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US News Headlines

    Investigators seized a record amount of meth in Jackson County. Authorities said the dangerous drug was liquefied and hidden in paint. >> Read more trending news  WSB-TV’s Tom Regan learned agents seized $300,000 worth of the drug mixture. Two people were arrested and charged in the case that alarmed neighbors. Lula Little lives down the street from the home that investigators said held a methamphetamine processing lab. The Jackson County sheriff's office and Homeland Security raided the home Tuesday. They say they found liquid meth mixed with paint heating on a stove and several other buckets filled with the drug mixture. “The meth was in there with the paint, and it was being cooked and then filtered to get the meth, which worked out to be 20 to 25 kilos, is what they estimated,” said Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum. Mangum said the bust was a record for her and one of the most bizarre methods she’s come across for concealing meth. “It's not like anything I've ever seen. It shows what lengths, the extreme the lengths they will go to bring these illegal drugs in,” Mangum said. Sheriff's deputies arrested Randy Brown and Tamorah Draper. The DEA said extracting liquid meth from a solvent like paint or an acetone-based product is extremely hazardous. Vapors can ignite. “If that's going on right next door to me. We got a lot of kids here, you know. I wouldn't want anything like to blow up, to blow up and somebody gets hurt,” Little said. “You're talking neighborhoods, that's going on right there under their noses. This is just something, I'm glad it was stopped,” Mangum said. Homeland Security said their investigation into this is ongoing.
  • Rising country star Kylie Rae Harris was drunk and speeding at the time of the September crash that killed her and a teenage driver, New Mexico authorities confirmed. >> Read more trending news  Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe stated in a news release late Thursday that investigators have determined Harris, 30, was traveling as fast as 102 mph with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.28, or more than three times the legal limit, just before the Sept. 4 crash that killed both the singer and Maria Elena Cruz, 16, of nearby San Cristobal. According to The Dallas Morning News, Hogrefe said investigators believe Harris clipped the back of one vehicle, careened into oncoming traffic and then struck Cruz’ vehicle head-on.
  • At least seven people have died in the San Diego area in the past two months after contracting a type of “flesh-eating” bacterial infection linked to black tar heroin use, health officials confirmed Wednesday. >> Read more trending news  An additional 13 people in Southern California have also been diagnosed with wound botulism since September that could also be tied to black tar heroin, KABC-TV reported. In turn, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency issued an advisory to the medical community to be vigilant regarding any soft tissue infections such as flesh-eating bacteria myonecrosis and wound botulism, especially if heroin use is suspected. According to the agency’s news release, myonecrosis is as a severe soft tissue infection that destroys muscle, while wound botulism is a rare, but serious illness that attacks the body’s nerves. People who inject illicit drugs, especially black tar heroin, are at higher risk of developing both conditions. KSWB reported nine people who injected black tar heroin were admitted to San Diego area hospitals between Oct. 2 and Nov. 24 suffering from severe cases of flesh-eating bacteria myonecrosis, while one case of wound botulism was reported in October. Citing the National Organization for Rare Disorders, USA Today reported myonecrosis – which can lead to amputation, paralysis or death – is similar to necrotizing fasciitis, another rare soft tissue affliction that also causes the skin and tissue below it to die.
  • A suspect died Friday morning after opening fire at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing at least three people and injuring seven others. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said the shooting was reported just before 7 a.m. local time in a classroom building at NAS Pensacola. Responding deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office exchanged gunfire with the suspected shooter, killing him, officials said. Update 9:30 p.m. EST Dec. 6: The shooter has been identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani according to WKRG. He is one of hundreds of international military members who are receiving training there. In a news conference Friday night, the FBI declined to comment on his possible motivations. “There are many reports circulating, but the FBI deals only in facts,” said Rachel L. Rojas, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office. “This is still very much an active and ongoing investigation.” Update 2:25 p.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities declined to confirm the identity of the person who shot several people Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people before being shot and killed by deputies. “I think there’s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this indivdual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi Air Force and then to be here training on our soil and to do this,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning at a news conference. “The FBI is working with (the Department of Defense), they’re working with (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement), they’re working with Escambia County sheriff’s to answer those questions.” DeSantis said he spoke earlier Friday with President Donald Trump. “One of the things that I talked to the president about is given that this was a foreign national in the employ of a foreign service ... obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for the victims,' DeSantis said. 'I think that they, they are going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals.” Authorities confirmed at a news conference that the suspect used a handgun in Friday’s shooting. Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer of NAS Pensacola, said the suspect was at NAS Pensacola for aviation training. Earlier in the day, deputies said the suspect opened fire just before 7 a.m. local time in a classroom building at NAS Pensacola. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 1:45 p.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities in Pensacola are expected to provide an update Friday afternoon on the investigation into the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that left four people dead. Update 1:20 p.m. EST Dec. 6: President Donald Trump said Friday afternoon that he’s spoken to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and received a full briefing on the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” Trump said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.” Update 12:50 p.m. EST Dec. 6: An official told The Associated Press that the person who opened fire Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people and wounding several others before being shot and killed by authorities, was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia. Authorities are investigating to determine whether the shooting was terrorism-related, according to the AP. Military from around the globe attend the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Authorities are expected to hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. local time Friday to update the public on the investigation. Update 11:50 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities expect to hold a news conference at 12 p.m. local time Friday to provide more updates on the shooting that left four people dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities said a total of 11 people were injured or killed in Friday morning’s shooting, including the suspected shooter. The injured included two responding deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff David Morgan said Friday at a news conference. One deputy was shot in the arm and the other was shot in the knee, Morgan said. They were both expected to survive. Morgan described walking through the scene left by Friday’s attack as being similar to “being in a movie.” “You just don’t expect this to happen here at home,” he said. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 10:45 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials are holding a news conference to update the public on Friday morning’s deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Update 10:25 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Vice President Mike Pence said he’s monitoring the situation in Florida after a shooting left two victims and a suspect dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola. “Praying for the victims & their families,” Pence wrote Friday morning in a Twitter post. “We commend the first responders for their swift action in taking down the shooter & getting those on base to safety.”  Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 6: White House officials said President Donald Trump has been briefed on the deadly shooting reported Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 10:15 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with Naval Air Station Pensacola said the base will closed for the day Friday after a shooting left three people dead earlier in the day. Authorities said at least three people, including the suspected shooter, were killed in the incident. Reports indicated at least eight other people were wounded in the shooting. The incident happened two days after authorities said a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian employees before turning the gun on himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. One other person was injured in that shooting. Naval Air Station Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to officials. Update 10:10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said his office has been in “close contact with all the relevant officials & closely monitoring events” after a shooter opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, killing two people. Authorities said the shooter also died. “Please pray for everyone impacted by this horrible situation,” Rubio said in a Twitter post. Update 10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: A spokesman at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital told CNN that hospital officials expected to get three patients who had been injured in Friday morning’s shooting, down from the six expected earlier in the day. Hospital spokesman Mike Burke told the news network most victims were taken to Baptist Hospital because of its proximity to the base. Kathy Bowers, a spokeswoman for Baptist Hospital, earlier told the Pensacola News Journal that the hospital had received five patients wounded in Friday’s shooting. Update 9:45 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with the U.S. Navy have confirmed that a second person has died after a shooter opened fire Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 9:35 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials told the Pensacola News Journal two people were confirmed dead after Friday morning’s shooting, in addition to the shooter. Naval officials previously said at least one person had been killed. Update 9:20 a.m. EST Dec. 6: At least 11 people were hospitalized in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s deadly shooting, according to The Associated Press. Ascension Sacred Heart spokesman Mike Burke told the AP six people were taken to the hospital after a shooter opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola early Friday. The Pensacola News Journal previously reported five other people were taken to Baptist Hospital with injuries. Naval officials said at least one victim was killed in Friday’s shooting. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 9:10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with the U.S. Navy said at least one person died Friday morning in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Authorities said the suspected shooter was also dead Friday morning. Update 9 a.m. EST Dec. 6: An official with Baptist Hospital told the Pensacola News Journal five patients were taken to the hospital after Friday morning’s reported shooting. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 8:55 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said a suspected shooter was dead Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Original report: Authorities are responding Friday morning to reports of shots fired at Naval Air Station Pensacola, according to base officials. Authorities at NAS Pensacola said both gates to the base were closed Friday morning as authorities investigated. Officials with the U.S. Navy said the base was on lockdown around 7:45 a.m. local time. A spokeswoman for ECSO told the Pensacola News Journal deputies were working to “take down” what was described as an active shooter around 7:30 a.m. local time. Officials with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office told WEAR-TV injuries were reported. Details on the number of people wounded and the extent of their injuries was not immediately available. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • Actor Ron Leibman, who appeared in movies, theater and television in a career that spanned six decades and won a Tony for Tony Kushner’s iconic play ”Angels in America,” has died after an illness. He was 82. >> Read more trending news Leibman played a huge variety of roles both dramatic and comic. He won an Emmy award in 1979 on the CBS series “Kaz.” But he was perhaps best known on television for his role on “Friends,” in which he played Dr. Leonard Green, the father of Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston. Leibman’s agent, Robert Attermann, said the actor died Friday. He is survived by his wife, the actress Jessica Walter. “Ron was an incredibly talented actor with a distinguished career in film, TV and theater,” said Attermann. “Our thoughts go out to his wife, Jessica, and his family.” Leibman won his Tony for playing the crucial role of Roy Cohn, the conservative lawyer who died of AIDS in 1986. He appeared in numerous films including “Norma Rae” and “Slaughterhouse-Five.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • More than 50 local police officers raided a mental health hospital in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Only WSB-TV was there when detectives pulled evidence and questioned employees. >> Read more trending news Investigators spent hours going through evidence Friday at two Lakeview Behavioral Health buildings in Gwinnett County. One is located on Medlock Bridge Road and the other is on One Technology Parkway. For months, former patients and their families have complained of unexplained injuries after leaving Lakeview. Police spent hours searching and seizing patient records and computers, as well as interviewing workers at the administrative office. Detectives said they believe they will find evidence of dozens of crimes. “This is a very large-scale investigation,” said Gwinnett County Police Spokesperson Michele Pihera. Officials brought their own truck and van for all the evidence they expected to find. Authorities said they are looking into complaints of abuse, over-drugging and fraud at the facility owned by Acadia Healthcare. “It appears all the employees are cooperative, they all understand why we are here,” Pihera said. WSB-TV’s Tony Thomas has been investigating Lakeview for months. Beth Tipton said her mother is a former patient and victim. “She had bruising all over,” Tipton told Thomas. “It angers me.” Thomas flew to Arkansas and New Mexico this fall, listening to whistleblowers at other company sites. In Gwinnett County, police confirm they're focusing on 51 former patients. “They could eliminate some of those cases, but they could also find evidence of more criminal activity,” Pihera said. At Lakeview, no one would talk to WSB-TV but group CEO Jim Spruyt emailed saying: “We continue to work collaboratively and transparently with law enforcement as they follow up their investigation of uncorroborated complaints.” “It's just a matter of going through a lot of paperwork,” Pihera said. No charges have been filed. Both facilities are still open.
  • Schools and parents have long presumed that teachers will use their own money to buy classroom essentials and volunteer their time to staff after-school and weekend events. >> Read more trending news A middle school teacher in South Carolina is challenging the expectation that teachers give their personal time and cash for the betterment of their schools and classrooms. The lawsuit filed by teacher Shannon Burgess charges that teachers are forced to put in unpaid hours and are routinely expected to purchase items essential for them to meet their job responsibilities, such as copy paper. The attorney in the case is seeking other South Carolina teachers to join Burgess, which would turn it into a class-action lawsuit. In her lawsuit, Burgess contends teachers at her school are required to work at school concession stands at sports events. Many teaching contracts, including here in Georgia, say teachers are responsible for “other duties as assigned.” The problem, according to teachers, is that “other duties” can fall outside the school day. Educators are often expected to chaperone proms on a Saturday night or staff football games on Friday nights. Teachers raise a good question: How many other employees are expected to routinely volunteer time on weekends and evenings? The lawsuit states: “It has long been a pattern of practice throughout this nation and the state of South Carolina that school districts … have unconscionably and impermissibly shifted operating costs of the classroom directly on the financial backs of our teachers.” A recent Economic Policy Institute study found teachers on average spend at least $459 out of their own pockets each year to outfit their classrooms. It found Georgia teachers spend slightly less, $428. Teachers in California have the highest annual average, $664 a year. Only 4.9% of teachers don’t spend any of their own money on school supplies. The recent EPI findings align with a federal Department of Education survey released last year that showed 94% of public school teachers said they paid for school supplies out of their own pockets. On average, teachers spent $479 , but 7% said their school shopping lists topped a thousand dollars, according to data culled from the 2015-16 National Teacher and Principal Survey. The practice of teachers buying school supplies was more common in low-income schools, and those teachers shelled out more. Teachers in schools where three out of four students qualified for free and reduced-price lunches invested $554 in their classrooms, compared to $434 at affluent schools with few low-income students. Elementary teachers were the biggest spenders, averaging $526 on their kids and classrooms. While parents are likely grateful that teachers stock extra pencils for their kids and volunteer at school carnivals, their gratitude may not be sufficient reward for the time and money that teachers sacrifice. Many parents have come to expect their young children will come home from school in the next two weeks with a holiday craft, a handmade reindeer ornament for the tree or a winter-themed photo frame for Nana. What they don’t realize is that some teachers are paying for the pipe cleaners, glitter and buttons for those special projects.
  • A recent study has found an increase in cellphone injuries, including facial cuts, bruises and fractures. The study, published Thursday, found a spike in U.S. emergency room treatment for these mostly minor injuries. The research was led by a facial plastic surgeon whose patients include a woman who broke her nose when she dropped her phone on her face. Dr. Boris Paskhover, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said his experience treating patients with cellphone injuries prompted him to look into the problem. >> Read more trending news Paskhover and others analyzed 20 years of emergency room data and found an increase in cellphone injuries starting after 2006, around the time when the first smartphones were introduced. Some injuries were caused by phones themselves, including people getting hit by a thrown phone. But Paskhover said many were caused by distracted use including texting while walking, tripping and landing face-down on the sidewalk. Most patients in the study weren’t hospitalized, but the researchers said the problem should be taken seriously. The study involved cases in a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission database that collects emergency room visit information from about 100 hospitals. The researchers tallied 2,500 patients with cellphone-related head and neck injuries from 1998 through 2017. The study was published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology. Nationwide, they estimated there were about 76,000 people injured during that time. Annual cases totaled fewer than 2,000 until 2006, but increased steeply after that. About 40% of those injured were ages 13 to 29, and many were hurt while walking, texting or driving. Cellphone use also has been linked with repetitive strain injuries in the hands and neck, and injuries to other parts of the body caused by distracted use. “I love my smartphone,” Paskhover said, but he added that it’s easy to get too absorbed and avoiding injury requires common sense. “People wouldn’t walk around reading a magazine,” he said. “Be careful.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A banana, purchased from a grocery store and duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000 at the glitzy Art Basel international art show in Miami this week. >> Read more trending news  Actually, two of three editions of the duct-taped banana sold at that price on Wednesday. The third is now for sale for $150,000, Artnet reported. The artwork -- a banana purchased from a Miami grocery store and then stuck to a wall with a single piece of duct tape -- was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan for Galerie Perrotin. It was his first piece for the show in 15 years, CNN reported. The sculpture, titled “Comedian,” might not be so bananas. “(The artwork is) a symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humor,' gallery founder Emmanuel Perrotin told CNN. Cattelan is a well-known artist whose work satirizes pop culture. His 18-carat gold toilet titled “America,” valued at around $6 million, was stolen from Bleinheim Palace in England in September. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the theft. The toilet has not been recovered, CNN reported. But why did Cattelan decide on a banana? 'Back then, Cattelan was thinking of a sculpture that was shaped like a banana,' according to a statement from the gallery. 'Every time he traveled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze (before) finally coming back to the initial idea of a real banana.' Art Basel, Miami’s prestigious art fair, is an international art event that attracts celebrities and artists from across the world. The event is held in three cities each year, Basel, Switzerland, Miami and Hong Kong.
  • A server at an Olive Garden in Washington goes the extra mile to honor patrons who are celebrating their birthdays at the restaurant. >> Read more trending news Alphonso Nichols, 31, has been singing since he was a child, KAPP reported. He has won singing competitions and told KAPP that he has opened for Usher, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Ginuwine. He currently works at an Olive Garden and is happy to fulfill requests to sing “Happy Birthday” to patrons. His stellar rendition captured on video Saturday by Amy Haddox and posted on Facebook, has since gone viral. Nichols is appreciative of the positive feedback telling KAPP that he is working on a Christian music album that he plans on releasing next year.

Local News

  • 21 faculty members across UGA’s schools and colleges met to discuss the development of UGA’s Innovation District on Dec. 3 in the Peabody Board Room of the Administration Building. The Innovation District Faculty Advisory Council will meet throughout the year to provide input on the Innovation District initiative, with particular focus on programming, resources and support for research commercialization and university-industry engagement. The council will be led by the Innovation District leadership team: Kyle Tschepikow, special assistant to the president and director for strategy and innovation; David Lee, vice president for research; and Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction. The members of the council are: Jenay Beer, Insitute of Gerontology Karen Burg, College of Veterinary Medicine Justin Conrad, School of Public and International Affairs Andrew Crain, Graduate School Joseph Dahlen, Warnell School of Forestry Naola Ferguson-Noel, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center Chris Garvin, Lamar Dodd School of Art Chris Gerlach, New Media Institute Kristina Jaskyte, Institute for Nonprofit Organizations Kirk Kealey, Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center Eileen Kennedy, College of Pharmacy William Kisaalita, College of Engineering Kevin McCully, College of Education Sergiy Minko, College of Family and Consumer Sciences Michael Myers, Small Business Development Center Jonathan Murrow, AU/UGA Medical Partnership Usha Rodrigues, School of Law Pejman Rohani, Odum School of Ecology Christine Szymanski, Complex Carbohydrates Research Center Amitabh Verma, College of Environment and Design Dee Warmath, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • U.S. Rep. Doug Collins was as pugnacious as ever as he delivered his opening remarks during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment. The Gainesville Republican repeated his critique that the Democratic-led investigation was primarily fueled by contempt for President Donald Trump. He described the probe as a rushed attempt to ram through charges without evidence that the president had done anything wrong. “This is nothing new, folks; this is sad,” said Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee. There were some points of levity — including when Collins joked about the room’s chilly temperature and uncomfortable chairs — but most of his comments were pointed and biting, both toward the Democrats on the committee and the three constitutional law experts who backed impeachment. Collins also used his opening statement to criticize the decision to invite four constitutional law experts to the hearing, three of whom were recommended by Democrats and one called by Republicans. One of them, Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan later said she took offense at his insinuation they had not reviewed the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report before testifying. “Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing because I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts,” she said. “So I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts.” Throughout the meeting, Collins and other Republicans forced procedural votes on requests varying from postponing the hearing to requiring House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and an anonymous whistleblower to testify. Democrats, who are in the majority, objected each time.
  • The Athens Symphony will perform the first ever public performance of a new arrangement of “O Holy Night” at their annual Christmas concerts on December 7 and 8.    The piece, arranged by Hollywood film scorer Chad Rehmann, was initially featured in the 2018 film A Christmas Arrangement. Following rave reviews, Rehmann re-arranged the score for orchestral performance and dedicated it to his wife Kari.    “After reaching out to a few regional orchestras known for their holiday concerts,” said Rehmann, “Brad Maffett (Athens Symphony’s Associate Conductor) contacted me expressing interest in performing the work. The more we corresponded, the more excited I became about the Athens Symphony premiering this work, especially given the ensemble’s commitment to family-friendly programming and its focus on a relationship with the Athens community. “   The Symphony will host Rehmann at the December 7 concert with a red-carpet welcome planned for 7:30 p.m.    A Christmas Tradition   A longstanding tradition, the Athens Symphony’s annual Christmas Concerts bring Athenians and Northeast Georgia residents together to celebrate with classic Christmas favorites, a sing-along, and even a visit from Santa.    “The Athens Symphony Christmas Concerts are known for being premier events of the holiday season in our community, bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate the season,” said Symphony Executive Director Dr Richard Hudson. “It’s a privilege that the Symphony is able to continue its mission of providing free concerts that are open to everyone, knowing that the power of music is a unifying force.”   Complimentary tickets will be available at The Classic Center Box Office beginning Nov. 25 and are required for entry into the concerts, which will be held Saturday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Oconee County says the new traffic signal at the three-way intersection of Mars Hill, Virgil Langford, and Rocky Branch roads will become operational next week. Crews have been working for the past several weeks to reconfigure the busy intersection off Highway 316.  The Georgia DOT is partnering with Georgia State University to conduct a survey, looking to find out what drivers think about new express lanes on I-85.  MARTA might see rate hikes next year: that word comes from the CEO of the transit system in Atlanta, who tells a state legislative panel that fare revenue is below the 35 percent threshold required to put towards operating expenses. The last time the authority raised the price was in 2011, when the fare for a one-way ticket increased by 50 cents. Any rate hike would take effect next summer. 
  • The Georgia Bulldogs don’t have the only big game this weekend. There is high school playoff football tonight in Watkinsville: the Oconee County Warriors host the Sandy Creek High School Patriots in a game that will kick off at 7:30 tonight in the last game of the season at Warrior Stadium.  Both teams come into the game with 12-1 records. The winner advances to next week’s state championship game. 

Bulldog News

  • DawgNation has four staffers who cover Georgia football from every angle: Beat, live streams, photos, podcasts, recruiting, etc. The 'Cover 4' concept is: 1) Present a topic; 2) Offer a reasoned response; 3) Share a brisk statement on that opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss the big matchups to pay attention to for Saturday's Georgia-LSU game. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. The focus is always a timely look with each of our guys manning the secondary on a pertinent topic. The quick in-and-out game remains. It is designed to come out quicker than former Bulldog Nick Chubb scored his third touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year. The latest 'Cover 4' question is of the fill-in-the-blank variety: What is the one matchup which will largely decide the SEC Championship game? Brandon Adams: The UGA secondary vs. LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase The 'why' from 'DawgNation Daily' here: ' It's not easy to identify LSU's best receiver, but Chase might win the Biletnikoff Award. The Bulldogs also faced the Biletnikoff winner in last year's SEC championship game and held Alabama's Jerry Jeudy to three catches for 24 yards (including a touchdown) .' Mike Griffith: Georgia offensive line vs. LSU defensive front The 'why' from 'On the Beat' here: ' Georgia has to run the ball effectively on first down to have success against the LSU defense . ' Connor Riley: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Georgia's linebackers The 'why' from 'Good Day UGA' here: ' Edwards-Helaire has been phenomenal this year. When Georgia saw him in 2018, he rolled up 145 yards on the Bulldogs. Georgia's group of linebackers have to be better and win that matchup for the Bulldogs to win the game . ' Jeff Sentell: Kirby Smart, Dan Lanning, J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte III versus Joe Burrow, Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger. The Intel here: 'Plays + players. That's the winning equation here. Can Lanning and Smart make the calls that lead to big stops on the back end from Reed and LeCounte? If so, the Bulldogs can limit the LSU quarterback and the game plans laid in place by Brady (passing game coordinator) and Ensminger (offensive coordinator) which have transformed LSU football in 2019.' The 'Cover 4' topics of late: The most pro-UGA stat to pay attention to versus LSU The way Georgia beats LSU is .. How much will the first-half suspension of George Pickens hurt? What's the desired outcome for the Alabama-LSU game? Who is coaching Georgia when Ohio State comes to town in 2030? The Florida Gators who can do the most damage against Georgia are Name the Bulldog who delivers a key supporting role against Florida What's the big area where the Bulldogs must 'do more' to beat Florida? Cover 4: What will Georgia's record look like at the end of the regular season? What is the toughest game left on the schedule? What is the biggest edge that Georgia will have on Notre Dame? Who has already opened our eyes after just two games? What is your take on the legendary Vince Dooley? Who has the biggest day against Murray State? The most improved Bulldog since last season is . A few big non-score predictions for Georgia-Vanderbilt Which returning Bulldogs impressed the most in fall camp? The players set to become the new fan favorites for 2019 are . What will convince you the Bulldogs are throwing the ball more this fall? What kind of numbers will D'Andre Swift put up in 2019? Jake Fromm 's best quality? The Cover 4 crew chops that one up The post Georgia football: What one matchup with LSU could swing the SEC championship game? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Georgia and LSU both had their walk-through session as Mercedes Benz-Stadium on Friday. The programs offered two different examples of what the experience means to them. Unbeaten LSU had a lot of cell phones out soaking up the moment as they walked onto the turf on Saturday. Georgia did not. That's indicative of the Bulldogs now making their fourth appearance in that venue since December of 2017. Kirby Smart and his Bulldogs will compete on Saturday afternoon in their third straight SEC championship game. That's a feat that has only been matched by Alabama and Florida in conference play. Alabama matched that feat earlier this decade. The Gators (1992-1996) and the Crimson Tide (1992-1994) also both did that during the first decade of the game. LSU Heisman Trophy candidate Joe Burrow and his splendid tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire both took a seat for almost all of the 15-minute media viewing period for their Friday walkthrough. Smart did the same while his team first hit the turf on Friday afternoon. There were a couple of moments in the LSU session which entertained. The first was an impromptu volleyball match among the LSU offensive line. Choose your conclusion A) Check out this new 'play' the LSU offensive line was working on Friday or; B) This just about sums up the pageantry of the media walk-through period at the SEC championship or; C) This really means more. pic.twitter.com/OGC364WFwg Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 6, 2019 The champions of the SEC West also tossed up passes among their receiver group, too. LSU sophomore WR Ja'Marr Chase. 70 catches for 1,457 yards and 17 TDs so far. That's 20.8 yards per catch. pic.twitter.com/A3YoQMAXhj Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 6, 2019 Check out the DawgNation.com photo gallery below from the rest of the events of the day. The post PHOTOS: Walkthrough day for Georgia-LSU at the SEC championship appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Georgia football legend David Pollack has proven to be as aggressive and direct with his analysis as he once was as an All-American pass rusher, and Friday was no different. Pollack emphasized the importance of UGA tailback D'Andre Swift and dished out criticism aimed at Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm on Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. RELATED: Kirby Smart Friday press conference in Atlanta, updates D'Andre Swift Asked to rate the importance of Swift in Georgia's game against LSU at 4 p.m. on Saturday on a scale of one to 10, Pollack replied, '15,' and explained why. 'One of the keys would be to get him and Brian Heroine the ball out of the backfield, because LSU is not covering backs,' said Pollack, a two-time SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American during his UGA career (2001-2004). 'I think (Swift) has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win, and it needs to be inside and outside. It needs to be screens, it needs to be finding ways to get him the ball he's the best back in the country in space.' Pollack also said Fromm, the first quarterback since Florida's Danny Wuerffel to lead his team to three straight SEC title game appearances, is 'not playing his best football' this season. Here's more from Pollack's Q&A on Friday: Can Georgia hold LSU's offense? POLLACK: Define hold?Kirby and Company are going to have to check their egos at the door and understand that from 20 to 20, have all the yards you want, make it a slow death, and then make them be really efficient in the red zone and kick field goals. I don't think anybody can stop this offense. I think Joe Burrow is operating on a level that, his worst game is 71 percent, I think. It's not human. It's an offense where it has great answers for everything you do and great weapons and a running game. And not only that, there's a quarterback who buys time and scrambles and breaks tackles and makes big plays. There are gonna get theirs, and Jake is going to have to play really well. What would you say to Georgia fans who have had questions about the Bulldogs' offense? POLLACK: You should. I Tweeted about being excited about old school versus new school, because it used to be defense wins championships. I don't think it's defense wins championships anymore. I think you have to have a great offense to win a college football championship, and the game has changed so much. We'll get to see if old school defense can still reign supreme. This is a Big 12 offense. This is not an offense that reinvented and does new amazing things that nobody else does. It's just an offense that has answers that spread out so it can throw the football to a lot of different weapons. They are gonna get theirs.' What role do you think Jake Fromm plays for Georgia's offense? POLLACK: He's not playing his best football. I can look at him and watch him, his mechanics need to improve. He's fading away throwing the football way too much. That's the kind of stuff for a three-year starter, where you can't do that. He's definitely culpable. He's missed a lot of throws that are wide open. I think the system and the scheme is getting to know each other still and hasn't really clicked together great yet, and it needs to do that this week. It will change a little bit more. It has done well at times, but it hasn't put together a complete game and it needs to do that.' The SEC West has had three teams in three years, Georgia has won three straight in the East, what does that say? POLLACK: Florida is doing OK. Florida is back to back 10 win seasons for the first time since 2008, so Florida is doing their share and doing well But Georgia is three times in a row here, that's pretty dad gum good. If you had told Georgia fans that when Kirby got hired, they would have said sign me up for that. How about three straight years ending where you're in the conversation for the college football playoff? That's pretty dad gum good. It's still a pretty good young team, that's not going to lose much on defense, offensive line who leaves early? Who leaves early, Swift will leave early. When he leaves, how many leave will be the better questions. So it shows a lot about Kirby and how he has been able to recruit and restore. What is the trick about this LSU offense that has made it that unstoppable? POLLACK: 'There ain't no trick, Bro. It's not a trick, they know how to execute, they know exactly if you blitz them, they have their answers, and if you want to play Cover One they are going to hit deep overs and they are going to hit fades, and gos they do a good job if you are going to pay dime and nickel they are going to run duos all day and run the football at you. They do a really good job of knowing how to attack every level of a defense. The offense (once) trended toward Golden State, it was threes and dunks, it was gos and screens and they do a good job with their mid-range and attack. They do everything well. That's why it's hard to say I'm going to take this away, or that away. Every time you do, they have an answer for it. I think Kirby, as brilliant as he is defensively, can up with something to make a few plays. Tua (Tagovailoa) last year had a roll going coming into the Dome, and cooled off big time, got hurt too. It's what can you find that can slow them down for a possession and you win. Auburn tried the tower approach tried to go with three down and bring in a bunch of speed, it kind of worked, but what can you bring in and slow down just for a little bit, and hold the rope and hopefully your offense makes plays and hold the ball a little bit and works together. Could Coach Orgeron win Coach of the POLLACK: Year? POLLACK: In the league, or nationally? Yeah, Ryan Day, he's done a heck of a job, and you look at P.J. Fleck and Baylor's Matt Rhule, he's definitely in there. How about his record against Top 10 teams, and the hire of the offseason, nobody can debate that. I know who the Broyles Award winner is, I don't think anybody else is nominated, it's just go ahead and give it to Joe Brady. Can Joe Burrow lose the Heisman Trophy? POLLACK: Sure, I mean people have those moments when they start to have doubts and questions. He's by far and away commanding the lead, but what if he struggles mightily and limps to the finish and then all the sudden, you see a huge game from Justin Fields, or somebody like that, it can jump up, maybe. It's a small, small chance. I think Joe Burrow has done enough throughout the season. But it's a big-time stage where you have to prove things, but I think some people could have some doubts, still. I find it very hard to believe he'd lose it. LSU's Grant Delpit says he's close to 100 percent, is that what you've seen on film from him? POLLACK: I'm trying to measure my words here. He hasn't had his best year, this year. I think the secondary on a whole, you see a ton of talent, but you've also see more big plays than you're accustomed to seeing, more missed tackles than you're accustomed to seeing. Yeah, they are getting healthier, but they've got to play better. That's why Ohio State is No. 1. You can nitpick and say Cincinnati is a Top 25 team, or whatever, Ohio State has been more dominant, their defense has been more dominant. That's the difference between LSU and Ohio State. I could also swing the pendulum and say who has Ohio State played offensively that's any good? Even Cincinnati is not very good, Penn State is not very good, Wisconsin's offense, those all leave a lot to be desired. Michigan is a pretty good, and had some success. I think defensively it's very interesting we are sitting on championship weekend and we're pointing the finger at LSU and it's at their defense.' How important is it for Georgia to keep Joe Burrow in the pocket? POLLACK: 'I don't know, it doesn't matter. You better cover really well, and you better get him to the ground. I don't care about where you keep him, when you get your hands on him, you got to get him to the ground. He's strong, he's physical, but he's so dad gum tough. He doesn't give up. He's not like a Manning back in the day, you saw people get close to them, they would kind of take a dive. That's not a shot at them, but Joe Burrow is going to physically go through anybody he needs to. When he runs the football, he lowers his shoulder, he's going to make plays. So when Georgia gets here, whoever that is, get your hands on him and get him to the ground. I think another key will be batted passes. You want to take away some of those throws over the middle, when I'm a pass rusher and I know I can't get to the QB, I get my hands up and knock the ball down. Now maybe it's second-and-10 and you've got a better chance.' Is this game important to determine if Georgia has the right offensive identity? POLLACK: 'We'll see. I think that it's pretty proven now that offenses win, and you have to score. You have to win a championship game, a playoff game and another playoff game to be a champion. And to do that, you're going to play offensive juggernauts, and you better be able to score points. If you can't score points, and you can't be an explosive offense, it's very hard to win that many games in a row. It's like the NFL being in the playoffs, and you have to string three together, that's a tough thing to do.' #Georgia has named Jake Fromm, J.R. Reed and D'Andre Swift as game captains seemingly a good indication that Swift (shoulder) will play, although.. But, Brian Herrien was a game captain for South Carolina and he didn't play in that game (back spasms). Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) December 6, 2019 Georgia football DawgNation Kirby Smart compares Jake Fromm to Tim Tebow CBS analyst Gary Danielson says key for Georgia not Jake Fromm 7 Georgia players to watch vs. LSU Why D'Andre Swift is the most important player for UGA vs. LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron brings great confidence into matchup Georgia aware of Tigers dangerous running back Kirby Smart relays how LSU represents greatest challenge James Cook could provide offensive spark vs. LSU Statistical comparison of Georgia-LSU in SEC title game VIDEO: Kirby Smart shares feelings on George Pickens WATCH: Jake Fromm zeroes in on LSU David Pollack The post David Pollack Q&A: D'Andre Swift has to have an enormous game if Georgia wants to win' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Kirby Smart said the expectation at Georgia was to be back back at the SEC Championship Game for a third straight season, but by no means is it taken for granted. 'I'm excited to be here because I love the venue and the opportunity to play in it,' Smart said Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'It means you accomplished something and won your division, you don't ever take that for granted. 'It's earned, it's not something we take lightly or for granted, it's something we expected to do, and we're going to always set that as a bar, because this is where you go to take the next step.' The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) are a touchdown underdog against No. 2 LSU (12-0) in the 4 p.m. game on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Tigers feature Heisman Trophy front runner Joe Burrow along with two 1,000-yard receivers. 'They've broke about every record there is in the SEC, and I know our guys are excited,' Smart said. 'It will be a challenge for us.' LSU beat Georgia 36-16 last season in Baton Rouge, but Smart said the Tigers' offense has undergone a complete makeover. 'It's extremely different, you can see remnants, small elements, but the unique thing now is they are doing whatever they want to do,' Smart said. 'Last year they were a little bit more predictable and had more of a run element.' Georgia's offense, meanwhile, is largely the same. The Bulldogs look to be efficient throwing the football and feature a power element on the ground. Smart didn't offer much of an update on tailback D'Andre Swift, who left last Saturday's game with a shoulder injury but hasn't missed any practice time. 'It's hard to measure from practice, because at this point of the season you don't go live and hit,' Smart said. 'He's practiced and done everything we asked him to do.' LSU coach Ed Orgeron said the Tigers expect to see Swift. 'We're planning for him to play,' Orgeron said on Friday. 'Just like other great players we play, I'm assuming this guy is a great competitor, and I'm assuming he's going to play.' Smart said he's confident his team can handle playing on the big stage 'In the SEC, these games are championship games every week,because if you don't win them, you're not in the championship game,' Smart said. 'It's another week you have to go out and play, and you're playing the best from the other side in LSU.' Georgia football DawgNation Kirby Smart compares Jake Fromm to Tim Tebow CBS analyst Gary Danielson says key for Georgia not Jake Fromm 7 Georgia players to watch vs. LSU Why D'Andre Swift is the most important player for UGA vs. LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron brings great confidence into matchup Georgia aware of Tigers dangerous running back Kirby Smart relays how LSU represents greatest challenge James Cook could provide offensive spark vs. LSU Statistical comparison of Georgia-LSU in SEC title game VIDEO: Kirby Smart shares feelings on George Pickens WATCH: Jake Fromm zeroes in on LSU The post Georgia coach Kirby Smart: SEC Championship Game an expectation, but not taken for granted appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Closely matched games have a tendency to come down to four or five plays, moments when a given team takes or is handed momentum. Turnovers, special teams plays and explosive plays are all capable of triggering emotional swings and changing a team's game plan or preferred personnel in a flash. Georgia and LSU have battled their way to the SEC Championship Game by handling those moments and overcoming obstacles. The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) are a touchdown underdog to the No. 2-ranked Tigers (12-0) and figure to need their 'A' Game to pull off the upset. Here are seven Georgia players that will be key against the Tigers. 1. Rodrigo Blankenship Every point will count, every kickoff will count, and the Bulldogs will be relying on their all-time leading scorer to come through in the clutch. Blankenship's third quarter miss against Alabama in last year's SEC title game was an opportunity for Georgia to make that a three score game. This time, UGA may need Blankenship to salvage stalled drives and connect from long distance, as well as hit the pressure-packed kicks. 2. Jake Fromm It's so obvious, but so true, Georgia relies on Fromm to do so much more than complete passes. The junior must change plays at the line of scrimmage, adjust protections and manage the huddle in the midst of chaos and emotion. Fromm has avoided interceptions in 11 of 12 games this season, but against LSU, he'll also need to tuck and run for the offense to be at its best. 3. Richard LeCounte This junior play-making safety has been a ball hawk of late, forcing fumbles in each of the past two games and picking off a pass against Missouri in a 27-0 win on Nov. 9. LeCounte's has also developed into the most fierce hitter in the secondary and an excellent open-field tackler. He'll be relied on to handle speedy receivers as well as powerful runner Clyde Edwards-Hellaire in one-on-one open-field tackling matchups. 4. D'Andre Swift It has been said and written at each turn that Swift is UGA's X-factor, and that is because he is the most explosive skill position player on the team. Swift can run heavy or fast, depending on the situation. Swift has shown home run speed once in the open field, but his sharp cutting is what separates him from other backs. Bumps and bruises have slowed the junior, but this will be a legacy game and an opportunity for Swift to take a place alongside recent greats Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. 5. Monty Rice The heart and soul of the Georgia defense and designated tough guy, Rice is going to need to get to Edwards-Helaire before the LSU running back can get momentum. Rice has proven adept at stepping into gaps, but his pass coverage skills will be tested on first and second down. Young Nakobe Dean often comes on the field on third downs, but the Tigers are a threat to score on every play, and Rice will need to be on top of his game in pass coverage as well as run stoppage. 6. Tyler Simmons Simmons was limited by a shoulder brace most of the season, but he has had it off the past few games and evolved into Georgia's leading receiver over the past two games. The senior has the speed to get open and make things happen, and he's showing consistency with his hands. Perhaps most importantly, Fromm trusts Simmons to be where he's supposed to be and carry out his assignments. It has been a tough year for the UGA receivers, but they have an opportunity for redemption on Saturday. 7. Trey Hill Hill was roughed up at center and his snaps were late in Georgia's only loss to South Carolina, and that can't happen again. In truth, it's going to take Georgia's best collective effort on both sides of the line of scrimmage to win this football game. The last time these teams met, LSU won both sides of the line of scrimmage and was the stronger, tougher and more well-drilled team. The Bulldogs have it all on the line, quite literally, in Atlanta. Georgia football DawgNation Kirby Smart compares Jake Fromm to Tim Tebow CBS analyst Gary Danielson says key for Georgia not Jake Fromm Why D'Andre Swift is the most important player for UGA vs. LSU LSU coach Ed Orgeron brings great confidence into matchup Georgia aware of Tigers dangerous running back Kirby Smart relays how LSU represents greatest challenge James Cook could provide offensive spark vs. LSU Statistical comparison of Georgia-LSU in SEC title game VIDEO: Kirby Smart shares feelings on George Pickens WATCH: Jake Fromm zeroes in on LSU The post 7 key Georgia football players against LSU in SEC Championship Game appeared first on DawgNation.