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World News Headlines

    Hurricane Lorena spared the resort-studded twin cities of Los Cabos a direct hit, instead heading up the east coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula early Saturday prompting new warnings and watches in that coastal area. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Lorena was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), and its center was about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north-northwest of La Paz, Mexico. It was heading to the northwest at 9 mph (15 kph) on a forecast track parallel to the coast through the Sea of Cortez. It was expected to approach the northwestern coast of mainland Mexico late Saturday and Sunday. A hurricane warning was in effect for the east coast of the Baja California peninsula from Santa Rosalia to Los Barriles and on mainland Mexico from Altata to Bahia, the hurricane center said. For days, forecasts had predicted likely landfall in or a near miss with Los Cabos, but at the last minute the storm took a path well east of the glitzy resort area. Earlier Friday, residents and tourists in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo hunkered down in homes, shelters and hotels amid warnings of damaging winds, flash floods and life-imperiling surf. Police and soldiers went through low-lying, low-income neighborhoods in Los Cabos urging people to evacuate. Locals who have been through past hurricanes took no chances, pulling boats from the water and boarding up windows and doors. Authorities in Los Cabos said 787 people had taken refuge at 18 storm shelters. It kicked up strong waves in the twin resorts, but by early evening the clouds cleared partially and people ventured onto the beach to view the ocean. Civil defense official Carlos Godínez said an American tourist who went to the beach in Los Cabos with his son died after being swept out to sea. The son survived. But Godínez said the death occurred early Thursday, before beach access was restricted, and that it was 'not necessarily attributable' to Lorena. A second cyclone, Tropical Storm Mario, was several hundred miles south of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula but was not immediately forecast to pose a threat to land. Authorities in Los Cabos had closed the port and suspended classes for Friday and prepared to use schools as shelters if necessary. Lorena came onshore a day earlier as a hurricane in the western Mexican state of Colima, whipping palm trees with its strong winds and lashing the area with rain. It flooded streets, washed out roads and touched off minor slides in 10 municipalities. Dozens of trees were downed, and power was knocked out in some areas. Colima state Gov. José Ignacio Peralta said more than 7,400 acres (3,000 hectares) of crops such as bananas and papayas were damaged statewide, but there were no deaths or significant damage to infrastructure. In the Atlantic, meanwhile, Hurricane Jerry became a tropical storm and was forecast to pass 'well north' of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday, but heavy rainfall remained possible on the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the hurricane center reported. Jerry's maximum sustained winds stood at 65 mph (100 kph) early Saturday. It was centered about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico and was moving to the northwest at 15 mph (26 kph).
  • The first keg was tapped, and the beer started flowing as the 186th Oktoberfest got underway Saturday in the southern German city of Munich. Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap in the first keg with two blows of a hammer and the cry of 'O'zapt is' — 'it's tapped.' As tradition demands, he handed the first mug to Bavarian governor Markus Soeder. Even before the waitresses started bringing the one-liter (two-pint) beer mugs to their customers at noontime, the festival grounds were so overcrowded that security guards allowed entry only for people with reservations in one of the beer tents. Revelers — many women in colorful dirndl dresses and men in traditional Bavarian lederhosen — started lining up in front of the gates before dawn to get inside. 'I took the first commuter train early this morning,' Felix Stenglein from nearby Eichenau told German news agency dpa. Shortly after 9 a.m., the festivals's organizers announced via loudspeakers that the party could begin. 'Dear guests, welcome to Oktoberfest,' they said. 'We're now opening the festival grounds.' The announcement came in German, English and Bavarian — a German dialect so thick and heavy with accent and local vernacular that even many native German speakers from other parts of the country have trouble understanding it. As the gates opened, many guests ran to the beer tents to make sure they'd catch one of the coveted spots on the long, wooden benches inside. Around 6 million beer lovers from around the world are expected at the festival in Munich before the Oktoberfest ends on Oct. 6. Some 600 police officers and hundreds of security guards are tasked with keeping order around the many, often intoxicated visitors. Around 50 doctors are on call for those with health problems and there's a special security area where woman can find protection from harassment, dpa reported. E-scooters, which were legalized in Germany earlier this year, are banned inside and around the Oktoberfest grounds and plenty of traffic controls were established outside to prevent drunken driving after the party's over. As in previous years, beer prices were up again, with a liter mug costing up to 11.80 euros ($13) — a 30-cent increase over last year.
  • Paris police used tear gas Saturday to disperse anti-government demonstrators who are trying to revive the yellow vest movement in protest at perceived economic injustice and French President Emmanuel Macron's government. The French capital was placed under high security as a few hundred anti-government protesters started marching in the Paris streets. Police in riot gear were moving quickly to disperse small crowds of protesters, using tear gas on and around the Champs-Elysees avenue, Saint-Lazare train station and Madeleine plaza — areas where protests have been banned this weekend. Most demonstrators didn't wear the fluorescent vests that gave the movement its name. Paris police said at least 106 people were arrested and 1,249 security checks took place. Over 100 people received 135-euro ($149) fines for demonstrating in a banned area. Paris police said no damage was registered by midday. Authorities have deployed more than 7,000 officers and banned protests in a large central area including the presidential palace, government and parliament buildings, the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Several calls for demonstrations have been issued in the French capital by yellow vest supporters, environmental activists and a far-left workers union. France's annual heritage weekend, a very popular event with many cultural sites open to the public, is also taking place. Parisians and tourists were queuing to visit landmark and government buildings, including the presidential palace and Macron's office. The public could only access the Elysee after having pre-registered and passing security checks. Some other monuments, including the Arc de Triomphe that suffered damage during a yellow vest protest last December, will remain closed to the public so the busy police don't have to deal with it. The yellow vest movement that emerged 10 months ago petered out this summer, after weekly protests that led to often-violent clashes with police in Paris and other cities. Macron made multiple concessions to the movement, including a 10-billion euro package of measures to boost purchasing power. But anger is now mounting again over his plans to overhaul France's costly, convoluted pension system. Climate activists are demonstrating Saturday afternoon in Paris to demand more action from the government and companies to reduce emissions and save the burning Amazon rainforest and the melting Arctic. The hard-left Workers Force union is also holding a separate march against the retirement reform, amid concerns it will require people to work longer and reduce pensions.
  • Parachutes glowing gold and white against clear blue skies, hundreds of paratroopers floated to the ground in the eastern Netherlands on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II. Operation Market Garden dropped nearly 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. After landing, the troops were to capture and secure key roads and bridges so Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany's industrial heartland. Recreating the mass drops of September 1944, military aircraft flew low over Ginkel Heath on Saturday and current military parachutists leaped out. Thousands of spectators watched and applauded the soldiers once they were on the ground. One veteran of the original landing, Sandy Cortmann, jumped again Saturday while strapped to a British paratrooper. After their landing, a wheelchair took Cortmann to a tent to watch the anniversary ceremony. The British 1st Airborne Division led the huge airborne assault 75 years ago that was part of British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery ill-fated plan for Operation Market Garden. Paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and Poland's 1st Independent Parachute Brigade also were dropped into the Netherlands. British veteran Les Fuller was 23-years-old when he leapt behind enemy lines close to Arnhem with orders to capture the city's bridge over the Rhine. Now 98, he still remembers it clearly. 'It was a day like today. Weather was just like this; lovely sunny day,' he said, adding there was no opposition on the Sunday afternoon when he landed close to two German soldiers lying in the heathland with their girlfriends. 'They were quite surprised to see me,' he added with a cheeky smile. But as he and other paratroopers got to Arnhem there was plenty of opposition from German troops. He was hit by a German shell and his right arm was amputated shortly afterward. The Allied troops met stubborn German resistance in and around Arnhem. Their advance stalled on a bridge spanning the River Rhine, a battle immortalized in the book and Hollywood film 'A Bridge Too Far.' More Allied troops — about 11,500 — died in the nine days of Operation Market Garden than during the D-Day landings in France two months earlier. Veterans of the operation, a group with ever-dwindling members, attended the mass parachute drop, joined by Britain's Prince Charles, the former Dutch queen, Princess Beatrix, and other dignitaries. Charles, wearing camouflage fatigues and the parachute regiment's maroon beret, mingled with the veterans after the service as more paratroopers drifted to the ground behind him. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he attended to pay tribute to the World War II heroes and said that Operation Market Garden showed 'the importance of forces from different countries being able to operate together and that is exactly what NATO is about.' Lt. Col. Andrew Wareing, Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, said Market Garden defined airborne operations and the 'bloody mindedness' of paratroopers. 'For that reason and on subsequent battlefields from the Falkland Islands to Afghanistan, when facing adversity and danger, British paratroopers' have spoken the same words,' he said. ''Remember Arnhem, lads.' 'Keep going, we won't let them down ... show them the Arnhem spirit.'
  • Protesters in Hong Kong burned a Chinese flag and police fired pepper spray Saturday in renewed clashes over anti-government grievances. Police accused some protesters of throwing gasoline bombs after a march by several thousand people in Tuen Mun, an outlying district in the Chinese territory's northwest. The event was relatively small compared with previous demonstrations that have taken place every weekend since June. The protests started with opposition to a proposed extradition law and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy. The events are an embarrassment for China's Communist Party ahead of Oct. 1 celebrations of its 70th anniversary in power. Hong Kong's government announced it has canceled a fireworks display that day, citing concern for public safety. In Tuen Mun, protesters marched about 2 kilometers (1 1/2 miles) from a playground to a government office building. Many were dressed in black and carried umbrellas, a symbol of their movement. Protesters chanted, 'Reclaim Hong Kong!' and 'Revolution of our times!' Most were peaceful but some took down a Chinese flag from a pole outside a government office and set fire to it. A government statement said some protesters 'threw petrol bombs' but gave no details of possible injuries or damage. It told people in the area to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. The statement said protesters caused unspecified damage to the Tuen Mun light rail station and threw objects onto the tracks. Organizers announced the event, due to last two hours, was ending after one hour due to the chaotic scene at the station. An organizer quoted by government broadcaster RTHK, Michael Mo, complained police escalated tension by sending armed anti-riot officers. That will 'only escalate tension between protesters and police,' Mo was quoted as saying. Elsewhere, scuffles were reported as government supporters heeded a call by a pro-Beijing member of the Hong Kong legislature to tear down protest posters at subway stations. Hong Kong's leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, has agreed to withdraw the extradition bill. But protesters are pressing other demands, including an independent investigation of complaints about police violence during earlier demonstrations. Protesters complain Beijing and Lam's government are eroding the 'high degree of autonomy' and Western-style civil liberties promised to the former British colony when it was returned to China in 1997. The protests have begun to weigh on Hong Kong's economy, which already was slowing due to cooling global consumer demand. The Hong Kong airport said passenger traffic fell in August, and business is off at hotels and retailers. Police refused permission for Saturday's march but an appeal tribunal overturned that decision. The panel on Friday gave permission for a two-hour event that it said had to end at 5 p.m. Protesters in Tuen Mun also complained about a group of women from mainland China who sing in a local park. Residents say they are too loud and accuse some of asking for money or engaging in prostitution. Those complaints prompted a similar march in July. Also Saturday, there were brief scuffles as government supporters tore down protest posters at several subway stops, according to RTHK. The campaign to tear down protest materials was initiated by a pro-Beijing member of Hong Kong's legislature, Junius Ho. Near the subway station in the Tsuen Wan neighborhood, a woman who was tearing down posters threw a bag at a reporter and a man shoved a cameraman, RTHK reported. It said there was pushing and shoving between the two sides at stations in Yuen Long and Lok Fu. Ho made an appearance in the Shau Kei Wan neighborhood but residents shouted at him and told him to leave, RTHK said. Ho initially called for protest signs to be torn down in all 18 of Hong Kong's districts but he said Friday that would be reduced to clearing up trash from streets due to 'safety concerns.' On Wednesday, the Hong Kong Jockey Club canceled a horse race Wednesday after some protesters suggested targeting the club because a horse owned by Ho was due to run. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong airport announced restrictions on access Sunday following what it said were calls to disrupt traffic there. The airport train from downtown will skip Kowloon and other stops en route, the Airport Authority said. Only passengers with valid tickets and travel documents will be allowed into the airport.
  • Yemen's Houthi rebels said late Friday night that they were halting drone and missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, one week after they claimed responsibility for a strike that crippled a key oil facility in the kingdom. The U.S. and the Saudis blamed the Sept. 14 attack on Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen. Iran denies any responsibility. Mahdi al-Mashat, head of the Houthis' supreme political council, which runs rebel-held areas in Yemen, said the group is waiting for a 'positive response' from Saudi Arabia. His comments were carried by the Houthi-run al-Masirah satellite TV. The announcement could be a first step toward a wider ceasefire in Yemen, but it remained unclear, and there was no immediate response from the Saudi-led coalition. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres expressed concern about a coalition airstrike early Friday around Al Hali district, north of the port city of Hodeida in Yemen. Guterres appealed for restraint and said the warring parties had agreed to respect a December cease-fire deal in the Hodeida area, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and sparked what the U.N. describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The recent attacks on Saudi Arabia knocked out more than half of the country's daily crude oil production.
  • The U.S.-based Egyptian activist whose Facebook page helped ignite the 2011 pro-democracy uprising said authorities have arrested his brother in Cairo. Wael Ghonim, a computer engineer, said his recent criticism of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi prompted authorities to retaliate by detaining his brother. Ghonim alleged that the Egyptian Embassy in Washington warned him the day before the arrest. 'They told me if I did not stop speaking, something will happen,' Ghonim said in a video posted on Twitter late Thursday. He said authorities arrested his brother Hazem during a raid on his parents' home. Authorities confiscated his parents' passports and phones, Ghonim said. Meanwhile, dozens of people on Friday held a rare protest in Cairo during which they called on el-Sissi to quit. Security forces dispersed the protesters and no casualties were reported. The protest occurred near Tahir Square, the epicenter of the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Egypt outlawed all unauthorized protests in 2013. That's when el-Sissi, as defense minister, led the military's overthrow of an Islamist president amid mass protests against his brief rule. The government crackdown that followed has rolled back the freedoms won in 2011. Tens of thousands of Egyptians have been arrested since 2013, and many have fled the country. Wael Ghonim was among those who left. He had used social media to mobilize widespread protests against Mubarak.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged Friday that he let down his supporters — and all Canadians of color — by appearing years ago in brownface and blackface. Yet the scandal's fallout may be limited in a country without the harsh and still-divisive racial history of the neighboring United States. 'I hurt people who in many cases consider me an ally,' Trudeau told a news conference. 'I let a lot of people down.' Trudeau, 47, is seeking a second term as prime minister in an Oct. 21 election. His leading opponent, Andrew Scheer of the Conservative Party, has assailed him as 'not fit to govern' because of the revelations. But key figures in the prime minister's Liberal Party have stuck by him, including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who would be a favorite to replace Trudeau as Liberal leader if he lost the election. Many minority Canadians, increasingly active in politics and government, seem ready to forgive Trudeau. 'As I have gotten to know Justin, I know these photos do not represent the person he is now, and I know how much he regrets it,' Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, a Sikh, said on Twitter. Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, predicted Trudeau would easily weather the scandal. 'Indeed, I think he is drawing some sympathy,' Wiseman said. 'This affair is a media bombshell that is bombing with the public ... The international media love this story because it goes against type.' Wiseman also disputed the assertion that Trudeau is a hypocrite when it comes to race and diversity, noting that his cabinet is the most diverse in Canadian history in terms of gender and ethnic background. Trudeau's brownface controversy has drawn some comparisons with developments earlier this year in the U.S., where Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam withstood intense pressure to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook. Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Virginia's Christopher Newport University, said the revelations were 'a shock and disappointment' to supporters of both Trudeau and Northam, whom they viewed as compassionate politicians. However, Kidd sees big differences in how the two politicians handled the situation. 'Trudeau has expressed genuine contrition and willingness to accept what he did as racist,' Kidd said. 'We haven't seen that from Ralph Northam.' Kidd also cited the divergent racial histories of the two countries. 'Canada has its issues dealing with racial inequities, but nothing like the American South. There's no legacy of slavery, of Jim Crow or huge gaps in wealth and poverty,' he said. 'Northam has to carry the baggage of that history, whereas Trudeau doesn't have to carry similar baggage.' According to recent census figures, Canada's population is about 73% white, compared with 77% in the U.S. Many of the nonwhites in Canada are from Asia. Only about 3.5 percent of the population is black. In Trudeau's multiethnic parliamentary district in Montreal, some residents questioned about the scandal offered a collective shrug. 'It was no big deal, it was a long time ago,' said Zahid Nassar, an immigrant from Pakistan. 'When we're young, we all do stupid things.' Nassar said he voted for Trudeau in 2015 and will likely do the same next month. If he does not, he said, it will be because he's worried about safety in his neighborhood. The brownface controversy surfaced Wednesday when Time magazine published a photo from a yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau worked as a teacher. It shows the then-29-year-old Trudeau at an 'Arabian Nights' party in 2001 wearing a turban and robe with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck. Trudeau said he was dressed as a character from 'Aladdin.' Trudeau said he also once darkened his face for a performance of a Harry Belafonte song during a talent show when he was in high school. In a third incident, a brief video surfaced of Trudeau in blackface. He said it was taken on a costume day while he was working as guide for a river rafting company. 'I have been forthright about the incidents that I remembered,' he said Friday. 'I did not realize at the time how much this hurt minority Canadians, racialized Canadians.' Sunny Khurana, who was photographed with Trudeau for the 2001 yearbook, said no one had a problem with Trudeau's get-up at the event. 'It was a costume party, Arabian nights, Aladdin,' said Khurana, a Sikh Indian who had two children at the school at the time. 'That's it. People dress up. It was a party. It was never meant to put down anybody.' In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump was asked by a reporter about the Trudeau controversy. 'I was hoping I wouldn't be asked that question,' Trump replied. 'I'm surprised. And I was more surprised when I saw the number of times.' Trudeau later asked if his standing internationally is damaged. 'My focus is Canadians who face discrimination every day,' he replied. 'I'm going to work very hard to demonstrate as an individual and as a leader I will continue to stand against intolerance and racism.' Trudeau said he would call the leader of the opposition New Democrat party, Jagmeet Singh, and apologize for wearing brownface. Singh is also a Sikh. As for Trudeau's main election rival, his denunciation of the prime minister was undercut by comments he made shortly before the brownface photo surfaced. Scheer said he would stand by other Conservative candidates who had made racist or anti-gay comments in the past, as long as they apologized and took responsibility for those remarks. 'I accept the fact that people make mistakes in the past and can own up to that and accept that,' Scheer said. 'I believe many Canadians, most Canadians, recognize that people can say things in the past, when they're younger, at a different time in their life, that they would not say today.' ___ Crary reported from New York.
  • A perpetually overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos can't accommodate any more newly arrived asylum-seekers after the number of people already housed exceeded the camp's intended capacity by 400%, authorities said Friday. Migrants who made it to Lesbos were sleeping in the open or in tents outside the Moria refugee camp, and the population inside has reached 12,000, two regional officials told The Associated Press. Some newcomers were being taken to a small transit camp run by the United Nations' refugee agency on the island's north coast. The Moria camp was built to host 3,000 refugees. The island authorities said at least 410 migrants coming in boats from Turkey reached Lesbos on Friday. The officials asked not to be identified pending official announcements about the camp. Greece has again become the busiest point of entry for migrants in the European Union, surpassing Spain and Italy, according to figures published by EU border protection agency Frontex. Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees, many fleeing wars in Iraq and Syria, traveled from Turkey to nearby Lesbos and on to mainland Europe during 2015-16, fueling political tensions and a humanitarian crisis. But the number of people arriving dropped sharply after the European Union reached agreements to close off Balkan borders and for Turkey to serve more migrants and prevent them from embarking for Europe.. On Monday, officials from Greece's army, coast guard, local governments and various agencies plan to meet on Lesbos to consider emergency housing options Lesbos is one of five Greek islands off the Turkish coast with large camps and where the movement for migrants to the Greek mainland is restricted. ___ Follow Gatopoulos at http://www.twitter.com/dgatopoulos
  • Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said Friday that the U.S. expulsion of two Cuban diplomats and energy shortages across the island are part of a Trump administration offensive that will fail to force concessions by his government. Rodríguez told reporters that Cuba was weighing its response to the expulsion of two diplomats posted to Cuba's permanent mission to the United Nations. He also said energy shortages and long gas lines in Cuba are due to a Trump administration campaign of pressuring Cuba's energy suppliers across the world not to send petroleum products to the island. During his annual press conference enumerating the effects of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, Rodríguez said the Trump administration was waging a campaign to pressure Cuba's fuel suppliers and shippers in South America, Europe and North Africa. 'These actions include direct threats, persecution of transport companies, pressure against governments where tankers are flagged or registered and actions against insurance companies, he said. 'This is an escalation seeking to dissuade and intimidate, and to create additional difficulties for the Cuban people.' Fuel shortages are leading to hours-long lines at gas station around Cuba this week, along with cutbacks of public services and activities throughout Cuba's centrally planned state-run economy. Rodríguez said Cuba would not drop its support for the Venezuelan government, the stated goal of the Trump policy. 'They will not force any concession from our people,' he said. 'They will not force any political concession from our government. They have failed for 60 years and they'll keep failing.' Adding to tensions, the U.S. announced Thursday that it was expelling two Cuban diplomats and restricting travel of members of Cuba's permanent U.N. mission as leaders gather from around the world for the annual U.N. General Assembly. The Cuban diplomats who are being expelled are attached to the U.N. mission and tried to 'conduct influence operations against the United States,' State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. She provided no details on the allegations and the diplomats' names weren't released. All members of the Cuban mission are being restricted to the island of Manhattan. 'Cuba will deliver an appropriate, timely response to these actions by the U.S. government,' Rodríguez said Friday, without offering details. 'They are totally unjustified and illegitimate actions aimed at escalating bilateral tensions, provoking the closure of embassies and the rupture of diplomatic relations.' ______ Michael Weissenstein on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mweissenstein

Local News

  • An Athens-based manufacturing firm will open a facility in Banks County, creating about 30 jobs: RAI will build in the Martin Bridge area off I-85 in Banks County.    “Georgia’s manufacturing industry has seen many wins in recent years, and we are proud that RAI is expanding their already successful operation into Martin Bridge,” says Governor Brian Kemp. “As the Top State for Business, our skilled workforce has received national recognition, and I am confident that it will meet the company’s needs as they create exciting, new opportunities for hardworking Georgians in Banks County.” RAI says it will be hiring welders, fabricators, machine operators, detailers, material handlers, project managers, coating specialists, and quality controllers at the new facility at the Martin Bridge exit, the only undeveloped exit on I-85.
  • Lumpkin County state Senator Steve Gooch will be among those taking part in the next Rural Prosperity Summit hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. It will take place next month at the UGA campus in Tifton.    From the Ga Chamber of Commerce…   The Georgia Chamber will be hosting its third annual Rural Prosperity Summit on October 1-2, 2019 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton.    About 450 attendees are anticipated to join for the two-day Summit which features expert speakers, elected officials, practitioner panels and small group conversations that will share meaningful solutions to challenges facing rural communities.    Notable speakers include: S. Congressman Buddy Carter S. Congressman Austin Scott Former U.S. Congressman Lindsay Thomas Attorney General Chris Carr President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, Doug Shipman CEO of Goodwill North Georgia, Keith Parker S. Census Bureau Partnership Specialist, Thurmond N. Tillman Economic Innovation Group’s Director for Research and Policy Development, Kenan Fikri Atlanta-based rural community writer and advocate, Alan Richard   Elected officials planning to attend include:  Senator Ellis Black Senator Steve Gooch Senator Tyler Harper Senator Freddie Powell Sims Representative Debbie G. Buckner Representative Matthew Gambill Representative Dominic LaRiccia Representative Clay Pirkle Representative Ken Pullin Regional Representative from Congressman Austin Scott’s Office Regional Representatives from U.S. Senator David Perdue’s Office
  •  The University of Georgia, just in time for Notre Dame weekend, is hosting an art exhibit, featuring George Cooke’s Interior of St Peter’s Rome. From Larry Dendy... Enjoy a rare opportunity to view at close range an acknowledged 19th century art masterpiece by American artist George Cooke from 3 to 6 pm Friday, September 20, on the University of Georgia campus. Interior of St. Peter’s Rome, which is 17 feet high, 23 feet long, and weighs more than a ton,   was described as the largest framed oil painting in the United States when it was exhibited in the 1840s. George Cooke (1793-1849), an itinerant artist whose paintings have been found in private collections in a dozen states spent much time in Athens. His 1845 painting titled View of Athens from Carr’s Hill, is housed in the Rare Books section of the University of Georgia Libraries. Another of his works Tallulah Falls  1841, is part of the permanent collection at UGA’s Georgia Museum of Art. Art patron Daniel Pratt commissioned and owned Interior of St. Peter’s Rome. After Cooke’s sudden death from illness in New Orleans in 1849, Pratt became executor of the artist’s estate. Seeking an appropriate venue to exhibit this large work, and with the support of Cooke’s widow, who married an Athenian, Pratt donated the painting to the University of Georgia in 1867 and shipped the painting to Athens. University officials decided to mount the painting on the interior back wall of the 1832 Greek Revival-style University Chapel, and the installation was completed in 1868 and opened for public view. The painting has been restored twice, in 1936 and 1955, to recover from age and fire damage. Visitors on Friday, September 20, will be able to walk close to the painting and make photographs. The closest approach will be to enter the University of Georgia through its historic Arch on Broad Street, at the foot of College Avenue. SilverDawg volunteers will greet visitors and direct them along the walkway to the University Chapel.
  • The director of the Athens-Clarke County Animal Shelter is out of work: County Manager Blaine Williams says he has asked for and received the resignation of David Fluck, who has held the job for the past 12 years. The Shelter has been the focus of much community criticism over the past several months.  From the Athens-Clarke Co government website… Athens-Clarke County Unified Government Manager Blaine Williams announces the resignation of Central Services Department Director David Fluck. The resignation was effective September 16, 2019. Williams requested Fluck’s resignation.  'After careful consideration, I decided that it would be best for the community and the department for a change in leadership moving forward. I want to thank David for his work for the Athens community and the Unified Government,” said Williams. “Not only did he serve as the Central Services Director for over a dozen years, but he also served in an additional role as Interim Airport Director for a number of months while we conducted a search for a new director.”  Williams has appointed Sustainability Officer Andrew Saunders to serve as Interim Director until a permanent replacement is named after a national search. Saunders has worked with the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government since 2007 in various roles, including as the Community Forestry Coordinator, Environmental Coordinator, and Sustainability Officer.  The Athens-Clarke County Central Services Department consists of the Animal Control Division, which operates the Animal Shelter and Animal Control services; the Facilities Management Division, which maintains ACCGov-owned property; the Fleet Management Division, which manages most Unified Government vehicles; the Landscape Management Division, which maintains grounds and landscapes at ACCGov facilities and roadways; and Internal Support, which provides services for ACCGov departments such as mailing services, printing services, copy services, parking, and telephone services. The department also handles special event permitting, publication rack permitting, and downtown vending permits. 
  • Northeast Georgia Health System has reached an agreement to acquire Habersham Medical Center in Demorest. “Many people in Habersham County have asked for a deal like this for years, and many before us have tried to make it happen,” says Lynn Boggs, HMC’s chief executive officer. “We’re thrilled to deliver this agreement, which can lead to security and stability for this community’s local hospital. We are truly working together for healthier tomorrows.” “This is a win-win for the future of our community, and it has taken creative thinking and innovative solutions by all parties involved to create this positive path forward,” says Stacy Hall, chairman of the Habersham County Commission. “This puts power back in the hands of the people of Habersham County. By utilizing HMC’s services, they will make both the hospital and county financially stronger.” The five-year plan calls for Northeast Georgia Healty System to invest $3 million annually to help Habersham Medical Center fund capital projects to enhance and expand services for the hospital in Demorest.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly believes his quarterback will be at his best Saturday night against a talented, but 'not very complicated' Georgia defense. '(Ian Book) had a great week of practice, he's going to play really well against Georgia,' Kelly said on his radio show on Thursday night. 'You're going to see the best of Ian Book in Athens.' The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (3-0) are a two-touchdown favorite over the No. 7 Irish, but you'd never know it listening to the confident Kelly. we play a lot of bigs games..our guys are used to playing a lot of bg gaems Georgia's massive offensive line, averaging 6-foot-5 and 329 pounds per man, is thought by many to rank among the best in college football Kelly has indicated throughout the week he's not overly concerned about how his defensive line matches up. 'It's an advantage for us,' Kelly said. 'We play these teams that slant and angle, and we haven't been very good with slant and angle teams, so we'll know where they are, and that's a good thing' Kelly has been complimentary of Georgia QB Jake Fromm throughout the week, but he's confident in Notre Dame's pass rush and pass defense. 'We're a top-down defense, certainly, but what we're better at this year is we're pressing on the outside, and the pass rush forces the ball out of your hands so quickly that the routes don't develop to the top end,' said Kelly, whose Irish rank third in the nation in pass efficiency defense. 'A lot of the interceptions, the route has not finished, so we're getting at the ball before the route finishes. When we can do that, we can be in position to undercut routes and not cheat on things. We're getting to the quarterback before he can get through his progression.' Kelly pointed out how simple the Georgia offense is, a necessity because of young receivers still learning their assignments. 'They do keep it fairly simple offensively, they're sitting down in zones and they are taking shots because they want to get their receivers to grow,' Kelly said. 'It's a young group, extremely talented, and they are coming on, and they re gong to be very good offensively once these receivers continue to mature. 'Early on they gave them some very simplified passing concepts, they did a great job with them, and we'll have to do a great job against them.' Crowd noise figures to be a factor, so Notre Dame went inside its new football building this week and turned the noise up to 107 decibels. Kelly is confident that Book's ability to communicate and adjust to Georgia's uncomplicated defensive schemes could provide a winning edge. 'How you quiet a great crowd is you score points and get ahead,' Kelly said. But if they are into the game and it's a close game, then you have to communicate effectively. 'We can't get into our process and into our traits, which I think can trump a lot of the things Georgia can do, unless we communicate effectively.' While crowd noise seems to be Kelly's biggest concern for his offense, tocus and gap integrity are the two areas Kelly stressed on defense. 'If you're distracted for a second against Georgia, they have a guy named D'Andre Swift, and he'll run past you if you do't fit the A gap,' Kelly said. 'You have to fit every play, and every play has to be 11 players playing together.' Beyond that, it's just a matter of playing Notre Dame football, the Irish accustomed to setting stadium attendance records (this will be the 10th time) wherever they go. 'Play fast, play free, be aggressiveyou don't go down there to play conservative football,' said Kelly, 23-17 vs. Top 25 teams at Notre Dame but 0-4 against Top 5 opponents. 'There's no pressure. We play in so many (big games) . and understand when you go on the road it's one play at a time, and you have to be patient. Very rarely are these games won early, they are won late.' Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly The post Notre Dame's Brian Kelly reveals Irish advantages, starting at quarterback appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS This season's edition of Georgia football has more talent than the 2017 Bulldogs that played for the national championship, according to Bulldogs' legend David Pollack. Pollack, speaking Friday as part of ESPN's College GameDay crew, had plenty to say about the rise of Georgia football and keys to this season. RELATED: 7 UGA players to watch closely Saturday The popular ESPN show is in Athens for the first time since 2013 to preview and highlight the No. 3-Ranked Bulldogs' showdown against No. 7 Notre Dame at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium. It's also the first time CBS hasn't used it's one-time night game exemption for the Alabama-LSU clash since 2010. 2017 vs. 2019 Pollack's comments on the 2019 team's talents pack a punch when one considers the 2017 Bulldogs played in the CFP Championship Game. 'The 2019 team is more talented team than the 2017 team, that's fact, that's not even debatable,' Pollack said 'In 2017, Kirby was playing players that were really smart, that were in the right position, that weren't necessarily athletic freaks. Now it's fun to have both, he's got a combination of athleticism across the board, they're deep in every single spot. 'What does that mean? There's competition in every spot, that's the biggest thing, guys,' Pollack said. 'When you've got somebody breathing down your neck, to take your job, and take your spot, it makes you work harder, and Georgia has got that at every position across the board.' These are the good old days for Georgia football, Pollack said. Best ever? The Bulldogs haven't won a national championship since 1980, former UGA coach and athletic director Vince Dooley recently honored with the Sanford Stadium field being named in his honor. But Pollack believes times are good at Georgia and will get even better. 'You're living in the days where it's going to be the best in Georgia history,' Pollack said. 'If you need a team out there, Georgia is a good one to pick. If you're going to buy stock, they're stocked across the board. 'You look at all the 5-star guys and all the recruits, the discipline they play with now, and the toughness they play with, they're not going anywhere.' Pollack said there's only one Georgia position group that still concerns him, and he's looking to see who steps up against the Irish on Saturday night. Catching on 'Somebody has to step up at wide receiver for Georgia and be the guy, and I'm interested to see if it's (George) Pickens, if it's (Dominick) Blaylock Demetris Robertson is a little banged up, Kearis (Jackson) got banged up earlier in the year,' Pollack said. 'Somebody needs to get on the page with Jake Fromm that we saw years ago, with back shoulder fades, and a guy that he can trust,' Pollack said. 'Because if you're going to point to a weakness for this team, or a question mark for Georgia, it's the receivers. There is no other question mark on this team, everywhere else is pretty solid.' Pickens and Blaylock rank No. 1 and No. 2 in catches for Georgia to this point of the season, with grad transfers Eli Wolf (tight end) and Lawrence Cager rounding out the top four. Notre Dame's hope As for Notre Dame's chances against the Bulldogs, Pollack said it all comes down to Ian Book. 'I don't think there's any player in the country that has to be more productive for their team to win this week than Ian Book,' Pollack said. 'Ian Book has to be great, and it's got to be with his legs, he's got to run the ball effectively, he's got to scramble and throw the football effectively 'He's a really a talented kid, and if Notre Dame is going to come down here and pull off an upset against a Georgia team that's more talented them them, it's going to have to be Ian Book playing not (just) good, but really good, beyond good levels, to great levels.' Georgia legend David Pollack DawgNation Georgia-Notre Dame Georgia football injury report for Notre Dame game Irish QB Ian Book keeping his cool entering matchup David Pollack says Nolan Smith rising star Georgia zeroed in on Notre Dame quarterback World of difference in Jake Fromm now from 2017 Georgia newcomers proving pivotal to season success Jake Fromm, Crush it and flush it,' on to Notre Dame Brian Kelly says Irish found themselves' in 66-14 win Notre Dame coach says team in position to win national title 3 things Georgia must avoid against Notre Dame The post David Pollack: 2019 Georgia football more talented than 2017 version, that's fact' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia takes center stage in college football on Saturday in a game with No. 7-ranked Notre Dame that will set the 2019 narrative for the Bulldogs. Much has already been learned about this season's team, Georgia holding its No. 3 ranking with a 3-0 start that has featured impressive wins. WATCH: Georgia's exciting It Takes What It Takes' pregame video The Bulldogs have, in fact, been so overwhelming that top players haven't seen a great deal of action in the past two outings. Georgia legend Herschel Walker took note on Thursday, saying it's time for Georgia to show why it's Running Back U. 'You talk about Swift, people don't know how good that kid is,' Walker said. 'He's only running the ball 11 times (per game), but he's averaging 9 yards a carry.' Let's talk more about Swift leading the '7 players to watch' against Notre Dame. D'Andre Swift This game has been a long time coming for Swift. Swift is coming off his first healthy collegiate offseason. The results are obvious, with Swift adding power and authority to his sharp-cutting arsenal since his big-stage debacle in the Sugar Bowl. Swift's 16-carry effort in the season-opener against Vanderbilt fell one short of his carer-high, but there's a chance he could surpass that against Notre Dame. RELATED: Why Georgia could run over Notre Dame The Irish will be loaded up to stop the run, but Swift's ability to find seams, bounce runs and catch the ball makes him a sure-thing for a high volume of touches and more than 100 yards from scrimmage and at least one touchdown. The 'Great Wall' The Georgia offensive line has received more fanfare and celebrity than any college line in recent memory, and this is the game for it to truly make its mark. Andrew Thomas, Solomon Kindley, Trey Hill, Ben Cleveland and Cade Mays are on task, with Isaiah Wilson possibly coming back from his ankle injury. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said his defensive line hasn't gotten knocked off the ball this season, indicating the Irish's porous run defense (120th in the nation) has more to do with fits and run support. The lights will be shining on the Bulldogs' trench giants. Charlie Woerner Why do I get a sneaky feeling the senior tight end might be in for a big night? Is it because his uncle, Scott, was an All-American who starred for Georgia and was part of the 1980 national championship team that beat Notre Dame? RELATED: An inside story on Charlie Woerner and his recruitment Let's face it, America loves a good storyline, and seeing Charlie Woerner have a big game against the Irish is what most every Bulldogs' fan is looking for. As for fast-rising tight end Eli Wolf, Tennessee is up next on the schedule, and the former Vols' captain can get a carry into the Neyland Stadium end zone from the fullback position to make headlines that game week. Monty Rice It's time for Monty Rice to come out of relative anonymity on the national stage and show his value for Georgia. The Bulldogs have been playing a lot of defenders at linebacker, building depth. But Rice is the front-line backer and the heart of the defense. His sideline-to-sideline play and hard-hitting should be evident against the Irish. Rice has 15 tackles this season, but he could end up with 10 or more against Notre Dame. James Cook Cook is a weapon who should touch the ball at least 10 times every game, whether that's on handoffs, passes or in the return game. Cook averages 12.9 yards per carry and 9.5 per catch and 20.5 on kick return. Explosive, dynamic and fast, there don't seem to be enough adjectives to describe just how exciting of a player Cook is in the open field. Every time Cook touches the ball, there's an electricity in the air that he could score. SportsCenter Highlight in 3-2-1 . George Pickens Pickens is on the DawgNation 'Watch' List every week, and every week, the player wearing the No. 1 on offense shows why. Smart said Pickens still has work to do, but the quarterback and offensive coordinator keep showing confidence in the work that he does with the football thrown in his direction. Kudos to Smart and his staff recognizing that taking advantage of Pickens' great talents. Even while he's ironing out other wrinkles, having Pickens in the game plan gives Georgia its best chance to win. Nolan Smith Speaking of tremendous potential coming to fruition, outside linebacker Nolan Smith has a raptor-like burst that all-time UGA defensive great David Pollack described as 'freaky.' Smith saw limited snaps last Saturday, and one can't help but wonder if Smart wanted to do his best to keep this elite pass-rushing talent under wraps for one more week. Nolan Smith will be a household name in the SEC soon enough. DawgNation Georgia-Notre Dame Georgia football injury report for Notre Dame game Irish QB Ian Book keeping his cool entering matchup David Pollack says Nolan Smith rising star Georgia zeroed in on Notre Dame quarterback World of difference in Jake Fromm now from 2017 Georgia newcomers proving pivotal to season success Jake Fromm, Crush it and flush it,' on to Notre Dame Brian Kelly says Irish found themselves' in 66-14 win Notre Dame coach says team in position to win national title 3 things Georgia must avoid against Notre Dame The post 7 Georgia football players to watch closely against Notre Dame appeared first on DawgNation.
  • 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 to support the informed opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss the most improved Bulldogs on the team since last season. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. It was a regular in our story rotation in 2018. We have four staffers who cover UGA athletics on a full-time basis. It means the focus shifts to a timely 'Cover 4' look with each of our guys manning the secondary here. The quick in-and-out game remains. These takes are designed to come out quicker than former Bulldog Mecole Hardman Jr. ran the 40 at the NFL combine. We're trying a DawgNation.com first today in advance of the Notre Dame game: Join us in the DawgNation forum for a live chat at 3 p.m. today WHAT: A DawgNation first. The Cover 4 crew (BA, Connor, Griff and some lowly intern type) will be in this forum thread from 3-4 PM talking and answering anything you good people have for the Georgia-Notre Dame game. WHEN: Today. 3-4 PM HOW DO I GET THERE: Click this link. New forum members will have to go through a brief and free sign-up for our DawgNation forums. WHY: We figured you needed to wrap up your workweek a little early given the big game on Saturday HAVE A QUESTION?: Go ahead and drop it in that forum thread now. We'll be sure to answer the first ones we see once that 3 p.m. start time hits. FOR REAL?: Yes, that's just a way to thank each and everyone one of you for helping make this forum what it is today. We want to continue to build this to be a place where you can get in touch with us, interact and get your UGA questions acknowledged right from our guys. Be there. Get ready for The The 2019 season 'Cover 4' topics so far: Georgia's biggest edge on Notre Dame will be . 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 DawgNation Nickel: What was the alarming trend coming out of spring ball in Athens? The post Cover 4: Join us in the DawgNation forum at 3 PM for a live chat appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart appears on the verge of letting the so-called lion out of the cage after a week of keeping his team emotionally balanced and focused on the task at hand. 'It takes what it takes,' has been one of the Bulldogs' team slogans throughout the offseason, and now it's featured in another classic UGA football video. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (3-0) play host to No. 7 Notre Dame (2-0) in the first non-conference game featuring two Top 10 teams at Sanford Stadium since 1966. RELATED: Herschel Walker says it's time for Georgia to display RBU 'Our guys are excited to get to play on a national stage in a home game atmosphere that will probably be unrivaled in Georgia history from a non-conference standpoint,' Smart said on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. 'I know they are excited with a team like Notre Dame coming to town, it is really a special event.' The UGA football film crew captured the build-up in the national media along with sharing behind-the-scenes footage of Georgia's preparation. The Bulldogs' early season schedule at Vanderbilt, home against Murray State and Arkansas State hasn't provided much of a challenge. 'We're not really sure what to make of Georgia,' former Alabama national championship quarterback Greg McElroy says in the UGA hype video. 'This is going to be a different experience than anything else than they've ever had in the regular season,' said SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears. Joey Galloway, a former Ohio State star receiver now ESPN analyst, is spliced into the Georgia video saying what most in the Georgia fan base is thinking. 'Yeah, this Georgia Bulldogs team we've seen the past few years,' Galloway said. 'They've been there, they've done it, now they've got to find a way to get over the top.' Smart, shown talking to his team, summed it up. 'It's about showing the country we're one of the best teams,' Smart said, 'and you do that by how you play on the field.' It takes what it takes Week 4 Trailer | It Takes What It Takes #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/hA1poL1LLe Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) September 20, 2019 DawgNation Georgia-Notre Dame Georgia football injury report for Notre Dame game Irish QB Ian Book keeping his cool entering matchup David Pollack says Nolan Smith rising star Georgia zeroed in on Notre Dame quarterback World of difference in Jake Fromm now from 2017 Georgia newcomers proving pivotal to season success Jake Fromm, Crush it and flush it,' on to Notre Dame Brian Kelly says Irish found themselves' in 66-14 win Notre Dame coach says team in position to win national title 3 things Georgia must avoid against Notre Dame The post WATCH: Georgia football It Takes What It Takes' video captures pre-game excitement appeared first on DawgNation.