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Latest from Abby Jessen

    There has been an officer-involved shooting following a domestic call at a residence on Summerbrook Circle off of Hawthorne Avenue. No officers are injured. The man who was shot has been taken to the hospital. There is no threat to the general public, but we do know that a woman is dead and a man is wounded.  The Athens-Clarke County Police Department posted this on Facebook:  We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 
  • University of Georgia President Jere Morehead has released UGA’s 2017 President’s Annual Report, which discusses the university’s progress surrounding its three major priorities of “increasing scholarship support for students, further enhancing the learning environment and solving the grand challenges of our time.” Below is President Morehead’s full report from  http://president.uga.edu/ar/2017/letter-from-president.php  I am grateful to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who have helped to make Fiscal Year 2017 one of the greatest years in the history of the University of Georgia. Together, we have expanded the boundaries of what is possible at the birthplace of public higher education in America. In November, we launched the public phase of the Commit to Georgia Campaign, setting forth a bold vision to raise $1.2 billion to increase scholarship support for our students, to further enhance our learning environment, and to solve the grand challenges of our time. The pages that follow illustrate how our vision for UGA’s future already is becoming a reality. In January, we introduced the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program to eliminate financial obstacles facing many students. Our alumni and friends responded enthusiastically to this initiative, creating 115 new need-based scholarships. Their generous gifts are establishing a permanent legacy of support that will alter the course of countless students and their families far into the future. The University implemented a campus-wide Experiential Learning Initiative and introduced the Double Dawgs Program to further strengthen our learning environment. In addition, UGA advanced a number of capital projects—including the Business Learning Community, Science Learning Center, and Indoor Athletic Facility, among others highlighted in this report. Our research enterprise continued to expand to address the most pressing challenges facing our state, nation, and world. Externally funded research expenditures—a key measure of productivity— surged again in FY17, up 14 percent, defying national trends. In addition, the latest report estimates UGA’s economic impact on Georgia at $5.25 billion, reflecting the University’s continued investment in our home state. On top of all of these accomplishments, we set—for the fourth consecutive year—a new record in annual fundraising. Demonstrating unparalleled support for the vision of this special University, alumni and friends gave an unprecedented $227.8 million to UGA—a 24 percent increase over last year’s record of $183.8 million. In the last four years, working together, we have nearly doubled our annual fundraising. Clearly, we are in the midst of a remarkable period in the storied history of UGA. Because of your unyielding dedication to this institution, I firmly believe that the University’s best days still lay ahead of us. Thank you for all that you have done to advance the mission of the University of Georgia. JERE W. MOREHEADPRESIDENT
  • The Hall County Sheriff’s Department says that an Athens man has been charged with felony theft by taking among other charges for stealing lawn and landscape maintenance equipment from Hall County Parks and Leisure that was worth more than $3,000. Deputies also found a backpack with miscellaneous tools, gloves and a ski mask in his car. 66-year-old Robert Wynn remains held on bond in the Hall County jail.  Wynn was arrested on Oct. 13 after the Hall County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a 911 call. Deputies found his car on Candler Road and initiated a traffic stop when Wynn allegedly stopped the vehicle and fled into nearby woods. Deputies pursued Wynn and took him into custody without incident. 
  • The Georgia Department of Transportation says that if the weather permits, contractors for Georgia Transmission Corporation will pull utility lines across all lanes on I-85 northbound and southbound between Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Indian Trail in Gwinnett County. They say the work is “part of a critical electric infrastructure upgrade” and will require traffic pacing on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Access ramps from these exits will be closed during the traffic pacing. Expect delays and find alternate routes if possible. For more information, call 511 or visit www.gatrans.com. 
  • Professors from the University of Georgia join with colleagues at Valdosta State and Georgia Southwestern University in Americus, filing a lawsuit seeking an injunction on Georgia’s new campus carry law. The professors claim the Governor overstepped his authority when he signed the bill that allows permitted students and others to carry firearms on college and university campuses in Georgia. The suit says the decision should rest with the schools and with the state Board of Regents. Georgia’s campus carry bill was passed by the legislature earlier this year and became law effective July 1. 
  • It will mean more new jobs for northeast Georgia: the Nestle Purina Petcare company says it’s investing $320 million in a manufacturing and distribution center in Hartwell, adding 240 payroll positions in Hart County. 
  • The Athens-Clarke County Police Department says that just before 10 p.m. on Aug. 17, officers were dispatched to an assault off Mark Twain Circle. A UGA student told police that he was walking down the sidewalk in front of the UGA veterinary clinic near the bus stop when a man he did not know began speaking with him. The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Cedric Courtes Smith, allegedly had his hands behind his back before he walked towards the UGA student and punched him. The UGA student says that he began to run and was chased for a short period of time before he lost Smith. Officers noticed a clean, deep cut on the left side of the UGA student’s neck when they got there. Smith was later located on Barnett Shoals Road near Carriage Court and has been charged with aggravated assault. Investigators believe Smith used a cutting instrument, but a weapon has yet to be recovered. The UGA student was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
  • Officers were dispatched to the Waffle House at 1310 Oconee Street where they were told an armed robbery occurred just after 2:00 a.m. on Aug. 15. Two employees and three customers told the Athens-Clarke County Police Department that two black males wearing masks entered the store and that one had a handgun when they ordered everyone to get on the ground. The suspects allegedly took purses and cell phones from the customers as well as money from the cash register.  Police say the suspect who was armed was described as wearing a black ski mask, black shirt, camouflage shorts and white shoes and that the second suspect was described as wearing a black ski mask, black t-shirt, black pants and black tennis shoes. The ACC forensic unit was called to the scene to process evidence. The investigation is ongoing. 
  • Expect single lane closures on State Route 53 between Dogwood Trail and Little Hall Park overnight on Thurs. July 20 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Georgia Department of Transportation says that concrete footings will be poured that will serve as supports for the substructure of the new bridge. The work will be done if the weather permits. GDOT asks you to slow down when approaching the work zone and drive alert while traveling through it. More from the Georgia Department of Transportation The Bolling Bridge replacement project consists of .793 miles of construction for widening and realignment of State Route 53 beginning at Dogwood Path and extending east of the Chestatee River just a little before Little Hall Park, including construction of the bridge, and approaches over Chestatee (Lake Lanier). The project was awarded to Scott Bridge Company of Opelika, AL in March of 2016 and has a current completion date of March 2019. The $19.7 million project is 22 percent complete and will build a new bridge beside the current one. Once the construction of the new structure is complete, traffic will be moved to it, and the former bridge built in 1956 will be destroyed. 
  • The Georgia Department of Transportation says that crews will be performing guardrail repair as well as other routine maintenance activities during the Monday overnight hours. Expect single lane closures east and west bound on State Route 316 between State Routes 20 and 120 from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. GDOT asks that you drive alert as workers will be in close proximity to travel lanes. Expect minor delays. 
  • Abby Jessen

    Abby is a Roswell native and an alumna of the University of Georgia with Broadcast Journalism and Digital Marketing degrees. Abby loves to know what is going on at all times, which is why she loves reporting news in and around Athens. In her free time, you can catch her watching Georgia sports teams, Tweeting way too much, and pretending to be a foodie because she can’t actually cook. 

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Local News

  • The University of Georgia will celebrate its myriad offerings in the visual, literary and performing arts this November during the sixth annual Spotlight on the Arts festival, which features nearly 100 events and exhibitions over 12 days. The festival begins Nov. 1 with 'Kaleidoscope: Spotlight on the Arts Opening Celebration,' an hourlong showcase of student performances in dance, music, theater and creative writing at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. Spotlight on the Arts, which continues through Nov. 12, includes art exhibitions and demonstrations, book talks and readings, film screenings and theater, and music and dance performances, many of which are free and open to the public or discounted for students. 'Spotlight on the Arts exemplifies how creative expression and scholarship in the arts enrich the learning environment at the University of Georgia,' said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. 'Over a 12-day period, it provides an extraordinary sampling of the kind of world-class exhibitions and performances this institution offers year-round.' Now in its sixth year, Spotlight on the Arts highlights the quality and breadth of the arts offerings at UGA. This year's festival includes performances of 'Cabaret' presented by University Theatre, as well concerts from seven student and faculty groups from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, exhibitions at the Lamar Dodd School of Art and Georgia Museum of Art, and performances from the department of dance's Young Choreographers Series. A special daylong Student Spotlight event Nov. 2 will feature student performances from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tate Plaza. On Nov. 11, the second annual Spotlight on the Arts Family Day will include performances, activities, demonstrations and workshops in art, dance, theater, music and writing designed for children and families to enjoy. Both events are free of charge. Other highlights of the 2017 Spotlight on the Arts festival include an induction ceremony for the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame; a discussion with artist manager Michael Lehman, who represented Gregg Allman and other high-profile clients; lectures from internationally renowned artists, writers and scholars such as photographer Sean Dunn, author Kristen Iskandrian, painter Philip Juras, art historian Martha Lucy and interdisciplinary artist Clark Lunberry; as well as guest performances from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the music group The Bumper Jacksons. 'Spotlight on the Arts is one of the premier ways the Arts Council achieves its mission, and we are thrilled by the lineup of events and exhibits this year,' said Russ Mumper, vice provost for academic affairs and chair of the UGA Arts Council, which coordinates the festival. Members of the UGA Arts Council include representatives from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the creative writing program, the department of dance, the department of theatre and film studies, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Georgia Museum of Art, The Georgia Review, the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, the Lamar Dodd School of Art, the Performing Arts Center, the UGA Press, the special collections libraries and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. Also contributing to the 2017 Spotlight on the Arts festival are the College of Education, College of Environment and Design, Ideas for Creative Exploration, Odum School of Ecology and the School of Public and International Affairs.
  • A Commerce woman faces criminal charges in the death of her mother. 74 year-old Linda Cowart died in a hospital in Athens; Commerce Police say her death was the result of neglect on the part of her daughter, who was serving as her mother’s caretaker. Charges against 50 year-old Tina Booth include murder and elder neglect. The GBI is in on the ongoing investigation.  There is a guilty plea from the man charged in the death of a woman whose body was found in a hotel in Gainesville: 44 year-old Andre Hollingsworth pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge and also to charges of cocaine possession. The body of 33 year-old Randi Higgins was found in a Hall County hotel back in March. An autopsy later determined she died of blunt force trauma. Hollingsworth will serve a 25-year prison sentence.  A Gainesville man is facing child molestation charges: 53 year-old Russell Lowery was booked into the Hall County jail, accused of molesting a child for a two-year period beginning in 2014.  Police in Oakwood arrest a Gainesville man on a kidnapping charge: Luis Contreras is 26 years old. The arrest comes after a traffic stop in Oakwood. Police say he fled the scene of the stop on foot and was arrested a short time later. They say a teenaged boy who was with him at the time was being held against his will. Contreras is also facing theft charges.  A Buford woman will be sentenced next month after her conviction on a murder charge: 34 year-old Olivia Smith had claimed self-defense in the shooting death of her husband. 34 year-old Cory Smith was shot and killed at the couple’s home in Buford in April of 2015, a shooting that happened while the Smith’s were in the midst of divorce proceedings. She was convicted in a trial that was held in Gwinnett County Superior Court. 
  • Former Georgia governor and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, will be retiring from public life as he battles Parkinson’s disease. Miller’s family made the announcement Wednesday morning, asking for prayers.  The former governor will retire in the north Georgia mountains, where he was born.  His friends told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot that Miller has left a legacy the state won’t soon forget. Miller was a college professor, a U.S. Marine and for 40 years one of the most influential politicians in Georgia history -- rising from a mayor to a state lawmaker to lieutenant governor to governor to U.S. senator. TRENDING STORIES: Boy, 1, dies after getting struck by SUV; Family retaliates against driver Warrant: Mother accused of 'knowingly and intentionally' killing children Sleeping man killed over his marijuana-infused edibles, police say 'He was a political hero of mine. He and I come from the same kind of tradition up here in the mountains,” current Georgia House Speaker David Ralston told Elliot.  Ralston believes the HOPE Scholarship is Miller’s greatest achievement - one that still impacts the state. “HOPE mattered in the lives of so many Georgia families. It still matters in their lives. And so touching that many lives is, I don’t know what could be greater than that,” Ralston said.  Former Gov. Miller's grandson: 'I think Georgians can be comforted by the fact that if anyone can deal with Parkinson's...it's Zell Miller.' pic.twitter.com/rbJMxkYmvr — Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) October 18, 2017 Elliot also spoke will Miller’s grandson, Bryan, who said he and his family created the Miller Institute Foundation an organization to preserve the former governor’s legacy and to help mold future Georgia leaders. “If anybody can handle Parkinson’s, it’s Zell Miller,” Bryan Miller told Elliot. “I don’t think we’re going to see to many people like Zell Miller in the future, and so what I want to do his preserve his legacy, the accomplishments, the record, but also to promote and educate the public about the man.” Bryan Miller also told Elliot that the HOPE Scholarship helped move the state forward as well.  “I think it’s one of the reasons so many Fortune 500s are relocating and opening up offices in Georgia. It’s something that we in family are very proud of,” Bryan Miller said.  [Learn more about Saturday's annual fundraiser walk for the Parkinson's Foundation here] “Zell’s tough.  He has had a fantastic career, and I think Georgians can be comforted by the fact that if there’s anybody who can deal with Parkinson’s and address it head on, it’s Zell Miller,” Bryan Miller said. Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement:  “Zell’s public service record and accomplishments are countless. He is a statesman, a humble servant, a proud Georgian, an honorable man and my good friend. His legacy is one of which we are all proud.” “Know the early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease and how to spot them in yourself or in someone you love.  Early diagnosis and expert care can improve quality of life for someone living with the disease. The Parkinson’s Foundation is here to help. Call 1-800-4PD-INFO or visit www.parkinson.org to learn more,' the foundation said.
  • The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy was hit by a car while working Tuesday afternoon at Oconee Veterans Park.  From the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page ...  A deputy was just struck by a vehicle while directing traffic in front of OVP. The deputy is conscious, alert, and talking. The driver did stop. We are happy to report that Lt. George Roberts has been released from the hospital. All test and X-rays came back fine. He's going to be a bit sore for a few days.
  • We are today twenty days away from the November 7 election day, with early voting continuing in Athens and Oconee County: special legislative elections in House Districts 117 and 119 highlight a ballot that will also include municipal elections—mayor’s races in Jefferson and Elberton—and a transportation sales tax referendum in Athens. The early voting that began Monday continues through Friday November 3.  Republican candidates in the House races met in a candidates forum last night on the Oconee County campus of the University of North Georgia. Houston Gaines is opposed by Democrat Deborah Gonzalez in the race to fill the unexpired term of former state Rep Regina Quick, who left the legislature to become a Superior Court judge. Tom Lord, Steve Strickland, and Marcus Wiedower are running for the post vacated by Chuck Williams, who gave up his House seat to become the director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Democrat Jonathan Wallace did not attend last night’s Oconee County forum.

Bulldog News

  • And now…#3. The Georgia Bulldogs move up one spot in the latest AP poll just released on Sunday. It comes after the Dawgs’ 53-28 win over Missouri this weekend. The Bulldogs were poised for a step-up, given a chaotic weekend of college football results, with four of the top 10 teams going down to defeat.  This now marks the first time Georgia has reached third in the nation, since just before the 2012 SEC Championship game.  The new AP rankings still have Alabama in the top spot, followed by Penn State now into the #2 position.  The Bulldogs are off this coming weekend, followed by their annual battle with Florida on October 28th. 
  • ATHENS ---- Former Georgia All-America defensive back/wide receiver/kick returner Roland ‘’Champ’’ Bailey was among those selected for the 2017 Southeastern Conference Football Legends class, announced Tuesday by the SEC office. The class will be honored at the 2017 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” Dec. 1-2 in Atlanta, Ga. The annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will be held Friday, Dec. 1 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and the group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 2. Considered the most versatile player at Georgia since the inception of two-platoon football, Bailey was an All-American performer on offense, defense and special teams for the Bulldogs. He played more than 1,000 plays during his junior season in 1998, including more than 100 plays in seven different games. The All-Southeastern Conference selection was named winner of the 1998 Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player and was a consensus All-American selection that year. In the ’98 season Bailey caught 47 passes for 744 yards and five TDs on offense, and on defense he totaled 52 tackles with three interceptions. Bailey was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1999 NFL draft and was a 12-time Pro Bowl (3-time 1st-team All-Pro) selection from 2000-2013 as a member of the Redskins and the Denver Broncos. He was named a member of the Football Writers Association of America 75th Anniversary All-America first team in 2015. He finished his pro career with 52 interceptions, four of which he returned for touchdowns. Other members of the 2017 class include Gene Stallings (Alabama), Dan Hampton (Arkansas), Carlos Rogers (Auburn), Danny Wuerffel (Florida), Nate Worthington (Kentucky), Glenn Dorsey (LSU), Terrence Metcalf (Ole Miss), Floyd Womack (Mississippi State), Brad Smith (Missouri), John Abraham (South Carolina), Chad Clifton (Tennessee), Dave Elmendorf (Texas A&M) and Don Orr (Vanderbilt). The SEC Legends program was started in the 1994 season and the following former Bulldogs have been chosen to participate: Charley Tripp (1994), Fran Tarkenton (1995), Bill Stanfill (1996), Terry Hoage (1997), John Rauch (1998), Herschel Walker (1999), Kevin Butler (2000), Tommy Lyons (2001), George Patton (2002), Scott Woerner (2003), Mike Wilson (2004), Zeke Bratkowski (2005), Garrison Hearst (2006), Rex Robinson (2007), Eric Zeier (2008), Matt Stinchcomb (2009), Ben Zambiasi (2010), Boss Bailey (2011), David Greene (2012), Tim Worley (2013), John Little (2014), Richard Seymour (2015) and Jon Stinchcomb (2016).
  • Georgia Bulldog senior left tackle Isaiah Wynn has been named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week following his performance in the victory at Vanderbilt, according to a league announcement.    This is the Bulldogs’ fourth SEC weekly honor of the season and first Offensive Lineman of the Week honor in 2017. Senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was named the Defensive Player of the Week after the win at #24 Notre Dame and freshman quarterback Jake Fromm garnered Freshman of the Week honors in the victory over #17 Mississippi State. Last week, senior tailback Nick Chubb was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week.   The last time Georgia had an Offensive Lineman of the Week award was when Chris Burnette garnered the honor following the win at Tennessee in 2013.   Wynn, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., graded out at 92 percent and allowed no quarterback hurries, hits or sacks during the 45-14 rout of the Commodores. Wynn posted eight “knockdown” blocks while the Bulldogs rolled up 423 yards rushing, which is the sixth most in school history and the most since 1987 when Georgia had 454 yards versus Vanderbilt.   The #4 Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0 SEC) return home to face Missouri (1-4, 0-3 SEC) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The SEC Network will televise the matchup at Sanford Stadium.
  • Today begins Homecoming Week at the University of Georgia. Activities that begin with this morning’s Bulldog Bash at the Tate Student Center will culminate with Saturday night’s Homecoming football game against Missouri. The game kicks off at 7:30 in Sanford Stadium.    The Georgia Bulldogs climb from 5th to 4th in the latest Associated Press college football rankings: this, after this weekend’s win at Vanderbilt. Up next: this Saturday night’s Homecoming game against the Missouri Tigers.