men who snatched his daughter's purse while the family was out shopping.

Rural Democrats hope to draw party to center
ATHENS, Ga. - Rural Democrats, reeling from their party's loss of the state House in elections last month, are forming their own legislative caucus to press for issues of concern outside metro Atlanta and the suburbs and perhaps steer their party back to the center.

Kid of the Day
Today's Kid of the Day is Trayvonne Cummings, 11 months, of Augusta.

Kid of the Day
Dennis Alexander Gordon is today's Kid of the Day.

Woman needs help to provide for 5-year-old
An Augusta woman caring for her 5-year-old great-nephew needs help this winter to pay household bills.

Officials say keg law fails

Dog has free run of Dooly County's justice center
PINEHURST, Ga. - Dooly County's sheriff has an unofficial, four-legged deputy who has free run of the halls at the justice center.

Organization donates books to local school

Man wants creek named for mother
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A small Clark Sound tidal creek has been named for a woman who spent years teaching and helping special-needs children.

Across the area

It's never too early for Christmas
Along about September, I begin humming Christmas tunes. They come automatically, even though the thermometer might be topping 80 and the stores are filling with Halloween candy.

Capsule reviews of new films

'Sideways' is top winner at N.Y. Film Critics Circle
NEW YORK - The awards keep pouring in for "Sideways," which the New York Film Critics Circle named the best picture of 2004.

Capsule reviews of new films
Capsule reviews of films currently playing in theaters:

U.S. demand for Japanese animation grows

U.S. demand for Japanese animation grows
TOKYO - Animation in America once meant Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Winnie the Pooh. These days, it's just as likely to mean Japanese fighting cyborgs, doe-eyed schoolgirls and sinister monsters - thanks in large part to people like John Ledford.

'Ocean's Twelve' gets No. 1 debut
LOS ANGELES - Movie audiences have gone from one robbery flick to another.

'Ocean's Twelve' gets No. 1 debut

'Sideways' is top winner at N.Y. Film Critics Circle

Sledge, U2, O'Jays among Hall of Fame inductees

Duran Duran takes center stage in VH1 special
NEW YORK - Three years into an unlikely comeback, Duran Duran is taking center stage in several ways.

Duran Duran takes center stage in VH1 special

Sledge, U2, O'Jays among Hall of Fame inductees
NEW YORK - Irish rockers U2, R&B singers The O'Jays and soul balladeer Percy Sledge are among five musical legends to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the foundation's 20th annual induction ceremony next year, the organization announced Monday.

NASCAR fans hope to find racing gear under the tree

Labbe, Andrews join Evernham Motorsports

Stewart would like you to play solitaire

Sterling Marlin: Loves Rocky Top and UFOs

Busch in a league of his own

Labbe, Andrews join Evernham Motorsports
STATESVILLE, N.C. - Richard "Slugger" Labbe, who won two Daytona 500s as crew chief for Michael Waltrip, was hired Monday by Evernham Motorsports to call the shots for Jeremy Mayfield's team.

Coastal Carolina routs Coker
CONWAY, S.C. - Pele Paelay scored 21 points, including 19 in the first half, to lead Coastal Carolina to a 86-50 win over Coker on Sunday.

Western Michigan tops College of Charleston
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Ben Reed scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Western Michigan beat the College of Charleston 69-56 on Sunday.

Atlanta's Coleman buries former team

Win puts Panthers in playoff contention

Falcons' win clinches division

Falcons hope to remain an NFC surprise

Chiefs' big rally tops Titans

Mrs. Dorothy New Fields    (NORWAY, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Millie Bessell Manderson    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Veronica C. Mondell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Mattie Ruth Copeland    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Sgt. Joe Clifford Davis    (HARLEM, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Harry B. Morris, Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

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

Mrs. Veronica C. Mondell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Harry B. Morris Sr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Margie McLendon    (LOUISVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Billie (Bill) Joseph Tarvin    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Joseph Marion Jakes    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Cecil Boyd    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Lydia Mae Murphy    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Sarah Williams "Nanny" Duggan    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Henry W. Loman    (CONYERS, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

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

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

Mr. Herman M. Scroggs    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Anna Petlewski    (REDFORD, Mich.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Peggy C. Blair    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Angus Porter Godbee    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Laura Avery    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Anna M. Porter    (WRIGHTSVILLE, GA.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Peggy Cook Blair    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. "Billie" Bill Joseph Tarvin    (BLYTHE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Edith M. Cook    (AVON, Ohio)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Jody Anne Whetsell    (TWIN CITY, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Hamilton H. Blackstone, Sr.    (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Harold "Duck" Boatright    (MILLEN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Susie Wilson Morgan    (TWIN CITY, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Sarah Williams "Nanny" Duggan    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Willie James Bogins    ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Amelia "Bebe" Green    (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Gregory V. Holston    (LANGLEY, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Susie Wilson Morgan    (EVANS, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Annette Green Williams    (BATH, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Terry Eubanks    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Beatrice Hobbs    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Minnie Lee "Nannie" Fries    (MILLEN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Carolyn Y. Hastings    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Everette Martin Stallings    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Essie R. Griswell    (MITCHELL, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Keith Wendell Patterson    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Terry Eubanks    (GROVETOWN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Mattie Ruth Copeland    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. David T. Crozier    (WAYNESBORO, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Elizabeth Pettis    (THOMSON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Juanita M. McCarty    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Carry Goffin Sanders    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Beatrice Hobbs (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Lydia Mae Murphy (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Essie R. Griswell (MITCHELL, Ga.)

Mrs. Elizabeth Pettis (THOMSON, Ga.)

Mr. Harold "Duck" Boatright (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mrs. Millie Bessell Manderson (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Peggy Cook Blair (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Rosa Lee Lightfoot (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Cecil Boyd (AIKEN, S.C.)

Sarah Williams "Nanny" Duggan (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Amelia "Bebe" Green (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.)

Mr. Billie (Bill) Joseph Tarvin (BLYTHE, Ga.)

Sgt. Joe Clifford Davis (HARLEM, Ga.)

Mrs. Laura Avery (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Lee Lightfoot (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Keith Wendell Patterson (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Terry Eubanks (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita M. McCarty (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Hamilton H. Blackstone, Sr. (WARRENVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Peggy C. Blair (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Carolyn Y. Hastings (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Everette Martin Stallings (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Ms. Mattie Ruth Copeland (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Carry Goffin Sanders (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Jody Anne Whetsell (TWIN CITY, Ga.)

Mr. Larry Williams (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Joseph Marion Jakes (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Terry Eubanks (GROVETOWN, Ga.)

Mrs. Dorothy New Fields (NORWAY, S.C.)

Mr. "Billie" Bill Joseph Tarvin (BLYTHE, Ga.)

Mr. Gregory V. Holston (LANGLEY, S.C.)

Mr. Henry W. Loman (CONYERS, Ga.)

Mrs. Anna Petlewski (REDFORD, Mich.)

Mr. Willie James Bogins ( AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Veronica C. Mondell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Susie Wilson Morgan (EVANS, Ga.)

Mrs. Anna M. Porter (WRIGHTSVILLE, GA.)

Mrs. Annette Green Williams (BATH, S.C.)

Mr. Harry B. Morris, Sr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Klitschko celebrates big win

Roddick splits with coach Gilbert

Overtime

Complaint against Tyson over car damage dropped
PHOENIX - A complaint against former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson for damaging a car was dropped after the vehicle's owner was reimbursed.

Overtime
Blackville-Hilda alumnus Brandon Isaac of Georgia Military committed to South Carolina over the weekend during an official visit.

Klitschko celebrates big win
LAS VEGAS - Vitali Klitschko won a big heavyweight title fight by giving Danny Williams such a savage beating that his hand hurt badly from hitting Williams so much. That accomplished, he headed Sunday for Ukraine, where an even bigger fight awaits outside the ring.

Roddick splits with coach Gilbert
Andy Roddick fired coach Brad Gilbert this weekend after 1 years together that yielded a U.S. Open title and the No. 1 ranking.

Battle of brothers brings out Aquinas' best
Reminiscence was the name of the game Monday night inside the Aquinas High School gymnasium. Bernie and Zach Norris scrapped and clawed, just as they used to in their playing days on the same hardwood floor.

Chiefs' big rally tops Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two of the league's most disappointing teams put on quite a show in prime time.

Falcons hope to remain an NFC surprise
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Coach Jim Mora says he enjoys the way the Atlanta Falcons' division championship has excited fans, but general manager Rich McKay says he hopes no one outside of Atlanta has taken note of one of the NFL's biggest surprises.

Win puts Panthers in playoff contention
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Unthinkable two months ago, the Carolina Panthers are officially in the playoff hunt.

Falcons' win clinches division
ATLANTA - T.J. Duckett might play the rest of his career and never score four touchdowns in a game.

Atlanta's Coleman buries former team
ATLANTA - Rod Coleman made quite an impression on his former team.

Warsaw has rare public observance of Jewish holiday
WARSAW, Poland - Jewish leaders and Warsaw officials lit the candles of a large menorah in the center of the capital on Monday for Hanukkah, a rare public observance of a Jewish holiday in Poland.

Some TV shows get preschoolers up and moving
NEW YORK - TV's hot new characters for preschoolers are designed to get the little couch potatoes up and moving.

TV journalist signing off after three decades
NEW YORK - "I was just in the editing room, working on the last piece," Bill Moyers says. "I thought: 'I've done this so many times, and each one is as difficult as the last one.' Maybe finally I've broken the habit."

Some TV shows get preschoolers up and moving

Chris Daugherty wins 'Survivor: Vanuatu'
NEW YORK - CBS's "Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire" came down to two highway workers, but only Chris Daugherty was able to drive home with the $1 million prize and a new car.

TV journalist signing off after three decades

'Sideways' leads Golden Globes nominations

Regis to replace Dick Clark on New Year's show

People in the news

Q&A with teen queen Lindsay Lohan

People in the News

Lady Dogs beat Arizona
ATHENS, Ga. - For once, Georgia's wide-body freshman Tasha Humphrey found herself out-sized, by Arizona center Shawntinice Polk.

Lady Dogs beat Arizona

Your style
THE FACTS: Kevin Hackett, 16, a junior at Lakeside High School.

Xtreme question of the week
Q: Would you prefer an expensive gift or one from the heart

Xtreme question of the week

Some forget meaning of holidays

Christmas trees teach students skills for work
In a twist on Santa's workshop, Alicia Martin's classroom at Hephzibah High School is overtaken by tinsel, ribbon, wire, gift wrap and bows.

There's a perfect gift, no matter what your budget

Xtreme calendar
ON DVD OR VHS: Collateral, a thriller starring Tom Cruise as a hit man and Jamie Foxx as the unwitting cabbie who picks him up for one long night; I, Robot, the story of a future filled with robots, starring Will Smith; and Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews in a tale about the pains of royal training.

Set criteria for college, then probe schools
This week's problem: I'm just a junior, but I'm concerned about applying to college. Not only do I not know what I want to major in but there also are so many colleges I don't even know where to start looking.

Christmas trees teach students skills for work

There's a perfect gift, no matter what your budget
It's the gift-giving season, which means it's also the gift-getting season.

Your style

Some forget meaning of holidays
The holidays come too quickly for most people. This is probably the cause of all the long lines, overcrowded parking lots and the stress that come with last-minute shopping. Obviously, people just didn't have time to get it done "early" and awoke to find themselves with only 39 or 24 or two shopping days left before the Big Day.

Audio best

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

Set criteria for college, then probe schools

Xtreme calendar

Odds and Ends