Oct 25

Georgia, South Carolina officials meet to discuss Interstate 20 bridge over Savannah River

Senior transportation officials from Georgia & South Carolina met Friday in Augusta to discuss the eventual widening of Interstate 20 over the Savannah River that forms the border between the two states. Plans call for widening the bridge to three traffic lanes in each direction as well as adding a little elbow room to each of the lanes. There were 26 crashes with 23 injuries & a single fatality between 2011 & 2013. “This (project) has been in the works for a number of years, from the standpoint of some of the accidents that have been on there,” said Don Grantham, the Augusta-area representative on the Georgia State Transportation Board. Although he did not attend the meeting, he said he heard it went well & lasted longer than originally anticipated. It was planned in September as part of routine discussions between the two states, according to Natalie Dale, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation. “Georgia would like to advance the I-20 project,” she said. “The bridges continue to be structurally sound, yet we would like to widen & improve them for both congestion & safety purposes.” Both states, like most governments, are having to deal with tight budgets in recent years, partly because of declining gas-tax collections. Georgia officials feel they can scrape together the funds for their share of the costs, yet South Carolina officials have been less optimistic, according to Grantham. The joint meeting did not discuss specifics approximately design for the I-20 bridge. …

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Oct 25

A scandal at North Carolina lands on NCAA’s doorstep

Somewhere, up there, Jan Gangelhoff is smiling. She didn’t need to be validated, yet she has been.Name not familiar? We will assist you.In March 1999, a bright young sportswriter named George Dohrmann wrote a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press that said University of Minnesota basketball players were turning in papers they didn’t write & getting class grades for them. The grades were keeping them eligible to play in a successful program run by coach Clem Haskins.The story won a Pulitzer Prize. The source of the story was Gangelhoff, who had been employed as a student advisor by the school & said she had written more than 400 of the papers. She said that, often, the student-athlete came to her home & told her a little approximately the class & the paper he needed. Then she handed him her TV remote & she sat down to type.Minnesota took a huge hit from the NCAA — not a USC/Reggie Bush hit, heaven forbid — yet big. The university bought out Haskins’ contract & several others were fired & Gangelhoff took a beating from some Minnesota sports fans, who, like many college sports fans, see winning as a higher priority than actually getting an education.At the time, Gangelhoff defended her whistle-blower actions by saying, “They [the school] bring in these high-risk kids & they know that everything they did in high school was done for them. It had to stop somewhere.”The story was so huge that Barbara Walters put Gangelhoff on her network TV show & asked, appearing to be sincerely baffled, why Gangelhoff would break the bonds of loyalty to the people for whom she worked.Gangelhoff responded, “This young reporter kept asking me questions & I decided to tell the truth.”It might have been the best moment for journalism since Watergate.Now we have another Minnesota/Clem Haskins scandal, yet this one is on steroids. …

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Oct 24

Debate over compromise shapes Georgia Senate race

<!– google_ad_section_start –> MCDONOUGH, Ga. (AP) — Democrat Michelle Nunn of Georgia has made her willingness to work with Republicans a central theme as she campaigns across the state for a key seat in the fight for control of the Senate.<!– –>But is compromise what voters really want, & do they think it’s even possible?Nunn’s opponent, Republican David Perdue, has argued voters don’t support what he calls the “failed agenda” of President Barack Obama & has advocated for repealing & replacing the federal health care law. He moreover opposed a bipartisan immigration reform bill. And he’s getting support from the likes of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a major figure in last year’s government shutdown, who’s joining Perdue on the campaign trail Saturday.”It’s one thing to idealize everything & talk approximately it. It’s another thing to actually obtain something done,” said Perdue, adding he’d be willing to work with Democrats on issues like tax reform yet has little hope they want anything to do with Republican ideas.Recent polls show Perdue & Nunn locked in a close race that could be headed to a runoff if neither gets more than 50 percent of the vote.At a rally Friday for Perdue, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told the crowd it was significant to be “unafraid to do what is right.” During his remarks, Paul blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for partisan gridlock & argued Georgia voters must elect Perdue so Republicans can control the Senate & fix the nation’s problems.”Until we take over the majority, we will never obtain a chance to fix the tax code,” Paul said. “If you have 49 Republicans, you obtain zero percent of the agenda. You obtain to 51 Republicans, & you obtain 100 percent of the agenda.”Gene Yancey, a pastor from Milner, was among those at the rally & said he just didn’t believe Nunn was credible when speaking approximately building consensus.”It’s just a lie because she doesn’t have any say-so in what she’s going to do,” Yancey said. “She may be naïve enough to believe she could compromise, yet she’s incapable of compromising because the Democrats won’t let her.”Nunn has dismissed those claims & vowed to be independent. …

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Oct 24

Judge may enter Georgia voter registration dispute

<!– google_ad_section_start –> ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia state judge is weighing whether it’s appropriate for him to intervene in a dispute over more than 50,000 voter registration records in one of the nation’s most politically contested states.<!– –>Lawyers for the NAACP & a voter registration group that recruited new minority voters allege that elections officials have misplaced or mishandled more than half of the 86,000 voter registration applications that they collected ahead of an Oct. 6 deadline. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp & elections officials in several counties — most of them majority Democratic — say they are correctly processing all the forms.Attorneys for the groups said they feared that would-be voters, several of whom attended Friday’s hearing, would not have their ballots counted, & they asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher Brasher to compel the counties & Kemp to confirm the voters’ registration or explain any denials.”What does the law require that they haven’t done?” Brasher asked, noting that Georgia election law doesn’t set specific deadlines for county elections boards to process applications.The case is closely watched given Democrats’ strategy of increasing minority participation to assist the party win competitive races for governor & U.S. Senate. Early voting began last week.Brasher’s order could come as early as Friday afternoon, though it could be appealed by the losing side.Republican David Perdue & Democrat Michelle Nunn are vying for the Senate seat held by GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring. Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, is trying to unseat Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.The Senate outcome will assist determine which party controls the chamber in January, with Republicans counting on Georgia as one of the six seats they need to net to grab the majority.Both races will assist set up the 2016 presidential election, with Democrats trying to prove newfound viability in the GOP-run state that President Barack Obama lost twice by single-digit margins.A massive registration drive by the New Georgia Project, though technically a nonpartisan organization, was part of that strategy with its focus on minority, younger & otherwise disengaged citizens, all groups who are likely to lean Democratic.But they claim that at least 40,000 people who filled out registration forms are not found on the latest voter lists from Kemp’s office, while another 10,000-plus are listed on a “pending” list maintained by the state.Assistant Attorney General Russ Willard & lawyers for several counties being sued said state law charges county election authorities with processing applications & determining eligibility. Willard & Jack Hancock, one of county lawyers, explained that counties first verify an applicant’s identity using Georgia driver records. …

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Oct 24

Big South has big battle between 2 rising powers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – With the center of Football Championship Subdivision power in South Carolina moving to the Big South Conference, it only makes sense the biggest small college game of the year in the state might be Saturday when Charleston Southern travels to Coastal Carolina. The Buccaneers pulled off upset last year, putting a dent in the Chanticleers playoff seeding & leaving a lasting impression with a Coastal Carolina team trying to become a FCS power. “I think they just came in & hit us in the mouth from play one & came after us & we didn’t come out ready to fight,” Chanticleers center Kevin Hart said. “I’m looking forward to playing them again & trying to obtain some revenge.” In other games Saturday involving South Carolina’s FCS teams Presbyterian hosts Monmouth; South Carolina State hosts Bethune-Cookman; Wofford hosts VMI; Furman hosts Samford; & The Citadel travels to Western Carolina. In Conway, Coastal Carolina (7-0, 1-0 Big South) hopes another undefeated season isn’t derailed by Charleston Southern (5-2, 0-1). Last year, the Buccaneers, who moreover hadn’t lost to a FCS team before they played, won 31-26. Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia said that game has nothing to do with Saturday’s matchup. “There’s nothing relevant approximately last year’s game except we played poorly in all three phases of the game,” Moglia said. Charleston Southern suffered its own upset last week, losing to Presbyterian. …

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Oct 24

South Carolina Doctor Named 2015 Family Physician of the Year

<!– google_ad_section_start –> WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Academy of Family Physicians has named Oscar F. Lovelace, Jr., MD, the national 2015 Family Physician of the Year at its annual Assembly. The award honors one outstanding American family physician who provides patients with compassionate, comprehensive care, & serves as a role model in his or her community, to other health professionals, & to residents & medical students. View photo. Born & raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Lovelace has been a practicing family physician for more than 26 years. In 1988, he founded Lovelace Family Medicine in his grandparents’ hometown of Prosperity, South Carolina, a small, rural farming community in Newberry County. Currently the practice employs 38 staff, including three board certified family physicians, 11 nurses & three nurse practitioners. Lovelace Family Medicine provides 8,000 patients with the full scope of family medicine services for patients of all ages, from obstetrics to geriatrics, as well as office-based & hospital care. Practice services include comprehensive wellness & preventive care, prenatal care, acute care, chronic disease management, weight management counseling, a full service laboratory & corporate wellness programs. …

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Oct 24

Kiffin’s presence adds spark to Vols-Tide rivalry

<!– google_ad_section_start –> KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Lane Kiffin factor has added intrigue to the increasingly lopsided Alabama-Tennessee rivalry.Kiffin, who coached Tennessee in 2009 before leaving for Southern California, is back in the Southeastern Conference this season as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. Kiffin’s presence has made Saturday’s matchup a much-anticipated moment for Tennessee’s fans, though both teams have downplayed the impact his return to Neyland Stadium will have on the game itself.Nobody on Tennessee’s current roster ever played for Kiffin. Tennessee coach Butch Jones says he has never even met Kiffin.”The game means everything to our football program & our fans because it is the University of Alabama – not because it is Lane Kiffin,” Jones said.Rather than using Kiffin’s return as a revenge motive, the Vols simply want to make this series competitive again. No. 4 Alabama (6-1, 3-1 SEC) has won its last seven meetings with Tennessee (3-4, 0-3) by an average margin of 24.9 points. Each of the last four games in this series has been decided by at least 31 points.Both teams have said the recent results haven’t diminished the meaning of this rivalry. View gallery FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2014, file photo, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, center, talks  … ”You ask, a lot of old people around here know that’s the biggest game of the year,” Alabama safety Nick Perry said. ”Five, 10 years from now people are going to ask what’s my record against Tennessee. …

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Oct 24

Judge ready to bar developers from using Rocky Top

<!– google_ad_section_start –> <!– –>NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An East Tennessee judge has said he is ready to stop developers in the newly minted town of Rocky Top, Tennessee, from using the Rocky Top name on merchandise — at least temporarily. The former coal mining town of Lake City changed its name to Rocky Top in June on the promise that developers would build a multimillion-dollar tourist complex there. However, House of Bryant Publications owns the rights to the song “Rocky Top,” a bluegrass standard that doubles as the unofficial anthem of the University of Tennessee. The company tried yet failed to stop the name change. On Wednesday, a federal judge agreed with House of Bryant that developer plans for Rocky Top products would likely infringe on the company’s trademarks. The situation is complicated by the fact that U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan in May denied a similar request by House of Bryant. In that decision, Varlan said it was too shortly to issue an injunction because the developers’ proposals were still just ideas that might never come to pass. House of Bryant appealed the May decision to the 6th U.S. …

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Oct 24

South Carolina Spine Center Marks 1,000 Cases With Brainlab Surgical Navigation Intra-operative OR

<!– google_ad_section_start –> GREENWOOD, S.C., Oct. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The South Carolina Spine Center, home to the Southeast’s first Brainsuite(R) iCT, announced today its 1000th patient’s surgical procedure using this intra-operative technology installed in June 2010. Self Regional Healthcare was the first health system in the Southeast & the fourth medical facility in the U.S. to offer this leading edge surgical navigation system. Self Regional has one of the busiest intra-operative rooms in the country with the highest volume of Brainsuite usage in the eastern United States, & is the first Brainsuite iCT single operating room to reach 1,000 cases. The technology allows surgeons to view 3D CT images during surgery to assure placement of pedicle screws & tumor localization with pinpoint accuracy. The space age OR features a CT scanner & a “floating” carbon fiber table designed by Trumpf Medical that allows 360 degree imaging of the patient during surgery. Self Regional utilizes the specialized technology for its South Carolina Spine Center. “Performing spine surgery using Brainsuite iCT allows precision to the millimeter,” said Dr. Sumeer Lal, neurosurgeon & medical director of the South Carolina Spine Center. …

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