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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider

    The White House on Tuesday defended the details of a major budget deal worked out between President Donald Trump and Democrats in the Congress, even as conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers denounced it as a budget boondoggle which would only increase spending and further raise deficits and debt. 'This deal on the discretionary spending caps is nothing short of a surrender by Republican “leadership” in the House and Senate and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,' said the group Freedom Works. The plan would raise spending levels to $320 billion more than the budget caps in current law for 2020 and 2021 - though the actual increase in spending from 2019 would be much less. With no briefings at the White House, the public argument on behalf of the deal was carried in the rain on Tuesday by the President's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow. On Capitol Hill, Republicans said it was the best deal possible. 'In a compromise, neither side gets 100 percent of what they want,' said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). But the details produced a lot of grumbling from GOP lawmakers in the House, who want to see less spending - not more. 'The spending deal before us would continue Washington’s reckless spending with an unlimited line of credit,' said Rep. Mark Green (R-TN). 'This deal irresponsibly jacks up spending by $320 billion,' said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who complained 'this deal just kicks the can down the road again.' 'This proposal digs the US deeper into debt,' said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who said it was hard for budget haws to support a deal that adds more money to the deficit. 'Our credit card is maxed out,' said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC). 'What this budget deal does is ask the credit card company for another $320 billion in credit.' A House vote is expected on the plan by Friday, with Senate action expected next week. Lawmakers needed to act now - before going home on an extended summer break - because Trump Administration officials were worried that the debt limit needed to be expanded soon after Labor Day.
  • After nearly seven months without a permanent civilian leader at the Pentagon, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to confirm Army Secretary Mark Esper as the next Secretary of Defense. 'President Trump has made an outstanding choice for Secretary of Defense,' said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as the GOP-led Senate put Esper's nomination on a very fast track, after waiting months for the President to nominate someone to replace James Mattis, who resigned back in December. 'Dr. Esper has the experience, the knowledge, and the character for the job,' said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). 'We have someone that is enthusiastically supported by Republicans and Democrats,' said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The final vote was 90 to 8. There were some hints of the 2020 race for President in the final Senate vote, as five of “No” votes came from  Democrats running for President: Booker (NJ), Klobuchar (MN), Warren (MA), Gillibrand (NY) and Harris (CA). Also voting 'No' on Esper were three other Democrats - they included both Senators from Oregon, Merkley and Wyden, plus Markey (MA). Two Senators did not vote - Isakson (R-GA), who is recovering from fractured ribs, and Sanders (I-VT). The vote to confirm Esper means there is only one Cabinet post open in the Trump Administration - for the job of Secretary of Labor.
  • President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress agreed on Monday to a two-year budget plan which will increase spending in 2020 and 2021, and allow the national debt to go up for a two year period, while including little in the way of budget savings, continuing a trend of higher government spending and larger deficits under the Trump Administration. 'If this deal passes, President Trump will have increased discretionary spending by as much as 22 percent over his first term, and enshrine trillion-dollar deficits into law,' said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who labeled the deal a 'total abdication of fiscal responsibility.' The agreement includes only $77.4 billion in budget offsets to pay for an estimated $320 billion in extra spending over two years. While the President tweeted his support, joined by Congressional leaders in both parties, a handful of lawmakers said the deal made no sense, because it guaranteed more deficit spending. With the White House already forecasting deficits above $1 trillion for the next four years, this agreement would do nothing to ease that tide of red ink, which had dropped to $438 billion in 2015 - but has steadily increased over the past three years. 'With more than $22 trillion in debt, we simply cannot afford deals like this one,' said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee. 'It’s not too late to reject the Pelosi-Mnuchin spending deal and strike a better deal for all Americans that cuts spending,' argued Jessica Anderson, a former Trump budget official. But those voices have faded into the wilderness in recent years in the GOP, as deficits have steadily increased under President Trump. “It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add,” said the Club For Growth, which has seen its influence on Capitol Hill dwindle in recent years.
  • In a dramatic expansion of a process known as 'expedited removal' of illegal immigrants in the United States, the Trump Administration will start applying that everywhere in the United States - to anyone who has been in the U.S. illegally for less than two years - as critics quickly said they would challenge the change in federal court. 'The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety,' the Department of Homeland Security states in a new rule set to go into effect on Tuesday, which the notice says will allow 'DHS to address more effectively and efficiently the large volume of aliens who are present in the United States unlawfully.' Up until this change, expedited removal was only used for illegal immigrants who were detained within 100 miles of the border - now it can be enforced anywhere in the U.S. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Trump Administration argues the Acting Homeland Security Secretary has the 'sole and unreviewable discretion' to change 'the scope of the expedited removal designation,' shifting it from the 100 mile policy to one that applies nationwide. Critics denounced the immigration policy change, with some vowing to challenge the move in court. 'One of the major problems with expedited removal is that the immigration officer making the decision virtually has unchecked authority,' said the American Immigration Council, as the process does not involve an immigration judge or any type of court hearing. 'We will sue to end this policy quickly,' said Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union, who charged that deportations could occur with 'less due process than people get in traffic court.' 'This is a massive and dangerous change,' said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, which is joining in the ACLU legal challenge to the new policy. The announcement marked the second straight week that the Trump Administration had rolled out a new immigration policy - last Monday, the feds announced a new plan to restrict asylum claims by migrants from Central America. Those plans are also facing a legal challenge from the ACLU and other groups.
  • As lawmakers in the House get ready to leave town at the end of this week for a six week summer break, there are all sorts of unfinished legislative issues bubbling around on Capitol Hill, but most of them seem unlikely to get any kind of final resolution before lawmakers go home for an extended recess. 'We're going to devote the whole month of August to our 'For The People agenda,'” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters last week, giving no hint she was ready to shorten the August Recess to deal with issues like the budget or debt limit. On the other side of the coin, some GOP lawmakers were asking for exactly that. 'Congress should not adjourn for August,' said freshmen Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), as GOP lawmakers have demanded action on legislation to end what Republicans argue are loopholes in U.S. immigration law, which they say make it more difficult to deal with the recent surge along the southern border. Here is a look at what's next in the Congress: 1. A reminder of the legislative schedule. This is not like your work schedule, that's for sure. After this Friday, the House is gone until September 9. That's six work weeks away from Capitol Hill. The Senate will work this week and next week, and then take five weeks away from the Capitol. That means when lawmakers return on September 9, they will have 21 days to come to an agreement to avoid a government shutdown on October 1. As I always tell people about the Congress - you may not want them on the job in the first place - but if they're not having any legislative work days in Washington, D.C., they can't get any work done, period. 2. With no budget deal, government funding bills on hold. While the House has approved 9 of the 12 government spending bills for 2020, the Senate has yet to vote on even one of them, as there's no agreement yet between the White House and Congress how much Uncle Sam should spend in 2020. Talks have been underway involving Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and House Speaker Pelosi, but the magic formula on how much to increase spending next year has not been finalized. Yes - i said, 'on how much to increase spending next year.' There was a report this weekend that the President would seek budget cuts *after* the 2020 elections - but not before. If there's no agreement, it could mean as much as $126 billion in automatic budget cuts, with $71 billion coming from defense, and $55 billion from domestic spending. And yes, those would be 'real' cuts, not reductions in the level of planned increases. 3. In search of a deal on the debt ceiling as well. Along with the budget talks, the White House and Congress are negotiating a deal to raise the nation's debt limit, and avoid a situation where the U.S. defaults on its debts. With the White House now forecasting a deficit in 2019 of more than $1 billion, President Trump turned his fire on the previous administration about the deficit - even though those deficit numbers have increased since the Trump Administration took office. 'President Obama, during his eight years, he created - he doubled the debt,' Mr. Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office. But what the current President left out about his predecessor is that the yearly deficit has gone up every year since the Trump Administration took over - even with the economy expanding at a more rapid pace. If you look at the White House estimates, President Trump has a chance to end up adding more in deficits than President Obama. 4. House to vote on immigration, but not what Trump wants. On the schedule this week in the House is a bill titled, 'Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act' - in other words, this is a bill to deal with questions about the care being given to thousands of illegal immigrants who have been taken into custody by the feds in recent months. The 18 page bill deals with medical screening of those detained by the feds, and sets official standards for care when it comes to water, sanitation, hygiene, food, nutrition, and shelter. Not on the floor this week in the House or Senate is a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, or any GOP immigration bills. One reminder - while the Republicans and the President have talked a lot about immigration, they don't have an overall immigration plan which would get a majority in either the House or Senate, much like the Republican situation with the Obama health law. 5. Mueller and the Russia investigation take center stage. No one is quite sure what the Wednesday hearings involving former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is going to produce on Wednesday, as he testifies before both the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Mueller has made clear he's not going beyond the report that he produced earlier this year - but look for both Democrats and Republicans to try to drag a positive quote for their side out of him during the testimony. Behind the scenes, more and more Democrats are telling reporters that they are for the start of an official impeachment inquiry against the President - but Democratic leaders certainly don't seem to be planning for that. Democrats could use August to do nothing but hold hearings about the President - but instead lawmakers will leave town this Friday for six weeks. 6. Democrats pass big bills - which go nowhere in the Senate. The 2019 change in power in the House has given the Capitol a situation in which the House is approving dozens of bills backed by Democrats, which are then disappearing down a GOP black hole in the Senate. The latest example is the approval last week by the House of an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While 'Schoolhouse Rock' taught many of us that a bill gets acted on in the House, and then goes through the process in the Senate, that's not really how it works - as the Democrats have approved major legislation on election reforms, the future of illegal immigrant 'Dreamers,' pay equity, minimum wage, climate change, stiffer rules for gun background checks, and more - but none of those bills are expected to get votes in the GOP-led Senate. Democrats can rightly say they have acted on much of their legislative agenda so far - but it's just Dead on Arrival on the other side of the Capitol.  But as you can see from the next two tweets, the two sides portray what's going on much differently. 7. Maybe we get the 'Work! Work! Work! Work!' chant. If the House does leave town on Friday for a six week break, it won't surprise me to see Republicans showcase their frustrations by demanding that the August break be cancelled, in order to have lawmakers stay and work out deals on a host of issues like immigration. Over the years, we've seen this from both parties, where the minority will start the chant of 'Work! Work! Work! Work!' on the House floor. We had a scene in 2008 where Republicans went to the floor of the House - even though the microphones and lights were off - and kept assembling on the floor through the recess, to demonstrate a call for action to address high gas prices. The Democrats did the 'work' chant in 2012.  Could it be repeated on immigration in 2019? Stay tuned.
  • People often talk in life about someone who helped guide them along early in their careers, offering support and encouragement. I just want to take some time to use my blog to acknowledge the help of my most influential college professor, Dr. Charles Burke, who died on Tuesday in St. Augustine, Florida, after a battle with cancer. I met Dr. Burke when I started my junior year at the University of Florida in 1983; he was teaching the introductory radio news class in the Broadcasting department, and would leave a lasting impact on my career. A former TV reporter for ABC, Burke had spent some time in Vietnam working for the network, and getting bounced around in local TV news in Philadelphia, before deciding on an academic route. We hit it off quick.  Neither of us particularly liked where television news was heading, both of us were innately suspicious of people in authority, we loved the immediacy of radio, and thoroughly enjoyed the news business. 'If they ask for your ID, tell them you don't have to show any,' he said as he dispatched me to the county office that held health records on local restaurants, and suggested that I go to the courthouse each week to look through the docket. In college, he also encouraged me to string for stations and networks during my spare time, in order to make a few extra bucks. 'That's where you make your beer money,' he would say with a big smile, as he celebrated my first freelance check from a Chicago radio station in 1984. In class, Dr. Burke would stand at the lectern and grab our attention by pretending to be a news anchor who was just handed a piece of paper from the side, saying, 'This just in.' That phrase is something I often use on Twitter today. In my senior year at college, Dr. Burke encouraged me to try to go back to Washington to find work in radio news, instead of pursuing a more normal course of starting out in a small market and working my way up. To help me out, Dr. Burke wrote a letter to one of his former students at the University of Missouri, who was doing radio news in D.C. for RKO Radio, asking him to meet with me on my Christmas break in 1984. “John is a fine guy and I know he’ll be helpful,” Burke wrote in a December 1984 note about meeting RKO's John Bisney.  “I told him you’re our best and that you’re ready for D.C., given your skills and background,” Burke added. With that letter of introduction - hand written on a yellow legal pad of paper - I called up John Bisney and met him for lunch, launching what would become a lifelong friendship, as just a few years later I was on Capitol Hill, working alongside Bisney in the press gallery. 'What a guy,' Bisney said to me on Friday. Several times over the years, Dr. Burke visited me in Washington - I remember taking him along for an interview with Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA), as the two college professors chatted each other up after I finished my questions with the future Speaker. At one point around 2000, the two of us had lost touch, but we caught up after I tracked down his daughter Hilary, who was working as a reporter for Reuters in South America. Able to listen to me on WOKV radio in Jacksonville, Dr. Burke kept tabs on my career, and became a regular attendee at some of my radio station events in Florida over the years, a welcome face in crowd. 'Pleased to see that you still love the game and retain your 'optimism' despite the cynicism of many other journalists and politicos themselves,' he wrote me in a 2012 email after one station event with our listeners. Back in January of this year, I took my kids down to see my father in Florida, and met up with Dr. Burke and his wife Janet for lunch. His cancer was in remission, he told me, with a laugh that would be familiar to all of his past students and friends. But that didn't last long. 'I'm reasonably well, although my 'remission' period was disappointingly brief,' he wrote me in late April, as his cancer had returned. Not even three months later, his wife brought the sad news - that the cancer had won. This just in - Charles Burke had a heck of a life.  And I am the better man for it.
  • A day after distancing himself from a campaign rally crowd which chanted, 'Send her back' about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), President Donald Trump on Friday had more tough words for Omar from the Oval Office, making it clear he's not backing away from his criticism of a group of minority women Democratic lawmakers in the Congress. 'I'm unhappy when a Congresswoman goes and says, 'I'm going to be the President's nightmare,'' Mr. Trump said on Friday, as he called those attending his North Carolina campaign rally, 'incredible people and incredible patriots.' 'She's lucky to be where she is,' the President said of Omar, who called Mr. Trump a 'fascist' on Thursday. 'The things that she has said are a disgrace to our country,' the President added. Just as the President hasn't backed off his criticism of Omar, who emigrated to the U.S. from Somalia as a child, the freshmen from Minnesota hasn't pulled any punches with Mr. Trump in recent days. 'We have said this President is racist,' Omar told reporters outside the Capitol on Thursday. 'We have said he is fascist.' As Omar arrived back in Minneapolis, a crowd of supporters greeted her at the airport 'When I said I was the president's nightmare, well you're watching it now,” Omar told a cheering crowd. “Because his nightmare is seeing a Somali-immigrant refugee rise to Congress,” she added. Some Republicans have joined the President in going after Omar, especially targeting her positions on Israel. 'When will the Left condemn this rank anti-Semitism and take some responsibility?' said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). 'It’s official - Omar is a loon & utterly ignorant of history,' tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
  • After a high profile confrontation in the first set of Democratic debates in the 2020 race for the White House, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris will be paired together again on the same debate stage, as Democrats will gather in Detroit July 30-31. The makeup of the two debates were announced after a draw live on CNN, as the network randomly placed the 20 qualifying candidates for the second pair of Democratic debates. While Biden and Harris headline the second night, the debates will kick off with three of the top five Democrats on stage for the first debate:  Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
  • With GOP lawmakers in Congress publicly expressing their concerns about a campaign rally chant aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), President Donald Trump on Thursday made clear he did not endorse the 'Send her back' call, as Democratic leaders expressed fears for Omar's security. 'I wasn't happy with that message that they gave last night,' the President told reporters at the White House. Asked several times by reporters why he didn't stop the chant, Mr. Trump said it was a 'packed arena,' very specifically saying he did not endorse the message against Omar. 'I was not happy with it,' the President added. 'I didn't like that they did it.' Here was the moment the chant started during his rally, in response to his criticism of four minority women Democratic House members, including Omar: On Capitol Hill, a number of Republicans expressed their concern about the message from the Trump crowd. 'No American should ever talk to another American that way,' said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK). 'That's a very inappropriate sentiment in this country,' Cole told reporters just off the House floor. “The tweet was wrong & the chant last night grotesque,” wrote Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Twitter. “What I’m hearing from Capitol Police is that threats are up across the board for all members,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who expressed his concern about the ‘send her back’ chant just a few hours after the rally had ended. As for Omar, she met on Thursday morning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as reporters pressed her to respond to the chant. “We have said this President is racist,” Omar said as she walked from the Capitol back to her House office. Democrats said they were concerned about Omar’s safety and possible threats against her. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the head of the House Democratic Caucus, encouraged lawmakers and the Capitol Police to quickly share any information about threats to police back in their home districts. “We got to make sure every single person, Democrat, Republican, progressive, conservative, the left and the right, get through it together,” Jeffries said.
  • Pressing ahead with one of their main agenda items in the 116th Congress, Democrats are poised to push a bill through the House on Thursday which would more than double the federal minimum wage over the next six years, taking it from the current level of $7.25 an hour, and pressing it up to $15. 'This is a fair and overdue adjustment,' argued Rep. Joseph Morelle (D-NY), as debate started Wednesday on the floor of the House.  'American workers haven't had the benefit of a federal minimum wage increase in over a decade, while the prices of everything have gone up,' said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressed Democrats to stick together on the minimum wage bill, arguing it 'lifts 1.3 million Americans out of poverty.' But for most Republicans, the idea of raising the wage would be a giant economic mistake, hurting rural areas, and younger Americans looking for work. 'When Congress should be focused on pro-growth policies, this bill would be detrimental to American families, workers, and entrepreneurs,' said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX). Republicans have pointed repeatedly to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, which estimated that the $15 minimum wage could cause job losses of 1.3 million - with a high estimate over 3.7 million. 'That's like firing the entire population of the state of Oklahoma,' said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), in a line that's been used by a number of GOP lawmakers in recent weeks. The original plan was to raise the minimum wage in five steps over five years - but because of resistance among some Democrats - the plan was changed to make it a six year increase. The bill would raise the wage in steps, first to $8.45 an hour, then $9.50 a year after that, followed by a jump to $10.60, then $11.70 an hour, $12.80 an hour, $13.90, and lastly to $15 an hour. After that, the minimum wage would be indexed to rise along with median wage growth in the United States. While Democrats will certainly celebrate the passage of the plan - the bill seems unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-led Senate.

Local News

  • There are reports of a homicide on Athens’ east side: the victim is said to be a pregnant woman, 24 years old, killed in Carriage Court off Barnett Shoals Road. Athens-Clarke County Police say the shooting happened around 9:30 Monday night. The victim is identified this morning as Auriel Callaway. She died after being taken to an Athens hospital. Callaway was four months pregnant with a fetus that did not survive. A 2 year-old who was in the home at the time of the shooting is being taken care of by other family members. There are reports that the boy’s mother was the shooting victim and that she was holding his hand at the time of the homicide. There is no word yet on suspects or motive.  Police say they are questioning possible witnesses and other persons of interest.    Athens-Clarke County Police say someone apparently stole upwards of $20,000 from a pizza restaurant on Hull Road, theft of cash from the restaurant that has taken place over the past year. Police investigators say they are looking at restaurant employees as suspects.    Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies say they have found and arrested the man who ran away from a car on I-85, leaving the scene of a traffic stop and leaving a child inside the car. Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas says the child is safe, turned over first to DFACS and then to a grandmother in Atlanta. The suspect was spotted and arrested Monday afternoon, walking along the Interstate in Banks County.  An 8 year-old boy from Hartwell is in the burn unit of a hospital in Greenville South Carolina: the boy was injured in an explosion at a home in Gillsville. Banks County EMS says the boy suffered burns on his face and arms when someone tossed a plastic bottle filled with flammable liquids into a burn pile.    The GBI is releasing more details about an officer-involved shooting in Dalton. A police officer was called to an intersection where a man was jumping on cars and running in and out of traffic. The suspect attacked the officer, who uses a taser on 32 year-old David Schmitt. Schmitt took the taser away and tried to use it on the officer. That’s when Schmitt was shot. He went to the hospital in Dalton with what are said to be non-life-threatening wounds. The officer suffered minor injuries. 
  • — Four former Georgia Bulldogs – Kenny Gaines, Albert Jackson, Travis Leslie and Charles Mann – will participate in the 2019 edition of “The Basketball Tournament,” which tips off on Friday. Known more commonly as simply the “TBT,” a 64-team bracket is competing for $2-million in winner-take-all prize money.   Interestingly, three of those Bulldogs will face off in one of the opening games of the tournament’s Lexington Regional. On Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET, Leslie and the “Ft. Wayne Champs” will face “Showtime,” the team for which Jackson and Mann are playing. That contest is set to be streamed on ESPN3.   Leslie was an All-SEC performer for the Bulldogs in 2011 and scored 1,099 points in three seasons with the Bulldogs before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was drafted by the L.A. Clippers in the second round of the 2011 Draft and has played primarily in France during his professional career. Last season, Leslie averaged 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game for Boulazac.   Jackson was a four-year letter winner from 2006-10 who moved into the Bulldogs’ starting five late during the 2008 campaign. Jackson had a pair of double-digit outings in Georgia’s improbable run to the 2008 SEC Tournament title when the Dogs won four games in four days – including two in one day – to secure an NCAA Tournament bid.   Mann was a SEC All-Freshman selection in 2013 and an All-SEC performer in 2014. He started 106 games for the Bulldogs, including 98 of 100 games during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He has since played professionally in Europe, Canada and the G-League. Mann ranks No. 15 among Georgia’s career scoring leaders with 1,411 points. Much of those came at the free throw line, where he is the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in attempts (896) and makes (618). In fact, he ranks second to only Pete Maravich in SEC history in trips to the free throw line.   Gaines will play for “Jimmy V,” competing in the Syracuse Regional beginning next Friday. They will face “Brotherly Love” on July 26 at 1:00 p.m. The “Jimmy V” team is competing in an effort to raise proceeds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.   Gaines also was named All-SEC in 2014, and he ranks No. 21 on the Bulldogs’ career scoring leaders ledger with 1,324 points. Among Georgia’s career statistical leaders, Gaines also ranks No. 4 in 3-pointers (213), No. 5 in 3-point attempts (569) and No. 7 in 3-point percentage (.374). Since graduating from UGA, Gaines has played professionally in France and Lithuania. He recently signed to play in Italy during the 2019-20 season.   'We are honored to work with the V Foundation in this year’s TBT,” said Alex Neumann, the team’s general manager. “To be able to play for such an incredible organization that does the kind of work for cancer research that they do is a special opportunity for us. We’ve seen teams participate in TBT in past years for great causes, and it’s an inspiration to see the way people can rally around them. We’re hoping to garner that kind of support playing for Jimmy V this year. We are excited about the roster that we have constructed and can’t wait to start turning some heads in July and for years to come.'   About The Basketball Tournament TBT is a 64-team, single elimination summer tournament airing on ESPN where the winning team takes home $2 million. TBT’s 2019 format divides a 64-team field into eight regions for Rounds 1-3, with each region seeded 1-8. The last team standing will claim a winner-take-all prize of $2 million and the champion of each regional will receive a cash prize equal to 25% of the ticket sales of that particular region. 
  • The Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office says there is a new tool to help local residents better manage their water use. City Hall says the Water Smart Portal is an online resource that allows water customers to set up leak notifications and monitor water bills.    From the ACC Government website… Water customers now have access to a free, online tool to manage their water use. Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Public Utilities Department is introducing the WaterSmart AMI Portal, an online tool that allows residents to set up leak notifications and monitor their water bill.The WaterSmart system has the potential to save residents money and protect the local water supply through leak detection. By creating a WaterSmart account, customers can receive leak alerts and other notifications by text, voice, and email. Customers also have the ability to track their water use in near real-time, allowing residents to find and resolve leaks more quickly with careful monitoring.Other WaterSmart features include water-efficiency tips, water use and bill forecasting, and comparisons of home water usage to similar ACC households. To take advantage of these online tools, ACC Public Utilities Department (PUD) water customers can enroll for WaterSmart by visiting www.accgov.com/WaterSmart.The recent PUD upgrades to the water meters throughout the county provide the means to offer this service to customers. Using the same positive displacement meters the PUD has relied on for years to measure water use, the new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) changed the way meters are read. Instead of manually reading meters on a monthly basis, the AMI System now remotely sends water usage data daily. The consumption history is then made available to customers in easy to read graphs with WaterSmart technology.The PUD values customer feedback. A frequent request from customers is for the ability to pay water bills online with the use of a credit card. The PUD is currently evaluating options to offer this feature on the WaterSmart platform in the near future. Sign up for a WaterSmart AMI Portal account to receive notification of when this feature is available.For questions about how to register for your free WaterSmart account or to schedule a presentation, please contact Laurie Loftin at 706-613-3729 or visit www.accgov.com/WaterSmart.
  • Falcons safety J.J. Wilcox, who signed with the team in the offseason, went down with a right knee injury about an hour into the first practice of training camp on Monday. “I don’t have an injury updates from today,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after practice. “I’ll follow up with anything tomorrow. Nothing from the training staff today that I can share.” Before Quinn could follow up, it was reported by NFL Media that Wilcox is out for the season with a torn ACL.  However, a source familiar with the injury, would not confirm the torn ACL, but said that Wilcox will get a second option on the injury this week.  Also, reserve defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle, according to NFL Media.  Wilcox, 28, who played at Georgia Southern and Cairo High, was working his way to the ball as a runner was getting down the field when he went to the ground. Wilcox was escorted to the sideline by defensive backs Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal. He couldn’t put any pressure on the leg and was immediately attended to by the two members of the training staff.
  • The University of North Georgia campus in Dahlonega is hosting today’s Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Forum. It’s underway at 8 o’clock this morning in the University’s Convocation Center.From the Ga Chamber of Commerce… The Georgia Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the first-ever Rural Prosperity North Georgia Forum on July 23 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of North Georgia Convocation Center.  Following the widely successful annual Rural Prosperity Summit in Tifton, the newly introduced North Georgia Forum focuses on the unique aspects of rural communities in North Georgia and seeks to bring solutions that cultivates prosperity for these portions of our state. For the first time in the North Georgia community, guests will have the opportunity to hear from speakers about the local challenges and solutions that are often faced. There will be networking opportunities for attendees, local business owners, and industry leaders to make meaningful connections and build relationships that could strengthen their business.    The honorable Senator Steve Gooch and Representative Rick Jasperse will discuss the legislative outlook on rural revitalization. There will also be a North Georgia regional speaker, Chuck Reece, who is the Editor of The Bitter Southerner. Additional speakers include representatives from the Office of Attorney General of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia EMC, Paladin Wireless, Hart County IBA and many more.    “The Georgia Chamber works diligently with our statewide partners to address the challenges that face rural Georgia. The Rural Prosperity North Georgia Forum is an opportunity for attendees to hear from industry leaders, government officials, business owners, and key community partners about new concepts to help our rural communities grow,” said Chris Clark, President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “We are invested in finding real solutions for Georgia and believe that this Forum is an important part of that process.”

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS, Ga. The SEC Media Days voters have spoken, making their (Alabama) picks, and scattering brad crumbs around the rest of the league. To be the best, you have to beat the best, they say, and so previously little attention or credit is doled out to other schools when it comes to preseason All-SEC selections. RELATED: Six biggest Georgia snubs on preseason All-SEC team The Crimson Tide's dominance on the first team (11 to Georgia's 4) has been well-documented, with much of this year's voting based on last season's results. The Bulldogs, however, have several players with All-SEC ability who have yet to put up the stats or turn enough heads outside of Athens to have been noticed. Here are 12 All-SEC candidates from Georgia who did not make the first, second or third- All-SEC preseason teams, a couple of them having already been nominated on the 'biggest snubs' list: James Cook Out of the backfield, in the slot or as a return man, Cook possesses the game-breaking speed and cutback ability to score from anywhere on he field. Demetris Robertston One year bigger, stronger and tougher after his transfer from Cal, look for D-Rob to take the top off defenses and make plays whether outside or in the slot at receiver. Eric Stokes A sticky cover cornerback who produced when called upon, Stokes is also adequate in run support. Tyson Campbell Toasted early but seasoned late, there's a reason Kirby Smart started Campbell on the corner as a true freshman. Malik Herring NFL frame, good quickness and strength and a desire to live up to his head coach's expectations bode well for Herring on the D-Line. Tae Crowder Converted running back will be reacting more than thinking from inside linebacker this season, already on NFL scouts radar Trey Hill Sophomore takes to the center position naturally, teammates refer to his legs as 'tree trunks' Brian Herrien Hungry and durable, 1,000-yard season could be in reach depending on D'Andre Swift and Zamir White workloads. Tyler Simmons Simmons is all about speed and toughness, a committed team player who competed most of last season wearing a shoulder brace at receiver. Jordan Davis The first of the three players that follow in this article off the 'snubs' list, Davis was an FWAA Freshman All-American defensive tackle who dominated at times. Monty Rice Perhaps the biggest snub of all, Smart has earmarked Rice for greatness, and certainly, a captain role in the linebacker corps. Lawrence Cager The Miami transfer receiver is a 6-foot-5 former high school high jump champion with a 40-inch vertical, and while speed is a question, catch radius is not. DawgNation from SEC Media Days Kirby Smart says no emotion figures into Jacksonville talks Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' South Carolina weighs in on Georgia-Clemson toughness debate Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post 12 Georgia football players with All-SEC potential not on preseason lists appeared first on DawgNation.
  • CBS officially announced that Georgia and Notre Dame will be played under the lights in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 21. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl will be on the call for CBS. This will be the first time Georgia has hosted Notre Dame and only the third time these two historic programs have ever faced each other. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in the series against the Fighting Irish with a 17-10 victory in the 1981 Sugar Bowl and a 20-19 victory at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017.
  • HOOVER, Ala. There were many questions posed to Jake Fromm during one single whirlwind day at SEC Media Days last month. He took at least three hours of questions. Give or take a photo opp or a sunglass pose or two. Alabama? Yes. Mock draft white noise? Yep. Fish or hunt? Yes. Duck hunt or play football? Yessir. DawgNation wanted to know the answer to a specific question: How does he rate his performance after games? When he turns on the film, what is he looking for? Fromm, the quarterback known for having the clear head at all times due to immense preparation, shared a little insight into his work behind the scenes with that one. 'It kind of starts [number] one with decisions,' Jake Fromm said. 'Do we make the right decisions? The right checks? Pre-snap? Before the play? Do we make the right decision after? Did I try to force a ball? Did I check it down too soon? Are my eyes in the wrong spots? So a lot of different things, you know.' 'Really just kind of seeing what kind of throws did we make. The kind of errors. Did we make really bad errors? Did we make small ones and really did we move the ball on third down? There are a lot of different things we are looking at. Really trying to critique decisions. Then we will kind of go into physically like Hey is my foot off a little bit? Is my shoulder off? Am I not getting my elbow up when I throw?' so a lot of different little things.' 'You kind of watch it once or twice. Sometimes three times and see what you see and you see something different every single time.' Grading Jake Fromm: What does he see as his best games? Media can point to a stat line. The metric followers can pour over his QB rating and its intricate formulas. There can be a highlight-worthy throw that goes viral everywhere. The trifecta: ESPN. SEC Network. Social media. But that's how Joe Media or Joe Fan gauges a good game for the Georgia QB. Which games did Fromm feel he was at his best? The junior All-American candidate said he was closest to his standard (a likely unattainable one) at the end of the 2018 season. 'Gosh, I think the last two,' Fromm said. 'The Georgia Tech game and the Alabama game last year. Kind of finished the season and kind of thought I was playing at a high level. Thought I was making really good decisions moving the ball. Those are the two that kind of jump out to me right at the moment.' 'Just moving the ball. Making good decisions and making the big-time throws when they were needed.' Here is how Fromm fared in those games: Fromm versus Georgia Tech: 13-for-16, 175 yards, 4 TDs, O INTs Fromm versus Alabama: 25-for-39, 301 yards, 3 TDs, O INTs The first game he played in 2018 was pretty strong, too. Fromm versus Oklahoma: 20-for-29, 210 yards, 2 TDs, O INTs The junior from Warner Robins actually finished his 2018 season on a surge which saw him throw for 17 touchdowns against two interceptions. That was coming off a poor performance for the entire team, including Fromm, at LSU. This year he is the clear starter and a team leader. There is no other 5-star peer on the depth chart to compete with for starting reps under center. This is his team. Fromm's name will be in the lineup every day in the same vein that a Freddie Freeman or a Mike Trout knows that one off night won't cost him a start. Fromm will still put in the exact same work in the film room regardless. Does he see that helping him to get better and play better in 2019? 'That kind of allows me to get back to [my] high school days and have a little more fun in practice,' Fromm said. 'Really go out and try different things. For me, in high school, there's a lot of kind of trial and error in what I did. It didn't always make [my] coach happy, but it really kind of helped me play. Do you know? Hey, this is what I can and this is what I can't do.' 'I'm going to have a little more fun at practice and go out and try to make some more plays and see what happens.' The post Fromm talk: How does Jake Fromm grade himself after a game? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • HOOVER, Ala. Jake Fromm and Jake Bentley go way back and have stayed friends throughout their careers at Georgia and South Carolina. So much so that Bentley said the quarterbacks might even meet up in Greenville, S.C., and go on a double date. ' I told some guys earlier, he dates a volleyball player, so do I,' Bentley said, 'so we were going to go double date up in Greenville at some point and time before the season starts, so that would be pretty cool.' WATCH: Carolina QB Jake Bentley compares Georgia to Clemson Bentley said he has been impressed working beside Fromm in the offseason. ' You watch Jake (Fromm), and he's just very consistent as far as how he plays, he doesn't miss many throws,' Bentley said. 'He's very detail oriented, just sitting with him in the meeting room, and how he goes about his business is very professional.' NFL scouts have noticed both Fromm and Bentley, both of whom could be in the 2020 NFL Draft class. The quarterbacks have both been trained at QB Country in Mobile, Ala., by David Morris. RELATED: Morris breaks down Jake Fromm Bentley, who led South Carolina to a bowl win over Michigan his freshman season, impressed at the Manning Camp. Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout with four Super Bowl rings who's now executive director of the Senior Bowl, heaped praise. ' Walked away from Manning Passing Academy last Friday night impressed with @GamecockFB QB Jake Bentleyand that was before he won 'Air It Out' competition,' Nagy said . 'Ball was coming out quicker and cleaner than past years.' Walked away from Manning Passing Academy last Friday night impressed with @GamecockFB QB Jake Bentleyand that was before he won 'Air It Out' competition. Ball was coming out quicker and cleaner than past years. Could mean a big year for @Edwards_Bryan4. #thedraftstartsinMobile pic.twitter.com/IFAO38Vs8t Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) July 1, 2019 Kirby Smart also had positive things to say about Bentley, who the Bulldogs will play host to in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 12. 'He's a leader, he's a guy who has played,' Smart said of Bentley. 'Any time you're playing a guy with that kind of experience, it's very similar to Jake (Fromm), except he's got one whole year on top of that, and they've got some good wideouts coming back with them.' Smart, of course, loves his Jake, too. 'This guy (Fromm) is the epitome of what college football is all about,' Smart said. 'Number one, he stands up for the right things, he's very strong in his faith, he lives it. 'I have a lot of respect for his ability to be who he is, be confident in who he is and still lead our team and not create any jealousy while he's doing it.' Jake Bentley Comparing the Jakes DawgNation from SEC Media Days Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' South Carolina weighs in on Georgia-Clemson toughness debate Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post WATCH: South Carolina QB Jake Bentley suggests double date with Jake Fromm appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Aaron Schunk was one of the most consistent hitters at Georgia throughout his three years with the Bulldogs. During his time wearing the red and black, Schunk had a career .312 batting average with 19 home runs and 114 runs-batted-in.  Schunk has not skipped a beat with the Boise Hawks throughout his first 32 games. During those 32 games, Schunk is slashing .311/.380/.500 with an .880 OPS. He has recorded three home runs, 12 RBI, 12 bases-on-balls and only 16 strikeouts in the Northwest League.  On July 20, Schunk recorded his first “perfect game” with the Hawks going 4-for-4 with a walk, one RBI and three runs scored.