Forgot to check your list?

Birth Announcements

Birth Announcements
EDITOR'S NOTE: Birth announcements will be moving to the Sunday Your Life section beginning in January.

Odds and Ends
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Strapping that Christmas tree to the top of a sport utility vehicle can be a real drag.

Odds and Ends
MADRID, Spain - Tickets bought in a town whose name means "Luck" shared the top prize Wednesday in Spain's El Gordo Christmas lottery, the biggest pot in the world.

J.D. Drew joins Dodgers

J.D. Drew joins Dodgers
LOS ANGELES - Outfielder J.D. Drew has always been known to have talent. And be prone to injury. He hopes the latter description no longer fits.

Christmas trees fetch high prices in Hawaii

Economy grows faster than expected
WASHINGTON - The economy revved up its engine in the third quarter and advanced at an annual rate of 4 percent- even faster than previously thought.

Hurricanes drive up cost of gift-boxed fruit
HARLINGEN, Texas - This is not exactly a season of joy for shippers of gift-boxed grapefruit and oranges.

Consumer spending cools in November
WASHINGTON - Consumers kept a closer eye on their wallets as they moved into the holiday shopping season, boosting their spending by a modest 0.2 percent in November.

Digital craze finally clicks in America
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A novelty item just four or five years ago, the digital camera is shaping up as the most popular electronics gift in 2004, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

Foods canner agrees to sale
One of Augusta's last large locally owned companies is being bought by a Canadian conglomerate.

General Motors recalling more than 700,000 minivans
WASHINGTON - General Motors Corp. is recalling 717,302 minivans because passengers could injure their wrists or arms on the power sliding door, the automaker and federal government said Thursday.

Two top executives at Fannie Mae forced out

Sudafed maker acts to curb 'meth' production
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The maker of Sudafed is offering a new version of the cold and allergy medicine without an ingredient often used to produce the illegal and highly addictive drug methamphetamine in homemade labs.

Christmas trees fetch high prices in Hawaii
HONOLULU - A shortage of Christmas trees in Hawaii has raised prices to more than $200 each, drawing complaints from cost-conscious shoppers who are eager to buy trees before the holiday.

Hurricanes drive up cost of gift-boxed fruit

Lifting quotas could weave jobs' shroud
If the textile industry is hanging by a thread, then China might soon snip it. For years there have been limits on China's textile exports to the United States, but those quotas will be lifted in January, kicking off what many fear will be a no-holds barred export explosion.

General Motors recalling more than 700,000 minivans

Waldens & Moore offers golf car expertise

Lifting quotas could weave jobs' shroud

Two top executives at Fannie Mae forced out
WASHINGTON - Fannie Mae, the nation's second largest financial institution, forced out two top executives as it struggles to deal with an accounting scandal which will likely force it to wipe out $9 billion in profits over the past four years.

Foods canner agrees to sale

Diet soda sales could surpass regular
Still think the cola wars are about Coke vs. Pepsi?

Economy grows faster than expected

Waldens & Moore offers golf car expertise
When L.T. Walden retired in February, he needed something to occupy his time.

Digital craze finally clicks in America

Consumer spending cools in November

BCS looks for a new formula
NEW YORK - Where the Bowl Championship Series goes from here remains to be seen - but it's definitely not going away.

Leinart takes top AP honor
NEW YORK - Matt Leinart found a comfort zone this season.

BCS looks for a new formula

No more fatal mistakes

A revealing outcome
Delusional. Combative. Divisive. Shortsighted. Hopelessly deadlocked. The Augusta Commission was pretty much itself on Tuesday - just in time for dozens of members of an ad hoc government reform coalition to see it for themselves.

Yes, Virginia
One of the most endearing and enduring Christmas messages of all time came in the form of a newspaper editorial in the New York Sun in 1897. In the legendary piece, the writer answers the plaintive question of a young reader about the existence of Santa Claus.

Yes, Virginia

No more fatal mistakes
The second guessing has already begun over the most deadly attack on U.S. troops so far in the Iraqi war - the explosion that tore through a mess hall at a military base near Mosul Tuesday, killing more than 20 people and injuring at least 60.

Guilt by association

A revealing outcome

Guilt by association
The Associated Press has taken steps to disassociate itself from college football's Bowl Championship Series.

'Magic' puts its players under fun, weird spell
Feel the Magic: XY/XX fills the void of courtship games for the Nintendo DS.

Jennifer Lopez's ex-husband sues for breach of contract
LOS ANGELES - An ex-husband of Jennifer Lopez sued her for alleged breach of contract, claiming he was wrongly fired as the manager of her restaurant in Pasadena.

People in the News
LONDON - Stolen gold and silver discs won by Ozzy Osbourne's band Black Sabbath were recovered after thieves dumped them behind trash cans.

Cheap games make great gifts
Video games are big business, especially this time of year. After all, what gamer doesn't want to see at least one under the tree?

Applause calendar
GET LISTED: Send your event or group's schedule, pricing and other information to Steven Uhles, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903.

New on DVD
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Jonathan Demme's remake of the Cold War thriller stars Denzel Washington in the role originated by Frank Sinatra.

People in the News
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" - the third movie based on the trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien - has been voted best film of the year in a poll for the British Broadcasting Corp. television program "Film 2004," hosted by Jonathan Ross.

Gifts satisfy secret competition
I am not, by nature, a very competitive person. As a child, I often was picked last for teams, not so much for my spectacular lack of athletic prowess, but because, quite frankly, I had a bad attitude. Not only couldn't I care less about who won or lost but I also didn't have much interest in how the game was played.

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

Some wary of Bush's Social Security plans
WASHINGTON - If there will ever be a year when the political stars are aligned for President Bush to revamp Social Security, it may be 2005. But he still must persuade wary Republicans in Congress to follow his lead.

Critics: Social Security agency is trying to scare people
WASHINGTON - The Social Security Administration's Web site and customer service lines are pushing the need to "modernize and reform" Social Security. They say the future shortfall is "massive and growing," as they promote personal investment accounts as a financial fix.

Mortgage rates are mixed

Medicare to help smokers quit
WASHINGTON - Medicare said Thursday it intends to pay for counseling to help some of the nation's 4 million older smokers kick the habit.

Mortgage rates are mixed
WASHINGTON - The mortgage rate picture this week was mixed. Rates on 30-year and 15-year mortgages went up, while rates on one-year adjustable mortgages went down.

$100 million released in emergency heating aid
WASHINGTON - After lawmakers complained that utilities were cutting off heat for thousands of seniors and low-income families before the worst of winter, federal authorities announced Thursday they would release $100 million in emergency heating aid for the poor.

Some wary of Bush's Social Security plans

Critics: Social Security agency is trying to scare people

$100 million released in emergency heating aid

Weather changes haven't affected the fish
Augusta area air temperatures are taking a roller-coaster ride these days, but the warm-to-cold-to-warm cycle doesn't seem to affect the fish.

Fishing reports

Weather changes haven't affected the fish

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

Aiken restaurant returns with new name
After sitting silent for 11 months, No. 10 Downing Street has reopened under new ownership and a new name - 10 Downing Restaurant.

Caf 209 tickles tasters' soul food-loving taste buds

Caf 209 tickles tasters' soul food-loving taste buds
No food epitomizes the South like soul food, selected for this month's taste-testing tour.

Grubbin': Augustino's
AUGUSTINO'S 2 10th st. SIGNATURE DISH: Citrus-marinated chicken breast salad with pecans, hearts of romaine lettuce, radicchio, tear-drop tomatoes, chunks of pear and citrus juice-marinated grilled chicken breast strips, shook tableside with orange zest, rosemary, parsley, garlic, apple juice, balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, $9.95

Decorative plants can also feed wildlife

Decorative plants can also feed wildlife
As bulldozers gobble up natural habitats for wildlife, backyard havens for these animals become increasingly important. And the trees, shrubs, and vines in our backyards can provide, besides shelter, winter food at a time when natural foods are apt to be scarce.

Muhammad leads Yellow Jackets rout
ATLANTA - Isma'il Muhammad scored 16 points and Luke Schenscher added 14 to power No. 9 Georgia Tech to a 90-48 rout of Charleston Southern on Wednesday night.

Yellow Jackets finish strong
ORLANDO, Fla. - Potential became more than a promise in Tuesday's Champs Sports Bowl for Georgia Tech, as the Yellow Jackets dominated every phase of a 51-14 victory over co-Big East champion Syracuse.

Muhammad leads Yellow Jackets rout

LPGA pioneer in early stages of Alzheimer's
Patty Berg, who helped start the LPGA Tour and won more major championships than any other woman, disclosed Wednesday that she has Alzheimer's disease.

LPGA pioneer in early stages of Alzheimer's

Aiken's coach is tough, fair

Parker rebuilt Edmund Burke into contender

Hillary sets high standard

Tragedy serves as inspiration to running back

Josey is making it look easy

Prep Basketball Scores

Parker rebuilt Edmund Burke into contender
Everything that had worked before wasn't going to work for the Edmund Burke football team this season.

Tragedy serves as inspiration to running back
Ty Brett could grow up to be a Super Bowl champion. It would not top what he has already done on a football field.

Hillary sets high standard
JOHNSTON, S.C. - The play nearing its dawn, he takes three steps back from the line.

Aiken's coach is tough, fair
The wonder about how Aiken coach Carey Johnson succeeds year after year ceases with a visit to a single practice.

NHL board of governors to meet Jan. 14

NHL board of governors to meet Jan. 14
NEW YORK - The NHL board of governors will meet next month, when commissioner Gary Bettman could seek permission to call off the 2004-05 season.

Forgot to check your list?
It's Christmas Eve, and time is winding down. For some of us, the rush is almost over.

Commissioner's opinion is racist

Many joined to fight HIV's spread
Love, gratitude and thanks to the CSRA community for your support and participation during the World AIDS Day activities. Sandra E. Wimberly, Augusta

Fine police excelled in finding car
Around 1:30 a.m. recently, I awoke to hear the engine of my car starting. Looking out my apartment window of the Bon Air, I watched as my vehicle went flying across the parking lot at the hands of a car thief. Kevin R. Landry, Augusta

Typical liberal is way off-base
From the content of James Walton's letter ("Did Bush backers wish for this?" Dec. 3), it is apparent that his sour grapes have fermented, turned to vinegar and pickled his brain. Don Christian, Hephzibah

Government can rise above faith
Our Jewish friends have completed celebrating their holy days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah; Passover is in April. Our Islamic neighbors recently completed Ramadan. Tom Zwemer, Augusta

ACLU is becoming far too anti-religious

Commissioner's opinion is racist
In the article "Race issue still finds way into commission votes" (Dec. 19), Sylvia Cooper wrote that Augusta Commissioner Betty Beard said that black districts in Augusta "had always been neglected, and black people didn't even get the 40 acres and a mule promised them." Harry Sellers, Hephzibah

ACLU is becoming far too anti-religious
The American Civil Liberties Union has brought about many beneficial changes in this country over the past 40 years. I applaud their efforts to ensure everyone has the right to vote, to obtain an education and to earn wages commensurate with workers' skills, regardless of race or gender. Herbert D. Smith, Evans

Laud 'enfleshment' of Christ's love
What a happy Holy Season we enter for 12 days of Christmas. From Dec. 25 through the celebration of Epiphany and baptism of the Lord Jesus, we have 12 glorious days of celebrating the birth of the Promised One whom the Scriptures foretold would be Mighty Counselor, Prince of Peace, Almighty God and Savior to the World. The Rev. Michael Lubinsky, Augusta

Beware the holiday heartburn - or is that a heart attack?

Where's Santa? NORAD knows

Studying counterfeits can help catch counterfeiters

Take stab at pounds by fencing
The word "fencing" brings to mind an image of Errol Flynn swashbuckling his way over tables and up stairs in an attempt to thwart the evil prince (or sheriff or captain) and save the fair maiden.

Studying counterfeits can help catch counterfeiters
WASHINGTON - Karl Miller hunts for clues in cold cash - counterfeit cash, that is. Studying a bogus $100 bill, Miller looks for imperfections - a wisp of ink extending outside of a line, blurred scrollwork, a mottled background - that might tie it to another one on record, and help investigators catch the counterfeiters.

Beware the holiday heartburn - or is that a heart attack?
For the tens of millions of heartburn sufferers, navigating the gluttonous dinner table during the holiday season can be especially tricky.

Where's Santa? NORAD knows
Santa is coming. We know that, but Santa's exact location is a question that keeps children wide awake every Christmas Eve.

Japan reports first case of bird flu in a human
TOKYO - Japan reported its first case of bird flu in a human on Wednesday - a man who got the disease from birds.

Sewing group stitches items for local shelter
A group of local sewers has found a way to use its skills to help an Augusta refuge for victims of domestic violence just in time for Christmas.

Across the area

Overhaul starts during holiday
When Evans High School students return to school after the holiday break, many will find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings.

Elections increase complaints
ATLANTA - The function of the State Ethics Commission is to keep an eye on state officials and to investigate when someone calls the panel's attention to a potential violation of the code of conduct for elected officials.

Kid of the Day
Jade Ketch is today's Kid of the Day.

Vietnam's Christmas wish heartened troops
ATHENS, Ga. - Adrian Fitzpatrick has received hundreds of holiday cards over the years, but every year about this time, the Athens man pulls out one that was hand-delivered to him on a foggy Christmas Eve 35 years ago while he patrolled his brigade's bunkers near Duc Pho, Vietnam.

Library closings and events

Aiken EMS will get extra money in '05

New screening saves kidneys

Robin Williams' trial is set to begin Feb. 14
A Feb. 14 trial date has been set for former state Rep. Robin Williams and four others accused of siphoning millions of dollars from Augusta's mental health center.

Salary lags in Aiken County

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Across the area
An Augusta man told Richmond County sheriff's deputies that two teenagers robbed him at gunpoint Wednesday at 12th Street and Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Elections increase complaints

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

Historic Augusta will buy Houghton school

Salary lags in Aiken County
AIKEN - Doris Gunter knows the challenge of stepping into a classroom of pupils she has never seen before and helping them learn while their teacher is away.

News you can use

Group completes work on Lamar House
Historic Augusta Inc. celebrated the culmination of almost a decade of work by unveiling a historical marker Dec. 15 at the Joseph R. Lamar House on Seventh Street.

Dentist's attorney calls jury indictment weak

Reunions

Towns give to hospital's Christmas motorcade

This Week

Little angels

Dentist is indicted in 1990 homicide

Across the Southeast

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Group challenges smoking ordinance
An activist group opposed to Columbia County's smoking ban officially challenged the ordinance in federal court.

Publix managers fulfill holiday wishes
Eleven-year-old Chris Gordon happily played with toy vehicles in his classroom at A. Brian Merry Elementary School, excitedly comparing the car's rims with those on the truck.

Programs seek to curb child obesity
Inkeria Harris is a self-declared princess, so Her Highness was not happy when research assistant Abby Jackson clamped her nose to force her to breath through her mouth.

Library closings and events
LIBRARY CLOSINGS: All Richmond County libraries will be closed Friday-Monday and Friday-Sunday, Dec. 31-Jan. 2; fines will not be charged for these dates; book-return boxes will be locked to prevent overfilling.

Drained account overwhelms caregiver
A Williston woman caring for her two young children and her sister's two teenagers is behind on bills and won't be able to provide them Christmas presents without help.

Across South Carolina

Rescuers get photos of tangled whale
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Researchers are planning the rescue of an endangered right whale first spotted off the Georgia coast earlier this week entangled in fishing gear.

Across Georgia

Mother regains children
Legal bureaucracy was expected to delay the return of a gay mother's children until after the holiday, but Amber Crosby's attorneys cut through the red tape to reunite the family Thursday.

Officials predict records in travel
Some might consider it an early Christmas present: a travel forecast with lower gas prices than a month ago and a now-zero chance of snow or ice on the road in the Augusta area Christmas weekend.

Defense calls charges unfair
A man who was released from state prison after his father paid $70,000 in additional fines says the federal government has broken its promise to him.

Residents appeal ruling on landfill
ATLANTA - Taliaferro County residents continued their attempts Wednesday to block a proposed landfill in their back yards, asking a Fulton Superior Court judge to reverse an administrative law judge's decision that would allow the project.

Kid of the Day

Community helps out family suffering loss
Two months after they lost 17-year-old Janay to a drunken driver, the Harris family felt the love of a community that mourns with them.

Vietnam's Christmas wish heartened troops

Officials predict records in travel

Group challenges smoking ordinance

Sewing group stitches items for local shelter

'Just another day'
The stress of finding a nice Christmas gift for family members weighs heavily on Kris Warren's mind this time of year.

Pet of the week

Christmas bell

Kid of the Day

Meetings

Residents appeal ruling on landfill

Publix managers fulfill holiday wishes

Across Georgia

Anniversary

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

Group completes work on Lamar House

Anniversary
Mr. and Mrs. John W. Percival, of Newberry, S.C., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a dinner Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004, at the home of John and Shirley Percival. The dinner was given by their sons and their families. They have three children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

This Week
Summer madness basketball clinic: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Dec. 30; Garrett Community Center, 1110 Eisenhower Drive; $50 registration fee for first applicants; lunch provided; 786-5549.

Rescuers get photos of tangled whale

Events
December's Concerts With a Cause will be held at 10:30 p.m. Friday at St. John United Methodist Church, 736 Greene St. The Christmas Eve concert will feature Lessons and Carols with the St. John's choirs and orchestra. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Heritage Academy. The concert is free, but an offering will be accepted. For more information, call 724-9641.

Drained account overwhelms caregiver

Towns give to hospital's Christmas motorcade
Mayors and other officials from towns across the state spread Christmas joy at the Georgia Municipal Association's annual Mayors Christmas Motorcade at the East Central Regional Hospital on Dec. 9.

Across the area

Meetings
DENIZENS OF THE DEEP: 5:30 p.m. first Thursdays, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5877, off Whiskey Road, Aiken; open to any submarine veterans, those who have worked on submarines; 641-1231

Report finds improvements in Georgia nursing homes

Pet of the week
Treasure, a 7-year-old female Chihuahua, 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. For more information about the cats and dogs for adoption, visit www.mollys militia.org or call 649-1219 or 279-7003.

New screening saves kidneys
The Rev. Frank Thomas was one of the lucky ones.

For the record

Dentist is indicted in 1990 homicide
Some of the mystery around a 14-year-old shooting death ended Wednesday with the issuing of an indictment against the ex-boyfriend of a Medical College of Georgia dental student.

Sick father needs aid for his daughter

What's that you're sweeping?

Historic Augusta will buy Houghton school
Although once targeted for low-income housing, the historic former John Houghton Elementary School and the nearby Widow's Home on Greene Street could become upscale apartments, offices or the home of a school or nonprofit agency.

Report finds improvements in Georgia nursing homes
ATLANTA - Georgia's nursing homes have joined others around the country in raising the quality of care given to the state's residents, according to a nonprofit group that works with some establishments.

Defense calls charges unfair

Sick father needs aid for his daughter
An Augusta man with serious health problems is unable to provide for his family this Christmas.

What's that you're sweeping?
Marvin Tyner, office manager of The Source, a water bottling company in Augusta, Ga., sweeps water from heavy rain off the roof in hopes of avoiding leaks into the store.

Little angels
Ally Edwards plays Mary and Luke Graham plays Joseph in the Episcopal Day School's production of the Christmas story, performed before family and faculty members Dec. 14 in the new parish hall of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Walton Way.

Dentist's attorney calls jury indictment weak
ATLANTA - Dr. Barton Corbin's attorneys said Thursday that their client adamantly maintains his innocence in the deaths of his wife and Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn, a Medical College of Georgia dental student.

For the record
Superior court sentencings, indictments and paroles.

Aiken EMS will get extra money in '05
AIKEN - By beefing up EMS department salaries with midyear raises for paramedics and emergency technicians, the Aiken County Council will have less money to spread around for other county employees.

News you can use

Across the Southeast
BARTOW, FLA. - When a church group insisted on putting a nativity scene on Polk County public property, officials warned it might open the door to other religious, and not-so-religious, displays.

News you can use
The following holiday schedules have been announced for Christmas:

Officials explore crossing arm idea
AIKEN - Despite statements to the contrary, a state transportation official says there might be room for safety upgrades at the train crossing in Graniteville.

Kid of the Day
Brett Alan Smith is today's Kid of the Day.

Dog is on track with best in trade
One of Richmond County's four-legged crime fighters has proved she's a top dog in her trade.

Across the area
Firefighters evacuated at least 10 Beverly Manor Convalescent Center residents from their rooms Thursday after smoke filled the east wing of the building at about 8 p.m.

Across Georgia
ATLANTA - U.S. Rep. Denise Majette has accepted a job as a part-time judge in DeKalb County.

Across South Carolina
CHARLESTON - A karaoke performer who stabbed a heckler at a James Island bar died after he was tackled by bystanders, authorities said.

Across South Carolina
A Batesburg-Leesville, S.C., woman has died in an Augusta hospital, more than three months after she was burned in a fire that killed her four children.

Across Georgia
SYLVESTER - A 59-year-old great-grandmother who could become the oldest U.S. woman known to give birth to twins is resting in the seclusion of her rural mobile home and stubbornly refuses to head for a hospital, her relatives say.

'Just another day'

Events

Christmas bell
Reindeer and elves look on as Santa Claus, played by third-grader Tavione Hill, holds up a bell that will be given to Beth, played by fourth-grader Tabatha Bowles.

Berg letter is heartfelt farewell
Question: Who won more major golf championships in Augusta than anyone else?

Mini reviews

At the Movies: 'Fat Albert'

At the Movies: 'Fat Albert'
Hey, hey, hey! Fat Albert should have stayed away. The big-screen "Fat Albert," mostly a live-action update of Bill Cosby's Saturday morning cartoon series, is a hokey, insipid, outdated mess that even the most nostalgic of parents and the most gullible of kids will have trouble embracing.

At the Movies: 'The Aviator'
Nearly three hours later, I still don't understand Howard Hughes any better than when I sat down to watch "The Aviator."

Local actor becomes Cosby Kid

'King Arthur' fails to give audiences what they expect

Local actor becomes Cosby Kid
A coveted role in a major studio release is a dream come true for any young actor, but Augusta native Keith Robinson said his dreams have been coming true for a while now.

At the Movies: 'The Aviator'

'King Arthur' fails to give audiences what they expect
Yes, there is a round table in King Arthur, but it's barely mentioned. Sure, there is a smidgen of romantic tension between two friends bonded by battle and a beauty that comes between them, but just a smidgen. A sword is pulled from the ground, but it doesn't seem much of a feat, and although there is a character named Merlin, my guess is the only magic he might muster is the occasional card trick. In fact, the titular character of King Arthur isn't actually a king but more of a midlevel military man.

Mini reviews
Movies are listed with theater locations through Wednesday.

Rock in the new year
Local music can be a hard nut to crack. Fans are, by their nature, fickle, and for a band to find its own requires talent, constant gigging and no small measure of patience.

Festival looks to Internet to boost attendance
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Faced with declining attendance, one of the state's largest music festivals went to cyberspace for advice.

Grammy winner Freddie Perren, dies at 61
LOS ANGELES - Grammy Award-winner Freddie Perren, who produced records for Gloria Gaynor, the Jackson Five and the "Saturday Night Fever" album, has died. He was 61.

Grammy winner Freddie Perren, dies at 61

Festival looks to Internet to boost attendance

Sonic Spotlight
JOSH MARTIN AGE: 19 OCCUPATION: Musician

Rock in the new year

Gaughan will wait 11 months for his present

Merger of Sprint, Nextel won't affect series
ATLANTA - Last week's $35 billion merger between Sprint and Nextel won't immediately change the way the new telecommunications company will do business in stock car racing.

Gaughan will wait 11 months for his present
No matter how hard Santa Claus tries, it's difficult to put a bow on satisfaction. That's why Brendan Gaughan won't mind waiting 11 months to get his Christmas present.

Merger of Sprint, Nextel won't affect series

Bird calls suspensions 'excessive'
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was shocked by the suspensions commissioner David Stern handed out to his three best players, but also accepted blame for their role in the brawl with Detroit fans.

NBA: O'Neal's suspension cut by 10 games

NBA: O'Neal's suspension cut by 10 games
NEW YORK - Jermaine O'Neal won a 10-game reduction Wednesday in his suspension for fighting with fans during the Nov. 19 Pacers-Pistons brawl, but an arbitrator also upheld NBA commissioner David Stern's bans on Ron Artest and two other Indiana players.

Bird calls suspensions 'excessive'

Eagles lead Pro Bowl roster with nine

Four Atlanta players on NFC squad

McKay's mantra: Sign players early

Panthers keep their playoff hopes alive

A Manning gift would come with chalkboard

Vick agrees to deal worth $130 million

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

Mr. William Alex Powell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Harold Jones, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Effie Hodge    (HARTSVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Master Basion Watkins    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Philemon Lee Griffis    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Ernest Lester Cozart    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. James Edward Meadows    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mary Carroll    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Elaine Edney Miller    (PETERSBURG, Va.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Arnold Bennett    (MILLEN, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Royce E. Dowdy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Patricia Waltower    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Charles Lee Cox    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Myrtle Muns Doggette    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Rosa Lee Gandy    (HARDEEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Christine Seigler    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Wylie E. Crawford    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Opal L. Fuller    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mary Carroll    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Shirley Ann Cadden    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Master Amareeon Watkins    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Willie Belle Gilbert    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Patricia Waltower    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

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

Ms. Mary Broadwater    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Master Amareeon Watkins    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Ruth A. Little    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Bernard Walker, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Myrtle Muns Doggette    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Betty Scott Hatcher    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Reverend James L. Myers    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Vivian Mercille Siebert    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Juanita Harris    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Valerie Lee-Congdon    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mary S. Harveston    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Ruth A. Little    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Lewis Evan Fent    (AIKEN, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Juanita Harris    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Ms. Maggie Freeman    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Carolyn Deas    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Michael A. Gowdy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Wyman Anthony Toole    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Mary Ann Gorman    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Betty Ann Eubanks    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. William (Bill) Smith    (WARRENTON, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Neomi "Gerry" Weikle    (TRENTON, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. A. Woodrow Davis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Richard J. Key    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Judson Sanders, Jr.    (RIDGE SPRING, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Master Basion Watkins    (SPARTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Julius M. O'Bannon    (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Ruby Lee Mimbs    (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Alma Raiford Jennings    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Geneva Walls Broughton    (SILOAM, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Valerie Lee-Congdon    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Yvonne E. Vega Oliver    (BRONX, N.Y.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mrs. Ernest Lester Cozart    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Dr. Joyce League Campbell    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
 Send flowers to this funeral

Mr. Arnold Bennett (MILLEN, Ga.)

Mr. Philemon Lee Griffis (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Wylie E. Crawford (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Yvonne E. Vega Oliver (BRONX, N.Y.)

Mrs. Elaine Edney Miller (PETERSBURG, Va.)

Mrs. Rosa Lee Gandy (HARDEEVILLE, S.C.)

Master Basion Watkins (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. Judson Sanders, Jr. (RIDGE SPRING, S.C.)

Mr. Lewis Evan Fent (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Bernard Walker, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Master Basion Watkins (SPARTA, Ga.)

Dr. Joyce League Campbell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Maggie Freeman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Patricia Waltower (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. A. Woodrow Davis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Master Amareeon Watkins (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruth A. Little (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Opal L. Fuller (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Royce E. Dowdy (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Neomi "Gerry" Weikle (TRENTON, S.C.)

Ms. Mary Broadwater (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Ruth A. Little (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mrs. Valerie Lee-Congdon (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Ernest Lester Cozart (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Mary S. Harveston (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Reverend James L. Myers (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Richard J. Key (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Michael A. Gowdy (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. James Edward Meadows (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Harold Jones, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charles Lee Cox (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa Stephens (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Myrtle Muns Doggette (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Curtis White (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)

Mrs. Effie Hodge (HARTSVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Carroll (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Mr. Julius M. O'Bannon (BEECH ISLAND, S.C.)

Mrs. Vivian Mercille Siebert (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mr. William (Bill) Smith (WARRENTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Harris (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ruby Lee Mimbs (WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga.)

Mrs. Carolyn Deas (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Juanita Harris (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mr. William Alex Powell (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Alma Raiford Jennings (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mrs. Christine Seigler (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Mary Carroll (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)

Master Amareeon Watkins (SPARTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Ernest Lester Cozart (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Willie Belle Gilbert (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Steely sport suits brothers

Overtime

Overtime

Overtime
Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to assault Wednesday, more than nine months after slugging Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind during a game.

Overtime
Augusta State freshman Garrett Phillips fired 2-over-par 73 to finish seventh in the Dixie Amateur Championship in Pompano Beach, Fla.

Steely sport suits brothers
En garde! Are you seeing knights in shining armor? King Arthur? Maybe the Three Musketeers?

Josey is making it look easy
New Josey boys basketball coach Sam Lilly broke out a lavender shirt and polka-dotted tie ensemble for the final game of the 2004 Holiday Round Ball Classic.

Prep Basketball Scores
Some prep basketball scores from Wednesday.

Vick agrees to deal worth $130 million
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Michael Vick became the richest player in the NFL by agreeing to call Atlanta home for the next decade.

A Manning gift would come with chalkboard
ESPN likes to bill mid-to-late December as "The most wonderful time of the year." And really, who could blame them?

Eagles lead Pro Bowl roster with nine
NEW YORK - Going 13-1 hasn't just assured the Eagles and Steelers of division titles. It's also made them the leaders in Pro Bowl players.

Four Atlanta players on NFC squad
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - After playing on a defense that last year set a franchise record for yards allowed, linebacker Keith Brooking believes the Atlanta Falcons have earned some respect.

Panthers keep their playoff hopes alive
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In perhaps the ultimate testament to just how poor the NFC is this year, there's a mathematical possibility that the 6-8 Carolina Panthers could clinch a playoff spot this weekend with a win over division rival Tampa Bay.

McKay's mantra: Sign players early
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Rich McKay built a Super Bowl champion in Tampa Bay by drafting and signing a core group of players during his nine-year stint as general manager of the Buccaneers.

Jekyll welcomes talented lineup for bluegrass festival

Jekyll welcomes talented lineup for bluegrass festival
One of the biggest bluegrass music festivals in the nation takes place Dec. 30-Jan. 1 at the Jekyll Island (Ga.) Convention Center.

Berg letter is heartfelt farewell

Heavy promotion helps 12 Bands outsell blues legend

Ratings for basic cable networks

Magna and Networth to battle on third 'Apprentice'
NEW YORK - Move over, Mosaic. Out of the way, Apex. Here comes Magna and Networth, the latest squads to do Donald Trump's bidding on the third go-round of NBC's "The Apprentice."

Magna and Networth to battle on third 'Apprentice'

'The Real World' is headed to Texas for 16th season
NEW YORK - Yeehaw! MTV's "The Real World" is headed to Austin, Texas.

Ratings for basic cable networks
Rankings for the top 15 programs on basic cable networks as compiled by Nielsen Media Research for the week of Dec. 13-19. Each ratings point represents 1,096,000 households. Day and start time (EST) are in parentheses.

People in the News

Jennifer Lopez's ex-husband sues for breach of contract

People in the News

Gifts satisfy secret competition

Club calendar

Applause calendar

New on DVD

Heavy promotion helps 12 Bands outsell blues legend
This is a tale of two concerts. One, locally organized, was produced on a shoestring budget. The other featured a living legend on a national tour.

Christmas season has served as backdrop to blockbusters
The Christmas movie, like the Christmas season, is not known for its subtle nature. Just as a thousand-watt house festooned with a gigantic plastic Santa is considered the height of tastefulness during the holidays, so is a film that bludgeons audiences with a goodwill-toward-men message considered the height of cinematic style.

Gamecocks avoid upset
COLUMBIA -- Thurman Zimmerman grinned devilishly as he walked up to South Carolina's Carlos Powell.

Gamecocks avoid upset

Odds and Ends