THE FLORIDA SYNDROME: Cobb County officials recount votes in the race for state House District 32, declaring Republican Judy Manning the winner over Democrat Patricia Dooley by only 19 votes. ... SPEAKING THE UNSPEAKABLE: Two adolescent brothers plead guilty in the gang-rape of a mentally disabled 13-year-old girl, and agree to testify against at least 17 other men and boys in exchange for a lighter sentence: two years' probation. ... GUN-GUARDING GANG GOUGE GREEN: A gaggle of Texas politicians, gun-store owners and civil liberties lawyers announce plans to sue Atlanta, Chicago, Miami and New Orleans for monetary damages resulting from the cities' suits against gun manufacturers.
FREE AT LAST: Civil rights leader and homeless advocate Hosea Williams dies of kidney cancer. ... EXERCISING THE RIGHT TO SUE: National media descends upon the Richard B. Russell Federal Building as the battle over presidential ballots moves to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. ... NABBED: An AWOL soldier working as a "chicken-cutter" in Barrow County is charged with the rapes of three Athens women over a four-month span.
FROM THE HEART: In the wake of Hosea Williams' death, a flood of donations pours in to Feed the Hungry, including 2,000 turkeys contributed by local businesses. ... COLD COMFORT: Citing a history of injured patients, federal officials cut off funding to Ansley Pavilion, a Midtown nursing home. ... COLD STORAGE: Mass murderer Elijah Salahuddin is given four life sentences plus 25 years for a 1995 quadruple murder in northeast Atlanta. His brother, Freeman Salahuddin, was acquitted of the same charges.
ONE MORE MARTYR HONORED: More than 26 years after being murdered on a Jacksonville, Fla., roadside by racists, Johnnie Mae Chappell is added to the list of martyrs on a monument at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Birmingham. ... AUBURN TIDE: Auburn fans erupt as the team smashes rival Alabama 9-0, earning a shot at the SEC championship to be decided in Atlanta next month.
PRESSURE? NAAH: The nation's eyes turn to Tallahassee, where Florida's Supreme Court hears arguments from Bush and Gore attorneys as to whether to allow a hand-count of ballots. ... ONCE MORE, WITH GUSTO: An estimated 3,500 protesters descend on Fort Benning for the annual demonstration demanding the closure of the U.S. Army School of the Americas; 1,700 are arrested when they cross onto the base's property.
GOING HOME IN STYLE: More than 2,000 mourners fill a Morehouse auditorium to pay their respects to departed civil rights leader Hosea Williams. ... COLLEGE OFF-COLOR? Members of the University of Georgia branch of the NAACP says university officials turn a blind eye to racism on campus. ... BLESSED RELIEF: The Atlanta City Council approves legislation capping at $50 the fee "booters" -- private parking enforcers who've terrorized downtown visitors for the past couple of years -- are allowed to charge their victims.
-- Greg Land contributed to this column