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State chamber calls Harbin top legislator

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday named Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, its Legislator of the Year during an event at Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites.

Chamber officials said he was recognized for his work in representing his local constituents and the state. Mr. Harbin is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Factory orders make climb in September

WASHINGTON --- Orders to U.S. factories rebounded in September, helped by strength in autos, heavy machinery and military aircraft.

The fifth increase in six months bolstered hopes that a revival in manufacturing will support an overall economic recovery. The worry is that if consumer spending falters, orders will slump again.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders rose 0.9 percent in September, slightly better than the 0.8 percent gain economists had expected. Demand increased for both durable goods and nondurable goods, such as chemicals and energy products.

Johnson &Johnson reveals restructuring

NEW YORK --- Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday it will cut up to 8,000 jobs and streamline operations in an effort to cut costs as it braces for changes in the health care industry.

The company said the cuts will affect 6 percent to 7 percent of its global work force of roughly 118,700. The restructuring is one of the company's biggest and will lead to a restructuring charge of as much as $1.3 billion pretax in the fourth quarter.

Johnson & Johnson plans to simplify its business structure and projects it will save between $800 million and $900 million next year and $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion annually after the restructuring is complete in 2011.

AT&T sues Verizon over 'map for that' ad

ATLANTA --- AT&T Inc. is suing Verizon Wireless over its "There's a map for that" commercials.

AT&T filed the suit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleging false advertising and deceptive trade practices.

Verizon's ads show a U.S. map with areas highlighted to depict its "3G" coverage -- which allows users to access data faster. A map of AT&T's "3G" coverage has blank spaces to show where the service is not available.

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Christmas Eve rains to dry up

If Wednesday seemed particularly wet and dreary, you would be right. The day broke the record for the wettest Christmas Eve that Augusta has ever had.
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