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Health Headlines

    A 78-year-old New York man who was evicted from federally subsidized housing because he uses medical marijuana for pain said Tuesday that the conflicting state and federal pot laws that left him homeless are now threatening his medical care. 'The federal government has stepped in again and squashed it,' said John Flickner, who uses a wheelchair and has a doctor's prescription for the drug. After news reports detailed his eviction last week, Flickner, who is now staying at a homeless shelter, said the Niagara Falls program that coordinates his care suddenly dropped him, leaving him without access to doctors and transportation. An attorney for the program, Complete Senior Care, said privacy laws prevent him from discussing individual patients. But generally speaking, attorney Jerry Solomon said that because medical marijuana is illegal under federal law, the federally funded program cannot help clients access it without risking its funding. 'Federal guidelines from (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) ban them from prescribing that or allowing access or having anything to do with anyone having medical marijuana,' Solomon said. 'To do otherwise would jeopardize being able to service all the other patients that they have.' New York is among states that have legalized medical marijuana, but advocates say it's not uncommon for people to be evicted from federally subsidized housing for using the drug. Last week in news reports, Flickner described steering his electric wheelchair in freezing temperatures to a center after being evicted. On Sunday, his former landlord reversed course. Flickner said he relies on medical marijuana for back pain dating to a skydiving mishap 50 years ago. 'The eviction of Mr. Flickner is not a reflection of who we are or our resident service values. We are rescinding our decision and revisiting our policy for this evolving issue,' LHP Capital of Tennessee said in a statement Sunday. Flickner had not decided Tuesday whether to return. Niagara Towers is subsidized by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which said it gives landlords discretion on whether to evict residents for using medical marijuana. Solomon said Complete Senior Care has no such discretion. CMS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • Former patients of a doctor accused of molesting children at Rockefeller University Hospital for decades are demanding to know what happened to photos they say the physician took while the abuse was occurring. The physician, Reginald Archibald, worked at the New York City hospital from 1948 to 1982 as an endocrinologist who specialized in childhood growth. Former patients have said that in addition to molesting them, he would photograph them naked for what he said was scientific research. Archibald died in 2007. Peter Katsikis had only one appointment with Archibald, in 1969. He said Archibald directed him to remove his clothes; he touched him sexually and then took several photos of him in the nude. Katsikis was 12 and said it was his first sexual experience. He wouldn't tell anyone until he told his wife 26 years later. The trauma changed him, he said, making him cynical and sometimes short-tempered as an adult. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission. 'I've replayed the episode a couple thousand times,' said Katsikis, now 61, who lives in North Carolina. 'It took me a couple years to sort things out as to what truly happened. I didn't know anything about sex at 12 years old. When I got older I started to get angry, because I realized he took away my innocence.' The hospital has acknowledged that Archibald's conduct with patients was 'inappropriate' and has hired a law firm to investigate. Hospital officials have not, however, said whether any of the photographs were found in hospital records. Attorneys for former patients say more than 1,000 children may have been victimized. The former patients and their attorneys held a news conference Tuesday in front of the hospital to demand more information about the whereabouts of the photos. The group says that if the hospital cannot say where the photos are, then it should ask the state attorney general to begin its own investigation into the records. Questions about the whereabouts of the photos continues to haunt many of the former patients, according to Michael Pfau, an attorney with the Seattle-based firm of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, who is representing about 100 former patients. The thought that the photos are now circulating as child pornography compounds his clients' pain and fear, Pfau said. 'Finding these photos is critical for our clients,' he said. 'Hopefully the hospital can do the right thing and accelerate the investigation.' A spokesman for the hospital declined to comment when asked about the photos Monday. The hospital wrote to Archibald's former patients in September asking about their experiences and in October released a statement that it had discovered that Archibald 'engaged in certain inappropriate conduct during patient examinations.' The hospital also said it notified authorities when it received a report in 2004 about Archibald's conduct. It says it changed some pediatric policies after an investigation at that time determined that 'certain' of the allegations were credible. Civil molestation suits against institutions in New York are now subject to one of the nation's tightest statutes of limitations, meaning that many of Archibald's alleged victims would not be able to sue the hospital. The case is likely to fuel efforts to pass the Child Victims Act, state legislation that would greatly expand the statute of limitations and create a window to sue for plaintiffs with decades-old allegations that are now prohibited by the statute. Asked what he would do if any photos are found of his single appointment with Archibald, Katsikis paused briefly before answering. 'After the litigation is over,' he said, 'let's have them destroyed.
  • New Zealand's government on Tuesday passed a law that will make medical marijuana widely available for thousands of patients over time. The legislation will also allow terminally ill patients to begin smoking illegal pot immediately without facing the possibility of prosecution. The measures come ahead of a planned national referendum on recreational marijuana use. The government has pledged to hold the referendum some time over the next two years, but has not yet set a date or finalized the wording. The new law allows patients much broader access to medical marijuana, which was previously highly restricted. But most patients will have to wait a year until a new set of regulations, licensing rules and quality standards are put in place. The law will also allow medical marijuana products to be manufactured in New Zealand for both domestic and overseas markets. Health Minister Dr. David Clark said in a statement the new law will help ease suffering. 'This will be particularly welcome as another option for people who live with chronic pain,' he said. He said the 25,000 people who are in palliative care with terminal illnesses didn't have time to wait for the new scheme, and so the law provided a legal defense for them to use illegal marijuana. 'People nearing the end of their lives should not have to worry about being arrested or imprisoned for trying to manage their pain,' Clark said. But the opposition's health spokesman, Dr. Shane Reti, said the new law is 'lazy and dangerous' because it doesn't provide details of the planned medical marijuana scheme, and would also allow some people to start smoking pot in public. 'We support medicinal cannabis but strongly oppose the smoking of loose-leaf cannabis in public,' Reti said. 'Smoked loose-leaf is not a medicine.' Reti said the new law amounted to decriminalizing marijuana by stealth.
  • This year has seen a record number of cases of a mysterious paralyzing illness in children, U.S. health officials said Monday. It's still not clear what's causing the kids to lose the ability to move their face, neck, back, arms or legs. The symptoms tend to occur about a week after the children had a fever and respiratory illness. No one has died from the rare disease this year, but it was blamed for one death last year and it may have caused others in the past. What's more, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say many children have lasting paralysis. And close to half the kids diagnosed with it this year were admitted to hospital intensive care units and hooked up to machines to help them breathe. The condition has been likened to polio, a dreaded paralyzing illness that once struck tens of thousands of U.S. children a year. Those outbreaks ended after a polio vaccine became available in the 1950s. Investigators of the current outbreak have ruled out polio, finding no evidence of that virus in recent cases. The current mystery can be traced to 2012, when three cases of limb weakness were seen in California. The first real wave of confirmed illnesses was seen in 2014, when 120 were reported. Another, larger wave occurred in 2016, when there were 149 confirmed cases. So far this year, there have been 158 confirmed cases. In 2015 and 2017, the counts were far lower, and it's not clear why. The condition is called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. Investigators have suspected it is caused by a virus called EV-D68. The 2014 wave coincided with a lot of EV-D68 infections and the virus 'remains the leading hypothesis,' said Dr. Ruth Lynfield, a member of a 16-person AFM Task Force that the CDC established last month to offer advice to disease detectives. But there is disagreement about how strong a suspect EV-D68 is. Waves of AFM and that virus haven't coincided in other years, and testing is not finding the virus in every case. CDC officials have been increasingly cautious about saying the virus triggered the illnesses in this outbreak. Indeed, EV-D68 infections are not new in kids, and many Americans carry antibodies against it. Why would the virus suddenly be causing these paralyzing illnesses? 'This is a key question that has confounded us,' said the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who is overseeing the agency's outbreak investigation. Experts also said it's not clear why cases are surging in two-year cycles. Another mystery: More than 17 countries have reported scattered AFM cases, but none have seen cyclical surges like the U.S. has. When there has been a wave in the U.S., cases spiked in September and tailed off significantly by November. Last week, CDC officials said the problem had peaked, but they warned that the number of cases would go up as investigators evaluated — and decided whether to count — illnesses that occurred earlier. As of Monday, there were 311 illness reports still being evaluated. This year's confirmed cases are spread among 36 states. The states with the most are Texas, with 21, and Colorado, 15. But it's not clear if the state tallies truly represent where illnesses have been happening. For example, the numbers in Colorado may be high at least partly because it was in the scene of an attention-grabbing 2014 outbreak, and so doctors there may be doing a better job doing things that can lead to a diagnosis. For an illness to be counted, the diagnosis must include an MRI scan that shows lesions in the part of the spinal cord that controls muscles. ___ The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • Christmas parties, work potlucks and family get-togethers mean a lot of baking in the coming weeks. If you’re tempted to lick the bowl after mixing cake batter or dig into that raw cookie dough, however, you need to resist. Consuming unbaked food that is supposed to be cooked can make you sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids also can get sick from handling raw dough used for crafts, the CDC says. Most people know that eating raw eggs can contain salmonella, which can cause illness if the eggs aren’t cooked properly. >> Read more trending news  The CDC estimates salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses. Bacteria aren’t lurking only in eggs, though. Flour, which is usually a raw product, usually isn’t treated for germs like E. coli. The CDC reported an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick in 2016. Some E. coli can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, bloodstream infections and other illnesses. “Raw flour is a raw product, and it doesn’t go through any heat treatment before you get it,” Benjamin Chapman, an assistant professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University, told SELF Magazine in 2017. “You should treat that flour like you’re handling raw meat.” It doesn’t mean you can never eat raw cookie dough. Dough that is commercially produced to be edible is safe.  The CDC suggests the following safe practices to avoid getting ill: Do not taste or eat any raw dough or batter, whether for cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes or crafts made with raw flour, such as homemade play dough or holiday ornaments. Do not let children play with or eat raw dough, including dough for crafts. Bake or cook raw dough and batter, such as cookie dough and cake mix, before eating. Follow the recipe or package directions for cooking or baking at the proper temperature and for the specified time. Do not make milkshakes with products that contain raw flour, such as cake mix. Do not use raw, homemade cookie dough in ice cream.Cookie dough ice cream sold in stores contains dough that has been treated to kill harmful bacteria. Keep raw foods such as flour or eggs separate from ready-to eat foods. Because flour is a powder, it can spread easily. Follow label directions to refrigerate products containing raw dough or eggs until they are cooked. Clean up thoroughly after handling flour, eggs, or raw dough:Wash your hands with running water and soap after handling flour, raw eggs, or any surfaces that they have touched. Wash bowls, utensils, countertops and other surfaces with warm, soapy water.
  • The Supreme Court on Monday avoided a high-profile case by rejecting appeals from Kansas and Louisiana in their effort to strip Medicaid money from Planned Parenthood, over the dissenting votes of three justices. The court's order reflected a split among its conservative justices and an accusation from Justice Clarence Thomas that his colleagues seemed to be ducking the case for political reasons. New Justice Brett Kavanaugh was among the justices who opted not to hear the case. The two states were appealing lower court rulings that had blocked them from withholding money that is used for health services for low-income women. The money is not used for abortions. Abortion opponents have said Planned Parenthood should not receive any government money, and they seized on heavily edited videos that claimed to show the nation's largest abortion provider profiting from sales of fetal tissue for medical research. Investigations sparked by the videos in several states didn't result in criminal charges. The dispute at the high court has nothing to do with abortion, as Thomas pointed out in a dissent that was joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Kavanaugh's decision not to join the three justices was his first discernible vote on the court. Had he or Chief Justice John Roberts voted to hear the case, there would have been the four votes necessary to set the case for arguments. The issue is who has the right to challenge a state's Medicaid funding decisions, private individuals or only the federal government. The states say that the Medicaid program, a joint venture of federal and state governments to provide health care to poorer Americans, makes clear that only the Secretary of Health and Human Services can intervene, by withholding money from a state. Most lower federal courts have found that private parties can challenge Medicaid funding decisions in court, although the federal appeals court in St. Louis rejected a similar court challenge and allowed Arkansas to end its contract with Planned Parenthood. A split among federal appeals courts is often a reason for the Supreme Court to step in. 'So what explains the court's refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named 'Planned Parenthood.' That makes the Court's decision particularly troubling, as the question presented has nothing to do with abortion,' Thomas wrote. The dispute over funding for Planned Parenthood stemmed from the July 2015 release by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress of a series of edited videos purportedly depicting Planned Parenthood of America executives talking about the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has said it did not seek any payments beyond legally permitted reimbursement of costs. Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of the anti-abortion Americans United for Life, said the court should have heard the case. 'But the good news is that there are other similar cases pending in lower courts, which may give the Supreme Court another opportunity to decide this important issue. In the meantime, AUL will continue to fight to protect states from being forced to use their limited public funds to subsidize abortion businesses,' Foster said. Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen praised the decision to leave the lower court rulings in place. 'As a doctor, I have seen what's at stake when people cannot access the care they need, and when politics gets in the way of people making their own health care choices. We won't stop fighting for every patient who relies on Planned Parenthood for life-saving, life-changing care,' Wen said. Kansas' outgoing Republican governor and incoming Democratic administration offered differing reactions to the court's action. 'We regret today's decision from the U.S. Supreme Court announcing that it fell one vote short of taking our case against Planned Parenthood,' Gov. Jeff Colyer said. Ashley All, a spokeswoman for Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, said, 'This case was about providing access to care and funding basic health services, like annual exams, birth control and cancer screenings.' ___ Associated Press writer John Hanna contributed to this report from Topeka, Kansas.
  • The Congolese doctor who shares this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war called Monday for strong international action against the abuse, including reparations for victims. Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of a hospital in eastern Congo that has treated tens of thousands of victims of the country's conflicts for two decades, and Iraqi activist Nadia Murad received the prize at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. They split the 9-million-kronor ($1 million) amount. In an address interrupted by frequent applause, Mukwege criticized the international community for allowing Congolese to be 'humiliated, abused and massacred for more than two decades in plain sight.' 'I insist on reparations, measures that give survivors compensation and satisfaction and enable them to start a new life,' he said. 'I call on states to support the initiative to create a global fund for reparations for victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts.' He said countries should take a stand against 'leaders who have tolerated, or worse, used sexual violence to take power. ... This red line would consist of imposing economic and political sanctions on these leaders and taking them to court.' Dozens of armed groups in Congo profit from mining the country's trillions of dollars' worth of mineral resources, many of which are crucial to popular electronic products such as smartphones. 'As consumers, let us at least insist that these products are manufactured with respect for human dignity. Turning a blind eye to this tragedy is being complicit,' Mukwege said. An outspoken critic of Congo's government, he added: 'My country is being systematically looted with the complicity of people claiming to be our leaders.' Murad, a member of Iraq's Yazidi minority, was kidnapped and sexually abused by Islamic State militants in 2014. She became an activist after escaping and finding refuge in Germany. She told the ceremony that she wants world leaders to translate sympathy for victims into action against the abusers. 'The fact remains that the only prize in the world that can restore our dignity is justice and the prosecution of criminals,' Murad said. 'Young girls at the prime of life are sold, bought, held captive and raped every day. It is inconceivable that the conscience of the leaders of 195 countries around the world is not mobilized to liberate these girls,' she said. 'What if they were a commercial deal, an oil field or a shipment of weapons? Most certainly, no efforts would be spared to liberate them,' she said. Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that chooses the peace laureates, also said action was necessary. 'This award obligates Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad to continue their vital work. But the award obligates us to stand side by side with them in the struggle to end wartime sexual violence,' she said. Back in Iraq, Murad's sister and brother who live in a camp for displaced Yazidi people in Dohuk in northern Iraq expressed their happiness for their sibling's Nobel Prize. 'We are very happy, because on this date, Daesh was defeated in Iraq, on the same day Nadia is receiving her award ... This is like a tumor in the chest of Daesh. We are very glad, and very proud,' her sister Khayriya Murad told The Associated Press at the family's caravan where a photo of Nadia hung on the wall. She was busy receiving congratulations from friends and camp management staff. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. The winners of the medicine, physics, chemistry and economics Nobels received their awards Monday in Stockholm; no winner of the literature prize was named this year. In comments at the awards banquet, William Nordhaus, an American who shared the economics prize for his work studying the consequences of climate change and proposing carbon taxes, took a swipe at those who are unwilling to address global warming. 'Some obstacles are unnecessary and manmade, such as those posed by the financial interests of polluters or the ludicrous arguments of some of our politicians,' he said. He shared the prize with Paul Romer, also of the United States, who was honored for studying how economies can encourage innovation. The chemistry prize went to Americans Frances Arnold and George Smith and Britain's Gregory Winter for work that speeds up the evolution of proteins and enzymes. James Allison of the United States and Japan's Tasuku Honjo shared the medicine prize for discoveries in activating the body's immune system to fight cancer. The physics prize was awarded to Donna Strickland of Canada, Gerard Mourou of France and Arthur Ashkin of the U.S. for developments in laser technology. ___ Associated Press writer David Keyton reported in Stockholm and AP writer Jim Heintz reported from Moscow. AP writer Rashid Yahya in Dohuk, Iraq, contributed to this report.
  • The number of babies diagnosed with a drug-resistant superbug at a maternity hospital in Romania's capital has risen to 39, authorities said Monday. Raluca Alexandru, spokeswoman for Giulesti Maternity hospital, closed Nov. 30 due to the outbreak, said tests have confirmed the latest figure. It is triple the number of newborns diagnosed with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus last month. Health Minister Sorina Pintea said she will decide later this week whether to keep the hospital closed. The infants are hospitalized in three children's facilities in Bucharest. No deaths have been reported. The bacteria often live on the skin or in the nostrils without causing symptoms but they can become dangerous if they enter the bloodstream, destroying heart valves or causing other damage. Microbiologists say up to 30 percent of humans are long-term carriers. It is not clear how this outbreak began. Health authorities have suggested that the hospital does too many C-sections and that hygiene standards are not respected. Eleven staff members have tested positive for the superbug. They have been suspended from work and face treatment. In a related development, the National Authority of Quality Health Management said only 23 of 147 hospitals it had checked respected all of the approximately 500 requirements to function. It said 106 facilities partially respected the requirements. The requirements include issues such as hygiene, patient confidentiality, personnel structure, budget, fire risk and data protection. A statement said the results explained the poor public image of Romania's health care system.
  • The World Health Organization says Ebola vaccinations soon will begin in South Sudan as the country is at 'very high risk' in the current outbreak based in neighboring Congo. A statement says South Sudan's health ministry will begin vaccinating some health workers and other frontline workers in the capital, Juba, on Dec. 19. No Ebola cases have been reported in South Sudan or any of Congo's neighbors in this outbreak, which is now the second-deadliest in history. Vaccinations began earlier in Uganda. More than 40,000 people have received the experimental but promising Ebola vaccine in this outbreak. The WHO statement says more than 2,000 doses have been allocated to South Sudan. Congo's health ministry says this outbreak has almost reached 500 cases: 494, including 446 confirmed with 235 confirmed deaths.
  • A British man who was exposed to the deadly nerve agent Novichok said he is struggling with his eyesight and mobility, and fears the poison will kill him within a decade. Charlie Rowley, 45, fell ill in June near Salisbury, England, after coming into contact with the Soviet-developed nerve agent that was used months earlier to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Rowley, Skripal and his daughter survived, but Rowley's partner Dawn Sturgess, who was also exposed, died in the hospital. Rowley told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that he was back in the hospital being treated for meningitis. He said he was going blind and unable to use one arm, and said he was 'terrified about the future' and what long-term effects the military grade poison would have on him. 'I'm still worried the Novichok could kill me if I get any sort of virus again — it's on my mind all the time. I'm dreading getting a cold,' he said. 'I don't think I'll be alive in 10 years. It's been horrendous.' Britain accuses Russia of carrying out the poisoning of the Skripals, a claim Moscow denies. Rowley and Sturgess collapsed after they handled a small bottle containing the nerve agent, believed to have been discarded by the Skripals' attackers. Britain charged two alleged Russian military intelligence agents in absentia for the attack. The pair denied their involvement on Russian television. The Skripals' poisoning ignited a diplomatic confrontation in which hundreds of envoys were expelled by both Russia and Western nations.

Local News

  • Athens-Clarke County Police have a homicide on their hands: police say a man died after being taken to an Athens hospital, shot last night on Oak Hill Drive, passing away with what investigators say were multiple gunshot wounds. The victim is identified as Walter Brown Jr, 31 years old.Police say they are canvassing the neighborhood, looking for possible witnesses and for information. There is, in a brief police report on the incident, no mention of suspects or motive for the deadly shooting. 
  • The Athens Downtown Development Authority is meeting this afternoon, 5 o’clock at Authority offices in the Gameday building on Broad Street.  Oconee County’s Board of Tax Assessors meets this morning: it’s a 9 o’clock session at the Oconee County courthouse in Watkinsville.  Barrow County Commissioners meet tonight, 7 o’clock at the Historic Courthouse in Winder.  There is a new assignment for the sheriff in Gainesville: Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch has been appointed to a seat on the state Criminal Case Data Exchange Board.
  • A man serving time in the Hall County jail is facing new charges after a fight with another inmate at the lockup in Gainesville: 40 year-old Osmond Douglas is facing an aggravated assault charge after allegedly stabbing the other man with a sharpened pencil, causing extensive damage to one of the man’s eyes.  A Gainesville man is facing child molestation charges: investigators in the Hall County Sheriff’s Office say charges against 40 year-old Patrick Leaphart involve an underaged girl. He was booked into the Hall County jail and is being held without bond. 
  • Georgia Bulldogs senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named to the 2018 Associated Press All-America First Team while sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas has been included on the AP All-America’s Second Team.   Baker, a Miami, Fla., native, became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award last week for being nation’s best defensive back in college football. He was also a Walter Camp First Team All-American. Thomas, a native of Lilburn, Ga., was named to the Walter Camp All-America Second Team as well.   Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield named to the AP’s First Team since Bacarri Rambo in 2011.   A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia and has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.   Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, only missing the Middle Tennessee State game with an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.    The Bulldogs are averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and a their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his offensive line unit were named a Joe Moore Award finalist for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.   The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America teams are expected to be released later on Monday. The Sporting News All-America teams are scheduled to be released on Tuesday and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) teams on Wednesday.   The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first matchup between the teams since 1984.
  • There are two more days of fall semester final exams at the University of Georgia, with fall semester commencement exercises set for Friday in UGA’s Stegeman Coliseum. This morning’s delayed opening makes for changes in the schedule for today’s tests.From the University of Georgia… The final exams scheduled for the 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. time slot will be postponed until 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, December 11. Students and faculty affected by the rescheduling should consult the University of Georgia Registrar’s Office (reg.uga.edu) to learn if there is a new location for their exam. This information will be posted at the Registrar’s website by 10:00 a.m. All other exams scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2018 will take place as previously determined.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS – The difficulties of playing cornerback in football increase exponentially as one moves up the ranks. Nobody has to remind Tyson Campbell of this reality because he lived it this past season. Campbell, who signed with Georgia as a 5-star prospect out of Fort Lauderdale this year, earned the rare distinction of becoming not only a 10-game starter for the Bulldogs as a true freshman corner this season, but a first-game starter, as well. Campbell That Campbell did NOT start the last three games of his freshman season is equally notable. But he’s choosing not to make a fuss about either designation. “It was tough, it was fun,” Campbell said of his first season as a college football player. “But, at the same time, it was a wake-up call, a learning experience. I feel like I learned a lot about football. And, you know, it’s just an all-learning year for me to get ready for next year.” Indeed, Campbell got the proverbial trial by fire this season playing the corner opposite of All-American and Jim Thorpe Award recipient Deandre Baker. From the outset, he found himself — and his side of the field — under attack. Campbell was exploited in the second game of the season at South Carolina as veteran receiver Bryan Edwards beat him twice for touchdowns. He also struggled in games against LSU and Auburn. There were good times as well, though. Like the trip to Missouri in Week 4 when Campbell scooped up fumble on one bounce and returned 64 yards for a touchdown. That would end up being a short day for Campbell, however, as he suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return. His replacement that afternoon was redshirt freshman Eric Stokes, who did some great work in relief.  Stokes finished the Missouri game with four pass-breakups and blocked-punt touchdown. Campbell returned to the starting lineup the next week, but the competition with Stokes for playing time would continue. Finally, in the 10th game of the season against Auburn, Georgia coaches subbed in Stokes for a struggling Campbell after a second pass-interference penalty. Stokes finished the game, then started the last three for the Bulldogs. Speaking with reporters for the first time all season after the SEC Championship Game last week, Campbell has taken the demotion in stride and claims no hard feelings. “Not every job is secure,” Campbell said after Georgia’s 35-28 loss to Alabama. “You’ve always got to have that chip on your shoulder. Anybody can be replaced. I’m not mad or anything. I’m supporting my teammates. I’m just ready to move forward.” Campbell’s first season was definitely a rollercoaster. His season high for tackles came against LSU when he finished with 11. But part that was mainly because he was tackling receivers downfield. He finished with 42 tackles, which was fifth on the team, but ended up with only one pass breakup and no interceptions. Stokes had eight pass breakups, including one in the end zone against Alabama. “We’ve talked for a long time about we’re going to play the players that play the best,” Smart said after the Auburn game. “I still think Tyson Campbell is a really good football player.” Campbell feels like he has identified his primary problem. “I panic sometimes,” he said last week. “Other than that, I’m working real hard in practice and staying focused. I feel I’ve got a bright future and I’m not really stressing or worrying about anything.” Georgia’s coaches believe Campbell has a bright future as well. The reason he was in the starting lineup in the first place is his tremendous speed. A two-time state champion in the 100- and 200-meter at American Heritage High and remains one of the fastest players on the Georgia team. Meanwhile, Campbell’s getting a lot of help on his DB skills. Baker, who came to Georgia as a 3-star prospect out of Miami and didn’t start until midway through his sophomore season, is one of Campbell’s primary tutors. “He’s helped me develop a lot, taught me a lot,” Campbell said. “I’m like a sponge out there with Coach Tuck and Coach Smart and the older guys in the secondary. They all teach me a lot and I just take whatever they tell me and just try to input it into my game.” Georgia needs to Campbell to remain alert and motivated. Regardless of who starts the rest of the way at left cornerback, both he and Stokes are sure to be in the Bulldogs’ plans as Baker moves on to the NFL. Regardless of how it went this season, Campbell knows his script isn’t written yet. “It’s football,” he said. “Things are going to happen. It’s a rollercoaster. There’s going to be swings. … I just have to focus on what’s ahead of me now.” The post Georgia CB Tyson Campbell believes ‘rollercoaster’ season will only make him a better appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia Bulldogs senior defensive back Deandre Baker has been named to the 2018 Associated Press All-America First Team while sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas has been included on the AP All-America’s Second Team.   Baker, a Miami, Fla., native, became the first Bulldog to win the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award last week for being nation’s best defensive back in college football. He was also a Walter Camp First Team All-American. Thomas, a native of Lilburn, Ga., was named to the Walter Camp All-America Second Team as well.   Baker becomes the first Georgia All-American from the defensive backfield named to the AP’s First Team since Bacarri Rambo in 2011.   A Miami, Fla., native, Baker has started all 13 games for Georgia and has 40 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups. In addition, Baker has a forced fumble and has collected a fumble recovery for a defense that ranks 15th nationally allowing just 18.5 points per game.   Thomas, a native of Lithonia, Ga., has gotten the starting nod at left tackle for 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games, only missing the Middle Tennessee State game with an ankle injury. He has anchored an offensive line that leads the SEC in Rushing Offense at 251.6 yards per game and that currently features one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen as starters.    The Bulldogs are averaged 39.2 points per game during their second straight run to the SEC Championship Game and a their first invitation to the Sugar Bowl since 2008. Thomas and his offensive line unit were named a Joe Moore Award finalist for being one of the top offensive lines in the nation.   The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America teams are expected to be released later on Monday. The Sporting News All-America teams are scheduled to be released on Tuesday and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) teams on Wednesday.   The No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will take on No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La., on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the fifth all-time matchup between the programs and the first matchup between the teams since 1984.
  • ATHENS – Woodruff Practice Fields sit empty and wet. The Butts-Mehre Complex is unusually quiet and inactive. Georgia players are busy preparing for and taking exams. On Friday, several of them will walk in fall semester graduation ceremonies. All the while, another football challenge is looming. Three weeks from now, the No. 5 Bulldogs (11-2) will be teeing it up against No. 15 Texas (9-4) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Meanwhile, the anguish of another excruciatingly close loss to No. 1 Alabama still lingers. The question on everybody’s mind is whether the Bulldogs can shake the grief and misery of that disappointment and refocus on the challenge of defeating a storied opponent in the rather lofty consolation of a New Year’s Six bowl game. To that, the Georgia players offer a resounding, “hell, yes.” “For sure,” junior wideout Mecole Hardman said. “We’re not going to go out there and just let anybody beat us. We’re definitely going to have motivation to play because we’ve got to get taste out of our mouths somehow. So, somebody’s got to feel us, and they will.” Added Riley Ridley: “Most definitely. This is Georgia football. No matter what happens, we never give up. We love football. That’s what we’re here for. We play for each other.” Undoubtedly, the Bulldogs will head to New Orleans with good intentions. That the Sugar Bowl has become a consolation prize for speaks to the heights of which Kirby Smart has raised the standard of expectation for Georgia football in three short years. But it’d understandable if the Bulldogs’ found their focus was a bit clouded considering the depth of their disappointment not 10 days ago. After building an impressive lead against a team called one of the best in Alabama football history and having an opportunity to expand it three scores in the third quarter, Georgia was outscored 21-0 over the final 18 minutes of play on the way to a 35-28 loss. Central to the outcome was a controversial decision to attempt a fake punt with the game tied with three minutes remaining. So, there was the added pang of how the Bulldogs lost on top of playing toe-to-toe with the nation’s No. 1 team. Then there were the postseason implications. Georgia played Alabama so well for so long, it proved to any remaining doubters there might’ve been that it was among the top four teams in college football. That should have been enough for the selection committee to include the Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff for the second straight year. But, ultimately they chose Oklahoma, a one-loss Big 12 champion, over the two-loss SEC runners-up. That added a layer of disappointment the day after the conference championship loss. But Georgia players insist there will no lingering grief. “We’re not hanging our heads,” freshman cornerback Tyson Campbell said. “We know we played our best and we’re just ready to move forward. We’ve got to focus on what’s ahead of us now.” Said junior tight end Isaac Nauta: “It’s definitely not a lost season for us. We have another game to play and we’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to getting better throughout the month of December and winning the next one.” Georgia is already getting cmparisons to Alabama’s 2008 team, which entered the SEC Championship Game undefeated and ranked No. 1 only to lose to No. 2 Florida 31-20. The Gators went on to play for the BCS title and the No. 4-ranked Crimson Tide then lost to Utah 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl. Lack of motivation was considered Alabama’s primary undoing that New Year’s Day in New Orleans. Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who was defensive coordinator for that 2008 Alabama team, admitted that the Tide “didn’t play as well as we probably should have.” But he also said this year’s Georgia team is very different that one. “This is a much younger team than any of those Bama teams,” Smart said of the Bulldogs, whose roster is comprised 68 percent of freshmen and sophomores. “A lot of these kids, this will be their first or second time in a big-time bowl environment. We’re still getting accustomed to that.” No, this appears to be a Georgia team that still feels it has much to prove to the rest of the college football world. The same chip the Bulldogs carried on their collective shoulders into the SEC Championship Game will be making the trip to New Orleans. While a national championship is not in the cards this year, Georgia very much wants to validate its distinction as one the best teams in the country in 2018. “We can’t hang our head about (losing to Bama),” Hardman said. “We know we had the game; we know we played great. It just didn’t go our way. But I think everybody knows we’re one of the best four teams.” One more decisive win surely would remove any doubt. DawgNation’s Sugar Bowl Coverage Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker will play in Sugar Bowl Mel Tucker ready for a new challenge as Colorado head coach Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace when he leaves Georgia football       The post No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs have something to prove vs. Texas in Sugar Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football sophomore Jake Fromm is playing as well as any quarterback in the nation, but the Bulldogs’ rotation at that position remains a hot topic of discussion. How does Coach Kirby Smart divide time in the Sugar Bowl between the red-hot Fromm and promising freshman Justin Fields. SEC Network analysts Jordan Rodgers, Gene Chizik and Marcus Spears weighed in on whether and how much Fields should play. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 15 Texas (9-4) looking to win a bowl game for a fifth straight season on the heels of a heartbreaking 35-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1. Fromm was 25-of-39 passing for 301 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and was sacked only twice by the Tide’s impressive defense. Fields’ playing time was limited against Alabama, as he attempted just one pass the was incomplete and most notably failed to execute a fake punt in the fourth quarter. RELATED: Fields put on spot in SEC title game “If anything, I would love to see  a better plan for Justin Fields,” Rodgers said. “The first time he comes in the (SEC title) game, I don’t feel like the plan was right. The first time you pass with him, it’s not a play-action, there’s not a quarterback threat to run, you just do a straight drop back. “If we see him, I want to see him for a drive, that’s very calculated for a reason, and then get him back out … Jake Fromm is the better quarterback.” Smart has said all season that there is no plan going into games, and that Georgia plays the quarterback that gives the team the best chance to win. From game to game, situations change, and that dictates when and how much Fields plays. RELATED: Kirby Smart has plan to avoid QB controversy Marcus Spears said it’s important that Fields does indeed earn the snaps instead of there being any perception he’s being handed playing time. “When you get into the mindset as a coach that I’ve got to coddle this guy to make sure he’s not going to leave, you start setting yourself up for disaster,” Spears said. “And I’m going to show you how it works on the field. (Against Alabama) when Justin Fields came in the play went for 1 yard, it was second-and-9 when Jake Fromm ran back on the field. And guess what they did, they went 0-for-6 in the second half on third downs. “So when you look at how they tried to keep (Fields) involved, I think it hurt them at times during the season.” Smart knows how important it is to have a capable backup quarterback in the SEC. Fromm came off the bench last season to replace an injured Jacob Eason and led the Bulldogs to an SEC title and College Football Playoff Championship Game appearance. Fields has been a work in progress this season, completing 27 of 39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Fields has also rushed for 266 yards on 42 carries, proving to be a valuable weapon in short-yardage situations after the Bulldogs’ midseason struggles in that area. Former Auburn national championship coach Gene Chizik says the Bulldogs should play to win, plain and simple. “My quick take is you’re going to play the guy that gives you the best chance to win, and if it’s not him, then he doesn’t play, you’re not playing to keep him on your roster, you’re playing to win,” Chizik said. “I’m protecting wins and our program, that’s what I want, (and) right now I’ve got maybe the hottest quarterback in the country,” Chizik said, explaining what he would be thinking if he was in Smart’s shoes. “(Fromm) threw for 3 touchdowns (versus Alabama), he threw for 300 yards, he was on point again, he’s playing as good as anybody, and he’s playing against a Texas secondary that’s struggling. “I’m playing the guy that gives us the best chance to win, and it’s not Justin Fields right now, that’s just the way it is.” DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl Tim Tebow : Georgia will be challenged to be motivated for Texas Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker will play in Sugar Bowl   Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace, when or if he leaves Georgia football   The post SEC Network analysts: Georgia quarterbacks’ playing time in Sugar Bowl hot topic appeared first on DawgNation.