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State & Regional

    ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Cash 4 Evening' game were: 3-2-0-2 (three, two, zero, two)
  • ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Georgia FIVE Evening' game were: 7-4-2-8-0 (seven, four, two, eight, zero)
  • ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'Cash 3 Evening' game were: 1-1-8 (one, one, eight)
  • ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's '5 Card Cash' game were: QC-AC-QD-2D-3H (QC, AC, QD, 2D, 3H)
  • KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - When they started spring training, the Atlanta Braves had one opening in their pitching rotation. With a week to go before opening day, they may have three. The Braves are holding out some hope that Kevin Gausman will work through his shoulder soreness in time to pitch a game in the first turn through their rotation. However, that appears unlikely. Gausman, who has pitched only two innings in games this spring, threw a 58-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. 'You'd like to get him up to 90 before you'd pitch him in a major league game,' said manager Brian Snitker. Mike Foltynewicz, who last pitched Feb. 24 before elbow soreness set in, is throwing again but will need a month buildup before starting a regular-season game. That leaves Julio Teheran and Sean Newcomb as the only named members of the rotation, with Teheran expected to start the Braves' opener at Philadelphia on March 28. Snitker doesn't expect to announce any additions in the next few days. 'We've got a week left to see where we are. We aren't forced to make any decisions yet,' Snitker said. 'We'll see what happens (with Gausman's) next time out and go from there.' Even if Gausman is ready to pitch in the first days of April, that leaves four young and inexperienced arms competing for two spots - Touki Toussaint, Kyle Wright, left-hander Max Fried and 21-year-old Bryce Wilson, who is considered a long shot with no major league experience. Mike Soroka, another 21-year-old pitcher, is also throwing pain-free for the first time in weeks. But he hasn't pitched in a game. Soroka, who was shut down late last summer with the same kind of shoulder soreness he experienced this spring, was optioned to the minor league camp on Wednesday. Relievers A.J. Minter (shoulder) and Darren O'Day (forearm tightness) are expected to start the season on the injured list, opening spots in the bullpen. The Braves had hoped to stock most of their promising young starters in the minor leagues in April and bring them up during the season. But the injuries have sped up the timetable and at least two of the pitchers are likely to start the season in the rotation. The 25-year-old Fried is the latest to state his case, with five shutout innings and seven strikeouts Tuesday against the Washington Nationals. 'We have a lot of guys throwing really well, so it gives you that little extra 'I-want-to-top-the-other-guy,' but I think that's really healthy,' said Fried, who has nine major league starts. 'You're not only competing against the other team but you're competing against yourselves. It only pushes you that much farther.' Snitker said Fried, Wright, Toussaint and Wilson will be ready to follow Teheran after the opener. 'We've got everybody lined up. Everybody's in good shape and we don't feel pressure to have to do anything (outside the roster),' Snitker said. 'Pretty much all of them have had really nice camps, too. Coming off the experiences they had last year, they seem to be continuing to build on that.' ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'All or Nothing Evening' game were: 01-04-05-06-07-09-12-14-16-17-20-23 (one, four, five, six, seven, nine, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, twenty, twenty-three)
  • E_Didder (2), Camargo (1), Florimon (6). DP_Atlanta 0, Toronto 1. LOB_Atlanta 5, Toronto 8. 2B_Swanson (1), McCann (2), Sogard (1). HR_Wilkins (1), Hernandez (1), Pillar (1). SB_Acuna Jr. (3), Pache (2). CS_Galvis (1). SF_Urena (1). HBP_by_Sobotka (Pillar), Shoemaker (Swanson). WP_Vizcaino, Venters, Newcomb. Umpires_Home, Phil Cuzzi; First, Alex Tosi; Second, Brennan Miller; Third, John Bacon. T_3:17. A_5,097
  • ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Deandre Baker proclaimed himself to be the best cornerback in the NFL draft after using Georgia's pro day to improve his time in the 40-yard dash. Baker posted two unofficial times of 4.46 seconds in the 40 on Wednesday. He was timed at 4.52 seconds in last month's NFL combine in Indianapolis. Most projections have Baker being selected in the first round in the NFL draft on April 25. Baker, who won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back, wants to be the first cornerback taken in the draft. 'I know I'm the best cornerback in the draft,' Baker said. 'I don't just believe it, I know I'm the best.' Baker (5-11, 185) had seven career interceptions, including two as a senior in 2018. He broke up 12 passes last season and said his career backs up his proud boast. 'My film speaks for itself,' he said. 'My stats, everything. My production, week in and week out. You go back to 2017 or the first day I started I was the best cornerback in the nation.' Asked if NFL teams have backed up his claim to be the top cornerback in the draft, Baker said 'A lot of teams told me that.' Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff had most of his staff attend the workout, including new tight ends coach Mike Mularkey. Dimitroff, who may look for help at cornerback with one of the Falcons' first picks in the draft, said Baker 'had a really good day today.' 'He's obviously quick, fast, explosive,' Dimitroff said. 'He can run, cover the field. He has very good range that way. He's being reported as one of the best in the country in the draft.' Asked if he agrees with those reports, Dimitroff smiled and said Baker 'is a very good football player.' Georgia did not release official results from the 40, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump and shuttle drills. Tight end Isaac Nauta and running back Elijah Holyfield had mixed results in efforts to improve poor 40-yard times - 4.91 and 4.78 seconds, respectively - posted at the NFL combine. Nauta said he was told his times on Wednesday were 'mostly 4.6s to 4.7s, so I hit what I was trying to hit. ... Right where I knew I could run. I feel much better walking out of here today.' Holyfield's times were about the same as at the NFL combine. Holyfield (5-10, 217) is a powerful runner who ran for 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. Like Nauta, he left Georgia after his junior season. 'You don't play football in a combine,' Holyfield said. 'You play football where you play football, on a field.' Even so, Dimitroff said a bad time in the 40 is a factor in a prospect's draft outlook. 'Of course it's a concern and it depends on an organization and how high you determine that to be sort of a guiding light,' Dimitroff said. One day after attending Alabama's pro day, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick watched the Georgia draft prospects. Belichick also attended Georgia's pro day one year ago and then selected two Bulldogs - offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel - in the first round. Belichick was the only NFL head coach at the pro day. Wide receivers Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, Terry Godwin, Ahkil Crumpton and Jayson Stanley caught passes from former Miami quarterback Ryan Williams. Center Lamont Gaillard, defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter, outside linebacker D'Andre Walker and inside linebacker Natrez Patrick also worked out for scouts. Hardman was one of the fastest wide receivers at the NFL combine, running the 40 in 4.33 seconds. He didn't try to improve that time on Wednesday. Ridley's older brother, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, attended the workout. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Legislation authorizing Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to pursue a Medicaid waiver was approved by a state House panel Wednesday, potentially giving Georgia more flexibility to use federal funding but also capping who's covered by an expansion. Georgia is one of 14 states that haven't fully expanded Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It called for Medicaid coverage for those making slightly above the federal poverty level. The bill allows Kemp to pursue waiver options and gives his office latitude in what the waiver ultimately asks. It caps eligibility for any Medicaid expansion to those at or below the federal poverty level, limiting the number of Georgians who could be covered. Any waiver plan would need to be approved by the federal government. Republican Sen. Blake Tillery, who is carrying the legislation for Kemp, said it was a 'very simple bill ... that could have far reaching effects for health care in Georgia.' Tillery said that many provisions would be looked at, including possible work requirements for beneficiaries and incentives for use of primary care. Several health care providers testified in favor of the bill Wednesday, saying it would help reduce the number of uninsured Georgians. But some patient advocates said they wished the bill went further by removing the eligibility cap. Laura Harker, a health policy analyst with Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, said the bill should be amended to extend Medicaid benefits fully to levels called for under the ACA. 'Capping the income limit at 100 percent of federal poverty could leave the state paying more while seeing a smaller drop in our state's already high uninsured rate' compared to states that have fully expanded Medicaid, Harker said. She added that she feared the legislation as drafted would 'create a new kind of coverage gap.' In addition to the Medicaid waiver, the bill would allow for another waiver seeking to help stabilize prices on Georgia's private insurance markets. The bill passed the Senate in February, and could soon move to the House floor for a vote.
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - In a matter of months, Stacey Abrams has gone from losing the Georgia governor's race to being a heavily recruited Democratic star, urged to run for Senate and mentioned as a possible presidential contender. It's a dramatic rise often fueled by the promotional spending of Fair Fight Action, a nonprofit she founded to advance voting rights. The organization has paid for advertisements featuring Abrams and some of her travel and organized national watch parties when she delivered the Democratic rebuttal to President Donald Trump's State of the Union. But spending by Fair Fight Action, which is staffed by former Abrams campaign aides, could prompt questions about whether the nonprofit is inappropriately supporting her political ambitions. Although there is no proof of any illegal activity, some of the organization's expenditures could pose a problem if Abrams follows through with her pledge to run for office again. 'There is nothing wrong with a nonprofit promoting its charismatic founder,' said Adav Noti, a former Federal Election Commission attorney who now works for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. But, he added, that 'if we later learn that the spending was to lay the groundwork for a campaign, retrospectively that could be a violation.' Abrams has said that she will decide soon on her political future. Last week, she met with former Vice President Joe Biden, leading to speculation he might pick her as a running mate if he enters the 2020 White House race and wins the Democratic nomination. Her latest moves have also been closely watched by national Republicans, who think she would be a formidable challenger to Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia in 2020. On Wednesday, a GOP-affiliated group called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service. The group points to roughly $100,000 worth of Facebook ads featuring Abrams, an advertisement for a 'Stacey Abrams Fundraiser' that featured Fair Fight Action's logo, travel for Abrams' post-election 'thank you' tour of Georgia and a professionally produced 'highlight reel' of Abrams footage on the group's website. The complaint argues Fair Fight Action is supporting Abrams' political ambitions, not advocating for voting rights. That's a violation of tax law that forbids political 501(c)(4) nonprofits from providing a 'private benefit' to a particular person or group, according to a copy of the complaint provided to The Associated Press. The group typically files ethics complaints against Democrats but has also targeted some Republicans, including North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams' former campaign manager, disputed the details of FACT's complaint. She said that while Abrams is the figurehead of the organization, Fair Fight Action's promotional activities have always focused on voting rights issues. 'It's no surprise that right-wing hit groups allied with Donald Trump are launching bogus attacks against Fair Fight,' she said in an emailed statement. 'They're afraid of Stacey Abrams and even more afraid that all eligible Georgians will exercise their right to vote.' It's not unusual for politicians to have a nonprofit or be supported by one staffed by their associates. The group Our Revolution backs Bernie Sanders' White House bid, but the Vermont senator does not have a direct role in the group, according to its most recent tax filing. Trump has a nonprofit staffed by allies that is facing a complaint pending before the FEC. Biden, too, has several 501(c)(3) nonprofits, which are largely barred from engaging in political activity. They have employed longtime aides and are mostly geared toward academia and medical research. Much of his spending on political advertising runs through his political action committee, which is subject to federal donation limits. For nonprofits like Fair Fight Action, which can raise unlimited sums and engage in political activity, steps are often taken to at least give the appearance of being kept at arm's length from the politician they support. But Abrams serves as the chairwoman of Fair Fight Action's board, giving her a direct hand in the group's management. If she runs for federal office and it is determined that the group laid the groundwork for her campaign, donation limitations could retroactively apply to Fair Fight Action, legal experts say. 'If she were to maintain the same relationship with this nonprofit and become a candidate, then legal risks do arise,' said Paul S. Ryan, an attorney for the liberal-leaning government watchdog group Common Cause. Caitlin Highland, an Abrams spokeswoman, said Abrams will step down from Fair Fight Action if she runs for office again. The mission of Fair Fight Action, founded in 2014 as the Voter Access Institute, was to provide 'education to voters on how and where to vote.' It paid Abrams an annual salary of about $80,000 and was barred under its own corporate bylaws from promoting political candidates, records show. The group, which does not disclose its donors, raised about $2.5 million from 2014 to 2016, records show. It has not yet filed tax paperwork showing what it raised in 2018, when she was running for governor. After Abrams lost the governor's race, the nonprofit was overhauled. She became the chairwoman, stepping down as CEO. Groh-Wargo began running the operation. Language forbidding the group from promoting a political candidate was stripped out of its charter, records show. The group also took over the Twitter account used by Abrams' gubernatorial campaign and renamed it Fair Fight Action. The group's leaders say all its activities focus on highlighting the need to protect voting rights in Georgia. Furthermore, they say, staff members carefully separate voting rights work from more overtly political activities done by newly formed Fair Fight PAC, which does not have to report its fundraising and spending to the FEC until April 15. Ultimately, it may be tough to tell if any of the spending crosses the line. Only limited information is included in publicly available tax filings. The IRS has also been hesitant to enforce the law, particularly after facing intense blowback for investigating tea party nonprofit groups earlier in the decade. 'There have been a lot of former candidates and officeholders over the years that have been closely associated with (nonprofit) organizations,' said former FEC chairman Michael Toner, a Republican. 'The devil is in the details in terms of whether the legal line has been crossed.