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Latest from Jamie Dupree

  • Even with another major push to get Republicans on board with a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, House GOP leaders were unable to bring the bill to the floor for a vote on Friday, still short of the support needed to squeeze out a majority for a major campaign promise. A day of arm twisting finally ended around 10 pm on Thursday night, as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters that there would be no vote on Friday or Saturday on health care, and that Republicans would try again next week. “We’re going to go when we have the votes,” Speaker Paul Ryan had told reporters earlier in the day, as it became painfully evident for the GOP in the hours after that statement – again – that they were short on votes. no surprise but House leaders made it official late tonight – no vote on Obamacare repeal until AT LEAST next week. — Joanne Kenen (@JoanneKenen) April 28, 2017 “I think they are real close,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) Thursday afternoon about the vote count, who said GOP leaders “want to be certain “before taking the bill to the House floor. Overall, Republicans were closer than previous attempts, as more conservative lawmakers who had resisted the bill in previous weeks, got on board in recent days. .@MajLeader: no vote on health care tonight or Friday. After almost 2-hr leadership meeting, says they were just working on CR — Erin Mershon (@eemershon) April 28, 2017 “I think the recent amendments to the health care bill have been very significant,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a member of the more conservative House Freedom Caucus, who said he was ready to vote for the bill this time. “I commend President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Ryan, and my colleagues for keeping the lines of communication open, which has ultimately led to a better bill,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), another Freedom Caucus member who was ready to vote “Yes.” But the bottom line as lawmakers go home this weekend is the same – Republicans still haven’t found the magic formula to get the health care bill through the House.
  • With a group of more conservative lawmakers from the House Freedom Caucus now on board, Republicans in the House are setting the table for a possible Friday vote on a GOP bill to overhaul the Obama health law, a day before President Donald Trump marks his 100th day in office. The clearest sign of a possible vote quietly surfaced overnight, as Republicans posted the text of the GOP health bill – the American Health Care Act – and several related amendments, on a website which shows the expected schedule for the House floor. The changes included language worked out in recent days by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), which would allow states to apply for waivers to certain provisions of the Obama health law, like the law’s Essential Health Benefits. Also posted by the GOP was a fix for the MacArthur-Meadows amendment, which would strike out language that seemingly exempted members of Congress from any changes that might be made to health insurance coverage. But while it was clear GOP leaders were now thinking about a House floor vote, it still seemed an uphill fight to convince reluctant Republican lawmakers to vote for that plan. “I always vote my conscience, and this will not lower premiums,” said Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), one of a group of moderates who have not been sold on GOP health care efforts so far, worried it will go against the pledge to maintain protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. In order to set up a Friday vote, Republicans would have to first have the House Rules Committee approve a resolution setting out the guidelines for debate, including on the new amendments to the GOP health plan.
  • The Trump Administration today released the basic framework of President Trump’s tax reform plan, which would make dramatic changes in the federal tax code for both individuals and businesses, as top officials urged Congress to act swiftly on what would be the biggest reform of the tax code since a plan approved by President Reagan over thirty years ago. What would some of those changes look like? 1. Larger standard deduction and fewer tax brackets. For many Americans, the most immediate impact of the Trump tax plan would be a larger standard deduction, which would shield more of your income from federal taxes. Currently, individuals can exempt the first $6,300 of their income; married couples are at $12,600. This Trump plan would dramatically increase that to $24,000 for couples. Meanwhile, the number of tax brackets would shrink from the current seven – to just three, with tax rates of 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. No figures were provided on exactly where those income brackets would be – that’s to be filled in later, along with a lot of other details. I wonder if H&R Block, TurboTax will lobby against a larger standard deduction because it would make taxes simpler for many filers. — Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) April 26, 2017 2. Trump plan would end many itemized deductions. For those in upper income brackets, the Trump tax reform plan would bring about dramatic change. Currently, taxpayers are allowed to itemize a host of deductions: Medical and Dental expenses, state and local taxes, state sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, home mortage interest, charitable contributions, casualty and theft losses, certain work expenses, tax preparation fees, gambling losses, and other miscellaneous deductions. If this plan stays the same, all of those would be swept aside, except for the home mortgage interest deduction, and the write off for charitable contributions. Itemized deductions today largely available only to 1) Homeowners with mortgages and 2) High income taxpayers with large state tax payments. — Jofi Joseph (@Jofi_Joseph_99) April 26, 2017 3. Big changes for businesses large and small. The big headline of the Trump tax plan – as it applies to the business world – is to cut the corporate tax rate more than half, taking it from 35 percent to 15 percent. That 15 percent rate would also apply to “pass through” business entities, which under current law are forced to pay higher individual rates. “Our objective is to make U.S. businesses the most competitive in the world,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the White House, as he cast the business tax changes in terms of a stimulus for economic growth. Democrats quickly said those type of business tax cuts will mainly benefit those already at upper income levels, like President Trump. Everyone wins when we cut the us corporate tax rate! #taxreform — noelle nikpour (@noellenikpour) April 26, 2017 #US business tax cut to 15% would lead to change in landscape of global corporate tax rates! — Kanupriya Prashar (@kanupriyaprash) April 26, 2017 4. Other highlights include AMT, estate tax repeal. While the big headlines were on individual tax brackets and the corporate tax rate cut, there are some other proposals that deserve a mention. The Trump plan would repeal federal estate taxes, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and get rid of the 3.8% tax on investment income from the Obama health law. In terms of capital gains and dividends, the tax rates on those would drop to 20 percent. The Sound of a Million Capital Gains Transactions Being Contemplated — Ohad Samet (@ohadsamet) April 26, 2017 5. Lots of bullet points, but not lots of details. One of the most important details here is that the White House did not send Congress a detailed plan with legislative text – instead this proposal from President Trump gives his priorities, and now the White House and Congress must fill in the rest of the blanks. For example, while there would be three tax brackets, there was no proposal floated on what income levels those brackets would cover. On the one-time tax on overseas profits, the Treasury Secretary would only say it would be set at a “very competitive rate.” The White House issued a single page of bullet points on what Mr. Trump wants – leaving many items TBD. So the tax plan today is basically, 'Really, we're going to do something. See, here's a page that says we're going to do something.' ??? — Ginger Gibson (@GingerGibson) April 26, 2017 Tax bill start in the House of Representatives. We shall see in coming weeks and months whether Republicans can push this forward, and get a tax reform plan to the President’s desk.
  • A few days after backing off on his campaign pledge to get rid of the Export-Import Bank, President Donald Trump on Friday sent mixed signals about the future of the agency, by nominating a former GOP Congressman to run the bank’s operations, who has said it engages in corporate welfare. Former Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), who lost his 2016 bid for re-election, would be the new President of the Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign companies get the financing they need to buy U.S. products and exports. During his final two years in Congress, Garrett made no bones about wanting to scrap all federal support for the Ex-Im Bank, labeling it “taxpayer funded welfare” for big corporations. I opposed the House's vote to reauthorize the corporate welfare program known as the Ex-Im Bank. #CronyCapitalism https://t.co/pSbg0RMrdu — Scott Garrett (@RepGarrett) October 27, 2015 Mr. Trump’s selection of Garrett as the new head of the bank raised immediate questions in Washington about the bank’s future, as a number of Republicans who are still in Congress believe the bank is a waste of taxpayer dollars. “Yikes,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) about the news of Garrett’s selection. #ExIm corporate welfare bank is the symbol of D.C. cronyism. It steals from taxpayers to subsidize big corporations. #EndExIm #DrainTheSwamp — Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2017 Along with the nomination of Garrett, President Trump named another former Congressman, ex-Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) to the Export-Import Bank board. Both nominations must still gain Senate approval.
  • Months after joining other Republicans in praising leaks about Democrats from the internet site Wikileaks, CIA Director Mike Pompeo blasted the group in a Washington, D.C. speech as a “hostile intelligence service,” charging that the overriding aim of Wikileaks is to help Russia and others in further anti-American goals. “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” the CIA Director added, saying Wikileaks, “overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.” It was a marked turnaround for the CIA Director, as back when Pompeo was a GOP Congressman from Kansas during the 2016 elections, he joined many others in Donald Trump’s campaign, including the President, in praising the leaks of Democratic emails by Wikileaks. “BUSTED: 19,252 Emails from DNC Leaked from Wikileaks,” Pompeo tweeted – though that tweet has since been deleted. But – Wikileaks was happy to send out the original, just in case you couldn’t find it. Tweet sent by CIA Director Mike Pompeo on 24 July 2016 https://t.co/sTMHw2nvOG pic.twitter.com/Qd0mYRl5QF — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 13, 2017 The U.S. Intelligence Community has long made clear that it believes there are distinct ties between Russian Intelligence and Wikileaks, though no formal evidence on the release of Democratic Party emails has been made public. “They didn’t deal directly with WikiLeaks,” FBI Director James Comey said in Congressional testimony last month, as he told the House Intelligence Community that there was “some kind of cutout,” an intermediary that the U.S. believes delivered the emails to Wikileaks for release.
  • While Republicans have vowed for years to balance the federal budget, there are few signs that President Donald Trump or GOP lawmakers will make significant headway to cut into the current $20 trillion federal debt, as a top White House aide said Wednesday that Mr. Trump’s campaign talk of getting rid of the debt was “hyperbole.” “It’s fairly safe to assume that was hyperbole,” said White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, who told CNBC in an interview that the President was not going to focus on major changes in mandatory spending as a way to balance the budget, “because the public’s not ready for it yet.” A look at the most recent budget reports show the growth in spending at the federal level is not being driven by regular programs that Congress deals with on a yearly basis, the so-called “discretionary spending” programs, which fund everything from the Pentagon to Congress, and various Executive Branch departments. Instead, the major cost drivers are what they have been for years – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other entitlement programs. “Outlays for the first six months of fiscal year 2017 totaled $1,996 billion, CBO estimates —$ 61 billion (or 3 percent) more than they were during the same period last year,” read a recent report from the Congressional Budget office. Here’s how the CBO summarized why the deficit is going up in 2017: Also starting to go up more, the interest on the national debt – as interest rates increase, that figure will continue to increase – so far, spending on interest for the public debt is up $28 billion compared to a year ago. In the first six months of the 2017 fiscal year, the CBO estimated the federal budget deficit was $522 billion, up $63 billion from a year ago. In recent years, GOP plans to balance the budget have often not accomplished that goal for eight to ten years – President Trump’s first budget outline did not envision any decrease in the deficit for the 2018 budget, leaving it around $480 billion. “Turns out neither party cares,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). Turns out neither party cares https://t.co/xTLbZBRmeX — Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) April 13, 2017 Republicans have yet to put their budget plans on the table for 2018 in the Congress. Federal budget procedures require Congress to approve the spending blueprint known as the “budget resolution” by April 15 – but that plan has yet to be unveiled by Republicans for 2018.
  • One of the ideas to spur new economic growth that President Donald Trump has talked about repeatedly is his idea of forging a $1 trillion infrastructure package to build new roads, bridges, sewer systems and more around the country – but the White House so far has not produced any details of such a plan, and Republicans in the Congress don’t have anything on the table yet, either. The President will meet with a group of CEO’s at the White House on Tuesday on the issue – it’s something he has highlighted repeatedly since taking the oath of office, even though it has a price tag that makes Republicans in the Congress somewhat queasy. “We’re talking about a very major infrastructure bill of a trillion dollars — perhaps even more,” Mr. Trump said last week. The idea was front and center in 2016 on the campaign trail, and played a role in his first address to Congress in late February. Trump's going heavy on his infrastructure promises today, both at in this address and his morning town hall with CEO's — Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) April 4, 2017 But at this point, White House spokesman Sean Spicer has only said the Trump Administration is in the “beginning phases” of putting together an infrastructure plan – which means there is no legislative text ready for action in the Congress. The big question is, how much money do the feds fork over, and how big should the effort be – as a number of Republican lawmakers have been cool to the idea of spending billions on roads and bridges. And even when you ask Republicans in the halls of Congress about the development of those plans, you get the feeling that a bill won’t on the floor of the House or Senate any time soon. “What about infrastructure?” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee said to reporters, when asked about it last week. “Any sense of when that might happen?” one reporter asked. “Well, it’s a little early for me to say,” Hatch replied, giving no hint that any decision had been made by top Republicans on how to fund a Trump highway plan. Yesterday, I wrote about how the Congress is not in session enough in D.C. to get its work done on time. The problem with the Trump infrastructure plan is that nothing has been proposed, beyond the idea of a $1 trillion dollar, public-private partnership to build new roads and bridges. And as several lawmakers told me last week, you can’t vote on an idea.
  • As lawmakers in Congress scatter back to their districts and around the world over an extended Easter break, a look at the calendar makes clear that if Republicans are going to make dramatic advances on the legislative agenda of President Donald Trump, the current Congressional work schedule might need to change, to ensure that Congress is in session and voting more often. It’s easy to beat up on Congress about their legislative schedule; weeks that feature votes on the floor of the House and Senate from Monday through Friday are rare. Congress makes sure to take a lengthy summer break even when a lot of annual work is unfinished. This past week, Republicans repeatedly said the House might come back into session over the Easter break if a deal was reached on a GOP health care bill. Congress needs 2 weeks off for Easter , for what coloring eggs, we have a lot of work to do….how is that Health Care Coming Along ? — Deplorable Rob (@robertmaturosr1) April 9, 2017 But the chances of striking a deal are much reduced when you are spread out around the country. The House left town on Thursday for a 19 day break. They are back in session April 25. The Senate left town Friday for a 17 day break. Senators return to session on April 24. Having watched Congress up close since I was a Page in the House of Representatives in 1980, what has become painfully evident about the House and Senate, is that their usual work schedule isn’t doing the trick. Just 4 times in 40 years that Congress finished its budget work on time (by October 1): 1996, 1994, 1988 & 1976 — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) September 22, 2016 As I reminded people with that old tweet, the last time lawmakers finished their budget work on time – by October 1 – was over 20 years ago, in 1996. That might be an indication that something needs to change. Certainly, lawmakers like to go home to take the pulse of the voters back home, and their schedules are aligned to take advantage of that each week. The Senate typically has a first vote on Monday evening, and a final vote by Thursday afternoon; this past week was one of the rare weeks where roll call votes occurred in the Senate on both a Monday and a Friday. The House usually works Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday; here is their legislative schedule for the next six months, with the planned days in session in black: Lawmakers bristle when reporters mention the recess, as some members make sure you know they aren’t just playing golf and watching game shows while they are at home. “Follow me someday, and I’ll show you a 14, 16 hour day; it’s not a recess,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) to reporters as the House got ready to leave on a 19 day Easter break. Murphy is right – many lawmakers are doing a lot of events back home, and talking to their constituents. But – when they aren’t in Washington, the legislative business of the country pretty much goes on hold. Budget expires April 28 Congress will be home April 8-22 so they have ~4 days to avoid government shutdown. lol. America. — Shaena Montanari (@DrShaena) April 3, 2017 A prime example of that comes up later this month – when Congress returns the week of April 24, they will have just a few days to extend a stopgap budget, which runs out on April 28. That full budget should have been approved by October 1 of 2016, as in last year – but because of the elections, lawmakers really didn’t try to pass the dozen annual spending bills, and instead approved what is known as a “Continuing Resolution” to fund the government. As for the 2018 budget, the Congress is already well behind schedule on that as week. Lawmakers are supposed to approve a spending blueprint known as the “budget resolution” by April 15 of each year. But in 2017, that budget resolution has not even been formulated, let alone voted on, as the failure to meet that April 15 deadline has become commonplace, and entirely bipartisan. In the past 30 years, the April 15 deadline for the budget resolution has been met by Congress four times. http://t.co/fAglR1bzsW — Matt Blunt (@MattBlunt) July 21, 2014 Think of it this way – if your assignment at work from your boss was to get the budget done by October 1, you would probably screw around early in the year, but then you would stay at work as long as needed to get the budget done by October 1. Or, there might be consequences. If you had failed to get that budget done on time in 36 of the last 40 years – that doesn’t sound like a plan that is producing results. Again – I must emphasize – that record of budget failure is a bipartisan one. The Republicans are no better than the Democrats on the annual appropriations bills, just like the Democrats are no better than the Republicans. As it turns out, legislating is difficult. https://t.co/kwpDZKXIiy — Andrew Taylor (@APAndrewTaylor) April 4, 2017 And unless Congress decides to scrap its August recess and work a lot more hours on the floors of the House and Senate in May, June and July, 2017 will go down as yet another year that the budget work doesn’t get done on time. That might not sound important to many of you, but when that work doesn’t get done, it also slows the other work of Congress – and this year, that could further bog down the legislative agenda of President Donald Trump, which already encountering moving slowly out of the gate. My advice to members of Congress is simple – just the put the bills on the floor. Don’t be afraid of tough votes. Work late on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Have votes five days a week. Week after week after week. And I’ll be there to cover it.
  • Twitter on Friday dropped a one day old lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, after the feds gave up a legal effort to force the social media giant to reveal who was behind a Twitter account that has often been critical of the Trump Administration on immigration policy. The dispute arose in mid-March, when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service served a legal summons on Twitter, “demanding that Twitter provide them records that would unmask, or likely lead to unmasking, the identity of the person(s)responsible for the @ALT_USCIS account.” Twitter argued in a lawsuit filed Thursday that such a move was well outside the legal responsibility of Customs and Border Protection, especially since there had been no evidence presented of any criminal activities associated with that account. A day after that lawsuit was filed by Twitter, the CBP dropped its legal request. We want to thank @twitter and @aclu for standing up for the right of free anonymous speech. Thank you resistance for standing up for us. https://t.co/6PdwZIJ2xP — ALT🛂 Immigration (@ALT_uscis) April 7, 2017 The matter did not go unnoticed on Capitol Hill, as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to the acting head of the CBP, labeling the move a “disturbing threat to free speech.” “I request that you conduct an internal review into why and how CBP issued the summons and report on the results of that review,” Wyden wrote in his letter. The Oregon Democrat said he feared that the feds were trying to find out if this Twitter account was being run by a current employee of the Department of Homeland Security, “in order to take retaliatory action or otherwise squelch the exercise of First Amendment” rights. This account is one of a number of social media accounts that have sprung up since President Trump took office; they often make negative and/or mocking comments about changes being made inside certain agencies by the Trump Administration, and the President himself. It’s not clear if any of them are run by actual federal employees, or are just part of a broader effort to push back against Mr. Trump. Twitter’s argument is simple – unless they are accused of a crime, there is no reason the federal government should be able to force the release of material that would identify those who run the accounts. we recommend @BadHombreNPS @AltMtRainier @altUSEPA @Vets_Vs_Trump @AltHVNP @AltStateDpt @AltForestServ @AltDptEducation @AltDIA @alt_labor — ALT🛂 Immigration (@ALT_uscis) April 7, 2017 It was not immediately clear why this arm of the Department of Homeland Security asked for this information – when the request was made on March 14, the agency tried to force Twitter to produce “user names, account login, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and I.P. addresses” of those behind @ALT_USCIS. BREAKING: Trump administration backs down from unconstitutional push to unmask @ALT_uscis. Big victory for free speech and right to dissent. — ACLU National (@ACLU) April 7, 2017
  • Jamie Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.

    A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.

    He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.

    Follow Jamie on Google+

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Local News

  • Former Gainesville Red Elephant football and Clemson Tiger quarterback Deshaun Watson had his name called on the biggest of football stages last night in Philadelphia. With the 12th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected the once local high school legend and College Football Playoff champion. Watson was an AJC Super 11 selection in 2013 and left the Red Elephants as the Georgia record-holder for career passing yards in high school. In three seasons at Clemson, Watson  led the Tigers to two College Football Playoff appearances, winning a National Championship in 2017 when he beat the Alabama Crimson Tide,  and has twice been named a Heisman Trophy finalist. Earlier this year, the road that runs by the Gainesville High football stadium was named ‘Deshaun Watson Way’ in his honor. 
  • The widening and reconstruction of Mars Hill Road continues in Oconee County. On Friday, Crooked Creek Road will close to traffic for 45 days. Traffic will be detoured through Carriage Hill Road to Hodges Mill Road, then to back onto Mars Hill Road. This closure and detour will allow the contractor to complete construction on Crooked Creek Road.
  • David R. Sweat, Chief Judge of the Superior Courts of the Western Judicial Circuit of the State of Georgia, will retire from active service effective July 31, 2017. Governor Nathan Deal will appoint an individual to serve for the remainder of the term, which expires on December 31, 2018.  Judge Sweat was elected in 2002 to the open seat on the Superior Court bench in Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County that was created when the late Judge Joseph J. Gaines retired. Before taking the bench, Judge Sweat practiced law in Athens for 23 years. Judge Sweat won re-election three times. 
  • Another dip in the unemployment rate in the local Athens area, with an increase in jobs in the metro Athens area.  Below is the full press release from the Georgia Department of Labor: ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that Metro Athens’ unemployment rate in March was 4.5 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 4.8 percent in February. In March 2016, the rate was also 4.8 percent. The rate declined because more people became employed as the labor force continued to grow, and employers continued to add jobs. The number of employed residents increased by 705 to 94,402, as the labor force grew by 454 to 98,890. The labor force consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs. The number of jobs increased by 500, or 0.5 percent, to 95,500. Most of the job growth came in services, including leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and warehousing. Over the year, 2,600 jobs were added, a 2.8 percent growth rate, up from 92,900 in March 2016. Most of the job growth came in state government and the service industries such as trade, transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. The goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction, added 200 jobs. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 32, or 10.5 percent, to 337. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and retail trade. Over the year, claims were down by 45, or 11.8 percent, from 382 in March 2016. Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4 percent, while the River Valley region had the highest at 6.1 percent. Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in February. It was 5.5 percent in March 2016. Job seekers and employers are encouraged to use GDOL’s online job listing service employgeorgia.com to search for jobs or recruit new employees. In March, 1,617 new job openings in Athens were posted on Employ Georgia. Throughout the state, 85,055 new job openings were posted. Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at dol.georgia.gov Visit dol.georgia.gov to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services for job seekers and employers and to connect with us on social media.
  • Press Release from ACC Police:  On May 24th officers with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Clarke, Oglethorpe and Madison County Sheriff’s Office’s, along with the FBI, conducted a warrant roundup of wanted gang members and gang associates. Eleven individuals were arrested for felony warrants. Two additional subjects were arrested for hindering the apprehension of a fugitive. Warrants were served in Athens-Clarke, Oglethorpe and Madison Counties.   One subject arrested, Johntavius Hull, was wanted on 17 warrants including multiple counts of Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, and violation of Georgia’s street gang terrorism act. The others arrested in the sweep are listed below;  Tedarius Darden  Mandrell Hull  Tyvon Jones  Brianna Wimpy  Dwayne Fitzgerald Maddox  Carlos Demetrius Long Jr.  Trevonte Lewis  Santarius Larhen Jackson  Marquavious Bradford  Chasity Lane 

Bulldog News

  • Former Gainesville Red Elephant football and Clemson Tiger quarterback Deshaun Watson had his name called on the biggest of football stages last night in Philadelphia. With the 12th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected the once local high school legend and College Football Playoff champion. Watson was an AJC Super 11 selection in 2013 and left the Red Elephants as the Georgia record-holder for career passing yards in high school. In three seasons at Clemson, Watson  led the Tigers to two College Football Playoff appearances, winning a National Championship in 2017 when he beat the Alabama Crimson Tide,  and has twice been named a Heisman Trophy finalist. Earlier this year, the road that runs by the Gainesville High football stadium was named ‘Deshaun Watson Way’ in his honor. 
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS-----Georgia plays host to No. 8 Florida starting Friday at Foley Field at 7 p.m. with the entire league series available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG. With four SEC series remaining, the Bulldogs (17-25, 5-13 SEC) are tied for 12th with Tennessee for the final spot in the 12-team SEC Tournament field. Georgia and the Vols own identical 5-13 SEC records. The Bulldogs do hold the tiebreaker over UT after winning the series in Knoxville 2-1 earlier this season. Alabama is in last place overall with a 2-16 SEC record. Missouri holds the 11th spot with an 8-10 league mark. The Gators (27-13, 10-8 SEC) are in second place in the Eastern Division, two games behind seventh-ranked Kentucky (28-13, 12-6 SEC). Georgia travels to Kentucky next (May 5-7). Georgia is coming off a 7-5 road win over Georgia Tech to clinch the season series in its only midweek action while Florida last played on Sunday, winning a home series over No. 18 South Carolina. Entering this series, the Bulldogs are batting .259 with an ERA of 5.08 and a fielding percentage of .956. The Gators are batting .252 with a 3.09 ERA and a .978 fielding percentage. Florida leads the series with Georgia 173-80-2. The Bulldogs last won a series over the Gators in 2013, going 2-1 in Athens. Florida has won the last three series, posting a sweep in Gainesville in 2014 and winning 2-1 in Athens in 2015 and 2-1 in Gainesville in 2016.   On Saturday at 2 p.m., Georgia will hold its annual Lettermen’s Day with a special focus on the 30-year anniversary of the 1987 team that was the first Bulldog squad in school history to advance to the College World Series. Also, two annual lettermen awards will be presented before the game. Lettermen from as far back as the 1940s will be in attendance.   Pitching Matchups For The UF Series Friday at 7 p.m.: Andrew Gist (2-3, 3.99), LHP, Sr. vs. Alex Faedo (6-1, 2.47) RHP, Jr. Saturday at 2 p.m.: Chase Adkins (5-4, 3.43), RHP, Jr. vs. Brady Singer (4-3, 1.94), RHP, So. Sunday at 1 p.m.: Kevin Smith (2-4, 6.35), LHP, So. vs. Jackson Kowar (6-0, 3.90), RHP, So.    Hitters To Watch Georgia’s top two hitters and All-Star candidates are sophomore C/DH Michael Curry (.344-9-42) and freshman SS Cam Shepherd (.320-5-22). They have started all 42 games and rank 1-2 on the squad in batting average, home runs and RBI. Curry ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in batting, home runs and RBI. In SEC action, Shepherd is batting a team-best .359 followed by Curry at .338. The Gators are led by sophomore OF Nelson Maldonado (.311-3-13) and junior 1B/C JJ Schwarz (.243-5-30). Also, Florida is 52-for-68 in stolen base attempts with junior SS Dalton Guthrie (.250-3-13) and sophomore 2B Deacon Liput (225-1-12) with 10 stolen bases apiece.   Banged-Up Bulldogs  Georgia’s infield depth has taken a hit this month after two more Bulldogs were lost to season-ending injuries. Freshman Aaron Schunk (.290-1-18), who had started 37 games at third base, broke his left thumb against Clemson on April 19th while junior utility infielder Trey Logan (.190-0-6) broke his left collarbone against Vanderbilt April 22nd. Georgia has been without projected starting first baseman sophomore Patrick Sullivan all year due to an illness. Also, junior outfielder Will Campbell (.237-3-13), who has made 29 starts, has missed the last nine games due to a sore back.    2017 Georgia Baseball Stat Link: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/teamcume.html   Television/Radio TV: SEC Network+ Friday-Sunday (Matt Stewart & Jason Jacobs); Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College (Jeff Dantzler & David Johnston) Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), also via the Georgia Bulldogs app and TuneIn app. Live Stats: www.georgiadogs.com, go to the Schedule Page, find the game, click on GameTracker Link Additional Coverage on Twitter: @BaseballUGA   Foley Field Ticket Information *Ticket Booth and Gates open two hours before first pitch. *Reserved Seat Tickets: $8; General Admission Tickets: $5; Order online or by calling 1-877-542-1231 *UGA Student Tickets: Free Admission with valid UGA Student ID Card *UGA Student Gate is located off Rutherford Street Special Promotions for the UF Series *Friday: First 750 fans receive Utz Potato Chips *Saturday: Lettermen Day honoring Georgia’s 1987 College World Series Team; First 750 fans receive a 1987 replica jersey *Sunday: First 200 fans receive an oatmeal cookie to celebrate National Oatmeal Cookie Day: Pregame: Anthem Buddies: Stand on the field next to your favorite Bulldog for the National Anthem Postgame: Kids can run the bases and play catch in the outfield for a brief time
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia sophomore Denzel Comenentia has been named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week while redshirt freshman Kate Hall has earned the Women’s Freshman of the Week honor following the Bulldogs’ weekend at the Virginia Challenge.   Comenentia was named the SEC Freshman of the Week once last year indoors and once outdoors in 2016. This marks Hall’s first weekly league honor.   The Bulldogs have now had five SEC weekly award winners outdoors. Freshman Beatrice Llano became Georgia’s first winner following the Texas Relays and senior siblings Devon and Kendell Williams garnered conference honors after sweeping the Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon in Athens.   Comenentia, a native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, lifted his fourth attempt in the shot put Invite a personal-best distance of 66 feet, 8 ½ inches to take second in Charlottesville, Va. This effort ranks fourth on the national list, is the top SEC mark and sits third in the school record books, pushing 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Reese Hoffa to fourth. Comenentia started his weekend by winning the hammer with a throw of 227-3.   Hall, a native of Casco, Maine, and Iowa State transfer, cruised to a victory in the 100-meter dash by .20 seconds, marking the first time she had run the distance at the collegiate level. She finished with a personal record of 11.36, which is the second-best time for a freshman in the country this year. Hall’s time ranks fourth in the UGA record books and is the best since 2004. She remains fifth on this year’s national long jump list as well.   The Bulldogs will train through this weekend as they prepare for the inaugural Torrin Lawrence Memorial at the Spec Towns Track in Athens on Saturday, May 6. This will be the teams’ final meet before the SEC Championships arrive in Columbia, S.C., on May 11-13.   Updates from Georgia’s track and field and cross country teams can always be found on Twitter/Instagram (UGATrack) and Snapchat (ugatrack)
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATLANTA-----Georgia cruised to a 7-5 win over Georgia Tech Tuesday to clinch the season series in front of a Russ Chandler Stadium crowd of 2,373.    Georgia (17-25) used a two-out rally in the fourth to score four runs on three hits to break open a scoreless contest. With two on and two outs, sophomore designated LJ Talley got the scoring started with an RBI-single. After a walk to freshman second baseman Will Proctor, freshman centerfielder Tucker Maxwell delivered a two-run single. Freshman right fielder Tucker Bradley capped the scoring with an infield single that marked his first career RBI and a 4-0 advantage. Tech responded with single runs in the fourth and fifth frames to make it 4-2. In the seventh, sophomore catcher Michael Curry blasted a two-out, two-run shot for a 6-2 lead. It was his ninth of the year and gave him 41 RBI, both team-highs. Tech centerfielder Ryan Peurifoy closed the gap to 6-3 with a leadoff home run in the seventh. Curry added an RBI-single in the ninth. The Bulldogs scored all seven of their runs with two outs, going 5-for-14.   Sophomore Kevin Smith (2-4) started for the Bulldogs on a staff night and provided four solid innings for the win, allowing one run on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. In the fifth, Georgia turned to freshman Zac Kristofak and he went four innings, scattering four runs on six hits before leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth. Redshirt junior Drew Moody picked up his first save of the year and fourth of his career to preserve the victory. Tech fell to 20-20 and right-hander Ben Schniederjans dropped to 2-4, surrendering four runs on two hits in 3.2 innings.   Earlier this month in Athens, Georgia defeated Tech 5-1. The teams will meet one more time in Atlanta at SunTrust Park on May 9th in a game to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). It will be the 15th time they have played for CHOA with the previous 14 games held at Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves. Georgia went 9-5 in those contests.   Georgia returns to Foley Field Friday for the start of an SEC series with No. 8 Florida (27-13, 10-8 SEC). First pitch will be at 7:02 p.m. EDT and be available on SEC Network+ and the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.   Dawg Tracks   *Sophomore DH LJ Talley got the four-run outburst in the fourth started with a two-out RBI single as Keegan McGovern scored on a play at the plate. *Freshman RF Tucker Bradley notched his first career RBI, and it came in his 89th at bat of the year, a two-out, RBI-single in the fourth to make it 4-0. He had his first career four-hit game too. He became the sixth different Bulldog with a four-hit game this year. *Sophomore Michael Curry hit his team-leading ninth home run in the seventh, a two-run blast. He finished 2-for-5 with three RBI for a team-best 42 RBI this year. *Redshirt junior Drew Moody notched his first save of the season and fourth of his career, inheriting a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the ninth with a 7-3 lead.   Coach's Corner: Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin “We won the series against our biggest rival, and that’s a big deal. I thought we played really clean, our pitchers did a great job and we got some clutch two-out hits to score all our runs. Tucker Bradley had four hits and his first RBI and LJ Talley got the big inning going for us with a two-out RBI. Kevin Smith gave us a solid start and then Zac Kristofak pitched really well, and when you’re pitching with a lead, it’s okay to give up a solo home run. Zac was throwing strikes, and that’s the key and why we stuck with him. We had Drew Moody ready, and it was tough to bring him in with the bases loaded in the ninth, and he got the job done.”
  • ATHENS, GA. --- Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has named 78 University of Georgia student-athletes to the winter SEC Academic Honor Roll, announced this week. The honor roll includes the sports of basketball, equestrian, gymnastics and swimming & diving. It is based on grades from the 2016 spring, summer and fall terms. To be eligible for nomination, the student-athlete must have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.   Georgia’s 78 student-athletes was the second highest in the conference, behind Auburn’s 96. South Carolina also posted 78 to the honor roll, followed by Kentucky’s 70.   The following UGA student-athletes were named to the 2016-2017 Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll:   Men’s Basketball: Houston Kessler (Management); Connor O’Neill (Finance); Juwan Parker (Kinesiology); Brandon Young (Management)   Women’s Basketball: Haley Clark (Finance); Mackenzie Engram (Journalism)   Equestrian: Bailey Anderson (Biochemical Engineering); Payton Anderson (Finance); Madison Anger (Biology); Madison Beasley (Journalism); Sydney Beasley (Exercise and Sport Science); Taylor Carman (Communication Studies and Criminal Justice); Lindsey Cheek (Management Information Systems); Addyson Cord (Chemistry); Carissa Duvall (Biology); Liza Finsness (Biology); Chaney Getchell (Accounting); Vanessa Gillette (Marketing); Liza Goodlett (Journalism); Allie Harbert (Psychology and Biology); Kyndall Harper (Human Development and Family Science); Grace Howard (Fashion Merchandising; Housing Management and Policy); Caroline Johnson (Biology); Samantha Johnson (Risk Management and Insurance); Ashlin Liedberg (Early Childhood Education); Emma Mandarino (Accounting); Eva Marcelis (Arabic and International Affairs); Vanessa McCarthy (Consumer Economics); Alexis Mougalian (Business); Madison Newman (Risk Management and Insurance); Ashlyn Perry (Communication Science and Disorders); Grace Porter (Biology and Genetics); Caroline Robinson (Psychology); Emma Schauder (English); Kelly Skoglund (Management Information Systems); Claudia Spreng (International Business and Finance); Agne Stoskute (Animal Science); Catherine Sullivan (Journalism and International Affairs); Jane Sutcliff (Psychology); Charley Thiel (Furnishings and Interiors); Danielle Walawender (Animal Science)   Gymnastics: Jasmine Arnold (Criminal Justice and Psychology); Vivi Babalis (Sport Management); Grace Cherrey (Marketing); Lauren Johnson (Human Development and Family Science); Gigi Marino (Early Childhood Education); Morgan Reynolds (Consumer Journalism); Beth Roberts (Management Information Systems); Hayley Sanders (Dietetics and Consumer Foods); Rachel Schick (Biological Science)   Men’s Swimming and Diving: Blake Atmore (Legal Studies; International Business & Finance); Alex Bemiller (Marketing); Gunnar Bentz (Management); Powell Brooks (Finance); Aidan Burns (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); Pace Clark (Management); Taylor Dale (Management); Ian Forlini (Marketing); James Guest (Finance); Patrick Humphreys (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); Joshua Kenway (Political Science and Economics); Jay Litherland (Management); John Mattern (Risk Management and Insurance); Basil Orr (Finance); Christopher Powell (Real Estate); Walker Wheeler (Management)   Women’s Swimming and Diving: Emily Cameron (International Affairs and Political Science); Caitlin Casazza (Exercise and Sport Science); Madison Duvall (Human Development and Family Science); Allison Greene (Sport Management); Kimberlee John-Williams (International Affairs and Political Science); Megan Kingsley (Marketing); Ashley Mallon (International Affairs); Anna McKenzie (Spanish); Meaghan Raab (Journalism); Kelly Thatcher (Exercise and Sport Science); Chantal Van Landeghem (Psychology); Rachel Zilinskas (Statistics and Risk Management and Insurance)