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  • Mayor Dodd Ferrelle holds a town hall meeting tonight in Winterville: it’s underway at 7 o’clock at the Depot in Winterville.  Oconee County Planning Commissioners meet tonight: it is a 7 o’clock session at the Oconee County courthouse in Watkinsville.  Tonight’s Jackson County Commission meeting is set for 6 o’clock at the courthouse in Jefferson.    A Hall County Commission work session is on tap for today, underway at 3 o’clock at the Hall County Government Center in Gainesville.
  • Georgia collected 21 hits during a 14-inning exhibition against Columbus State and defeated the Cougars 18-3 Sunday at Foley Field.   The Bulldogs broke open a 2-1 contest in the fifth inning with a five-run outburst, capped by a grand slam from sophomore Connor Tate. It was one of four home runs hit by Georgia on the afternoon. In the ninth, the Bulldogs pulled away, scoring eight runs on seven hits as the Cougar made five errors. Georgia blanked Columbus State over the final six frames.   “I thought we had a good day,” said Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin. “I saw a lot of positives, especially with the young guys. I thought we had a lot of good at-bats, and as the game went on, I thought our bats got better.”   Georgia employed nine pitchers and senior Logan Moody set the tone as he started and provided two scoreless innings. Georgia’s first four pitchers combined to allow just one run on one hit through seven innings. The Cougars finished the day with four runs on three hits.   “14 innings is a long day,” said Stricklin. “They were here at 8:30 this morning taking the tarp off from the rain from yesterday. Just to see their focus, to see them compete is what we want to see. In both sides of those 14 innings, I thought we played very well.”   “We started a little slow but as the game went on, we started hitting better,” said Tate. “I thought our freshmen looked good. As far as my grand slam, I got ahead in the count, and it felt good when I hit it. It’s the best feeling in the world.”   Georgia will hold its annual three-game Red-Black Fall World Series starting Friday at Foley Field with first pitch at 6 p.m. Saturday’s game is slated for 2:30 p.m., and Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs will conclude fall action when they face Florida in Jacksonville on Friday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m.   GEORGIA HIGHLIGHTS Sophomore Connor Tate hit a 410-foot grand slam in the fifth inning to put Georgia in front, 6-1. Georgia also got a solo home run from sophomore Shane Marshall, junior Joshua McAllister (3-for-4, 2 RBI), and a three-run shot from junior Chaney Rogers (3-for-5, 3 RBI).  Sophomore Randon Jernigan had a pair of hits, a stolen base and an outstanding running catch at the center field wall to start an inning-ending double play.  Freshman Kameron Guidry had a two-run double in his Bulldog debut. Junior Kaden Fowler had two doubles and two walks.  Pitchers who saw action Sunday included: Logan Moody (starter - 2 inn.), Darryn Pasqua (2 inn.), Trevor Tinder (1 inn.), Justin Glover (2 inn., 3 K), Garrett Brown (2 inn.), Jack Gowen (2 inn.), Jonathan Cannon (1 inn., 3 K), Brandon Smith (1 inn.) and Michael Polk (1 inn.).   COLUMBUS STATE HIGHLIGHTS Drew Webb tripled and scored on a sac fly from Drake Kirkwood in the third inning for a 1-0 lead .  Jalen Latta started for the Cougars and pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.  Bryson Horne had a two-run double in the eighth.  Right-fielder Drew Webb picked up an outfield assist as he threw out a Bulldog at home to end the 11thinning.
  • University of Georgia Libraries’ books will soon transcend shelves and be available online to students, faculty and members of the community in Athens and around the world. Through a new partnership with Google, about 120,000 of the Libraries’ 4.5 million volumes will be digitized, allowing further access to literary, historic, scientific and reference books and journals through UGA’s library catalog as well as one of the largest digital book collections in the world. “The University of Georgia Libraries’ collection of 4.5 million volumes is a vast resource for students and scholars at our campuses, and the Google Books partnership extends those benefits to people across the globe,” University Librarian and Associate Provost Toby Graham said. “The ability to search through the full text of these digitized materials will make it even easier for researchers to gain access to the knowledge that helps them to better understand our world.” UGA Libraries’ contribution to the Google Books database includes items that are not widely available online. The volumes span centuries and cross genres, from the arts to economic forecasts, peanut and cotton research reports and U.S. and United Nations government reports. In addition to more modern materials that will be available for preview online, other examples of volumes available in full text include shipping registers from as far back as 1764 and Atlanta city directories dating back to 1870. The project also advances a longstanding effort to provide digital access to state and federal government publications, and free digital access will be available to works by Balzac, Sir Francis Bacon, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy and other historically significant authors, thanks to UGA Libraries. “Creating and sharing knowledge are at the core of the University of Georgia’s mission, and our partnership with Google Books underscores our commitment to global leadership in higher education,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. Google Books has partnered with more than 60 major libraries around the world, as well as publishers and authors, to build a comprehensive collection of books in more than 400 languages. The University of Georgia is one of the first partners in the region to contribute to the 35 million volume database. According to the terms of the three-year project, Google will take on the work of scanning the books. UGA Libraries will retain a digital copy, which will be available through its online catalog and the Google Books database, as well as through Hathi Trust, a digital preservation repository led by a consortium of research libraries. “We’re thrilled about helping to make a large part of the University of Georgia’s rich collection more available to the world, including materials that reflect the history of the American Southeast,” said Google Books partnerships manager Ben Bunnell. “We hope that other great libraries, in the region and elsewhere, will join UGA and Google in this endeavor.”
  • University of North Georgia professor Carl Cavalli had a surprise guest at one of his recent political science classes. In walked Nathan Deal, the two-term former governor of Georgia. 'I was speechless,' said Abbey Smith, 22, a senior. Deal, the former governor, congressman and state lawmaker, has a new title: professor. The Georgia Board of Regents earlier this year agreed to have Deal teach for the University System of Georgia, which includes UNG. Deal, who is recuperating from back surgery he had shortly after leaving office in January, decided to give lectures at the University of North Georgia first because it's closer (about 30 miles) to his home in Demorest. He'll also soon teach at his alma mater, Mercer University, which announced Friday that Deal will be a professor. Mercer, a private university, has its largest campuses in Macon and Atlanta. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter and photographer sat in on Cavalli's class Thursday as Deal returned for his second lecture. Joined by Chris Riley, his business partner and former chief of staff, Deal talked to the 15 students about campaign strategy. He discussed how candidates should define their most important issues, negative ads, his strategy against his two gubernatorial opponents, and President Donald Trump. His remarks weren't provocative, but Professor Deal seemed more candid than, say, candidate Deal. 'Most citizens would say they don't like negative campaigning and want an issue-oriented campaign, and then they vote for the people with the negative campaign,' Deal said before chuckling. Deal, who is also lecturing law classes, has a few more lectures scheduled for Cavalli's class. With Riley's help, he is working on the syllabus for a three-credit class on campaigning and governing he'll teach next semester at UNG. Colleges have historically looked to prominent figures and celebrities to bring their knowledge — and publicity — by hiring them to teach. Former President Jimmy Carter gives an annual lecture at Emory University where he has been a professor for 37 years. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is a faculty member at George Mason University in Virginia. Georgia State University this week named entertainer Ludacris as an artist-in-residence. Many of these appointments have been criticized, including Deal's. The Board of Regents agreed to pay Deal $120,000 a year to teach, which raised ethics concerns since he picked or reappointed each Regents member when he was hired. The average salary for a full professor in the University System last year was $121,886, according to a systemwide report. The North Georgia students, nonetheless, said they were excited to have Deal in their classroom. The former governor, some said, brought their textbooks to life. 'I think that he makes you think about it in ways you didn't think about,' said Smith, a history major who is interested in working on political campaigns. 'As far as starting the processes of deciding if you want to run, why you want to run, how do you start your campaign and all the networking and everything that goes into it, the strategy, are things I never would have thought about.' Dressed in a gray suit jacket, white shirt and black tie, the former governor spoke for about 40 minutes with Riley acting as Deal's self-proclaimed 'teaching assistant.' Deal referenced a book the students are reading for the class with some passages he highlighted with a yellow marker. Often described as a pragmatic politician, Deal spoke matter-of-factly about the art of campaigning. Candidates should have five issues to campaign on, they must define themselves before their opponent does so and they should not waste time trying to get everyone to support them, he said. Deal discussed how targeting voters has changed from newspaper ads to television spots on the evening news to, now, through social media and robocalls. The students, some dressed in ROTC uniforms, were polite as they took notes by hand or on their laptops. They asked: When should a candidate focus on the issues, should an incumbent focus first on retaining his base or pursuing new voters and how did Deal's approach change during his reelection campaign in 2014? Deal, a Republican, offered some insights. Deal said he focused on Roy Barnes' record during their 2010 contest to 'remind people' what Barnes didn't accomplish during his time as governor. He recited former Georgia congressman and U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich's advice that politicians should only advocate for issues supported by at least 80% of the public. Deal said he was conflicted about negative campaign ads. His wife didn't like it, but he used them. 'We're told it's one of the most effective tools that you can have in a campaign is to define your opponent first,' Deal told the class. Deal described the students as attentive and said they asked good questions. One question they've asked: Why is he doing this? 'My real purpose is to get them to think,' he said in the hallway outside the class. 'Not just to accept what they hear on a talk radio show or a television show or what some special interest group has mailed out. Think for themselves. Find out what the facts really are. And sometimes if they do that, they'll come to a totally different conclusion than what somebody is bombarding them with and wanting them to think. If I can do that, then I feel I will be successful.' This article was written by Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Today marks the start of the second of three weeks of early voting in Athens and around the state: Athens-Clarke County voters are deciding a sales tax referendum, while voters in Winterville and Watkinsville have municipal elections. The early voting continues through November 1; election day itself is November 5.   Franklin County’s Election Supervisor says the County has received 80 of the new voting machines that will be used in next year’s elections. There will be a training session for election workers and for voters next week in Carnesville. The new machines will be in use statewide starting with the presidential preference primaries next March. They feature touch screens and paper backups.
  • The bestselling country duo of all time, Brooks & Dunn, joined the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside comedian and singer Ray Stevens and record executive Jerry Bradley on Sunday evening, in a star-filled ceremony full of tributes to their lasting legacies. Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt were among the guest performers during the medallion ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Each inductee received a medallion and a plaque that will be placed inside the Hall of Fame rotunda. Brooks & Dunn were an unlikely pairing of two artists who both started out solo. Neither Kix Brooks nor Ronnie Dunn thought the partnership would last, but decades later they are the most awarded and bestselling country duo of all time, with 19 CMA Awards, two Grammys, 25 Academy of Country Music Awards and 20 No. 1 hits. Brooks' flamboyant nature and guitar playing served as the perfect counterpoint to Dunn's stellar singing and more understated personality. With hits such as 'Brand New Man,' ''Boot Scootin' Boogie,' ''My Maria' and 'Neon Moon,' the pair filled arenas and sold more than 28 million albums in the U.S. alone. They took a break in 2010, but reunited in the studio nearly a decade later to release new duet versions of their hits with today's country stars in an album called 'Reboot.' Brooks has often said he never understood why they made such a good pair, but it happened immediately. 'Putting the two of us together on a Tuesday, and us writing our first two No. 1 records on a Thursday and Friday is just weird,' Brooks said. Dunn acknowledged that he was often over-analytical of himself and noted that even his therapist was in attendance that night. But he said that he tried hard to keep himself from getting too emotional. 'I have never been so proud and humble,' he said. The 'Reboot' album and the induction has put them back in the spotlight again and they are nominated for both duo of the year and musical event at the CMA Awards in November. 'We had every intention of quitting, and we did for a few minutes,' Brooks said, 'But I think we realize now how lucky we are.' Reba McEntire, who has played alongside Brooks & Dunn since the '90s and has a longstanding Las Vegas residency with the duo, came to put the medallions over their heads and joked that she considered them her 'big brothers.' Comedian and country singer Ray Stevens, who learned to play piano as a child in Clarkdale, Georgia, is known for his novelty songs like 'The Streak' and 'Ahab the Arab,' but also the earnest and Grammy-winning 'Everything is Beautiful.' He is an all-around entertainer who has worked as a TV personality, producer, session musician and songwriter. He currently still performs at his own dinner theater in Nashville, CabaRay. Ricky Skaggs performed the jazz standard 'Misty,' which Stevens rearranged into a country bluegrass version that became his biggest country hit in 1975 and earned him a Grammy for arrangement. The McCrary Sisters performed a gospel version of 'Everything is Beautiful,' which brought tears to Stevens, who was seated in the front row. Stevens, 80, said that since his induction was announced earlier this year, people had been saying it was about time he was honored. 'Anytime is a good time to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame,' he said. But he joked that if the induction had come sooner, he 'could have upped his booking fees.' Jerry Bradley came from a legacy of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees, including his father, the producer Owen Bradley who was the architect of the Nashville Sound, and uncle Harold Bradley, a famed guitarist. Jerry Bradley became head of RCA Nashville in 1973, succeeding Chet Akins and bringing in new artists like Alabama and Ronnie Milsap. He helped market the outlaws of country music in a platinum-selling album called 'Wanted: The Outlaws.' Under his leadership, the careers of Dolly Parton and Charley Pride flourished. Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt performed 'Good Hearted Woman,' a song made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Americana star Yola gave an electrifying performance of 'Jolene' and Old Crow Medicine Show made Alabama's 'Dixieland Delight' into a frantic bluegrass breakdown with Molly Tuttle. 'This business has given me a wonderful life,' Bradley said. 'I am grateful for the people I've met, the songs I've heard and the part I've played.' __ Online: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/ __ Follow Kristin M. Hall at http://twitter.com/kmhall
  • The winning numbers in Sunday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Cash 3 Night' game were: 1-2-8 (one, two, eight)
  • The winning numbers in Sunday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Cash 4 Night' game were: 7-1-4-2 (seven, one, four, two)
  • The winning numbers in Sunday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Fantasy 5' game were: 04-10-18-27-32 (four, ten, eighteen, twenty-seven, thirty-two) Estimated jackpot: $125,000