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Atlanta Concerts this week: Drake, Il Divo
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Myrlie Evers endorses Abrams as antidote to Trump
Opinion: An end and a beginning
11/18 Mike Luckovich: Pussies galore.
Get Schooled / Maureen Downey
Counting down to University of Georgia admission notices today
If you’re prone to reading and listening to as much news as I do, you might be feeling a little anxious or downright scared about now. I don’t get rattled very easily, and even when I do, I’m able to find comfort in knowing that no matter how things look, God is in control.
CMA Awards 2018: Backstage, Keith Urban talks Nicole, Garth Brooks talks Trisha and Carrie Underwood talks maternity clothes
Unlike other award shows, the CMAs usually deliver the biggest winners of the night to the media center backstage. Some pop in during the telecast – as Garth Brooks, Brothers Osborne and Old Dominion did – while others, usually the major names nominated in later categories, swing through after the show.
For only the second time in his career, Keith Urban walked away from the Country Music Association Awards cradling the most notable award - entertainer of the year.
The 2019 edition of Shaky Knees Music Festival will offer the headlining quartet of Tame Impala, Beck, Cage the Elephant and Incubus. The seventh year of the festival will again take place at Central Park in the Old Fourth Ward near downtown Atlanta. More than 65 artists will perform during the May 3-5 event, including Tears for Fears, Gary Clark Jr.
At the other end of the awards spectrum from where Ronald Acuna and his Rookie of the Year plaque reside, there you’ll find Brian Snitker, the overnight sensation 40 years in the making. This baseball awards season the Braves certainly had it all covered, from the 20-year-old Acuna to the 63-year-old Snitker, with a trove of Gold Gloves in between.
Here’s what Kirby Smart told reporters after Georgia announced the scheduling of home-and-home sets with Texas (in 2028/2029) and Clemson (2029/2030): “When you come to Georgia, you want to play against the best. And I’ve always believed in playing Power 5 opponents. … Georgia people will travel. They want great games. They want home-and-homes.
Drivers in downtown Atlanta are being forced to take a bothersome detour. The Georgia Legislature is back in town for a special session. Mitchell Street, which runs on the south side of the state Capitol, has been closed. A Capitol police squad car, lights a-flashing, blocked the road Tuesday as Georgia Department of Transportation crews hurried to erect barriers. City drivers be damned.
Call it the Tupac effect.
As niche music awards shows go, the CMAs always bring a wicked lineup. The 52nd Country Music Association Awards will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday on ABC and blast off with a performance from Leesburg native and entertainer of the year nominee (he’s won it twice) Luke Bryan.
They began this season at the site formerly known as Turner Field. They’ll end the regularly scheduled part of their program at SunTrust Park. So, there’s the new Kennesaw State football recruiting pitch: “Come to KSU – it’s a Big South championship wrapped in a baseball fantasy camp.
We need to be careful. Not every hotshot winds up in Cooperstown. We note Joe Charboneau, gone from the majors two years after being named the American League’s 1980 rookie of the year, or Chris Coghlan, the 2009 NL ROY who finished with a career WAR of 0.2, but why look afar for cases to cite? As a hitter, Jason Heyward’s rookie year remains his best. Dansby Swanson hit .
It’s not surprising that two of us can look at the same thing and see two totally different realities. It has everything to do with how our brain works and more precisely how we apply our life experiences to what we see and feel.
The giddiness over winning three in a row was understandable. Winning three in a row beats the heck out of losing three in a row, which these Falcons had already endeavored to do. But two of those three victories came at home against teams that are a collective 4-13, and one thing you could say about Dan Quinn’s Brotherhood is that it hasn’t lately lost to a bad team. Now it has.
As many jobs as Bobby Petrino has had – and he has had many, though not as many as Brian VanGorder – it was easy to read of his firing and think, “So what else is new?” But this was technically the first time Petrino has been fired for losing. Not losing was the reason, for all his foibles, people kept hiring him.
Fans waited 11 years to see Christina Aguilera live - and then they waited some more. For a tour that’s been rolling since late September and ending Tuesday, was a near-hour wait for Aguilera really warranted? But, that’s what concertgoers endured on Sunday night at the Fox Theatre following Big Boi’s prompt, satisfying opening performance.
The Illustrated Playoff History of Atlanta United is a brief tome. But being set in Atlanta, you know that even this virtual pamphlet had to contain a high concentration of bitter dregs. Sunday, though, was an entirely new chapter. The second-year soccer team won a playoff game for the first time at home, and won it resoundingly.
The question was posed to Mecole Hardman, special teamer and special player: Have the Georgia Bulldogs begun to think about Alabama? Hardman’s response: “Who?” At first this seemed a case of Georgia being coy, as Georgia under Kirby Smart can be. But no. Hardman hadn’t heard the entire question. (Postgame interview “areas” can be loud places.
Brad Stewart is a Georgia Tech wide receiver. Yes, Georgia Tech does deploy wide receivers. And sometimes, it’s widely rumored, they even receive, although there isn’t always much physical evidence to back up such a theory. Saturday night against Miami, the senior Stewart had himself a real, live receiving touchdown.
For all Georgia’s talent, there was no guarantee these Bulldogs would be where they are, which is 9-1 with another SEC East title in the bag and a puncher’s chance at a second consecutive conference title and playoff bid. They had to perform. They had to win games. They had to prove they weren’t just a pretty good team that caught lightning in a jar.
Lewis Grizzard famously described Georgia and Auburn as “two brothers wrestling,” and sometimes brothers get sick of one another. After his Bulldogs beat Kentucky, Kirby Smart said of his next opponent, “They don’t like us very much” – the clear implication being that the feeling was mutual. For Smart, familiarity could well have bred contempt.
Not many artists can hold nearly 51,000 people rapt with a microphone and an acoustic guitar. But Ed Sheeran long ago defied the odds of a standard pub musician, using his significant talent and scrappy charm to vault onto the charts and, well, barely ever leave.
Bobby Dodd Stadium always has served as an unwilling sanctuary for Mark Richt. A grudging safe place for him to come and forget the stresses of the college coaching world while picking up an automatic victory over Georgia Tech. A sort of spa, really, minus only the seaweed body wrap and the vigorous exfoliation.
Nope. We refuse to say “Backstreet’s back, all right!” So, instead, we’ll share that the Backstreet Boys will embark on their biggest arena tour in 18 years next spring and visit Atlanta for an Aug. 21 concert at State Farm Arena.
Sometimes, the voters really get one right. On Tuesday, some in Henry County killed a nasty little piece of legislation that would have created the city of Eagle’s Landing and made no Georgia city safe.
After taking a two-year break from music to care for his son, Michael Buble is heading back on the road. The “Home” heartthrob will kick off a tour Feb. 13 in Tampa and roll through Atlanta with a show Feb. 17 at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth. Tickets, priced at $65-$149.50, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 19 at the venue box office, www.infiniteenergycenter.
In the end, Big Money won out. I thought Atlanta City Council members opposed to the Outrageous Gulch Giveaway might make a heroic last stand. But they never had a chance. You remember how it worked out for Custer. The $1.9 billion taxpayer subsidy to build a gleaming mini-city in the weedy railroad gulch where Falcon fans tailgate was narrowly approved Monday as midnight approached.
Things were starting to look up. Ivey Mustaki seemed more like herself. Happy. Hopeful again. Her mom, Lauralyn Mustaki, could hear the cheer in her voice as they talked on the phone, making plans for the weekend. It was the same way the next day when Ivey talked with her grandmother from the kitchen and the two of them agreed on poached eggs for breakfast. Ivey seemed to be in a good place.
Quarterback play in the NFL in general is on a nice little uptick, which only makes sense. In a nation of 325 million, there should be at least a dozen souls who can make running an offense look somewhat less daunting than captaining a nuclear sub.
This year’s Super Bowl run-up will include much more than the mega-hip-hop lineup announced on Monday. The first-ever Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest will also bring Aerosmith (and a special guest) to Atlanta Feb. 1 and Bruno Mars with Cardi B Feb. 2. All shows will take place at State Farm Arena. Tickets will go on sale at noon Nov. 9 at www.ticketmaster.com and www.
Georgia has been playing football since 1892. It has had three unbeaten/untied seasons. One came in 1896, when Pop Warner’s team went 4-0; Charley Trippi and Herschel Walker figured in the other two. Auburn has had three unbeaten/untied seasons over the past quarter-century.
Gucci Mane will unleash his 13th studio album, “Evil Genius,” on Dec. 7. The release, which follows last December’s “El Gato: The Human Glacier,” includes the hit “Wake Up In the Sky” with Bruno Mars and Kodak Black, along with tracks featuring Migos, Lil Yachty, Quavo, 21 Savage and more.
I tend to be leery about in-season NFL acquisitions. In Bruce Irvin, the Atlanta Falcons are getting someone the 1-7 Raiders waived, and if he’d been all that great the Raiders mightn’t be 1-7. But I’m willing, ahem, to waive my usual skepticism for a couple of reasons. First, the Raiders didn’t have further use for Khalil Mack, either, and he has done OK in Chicago....
It’s amazing what a guy and a guitar can accomplish. Only five years ago, Ed Sheeran was playing the Tabernacle. Now, he has a sold-out concert at Mercedes-Benz Stadium — and dozens of other stadiums around the world.
The college basketball season begins this week in earnest, not that we around here would much notice. Georgia State, which made the NCAA tournament in 2015 and 2018, was the unanimous choice of the Sun Belt head coaches to repeat as conference champs, which means, among other things, that Ron Hunter voted for his team.
Lawrence Carter was tired. For 18 years, he had worked to build the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College into a global ministry that teaches and inspires ambassadors of peace. But in all those years, the ministry he founded was nowhere near flourishing. Not the way he had hoped.
Ozzy Osbourne has added another round of dates to his supposed touring finale – “No More Tours 2” – and will kick off the North American leg in Atlanta. Osbourne – with special guest Megadeth – will play State Farm Arena at 7:30 p.m. May 29. Tickets are $39.50-$250 and will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Nov. 9 via www.ticketmaster.com.
To the hip-hop fans dismayed at the lack of Atlanta representation at the Super Bowl …relax. EA Sports and On Location Experience will host the EA Sports Bowl at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on Jan. 31 with a lineup spotlighting homegrown stars including Ludacris, Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, Metro Boomin’ and a DJ set from Lil Jon.
To the words and phrases that shall not be spoken around the Georgia football program – you know, ones like “quarterback controversy,” “creampuff schedule,” and “lighten up, it’s only a game” – you may now add this latest. “Yeah, that’s nice, but can you beat Alabama.
The Atlanta Braves don’t need to win the offseason. They just won the National League East. They just went from 72 wins in 2017 to 90, which is the sort of jump – check the timelines of the Cubs and Astros, who underwent similar rebuilds – that tends to presage lasting excellence. They have needs, yes, but they aren’t needy.
Last year, after progressive activists shouted down Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans at a convention, I wrote about the left eating its own and had one thought: Hello, Governor Cagle. Tells you what I know.
Consider this a public service. I will not pick Georgia to beat Alabama in the SEC championship game, for which both have qualified. Two reasons: First, the Bulldogs lost by 20 at LSU, where the Crimson Tide just won by 29; second, have you SEEN Bama this year? So there you go, Bulldogs. I’m your doubter, your naysayer, your critic.
The improbable showdown saw a predictable outcome. Georgia, picked by almost everyone to win the SEC East for a second consecutive season, won the SEC East for a second consecutive season by making Kentucky look decidedly second-best. The Bulldogs won 34-17. They could’ve won bigger, but this more than sufficed.
Georgia’s top election official certified the state’s vote count Saturday, confirming Republican Brian Kemp’s victory in the race for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams. Kemp led Abrams by 54,723 votes, a 1.4 percentage point margin of victory.
Republican Brian Kemp won the closest Georgia race for governor in more than 50 years, defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams by a narrow margin after a post-election battle that lasted until the last ballots trickled into county officials more than a week after the vote.
Her campaign for governor may be over, but Stacey Abrams is not going away. She told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she’s not ruling out a run for another public office, perhaps as early as 2020.
Two months before Election Day, a judge asked state officials a deceptively straightforward question: How had they repaired a data breach in Georgia’s voter-registration system? They didn’t know. This exchange, cited in court filings last week, underscored the ambiguities surrounding Georgia’s unusually close Nov. 6 election.
Her campaign for governor may be over, but Stacey Abrams said she is not done voicing concerns about how the mid-term elections were carried out in Georgia. Working under her new organization, Fair Fight Georgia, Abrams said she is preparing a federal lawsuit that alleges mismanagement of the election and the larger voter system.
Less than nine months after state lawmakers shelved a tax break for airlines such as Delta when the company snubbed the National Rifle Association, all was forgiven Saturday. Breaking marketing ties with the NRA in an election year was a no-no in February. But the election is over and the Georgia Senate on Saturday gave final approval to Gov.
Stacey Abrams chose to end her gubernatorial campaign the way she ran it: by bucking conventional wisdom. Where other losing candidates have been subdued and conciliatory, she was defiant and bold. Traditionally, when a candidate ends a bid for office, it comes with a speech praising the winner and calling for unity.
Maybe President Donald Trump got the message that Brian Kemp has plenty of work ahead to try to unite Georgia’s divided electorate. The president tweeted hearty congratulations to Kemp on his election victory after Stacey Abrams ended her bid for Georgia governor. But he also congratulated the Democrat on waging a campaign that fought “brilliantly and hard.
Below is the prepared text of Stacey Abrams’ non-concession speech, acknowledging that Republican Brian Kemp will be Georgia’s next governor:
Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux said Friday she plans to request a recount in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, where she appears to have been narrowly defeated by Republican incumbent Rob Woodall. The Georgia State University professor trailed Woodall by 419 votes, about 0.14 percent of votes cast, as the state prepared to certify its election results on Friday evening.
Stacey Abrams said her speech bowing out of the gubernatorial race was not one of concession. A concession speech would have indicated she agreed with how the election was carried out and its outcome, she said.
In an hour or so, about 7,500 students will learn they’ve been admitted to the University of Georgia. But nearly 9,500 others won’t get that happy news. According to UGA, nearly 17,000 students applied for early action admission to the Class of 2023, a 14 percent increase over last year and a 28 percent increase compared to five years ago.
Most of the big metro Atlanta school districts send lobbyists to the Gold Dome, and the Cobb County School District just picked the wish list its messengers will carry to lawmakers when they meet next year. It contains the standard priorities, with a notable exception.
As expected, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today proposed new guidelines on how campuses investigate and decide sexual misconduct allegations. Her proposals narrow the definition of sexual harassment and allow accused students to cross-examine their accusers through a third-party.
Gwinnett County certified its election results on Thursday night, becoming the final Georgia county to do so following last week’s mid-terms. Certification — which also included adding close to 600 “new” ballots to the vote totals — came at the end of a three-hour meeting filled with tension and vitriol.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced it has completed testing thousands of rape kits that had previously languished for years untested, stalling cases around the state. The kits contain DNA samples taken from women who told police they had been raped.
You’ve cursed the Downtown Connector, avoided Spaghetti Junction and frittered away hours on the Perimeter. Soon, you may be sailing along on metro Atlanta’s newest highway landmark: the Tollercoaster. That’s the nickname coined by a Conyers man for the new Northwest Corridor Express Lanes in Cobb and Cherokee counties.
Within hours of this week’s formal announcement that Amazon.com would not bring a second headquarters and 50,000 high-paying jobs to Atlanta, a first challenge was issued to the Republican leaders of Georgia’s new political order.
The Georgia Senate’s budget and tax committees on Friday approved both a tax break on jet fuel that would help Delta Air Lines and Gov. Nathan Deal’s plan to clean up and rebuild southwest Georgia after Hurricane Michael devastated the area in October. The approvals set up a final vote by the full chamber Saturday, two days after the House backed the measures.
A new study examines the pivotal role that math plays in student achievement, calling it a “key mechanism in the distribution of opportunity.
This is what a trial balloon looks like. Late last night, the gubernatorial campaign of Stacey Abrams, struggling to reach a runoff against Republican Brian Kemp, suggested that it might lay down a final card. From the AJC report by Greg Bluestein and Mark Niesse: The Abrams campaign has been a most disciplined one when it comes to communication.
Stacey Abrams halted her run for Georgia governor Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp and planned to launch a voting rights group to file “major” litigation challenging election policies.
After weeks of litigation, contention and sometimes chaos, -— including a tense Thursday evening meeting — Gwinnett County has certified its election results.
Brian Kemp got the most votes in Georgia’s race for governor, but he’s taking some heat from fellow Republicans for mapping a route to the Governor’s Mansion that didn’t run through the suburbs. Among the complaints: It’s so 2016.
Georgia elections officials scrambled Thursday to count a cache of hundreds of ballots that were previously rejected as they raced to comply with the latest federal ruling in the too-close-to-call contest for governor.
Election officials across Georgia must revise their election results to include absentee ballots that were rejected solely because of an missing or incorrect date of birth, according to a memo Thursday from Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden. Crittenden told the state’s 159 county election offices said they’ll have to re-certify election results by 5 p.m.
The Georgia House gave overwhelming backing Thursday to Gov. Nathan Deal’s nearly $500 million plan to help clean up and rebuild southwest Georgia after Hurricane Michael devastated the area in October. The chamber also backed his proposal to continue a tax break on jet fuel that will mean a $40 million boost to Delta Air Lines. The proposals now head to the Senate for a vote.
After several years of absentee voter data disappeared from Georgia’s election website last weekend, it’s now back online with a significant change. The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office removed information showing which voters needed assistance because they were elderly or disabled.
Lawrenceville Congressman Rob Woodall appeared to narrowly clinch a fifth term in the U.S. House late Thursday in a rapidly diversifying suburban district he had won comfortably just two years ago. The Republican was on track to eke out a 419-vote win over Democrat
Pry your eyes away from the tedious fight for votes underway in the Georgia governor’s race long enough to ponder this: If he hasn’t won it, Republican Brian Kemp at least gained the upper hand in this gubernatorial contest by campaigning almost exclusively in a rural Georgia that’s rapidly shedding people.
A federal judge has ruled that Georgia counties must count absentee ballots even if the voter’s date of birth is incorrect or missing, and he is preventing the state from finalizing election results until that happens. Although U.S. District Judge Steve Jones agreed with the Georgia Democratic Party and Stacey Abrams’ campaign on this issue, he ruled against them on two others.
In 2015, Montgomery County, Md., decided to stop giving final exams in its high schools. Parents in the high-achieving district were frustrated with testing, maintaining it narrowed curriculum and inhibited creativity. But the elimination of final exams produced a result that is now troubling some parents and teachers -- soaring grades.
Two coastal Georgia projects made the list of “dirty dozen” proposals and policies that environmentalists say could harm the state’s waterways.
The state senate’s school-safety panel recommends adding hundreds of mental health professionals, and expanding school districts’ taxing power to pay for them. In its final meeting Tuesday, the Georgia Senate School Safety Study Committee unanimously voted on a plan to present to the State Legislature in January. The proposal’s biggest emphasis is crisis prevention.
Georgia lawmakers considering more uniformity in the setting of school calendars heard Wednesday from state education officials, child advocates, a school boards lobbyist and a family farmer who caters to tourists. The committee comprises a mix of elected officials and appointees, including representatives of the tourism industry.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s tax breaks for tree farmers and airlines, plus his plan to spend $270 million helping to clean up and rebuild southwest Georgia after Hurricane Michael devastated the area, easily passed their first tests Wednesday.
The two closest elections for the Georgia House of Representatives are heading for recounts. State Reps. Sam Teasley and Betty Price, both Republicans, lost re-election by narrow margins, according to initial results. Georgia law gives losing candidates a right to a recount if their margin of defeat is less than 1 percentage point.
Holding back tears, Nikema Williams stood in the well of the Georgia Senate a day after being arrested during a protest under the Gold Dome.
The fate of the Georgia race for governor remained uncertain Wednesday as Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp clashed bitterly over pending lawsuits that seek to count more ballots that were rejected by local officials.
When U.S. Rep. Doug Collins first announced his bid to lead the powerful House Judiciary Committee, the Gainesville Republican presented a vision that included advancing prison reform legislation, overhauling immigration laws and bolstering intellectual property protections. But Democrats’ House takeover has forced Collins to readjust his pitch to his fellow Republicans.
Georgia voters who had to cast provisional ballots on Election Day can find out if their votes were counted by calling a new toll-free hotline. The hotline, required by a federal judge’s order, allows voters to call the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office with questions about their provisional ballots.
In today’s print column on the runoff for secretary of state, we noted that the north Fulton County seat given up by soon-to-be-ex state Rep. Brad Raffensperger, R-Johns Creek, had been won by Democrat Angelika Kausche. “They just had a very strong ground game,” Raffensperger told us. But ground games don’t just happen. They’re allowed to happen, too.
A state-funded academy to train Amazon’s employees. An exclusive lounge - with free parking - at the world’s busiest airport. An Amazon-dedicated car on MARTA. And more than $2 billion worth of publicly-funded incentives.
Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux narrowed her deficit in Georgia’s 7th District race late Tuesday after the Gwinnett elections board counted a trove of provisional ballots, all but assuring the state’s only unresolved congressional contest will drag on for several more days. About 530 votes now separate the Georgia State University professor from incumbent Republican Rob Woodall.
In a curious homage to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, Georgia’s race for governor has devolved into a form of trench warfare. Armies of lawyers dispatched by Democrat Stacey Abrams and her allies have clambered over the top, bayonets fixed, to pin down votes. One at a time if need be.
A federal judge said he hopes to decide by noon Wednesday whether he will order Georgia counties statewide to count absentee ballots cast, even if the voter failed to include their correct date of birth on the envelope. U.S.
Georgia Department of Public Health staff told the agency’s advisory board that the state is doing what it can to curb maternal mortality. But it’s an uphill climb.
New Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden is preparing to certify election results soon after each county submits its final count to the state.
Harris Hines rose to the most prominent post on the state’s highest court. He held the respect of the governors who appointed him, the jurists who served with him and the lawyers who appeared before him.
The Georgia Senate’s Republican caucus picked a new leadership team Tuesday, and one of its biggest changes came near the top. The caucus chose Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, to replace Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, as majority leader of the Senate. Cowsert is the brother-in-law of Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee who has declared victory in the Nov. 6 governor’s election.
One of the most powerful legislators in Georgia, House Rules Chairman John Meadows, died Tuesday after battling stomach cancer. He was 74. Meadows, a Republican from Calhoun, was remembered as a blunt Marine Corps veteran who had the power to decide which bills lived or died at the Georgia Capitol.