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Candidates bring in big names to help campaign for governor

Candidates bring in big names to help campaign for governor

Georgia’s race for governor is drawing national attention and national political figures are flocking to the Peach State to campaign for both candidates. A lot of those national political figures see Georgia’s gubernatorial race as a microcosm for what’s happening politically across the united states. Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot was there as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp greeted well-wishers inside Buckhead’s White House diner.  With polls showing the race for governor still very tight, both sides are bringing in big names to campaign with them. Rubio told the crowd to vote early so they don’t miss out. “It’s not the last day you can vote, which is two weeks from Tuesday, but you can vote now, and I encourage you to do so if you haven’t already done so,” Rubio said.  TRENDING STORIES: Police: Middle school student in custody after stabbing teacher 'Danger to the community' is over after police kill teen accused of gunning down officer Beloved Fulton PE teacher killed while crossing busy street Kemp said turnout is the key to winning this election. “We have got to turnout. We’ve got to turn out to be able to do that. We cannot leave one single vote at home,” Kemp said. Early voting was also on the mind of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Elliot was also there Monday morning as Abrams cast her early vote at her south DeKalb voting precinct. Sunday, she brought in her big name to help her campaign. New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker said Abrams is a rising star in the Democratic Party. “I’m traveling all across America, and perhaps the most electric leader arising from the entire country is Stacey Abrams,” Booker said. Abrams told the crowd that voter turnout will be key to her winning the election in two weeks. “We know that change happens when people actually stand up and vote, that we are electing our leaders and our leaders set the course of our state,” Abrams said.  Our latest polls show there aren’t a lot of undecideds out there, so turning out their supporters will be key to this election.

Dogs vs Gators: Florida Week arrives

Dogs vs Gators: Florida Week arrives

The Georgia Bulldogs climb one spot in this week’s college football rankings, checking in at Number 7 in the latest Associated Press poll. The Florida Gators are in at Number 9: the Dogs and Gators face off this coming Saturday in Jacksonville. The game will kick off at 3:30 and will be televised nationally on CBS.  Alabama(8-0) Clemson(7-0) Notre Dame(7-0) LSU(7-1) Michigan (7-1) Texas(6-1) Georgia(6-1) Oklahoma (6-1) Florida (6-1) UCF (7-0) Ohio State (7-1) Kentucky(6-1) Washington State (6-1) West Virginia(5-1) Washington(6-2) Texas A&M (5-2) Penn State(5-2) Iowa(6-1) Oregon (5-2) Wisconsin(5-2) South Florida(7-0) NC State(5-1) Utah(5-2) Stanford(5-2) Appalachian State(5-1)

UGA works in areas impacted by Hurricane Michael

UGA works in areas impacted by Hurricane Michael

The University of Georgia says UGA’s Extension Service is working in every county impacted by Hurricane Michael: the storm caused an estimated $3 billion in crop losses in Georgia.  From Sharon Dowdy in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences… Hurricane Michael blew across southwest Georgia on Oct. 10, causing at least $3 billion in losses to the state’s agriculture industry, according to early estimates from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agricultural economists and Extension agents. “These are our best estimates (as of Oct. 17) on information from UGA Extension agents in the field, as well as our Extension specialists,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean of UGA Extension. “They have traveled many miles and seen many fields to gather this data and worked with economists to come up with these estimates. As we learn more, these estimates could change.” PECANS The state’s pecan industry suffered a $100 million loss from this year’s crop plus $260 million in lost trees. An additional $200 million in future profits will be lost over the next decade as new orchards are planted and existing orchards are reestablished, said Lenny Wells, UGA Extension pecan specialist. Between 30 and 40 percent of the pecan trees were destroyed in Dougherty, Lee and Mitchell counties, where 30 percent of Georgia’s pecan crop is produced. In areas less severely affected by the storm, growers with trees that are still standing will be able to harvest a lot of the nuts that were blown to the ground, Wells said. Overall, Wells believes that half of Georgia’s pecan crop has been lost for this year. COTTON Cotton fields that promised near-record harvest were destroyed by the hurricane; some fields in southwest Georgia have been declared a complete loss with all the cotton now blown off the plants and lying on the ground. The hurricane crushed the prospects of 1,500 to 1,800 pounds of dryland cotton for some cotton growers, who suffered losses of 80 to 90 percent in some fields. “It’s much worse than I thought it would be,” said Jared Whitaker, UGA Extension cotton agronomist. “Southwest of (Tifton, Georgia), it’s terrible, in Bainbridge and Donalsonville … pictures I’ve received from Washington County will make you feel sick.” While farmers in southeast Georgia slipped by with as little as 15 percent loss, some southwest Georgia farmers are looking at total losses in some fields, he said. “I think what we do from here on out is going to vary in a lot of places. In some places I’ve seen, I don’t think we’ll even pull a picker in there to harvest the crop. I think we lost so much cotton that it wouldn’t be profitable to even harvest it,” Whitaker said. The fact that the storm struck when the cotton was near harvest made the impact even more severe. Whitaker estimates that only 15 percent of this year’s crop was already picked before Hurricane Michael arrived, while a small portion of the crop was planted late enough to be relatively safe. Georgia cotton crop loss estimates vary widely, from $300 to $800 million in lost lint and seed. PEANUTS The loss to Georgia’s peanut crop is estimated to be between $10 and $20 million. The hurricane dealt a devastating blow to local buying points and peanut shellers when it traveled through Bainbridge, Donalsonville, Camilla, Albany and Cordele, Georgia, which represent a significant portion of the state’s peanut-producing community. “In the western part of the state, there has been significant damage to drying shelters and elevators that will slow the harvest down. Ultimately, growers may have to field-dry peanuts until repairs are made,” said UGA Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort. “The loss of elevators could also cause a backlog of trailers for farmers who are trying to drop off their crop. This will again slow down harvest at a time when producers are trying to get their peanuts out of the field.” Before the storm, 40 to 45 percent of Georgia’s peanut crop was still in the field, he said. Now growers must harvest the remaining crop without losing too much in weight and quality. Some nuts will be lost due to overmaturity or disease as growers could not dig peanuts due to the storm, Monfort said. VEGETABLES Georgia’s late summer and fall vegetable crop was also close to harvest or in the midst of harvest when Hurricane Michael arrived. The damage varies significantly across southwestern Georgia counties, but the loss is estimated at more than $480 million. Some vegetable farmers in the direct path of the storm lost close to 90 percent, while others on the edges of the storm lost around 20 to 30 percent. A 20 percent loss is quite significant for an individual farmer, said Greg Fonsah, the UGA Cooperative Extension agricultural economist who was charged with calculating the crop loss and its economic impact. Sweet corn producers, many of which were in the direct path of the storm, were hardest hit, with losses of up to 100 percent of their remaining crop. In Mitchell and Decatur counties, where the bulk of the state’s fall sweet corn is planted, much of the crop was destroyed, said Timothy Coolong, UGA Extension vegetable horticulture specialist. Because of the long growing season, southwest Georgia farmers are able to produce spring and fall crops of vegetables like tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplants, green beans, peppers, cucumbers and squash. Harvest occurs in June and October for spring and fall crops, respectively. 'A lot of farmers were just starting their main harvest for fall crops when the storm hit,” Coolong said. Plants that were fully loaded with produce were pushed down by 60 mph winds with gusts from 80 to 100 mph. This phenomenon, known as lodging, not only makes produce hard to harvest, it exposes the fruit to the sun, which causes sunburn, a condition that makes the fruit unmarketable. Many of the state’s cool-season vegetables, which were just transplanted, were spared. Although some damage is expected, most of the plants were small enough to be somewhat sheltered from the hurricane’s winds. Timber The Georgia Forestry Commission reported that the hurricane destroyed about 1 million in acres in timberland, valued at $1 billion. For more information about the impacts on Georgia's timber industry visit www.gfc.state.ga.us. POULTRY, LIVESTOCK, TIMBER AND SOYBEANS The poultry industry losses are estimated at $25 million in lost birds and houses. Soybean growers suffered a $10 to $20 million loss. Livestock and dairy farmers suffered infrastructure losses, like fencing and forage, but UGA Extension economists have no real estimate for livestock losses. Dairy farmers lost milk production due to power outages, which prevented them from milking cows and storing their milk safely. 

Feds unveil new rules to let states get waivers from the Obama health law

With sharp debate between the two parties over how best to deal with health insurance coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions, the Trump Administration unveiled new rules on Monday which would make it easier for states to apply for waivers from the Obama health law, allowing companies to offer insurance which is less expensive, but also which has less coverage for consumers.

“States know much better than the federal government how their markets work,” said Seema Verma, the head of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Releasing new rules for plans to give states more flexibility on what [More]