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    We wonder, what's wrong with him? How does he feel about women? Is he anti-social, homosexual, misogynistic, immature or just plain dweeby?' asked the Orlando Sentinel in a 1990 editorial about Supreme Court nominee, Judge and later Justice David Souter. When President George H. W. Bush nominated confirmed bachelor, Judge David Souter to the Supreme Court in 1990, there were dueling sets of hostile rumors and innuendos flying all over Washington, intended to derail his nomination.    Protesters, primarily women, wore buttons that if Souter was confirmed, 'Women Will Die,' in reference to beliefs that Souter was pro-life and would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Instead, in 1992, and the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Souter wrote Roe v. Wade should not be overturned because it would be a 'surrender to political pressure'... In Souter’s opinion, to overrule under fire in the absence of the most compelling reason to re-examine a watershed decision would subvert the Court's legitimacy beyond any serious question. The case was decided by a vote of 5-4, and was a divided and plurality opinion, with Justices Souter, Kennedy and O'Connor (all three appointed by Republican presidents) writing the opinion upholding the precedential weight of Roe v. Wade. Other parts of the decision did strike down several more restrictive statutes by the state of Pennsylvania but did uphold state's rights to place 'reasonable' restrictions on access to abortion, such as spousal notification, parental notification for minors, etc... President Dwight Eisenhower appointed five judges to the Supreme Court during his eight years, including a hand-picked conservative in Justice Earl Warren, to lead the court in a directional shift from the 20 plus years of the New Deal and federal government expansion under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. A bit of Googling will show you that appointment did not quite work out as planned. In the wake of Watergate, President Gerald Ford appointed Justice John Paul Stevens, a former Republican, who became among the most consistently liberal voices on the court until his retirement in 2010. I'm clear that there are larger and unsettled issues framing the Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation hearings, but regardless of whom you believe, is it really fair to hold Justice Brett Kavanaugh literally accountable for all the sins of man over decades and generations? Does it make sense for a body as flawed as the United State Senate and Congress, with members admittedly currently 'guilty' of many of the wrongs being charged against Kavanaugh decades ago, in any position to judge and hold up to scrutiny, without first looking in a mirror? This nation survived a break with its founders (the United Kingdom), the Civil War, the civil unrest on numerous fronts of the 1960s and later the domestic attacks on three different fronts on 9/11, ending the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans. Yes we are a divided nation, but staying that way is an individual choice, not just a political tactic of our leadership. Let's see how Justice Brett Kavanaugh decides and behaves as a jurist on that bench. Let's perhaps start asking those who are selected to lead not to treat every policy or issue difference like the brinksmenship of a nuclear war, even using terminology like 'the nuclear option,' to reconstruct the confirmation process fueling this division. And let's ask our news media and members of the fourth and fifth estates to consider not pouring gasoline on that fire with headlines like 'Kavanaugh War to Continue.' This isn't a war. There have so far been no fatalities or casualties. It is a significant difference of opinion, priorities and assessment of whose truth can be better documented. But this is not the first time nor will it be the last that undisputed facts are murky and very few and far between. We will pass through this valley as American always has. Let's hope it does not require a natural or man-made disaster such as 9/11 to bring us back together. Start by appealing to your own best instincts. Reach out to a neighbor, colleague or family member with whom you have recently argued or disagreed and simply state the obvious...our relationship, family bond, friendship or work relationship means more to me than our differences of opinion. I apologize for over-reacting. The last time I checked you did not have a vote, one way or the other, in the Kavanaugh hearings. Let's all take a deep breath, spend a day taking the high road, and move on.
  • No longer able to rely on traditional cost sharing techniques to manage costs, a growing number of employers are taking an activist role in shaking up how care is delivered and paid for,' said Brain Marcotte, CEO of the National Business Group on Health, as reported by CNN. Healthcare remains the only major economic sector and consumer of roughly 20 percent of the GDP, where the customer generally has no idea on costs, particularly on an insured procedure, medical appointment or prescription drug until AFTER they place the order or receive the service.  Many employers, large and small, who want healthy employees and want to provide benefits have found the current service and funding model to be irreparably broken, and an increasing number of larger companies are employing direct service plans, ranging from onsite medical clinics to incentivizing wellness and Health Saving Account options (HSA), which are particularly popular among younger/healthier employees.  In an odd twist of irony, well over 24,000 GM salaried employees across southeast Michigan will next year be able to select such a less expensive service delivery model (with significantly lower premiums) with care provided exclusively by the Henry Ford Healthcare System. Ford Healthcare will provide all medical services, surgeries, and E.R. visits, as well as prescription and pharmaceutical products via its network of six hospitals, 3000 doctors and health care providers through GM's new 'Connected Care' plan. GM's thousands of hourly workers and Union employees will continue to receive health care via a contracted benefits plan and more traditional service model. Connected Care will also provide wellness exams, chronic care monitoring and preventative screenings, in addition to prompt appointments with providers and virtual visit options delivered via telemedicine.  Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider and owner of NBC networks as well as Universal Parks & Resorts, is turning its $169-billion behemoth ship as well as holding the annual increase in its health care costs to roughly 1 percent a year. Comcast spends roughly $1.3 billion a year on health care for its 225,000 employees and their families. But instead of charging their employees higher premiums, Comcast has instead selected a flat up front deductible expense (subtracted from payroll) of on average $250.00 per employee. That is an ANNUAL figure.  Instead of handing this massive headcount to any leading insurer, Comcast is directly contracting with a handful of highly specialized service providers. Comcast uses several technology start-ups, one of them called Accolade (in which Comcast is also an investor) providing employees with health care Navigators to help them understand, as well as guide them through the host of service and treatment options. The focus is on keeping the employee healthy, without requiring them to become expert at managing co-pays, deductibles, generic drug costs or nearly requiring a medical certification or training if a member of their family is chronically ill.  Another Comcast system provider, Grand Rounds, is available for more complicated health care challenges, serving as both a check on costs and charges, and a referral network of skilled practitioners for more complex surgical and related treatment needs. Insurers hardly love this delivery model, which treats them like an expensive middle-man, providing little or no real value or return on investment.  Some insurers are receiving that message and also responding in the marketplace. Following a raft of research which demonstrates that health care costs decline when a consumer’s basic social and well-being needs are met, WellCare Health Plans of Tampa, Florida opened a call center for customers needing assistance with housing, transportation and other social concerns...now being connected to community and social service organizations, in addition to health care providers.  Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, is investing $200-million in projects to protect and preserve affordable housing in the Bay area, to revitalize challenged neighborhoods as well as improve overall community health. United Health Care has partnered with another start-up called Healthify to use software in pre-screening new insured clients to better assist them with identifying social service and community support groups in addition to better coordinated care among their network of service providers to help insure better patient outcomes.  Our traditional health insurance/government hybrid service delivery model has long been in need of a check-up and some surgical upgrades. Unfortunately our state and federal government leadership typically lacks the courage or stomach for touching this proverbial 'third rail' of American politics...leaving the private sector once again to try and shine a light and lead the way. More power, and more innovation to them.
  • Consistency is one of the great qualities of leadership which I want to share and highlight in our honoree today,' Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle describing 2018 Sheriff of the Year, Robert N. 'Butch' Reece, Sheriff of Jones County at the 6th Annual Georgia Salute to Sheriff's in Macon, Georgia.  The workday 'clock' never really stops for a sheriff, as the chief enforcement officer in each of Georgia's 159 counties. Butch Reece has been serving the people of Jones County for 44 years, 38 of them as sheriff. And 'Butch,' as he is known to most people in the rural bedroom community north and east of Macon, is a servant leader as well as a man of great empathy and compassion.  In Georgia, it is local law enforcement which handles nearly 95 percent of all arrests, while also serving as protectors of their communities. Sheriffs and their deputies cover the bulk of rural jurisdictions and oversee all jail operations, in partnership with well over 500 municipal and local police departments in cities, college campuses and increasingly local school systems.  Though overall crime has been on a multi-year decline in Georgia, violence against law enforcement professionals remains on the rise. So far this year five Georgia police and sheriff deputies have lost their lives during their service. Since this data has been tracked, 794 of Georgia's finest in brown and blue have given their lives.  Ludowici, Georgia’s Chief of Police was run down and murdered last fall trying to clear the one intersection in his small town, alerted in advance to a high speed chase approaching his community. The chief and another innocent bystander were killed by a car and driver at an impact speed exceeding 100 miles per hour. Nearly two years ago, a pair of Peach County deputies were gunned down during a routine call in Byron, Georgia. This year, a Covington police officer was shot in the face, during the escalation of a shoplifting dispute at a local Walmart.  And though violence and injury are a realistic expectation during a law enforcement career, hundreds of vacant positions are left open and wanting in jurisdictions all across this state. Unfortunately, starting salaries in multiple smaller departments and lower population counties remain below $30,000 per year.  Georgia has taken an active role in local education funding as far back as the 1900's, and became the primary income source for Georgia educators with the passage of the Quality Basic Education Act of 1985. However, Georgia's police and sheriff departments remain almost entirely locally funded, with the exception of state and federal assistance grants.  P.O.S.T. certification and police academy training still does not require a college degree, and this has allowed salaries to lag, along with the strained resources of limited property and sales tax revenue in rural jurisdictions. Georgia sheriffs, including Reece, don't want to place additional financial burden on the property owners in their communities. So it’s now time for a larger and more inclusive solution.  Special purpose sales tax revenues all across Georgia fund roads, school construction, libraries, parks and other public assets. Bibb County, Georgia has more than 100 vacancies in its office of Sheriff. Metro jurisdictions across the state have 'help wanted' signs in front of their courthouses and jails. The state of Georgia thankfully increased law enforcement agency compensation by nearly 40 percent almost two years ago. This increase is justified and well-overdue, but has also resulted in a talent flood out of local law enforcement and into the ranks of the Georgia State Patrol, G.B.I. and even state park rangers. There risks are generally lower, and starting pay after training is now in the mid-40 thousands.  Butch Reece will continue to serve the good people of Jones County as long as his health and those voters choose to allow him the profession and duty which he so loves. But Sheriff Reece can't police several hundred square miles of that county, or even fully manage and operate the Jones County Jail alone.  As long as local police and sheriff deputies have had our backs, it is well past time that we took theirs. If we leave things to go along as they are, it won't be long for when you or a loved one places that 911 call...and there is simply no one there to answer. This choice, like so many others is ours to make. Let's all make the right one, and soon.
  • When I met Paul Ryan 22 years ago, he was a student at Miami University of Ohio, volunteering on my campaign,' former U.S. House Speaker, John Boehner (53rd Speaker and longtime GOP representative of Ohio's 8th Congressional district). Many believe the Office of President of the United States to be among the most difficult in the world. That may be, but I would say that the most difficult job these days in Washington, D.C. is Speaker of the House. Presiding officer over 435 independently elected members, with terms of only two years, leads to a hierarchy largely based on seniority and partisan loyalty. While the traditions, rules and structures of the House often seem arcane and archaic to non-members, try herding 435 cats towards any single objective at any time...and then get back to me.  Prior to the days of hyper-partisanship, 'gotcha politics' and multiple divisions within each major political party...reaching consensus within the Democratic or Republican Party leadership was not always so challenging. As recently at 1994, the GOP won the majority and control of Congress, led by then grenade throwing, outsider and Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich, and a member majority which swept into office on a common campaign platform called the Contract with America.  President Donald Trump's recasting of the modern GOP towards a more populist and nationalist agenda has further complicated the challenges of leading members of the House Majority towards delivery of the President's legislative agenda. The 115th Congress will end January 3, 2019, in just over 90 days, the GOP holds 241 of 435 seats (a 24-seat majority). Yet, in a body with an incumbent re-election rate of 94%...49 Republicans are voluntarily not seeking re-election.  Chief among that group retiring from the House ranks is 54th U.S. House Speaker, Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin, 1st District), Ryan ascended to the office which he never actually sought, on October 29, 2015, following the early departure of former Speaker John Boehner.  In addition to an awkward and strained relationship with the White House, Ryan presides over a House GOP Caucus often at war with itself. Here are GOP sub-caucuses within the current Congress:  House Freedom Caucus (HFC)- Conservative members affiliated with the Tea Party movement, birthed in the 2010 congressional mid-terms  Liberty Caucus (LC) - Libertarian Republicans  Republican Study Committee (RSC) - At 154 members, all self-labeled conservatives, the largest GOP sub-caucus  Republican Main Street Partnership (MSP) - 70 members, of more moderate, 'chamber of commerce' Republicans seeking consensus on major challenges facing the nation  Tuesday Group (TG) - 50 members of the shrinking moderates within the House GOP who meet weekly for lunch  Ryan is a policy wonk, who got started in politics as a College Republican and later campaign volunteer at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for former House Speaker John Boehner. Known for his attention to detail and knowledge of the federal budget, Ryan was the architect of several budget plans which reduced the federal budget deficit by more than $700-billion while under earlier GOP control and during previous sessions of Congress. However this current Congress is presenting a mini omnibus budget with an expected deficit of nearly $1-trillion later this fall. So much for fiscal conservatism...  Absent any real scandal, this former wonder-kind and darling of House Conservatives, this Gen X, sub-boomer Speaker is only 48 and voluntarily retiring at the peak of his power. Ryan indicated in his retirement announcement that he plans to spend more 'quality time' with his children and young family, who remain back in Wisconsin, while the rumor mill continues to bubble that Ryan is on the short-list to lead a lobbying firm or a D.C.-based think tank such as the American Enterprise Institute.  For President Trump, GOP loss of control of the House may be viewed as a measured win. House Democrats are divided over whether or not to reinstall Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California, 12th District), who last served as Speaker a decade ago, if they reclaim the House Majority. For Trump, Pelosi would fill the role of daily foil and Disney villain from central casting for his daily Tweeting, and offer him a better option than often seeming at war with leaders of his own party. Trump is most in his element when in the midst of battle.  Though it may now be seen as rare and counter-intuitive to walk away from service as Master of the House, in this social media, hyper political age...it may more likely become the norm for Speaker's yet to come.
  • The most frequent complaint we hear at MARTA about transit is that we simply need MORE of it. We're working on that now.' says longtime MARTA Board Chair, Robbie Ashe. The metro Atlanta region gained another nearly 80,000 residents during 2017. The largest population increase was in Gwinnett County, and the highest percentage gains against base population in the 9-county core metro were in Cherokee and Henry counties.  At the same time, growing recognition of the benefits of mass transit for the metropolitan Atlanta region, as well as improved connectivity and performance by existing transit agencies in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, along with state players at the Atlanta-Region Transit Link and the Georgia Department of Transportation, have the region on the real cusp of region-wide transportation system planning and expansion.  Much fretting has been done by some during these discussions of a nationwide decline in transit riders in most every major metropolitan jurisdiction. From San Francisco’s BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to metro New York's MTA, the Chicago subway and L-Train and metro Washington D.C.'s Metro, most every major system has seen a year over year ridership decline in the 5 percent range.  Near full employment, near record minority employment and growth in the second quarter exceeding four percent all mean that a healthier economy means more consumers with greater incomes and more choices. Greater employment options and higher wages among lower skill workers also typically means there will be fewer transit dependent riders.  The Atlanta United soccer team now bring on average 70,000 soccer fans, predominantly via MARTA to the new Mercedes Benz stadium for 17-18 homes games per year. Taking a round trip, that’s well over 2-million new riders for MARTA per season, many from the outer suburbs. We call these folks, 'choice riders,' and by every indication, those numbers are rapidly on the rise.  Commercial and residential real estate adjacent to our new MARTA Transit Oriented Developments (TODs), as well as the Atlanta BeltLine, are among the highest in demand residential addresses in the region. Transit access appears to be one of the primary factors on realtors’ radar.  The Mayor and Council in New York City recently placed a one-year moratorium on new for hire vehicle licenses, primarily impacting potential drivers for the ride sharing services of Uber and Lyft. The two services now largely split more than 100,000 existing ride share licenses. Comparatively, there are only 13,000 Yellow Cabs in Manhattan, and a capped number of taxi medallions, as the cab drivers are seeking protection.  Uber and Lyft estimate annual driver turnover in the 25-30 percent range, as most of their drivers are part-time workers seeking to supplement their income. The pain of fewer ride share drivers will be felt most sharply in the outer boroughs of NYC, where subway and bus service is also more limited. Currently 80 percent of Lyft's rides in NYC begin or end in the outer boroughs. For Uber, that percentage is 60 percent, excluding airport fares.  Limiting transit options will likely raise rates on the remaining rides, and potentially push some riders back towards more expensive cabs. Here in Atlanta, the latest arrival on the streets of Midtown, downtown and Buckhead are electric scooter rentals from two more ride sharing services called Bird and Lime. These smart phone enabled scooters are an inexpensive, sustainable and privately funded 'last-mile' transit option, ideal for that short hop from a MARTA rail station to your final home, work or play destination.  These threads, woven together form a flowing mobility tapestry. Some will be on the rise, others plateau, and new options will likely yet enter the market. If you have the benefit of regular travel, try out some of these options locally, but also experience similar networks in other cities and metro regions, check out the signage, ease of use and connectivity. Pick up a few 'best practices' that you might bring home to your community. That is of course your choice, just like being a 'choice rider,' but I think if you give it a shot, you will also find out that not always being on a packed train or bus is a good thing, and that if we can spread demand from rush hours and drive-time to a broader cross section of each day...less really is more.
  • In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test,' U.S. Senator John McCain, (1936 - 2018), R-Arizona. Son and grandson of two Navy Admirals, he was a near wash out at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he will also be finally put to rest. His early military career as a pilot was unspectacular, resulting in the accidental downing of two aircraft.  And with the Vietnam War and mandatory draft registration looming over the lives of millions of American families, John McCain had an easy out. He could have easily landed an assignment stateside, pushing paper and bound to a desk...instead of on the bloody battlefields of Southeast Asia. Instead McCain volunteered for combat duty, and flew ground combat aircraft off of navy aircraft carriers. In October of 1967, his plane was shot down, and McCain was captured and held as a prisoner of war for nearly six years.  Regularly tortured in captivity, left hanging by his arms for days at a time, McCain was released and returned stateside with lifelong disabilities and significant limitations on the use of his arms and shoulders. Though offered early release by his captors due to his being the son of a Navy Admiral, McCain refused, saying other POW comrades were in much greater physical need to return home before him.  Finally released from captivity in 1973, McCain continued his naval service through 1981. In 1982 he was elected to the first of two terms in the U.S. House, and succeeded the late Senator Barry Goldwater in 1986 as Arizona’s junior senator. During his early Senate service, McCain would frequently differ with party leadership and the White House, earning him the maverick reputation which followed him for the remainder of his career, and five more Arizona re-elections over the next 30 years.  In late 1999, McCain began the first of his two unsuccessful quests for the White House. Joining him in the field was then Texas Governor, George W. Bush. Bush was better financed, as well as the son of a recently former President. McCain had a small campaign staff, focused his energies on winning the New Hampshire Primary and travels on his campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express. After an upset win in New Hampshire, McCain headed to South Carolina with momentum and high expectations.  Conservative and veteran group attacks on McCain in South Carolina were well-orchestrated and vicious. Bush prevailed there and then swept 13 Super Tuesday states a few weeks later. McCain left the field in March of 2000, endorsing Bush, begrudgingly.  Bush and McCain would remain at best wary allies. McCain began his second run for the White House in late 2007 as the economy was softening, and the war on the ground in Iraq was continuing on, despite the surge of allied forces that same year which McCain had championed.  McCain again took New Hampshire, but the large field of candidates was muddled, and McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney seemed to be trading primary and caucus wins. But this time McCain took the bulk of Super Tuesday states, and Romney withdrew shortly after endorsing McCain.  As the candidate headed into the GOP Convention, he strongly leaned towards Democratic Senator and close confidant, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut as his running mate, Lieberman had that slot on Massachusetts Senator John Kerry's Democratic ticket four years earlier. But after a highly visible search, McCain instead selected a lesser known favorite of conservatives, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Though many are critical of that choice today, at the time, the week of Palin's nomination was the only time McCain led in national polls against Democratic Party nominee Illinois Senator Barack Obama. The Obama victory was sizeable, and McCain returned to service in the Senate.  In the decade since, McCain would remain a frequent critic of occupants of the White House, in both parties, and his lack of support for current President Donald Trump earned him unusual enmity from an administration of his own party.  Until recent battles with his own body and cancer made Senate appearances and votes impossible, McCain remained an independent voice until the end. Few like him have passed through the halls of Congress, and given the current climate, I suspect fewer will. For his commitment and long service to our nation, his integrity to his principles and his unwavering ‘straight talk’ we give one final and long salute to America’s Happy Warrior.
  • Seattle, Washington has banned the use of all plastic straws. Starbucks is phasing out plastic straws by 2020, McDonald's is now ending their use in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It's estimated in the United State alone 500 million disposable straws are consumed each day. And according to a recently published study, as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws annually add to the pollution of our oceans and beaches. But it’s also worth noting that plastic straws comprise only 0.025 percent of the world’s massive plastic waste stream.
  • “I’m Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington DC, the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America (Sad).” Tweet late last week by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
  • Plans for prescribed burning to rid the forests of deep ground cover often clash with regional air quality regulations, even as emissions from catastrophic wildfires nullify hard fought carbon reduction.' from the Little Hoover Commissionreport, an independent California oversight agency in February 2018.
  • Every year millions of Americans and their families make the trek to the 'happiest place on Earth,' - Walt Disney World. But whether you fly, drive or even take the Amtrak car train to Orlando...you cannot help but notice another omnipresent name in hospitality across Central Florida, and I'm not speaking of Universal or Sea World.

News

  • After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. 'It was all hands on deck,' Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. 'The play is a play you run once,' tight end O.J. Howard said. 'It was a great call. We almost got it.' Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. 'Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's,' Ryan said. 'But I'm more excited about the win.' He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. 'I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,' Quinn gushed. 'He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach.' JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A small plane crashed while taking off at the Gwinnett County Airport on Sunday afternoon, officials said. The two occupants of the plane were able to exit safely before the plane caught fire at about 12:40 p.m., according to a statement from the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The occupants, an instructor and a student, were not seriously injured, the fire department said. One was evaluated and released by paramedics at the scene, and the other said they were not injured. READ MORE: 1 reported dead in plane crash in Paulding County The Cessna 172 “experienced a nose dive and hard landing” while taking off from Runway 7 at Briscoe Field, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The plane went up in flames, but crews put out the fire shortly after 1 p.m., officials said. The aircraft was deemed a total loss. The crash occurred just a day after another small plane crashed in Paulding County, killing the pilot. In other news:
  • The Latest on Sen. Elizabeth Warren and President Donald Trump (all times local): 8:30 a.m. President Donald Trump says Sen. Elizabeth Warren 'is getting slammed' for releasing DNA test results showing she has some Native American ancestry. He says she should apologize. Trump says Tuesday on Twitter that 'she took a bogus DNA test and it showed that she may be 1/1024, far less than the average American.' He calls it 'phony' and says even the Cherokee Nation denies Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat and possible 2020 presidential candidate on Monday released DNA test results that genealogists say show she could be anywhere from 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American. The Cherokee Nation has questioned Warren's use of a DNA test, saying such exams are useless in determining tribal citizenship. Trump has long ridiculed Warren's claim of Native American heritage by calling her 'Pocahontas.' __ 12:40 a.m. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has suggested President Donald Trump's comment about him personally administering a DNA test to her to prove her Native American heritage is 'creepy.' She tweeted Monday that the president makes 'creepy physical threats' about women who scare him, including her. Warren is seen as a potential 2020 challenger to Trump. On Monday, Warren released DNA test results that provide some evidence of a Native American in her lineage, though the ancestor probably lived six to 10 generations ago, according to the analysis. Trump has ridiculed her as 'Pocahontas' over the ancestry claim. In July, the president offered to donate $1 million to her favorite charity if a DNA test proved her Native American bloodline. On Monday, he first denied ever making such a promise, then said later that 'I'll only do it if I can test her personally.
  • A Tennessee mother and four children were found dead Monday in what investigators believe was a murder-suicide. >> Watch the news conference here According to the Columbia Daily Herald, a family member arrived at the Maury County home after 6 p.m. Monday and discovered the bodies, authorities said.  The mother, whose name has not been released, appeared to have died from 'a self-inflicted gunshot wound,' the Daily Herald reported. The children – three girls and a boy – ranged from 8 to 16 years old and were home-schooled, authorities told WSMV. >> Read more news stories  Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland said investigators do not believe there are any additional suspects, and the children's father was not at home during the incident, WZTV reported. 'We don't believe we have a suspect at large at this time, but we are going to be thorough with this investigation,' Rowland said, according to the Daily Herald. He added: 'As emergency responders, we see gruesome scenes regularly, but this is not one that you see every day.' Read more here.
  • A Melania Trump spokeswoman is asking people to boycott Atlanta rapper T.I. because of his promotional album video that shows a woman resembling the first lady taking off her clothes in the oval office. Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, tweeted Saturday asking how the video was acceptable. How is this acceptable? #disgusting #boycottT.I. @Tip https://t.co/HvnFahfsVK — Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) October 13, 2018 T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, tweeted Friday 'Dear 45, I ain't Kanye' before sharing the video. The woman is wearing a jacket that reads 'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?'  Trump wore a jacket with that wording on her way to visit migrant children in Texas.  She said recently in an interview with ABC News that she wore the jacket to troll reporters. Those tweets follow T.I. posting on Instagram that he was done working with rapper Kanye West, who is a President Donald Trump supporter. TRENDING STORIES: Drivers say cars had to be towed from gas station after pumping bad fuel Police hope new video will help solve model's mysterious murder 13-year-old girl missing after parents found dead in Wisconsin  
  • One person in Mississippi is in custody after the Bolivar County sheriff said that a baby was stabbed, WTVA reported. The baby was then placed in an oven at the home and baked, the sheriff told WTVA. >> Read more trending news  The person, whose name and relationship to the baby has not been released, is in the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, according to Sheriff Kelvin Williams. Williams said deputies found the baby, whose age has not been determined, after being called to the home Monday evening, WTVA reported. They are unsure though when the baby died. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the crime lab are investigating.