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Latest from Tim Bryant

    City Hall says it is looking for public input on local efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The issue is up for discussion at Tuesday night’s Athens-Clarke County Commission meeting. From the A-CC Government website... The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGOV) Human Resources (HR) Department has updated the existing 2011 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan to acknowledge and outline past improvements, as well as new remedial actions necessary to remove current ADA barriers in the organizations’ facilities, programs, and services that were discovered in ACCGOV’s latest self-evaluation.  The ADA Transition Plan is a living document designed to be updated regularly as part of ACCGOV’s ongoing commitment to ensuring equal access for individuals with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The proposed revision is intended to address ADA accessibility concerns regarding Athens-Clarke County’s sidewalks, roadways, parks, facilities, transportation services, and programs. Part of the self-evaluation process is the public input portion of the evaluation. Residents and interested parties can review the proposed revisions to the ADA Transition Plan and submit feedback on how accessibility can be improved. Written comments must be submitted or delivered to the Human Resources Department by March 29, 2019 care of Lawa Howard, ACC Human Resources Department, 375 Satula Avenue, Athens, GA, 30603. Comments may also be submitted online through the Mayor & Commission Agenda Item Comment Form available online at www.accgov.com/agendas. The Mayor and Commission will receive comments on the proposed revisions at the Agenda Setting Session on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall, which is accessible to people with disabilities. The Mayor and Commission are tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on the revisions at their Regular Session voting meeting on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 in City Hall. The ACCGOV ADA Transition Plan is available online as part of the Mayor and Commission meeting agenda items at www.accgov.com/agendas or at the ACC Human Resources Department at 375 Satula Avenue, Athens, GA 30601 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on the ADA Transition Plan, contact Lawa Howard, ADA Transition Plan Coordinator with the ACC Human Resources Department, at 706-613-3101 or lawa.howard@accgov.com.
  • There are drug and weapons charges for a Jackson County man: Johnny Holiday is 27 years old, from Jefferson. Police say a search of his home in Jefferson turned up methamphetamine and a gun he is not supposed to have after a previous felony conviction.  We have this morning the name of the Dawson County man killed in a weekend boating accident on Lake Chatuge: Danny Duff was 59 years old. He was in his boat to take part in a fishing tournament. Duff’s boat collided with another; there were no injuries in the second boat.
  • The Athens Symphony says complimentary tickets to the March 31 spring concert are available today at the Classic Center, going to patrons free of charge starting on a first-come, first-served basis at 10 o’clock this morning at the Classic Center box office. From the Classic Center… Complimentary tickets to the Athens Symphony Spring Concert will be available to the public on Monday, March 18 at The Classic Center box office. These tickets are provided to patrons on a first come, first served basis beginning at 10 a.m.    The Spring Concert will be held on Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m. at The Classic Center Theatre. The program will feature the Athens Symphony Chorus and Athens Symphony Orchestra with compositions by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Herold.    Tickets are required for entry to the concert and are limited to four per person. Regular box office hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m-1 p.m. on Saturday.    For more information on the Athens Symphony, visit athenssymphony.org. 
  • Today marks the start of early voting in parts of Banks, Stephens, and Habersham counties, where for the third time, there will be an election for the District 28 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. The results of two elections last year—both won by former Banks County School Superintendent Chris Erwin—were thrown out by Athens Judge David Sweat following complaints of votes that were improperly cast, complaints from the incumbent who represented the District, Banks County Republican Dan Gasaway. The early voting continues through Friday April 5; election day itself is Tuesday April 9.  Today is election eve in Jackson, Barrow, Elbert, and Hart counties, where voters go to the polls on Tuesday to settle school bond and sales tax referendums. Gwinnett County voters will decide tomorrow a controversial proposal to expand MARTA into Gwinnett. 
  • Affordable housing is the focus of a forum set for 7:30 tonight at Cine’ on West Hancock: it’s an event that is organized by the Athens Federation of Neighborhoods.  From the Athens Federation of Neighborhoods website… Athens -Clarke County enjoys healthy economic growth and a national reputation as a desirable place to live, retire, or study. Yet poverty rates are sky high in ACC and many people are not enjoying participation in the dream of having an affordable home. A panel of citizens, local officials and NGO leaders will address questions such as:What IS affordable housing? Where is it in ACC? What are the types of affordable housing (rental, subsidized, apartment complex, detached single homes, NGO partnership-built homes, etc.)? How is it funded (local, state, federal funds; NGOs, other)? Where is it NOT, in ACC? Where was it removed to make way for other development? Who needs affordable housing OR what are the demographics of affordable housing need in ACC, and will the SPLOST 2020 funding initiative address affordable housing needs in ACC? Forum Panelists: Tentative Spencer Frye (pictured above), State Representative House District 118 Melissa Link, Commissioner, District 3 Deborah Lonon, Director Housing and Community Development Department Habitat for Humanity   An open house information session on plans for the Atlanta Highway corridor on Athens’ west side is set for 6 o’clock this evening. The forum takes place in Suite B in the building at 3970 Atlanta Highway. From the A-CC Government website… During the Connect Athens Open Houses, you'll get a chance to review each of the corridor plans, interact with the Planning Team, and think about your priorities within the short-term work program. The plans will be presented through a series of stations organized by the major topics of the plan. These include mobility, land use, economics, and greenspace. Attend the Open Houses and help Connect Athens!
  • Today is a dedication day at UGA: the University cuts the ribbon on its new Children’s Garden. The Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden dedication is set for 10 o’clock at the State Botanical Garden on South Milledge Avenue in Athens. From the University of Georgia… The University of Georgia will hold a dedication for the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia next week. Members of the media are invited to attend.    What: Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden dedication When: Monday, March 18, 10 a.m. Where: State Botanical Garden of Georgia at the University of Georgia 2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA Who: UGA President Jere W. Morehead, Vice President Jennifer L. Frum, State Botanical Garden Director Jenny Cruse-Sanders, family members of Alice H. Richards, State Botanical Garden advisory board members and Friends of the Garden. Contact: For more information call Kelly Simmons at 706-542-2512 or email simmonsk@uga.edu.   About the garden The Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia memorializes Alice Huffard Richards, of Carroll County, who joined the State Botanical Garden in the early 1980s, when the board of advisors first formed. Her family helped make the new garden a reality after she died in 2007.   The first $1 million toward the garden was given to UGA by Alice Richards’ family. The balance, about $4 million, was raised through private donations, including money from all 80 members of the State Botanical Garden advisory board, of which Richards was a charter member, and every employee of the garden.   The garden, a UGA public service and outreach unit, features a 2.5-acre interactive outdoor classroom, a replica of Ellison’s Cave in Walker County, mastodon fossils from 40 million years ago, granite mined from Elbert County and a pitcher plant bog. 
  • From the Athens-Clarke Co government website... Bring the whole family for a morning of fun and a chance to explore vehicles of all types, including firetrucks, police cars, dump trucks, and more! Each vehicle will have trained staff, so kids get a chance to meet the person behind the vehicle as well. This family program will take place in the parking lot of Southeast Clarke Park.Ages: AllDate:  Saturday, March 16, 2019Time: 9:00 a.m. - noonFee: FreeLocation:  Southeast Clarke Park, 706-613-3991
  • The Elbert County School Board is talking about building a new set of central offices to house Elbert County School District headquarters. The Board says it’s a long-range proposal that is part of the District’s master facilities plan.  Banks County Commissioners, meeting in Homer, sign off on $1.9 million worth of road paving projects. It’s funding from a Banks County roads and bridges tax.  The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office hangs out a Help Wanted sign, holding a Saturday jobs fair, looking to recruit new deputies. The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Career Expo starts at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning at the County jail in Lawrenceville. 
  • Today is the last day for early voting, advanced voting that is taking place ahead of next week’s elections in several northeast Georgia counties: voters in Jackson County are deciding a school bond referendum, while their counterparts in Elbert, Barrow, and Hart counties have sales tax referendums on their ballots.  Voters in Gwinnett County are settling a referendum on whether to expand MARTA into Gwinnett. Gwinnett County voters would pay an extra penny per dollar sales tax if the measure passes. 
  • Another Access to Justice Pop-up Clinic is set for Saturday at the HT Edwards Building on Dearing Extension in Athens. The Clinics are a collaborative effort between the Western Circuit Bar Association and the University of Georgia Law School. Attorneys provide individual consultations on a wide range of legal topics. The Clinic opens at 9 tomorrow morning. From the Athens-Clarke Co government website… The Superior Court Judges of the Western Circuit, in partnership with the University of Georgia School of Law and the Western Circuit Bar Association, announce the next pop-up clinic for 2019 in the Access to Justice Initiative. The mission of the Access to Justice Initiative is to provide access to legal services and information for individuals in need of legal assistance who live in the community.  The March Access to Justice Pop-Up Clinic will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2019 in the Elizabeth King Gymnasium at the HT Edwards Complex at 440 Dearing Extension. Judges from various courts, staff from the Probate Court and Georgia Legal Services, and faculty and students from the UGA School of Law will also be in attendance. Attendees are encouraged to bring any relevant important papers with them.  Attorneys provide brief individual consultations on topics including family law such as divorce and child support, adoption law, immigration law, expungement/record restriction, probate law, disability law, employment law, criminal law, small claims, landlord/tenant law, personal injury, and general civil law at the pop-up clinics. A list of legal service/attorney resources will be provided for individuals who may wish to seek further assistance beyond the pop-up clinic. Spanish translation services are also expected to be available. Lawyers, legal educators, and staff attorneys from the local courts have committed to volunteering their time for the Access to Justice Initiative. The initiative is an opportunity to help those in need in the community and help provide access to competent legal representation. Since the program started in December 2017, attorneys have donated over $50,000 of their time and talents at these free legal clinics. The Access to Justice program was awarded the prestigious William B. Spann, Jr. Award from the State Bar of Georgia in 2018 for its work with underserved segments of the population. 
  • Tim  Bryant

    News Director

    Tim Bryant is News Director for Cox Media Group Athens and also works as an anchor and reporter for WSB Radio in Atlanta. Previous stops on the dial include Augusta and Tallahassee. Tim has reported for ABC, CBS, and the Associated Press, and has provided guest commentary and analysis on stations across the US, the U.K., and New Zealand. Tim hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens. 

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Georgia Sports News

  • Devon Gales, the former Southern University football player who was paralyzed in a 2015 game against UGA, is returning to football. Gales has been hired as an assistant football coach at Jefferson High School, per accessWDUN.com’s Bo Wilson. The new job will be around 20 miles away from UGA. Former UGA recruiting coordinator Bob Pittard is a social studies teacher at the high school. Per the website, the hiring of Gales was the idea of Jefferson superintendent Dr. John Jackson. It was after Gales shared his story with the Jefferson senior class. “It was brought to our attention upon meeting this wonderful family that Devon missed the game and practices and being part of a football team in the game he still loved so much,” Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart told the website. “Dr. John Jackson had the idea of getting him involved in our program in some way and how our young men would benefit from his living example, character, strength in facing adversity and perseverance.” UGA donors and fans raised funds to build a handicapped-accessible house in Jefferson for Gales and his family. The post Devon Gales makes his return to football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart has emphasized several times in several ways that championship football requires all units working together. Indeed, much of the Bulldogs’ offensive and defensive scheming is predicated on Smart and his staff analyzing strengths and weaknesses and game arriving at core alignments and plays. The sooner Georgia knows itself, the better, and that makes the Bulldogs’ 15 spring practice dates pivotal. Here’s a way-too-early positional group ranking, an order that could be affected by an updated injury report or the emergence of a newcomer. 1. Offensive line The lock: Junior left tackle Andrew Thomas, Outland Trophy candidate. The question: Sophomore Cade Mays, where does he fit in? 2. Defensive backs The lock: Senior safety J.R. Reed, team leader of defense. The question: Sophomore Tyson Campbell, will skills match elite speed and ideal length? 3. Specialists The lock: Senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. The question: Can Georgia adequately replace Mecole Hardman? 3. Quarterbacks The lock: Junior Jake Fromm, third-year starter, offense on his shoulders. The question: How much of the offense can freshman Dwan Mathis pick up? 4. Linebackers The lock: None. The question: Can senior Tae Crowder become the playmaker Georgia lacked last year? 5. Running backs The lock: Junior tailback D’Andre Swift, Hesiman Trophy candidate The question (s): Will production match 5-star ratings of James Cook and Zamir White in 2019? 6. Receivers/tight ends The lock: Junior receiver J.J. Holloman is the go-to target. The question: Can graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf fill the void left by Isaac Nauta? 7. Defensive linemen The lock: None. The question: Will sophomore Jordan Davis become an SEC dominator? More Georgia football spring 2019 Georgia linebackers: most improved unit? UGA running backs 4 spring football questions 5 questions for UGA spring football, it’s Jake Fromm’s team Does Georgia have championship level Defensive line? Questions 4 questions for Georgia football O-Line 3 pre-spring football questions on Georgia QB situation Kirby Smart provides preview on young receivers  Georgia secondary still best in the SEC? The post Georgia football: Way-too-early team spring position group rankings appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Best I can tell, it has been my task to cover college football spring practices for about 26 of the 31 years that encompass my sportswriting career. There were a few years that I wasn’t covering college football. There were a few more that I bounced around and saw a little bit of a lot of different teams. Most of time, though, I’ve been charged with covering all of Georgia’s spring practices. There have been times those practice sessions have been pretty interesting, some times that they’ve been incredibly dull and all over the place between. I’m anticipating the Bulldogs’ spring practice this year to be fairly intriguing. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the main one is the influx of new players. Early enrollment was a fairly new concept in the 1990s and still a bit of a rarity then. Quarterback Eric Zeier was one of the first high-profile recruits to do it and it served him very well that first year. Zeier served notice at the 1991 G-Day Game that he was going to be a factor that season, and boy was he ever. Since then, early enrollment has become a regular part of the recruiting process. Nowadays, everybody everywhere has at least a hand full of signees that come in early and get embedded with their respective teams since the first week of January. But it remains somewhat rare to see as many new players come in early — 14 — as Georgia has this year. Fourteen is a lot. The most ever for the Bulldogs. They had 13 in that 2013 class that included 30 total signees (and experienced some of the worst attrition ever for Georgia football). It’s not the most in college football. Alabama had 16 enroll early out of its 23-man recruiting class this year. But 14 is a bunch of new Bulldogs, no matter how one slices it up. That in and of itself cranks up the competition factor. Georgia has several areas in which it’d love to get some impact from from some of these early arrivals. Quarterback, linebacker and defensive back immediately spring to mind. I’d say receiver, too. But, oddly enough, the Bulldogs weren’t able to bring in any of their wideout signees early Dominick Blaylock happens to attend a school in Walton High that doesn’t allow it. Georgia has experienced the same thing with players it has signed out of Pace Academy, including Jamaree Salyer, Andrew Thomas and Trey Blount. But that’s where spring ball has changed a good bit over the years. It’s much more competitive over the course of 15 practices than it used to be. Those sessions can go a long way to determining who is going to be starter in the fall. Not always, but often. The ideal situation is getting as many positions locked down and decided in the spring, so those guys can work together as a unit as much as possible on a volunteer basis over the summer. That way they hit the ground running in preseason practice. No doubt you’ve read numerous accounts of what various people believe the be the most pressing priorities of the spring for the Bulldogs. As for me, the order of importance goes this way: Determine a receiver rotation; Identify a backup quarterback; Establish a starting center; Settle on a right cornerback; Figure out who else will help on defense. Going with the receivers first is an easy call for me. It has been well-documented that the Bulldogs lost 106 catches and 20 touchdowns from last year’s wideouts, the majority of those being compiled by juniors Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman. But that number actually goes up by 35 catches and 3 touchdowns when tight end Isaac Nauta and running back Elijah Holyfield are included. So the emphasis on throwing and catching the ball in spring practice is going to be heavy. It’s usually that way anyway this time of year, because it is rare for teams to pound on each other a lot this far away from the actual season. That said, Georgia will need to mindful of Jake Fromm’s arm health and be careful not to overthrow him. To that end, the Bulldogs would like to come out with a good idea who is going to be Fromm’s primary backup. I wrote extensively on Sunday about redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett coming back via junior college and giving Georgia an immediate competent presence with regard to already knowing the offensive system. But freshman Dwan Mathis remains an intriguing figure, and one can he sure that the Bulldogs will work hard and fast to determine exactly what they have in this 6-foot-6 athlete who has run a 10.8 100 meters. Trey Hill leads the way to succeed Lamont Gaillard at center, but that’s not a given. As always, Sam Pittman probably suffer brain cramps from exploring all possibilities for determining the combination that results in the best five across the board. The competition to succeed Deandre Baker at right cornerback certainly will be intriguing. But starting with elevating Tyson Campbell there as Georgia did in the bowl game is the first in what are all positive alternatives at all the secondary positions. If early enrollees such as JUCO transfer D.J. Daniel or Tyrique Stevenson end up winning out, all the better. Same with outside linebackers. The recruiting at this position has been other-worldly. Between the 5-stars that are coming back and the ones coming in, something is going to have Conversely, that’s why I don’t list inside linebackers here. Certainly the Bulldogs want higher-level play than it got from the returnees last season. But I believe all the existing alternatives to be better than adequate and not necessarily paramount to Georgia’s cause.  And as exciting a prospect as is Nakobe Dean, ranked the No. 1 inside linebacker in America, I always think back to Roquan Smith’s struggles as a true freshman and how it was late in his sophomore season before he emerged as the star he actually was. Same on the D-line, same on the O-line, same in the offensive backfield, same on special teams. The rest of it is very much organic. That is, it’ll come together naturally through the teaching of concepts and fundamentals. The Bulldogs seek competition and improvement, but they’ll be able to go to war with they’ve got. What you’re NOT going to see is running back D’Andre Swift get much in the way of contact. I highly doubt you’ll see Zamir White get any at all. White, the heralded 2018 signee known as Zeus, is less than seven months removed from a second knee surgery that came eight months after the first. The Bulldogs will be very interested in seeing what the former No. 1 back in America can do, but that can wait until late summer, when he will have had a year to rehab and recover. Maybe the most important factor will be the Bulldogs getting used to some new voices and concepts from the coaching staff. For the first time since Kirby Smart has been head coach, somebody other than Jim Chaney or Mel Tucker will be putting together the practice script for the offense and defense, respectively. That said, I suspect it won’t change significantly from what Georgia has been doing the last four years. That’s why James Coley, Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann were appointed coordinators. They’re going to give Smart what he wants, which is more of the same. But it’s that — the newness factor — that’s going to make this spring so fun and interesting. And then, of course, they’ll tear up all the depth charts and start from scratch in August. The post Newness factor is what makes Kirby Smart’s 4th spring practice his most interesting at Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth straight start on opening day. The Braves said Monday that Teheran will face the Phillies on March 28 in Philadelphia. Teheran's run ties Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (1957-62) for the longest in Braves' franchise history during the modern era. Teheran is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA on opening day. Earlier this spring, it had been thought Mike Foltynewicz might start on opening day for the Braves. But he's likely to be out until at least mid-April with a sore right elbow. New Phillies slugger Bryce Harper is expected to make his debut in the opener. He's had a lot of career success against Teheran, going 18 for 40 (.450) with eight homers and 19 RBIs. Teheran went 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA in 31 starts.