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McClatchy News Service

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Georgia Briefs -- Dec. 26, 2013

At least three people die on Georgia roads on Christmas Eve.

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Camilla lawyer making his mark in Tinsel Town

A Camilla lawyer brings his small-town sensibilities to Hollywood.

Georgia Briefs - Dec. 19, 2013

A roundup of news from the state of Georgia.

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Camilla native, UGA WR Scott-Wesley arrested on marijuana charge

Justin Scott-Wesley, a Camilla native and UGA receiver, was cited late Wednesday night for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession/use of a drug object after housing personnel detected the odor of marijuana emanating from his room at Rooker Hall.

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Deen blackmailer gets 2 years in federal prison

former Savannah businessman on Monday was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for attempting to extort $200,000 from embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen to keep quiet about damaging testimony he said would “sink her ship before it left the dock” in a pending civil case.

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BRAVES NOTEBOOK: Ex-Oakland ace Hudson compares A's 20-game win streak to Atlanta's 14

Tim Hudson says the Braves' win streak is more impressive than the one he was a part of in Oakland simply because of how well Atlanta is playing. (ADDS: notes on Schafer off DL; Braves not letting up with big lead)

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GEORGIA TECH NOTEBOOK: Smelter just ‘OK’ in first full-pads practice for Ga. Tech; ex-Monroe star Chamberlain shining in fall practice

Albany's Bryan Chamberlain draws heavy praise from Georgia Tech's offensive line coach for his work in spring practice.

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Falcons say no to Bengals’ ‘Hard Knocks’ mics during preseason opener tonight

Atlanta wants to protect whatever closely guarded secrets it has coming into the season and thus has refused to participate with HBO’s filming its “Hard Knocks” documentary when it comes to town with the Cincinnati Bengals for both teams’ preseason opener tonight. (ADDS: note on Falcons buying church, paving way for new stadium)

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Next in line

Georgia sophomore linebacker Jordan Jenkins is ready to step into the shoes filled by All-American Jarvis Jones last season and lead the Bulldogs defense.

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Warning to Hawks fans: Watch out for diving Carroll

DeMarre Carroll signs a two-year with Hawks on Saturday and promises to “do all the little things,” which might include diving into the first row of bleachers at Philips Arena after a loose ball.

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UGA, Tech ahead of the 2014 game in recruiting

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets are in good shape in the recruiting game entering the 2013 season and both have only six scholarship spots left for the 2014 class.

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Georgia RB Gurley expects to build on phenomenal freshman season

Todd Gurley rushed for 1,385 yards and a UGA freshman record 18 touchdowns last season, but the tailback says he expects to be even better during his sophomore season.

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UGA NOTEBOOK: UGA’s Bobo tries to light fire under offense as practice opens; Gurley, Marshall sick of 'Gurshall' nickname

Mike Bobo gets on his guys from the opening whistle as expectations start right away for the 2013 version of the Bulldogs. (ADDS: Day 2 practice report)

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Five years later, Murray still in spotlight

While the nation has been entertained by the recent antics of Texas A&M QB and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, Georgia QB Aaron Murray offers fans a stark contrast.

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No place like home

The Braves received offers for Brian McCann before the trade deadline and didn’t even entertain the idea of getting rid of the Athens native — but McCann is in the last year of his contract and might not have many games remaining in Atlanta.

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Early County's Williams one of seven ex-UGA stars set to appear on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

The Cincinnati Bengals have seven former UGA stars on their roster who will make appearances on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” documentary NFL program when it debuts later this summer, including former Early County High School football star Shawn Williams.

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Beat-up Braves: Laird has kidney stones; R. Johnson to DL; Upton just starting rehab

Reed Johnson is battling Achilles tendonitis, while backup catcher Gerald Laird is suffering from painful kidney stones as the Braves’ roster continues to get depleted.

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Hard hits in practice anger Falcons head coach Smith

Some big collisions during Falcons' training camp has head coach Mike Smith up in arms about keeping his players healthy.

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Richt talks drug-testing policy, Clowney as first fall practice approaches

Georgia coach Mark Richt provided some bulletin-board material during UGA Days on campus Monday night.

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BRAVES NOTEBOOK: Beachy’s bad night leaves Atlanta's with many questions; 3B Johnson making serious run at NL batting title

The trade deadline is looming, and the Braves must decide whether returning starter Brandon Beachy — who looked rough Monday in his first outing since Tommy John surgery — is enough for Atlanta’s rotation of they need another arm for the stretch run.

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Georgia Tech's five preseason goals begin with finding star wideout

The first item on Georgia Tech's list of goals to tackle in the preseason is finding a standout receiver.

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Bulldogs' five preseason goals begin with shoring up defense

With practice set to begin for Georgia, here's five preseason goals it hopes to take steps toward accomplishing with kick off for the first game of the year a little more than a month away.

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Braves make deal, trade Rasmus for Angels’ Downs

After a rough start in the majors, pitcher Cory Rasmus is traded Monday by the Braves to the Angels in exchange for one of their top relievers, Scott Downs, a hard-throwing lefty.

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FALCONS NOTEBOOK: Key deals done, Falcons nearly $6M under cap

With some extra money to throw around, the Falcons can start looking at signing some key free-agents who are still on the market.

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BRAVES NOTEBOOK: Atlanta '95 percent' Beachy will return tonight vs. Rockies

Brandon Beachy, who has missed the last year since Tommy John surgery, is slated to be tonight's starter in the series opener against Colorado. (ADDS: notes on Heyward batting leadoff; Freeman vs. Wainwright battle; Minor's cut pitch working well)

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FALCONS NOTEBOOK: ‘Prime Time’ visits Falcons camp, critiques ATL DBs; WR Jones shows up to camp looking better than ever

Deion Sanders says he likes what he sees when it comes to Atlanta’s revamped secondary, while Julio Jones and his new trimmer, fitter look turns heads as soon as he walks into training camp.

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BRAVES NOTEBOOK: B. Upton, Schafer progressing well; Hudson has successful surgery

B.J. Upton and Jordan Schafer are continuing their rehab and hope to return to the team soon.

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Braves on losing leader Hudson: ‘It’s terrible’

The Braves react and make plans to move ahead without veteran leader Tim Hudson, who was lost for the season Wednesday night after breaking his ankle while recording an out at first.

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Falcons report to training camp

Falcons coach Mike Smith expects this year’s training camp, which officially begins today, to be the most competitive in years and one that breeds a team worthy to compete for a Super Bowl title.

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Tech DE Attaochu ready for giant senior season

Georgia Tech’s Jeremiah Attaochu has moved from linebacker to defensive end, and he expects to have a monster senior season for the Yellow Jackets.

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Falcons sign first-round pick Trufant

Rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant agrees to a four-year deal with the Falcons as the team reports for the start of training camp.

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First-round pick Trufant still unsigned as Falcons open training camp today

With players reporting today and training camp officially opening Thursday, one of the Falcons’ top priorities is getting first-round pick Desmond Trufant signed.

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ACC MEDIA DAYS: Johnson asks fans to have patience with new QB Lee

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson says he expects the offense to soar under new quarterback Vad Lee — fans just have to give it time.

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ACC MEDIA DAYS: Clemson picked to win ACC; Ga. Tech fourth in Coastal

Clemson is a huge favorite among reporters at Media Day to run away with the ACC title this year, while Georgia Tech is picked to finish fourth in the Coastal Division and FSU is tapped to finish second in the Atlantic.

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UGA's Murray not playing Mr. Nice Guy any longer

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has had to shed his nice guy persona this summer for the occasional yelling and strict leadership, and it’s all been with one goal in mind: a national championship.

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Alabama State happy with ex-UGA running back Crowell’s progress

It’s been more than a year since Isaiah Crowell was kicked out of Georgia for felony weapons charges, but the running back has landed on his feet and is becoming a leader at Alabama State.

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Falcons set to open competitive training camp

Falcons coach Mike Smith says this year’s training camp, which starts Wednesday, is the most competitive since he took over the team in 2008.

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Senate to discuss how to choose nuclear waste sites

Testimony will begin next week on legislation that would create a new federal agency to manage and dispose of spent fuel from U.S. commercial nuclear plants. The intent of the 2013 Nuclear Waste Administration Act is to implement recommendations from a blue-ribbon committee formed after the Obama administration halted a planned repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.

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Hawks have decision on Nogueira’s development

Hawks rookie center Lucas Nogueira showed periodic promise in summer league action, but Atlanta is still debating whether or not to send the 7-footer back to Spain for more development.

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With training camp opening Monday, work being done to lock Ryan up long-term

Matt Ryan has a tough-as-nails agent who is working hard to get his client a $100 million-dollar-plus contract done month with training camp opening Monday.

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SEC MEDIA DAYS --- NOTEBOOK: Bulldogs feel loss to Tide only made them better; booted ex-UGA QB Mettenberger ready to return to Athens

The narrow loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game last year has served as added offseason motivation for the Bulldogs to come back and finish the job this season.

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SEC MEDIA DAYS: Murray tells Clowney don't confuse fear with respect

South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney had some choice words earlier in the week for UGA quarterback Aaron Murray, saying Murray was “scared” of him, but Murray fired back when it was his turn at the podium

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Led by the ‘new’ McCoughtry, Dream among best in WNBA

After a rough 2012, Dream star Angel McCoughtry did some soul-searching and came back better than ever — and now has Atlanta near the top of the Eastern Conference and off to the best start in franchise history

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BRAVES NOTEBOOK: Freeman cleared to swing after visit to specialist

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman gets the go-ahead from team doctors to start swinging after missing the last week with a jammed thumb. (ADDS: Preview for Braves-White Soc)

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High expectations

Hours before Georgia coach Mark Richt takes the stage at Thursday’s SEC Media Days, it’s announced that the Bulldogs are the runaway favorites to win the conference’s Eastern Division.

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SEC MEDIA DAYS: Three years after Cam, Tigers still looking for next QB

Since quarterback Cam Newton left for the NFL after the 2010 season, Auburn has an 11-14 record and hasn’t found a suitable replacement under center, and Tigers coach Gus Malzahn has four QBs battling for the starting spot this season.

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SEC MEDIA DAYS: Nine UGA players named preseason All-SEC

Georgia places nine players on the media’s preseason All-SEC team, which was announced Thursday at SEC Media Days. (ADDS: Entire All-SEC team; new SEC coaches; ex-UGA assistants)

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Kimbrel, Freeman, McCann soak up All-Star experience

Brian McCann didn’t play, nor did an injured Freddie Freeman, and Craig Kimbrel gave up a run — but other than that, the Braves say the All-Star game was pretty cool.

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Ex-Atlanta sports-writing legend and Herald Columnist Bisher nominated for Baseball HOF

One-time Albany Herald Columnist Furman Bisher, the dean of Georgia sports writers and legendary former AJC reporter and editor, is one of three finalists for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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SEC MEDIA DAYS: Mum's the word on ex-Gator Hernandez at Media Days; QBs glad UGA's Jones left for NFL

Aaron Hernandez’s off-the-field trouble at Florida and eventually in the NFL have sparked a debate whether the school should’ve done more to help him before the issues escalated to a charge of murder as it did in Hernandez’s case. (ADDS: notes on star recruit apologizing to UGA fans for picking Vols over Bulldogs; Georgia's Murray returns to O'Brien Watch List)

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