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Travel Headlines

    Delta Air Lines said it is capping main cabin one-way fares at $199 for flights out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Punta Cana, Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic as Hurricane Maria approaches. >> Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria: Live updates Atlanta-based Delta is also adding two extra flights from San Juan to Atlanta for those who want to get out of the hurricane’s path. >> Read more trending news Delta is waiving change fees for travelers with flights booked to, from or through San Juan, Punta Cana, Santo Domingo and Santiago from Sept. 19-26. >> More hurricane coverage from WFTV, Action News Jax and the Palm Beach Post Southwest Airlines is canceling its flights scheduled to and from San Juan for Tuesday after 6 p.m. and Wednesday, and to and from Punta Cana on Wednesday.
  • A 33-year-old woman was flying a red-eye flight from San Diego to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday when a stranger took the seat next to her younger sister. >> Read more trending news  She said they were instantly nervous when he first spoke to them. 'He said, 'I get to sit next to the two most beautiful women on the plane,' and we were concerned,' the woman, who did not want to be identified, told WSOC-TV. The direct flight was more than four hours long, leaving late Monday from San Diego and arriving early Tuesday morning in Charlotte. As the American Airlines flight was just taking off, the victim told WSOC the man leaned over. 'He actually reached over, over the top of the armrest that was separating he and I, and just basically rubbed down my entire thigh,' she said. She said one of his fingers briefly got caught in a hole in her jeans. Her sister, seated in the window seat, told her to call the flight attendant. Instead, she wanted to handle it quietly. 'I hit his arm away from me, and just you know, made it very clear, do not touch me,' she said. The man mumbled something and she moved as close to her sister as possible, then later, fell asleep. Earlier, she had noticed the smell of alcohol on the man's breath, but didn't think he was acting drunk. She was jolted awake about an hour into the flight. 'I woke up to him completely on top of my left side. He had his arms on me and I was hitting him,' she said. She pressed the button for the flight attendant, who took the man to the front of the plane. She didn't see him again until they landed in Charlotte, and police were talking to him at the gate. 'The bruises came up the next morning, and I didn't know those were there, from kind of fighting him off of me,' she said. WSOC reached out to American Airlines Thursday, but did not receive a response. The district attorney in San Diego said the office is not involved in the investigation. >> Related: Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats It's not clear if the suspect has been identified. A report was filed with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, but the department told WSOC there were no arrests. >> Related: Woman claims Delta paid her $4,000 to give up seat on overbooked flight
  • How much money is a single football game worth to you? For a plane full of University of Georgia fans heading to South Bend, Indiana, to watch their team play Notre Dame last weekend, that number is pretty high. >> Read more trending news WSB-TV sports director Zach Klein was on a full Delta Air Lines flight Friday morning leaving from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The plane was overbooked and when the crew realized it was overbooked, they started offering money for someone to give up their seat. “Offers started at $2,200. Then it was $2,800. Later it got to $3,000,” Klein said. Tracy Jarvis Smith eventually took the offer when the crew bumped the amount to $4,000. “$4,000 was my magic number,” Smith later tweeted. According to Klein, Smith was bumped for a 7 p.m. flight that day. “Not one fan wanted to get in late,” Klein said. Klein posted a photo with the Georgia fan who took Smith’s seat. Smith also tweeted later that day. She said she got in about eight hours later than she had planned, making it worth the money. The Georgia Bulldogs went on to beat the Fighting Irish 20-19. >> Related: Delta will now pay passengers up to $9,950 to give up seats  
  • Olive Garden announced Tuesday that it is offering a new all-you-can-eat promotion, the Pasta Passport to Italy, in celebration of the return of its Never Ending Pasta Pass. With the Never Ending Pasta Pass, customers can purchase a $100 pass that allows them to consume an unlimited amount of pasta during each visit between Sept. 25 and Nov. 19. >> Read more trending newsThe promotion allows customers to pick from seven pastas and six sauces and includes unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks. A second pass affords customers all the benefits of the Never Ending Pasta Pass plus the opportunity to go to Italy for $200. The eight-day European vacation includes airfare, hotel, meals, ground transportation and daily activities for two during April 2018. “Recipients of a Pasta Passport to Italy will ... start by exploring the sprawling cobble-stoned streets and terracotta rooftops of Sienna, then will travel throughout Italy, including Florence and Assisi, cities known for their ancient architecture and fresh, seasonal cooking,” according to an Olive Garden news release. “From there, guests will enjoy cultural excursions to the ancient Coliseum in Rome, a visit to the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City and a chance for the ultimate photo opportunity at the leaning Tower of Pisa. Guests will also taste Tuscan wine, sample Italian Gelato and learn to prepare regional cuisine.” Olive Garden is selling 22,000 Never Ending Pasta Passes and 50 Pasta Passports to Italy. The passes go on sale Thursday at 2 p.m. EST at PastaPass.com. They will be available for purchase for 30 minutes only, or until all passes and passports sell out.  “Every year, through our Pasta Pass sale, we get to connect with and delight thousands of our most passionate Olive Garden fans,” said Jennifer Arguello, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “We couldn't think of a better way to create even more memories and a deeper connection to our brand than through a special edition Pasta Pass that includes an all-inclusive trip for two to the country that inspires us. Learn more here. According to Eater, 21,000 pasta passes were sold out in less than one second during Olive Garden’s promotion last year.
  • Volusia County, Florida, residents on Monday morning awoke to toppled trees, downed power lines, flooded streets and damaged property. >> Watch the news report here Hurricane Irma brought howling winds and pounding rains to the county. >> On WFTV.com: PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma damage in Volusia County Officials urged residents to ascend to the highest floor of their homes. But for some, the rising water became too dangerous. >> More Hurricane Irma coverage from WFTV, Action News Jax and the Palm Beach Post The Daytona Beach Fire Department said it had to evacuate people from flooded apartments along Beach Street. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said deputies rescued 14 people from the floodwaters. >> Hurricane Irma damage: How to stay safe from tree, water damage in your home The residents were taken to the city's Midtown Cultural and Education Center. No injuries were reported. Elsewhere in the city, iconic attractions weren't spared from Irma's wrath. >> PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida, leaves damage behind A large water slide at Daytona Lagoon, a popular water and amusement park, blew into an adjacent street. Storm surge washed away beaches and left a Ponce Inlet boardwalk in ruins. >> Read more trending news The Daytona Beach Police Department said officers arrested a trio of burglars who were raiding a store. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that he has no tolerance for looting. He said that the county would be under curfew from 10 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. >> Irma: Live updates Daytona Beach firefighters housed at Station 1 said the kitchen ceiling caved in. They said the bays harboring the fire trucks were so heavily flooded that the vehicles had to be moved to prevent damage. >> Watch Volusia County deputies rescue Hurricane Irma victims
  • If a hurricane is barreling toward you, it's obviously not the best time to visit a tourist attraction and take some photos. >> Hurricane Irma: Live updates But one man in Key West was caught on camera doing just that as Hurricane Irma approached. >> Visit PalmBeachPost.com for more Hurricane Irma coverage According to ABC News, a livestream at the Southernmost Point Buoy captured video of a man snapping pictures of the landmark as waves crashed around him – and then into him, soaking him and knocking him to the ground. >> Watch the video here Apparently, he wasn't the only one braving the surging waters. Other videos and screenshots purportedly from the same livestream circulated on social media. >> Read more trending news Although the stream has gone down, part of Saturday's footage has been posted on YouTube. >> Check it out here – News965.com and Rare.us contributed to this report.
  • A Delta Air Lines flight out of San Juan, Puerto Rico weaved its way through a swath of calm air around Hurricane Irma to take passengers to New York on Wednesday afternoon. >> Read more trending news The plane took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport Wednesday morning bound for San Juan. The 180-seat Boeing 737-900 landed in San Juan without incident, according to Delta spokesman Michael Thomas. The winds were below the operating limits for the 737-900 to safely operate, according to Thomas. The flight quickly unloaded passengers and took on a new planeful of passengers to take to New York. It was Delta’s last scheduled flight from San Juan on Wednesday. The airline’s meteorologists “took a hard look at the weather data and the track of the storm and worked with the flight crew and dispatcher to agree it was safe to operate the flight,” according to Delta’s vice president of operations, Erik Snell. He added that flight and ground crews “were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat.” Delta plans to delay its flights this evening in San Juan, then assess facilities after the storm passes to determine when it can restart flights. Here’s a series of tweets by self-proclaimed aviation geek Jason Rabinowitz watching the flight into the storm from afar.
  • JetBlue is offering discounted flights for people evacuating the path of Hurricane Irma. >> Read more trending news  Remaining seats on flights leaving the following airports have been reduced to $99 plus government taxes and fees: SAV - Savannah, Georgia  CHS - Charleston, South Carolina PAP - Port-au-Prince, Haiti PLS - Turks and Caicos POP - Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic SDQ - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic PUJ - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic STI - Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic LRM - La Romana, Dominican Republic HAV - Havana, Cuba SNU - Santa Clara, Cuba CMW - Camaguey, Cuba HOG - Holguin, Cuba NAS - Nassau, Bahamas   A JetBlue representative told Yahoo News the airline will charge a maximum of $99 up to the last available seat for direct flights and a maximum of $159 up to the last available seat for connecting flights. >> Related: Hurricane Irma: Live updates  The airline has also canceled 130 flights scheduled to leave the area during the peak of Irma’s impact. Customers with existing flight reservations who cancel or change their trips will not be charged fees, the airline said. American Airlines began offering pre-tax fares at $99 for MainCabin seats on direct, single leg flights out of Florida for tickets sold through Sunday for travel until Sept. 13. Delta is capping fares at $399 on flights out of Florida and impacted islands, according to Yahoo. Read more at Yahoo. Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.
  • Delta Air Lines is canceling flights that had been scheduled for Wednesday in St. Thomas as it prepares for Hurricane Irma to pass through the Caribbean. >> Read more trending news Delta said it will also delay its evening flights in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is planning to assess facilities after the storm passes. Delta said its team of meteorologists expect the storm to begin curving north late Saturday afternoon, passing between Cuba and the Bahamas toward the southern tip of Florida. The airline said its strategic planners are working with employees at airports along the storm’s path. Southwest Airlines is canceling flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and San Juan on Wednesday and Thursday. Southwest is also canceling flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday to Nassau and Havana. Airport officials are advising travelers to monitor their airline’s communications channels. Delta and Southwest are both allowing travelers to change their travel plans without paying certain charges.
  • Non-ticketed visitors will have access to Pittsburgh International Airport’s gates, shops and restaurants starting Tuesday. >> Read more trending news  The “myPITpass” program, which was announced in late August, makes Pittsburgh the first airport in the country to allow such access since 9/11. The TSA pilot program will allow guests beyond the security checkpoint for shopping, dining and greeting passengers year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the possibility of additional hours and weekend days in coming months. Security will not change, even for people with a myPITpass. Just like ticketed passengers, people with the one-day pass will still have to go through security and have their name vetted against the No Fly list. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants objects to the program. “This is an ill-conceived relaxation of security requirements and a dangerous precedent. We shouldn't be letting our guard down,” APFA president Bob Ross said in a statement. “Airports are not shopping malls. They are travel hubs, where security must always be the top priority.” APFA is also concerned that having shoppers in TSA security lines will lead to flight delays and more ticketed passengers missing flights.

Local News

  • This year, 10 University of Georgia students and alumni were offered grants to take their research and teaching to a global level through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This marks the fourth straight year-and eighth time in the past nine years-that UGA has achieved a double-digit number of Fulbright offers. Of the 10, six were able to take advantage of the opportunity. Four received academic grants, and two will be teaching English. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent college graduates and graduate students. As the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, it is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and countries worldwide. 'These prestigious grants are a testament to the exceptional talent of UGA students and UGA's institutional commitment to international education,' said Maria de Rocher, assistant director of the Honors Program and chair of the Fulbright selection committee at UGA. Four students and alumni received Fulbright academic grants. Their study concentrations and host countries are:• Anna Forrester of Kingsport, Tennessee, will be studying Shakespearean performances in Turkey, exploring how Shakespeare has shaped the country's national dramatic identity. She will be based in Istanbul. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in English literature at UGA.• John Esteban Rodriguez of Guyton will be conducting research on the intersection of race and LGBTQ identities, while pursuing a master's degree in gender, politics and sexuality in Paris. He recently completed bachelor's and master's degrees in English at UGA.• Samuel Schaffer of Atlanta will be working as a binational business intern in Mexico City, Mexico. He graduated from UGA this past May with a bachelor's degree in international affairs.• James Thompson of Augusta will be participating in the Young Professional Journalist Program in Freiburg, Germany, interning with various media companies and researching how religious groups interact with secular communities. He received bachelor's degrees in journalism and history this past May. Two alumni received Fulbright English teaching assistantship awards. Their study concentrations and host countries are:• Asad Delawalla of Lawrenceville will be teaching English classes in South Korea. He graduated from UGA in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in international affairs and a minor in French. • Margaret Harney of Atlanta will be assisting English teachers in Spain. She graduated from UGA in 2016 with bachelor's degrees in Spanish and journalism.
  •     Hall County Animal Control says it has confirmed Hall County’s eighth rabies case of 2017: a rabid raccoon tangled with two dogs on Wild Smith Road in Gainesville. From Hall County Animal Control... This is to advise that there was contact between a rabid raccoon and two dogs recently in the 5200 block of Wild Smith Road in Gainesville. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab- Virology Section in Decatur. Hall County Animal Control was advised Friday that the raccoon tested positive for rabies. This is the eighth confirmed case of rabies in 2017.        Positive alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid raccoon was located. If you live in this area or you see an animal acting abnormally in the area, contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830 or during non-working hours call Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812.       Animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their domesticated pets for rabies. Vaccines are available at the Hall County Animal Shelter for $10 Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1688 Barber Rd, Gainesville.         
  • The Georgia DOT says the lane closures that started last night on Highway 316 in Oconee County will continue through October 1. It’s for resurfacing work on 316 between the Oconee Connector and Virgil Langford. WHO: Georgia DOT construction contractors will begin resurfacing State Route 316 this month. WHAT: Overnight single lane closures will be required for resurfacing work to take place. WHEN: September 18, 2017 nightly through October 1, 2017. 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.  WHERE: State Route 316 Epps Bridge Parkway between Virgil Lankford to the Oconee Connector 
  • Athens-Clarke County Commissioners meet for a 6 o’clock agenda setting session at City Hall. The county’s drought and water shortage plan is up for discussion, as are appointments to local boards, authorities, and commissions.  There is an afternoon meeting of the Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission: it’s a 4 o’clock session at the Library on Baxter Street.  The Athens Airport Authority meets this afternoon, 3:30 at Athens-Ben Epps Airport.  There is an evening meeting of Madison County’s Planning and Zoning Board, a 6:30 session at the Madison County Government Complex in Danielsville. Winder City Councilman Bob Dixon says family considerations are behind his decision to pull out of his race for reelection. He’ll step down from the post he’s held since 2010. One of two remaining candidates in the November 7 election—either Chris Akins or Todd Saxon—will fill Dixon’s seat on the City Council in Winder.  The Gainesville City Council meets, 5:30 this afternoon at the Public Safety Complex in Gainesville. The Council is expected to set the millage rate for the Gainesville City School District. It will come without a property tax increase for Gainesville home owners.
  • The Oconee County School Board lays out a plan for redistricting in advance of the 2018 opening of Dove Creek Elementary School. All streets west of Highway 78 would be rezoned for Dove Creek. The Board will hold what it calls a listening session on the plan next month. “Over the last several years, our district has seen tremendous growth because of the incredible work of our teachers, support staff and administrators, parents, students, and community,” said Superintendent Jason Branch. “We are very blessed to be a part of the #1 school district in the state, which is also the #1 fastest growing system in Northeast Georgia with 3,500 or more students. With 15.4% growth since 2013 and two of our elementary schools over building capacity, we look forward to opening Dove Creek Elementary School this fall.”  More information is available on the district’s web site at: www.oconeeschools.org/redistricting. On this site are current and proposed zoning maps, a link to a feedback form, and a street index. Of note on the street index:  • All streets west of Highway 78 are rezoned for Dove Creek Elementary School. They are not included on the list since it includes all streets in that area. and can be viewed on the proposed map.  • The street index includes only streets proposed for redistricting from Malcom Bridge Elementary School to Rocky Branch Elementary School.  In addition, the Board of Education invites the community to a Listening Session on the proposed redistricting plan Tuesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. at North Oconee High School.    “We appreciate the continued support of our community, and look forward to receiving their feedback,” said Branch.

Bulldog News

  • UGA will make its first SEC road trip in a couple weeks to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers on Sept. 30th. The Southeastern Conference on Monday assigned a kickoff time for the game.  The Bulldogs and Volunteers have been given a 3:30pm kickoff, and will be played on CBS as its SEC Game of the Week.  This will be the Bulldogs’ first appearance on CBS this season, and hold an all-time record of 48-38-1 when playing on the network.  Start planning travel/tailgating accordingly. 
  • This coming Saturday night Georgia Bulldog football game will be a Top 25 matchup. The Georgia Dogs host the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference opener for the home team. Georgia is ranked 11th in this week's AP poll; Mississippi State is 17th. Both teams are undefeated. The game kicks at 7 o'clock in Sanford Stadium. The game against Mississippi State will be the second time this season the Georgia Bulldogs will have faced a ranked opponent: the Dogs beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish September 9 in South Bend.  The Bulldogs are coming off a 42-14 win over FCS Samford this past Saturday night. Jay Black wrote about that game for WSB Radio... Alright it was a laugher, it should have been a laugher, it was a laugher. But this is nothing to joke about. The 2017 Georgia Bulldogs have a lot of running backs. A lot of good running backs. Yes this school likes to pride itself as Tailback U. You certainly got to watch a lot of good tailbacks tonight. We didn’t exactly learn a whole lot on this Saturday. Samford didn’t pull off a Nicholls State type-scare and UGA wins 42-14. Wahoo. But we did learn, or confirm, this should and will be a running football team. No matter who is playing quarterback. “That’s one of our depth spots,” Kirby Smart told the UGA Radio Network after the game. “We got a lot of guys who can play.” Yeah no kidding. Let’s start with the bell cow climbing up the UGA record books. Nick Chubb rushes for 131 yards on 16 carries and shows the patience and the vision that’s made him the second leading rusher in school history. Now he’s also second by himself with 19 100-yard games. He trails only Herschel Walker. That’s not bad. Chubb also passed the legendary Charley Trippi to move into a tie for fourth in UGA history with 33 career TD runs. To wedge yourself between Walker and Trippi on any list is a good night. Imagine what could have happened if he didn’t blow out his knee on that sad excuse for grass they call a field in Tennessee? Does Nick Chubb pass Herschel? Probably not, because those stats are still silly good, but it would have been fun to watch. Speaking of injuries, Chubb’s understudy didn’t even play tonight. Sony Michel has a bad ankle. Even if it’s five percent hurt, there was no reason to play tonight. There’s plenty of reinforcements. For example, the freshman. “What a special talent D’Andre Swift is,” said Smart. Uh huh. Kirby was kind of complaining on our air last week that this kid wasn’t getting the ball enough. He got a few chances to show off tonight. Swift had nine carries for 54 yards and a 10 yard catch. Oh yeah, and that touchdown. “You’ve got to see that one on replay tonight,” said UGA analyst Eric Zeier. Swift hit the Circle Button, dropped a beautiful spin move and zoom, into the end zone for his first career TD. He sort of reminds me of Sony Michel when he was a freshman, but I think he might be (gulp) swifter than Sony. The kid can fly. That’s your third string running back folks. But UGA goes five deep. “I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of Brian Herrien,” said Smart. “We see it everyday in practice, but he hasn’t had a chance to show off his skills.” Herrien also got five yards per touch tonight. Walking away with 45 yards on nine carries. He’s smaller, won’t run a lot of people over, but in the last two years, we’ve seen flashes of a guy who deserves more than fourth string. And that goes double for the fifth-stringer, Elijah Holyfield. He was a 4-star recruit and the guy many thought would step in and be the man after Chubb and Michel. He finally got eight carries tonight and only had 28 yards behind the second-string offensive line. But we saw on the kick return that got called back against Notre Dame, that Evander’s son can still be a weapon. Credit to Jim Chaney for finding ways to get all of these guys touches in the early going. Even if it means Holyfield returns kicks, they are all involved. “They run hard, they protect the ball, they protect the ball,” said Smart. “I was proud of the toughness they ran with tonight. They deserve that opportunity.” UGA still has plenty of questions and they weren’t going to be answered tonight. I still don’t know what to make of this offensive line and Jake Fromm is still a freshman. But this team can play defense and it can run the rock. That recipe generally works. Now we find out for real what Kirby has in year two. SEC play begins and the real football starts now.
  • 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 16, 2017 at Sanford Stadium in Athens
  • The University of Georgia released its full football schedule for the 2018 season today.  9/1 - Austin-Peay (Athens, GA) 9/7 - South Carolina (Columbia, SC) 9/15 - Middle Tennessee State (Athens, GA) 9/22 - Missouri (Columbia, MO) 9/29 - Tennessee (Athens, GA) 10/6 - Vanderbilt (Athens, GA) 10/13 - LSU (Baton Rouge, LA) 10/20 - BYE WEEK 10/27 - Florida (Jacksonville, FL) 11/3 - Kentucky (Lexington, KY) 11/10 - Auburn (Athens, GA) 11/17 - UMass (Athens, GA) 11/24 - Georgia Tech (Athens, GA) A few items of note: Georgia will have seven home games in 2018, whereas it had six homes games in 2017.  The South Carolina game returns to the beginning of the season where it more traditionally has been played. The last few seasons have seen that game moved from mid-October to even mid-November The Bulldogs will travel to LSU for the first time since 2008, a 52-38 win for Georgia as Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford lead the team.  Yet again, with the Florida game being neutral site, and the home-and-home with Georgia Tech every year, Georgia fans will have to go an entire month (35 days) without football and tailgates in Athens. After the Vanderbilt game on Oct. 6th, the next home game will be against Auburn on Nov. 10th.  Georgia will finish the season with three consecutive November home games, when weather can be very nice... but it can also get very cold if night games happen to be scheduled. 
  • For those in the Athens, Ga area and affected by Tropical Storm Irma, use THIS LINK for information you need regarding next steps.