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Travel Headlines

    Delta Air Lines has rolled out facial recognition for international travel at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for what it calls the first biometric terminal in the United States. It’s now making plans to expand the technology in Detroit. >> Read more trending news  In September, the airline announced plans to make the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson into a biometric terminal, including facial recognition at check-in, at the security checkpoint, at gates and at Customs. Passengers essentially show their faces to a camera instead of showing identification or a boarding pass. During boarding, the use of facial recognition saves an average of two seconds per passenger, or a total of nine minutes for boarding of a wide-body plane, according to Delta. The Detroit News reported that the airline plans to expand facial recognition to the international terminal in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport by mid-December. It will then roll out facial recognition throughout that airport in 2019.
  • We know flying comes with extra costs. A pillow, blanket or even meal now come with price tags on top of your fare, but when did having to pay for repairs to the plane start being added to the tab? A LOT Polish Airlines flight that was scheduled to take off from Beijing Capital Airport couldn’t get into the air when it needed a new pump for the hydraulic system, Metro reported.  A Boeing repair person at the airport wouldn’t take the airline’s bank transfer and would only perform the work if they got the cash in hand. An airline spokesperson said the two companies are supposed to have non-cash transactions only, RT reported. Passengers were asked to pass the plate by a member of the airline staff, RT reported. >> Read more trending news  The effort collected almost $340 to pay for the repair and get the flight in the air. One passenger on the flight to Warsaw told Metro, “We are at the international airport. I cannot believe that transactions take place here in cash under the table with the mechanic standing next to the plane. Incredible.” A spokesperson with LOT Polish Airlines told Metro the employee at the Beijing airport refused all payment methods other than cash, leading to confusion.  The passengers who chipped in got their money back when they landed in Warsaw. They were also given vouchers and may get compensated for the 10-hour wait they had as the repair was made. As for the employee who asked the passengers for the donations, the company spokesperson said he or she will face disciplinary action, Metro reported. “There are no circumstances that justify asking money from passengers,” Adrian Kubicki told Metro.
  • The Transportation Security Administration has confirmed that an 11-year-old boy got through a security checkpoint at Atlanta’s airport without having a boarding pass or ticket. >> Read more trending news  The child went through the main security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and was screened, according to WSB-TV.  Officials said the boy then tried to board a flight by blending in with a family. The boy was caught when the family said he wasn't with them.  “How is that even possible?” traveler Empress Love said. “He should have never been able to get past the security. From right there they should have stopped him. The incident happened Friday afternoon. TSA representative Sari Koshetz said the child didn't have to show identification at the security checkpoint because he is a minor. Koshetz had no comment when asked about the fact the boy didn't have a boarding pass. She said after he was screened an officer asked the boy where his parents were. That's when the child got away. “It's hard to understand how something like that could happen,” one woman, who asked not to be identified, said.  The boy got to a gate where he tried to blend in with a family and board a plane. When the family said they didn't know him, he took off before officers eventually found him. The boy's mother refused to comment about the incident. When WSB told her they were to figure out how this happened she responded. >> Related: 7 of 10 most stressed states in country are in the south; where do you rank? “OK, well you should be at the airport asking them how that happened,” the boy’s mother said.  The TSA isn't saying much about the incident. “I can't understand how he would have gotten past the security piece because you have to show them your ticket and your ID,” a traveler said.  The TSA said the incident wasn't a breach of security since agents screened the child. The child is back home with his mother. WSB reported he took a bus to the airport and indicated he just wanted to get away.
  • Walt Disney World is revealing more about some of its new attractions -- and showing off some of its newest technology -- that are coming soon to Central Florida. “We’ve made the conscious decision to control our own destiny – to be the disruptor, not the disrupted,” Bob Chapek -- chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products -- said at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions conference in Orlando.  At the conference, Chapek unveiled new animatronics called A1000s, which he said is Disney’s most innovative and expensive animatronics yet. >> Read more trending news  Disney is even developing new technology called stunt-tronics: Animatronics that can do stunts too dangerous for humans, like flying through the air and doing superhero-like moves. Disney also revealed more about a much-anticipated attraction coming to Epcot: A new 'Guardians of the Galaxy' ride being built at the former Universe of Energy pavilion.  Chapek said it will be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world. Just building the foundation was the largest concrete pour in Walt Disney World’s history. The building is so big, it can fit four Spaceship Earths inside, Chapek said. The new roller coaster will spin as it moves, and will have a storyline that revolves around the plot and characters from the movie. >>Read: Disney pass holder displays pro-Trump signs at park, gets banned again “Guests will be able to experience it when it opens in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021,” Chapek said. Disney also revealed more about the gondola system called Skyliner, which Disney now says will be operational in the fall of 2019. Crews have been building towers across the landscape of the property for months. When it opens, Skyliner will connect Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and four resorts: Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, and the new Rivera Resort, which is set to open in 2019. >>Read: Up, up and away: WFTV gets exclusive look at Walt Disney World's Skyliner What the actual gondolas look like remains a secret, though Disney has circulated artist renderings of the project. One thing is clear, though: Mickey Mouse may be turning 90, but he and Disney aren’t slowing down. “In this industry, complacency is the biggest threat,” Chapek said.
  • The biggest cruise ship in the world is now at Port Canaveral.  Royal Caribbean's 'Symphony of the Seas' arrived at about 4 a.m. Thursday.  It's part of the port's push to get bigger ships and more passengers into the area.  At Wednesday's State of the Port event, CEO John Murray talked about record revenue and the 4.5 million cruise passengers who moved through the port.  >> Read more trending news  'It's great for the port, great for Orlando, great for the theme parks, space center, local area, so that it all helps grow the local economy,” he said. “We're here to facilitate commerce between the ocean and the community, and that, to me, is first and foremost.' Symphony of the Seas is 1,184 feet long and can hold 6,680 passengers and 2,200 crew members.  Carnival plans to bring its largest ship to Port Canaveral in 2020.
  • New documents filed this week in Orange County, Florida, offer a first look at plans for Universal Orlando’s fourth theme park. >> Watch the news report here The plans will transform 540 acres of empty land near Lockheed Martin. That’s in addition to the construction of two hotels on the old Wet ‘n Wild property as part of the 4,000-room Endless Summer Resort. “I see a very big easel for Universal Orlando and Comcast to paint through over the next few years,” said theme park analyst Rick Munarriz. “Universal now has the coloring book; now they just need to show us their crayons.' Documents filed with the county this week show plans for major infrastructure upgrades. There will be 100 acres of new roads and more than 5,000 parking spots. Munarriz said 5,000 parking spots seems like a conservative number. “So I’m thinking there's going to be a transportation system to get people from the resort to the new resort,” Munarriz said. >> Read more trending news  The plans do not show exactly what's coming, but Universal has trademarked the name “Universal's Fantastic Worlds.” The new Nintendo Land, including Mario Kart and a Donkey Kong roller coaster, was supposed to be built at the KidZone section of Universal Orlando. But analysts said those rides, which are already designed, will likely go into a new park. “[Universal] really needs to step up its game if it's going to compete with what Disney has coming in three years. That is why we have this new playground coming,” Munarriz said.
  • Your marathon trips to Disney are nothing compared to what one couple from Tennessee has planned.  They want to hit six Disney parks on both coasts within 24 hours Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  Clark and Heather Ensminger are planning to start their day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, have breakfast, then walk over to Epcot. After hitting that park, they’ll go to Magic Kingdom and finish their Florida day at Animal Kingdom.  >>Read: Walt Disney World's new ticket pricing structure takes effect Then they plan to leave Walt Disney World in Florida and grab a direct flight to Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m., the AP reported. Using the time zones to their advantage, they will hopefully be in California Adventure by 8 p.m. and in Walt Disney’s first park Disneyland before it closes at midnight.  So how do they plan to stay on schedule? The Ensmingers have a spreadsheet with all of their times mapped out for where and when they have to be, the AP reported. 
  • It could cost you more to visit Walt Disney World. New ticket prices began Tuesday and the new pricing structure varies based on the date you're going. It also comes with a new online planning tool. Disney World officials said in September that prices at the resort's four theme parks will be tweaked so they're the same. For some time, the Magic Kingdom had a higher price on any given day than Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom. >> Read more trending news  Disney introduced flexible pricing at U.S. parks three years ago as an incentive for guests to visit during less busy times. Each month was divided into value, regular and peak days. Single-day tickets now range from $109 to $129, depending on how popular the day is expected to be. Disney said the pricing structure could cost guests more or less than with the previous pricing structure. Travel and Leisure reported that the price of annual passes and parking also increased.  Visitors can find the lowest-priced days by clicking on a calendar on Walt Disney World's website. Recently, Disney increased the cost of snacks and soda on the property, Travel and Leisure reported. The Associated Press and the National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • She’s only 5 months old but a little girl is finishing up something that may be on the bucket lists of many adults -- to visit all 50 states in the U.S. But age isn’t stopping Harper Yeats. Her parents have taken her on a road trip to end all road trips and hope to finish the journey on Oct. 18 when the family gets to Vermont, “Good Morning America reported”.  The Green Mountain State will finally get crossed off Cindy Lim and Tristan Yeats’ list that took them four months to complete.  And while many will say little Harper is too young to remember the once-in-a-lifetime trip around the country, her parents have taken a photograph after they crossed each state line to help document the journey. The trip has been documented on Instagram. >> Read more trending news  The trip will also make Harper the youngest member of the All 50 States Club and she may even get a Guinness World Record title out of the trip. But Guinness has to create the record before the family can submit the application, “Good Morning America” reported. Lim and Yeats are originally from Australia but live in Canada. They started their drive around the country in June just a few weeks after Harper was born and near the beginning of Lim’s year-long maternity leave, “Good Morning America” reported. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 
  • Delta Air Lines says it is capping airfares for travel to and from certain cities in Florida and Alabama later this week due to Hurricane Michael. >> Hurricane Michael: Live updates Atlanta-based Delta said it is capping fares at $299 each way Oct. 9-11 for coach class to and from Pensacola, Panama City, Destin-Fort Walton Beach and Tallahassee, Florida; and Mobile, Alabama. >> On AJC.com: Delta, Southwest warn Hurricane Michael could disrupt flights First-class fares are capped at $499 each way for those cities during that Tuesday-Thursday time period. >> Read more trending news  Delta is also waiving certain change fees for passengers flying to, from or through those cities Tuesday or Wednesday who want to change their plans to avoid the storm. 

Local News

  • The players bounced up and down on a hastily erected stage in the middle of the field, confetti falling all around as they hoisted the championship trophy. It's a familiar scene at the end of any season. Only this time, a team from Atlanta was doing the honors . The title drought in over in the A-T-L. Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar scored goals, Brad Guzan came up with a couple of clutch saves and Atlanta United gave the city its first championship since 1995 with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final Saturday night. Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank lifted a trophy and got soaked with champagne — less than two years after his other team, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse. 'My first night in my new house in Atlanta, I went to bed at halftime of the Super Bowl,' defender Jeff Larentowicz said. 'I woke up and I read the headlines and I couldn't believe what I saw.' Now, United had written a new headline. Champs . 'Hopefully, we can transcend that past,' Larentowicz said, 'and move on to a new future for the city.' Martinez, capping the greatest goal-scoring season in MLS history, put United ahead in 39th minute. Escobar added an insurance goal in the 54th, turning the final minutes into a raucous, flag-waving celebration and sending coach Tata Martino out with a title in his final game as coach. He's reportedly headed to Mexico to take over as that country's national coach. 'If I had to choose the way to leave somewhere, this is the best way,' Martino said. 'This is the way I wanted it to happen.' Atlanta reveled in its first title since the Braves won the 1995 World Series — a gap of 8,442 days, for those counting. 'Most of us aren't from here, so we don't know the pain that they've been through,' said United captain Michael Parkhurst, who finally broke his own drought after playing on four runner-up teams. 'I'm just happy that we could come through for them tonight. I know there were a lot of anxious and stressed-out fans.' After a surprising run in the playoffs, the Timbers were denied their second MLS championship after winning the cup in 2015. They prevailed on the road at Dallas, Seattle and Kansas City before coming up short in Atlanta. 'I'm extremely proud of the work we've had the entire season,' coach Giovanni Savaarese said. 'To be able to get to the MLS Cup, we played a lot of difficult teams.' Since major league sports came to Atlanta in 1966, the only other team to win a championship in one of the five major sports also came on the soccer pitch. The Atlanta Chiefs claimed the title in the North American Soccer League's inaugural season in 1968. While that team laid the groundwork, Atlanta United carried the sport to unprecedented levels in North America. The team shattered the MLS attendance record a year ago in its first season, and then took the mark even higher by averaging more than 53,000 per game this year — a level of support that would fit right in with the Premier League or La Liga. The crowd of 73,019 on Saturday easily eclipsed the previous record for an MLS Cup — 61,316 at New England's Gillette Stadium in 2002. Almost as soon as the final whistle blew, a victory parade through the streets of Atlanta was announced for Monday. Queen's 'We Are The Champions' blared throughout Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'The first goal is always going to be massive one way or the other,' Guzan said. 'The second one really broke their backs.' United kept the ball in Portland's end of the field much of the first half. It seemed only a matter of time before Atlanta broke through. Appropriately enough, it was Martinez. Portland tried to clear the ball, but a sliding tackle by Parkhurst sent the ball rocketing back toward the Timbers net. Martinez managed to win possession from Jeremy Ebobisse at the top of the area, leaving the most prolific goal scorer in league history all alone against goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. It was no contest. Martinez, the league's MVP and Golden Boot winner after scoring 31 goals during the regular season, cut to his right to escape the sprawling keeper, easily sliding the ball into an open net to send the packed house into an uproar. 'I was feeling a lot of pressure before the game,' said Martinez, who added four more goals in the playoffs. 'My neighbors were putting flags all around my house and pushing notes under my door.' The Timbers finally created a scoring chance in the 42nd minute. Looking to atone for his mistake, Ebobisse slipped in behind the defense and was all alone in front for a cross. His header was right on the mark, but Guzan dove to his right to punch it away with both hands. It was Portland's only shot of the opening half. The Timbers created far more opportunities over the final 45 minutes, but couldn't get it past Guzan. Escobar was the one who finished off the Timbers . MVP finalist Miguel Almiron sent a free kick into the box, where Martinez managed to get a head on it. His attempt was heading wide of the net, but Escobar slipped free at the far post to deliver a sliding goal. The defender's second score of the playoffs doubled his goal output for the entire regular season. 'It's not every day you get to win a title,' Guzan said, speaking for an entire city. 'To be a part of this is truly special.' ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Robert Barbiarz of Winder is arrested and booked into the Hall County jail, accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. From the Hall County Sheriff’s Office...  On December 5, 2018, Investigators with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office arrested Robert Rian Babiarz, 17, of Winder, during the course of a theft investigation.   Between early and mid-November 2018, Robert Babiarz worked for a company that was doing remodeling at the home of the victim in this case which is located in the 2100 block of Elysian Circle.   On November 15, 2018, the homeowner (victim) discovered she had jewelry missing. She called 911. The approximate value of the jewelry which was stolen was estimated to be worth $ 196,000.00.   The contractor who employed Babiarz was cooperative with Investigators who quickly identified Robert Rian Babiarz as a suspect in the theft.   Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Babiarz for Theft by Taking (F) on November 16, 2018.   Mr. Babiarz was arrested without incident and booked in at the Hall County Jail. Bond has not been set at this time.    Investigators have recovered the majority of the stolen jewelry and returned items to the victim in this case.   This incident remains under investigation by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
  • The trial of one of the men accused of murdering two correctional officers is one step closer. On Thursday, a judge heard evidence of what could be included in Donnie Rowe's case.  Rowe sat at the table with his defense team, wearing a white jumpsuit and orange Crocs. Prosecutors say he and Ricky Dubose killed Sgts. Chris Monica and Curtis Billue in June of 2017. At times during Thursday's hearing, Channel 2's Lauren Pozen saw Rowe take notes, especially when prosecutors played his interview with FBI agents after he and Rowe were captured in Tennessee. The judge wouldn't allow us to play the video for you, but we were able to use a screenshot of it.  The FBI agent who questioned Rowe told the court he was very forthcoming. At one point in the interview we watched, Rowe breaks down in tears. He told the special agent he had met Dubose six months prior to the attack on the prison bus whilethey were being transferred. Rowe says multiple rounds were fired, striking one of the officers directly in the head.  We also heard testimony from the sheriff of Putnam County, who arrived on the scene moments after the attack. He described it as chaotic. He spoke with many inmates, who told him what they saw.  'I obviously was looking for the most information I could get to apprehend these people as quickly as I could. It was clear to me who they were, it was clear to me the crimes that occurred and that was my focus,' says Sheriff Howard Sills.  The judge did not rule on Thursday what will and will not be allowed into evidence. That will be decided at another hearing date next month. The families of the victims were also in court, at times holding back tears. Pozen spoke with Denise Billue, whose brother was Curtis Billue. She said it is very difficult for her to be here, but she shows up for her brother.  'Our faith is sustaining us. It keeps us strong. In the end, everything is going to work out. We believe in the judicial system, but we also believe in the process,' she said.    

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — SEC legend Tim Tebow has been right about Georgia football most of the season, and that’s why his concerns about the Bulldogs having an Alabama hangover in the Sugar Bowl are alarming. After all, Tebow predicted Georgia QB Jake Fromm would bounce back after the LSU loss, and T ebow said freshman Justin Fields could ultimately be an answer for the Bulldogs in short-yardage situations. And now Tebow says Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be challenged to get his No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) motivated to play No. 15-ranked Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. Tebow said allowing the SEC Championship Game to ‘slip through their fingers’ in the 35-28 loss could damage morale. “Now for the time leading up to the game, where’s your motivation? Where is your edge? Where is that fire?” Tebow said in a 247Sports story. “That is something that the leaders of Georgia really have to lock in and say, ‘Hey you know what? We’re playing for pride. We’re playing a big program in Texas.’ “But a lot of these guys are going to say, ‘Listen, we don’t care about Texas. We care about Bama. We let that one get away. Now we’re going to play the 15th-ranked team in the country?’ “ Tebow said. “It’s like the motivation isn’t there, so I’m a little bit nervous about this game. And Kirby Smart has to do a really good job of disciplining his players, locking in, focusing.” Smart has been in a similar situation before and seen championship caliber teams at Alabama fall flat in the postseason, most notably, in the Tide’s 2009 Sugar Bowl loss to Utah. Smart, however, said he doesn’t feel this Georgia team is apt to allow the disappointment of losing to Alabama to break its will to play up to the program’s standard. “This is a much younger team than any of those Bama teams,” Smart said. “A lot of those kids, this will be their first or second time in a big-time bowl environment, which we’re still getting accustomed to that. “ Indeed, 68 percent of Georgia’s roster is freshmen and sophomore. “So these guys aren’t quite as experienced at that kind of bowl environment as maybe those Alabama teams that didn’t play as well as we probably should have,” Smart said. Tebow also added his list to the many who believed Georgia should have been granted a spot in the four-team College Football Playoffs. “ I thought Georgia was one of the top few best teams in the country,” Tebow said, ”should have been in the College Football Playoff.” Smart said lessons will be learned and the Bulldogs will be ready to step into the future. “There’s also the opportunity to move forward with really a young team,” Smart said. “and a chance to go on a national stage where our fans, I know, follow us to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.” DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace, when or if he leaves Georgia football     The post Tim Tebow: Georgia football challenged to find motivation for Texas appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The players bounced up and down on a hastily erected stage in the middle of the field, confetti falling all around as they hoisted the championship trophy. It's a familiar scene at the end of any season. Only this time, a team from Atlanta was doing the honors . The title drought in over in the A-T-L. Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar scored goals, Brad Guzan came up with a couple of clutch saves and Atlanta United gave the city its first championship since 1995 with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final Saturday night. Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank lifted a trophy and got soaked with champagne — less than two years after his other team, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse. 'My first night in my new house in Atlanta, I went to bed at halftime of the Super Bowl,' defender Jeff Larentowicz said. 'I woke up and I read the headlines and I couldn't believe what I saw.' Now, United had written a new headline. Champs . 'Hopefully, we can transcend that past,' Larentowicz said, 'and move on to a new future for the city.' Martinez, capping the greatest goal-scoring season in MLS history, put United ahead in 39th minute. Escobar added an insurance goal in the 54th, turning the final minutes into a raucous, flag-waving celebration and sending coach Tata Martino out with a title in his final game as coach. He's reportedly headed to Mexico to take over as that country's national coach. 'If I had to choose the way to leave somewhere, this is the best way,' Martino said. 'This is the way I wanted it to happen.' Atlanta reveled in its first title since the Braves won the 1995 World Series — a gap of 8,442 days, for those counting. 'Most of us aren't from here, so we don't know the pain that they've been through,' said United captain Michael Parkhurst, who finally broke his own drought after playing on four runner-up teams. 'I'm just happy that we could come through for them tonight. I know there were a lot of anxious and stressed-out fans.' After a surprising run in the playoffs, the Timbers were denied their second MLS championship after winning the cup in 2015. They prevailed on the road at Dallas, Seattle and Kansas City before coming up short in Atlanta. 'I'm extremely proud of the work we've had the entire season,' coach Giovanni Savaarese said. 'To be able to get to the MLS Cup, we played a lot of difficult teams.' Since major league sports came to Atlanta in 1966, the only other team to win a championship in one of the five major sports also came on the soccer pitch. The Atlanta Chiefs claimed the title in the North American Soccer League's inaugural season in 1968. While that team laid the groundwork, Atlanta United carried the sport to unprecedented levels in North America. The team shattered the MLS attendance record a year ago in its first season, and then took the mark even higher by averaging more than 53,000 per game this year — a level of support that would fit right in with the Premier League or La Liga. The crowd of 73,019 on Saturday easily eclipsed the previous record for an MLS Cup — 61,316 at New England's Gillette Stadium in 2002. Almost as soon as the final whistle blew, a victory parade through the streets of Atlanta was announced for Monday. Queen's 'We Are The Champions' blared throughout Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'The first goal is always going to be massive one way or the other,' Guzan said. 'The second one really broke their backs.' United kept the ball in Portland's end of the field much of the first half. It seemed only a matter of time before Atlanta broke through. Appropriately enough, it was Martinez. Portland tried to clear the ball, but a sliding tackle by Parkhurst sent the ball rocketing back toward the Timbers net. Martinez managed to win possession from Jeremy Ebobisse at the top of the area, leaving the most prolific goal scorer in league history all alone against goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. It was no contest. Martinez, the league's MVP and Golden Boot winner after scoring 31 goals during the regular season, cut to his right to escape the sprawling keeper, easily sliding the ball into an open net to send the packed house into an uproar. 'I was feeling a lot of pressure before the game,' said Martinez, who added four more goals in the playoffs. 'My neighbors were putting flags all around my house and pushing notes under my door.' The Timbers finally created a scoring chance in the 42nd minute. Looking to atone for his mistake, Ebobisse slipped in behind the defense and was all alone in front for a cross. His header was right on the mark, but Guzan dove to his right to punch it away with both hands. It was Portland's only shot of the opening half. The Timbers created far more opportunities over the final 45 minutes, but couldn't get it past Guzan. Escobar was the one who finished off the Timbers . MVP finalist Miguel Almiron sent a free kick into the box, where Martinez managed to get a head on it. His attempt was heading wide of the net, but Escobar slipped free at the far post to deliver a sliding goal. The defender's second score of the playoffs doubled his goal output for the entire regular season. 'It's not every day you get to win a title,' Guzan said, speaking for an entire city. 'To be a part of this is truly special.' ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball doesn’t take the court for another game until next Saturday, but when the Bulldogs do, you can bet junior Tyree Crump will be a focal point. Crump, a junior from Bainbridge, had a breakout game in Georgia’s 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night, and more figures to be ahead for the Bulldogs’ long-distance sharpshooter. Georgia coach Tom Crean indicated Crump is precisely the sort of open floor player needed to make his uptempo game work. It didn’t take long for Crean to notice him. “I think early on when I got here you could tell there was a lot to his game that could improve,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of room for upside with him.” Crump might not have been the best fit for previous Coach Mark Fox’s deliberate style. But as much as Crean recognized Crump’s talents and abilities, Crump was immediately charged up by his new basketball coach. “He came in and he said ‘We want to play fast and we want to shoot three,’   and my eyes got big and my ears got big and I thought this is the perfect offense for me,” Crump said. “So we tried to listen to everything he said, and it’s carrying over into the season.” The Bulldogs will bring a 5-3 record into next Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 20 Arizona State in Stegeman Coliseum. The Sun Devils already have beaten one SEC team, winning at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 by a 72-67 count. Arizona State will put its perfect 7-0 record on the line on Saturday when it plays No. 6-ranked Nevada at noon. Crean indicated he’ll keep looking to get Crump free for more shots in the offense. “We want to move him, get him off screens, get him lost in the defense,” Crean said. “There becomes a comfort level that you have in a game like tonight, and he did a good job of playing through fatigue.” Crump is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc (18-of-39), significantly better than the next best player who has at least 10 attempts, Rayshaun Hmmonds (6-of-15). For all that Crean is trying to instill in Georgia basketball, it ultimately comes down to the time players are spending in the gym on their own to perfect their shot. It’s clear Crump is doing his work, and therefor he’ll be getting more opportunities moving forward. Here’s a look at others 3-point shooting percentage who have attempted 10 or more 3-point shots and how many minutes they average: Tyree Crump, 19.9 minutes, 18-of-39, 46.2 percent Rayshaun Hammonds, 24.5 minutes, 6-of-15, 40.0 percent Teshaun Hightower, 17.5 minutes, 7-of-25, 28.0 percent Nicolas Claxton, 27.5 minutes, 4-of-15, 26.7 percent William Jackson, 17.9 minutes, 4-of-17, 23.5 percent Georgia basketball’s Tyree Crump & Derek Ogbeide   DawgNation Georgia basketball Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post Georgia basketball guard Tyree Crump 3-point output leads Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart isn’t expected to move too fast on filling the Bulldogs’ vacancy for a defensive coordinator, and with good reason. This is Smart’s first time having to replace a coordinator hire since taking over as Georgia’s head coach before the 2016 season, and it presents a different sort of challenge that few heads coaches have proven they can handle with consistent success. Coaching staff continuity is most often one of the most important factors to a program’s sustained success. Former Georgia defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mel Tucker, who was hired as Colorado’s head coach on Wednesday, will indeed be very difficult to replace. Smart and Tucker d eveloped former 3-star prospect Deandre Baker into a Thorpe Award winner and built a secondary that slowed a historically successful Alabama pass attack last Saturday. Tide coach Nick Saban provided some insight into how he has been so successful maintaining success even while having to replace coordinators almost annually. “ I think that you love continuity on your staff, but I always look at this as a challenge and an opportunity to add new energy, new enthusiasm, new ideas to your staff,” Saban said Wednesday night in Atlanta. “We don’t change our program. We don’t hire people to come in and be independent contractors and do what they want to do. They sort of have to buy into what we do, but the new ideas, the new energy and enthusiasm that they bring is always very helpful to improving our program.” Smart had a front row to that sort of philosophy while coaching at Saban’s side for 11 years at LSU, with the Miami Dolphins and at Alabama from 2007-15. Smart helped the Tide coaching legend develop the program through a time of several coaching and staff hires. The Bulldogs’ program has its own unique personality in several respects, but there are aspects of the framework that are similar to what Smart helped Saban build at Alabama. Georgia appears on the verge of creating its own dynasty with 68 percent of its roster freshmen and sophomores this past season. Smart and his program beat two of the four current CFB Playoff teams head-to-head last season (Oklahoma and Notre Dame) and led or were tied with defending national champ and current No. 1-ranked Alabama for 281 of the 290 plays in the past two games with the Tide in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Indeed, the Bulldogs narrowly missed the CFB Playoff despite having to replace several key pieces from last season’s CFB Championship Game runner-up squad. RELATED: Kirk Herbstreit says CFP Committee let politics keep Georgia out So the defensive coordinator/secondary coach hire is as big of a decision as Smart has faced. “You know, I always say there’s a lot of books written about how to be successful,” Saban said. “There’s not many written on how to stay successful.” Smart has indicated that he might be inclined to promote from within if not hire a coach he’s already familiar with, though he’ll likely conduct a national search before deciding anything. “I think continuity is critical to recruiting success, (and) I know that the recruiting success that I’ve had as an assistant coach was because I was able to have the same area for a long time, you build relationships, you know people, you get to know them,” Smart said last November. “When you jump around from job to job, sometime’s that’s hard to do. I think our university and our support structure here has done a great job of helping us keep our coaches who are really good assets. “I mean, let’s be honest, we recruit well because of the assistant coaches we have. When you recruit well and get good young men in here, you can have a successful program. I think continuity is important, but I do think change is inevitable. It’ll happen. It’s happened to us every year.” Georgia football coordinator search Early list of names to consider for Georgia football DC opening Colorado announces Mel Tucker as new head coach Towers Take: Mel Tucker did excellent work for Bulldogs Mel Tucker expected to finalize Colorado deal very soon Whenever Mel Tucker leaves, he’ll be tough to replace The post Georgia’s Kirby Smart has insight to handle pivotal coordinator coaching search appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Nick Saban is standing behind his words that Georgia is one of the four best teams in the nation, even after he voted the Bulldogs’ No. 5 in the final Coaches’ Poll. Saban, whose Tide overcame two turnovers and a two-touchdown deficit to beat the Bulldogs 35-28 last Saturday, was asked at the CFB Playoff press conference in Atlanta Wednesday night about his final ballot. “ Well, I do think they’re one of the top four teams in the country but I didn’t think they were going to get in the playoff with two losses,” Saban said. “So I voted the teams that I thought had the best chance to get in, but I do think after playing Georgia they were one of the best four teams in the country.” There were plenty of people who agreed, including ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who went so far as to say the CFP Committee allowed politics to keep the Bulldogs out of the playoffs even though they knew Georgia was one of the four best. Indeed, the Bulldogs have led or been tied with No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Alabama 118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the national championship game and SEC title game. Saban, who said after last Saturday’s game, “I sure as hell don’t want to play them again,” suggested the CFP Committee   saw last Saturday’s game as a loser-out game. “What this basically indicates is the SEC Championship game was a playoff game,” Saban said. “You know, the 1 and 4 team in the country played, and it was a heck of a game, and they played a great game, and they have a great team, and I think they’re one of the best four teams in the country, and that’s no disrespect to any of the people that are here, but I didn’t think they had a chance to get in with two losses.” CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens said the two losses — compared to Oklahoma’s one loss — is not what kept Georgia out of the College Football Playoffs. “ Our job is to pick the four best teams, so it really wasn’t about number of losses,” said Mullens, who prior to getting his current job as the athletic director at the University of Oregon was the deputy director of athletics at Kentucky. “Obviously when you’re looking at the resume, you can see that they’ve got two and others have one, but again, their two losses are against highly ranked teams. It’s really about trying to get the four best teams.” Mullens is one of five current athletic directors on the 13-person committee, along with Ohio State’s Gene Smith and new members Todd Stansbury (Georgia Tech), Scott Stricklin (Florida) and Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma). While Saban suggested the committee wasn’t going to take a conference championship game loser, Mullen indicated that had nothing to do with the decision. “ The conference piece is out of it, that’s really not a part of it,” Mullens said. “We’re looking at — there were some people who felt they were the fourth best team, and even some that felt they were unequivocally felt they were the fourth best team. But after all the dialogue, the debate, the intensity, you put it to a vote, and the vote didn’t have them as unequivocally the fourth best team. In fact, it had them ranked No. 5.” Saban, when asked if his vote suggested the four best teams didn’t make the playoffs, made it clear he voted in the four teams he thought would make the playoff. “When we played Georgia I thought they were one of the best four teams in the country,” Saban said. “That doesn’t mean that they’re any better than the teams that are here, and I voted for the four teams that are here.” Georgia football’s great CFB Playoff debate Kirby Smart on CFP Playoff: ‘Every year it’s going to be different’ criteria ESPN analyst goes on epic rant after Georgia football left out of playoffs Nick Saban states Georgia one of top four teams in the nation after SEC title game CFP Chairman defends leaving Georgia football out Kirby Smart lobbying for CFB Playoff spot after loss Chip Towers: Committee got it right by leaving Georgia out of playoffs Closer look at Georgia football vs. Oklahoma statistically Georgia football one of best teams, and it doesn’t matter ‘Protocol’ cited as reason Georgia left out of College Football Playoff The post Nick Saban’s revealing explanation of why he voted Georgia football No. 5 appeared first on DawgNation.