Compiled by Mary Lou Masters

Michael White opened up the show with a disturbing local story. Last Thursday, members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority reported to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department that they found colored dots on their cars parked outside of their house. 

The students reported a variety of markings, which was in line with recent reports of similar markings across the US, including in New Jersey and Tennessee. While rumors of the markings being related to sex trafficking have appeared on Facebook and conspiracy theory site QAnon, The US Marshals Service said that there is nothing to be worried about.

Dave ONey with the Marshal Service’s public affairs office, said that the rumors are “false to everything that we know” and Natalie Ivery of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking said the plots would “require a lot of work on the traffickers’ part and dramatically increase their risk.”

Cason reported on an update concerning the Georgia State Fair. The fair will take place this upcoming weekend in Henry County with COVID-19 safety measures in place, even as several other fairs and festivals across the state have been canceled.

Organizers announced guidelines to comply with COVID-19 precautions, including temperature checks, mandatory mask wearing and social distancing. The 17th annual fair is being held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway from Oct. 2 through 11.

All attendees will have to fill out a travel questionnaire and have their temperature checked at the entrance. Anyone who has had COVID-19 in the past month must show negative test results from within 72 hours of the day they attended the fair. Fair officials have said they will “strictly enforce” social distancing between parties attending the fair and while in line for rides and concessions.

Earlier this year, organizers announced the cancellation of the North Georgia State Fair, held annually in Cobb County. Instead, organizers opted to offer a “Taste of the Fair” event that allowed attendees to purchase typical fair items. Drive-thru and walk-up options were offered this past weekend and will also be available Oct. 2 through 4 at Jim R. Millner Park in Marietta.

Michael also had the latest financial news. Tesla had a rough week last week following its much hyped “Batter Day” that missed the mark with investors. Tesla was expected to announce a “million-mile battery,” but instead featured two less exciting announcements: a decrease in battery cost to below $100 /kilo watt hour, and a new battery that will increase vehicle range by 16%. 

While the news will improve Tesla stock in the future by setting it apart from other electric vehicle stocks that are struggling to get going, the news was a disappointment overall to excited investors, with the stock sliding 10% on Wednesday into Thursday. 

Following battery day, the company then experienced a “complete network outage” that caused some customers to be unable to get access to their car through Tesla’s app. The app features digital keys allowing users to drive their car without a physical key, but with the outage many Tesla drivers were stranded. 

Tesla’s internal systems were also down and staff were unable to process deliveries and orders of the cars. Off of the disappointing battery day and the system outage, Tesla lost over $50 million of market cap, though they have made some gains back with the stock trading at $419 a share as of 12:30 this afternoon, up from a five day low of $364 a share. 

Tyler Johnson covered the approaching election. On Saturday, President Trump made the announcement that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be his nomination to become the new high court Justice. He announced his decision at the White House Rose Garden with Barrett also present. 

Amy Coney Barrett is currently a judge in the US Court of Appeals for the 7th circuit and is a Notre Dame professor. 

Trump made the decision after the death of the former high court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.r Ginsburg was nominated by former president Bill Clinton. She passed away in her home on Sept. 18 surrounded by her family.

Wood Smith detailed a new ocean-observing satellite from Europe that finally arrived in the US ahead of its November launch. After a two-day journey from Munich, Germany, the sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite safely arrived at the Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sept. 24.

“The spacecraft had a smooth trip from Europe and is in good shape,” Mission Project Manager Parage Vaze of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a NASA news release. “Final preparations are underway to see the satellite safely into Earth orbit in a little under seven weeks.

NASA said the satellite, named after the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division Michael Freilich, is the result of a “historic U.S.-European partnership” as it is developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency, known as the ESA.

Once in orbit, the satellite will map 90% of the Earth’s ice-free ocean in order to gather critical information on climate and global sea levels. The satellite will be able to measure sea surface height measurements “down to the centimeter.”

Tyler Johnson also reported on the most recent on entertainment. Instagram Influencer and former reality star Jordyn Woods revisited the scandal she was involved in when the Kardashians accused Woods of kissing Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend-at-the-time and current father of their child. 

In an interview, Woods said “The only thing I had to lean on was my faith and my family… At some point you are going to go through something that feels like your world is falling apart.” 

Woods also discussed how difficult it was to go through that scandal along with the death of her father all in the same year. She mentioned that taking accountability for what she did wrong in the scandal assisted her with the ability to heal and move on without guilt. 

Jenner and Woods have not been in communication with each other and still do not follow each other on Instagram. 

Wood Smith then detailed the happenings in state concerning Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation. The process may be motivating Democrats more than Republicans, at least in North Carolina and Georgia, both of which are in play for the upcoming presidential election.

In both states, a new CBS News/YouGov poll shows, 60% of Democrats say the polarizing Supreme Court debate has made them more motivated to vote compared to 46 and 47% of Republicans in Georgia and North Carolina, respectively. 

As CBS News pointed out, the court battle probably won’t change many votes, since polls are suggesting that the majority of voters have their minds set, but it could increase turnout.

Cason reported on the current state of COVID-19 nationally. Four U.S. States in the Midwest reported record one-day increases in COVID-19 cases on Saturday as infections rise nationally for a second week in a row, according to analysis by Reuters. 

In the last week, seven mostly Midwest states have reported record one-day rises in new infections – Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Minnesota and Utah reported record increases two days in a row. All Midwest states except Ohio reported more cases in the past four weeks as compared with the prior four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. 

Cases have also begun rising again in the Northeast, including the early epicenters of New York and New Jersey. In New York, more than 1,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday for the first time since June 5, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.