Better late than never. Cam Shepherd’s home run with two-out in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs a 2-0 walk-off win over Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. It was only the third hit game for Georgia, which had been no-hit through 7.1 innings by Aggies’ freshman starter Chris Weber. It was the seventh home run of the season for Shepherd. The junior shortstop had seen his average dip to .229 before hitting the ball over the left-field wall at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, just out of the reach of A&M’s leaping Cam Blake. Randon Jernigan broke up the no-hitter with a single to left in the seventh. Designated hitter John Cable got the Bulldogs’ only other hit with a single to left in the ninth. The victory was the first since 2011 for the Bulldogs (43-14), who had gone 0-8 since 2011. Zac Kristofak (5-0) got the win for Georgia. Texas A&M’s strong pitching came as no surprise to Georgia or anybody else. The Aggies came in as the only SEC team with a lower team ERA (3.10) than the Bulldogs (3.17). Weber came in 4-0 with a 2.79 ERA. Georgia countered with Tim Elliott, a junior right-hander who spent most of the season as a mid-week starter. He gave up just two hits but had three walks before being lifted with one out in the fifth. That’s when the Bulldogs made one of the most amazing double plays in a season full of them. With the bases loaded and one out, first baseman Patrick Sullivan stabbed a hard grounder down the line, came home for the force-out and then caught catcher Mason Meadows throw back to first behind the head of the ducking base-runner for a rare 3-2-3 double play. Other than that, there were a bunch of goose eggs put up by both teams. The post Cam Shepherd bottom-of-9th homer lifts No. 5 Georgia to SEC tourney victory appeared first on DawgNation.
The Barrow County Sheriff said Wednesday that two grandparents found dead inside their Winder home were shot to death. Now, investigators are doubling their efforts to find the driver of a car caught on surveillance video and believed to be involved. Willard R. and Dorothy Hess were found dead Monday morning by their grandson inside their home on South Ridge Road. Barrow Sheriff says both victims in double homicide were shot to death. Willard and Dorothy Hess found Monday morning . @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/fWpgRIlFUu — Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) May 22, 2019 Channel 2's Tony Thomas has been following the case since the bodies were found. Sheriff Jud Smith said he thinks the couple was killed Friday night, the same day a neighbor's surveillance camera recorded a mysterious black car stopping twice at the couple's home. Smith's office released a picture of the car 'of interest' in the case Tuesday morning, which they now believe is the key to solving the case. 'I'm a 100% confident that car was involved,' Smith said. 'We don't know who was in it, but that's the missing piece.' They said Wednesday they believe the car is a Hyundai Sonata. TRENDING STORIES: Mile-wide asteroid with its own moon to pass Earth on Saturday Child rescued from car parked at Walmart on hottest day of year (Video) Massive American flag at RV dealership leads to fines, legal action Barrow Sheriff says no one ruled out as suspect in murders of Willard and Dorothy Hess. Both were shot to death. Sheriff believes key to case is finding the driver of this car. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/YumVktXP7r — Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) May 22, 2019 Smith said investigators haven't ruled out a motive, but said there was no sign of a break-in and the house was not ransacked. 'We are not ruling out anything,' Smith said. 'We are not ruling out robbery, we are not ruling out insurance. We are not ruling out anything. We are not ruling anybody out at this time.' Deputies said the last time anyone spoke to or saw the couple was late Thursday or early Friday. On Wednesday afternoon, detectives were still at the Hess' home trying to figure out as much about the couple's final hours as possible. Crews were also there to clean up the crime scene. 'It's tough to piece together, but we feel confident,' Smith said. 'We want to know who was driving that car.' Investigators are now poring over cameras in the area, trying to learn more about the mystery car. 'It's still a whodunit,' Smith said. 'I feel confident with our team on it. I'm hoping we are going to find it very quickly.' Family members were still not ready to talk to Thomas yet, but are actively involved in talking with investigators. On Wednesday, Thomas obtained a photo of Willard Hess, who went by Ron. Thomas learned Hess was a published author and an expert on Shakespeare. A neighbor said he often saw Hess leaving his home to go to the library. Thomas talked to neighbors, who were still struggling to come to grips with a double murder on their quiet street. 'I don't know what to think,' one neighbor said. 'It's just said. It's really sad.' Deputies ask anyone who sees the car or knows anything about the crime to call the Barrow County Sheriff's Department at 770-307-3080.
Several University of Georgia researchers teamed up to create a statistical method that may allow public health and infectious disease forecasters to better predict disease reemergence, especially for preventable childhood infections such as measles and pertussis. As described in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, their five-year project resulted in a model that shows how subtle changes in the stream of reported cases of a disease may be predictive of both an approaching epidemic and of the final success of a disease eradication campaign. “We hope that in the near future, we will be available to monitor and track warning signals for emerging diseases identified by this model,” said John Drake (pictured above), Distinguished Research Professor of Ecology and director for the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases who researches the dynamics of biological epidemics. His current projects include studies of Ebola virus in West Africa and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus in the horn of Africa. In recent years, the reemergence of measles, mumps, polio, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases has sparked a refocus on emergency preparedness. “Research has been done in ecology and climate science about tipping points in climate change,” he said. “We realized this is mathematically similar to disease dynamics.” Drake and colleagues focused on “critical slowing down,” or the loss of stability that occurs in a system as a tipping point is reached. This slowing down can result from pathogen evolution, changes in contact rates of infected individuals, and declines in vaccination. All these changes may affect the spread of a disease, but they often take place gradually and without much consequence until a tipping point is crossed. Most data analysis methods are designed to characterize disease spread after the tipping point has already been crossed. “We saw a need to improve the ways of measuring how well-controlled a disease is, which can be difficult to do in a very complex system, especially when we observe a small fraction of the true number of cases that occur,” said Eamon O’Dea, a postdoctoral researcher in Drake’s laboratory who focuses on disease ecology. The research team found that their predictions were consistent with well-known findings of British epidemiologists Roy Anderson and Robert May, who compared the duration of epidemic cycles in measles, rubella, mumps, smallpox, chickenpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria and pertussis from the 1880s to 1980s. For instance, Anderson and May found that measles in England and Wales slowed down after extensive immunization in 1968. Similarly, the model shows that infectious diseases slow as an immunization threshold is approached. Slight variations in infection levels could be useful early warning signals for disease reemergence that results from a decline in vaccine uptake, they wrote. “Our goal is to validate this on smaller scales so states and cities can potentially predict disease, which is practical in terms of how to make decisions about vaccines,” O’Dea said. “This could be particularly useful in countries where measles is still a high cause of mortality.” To illustrate how the infectious disease model behaves, the team created a visualization that looks like a series of bowls with balls rolling in them. In the model, vaccine coverage affects the shallowness of the bowl and the speed of the ball rolling in it. “Very often, the conceptual side of science is not emphasized as much as it should be, and we were pleased to find the right visuals to help others understand the science,” said Eric Marty, an ecology researcher who specializes in data visualization. As part of Project AERO, which stands for Anticipating Emerging and Re-emerging Outbreaks, Drake and colleagues are creating interactive tools based on critical slowing down for researchers and policymakers to use in the field and guide decisions. For instance, the team is developing an interactive dashboard that will help non-scientists plot and analyze data to understand the current trends for a certain infectious disease. They’re presenting a prototype to fellow researchers now and anticipating a public release within the next year. “If a computer model of a particular disease was sufficiently detailed and accurate, it would be possible to predict the course of an outbreak using simulation,” Marty said. “But if you don’t have a good model, as is often the case, then the statistics of critical slowing down might still give us early warning of an outbreak.” The research was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences under the National Institutes of Health. The research team also included UGA ecologists Tobias Brett, Paige Miller, Andrew Park and Pejman Rohani, as well as University of Michigan engineers Shiyang Chen and Bogdan Epureanu and Pennsylvania State University infectious disease expert Matthew Ferrari.