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Local News

  • From the trees that beautify Georgia's landscapes to the cows that produce milk to feed Georgia families, agriculture in this state is diverse and faces a wide range of challenges. University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead and state leaders learned more about these challenges and Northeast Georgia's farms, nurseries and the agritourism industry Tuesday during the annual farm tour. 'As a land-grant institution, the University of Georgia is committed to helping our state's agriculture industry thrive,' said Morehead. 'Today we were reminded not only of the far-reaching scope of agriculture in Georgia but also of the vital partnership between the university and farmers across the state.' This is the fifth consecutive year Morehead has joined Georgia's Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and members of the Georgia General Assembly to visit Georgia farms and food-based businesses around the state since becoming president of UGA. In 2013, the delegation visited farms in northwest Georgia; in 2014, they visited southwest Georgia; in 2015, they toured the northeast region of the state; and in 2016, they visited farms in middle Georgia. 'Our state's agriculture is exceptionally diverse, and I believe our tours over the past five years have mirrored that diversity,' Black said. 'This year's focus really highlights the value of continued collaboration between the department and the university, especially in the green industry. It is always gratifying to witness firsthand the results of ongoing cooperation between our farming community and those who support it.' Sen. John Wilkinson, chairman of the Georgia State Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee; Rep. Terry England, chairman of Georgia House of Representatives Appropriations Committee; Rep. Tom McCall, chairman of the Georgia House of Representatives Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee; and Sam Pardue, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences accompanied Morehead and Black on the tour. UGA researchers and Extension experts are committed to understanding the challenges that face Georgia's more than $13 billion agriculture industry and finding solutions for Georgia farmers.  Agritourism, the green industry and dairy production all play key roles in Northeast Georgia's agricultural economy, and the delegation explored aspects of all three industries. The tour began in Colbert at James Greenhouses, which grows a wide variety of ornamental perennials as wells as UGA-developed blueberry cultivars. They went on to see the production of other UGA-bred ornamental varieties at Griffith Propagation in Watkinsville and visited Select Trees in Crawford. Select Trees, which grows large shade trees for transplant, has donated hundreds of trees to UGA over the past decade. The last nursery grower on the tour was Evergreen Nursery in Statham, a wholesale nursery that was able to cut its water use drastically by implementing a smart irrigation system developed by UGA horticulture researchers. Ornamental horticulture, which ranges from the production of houseplants and landscape shrubs to turf and shade trees, contributes $831 million to Georgia's economy, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. In addition to nursery visits, the group visited a dairy and a farm market in Morgan County, both of which are owned by UGA alumni. Farmview Market, the brainchild of 1980 UGA CAES graduate Keith Kelly, is a combination butcher shop, specialty food shop, restaurant and farmers market that draws thousands of travelers each week. Kelly conceived of the farmers market complex, which opened in 2016, as a way to connect 'farms to families.' With a $133 million impact on Georgia's economy, agritourism destinations such as Farmview Market also connect Georgia's farmers to new revenue streams, making farm businesses more diverse and more economically sustainable. Williams Dairy, the tour's second stop in Morgan County, is home to 3,700 cows and is operated by Georgia 2017 Farmer of the Year Everett Williams. Williams graduated from UGA in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in dairy science. His reputation for cutting-edge technology and civic leadership has earned him a worldwide reputation as a leader in Georgia's $278 million dairy industry. Dairy farmers from other countries often stop at the Williams Dairy to see how he is using the latest technology to produce milk more efficiently. At each stop, farm and nursery managers shared ways in which UGA has contributed to their success and ways that the university could help in the future. 'Our college is committed to research that helps Georgia agriculture meet today's complex challenges and stay on the leading edge in agricultural technology and sustainability,' Pardue said. 'UGA Extension works across the state, in every county, to put those new discoveries into practice on farms and agricultural operations, and we are training the next generation of agricultural leaders and producers in our classrooms and laboratories every day.
  • Athens-Clarke County Police arrest a man at an eastside apartment complex: they say 31 year-old David Romine had bomb-making materials in his apartment at Towne View Place.  There are methamphetamine charges for four people in Madison County: they were arrested at a mobile home park off Highway 29 in Colbert.  Police in Royston were, at last report, searching for a scam suspect: they say a woman identified as Kadisha Israel has been dropping off bogus prescriptions at pharmacies around Royston. She’s described as a young black female, believed to be from Decatur.  Royston Police report the arrest of a carjacking suspect: 18 year-old Jerry Spence was booked at the Franklin County jail on charges out of Anderson County South Carolina. 
  • It is still about three months away, but the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department is thinking about the December 7 Downtown Parade of Lights: parade entries are now being accepted. Deadline for entries is November 16. The parade entry fee is $40. From the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Dept… Entries for the 2017 Athens-Clarke County Downtown Parade of Lights are now being accepted. This year’s parade is scheduled for Thursday, December 7. The deadline for entries is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 16, 2017. The parade entry fee is $40 with checks payable to “Athens-Clarke County.”    Annually, more than 60 entries compete for such prizes as “Most Original Float,” “Best Use of Theme, “ and “Best Use of Lights” with the best overall float receiving the “Mayor’s Award.” This year’s theme is “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree.”   The parade begins on the corner of Hancock Avenue and Pulaski Street ending in front of City Hall for the traditional Community Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.   The Athens-Clarke County Downtown Parade of Lights is sponsored by the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County and the Athens Downtown Development Authority.    Parade information and application forms can be found at  www.athensclarkecounty.com/parade or by contacting Leslie Trier at 706-613-3800 or leslie.trier@athensclarkecounty.com.
  • Ricky Dubose—a prison inmate from Madison County—has been indicted on murder charges. Dubose is the accused triggerman in the June shootings of two state corrections officers who were shot and killed during an escape from a prison van in Putnam County. Dubose and fellow escapee Donny Rowe spent three days on the run before they were recaptured near Murfreesboro Tennessee. Rowe has also been indicted by a grand jury in Putnam County; the District Attorney in Eatonton says he plans to seek death penalty trials for both men. 
  • The driver who is accused of DUI and other offenses in a crash that killed a University of Georgia graduate student wants her trial moved out of Athens. Whitney Baker Howard, 32, allegedly had several drugs in her system in September 2016 when she crashed her vehicle into a group of bicyclists. The crash killed Ashley Block, 25, and injured two other cyclists, police said. Howard has pleaded not guilty. Howard said “she is entitled” by law to be tried in a different county because she did not believe an impartial jury can be found in Athens, according to a motion filed in Clarke County Superior Court. No court date has been set to argue the motion. The crash happened when Block and the other cyclists were on a group ride, police said. When Howard reached to answer her phone, her Jeep swerved to the other side of the road and hit the cyclists head-on. Howard’s 2-year-old daughter was in the car with her, police said.

Bulldog News

  • UGA will make its first SEC road trip in a couple weeks to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers on Sept. 30th. The Southeastern Conference on Monday assigned a kickoff time for the game.  The Bulldogs and Volunteers have been given a 3:30pm kickoff, and will be played on CBS as its SEC Game of the Week.  This will be the Bulldogs’ first appearance on CBS this season, and hold an all-time record of 48-38-1 when playing on the network.  Start planning travel/tailgating accordingly. 
  • This coming Saturday night Georgia Bulldog football game will be a Top 25 matchup. The Georgia Dogs host the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference opener for the home team. Georgia is ranked 11th in this week's AP poll; Mississippi State is 17th. Both teams are undefeated. The game kicks at 7 o'clock in Sanford Stadium. The game against Mississippi State will be the second time this season the Georgia Bulldogs will have faced a ranked opponent: the Dogs beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish September 9 in South Bend.  The Bulldogs are coming off a 42-14 win over FCS Samford this past Saturday night. Jay Black wrote about that game for WSB Radio... Alright it was a laugher, it should have been a laugher, it was a laugher. But this is nothing to joke about. The 2017 Georgia Bulldogs have a lot of running backs. A lot of good running backs. Yes this school likes to pride itself as Tailback U. You certainly got to watch a lot of good tailbacks tonight. We didn’t exactly learn a whole lot on this Saturday. Samford didn’t pull off a Nicholls State type-scare and UGA wins 42-14. Wahoo. But we did learn, or confirm, this should and will be a running football team. No matter who is playing quarterback. “That’s one of our depth spots,” Kirby Smart told the UGA Radio Network after the game. “We got a lot of guys who can play.” Yeah no kidding. Let’s start with the bell cow climbing up the UGA record books. Nick Chubb rushes for 131 yards on 16 carries and shows the patience and the vision that’s made him the second leading rusher in school history. Now he’s also second by himself with 19 100-yard games. He trails only Herschel Walker. That’s not bad. Chubb also passed the legendary Charley Trippi to move into a tie for fourth in UGA history with 33 career TD runs. To wedge yourself between Walker and Trippi on any list is a good night. Imagine what could have happened if he didn’t blow out his knee on that sad excuse for grass they call a field in Tennessee? Does Nick Chubb pass Herschel? Probably not, because those stats are still silly good, but it would have been fun to watch. Speaking of injuries, Chubb’s understudy didn’t even play tonight. Sony Michel has a bad ankle. Even if it’s five percent hurt, there was no reason to play tonight. There’s plenty of reinforcements. For example, the freshman. “What a special talent D’Andre Swift is,” said Smart. Uh huh. Kirby was kind of complaining on our air last week that this kid wasn’t getting the ball enough. He got a few chances to show off tonight. Swift had nine carries for 54 yards and a 10 yard catch. Oh yeah, and that touchdown. “You’ve got to see that one on replay tonight,” said UGA analyst Eric Zeier. Swift hit the Circle Button, dropped a beautiful spin move and zoom, into the end zone for his first career TD. He sort of reminds me of Sony Michel when he was a freshman, but I think he might be (gulp) swifter than Sony. The kid can fly. That’s your third string running back folks. But UGA goes five deep. “I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of Brian Herrien,” said Smart. “We see it everyday in practice, but he hasn’t had a chance to show off his skills.” Herrien also got five yards per touch tonight. Walking away with 45 yards on nine carries. He’s smaller, won’t run a lot of people over, but in the last two years, we’ve seen flashes of a guy who deserves more than fourth string. And that goes double for the fifth-stringer, Elijah Holyfield. He was a 4-star recruit and the guy many thought would step in and be the man after Chubb and Michel. He finally got eight carries tonight and only had 28 yards behind the second-string offensive line. But we saw on the kick return that got called back against Notre Dame, that Evander’s son can still be a weapon. Credit to Jim Chaney for finding ways to get all of these guys touches in the early going. Even if it means Holyfield returns kicks, they are all involved. “They run hard, they protect the ball, they protect the ball,” said Smart. “I was proud of the toughness they ran with tonight. They deserve that opportunity.” UGA still has plenty of questions and they weren’t going to be answered tonight. I still don’t know what to make of this offensive line and Jake Fromm is still a freshman. But this team can play defense and it can run the rock. That recipe generally works. Now we find out for real what Kirby has in year two. SEC play begins and the real football starts now.
  • 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 16, 2017 at Sanford Stadium in Athens
  • The University of Georgia released its full football schedule for the 2018 season today.  9/1 - Austin-Peay (Athens, GA) 9/7 - South Carolina (Columbia, SC) 9/15 - Middle Tennessee State (Athens, GA) 9/22 - Missouri (Columbia, MO) 9/29 - Tennessee (Athens, GA) 10/6 - Vanderbilt (Athens, GA) 10/13 - LSU (Baton Rouge, LA) 10/20 - BYE WEEK 10/27 - Florida (Jacksonville, FL) 11/3 - Kentucky (Lexington, KY) 11/10 - Auburn (Athens, GA) 11/17 - UMass (Athens, GA) 11/24 - Georgia Tech (Athens, GA) A few items of note: Georgia will have seven home games in 2018, whereas it had six homes games in 2017.  The South Carolina game returns to the beginning of the season where it more traditionally has been played. The last few seasons have seen that game moved from mid-October to even mid-November The Bulldogs will travel to LSU for the first time since 2008, a 52-38 win for Georgia as Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford lead the team.  Yet again, with the Florida game being neutral site, and the home-and-home with Georgia Tech every year, Georgia fans will have to go an entire month (35 days) without football and tailgates in Athens. After the Vanderbilt game on Oct. 6th, the next home game will be against Auburn on Nov. 10th.  Georgia will finish the season with three consecutive November home games, when weather can be very nice... but it can also get very cold if night games happen to be scheduled. 
  • For those in the Athens, Ga area and affected by Tropical Storm Irma, use THIS LINK for information you need regarding next steps.