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National Govt & Politics
House to vote this week on major changes to 2010 Wall Street reforms
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House to vote this week on major changes to 2010 Wall Street reforms

House to vote this week on major changes to 2010 Wall Street reforms
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

House to vote this week on major changes to 2010 Wall Street reforms

The House will vote in coming days on a wide ranging GOP plan to repeal and change a series of financial reforms approved by Congress in the aftermath of the 2008 Wall Street collapse, as Republicans argue the changes will remove excessive regulations and allow new financial growth in the United States.

The reforms include major financial changes, like ending the Volcker Rule, which placed limits on investments that financial institutions can make; the plan would also end any taxpayer bailouts of banks and other financial companies which have been deemed 'too big to fail.'

Critics of the plan say it is mainly an effort to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau approved by President Obama, and limit its ability to rein in anti-consumer financial practices.

No matter where you stand, the GOP bill - dubbed the "Financial Choice Act" - is one of the more complicated pieces of legislation to come before the Congress in recent years:

+ The bill itself weighs in at 580 pages.

+ The section by section summary of the bill is 28 pages.

+ The explanatory report language is over 2,000 pages - so large, that it was divided into two separate "books" for printing. (Book 1) and (Book 2).

Knowing full well that most of my readers - and pretty much every member of Congress - won't read this bill in its entirety, here are some highlights that might not make the headlines:

1. Requires Congress to vote on major financial rules. The bill says if a rule from a federal financial agency has more than a $100 million economic impact, then Congress can vote to block that plan. It also allows rejection of 'non-major rules.'

2. Congress to Judges: Drop Dead. In several provisions of the bill, the plan tells the courts to butt out, specifically saying that certain items are not subject to judicial review. §335 specifically says: "Provides that determinations, findings, actions, or omissions under Subtitle B are not subject to judicial review."

3. Ends federal authority over "small-dollar loans." §733 is pretty straightforward - saying the feds "may not exercise any rulemaking, enforcement, or other authority with respect to payday loans, vehicle title loans, or other similar loans."

4. Makes leaks from financial agencies a crime. Section 392 states that if you work for any federal financial agency, and you disclose any information about bank "stress tests," then you can be fined up to $5,000.

5. No more federal limits on debt card charges. The Dodd-Frank law has a provision in it that allows the Federal Reserve to set the price on how much a consumer can be charged for using a debit card. Republicans say it's time for repeal.

6. Audit the Fed. §1010 requires something that some GOP lawmakers have been pressing for in recent years - a yearly audit and transparency for the Federal Reserve. This provision would have the GAO audit the Fed every year.

7. Are they just 'technical corrections?' My father taught me many years ago that lobbyists could use "technical corrections" to past tax legislation to make major changes in law, without many people knowing about it. There are a host of such changes in this bill. Most of them look like they are fixing honest typos and clerical errors in the original Dodd-Frank bill. But you never know.

Since I know that very few people reading this right now will take the time to read the summary, the bill and the report - I will print the table of contents of the bill.

Just scrolling through this will give you a pretty good feel as to the scope of the GOP plan.  Remember - reading the bill isn't enough.

TITLE I—ENDING “TOO BIG TO FAIL” AND BANK BAILOUTS

Subtitle A—Repeal Of The Orderly Liquidation Authority

Sec. 111. Repeal of the orderly liquidation authority.

Subtitle B—Financial Institution Bankruptcy

Sec. 121. General provisions relating to covered financial corporations.

Sec. 122. Liquidation, reorganization, or recapitalization of a covered financial corporation.

Sec. 123. Amendments to title 28, United States Code.

Subtitle C—Ending Government Guarantees

Sec. 131. Repeal of obligation guarantee program.

Sec. 132. Repeal of systemic risk determination in resolutions.

Sec. 133. Restrictions on use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund.

Subtitle D—Eliminating Financial Market Utility Designations

Sec. 141. Repeal of title VIII.

Subtitle E—Reform Of The Financial Stability Act Of 2010

Sec. 151. Repeal and modification of provisions of the Financial Stability Act of 2010.

Sec. 152. Operational risk capital requirements for banking organizations.

TITLE II—DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY FROM WALL STREET

Subtitle A—SEC Penalties Modernization

Sec. 211. Enhancement of civil penalties for securities laws violations.

Sec. 212. Updated civil money penalties of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Sec. 213. Updated civil money penalty for controlling persons in connection with insider trading.

Sec. 214. Update of certain other penalties.

Sec. 215. Monetary sanctions to be used for the relief of victims.

Sec. 216. GAO report on use of civil money penalty authority by Commission.

Subtitle B—FIRREA Penalties Modernization

Sec. 221. Increase of civil and criminal penalties originally established in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

TITLE III—DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY FROM FINANCIAL REGULATORS AND DEVOLVING POWER AWAY FROM WASHINGTON

Subtitle A—Cost-Benefit Analyses

Sec. 311. Definitions.

Sec. 312. Required regulatory analysis.

Sec. 313. Rule of construction.

Sec. 314. Public availability of data and regulatory analysis.

Sec. 315. Five-year regulatory impact analysis.

Sec. 316. Retrospective review of existing rules.

Sec. 317. Judicial review.

Sec. 318. Chief Economists Council.

Sec. 319. Conforming amendments.

Sec. 320. Other regulatory entities.

Sec. 321. Avoidance of duplicative or unnecessary analyses.

Subtitle B—Congressional Review Of Federal Financial Agency Rulemaking

Sec. 331. Congressional review.

Sec. 332. Congressional approval procedure for major rules.

Sec. 333. Congressional disapproval procedure for nonmajor rules.

Sec. 334. Definitions.

Sec. 335. Judicial review.

Sec. 336. Effective date of certain rules.

Sec. 337. Budgetary effects of rules subject to section 332 of the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017.

Subtitle C—Judicial Review Of Agency Actions

Sec. 341. Scope of judicial review of agency actions.

Subtitle D—Leadership Of Financial Regulators

Sec. 351. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Sec. 352. Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Subtitle E—Congressional Oversight Of Appropriations

Sec. 361. Bringing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation into the appropriations process.

Sec. 362. Bringing the Federal Housing Finance Agency into the appropriations process.

Sec. 363. Bringing the National Credit Union Administration into the appropriations process.

Sec. 364. Bringing the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency into the appropriations process.

Sec. 365. Bringing the non-monetary policy related functions of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System into the appropriations process.

Subtitle F—International Processes

Sec. 371. Requirements for international processes.

Subtitle G—Unfunded Mandates Reform

Sec. 381. Definitions.

Sec. 382. Statements to accompany significant regulatory actions.

Sec. 383. Small government agency plan.

Sec. 384. State, local, and tribal government and private sector input.

Sec. 385. Least burdensome option or explanation required.

Sec. 386. Assistance to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Sec. 387. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs responsibilities.

Sec. 388. Judicial review.

Subtitle H—Enforcement Coordination

Sec. 391. Policies to minimize duplication of enforcement efforts.

Subtitle I—Penalties For Unauthorized Disclosures

Sec. 392. Criminal penalty for unauthorized disclosures.

Subtitle II—Stop Settlement Slush Funds

Sec. 393. Limitation on donations made pursuant to settlement agreements to which certain departments or agencies are a party.

TITLE IV—UNLEASHING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, INNOVATORS, AND JOB CREATORS BY FACILITATING CAPITAL FORMATION

Subtitle A—Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, And Brokerage Simplification

Sec. 401. Registration exemption for merger and acquisition brokers.

Sec. 402. Effective date.

Subtitle B—Encouraging Employee Ownership

Sec. 406. Increased threshold for disclosures relating to compensatory benefit plans.

Subtitle C—Small Company Disclosure Simplification

Sec. 411. Exemption from XBRL requirements for emerging growth companies and other smaller companies.

Sec. 412. Analysis by the SEC.

Sec. 413. Report to Congress.

Sec. 414. Definitions.

Subtitle D—Securities And Exchange Commission Overpayment Credit

Sec. 416. Refunding or crediting overpayment of section 31 fees.

Subtitle E—Fair Access To Investment Research

Sec. 421. Safe harbor for investment fund research.

Subtitle F—Accelerating Access To Capital

Sec. 426. Expanded eligibility for use of Form S–3.

Subtitle G—Enhancing The RAISE Act

Sec. 431. Certain accredited investor transactions.

Subtitle H—Small Business Credit Availability

Sec. 436. Business development company ownership of securities of investment advisers and certain financial companies.

Sec. 437. Expanding access to capital for business development companies.

Sec. 438. Parity for business development companies regarding offering and proxy rules.

Subtitle I—Fostering Innovation

Sec. 441. Temporary exemption for low-revenue issuers.

Subtitle J—Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement

Sec. 446. Annual review of government-business forum on capital formation.

Subtitle K—Helping Angels Lead Our Startups

Sec. 451. Definition of angel investor group.

Sec. 452. Clarification of general solicitation.

Subtitle L—Main Street Growth

Sec. 456. Venture exchanges.

Subtitle M—Micro Offering Safe Harbor

Sec. 461. Exemptions for micro-offerings.

Subtitle N—Private Placement Improvement

Sec. 466. Revisions to SEC Regulation D.

Subtitle O—Supporting America’s Innovators

Sec. 471. Investor limitation for qualifying venture capital funds.

Subtitle P—Fix Crowdfunding

Sec. 476. Crowdfunding exemption.

Sec. 477. Exclusion of crowdfunding investors from shareholder cap.

Sec. 478. Preemption of State law.

Sec. 479. Treatment of funding portals.

Subtitle Q—Corporate Governance Reform And Transparency

Sec. 481. Definitions.

Sec. 482. Registration of proxy advisory firms.

Sec. 483. Commission annual report.

Subtitle R—Senior Safe

Sec. 491. Immunity.

Sec. 492. Training required.

Sec. 493. Relationship to State law.

Subtitle S—National Securities Exchange Regulatory Parity

Sec. 496. Application of exemption.

Subtitle T—Private Company Flexibility And Growth

Sec. 497. Shareholder threshold for registration.

Subtitle U—Small Company Capital Formation Enhancements

Sec. 498. JOBS Act-related exemption.

Subtitle V—Encouraging Public Offerings

Sec. 499. Expanding testing the waters and confidential submissions.

TITLE V—REGULATORY RELIEF FOR MAIN STREET AND COMMUNITY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Subtitle A—Preserving Access To Manufactured Housing

Sec. 501. Mortgage originator definition.

Sec. 502. High-Cost mortgage definition.

Subtitle B—Mortgage Choice

Sec. 506. Definition of points and fees.

Subtitle C—Financial Institution Customer Protection

Sec. 511. Requirements for deposit account termination requests and orders.

Sec. 512. Amendments to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

Subtitle D—Portfolio Lending And Mortgage Access

Sec. 516. Safe harbor for certain loans held on portfolio.

Subtitle E—Application Of The Expedited Funds Availability Act

Sec. 521. Application of the Expedited Funds Availability Act.

Subtitle F—Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement

Sec. 526. Changes required to small bank holding company policy statement on assessment of financial and managerial factors.

Subtitle G—Community Institution Mortgage Relief

Sec. 531. Community financial institution mortgage relief.

Subtitle H—Financial Institutions Examination Fairness And Reform

Sec. 536. Timeliness of examination reports.

Subtitle I—National Credit Union Administration Budget Transparency

Sec. 541. Budget transparency for the NCUA.

Subtitle J—Taking Account Of Institutions With Low Operation Risk

Sec. 546. Regulations appropriate to business models.

Subtitle K—Federal Savings Association Charter Flexibility

Sec. 551. Option for Federal savings associations to operate as a covered savings association.

Subtitle L—SAFE Transitional Licensing

Sec. 556. Eliminating barriers to jobs for loan originators.

Subtitle M—Right To Lend

Sec. 561. Small business loan data collection requirement.

Subtitle N—Community Bank Reporting Relief

Sec. 566. Short form call report.

Subtitle O—Homeowner Information Privacy Protection

Sec. 571. Study regarding privacy of information collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975.

Subtitle P—Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment

Sec. 576. Depository institutions subject to maintenance of records and disclosure requirements.

Subtitle Q—Protecting Consumers’ Access To Credit

Sec. 581. Rate of interest after transfer of loan.

Subtitle R—NCUA Overhead Transparency

Sec. 586. Fund transparency.

Subtitle S—Housing Opportunities Made Easier

Sec. 591. Clarification of donated services to non-profits.

TITLE VI—REGULATORY RELIEF FOR STRONGLY CAPITALIZED, WELL MANAGED BANKING ORGANIZATIONS

Sec. 601. Capital election.

Sec. 602. Regulatory relief.

Sec. 603. Contingent capital study.

Sec. 604. Study on altering the current prompt corrective action rules.

Sec. 605. Definitions.

TITLE VII—EMPOWERING AMERICANS TO ACHIEVE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

Subtitle A—Separation Of Powers And Liberty Enhancements

Sec. 711. Consumer Law Enforcement Agency.

Sec. 712. Authority of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Sec. 713. Bringing the Agency into the regular appropriations process.

Sec. 714. Consumer Law Enforcement Agency Inspector General Reform.

Sec. 715. Private parties authorized to compel the Agency to seek sanctions by filing civil actions; Adjudications deemed actions.

Sec. 716. Civil investigative demands to be appealed to courts.

Sec. 717. Agency dual mandate and economic analysis.

Sec. 718. No deference to Agency interpretation.

Subtitle B—Administrative Enhancements

Sec. 721. Advisory opinions.

Sec. 722. Reform of Consumer Financial Civil Penalty Fund.

Sec. 723. Agency pay fairness.

Sec. 724. Elimination of market monitoring functions.

Sec. 725. Reforms to mandatory functional units.

Sec. 726. Repeal of mandatory advisory board.

Sec. 727. Elimination of supervision authority.

Sec. 728. Transfer of old OTS building from OCC to GSA.

Sec. 729. Limitation on Agency authority.

Subtitle C—Policy Enhancements

Sec. 731. Consumer right to financial privacy.

Sec. 732. Repeal of Council authority to set aside Agency rules and requirement of safety and soundness considerations when issuing rules.

Sec. 733. Removal of authority to regulate small-dollar credit.

Sec. 734. Reforming indirect auto financing guidance.

Sec. 735. Prohibition of Government price controls for payment card transactions.

Sec. 736. Removal of Agency UDAAP authority.

Sec. 737. Preservation of UDAP authority for Federal banking regulators.

Sec. 738. Repeal of authority to restrict arbitration.

TITLE VIII—CAPITAL MARKETS IMPROVEMENTS

Subtitle A—SEC Reform, Restructuring, And Accountability

Sec. 801. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 802. Report on unobligated appropriations.

Sec. 803. SEC Reserve Fund abolished.

Sec. 804. Fees to offset appropriations.

Sec. 805. Commission relocation funding prohibition.

Sec. 806. Implementation of recommendations.

Sec. 807. Office of Credit Ratings to report to the Division of Trading and Markets.

Sec. 808. Office of Municipal Securities to report to the Division of Trading and Markets.

Sec. 809. Independence of Commission Ombudsman.

Sec. 810. Investor Advisory Committee improvements.

Sec. 811. Duties of Investor Advocate.

Sec. 812. Elimination of exemption of Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee from Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Sec. 813. Internal risk controls.

Sec. 814. Applicability of notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act to guidance voted on by the Commission.

Sec. 815. Limitation on pilot programs.

Sec. 816. Procedure for obtaining certain intellectual property.

Sec. 817. Process for closing investigations.

Sec. 818. Enforcement Ombudsman.

Sec. 819. Adequate notice.

Sec. 820. Advisory committee on Commission’s enforcement policies and practices.

Sec. 821. Process to permit recipient of Wells notification to appear before Commission staff in-person.

Sec. 822. Publication of enforcement manual.

Sec. 823. Private parties authorized to compel the Securities and Exchange Commission to seek sanctions by filing civil actions.

Sec. 824. Certain findings required to approve civil money penalties against issuers.

Sec. 825. Repeal of authority of the Commission to prohibit persons from serving as officers or directors.

Sec. 826. Subpoena duration and renewal.

Sec. 827. Elimination of automatic disqualifications.

Sec. 828. Denial of award to culpable whistleblowers.

Sec. 829. Confidentiality of records obtained from foreign securities and law enforcement authorities.

Sec. 830. Clarification of authority to impose sanctions on persons associated with a broker or dealer.

Sec. 831. Complaint and burden of proof requirements for certain actions for breach of fiduciary duty.

Sec. 832. Congressional access to information held by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Sec. 833. Abolishing Investor Advisory Group.

Sec. 834. Repeal of requirement for Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to use certain funds for merit scholarship program.

Sec. 835. Reallocation of fines for violations of rules of municipal securities rulemaking board.

Subtitle B—Eliminating Excessive Government Intrusion In The Capital Markets

Sec. 841. Repeal of Department of Labor fiduciary rule and requirements prior to rulemaking relating to standards of conduct for brokers and dealers.

Sec. 842. Exemption from risk retention requirements for nonresidential mortgage.

Sec. 843. Frequency of shareholder approval of executive compensation.

Sec. 844. Shareholder Proposals.

Sec. 845. Prohibition on requiring a single ballot.

Sec. 846. Requirement for municipal advisor for issuers of municipal securities.

Sec. 847. Small issuer exemption from internal control evaluation.

Sec. 848. Streamlining of applications for an exemption from the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Sec. 849. Restriction on recovery of erroneously awarded compensation.

Sec. 850. Exemptive authority for certain provisions relating to registration of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations.

Sec. 851. Risk-based examinations of Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations.

Sec. 852. Transparency of credit rating methodologies.

Sec. 853. Repeal of certain attestation requirements relating to credit ratings.

Sec. 854. Look-back review by NRSRO.

Sec. 855. Approval of credit rating procedures and methodologies.

Sec. 856. Exception for providing certain material information relating to a credit rating.

Sec. 857. Repeals.

Sec. 858. Exemption of and reporting by private equity fund advisers.

Sec. 859. Records and reports of private funds.

Sec. 860. Definition of accredited investor.

Sec. 861. Repeal of certain provisions requiring a study and report to Congress.

Sec. 862. Repeal.

Subtitle C—Harmonization Of Derivatives Rules

Sec. 871. Commissions review and harmonization of rules relating to the regulation of over-the-counter swaps markets.

Sec. 872. Treatment of transactions between affiliates.

TITLE IX—REPEAL OF THE VOLCKER RULE AND OTHER PROVISIONS

Sec. 901. Repeals.

TITLE X—FED OVERSIGHT REFORM AND MODERNIZATION

Sec. 1001. Requirements for policy rules of the Federal Open Market Committee.

Sec. 1002. Federal Open Market Committee blackout period.

Sec. 1003. Public transcripts of FOMC meetings.

Sec. 1004. Membership of Federal Open Market Committee.

Sec. 1005. Frequency of testimony of the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to Congress.

Sec. 1006. Vice Chairman for Supervision report requirement.

Sec. 1007. Salaries, financial disclosures, and office staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Sec. 1008. Amendments to powers of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Sec. 1009. Interest rates on balances maintained at a Federal Reserve bank by depository institutions established by Federal Open Market Committee.

Sec. 1010. Audit reform and transparency for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Sec. 1011. Establishment of a Centennial Monetary Commission.

TITLE XI—IMPROVING INSURANCE COORDINATION THROUGH AN INDEPENDENT ADVOCATE

Sec. 1101. Repeal of the Federal Insurance Office; Creation of the Office of the Independent Insurance Advocate.

Sec. 1102. Treatment of covered agreements.

TITLE XII—TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS

Sec. 1201. Table of contents; Definitional corrections.

Sec. 1202. Antitrust savings clause corrections.

Sec. 1203. Title I corrections.

Sec. 1204. Title III corrections.

Sec. 1205. Title IV correction.

Sec. 1206. Title VI corrections.

Sec. 1207. Title VII corrections.

Sec. 1208. Title IX corrections.

Sec. 1209. Title X corrections.

Sec. 1210. Title XII correction.

Sec. 1211. Title XIV correction.

Sec. 1212. Technical corrections to other statutes.

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Local News

  • Georgia’s first lady Marty Kemp toured the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of Georgia on Feb. 18, along with her daughter Lucy Kemp, UGA President Jere W. Morehead and several others. Kemp, who has loved animals ever since getting her first horse, Flare, at a young age, is no stranger to the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine hospital. In 2006, she brought in a foal named Loula, who had reared up, fallen back and broken her tailbone. “It made her drag her left back leg,” recalled Kemp. “The vet came and said you need to get this foal to the vet school immediately or she’s going to die.” They brought her in and she was there for five or six weeks. Kemp would come and see her every day. During her stay at the teaching hospital, her care team discovered that the foal had a blood disorder, one that would have killed her if she hadn’t been brought in for the tailbone. Today, Loula is alive and well on the Kemps’ farm. Horses are her therapy, said Kemp. “I can tell them things and they won’t tell anyone,” she laughed. “I certainly wouldn’t have made it through politics without them. Anybody who loves horses knows exactly what I’m talking about. Whatever stress you have, they take care of it. That’s the beauty of them.” Kemp has also brought two animals to zoological medicine: a bunny she rescued from the mouth of one of the family’s Labradors, and a duck that had died. The tour led Kemp through the small animal teaching hospital, where she got to meet a puppy about to undergo surgery, and the zoological medicine area, where a giant anaconda was being treated. It also included the parts of the hospital used for diagnostic imaging, the food animal treatment center, and the equine performance arena, where horses are checked for lameness and other ailments. Kemp was impressed by how the teaching hospital has grown since her tenure as a student at UGA. “It’s ramped up about 100 times since I was here,” she said. “What’s going on here, is just awesome.” Currently, the Kemps have three dogs, a barn cat, two sheep, a goat, four horses and two chickens. “I’ve been kind of low on animals recently, though Brian would say no, but we used to have a lot more.” One her daughter Lucy recalled with particular fondness is a goat named Kenny Chesney. When the human Chesney was in town, Lucy and her mother saw the tour bus downtown and relayed the fact of their goat’s name to Chesney’s people. They asked her to bring the goat to them, so they did, and Chesney himself got off the tour bus to meet the goat and Lucy Kemp. Lucy, a senior in high school and also a lover of animals, is interested in UGA’s veterinary medicine program. Kemp is still in the process of working out what she wants to focus on during her tenure as first lady of Georgia, though she is certain animal welfare will play a role because it is a cause so dear to her heart.     
  • Mississippi State scratched out the win at Georgia on Wednesday night in the battle of Bulldogs by a 68-67 count at Stegeman Coliseum. Mississippi State won the game at the free-throw line within the final second. Quinndary Weatherspoon made one of three free-throw attempts with 0.5 seconds left after he was fouled by Jordan Harris on his shot attempt. Weatherspoon was granted an extra free-throw attempt via a technical called on UGA because a fan threw an item on the court. Mississippi State used a 19-0 run to pull away in the final stages of the first half and opening minutes of the second half before the crowd of 7,153. Coach Ben Howland’s team came from 25-23 down to take a commanding 42-25 lead on Weatherspoon’s drive at the 18:31 mark. Georgia (10-16, 1-12 SEC) roared back, tying the game 67-67 on Tyree Crump's 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds left.  UGA couldn't finish the job, dropping its seventh consecutive, dating to the 98-88 win over Texas on Jan. 26. Weatherspoon scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting for Mississippi State (19-7, 7-6 SEC), including a pair of free throws with 15.6 seconds left to give his team a 67-64 cushion. UGA star Nicolas Claxton, who entered the night one of five Division I players leading his team in all five major statistical categories, finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Claxton didn’t score his first points until the 3:54 mark, giving Georgia a 24-20 lead. Moments later, Claxton committed his second foul, and coach Tom Crean made what proved to be a critical decision to take him out of the game, contributing to the key MSU run. Mississippi State held a 36-25 lead at halftime, breaking away with the 16-1, including 13-0, run the final 3:16. Weatherspoon led the charge, scoring 12 of those 16 points as Mississippi State made its final seven shots of the first half. Georgia committed four of its seven opening-half turnovers in the final 3 1/2 minutes. Georgia returns to action at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ole Miss (TV: SEC Network). The Rebels beat the Bulldogs by an 80-64 count in Athens earlier this month, on Feb. 9. It’s the first of five regular-season games remaining for Georgia, which returns to the Classic City for a home game against Auburn at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
  • The Jefferson-based Jackson EMC sent upwards of three dozen workers to northwest Georgia Wednesday, helping with electrical restoration in the wake of Tuesday thunderstorms that caused more than 4,100 power outages. From Jackson EMC…   Jackson EMC sent 10 linemen and released 24 contractors to assist with power restoration efforts at Amicalola EMC in northwest Georgia. Tuesday brought heavy rain, strong wind gusts and severe thunderstorms to the region, resulting in widespread power outages for several north Georgia counties — including members of Amicalola EMC.    As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Amicalola EMC reported 122 outages in Bartow, Cherokee, Gilmer, Gordon and Pickens counties, affecting 4,140 members — roughly 8.5 percent of the co-op’s membership.   A principle of co-ops is cooperation among cooperatives. Keeping with that principle, when asked, Jackson EMC provides fellow co-ops assistance with power restoration efforts following major outages. Jackson EMC linemen will work alongside Amicalola EMC line crews to safely restore power to the co-op’s members. 
  • Proposed revisions to the Athens-Clarke County Stormwater Management Plan are up for discussion in an open house forum that takes place this evening in Winterville: it gets underway at 6:30 at the Winterville Depot. The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission meets this afternoon in Athens: it is a 12 o’clock session at the Downtown Holiday Inn.  There is an evening meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission: it’s a 6:30 session at the Government Building on Dougherty Street. The Board of the University of Georgia Foundation holds its winter meeting today.  The talk in Elberton is said to be still in the preliminary stages, but there are ongoing School Board discussions about building a new central office for the Elbert County School District.  Gainesville City Councilwoman Ruth Bruner says she will not be a candidate for reelection in November. Bruner was first elected to the Gainesville Council in 2003.
  • Residents of a Statham home awoke this morning to the smell of smoke, and were forced to quickly evacuate themselves and their pets.   Barrow County Emergency Services communications officers were alerted to the report of a residential structure fire in the 2400 block of Peace Circle around 2:00am this morning. The first arriving fire units reported that the attic of the home was heavily involved in fire and that the roof was starting to collapse. The residents on scene immediately met fire crews and notified them that everyone was out of the home. No injuries were reported, but the home’s occupants were placed inside of an ambulance to protect them from the cold and rainy weather.    Smoke detectors were reportedly not operating at the time of the fire. “We’d like to remind everyone of the importance of working smoke detectors. Today’s modern homes and furnishings burn much quicker than in the past, and produce toxic smoke that can quickly incapacitate sleeping occupants. Fortunately the occupants this morning were able to get out in time,” said Public Information Officer Steve Rose.    Crews from Stations 1, 6, and 7 responded. Truck 7 was on scene and the aerial ladder was extended to aid in fighting the fire. Once the bulk of the fire was controlled, crews made entry to fully extinguish the remaining fire with an interior attack.    Barrow County Fire Investigations were requested and determined that the fire originated in the area of the fireplace and chimney, and spread up thru the wall into the attic. Barrow County Fire Marshal Capt. Glen Cain said, “The National Fire Protection Association recommends annual fireplace and chimney inspections by a certified chimney professional.”    The home and its contents were heavily damaged, but firefighters were able to salvage some important personal items from inside the home and return them to the owners. Two adult residents were displaced and the American Red Cross was notified to assist them.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Georgia football has scheduling twists that seem to have some fans twisting in the wind. Here’s the thing: Coach Kirby Smart is on board with the changes, and they would’t be happening if he wasn’t. “I’d just make the statement that if there are any issues that our staff has, we’d voice that,” UGA athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation. “But I think Kirby will be very comfortable with the schedule that you’ll see in 2020.” So Georgia is switching the order of games with rivals Auburn and Tennessee, the matchup with the Tigers moving to October, and the Vols’ series moving to November. It would certainly be easier if Smart were to speak for himself on the issue. But Smart has chosen to strategically stay silent since the 28-21 Sugar Bowl loss to Texas on Jan. 1. Smart did, however, choose to issue a statement making it clear he’s very supportive of McGarity — a narrative that somehow some have gotten confused in the past: “Greg’s been a great resource for me since coming to Georgia and has always been supportive and energetic about all the things that are necessary to develop and maintain a successful football program,’’ Smart said in a UGA release. “I’m especially appreciative of his commitment to facilities. Greg is loyal to the University and has what is best for Georgia as his top priority.’’ It’s hard to imagine how the Bulldogs head coach could be any clearer. Smart also made his feelings known on the Auburn scheduling at the SEC Spring Meetings last May in Destin, Fla. Smart said he would be all for it if Auburn were to play two consecutive games in Athens. “Absolutely, if we can get a chance to fix it, and (they) return the favor that we paid to them,” Smart said, asked if he would be on board with the Tigers playing consecutive years in Athens. “I hear about that a lot, obviously I wasn’t there, but if you can make it more consistent and balance it out, it would help in the long run.” UGA played two straight   games in Auburn, in 2012-2013, as the SEC adjusted its schedule to include Missouri and Texas A&M. The unintended consequence of Georgia changing up its odd/even years and home/away with Auburn is that the Bulldogs fell into playing both Georgia Tech and the Tigers on the road in November every other year. Smart didn’t like that, either, and he said so. “I feel like if we could fix it, it would help to not have two road games back to back for us, like the situation we had last year (2017) with Auburn and Georgia Tech back to back,” Smart said. “I understand there are problems and difficulties trying to appease everyone.” So while the opportunity for Auburn to play at Georgia two years in a row wasn’t on the table, the chance to move up the Auburn game to October was, and Smart and UGA took advantage of that. Some have pointed out that Tennessee is also a rivalry game. Now, it’s a matter of having to travel to Knoxville and Atlanta (to play Tech) in the same month. But what won’t happen is the possibility of facing Auburn in a rematch just a few short weeks after facing that program in the regular season — something Smart alluded to in Destin last May. Smart had many other things to say that offered a great deal of insight into his feelings of what was to come with transfers and quarterback situations that are worth looking back on: Kirby Smart, SEC Spring Meetings The post WATCH: What Kirby Smart said about Auburn scheduling twist, Greg McGarity appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia is moving quickly to make improvements in every phase of its football program, and apparently that extends to the Bulldogs’ relatively new “Light Up Sanford” tradition. While the plans to transition from the old metal halide lighting system to a modern LED “Lumadapt” system installed by Ephesus Lighting. In addition to being more energy efficient and brighter, the lights also can be digitally adjusted, synchronized to music and produce special effects. Which is where Georgia’s Light Up Sanford tradition comes in. “Think about the creativity to we can bring to the games,” deputy athletic director Josh Brook said during his presentation to the board. “We can celebrate a touchdown, there are all kinds of things we can do. We’re planning on a few things. There’s a certain fourth-quarter tradition we have that might come into play. We’re working on some things I don’t want to reveal right now. But this should add to the game-day experience and the things we can do for fans.” Back in 2015, members of Georgia’s Redcoat Marching Band started a fourth-quarter tradition that has gained considerable momentum the last two seasons. After the third quarter ends, the band plays a song called Krypton. That’s alerts Georgia fans to pull out their cell phones and activate their flashlight apps and wave them up and down to the music toward the team on the field. The Bulldogs respond as well, holding up four fingers and acknowledging the crowd’s belief that the fourth quarter belongs to them. The synchronicity creates quite the scene and even has inspired video documentaries. The tradition has really taken off the last two seasons as the Bulldogs made runs to the SEC Championship and National Championship game. With the capability of the new LED lights, Sanford Stadium might be able to play along as well. Brooks said Georgia is one of the first NCAA stadiums to utilize the systems installed by Ephesus. The arena lighting specialists have done installations for the last three Super Bowl venues and will for next year’s game in Miami as well. “We can take lighting effects to the next level,” Brooks said. UGA DEPUTY AD JOSH BROOKS The post WATCH: Georgia aims to take its 4th-quarter, ‘Light Up Sanford’ tradition to a new level appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — It was just a statement buried within a UGA press release on Wednesday’s athletic board meeting, but it happened to be Kirby Smart, from whom we’ve heard very little over the last 51 days and nothing directly. Georgia’s football coach was commenting on Wednesday’s news that Greg McGarity had received a contract extension to continue as the Bulldogs’ athletic director. “Greg’s been a great resource for me since coming to Georgia and has always been supportive and energetic about all the things that are necessary to develop and maintain a successful football program,’’ Smart said in the release prepared by UGA sports communications staff. “I’m especially appreciative of his commitment to facilities. Greg is loyal to the University and has what is best for Georgia as his top priority.’’ McGarity certainly has been a strong supporter of Smart and the football program. Since taking over as the Bulldogs’ head coach, McGarity has seen that Smart’s requests for facility improvements got approved and completed fast. Upon Smart’s appointment in December of 2015, the Bulldogs were in the process of breaking ground on a $31 million indoor practice facility. That building was dedicated as the William & Porter Payne Indoor Athletic Center in January of 2017. After that, McGarity filled Smart’s request for a new locker room and recruiting lounge to be constructed in the West End of Sanford Stadium. That $63 million dollar project was completed and dedicated before the 2018 season. Meanwhile, Smart’s latest request seems to be coming on line quickly. UGA already is raising funds and drawing up plans for a new football-dedicated building to be added to the Butts-Mehre Complex on South Campus. Architectural design concepts are due to be submitted to the athletic board by the time it meets again in May. At that time, the size, layout and cost of the new addition will be revealed. The multi-million dollar project could commence as early as 2020. Georgia teams have won eight national championships since McGarity’s arrival in August of 2010. The latest came last week when the women’s team won the NCAA Indoor Championship. “Greg’s leadership and continued support instill confidence in our coaches, student-athletes, and sports programs in general,’’ said Lu Harris-Champer who just began her 19th season as head coach of the UGA softball team.  ‘’He is totally committed to providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes to be successful in competition and in the classroom.  Greg is a great facilitator of success.’’ McGarity’s extension was the only personnel news to come out of the board’s winter meeting. The group also voted unanimously to allocate $8.5 million toward the new grandstand at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The post Georgia coach Kirby Smart thanks Greg McGarity for unwavering support of football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — A   stuffed miniature bulldog made for a controversial ending at Georgia on Wednesday night in Mississippi State’s 68-67 victory. UGA rallied from 17 points down to tie the game at 67-67 before State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon was fouled with 0.5 seconds remaining and went to the free-throw line for two shots. As Weatherspoon’s first free-throw attempt rattled out, a small stuffed bulldog landed on the court behind him inside the 3-point arc. WATCH: Stuffed bulldog tossed on Georgia court, officials call technical UGA coach Tom Crean went to the scorer’s table and got on the microphone, urging fans not to throw anything else on the court. But seconds later, without any more fan interaction, official Steven Anderson assessed Georgia a technical. Weatherspoon, knowing he had an extra shot coming, sank the technical free-throw attempt for the game-winning margin. “I’ve never seen that, not without a warning, and certainly not without an explanation,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said, clearly baffled by the technical foul. “The rule says you’ve got to be able to know who did it.” There were some Mississippi State fans in attendance, but the referees did not identify the fan who threw the stuffed bulldog at the time of the infraction. UGA athletic director Greg McGarity conceded it’s a judgement call, but not one he had seen applied in that situation. There hadn’t been any prior fan issues out of the crowd of 7,153, some of whom had left after UGA appeared hopelessly behind. Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said he was just happy to get out of Athens with a win and protect his Bulldogs’ NCAA Tournament resume. “Well I feel very fortunate to sneak out of here with a win tonight,” said Howland, whose team has won three straight to improve to 19-7 and 7-6 in the SEC. “That’s a huge play, someone throwing a little bulldog. “I don’t know who did that, but man I would be so frustrated if I were his team, the University of Georgia, to have that happen. That was crazy.” The timing of the technical foul seemed all the more odd, as the officials did not call a technical immediately after the object was thrown. It wasn’t until after Crean grabbed the microphone and asked the crowd not to throw any more items on the court that the technical foul was called, and the extra free-throw awarded. Did the stuffed baby bulldog decide the game? “It’s the whole woulda coulda shoulda, but you miss the first, maybe you miss the second and go into overtime, but we’re never going to know,” said Crean, whose team dropped its seventh straight game to fall to 10-16 and 1-12 in SEC play. “I’m just perplexed that no one out there would tell me what’s going on. It makes zero sense to me. “We’ll deal with it behind the scenes.” Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean Mississippi State coach Ben Howland   The post WATCH: Stuffed baby bulldog triggers decisive technical in Georgia’s 68-67 loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS —Mississippi State scratched out a win over Georgia on Wednesday night, winning the battle of Bulldogs by a 68-67 count at Stegeman Coliseum. Mississippi State won the game at the free-throw line in the final second. Quinndary Weatherspoon hit one of three free-throw attempts with 0.5 seconds left after being fouled by Jordan Harris on a shot attempt. Weatherspoon was granted an extra free-throw attempt via a technical called on UGA because a fan threw an item on the court. State had used a 19-0 run to pull away in the final stages of the first half and opening minutes of the second half before the crowd of 7,153. Coach Ben Howland’s team came from 25-23 down to take a commanding 42-25 lead on Weatherspoon’s drive at the 18:31 mark. Georgia (10-16, 1-12) roared back, tying the game 67-67 on Tyree Crump’s 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds left. UGA, however, couldn’t finish the job, dropping its seventh straight dating back to the 98-88 win over Texas on Jan. 26. Weatherspoon(10-16, 1-12) scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting for Mississippi State (19-7, 7-6 SEC), including a pair of free throws with 15.6 seconds left to give his team a 67-64 cushion. UGA star Nicolas Claxton, who entered the night one of five Division I players leading his team in all five major statistical categories, finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds. Claxton didn’t score his first points until the 3:54 mark, giving Georgia a 24-20 lead. Moments later, Claxton committed his second foul, and Coach Tom Crean made what proved to be a critical decision to take him out of the game, likely contributing to the key MSU run. Mississippi State held a 36-25 lead at halftime, breaking away with the   16-1 (and 13-0) run the final 3:16. Weatherspoon led the charge, scoring 12 of those 16 points as State hit on its final seven shots of the first half. Georgia, meanwhile, committed four of its seven opening half turnovers in the final 3 1/2   minutes. Mississippi State firmed up its NCAA Tournament resume with the victory, its third in a row. Georgia returns to action at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Ole Miss (TV: SEC Network). The Rebels beat the Bulldogs by an 80-64 count in Athens earlier this month, on Feb. 9. It’s the first of five regular season games remaining for Georgia, which returns to the Classic City for a home game against Auburn at 9 p.m. next Wednesday. UGA finishes with games at Florida (March 2), at home against Missouri (March 6) and at South Carolina (March 9) before traveling to Nashville for the SEC Tournament (March 13-17). The post Mississippi State claws out 68-67, last-second win over Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.