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Entertainment Headlines

    A Florida animal shelter sent out a desperate plea after someone had abandoned two pit bull dogs. But volunteers never expected the post would catch the attention of “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Dave Bautista. The 6-year-old pit bulls, Maggie and Ollie, were handed over to the county after their owner had a baby. Volunteers from Rescue Me Tampa wrote a post seeking someone who would take both dogs, writing they’d been together their whole life. That was last month. A week later, the group posted a picture of the star hugging the two pups and announcing he had adopted them. The rescuers said Bautista is spoiling the rescue dogs with Tempur-Pedic dog beds, a large gated property and doggy doors everywhere. ___ Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.
  • The Latest on the 2019 Country Music Association Awards, being presented Wednesday at the Bridgestone Arena (all times local): 10 p.m. Garth Brooks has won the Entertainer of the Year honor at the Country Music Association Awards. Brooks won the top award on a night when the contributions of women to country music were front and center, starting with a powerful opening performance from some of country music’s biggest female stars. Carrie Underwood, who co-hosted and performed during Wednesday’s show, was the lone female nominee in the Entertainer of the Year category. Brooks singled out Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs during his acceptance speech as some of the country artists he respected the most. Brooks performed his song “Dive Bar” during Tuesday’s ceremony. ___ This post has been corrected to remove a mention of the song “Old Town Road.” ___ 7 p.m. The Country Music Association Awards have kicked off with a performance by some of country’s biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. The trio performed “Until the Day They Lay Me Down” to start the show, which opened with several other medleys by performers including Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile and other members of the supergroup The Highwaywomen. The show featured only female performers for its opening number, with Loretta Lynn in the audience getting a shout out. The opening number ended with a performance of Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.” The CMAs are airing live on ABC from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Underwood, McEntire and Parton are hosting the show. ___ 9:30 a.m. Maren Morris is walking to the 2019 Country Music Association Awards with a lot of feelings. As the most-nominated act at an event for a music genre dominated by its male performers, Morris has become one of the key female faces of country music. She will pay tribute to her producer busbee, who died in September at age 43 and shares nominations with Morris for his work on her acclaimed project, “GIRL.” And Wednesday night’s show will mark the pregnant singer’s “kid’s first awards show” — as she put it. Morris says, “Dolly Parton touched my stomach earlier when we were rehearsing, so he's been touched by an angel.” The CMAs will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • The founder of world-renowned circus Cirque du Soleil has been detained in French Polynesia in a drug-trafficking investigation. A French police official told The Associated Press that Guy Laliberte is expected to appear before a judge Wednesday in the territory’s capital of Papeete, on the island of Tahiti. His detention also was confirmed by Lune Rouge, a Montreal-based company headed by Laliberte. It said Laliberte is being questioned about cannabis grown for personal use on his private island of Nukutepipi. The company says Laliberte is a medical marijuana user, but he “categorically denies” involvement in the sale or trafficking of controlled substances. Local broadcaster Polynesie 1 says police detained a person close to Laliberte recently for drug possession and found photos of cannabis plantations in the person’s cellphone.
  • Actor Charles Levin, who played numerous roles on television comedies such as “Seinfeld” and “Night Court,” has been identified as the man whose body was found last summer in an Oregon ravine, authorities said. The death was ruled accidental, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday. Levin, 70, played a character who performs circumcisions on a “Seinfeld” episode. His other TV credits included “Alice,” ″Hill Street Blues,” and ″Doogie Howser, M.D. Levin also had roles in movies, including “The Golden Child,” ″Annie Hall” and “This is Spinal Tap.” Jesse Levin reported his father missing on July 8, police said. The actor, who had been living in Grants Pass, Oregon, was last seen June 27. Levin’s orange Fiat was found on a remote and almost impassable road July 13, with the remains of his dog, a pug named Boo Boo, inside. A body was found outside the car down a steep ravine. Police didn’t confirm the identity until this week. Levin’s body was found with no clothing on. A pile of clothes found nearby was “not known to be associated with Charles” but police didn’t say in the report to whom they belonged. The woman who rented a townhouse to the actor for years told police that she had sold the property and had given Levin until July 1 to move out, according to police reports. Police searched Levin’s home and said it looked like he was in the middle of moving but said they didn’t find anything suspicious. In an email, Jesse Levin told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the family was still reeling from his father’s death and that the ongoing interest and publication of the details of the case were distressing to his family. “He died several months ago, and in our grief we are focusing on the life of the human being,” he said. “We request that the news media do the same, or move on entirely,” he wrote. ___ Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com
  • Author Maya Angelou and performer RuPaul are among the inductees for the next class of California Hall of Fame. Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, announced the inductees on Wednesday. The class includes soccer player and two-time World Cup champion Brandi Chastain, skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk, actor and comedian George Lopez, chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, astrophysicist France A. Córdova, author Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, civil rights leader James M. Lawson Jr. and winemaker Helen M. Turley. The class will be inducted during a ceremony on Dec. 10, though Angelou died in 2014. The California Hall of Fame started in 2006, and inductees are selected each year by the governor and first partner. Newsom is a Democrat and says the inductees “embody California’s innovative spirit.”
  • The Rhode Island Historical Society has preserved a rare, 210-year-old theater curtain depicting a sweeping view of Providence. The organization was celebrating the completion of the conservation work on Wednesday for their 198th annual meeting. The society said it knows of no other older surviving piece of American theater scenery. Executive Director Morgan Grefe said it’s amazing that a fabric curtain survived more than two centuries to tell the story of Providence. “Here we are in 2019, still talking about it and being surprised by what it has to tell us,” she said. Painted in 1809 by John Worrall, the curtain measures 24 feet (7.3 meters) wide and 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall. The drop scene was used in the city’s only theater in the early 1800s to entertain audiences between shows in the early days of stage performances in New England. The historical society took possession in 1833 when the theater closed. “It was seen as a spectacle and something that needed to be saved. We were the folks in town that saved things,” Grefe said. The panorama of the city is displayed in the organization’s ballroom in Providence, serving as a backdrop for many public programs. Conservators recently removed decades of dust, painted worn sections along the seams and repaired small tears. The historical society and a private donor paid for the work. The organization’s files and research on the curtain date to the time it was painted and experts haven’t been able to find an older piece of surviving American theater scenery, said Richard Ring, the deputy executive director for collections and interpretation. “Most folks who would’ve gotten theater curtains would’ve said that they can’t handle it and gotten rid of them,” he said. “That’s why it’s a rare survival. It takes so much effort to keep it the way it is for so long.” The historical society invites the public to view the curtain at its office on Benevolent Street from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday.
  • Rapper Kodak Black was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges stemming from his arrest just before a scheduled concert performance in May. The 22-year-old Black admitted in August that he falsified information on federal forms to buy four firearms from a Miami-area gun shop on two separate occasions. Black was able to obtain three of the weapons: a 9 mm handgun, a .380-caliber handgun and a semi-automatic Mini Draco weapon. Authorities said one of the guns was found at the scene of a March shooting in Pompano Beach, although he has not been charged in that case. Black also faces drug, weapons and sexual assault charges in other states that remain pending. He has had several previous arrests. U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno could have sentenced Black to the maximum of 10 years, and prosecutors wanted eight years in part because Black allegedly was involved in a jail fight that injured a corrections officer. “I think it’s time for us to give some tough love in this case,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Brown. “I just don’t see how and when he’s taken these things seriously.” But Moreno noted that Black has given money anonymously to charitable causes and could continue to do so behind bars. “My suggestion would be you continue to be generous,” the judge said. Black is a Florida native who was born to Haitian American parents as Dieuson Octave and who now goes by the legal name of Bill Kapri. He was arrested during the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival in May that was marred by several violent incidents, including an unrelated shooting at a seaside property owned by President Donald Trump. Black has remained in custody since then his arrest. “I have made some decisions I’m not proud of making,” Black said in court. “I do take full responsibility for my mishap.” Black's better-known singles include 'Skrt,' ''Zeze', 'Roll in Peace', 'Tunnel Vision', and 'No Flockin.' _____ Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt
  • The Supreme Court seems likely to overturn a lower court ruling in favor of an African-American media mogul and comedian who’s suing cable giant Comcast for racial discrimination. The justices appeared to be in broad agreement Wednesday that an appeals court applied the wrong legal standard in allowing business owner Byron Allen’s $20 billion suit against Comcast to go forward. Allen has a separate $10 billion lawsuit against Charter Communications. Allen says the cable companies refuse to carry his television channels because he’s black. The companies say his programming isn’t very good. The issue at the court is whether Allen needs to show in his complaint that race was among the factors in Comcast's decision not to offer him a contract or whether it was the decisive factor. Alarmed by the Supreme Court’s intervention, civil rights groups have warned that the court could make it much harder to prove race discrimination in contracting under a civil rights law that dates to 1866. A ruling for Comcast probably would not be the final word. Several justices indicated they think the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco should take another look. A three-judge appellate panel allowed the Comcast suit to go forward after a federal judge dismissed it three times. Allen’s Los Angeles-based Entertainment Studios has 10 television networks, including Cars.tv, Comedy.tv, Pets.tv, Recipe.tv and JusticeCentral.tv. Last year, he bought The Weather Channel. He also has a movie distribution company. But Comcast and Charter Communications, the nation's two largest cable providers, have passed on carrying Allen's channels. The now-merged AT&T and DirecTV carry the channels after Allen sued them and they settled. A decision is expected by late June.
  • An Arizona woman accused of abusing her adopted children who starred on her popular YouTube channel has died, authorities said Wednesday. Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said Machelle Hobson died Tuesday at a Phoenix-area hospital. Her death was ruled natural and there was no crime suspected in it, according to Scottsdale police. Hobson, 48, had been accused of starving her children and using pepper spray to punish them. She had been hospitalized with “extreme health issues” at the end of May and released from jail custody on June 12 because of her diagnosis, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lauren Reimer said in a statement. Authorities said she hadn’t been hospitalized since then but it’s not known where she was before she was admitted again. A judge in August declared Hobson incompetent to stand trial, the Arizona Republic reported. Hobson’s criminal case was on hold while authorities worked to restore Hobson to competency to stand trial. Authorities have said Hobson locked up children in a closet for days without food, water or access to a bathroom. YouTube terminated Hobson's channel after determining the channel violated its guidelines. Episodes featured skits about children stealing cookies and a boy with superpowers. A spokeswoman for the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, the agency prosecuting Hobson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. KNXV-TV reported that the office planned to wait for an official death certificate before dismissing charges against Hobson but would pursue her assets, including “more than $100,000 in cash” that would go to her children now in state custody. Police have said the children were taken out of school so they could keep filming the video series and hadn't been back for years. Hobson's biological daughter, who is an adult, alerted police of the abuse, prompting officers to visit Hobson's home in the city of Maricopa, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Phoenix. The Arizona Department of Child Safety removed the children from the home.
  • Cattle rancher Jeffery Gatzke in South Dakota was listening in as he worked on his tractor in his workshop. The first public hearing on impeaching President Donald Trump is a political show, he thinks, but one he wanted to tune into. Nadxely Sanchez, 18, watched on her phone, splitting her attention during a psychology lecture at Marquette University in Milwaukee. As a child of immigrants, she says she takes Trump’s presidency personally: “Living in the Trump era right now is scary and we’re just wondering what’s going to happen next.” Randy Johnson, a 63-year-old semi-retired Tennessee man and Trump voter, cast his fishing line into the Gulf of Mexico from a seawall in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was happily missing the opening gavel. “Oh, is that today?” he said. If Americans have devoured past live hearings in Washington, following each dramatic twist and turn, many seemed only to nibble and graze on Wednesday’s proceedings. They scanned headlines on their phones, read social media posts or clicked on snippets of video pushed out online. They planned to catch up with highlights or clips later, from a range of sources, and were content to let it play in the background. The fractured and filtered way the country consumed the testimony — and all news — may have consequences. Democrats are hoping to use a series of hearings to tell a complex tale of overseas intrigue involving unfamiliar figures and a distant war. There were signs Wednesday that many Americans were falling back on their partisan allegiances, rather than diving into the details. “I get bits and pieces,” said Bee Quarterman, a 64-year-old census worker in Savannah, Georgia. “Just enough to know what’s going on.” As she walked into a barber shop for a lunchtime haircut, she glanced up at the hearing on the TV and said Americans should “just go to the ballot box” to settle whether Trump should remain in office. House Democrats argue Trump abused his power when he solicited a political favor from the president of Ukraine and held up millions in foreign aid. Polls show more Americans support impeachment than oppose, although the partisan divide on the question is striking and consistent in the weeks leading up the hearings. In putting two respected and measured U.S. diplomats on live television Wednesday, Democrats were hoping, if not for a national epiphany, then at least a day that would stand out from the partisan acrimony and circus-like atmosphere of Trump-era Washington. “I don’t want to say it will be the tipping point, but I think it will be the beginning of a week or two where it will be very difficult for the president to change the subject,” said Adam Cutler, a Denver technology manager and Democrat who arranged to work from home so he could watch the day’s events. Democrats’ goal is a shift in public opinion that mirrors 1973, when the nationally televised Watergate hearings helped sink President Richard Nixon’s approval ratings before his 1974 resignation from office. But other recent examples offer Democrats less hope. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s testimony about his investigation into interference in 2016 election produced little change in Trump’s approval. Live hearings on accusation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh did not prevent his ascension to the Supreme Court. For Gatzke, a 50-year-old farmer and rancher from Hitchcock, South Dakota, the Ukraine affair was just the Washington establishment’s latest attempt to thwart an outsider president. 'He is not one of them and they don’t like it,' he said, just before the hearings began. Gatzke caught as much as he could during his morning chores on the farm, before he had to load up cattle for the processing plant. His wife, Sheila Gatzke, watched, too, and fumed about what she claimed was testimony based on “hearsay,” a defense Trump has pushed and his Republican defenders on the committee echoed on Wednesday. Christian Jacobs, 50, sat in a beach bar in St. Petersburg, wearing a fedora and reluctantly watching the drama on television. “I did not want this,” he said, glancing at the TV with and sipping in a breath from his marijuana vape pen. A Democrat, he had initially balked at impeachment but has come around to it as details trickled out about Trump’s behavior with Ukraine. “I’m so afraid, left to his own devices, what else he may do,” Jacobs said of Trump. Jim Borelli’s response to the turmoil and conflict in Washington? Pray. The 60-year-old attorney in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, read his Bible at a coffee shop, part of his daily devotional, after listening to part of the hearing Wednesday morning. One of the daily readings was a verse from the Book of Wisdom which he found “appropriate for today,” the Democrat said, noting that it reads in part, “for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.” “I pray that our leaders exercise wisdom in the impeachment process,” he said. He watched part of the hearing with his 95-year-old mother but said it’s hard to talk about politics with some people in the current environment. “I think we are in a bad space,” he said. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bryant Randall, a freshman at Louisiana State University, didn’t like what he saw either. But that’s because the registered Republican found the Democrats’ case unpersuasive. “All the witnesses who have come forward so far are saying, ‘I interpret this as a quid pro quo,’” Randall said. “I don’t care how you interpret it. I care about what the facts are.” While Democrats control the House and likely have the votes to impeach Trump, they would need about 20 Republican senators to vote to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors before he would be removed from office. That’s tempered some Democrats’ hopes of what they can achieve in the impeachment inquiry. Pilar Esperon waited for a train in Boston’s South Station Wednesday, with a nearby television turned to the hearing. Few were watching. Esperon, who works in real estate in New York City, was scrolling through the news coverage on her phone. She said she already believes Trump committed an impeachable offense. “So all you’ll get is a lot of posturing by a lot of people in front of the camera,” the Democrat said. “I don’t think anything will really move the needle.” At the University of Cincinnati students took refuge from the cold in the warm library and its Starbucks stand. Math majors Mary Tabor, 20, of Louisville, Kentucky, and Olivia Fenner, 23, of Cincinnati were studying together and both said they’d catch up on impeachment developments at night with non-traditional news shows. Tabor said she’ll watch Seth Meyers’ late-night show on NBC. Fenner is a fan of YouTube star Philip DeFranco, who talks about pop culture with news. “It’s entertaining,” she explained. “But I still get my news; I know what’s going on. It’s a better outlet for me.” In Portland, Maine, psychiatric nurse Seth Morrill says he and his friends are interested and talking about the impeachment, and he planned to watch clip later. He’s become skeptical of how such events are spun by the media. “I like to watch for myself and digest it for myself rather than have other people give me the information,” the Democrat said. “I know it’s important. It’s significant for the county. I just feel like maybe I can get the information other ways,” he said. “It’s not something I felt that I needed to carve out time for.” Signs of Washington fatigue are easy to find. At the Holmes II barber shop in Savannah, live impeachment broadcast was showing Wednesday on three TVs. Barbers and their customers barely seemed to look up as they talked about NFL football and new phone apps. Owner Anthony Harris, has cut hair at the shop since it opened in 1994, said he’s not surprised people are tuning out impeachment. “It’s kind of monotonous. He’s on the news every day, all day, for all kinds of things,” said Harris, a 56-year-old independent who leans Democratic. “It’s gotten to the point now where people are even tired of listening.” ___ Lush reported from St. Petersburg, Florida. Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia; Philip Marcelo in Boston; Ivan Moreno in Milwaukee; Stacey Plaisance in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas; Dan Sewell in Cincinnati; John Raby in Nitro, West Virginia; Heather Hollingsworth in Overland Park, Kansas; Robert F. Bukaty in Portland, Maine; and Nicholas Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.

Local News

  • The Georgia Lady Bulldog basketball team defeated the North Carolina A&T Aggies, 72-54, to win its second game of the season at Stegeman Coliseum Wednesday evening.   Junior Gabby Connally led Georgia (2-0) in scoring, registering 16 points. Two other Lady Bulldogs scored in double digits, as junior Maya Caldwell and redshirt junior Jenna Staiti tallied 15 and 14 points, respectively. Staiti also notched her second straight double-double with a career-high 15 rebounds.    “Jenna’s been great,” said Georgia head coach Joni Taylor. “Credit to her, we’ve been on her and we are going to continue to stay on her because I still think she’s got more in her. When she came here, she said she wanted to be great. As long as that is her goal, we are going to challenge her that way. Starters look a different way, talk a different way, and act a different way. That is the only conversation we needed to have and she’s been different ever since. ”   Each Lady Bulldog starter recorded points in the first quarter with eight scoring overall, highlighted by Staiti’s six points.    An early 10-0 run allowed Georgia to force its first double-digit lead of the game. The Lady Bulldogs never conceded their double-figure advantage, concluding the frame with a 22-12 lead.    Georgia continued its hot streak in the second quarter as sophomore Caitlin Hose drained a deep 3-pointer on the first play of the period. Connally followed shortly after with a three of her own, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 30-14 lead.   A buzzer-beater layup from Staiti gave Georgia the 39-26 lead at half. The Lady Bulldogs shot 50-percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.    The Aggies scored four unanswered points early in the third quarter, bringing the score within single digits for the first time since Georgia led 12-4 with five minutes remaining in the first. Six points from Caldwell and four points from Paul with two minutes left on the clock kept North Carolina A&T at arm’s length, 55-44, heading into the fourth quarter.   The Lady Bulldogs sprinted to an 18-point lead in the final period, their largest of the night, with Connally’s seven points and Caldwell’s four in the period. Two layups within the last minute capped the game for Georgia, 72-54.   Up next, the Lady Bulldogs will host Georgia Tech in an in-state battle on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.  
  • Congressman Jody Hice, the 10th District Republican who represents most of Athens in the US House, holds a telephone town hall tonight. It’s set for 6 o’clock: the number for constituents to call is 202 225 4101.  From the office of Congressman Jody Hice… Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA) today announced he will host a Telephone Town Hall for Georgians across the 10th District on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. This community call will be the eighth conference of the year. During the forum, Hice will provide a legislative update, take live questions, and offer constituents an opportunity to participate in poll questions. “Telephone Town Halls are a tried-and-true method for me to connect with hundreds of 10th District residents and hear their views,” said Congressman Hice. “I look forward to hearing from folks back home on Thursday evening as we discuss news and policies happening in Washington that affect our community.”  Who: Congressman Hice and 10th District residentsWhat: November Telephone Town HallWhen: November 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.*subject to legislative business* This forum is open to the public. Tenth District residents may RSVP and submit questions for the telephone town hall here or by calling Representative Hice’s Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-4101. Constituents may also join the conference by dialing (877) 229-8493 and using the passcode 117571 or listen online at any point during the event.
  • The official unveiling will come next week at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center: his family says Tate Prezzano will launch a foundation that will set up scholarships for student-athletes at the University of Georgia, those who compete in non-scholarship sports. The hospital says the foundation also will serve as a way to increase security measures on the UGA campus to prevent future incidents from occurring.  Prezzano, a 22 year-old lacrosse player at UGA, was shot and critically wounded in an April robbery attempt on South Milledge Avenue in Athens.  Details Prezzano’s Foundation will be laid out in a news conference set for next Wednesday at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center on Prince Avenue in Athens. 
  • The 4th annual Rural Healthcare Symposium is underway today at UGA, getting started at 9 o’clock this morning at the University’s Dean Rusk Hall. Stacey Abrams, last year’s Democratic nominee for Governor, is the featured speaker.  The University of Georgia plays host to an international conference: the 6th International Conference on Africa and its Diaspora is underway at 7 o’clock tonight at the University’s Tate Student Center.  The University of Georgia sets February 25 as the date for the ceremony that renames UGA’s College of Education in honor of Mary Frances Early, the first black student to graduate from the state’s flagship university. Albany State University President Marion Ross Fedrick will deliver the 20th annual Mary Frances Early lecture on the day of the naming ceremony, UGA President Jere W. Morehead said. Fedrick earned two degrees from the University of Georgia: a bachelor’s degree in adult education with a concentration in organizational development, and a master’s degree in public administration.
  • Funeral arrangements have been finalized for Clark Atlanta University student Alexis Janae Crawford. Crawford's body was found late last week in a DeKalb County park. She was 21. Crawford's roommate and the roommate's boyfriend have both been charged with her murder.  [DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV's News App for updates on this developing story]   On Friday, visitation is planned in Crawford's hometown of Athens, according to Gregory Levett & Sons funeral home. Visitation, which is open to the public, will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Hill Chapel Baptist Church, located at 1692 W. Hancock Ave in Athens.  Then on Saturday, Crawford will lie in state from 10 a.m. until her noon funeral at Cornerstone Church, 4680 Lexington Road in Athens. RELATED STORIES Here's everything to know about the Alexis Crawford murder Roommate now in custody, charged with murder of Clark Atlanta student Warrants reveal how Clark Atlanta student Alexis Crawford was killed Anyone wishing to assist the family with funeral costs should call the funeral home at 770-338-5558. Payments are accepted over the phone, a funeral home spokesman said. In addition to her parents, Crawford is survived by nine siblings, according to the Rev. Markel Hutchins, who is serving as the family's spokesperson. Hutchins said the Crawford family is devastated, but grateful for the outpouring of support.  'They not only need, but also deserve the public's support in laying her to rest with the kind of dignity and decency she deserves,' Hutchins told The AJC.  This report was written by Alexis Stevens , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Spend five minutes talking to Georgia senior receiver Tyler Simmons, and you can understand why any coach or quarterback would want the ball in his hands. It's clear Simmons is going to be successful at anything in life he chooses after football, but right now the senior captain is focused on helping the Bulldogs win a championship. Simmons is willing to do anything for his team and he has from his special teams expertise, to his downfield blocking and leadership in the receivers room. But football is not always fair, and Simmons has had the misfortune of playing most of the past two seasons in a shoulder brace that has limited his range of motion. There's pain, too, but Simmons accepts that's part of the game. 'Of course, it's football, (pain) comes with the game,' said Simmons, who injured his shoulder the second game of the season. 'You can either sit out and miss those opportunities, or you can go and do what you can do.' This was supposed to be Simmons' season to breakout and use his elite speed to make plays with the ball in his hands. Instead, he's dealt with the regret of missing a pass in overtime against South Carolina that ended up in the hands of a Gamecocks defensive back. Simmons talked to the media for the first time since the difficult loss to South Carolina. Simmons took full accountability while providing insight into Georgia's biggest game of the season, a 3:30 p.m. match with Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. On how he has dealt with adversity of this season TS: 'At the end of the road there's still a plan for me, everything happens for a reason. Of course I got down on myself for a little bit, but you just have to keep pushing. You're either going to dwell on the past or keep pushing for a better future, and that's what I've been doing, keeping a positive mindset and telling younger guys that are stepping up to play, to take advantage of those opportunities because that's big.' On the role teammates played in Simmons bouncing back TS: 'It happens, it's part of the game, I took my eyes off the ball and that's what happens. That was the consequence, dropping the ball. Of course I learn from my mistakes and just try to move on and get better. It is (hard to get over) but as I said, at the end of the day, you can either dwell on the past or get better for the future. '(Teammates) gave me a lot of support, of course they were mad at first, like anybody would be, but they were there to pick my head up when I was down, and tell me to get better for the next opportunity. I've been doing a great job blocking and on special teams, and just playing my part and taking advantage of my opportunities on the field.' On what comes to his mind this week with the game at Auburn TS: '2017, on the road, the energy there, the fans, the environment, how Auburn feeds off the crowd. Just honing in on the details and staying focused. We do a lot of crowd noise during the week to prepare ourselves for that and Jake (Fromm) is doing different things to stay in control of the snap count. '(2017 crowd noise) I feel like it really did (affect us) and the way they fed off the energy of the crowd, it kind of demoralized us and they took off with that. On how teammate Lawrence Cager has emerged despite a shoulder injury TS: 'He's definitely not missing opportunities. He's live and well at practice, he's moving around great, and he's been great this week. He's made some big plays and we're looking to him to play this weekend. 'I think he'll definitely be on the field and it's great having Cager out there. He's great on third down plays, he's always made them since he got here. That's his game style, he takes pride in being one of the best receivers in the SEC and he takes pride in not many DBs in the SEC being able to guard him. He really enjoys the game and he loves helping the team and he does that any way he can. On if he has talked to George Pickens about his emotions, and what Pickens brings TS: 'I've talked to Pickens just because I know he was committed there for a minute, and I know his emotions are going to be going wild, and we're going to need him to make some big plays, so I'm telling him to stay level-headed and hone in on details and do what you need to do. 'George brings a lot of energy a lot of energy he is the energy of the receiver room. He comes in, he's always in a pretty good mood, and he comes in and he loves football, he loves the game of football. He loves coming in and watching film, he's just a student of the game. 'Seeing him make those plays, it kind of encourages other guys to bring juice and make it a competition a little bit. You see George make a play and kind of celebrate, and it's now I want to make a play and celebrate. So be brings competition and energy. '(Talking) is just a part of his game. He likes to get in the DBs heads, he likes to do a little talking now and then, and that's just a part of his game and how he keeps himself going. I don't have any problem with it as long as he's making plays and he isn't doing anything to hurt the team. 'He was pretty understanding about the whole situation, he's not a bad or defiant kid, so he's pretty understanding about what I had to say to him.' On how the team is handling and views the CFP Rankings TS: 'We kind of look at it as a distraction right now. We just try to focus on every week, and focus on getting better and four on us. Try to block all the outside things out and just hone in on the details. Coach Smart emphasizes that a lot, just honing in on us, we don't worry about the outside sources. We just want to get better and focus on us.' Simmons was one of the team's Players of the Week Our Game 9 players of the week !! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/7PMxaQKQcM Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) November 11, 2019 Georgia WR Tyler Simmons Georgia football stories from DawgNation Will Muschamp discusses Georgia and Alabama UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH: Georgia's Tyler Simmons overcomes adversity, providing textbook examples of leadership and resilience appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS It's unlikely Georgia and Alabama will meet on the football field this season, but there have been plenty of comparisons of the two programs in the past 24 hours. The Bulldogs came out ahead of the Crimson Tide in the second set of College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night, leading many to compare the program's resumes. RELATED: Kirby Smart says no difference' for Georgia after Week 2 CFP rankings Rob Mullens, the CFP Chairman, said Georgia got the nod at No. 4 with Alabama at No. 5 because of the Bulldogs' wins over Top 20 teams Florida and Notre Dame. The Tide has yet to beat any Top 25 teams this season. Georgia plays at Auburn at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in a game the Bulldogs likely must win to keep playoff hopes alive. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt have both already seen Alabama and Georgia up close. Neither went so far as to say one was better than the other, but both shared their opinions when asked by DawgNation on the Wednesday teleconference. Muschamp broke down the teams' personalities, while Pruitt was more philosophical. South Carolina beat Georgia in Athens 20-17 in overtime on Oct. 12 and lost to Alabama 47-23 on Sept. 14 in Columbia. 'You take Alabama, Tua (Tagovailoa) is an outstanding player, and the speed that they have at wideout, they've got four guys that can run and create space plays and they create huge issues for you, and that to me is obviously something that jumps out,' Muschamp said. 'Defensively up front (Raekwon) Davis and (Terrell) Lewis are both guys you've got to deal with, and Anfernee Jennings is a guy, a 3 or 4 year starter, that brings a presence on the edge, and they cover extremely well on the back end, and they're going to mix things up on you.' Muschamp, who played at Georgia and has coached with both Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, provided some insight into the Bulldogs, too. 'Georgia, I just think their offensive line is very difficult to match up with, they are massive up front, (but) I think Alabama does have the size to match up with them,' Muschamp said. 'The backs are outstanding. (D'Andre) Swift, the entire corps of running backs are really good players. '(Jake) Fromm is an outstanding player, it's really, what's hurt them in the throwing game is just the lack of experience at receiver,' Muschamp said. 'I think the are very talented at receiver, (George) Pickens is a guy that's going to be great player for them, but when you're dealing with young players, you're going to deal with some inconsistencies. 'When they got (Lawrence) Cager, who is a grad-transfer, obviously he played extremely well down in Jacksonville for them. I think that's the stabilizing factor in the throwing game. They are going to continue to improve because of the youth they have, they have a lot of talent on the edges.' Muschamp sees improvement ahead for the Georgia defense, too. 'Defensively they are really deep in the front seven, Kirby is playing a lot of guys up front and it's motivating those guys, they are playing very hard, and they've got some really talented guys, so they are hard to run the ball against, they create a lot of negative plays,' Muschamp said. 'They've got a good combination of guys they are playing with up front, but they are both really talented teams.' Pruitt's Tennessee team lost at home to the Bulldogs by a 43-14 count on Oct. 5, and then it lost on the road to the Crimson Tide 35-13 on Oct. 19. 'I think they are both very well-coached teams, they are both very talented, (and) neither one of them have a whole lot of weaknesses,' Pruitt said. 'Both of them play some really good opponents down the stretch that will settle it on the field.' 'I think that's the beauty of college football is it does gets settled most of the time on the field and definitely in the SEC.' Georgia and Alabama have games remaining against Auburn, and the Bulldogs play host to a Texas A&M team on Nov. 23 that the Tide beat 47-28 in College Station on Oct. 12. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Will Muschamp compares, analyzes Georgia-Alabama team strengths appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia jumped Alabama in the College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night, but nothing has changed in the Bulldogs' locker room. Tailback D'Andre Swift said four weeks ago Georgia would treat the remainder of the season as playoffs. Coach Kirby Smart echoed that mindset on the SEC Coaches teleconference on Wednesday. 'There's no difference in this game and the last three, four or five since the South Carolina game,' Smart said, asked by DawgNation if he would mention the potential CFP ramifications of the Auburn game to his players. 'I don't know that the ramifications have changed,' Smart said. 'We've got an opportunity to win the East. That's really our next step is to worry about Auburn and take care of business for this game.' RELATED: Georgia jumps Alabama in CFP Rankings The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia's only loss this season came at home on Oct. 12 against an unranked South Carolina team by a 20-17 count in overtime. Alabama, which is ranked No. 5 in the current CFP rankings, fell at home to No. 1-ranked LSU last Saturday, 46-41. The CFP Committee said it valued the Bulldogs two wins over Top 20 teams over the Tide's schedule. Alabama doesn't have any wins over current Top 25 teams and only one win over an SEC team with a winning record (Texas A&M -3). 'T he difference for Georgia being at four was the fact that they have two wins against top-20 teams being Florida and Notre Dame,' CFP Committee Chairman Rob Mullens said on the Tuesday night national teleconference. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything. You're discussing all the wins and the loss, and again, it's an art, not a science, and that's why you have 13 members, and everybody shares their perspective on those losses and those wins, and at the end, you put it to a vote.' The committee noted after the first set of rankings last week that in addition to having a strong defense, the Bulldogs featured and experienced quarterback in Jake Fromm and a talented runner in Swift. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement,' Mullens said on Nov. 5. 'They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back.' It was Swift who threw down the gauntlet after the 20-17 loss to South Carolina, speaking passionately about the Bulldogs' need to pull together and play up to their potential. RELATED: D'Andre Swift makes strong statements in wake of SC loss ' I'm going to address the team today and just tell everybody we need to stick together, we need to be more of a family now than any time, and let them know one loss doesn't define our season,' Swift said the Monday after the shocking loss to the Gamecocks. 'We need to keep going and treat every game like a playoff game, that's really what it is,' he said. 'We should be one of the best teams in the country on offense, in every aspect, and I think we need to do a better job of playing fast in practice and hopefully see that trickle down to Saturday. We haven't played a complete game offensively, at all.' RELATED: UGA looks for elusive road win over SEC West opponent The same could be said as the team heads to Auburn with the season likely on the line. Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post Kirby Smart: No difference' for Georgia in wake of No. 4 College Football Playoff ranking appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia remains the top-ranked, one-loss team in the nation in the College Football Playoff Rankings. LSU (9-0) took over the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday nighton the strength of its 46-41 win at Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Ohio State (9-0) was No. 2 and Clemson (10-0) was No. 3, and then came the Bulldogs (8-1) at No. 4. The Crimson Tide (8-1) came in at No. 5 with Oregon (8-1) at No. 6. LSU's win last Saturday snapped Alabama's 31-game home win streak and ended the Bayou Bengals' string of futility against the Tide at 8 games last Saturday. The Tigers have four wins over teams ranked in the Top 20 this season: Alabama (No. 5), Florida (No. 11), Auburn (No. 12) and Texas (No. 19). Ohio State (9-0) dropped to No. 2 despite a 73-14 win over Maryland. The Buckeyes' best win was a 38-7 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin on Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio. It's the first time the top-ranked team in the CFP rankings has dropped when coming off a win. Defending College Football Playoff champion Clemson (10-0) is at No. 3 after its 55-10 at North Carolina State last Saturday. Georgia is ranked ahead of Alabama on the strength of its wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16. Notre Dame. 'As you look at (Nos.) 4 and 5, two really good teams, one-loss teams, we just saw Alabama had a tough loss,' said Rob Mullens, the chairman for the 13-member CFP Committee. 'You compare that against Georgia's resume, and the two big wins that Georgia had.' Mullens explained on the teleconference that the committee works to rank the No. 1 to No. 3 teams, and then Nos. 4-6. 'The separator for Georgia in the (4-6) pool is their two wins against Top 20 teams,' Mullen said. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything, all the wins and the loss.' Mullens said the committee spent a lot of time comparing Georgia to Alabama, and it did take into consideration that the Bulldogs lost to unranked South Carolina while the Tide lost to LSU. The Crimson Tide, however, doesn't have any wins over Top 25 teams this season. Its best win is likely considered the 47-28 victory it scored over Texas A&M on Oct. 12. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) was ranked higher than t he Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) in the AP Top 25 poll last Sunday, coming in at No. 4 there with UGA No. 5. Minnesota (9-0) made the biggest jump in the CFP rankings, up to No. 8 from No. 17 after a 31-26 home win over previously unbeaten and now No. 9-ranked Penn State. The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) can clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a win at No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. RELATED: Kirby Smart updates playing status of Trey Hill and Lawrence Cager The committee had Georgia as the top-ranked one-loss team last Tuesday night, too. CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens explained why last week. 'Georgia has beaten two top 15 teams, (then-) No. 10 Florida, (then-) No. 15 Notre Dame,' Mullens said, asked by DawgNation on last Tuesday night's national teleconference about the Bulldogs place in the order of one-loss teams. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement. They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back,' he said. 'But the separator for them at this point was the two Top 15 wins.' Georgia extended its streak of games without a rushing touchdown with a 27-0 win over Missouri, it's third shutout of this season. The rankings will be released the next three Tuesday nights at approximately 7 p.m. on ESPN, with the final rankings coming out on Sunday, Dec. 8, at noon. College Football Playoff rankings for 2019 Week 12 Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post College Football Playoff Rankings for Week 12 released: Georgia jumps Alabama in Top 5 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mike Shildt has been named the 2019 National League Manager of the Year, after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an NL Central title and an appearance in the NLCS. Shildt was followed by Craig Counsell, Brian Snitker, Dave Roberts and Dave Martinez in voting. Snitker earned three of the 30 first-place votes after managing the Atlanta Braves to another NL East title in 2019, leading them to their most wins (97), since 2003.