Compiled by Mary Lou Masters

Michael White reported on how more polling locations across Athens-Clarke County have opened during the final week of early voting in Georgia. The five locations are the Athens-Clarke County Library, the Miriam Moore Community Center, the Athens-Clarke Tennis Center and the Athens-Clarke Extension Office. 

All five locations will be open from 10 am to 5 pm through Friday. On Tuesday, the Stegeman Coliseum will also open for early voting. The Coliseum will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cason Smith had the details on a new poll in Georgia. In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump in Georgia 47% to 46%. Biden also leads Trump on the issue of which candidate would better handle racial equality in the US, 50% to 42%. Roughly two in three respondents – 67% – cited this issue as important to their vote.

In one of Georgia’s senate races, Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff leads Senator David Perdue, 46% to 45%. The results of the poll indicate a statistical tie for both races, given the poll’s 4% margin of error. In Georgia’s special senate election, however, Democrat Raphael Warnock holds a clear lead over both Senator Kelly Loeffler and her Republican challenger Doug Collins.

Michael then gave listeners finance updates. The stock market took a beating today amid record highs in daily coronavirus cases and a lack of a stimulus bill coming through Congress. As of 4 p.m., the Dow Jones was down 2.7%, the S&P 500 down 2.3% and the Nasdaq is down 2.0%. 

While all indices increased last week on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s optimism of a stimulus bill, it now appears that no stimulus will come through until after the election, as both parties look to place the blame on the other in order to boost their election odds. Couple the lack of a stimulus with a 32% increase in daily coronavirus infections, and you get the negative climate that is surrounding not just the US economy, but also the global economy. 

In other financial news, China’s Ant Group, a financial technology company, is expected to go public next week at a valuation of $34.4 billion. Founded by Jack Ma, the man behind Alibaba, the IPO of Ant Group will be the largest initial public offering of any company, easily surpassing Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, which went public in 2019 at a valuation of $26 billion. 

Ant Group is planning on using the funds to quote “further is vision of digitizing the service industry, research and development, [and for] general corporate purposes.” 

Wood Smith covered the election, which is coming down to the wire here in Georgia as Democrats are trying to flip the state to blue. Senator Kamala Harris visited Atlanta last week and Jill Biden will visit Macon and Savannah today. 

Joe Biden will come to Georgia for the first time in this election cycle with visits to Atlanta and Warm Springs tomorrow. Polls are showing the presidential and senate races in Georgia couldn’t be tighter. 

According to a WSB Radio report, “A new Atlanta Journal Constitution poll says the race is about as tight as it can get. The poll mirrors other polling and including a CBS Battleground Tracker Poll over the weekend that showed Biden-President dead even. Also in the AJC poll it shows Senator David Perdue is tied with Democrat Jon Ossof and a runoff in the special election for Senator Kelly Loeffler’s seat.”

Wood then reported on international news. Fiat Chrysler and PSA are set to win EU approval for their $38 billion merger to create the world’s no. 4 carmarker as they strive to meet the industry’s dual challenges of funding cleaner vehicles and the global pandemic, according to Reuters. 

The green light from the European Commission would formalise the reaction of Stellantis, a carmaking group that could tap hefty profits from selling Ram pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs to the US in order to fund the expensive development of zero-emission vehicles for sale in Europe and China. 

The all-share merger announced late last year would unite brands such as Fiat, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Maserati with the likes of Peugeot, Opel and DS while targeting annual cost cuts of $6 billion without closing factories.

The companies could receive a decision from the EU regarding their merger by the end of the year, ahead of the Feb. 2 deadline. The companies have said they hope to complete the merger in the first quarter of 2021. 

Wood also covered state news. Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler announced the University of Georgia will receive more than $320,000 from the US Department of Agriculture to perform research into crop protection and pest management. The grant will allow UGA to study and develop tools to resist the Diamondback Moth, which causes severe damage to crops in Georgia’s agriculture regions. 

“Farmers are the backbone of Georgia and this nation, they deserve all the help and resources they can get to ensure their crops are protected,” Loeffler said. “I applaud USDA for awarding UGA with this grant, which will bolster its premier agriculture research program – which is already a leader in the nation – and help safeguard Georgia crops from the Diamondback Moth and other threats for years to come.”

Mariah Rose reported a big week for the music industry in her entertainment segment. Drake announced his new album, “Certified Lover Boy” will be released in January 2021. On his birthday, he released a video commemorating his old projects including the Grammy award winning “Take Care” album, “Nothing was the Same” and his recent mixtape comprised of songs that didn’t make it onto the new album, “Dark Lane Demo Tapes.” 

Ariana Grande will also be releasing an album, but hers will come this month. This week, she delivered the first single from the project entitled “Positions” and a music video where she plays the President of the United States. Miley Cyrus also announced an album release. Her album will be a rock project of covers of other classics. The project will be called “Plastic Hearts” and released on Oct. 27.

Cason Smith covered a major topic of the election cycle the past few weeks: the likelihood of a new coronavirus relief bill being passed before election day. New comments from the White House renewed speculation. Trump administration talks with Democratic lawmakers on a major coronavirus relief package will continue on Monday as both sides work to find a compromise before the November election, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will get reports from the leaders of congressional committees that have been working on an agreement and may also talk to Nancy Pelosi, Kudlow told reporters at the White House. 

“There are still a number of areas in her plan that the president cannot accept, just can’t accept it,” Kudlow said of Pelosi. “I will also say, there are a number of targeted areas that we really think would help the economy.”

Sticking points remain around aid for state and local governments grappling with the devastating economic fallout of the pandemic and provisions around immigration and healthcare, he said. Kudlow would not speculate on the chances for the deal before the election.

“I am not here to be either optimistic or pessimistic,” Kudlow said.

Mariah closed out the show with the Sports Power Minute. In breaking sports news, Odell Beckham Junior texted Josina Anderson that he has torn his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. Odell has had a big week after being banned from his former college for two years for handing out hundred dollar bills to the LSU team after the national championship and making headlines for saying he and the coronavirus have a “mutual respect” after being asked if he was afraid of contracting it. 

Now, Browns’ fans biggest fear has come to light. Beckham Jr. tore his ACL while attempting to make a tackle after an interception by Baker Mayfield. An MRI revealed a torn ACL and the wide receiver will not return to the field for the rest of the 2020 season. Mayfield told reporters that Beckham Jr told him at halftime to “Go be great.”

Listen to the recorded segment here