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World News Headlines

    President Donald Trump heralded a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks, and markets rallied in relief over a de-escalation in tensions between the world's two biggest economies. But closer inspection suggests there isn't much substance, at least not yet, to the temporary truce Trump announced Friday at the White House after the U.S. and China wrapped up their 13th round of trade talks. Yes, Trump agreed to suspend a tariff hike scheduled for Tuesday on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. And the president said the Chinese agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. farm products. But nothing's on paper and details are scarce. China's state-run media hasn't even mentioned the promise to buy all those soybeans and other agricultural products. And the negotiators have delayed dealing with the toughest issues for future talks. Meanwhile, the U.S. is still scheduled to target another $160 billion in Chinese goods Dec. 15, a move that would extend Trump's tariffs to virtually everything China ships to the United States. Friday's announcement was 'a nothing-burger,' said Scott Kennedy, who analyzes China's economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 'I call it the 'Invisible Deal.'... The only thing that happened Friday was that the U.S. delayed the tariff increase.' The Trump administration acknowledges that work remains to be done on what it calls 'phase one' of ongoing talks with China. 'We made substantial progress last week in the negotiations,' Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday on CNBC. 'We have a fundamental agreement. It is subject to documentation, and there's a lot of work to be done on that front.' Mnuchin said he expected that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will meet with China's lead negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, before a November Asia-Pacific summit in Chile. At that gathering, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could officially sign off on a phase one agreement. 'It's curious that Washington and Beijing have not yet put this 'deal' in writing,' said Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade negotiator now at the Asia Society Policy Institute. 'That suggests that the details may not be worked out yet. If that's the case, we should expect more bumps in the road in the lead up to a mid-November meeting between Trump and Xi.' Trump emphasized the agricultural purchases he says China has agreed to. If China ultimately buys $40 billion to $50 billion a year, as Mnuchin said, it would mark a significant win for American farmers, who have been hit hard by the president's trade wars. U.S. farm sales to China have never exceeded $26 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. China already is a major food importer as rising incomes boost its appetite for meat, vegetables and higher-quality grains. The communist government has tried to promote self-sufficiency in rice, wheat, dairy and some other commodities. But with a population of 1.4 billion, it cannot meet all its own needs. Jeff Moon, a former U.S. diplomat and trade official specializing in China who is now president of the China Moon Strategies consultancy, noted that Trump had reason to delay Tuesday's planned tariff increase. Trade hostilities are weighing on the U.S. and world economies. Tariffs have pushed up costs for U.S. manufacturers and created uncertainty about when and how the trade wars will end. 'The bottom line is that both sides (on Friday) gave themselves permission to do what they wanted to do,' Moon said. 'China really needs the food, and Trump doesn't want to impose the (increase in) tariffs. That's the bottom line.' 'It's in the two countries' interests to dial down the hostilities,' agreed David Dollar, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former official at the World Bank and U.S. Treasury. The two countries are deadlocked primarily over U.S. allegations that China deploys predatory tactics — including outright theft — in a sharp-elbowed drive to become the global leader in robotics, self-driving cars and other advanced technology. Beijing has been reluctant to make the kind of substantive policy reforms that would satisfy the Trump administration. Doing so would likely require scaling back China's aspirations for technological supremacy, which it sees as crucial to its prosperity. 'I don't think China is willing to fundamentally change its system,' Dollar said.  Resolving those issues is largely being pushed to future talks. Over the past 15 months, the two countries have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of each other's goods. Beijing has targeted farm products in a shot at Trump supporters in rural America. It's taken a toll. Tim Garrett, 63, shares a 5,000-acre farm with his brother in eastern North Dakota, where they grow mostly soybeans and corn. He voted for Trump and said he supports a better trade deal with China. But he's 'not sure it's coming about.' 'I'm not a huge political guy to start with, but China has been ripping us off for years,' Garrett said. 'I believe something had to be done. I don't think it should all be on the backs of agriculture.' Bob Metz, a fifth-generation farmer from Peever, South Dakota, and a past president of the American Soybean Association, said he's hopeful for a deal but until that time 'the American farmer is getting hurt.' 'We've heard this before,' Metz said. 'I don't think anything has really changed with China, has it?' The few times China has agreed to buy soybeans, they are getting them at up to $2 a bushel cheaper than when the trade war started, Metz said. 'So who's the winner here?' he said. 'It seems that China buys a few beans going into the talks, but is the goal to get rid of them or is the goal to sell them at a good price? The Chinese have done very well on this.' U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, a state hard hit by loss of soybean and pork sales to China, said he welcomes news that progress may have been made in some areas of the trade dispute with China but he said a final deal must address the full scope of structural issues and include strong enforcement mechanisms. 'After so much has been sacrificed, Americans will settle for nothing less than a full, enforceable and fair deal with China,' Grassley said. ___ Kolpack reported from Fargo, North Dakota, and Pitt from Des Moines, Iowa. AP Business Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this story.
  • At least 13 police officers were killed and three others injured Monday in an ambush by gunmen in the Mexican state of Michoacan, a western region where violence attributed to drug cartels has spiked in recent months. The state police officers had gone to a home in the town of El Aguaje in Aguililla municipality to enforce a judicial order when 'several armed civilians fired on them,' Michoacan's state security department said in a statement. 'No attack on the police will go unpunished, and this was a cowardly, devious attack because they laid an ambush in this area of the road,' Gov. Silvano Aureoles said. Images published in Mexican media showed vehicles burning in the middle of a highway and messages apparently signed by Jalisco New Generation, one of Mexico's most powerful and rising cartels at the moment. Aureoles said their authenticity was under investigation. After the attack, the area in western Mexico's so-called 'hot lands' was reinforced by federal and state security forces, who installed checkpoints to find the assailants. Michoacan, an important avocado growing state, has recently has seen a spike in violence that has brought back memories of the bloodiest days of Mexico's war on drug cartels between 2006 and 2012. In August, police found 19 bodies in the town of Uruapan, including nine hung from a bridge. Later, an area roughly 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Aguililla was the scene of fierce clashes between members of Jalisco New Generation and regional self-defense groups. In 2013, civilian groups faced with what they said was state inaction armed themselves in Michoacan to fight the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) Cartel, one of whose bases was Aguililla. They said they took up arms to defend themselves from kidnappings, extortion and killings by cartels. But some of the self-defense or vigilante groups later became infiltrated by cartels and gangs. The government of former President Enrique Peña Nieto launched a process to disarm and legalize the vigilante groups and incorporate them into official security forces. Michocan Gov. Silvano Aureoles says the self-defense groups haven't returned and has criticized federal authorities for not attacking drug cartels in his state with sufficient force and negotiating with vigilante groups he refers to as criminals. Besides avocado orchards, Michoacan for decades has been known for marijuana plantations and the making of methamphetamine, as well as being home to the port of Lázaro Cárdenas, a key entry point of precursor chemicals used to make synthetic drugs.
  • The U.S. decision to withdraw from northeastern Syria after paving the way for a Turkish invasion has placed the oil-rich region back in play, heralding a new phase in the long civil war in which America's adversaries are set to make major gains. Until last week, Syrian Kurdish forces supported by about 1,000 American troops held around a fourth of Syria's territory, lands captured at great cost from the Islamic State group that gave Washington some leverage in the larger conflict. But U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to move American forces aside allowed Turkey to launch a cross-border operation against the Kurdish fighters, who it views as terrorists because of their links to Kurdish separatists. The resulting chaos forced a broader pullout of U.S. troops and led the Kurds to turn to President Bashar Assad, their last remaining hope for protection against Turkish-led forces. Trump has defended his decision, saying it extricates the U.S. from 'stupid endless wars' — a self-fulfilling prophecy as the security vacuum sucks in surrounding powers. The fighting leaves much of northeastern Syria, home to the country's biggest oil fields, up for grabs. A look at who is most likely to benefit. ASSAD AND HIS ALLIES Under a deal struck between the Kurdish fighters and Assad, he has started deploying his forces in villages and towns near the border with Turkey — areas his military had abandoned in 2012 at the height of the civil war. With the help of Russian airpower and Iran-backed militias, Assad has managed to bring most of Syria back under his control after years of heavy fighting in which his forces besieged and bombarded the opposition into submission. The last remaining rebel stronghold in Idlib province, in the northwest, and the Kurdish-controlled areas were the exception. Assad has vowed to bring all of Syria back under his control, and he now has powerful leverage over the Syrian Kurds. He and his allies could potentially halt or contain the Turkish offensive but will demand territory in return. That could potentially give Assad, and by extension Iran and Russia, control of vast, oil-rich lands bordering Iraq. It would further expand the so-called 'Shiite crescent' of Iranian influence stretching from Tehran to Lebanon, alarming U.S. allies like Israel , which has strongly condemned the attack on the Kurds. The Syrian Kurds themselves, with their project for self-rule in tatters, would return to a reconstituted Syrian state as a marginalized minority, bringing eight years of war and displacement almost full circle. ___ TURKEY AND ITS SYRIAN FIGHTERS Turkey had initially vowed to carve out a 'safe zone' extending 30 kilometers (20 miles) into Syria. But after a series of rapid advances left Kurdish forces in disarray and sparked a complete U.S. pullout, it might be tempted to push even deeper into Syria. Turkey is relying to a large extent on allied Syrian fighters, mainly Arabs and minority Turkmen who despise the Kurds and have been accused of violence and looting. Turkey also says it hopes to resettle up to 2 million of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees it is hosting in the war-won territories. That could upend the demographic balance, laying the foundation for future ethnic conflict. Despite being a NATO ally, Turkey's relations with the U.S. have plummeted in recent years and look set to fray further. U.S. officials have sharply condemned the offensive, and Trump has vowed to 'obliterate' Turkey's economy if it does anything 'off limits,' raising the prospect of American sanctions. That would force Turkey to strengthen its ties with Iran and Russia, potentially leading to another agreement among the three powers to divide Syria into spheres of influence. Turkey, Iran and Russia — and not the U.S. — would have the final word in any future peace agreement. ___ AN ISLAMIC STATE COMEBACK IS lost its last bit of territory in March, but still stages attacks in Syria and Iraq, and the extremists have a long history of recovering after suffering big military defeats. The Syrian Kurds were the most effective ground forces battling IS. Even days before the offensive, they were still partnering with U.S. forces on operations to track down remnants of the group. Now those operations have ceased, and the Syrian Kurds say they may not be able to maintain control of detention centers across northeastern Syria where they are holding an estimated 10,000 IS militants, including 2,000 foreign fighters, as well as tens of thousands of female IS supporters and their children. Clashes near a holding camp on Sunday allowed hundreds of IS supporters to escape in a prison riot. The hasty U.S. withdrawal, meanwhile, made it unlikely that American forces would complete plans to transfer dozens of the most feared IS fighters to detention facilities in neighboring Iraq. IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, himself a former detainee held by U.S. forces in Iraq, is still at large, urging his supporters to step up attacks and stage prison breaks. Syria, Turkey, Iran and Russia all have an interest in preventing an IS resurgence and have battled the extremists before. But over the course of the civil war, they often appeared to view IS as a secondary threat, with Syria and its allies focusing on the opposition and Turkey prioritizing the fight against the Kurds. As the various powers converge on northeastern Syria, IS could slip between the cracks. ___ Follow Joseph Krauss on Twitter at www.twitter.com/josephkrauss .
  • Tunisia's election commission said a preliminary count shows Islamist-backed law professor Kais Saied has won the country's presidential election by a significant margin. The commission reported Monday that Saied, who hasn't held elected office before, received 72.71% of the vote. His opponent, media mogul Nabil Karoui, got 27.29%. The results confirm exit polls from Sunday's election. Nabil Bafoun, head of the electoral commission, said 'by looking at the result ... and knowing that it represents an absolute majority for this second round of the presidential elections, we, the Tunisian electoral commission, declare Mister Kais Saied winner of the presidential elections.' The commission said that Saied got a majority of the votes in each of the 33 electoral districts. He exceeded 90% in six traditionally very conservative southern districts. The 61-year-old Saied is an independent outsider but has support from moderate Islamist party Ennahdha, which won Tunisia's parliamentary election last week. He has promised to overhaul the country's governing structure to give more power to young people and local governments. Karoui, 56, told supporters Sunday the race wasn't over because his legal team would explore options. He was arrested Aug. 23 in a corruption investigation and released with only two days left to campaign. French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Saied for his election in a phone call Monday and wished him 'success for Tunisia.' Macron stressed the Tunisian people's 'democratic mobilization' over the past several weeks. He told Saied that he intends to pursue and enhance the partnership between the two countries. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi congratulated the Tunisian people and the elected president in a written statement. If no legal action is taken to challenge the results, the electoral body is set to announce the definitive vote count on Thursday. Tunisia's parliament will then hold an extraordinary session during which the newly elected president will be sworn in and will formally start his five-year term. The presidential vote was held early following the July death in office of President Beji Caid Essebsi.
  • German lawmakers say police lost track for an hour of a suspected far-right extremist who killed two people after a failed attack on a synagogue. Germany's dpa news agency quoted regional lawmakers in Saxony-Anhalt state as saying on Monday that it was two officers in a small town who eventually arrested the gunman, not the SWAT teams that were hunting him. German security services have come under scrutiny over their response to the shooting Wednesday in the eastern city of Halle after Jewish community leaders said requests for police protection were ignored. The 27-year-old German suspect, identified by prosecutors as Stephan B., was arrested in Zeitz, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Halle. Authorities say he has admitted carrying out the shooting and had anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist motives.
  • Haiti's embattled president faced a fifth week of protests on Monday as road blocks went up across the country after opposition leaders said they will not back down on their call for Jovenel Moïse to resign. While Port-au-Prince remained largely quiet, small demonstrations in other cities and towns come a day after tens of thousands of Haitians marched through Haiti's capital in a peaceful protest organized by artists. Business groups, church leaders and human rights organizations also have joined the call for Moïse to step down amid anger over corruption, inflation and scarcity of basic goods including fuel. Among those who marched was businessman Anthony Bennett, who sought to run for president in 2015 and said the private sector also was suffering. 'I think it's time that everyone understands that things cannot continue like this anymore,' he told reporters. 'Everybody is just hoping to get a visa to run away. ...The Haitian population has had enough.' Police fired tear gas at a small group of people gathered near a couple of burning tires in downtown Port-au-Prince, including Patrickson Monteau, who is leading protests in the area. He said he won't accept anything except Moïse's resignation, adding that he was encouraged by Sunday's demonstration, noting it included the bourgeoisie. 'That gave us even more confidence,' he said. 'There's a lot of misery in Haiti ... the people are fed up with this situation.' The demonstrations have shuttered businesses, prevented 2 million children from going to school and led to the deaths of some 20 people and roughly 200 injuries. Former Prime Minister Evans Paul, a Moïse ally, told The Associated Press on Monday that the government expects to meet with civil society leaders and the opposition, which has publicly rejected Moïse's call for unity and dialogue. 'We can put everything on the table,' Paul said, adding that that includes the president's mandate. 'The country has to keep living. We're clear that the president has lost the public's support.' Much of the anger stems from an investigation released by Haiti's Senate that accuses former top government officials of misusing some $2 billion in funds tied to a Venezuelan subsidized oil program that were slated for social programs. The report also mentioned a company once owned by Moïse, who has denied corruption allegations. The United Nations noted in a recent report that Haiti has not had a functional government since the president's second prime minister resigned in March. It also warned of a 'looming constitutional crisis' given the failure to organize local elections scheduled for this month, noting that the terms of many legislators expire in January. In addition, a new budget hasn't been approved for two years, prompting organizations like the International Monetary Fund and others to withhold aid. 'Against this backdrop of political crisis, the security situation remains volatile,' the agency said, adding that killings have increased by 17% compared to last year. Monday's protest comes a day before the U.N.'s Mission for Justice Support in Haiti ends its mandate, marking the first time since 2004 that there will be no U.N. peacekeeping operation in Haiti. Instead, it will create the U.N. Integrated Office in Haiti, which will play an advisory role. 'The country stands at a delicate moment,' it said. 'The protracted multidimensional crisis with which it has been contending since July 2018 shows little sign of abatement and resolution.
  • Four more people suspected of assaulting Russian police officers during a July opposition protest in Moscow have been arrested, Russia's top state investigative agency said Monday. The Investigative Committee said the four were accused of pushing and grabbing officers at the July 27 rally. It added that another two people were being sought. A series of summer protests rocked Moscow after Russian authorities refused to allow a dozen independent and opposition candidates to run for the city legislature in a Sept. 8 election. The demonstrations represented the largest show of discontent against Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule in seven years. Police roughly dispersed some rallies that weren't sanctioned, detaining more than 2,400 people. Most were quickly released, but over a dozen were detained on charges of involvement in riots. The authorities dropped charges against some of the protesters, but several people have been sentenced to prison terms of up to four years and a few others are in still custody or under house arrest awaiting court verdicts. On Monday, the Moscow City Court rejected an appeal from one protester sentenced in September, Konstantin Kotov, and upheld a lower court's verdict that handed him a 4-year prison term. He was convicted on charges of repeatedly taking part in unsanctioned rallies.
  • President Donald Trump says he'll 'be looking into' the case of a U.S. financial adviser charged with killing a hotel worker while on a family vacation in Anguilla after the man's wife appeared on the 'Fox & Friends' morning show and urged Trump to intervene. Trump tweeted shortly after the segment that, 'Something looks and sounds very wrong.' He says: 'I know Anguilla will want to see this case be properly and justly resolved!' Scott Hapgood and his family were on vacation when they say a hotel worker showed up at their room unannounced and demanded money before attacking them on April 13. An autopsy report shows the victim, 27-year-old Kenny Mitchel of Dominica, died of positional asphyxia and received blunt force injuries to his torso and other areas.
  • The parents of a motorcyclist killed in a traffic crash that involved an American diplomat's wife took their case directly to U.S. audiences Monday, holding a New York news conference at which they urged the woman to return to Britain. The parents of Harry Dunn have reached out to American politicians and plan to be in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday in their quest to get the woman back to the U.K. 'to present herself to police,' family spokesman Radd Seiger said. If that occurs, the family indicated, it would be willing to speak with her there. Charlotte Charles, Dunn's mother, tearfully urged the diplomat's wife, Anne Sacoolas, to 'do the right thing' and to 'face us as a broken family,' along with the U.K. legal system. 'She needs to set an example to her own children that you can't run away,' Charles said. The 19-year-old Dunn was killed in August when his motorcycle collided with a car allegedly driven by Sacoolas outside a British air force base in southern England used by the U.S. military. Sacoolas left Britain shortly after, although police in the area where the collision happened released a statement saying she had previously told them she had no plans to depart. Her current whereabouts are uncertain. The U.S. Embassy in London said any question of waiving the immunity given to diplomats and their families would be carefully considered but that it was rare to have that happen. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Sacoolas to return to the U.K. and that he doesn't think it's right to 'use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose.' British media have reported that U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that 'immunity is no longer pertinent' because Sacoolas has left the country. A statement previously issued on Sacoolas' behalf said: 'Anne is devastated by this tragic accident. No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn's family.' Earlier Monday, Dunn's parents appeared on 'CBS This Morning,' where father Tim Dunn described the gruesome crash scene. 'I could see broken bones out of his arms and stuff. But he was talking,' Dunn said. 'I called out to him and said, 'Harry, it's your dad. They're going to fix you. ... Be calm. Let them help you.'' He recalled telling his son: 'You're going to be OK ... and then they sedated him and then that was the last time' they spoke. President Donald Trump last week called what happened 'a terrible accident' and said his administration would seek to speak with the driver 'and see what we can come up with.' He noted that the British drive on the left side of the road, while in the United States, people drive on the right. 'The woman was driving on the wrong side of the road,' Trump said. 'And that can happen.' Johnson's office said the prime minister spoke with Trump on Wednesday and 'urged the president to reconsider the U.S. position, so the individual involved can return to the U.K., cooperate with police and allow Harry's family to receive justice.
  • The European Union's member states have agreed to appoint Romania's Laura Codruta Kovesi as the first European chief prosecutor. Kovesi, whose anti-corruption efforts in Romania won her plaudits from the EU but criticism from the Romanian government, will lead the EU Public Prosecutor's Office, scheduled to begin operating in November 2020. So far, 22 of 28 EU countries have joined the office, which will investigate matters like corruption and cross-border tax fraud above 10 million euros ($ 11 million). Kovesi is slated to be confirmed by the European Parliament, her appointment's final step. Kovesi, who faced intimidation and pressures in Romania, where her anti-corruption office indicted 14 Cabinet member and 53 lawmakers, told The Associated Press last week that 'no matter what the pressure, I will do my job.

Local News

  • The following is a statement from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department following an Oct. 14 officer-involved shooting that took place on Chalfont Drive. This is the fifth officer-involved shooting in Athens this year and the fourth fatality.  Information we have at the present time indicates the following: Shortly after 10 am today, officers responded to a suspicious person call on the 100 block of Chalfont Drive. Dispatchers advised officers that the subject may be armed with a knife. Upon arrival, our officer encountered the subject, later determined to be a 54-year-old white female, brandishing a knife. Our officer retreated from the subject and asked multiple times for her to drop her weapon but she did not comply. The subject charged at our officer with the knife raised in a threatening manner and our officer, fearing for his life, discharged his weapon and struck the female in the torso. ACCPD performed first aid to the subject until EMS arrived and transported her to a local hospital. The female succumbed to her wounds at the hospital. Her name is not being released pending notification of the next of kin. The involved officer was not injured and has been placed on administrative leave with pay in accordance with department policy. Also in accordance with our standing policy, the ACCPD has contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who have agreed to handle the investigation. 
  • Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives and the Georgia legislature are featured speakers at tonight’s meeting of the Walton Co Republican Party: US Congressman Jody Hice and Walton County state Representative Bruce Williamson address the Walton County GOP in a session that will take place at the Community Center in Monroe.  From the Walton Co Republican Party website… Our next monthly meeting is on Monday, October 14, at 7 pm. Our speakers are U.S. Representative Jody Hice and Georgia state Representative Bruce Williamson.
  • A north Georgia community is divided over the school district’s decision to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. Pickens County Superintendent Carlton Wilson said a Florida appellate judge’s ruling mandates that public schools allow students who identify as male to use the boys’ restroom and vice versa, Channel 2 Action News reported. Now, the controversy is brewing in the mostly conservative town as some parents push back against the district’s decision.  “There could be a fight. The safety in general is my concern, regardless of where you stand on the issue,” parent Becky Hernandez told the news station Friday. Others, such as parent Rachel Evans, said allowing students to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity is the right move. “They would use the stall and it wouldn’t be an issue,” she said. “They just want to be treated like everyone else.”  Wilson said there are several transgender students who attend school in Pickens County. “Every one of these students are our students and every one of the students — all of them — are going through different things in their lives,” he said. “They all need to be nurtured and loved.” A community meeting to address the matter is planned for 6 p.m. Monday at Pickens High School. Wilson said he expects more than 600 people to attend.
  • Today is an open house day at UGA: the University’s Health Sciences Campus shows off renovations and expansions to the Augusta University-University of Georgia Medical Partnership facilities on Prince Avenue. Open House activities start at 5 o’clock this afternoon.    There are currently 40 students per class in the Medical Partnership, and that number will grow to 50 students per class in 2020, then 60 in 2021 and every year thereafter, bringing the total enrollment in Athens to 240 medical students by 2024. In order to provide for the growth of students, the partnership campus plans to add 12 additional faculty members and six additional staff members over the next two years. In Augusta at MCG’s main campus, there are plans to grow the class size from 190 to 240 by 2028, bringing MCG’s total class size to 300 and total enrollment to 1,200.
  • Oconee County Commissioners have signed off on a plan to repair a half-dozen tennis courts ant Herman C. Michael Park in Bishop. The project comes with a price tag of $56,000.    From the Oconee Co Government website… The Oconee County Board of Commissioners approved repairs to a total of six tennis courts, including four regulation tennis courts and two quick start tennis courts, at Herman C. Michael Park at its October 1 regular meeting. In addition, the two quick start courts will be striped so that they may be used as pickleball courts when not utilized for tennis programming. The total cost of the repairs to the courts will be $56,698. The project is scheduled to begin in mid-November with completion expected by the end of December, barring any weather delays. “The Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department strives to provide quality parks by investing in the ongoing maintenance of park facilities, as well as being responsive to the recreational interests of the community,” says Director Lisa Davol. “Oconee County continues to have a high rate of tennis participation, and pickleball is becoming more popular. Both are lifetime sports that provide physical, mental, and social health benefits for all involved.”

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Georgia had two of its key players on the practice field on Monday and aiming for a return against Kentucky on Saturday. Cornerback Tyson Campbell was taking reps, and receiver Kearis Jackson was catching passes without a split. It was a sign of progress for two players who have the ability to be difference makers. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) will be looking to bounce back against the Wildcats (3-3, 1-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday (TV: ESPN). Jackson started the opening game against Vanderbilt at slot receiver and two catches for 31 yards against the Commodores before suffering a broken hand late in the 30-6 victory. Jackson returned to practice two weeks ago with a splint. He was listed as a participant in the Tennessee and South Carolina games, but he was not targeted in either contest. That could change soon. Kirby Smart revealed at his Monday press conference that Lawrence Cager could be out an extended amount of time with the separated shoulder and injured ribs he exited last Saturday's loss with at halftime. Campbell, meanwhile, was playing the best football of his career when he exited the Arkansas State game on Sept. 14 with a foot injury later discovered to be turf toe. Smart said UGA has been very careful with Campbell's return. It's a delicate injury with an indeterminable recovery window that cannot be rushed. The fact Campbell was working in drills represented significant progress from last week, though his status would still be best described as 'questionable.' Defensive lineman Travon Walker, who had a cast on his left arm and didn't dress for South Carolina, was not at practice. Tailback Brian Herrien, who dressed for the game Saturday but did not play on account of back spasms, was back at practice. Offensive guard Justin Shaffer, as Smart had indicated earlier, was not present for practice. Shaffer has a sprained neck. Cade Mays continued to work at left guard, as Solomon Kindley was at practice but did not appear 100 percent. Georgia-Kentucky Game Week D'Andre Swift says We know how good we can be' Big Ben Cleveland says challenge to go out and prove something' Winners and losers from South Carolina game Loss to Carolina could prove season defining WATCH: Rodrigo Blankenship discusses missed field goals Georgia recap: How the Bulldogs lost 20-17 in 2OT to South Carolina Stock Report: Bulldogs stock falls in mistake-filled loss to Gamecocks Demetris Robertson clutch in fourth quarter for Bulldogs Remainder of 2019 season impossible to predict The post Georgia football practice observations: Kearis Jackson works to boost receiving corps appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia tailback D'Andre Swift has 58 carries the past three games and has not broken a run longer than 23 yards, averaging 4.88 yards per carry. Those would respectable numbers for most backs. But for the dynamic Swift, it almost constitutes a slump even as he leads SEC tailbacks with 6.44 yards per carry Consider, Swift's burst last season against Florida, Kentucky and Auburn, when he rushed for 447 yards on 45 carries (9.93 yards per carry) with home run carries of 83 and 77 yards against the Wildcats and the Tigers. 'I need to do a better job breaking tackles, I can't put it on anyone else,' Swift said on Monday. 'People load the box, but you can't use that excuse,' Even if film review reveals Swift simply hasn't had running lanes. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) will be looking to get back on track when they play host to Kentucky (3-3, 1-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday (TV: ESPN). Swift is ready to do his part, on and off the field. 'I'm going to address the team today and just tell everybody we need to stick together, we need to be more of a family now than any time, and let them know one loss doesn't define our season,' Swift said. 'We need to keep going and treat every game like a playoff game, that's really what it is,' Swift, like most everyone else, has high expectations for the Georgia offense. 'We should be one of the best teams in the country on offense, in every aspect, and I think we need to do a better job of playing fast in practice and hopefully see that trickle down to Saturday,' Swift said. 'We haven't played a complete game offensively, at all. Swift echoed Smart's suggestions for the offense to open up. 'I think we need to do a better job of getting the ball to playmakers in space and try to get the ball outside a little more,' Smart said. 'Outside zones, screens, stuff we need to work on in practice, to get better at those things.' All that said, Swift said no blame should be placed on new offensive coordinator James Coley. 'I think he's done a good job so far, you can't put it on him, what he calls really doesn't matter, as long as we execute and get the job done, it really shouldn't matter,' Swift said. 'So you definitely can't put it on Coach Coley at all, he's done a good job with what he's been doing.' It's just a matter of going back to work after the 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina. 'We know how good we can be,' Swift said. 'No loss is a good loss, we just have to approach every game like it's our last.' SEC Rushing Leaders Georgia RB D'Andre Swift Georgia-Kentucky Game Week Big Ben Cleveland says challenge to go out and prove something' Winners and losers from South Carolina game Loss to Carolina could prove season defining WATCH: Rodrigo Blankenship discusses missed field goals Georgia recap: How the Bulldogs lost 20-17 in 2OT to South Carolina Stock Report: Bulldogs stock falls in mistake-filled loss to Gamecocks Demetris Robertson clutch in fourth quarter for Bulldogs Remainder of 2019 season impossible to predict The post WATCH Georgia RB D'Andre Swift: We know how good we can be' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia could be missing its most reliable receiver for an undetermined amount of time. Kirby Smart said senior graduate transfer Lawrence Cager may not be healthy enough to play when the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) play the Wildcats (3-3, 1-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday (TV: ESPN). 'I don't know if Cager is going to be able to play,' Smart said at his Monday press conference. 'He's dealing with more than a shoulder, now.' Cager, who made three third down conversion catches in the first half of the 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina, had been playing with a separated shoulder entering the game. Cager also sustained a rib injury, according to a sideline report. Smart said offensive guard Justin Shaffer, who started the past three games, will be out this week with a sprained week and will week-to-week moving forward. Cornerback Tyson Campbell, who has been out with turf toe since Sept. 14, remains questionable Smart said. 'Tyson feels like he's almost back, he can run, plant, point and drive,' Campbell said, 'but the pressure and torque it takes to hit someone . it's a long, slow injury, guys. There's nothin you can do to speed that up.' Smart said left guard Solomon Kindley is 'dinged' up, but he expects him to be ready to play at Kentucky. Smart did not update defensive back Mark Webb or Brian Herrien. Webb left the game after banging knees with South Carolina's quarterback, who was wearing a knee brace, and Herrien had back spasms. The post Kirby Smart: Status of Georgia go-to receiver Lawrence Cager questionable appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played, what they did and which ones might lose one of those newfangled (four games or less) redshirts. Check out the Georgia football edition after South Carolina's improbable 20-17 win. Georgia fell. South Carolina capitalized on a +4 turnover ratio at Sanford Stadium to topple the nation's No. 3 team. That doesn't keep the DawgNation 'Freshmen Report' from its appointed rounds. The Bulldogs played 62 players on Saturday. They sent 63 out on the field in the previous game against Tennessee. 15 of the 62 Bulldogs who played were freshmen (redshirt or true freshmen) Georgia did start a redshirt freshman in Azeez Ojulariat OLB. The Bulldogs did start a 2019 signee in graduate transfer Lawrence Cager for the third straight game. DJ Daniel, another junior college signee in the 2019 class, started his third straight game at UGA. True freshman ILB Rian Davis was listed on the participation report for the first time all season South Carolina saw just 52 of its players see action in that game on Saturday. Want a clear takeaway from the freshman who played earlier this year? The Bulldogs saw 13 of 61 play against Vanderbilt, 29 of 86 see time against Murray State, 30 of 86 log reps versus Arkansas State, 13 out of 60 against Notre Dame and 15 out of the 63 players who faced Tennessee. Who played against South Carolina (classes): Freshmen: 9 Redshirt freshmen: 6 Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 0 True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 1 (Ojulari (tied for fourth with six) South Carolina game freshman focus Georgia played 15 redshirt or true freshmen against the Gamecocks.The big picture tallies up to 24 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to: 0 of 1 QBs (2QBs played against Tennessee) 2 of 5 RBs(6 RBs played against Tennessee) 3 of 7 WRs (7 WRs played against Tennessee) 0 of 8 OLs (7 OLs played againstTennessee) 1 of 3 TEs (3 TEs played againstTennessee) 1 of 9 DLs (9 DLs played against Tennessee) 2 of 8 ILBs (7 ILBs played againstTennessee) 2 of 5 OLBs (6 OLBs played against Tennessee) 3 of 12 DBs (12 DBs played against Tennessee 0 of 1 PKs (No change versusTennessee) 0 of 1 Ps (No change versusTennessee) 2 of 2 LSs (2 LSs played againstTennessee) What that study has shown far this year: Georgia plays the same group of DLs, ILBs and OLBs regardless of the quality of the opponent. Davis seeing time on Saturday was the lone variant. FRESHMEN BULLDOGS IN 2019 What's more important? Snaps or starts? Both are important, but there is a reason why certain players start the game and stay on the field for the biggest plays. That's because the coaches trust them to play winning football by what they have seen on the practice field. There are common instances where the scheme fit based on each opponent allows for a different starting rotation as well. Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2019. Redshirt freshman TE John FitzPatrick (1 game) Redshirt freshman WR Kearis Jackson (1 game) Redshirt freshman OLB Azeez Ojulari (6 games) Redshirt freshman DB Divaad Wilson (1 game) Who started against South Carolina (all freshmen) : Ojulari How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 96 How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 34 (35 percent of all participation) Overall participation in 2019 Redshirt or grad transfer seniors: 9 Seniors: 8 Redshirt juniors: 5 Juniors: 15 Redshirt sophomores: 14 Sophomores: 12 Redshirt freshmen: 11 Freshmen: 23 Of note: Georgia has seen six of its true freshmen play in every game this year. That's out of the 23 freshmen who have played so far in 2019. ( Lewis Cine, Nakobe Dean, Trezmen Marshall, George Pickens, Nolan Smith and Tyrique Stevenson.) THE BIG PICTURE, PART I Freshman Game Ball WR George Pickens (Hoover High, Hoover, Ala.) Pickens earns this weekly 'Freshmen Report' honor for the first time this season. The George Pickens stat line: 7 receptions, 98 yards, 14.0 yards per reception The biggest play he made was: The freshman brought down a 33-yard gain down to the South Carolina 44 on the first play of Georgia's last drive of the third quarter. That promising drive was the one halted by a bobbled center snap between Trey Hill and Jake Fromm. Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation's No. 4 WR/No. 24 overall prospect/Pickens was the fourth highest-rated recruit in Georgia's 2019 class. Former All-American: Yes (2019 Under Armour All-American) There are a couple of elements to point out here from the day Pickens had against South Carolina: His seven catches were a career-high Pickens is not tied for the team lead in receptions with Lawrence Cager He is also now the team leader in receiving yards with 283. Why did he choose Georgia? He said on the day he flipped from Auburn that it had something to do with Georgia's winning tradition compared to other finalists like Auburn and Tennessee. Notable time for other freshmen against Carolina Redshirt freshman OLB Azeez Ojulari: Ojulari had six tackles against the Gamecocks and remains one of the best all-around players on the Georgia defense. Freshman OLB Nolan Smith: Smith had another strong all-around game with his two tackles. He also displayed strong awareness of his role out on the field and the discipline to maintain his assignments in each defensive play call. He continued to flash his impressive pass rush ability on several occasions. Freshman WR Dominick Blaylock: He had two catches for 27 yards, including a 16-yard catch late in the game. The Bulldogs need to up his work rate more as he still leads the team in yards per reception (18.7) in 2019. Freshman ILB Nakobe Dean: Dean had just one tackle, but continues to show he is worthy of the time he gets when he is in there. He is constantly diagnosing the read of each offensive play. He even flew into the pocket to pressure the South Carolina QB on at least one occasion. FRESHMEN SUPERLATIVES FOR 2019 There are a number of categories in which a redshirt or a true freshmen Bulldog is already leading the team in 2019. Receptions in a game: 7 (George Pickens) Receiving yards in a game: 112 (Blaylock) Longest catch: 60 (Blaylock) Longest TD catch: 60 (Blaylock) Longest run: 62 (Kenny McIntosh) Longest TD run: 62 (McIntosh) Sacks (game): 2.0 (Ojulari Sacks (season): 3.5 (Ojulari) Tackles for a loss (game): 2 (Ojulari) Interceptions (game): 1 (Lewis Cine and Divaad Wilson, tied for season-high) Interceptions (season): 1 (Cine and Wilson, tied for first) THE BIG PICTURE, PART II HOT BOARD: Game-by-game freshman heat check Let's continue the blog with an assessment of the five most valuable freshmen and redshirt freshmen to the team for the 2019 season. This feature is a nod to the top freshmen (redshirt or true) who have impacted the overall balance of the season the most up to this point. No. 1: OLB Azeez Ojulari (Redshirt freshman and a former 4-star recruit): Ojulari continues to perform admirably along his redshirt freshman season. No. 2: WR George Pickens (former 5-star recruit): Pickens earned the 'Freshmen Report' game ball after his performance on Saturday. No. 3: RB Zamir White (former 5-star recruit): White was Georgia's second-leading rusher against the Gamecocks with his 12 carries for 44 yards. Senior RB Brian Herrien was unable to go against USC and that saw White pick up a season-high 12 carries. He now has 38 carries for 242 yards (6.4 yards per attempt) and that ranks third on the team. He also ranks third with his two rushing touchdowns and is averaging 48.4 rushing yards per game. No. 4: OLB Nolan Smith (former 5-star recruit): Smith continues to take the field on third down in the 'Nickel' and 'Dime' packages for the Bulldogs. His combination of power and speed rushes make him an all-around pass rusher. Smith also plays with relentless energy. He's also clearly one of the most enthusiastic Bulldogs on the field. Smith made two plays against South Carolina QB Dakereon Joyner on Saturday that could be classified as eye-opening. No. 5: WR Dominick Blaylock (former 4-star recruit):Blaylock had two catches for 27 yards against South Carolina. He also served as the primary punt returner in the game. No. 6: DT Travon Walker(former 5-star recruit): Walker did not play on Saturday due. His left arm and wrist were stabilized in a sling on the sidelines on Saturday. His return is unknown. OTHERS TO MAKE THE HEAT CHECK THIS FALL: Redshirt freshman DB Divaad Wilson. FRESHMEN TO PLAY IN EVERY GAME The following true or redshirt freshmen Bulldogs have played in every game so far this season: S Lewis Cine ILB Nakobe Dean Redshirt TE John FitzPatrick ILB Trezmen Marshall Redshirt OLB Azeez Ojulari WR George Pickens CB Tyrique Stevenson OLB Nolan Smith Redshirt walk-on LS Payne Walker Redshirt DB Divaad Wilson Participation for 2019 signees The Bulldogs who have seen action so far in 2019 is worth watching in terms of the new redshirt rules. QB Stetson Bennett IV (redshirt sophomore): 3 games WR Dominick Blaylock: 5 games WR Lawrence Cager (grad transfer senior): 6 games S Lewis Cine: 6 games CB D.J. Daniel (junior college transfer): 5 games ILB Rian Davis: 1 game ILB Nakobe Dean: 6 games TE Ryland Goede: 2 games OLB Jermaine Johnson (junior college transfer): 6 games DL Zion Logue: 2 games ILB Trezmen Marshall: 6 games (special teams) QB D'Wan Mathis: 0 games OL Warren McClendon: 2 games RB Kenny McIntosh: 4 games DL Tymon Mitchell: 2 games DL Bill Norton: 2 games WR George Pickens: 6 games TE Brett Seither: 2 games OLB Nolan Smith: 6 games CB Tyrique Stevenson: 6 games WR Makiya Tongue: 2 games OL Xavier Truss: 2 games DT Travon Walker: 5 games DL Tramel Walthour: 0 games OL Clay Webb: 1 game TE Eli Wolf (grad transfer senior): 6 games True freshmen signees who did not play this week: TE Ryland Goede, QB D'Wan Mathis, OL Warren McClendon, DL Zion Logue, DL Bill Norton, TE Brett Seither, WR Makiya Tongue, OT Xavier Truss, and OL Clay Webb. The 2019 Freshman Reports on DawgNation The 'Freshmen Report' from Georgia's 43-14 win at Tennessee The 'FR' from the biggest win of the year so far: Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17 FR: Georgia 55, Arkansas State 0 Freshmen Report: Georgia 63, Murray State 17 Freshmen Report: Georgia 30, Vanderbilt 6 The post Georgia football freshmen report: South Carolina 20, UGA 17 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS It was an ugly loss for Georgia that will not soon go away, a page of football history that Jake Fromm and the 2019 Bulldogs will have to live with for life. But the final chapter has not yet been written. The same players who lost 20-17 in double overtime to South Caroline still control the ending. Fact is, six of the last eight college football national champions had a loss. Tthe two the didn't (Florida State 2013, Clemson 2018) emerged from the watered-down ACC. There's a lot of work to be done before the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) are discussed among the frontrunners again. That's just as well, because this team doesn't handle favored status well. Georgia now has something to prove after getting taken down by a third-team quarterback on a 2-3 team in their home stadium on national television. Here are three takeaways from the South Carolina loss: Nowhere to hide The game plan is out: teams will continue to stack the box against the Georgia run game and make Jake Fromm beat them with his arm or his legs. Saturday he did neither, but only part of that was on him. The Bulldogs receivers struggled against press coverage, and the top target (Lawrence Cager) is playing with a separated shoulder. Talented freshmen George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock must grow quickly, Demetris Robertson must continue his ascension in the ranks and UGA needs Kearis Jackson to return to opening game form. Players, not plays, will be the key to solve the problems. The new O.C. Offensive coordinator James Coley has the toughest job on the team working for a defensive-minded head coach sitting in the most second-guessed seat in every college stadium. And he can't even talk to the media to explain himself. Coley did speak in August and said 'players not plays' were the focus, and now it's time for position coaches to put their egos on the shelf and play the best players. It's clear some players are more explosive than others with the ball in their hands James Cook, for one and six games into the season they should all be coached up well enough to execute the playbook. Georgia is not going to flip the script and turn into a different offense midseason. Too much work has been put into building the core plays and schemes. But an occasional twist a misdirection (counter) run, a halfback pass, could bring some fun and unpredictability back into an offense that has become painful to watch. Defensive prowess One of the most impressive things about the 2018 team was how Smart and his defensive staff developed young players and improved the defense has the season progressed. That's what needs to happen by the start of November, and Smart said as much in his press conference. For all the talk of 'Havoc Rate,' UGA has been relatively cautious, perhaps not wanting to give up big plays. But with 'star' position players getting beat for at least two long TD passes this season, one wonders just how much being careful is paying off . Remember, it's Smart who said, 'If it ain't broke, try to make it better.' That might apply to a secondary that has been short on producing big plays and has young talent awaiting opportunity in reserve. Georgia-South Carolina Game coverage Loss to Carolina could prove season defining WATCH: Rodrigo Blankenship discusses missed field goals Georgia recap: How the Bulldogs lost 20-17 in 2OT to South Carolina Stock Report: Bulldogs stock falls in mistake-filled loss to Gamecocks Twitter reacts to Georgia loss to South Carolina Demetris Robertson clutch in fourth quarter for Bulldogs Georgia-Kentucky game time announced Remainder of 2019 season impossible to predict The post 3 Georgia football takeaways: Players, not plays, key to success appeared first on DawgNation.