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Educated Guesses Week 6: Upon further review, Gurley got lucky

ScottMichaux.com - 3 hours 3 min ago
By Scott Michaux

Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and carried his fellow Bulldogs on his back to a victory over Tennessee on Saturday.

 

That same night he was out celebrating with friends and had to answer to false assault charges leveled against him by a fellow Georgia student.

 

According to a police report first obtained by The Athens Banner-Herald, a 20-year-old student claimed Gurley punched him in the face “after he took a photograph of himself with Gurley in the background.”

 

Fortunately for Gurley and the Bulldogs, the Bourbon Street Bar and Grill in Downtown Athens has video cameras, which clearly show the student being punched by a white male. All Gurley did was pick up the accuser's hat and hand it back to him, receiving a racial slur as thanks in return.

 

“In consideration of all the information, to include statements and video recordings from the incident location, Todd Gurley’s involvement in this report is unfounded,” the police report stated. “Todd Gurley had no involvement in this case other than trying to give an individual his hat back.”

 

First of all, it’s hard to imagine the dread-locked Gurley being mistaken for a white male – especially if you just offered a racial epithet at the man you later accused. I understand alcohol dulls the senses, but that’s a pretty dramatic leap when assessing someone within arm’s length of your face.

 

Secondly, this illustrates just how perilous it can be as a nationally renowned superstar in a small college town. It doesn’t take much to bring down an athlete and his goals. Without clear video evidence exonerating Gurley, the false accusation alone could have brought down his Heisman Trophy campaign, threatened his eligibility and damaged his NFL Draft prospects.

 

This incident can serve as a valuable lesson to Gurley, his teammates and any other prominent college athletes out there. Gurley is only 20 himself, so it's natural to want to go out and do what all the other college kids are doing to enjoy the local nightlife. None of them, however, are as recognizable on campus as the Bulldogs' running back and have as much to lose if some drunken yahoo decides to pick a fight and make a name for himself.

 

Be smart, careful and attentive out there.

 

Onto Week 6’s educated guesses:

 

Vanderbilt @ Georgia: Now that overturned targeting penalties can’t extend failed fourth-down plays, don’t expect another Vandy miracle. BULLDOGS 42, Commodores 10.

 

South Carolina @ Kentucky: Well, now the Gamecocks pretty much have to run the table to assume the SEC East crown. GAMECOCKS 34, Wildcats 21.

 

N.C. State @ Clemson: Perhaps Wolfpack really is better than I thought, but I don’t think so. TIGERS 49, Wolfpack 31.

 

Miami @ Georgia Tech: This is the game that will define the Coastal race. Is Justin Thomas up for it? YELLOW JACKETS 31, Hurricanes 28.

 

LSU @ Auburn: In the wild, wild SEC West, this is where it gets really interesting. WAR EAGLE 35, Tigers 27.

 

Texas A&M @ Mississippi State: Seriously, how good is the SEC West? This game has serious clout. BULLDOGS 37, Aggies 35.

 

Alabama @ Ole Miss: Every team, every week is a potential upset in the West division Trust no one. CRIMSON TIDE 28, Rebels 20.

 

Florida @ Tennessee: And now we’re back in the SEC East where a different kind of parity reigns. VOLUNTEERS 27, Gators 24.

 

Stanford @ Notre Dame: Here is where Everett Golson and the Golden Domers can legitimize trophy campaigns. FIGHTING IRISH 23, Cardinal 20.

 

Nebraska @ Michigan State: It might actually be better for Big Ten if Huckers win this, but they won’t. SPARTANS 35, Cornhuskers 24.

 

Georgia State @ Louisiana-Lafayette: Tough being an 18-point underdog to another 1-3 team. RAGIN’ CAJUNS 31, Panthers 21.

 

Georgia Southern @ New Mexico State: This transition into Division I-A hasn’t looked all that hard so far. EAGLES 34, Aggies 20.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: I accidentally included 12 games this week instead of the usual 11. For year-to-year consistency's sake in comparing annual records, I will declare the Georgia State game ineligible for the standings -- mostly because it's one of the more obvious choices. But I'll leave it here anyway for fun's sake.

 

LAST WEEK: 8-3

Winners: Georgia, Clemson, Texas A&M, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Georgia Southern.

Losers: South Carolina, Duke, Arizona State.

 

Year-to-date record: 41-14 (.745)

 

2013 record: 126-50 (.716)

 

2012 record: 117-48 (.709)

 

2011 record: 115-51 (.693)

 

2010 record: 97-49 (.664)

 

Categories: Local

Lady Panthers get leg up in area race

High School volleyball teams are starting to play their most important games of the year.

Such was the case Thursday night when Lakeside High faced Grovetown for the fourth time. The Lady Warriors led the series 2-1, but none of the games counted toward either’s Area 2-AAAAA record, which is used for seeding the area tournament.

So, while the Lady Panthers’ 25-23, 25-17 victory evened the season series with the Lady Warriors at two wins apiece, it also counted toward both teams’ Area 2-AAAAA record. The Lady Panthers (12-5, 3-0 Area 2-AAAAA) have five more area contests before the area volleyball tournament begins on Friday, Oct. 10.

Lakeside volleyball coach Moe McCormack hopes her team isn’t playing its best yet.

“I thought we peaked a little bit early last year,” said McCormack. “I think the girls are pretty focused on still improving and getting better every day.”

One big addition to the Lady Panthers was the return of senior outside hitter Holly Sweeting, who started playing the previous weekend after off-season knee surgery.

“I’ve seen how our defense has come togther, and on the attacking end having Holly in the middle to go along with all the other kids who have been developing all season anyway, it just gives us a boost and it makes us even more competitive,” McCormack said.

Grovetown rolled out to a 6-0 start to the first set but Lakeside rallied to tie it at six. From that point on it was a back-and-forth affair with neither leading by three.

“You have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat Lakeside, you have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat Greenbrier and I don’t feel like we brought our ‘A’ game,” said Lady Warriors’ coach Amy Slagle. “They’re not going to hand you the game.”

The second set began close, with Grovetown up 6-5, but the Lady Panthers started pulling away with a 10-2 run. Abby Mash had four kills during the run and finished with a team-high eight for the match.

The Lady Warriors would get no closer the rest of the way and Sweeting finished the game with a kill.

“I feel like we had a lot of intensity and really wanted it,” said Sweeting. “They’re really good so it’s fun to play against them.”

After the match, Grovetown (22-5, 0-1 area) rebounded to beat Cross Creek (2-10, 0-2) 25-5, 25-8 and then Lakeside finished off the Lady Razorbacks 25-12, 25-4.

McCormack thought Thursday was a case of two quality teams facing each other and that it would be more of the same at the area competition.

“It’s going to be an interesting area tournament because all the teams I think are pretty good this year,” McCormack said. “It’s going to make for some great volleyball.”

Categories: Local

Lady Panthers get leg up in area race

High School volleyball teams are starting to play their most important games of the year.

Such was the case Thursday night when Lakeside High faced Grovetown for the fourth time. The Lady Warriors led the series 2-1, but none of the games counted toward either’s Area 2-AAAAA record, which is used for seeding the area tournament.

So, while the Lady Panthers’ 25-23, 25-17 victory evened the season series with the Lady Warriors at two wins apiece, it also counted toward both teams’ Area 2-AAAAA record. The Lady Panthers (12-5, 3-0 Area 2-AAAAA) have five more area contests before the area volleyball tournament begins on Friday, Oct. 10.

Lakeside volleyball coach Moe McCormack hopes her team isn’t playing its best yet.

“I thought we peaked a little bit early last year,” said McCormack. “I think the girls are pretty focused on still improving and getting better every day.”

One big addition to the Lady Panthers was the return of senior outside hitter Holly Sweeting, who started playing the previous weekend after off-season knee surgery.

“I’ve seen how our defense has come togther, and on the attacking end having Holly in the middle to go along with all the other kids who have been developing all season anyway, it just gives us a boost and it makes us even more competitive,” McCormack said.

Grovetown rolled out to a 6-0 start to the first set but Lakeside rallied to tie it at six. From that point on it was a back-and-forth affair with neither leading by three.

“You have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat Lakeside, you have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat Greenbrier and I don’t feel like we brought our ‘A’ game,” said Lady Warriors’ coach Amy Slagle. “They’re not going to hand you the game.”

The second set began close, with Grovetown up 6-5, but the Lady Panthers started pulling away with a 10-2 run. Abby Mash had four kills during the run and finished with a team-high eight for the match.

The Lady Warriors would get no closer the rest of the way and Sweeting finished the game with a kill.

“I feel like we had a lot of intensity and really wanted it,” said Sweeting. “They’re really good so it’s fun to play against them.”

After the match, Grovetown (22-5, 0-1 area) rebounded to beat Cross Creek (2-10, 0-2) 25-5, 25-8 and then Lakeside finished off the Lady Razorbacks 25-12, 25-4.

McCormack thought Thursday was a case of two quality teams facing each other and that it would be more of the same at the area competition.

“It’s going to be an interesting area tournament because all the teams I think are pretty good this year,” McCormack said. “It’s going to make for some great volleyball.”

Categories: Local

Swainsboro too much for outmanned 'Dogs

The Harlem High School Bulldogs played Swainsboro tough in the first half Friday night but were overwhelmed in the second half.

The Bulldogs trailed the Tigers just 14-6 at halftime, but the Tigers scored two plays into the third quarter and rolled to the 48-12 win.

“We were outmanned,” said Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis, who thought his team played well in the first half. “In the second half we gave out, but I’m proud of the effort, they gave everything they had the whole night.”

The Tigers rushed for 90 yards in the first half and kept the ball on the ground exclusively in the second half, finishing with 312 rushing yards on 48 carries.

Taking the second half kickoff, they scored on a Terry Buley 18-yard run after Stanford ripped off a 33-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and they went on from there.

Conversely, the Bulldogs rushed for 54 yards, led by Bailey Postell, who toted it 18 times for 54 yards.

“We sent him in there to see what he could do,” said Lewis of Postell. “They were just too big up front, they stopped us up front. It’s hard to run when you’re giving away 40-50 pounds a man.”

The win gave the Tigers (2-3, 1-0) a leg up in both squads’ foray into Region 3-AA play as the Bulldogs dropped to 1-4, 0-1.

The halftime score could have been much different but the Tigers were able to take advantage of two Bulldogs’ miscues.

After the Tigers defense sacked Bulldogs quarterback Hunter Rippe and recovered the ensuing fumble, Tigers quarterback Trey Amerson found Eddie Braswell running free down the middle for a 34-yard touchdown with 4:04 left in the first quarter.

It was the only completion for Amerson, who attempted just two passes.

The Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot at the end of the half. A 24-yard punt from their own 16 and a personal foul penalty gave the Tigers a first down at the Bulldogs’ 25. Timothy Stanford rushed for 23 yards down to the 2 and punched it in on the next play.

The sophomore Stanford paced the Tigers’ attack, carrying the ball 18 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Unable to run, the Bulldogs’ aerial attack did some damage. Rippe was 13-of-19 for 155 yards and had scoring strikes of eight yards and one yard.

Categories: Local

Swainsboro too much for outmanned 'Dogs

The Harlem High School Bulldogs played Swainsboro tough in the first half Friday night but were overwhelmed in the second half.

The Bulldogs trailed the Tigers just 14-6 at halftime, but the Tigers scored two plays into the third quarter and rolled to the 48-12 win.

“We were outmanned,” said Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis, who thought his team played well in the first half. “In the second half we gave out, but I’m proud of the effort, they gave everything they had the whole night.”

The Tigers rushed for 90 yards in the first half and kept the ball on the ground exclusively in the second half, finishing with 312 rushing yards on 48 carries.

Taking the second half kickoff, they scored on a Terry Buley 18-yard run after Stanford ripped off a 33-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and they went on from there.

Conversely, the Bulldogs rushed for 54 yards, led by Bailey Postell, who toted it 18 times for 54 yards.

“We sent him in there to see what he could do,” said Lewis of Postell. “They were just too big up front, they stopped us up front. It’s hard to run when you’re giving away 40-50 pounds a man.”

The win gave the Tigers (2-3, 1-0) a leg up in both squads’ foray into Region 3-AA play as the Bulldogs dropped to 1-4, 0-1.

The halftime score could have been much different but the Tigers were able to take advantage of two Bulldogs’ miscues.

After the Tigers defense sacked Bulldogs quarterback Hunter Rippe and recovered the ensuing fumble, Tigers quarterback Trey Amerson found Eddie Braswell running free down the middle for a 34-yard touchdown with 4:04 left in the first quarter.

It was the only completion for Amerson, who attempted just two passes.

The Bulldogs shot themselves in the foot at the end of the half. A 24-yard punt from their own 16 and a personal foul penalty gave the Tigers a first down at the Bulldogs’ 25. Timothy Stanford rushed for 23 yards down to the 2 and punched it in on the next play.

The sophomore Stanford paced the Tigers’ attack, carrying the ball 18 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Unable to run, the Bulldogs’ aerial attack did some damage. Rippe was 13-of-19 for 155 yards and had scoring strikes of eight yards and one yard.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter

Martinez man dies on I-20

A Martinez man died after being struck getting out of his disabled vehicle Sunday night on Interstate 20 in McDuffie County.

Tracey Watson, of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, identified the victim as Gary Pittman Morris, 63.

Police said Morris was driving a black BMW on eastbound Interstate 20 when he hit debris that was falling from a sanitation truck about 8:30 p.m. He pulled his disabled vehicle to the side of the interstate, got out and was hit by a tractor-trailer that was also eastbound.

After striking Morris, the tractor-trailer hit another vehicle that was on the shoulder of the road. No one else was injured.

Watson said all charges are pending. The Georgia State Patrol Collision Reconstruction Team is conducting a follow-up investigation.

 

The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:

Woman fights repossession

A repo man called authorities Thursday and said the owner of a car he was repossessing damaged his wrecker.

The employee of CSRA Recovery said he arrived at a business on Davis Road at about 2:20 p.m. to repossess a 2008 Nissan Titan for Fidelity Bank. He verified the vehicle identification and started to secure it to his wrecker. The owner of the SUV came outside and confronted the man, who showed her the repossession paperwork.

While he worked to secure the SUV to the wrecker, he said the woman got in, broke it free from the wrecker and drove it to a nearby business. She damaged her SUV and the wrecker’s hydraulic lift when she hit it as she escaped in the SUV.

The SUV was found several minutes later at Cushman’s Paint and Body on Washington Road in Evans. It was turned over to the recovery company.

 

Woman claims sexual assault

A Martinez woman said Saturday she was raped by her cousin three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old wo-man said she was walking on Miramar Drive in Martinez at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 10 because she was upset. She said her 18-year-old cousin came up behind her, put his hands over her face and whispered his name in her ear. He forced her to the ground and told her she’d do what he said or he’d “beat her eyes out.”

The woman said her cousin raped her. She told her cousin she didn’t want to do this, but she said he kept forcing her and holding her arms back. As she was crying and shaking, the woman said her cousin continued to rape her.

He then left her by the road. The woman said she walked home alone, took a shower and was scared to tell anyone about the incident at the time.

 

Obscene photos left at house

An Evans woman said someone has been leaving obscene photos at her home.

The 60-year-old woman said someone rang her doorbell just before 10 p.m. and left a pornographic image on her doorstep. When she answered the door, the woman said she found a photo of the video game character Mario with an image of a penis taped near his face.

The woman said earlier in the week, she came home from work and found a hand-drawn picture of a penis with blood dripping out of it taped to her mailbox.

 

Impersonators demand money

Several Columbia County residents recently reported they were called by someone claiming to be a deputy and demanding cash to avoid arrests.

An Evans man said on Sept. 26 that he received a call a few days earlier from someone claiming to be Lt. Bobby Williams with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division. The caller stated the man and his wife have warrants for their arrests and needed to pay $900 to avoid being arrested. The caller called back while a deputy was at the home and spoke to the caller. The deputy picked up the phone and the male caller identified himself again as a deputy. When asked what the call was in reference to, the caller said the couple had an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear.

When the deputy identified himself, the caller started cursing and hung up. The deputy called the number back and got a voicemail message stating it was the sheriff office warrants division.

Several other residents received similar messages or calls, but called authorities instead of obtaining cash cards as the caller had requested.

Categories: Local

Police Blotter

Martinez man dies on I-20

A Martinez man died after being struck getting out of his disabled vehicle Sunday night on Interstate 20 in McDuffie County.

Tracey Watson, of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, identified the victim as Gary Pittman Morris, 63.

Police said Morris was driving a black BMW on eastbound Interstate 20 when he hit debris that was falling from a sanitation truck about 8:30 p.m. He pulled his disabled vehicle to the side of the interstate, got out and was hit by a tractor-trailer that was also eastbound.

After striking Morris, the tractor-trailer hit another vehicle that was on the shoulder of the road. No one else was injured.

Watson said all charges are pending. The Georgia State Patrol Collision Reconstruction Team is conducting a follow-up investigation.

 

The following accounts were taken from Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident reports:

Woman fights repossession

A repo man called authorities Thursday and said the owner of a car he was repossessing damaged his wrecker.

The employee of CSRA Recovery said he arrived at a business on Davis Road at about 2:20 p.m. to repossess a 2008 Nissan Titan for Fidelity Bank. He verified the vehicle identification and started to secure it to his wrecker. The owner of the SUV came outside and confronted the man, who showed her the repossession paperwork.

While he worked to secure the SUV to the wrecker, he said the woman got in, broke it free from the wrecker and drove it to a nearby business. She damaged her SUV and the wrecker’s hydraulic lift when she hit it as she escaped in the SUV.

The SUV was found several minutes later at Cushman’s Paint and Body on Washington Road in Evans. It was turned over to the recovery company.

 

Woman claims sexual assault

A Martinez woman said Saturday she was raped by her cousin three weeks ago.

The 20-year-old wo-man said she was walking on Miramar Drive in Martinez at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 10 because she was upset. She said her 18-year-old cousin came up behind her, put his hands over her face and whispered his name in her ear. He forced her to the ground and told her she’d do what he said or he’d “beat her eyes out.”

The woman said her cousin raped her. She told her cousin she didn’t want to do this, but she said he kept forcing her and holding her arms back. As she was crying and shaking, the woman said her cousin continued to rape her.

He then left her by the road. The woman said she walked home alone, took a shower and was scared to tell anyone about the incident at the time.

 

Obscene photos left at house

An Evans woman said someone has been leaving obscene photos at her home.

The 60-year-old woman said someone rang her doorbell just before 10 p.m. and left a pornographic image on her doorstep. When she answered the door, the woman said she found a photo of the video game character Mario with an image of a penis taped near his face.

The woman said earlier in the week, she came home from work and found a hand-drawn picture of a penis with blood dripping out of it taped to her mailbox.

 

Impersonators demand money

Several Columbia County residents recently reported they were called by someone claiming to be a deputy and demanding cash to avoid arrests.

An Evans man said on Sept. 26 that he received a call a few days earlier from someone claiming to be Lt. Bobby Williams with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division. The caller stated the man and his wife have warrants for their arrests and needed to pay $900 to avoid being arrested. The caller called back while a deputy was at the home and spoke to the caller. The deputy picked up the phone and the male caller identified himself again as a deputy. When asked what the call was in reference to, the caller said the couple had an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear.

When the deputy identified himself, the caller started cursing and hung up. The deputy called the number back and got a voicemail message stating it was the sheriff office warrants division.

Several other residents received similar messages or calls, but called authorities instead of obtaining cash cards as the caller had requested.

Categories: Local

Annual Oliver Hardy Festival Saturday in Harlem

Laurel and Hardy fans are expected to flock to Harlem Saturday for the 26th annual Oliver Hardy Festival.

Harlem, the birthplace of the more rotund member of the famous comedic duo, will be celebrated beginning with a downtown parade at 10 a.m.

“We’re bigger than we’ve been in years,” Stacie Hart, the city’s Community Services director, said of the festival. “We’ve got an awesome parade planned.”

Opening ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. Live entertainment on two stages will go throughout the day including a 45-minute part of Seussical the Musical.

The festival also features about 225 arts, crafts and refreshment vendors and artist demonstrations, including glass-blowing and carved candle-making.
Hart said she expects 25,000-35,000 people to crowd the streets for the family-friendly festival. It also features Laurel and Hardy movies in the Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem, look-a-like contests and skits.

“The festival is going to be awesome,” Hart said. “It’s going to be great.”

The festival runs until 5 p.m.

But the fun continues with a concert at the Harlem City Park.

The second Jammin in the Park concert features Jim Cadiere and the Washboard Band, The Remedy, Ray Fulcher and County Line and The Jeremy Graham Band.

“They’ll be full-blown bands, not acoustic,” Hart said. “This is a full-blown concert.”

Tickets cost $10 for the north side of the pavilion in the park and $20 for the south side closest to the stage. Tickets are available to purchase in advance online at www.eventbrite.com.

Tickets are limited. Remaining tickets will be sold at the museum and information booth at the festival and at the gate.

The concert is a fundraiser to benefit the renovation of the former Columbia Theatre.

“Every penny goes to the Columbia Theatre restoration project,” Hart said. “We’re working diligently to get that thing in full swing.”

Categories: Local

Annual Oliver Hardy Festival Saturday in Harlem

Laurel and Hardy fans are expected to flock to Harlem Saturday for the 26th annual Oliver Hardy Festival.

Harlem, the birthplace of the more rotund member of the famous comedic duo, will be celebrated beginning with a downtown parade at 10 a.m.

“We’re bigger than we’ve been in years,” Stacie Hart, the city’s Community Services director, said of the festival. “We’ve got an awesome parade planned.”

Opening ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. Live entertainment on two stages will go throughout the day including a 45-minute part of Seussical the Musical.

The festival also features about 225 arts, crafts and refreshment vendors and artist demonstrations, including glass-blowing and carved candle-making.
Hart said she expects 25,000-35,000 people to crowd the streets for the family-friendly festival. It also features Laurel and Hardy movies in the Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem, look-a-like contests and skits.

“The festival is going to be awesome,” Hart said. “It’s going to be great.”

The festival runs until 5 p.m.

But the fun continues with a concert at the Harlem City Park.

The second Jammin in the Park concert features Jim Cadiere and the Washboard Band, The Remedy, Ray Fulcher and County Line and The Jeremy Graham Band.

“They’ll be full-blown bands, not acoustic,” Hart said. “This is a full-blown concert.”

Tickets cost $10 for the north side of the pavilion in the park and $20 for the south side closest to the stage. Tickets are available to purchase in advance online at www.eventbrite.com.

Tickets are limited. Remaining tickets will be sold at the museum and information booth at the festival and at the gate.

The concert is a fundraiser to benefit the renovation of the former Columbia Theatre.

“Every penny goes to the Columbia Theatre restoration project,” Hart said. “We’re working diligently to get that thing in full swing.”

Categories: Local

Wrestlers grappling for a cure

Flatline Pro Wrestling’s Saturday event at Patriots Park will be a special one.

Titled “The Fight for a Cure,” profits from the two-hour, ladder-match extravaganza will go to The Lydia Project to kick off National Cancer Awareness Month.

The Augusta-based non-profit organization offers various types of assistance to women and their families while coping with cancer.

Flatline owners Daniel Mayne and Chris Wiggins were looking to get more involved with the community and one day Wiggins got a call from the group looking for donations from local businesses, and the name rang a bell.

Wiggins’ grandmother had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago and while in Doctors Hospital had been comforted by visits from The Lydia Project members.

“It’s just been an amazing thing kind of happening over the last month or so trying to put this together and making sure we can get this awareness out there that this little non-profit organization helping women with cancer is out there,” said Wiggins. “They can use our help as much as possible and they’re doing great things for many loved ones.”

The announcement of what they would be doing was well-received. “I think everybody that’s in the locker room and that’s a part of Flatline Pro Wrestling is really stoked to be a part of something because it’s home grown, it’s not a large cancer society, it’s something that’s in our own backyard,” Wiggins said.

He didn’t know if wrestlers would be “pinked out” but the ropes will be pink.

Volunteers from The Lydia Project will be speaking on behalf of their organization. Admission for the 8 p.m show is $7 general seating and $10 for front-row seating. Law enforcement professionals and military receive a $3 discount.

Categories: Local

Wrestlers grappling for a cure

Flatline Pro Wrestling’s Saturday event at Patriots Park will be a special one.

Titled “The Fight for a Cure,” profits from the two-hour, ladder-match extravaganza will go to The Lydia Project to kick off National Cancer Awareness Month.

The Augusta-based non-profit organization offers various types of assistance to women and their families while coping with cancer.

Flatline owners Daniel Mayne and Chris Wiggins were looking to get more involved with the community and one day Wiggins got a call from the group looking for donations from local businesses, and the name rang a bell.

Wiggins’ grandmother had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago and while in Doctors Hospital had been comforted by visits from The Lydia Project members.

“It’s just been an amazing thing kind of happening over the last month or so trying to put this together and making sure we can get this awareness out there that this little non-profit organization helping women with cancer is out there,” said Wiggins. “They can use our help as much as possible and they’re doing great things for many loved ones.”

The announcement of what they would be doing was well-received. “I think everybody that’s in the locker room and that’s a part of Flatline Pro Wrestling is really stoked to be a part of something because it’s home grown, it’s not a large cancer society, it’s something that’s in our own backyard,” Wiggins said.

He didn’t know if wrestlers would be “pinked out” but the ropes will be pink.

Volunteers from The Lydia Project will be speaking on behalf of their organization. Admission for the 8 p.m show is $7 general seating and $10 for front-row seating. Law enforcement professionals and military receive a $3 discount.

Categories: Local

Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15

The nearly two-month long open enrollment for Medicare begins in October.

The open-enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, according to information released by the CSRA Area Agency on Aging.

The annual open enrollment period is an opportunity to review, compare and select a healthcare plan for anyone eligible for Medicare, including a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Each year, new healthcare plans become available and changes might be made to existing plans.

For more information visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.Medicare.gov. For a speaker, contact the Area Agency on Aging at (706) 210-2029.

Categories: Local

Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15

The nearly two-month long open enrollment for Medicare begins in October.

The open-enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, according to information released by the CSRA Area Agency on Aging.

The annual open enrollment period is an opportunity to review, compare and select a healthcare plan for anyone eligible for Medicare, including a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Each year, new healthcare plans become available and changes might be made to existing plans.

For more information visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.Medicare.gov. For a speaker, contact the Area Agency on Aging at (706) 210-2029.

Categories: Local

State has new demands for Columbia County hospital

The state says a proposed Columbia County hospital can be built only if the county ponies up 20 percent, which means the county must make a new commitment that could cost it more than $30 million regardless of whether new SPLOST financing is approved by voters.

The new requirements should not be a problem, though, Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said.

At a recent meeting with Georgia Department of Community Health officials, the three Augusta hospitals vying to build the hospital in Columbia County were told that the only exception to the needs standard acceptable to the state would be if the county contributed to the cost of the project, according to documents obtained by The Augusta Chronicle.

The hospitals have all acknowledged the saturation of licensed hospital beds in Augusta and that the project would not meet the standards for needed beds that the state would normally apply to a new hospital request. Instead, they were relying on one of three exceptions to that rule: if the applicant were an existing trauma center or teaching hospital or if the county contributed 20 percent to a sole community provider.

Georgia Regents Medical Center applied to build a 100-bed hospital based on all three exceptions; University Hospital and Doctors Hospital proposed similar hospitals, with the county kicking in its part.

According to its additional filing, state officials said that GRMC did not meet the exception for teaching and trauma “since the proposed Grovetown hospital is not an ‘existing facility’ already in operation at that location.”

Though acknowledging that the state has the right to look at it that way, Shawn Vincent, the vice
president for partnerships and strategic alliances for Georgia Regents Health System, said “it was certainly disappointing that DCH (the Department of Community Health) took such a narrow interpretation of the exceptions. The hope is that the trauma and teaching aspects of its proposal still will be seen in a better light” than the other applicants, he said.

In the two other times the state has allowed an exception to the need standard, the county paid 20 percent of the cost to expand existing hospitals.

The state also informed the hospitals, whose
separate applications have been joined so the
state can rule on all three together, that the funding letter from Columbia County and certain conditions it put on the funding would not suffice. Columbia County had said its part of the funding would come from a portion of a special purpose local
option sales tax package going before voters Nov. 4.

The county had capped its contribution at $30 million, with most of the three proposals estimating the cost of the new hospital at about $150 million. The state said the county had to give it assurances of another form of funding should the sales tax vote fail and that its portion must be 20 percent of the cost, which might exceed the cap.

Cross said the county has been meeting with the hospitals and could finance its share through revenue bonds issued by the Development Authority of Columbia County should the vote go against the tax package.

The other new demands also will not be a problem, he said.

“We will do whatever it takes to make them comfortable,” said Cross, adding that the county would meet its obligation.

The state extended its own deadline to make a decision in 30 days, moving it from late October to November, to give the county and the hospitals additional time to respond to its ruling.

Cross took the fact that the state did not already rule against the applications and was refining its requirements as positive signs.

“It shows they’re considering it seriously and it possibly has some merit,” he said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213

or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

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