Compiled by Mary Lou Masters

Michael Doti started the show with  Athens news. As the country continues to try and contain the spread of COVID-19, with potential promising signs glimmering on the horizon, there are still certain areas that are seeing a dangerous increase in cases. 

These areas have been monitored closely by the White House coronavirus task force since the pandemic began. The next stop on their list is right here in Athens, where one member said that cases are increasing at a dangerous level. 

In one week, UGA has reported 1417 positive cases, all but 15 of those were students. That brings UGA’s total case count to 3045 since the pandemic began. This was up 498 cases from the week prior. 

President Jere Morehead has taken to Twitter over the past few weeks, warning the community that the increase in cases were “concerning.” That adjective quickly graduated to “very disturbing.” 

Constant reminders from the executives about masking up, social distancing and to avoid going downtown have been sent out; however, Kathryn Skeean of The Red and Black has admitted that these passive reminders are not enough. 

“A statement just saying please keep wearing your masks is not really an answer,” Skeean said. “What’s going to happen if this keeps happening?” 

Jordan had the story about excessive litter in Athens. Sightings of profound amounts of litter around the city; just another day in Athens, Georgia. 

As a part of the adaptations to the pandemic guidelines, UGA dining provided students with reusable to-go boxes when they went to the dining halls, with an expectation of the students to return them so they could be washed. 

Just a couple looks around Athens, and it wouldn’t take long to realize that this expectation never turned into a reality. Instead of returning the boxes, students left them in hallways, piled up in trash cans or even on the sidewalk. 

According to The Red and Black, UGA dining released a statement that they would discontinue the to-go boxes and replace them with environmentally friendly cardboard food containers. 

It’s safe to say that the pandemic has brought about negative environmental impacts to our city, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to do anything about it. 

There are simple ways the everyday Athens local or UGA student can deposit trash or reuse it to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the environment. The Red and Black offers some everyday alternatives by suggesting “reusable masks, water bottles and utensils” to lessen the impact.

While these suggestions are anything but new, recalling the age-old three r’s: reduce, reuse and recycle will do nothing but help keep our community clean.

Jordan also had the latest updates concerning the California wildfires. The wildfires that stretch across California, Washington, and Oregon are still raging as firefighters try to control them. Neighborhoods are destroyed and mass evacuations have been enforced in an effort to help authorities. 

This morning The New York Times reported aerial images of what used to be homes, but are now turned to ash and rubble. The seemingly uncontrollable blaze has burned through “2.5 million acres in California and hundreds of thousands more in Oregon and Washington State.” Seven bodies have already been found among the debris.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has advised citizens to not call 911 for help in regards to reports of smoke, as authorities have been receiving an overflow of phone calls. 

“This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” Brown said.

Thomas had another fire damage story for us. Roads, fields, and parking lots served as beds for thousands of migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos after fires destroyed their homes. The Moria camp is composed of Syrian, Afghan, and other refugees seeking safety in the Greek territory. 

The Greek government quarantined the group of nearly 13,000 to prevent an outbreak after 35 members tested positive with coronavirus. This angered some members of the group, causing some to set the initial fires Tuesday night. 

The Associated Press reported these fires left over a quarter of the camp without tents or facilities. The second fires on Wednesday left the majority without shelter.

Discrepancies between eyewitness accounts and Greek officials leave the public wondering if there were any casualties and/or loss of life. The actions displeased Greek officials, as a government spokesman told reporters, “Some people do not respect the country hosting them” and those who set the fires “did so because they considered that if they torch Moria, they will indiscriminately leave the island.”

The events bring up questions about the camp which is almost five times over its original capacity of 2,750 people. French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of the German State North Rhine-Westphalia offered to take in refugees and help with the crisis.

Next, Michael delivered entertainment news. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest yesterday, Kris Jenner revealed to the world that 2021 will be the final year of “Keeping up With the Kardashians.” 

She admitted that it was the perfect time to do it. The drama filled documentary, which was and created and produced by Seacrest, has been on the air since 2007. 

“It’s funny, when we talked yesterday, I kinda had my wits about me and I thought I was really strong. And, you know, this is the right decision. Today I wake up and I was thinking about the first time you and I ever did an interview on the air, and I was so excited and so nervous,” Jenner said. 

The fearless mother has certainly come a long way since that first interview. Kris admitted that Khloe Kardashian is taking this decision the hardest. Caitlyn Jenner heard about the decision through the news and she referred to it as the, “greatest reality show in history.”

Michael closed out the show with sports reporting. Although the Bulldogs still have two more Saturdays until their season kicks off, college football continues its much anticipated return this Saturday. 

Three top 10 teams will play their season openers in two days, including the back-to-back preseason number one seed in the country Clemson. They will play Wake Forest on the road at 7:30 Eastern on ABC. 

The Tigers are front runners to win the championship this year as now junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence tries to maintain his projected no. 1 one draft choice stock with another monster season. 

The no. 5 team in the country, Oklahoma, plays their home opener in Norman against Missouri State at 7 p.m. This will be the first start for one of the Heisman favorites this year, Spencer Rattler. 

Rattler will become the first Sooner starting quarterback since Cody Thomas back in 2014 who has played for Oklahoma alone up to this point. 

After nearly losing their entire season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10th seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been welcomed into the ACC family this season, and will play Duke at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday on NBC. 

The long awaited return of the NFL begins tonight. The Kansas City Chiefs raise their banner and begin their title defense against the Houston Texans at 8:20 p.m. eastern on NBC.

It will be the third matchup between top quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, each split the first two matchups. 

The Falcons play their home opener Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against one of the NFC favorites, the Seattle Seahawks. These two teams played last year in Mercedes Benz Stadium, and it went Seattle’s way 27-20. 

Another interesting storyline will be two former All Pros making their debuts with their new teams. Jamal Adams for Seattle, and former Georgia star Todd Gurley for Atlanta. The Cowboys and the Rams end the day with a Sunday Night matchup on NBC in the brand new SoFi Stadium.  

This will be a first look on how football uses their platforms to fight against racial injustice and the police shootings that have led to the outcries from millions in the country.

For any non football fans, game four of the NBA’s western conference semifinal matchup between the LA Lakers and Houston Rockets begins at 7 tonight on TNT, and game three of the NHL’s western conference final between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights begins at 8 p.m. eastern on NBCSN.  

Finally the Braves travel to Washington to take on the Nationals at 6:05 p.m. eastern. Atlanta couldn’t be feeling any better going into this game after putting up an unheard of 29 runs against the Marlins last night. The matchup on the mound: Robbie Erlin for Atlanta and Austin Voth for Washington.