DeMille uses TWA Flight 800 crash for latest thriller

'Perfect parents' can fall into stereotype trap

'Perfect parents' can fall into stereotype trap
NEW YORK - Many parents teach their children that stereotyping is bad. It fuels divisiveness, they'll say.

Sharon Stone on the menu in 'Fork It Over'
"Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater." By Alan Richman. HarperCollins. 324 Pages. $24.95.

Book selling was emotional, if not profitable, in 2004
In 2004, books never seemed so vital and so endangered.

Big moments of 2004 were in our back yard
Every arts event is a success story. Every time and actor steps onto a stage, it's a success. Every time a piece of music is played, it's a success. Every time a dancer dances, a painter paints and a singer sings, it's a success.

Artist collects wishes to create work

The appeal of model trains celebrated
Electric trains began as little boys' toys, but they have long fascinated - even obsessed - grown men and consumed great gobs of their time and money.

Nativity scenes shaped by customs, values
DAYTON, Ohio - Baby Jesus wears blue jeans and a Western shirt. The Wise Men are Indian chiefs, one in full headdress. Instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, gifts include water, corn and a drum.

Sharon Stone on the menu in 'Fork It Over'

Smart is back, this time with Louis Armstrong
Roddy Doyle's greatest literary gift is his ability to capture the poetry of everyday speech.

The appeal of model trains celebrated

DeMille uses TWA Flight 800 crash for latest thriller
In his latest novel, Nelson DeMille sorts through the possible causes of the crash of TWA Flight 800 that occurred off Long Island, N.Y., on July 17, 1996, and comes up with this conclusion:

Characters made N.Y. theater worth watching in 2004

Nativity scenes shaped by customs, values

Smart is back, this time with Louis Armstrong

Full range of enigmatic painter's works to be displayed

Book selling was emotional, if not profitable, in 2004

Full range of enigmatic painter's works to be displayed
DENVER - By most accounts, the late Clyfford Still was a difficult customer - a grumpy, self-imposed isolationist who hoarded his paintings, told collectors which works they would be buying and once took back one of his paintings from a patron by slashing it out of its frame. One reviewer dubbed him the Unabomber of abstract expressionism

Rumpole explains 'Penge Bungalow Murders'

Artist collects wishes to create work
ST. LOUIS -"I wish that life was simpler." "I wish democracy was real." "I wish I was drinking a margarita in my favorite bar in Mexico."

Characters made N.Y. theater worth watching in 2004
NEW YORK - An authoritarian nun. A paranoid young man and his willing helpmate. A delightfully interfering mother. A firebrand AIDS activist. A low-comedy Greek god. A serial killer and the mother of one of his victims.

Rumpole explains 'Penge Bungalow Murders'
Ever since Rumpole of the Bailey first appeared in Englishman John Mortimer's mysteries, he has made asides referring to the Penge Bungalow Murders, a court case from very early in his career, in which he triumphed.

Big moments of 2004 were in our back yard

Delorme closes up Expos' shop

Vazquez: 'If the Yankees trade me, they will regret it'

Varitek gets contract with Red Sox
BOSTON - Jason Varitek doesn't expect to hit like Carl Yastrzemski or Jim Rice. When it comes to clubhouse leadership, though, he is every bit their equal.

Vazquez: 'If the Yankees trade me, they will regret it'
PONCE, Puerto Rico - Javier Vazquez says the New York Yankees would be making a mistake if they trade him.

Delorme closes up Expos' shop
MONTREAL - The artificial turf is missing, leaving a concrete floor at barren Olympic Stadium and an even harder truth in Montreal: The Expos are long gone.

Naughty kids lose gifts to eBay
HOUSTON - The kids were naughty, Dad put the presents on eBay instead of under the tree - and Mom's been crying ever since.

Odds and Ends
HASTINGS, Neb. - When Earl Marian sends birthday wishes to his brother, he can count on getting the same exact birthday wishes from Floyd Marian the next month.

Man walks miles home with bullet wound in head
FORT VALLEY, Ga. - A Fort Valley man walked nearly 2 miles with a bullet hole in his head after being shot in a robbery, determined to die in the presence of loved ones if that was his fate.

Rent-a-tree appeals to consumers

Jobs came, jobs went

Google vs. Yahoo: the portal wars continue

Business calendar

Strong euro to be major burden for European exporters

Toy inventor spotlights brains behind fun

Safety issues plagues pharmaceutical industry

Stop growing debt
Come Monday morning, Linda Adams will be trolling the malls for discounts.

Broadband growth changes lifestyles online and off
You could say Mark Suhre is a believer in broadband. When he built his five-bedroom, three-story home in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay, Suhre made sure each room had its own high-speed network jack. Wireless access points extended the Internet's reach to the swimming pool.

Industry leaders make predictions for New Year
The Associated Press asked a prominent leader in major industry sectors to provide their views on important trends in 2005:

Intense competition continues in U.S. car market
DETROIT - Most veteran forecasters say they expect a familiar sales trend in the U.S. automotive market next year: continued gains by Asian brands at the expense of Detroit's Big Three.

Broadband growth changes lifestyles online and off

Strong euro to be major burden for European exporters
BERLIN - After a year in which the U.S. dollar fell 5 percent against the euro, the sharply weaker currency isn't expected to rebound soon - and that means it will likely keep eating into European exports, growth and jobs through next year.

Industry leaders make predictions for New Year

Safety issues plagues pharmaceutical industry
NEW YORK -- The pharmaceutical industry endured a disastrous 2004, and the aftermath will linger into the new year.

Toy inventor spotlights brains behind fun
SARASOTA, Fla. - Tim Walsh might have put fun into the hands of more than 4 million people, but hardly any one of them would recognize the toy inventor if they passed him on the street.

Shoppers surged to malls for last-minute discounts
ATLANTA - It was supposed to be the year that retailers didn't slash prices at Christmas. The year that stores hoped to boost their bottom lines by avoiding deep discounts, even if that meant less would be sold.

Rent-a-tree appeals to consumers
PORTLAND, Ore. - For years, Pat de Garmo's Christmas tree was her aging yucca plant.

North Augusta chamber reaches out to community

Google vs. Yahoo: the portal wars continue
SAN FRANCISCO - Even as they trade counterpunches punctuating their similarities, Internet heavyweights Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. have strived for different goals - distinctions that may become more apparent as the fierce rivalry moves into 2005.

Property transfers

North Augusta chamber reaches out to community
Stop by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and you're likely to be greeted with offers for hot apple cider and cookies.

Intense competition continues in U.S. car market

Property transfers
Here are the Richmond County property transfers for Dec. 9-15. The date indicates when the transfer was recorded in the clerk's office:

On the Move

Jobs came, jobs went
SRS LAYOFFS: With work winding down and no guarantee of new missions, Savannah River Site's contract operator Westinghouse Savannah River Co. announced in mid-December plans to lay off 1,200 employees in 2005 and 800 more in 2006. The job loss at the federal nuclear installation would be the largest since Westinghouse took over the site in 1989.

Shoppers surged to malls for last-minute discounts

Business calendar
Jan. 11: Starting Your Own Business, two-hour course giving the would-be entrepreneur a brief overview of the many aspects of being in business for yourself; University of Georgia Small Business Development Center Augusta office, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 1054 Claussen Road, $40; call (706) 737-1790.

On the Move
Benjamin Tillman Sauls has been elected vice president and business development officer for Georgia Bank & Trust Co. Mr. Sauls has five years of banking and finance experience and was previously employed by Wachovia Bank. He earned a doctorate from Texas Tech University. Mr. Sauls will be at the bank's Medical Center office.

Commissioners' votes reveal their black-and-white issues

Commissioners' votes reveal their black-and-white issues
It was almost like seeing Mama kissing Santa Claus when the Augusta Commission voted along racial lines Tuesday. We never really believed they were as united as they professed, but like kids at Christmas, we were hoping it was true.

Auburn's Tuberville named AP coach of the year

Auburn's Tuberville named AP coach of the year
NEW YORK - Tommy Tuberville followed the most difficult season of his coaching career with the best.

Wyoming tops UCLA
LAS VEGAS -When Corey Bramlet and John Wadkowski broke the huddle, they knew the Las Vegas Bowl was there for the taking.

Augusta State's Telfer on top of game, Peach Belt

The Christmas story
Every year, it seems the Christmas story, the real reason for the season, gets buried deeper under an avalanche of materialism, secularism and political correctness.

'Godfather' mends quickly
If Santa Claus had an operation for prostate cancer less than a week beforehand, would he be ready to make his busy rounds by Christmas Eve? Maybe - if Santa Claus' name is really James Brown.

Scott Peterson redux?
The indictment and arrest of dentist Barton Corbin by Richmond County authorities in the 1990 death of Dorothy "Dolly" Hearn has the makings of another Scott Peterson trial - but a local one. All the drama elements are there - a murder mystery, sex and betrayal involving upper middle class people.

Historic partnership

Killing the messenger

Historic partnership
Last Tuesday was supposed to be the shortest day of the year. In Augusta, it was one of the longest - and most historic.

The Christmas story

Killing the messenger
At a forum held in the First Baptist Church a few weeks ago to discuss area race relations, a number of participants claimed there was no discernible race problem in the community - that the main problem was the media.

Game sequels live up to the hype in 2004
Picking the year's best and worst video games can be a lot harder than playing them. 2004 was a great year for gamers, with some of the most anticipated games of all time being released. But it wasn't all fun and games...

People in the News
NEW YORK - Secretary of State Colin Powell will celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square as the guest of honor at the 100th anniversary of the world-famous festivities.

People in the News
LOS ANGELES - Marlon Brando's former business manager filed a $3.5 million claim against his estate, alleging the Oscar winner sexually harassed her and breached their contract by removing her as a co-executor of his will days before his death.

Celebrities win some, lose some in 2004
Forget awards shows. Celebrities won the hearts of the public with savvy decisions. Paris Hilton's "that's hot" word choice sizzled while Teri Hatcher shone after leaving Radio Shack for the seedy suburbs.

Top DVD releases of 2004
One fan's picks for best 2004 DVD releases:

Isabella Rossellini teams up with puppies to help blind
NEW YORK - Actress Isabella Rossellini is taking on a new role that has become more than just a pet project.

Account can make college savings grow

It's time to think about your taxes

Account can make college savings grow
Q. We've just had a baby and we're planning to start saving right away for her college education. Any suggestions?

Factors of jobs, oil, dollar put market on shaky path

Factors of jobs, oil, dollar put market on shaky path
NEW YORK - So, how did you do in the stock market this year? Don't worry if you don't have a clear-cut answer to that question - Wall Street's gyrations in 2004 had many investors scratching their heads.

Stock investors must adjust to reality in 2005

Stock investors must adjust to reality in 2005
NEW YORK - It's time for stock investors to lower their expectations.

Group offers free healthy recipes by e-mail
Forget mincemeat pies and eggnog - nutritious alternatives are as accessible as your computer inbox, thanks to a cancer group's service that sends free weekly recipes by email to anyone who signs up.

Group offers free healthy recipes by e-mail

Jackets face future
ATLANTA - Chan Gailey returned to college coaching three years ago, well aware that the college culture was becoming more like that of the pros.

Getting it Dunn & then some

2004 Final Power Poll

Irish resurgence didn't need luck

Laney star plans to learn from his troubled times

Georgia Sports Writer Association all-state football team

Getting it Dunn & then some
Laney's Robert Dunn is proof that recruiting lists and dot-com talent shepherds don't know everything.

Georgia Sports Writer Association all-state football team
The 2004 Georgia Sports Writers Association all-state football team:

Irish resurgence didn't need luck
Aquinas coach Jim Connor wasn't looking for moral victories in his second season with the Irish.

Laney star plans to learn from his troubled times
Robert Dunn of Laney High School is like a treasured Christmas gift.

2004 Final Power Poll
The top 10 prep football teams of 2004 in the final Power Poll as selected by members of The Augusta Chronicle and WJBF NewsChannel 6 sports departments. A first-place vote is worth 10 points; a 10th-place vote is worth one point. First-place votes are in parentheses:

Memories make Christmas even nicer
The season of giving is really a holiday of accumulation.

Schools, parents must cooperate

Celebrate true meaning of Christmas
In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is surrounded by acts of joy and charity. However, none of this had any influence on his hard heart. It's only through the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future that Scrooge came to his senses and repented. Tony R. Bledsoe, North Augusta, S.C.

Schools, parents must cooperate
I quite agree with Walter Lamb of Aiken ("Parents can help schools succeed," Dec. 16) that involvement of parents is a must in the educational process of a child. Gursaran Singh Ahuja, Evans

For cars, foreign often is in name only
Reader Trey Holland was disturbed to see an American "Power of Pride" sticker on a foreign car ("Foreign cars desecrate U.S. flag," Dec. 18). What he'll find more disturbing is that the vehicle he saw may not necessarily be foreign. Stu Cohen, Evans

Make SRS nuclear energy center
Thank you for your excellent editorial Dec. 16, "Bodman and SRS." Fred Christensen, Aiken, S.C.

Celebrate true meaning of Christmas

The year in photos

Style Briefs

Travelers drawn to spirituality, traditions in India

Visitors see Taj Mahal by moonlight

Realizing her dream

Europe among top destinations of 2004

Know your hacker lingo

Spacecraft to release probe that will study Saturn's moon

Notables who died in 2004 in the arts, pop culture

Man wants access to dead son's e-mails

Basement system adds living space in a hurry

Guest can stay home if boyfriend isn't allowed at wedding

All that glitters could be gold

Family briefs

Guest can stay home if boyfriend isn't allowed at wedding
Dear Carson: My daughter is in medical school, and one of her classmates is the fiance of a friend of hers. The bride asked my daughter to have lunch with her, and my daughter anticipated being asked to be a bridesmaid at the wedding, which will be New Year's Eve in Florida.

Visitors see Taj Mahal by moonlight
AGRA, India - They had to walk through metal detectors and succumb to body searches to get there, but the first visitors in two decades to see the Taj Mahal by moonlight said the security hassles were worth it.

Basement system adds living space in a hurry
Basements are hot. And a lot of homeowners are cool with that.

All that glitters could be gold
NEW YORK - Want to start the new year in style? Get yourself some sparkle and shine.

Spacecraft to release probe that will study Saturn's moon
PASADENA, Calif. - The Cassini spacecraft hurtled through space on a Christmas Eve mission to release a probe that will plunge through the smoggy atmosphere of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan.

Know your hacker lingo
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Phreaks, spoofers and spammers want to invade your home computer, and the tricks of their trade include airsnarfs, wabbits and fork bombs.

Notables who died in 2004 in the arts, pop culture
Marlon Brando screamed "Stella!" and set about bringing a new realism and machismo to the stage and screen. Ray Charles shouted "What'd I Say" and began melding categories of music in ways no musician ever thought of.

Style Briefs
NEW YORK - Lil' Kim has gone Hollyhood. That's the name of the clothing line the singer plans to launch under a partnership with manufacturer World Recognition International. Lil' Kim will design the tops, denim and activewear that is expected to be in stores next fall.

Travelers drawn to spirituality, traditions in India
NEW DELHI - India is fast becoming a top destination for weary, work-worn tourists thanks to an aggressive campaign to push the country's Himalayan spas and secluded beaches, officials say.

Designer points out fashion imperfections
NEW YORK - Designer Joseph Abboud has more clothes than he should.

Realizing her dream
After she found the location for her home and lined up a builder, Cassandra Callaway kept her camera at the ready.

Europe among top destinations of 2004
NEW YORK - A hot tub after hiking, or a spa apres ski. And a vacation in Europe - despite the weak dollar, despite the Madrid bombing.

Family briefs
NEW YORK - Many children head into the new year with toy boxes filled to their rims thanks to the generosity of friends and family over the holidays. Those new dolls, cars, trains and games might provide a unique opportunity to teach kids about the pleasure of sharing with others.

The year in photos
A photograph is an emotion frozen in time. Family photographs tend to focus on momentous occasions and the emotions that go along with them - a child's first day of school, a new car purchase, the joys of Christmas morning.

Man wants access to dead son's e-mails
NEW YORK - As more of our personal lives go digital, family members, estate attorneys and online service providers are increasingly grappling with what happens to those information bits when their owners die.

Family is central to Hispanic traditions
AIKEN - For Hispanics who are spending the holiday season in South Carolina, Christmas isn't only a one-day celebration.

Storms' destruction tops list of 2004 stories

Coweta County nets largest-ever drug bust

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Family is central to Hispanic traditions

Aiken County might sell nursing home
AIKEN - After 22 years in the nursing home business, Aiken County is looking for a way out.

Salley bank robber escapes in woods

Santa makes stop at medical center
Henry Knox had heard about Santa Claus time after time and received dozens of presents from the man in the red-and-white suit, but he had never actually caught a glimpse of jolly old St. Nick - that is, until this Christmas morning.

Group fails to raise enough money for riverkeeper

Thomson man shoots wife, self
A 44-year-old Thomson man died Christmas morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement officials said.

Tangle of controversy

Across Georgia
FORT VALLEY - A Fort Valley man walked nearly 2 miles with a bullet hole in his head after being shot in a robbery, determined to die in the presence of loved ones.

Augusta airport had good year

Across South Carolina
ANDERSON - A woman and a teenager were killed Christmas Eve and several children were taken to the hospital after two cars collided head-on, a state Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Soldier tells his family of blast

Researchers seek ways to avoid deer-vehicle collisions
ROME, Ga. - Berry College's plentiful deer population have made the school the site of an important road safety study.

Group pushes need to burn forested land

Storms' destruction tops list of 2004 stories
ATLANTA, Ga. - Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Just as their names now run together, so do the assessments of the destruction wrought by these storms in Georgia.

Kid of the Day

Hollings' retirement tops S.C. stories in 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The retirement of U.S. Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings and the race to replace him was the top story of 2004 in South Carolina.

Across Georgia

Free-pour change addresses taxes
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Now that voters have approved doing away with minibottles, lawmakers are giving priority consideration to free-pour-enabling legislation that creates an alternative to South Carolina's liquor laws.

Hollings' retirement tops S.C. stories in 2004

Pair display 'major award'
Jan and Genie Holley might be the only neighbors on West Terrace Drive to feature the "soft glow of electric sex" in their window.

Across the southeast

Salley bank robber escapes in woods
AIKEN - A masked man wielding what police believe was a pistol robbed a Salley bank Friday afternoon, escaping into nearby woods with an undisclosed amount of money, authorities said.

Still is last original in Georgia

Contest gets youths talking about faith
ATLANTA - Shuffling between classes at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, Adam Meredith-Ployd saw an intriguing opportunity to apply what he'd learned in his studies on the history of Christians and Jews - an opportunity worth $25,000.

Butler wood shop students serve others
Students aren't just making bird feeders in the wood shop class at Butler High School these days. They are making wheelchair ramps for disabled residents such as 83-year-old Mary Leverett.

Soldier tells his family of blast
KEYSVILLE - Christmas Eve could not have been sweeter for Bill and Barbara Campbell.

Across Georgia
BRUNSWICK -- A Glynn County teenager was killed when the stolen sport utility vehicle he was riding in crashed into a utility pole, cutting power to about 1,300 homes and businesses.

Bethlehem post office expects big business
BETHLEHEM, Ga. - Georgia's Bethlehem post office was expecting a record number of people to come in this year looking to postmark mail with the biblical name prior to Christmas.

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

Columbia baby returned safely after kidnapping
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A 1-year-old girl has been returned to her mother safely after she was kidnapped by a woman who posed as a Department of Social Services employee, police said.

Carroll County sheriff hires his deputy dad

Soldier's wife sends hoax e-mail to bring him home
SAVANNAH, Ga. - A widely circulated e-mail from a Hunter Army Airfield soldier's wife who claimed to be the victim of a violent attack apparently was a hoax she started in an attempt to get her husband home from Iraq for the holidays, authorities say.

Contest gets youths talking about faith

Contributions have exceeded last year's total
Many area families will have a happy Christmas holiday thanks to generous donations made to The Augusta Chronicle's Empty Stocking Fund.

Butler wood shop students serve others

Widow continues family tradition of charity
MARIETTA, Ga. - Instead of throwing an extravagant holiday celebration for her family, Stephanie White has been spending her Christmas budget on two families in need.

Across the area

Kid of the Day
Today's Kid of the Day is Chase William Smith, 2, of Hephzibah.

Kid of the Day

News you can use

Santa makes stop at medical center

Man hopes to bring back American chestnut

Stories that are not 2004 top stories

Ministers want SCV member to quit school board

Across South Carolina

Across the southeast
BELMONT, N.C. - Wade Jones likes Elvis, but he insists he's just a casual fan.

2004 in memoriam: local luminaries

Across the area
A Hephzibah man told police someone ripped a gold chain off his neck at the Augusta Mall on Friday night , a Richmond County Sheriff's Office report said.

Columbia baby returned safely after kidnapping

Area could see snow
Notice anything while you were out picking up the paper this morning?

Aiken County might sell nursing home

Soldier's wife sends hoax e-mail to bring him home

Free-pour change addresses taxes

Carroll County sheriff hires his deputy dad
CARROLLTON, Ga. - After 36 years on the force, Bowdon Police Chief Burl Langley was ready to retire last month.

Group pushes need to burn forested land
AIKEN - South Carolina's time-honored tradition of using fire to manage farmland and timber tracks is running afoul of retirees and urban refugees pushing suburbia farther into once-isolated rural areas, public and private land managers said Thursday.

Tangle of controversy
The demise of the proposed sales tax on Election Day topped the list of the top 10 local news stories of 2004, as chosen by staff members at The Augusta Chronicle. It was followed closely by the federal indictments of three local officials:

Still is last original in Georgia
WILLACOOCHEE, Ga. - The dome-shaped copper still nestled in the pines on the outskirts of town was modeled after a liquor still.

Augusta airport had good year
For all of the negative opinions swirling around about Augusta Regional Airport, Aviation Commissioners have a firm message: 2004 was a banner year for the airport financially.

Across South Carolina
MYRTLE BEACH -- Police said thieves broke into a storage building and stole more than $6,000 worth of donated gifts that were intended for needy children.

Rants and Raves
Comments from readers:

Stories that are not 2004 top stories
While the Chinese calendar says it's Year of the Monkey, in Georgia it's apparently the Year of the Boar - more specifically, Hogzilla.

Thieves steal toys from needy children
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Police said thieves broke into a storage building and stole more than $6,000 worth of donated gifts that were intended for needy children.

Across the area
The driver of a 1987 Dodge Diplomat smashed into a Wilkes County ambulance that was taking a 92-year-old critically ill patient to University Hospital on Thursday morning, according to officials.

Contributions have exceeded last year's total

Pair display 'major award'

Across the area

Impact fee a low priority

Thieves steal toys from needy children

Impact fee a low priority
A charge made to developers to offset problems arising from new growth - called an impact fee - has attracted the spotlight after changes to the structure of such a fee won the support of a Georgia commissioners association.

Bethlehem post office expects big business

Group fails to raise enough money for riverkeeper
MACON, Ga. - A regional river advocacy group has been unable to raise enough money to hire a new Ocmulgee riverkeeper.

Animal control officer charged in hog-dogfighting ring
ROCK HILL, S.C. - A Chester County Animal Control officer has been arrested and charged in a hog-dogfighting ring that was raided last week, authorities said.

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

Coweta County nets largest-ever drug bust
NEWNAN, Ga. - Coweta County authorities netted their largest-ever drug bust when they discovered several hundred pounds of marijuana in a tractor trailer after it crashed into a median on Interstate 85.

Kid of the Day
Today's Kid of the Day is Karre Fernandes, 9 months, of Augusta.

Ministers want SCV member to quit school board
ANDERSON, S.C. - A group of Upstate ministers has called for a high-ranking member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to be removed from the state Board of Education.

Bald eagle could be removed from endangered list
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Bald eagles are doing so well that the federal wildlife agency is considering removing them from the endangered species list. But local wildlife officials say that could be dangerous to the birds.

Widow continues family tradition of charity

Man hopes to bring back American chestnut
SENECA, S.C. - Retired surgeon Joseph James hopes his 250-acre farm helps bring back the chestnut tree crop that was wiped out by disease in the mid-20th century.

Legislators want gang bill passed this year
COLUMBIA, S.C. - At least one legislator is hopeful a bill that would make it illegal to intimidate someone into joining or leaving a gang will pass the Legislature this year.

2004 in memoriam: local luminaries
George Busbee, 76. Former Georgia governor. July 16.

Predictions include Tiger, Gators and the Yankees
It won't get any better than this. 2004 was one of those remarkable sports seasons that will rate among the wildest ever.

Favorite films of 2004

Favorite films of 2004

Admissions slip, but Hollywood's not worried
LOS ANGELES - The ogre, the superheroes, the savior and the wizard led Hollywood's 2004 hit parade, with strong performances from a handful of films helping to offset a whole lot of duds.

Mini movie reviews

Favorite films of 2004
The top 10 films of 2004, according to AP Movie Writer David Germain:

Top DVD releases of 2004

Mini movie reviews
Capsule reviews of films in theaters. Not all movies are available nationwide.

Film going national after yearlong run on a single screen

Top DVD releases of 2004
One fan's picks for best 2004 DVD releases:

Admissions slip, but Hollywood's not worried

Favorite films of 2004
The top 10 films of 2004, according to AP Movie Writer David Germain:

Film going national after yearlong run on a single screen
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - It sounds like a story straight out of Hollywood.

Top ten albums of the year

Father of Chicano music still rockin'

Top country albums of 2004
One writer's top 10 country albums of 2004:

Top ten albums of the year
1. "Confessions," Usher: This was the most overplayed, overexposed album of the year - and the best. It's hard to remember when a heartbreaking cad sounded so appealing: From the breakup anthem "Burn" to the scandalous title track, Usher wooed listeners with his sensuous tenor.

Top country albums of 2004

Father of Chicano music still rockin'
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - He's a bit hunched over these days, his gait slowed somewhat by his 87 years, most of them spent traveling from one gig to another.

Music provided the best jawdroppers of 2004
p>Maybe 2004 seemed more scandalous than past years because we had double the ingredients: Two scandalous Jacksons! Two ditsy Simpsons! Two Britney weddings!!

Music provided the best jawdroppers of 2004

In memoriam: 2004 deaths
Deaths that made headlines in 2004.

U.S. election voted top news story of 2004
NEW YORK - The election victory of President Bush, after a campaign often dominated by the Iraq war and terrorism, was voted the top story of 2004 in the annual Associated Press survey of editors and news directors. The war itself was the No. 2 choice, and four other stories in the Top 10 involved either Iraq or terrorist attacks.

U.S. election voted top news story of 2004

In memoriam: 2004 deaths

U.S. still unprepared for bioterror strike

U.S. election voted top news story of 2004

U.S. not hit by terrorists in 2004, but clearly a target

Flu shot shortages became societal, political story
Got your flu shot yet? That became a loaded question this year as traditional vaccination campaigns gave way to pleas that healthy Americans step aside to keep the vaccine available for those who need it the most.

U.S. still unprepared for bioterror strike
SAN FRANCISCO - David Hose is a bioterrorism casualty. Little wonder, then, that his confidence in U.S. readiness for another such attack is about as low as his energy and as weak as his still-battered immune system, lingering after-effects of the anthrax he accidentally inhaled handling a letter addressed to Sen. Pat Leahy three years ago.

U.S. election voted top news story of 2004
NEW YORK - The election victory of President Bush, after a campaign often dominated by the Iraq war and terrorism, was voted the top story of 2004 in the annual Associated Press survey of editors and news directors. The war itself was the No. 2 choice, and four other stories in the Top 10 involved either Iraq or terrorist attacks.

U.S. not hit by terrorists in 2004, but clearly a target
CAIRO, Egypt -- It seems as if the terrorist battleground was everywhere but in the United States this past year, yet clearly America and its allies were the targets. More violence can be expected in 2005 as the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq persists and terrorists remain determined to one day strike inside America again.

Shaq, Kobe play against each other for first time
LOS ANGELES - Kobe Bryant took a moment to ponder the persistent questioning, and the words came tumbling out.

NBA has new version of the "Bad Boys"

Pistons top Pacers
INDIANAPOLIS - Rasheed Wallace sauntered off the court and into the exit tunnel, pausing long enough to peel off his headband and hand it to a youngster wearing the rival's colors.

O'Neal struggles in return to court
INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time in a long time, Jermaine O'Neal was nervous when he stepped onto the court, and it showed against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

NBA has new version of the "Bad Boys"
At least the "Bad Boys" kept their shenanigans on the court when they were wreaking havoc in the NBA.

Shaq, Kobe play against each other for first time

Augusta State's Telfer on top of game, Peach Belt
Reviewing and previewing local college basketball:

Packers dedicate division clincher to injured teammate

Packers clinch NFC North

Saints look for Falcons to run

Saban to announce decision in Orlando

Saban keeps Dolphins waiting

Mr. Wyman Anthony Toole    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Shirley Ann Cadden    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Rosa M. Stephens    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Martha Carey    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Margaret Elliott Evans    (MARTINEZ, Ga.)
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Mrs. Margaret Crawford    (JACKSONVILLE, N.C.)
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Mr. Wayne A. Usher    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Theodore Bryant, Jr.    (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Shelby Jean Townsend    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mr. Oscar Dale, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Martha Carey    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Bernard Dean Walker, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Neomi "Gerry" Weikle    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mrs. Katherine Dicks Turner    (COLUMBUS, OHIO)
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Mrs. Betty Ann Eubanks    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Carolyn Durden    (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)
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Mr. Charlie Mason    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Raiford Eugene Dorn    (BELVEDERE, S.C.)
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Mr. Shane C. LeDee    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Opal L. Fuller    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Neomi "Gerry" Weikle    (TRENTON, S.C.)
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Mr. Michael A. Gowdy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Michael A. Gowdy    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Hassie M. Hamilton Cheatham    (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)
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Mr. Bernard Dean Walker, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Amanda LaShawn Harman    (SHREVEPORT, La.)
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Mrs. Willie Belle Gilbert    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Fred Hugh Dowdy    (FAYETTEVILLE, Ga.)
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Mr. Bernard S. Bailey, Jr.    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Shelby Jean Townsend    (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Shirley Ann Cadden    (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)
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Mrs. Wilma Jean Cox Nunn    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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In memory: 2004 deaths
Deaths that made headlines in 2004.

Mr. Linton Moss    (NORWOOD, Ga.)
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Mr. Leo Parker    (MILLEN, Ga.)
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Mr. Shane C. LeDee    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Roscoe Lee Coffey    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Bennie Lee Lewis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mr. Bennie Lee Lewis    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Col. Orizzonte Mastroianni    (TAMPA, Fla.)
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Mrs. Wilma Jean Cox Nunn    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Rev. James L. Myers    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mrs. Joann Hill    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Ella Singleton Mosby    (HEPHZIBAH, Ga.)
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Mrs. Betty Ann Morris    (BARNWELL, S.C.)
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Mrs. Rosa M. Stephens    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Mary Broadwater    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Jean Terry    (AIKEN, S.C.)
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Mr. Theodore Bryant, Jr.    (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Doris Turner    (SALUDA, S.C.)
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Mrs. Margaret Crawford    (JACKSONVILLE, N.C.)
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Mr. John Walton    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Mrs. Louise Devoe Johnson    (ALLENDALE, S.C.)
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Mrs. Joseph Whatley Evans    (AUGUSTA, Ga.)
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Ms. Mary Broadwater    (NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.)
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Mr. Tom Brown, Jr.    (DAVISBORO, Ga.)
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Mrs. Wilma Jean Cox Nunn (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Bennie Lee Lewis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa M. Stephens (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Rosa M. Stephens (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Joseph Whatley Evans (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Joann Hill (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Ms. Carolyn Durden (SWAINSBORO, Ga.)

Mr. Leo Parker (MILLEN, Ga.)

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

Mr. Wayne A. Usher (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Shirley Ann Cadden (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mrs. Shirley Ann Cadden (LINCOLNTON, Ga.)

Mr. Theodore Bryant, Jr. (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Willie Belle Gilbert (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mr. Charlie Mason (AIKEN, S.C.)

Hassie M. Hamilton Cheatham (EDGEFIELD, S.C.)

Mr. Tom Brown, Jr. (DAVISBORO, Ga.)

Mrs. Shelby Jean Townsend (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

Mr. Theodore Bryant, Jr. (GLOVERVILLE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Shelby Jean Townsend (GRANITEVILLE, S.C.)

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

Mrs. Wilma Jean Cox Nunn (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Martha Carey (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mrs. Betty Ann Morris (BARNWELL, S.C.)

Mr. John Walton (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mr. Raiford Eugene Dorn (BELVEDERE, S.C.)

Mr. Shane C. LeDee (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

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

Mrs. Martha Carey (AIKEN, S.C.)

Mr. Wyman Anthony Toole (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Margaret Elliott Evans (MARTINEZ, Ga.)

Mr. Fred Hugh Dowdy (FAYETTEVILLE, Ga.)

Mr. Bennie Lee Lewis (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Katherine Dicks Turner (COLUMBUS, OHIO)

Mrs. Margaret Crawford (JACKSONVILLE, N.C.)

Mr. Oscar Dale, Jr. (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

Mrs. Jean Terry (AIKEN, S.C.)

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

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

In memory: 2004 deaths

Mrs. Margaret Crawford (JACKSONVILLE, N.C.)

Mr. Linton Moss (NORWOOD, Ga.)

Braves, Falcons, Ga. Tech exceed expectations

A year to remember

Top 10 Georgia sports stories of 2004

Overtime

Area announcements

Top 10 Georgia sports stories of 2004
The top 10 sports stories in Georgia for 2004 as selected by The Associated Press:

Braves, Falcons, Ga. Tech exceed expectations
ATLANTA - Georgia Tech was picked to finish near the bottom of its conference. The Braves lost a bunch of key players. The Falcons had a rookie coach and a legacy of losing.

Top 10 S.C. sports stories of 2004
Here are the Top 10 South Carolina sports stories of 2004 as voted on by AP members statewide:

Area announcements
Note: Announcements for participatory events must be written, delivered, mailed or faxed to The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928, with a return address and phone number. No phone calls are accepted. Fax number: (706) 823-3408. The announcements will be published weekly.

Overtime
Nick Saban finally turned pro Saturday, accepting an offer to coach the Miami Dolphins.

A year to remember
It might go down as the leap that shook the world. At least, the golfing world.

Outdoors calendar

Outdoors calendar
NOTE: All the listed events are open to the public, although membership in some organizations might be required.

Hunter spares time for charity
If he's not out hunting, Jim Burg can be found in the shed behind his home, elbow deep in venison.

Hunter spares time for charity

Group digs for fishing hole
Georgia's Department of Natural Resources hopes to exploit an obscure legal loophole to finance a dozen important projects - including a $2 million public fishing area planned for Burke County.

Saban to announce decision in Orlando
MIAMI - LSU coach Nick Saban has made a decision regarding the Miami Dolphins' job offer, and the school said he would announce it when the team lands in Orlando for its bowl game. The Dolphins said they had no idea what he would say.

Packers clinch NFC North
MINNEAPOLIS - Facing a seven-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter after one of his familiar, costly mistakes, Brett Favre brought Green Bay back again.

Packers dedicate division clincher to injured teammate
This one was for Fergie.

Saban keeps Dolphins waiting
MIAMI - Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga flew to Baton Rouge, La. on Friday, then returned to South Florida nine hours later without Nick Saban.

Saints look for Falcons to run
NEW ORLEANS - A big question hung over practice for the New Orleans Saints this week; Would Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick play or would he rest his injured shoulder Sunday?

Treasured ornaments
Every year, hands seem to return to favorite ornaments that bring back memories of friends and good times.

Holidays a time of bigger crowds for churches
BOSTON - To describe his feelings at the pulpit during a jam-packed Christmas worship service, the Rev. Paul McPheeters talks "Monday Night Football."

Why is Dec. 25 the date to celebrate Christmas?
In simultaneous pre-Christmas cover stories, Time and Newsweek magazines sifted with skepticism the narratives of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke, the only accounts we have since no other chroniclers recorded this obscure peasant's nativity.

Men gain new work skills while receiving treatment
No fancy wrapping or ribbon could have made Robert Alston any happier Monday.

Pope prays that peace efforts will prevail
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II offered Christmas wishes Saturday for a world where he said timid but hopeful efforts at peace co-exist with worries over Iraq, the Holy Land and several tragic conflicts in Africa.

Faith digest
The Rev. Oliver D. Walker, the senior pastor at Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, will be the featured speaker at the annual Emancipation Day observance at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1223 Laney-Walker Blvd. Call 724-1230.

Faith calendar
The Faith Calendar lists church and temple activities. Space is limited. Deadline is noon Monday. Send items to virginia.norton@augustachronicle.com. Send a fax to 722-7403 or mail to Faith Calendar, The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928.

Pope celebrates midnight Mass
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II ushered in Christmas on Friday by celebrating Midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, praying that world leaders will strive for peace and that Jews, Muslims and Christians will live harmoniously in the Holy Land.

Christmas is dim in isolated Bethlehem
UNITED NATIONS - As Christmas dawns, Bethlehem is an isolated town with boarded up shops instead of a bustling cultural and spiritual center playing host to tourists and pilgrims from around the world, a new U.N. report says.

Group digs for fishing hole

Predictions include Tiger, Gators and the Yankees

It's time to think about your taxes
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The end of the year is approaching and most people are thinking about the holidays, but business owners also need to think about minimizing their taxes.

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week
Once again, TV could prove invaluable on New Year's Eve. For anyone stuck with no clock or wristwatch within sight, how else will they know when 2005 arrives?

A year chock-full of TV images proves memorable

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week

TV Lookout: highlights (and lowlights) for the week
Once again, TV could prove invaluable on New Year's Eve. For anyone stuck with no clock or wristwatch within sight, how else will they know when 2005 arrives?

Letterman performs Christmas Eve show in Iraq

A year chock-full of TV images proves memorable
NEW YORK - Remember the Yawning Boy? Remember Oprah giving those cars away? Remember Ken Jennings' disbelieving smile when his "Jeopardy!" winnings were announced each day?

Letterman performs Christmas Eve show in Iraq
David Letterman brought his late-night show to Marines serving in Iraq on Friday, loosening up the Camp Taqaddum crowd with the line, "Anybody here from out of town?"

Game sequels live up to the hype in 2004

People in the News

People in the News

Top DVD releases of 2004

Outback Bowl brings back memories for QBs coach
THOMASVILLE, Ga. - When the Georgia Bulldogs play Wisconsin on New Year's Day in the Outback Bowl, they'll be looking for guidance from their quarterbacks coach. Mike Bobo was Georgia's QB the last time Georgia played Wisconsin, in 1998, leading the Bulldogs to a dominating 33-6 win.

Iraq faces shift in power with more troubles ahead

Some hope over Iraqi and Palestinian elections
Iraqi insurgents kept their homeland in turmoil during 2004, yet Iraq's interim leaders just as determinedly pressed ahead toward national elections early in the new year.

Some hope over Iraqi and Palestinian elections

Some hope over Iraqi and Palestinian elections

Some hope over Iraqi and Palestinian elections
Iraqi insurgents kept their homeland in turmoil during 2004, yet Iraq's interim leaders just as determinedly pressed ahead toward national elections early in the new year.

Iraq faces shift in power with more troubles ahead
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq in 2005 faces the likelihood of the most profound shift of political power in its modern history, while struggling with an insurgency that has confounded U.S. strategists and their optimistic forecasts that preceded the war.

Man walks miles home with bullet wound in head

Odds and Ends

Holidays a time of bigger crowds for churches

Treasured ornaments

Christmas is dim in isolated Bethlehem

Men gain new work skills while receiving treatment

Faith digest

Why is Dec. 25 the date to celebrate Christmas?

Pope celebrates midnight Mass

Faith calendar

Pope prays that peace efforts will prevail