Judy Baxter /

There will be plenty of pecans from the Peach State this year.

Between 110 million and 120 million pounds of pecans are expected to be harvested this year, according to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.

If that prediction holds through, it will be Georgia's strongest crop in three years.

Farmers say lots of sunshine this summer helped crops fully develop this year.

Georgia tops the nation in pecan production.

UGA researchers say pecans brought in nearly $316 million in net value in 2013.  

Steve Helber / Associated Press

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer":

Nell Redmond / Associated Press

Bad news for Bulldog Nation.

The University of Georgia football team will have to make do for the rest of the season without Nick Chubb.

The tailback suffered what the team is calling a "significant" left knee injury during Saturday's game against Tennessee.

UGA says Chubb has severe damage to numerous ligaments and cartilage.

However, he didn't injure his ACL, which would have been much worse.

Chubb is expected to have surgery within the next two weeks. 

The University of Georgia sign in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
Brenna Beech / WABE

A former University of Georgia police officer has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the university and the Board of Regents, claiming he was fired after he called out his department for illegally arresting people who were reporting possible alcohol overdoses.  

Jay Park, an officer with the department for five years, was fired last year after he told judicial officials about his department’s conduct, according to the lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court. 

An animal protection group wants federal authorities to investigate the University of Georgia after the group obtained a document detailing the use of live dogs, pigs and goats to teach medical procedures.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals submitted a complaint Monday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PETA says UGA's "medical readiness training program" participants should learn the emergency procedures using simulators rather than live animals which are then euthanized.

University officials weren't immediately available for comment.

Rush hour traffic on Atlanta's downtown connector
Gregor Smith /

All the asphalt and cement in cities can make them heat up more than the areas around them. It's called the urban heat island effect, and University of Georgia researchers recently conducted a study to figure out which had more effect on the phenomenon: density or sprawl?

It turned out, it's not an either/or answer.

“Sprawling and high density city configurations both can increase urban heat island intensities,” said Neil Debbage, a graduate student at UGA and the lead author on the study.

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson takes to the field with the team before the start of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Football season, both college and pro, kicked off  last week. And Georgia teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, fared pretty well in their opening games.

Sports writer Brian Jones from 247Sports joined Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer on “Closer Look” to talk about the start of the season and what’s ahead this weekend.

United States Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), in a conversation with WABE's Denis O'Hayer on Dec. 5, 2014 in Atlanta.
Jason Parker / WABE

Former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is sharing his experience in law and politics with students at the University of Georgia's law school.

The university says Chambliss is co-teaching a class called Political Leadership and the Law for the fall semester with his former chief of staff, Camila Knowles.

Chambliss served two terms in the U.S. Senate and four in the U.S. House of Representatives. Knowles is now commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

 The Georgia mascot Uga takes the field before an NCAA football game against the LSU, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Athens, Ga.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

Bulldog Nation has plenty to bark about.

The University of Georgia will have a top 10 football team this year, according to the broadcasters and writers who take part in the Associated Press poll.

The Bulldogs, who kick off the season Sept. 5 against the University of Louisiana-Monroe, are ranked ninth.

Georgia Tech came in 16th place.

This is the first time since 2010 that the Yellow Jackets had a pre-season ranking.

Ohio State tops the college football poll. The defending champs collected all 61 first-place votes from the panel.

The University of Georgia North Campus green in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (Photo/Brenna Beech)
Brenna Beech / WABE

The University of Georgia is the only Southeastern Conference member among the Princeton Review's annual list of the nation's top 10 party schools.

Georgia comes in at No. 8 in this year's rankings by the college guide.

The Athens News-Banner reports the ranking is the highest for Georgia since 2012, when it was ranked fifth.

SEC members Ole Miss and the University of Florida also are on the party school list but didn't rank in the top 10. The University of Mississippi comes in at 12th, and Florida is No. 14.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

It's almost time for college football.

And to whet fans' appetite for Saturday afternoons on the gridiron, the College Football Hall of Fame, ESPN and the Atlanta Sports Council are hosting a Huddle-Up Luncheon to take a look at the upcoming season.

Georgia Tech kicks off the 2015 season on Thursday, Sept. 3, hosting the Alcorn State Braves at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

UGA makes its debut two days later on Sept. 5, when they entertain the ULM Warhawks at Sanford Stadium.

The University of Georgia's law school says it has received a $500,000 gift from a state legislator to create a scholarship.

The UGA School of Law said in a news release Friday that alumna Rep. Stacey Godfrey Evans, a Democrat from Smyrna, made the gift to help first-generation college graduates attending the school.

The first Evans Scholar is set to be named in the fall.

Beverley Petrunich, co-owner of DoGone Fun, a day care and boarding facility, visits with some of her clients in Chicago. Experts say doggie day care contributed to an epidemic of dog flu in Chicago that is spreading in the Midwest.
M. Spencer Green / AP Photo

The veterinary school at the University of Georgia has confirmed 55 cases of canine influenza in the state, although it’s not the only lab that can confirm the virus.

One of the reasons the virus is spreading, according to a UGA professor, is that dogs can easily catch it. That's because the flu is a new disease to them, beginning after the year 2000.

Mike Mozart /

There is a smaller than usual Vidalia onion crop this year, thanks to the wet spring weather. Earlier this spring, the Vidalia onion crop was in good shape, but then in May, there was a lot of rain, wind and some hail.

“And so a crop that was looking really good, all of a sudden, wasn’t,” UGA agricultural economist Jeffrey Dorfman said.

He said on top of the weather, farmers planted fewer acres of Vidalia onions this year.

The Iron Horse sculpture surveys the scene near Watkinsville, Georgia.
Wikimedia Commons

Today is May 27.  

If we were to turn Georgia's clock back 61 years to this date in 1954, we'd witness a rather extreme reaction by University of Georgia students to the placement of a horse on their campus.  

As Georgia State University associate professor of history, Dr. Clifford Kuhn explains, the horse was a sculpture and part of a well-intentioned effort to expose the university community to some "culture."  

First Case Of New Dog Flu Confirmed In Metro Atlanta

May 20, 2015
Brushing fluffy dogs can help release loose undercoat hairs, making them feel cooler in the summertime.
Matthew /

A dog in metro Atlanta has been diagnosed with a new strain of the canine influenza virus and may have exposed other animals to the illness.

The new dog flu has been spreading through dog populations in the Midwest and has already affected thousands of dogs in Chicago since March.

Scientists at the University of Georgia confirmed Wednesday that an illness diagnosed in a dog in Athens late last week is the new strain of canine flu, identified as H3N2.

Learning Chicken Speak and How It Can Help Georgia Farmers

May 11, 2015
UGA and Georgia Tech researchers are studying chicken sounds to try to better understand how the birds are feeling. What a chicken says could help farmers better care for the birds .
Gary Meek

Forget the age-old question about why the chicken crossed the road. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia want to know what the chicken said. 

UGA and Georgia Tech researchers have been studying the different sounds chickens make and if those sounds might indicate whether the birds are happy or sad, or maybe sick or frightened.

Blueberries at UGA's farm in Athens
Stephanie Schupska / UGA

Blueberries are now the state’s No. 1 fruit crop. They even beat out Georgia’s peaches.

As farmers try to meet growing demand they’re also looking for ways to cut losses.

Researchers at the University of Georgia won a $2.37 million grant from the USDA to develop technology to help small to mid-size blueberry growers. 

During the harvesting process, a lot of blueberries get squashed. Machines do their best, but a lot of the time, they leave something to be desired.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Rural communities in Georgia are getting some attention from the University of Georgia.

Researchers will be taking a look at more than 300 small towns throughout the state. Many of them are in rough shape.

“Dilapidated housing, a lack of affordable housing, you know, access to home ownership can be an issue,” Kim Skobba, an assistant professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at UGA, says.

Rick Wilson / Associated Press


R.J. Hunter's 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining capped a comeback from a 12-point deficit and lifted 14th-seeded Georgia State to a 57-56 opening-game victory over third-seeded Baylor in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

With Ron Hunter, his father and coach, working the sideline in a rolling chair less than a week after tearing his left Achilles tendon celebrating the Panthers winning the Sun Belt Conference championship, R.J. shrugged off a poor shooting performance to come through when his team needed him most.

Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

The Home Depot co-founder and owner of the Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta is set to speak in the University of Georgia Chapel.

The university says Arthur Blank is set to speak March 27 at 10:10 a.m. as part of a Terry College of Business speaker series. His portfolio also includes PGA TOUR Superstore, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana and AMB Group.

The Terry Leadership Speaker Series aims to bring well-known leaders to the university to discuss their leadership styles and experiences.

clotho98 /


The latest fallout from a racist video involving Oklahoma fraternity members is a ban on hoop skirts at University of Georgia social events.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the ban came after university student affairs administrators met with some fraternity and sorority leaders to discuss fraternity events such as "Old South Week" and the "Magnolia Ball."

Victor Wilson, the university's vice president for student affairs, said part of Monday's discussion included costumes worn during special events and messages conveyed by the clothing.

University of Georgia arch, looking to Downtown Athens
StevenV /

And then there were four.

The University of Georgia has trimmed its list of candidates for the dean of UGA's Graduate School.

The four finalists will visit the Athens campus over the next few weeks.

Here is a list of the candidates, along with the dates in which they will give their public presentations:

Kentucky's Andrew Harrison (5) shoots between Georgia's Yante Maten (1) and Kenny Gaines (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 69-58.
James Crisp / Associated Press

Brackets, beer and bragging rights. 

Those are a few of the things linked to March Madness, which leads to big business for universities.

“March Madness is huge.  It has just grown phenomenally over the past 10 to 20 years,” says sports analyst Tim Darnell.

About 140 million people across the country are expected to be tuning in to see student-athletes represent their universities.

University of Georgia arch, looking to Downtown Athens
StevenV /

It looks like this will be another record-breaking year for Bulldog Nation.

The University of Georgia is on-pace to break its annual fundraising record.

“It’s a good problem to have isn’t it?,” UGA spokesman Pete Konenkamp says. 

UGA has already passed the $100 million mark this fiscal year. There are four months left to go and 2014’s fundraising total of nearly $126.5 million could be surpassed.

Konenkamp says a stronger economy has helped, but there are other factors to explain this boost in fundraising.

Kentucky's Andrew Harrison (5) shoots between Georgia's Yante Maten (1) and Kenny Gaines (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 69-58.
James Crisp / Associated Press

The University of Georgia's basketball team winds down the regular season with its last home game Tuesday night against Kentucky.

While the Bulldogs are looking for their 20th win of the season, the Wildcats are undefeated after 29 games.

A car passes by on a road, seen through branches hanging heavy with ice after freezing rain blanketed the region near Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011. The last quarter of November was marked by foggy mornings and temperatures below fr
Amel Emric / Associated Press

Broken branches are taking out power lines and blocking roads across Northeast Georgia. Trees in other parts of the country face much more extreme weather all the time. What is it about the combination of ice and Georgia’s trees that doesn’t mix? 

Icy branches are stiff and the extra weight can make them up to 30 times heavier than normal. Unlike trees used to blizzards in other parts of the U.S., Georgia’s trees don’t get much practice with ice.

John Amis / UGA College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

The University of Georgia wants to get rid of some of its real estate.

The school has owned the Wilkins Farm for about half a century.

The 865-acre plot of land is in Wilkes and Oglethorpe counties and has an extensive frontage on Highway 78.

"We've been using it for beef cattle research and the [UGA] Police Department has been utilizing about 35 acres of that as a shooting range," UGA spokesman Pete Konenkamp says.


An exhibit of classic radios is set to open next week at a University of Georgia library.

The school says the exhibit of radios from the early 1900s will open Feb. 20 at the University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

The collection of tube radios, external speakers and other items dating from 1913 to 1933 was restored by Claude L. Pennington Jr. of Macon. Pennington was a doctor who specialized in microsurgery of the inner ear and was fascinated by the tube radio.

Feral swine
Clint Turnage / USDA APHIS (20130507-APHIS-CT-000)

Feral hogs are a problem around the country; they’re like the kudzu of the animal kingdom. They can live pretty much anywhere in Georgia, from the barrier islands to the mountains. And they’ll eat anything they can fit in their mouths, according to UGA ecologist Mike Mengak.

“They’re responsible for upwards of $1.5 billion in [damages] across the United States, according to some estimates,” Mengak says. “And probably in the neighborhood of a few hundred million in Georgia.”