ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
91°
Sunny
H 92° L 72°
  • clear-day
    91°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 92° L 72°
  • clear-day
    73°
    Morning
    Sunny. H 92° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    90°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 72°

Business Headlines

    Student loan debt held by disabled veterans will be forgiven under an order signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump. Trump said the order would direct the Department of Education to 'eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt' owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. 'There will be no federal income tax on the forgiven debts,' Trump said, saying he'll also ask states to waive their taxes on the loans. America, he said, owes its heroes 'a supreme debt of gratitude.' The administration says just half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit because of a burdensome application process. Trump issued the order during his address at the AMVETS convention in Louisville and signed it afterward. The document directs the government to develop an 'expedited' process so veterans can have their federal student loan debt discharged 'with minimal burdens.' Trump was visiting Kentucky to speak to more than 2,500 veterans at the nonpartisan service organization, also known as American Veterans. Trump also was expected to headline a Louisville fundraiser for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's reelection effort. Bevin is running against Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear in what's shaping up to be a close November election. Bevin plays up his Trump ties in pitching for a second term. Trump recently promised to hold a campaign rally for Bevin. ___ Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report from Washington.
  • The divide between retail winners and losers is widening. That became even more evident Wednesday with the latest batch of earnings reports: Big-box stores and off-price retailers have been responding faster to shoppers' increasing shift online with expanded deliveries and better merchandise. But many mall-based clothing chains and department stores continue to suffer weak sales as they struggle to lure in shoppers. 'There is an increasing polarization in retail,' said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. 'It's a vicious cycle, and it's difficult to pull out of the tail spin.' In fact, for the first two fiscal quarters of this year, earnings at off-mall retailers rose 3%, compared with a drop of 29% for mall-based retailers, according to Retail Metrics, a retail research firm, which analyzed results at 105 retailers. On Wednesday, Target raised its annual earnings guidance after reporting strong sales and traffic. It was helped by its same-day delivery services, as well as a strong lineup of homegrown brands. Lowe's, the nation's second largest home improvement retailer behind Home Depot, blew past Wall Street's second-quarter earnings expectations, buoyed by strong demand for spring goods and sales to contractors. Both companies' stocks soared. Earlier this week, Home Depot handily beat second-quarter profit expectations, while Walmart raised its outlook for the year last week and off price chains like T.J. Maxx are also faring well, resonating with shoppers who love to treasure hunt. But clothing chains and department stores haven't differentiated their merchandise enough, and now discounters are further squeezing them by pushing into more affordable trendy fashions, retail industry analysts say. Last week, Macy's lowered its annual earnings guidance after its earnings suffered in the second quarter as it slashed prices on unsold merchandise. J.C. Penney's is in worst shape. It posted another quarter of sales declines. Kohl's shares, meanwhile, fell Tuesday after posting a sales decline though business improved later in the quarter. Nordstrom is expected report declining second-quarter profits and sales late Wednesday. Saunders and other analysts say that they started to see a clear divide between retail's winners and losers four or five years ago, but that gap has gotten more pronounced because of a combination of factors. For several years, a strong economy provided tail winds to retailers of all stripes, and last year's tax cuts gave merchants a nice sugar high. But as the economy starts developing some cracks, vulnerable retailers will become even more exposed. Analysts also say that the shift to online shopping keeps accelerating, giving a big advantage to retailers like Target and Walmart who've been able to invest billions of dollars in online deliveries and in their stores. Some mall-based retailers are now looking at other ways to bring in shoppers, including subscription rental services and carving out areas to sell second-hand clothes. But for some, it may be a case of too little, too late. 'In a world where consumers have more choices than ever, inferior brick-and-mortar experiences will go away,' said John Mulligan, Target's chief operating officer Wednesday. Target's comparable store sales, which include online sales, rose 3.4 % as customer traffic jumped 2.4%. Online sales soared 34%. The Minneapolis company raised profit expectations for the year, sending its shares up 19%. Shares in Lowe's Co., which is based in Mooresville, North Carolina, were up more than 10%. Still, it is an uncertain time for even surging retailers like Target. The Trump administration has imposed a 25% tariff on $250 billion in Chinese imports. A pending 10% tariff on another $300 billion in goods would hit everything from toys to clothing and shoes that China ships to the United States. And it appears the retailers that have been winning all along will be the ones to better navigate the tariff storms. Target's CEO Brian Cornell told analysts that while the trade wars present an additional layer of uncertainty and complexity, he pointed to the company's diverse assortment, deep expertise in global sourcing and sophisticated set of manufacturing partners around the world. Meanwhile, Macy's said last week that its shoppers don't have an appetite for higher prices in a ballooning U.S. trade war with China. The department store was forced to raise prices on some luggage, housewares and furniture to offset the costs of a 25% tariff implemented in May. Macy's vowed not to increase prices as a result of the 10% tariff, but CEO Jeff Gennette said the company will be speaking with vendors about ways to offset rising costs if the trade war escalates. _____ Follow Anne D'Innocenzio on Twitter . ___ This story has been updated to correctly identify the Target executive quoted in reference to brick-and-mortar stores. It is Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan, not CEO Brian Cornell.
  • iBuyers are the real estate organizations that can buy homes to simplify the process. They have big money behind them to accomplish this and include Offerpad, OpenDoor, Knock and others including Zillow. In addition, traditional agencies are entering into alliances with iBuyers. MarketWatch reports Keller Williams is partnering with Offerpad in 12 cities. These organizations are experimental. Their business models keep changing. Clark sold a rental condo recently and listed with an iBuyer (Offerpad) after talking with several. The process has interesting wrinkles. Knock is working with builders and provides the bridge between selling and buying. All base their buy offer on the condition of your home. They’ll offer less to do improvements with their contractors for a quick turnaround. The iBuyer process has its limitations. It works well in the South and the West suburban communities with comparable homes from large production builders. This doesn’t work in older communities, in the NE U.S. iBuyers concentrate in the middle of the market. They may never serve certain markets. Traditional agencies will likely be expanding their services aligned with iBuyer business models. If you’re putting your home on the market, get quotes from iBuyers if available, along with traditional agents. You get fair market value info from their various algorithms. The NYT has investigated continuing egregious practices by Wells Fargo. This bank can’t get out of its own way, despite their ads indicating reform. Their latest outrage: arbitrarily closing accounts, generating overdrafts on auto payments. These fees are a huge profit center for them, and costs customers huge fees. $1500 was the damage on one account. WF then puts their customers/victims on the bad list for the banking industry, making it hard to impossible for them to even bank elsewhere. Wells Fargo was defiant in their response to the NYT. They’re not close to becoming customer focused or honest. Beware. Watch the video Laura from Team Clark was an identity theft victim and has experience navigating the process. Laura went to the Equifax Claim site and was indeed eligible to file, as her id theft about 2 years ago, was a result of their data breach. Someone opened a credit card in her name, applied for multiple loans, cell service and more. Damage control took weeks of phone calls. Since, Laura has frozen her credit and monitors it with Credit Karma. Her credit has bounced back by now. She considers herself lucky they didn’t do more damage. They could have. Many expecting to receive compensation won’t receive much. Using the link at Clark.com, Laura applied for the $120, but so many have filed claims, the awards won’t be that much. But problem solved because she worked hard to advocate for herself, and fortunate more damage didn’t occur. Laura says FREEZE YOUR CREDIT NOW Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices This article was originally published on Clark.com The post 8.20.19 New ways to sell your home; Wells Fargo does it again; Fighting for your Equifax breach money appeared first on Clark Howard.
  • Company and project officials are estimating the costs of a spherical entertainment venue under construction on the Las Vegas Strip at between $1.2 billion and $1.7 billion. Madison Square Garden Co. President Andrew Lustgarten disclosed cost projections Tuesday along with quarterly company earnings. The 18,000-seat arena, called MSG Sphere, is a partnership between MSG and Las Vegas Sands, the owner of the adjacent Venetian and Palazzo resorts. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the company and general contractor AECOM are negotiating a final cost. It could be more than four times the $375 million it took to build T-Mobile Arena, which opened in 2016 about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) down the Strip. MSG Sphere is scheduled to open in 2021 with a huge interior wrap-around LED screen and immersive audience experience technology.
  • Federal Reserve officials were widely divided at their meeting last month when they decided to cut rates for the first time in a decade, with some arguing for a bigger rate cut while others insisted the Fed should not cut rates at all. The minutes of the July 30-31 discussions released Wednesday show two officials believed the Fed should cut its benchmark policy rate by a half-percentage point, double the quarter-point reduction the central bank eventually agreed upon. On the other end, some Fed officials argued for no rate cut at all, believing that the economy was beginning to improve after a soft patch in the spring. The minutes did not indicate any consensus on the pace of future cuts. Financial markets have been turbulent since the July 31 rate cut, diving 800 points one day last week on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as bad news has piled up in terms of the slowing global economy and the latest developments in President Donald Trump's trade war with China. Because of these developments, investors have become convinced the central bank will follow up the July rate cut with further cuts at coming meetings. But private economists are not so sure, believing the Fed may want to save some of its rate cut ammunition should the economy take a serious turn for the worse with the possibility of a recession. The minutes provided little clarity on what the future course for rates will be, but markets are hoping that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell may send a stronger signal about future rate hikes when he delivers the keynote address at the Fed's annual policy conference at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. 'There is little sign that the Fed is willing to push back on the markets,' said Michael Pearce, senior economist at Capital Economics. 'As such, another (quarter-point) cut in September still looks like a good bet, if only because the Fed will not want to disappoint lofty market expectations.' The two Fed officials who argued for a bigger rate cut 'favored a stronger action to better address the stubbornly low inflation rates of the past several years,' the minutes said. The July action was approved on an 8-2 vote with Esther George, president of the Fed's Kansas City regional bank, and Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed, dissenting and arguing that they favored no rate cut at all. The minutes said the majority view supported a quarter-point cut, viewing it as a 'mid-cycle adjustment,' a phrase Powell used in his press conference that caused an adverse market reaction by investors hoping the July cut will be the first in a series of rate reductions. The minutes highlighted three main reasons for the cut, including recent signs of deceleration of the economy and concerns about persistently low inflation. Officials also believed a rate cut would be a 'prudent step from a risk-management perspective.' The minutes said the Fed was worried about a slowdown in business investment and the global headwinds that are affecting Europe, Japan and other regions. 'Participants were mindful that trade tensions were far from settled and that trade uncertainties could intensify again,' the minutes said. On Aug. 1, the day after the Fed's rate cut, Trump announced that he would impose 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports in an effort to force the Chinese to make more trade concessions at the bargaining table. Since that announcement, Trump has said he would postpone about half of those tariffs until Dec. 15 to avoid hurting American consumers during the holiday shopping season. But economists are warning that the tariffs already imposed will likely slow U.S. growth in coming quarters.
  • The Pentagon is pulling the plug on a billion-dollar, technically troubled project to build a better weapon that would destroy incoming missiles. The move is aimed in part at considering new approaches to missile defense at a time of rapid technological change. The announced reason for canceling the Boeing contract, effective Thursday, was that the project's design problems were so significant as to be either insurmountable or too costly to correct. Beyond those immediate concerns, the Pentagon is considering whether it needs to start over with designing a defense against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles, such as those North Korea aspires to build, as well as newly emerging types of missiles. One indication of that broader concern is the Pentagon's statement that it will now invite industry competition to develop a 'new, next-generation interceptor' — potentially a weapon that could take on hypersonic missiles being developed by China and Russia. The Pentagon currently has 44 missile interceptors based mostly in Alaska. Each is designed to be launched from an underground silo, soar beyond the Earth's atmosphere and release a 'kill vehicle' — a device that steers into its target and destroys it by force of collision. These weapons have been tested but never used in actual combat. It is that 'kill vehicle' device that the Pentagon had asked Boeing to redesign so that it could be more reliable against the kind of long-range missiles that North Korea has said it is building to target the U.S. The Pentagon had spent nearly $1.2 billion on the project when Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, decided last week to end it. In May he had ordered Boeing to stop its work, pending a decision on a way forward. 'Ending the program was the responsible thing to do,' Griffin said in a statement Wednesday. 'Development programs sometimes encounter problems. After exercising due diligence, we decided the path we're going down wouldn't be fruitful, so we're not going down that path anymore.' Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, said details about the technical problems that led to the project's termination would not be released 'due to the classified nature of the program.' Boeing said in a statement that it accepts the decision and supports the competition for a new missile interceptor. Michael Doble, a spokesman for Raytheon Co., which is a subcontractor, said the Pentagon is 'updating its requirements in the face of an increasingly complex threat environment.' He said Raytheon supports the decision to end the contract. By saying it will now pursue a 'next-generation interceptor,' the Pentagon revealed that it sees a requirement not only for a better 'kill vehicle' but also an improved booster rocket. In other words, it may be aiming for a weapon that can defend against a wider array of missile threats. The cancellation raises questions about the Pentagon's continued reliance on the existing 'kill vehicle' on its interceptor fleet in Alaska. The Pentagon has been authorized by Congress to increase the current fleet of 44 interceptors to 64. The additional 20 were to be equipped by 2023 with the redesigned 'kill vehicle' under the Boeing contract. Now that the contract is being canceled, it seems likely that those additional 20 interceptors will not be fielded on time. Officials said the contract is being canceled 'for convenience, not for cause,' meaning it was at the Pentagon's discretion and not because Boeing was unable to fulfill the contract. 'We will take lessons learned from the terminated program and apply them during the new competition,' Griffin said.
  • The Latest on Britain's plan to leave the European Union (all times local): 7:20 p.m. The European Union's agriculture chief says if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lets the UK crash out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31 it will create a 'foul atmosphere' that will spill over into any negotiations on a future trade deal between the two. EU Farm Commission Phil Hogan said Tuesday that Johnson should not count on any divisions among the EU's 27 other nations as the deadline for a disruptive and economically chaotic no-deal Brexit departure draws near. Speaking in his native Ireland, Hogan says 'we will hold the line. We have made detailed contingency plans for every outcome and we will not be found wanting. Contrary to what the UK government may wish, the EU will not buckle.' Hogan said Johnson is 'putting the best interests of the Tory Party ahead of the best interests of the U.K.' ___ 7 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it may be possible to remove the key hurdle standing in the way of an orderly British departure from the European Union before the Oct. 31 exit date. Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that a solution for the Irish border issue might be found 'in the next 30 days' if all sides work hard. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he won't accept the so-called Irish backstop clause in the divorce agreement his predecessor negotiated with the EU last year and would rather leave the bloc without a deal than keep it in. Speaking alongside Merkel before the two leaders held talks, Johnson acknowledged that the onus was on Britain to put forward proposals that would satisfy both sides. Pro-Brexit hardliners in the U.K. fear the backstop could leave Britain tied to the EU's trade rules indefinitely. ___ 6:25 p.m. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says he sees little chance for fresh talks between the European Union and Britain on the U.K.'s departure from the bloc. The German news agency dpa reported Wednesday that Steinmeier said 'all options that can now be proposed have basically already been the subject of talks.' He was quoted as saying that 'I therefore think there's little likelihood that negotiations will get going again.' Steinmeier reportedly questioned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's earnestness in seeking new Brexit talks, saying that 'possibly it's more about attributing blame' than about substantial changes to the divorce deal negotiated last year. The German president, whose role is largely ceremonial, warned against underestimating the consequences of a disorderly no-deal Brexit, saying this could reopen many issues that have already been resolved between London and Brussels. ___ 5:05 p.m. A French diplomat says Britain's no-deal exit from the European Union at the end of October now is the central scenario. The diplomat, speaking anonymously in accordance with the French presidency's customary practices, said the EU will continue discussions with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson but will remain firm on its lines of negotiation: protecting the European single market and preserving peace and stability in Ireland. Johnson wants to scrap a contentious clause designed to prevent the return of checks along the Irish border, which London says could leave Britain tied to the bloc indefinitely. Without that clause, there's no deal possible, the French diplomat said. Johnson traveled to Berlin Wednesday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel before heading to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday. —By Sylvie Corbet ___ 2:40 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she plans to discuss with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson how Britain's exit from the European Union can be 'as frictionless as possible.' Merkel told an aviation conference in Leipzig that her talks with Johnson later Wednesday will include how to achieve this goal. Britain and the remaining 27 EU countries have been at loggerheads recently over a clause in the exit agreement concerning the Irish border. Johnson wants the so-called backstop removed, while Brussels says it's a necessary insurance policy to safeguard the integrity of the bloc's single market. Merkel cited aviation as one area that will require a new accord between the EU and Britain, saying such an agreement would take time to negotiate. She also noted that as a third country, Britain won't enjoy all the benefits EU members enjoy. ___ 9:45 a.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Berlin as Britain and the European Union are hurtling toward a costly no-deal Brexit in October. Despite growing tensions between Britain and the EU, Merkel said Tuesday the main stumbling block concerning Britain's departure from the European Union — the Irish border issue — can be removed if a 'practical solution' is found. Merkel said the remaining 27 EU countries are willing to find such a solution but don't want to reopen a carefully negotiated Brexit deal agreed last year. Merkel, who is set to welcome Johnson with military honors on Wednesday evening, also said whichever path Britain chooses the EU is willing to cooperate closely on economic and security issues.
  • The federal budget deficit is expected to balloon to more than $1 trillion in the next fiscal year under the first projections taking into account the big budget deal that President Donald Trump and Congress reached this summer, the Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday. The return of $1 trillion annual deficits comes despite Trump's vow when running for office that he would not just balance the budget but pay down the entire national debt. 'The nation's fiscal outlook is challenging,' said Phillip Swagel, director of the nonpartisan CBO. 'Federal debt, which is already high by historical standards, is on an unsustainable course.' The office upped this year's deficit projection by $63 billion and the cumulative deficit projection for the next decade by $809 billion. The higher deficit projections come even as the CBO reduced its estimate for interest rates, which lowers borrowing costs, and as it raised projections for economic growth in the near term. The number crunchers at CBO projected that the deficit for the current fiscal year will come to $960 billion. In the next fiscal year, which begins Oct 1, it will exceed $1 trillion. The CBO said the budget deal signed into law earlier this month, which took away the prospect of a government shutdown in October and the threat of deep automatic spending cuts, would boost deficits by $1.7 trillion over the coming decade. Increased spending on disaster relief and border security would add $255 billion. Downward revisions to the forecast for interest rates will help the picture, trimming $1.4 trillion. Swagel said the federal debt will rise even higher after the coming decade because of the nation's aging population and higher spending on health care. To put the country on sustainable footing, Swagel said, lawmakers will have to increase taxes, cut spending or combine the two approaches. The CBO's estimate is the first to reflect the hard-won budget and debt deal signed into law earlier this month. 'The recent budget deal was a budget buster, and now we have further proof. Both parties took an already unsustainable situation and made it much worse,' said Maya MacGuineas, president of the private Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. MacGuineas said lawmakers should ensure the legislation they enact is paid for and redouble efforts to control the growth in health care costs and restore the solvency of the Social Security program. Her organization is focused on educating the public on issues with significant fiscal policy impact.
  • The U.S. job market isn't quite as strong as originally believed — with revised figures showing that the economy had 501,000 fewer total jobs this March than initially reported. The Labor Department said Wednesday that nearly two-thirds of the downward revision came from the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors, the industries most associated with consumer spending. These preliminary revisions complicate the Trump administration's message of a strong economy, as they suggest that job growth was slowing as the expansion approached its tenth anniversary. Some of this slowdown would be natural given the length of the expansion. Retailers had 146,400 fewer jobs, while leisure and hospitality — which includes hotels and restaurants — had 175,000 fewer workers. Business services, health care, construction and manufacturing were also lower than first reported. But other sectors had their job totals upwardly revised. Employers in government, financial services, information and transportation and warehousing hired more workers than originally reported. This was the sharpest downward revision in jobs totals since 2009, when the economy was just starting to emerge from the Great Recession. The Labor Department will update these revisions in February 2020.
  • At a four-hour meeting last month, Michelle Abdow's staffers got to experience some of the sights, sounds and even smells they could encounter if someone invaded their office and began shooting. Security experts and local law enforcement officers gave Abdow's 23 staffers active shooter training — explaining what could happen and what they could do to remain safe during a shooting at their company, public relations firm Market Mentors. The visitors acted out scenarios that helped staffers understand what a real shooting might be like. 'It was very intense, much more than most other training where people watch videos,' says Abdow, whose company is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. 'But I surveyed everyone after, and there was not one negative comment. Everyone was grateful.' The shootings in public places in recent years have made many small business owners and managers aware that they and their staffers need to be educated about workplace violence. They need to know not only how to improve their chances of survival but also how to recognize any warning signs, a possibility if the assailant is a current or former employee or is involved in a domestic dispute with an employee. Security consultants and human resources providers say they're getting more inquiries and requests for training sessions following this month's shooting that killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart — than they did after previous mass shootings. Engage PEO, a human resources provider, began getting more calls from small businesses after the February 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staffers and wounded 17 others. 'It went from almost nothing to a regular occurrence,' says Julie Cirillo, vice president of risk management at Hollywood, Florida-based Engage PEO. The inquiries range from asking about security cameras to a request for active shooter training for their staffs. The shootings were on Abdow's mind when she asked one of her clients, a company that provides active shooter training, to come to her company. The training opened with staffers listening to a recording of a 911 call made by employees when a former co-worker entered their workplace and began shooting. The trainers explained what the caller did right, and wrong, in reporting the incident. They talked about the mindset of a shooter during an attack, discussed ways of running and hiding, and gave tips like, silence your cellphone so the shooter can't hear where you are. During the course of the session, they fired a gun so staffers would know how gunshots sound and smell. The trainers also went over Abdow's premises and pointed out hiding places. The local sheriff's department, recognizing that the meeting was likely to be anxiety-provoking, brought a therapy dog to ease everyone's stress. Consultants like Cirillo advise business owners that the assessment of threats should begin internally — most workplace shooters are disgruntled current or former employees or someone in a turbulent relationship with an employee. Bosses and employees should all be on the lookout for signs of trouble. In 2016, there were 320 people intentionally shot to death in U.S. companies, according to Labor Department statistics. Relatives or domestic partners were responsible for 40% of the women killed in the workplace. Engage PEO advises owners on what to look out for with troubled staffers, including those who are in difficult or violent domestic situations. 'We tell them to be aware of signs and symptoms of employees or spouses, even colleagues and co-workers, to be aware to take every complaint and issue seriously,' Cirillo says. For example, look for a change in a staffer's behavior. Employees also need to learn that if a co-worker says they're in a relationship that is or could turn violent, that the boss needs to know — even if the information was shared in confidence. But many times, employees are afraid to speak up. 'There needs to be some sort of way for employees to anonymously raise a red flag,' says Heidi Wysocki, co-owner of First Defense Solutions, a security training firm based in Plano, Texas. While large companies have anonymous hotlines, smaller companies might want to use an anonymous texting program, she says. Owners who learn that a staffer is struggling with personal issues should offer the company's resources — for example, an Employee Assistance Program — or be able to assist the employee in getting help. If a staffer is difficult, becomes moody or distant and the owner has any reason to fear violence, they should consult with a human resources provider or employment attorney. While owners can become unnerved by high-profile shootings and consider getting their companies prepared, many don't follow through. Wysocki's company has gotten more inquiries from small business owners since the Walmart shooting, but concern is often soon replaced by denial. 'We get a lot of, 'I can't believe it can happen here,'' Wysocki says. Concerns about workplace violence led Wysocki and business partner Ed Pietrowski to found their security training firm after 14 people were killed and 22 others were wounded by two shooters at a workplace holiday party in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. The July 28 shooting that killed three people at a festival in Gilroy, California, convinced Earl Jones that he needed to make his new office in Sunnyvale, California, as secure as possible. He's planning to install a security system and get advice on how to make the insurance agency that bears his name safer. Despite the randomness of mass shootings, Jones says he's aware that many workplace attacks have been at the hands of disgruntled or unhappy workers or relatives of workers. 'That could have been my office. It could have been anybody,' he says. _____ Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com s

Local News

  • Richmond County is the latest Georgia county to drop misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Solicitor in Augusta says there's no testing that measures how much THC is in confiscated samples. Investigators say it’s almost impossible to tell if a person has legal hemp or illegal marijuana. Gwinnett County’s Solicitor has made a similar pronouncement; Athens-Clarke County Police have said they will stop arresting marijuana possession suspects altogether.    Two suspects from South Carolina are arrested in Clemson, wanted in a string of burglaries and residential robberies in South Carolina and in Toccoa and Stephens County: 22 year-old Wallace Wardlaw and 30 year-old Vonnie Locklear are both from Greenville South Carolina.    A 40 year-old Gainesville man is facing child molestation charges: Oscar Flores was, at last report, being held without bond in the Hall County jail. 
  • There is an important deadline looming for University of Georgia: noon today marks the end of student football ticket registration. The Bulldogs are today ten days away from the August 31 season opener vs Vanderbilt. That game is in Nashville. The home opener is a week later, September 7 in Sanford Stadium against Murray State.  There is a Red Cross blood drive today at UGA, underway at 11 and lasting til 5 at the University of Georgia’s Memorial Hall.  The University of Georgia is hosting the first part-time job and internship fair of the fall semester: it’s at 11 o’clock at UGA’s Tate Student Center. 
  • Elbert County Sheriff Melvin Andrews says he will be a candidate for reelection in 2020. His announcement sets up a rematch, as Jamie Calloway, who lost to Andrews in the 2016 election, says he will make another run for the sheriff’s office in Elberton.      “I will be running for re-election on my 30 years of law enforcement experience and proudly on the record of the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office,” Andrews said. “Drug arrests are up, the crime rate is down and there are no unsolved murders in Elbert County in the seven years since I took office as Sheriff. I look forward to meeting the voters of Elbert County in next year’s primary and general election and asking for your support for a third term as your Sheriff.”   “Though I think it's a little early to ‘officially’ begin the campaign,” Callaway said, “due to rumors going around that I changed my mind about running I want to go ahead and post this. I still want to serve this county as your Sheriff and plan to run again in 2020. After losing by less than 200 votes last time, I am committed to gaining your confidence and your vote.
  • There is bicycle talk today in Athens: the Athens in Motion Commission, working on the development, implementation, and modification of a plan for a safe and connected network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout Athens, meets at 4 o’clock at the Government Building on Dougherty Street. There is an afternoon meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission: it’s set for 5:30 at the Government Building on Dougherty Street.    From Watkinsville to Gainesville, and in other cities across northeast Georgia: today marks the end of three days of candidate qualifying. Political hopefuls have been signing up since Monday to run in municipal elections that will be held on the first Tuesday in November, with mayoral and city council seats up for grabs in towns across the region.
  • The Covington Police Department needs your help.  Officials told Channel 2 Action News that officers found a man walking on Puckett Street in Covington on Tuesday afternoon. 'He is unable to tell us who he is, where he lives or the names of any relatives. His name is possibly Perry,' Covington police posted to their Facebook Page. Officers said they have canvassed the area and contacted all local nursing homes and have been unable to identify the man. If you recognize him, please call the Covington Police Department at 770-786-7605.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Tyler Clark represents the old warhorse on the Georgia football defense, a durable 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman who just keeps coming back for more. Clark, a starter on the defensive front each of the past two seasons, has played 41 games in his career and is ready for more and better this season. 'I feel great, I'm healthier, I'm stronger and I'm faster,' said Clark, a product of Americus, Ga. 'We have everybody coming back (on the D-Line), and we're ready.' Clark and his fellow senior defensive linemen certainly have heard the talk that their unit is one of the most concerning on the team. There are no apparent first-round NFL Draft picks or senior dominators, and Clark admits he didn't make the progress last season that he should have. 'I didn't do as well as I thought, or as well as I could,' Clark said. 'I started feeling myself too much, and it got in my head. But I'm going to be back this year.' The fact Clark came out to talk to the media and own up to his lackluster junior season was telling. Apparently, all it took was letting him know the media wanted to hear from him during his autograph session at FanDay. Clark gives the impression of a team-first guy who is eager to please the fans and his coaches, to the point of playing through several painful ailments. Indeed, Clark said the training room has been a big part of his regiment and staying durable enough to answer the bell for the Bulldogs week-in and week-out. 'It's been pretty tough playing in the SEC, and when I come out of the games, of course there will be bumps and bruises,' Clark said. 'I go in the cold tub, I get the hammers, I get rolled out, stretched and massaged every Sunday.' And then Clark comes back for more, working against one of the best offensive lines in the country to sharpen his skills. 'It feels like a Saturday in Athens going against that O-Line in practice,' Clark said. 'But it's the only O-Line we'll face like that.' Clark would know, he's seen them all, and now he's ready for a strong finish his senior season. Georgia football DL Tyler Clark DawgNation Georgia football fall camp WATCH: Why Georgia has the best backfield in college football Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post WATCH: Tyler Clark, Georgia's D-Line warhorse ready for more rugged action appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Could this Georgia football team have the best running game in the nation? It's a fair question to ask when one considers the powerful and deep offensive line, and the depth of great backs running behind it. UGA led the SEC in rushing last season, and it's hard to imagine any team in the league rushing for more yards in 2019. As much knowledge and passing accuracy as third-year starting quarterback Jake Fromm brings to the table, it seems like playing power football would be playing to the proven talent on the Bulldogs' roster. RELATED: Georgia QB Great explains importance of run game to pass game Whether it's dynamic D'Andre Swift, hard-charging Brian Herrien, electric James Cook, powerful Zamir White or versatile Kenny McIntosh, it seems like Georgia has the bases covered. As if the backs needed to do more, it's worth noting they are all capable pass catchers and utilized on special teams. Veteran beat writer Mike Griffith talked at length about the Bulldogs' runners, comparing them to some of the greatest backs in football that he's run across at other places, from Barry Sanders, to Shaun Alexander and Alvin Kamara. Also, more on the story of D'Wan Mathis and his emergency brain surgery, and how what Kirby Smart and the doctors at Athens Piedmont Medical Center history did was so impressive. On the Beat with Mike Griffith DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post WATCH: Why Georgia has the best backfield in college football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The recruiting services said Georgia football signee Cade Mays was a 5-star prospect. Mays was once ranked the No. 1 player in the 2018 Tennessee High School signing class, and the No. 3 offensive tackle in the country. RELATED: Cade Mays has MVP quality on Georgia O-Line When Mays, the son of Vols legend Kevin Mays, was committed to Tennessee and former coach Butch Jones, the rankings were celebrated by hometown fans who watched Mays star at Knoxville's Catholic High School. Indeed, Tennessee had the highest rated class of commits when the 2017 season began, with high-profile quarterback Adrian Martinez also committed to play for Jones. But when the Vols season went sour and the fanbase turned on Jones, Mays made the decision to de-commit, and Martinez ultimately shunned the new staff and chose Nebraska. Rough reaction The Tennessee fan base is understandably as unsettled and as anxious as any, having not been to the SEC Championship Game since the year before Tennessee legend Phillip Fulmer was fired (2007). Mays de-commitment was met with a great deal of anger on social media, and there were hard feelings, and hurt feelings. 'It definitely was hard,' said Mays, who may finally get some relief from upset Tennessee fans now that his talented younger brother, Cooper, is committed to the Vols. 'I was getting all this hate, but I was doing something for me. My parents told me it doesn't really matter what the outside world thinks, my family loves me, and my God loves me.' Mays said he dealt with it as best he could. 'I just put the phone down and confided in my family,' Mays said. 'No one has ever really come up to me in person and tried to start anything.' Keyboard warriors aside, Mays quickly proved at Georgia that he was indeed every bit as good as the 247Sports Composite rankings indicated. Stepping up Georgia was battling SEC East challenger South Carolina in the second game of the season when preseason All-SEC left tackle Andrew Thomas went down with an injury. Mays remembers Kirby Smart yelling for him to get on the field, but before that, he had to switch jerseys. RELATED: Georgia Practice Report, Mays moves up for line drills 'I was actually wearing number 42 during that game, I was supposed to be the tight end, the extra big guy,' Mays recalled. 'Then I heard Coach Smart, yelling Cade, Cade, Cade.' They gave me this big jersey to put on, and I had to run out and tell the ref I was checking in with a new jersey.' Mays started against Middle Tennessee the next week and was back in the relief role in the fourth week when Thomas left the Missouri game after re-injuring his ankle. Georgia right guard Ben Cleveland also was injured against Missouri, breaking his fibula, leading to Mays starting the following week against Tennessee in Cleveland's spot. Mays played in 11 games last season before suffering a shoulder injured that sidelined him for three games, but he earned FWAA Freshman All-American honors. 2019 glue guy That versatility continues for Mays, who has added the ability to play center to his repertoire. 'I like being that useful, if anything happens, I'm the guy that can be plugged in,' Mays said. 'It has helped knowing the center spot and learning the offense and what everyone is doing. 'I think it's helped me pick my game up and elevated it to a new level.' Mays, now 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, was working with the first team at right guard in Tuesday's practice. Among those most impressed with Mays is former Auburn lineman and ESPN analyst Cole Cubelic. RELATED: SEC expert breaks down Georgia Great Wall' O-Line 'Ilike the way he plays more than any of those other guys in that entire group,' Cubelic said this summer. 'Cade is a finisher, he has that nasty you love to see and plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. He has room to grow fundamentally, but he's fun to watch, regardless. 'You routinely see him 10 or 20 yards downfield looking for contact on each play.' Mays says that's exactly how he wants people to think about him. 'I would say the best thing somebody could say about me is that I play hard, I love the game, and I just want to finish blocks on people,' Mays said. 'I want to be looked at as dependable, and I take pride in that.' Georgia O-Lineman Cade Mays DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post WATCH: Versatile Georgia football offensive lineman Cade Mays elevating game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football appeared back at full speed on Tuesday, Monday's light walk-through having served its intended purpose. 'When you have 48 hours, you can almost recover to a full extent and we're hoping to get everybody's legs back,' Coach Kirby Smart said following Saturday's 135-play scrimmage. 'You could see it (Saturday). The GPS says it. A guy that was running 19 (mph) is running 17. A guy that was running 21 is running 18, 19. They're hurting a little bit but part of that is mental toughness and the grit. They've been able to handle that.' Indeed, and a heat index of a mere 91 degrees likely made Tuesday's workout feel like even more of a breeze after Smart had his Bulldogs in full equipment sweating through days of 100 plus early in fall drills. Smart's practice management skills may have been modeled after Nick Saban's at first. But now in his fourth year leading the Bulldogs, Smart has modified much to his liking, such as the hilarious Friday activity of staging a 4 x 100 race between selected players and coaches. Georgia AD Greg McGarity was tipped off and was on hand to watch it. McGarity chuckled while recalling when the players realizing the fix was in with world-class sprinter Matthew Boling running the anchor leg for the coaches. 'I was there when J.R. Reed spotted him and said, there's that 9.9 dude, this is a setup!' ' McGarity said, recalling how Reed described Boling, a UGA track athlete who has run the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds. 'It was a really neat event for the kids to be a part of.' 4100. Players vs coaches. Watch til the end. @UGATrack, thanks for the assist! #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/TI5q2WEEz0 Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) August 19, 2019 The Bulldogs went on to have their best scrimmage of the offseason the next day, drawing praise from Smart after last Saturday's work at Sanford Stadium. Receiver rotation Redshirt sophomore Matt Landers has apparently held on to the top spot in the starting three-rotation after Scrimmage Two. Tyler Simmons and Demetris Robertson continue to hold down the top sports in the slot and the other outside receiver position. Freshman George Pickens and Miami grad transfer Lawrence Cager are running with the twos. Dominick Blaylock, who has been working with the threes (behind Kearis Jackson in the slot), got a positive call out from OC James Coley during practice. RELATED: Dominick Blaylock battles to get on 70-man bus trip Nakobe Dean injury Freshman 5-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean was not seen at practice and is dealing with a high ankle sprain. Dean is the No. 3 ILB behind starters Tae Crowder and Monty Rice. Sophomore Quay Walker has moved up with the second team to work beside Channing Tindall with Dean sidelined. Tyrique Stevenson back Stevenson, the athletically gifted true freshman cornerback, was back at 100 percent in drill work after being somewhat limited last week. Stevenson was taking part in all of secondary coach Charlton Warren's drill work. Line Dance Sophomore Cade Mays was working with the first team offensive line at right guard during the media viewing portion of practice. Andrew Thomas continued to anchor the line at left tackle, with Solomon Kindley at left guard, Trey Hill at center, Mays and Isaiah Wilson at right tackle. The second group featured Xavier Truss at left tackle, with Justin Shaffer at left guard, Clay Webb at center, Ben Cleveland at right guard and Warren McClendon at right tackle. D-Line update Senior defensive linemen Julian Rochester and David Marshall were working through drills with their teammates at the start of practice. Smart said Rochester (ACL) and Marshall (foot) have been limited in fall camp while they rehabilitate from offseason surgeries. DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post Georgia football practice report: Everybody's legs back' after hilarious Matthew Boling prank appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS A rough Georgia fall camp is about to get even tougher for Kirby Smart and his coaches, as they sort through personnel to determine who 'makes the bus' to Vanderbilt. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs open the season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, in Nashville. Georgia can suit up 70 players for the game against the Commodores. Smart indicated he's nowhere near ready to complete the list. 'We're going to have some tough decisions to make, we're not going to make them right now,' Smart said after the Bulldogs' second scrimmage of fall camp last Saturday. 'We've got two weeks to finalize those choices and decisions.' Smart indicated freshman quarterback D'Wan Mathis has yet to be cleared for contact, so preferred walk-on QB Nathan Priestly will be the third quarterback on the travel roster behind Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett. Georgia could dress six running backs at Vanderbilt after Kenny McIntosh's impressive second scrimmage. 'We don't know how many backs travel . if they can help on special teams, they'll be out there,' Smart said. 'We've traveled as few as four, as many as seven. Prather (Hudson) makes that number vary because he's a really good special teams player. So those decisions we've got to make are going to be tough. 'Somebody like McIntosh is a key to that decision, because his value right now is going to be special teams, initially.' The Bulldogs typically brought 10 receivers on road trips last season, but Smart pointed out how accomplished many of the departing receivers were on special teams. 'When you start talking about (true freshmen) George Pickens, Dom Blaylock, those guys haven't seen the light,' Smart said. 'Their high school special teams was, I was catching the ball and running with it, I wasn't blocking anybody, I wasn't covering anybody.' 'They have to become those players and be dominant in those roles, that's something that we're still working on.' Smart pointed out the number of talented linebackers the team has added, an indication the receiving group for road games could shrink a bit depending on how special teams auditions play out. 'The last five to get on the bus,' Smart said 'are going to be dominant special teams players.' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post Georgia football coach Kirby Smart: special teams determines who's getting on the bus' appeared first on DawgNation.