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Latest from Jay Black

    FIRST QUARTER          
  • Patrick Reed is your Masters champion, winning his first major by one shot over Rickie Fowler. From the back row of the Masters Press Building, the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and Steve Hummer join Jay Black from News 95.5 & AM-750 WSB to break down Reed’s victory. Among the topics in the podcast:  - Why Reed wasn’t the fan favorite and why he is ok with that. - What this means for Reed’s place in golf hierarchy? - What happened to Rory McIlroy? - What to make of Jordan Spieth’s near historic comeback?  - Why the Masters never disappoints on Sunday.
  • From the back row of the Masters Press Building in Augusta, the AJC’s Jeff Schultz and Steve Hummer join WSB Radio’s Jay Black to break down an exciting Saturday at the Masters and preview what’s to come on Sunday. The guys take a look at how Patrick Reed was able to answer every charge from Rory McIlroy on Saturday; why this isn’t going to be a direct comparison to Reed and Rory’s famous Ryder Cup duel two years ago; who will be the crowd favorite; why Patrick Reed isn’t exactly the hometown boy; the significance of McIlroy winning the career Grand Slam in the same place he fell apart in 2011. And finally, who wins the green jacket on Sunday.
  • Patrick Reed has a two-shot lead after the second round of the 82nd Masters. The American moves to 9-under-par after shooting 66 on Friday. From the back row of the Masters Press Building in Augusta, the AJC’s Steve Hummer and Jeff Schultz break down the second round with WSB Radio’s Jay Black and preview the play on Saturday. Among the topics: How Patrick Reed was able to post his best score, by far, at the Masters. Why he may not be fully embraced by the golf community and his relationship with Augusta. Plus, why we didn’t spend much time talking about Marc Leishman and which of the former major champions will be  in the final group come Sunday (weather permitting).
  • The first round of the 82nd Masters is in the books with Jordan Spieth holding a two shot lead over Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau.  WSB’s Radio Jay Black is joined by AJC columnist Jeff Schultz and reporter Chris Vivlamore to break down the day’s play and preview Friday’s second round. Among the topics - Can Spieth hold his lead? - The constant battle trying to follow Tiger Woods - Is Tiger out of it? - Sergio Garcia’s historic meltdown at the 15th hole - Our picks for the second round leader. 
  • The 82nd Masters begins Thursday morning in Augusta.  WSB Radio sports director Jay Black and Steve Hummer with the AJC preview the tournament. Topics include Tiger Woods return (duh). Can Phil Mickelson become the oldest winner in Masters history at age 47? Plus what about world number one Dustin Johnson and one of the hottest players on tour Justin Thomas.
  • WSB Sports Director Jay Black blogging live from the UGA Radio Booth at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. So check back often for news and notes during the National Championship Game.  
  • WSB Sports Director Jay Black blogs live from the Rose Bowl, so check back often with news and notes from the UGA Radio Booth. FIRST QUARTER  
  • TAILGATE SHOW: 1 p.m. on News 95.5 & AM-750 WSB KICKOFF: 5 p.m. LOCATION: Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, Ca.  TV: ESPN  2017 RECORDS & SCHEDULE: Georgia (12-1, 8-1 SEC) | Oklahoma (12-1, 8-1 Big XII) LINE: Georgia by 1.5 SERIES HISTORY: First meeting  PLAYOFF NOTES:  The winner faces the winner of the Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Clemson in the National Championship Game in Atlanta on January 8th. This is Georgia’s first appearance in the college football playoff Oklahoma has been in the playoff once, losing to Clemson in 2015. The Sooners played for the national championship four in the BCS era, going 1-3. OU beat FSU to win its last national title in 2000. The Sooners lost in 2003, 2004 and 2008
  • ATLANTA – Two years ago in a building that’s now in ruins, Kirby Smart was the center of the Bulldog universe. While Alabama was getting to set win another SEC Championship, Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator was set to become the next head coach of the University of Georgia. It was the worst kept secret in the state. All that was left was for the Crimson Tide to finish their season, which they did in spectacular fashion. Less than 24 hours after it was over Kirby was to be anointed king of Bulldog Nation. Two years later, Smart has bestowed upon his subject the riches and glory they were dreaming about. The Georgia Bulldogs are SEC Champions. Two years ago, they were TaxSlayer Bowl Championship. I don’t think the latter trophy sits quite as prominently in the case inside the Larry Munson Trophy Room. “I’m so happy,” said Smart, dripping wet from his Gatorade shower, right after the 28-7 win over Auburn became official. “It’s awesome. For the Dawg Nation. For everybody.” It is the unbridled joy that Georgia Bulldogs fans were hoping for – and some expecting – on December 6 th 2015. But the reality sure does feel better than the dream doesn’t it? Yes it’s certainly not uncommon for a coach to walk out of Atlanta with the SEC hardware in his hand. Obviously UGA fans watched Mark Richt do the same thing in 2002. But the SEC of 15 years ago isn’t quite the same as it is now. Take nothing away from Richt, but 2002 Arkansas isn’t winning the SEC West anymore. And that’s been the problem. While this league has been the most dominant it’s ever been, Georgia was left behind. The teams that won the SEC went on to bigger and better things. Alabama won its national championships. Florida got a couple. LSU got theirs. So did the fighting Cam Newtons. Georgia was left with a few division titles, some bowl swag and a fan base wondering how it got left in the dust. Now the Dawgs have caught up and they’ve done it faster than I thought they would. I was clear that I thought Mark Richt deserved the chance to fix what was broken, but I never had any problem with Kirby Smart coming in if Richt didn’t get that opportunity. I am not surprised that he has pulled this off. I am surprised that he’s done it two years after I watched his Alabama defense leave Florida in the same shape the Georgia Dome is now (by the way, if you want to make yourself sad, walk by the implosion site next week). But after that day, it didn’t take his players long to realize that the right guy was leading them. “Yeah, I remember,” said Nick Chubb, with the 2017 SEC Championship hat on his head. “(I was) happy the first day he came and spoke to us. He was busy with Alabama winning the championship, and he came in, and he just looked exhausted. We’re like, man, what’s this man been up to?” Kirby Smart has been a man in a hurry ever since. “The first time he came up to the meeting and then especially like the first practice we had,” said Roquan Smith, the SEC Championship Game MVP. “Just knowing the way he carried himself, high energy, and just the things he says, and he actually backs it up with his actions. He’s an awesome guy.” Awesome is one way to describe it. It has been asked a lot this week if Kirby thought his team was ahead of schedule. He gets annoyed with questions pretty easy, but he’s really sick of this one. “There is no schedule to winning championships,” Smart kept saying over and over again. “There is no schedule. The only thing is what you have and what you do with what you have.” What Kirby Smart had in year one wasn’t much. You can certainly there was more to that team than 8-5, but it was not worthy of winning much more than the Liberty Bowl. After that regular season was over, it was looking like Georgia was going to lose even more. But it didn’t. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy all chose to stay. They obviously knew that something special could happen here. “This is why we came back,” said Sony Michel during the post game celebration. “To be back with my boys. Words can’t explain how I feel.” It doesn’t take a genius to know if those four players don’t come back, this day doesn’t happen. But they did and it has. Chubb has now rushed for more yards than everybody to ever play SEC football save one guy named Herschel. Michel will likely cross 1,000 yards in the bowl game. That duo would become the first at UGA to do that in one season. Carter, Bellamy and Smith have given UGA a linebacking core no one in the country can rival. But they still had to win. And this team still had so many questions marks when the season began. The offensive line wasn’t good enough. The secondary was thin. What about special teams? Then less than a quarter into the season, a freshman backup became the starting quarterback. Kirby Smart was not a happy guy when he found out he might have to play another season with an 18-year-old pulling the strings. That makes this even all the more impressive doesn’t it. Georgia is SEC Champions, doing it the hard way. “This is incredible,” said Fromm, moments after winning the title over Auburn 28-7. “It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog.” No kidding. For the first time since the National Championship season of 1980, Georgia has beaten every team it’s played. No the Dawgs are not unbeaten, but they got Auburn back in the game that matters most. Now for the first time ever, Georgia is going to the College Football Playoff. It could be a trip back to New Orelans or the Dawgs could be going to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 75 years. But that is for tomorrow. Tonight, the red and black flag flies first on the SEC banner. In two years, Kirby Smart has led his alma mater, the University of Georgia, to the SEC title. UGA wanted to become what Alabama is. A team that cracks your head open on defense and pounds it down your throat on offense. And a team that wears rings when it walks out the door. Check, check and check. Georgia is SEC Champions and not a moment too soon.    
  • Jay Black

    Sports Director

    Jay Black is the sports director of News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB and is the statistican for the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network. He is also the technical director of Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade. Jay is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

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  • An 17-year-old faces a vehicular homicide charges nearly a month after police said she crashed a car, killing her classmate on senior skip day.  Prosecutors said Cristina Pavon-Baker was driving at 106 mph when she crashed a Mini Cooper into a tree and killed 18-year-old passenger Makayla Penn, Channel 2 Action News reported.  The March 26 crash occurred on I-75 North at the Jonesboro Road exit in Clayton County. The vehicle, “traveling at a high rate of speed,” failed to navigate the turn on the exit ramp, went airborne, overturned several times and ended up hitting a tree, uprooting it in a wooded area, the GSP said at the time of the crash. Pavon-Baker was cut out of the car and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for her injuries.  Prosecutors said Pavon-Baker was on Snapchat before the crash.  The two girls attended Community Christian School and were participating in senior skip day at the time of the crash.  The judge gave Pavon-Baker a $31,000 bond and ordered her to surrender her passport, Channel 2 reported. She was also ordered to not drive and to stay off of Snapchat. 
  • Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration, multiple news outlets are reporting. >> MORE COVERAGE: Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use | Jamie Dupree: Trump pick to head VA in trouble as Senators postpone hearing | Senate postpones hearing for Trump VA pick Ronny Jackson amid 'serious allegations' | More trending news 
  • The Latest on a Wisconsin refinery explosion that injured several people (all times local): 2:15 p.m. Authorities have expanded the evacuation zone around a Wisconsin refinery that was rocked by an explosion and are now saying anyone within a three-mile (five-kilometer) radius should leave. Douglas County authorities also say those in a 10-mile (16-kilometer) corridor south of the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior should leave due to smoke coming from the site. Evacuees are being told to gather at Yellowjacket Union at the University of Wisconsin-Superior or at Four Corners Elementary School in Superior. It isn't clear how many people the evacuation order will effect. The refinery is in an industrial area, but there's a residential neighborhood within a mile to the northeast. The corridor downwind to the south is sparsely populated. At least 11 people were injured in the Thursday morning blast. A spokeswoman for Essentia Health says one person was seriously injured, while another nine being treated at Essentia hospitals in Superior and nearby Duluth, Minnesota, have non-life-threatening injuries. St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth received one patient who is in fair condition. ___ 12:55 p.m. The number of people injured in a refinery explosion in Wisconsin has grown to at least 11. Essentia Health spokeswoman Maureen Talarico says five patients are being treated at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota. She says emergency room physicians describe those patients as awake and alert. Talarico says another five are being treated at St. Mary's Hospital in Superior, Wisconsin, where the explosion happened. She says the extent of injuries is unknown. In Duluth, spokeswoman Jessica Stauber says St. Luke's Hospital is treating one person. She doesn't know the condition of that person. The explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened Thursday morning. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger has said there are no known fatalities. Panger earlier said the fire was out, but Superior police tweeted that the fire has reignited but that there is no need for residents to evacuate. ___ 12:10 p.m. Authorities now say five people have been taken to hospitals after an explosion rocked a large refinery in Wisconsin. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger initially told The Associated Press that six were taken to hospitals in nearby Duluth, Minnesota, after the explosion Thursday at the Husky Energy oil refinery. The Superior Fire Department later updated that number to five. The fire chief says there are no known fatalities. Authorities don't know the extent of injuries. The fire is out. A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO television that the explosion sounded like 'a sonic boom' and that it happened when crews were working on shutting the plant down for repairs. Owned by Alberta-based Husky Energy, Wisconsin's only refinery produces gasoline, asphalt and other products. ___ 11:30 a.m. Several people have been injured in an explosion at a refinery in Wisconsin. Authorities in Superior say the explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery happened at about 10 a.m. Thursday. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger says six people were taken to hospitals in Duluth, Minnesota. He doesn't know the extent of their injuries. Others were walking wounded. There are no known fatalities. A contractor who was inside the building told WDIO television that the explosion sounded like 'a sonic boom' that happened when crews were working on shutting the plant down for repairs. Panger says the fire was out by 11:20 a.m. Superior police are advising people to stay away from the area and roads around the refinery have been blocked off. There have been no neighborhood evacuations.
  • Opening your hotel room door with your cell phone? Disney has started to roll out the new technology for guests to skip the front desk and go directly to their room, speeding up the start of vacations. Disney gave WFTV anchor Jamie Holmes an exclusive look at how guests will be able to use their cellphones to get into their hotel rooms. The theme park rolled out the technology at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Over the years, the My Disney Experience app has been an expanding feature of how guests navigate the parks and hotels. Previous story: Your smartphone could unlock Disney hotel rooms Guests can use it to check ride wait times and even clean up park photos. But guests can also use it to plan their hotel stay, skip the check-in desk, and go straight to their rooms. 'If you choose to, you can actually bypass the front desk area, if that's important to you, and start your vacation earlier,' Michael Trum, with Disney digital guest experience, said. Here’s how it works: Guests take their cellphones and hold it up to their hotel room door, and that’s when a little Disney magic happens. >> Read more trending news  'They're Bluetooth-enabled. Your phone, most smart phones. We've upgraded our locks to be Bluetooth enabled as well. So, they pair together, via security obviously,' Trum said. The technology can be used as a companion to the Magic Bands, which are required to get into the parks. Long gone are metal hotel room keys, and for the most part, even plastic key cards are gone. But, since most guests these days aren't far from their phones, the Bluetooth technology gives them a choice. Many people wonder whether the new technology is safe. Cellphone passcodes are notoriously hard to crack and Disney stands by the system. “We obviously designed this with security in mind. We can't go into details on Disney security policies, but our guests should absolutely feel safe using this as an entry point into their rooms,' Trum said. Disney is not the first to use the Bluetooth technology. Hilton and Marriot hotels have been using it for several years. The FBI said it has never had a case of hackers using phones to enter a hotel room in the U.S. Disney will expand the service to other hotels over the next several months.
  • New text messages obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News show a top aide to former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pressuring other city officials to delay production of open records during Reed's final months in office. In unvarnished, sometimes vulgar comments, the texts reveal the mindset of senior Reed administration officials through the unguarded words of one of Reed's closest advisers and most ardent defenders, former communications director Anne Torres. We'll show you the text messages and explain how a simple request quickly turned into a dispute between Reed's office and the Atlanta BeltLine, on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. The GBI opened a criminal investigation of the city's handling of open records requests last month after the AJC and Channel 2 reported on other text messages from former Reed press secretary Jenna Garland. Garland instructed another staffer 'to drag this out as long as possible' and provide information 'in the most confusing format available' in response to a Channel 2 open records request for city water billing records. The new texts from Torres show Garland's instructions to curtail production of records were not an isolated incident. Torres defended the remarks as 'inter-employee banter.' This article was written by Scott Trubey, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Several fired and still working bus drivers gathered in front of Dekalb County School headquarters on Thursday to discuss their demands for a better work environment. Five of the eight divers who were let go one week ago, were back at the district’s offices demanding their jobs back. The press conference was held a half-hour before Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green was to meet with a hand-full of current drivers. Also in attendance, parents, grandparents and current drivers who were there in support of fired drivers like Melanie. “I stand here with the support of hundreds of drivers, parents, students and community members, and I say without hesitation, give us our jobs back.” Said Melanie.