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Local News

  • Jackson County Comprehensive High School was temporarily placed on lockdown early Wednesday morning, when reports of a gunman on campus spread around 8 a.m. Students were evacuated out of all buildings, as authorities quickly responded to the scene. After a search, the threat was deemed false, and students were returned to class to resume normal school activities. The GBI is now investigating the incident as a hoax.  Below is a timeline of events as documented by the AJC:  10:21 a.m.: The lockdowns at Jackson County Comprehensive High School and East Jackson High School have been lifted. District officials now say East Jackson High School was never evacuated. Students were simply kept in their classrooms when the investigation began. Jackson County Comprehensive High School was evacuated and students were not allowed into the school at all. 9:44 a.m.: Two Jackson County high schools remain on lockdown after authorities found an anonymous report of a shooter was likely a hoax. Sweeps of Jackson County Comprehensive High School and East Jackson High School were completed at about 9:45 a.m., district spokeswoman Karen Bridgeman told Channel 2 Action News. 9:13 a.m.: The GBI said no gunman has been identified and no shots have been fired.  “The situation is contained,” agency spokeswoman Nelly Miles said said in a statement. The GBI is helping local authorities investigate the incident. “All the kids are safe,” Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 9:08 a.m.: Any Jackson County Comprehensive High School students who have left the campus with their parents are asked to return to the school so officials can be sure all are accounted for, the district said in a Facebook post. 9:02 a.m.: Jackson County Comprehensive High School students are all safe and are returning to class. The GBI told the school district this appears to be a hoax. 8:52 a.m.: School officials have cleared one of two Jackson County schools that officials evacuated after receiving a report of an active shooter. Students have returned to class at East Jackson High School, the district said. Students remain outside of Jackson County Comprehensive High School. About 1,000 students attend both schools. UPDATE [8:40 a.m.]: “We were called to assist at Jackson County Comprehensive High School with an active shooter situation,” the Georgia State Patrol told Channel 2 Action News. “We have been canceled and are resuming normal operations and standing down. Most of our units never made it on scene.” ORIGINAL STORY: Two high schools in Jackson County have been evacuated while police search for a possible gunman, according to Channel 2 Action News. No shots have been fired, the Jefferson police chief told the news station. School officials told Channel 2 that sheriff’s deputies are managing the situation affecting Jackson County High School and East Jackson High School. The schools were cleared about 8 a.m. Jackson County High School is in the 1600 block of Winder Highway. East Jackson High School, a comprehensive school, is in the 1400 block of Hoods Mill Road.
  • Athens-Clarke County Police release the names of two men charged with pistol-whipping a man who says he was attacked at an apartment off Barnett Shoals Road: Mike Schlossberg is 21 years old; Ben Jonas is 22. Police say the victim suffered non life-threatening injuries in the attack.    Christopher Couch is in the Madison County jail, charged with cutting a woman with a box-cutter. Couch is 44 years old, from Jefferson. The woman tells police the attack happened in a car near Hull. Her injuries were described as non life-threatening; he is facing charges that include aggravated assault.
  • A teacher at a local middle school has resigned after she and another woman were arrested during a $6 million drug bust in Hall County. Karla Alvarez’s resignation was approved by the Hall County Board of Education on Monday. She was on unpaid leave from her job as a teacher at Chestatee Academy in Gainesville, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.  Alvarez, 28, and Monica Pascual-Brito, 24, were arrested March 21 at their home on Crawford Oaks Drive in Oakwood.  Deputies said they found 61 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin and two semi-automatic assault rifles during their search of the home.  “The quantity is pretty substantial,” Hall County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Ware said. “We have arrested teachers before, but I don’t recall arresting a teacher with this amount of drugs.”
  • The Mark Wallace obituary, as posted by Lord and Stephens Funeral Home... William Marcus 'Mark' Wallace, Jr. (age 73) passed away March 26, 2017. He was a native of Waleska, GA in Cherokee County and resided in Watkinsville, GA. Mark graduated from Cherokee County High School and Reinhardt College. Additionally, he was a graduate of the University of Georgia, The Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Law. Mark began his career in law enforcement at the University of Georgia, served as the last Chief of Police for the City of Athens Police Department and retired as Assistant Chief of Police for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. Funeral services will be held at Lord & Stephens West in Watkinsville, Georgia, at 2:00 PM on Wednesday March 29, 2017 with visitation from 6:00 - 8:00 PM on Tuesday March 28, 2017. The family welcomes flowers or a donation to the American Cancer Society . Mark was preceded in death by his parents William Marcus Wallace, Sr. and Helen Cable Wallace. He is survived by his wife, Betty Jo Wallace, and his daughter, Janet Wallace Cable (John). He is also survived by his sister, Mary Helen Wallace Lamb (Donnie); two nephews, Marc Lamb and Lee Lamb (Ali & Jess) and other extended family.Lod and Stephens, WEST, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/onlineathens/obituary.aspx?n=william-marcus-wallace-mark&pid=184724110&fhid=3633#sthash.qDSOCfUa.dpuf
  • The funeral for Athens businessman Mike Blanton is set for 3 o’clock this afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Athens. The 62 year-old Blanton was shot last Thursday at his home in Oconee County, allegedly by his 31 year-old son David. He died two days later at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. David Blanton is charged with murder and is being held without bond at the Oconee County jail. 

Bulldog News

  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. ---The Bulldogs exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to set the pace for Georgia’s 12-3 victory over Savannah State Tuesday night at Foley Field.   Georgia (11-15) scored a season-high 12 runs on a season-high 16 hits. Georgia utilized a staff day throwing 11 pitchers over the course of the game. The Bulldogs pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and yielded three runs on eight hits. Right-handed reliever Shane Tucker picked up the win and improved to 1-0.   Coming to bat with the bases loaded, freshman Cam Shepherd (3-for-5, 3 RBI) delivered the big hit in the fourth by knocking a double into the left field corner. Preceding that was a Mitchell Webb (4-for-5, 2 RBI) RBI single and a two-run double by LJ Talley (4-for-5, 4 RBI). All the damage was done with no outs and the Tigers had to dip into the bullpen twice to end the inning.   The second high-scoring outburst for Georgia occurred in the sixth to a tone of four runs. Michael Curry (3-for-5, 3 RBI) smacked a double in the right-center field gap to score Shepherd and Keegan McGovern. Two batters later, Talley hit a towering two-run home run that landed on top of the right field scoreboard. The homer was Talley’s first of the season and second of his career.   The two teams exchanged blows in the first four innings before Georgia pulled away. Webb and Curry had two-out RBI singles in the second and third innings, respectively.     Dawg Tracks   *Freshman shortstop Cam Shepherd extended his career-high hitting streak 11 games. Shepherd was a home run short of the cycle. *Freshman third baseman Adam Schunk’s two singles lengthened his hitting streak to six games in a row. *Career-high four hits for junior Mitchell Webb and sophomore LJ Talley. Webb also swiped his first bag of the season. *Freshman centerfielder Tucker Maxwell reached base for the 20th time in the last 21 games on a hit-by-pitch. In the same inning, he stole second for his fifth theft this season. * Junior Will Campbell drew two walks in the game to up his season total to 11 free passes. *Sophomore Michael Curry and freshman Cam Shepherd lead the team in multi-hit at-bats with nine on the season.   Coach’s Corner Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin   “We got a lot of guys in there, we threw 11 pitches so that has to be a close to a record. I thought our intensity level was very good. We had some big innings and scored a lot of runs. Cam Shepherd and Michael Curry drove some guys in. We had a lot of guys contribute offensively. Mitchell Webb and LJ Talley were great. They have had a little bit of a slow start but they are veteran guys for us. They made the most out of their opportunities tonight and that is how you get more opportunities going forward.”   On getting up early…   “It looses things up for sure when you get an early lead. We went up 8-2 then we started walking guys and that was our message to our pitching staff – we have to be aggressive with the strike zone and make them earn everything. For the most part, we threw very, very well.”     Player’s Perspective   Sophomore second baseman LJ Talley #2   “I think we just had the offense going early, and we just kept the momentum going. I think that’s what we can do. I mean we did it last week against one of the top pitchers in the league. I just think we keep it rolling, and we need everything to come together in one piece, with pitching, defense and offense.”   On his two-run home run…   “There were two strikes on me, I was just trying to put a good swing on it. I didn’t swing as hard as I could or anything, I just tried to put a good swing on it. I think we had a really good approach today.   Up Next Georgia continues its SEC play at Tennessee this weekend, with the first game scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday.
  • ATHENS – For years, Georgia’s head football and basketball coaches used to go on an extensive spring speaking tour, answering questions and shaking hands with fans who paid a small fee at the door. Those days of extensive touring around Georgia appear to be over. At least for now. The university has planned five events this spring featuring Kirby Smart, but they will be private donor events – and for now only one will be in the state of Georgia. The school will host events in Nashville, Charlotte, Jacksonville and Houston, with the lone in-state event being in Atlanta in July. These events will be closed to the public and the media, open only to donors. But there will also be two additional in-state events featuring Smart, athletics director Greg McGarity said Monday afternoon. Those events will just be branded differently. “We’re still working through two in-state events that would be branded under the Georgia Bulldog Club, or under UGA athletics,” McGarity said. In the past, Georgia football and basketball coach did as many as 12 spring tour stops, almost all in the state, from Columbus to Macon to Augusta and even smaller stops. But those tours have gradually dissipated: In Mark Richt’s final year, he only went to seven stops. Last year Smart went to five stops, though four of the were in-state, the exception being a donor event in Dallas. This year it’s going all-private, which someone with knowledge said evolved from Smart coming in with a new approach, and UGA wanting to do fundraising. There’s a feeling they don’t need the old model, where fans get a chance to hear from coaches and ask them questions, because of social media and other factors. Crowds at these events had also been going down. “The university is trying to be strategic to generate the money that everybody needs to generate right now,” McGarity said. “The purpose of these events have changed, they’ve morphed over the years.” The athletics department did seem to anticipate some fan blowback. “As for our donors, I realize there may be some sensitivity to the majority of the events being out of state this year,” associate athletics director for development Matt Borman wrote in an internal e-mail earlier this month. “If donors bring this up to you please just say that we are excited to be in Atlanta with an event in July and we wanted to take an opportunity this year to visit some of our supporters who don’t have the opportunity to make it to Athens on a regular basis. “After this year of events we will reevaluate and definitely consider bringing some of these events back into Georgia.” There are other speaking events for Smart that aren’t directly affiliated with the school. For instance, he is speaking Monday night at the Athens Touchdown Club, and spoke last month at the Macon Touchdown Club.
  • ATHENS, Ga. --- The University of Georgia women’s tennis team extended its win streak to six matches with a commanding 4-0 victory over Mississippi State Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.   The Bulldogs (13-3, 7-1 SEC) continued to roll in doubles as they grabbed the point for the seventh-consecutive match. The 28th-ranked duo of Elena Christofi and Kennedy Shaffer clinched it on court two for the sixth time in the streak. In singles, Mariana Gould blew by her opponent 6-0, 6-1 followed by a Shaffer win at No. 3 and a clincher at the net by Christofi on court two.   “We are in the middle of this conference race and it's been tough every time we play all these schools,” Georgia head coach Jeff Wallace said. “I keep saying in the SEC we have 11 in the top 25 rankings and everybody comes ready to play. Mississippi State was another one of those teams. I thought the doubles point was great. Getting that 1-0 lead is critical for us. It was a good match and a great day and now we hit the road for the next three before we conclude our season here at home.” The shutout was Georgia’s fifth of the season. The Bulldogs have now rallied off six straight conference wins with four of those against teams in the top-25.   In doubles, the No. 2 court sat at 4-3 before Christofi/Shaffer finished the last two games strong to win 6-3 over Khrystyna Vozniak and Jennifer Brown. The Georgia twosome showcases a 6-1 record playing No. 2 and an 11-2 slate on the year.   Mississippi State (11-5, 4-4) started doubles with the lead after 11th-ranked tandem of Jasmine Lee and Lisa Marie Rioux edged No. 18 Ellen Perez and Caroline Brinson on court one. However, Gould and Marta Gonzalez evened up the score on court three winning 6-3 before Christofi and Shaffer secured the point.   In singles, junior Mariana Gould, ranked at No. 102, overpowered her opponent 6-0, 6-1 on the last court to put Georgia up 2-0. Gould, of Boise, Idaho, ups her win streak to five on court six where she has a 10-2 dual record.   The remaining singles matches featured two first-set tiebreakers and four that spilled into the third set. On court No. 3, Kennedy Shaffer edged Madison Harrison in the first-set tiebreaker 7-2, then carried that momentum into the second set winning 6-2.   In the battle of freshmen on court two eighth-ranked Christofi defeated Rioux in the deciding third set 6-1 to seal the win for the Bulldogs. The clincher was Christofi’s fourth on the season en route to a team-best 26-4 record.   Georgia was leading in two of the three remaining third-set matches that went unfinished. At No. 4, Brinson was on the verge of victory leading Anastasia Rentouli 5-0. After Perez dropped the first-set tiebreaker, she took the second set over 32nd-ranked Jasmine Lee and was up 2-1 when play was called.   “This year is going fast we got to keep working and stay excited and continue to compete like we're competing,” Wallace added.   The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday, April 1st at No. 23 Tennessee. First serve is slotted for 1 p.m. ET.    ## Tennis Match Results Mississippi State vs. Georgia Mar 26, 2017 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)   #3 Georgia 4, #25 Mississippi State 0   Singles competition  1. #26 Ellen Perez (UGA) vs. #32 Jasmine Lee (MSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 2-1, unfinished 2. #8 Elena Christofi (UGA) def. Lisa Marie Rioux (MSU) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 3. #57 Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. Madison Harrison (MSU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 4. #59 Caroline Brinson (UGA) vs. Anastasia Rentouli (MSU) 6-4, 1-6, 5-0, unfinished 5. Marta Gonzalez (UGA) vs. Khrystyna Vozniak (MSU) 4-6, 6-3, 0-1, unfinished 6. #102 Mariana Gould (UGA) def. Sara Lizariturry (MSU) 6-0, 6-1   Doubles competition  1. #11 Jasmine Lee/Lisa Marie Rioux (MSU) def. #18 Ellen Perez/Caroline Brinson (UGA) 6-2 2. #28 Elena Christofi/Kennedy Shaffer (UGA) def. Khrystyna Vozniak/Jennifer Brown (MSU) 6-3 3. #68 Marta Gonzalez/Mariana Gould (UGA) def. Sara Lizariturry/Madison Harrison (MSU) 6-3   Match Notes: Mississippi State 11-5, 4-4; National ranking #25 Georgia 13-3, 7-1; National ranking #3 Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,3,2) UGA Rankings: ITA #3, USTA #T6 Official: Karen Badger-Mabry T-2:15 A-460 
  • FROM UGA SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS  Athens, Ga. — For the second straight year, Georgia’s J.J. Frazier has been named the state of Georgia’s Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The club announced its annual award winners on Thursday. Frazier, 5-10, 155-pound senior from Glennville, Ga., led the Bulldogs and ranked among the SEC’s top-10 performers in scoring (third at 18.8 ppg), assists (fifth at 4.1 apg), steals (third at 1.9 spg) and playing time (first at 34.6 mpg). He finished the 2016-17 season with 640 points, the fourth-best mark in school history. Frazier set the Georgia career record for free throw percentage (.841). He had a school-record streak of 45 consecutive made free throws during his senior season, which is also the second-longest streak in SEC history. Frazier has collected a long list of accolades this season. He was named SEC and National Player of the Week on Week on Feb. 27 after averaging 28.5 points in wins over Alabama and LSU in a 49-hour span. Frazier was also voted first-team All-SEC by both league coaches and the Associated Press. He was named to All-District teams by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). UGA players have won Tipoff Club’s statewide honor 10 times since its inception in 1984. Frazier is just the second Bulldog to earn Georgia Player of the Year honors twice. Jarvis Hayes was honored following both the 2002 and 2003 seasons.  Vern Fleming was the award’s initial recipient in 1984, followed by Litterial Green in 1992, Jumaine Jones in 1999, Hayes in 2002 and 2003, Rashad Wright in 2004, Trey Thompkins in 2011, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2013 and Frazier in 2016 and 2017. 
  • There will be a new policy in place for football fans who go to games at Sanford Stadium later this year. The University of Georgia says it will be following Southeastern Conference guidelines and requiring fans to bring items into the Stadium and other athletic venues in clear plastic bags. UGA says the policy will be in place for the April 22 G-Day spring football game.  From the University of Georgia…   In the interest of public safety and to expedite entry into its venues, the UGA Athletic Association will begin to implement the Southeastern Conference Clear Bag Policy in 2017. This policy will be in effect at the annual G-Day intrasquad football game on April 22. It will go into effect permanently for the 2017-18 competition season and will include all UGA venues that host ticketed events: Sanford Stadium (football), Stegeman Coliseum (men’s & women’s basketball, gymnastics) and Foley Field (baseball). Following are the basics concerning the Clear Bag Policy: > These bags will be permitted inside UGA athletic events: Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12”x6”x12”. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags. Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. Bags that contain necessary medical items, which must be inspected and approved at a designated gate. > Each ticket holder is allowed one large clear bag such as a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that does not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”, plus a small clutch purse > Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, fanny packs that are not clear and/or exceed the size restriction, luggage, computer bags/cases, camera bags/cases, binocular bags/cases, or any bag larger than the permissible size. > Several SEC schools began implementing this policy in the 2016 school year. All SEC schools will have this policy in place by the 2017-18 school year. > Fans can still carry items such as binoculars, smart phones, tablets and cameras (with lenses shorter than four inches), so long as they are not in a bag or carrying case. > Seat cushions -- without arms or pockets -- will still be permitted into the venues. Fans may also bring in blankets during cold weather events, provided they carry them in over an arm or shoulder to allow for easy screening upon entry. > More information on this new policy can be found at the following website: http://georgiadogs.com/clear-bag-policy/