SOLDIERS' TOURS EXTENDED: Active-duty soldiers deployed or soon to go to Iraq and Afghanistan will have their tours extended to 15 months from one year, according to the Defense Department. The change, which affects 100,000 active-duty service members and begins immediately, will result in the longest combat tours for the Army since World War II.
IN THE BALLPARK: Mayor Deke Copenhaver and the Ripken baseball family announced that a Downtown Stadium Exploratory Committee will study the idea of building a ballpark for the Augusta GreenJackets on the Savannah River between 11th and 13th streets.
The proposed stadium is expected to cost $20 million and seat 6,000 people. The study is expected to be finished by August.
IMUS OUT: More than a week after his remarks about the Rutgers girls basketball team, radio talk-show host Don Imus was fired from CBS. Mr. Imus was given a two-week suspension at first, but after advertisers started pulling their funding and he was removed from MSNBC, CBS followed suit.
DEATH OF AN AUTHOR: Kurt Vonnegut, the author of books such as Slaughterhouse-Five, died Wednesday at age 84. Mr. Vonnegut, regarded by many as a key influence in shaping 20th century American literature, had suffered brain injuries after a fall at his home, his wife said.
LACROSSE PLAYERS EXONERATED: All charges against the three Duke lacrosse players indicted on charges of sexual assault last March were dismissed Wednesday. The players urged reform in the legal system, and the district attorney who pursued the charges last year faces ethics complaints.