CORPORATIONS: The Wizards of Wilmington

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In Augusta, Ga. this week, an invading army of engineers, builders and technicians jammed the city's hotels and spare rooms to the rafters. Across the Savannah River in South Carolina, the aluminum glint of hundreds of trailers winked among the pecan groves. Giant bulldozers ripped through slash pine and red clay, pushing a four-lane, 20-mile express highway from North Augusta to Ellenton (pop. 700), a town soon destined to disappear before the bulldozers' onrush.

The target of this invading army is just beyond Ellenton: a 200,000-acre site spotted with hundreds of...

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