Compiled by Caleb Kerr
Michael Doti opened the show with an update on the highly-anticipated closing arguments of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd. This is the last chance for the plaintiff and defendant to persuade the jury in order to make the right verdict.
One side argues that George Floyd was recklessly choked to death by Chauvin’s knee for nine and a half minutes, despite numerous cries that he could not breathe. The other side argues that Floyd killed himself by swallowing fentanyl and methamphetamine, complicating his vulnerable heart condition and leading to his own asphyxiation.
Doti reported that Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson is expected to use the video of Floyd’s arrest. He argues about the deception of the camera angles, and that some angles reveal that Chauvin’s knee was not on Floyd’s neck at all times.
Chauvin could face up to 75 years in prison if guilty of all three charges.
Ansleigh Edwards continued the news with a report on a floor collapse during a local Athens party in which at least a dozen people were injured. The Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services was called to Magnolia Bluff Drive early Friday morning when the floor collapsed and the partiers crashed into the basement.
Reports say there were close to 500 people squeezed into the house. A captain for the department, Nate Moss said that 25 people were treated on scene for cuts and scratches, but no one was critically injured or taken to the hospital.
According to Fox 5 Atlanta, the house party was held in a neighborhood not far from University of Georgia’s main campus.
Michael returned to deliver an update on two Coffee Middle School students, accused of creating a “Kill List.” Coffee County superintendent Morris Leis told WALB 10 News that school employees found a letter titled “Kill List 2021,” and it led to the suspension of two girls.
Robert Ashworth, a parent of one of the people on the list, posted it on social media, and it consisted of approximately 60 names. Ashworth, along with all the other parents whose kids were on the list, were notified of the situation.
Leis said that student discipline is confidential information, but the administrative staff has gotten it under control.
Ashworth told WALB, “I want whatever is gotta be done, done. There’s been enough mass shootings across the United States that it’s enough.”
The two suspended girls are awaiting an expulsion hearing. Leis confirmed that the police are investigating this as well.
Caleb Kerr continued the news with a grim update on Alexsei Navalny’s health, who is said to be close to death in a Russian prison. The New York Times reports that Navalny, who has been participating in a hunger strike for three weeks now, “could die at any moment.” Protestors have begun to gather in Russian streets to demand the fair medical treatment of Navalny.
Navalny, a long-time opponent of the Kremlin, has been subject to harm in the past. In August of 2020, the BBC reports that Navalny was poisoned when he had Novichok, a “poisonous Russian state security agent” placed in his underwear. Navalny accused the Kremlin of the attack.
Today, the lingering effects of this poisoning agent on Navalny’s body are compounding his medical issues. The Times reports that Navalny is showing signs of kidney failure, which could lead to an irregular heartbeat.
The Kremlin, angered at Navalny’s insurrection efforts, filed a court case recently in an attempt to classify Navalny’s anti-corruption groups as a terrorist organization. The Times reports if these measures are passed, Navalny’s groups would have to disband and anyone caught in suspicion of sedition will be sent to prison.
Ansleigh returned with a report on the loosening travel restrictions in the Southern Hemisphere. The Australia-New Zealand travel bubble has opened and the response has been filled with both joy and tears.
According to CNN, the idea of a travel bubble between the two countries has been talked about for months, but has faced setbacks due to small COVID-19 outbreaks. Now that those outbreaks have been eliminated, the start of quarantine-free travel has begun for Australia and New Zealand.
The travel opening is in part expected to aid the struggling tourist operators who have been without business for months.
To celebrate the occasion, CNN says Wellington Airport placed a giant welcome sign near its main runway and ordered around 24,000 bottles of sparkling wine. The carrier had previously been running about two to three flights a day. On Monday, that number reached 30 flights between the two countries.
Kenzie Harms continued the show with an entertainment update over at the Tent. This Thursday Cloudland band and Nordista Freeze will be performing at The Tent at 7 p.m.
Harms got the opportunity to talk to Zach King and Karmen Smith last week and they are so excited to be back performing for an audience. This is their first concert back since the pandemic cancelled their tour last year.
“We had worked so hard to build a 10 stop tour, it had taken like four or five months to build.” King said. “It took a long time to process but I was genuinely comforted by the fact that it was happening to everybody, everywhere.”
Somewhere waffles will be serving their amazing chicken and waffles at the show from 6-8 p.m. and then will continue after the show ends.
Sarah Train delivered a report on the upcoming Academy Awards. The producers of the Awards held a press conference via Zoom from Union Station to discuss what the awards ceremony would look like in the COVID-19 era.
Producers Steven Soderbergh, Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher promised the awards show would be like nothing they’ve ever done before.
Collins said, “It’s going to be a very sincere show, and it’s also going to be optimistic. It’s going to show us where we can go in the future. And I think that’s exactly what the Oscars needs to be at this time.”
Collins also produced The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime show and the Grammys this year.
Train reported that the Oscars were previously scheduled for Feb. 28 but were rescheduled. All producers agree that with more vaccinations and testing available now, the show will be much better. They also emphasized that the awards show will be cinematic, and the audience will “feel like they’re watching a movie.”
The 93rd Annual Academy Awards will air on April 25, at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Caleb came back to deliver Stacey Abrams’ surprising strategy on tackling Georgia’s new restrictive voting law. Even as President Biden continues to criticize Georgia’s new voting restrictions, former candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams has remained relatively calm compared to her fiery accusations against Brain Kemp in their 2018 race for the governorship.
The AP reports that one of the most surprising stances Abrams has taken is in regard to corporate boycotts. Abrams “discouraged boycotts and reassured Democrats they can still win races under the new rules,” saying that these boycotts “ultimately hurt the victims of these bills.”
Kerr reported that Abrams’ moderate position on the issue highlights her desire to maintain powerful business allies in Atlanta, where she may hope to run for Georgia governor against Kemp in 2022. The AP reports that it also makes it harder for Kemp and other GOP leaders to blame the effects of the voting bill on her and President Biden, a strategy used all-too-often by the Trump administration.
As the campaigns begin for several Georgia politicians, Abrams’ reserved strategy might just appeal to more moderate voters in the 2022 midterm elections.
Michael wrapped up the show with the Sports Power Minute. Georgia football returned to an in-person G Day on Saturday. The Red team, led by the offensive starters, got the best of the Black team, led by the defensive starters. JT Daniels completed 28 of 41 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns.
On the defensive side, Lewis Cine, who is expected to be the top corner next year, got one interception and Devonte Wyatt finished with two sacks. The wait is down to just 137 more days until Georgia takes the field at Bank of America Stadium to battle Clemson.
It was another good weekend for the Georgia Baseball team. They finished a three game weekend set with the Kentucky Wildcats at Foley Field. Friday’s match was all Kentucky as they won 6-1.
Saturday’s match was the closest of the series. Corey Collins hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to get the ball rolling for Georgia. Kentucky battled back to tie the game at four in the fifth inning. Georgia had an 8-5 lead going into the top of the ninth, but Kentucky’s Austin Schultz hit a two-run home run to bring the Wildcats within one.
The offense persisted after that and Georgia won the deciding game 17-6. The team will stay home to play Clemson tomorrow.
The Hawks continue to remain hot as they beat the Pacers yesterday 129-117 for their eighth win in ten games. It was a big game for the starters, as four out of the five of them scored over 20 points. Atlanta sits fourth in the eastern conference, as they have the exact same record as the Boston Celtics at 31-26. Atlanta plays the Orlando Magic at home tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
The Braves were victorious last night, taking the rubber match with the Chicago Cubs. After losing on Saturday 13-4, Atlanta won by the exact same score last night. The team scored six runs in the top of the first inning, and then Guillermo Heredia ended any last hopes for the Cubs with a grand slam in the top of the sixth inning. Atlanta has a two game set starting tomorrow against one of the league’s biggest surprises, the 5-10 New York Yankees.