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In brief

Augusta's protest law remains in limbo

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 4, 2003


AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Divided along racial lines, Augusta officials failed a second time Monday to pass a law designed to protect the city from lawsuits by demonstrators picketing at the Masters.

Augusta expects the National Council of Women's Organizations and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to protest Augusta National Golf Club's all-male membership during the April golf tournament.

Jim Wall, attorney for Augusta-Richmond County, said the city's ordinance that gives the sheriff authority to approve or deny protest permits could be too vague to withstand a court challenge. Proposed changes included requiring protest groups to give 20 days notice to the sheriff, who would respond within seven days.

City commissioners, who deadlocked on the revised law Jan. 21, failed again to pass it with a 5-all tie. Mayor Bob Young and four white commissioners voted for the changes. Five black commissioners voted for the old law.

"If it was good enough for the Ku Klux Klan to march down the main streets of Augusta on a bright Sunday afternoon ... it's good enough for people who want to hold peaceful, nonviolent protests," black commissioner Willie Mays said.

PREPS: No appeal from James

LeBron James has yet to appeal his ineligibility from high school basketball, keeping the 18-year-old off the court. James was expected to appeal the decision Monday, but Ohio High School Athletic Association spokesman Bob Goldring said the organization did not hear from him or his lawyer by late afternoon. James, regarded as the nation's top player and the next No. 1 NBA draft pick, was ruled ineligible Friday for accepting two sports jerseys worth a combined $845 from a clothing store.

RATINGS: NHL edges AFL

The Arena Football League's opening broadcast Sunday on NBC generated a 2.2 overnight Nielsen rating, marginally less than ABC's 2.3 rating for the NHL All-Star Game, which was played at the same time. The rating was an 83 percent increase over the 1.2 the league's ArenaBowl XVI had in August on ABC. The NFL Pro Bowl on ABC had a 6.9 overnight rating, up 53 percent from last year when it was played on Saturday night. The NHL All-Star Game last year, also played on a Saturday, rated 2.0. Each overnight ratings point equals 735,454 TV households.

COLLEGES: Boston in Beanpot final

Freddy Meyer scored with 6:39 left as Boston beat Harvard 2-1 at the FleetCenter, advancing to the Beanpot final for the 19th time in 20 years. Sean Fields stopped 28 shots for BU, which has won the matchup of Boston's four college hockey powers seven of the past eight years. Dov Grumet-Morris made 32 saves for the Crimson. Assistant referee Kevin Shea left in the first period after a skate severed a tendon in his wrist. SOFTBALL: Florida State was picked to finish No. 1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in a preseason poll.

ET CETERA

HORSES: Boston Brat, a 6-year-old who set a Gulfstream Park record for 5 furlongs (56.2 seconds) Jan. 17, tied the track record for 51/2 furlongs. He finished in 1:02.40, tying Rare Rock's 1998 mark. Casual Conflict, a 9-year-old gelding, broke down during a claiming race and was euthanized.

SOCCER: Santa Clara midfielder Aly Wagner was selected by San Diego with the first pick in the WUSA draft. Last year Carolina chose Danielle Slaton, also of Santa Clara, as the No. 1 pick.

WINTER SPORTS: American Kirsten Clark won silver in the Super G slalom at the World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, finishing .02 behind Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister (1:27.48).

OBITUARY: Dennis Fosdick, a member of the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame who coached Occidental College to a 2000 national championship, died of cancer Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 63.

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