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macon.com MIDDAY UPDATE: New Apple iPhone goes on sale with lines worldwide; Atlanta's Varsity plans 80th anniversary bash; archaeologists to dig at Ga. Civil War battle site

Apple Inc.'s new iPhone went on sale Friday to eager buyers worldwide, many of whom lined up for hours for the morning launch.

At the flagship Apple store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, a line of hundreds encircled the block ahead of the 8 a.m. opening. Many of them were already owners of the first iPhone, suggesting that Apple is preaching to the choir with the new model, which updates the one launched a year ago by speeding up Internet access and adding a navigation chip.

Thanks to subsidies by the carrier, the price has also been cut substantially to $199 for the cheapest model in the United States.

Alex Cavallo, 24, was in line at the Fifth Avenue store, just as he had been a year ago for the original iPhone. He sold that one recently on eBay in anticipation of the new one. In the meantime, he has been using another phone, which felt "uncomfortable."

"The iPhone is just a superior user experience," he said. The phone also proved a decent investment for him: He bought the old model for $599 and sold it for $570.

Outside an AT&T store in Atlanta, more than hundred people had lined up.

Edward Watkins, a 34-year-old engineer and avowed "techno nut," said he didn't mind paying an extra $10 a month to the carrier to upgrade his phone.

"I'd pay an extra $30 or $40 a month for that. It's a smoother running phone. It's driving a Beamer as opposed to a Chevy Metro."

– Associated Press

Atlanta's Varsity plans 80th anniversary bash

The Varsity will celebrate its 80th anniversary with a bash at its location in downtown Atlanta on Aug. 2.

The fast-food fixture plans a party on the upper deck of the parking lot from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring local bands.

The Varsity will give away cake, ice cream and balloons.

Those on hand will get a sneak peak at a 5-minute preview of the upcoming PBA 30 documentary tentatively titled, "What'll Ya Have? A History of the Varsity," which is planned to air this fall.

Producers taped two interviews with longtime Varsity counterman Erby Walker before the 70-year-old died last month.– Associated Press

Archaeologists to dig at Ga. Civil War battle site

Archaeologists and Civil War experts are teaming up to search for artifacts at a battle site near the Oconee River.

The group will begin next week digging in southern Clarke County at the site of the 1864 Battle of Barber's Creek. Preservationists hope by mapping the area's history, they can attract grant money and private donations to turn the site into a historic public park.

The park would include a reenactment arena, visitors center and museum.

Archaeologists also are planning to dig at a Revolutionary War-era fort in nearby Oconee County. The site includes remnants of a historic cemetery, a fort and an old thread mill.

– Associated Press

WHAT'S COMING UP ON MACON.COM

– We're riding along for the annual Bond Swamp/Macon butterfly count. We'll let you know what effect the protracted drought might be having on our winged insect pals. We'll also have photos and video of the butterflies.

– Advance voting wraps up today. We'll let you know how it went this week in Bibb and Houston counties.

VISIT US AGAIN SOON

We invite you to check out our Web site again tomorrow for the Midday Update. Monday through Friday, Online Editor Beth MacFadyen will bring you timely information about what Telegraph staffers are working on, plus news we think you need to know immediately. Send feedback to bmacfadyen@macon.com

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