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Local News

  • A 32 year-old man arrested on Westchester Drive in Athens was wanted on larceny and theft charges in Virginia: Joseph Freeman is in the Clarke County jail, awaiting a return to Gloucester County Virginia.  There are weapons charges for an Athens teenager: 19 year-old Tyrell Gordon was pulled over by Athens-Clarke County Police, allegedly doing 90 miles per hour on the 10 Loop near Prince Avenue. Aside from speeding and reckless driving charges, Gordon faces a count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon after a handgun was found in his car. He’s also accused of driving without a license. 
  • Expect single lane closures on State Route 53 between Dogwood Trail and Little Hall Park overnight on Thurs. July 20 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The Georgia Department of Transportation says that concrete footings will be poured that will serve as supports for the substructure of the new bridge. The work will be done if the weather permits. GDOT asks you to slow down when approaching the work zone and drive alert while traveling through it. More from the Georgia Department of Transportation The Bolling Bridge replacement project consists of .793 miles of construction for widening and realignment of State Route 53 beginning at Dogwood Path and extending east of the Chestatee River just a little before Little Hall Park, including construction of the bridge, and approaches over Chestatee (Lake Lanier). The project was awarded to Scott Bridge Company of Opelika, AL in March of 2016 and has a current completion date of March 2019. The $19.7 million project is 22 percent complete and will build a new bridge beside the current one. Once the construction of the new structure is complete, traffic will be moved to it, and the former bridge built in 1956 will be destroyed. 
  • Mike Smith, who lost his reelection bid last November, has died. The man who served three terms as Sheriff in Oglethorpe County is said to have been in failing health in recent weeks. David Gabriel, the former Athens-Clarke County Police Officer who defeated Smith in last November’s election, posted the following on his Facebook page: “I am saddened by the passage of Retired Oglethorpe County Sheriff Mike Smith. I truly understand the stresses and difficulties of serving the citizens of Oglethorpe County like few others. He has left all of his troubles and burdens behind as he began his journey to his heavenly home. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Please keep his wife Gail, and his family in your prayers. I will share the arrangements as soon as I have them.”
  • The University of Georgia State Botanical Garden has hired a designer and a construction manager for the Alice H. Richards Children's Garden and plans to break ground Sept. 1. Koons Environmental Design, of Athens, will lead plans for the garden, to be nestled in an area between the Alice Hand Callaway Visitor Center and the administration building. The construction manager from Allstate Construction, of Perry, will oversee a superintendent based in Athens for the project. 'I am delighted with our choice of design firm and construction manager for the project,' said Jenny Cruse-Sanders, director of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach. 'It is clear to me that the entire team-garden staff, university architects, UGA leadership, and the designer and construction manager-are all thinking about this project in the same way. We are all excited to create something unique and rooted in the creativity and sense of place in Athens.' Both Koons and Allstate have a history of successful projects at UGA, Cruse-Sanders said.UGA, in partnership with the garden's board of advisors, has raised more than $4.3 million for the $5 million children's garden, which includes an initial $1 million gift from the family of Alice H. Richards, for whom the garden is named. Richards, who was from Carrollton, was a charter member of the State Botanical Garden Board of Advisors and one of the garden's most devoted and beloved supporters until her death in 2007. To help raise funds locally, the garden launched a Georgia Funder crowdfunding page in March, with a goal of raising $10,000 by Sept. 8. The 2.5 acre accessible, fun-filled, educational environment will include a canopy walk in the trees, a tree house, creature habitats, hands-on garden plots, an underground zone, edible landscapes, and a bog garden and pond. One component, an amphitheater in the woods, was completed in 2015. The garden is expected to be open to visitors by early 2019. 'We are looking forward to welcoming a new generation to the garden,' Cruse-Sanders said.To contribute to the Alice H. Richards Children's Garden through Georgia Funder, go to https://t.uga.edu/34z.
  • A fisherman was arrested after hundreds of fish were found to be illegally taken from Lake Oconee in Middle Georgia, according to state officials. The violation was discovered after Sgt. Matt Garthright checked a fisherman’s license, according to a Facebook post Wednesday by the Department of Natural Resources. Garthright found a cast net and 42 fish nearby, according to the post. When he inspected the fish, Garthright found that none of them had hook marks in their mouths. As he investigated further, Garthright found 259 illegally taken fish, according to the post. The poaching suspect, who was not identified, was charged with taking game fish by illegal methods, according to the DNR. Garthright felt the fish, which had been left in a hot vehicle for several hours without being placed on ice, weren’t fit for consumption, so they were disposed of at a landfill.

Bulldog News

  • Georgia Bulldog running back Elijah Holyfield will go through a pre-trial diversion program after his marijuana arrest of earlier this year. The son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield was arrested May 1. He’s a sophomore on the Bulldog team that opens the 2017 season in 47 days. Holyfield is expected to be suspended for the September 2 home game against Appalachian State.  The sportswriters who attended last week’s SEC Media Days in Hoover Alabama voted the Georgia Bulldogs as preseason favorites to win the SEC East in coach Kirby Smart’s second season in Athens.
  • Kirby Smart said earlier this week that the Georgia football team should embrace the expectations. Well, here they are.   Georgia is officially the favorite to win the SEC East, albeit a slight one, as the Bulldogs were selected first in the division in the annual preseason media poll. Florida, the two-time defending champion, came in a close second. Georgia received 1,572 points, including 138 first-place votes, edging out Florida (1,526 points and 96 first-place votes.) The two were followed by Tennessee (998 points and three first-place votes), South Carolina (897 and five first-place votes), Kentucky (869), Vanderbilt (554) and Missouri (388). This is the fourth time in the last six years that Georgia has been picked to win the division. It met those expectations in 2012, then came short in 2013 and 2015. Last year, for Smart’s first season as Georgia’s head coach, the media picked Georgia to finish third. The Bulldogs ended up in a three-way tie for second. “When you come to the University of Georgia, the expectation is to win championships. That’s what we expect to do at the University of Georgia, and that’s the standard we’ll be held to,” Smart said from the podium during his turn at SEC media days. Georgia also received six votes to win the entire SEC championship, third-most behind prohibitive favorite Alabama (217) and Auburn (11).  Auburn and Mississippi State, the two West division teams that Georgia faces, were picked second and sixth in their division, respectively.  
  • Georgia Bulldog running back Nick Chubb was named Georgia Collegiate Athlete of the Year at last night’s Atlanta Sports Awards show. Chubb and his Bulldog teammates are today 50 days away from the season opener against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, a September 2 contest in Sanford Stadium.   Chubb, a native of Cedartown, Ga., was chosen from an all Bulldog group of finalists including track and field’s Keturah Orji and swimming and diving’s Olivia Smoliga, who were both 2016 U.S. Olympians.   This marks the second year in a row that a University of Georgia student-athlete has won the Collegiate Athlete of the Year honor after golfer Lee McCoy enjoyed the honor in 2016. The first accolade of this sort was given in 2006 and since football’s D.J. Shockley won the inaugural honor, there have been nine Bulldogs to garner the award. Five of those Georgia team members selected have been football players, including Jarvis Jones going back to back in 2011-12.   Chubb finished his third season as Georgia’s No. 2 all-time leading rusher with 3,424 yards, trailing only Herschel Walker (5,259). Named one of the team’s overall captains following the 2016 season, Chubb went for 1,130 yards and eight rushing touchdowns last year. This marked the second 1,000-yard season of his career after Chubb tallied 1,547 yards and 15 scores as a freshman in 2014. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American following his first year.   Chubb returned in 2016 following a season-ending knee injury that he sustained in game six of his sophomore year in 2015. In his season debut last year, Chubb exploded for 222 yards on 32 carries (6.9 average) and two touchdowns in the win over #20 North Carolina during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. He completed his third year with a 147-yard performance during the victory over TCU in the Liberty Bowl.
  • Georgia will be getting a key player back at full speed in time for fall camp.   Speaking at SEC Media Days on Tuesday, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart Bulldogs defensive tackle Trenton Thompson will be ready to go after an offseason that including rehabbing a shoulder injury and withdrawing from spring classes in February to deal with an unspecified medical issue. Thompson will be a big part of a Bulldogs defense that returns ten starters from last season. In 2106, Georgia finished No. 16 in the nation in total defense, allowing only 327.5 yards per game while allowing 24 points per game, good for 35th overall. A sophomore last season, Thompson recorded 56 total tackles, including 9.5 for a loss and five sacks.  
  • HOOVER, Ala. — Georgia football signees Robert Beal and Devonte Wyatt have yet to qualify to enroll at UGA, but coach Kirby Smart remains hopeful it will happen soon.  “They’re not ready yet to come in yet,” Smart said on Tuesday at SEC Media Days. “We think we could get them in any day, any minute. And that’s the hope.” Beal is a linebacker who finished his high school career at Suwanee’s Peachtree Ridge High School, after also spending time at IMG Academy and Norcross High School. He was rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout, and a 5-star by ESPN. At one time, he was committed to Notre Dame. Wyatt is a defensive lineman from Decatur’s Towers High School. He was rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports and Scout, and a 3-star by Rivals and ESPN. Neither player was expected to contend immediately for playing time, given the team’s veteran depth at their positions. But coaches were clearly high on the potential of both. “We talk to them a lot about staying in shape, because they’re not there with our guys working out,” Smart said. “So those guys get a program, they’re encouraged to do it, it’s hard to oversee it. So you want those guys to work out and stay in shape so that when they do qualify they’re able to come in and help.”