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A new guide from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government will help schools and businesses throughout Georgia connect to provide on-the-job learning experiences for students. The free booklet, “Creating and Replicating High-Quality Experiential Learning Opportunities,” helps business leaders and educators identify opportunities for apprenticeships, internships, clinical experiences and job shadows, among others, that are most effective in developing a trained workforce equipped with critical technical, academic and employability skills. The guide, prepared by the Institute of Government’s workforce development faculty with support from the Georgia Power Co., contains case studies and methods for replicating existing training programs in high schools. “Georgia Power works closely with the state to support education programs that strengthen the talent pipeline,” said Anne Kaiser, Georgia Power’s vice president of community and economic development. “We partnered with UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government to identify best practices and opportunities to scale work-based learning in Georgia. Experiential learning programs not only benefit our high school students who are developing new skills and evaluating career paths, but offer Georgia employers an opportunity to address the critical need of recruiting, develop the next generation of workforce talent, and invest in their communities.” Economic development professionals, business leaders, educators, elected officials and others interested in strengthening their local workforce development efforts can find practical information in the booklet. “This new guide for businesses and schools highlights best practices and uses an easy-to-follow decision tree to help employers and educators select the experiential learning programs that would work best in their community,” said Laura Meadows, Institute of Government director. The guide is available online at the Institute of Government’s new Georgia Workforce Toolkit website, www.gaworkforce.org. The Georgia Workforce Toolkit includes additional resources for schools and businesses that are establishing or expanding high-quality work-study, internship and apprenticeship programs, said Greg Wilson, an Institute of Government faculty member.This “can help develop qualified, knowledgeable, dedicated employees from the ground up by connecting students to work and showing them where their education can lead,” Wilson said. The decision tree featured in the guide serves as a simple tool that lets educators and businesses easily assess their goals and determine what program best addresses local needs and capacities. Clear, concise case studies of 19 experiential learning programs illustrate successful partnerships and programs and explain why they were appropriate for a certain community. Institute faculty surveyed school- and work-based learning programs in Georgia and throughout the United States to select the most effective and successful programs for case studies. The guide summarizes the key to success for each program and organizes them on an experiential learning continuum from experiences to work-based learning and pre-apprenticeships. The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that conducts training, technical assistance and applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and provide improved service to the public.
President Vladimir Putin says in a state-of-the-nation address that Russia needs to focus on raising living standards. Speaking on Wednesday before lawmakers and top officials, Putin said the government will increase social payments to support young families. He promised tax breaks, lower mortgage rates and housing subsidies for families with several children. He said that the tax burden on developers will be eased to encourage them to expand housing construction. Putin also emphasized the need to combat poverty, saying that 19 million of Russia's approximately 147 million people live below the official poverty line, currently the equivalent of around 160 dollars a month.
The Clarke County School District schedules elections to fill the next openings on the District’s Local School Governance Teams. They’ll be held March 20 through 29, coinciding with the next round of Clarke County School District parent-teacher conferences. Three parents and three teachers are elected to serve on each school’s LSGT. Team members approve and monitor the school growth plan, help identify student, and family needs and provide input into budget, personnel, and other school district decisions. From the CCSD… Schools throughout the Clarke County School District will hold elections for their Local School Governance Teams March 20-29.   LSGTs allow parents, community members and educators to have a greater voice in important decisions regarding their school. Three parents and three teachers are elected to serve on each school’s LSGT. Together with the principal, they select three community members and, at the middle and high schools, one student representative to join the team.   “The Clarke County School District is a charter system, and LGSTs are an essential part of the charter system model,” said Claire Suggs, Chief of Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships for CCSD. “We invite parents and educators to consider serving on their school’s LSGT and play a key role in helping each school grow, plan for the years ahead and constantly improve to benefit students.”   LSGT members approve and monitor the school growth plan, help to identify student and family needs and provide input into budget, personnel and other important decisions. They also serve as advocates for their schools and participate in the principal hiring process by selecting finalists.   Elections will begin during parent-teacher conferences March 20-22 and continue through March 29. For more information on CCSD’s charter system model, the role of Local School Governance Teams and to submit your name for consideration, please visit https://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/lsgt. 
Police in Gainesville have released surveillance video from an armed robbery that happened last week: the video shows two men wearing masks, holding up a convenience store on Park Hill Drive in Gainesville. Cash was stolen; no injuries were reported.From Christian Jennings, Channel 2 Action News… Police are trying to find the armed and masked gunmen who rushed into a Texaco gas station and robbed the place. It happened on Park Hill Drive last Tuesday in Gainesville. 'They just took the money, got in and out really fast,' said Vincent Del Vecchio, the clerk who was on duty at the time and can be seen on the surveillance video.  The store is just a couple of blocks away from a CVS where a man was killed in a robbery earlier this month. Two customers were inside the gas station with the clerk, who followed the gunmen's commands. “He said, ‘Uh everybody freeze. Give me all the money right now. Open that register,’” Del Vecchio said. Del Vecchio said he managed to stay calm when two men wearing masks pointed guns at his face.  'I’m just focused, like, no sudden moves, don’t frighten them,' Del Vecchio said. The store owners said there are three suspects seen in the video. Shortly after the two men approached the counter, another man ran past them.  'And one came and he took the beer: Corona Light, 12-pack,' co-owner Shama Jindani said. 'We are scared. We are scared and like not feeling as we were feeling before,' co-owner Shabnam Jindani said. The Jindanis opened the store seven years ago. It's the first time they've ever been robbed. “Suddenly, maybe six months, it’s become rough. I don’t know why,” Shama Jindani said. Gainesville police Chief Jay Parrish said his department is taking action in response to the increased crime on Park Hill Drive -- dedicating a patrol officer, undercover officers and K-9 teams to the area. 'They are doing very good very good, right now,' Shama Jindani said. 'In the morning time, our clerk told us they’re coming in like number of times in morning and afternoon with K-9 and going and searching,' Shabnam Jindani said. In light of the recent crimes, the owners said they plan to upgrade their camera system.
Skygazers got a special treat Feb. 19 as the “super snow moon” – the largest supermoon of 2019 – glowed overhead.
Athens-Clarke County Police have released surveillance photographs of a person of interest in the February 10 theft of a car with a baby inside: the car—with the 11-month-old in the backseat—was left in the parking lot of the Home Depot store on Epps Bridge Road in Athens. The baby was safe. The search for the car thief continues, with a $1,000 reward from the local Crime Stoppers group for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. From the Athens-Clarke County Police Department… ACCPD investigators would like to speak to this individual who was in the area of the shopping center at 1740 Epps Bridge Rd. (Home Depot) when the stolen vehicle with the child inside was located. Detectives believe this individual may have information about the ongoing investigation. ACCPD asks this individual, or anyone who may know this person, to call Det. Carroll at 706-613-3888 ext. 292 or Michael.Carroll@accgov.com. A Crime Stoppers Reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this incident is being offered. Please call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 706-705-4775. 
British regulators say the proposed supermarkets merger between Sainsbury's and Walmart's Asda unit would push up prices and reduce quality for shoppers, casting doubt on a deal that would create the country's biggest grocery chain. The Competition and Markets Authority, in a preliminary report, said Wednesday it would be 'difficult for the companies to address the concerns it has identified' and that a significant number of stores would probably need to be sold before it gains approval. Stuart McIntosh, chairman of the independent inquiry, says 'shoppers could face higher prices, reduced quality and choice, and a poorer overall shopping experience across the UK.' Sainsbury's shares fell over 12 percent. It says it will continue to make its case to regulators who 'misunderstand how people shop in the U.K. today.
As emergencies go, it has a catchy tune. Faced with a Nigerian election that could spiral into violence, some in the popular film industry known as Kannywood gathered this week to shoot an urgent music video appealing for peace. On an impromptu set outside the northern city of Kano, young women bickered between takes but at 'Rolling!' smiled and swiveled in unison as male dancers sashayed by. While a drone camera buzzed overhead, a singer gestured and lip-synced a plea for Africa's largest democracy to keep its cool. 'We are killing our children because of political violence,' the song said in the local Hausa language. 'Go and cast your vote. Nigeria is a united country.' Within hours, the video was edited and blasted across social media for Nigeria's 190 million people and a vast diaspora that enjoys products from the homegrown film industry Nollywood — considered the world's third-largest behind Hollywood and Bollywood — and Kannywood, its northern wing, named for its location in Kano. The video also will appear in DVD markets dedicated to Hausa-language films, where despite a conservative Muslim culture the industry explores sensitive issues such as child marriage via family dramas, sometimes with a dash of song-and-dance. Deploying film stars to call for calm follows weeks of TV ads and T-shirts urging Nigerians in widely spoken pidgin English to 'Vote Not Fight: Election no be war.' The last-minute delay of the vote until Saturday, however, has sharpened some tempers. 'This song is a message to all the people, all women, men, our young,' 25-year-old actress Fatima Issah told The Associated Press, a gold tooth flashing through her smile. She explained how the song addresses the jobless young men who are recruited at election time to cause trouble. 'They will go out and fight, and fight, and fight, and fight because of small money,' she said. Election violence in Nigeria can be devastating, with more than 800 people killed in 2011. While the 2015 election was one of the country's most peaceful, tensions are rising again. President Muhammadu Buhari appears to be in a close race with Atiku Abubakar, a billionaire former vice president. Both sides accuse each other of cheating. Electoral offices have been burned. The president this week threatened death to anyone who rigs the vote. Meanwhile, the country's fault lines groan. Violence by Islamic extremists in the northeast and between farmers and Hausa-speaking Fulani herders in the central region has flared, with dozens killed last week alone. While some Kannywood players are recruited by politicians to make praise-filled campaign videos for millions of naira apiece, the director of this week's appeal, Abdulaziz Usman, said he volunteered this time. He was happy with how the performance turned out, he said, after barking at wayward crew members in Hausa with the occasional English phrase: 'Sound!' or 'Oh my God.' Operating the drone camera, a new addition to Kannywood culture, was the chairman of the film association in Kano, Nigeria's second-largest city and the heart of the Hausa-language scene. Jamilu Dakan Daka said the industry benefits thousands of local people, easing its acceptance in the face of shariah law that has threatened Kannywood's existence over the years. The industry's artists are in demand around elections to help appeal to the masses during the turbulent season marked by vote-buying and thuggery. 'If you destroy something in your country, you destroy yourself,' he said. As he spoke, the dancers assembled to shoot another quick-fire political video, this one to be kept under wraps at the film censor board until election results are announced. Nigerians will hear the song only if Buhari wins a second term. If he doesn't, a local television report already has shown some people leaving Kano for fear of violence. ___ Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa
If Pope Francis needed a concrete example to justify summoning church leaders from around the globe to Rome for a tutorial on clergy sex abuse, Sister Bernardine Pemii has it. The nun, who recently completed a course on child protection policies at Rome's Jesuit university, has been advising her bishop in Ghana on an abuse case, instructing him to invite the victim to his office to hear her story before opening an investigation. If Pemii hadn't stepped in? 'It would have been covered. There would have been complete silence,' Pemii told The Associated Press recently. 'And nothing would have happened. Nobody would have listened to the victim.' Francis is convening this week's summit at the Vatican to prevent cover-ups by Catholic superiors everywhere, as many around the world continue to protect the church's reputation at all costs, denying that priests rape children and by discrediting victims even as new cases keep coming to light. History's first Latin American pope has made many of the same mistakes. As archbishop in Buenos Aires, he went out of his way to defend a famous street priest who was later convicted of abuse. He took a handful of measures early on in his papacy that undermined progress the Vatican had made in taking a hard line against rapists. These include the pontiff seriously and publicly botching a well-known case of cover-up in Chile by initially giving it no credence. Francis realized last year he had erred. 'I was part of the problem,' Francis told Chilean survivor Juan Carlos Cruz during a private meeting at the Vatican in June. The pope has now done an about-face and is bringing the rest of the church leadership along with him at the extraordinary summit that starts Thursday. The meeting will bring together some 190 presidents of bishops' conferences, religious orders and Vatican offices for four days of lectures and workshops on preventing sex abuse in their churches, tending to victims, and investigating abuse when it does occur. The Vatican isn't expecting any miracles, and the pope himself has called for expectations to be 'deflated.' But organizers say the meeting nevertheless marks a turning point in the way the Catholic Church has dealt with the problem, with Francis' own conversion last year a key point of departure. 'I have been impressed by the humility of the Holy Father,' said Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican sex crimes investigator who helped set Francis straight on Chile. 'He's ready to say 'I got that wrong. We're not going to do it again. We're going to do it right.'' 'I think that gives us great hope,' Scicluna said. But the challenges are daunting as the message trickles down slowly. Just this week, the online research group BishopAccountability released statistics from eight of the largest Catholic countries in the world, with the bishops from only one country — the U.S. — committing to a policy to permanently remove any priest who has sexually abused a child. Bishops in some countries, including Brazil, don't even have a published policy to speak of. In Italy, the president of the bishops' conference met with victims for the first time last week — after summit organizers demanded it. 'I want to say that something important is going to come out of the week, but based on research we've done, I believe this church is nowhere close to enacting the reforms it must make to stop this epidemic,' said BishopAccountability's Anne Barret Doyle. Survivor Phil Saviano, who was crucial to the Boston Globe's 2002 expose that first revealed the extent of the abuse and cover-up by clergy, was more optimistic. He marveled at the fact that Scicluna quoted from the Oscar-winning movie 'Spotlight,' which was inspired by the Globe's reporting, at a press conference launching the summit. 'I really didn't expect to hear them complimenting the news media and thanking you for helping them to come to better understanding of the nature of this problem that is so deeply entrenched within the Catholic Church,' Saviano told reporters. Saviano is joining about a dozen abuse survivors, many of them activists, who are meeting with summit organizers Wednesday. A different group of survivors will join the bishops themselves, offering testimonies during daily prayers. The message, said Chilean survivor Cruz, who organized the meeting with the committee members, is that bishops must listen to survivors and apply true zero tolerance at home. 'Those who have covered up, there is the door,' Cruz told AP. While survivors are being well represented at the summit, women as a whole are not. Of the 190 participants, 10 are religious sisters representing orders in the summit, and three women will address the meeting. Other than that, the meeting is by men and for men — the hierarchy of the church. On the sidelines of the summit, women's groups are demanding a greater voice and speaking out about the sexual abuse of adult women and religious sisters in the church — a scandal that has recently come to light after Francis acknowledged it was a problem. 'I do not have much hope for this meeting and we were already warned by Pope Francis not to have hope,' said Virginia Saldanha, secretary of the Indian Women Theologians Forum. 'I see that it is the people ... that have to raise voices, voices that can bring about change.' ___ AP producer Trisha Thomas contributed to this report.
Dubai's government-owned budget carrier FlyDubai said Wednesday its revenues increased to $1.7 billion in 2018, though the airline ended the year with a loss of $43.5 million. The airline that flies out of both Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central's Al Maktoum International Airport blamed fuel costs, rising interest rates and 'unfavorable currency exchange movements' for the loss. It had made $1.5 billion in revenue in 2017, earning a narrow profit of $10 million that year. 'In line with expectations, 2018 was a challenging year, however we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue,' FlyDubai CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith said. FlyDubai, which now has a code-share deal and tighter relationship with Dubai's long-haul carrier Emirates, offers bargain flights to locations both served and not by its well-known elder sibling. FlyDubai began operations nearly 10 years ago and its 4,000 staff now serve over 90 destinations. The carrier flew 11 million passengers last year, just slightly up from the 10.9 million it flew in 2017. It has a fleet of single-aisle Boeing 737 Max aircraft and struck a deal with Boeing Co. in November 2017 to purchase 225 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft, an agreement valued by list prices at $27 billion at the time. FlyDubai said then that the planes would bring the carrier's total fleet on order up to 320 aircraft. FlyDubai's revenue report comes nearly three years after a March 2016 crash in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, that killed all 62 people aboard one of its 737-800 jetliners.
Another fashion house has come under fire for a design many are calling racist.  During its recent show at London Fashion Week, Burberry showcased a hoodie with a rope around the neck that resembled a noose. Now the company is apologizing. >> On AJC.com: From Gucci to Prada, fashion fails evoke racist imagery “We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection” Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, said in a statement to CNN. “Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake.” The show's designer, Burberry Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci, added, “I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show on Sunday.” >> Read more trending news  “While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone,” he continued. “It does not reflect my values nor Burberry's and we have removed it from the collection. I will make sure that this does not happen again.” Despite the apology, many criticized the piece online, calling it insensitive and ignorant. One of Burberry’s models, Liz Kennedy, even slammed the brand on social media. Although she was featured in the show that debuted the controversial garment, she said her concerns about the noose were dismissed. >> See the post here “Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote on Instagram. “It is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway.” She said the imagery was triggering, because she has dealt with suicide within her family. She also mentioned the “horrifying history of lynching.” “A massive brand like Burberry who is typically considered commercial and classy should not have overlooked such an obvious resemblance,” Kennedy continued. “I am ashamed to have been apart of the show.” >> On AJC.com: ‘Apology not accepted’: T.I. calls for Gucci boycott over ‘blackface’ sweater  The controversy comes about two weeks after Gucci was condemned for a turtleneck sweater many said looked like blackface. While the company issued an apology, many celebrities, including T.I., Soulja Boy and Waka Flocka, called for a boycott.
Pavel Otdelnov recalls how as a child he saw his mother boil his parents' bedding every day. His father worked in the factories of Dzerzhinsk, the center of Soviet chemical manufacturing, and the chlorine and phosgene that yellowed the sheets seeped through protective gear into his skin. 'Dad was born in a workers' camp and gave his entire life to chemical industries around Dzerzhinsk,' Otdelnov wrote in the notes for 'Promzona', a new exhibit at Moscow's Museum of Modern Art that features his paintings of industrial ruins interspersed with objects from workers' daily lives. The artist's huge, architecturally precise paintings of decayed factories in his hometown, some overgrown as nature reclaimed the land, show what he calls 'the ruins of a Soviet mythology.' Many of the chemical plants, once a proud part of Soviet history, sit abandoned in a city fouled by toxic waste, the result of a utopian mythology which never translated into reality, least of all for its people. 'People who worked in those factories understood a long time ago, in the 1970s, that the Soviet idea, communism, was a myth and would never be realized,' Otdelnov, whose post-Soviet landscapes also are in the Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery and private international collections, said in an interview. 'They understood that a long time before the collapse of the Soviet Union.' Otdelnov was born into a 'labor dynasty' that gave Dzerzhinsk several generations of chemical workers, starting with his great-grandfather. Just before World War II, his grandmother came from a remote village to the former secret city located 355 kilometers (220 miles) east of Moscow and named for a feared Bolshevik secret police chief. After the Soviet Union started making chemical weapons starting in Dzerzhinsk in 1941, the artist's grandmother worked on the shop floor assembling lethal payloads. She met her husband after the war in the same factory, Orgsteklo, where he was in charge of quality control of the plexiglass it produced for military and civilian needs. Otdelnov's father and aunt worked in the same factory after they finished school. Otdelnov's cousin currently works in a Dzerzhinsk factory lab. Reports vary as to when Dzerzhinsk factories stopped making lewisite, mustard gas and other chemicals designed as weapons of war. Some accounts put the date as late as 1965. Huge stocks of the deadly compounds were sealed and kept in the city's industrial zone until they were moved to dismantling facilities and destroyed under an international chemical weapons ban in the 2000s. Dzerzhinsk still has a chemical industry producing compounds for munitions along with fertilizers, pesticides and plastics. Many plants that were part of the military industrial complex didn't survive the collapse of the Soviet Union, but their toxic waste remains buried in underground dumps or seeping from landfills. Dzerzhinsk often is listed as one of the world's most-polluted cities. The Ecology Committee of the lower house of Russia's parliament put it among the 10 with the worst pollution in Russia. Last year, Otdelnov used a drone to record the industrial ruins from the air, capturing a huge multicolored lake of chemical waste, open to the sky, nearby. The Museum of Modern Art exhibit includes a room decorated like a local museum with everyday objects like factory newsletters and safety instruction films. Gas masks from the old chemical workshops litter the floor of another room. Brown chemical bottles labeled with the names of gases also are displayed. Running through the whole show are the voices of the people whose lived reality was so far from the Soviet mythology, their stories recorded by Otdelnov's father and written on the exhibition walls. Otdelnov's grandmother describes an explosion in the caprolactam plant in 1960 that killed 24 workers and never was made public. The workers were buried in different parts of the city cemetery to avoid questions from other residents about why 24 people who worked in that factory died on the same day. These personal stories are a telling counterpoint to the official Soviet narrative of 'Glory to Labor and Science' in Dzerzhinsk, striking in the stoicism and often humor factory workers displayed in a hazardous environment. 'Humor helped them come to terms with their reality but they weren't especially heroic. They just got used to it,' Otdelnov said. In a memoir written for the show, Otdelnov's father, Alexander, recalled random accidents workers had in the chemical factories, due to faulty equipment or simple human error. Sometimes they escaped unharmed. Sometimes they died. On New Year's Eve in 1981, as the men hurried to get home, carbon monoxide from an overflow pump filled a gas holding tank to capacity, then burst into the pipe system and through to the employee showers. The 12-man crew that had just completed a shift was killed. Many of the exhibition's viewers on a cold February evening were young people from Moscow and other cities. Otdelnov's pared-down industrial aesthetic is certainly part of the appeal, but 23-year-old Anna Kiselyova said the exhibit held valuable political lessons for Russia's younger generation. Not just workers 'Our present government tells us this all happened such a long time ago' Kiselyova, a Russian teacher from Moscow, said. 'It may seem like a very different world, but I don't think it's just a problem of the past, and we need to be aware of that.
Samsung is expected to show off its latest smartphones Wednesday, the latest effort by a phone maker to come up with new features compelling enough to end a sales slump. The new models expected in San Francisco will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Samsung's first smartphone. Samsung is also expected to provide a glimpse at a highly anticipated smartphone with a foldable screen. Apple touted the iPhone's 10th-anniversary edition as a breakthrough when it was released in late 2017. But the iPhone X didn't sell as well as analysts hoped, partly because it carried a $1,000 price tag. Smartphones made in recent years also haven't made dramatic improvements from earlier models. The lull in innovation has given consumers little incentive to dump their current devices and buy something new.
Police in Oklahoma arrested two Tulsa day care workers Tuesday in connection with a sexual assault investigation. >> Watch the news report here Tulsa police told KOKI-TV on Tuesday that they arrested Charles Burts Jr. and Malcolm Burts, who are accused of sexually assaulting multiple children over three years. Both men were employees at Tiny Tots Learning Spot near 71st Street and Riverside Drive. It is not yet known if they were still employed at the time of their arrests. >> Read more news stories Police said the accusations date back to December 2015, but a child did not come forward until December 2018 – when police launched the investigation. Reports state that each man is accused of touching several children at the day care inappropriately. Police said the day care is owned by the suspects' parents and is still in operation as their license has not been revoked. – Visit Fox23.com for the latest on this developing story.
Swiss bank UBS faces a potential multibillion-euro fine as a Paris court is set to deliver a verdict on charges it helped wealthy French clients evade tax authorities. The ruling in the exceptional case will be announced Wednesday afternoon by a French criminal court. One of the world's largest wealth management banks, Zurich-based UBS AG is charged with illegal bank soliciting and aggravated money laundering. Its French subsidiary and five top UBS managers are also on trial. UBS denies wrongdoing. Investigators say the Swiss bank for years sent its employees to solicit wealthy businessmen or athletes during sport or music events in France, urging them to place their money in Switzerland. The assets illegally concealed by French clients in Switzerland in 2004-2012 allegedly amounted some 10 billion euros ($10.75 billion).
A Texas father has been charged with capital murder after police say he stabbed and killed his 2-year-old daughter. According to KFDM, police arrested Yovahnis Roque, 26, at an Orange home Tuesday after responding to a report of a slain child. When officers arrived, they found the girl's body and her father, Roque, 'covered in blood,' KOGT reported.  >> Read more news stories Police said Roque believed that the girl 'had a microchip in her head and he wanted to destroy it,' KOGT reported. The child's mother was killed in a car crash in 2017, according to KOGT. No other children lived in the house, child welfare officials told KFDM. Read more here or here.
The daughter of a Chinese Communist Party veteran boycotted his funeral Wednesday, calling it an improper tribute to a man who once worked for Mao Zedong but later became a fierce critic of the regime. Li Rui's memorial was held at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, where many high-ranking former officials are buried. His daughter Li Nanyang said the ceremony was against her father's wishes, which according to her were: to not have a memorial, to not be brought to Babaoshan, and to not be draped with the party flag. Li was 101 years old when he died of organ failure in Beijing last Saturday. He was 'completely disappointed' by the party, his daughter said in a phone interview from her home in the U.S. He felt that China was devoid of freedom of speech and that corruption was rampant in a system which allowed Communist officials to get rich while ordinary people's lives stagnated, she said. 'I believe that if my father's soul is in heaven, he will be crying at the sight' of his body covered by a party flag, Li Nanyang wrote in a statement to supporters. She said she chose not to attend the funeral in order to make her father's stance clear. Li Nanyang said people in China told her Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent flower wreaths to the memorial. 'How hypocritical can you be?' she remarked, calling it 'very ironic' that the leaders would appear to honor her father when his books are banned in mainland China. They give an inside account of the party's tumultuous history. 'He should be commemorated and remembered because he was Li Rui, not because he was a high-ranking Communist Party cadre,' she said. Li Rui joined the party more than a decade before the People's Republic was founded in 1949. He briefly served as one of Mao's personal secretaries, but then was ousted from the party for expressing dissent. Li spent eight years in prison, regaining his party membership only after Mao's death. In an interview with the BBC in 2017, Li said he refused to write a self-criticism after he advocated tolerance for the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989. 'Whenever there is a clash between the party and humanity,' he said, 'I insist on humanity.
It’s episode 2 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ new season, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to rank taglines with absolutely no rhyme or reason (although rhyming and reason are certainly categories which may be taken into consideration). With this particular bunch of taglines, it seems like access to the Housewives’ security cameras and a direct line to the FBI agents who monitor their phones might be helpful because there is a lot of next-level passivity being thrown around that we won’t technically understand until season 9 catches up with the live drama that we’re supposed to already know has happened. It’s a real labyrinth for the mind—all accompanied by women twirling around in sparkly gowns against jewel-tone backgrounds! But have no fear; in between the psychological warfare, all your favorite tagline tropes are still there, such as: not knowing how puns works, inserting contractions where they don’t belong, and bragging about being rich with exactly zero self-awareness. Let’s get to rankin’: ERIKA: “Most people talk about their fantasies—I’m living mine.” Erika gets deducted major points for comparison’s sake alone. Need I remind you of “I’m an enigma, wrapped in a riddle and cash,” which was a play on a Winston Churchill quote??? Making me feel bad for not having the money to fund my fantasy of becoming a mesh bodysuit-wearing glamazon who sings about vaginas isn’t great, but… being boring is a much, much worse tagline sin. KYLE: “In Beverly Hills, the truth always has a way of rising to the top.” Again with the bore—now featuring Kyle’s signature sanctimonious spin! I would give Kyle a few extra sassy points if “to the top” was a reference to her ascension center diamond-holder status though… DORIT: “In business and in life, I wear many hats—and hairstyles.” Listen, I know it’s a shock to see Dorit listed so high, but you have to admit: Dorit calling out two of the worst things about herself in her opening tagline is a bold move. That would be like if my tagline for The Real Housewives of This Brooklyn Apartment was like: “In personal and professional life, I’m aaaalways late—and there’s never a good reason why, so don’t ask!” (I assume it’s obvious that should be read with the voice of a drunk, pseudo-British kitten). LISA RINNA: “In the game of life—it’s Rinna take all!” If the worst thing a tagline can be is boring, the best thing it can be is succinct. And yes that is a mostly well-deployed pun you’re hearing there! DENISE: “My problem with the tabloids? My real life is so much juicier.” Am I, admittedly, a lover of self-appointed question-and-answer sessions? Yes. But I also love the suggestion that Denise’s life is more bananas than the bananas version we’ve been told. (My fear, however, is that this tagline might prove to be a bit of an overstatement.) LISA VANDERPUMP: “You can stab me in the back—but whilst you’re there, kiss my ass.” That noise you just heard is LVP snaaaapping. The O.G. B.H. queen always goes all in on taglines, and from top to bottom, back to front, ass to sass (arse to sarse?)—this one is perfect. It’s petty, it’s shady, it somehow fits, like, 13 British pronunciations into 14 words, and most of all, it reminds us that LVP doesn’t need loyal subjects to reign supreme when she’s got a loyal network instead. Of course, my favorite Housewife this season is the newest, prettiest girl in town, but for some reason, her tagline has been left out of the lineup. So I’ve taken the liberty of giving her one myself… LUCY LUCY APPLE JUICE: “Most people want to take a swipe at PK—but this bitch actually did it.” NEXT All taglines told, it’s pretty clear this is not a season where we need to worry about there being enough drama to sustain it. Episode 2, however, starts out in the blissful before of last week’s “TWO MONTHS EARLIER” chyron with still-mostly-BFFs Kyle and Lisa heading out for some pulling and prodding. They both mention over and over throughout the episode how they love having fun together, and y’know what—I love them having fun together too. This is one of the longest standing friendships in Housewives history, and I don’t want to cheer on its dissolution… But this sucker is already broken, so bring in the kitchen screams, I guess. Sure, LVP and Kyle have a good time taking hookah-pulls of laughing gas while Lisa gets needles full of Juvederm shot into her neck (a thing! that happened! on camera!), but they’re also taking little jabs at each other all episode. So I guess the friends we’re supposed to buy now are Erika, Rinna, and Dorit??? It’s weird, and not just because they all seem to be dressed for a through-the-decades costume party when they arrive at lunch. Erika is wearing a scrunchie, Rinna is wearing gilded pants (that I was into), and Dorit…well, Dorit is wearing her now-signature crunchy curls swept up to the front-left quadrant of her head, and a sequined skirt with a cropped Givenchy hoodie. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually long for the days when Dorit was just wearing tinfoil in her hair and blatantly ignoring the sleeves on motorcycle jackets At home, Dorit tells PK that she’s just come up with an idea for a girls trip over lunch with Rinna and Erika—the two women PK used to talk shit about all the time—and he responds that surely she won’t invite Teddi, the woman he’ll now talk shit about all the time. But Dorit responds nobly, with her fake British accent at full mast, “Actually I waaaas thinking of asking Teddi,” like she’s just come up with a way to turn Starbucks straws into homes for turtles that also create reusable energy. Teddi, meanwhile, is in her natural habitat—sprinting up a mountain—with Lisa Rinna. She tells her about how when she moved to L.A. she wanted to be an actor, but when her manager told her she’d need to lose weight to get roles, it sent her into an unhealthy spiral. Getting out of that bad place is what’s inspired her to do the accountability work that she does now. Hate her or feel indifferent towards her, you gotta give Teddi props for getting on this show and turning what sounded like an incomprehensible small business into an incomprehensible small empire. NEXT There’s plenty more inspiration to go around this episode too, as Rinna returns home and has a conversation with her youngest daughter Amelia, who talks openly about her struggles with Anorexia and road toward recovery last year. I worry about the pressure of being so exposed at such an early point in the recovery, but it was certainly brave of Amelia to be so open, and she should be very proud of the hard work she’s done. And for even more inspiring transformations, look no further than new cast member Denise Richards, who made it through four years of marriage with Charlie Sheen and a bunch of years post-marriage with Charlie Sheen so that eventually she could live in a peaceful house in Malibu, dating a hot man who runs—you guessed it—an incomprehensible small business. When Denise met Aaron at his “clinic where he does a lot of frequency work and balancing the body” she thought he was “hot as balls”—which is not how that phrase works! But Aaron is hot, and later at a dessert party at Lisa Rinna’s house, Erika tells Denise that thinking about her and Aaron having sex is “right up there with [her] favorite porn.” Denise says knowing Erika thinks about them turns her on. I’m pretty sure they both mean it, and I am… interested to see where this goes! Then Lisa Rinna releases the information that Aaron’s ex-wife, Nicollette Sheridan, also used to be married to her husband, Harry Hamlin. Harry and Nicollette were married for about a year until, as legend has it, “she went to a Michael Bolton concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and…left with Michael Bolton.” What a reveal! This is exactly the kind of content one hopes for out of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It’s like finding out that one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey went to prom with Bruce Springsteen, or Nene Leakes is cousins with T.I. Give me that C-list dirt, baby. The ladies toast to Michael Bolton, without whom, Rinna might have never met her husband. Unfortunately, LVP wasn’t able to make it to this edible-flower-eating party because she’s feeling emotionally depleted following the tragic death of her brother. On top of that, she’s just found out that poor Giggy will have to have a pacemaker put in, and Lisa’s not sure how much more she can take. But when she mentions the Bahamas trip, Ken insists that she go, hopeful that she’ll return with a fresh outlook… But as we know, these trips are rarely relaxing, and though this one gets off to a glamorous start (I can’t even with Dorit acting like she chartered that private plane with the name of the resort they’re staying at emblazoned across the side), it’s also…tense. As Dorit starts to tell the women about their individual accommodations, she says that she’s inviting LVP to share the presidential suite with her, and Lisa’s kind of like: thanks but no thanks. Except without all the thanks. She tries to say that it’s because Dorit has “a terrible snoring problem,” but she very clearly just doesn’t want to stay with her. And that’s quite clear to the other six women listening in, as well. What say you? Will Erika be able to keep the “I’m tigers, but tropical” vibe she planned with Mikey (the best closet ottoman of them all) when she and LVP get into it next week? Will all these foreboding taglines finally ignite in the Bahamas? Is there a third Rinna daughter that can adopt Lucy Lucy Apple Juice to add to their menagerie of puppies? Last person to say what Erika’s new testimonial wig (you know the one) looks like in the comments is a rotten egg! I’ll get us started: a swan that has fallen over and can’t get up…
Air France and KLM have reached a compromise on tightening ties between the airlines, ending a power struggle that had alarmed the Dutch government, staff and shareholders. Air France also secured a salary agreement with pilots after protracted conflicts, including strikes last year that shaved 335 million euros ($380 million) off 2018 profits, the alliance said Wednesday. Details of the deals weren't released, but group Chief Financial Officer Frederic Gagey said the Air France-KLM plan should boost the companies' prospects despite high fuel prices and other challenges ahead. Gagey said the group was 'absolutely not' considering merging the two airlines entirely. The plan includes a new joint 'CEO committee' that group Chief Executive Benjamin Smith hopes will simplify decision-making and save money. It also involves closer sharing of activities such as purchasing, Gagey told reporters. Crucially, it allows Pieter Elbers to stay on as KLM's chief executive. Smith had reportedly pushed for an even closer alliance, which Elbers opposed. That raised concerns in the Netherlands that Elbers would be pushed out and KLM's role diminished. Smith then met last week with the Dutch government ministers of finance and infrastructure to discuss the future of the alliance. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaking at his regular weekly press conference on Friday, declined to detail what was discussed, but he stressed what was at stake. 'It is unbelievably important for the Dutch economy that KLM functions well,' he said. 'The organization is not in danger, but it is an organization that, if you compare it with other airlines, is not functioning brilliantly,' he said. Speaking in Paris, Elbers sounded relieved that negotiations over the new structure were over. 'It's been a complex time. I'm glad it's behind us and we can move forward,' he told Dutch broadcaster NOS. 'The support from all the people at KLM and in the Netherlands has been heart-warming.' KLM went through layoffs and cost cuts and is more profitable than Air France, which has faced extended labor disputes. Air France pilots' unions welcomed the salary agreement meant to end the hostility. 'After months of conflict, it was time to enter a new era,' Guillaume Gestas, head of the SNPL Air France ALPA union, said in a statement. Air France-KLM announced an overall profit in 2018 of 409 million euros ($464 million), up from last year when one-off charges hit the bottom line but lower than some peers. Revenues in 2018 were 26.5 billion euros ($30 billion), up 2.5 percent from the year before. The group warned of an 'uncertain' global context in 2019 because of geopolitical tensions in several countries where it operates and high fuel prices. ___ Mike Corder in The Hague, the Netherlands, contributed to this report.
The apparent Republican winner of the country's last undecided congressional election is expected to explain why he stuck with a North Carolina political operative with a shady track record that even the GOP candidate thought about protesting in the past. North Carolina's elections board is expected to hear testimony on Wednesday from Mark Harris. He led Democrat Dan McCready after November's election, but the race wasn't certified after allegations against a Harris contractor who focused on mail-in ballots in two rural counties. Harris said he sought out and hired political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless because he delivered votes, including for a Republican rival in the 2016 GOP primary. Harris said he discussed with an attorney after that primary whether to challenge Dowless' incredible results for a GOP rival with mail-in ballots in Bladen County. Dowless' methods in the 2016 general election were referred to federal prosecutors, who took no action. Dowless conducted an illegal and well-funded ballot-harvesting operation last year, North Carolina's elections director said Monday. Dowless' workers in rural Bladen County testified at a special state elections board hearing that they were directed to forge signatures, collect blank or incomplete ballots voters handed over, and even fill in votes for local candidates who hadn't earned them. The elections board is expected to either declare Harris the winner in the 9th congressional district or order a new election after the multi-day hearing. McCready has asked the state elections board to order a new election, or leave the decision to the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, which the constitution makes the final judge of the elections and qualifications of its members. 'The results of this election were irretrievably tainted by fraud and deceit and cheating by Mr. Dowless and the campaign he was working directly for and the candidate who hired him,' McCready lawyer Marc Elias said Tuesday. Harris attorney Alexander Dale said that would punish hundreds of thousands of voters whose choices weren't in doubt. The elections board should declare Harris the winner and push prosecutors to act against those who broke laws protecting election integrity, Dale said. Harris 'has absolutely nothing to hide. He was told from Day One that everything about this was legal,' Dale said. 'He heard nothing that it wasn't until we heard the testimony (Monday), which certainly calls that into question. ___ Follow Emery P. Dalesio on Twitter at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/emery%20dalesio .

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Local News

  • A new guide from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government will help schools and businesses throughout Georgia connect to provide on-the-job learning experiences for students. The free booklet, “Creating and Replicating High-Quality Experiential Learning Opportunities,” helps business leaders and educators identify opportunities for apprenticeships, internships, clinical experiences and job shadows, among others, that are most effective in developing a trained workforce equipped with critical technical, academic and employability skills. The guide, prepared by the Institute of Government’s workforce development faculty with support from the Georgia Power Co., contains case studies and methods for replicating existing training programs in high schools. “Georgia Power works closely with the state to support education programs that strengthen the talent pipeline,” said Anne Kaiser, Georgia Power’s vice president of community and economic development. “We partnered with UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government to identify best practices and opportunities to scale work-based learning in Georgia. Experiential learning programs not only benefit our high school students who are developing new skills and evaluating career paths, but offer Georgia employers an opportunity to address the critical need of recruiting, develop the next generation of workforce talent, and invest in their communities.” Economic development professionals, business leaders, educators, elected officials and others interested in strengthening their local workforce development efforts can find practical information in the booklet. “This new guide for businesses and schools highlights best practices and uses an easy-to-follow decision tree to help employers and educators select the experiential learning programs that would work best in their community,” said Laura Meadows, Institute of Government director. The guide is available online at the Institute of Government’s new Georgia Workforce Toolkit website, www.gaworkforce.org. The Georgia Workforce Toolkit includes additional resources for schools and businesses that are establishing or expanding high-quality work-study, internship and apprenticeship programs, said Greg Wilson, an Institute of Government faculty member.This “can help develop qualified, knowledgeable, dedicated employees from the ground up by connecting students to work and showing them where their education can lead,” Wilson said. The decision tree featured in the guide serves as a simple tool that lets educators and businesses easily assess their goals and determine what program best addresses local needs and capacities. Clear, concise case studies of 19 experiential learning programs illustrate successful partnerships and programs and explain why they were appropriate for a certain community. Institute faculty surveyed school- and work-based learning programs in Georgia and throughout the United States to select the most effective and successful programs for case studies. The guide summarizes the key to success for each program and organizes them on an experiential learning continuum from experiences to work-based learning and pre-apprenticeships. The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that conducts training, technical assistance and applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and provide improved service to the public.
  • The Clarke County School District schedules elections to fill the next openings on the District’s Local School Governance Teams. They’ll be held March 20 through 29, coinciding with the next round of Clarke County School District parent-teacher conferences. Three parents and three teachers are elected to serve on each school’s LSGT. Team members approve and monitor the school growth plan, help identify student, and family needs and provide input into budget, personnel, and other school district decisions. From the CCSD… Schools throughout the Clarke County School District will hold elections for their Local School Governance Teams March 20-29.   LSGTs allow parents, community members and educators to have a greater voice in important decisions regarding their school. Three parents and three teachers are elected to serve on each school’s LSGT. Together with the principal, they select three community members and, at the middle and high schools, one student representative to join the team.   “The Clarke County School District is a charter system, and LGSTs are an essential part of the charter system model,” said Claire Suggs, Chief of Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships for CCSD. “We invite parents and educators to consider serving on their school’s LSGT and play a key role in helping each school grow, plan for the years ahead and constantly improve to benefit students.”   LSGT members approve and monitor the school growth plan, help to identify student and family needs and provide input into budget, personnel and other important decisions. They also serve as advocates for their schools and participate in the principal hiring process by selecting finalists.   Elections will begin during parent-teacher conferences March 20-22 and continue through March 29. For more information on CCSD’s charter system model, the role of Local School Governance Teams and to submit your name for consideration, please visit https://www.clarke.k12.ga.us/lsgt. 
  • Police in Gainesville have released surveillance video from an armed robbery that happened last week: the video shows two men wearing masks, holding up a convenience store on Park Hill Drive in Gainesville. Cash was stolen; no injuries were reported.From Christian Jennings, Channel 2 Action News… Police are trying to find the armed and masked gunmen who rushed into a Texaco gas station and robbed the place. It happened on Park Hill Drive last Tuesday in Gainesville. 'They just took the money, got in and out really fast,' said Vincent Del Vecchio, the clerk who was on duty at the time and can be seen on the surveillance video.  The store is just a couple of blocks away from a CVS where a man was killed in a robbery earlier this month. Two customers were inside the gas station with the clerk, who followed the gunmen's commands. “He said, ‘Uh everybody freeze. Give me all the money right now. Open that register,’” Del Vecchio said. Del Vecchio said he managed to stay calm when two men wearing masks pointed guns at his face.  'I’m just focused, like, no sudden moves, don’t frighten them,' Del Vecchio said. The store owners said there are three suspects seen in the video. Shortly after the two men approached the counter, another man ran past them.  'And one came and he took the beer: Corona Light, 12-pack,' co-owner Shama Jindani said. 'We are scared. We are scared and like not feeling as we were feeling before,' co-owner Shabnam Jindani said. The Jindanis opened the store seven years ago. It's the first time they've ever been robbed. “Suddenly, maybe six months, it’s become rough. I don’t know why,” Shama Jindani said. Gainesville police Chief Jay Parrish said his department is taking action in response to the increased crime on Park Hill Drive -- dedicating a patrol officer, undercover officers and K-9 teams to the area. 'They are doing very good very good, right now,' Shama Jindani said. 'In the morning time, our clerk told us they’re coming in like number of times in morning and afternoon with K-9 and going and searching,' Shabnam Jindani said. In light of the recent crimes, the owners said they plan to upgrade their camera system.
  • Athens-Clarke County Police have released surveillance photographs of a person of interest in the February 10 theft of a car with a baby inside: the car—with the 11-month-old in the backseat—was left in the parking lot of the Home Depot store on Epps Bridge Road in Athens. The baby was safe. The search for the car thief continues, with a $1,000 reward from the local Crime Stoppers group for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. From the Athens-Clarke County Police Department… ACCPD investigators would like to speak to this individual who was in the area of the shopping center at 1740 Epps Bridge Rd. (Home Depot) when the stolen vehicle with the child inside was located. Detectives believe this individual may have information about the ongoing investigation. ACCPD asks this individual, or anyone who may know this person, to call Det. Carroll at 706-613-3888 ext. 292 or Michael.Carroll@accgov.com. A Crime Stoppers Reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this incident is being offered. Please call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 706-705-4775. 
  • Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter and one of his top advisers, will travel to Georgia on Wednesday morning to tour a UPS training facility with Gov. Brian Kemp.  The duo will visit UPS Integrad, a driver training facility in Duluth, with first lady Marty Kemp and UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney. The group will also participate in a roundtable discussion with employees and receive a briefing about the company’s efforts to combat human trafficking. One of her father’s top surrogates, Ivanka Trump was dispatched to metro Atlanta in the weeks before the 2016 election to drum up political support, particularly among women. Since arriving in Washington, she has focused on workforce development issues and revamping child care policies.  TRENDING STORIES: Off-duty ICE officer shot, killed man in Walmart parking lot, police say Inmates working with chainsaws causing concerns in one metro neighborhood Body of missing 58-year-old grandfather with dementia found, family says She’s just the latest Trump administration official to swing through Georgia in recent months. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited a farm outside of Augusta to promote Trump’s State of the Union Address, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos addressed a conference of financial aid professionals in Atlanta in November and Trump himself surveyed damage fr om Hurricane Michael in October.  Ivanka Trump’s choice of location further showcases Gwinnett County’s status as a political hotbed. Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren stumped at a Lawrenceville high school over the weekend, and other White House hopefuls are expected to make the pilgrimage to the fast-changing county in the months ahead. The Integrad facility Trump will tour with the Kemps was built in 2015 and is one of 11 centers the company has opened around the country aimed at teaching drivers using 3D simulations, classroom instruction and webcasts. It also includes an outside course that replicates a small town, dubbed “Clarkville USA.” The Sandy Springs-based UPS has worked with the Trump administration on several workforce development initiatives over the last year.  The company’s chief transformation officer was on hand at the White House last summer to sign Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers.” The Fortune 500 committed to providing  “enhanced workforce opportunities” to more than 50,000 UPS employees, including apprenticeships, retraining and access to higher education. Earlier this year, it announced a new memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Agency for International Development aimed at improving opportunities for female entrepreneurs in the developing world to export their products. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — The Georgia-Auburn football rivalry could be moving to an early date in the season starting in 2020, according to an Auburn reporter citing anonymous sources. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity had no official comment on the matter when contacted by DawgNation on Tuesday night. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said last May he was interested in a schedule arrangement that would prevent Georgia from playing rivalry games with Auburn and Georgia Tech “back to back” in the same month. “I feel like if we could fix it, it would help to not have two road games back to back for us, like the situation we had last year (2017) with the Auburn and Georgia Tech back to back,” Smart said. “I understand there are problems and difficulties trying to appease everyone.” Auburn is interested in moving the game because it doesn’t like playing Georgia and Alabama in the same month, and on the road in the same years. Brandon Marcello reported that: “The parties still have hurdles to overcome, but it is expected the 14 SEC schools and commissioner Greg Sankey  will move forward to push the game to September or October.” Smart said it’s not as simple as the schools agreeing to change things up. “I have a feeling there’s more to it than just us and them,” Smart said. “It affects so many moving parts, the soonest would be 2019.” As it turns out, 2020 is the soonest, according to the 247 report, and it might not involve one team playing two consecutive games on the road games to get the teams’ rivalry games in alternate years. The post Georgia football rivalry with Auburn could be moving dates appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS – Their average age is 40. Most of them played college football at places like Arkansas Tech and Texas Southern. Three of them didn’t play college ball at all. They are the 10 full-time coaches who will be assisting Georgia head coach Kirby Smart for what’s expected to be a championship run in the 2019 football season. It’s an interesting mix of youth and experience and it features a surprising lack of actual on-field, Division I playing experience. The makeup of the Bulldogs’ staff came more into focus after roles and salaries were revealed last Friday in response to open records requests from media outlets. Smart has yet to offer comment or answer questions about his new staff. Here’s some factoids to consider as we take a closer look at the group: Not that it matters, but two of Georgia’s three coordinators did not play college football themselves. Neither offensive coordinator James Coley nor co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann played ball beyond high school. Recently hired tight ends coach Todd Hartley also didn’t play college football. He was a student assistant coach while attending UGA as an undergrad. Only running backs coach Dell McGee played major college ball. He was a wide receiver and defensive back at Auburn from 1992-95 and played briefly in the NFL. New defensive backs coach Charlton Warren played as a defensive back at the Air Force Academy. The rest of the staff were small-college football players. Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning played linebacker at tiny William Jewell College, an NAIA program at the time. Heralded offensive line coach – and newly-appointed associate head coach — Sam Pittman also played NAIA ball. He was an All-American lineman at Pittsburg State in Kansas. Special teams coordinator Scott Fountain played at Samford, receivers coach Cortez Hankton played at Texas Southern and defensive line coach Tray Scott played at Arkansas Tech Georgia’s staff also is not extremely deep on experience. Pittman, 57, and Fountain, 52, have been around the longest. They’ve logged 32 and 31 years, respectively, in the college game. Many people don’t realize that Pittman was once a head coach. He spent two seasons as head coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, three overall. Today he is considered one of the most successful recruiters of offensive linemen in the country. When broken down into experience as actual on-field, college assistant coaches, the average length of service for members of Smart’s staff is a relatively low 11.5 years. The 28-year-old Schumann has the least, entering his fourth year as inside linebackers coach for the Bulldogs. He was a volunteer analyst as an undergraduate student at Alabama, then a graduate assistant and, finally, a director of player development and personnel for two years before following Smart to UGA. Hartley (7), Hankton (7), Lanning (6), McGee (6) and Scott (6) all have less than eight years experience as well. Most of Georgia’s coaches spent a good bit of time coaching high school ball before moving into the college ranks. Fountain and McGee were high school head coaches before breaking into college as analysts. Pittman was also a high school head coach. Coley and Lanning each were high school assistant coaches before getting their breaks as analysts, or quality control specialists. Smart lost a combined 56 years of college and pro coaching experience off his staff when coordinators Jim Chaney and Mel Tucker left to accept new jobs after last season. Tucker became head coach at Colorado while Chaney accepted a $650,000-a-year raise to make a lateral move to Tennessee. That resulted in Smart paying $375,000-a-year less for his assistant coaches. Chaney’s addition along with the hiring of Derrick Ansley as defensive coordinator and Tee Martin as wide receivers coach and some other staff moves mean that Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt is now paying his staff $800,000 more than Georgia is ($6.045 million). That’s primarily due to coordinator pay. Chaney ($1.6 million), Ansley ($1 million) and Chris Rumph ($805,000) all have multiyear contracts and make $3.4 million annually between them. Georgia’s three coordinators are due $2.25 million in the next year. It’s not yet known if they signed multiyear deals, but three-year deals are standard operating procedure in the business. What’s it all mean? Not much at the moment. Smart’s doing just fine, thank you very much. He is a combined 10-3 against Georgia’s four primary conference rivals of Auburn (3-1), Florida (2-1), South Carolina (3-0) and Tennesssee (2-1). He is, of course, 0-2 vs. Alabama. The post Georgia Bulldogs’ 2019 football staff is short on experience, long on potential appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia Athletic Association board members will be briefed on the progress of efforts to add a new football-dedicated building to the Butts-Mehre Athletic Complex when it holds its annual winter meeting on Wednesday. In a conference call with members of the board’s facilities and development committee Monday morning, Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed that a status report will be provided on the latest multi-million dollar project to come on line since Kirby Smart became the Bulldogs’ head coach in 2016. McGarity said Georgia is in the process of selecting engineers and architects for the project, which is expected to be erect a building in the space between the Spec Town Track & Field grandstands and the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. As DawgNation reported six months ago, such a facility is expected to carry a price tag of more than $50 million. Fundraising efforts are already underway. Since Smart’s arrival on campus in January of 2016, Georgia has built and dedicated a $30 million indoor practice facility and $65 million locker room and recruiting area underneath the West grandstand at Sanford Stadium. Since the fall of 2015, members of Georgia’s relatively new Magill Society have pledged donations totaling nearly $100 million to cover the cost of those projects. Board members will also be briefed on an upcoming project to improve the lighting at Sanford Stadium, McGarity said. The majority of the focus on facilities updates on Wednesday will be on construction of a new grandstand for the Henry Feild Stadium courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, McGarity said. Cost for that project is now expected to exceed $8 million. The board will also be briefed on plans to erect a new six-court indoor tennis facility for the complex. “That will be the only action item on Wednesday,” McGarity said. To date, none of the monies raised from the Magill Society have gone toward tennis. That is the sport Magill oversaw for decades before his death in 2014 at the age of 93. Board members will also be briefed on an ongoing $3.1 million equestrian project that will include a 7,000-square foot clubhouse at the team’s facility in Bishop. The post Expansion of Georgia Bulldogs’ football complex to be discussed at UGA athletics board meeting appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — As many as three outgoing Georgia football players have been projected as first-round NFL Draft picks by different analysts at different times. But there’s always one Bulldog on the first-round list — Deandre Baker. That didn’t change on Monday when the Georgia Thorpe Award winner surfaced as the No. 20 overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Mel Kiper’s latest first-round mock draft on the ESPN Insider pay site. RELATED: Georgia opens with 10 on NFL Draft boards Kiper has Baker as his second-highest rated cornerback in the draft behind LSU’s Greedy Williams, who he forecasts will go to Denver at No. 10. Earlier this month, NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter opened eyes when he projected both Baker and tailback Elijah Holyfield to be selected in the first round. Reuter, in a Feb. 5 three-round NFL mock draft, had four Bulldogs listed: Deandre Baker, No. 24 overall, Oakland Elijah Holyfield, No. 30 overall, Green Bay Riley Ridley, No. 35 overall, Oakland Isaac Nauta, No. 62 overall, New Orleans Ridley was at one point projected as high as the first round — at No. 32 — by NFL.com writer Daniel Jeremiah. WATCH: Riley Ridley coached up by NFL legends Jeremiah and fellow NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein recently penned an article on which one player each team should keep an eye on. The Baltimore Ravens were advised to keep an eye on speedy Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman, as “the buzz is starting to build in personnel circles.” The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, should watch for Ridley, according to the story: “The Niners need another big target at wide receiver with size and toughness for Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. Ridley’s college production was just OK, but there were plenty of mouths to feed in the Georgia offense. Ridley might be a fit for San Francisco as a Day 2 option, provided he shows ball-tracking ability and some route acumen in Indianapolis.” Projections from one analyst to another vary, as they each do their own evaluations and rely on different NFL sources. Kiper, for example, doesn’t have Holyfield, Ridley or Nauta ranked in the top 10 at their respective positions in the upcoming draft. It’s all talk for now, and NFL Draft projections are sure to get a thorough shaking up after the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The combine testing runs from March 1-4. Georgia will have eight players at the combine, seven taking part in on-field testing. Outside linebacker D’Andre Walker had sports hernia surgery on Jan. 16 in Birmingham, Ala., and is rehabilitating. Walker hopes to be healthy enough to take part in the Bulldogs Pro Day for NFL scouts on March 20.     The post Georgia football favorites Elijah Holyfield, Mecole Hardman generating NFL Draft buzz appeared first on DawgNation.