Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),All lies will be revealed…..,Food for thought… Rasmussen reports Congress has an all time low approval rating of 15%, Trump 46%….Let that sink inCongress thinks Impeaching the President is the MOST IMPORTANT thing right now. It will literally do nothing. Trump is gone in a week. Move on. The American people are hurting, ( the $600 was SO kind of them ). When did they stay late at night to help the American people like they did last night to parade this phony Impeachment show. NEVER, that says everything. Both sides of the aisle are corrupt.Terms Limits for every position is necessary. Tia Dufour / The White House WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. House rushed ahead Tuesday toward impeaching President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack, taking time only to try to persuade his vice president to push him out first.Trump showed no remorse, blaming impeachment itself for the “tremendous anger” in America.Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him — to be taken up Wednesday — even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump with a Cabinet vote, although Pence had already said he would not do so. The resolution, passed 223-205 almost entirely along party lines, urged him to “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.” Hours before the vote Pence had said no. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he said it would not be in the best interest of the nation and it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”Meanwhile, five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, announced they would vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”As lawmakers reconvened at the Capitol for the first time since the bloody siege, they were bracing for more violence ahead of Democrat Biden’s inauguration, Jan. 20.“All of us have to do some soul searching,” said Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, an author of both pieces of legislation, imploring other Republicans to join.Trump, meanwhile, warned the lawmakers off impeachment and suggested it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said.In his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”With Pence’s agreement to invoke the 25th Amendment ruled out, the House will move swiftly to impeachment on Wednesday.Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — in the impeachment resolution after the most serious and deadly domestic incursion at the Capitol in the nation’s history.Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, argued that Trump must go because, as she said in Spanish, he’s “loco” – crazy.Republican Reps. John Katko of New York, a former federal prosecutor; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Force veteran; Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state announced they, too, would vote to impeach. Kinzinger was the lone Republican voting in favor of the resolution calling on Pence to act.Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said the “cancel culture” was just trying to cancel the president. He said the Democrats had been trying to reverse the 2016 election ever since Trump took office and were finishing his term the same way.Though a handful of House Republicans will join the impeachment vote — and leaders are allowing them to vote as they wish — it’s far from clear there would then be the two-thirds vote needed to convict from the narrowly divided Senate. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania did join Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”Unprecedented events, with just over a week remaining in Trump’s term, are unfolding in a nation bracing for more unrest. The FBI has warned ominously of potential armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration, and Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert. The inauguration ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol will be off limits to the public.With new security, lawmakers were required to pass through metal detectors Tuesday night to enter the House chamber, not far from where Capitol police, guns drawn, had barricaded the door against the rioters. Some Republican lawmakers complained about it.A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down Biden’s first days in office, the president-elect is encouraging senators to divide their time between taking taking up his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID relief while also conducting the trial.As Congress resumed, an uneasiness swept the halls. More lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering during the siege. Many lawmakers were voting by proxy rather than come to Washington, a process that was put in place last year to limit the health risks of travel.One of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was among those echoing the president, saying “impeachment at this time would have the opposite effect of bringing our country together.”The impeachment bill from Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden.Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.Like the resolution to invoke the 25th Amendment, the impeachment legislation also details Trump’s pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes, as well as his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters last Wednesday to “fight like hell” and march to the building.The mob overpowered police, broke through security lines and windows and rampaged through the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were finalizing Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted.Trump was impeached by the House in 2019 over dealings with Ukraine and acquitted in 2020 by the Senate.
Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson, who has previously admitted to dreaming of appearing on Broadway, will sing a number from new tuner Finding Neverland on this year’s Tony telecast on June 8. The Oscar winner tweeted: “So excited! I’ll be performing a song from the upcoming musical Finding Neverland @TheTonyAwards.”Hudson won her Oscar for Dreamgirls. Her additional film and TV credits include American Idol, Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees, Winnie Mandela, The Three Stooges, Smash and Black Nativity. She won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album for 2008’s Jennifer Hudson.Finding Neverland will play a limited engagement this summer at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, starring Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan as J.M. Barrie and West End vet Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davis. The Diane Paulus helmed tuner will feature music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham. Based on the Miramax film written by David Magee, Finding Neverland follows the story of Barrie (Jordan) and his relationship with the family of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kelly). Llewelyn Davies’ children eventually became Barrie’s inspiration to write Peter Pan. The Harvey Weinstein produced musical overhauled its creative team in 2013, bringing on board Paulus, Barlow and Graham. Star Files Jennifer Hudson View Comments
To begin, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m a lifelong theater nerd—I saw my first Broadway show in second grade, and I was a dedicated chorus member in every production my high school staged, from War of the Worlds to Footloose. I’m mostly an audience member these days, but there’s always one weekend in June that I schedule around a certain awards-show broadcast! In my offstage life, I work in political communications in Boston, though I’m originally from Norfolk, VA. Have you always been a Broadway fan? Do you remember the first show you saw? Definitely! My first show was Beauty and the Beast, when I was in second grade—my grandparents lived just outside the city in New Jersey, so they would take us to see everything from 1776 to Wicked whenever we came to visit. These days, I always feel a little like I’ve missed an opportunity if I visit New York without seeing a show—and I try to patronize local theater as much as I can in between trips! What was the first thing that went through your mind when you found out you’d won the sweepstakes? “If this is some kind of Nigerian scam, they’ve gotten very specific with their targeting.” I think everything after that was sort of delighted gibberish. Don’t you want to be just like Allison Ehrich Bernstein? Let us answer this one for you: YES! Yes, you do. Why, you ask? Because on June 8, Allison will be watching the 68th Annual Tony Awards from Radio City Music Hall. Yep, that’s right, she gets to celebrate Broadway’s biggest night with all of our favorite stars from the stage and screen. We know what you’re all thinking: “How?! How did Allison arrive as this amazing opportunity?” Welp, she did what any sane Broadway fan should do and she entered the Broadway Across America Tony Awards Sweepstakes presented by The Manhattan Club! (PS: You can enter the very same sweepstakes right here!) We’re ecstatic for Allison and couldn’t wait to hear all about her upcoming trip to New York City, so we reached out to find out how she’s prepping for her evening of schmoozing with the Great White Way’s best and brightest. You owe it to yourself to find out more about Allison below because this could be you—next year! View Comments Why did you enter the sweepstakes? I’d actually entered this particular sweepstakes in previous years—I figured that someone had to win, and I was already on the Broadway.com and Broadway Across America email lists anyway (from voting in the Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, of course). Were you an avid “sweeper” before you won the Broadway Across America 2014 Tony Awards sweepstakes? Not really—but I’m glad I made an exception! Who or what shows are you rooting for at the Tony Awards? I always root for Kelli O’Hara and Jason Robert Brown, even though The Bridges of Madison County closed before I could see it—she’s just such a stellar actress who, I think, has been robbed in the past, and he writes the most romantic scores I’ve ever heard. I also hope The Glass Menagerie takes home a few statues—Celia Keenan-Bolger is long overdue for a Tony, and the production originated at A.R.T., which is based in Boston, where I live! I’d also love to see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder take home the big award—it was such a clever show, with really fun performances. Are you excited to get all dressed up and mingle with other ceremony guests? Oh, very! I haven’t had an excuse to wear a ball gown since high school, and it’ll be fun to be surrounded by so many other theater lovers for the night. Why are the Tony Awards special for you? My family has joked for years that I talk about theater the way most people talk about sports, and, likewise, the Tony Awards are basically my Superbowl. More than any other awards show, it’s the one where I know all the names, get all the jokes, and never get bored. Plus, the Tonys have way better live performances than other awards shows (Idina Menzel at the Oscars excepted, of course)! What part of your trip to the Tony Awards are you most looking forward to? This year, I’m looking forward to the musical performances, as I haven’t seen several of the nominees yet—and all things Hugh Jackman. But given that I actually get to be there this year, instead of just watching on TV, I’m particularly psyched to be walking the red carpet—just let me say hi to Norbert Leo Butz, please! You’ve been an avid reader of Broadway.com/BAA for 10 years! What do you love most about it? It’s the perfect reliable one-stop shop for whatever Broadway news I’m looking for, whether that’s Tony nominees, in-depth interviews (the Show People episodes with Sherie Rene Scott and Patina Miller come to mind!), or exciting regional theater news (I actually screamed when I saw that Jeremy Jordan would be at A.R.T. this summer). Plus, the site runs awesome contests like this one! What else are you looking forward to doing in New York City? Who are you bringing with you? My longtime boyfriend, Andy, is going to be my date. We’re in New York City a lot to see family, so we’re looking forward to doing things we never seem to have time to do on other trips, like the Transit Museum. Also, my cousin works for Sesame Street, and he’s promised us a tour of the puppet workshop!
Related Shows Hello, gorgeous! Caitlyn Jenner got dressed up for a night on the town on June 30 when she took a trip to see the hit musical An American in Paris on Broadway with a friend. The star was a vision in navy blue lace as she visited the Palace Theatre to see the story of love in the City of Light unfold onstage. Check out these Hot Shots of Jenner’s Broadway adventure—oh, and Caitlyn, when will you be back to headline a musical? An American in Paris View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 9, 2016
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the weekend. Don’t Make Cumberbatch Pull a Patti Following a recent performance of Hamlet at the Barbican, Olivier winner and Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch stopped by the stage door to give a special announcement—one that he wants everyone to “Tweet, blog, hashtag the shit out of.” Apparently, some theatergoers haven’t gotten the memo from Patti LuPone and think it’s appropriate to film the performance. But according to the Prince of Denmark himself, “It’s mortifying and there’s nothing less supportive.” Hear, hear. Let this be a word of warning to a certain Broadway.com editor who is catching the production this week. Not that she’d be anything less than cordial at the theater. Mol Heads to MozartGretchen Mol, who appeared on Broadway last season in Disgraced, will appear in season two of Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle. According to Deadline, Mol, whose credits include Boardwalk Empire and the upcoming by the Sea, has been tapped for an eight-episode arc in the classical music-themed series to play Nina Robertson, a labor lawyer who steps in once the New York Symphony’s contract is up. The show, which also features stage vets Bernadette Peters and Debra Monk, is set to return early next year.It Pays to Be Evil (Like Cheno)The soundtrack to Descendants, the Disney Channel original movie featuring Kristin Chenoweth as a 4’11” Maleficent has landed at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chat. The movie premiered on July 31 and follows the offspring of some of Disney’s most diabolical villains. On that chart-topping album is the original Andrew Lippa tune “Evil Like Me,” featuring (a flying!) Chenoweth and Dove Cameron. View Comments
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the holiday weekend. Betty Buckley’s New FilmBetty Buckley is slated for a lead role in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller; the Tony winner previously appeared in his 2008 movie The Happening. Variety reports that details about the new project, headlined by stage and screen star James McAvoy, are predictably being kept under wraps, but filming is scheduled to begin this November in Philadelphia. The cast will also include Anya Taylor Joy, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson.Michelle Obama’s Broadway PlaylistWe’ve known for some time that First Lady Michelle Obama is a big fan of Broadway and she proved it once again with her first-ever Spotify playlist. It was all in honor of International Day of the Girl and her tracks included Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth’s “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, Dreamgirls’ “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” belted by the Broadway-bound Jennifer Hudson, along with “My Shot” from Hamilton. Check out the full list here!John Cariani Bags Publishing DealIt’s not all Something Rotten! for John Cariani! The Broadway star is also a playwright and his Almost, Maine, which had an acclaimed run off-Broadway last year and also in 2006, is being adapted into a YA novel. This makes perfect sense, as the show is one of the most-produced plays in schools. The tome will be published via Macmillan imprint Feiwel And Friends, Deadline reports.Taye Diggs Lands Role in RosewoodTaye Diggs has been tapped for a recurring role on Fox’s drama series Rosewood. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Broadway alum will appear as Mike Boyce, a respected Miami infectious disease doctor who is BFF’s with Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (Morris Chestnut) and is enlisted to work on a case alongside Rosewood’s partner, Detective Annalise Villa (Jaina Lee Ortiz). Surprising sparks apparently fly…Victor Garber Weds Rainer AndreesenFour-time Tony nominee Victor Garber married his long-time partner Rainer Andreesen over the weekend. Andreesen, an artist and model, posted the adorable pic, below, of the pair on Instagram with the caption: “YES WE DID! #justgotmarried #elopedintofino #canada @therealvictorgarber #after16years.” Congratulations to the happy couple! View Comments
Therese Raquin View Comments Keira Knightley is making her Broadway debut in Thérèse Raquin, which officially opens at Studio 54 on October 29. All it took for her to take on the title role were two previous offers.In a recent interview with the New York Times, the Oscar nominee revealed that she had been asked to perform in the play twice before, but until now, she didn’t feel ready. “When it came back to me the third time,” Knightley said, “I thought, ‘Well this is weird.’ I’ am still frightened of it, and I don’t know how to do it and there are so many problems with putting it on. But I was sort of up for the challenge.”The third opportunity to play the role also almost didn’t happen. Knightley welcomed her daughter Edie with husband James Righton earlier this year, but she signed on to the Roundabout production before learning she was pregnant. Though she initially considered withdrawing, she was urged by several loved ones to continue with the play: “My mother and various other very strong feminists around me went, ‘How could you say that? Of course you don’t back out….of course you do it all.’”Knightley is digging deep in exploring Thérèse’s challenges and limitations: “I get very interested with people who are caged in some way, and I think it’s quite true that very often people who try to break out of their perceived cage do get punished for it.” But to the actress, theater is almost an escape from such a cage: “It’s not like film, which is stuck there forever…tomorrow will be completely different. And I find that incredibly romantic.”You can catch Knightley, alongside Tony winners Judith Light and Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan and more, in Thérèse Raquin, directed by Evan Cabnet, at Studio 54 through January 3, 2016. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2016
By Faith PeppersUniversity of Georgia The perfect storm may hit Georgia agriculture this year. But it doesn’t promise to bring rain. Drought, high energy costs and a shaky U.S. economy could make for a trifecta of trouble.“The current rate of change and uncertainty in agriculture is unprecedented,” said J. Scott Angle, dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Now more than ever, farmers must use the best predictive tools to plan for the coming season.”That’s why CAES created its annual Georgia Ag Forecast sessions, which will take place at five locations across the state this week. “The ag forecast (series) is designed to give farmers and others in agribusiness access to the best minds at UGA to assure that they have the most up-to-date information possible,” Angle said.Water restrictions’ impactAt the series’ first session in Rome, Ga., Jan. 28, Greg Clark, co-owner of Three Rivers Nurseries, said Georgia’s current drought has severely affected the state’s green industry, which is being “unfairly hurt” by statewide water conservation regulations.“The economic impact the total outdoor watering ban has had on the green industry is like putting a knife across a major artery in the state’s economy,” Clark said. “All industries should share the burden to conserve water. It shouldn’t all be on us.”The Georgia green industry normally boasts an annual total economic impact of $6 billion and employs more than 75,000 workers. The industry lost $3 billion in sales and 35,000 jobs last year. Georgia landscapers and nurserymen may get some reprieve from the state’s new water plan, but just how much hasn’t been decided.Drought and water are major concerns for all of agriculture. The shrinking value of the U.S. dollar and soaring energy costs are troubling, too, said John McKissick, a CAES economist.Good with badGeorgia’s agricultural outlook is “a tale of two cities,” he said. “The price outlook for all of agriculture is good. But the cost of production is going to be very high also. So whether the total profit picture is good depends on how high the input costs go.”Despite drought and other economic challenges, Georgia’s farm gate value increased last year. Georgia soybean and wheat farmers got record high prices for their crops. Corn prices were near the record price.“We have a lot of alternatives on the crop side,” McKissick said. “We will certainly see a big increase in soybean acreage this year because it’s a low-input crop with record high prices.” Higher grain prices mean livestock and poultry farmers will pay more to feed their animals. This will increase their costs, he said.Grain prices haven’t always been high in Georgia. They were low in the recent past, and farmers reduced production. Because of this, the state lost a lot of its infrastructure to store and handle grain. But that is changing.“How long is this going to last? Are we back in the grain business?” McKissick said. “I think there is a fundamental shift afoot here.” Global impactNational and international factors have led to the current economic situation, he said.One factor is ethanol. Increased demand for corn to produce it has driven up the value of the crop. Buyers of other crops like soybeans, wheat and peanuts have also increased their prices to make sure farmers grow their crops, too.The U.S. dollar is weak right now. That means foreign countries can buy U.S. crops for less money, which can be a good thing for the farm economy. “So even though we have record high prices here,” said McKissick, “they are still competitive for import in other countries.” (Faith Peppers is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
By Sharon DowdyUniversity of GeorgiaSix trail-blazing University of Georgia faculty members were honored Oct. 7 in Athens, Ga., during the annual D.W. Brooks Lecture and Faculty Awards for Excellence ceremony. Presented by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the award program honors Gold Kist Inc. founder D.W. Brooks. A CAES alumnus, Brooks advised seven U.S. presidents on agriculture and trade issues. Although he died in 1999, his promotion of agriculture lives on through the awards. The 2008 award winners are Kathy Baldwin in public service extension, Clifton Baile distinguished professor, Joseph McHugh in teaching, Michael Strand in research, Jonathan ‘Tim’ Williams in global programs and Jeanna Wilson in extension. Baldwin, the UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Bleckley County, received the public service award. Baldwin knew from the time she was a senior in high school that she wanted to someday be a county agent. For the past 24 years, she has encouraged her 4-H’ers to be the best they can be. Her 4-H membership currently is 750. Thirty-five of her members have become master 4-H’ers. Five have become county agents. One is currently employed on the state 4-H staff. A Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Agricultural Biotechnology, Baile received the distinguished professor award. His career has spanned 35 years and includes experience at UGA, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, SmithKline Beecham and Monsanto Company. He has helped create seven companies and currently serves on the board of directors of AgGlobalVision, Inc., Angionics, Inc., AptoTec, Inc., InsectiGen, Inc., MetaMorphix, Inc., Oncose, Inc. and rPeptide, LLC. He is a member of the Georgia BIO Board and the Louisiana Gene Therapy Research Consortium. He has directed drug research and development projects from the discovery stage to commercialization. He has served as a consultant to more than 20 companies, including several in the top Fortune 50. As chief executive officer and chairman of the board of AptoTec, Inc. and InsectiGen, Inc., he manages research, development and commercialization programs. A UGA professor of entomology, McHugh received the teaching award. He teaches courses like insect taxonomy and principles of systematics. He has been the main advisor for 12 graduate students, served on the advisory committees for 35 students and has advised or been thesis reader for several honors program students. He advises the H.O. Lund Entomology Club, too. Since arriving at UGA, McHugh has received the H. H. Ross Outstanding Teaching Award and is a three-time winner of the H. O. Lund Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2006, he won the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America. In 2007, he was honored with the national ESA Distinguished Teaching Award. Strand received the research award. He studies parasite-host interactions, including the roles insects play in the transmission of several plant, animal and human diseases and parasites play in controlling insect pest populations. He joined the UGA faculty in 2001. In 2006, he earned the title of Distinguished Research Professor. Strand holds joint or affiliated appointments in the CAES, Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, the Faculty of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Genetics. Director of the federal Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program, Williams received the global programs award. He began his career in the National Research Program of Zimbabwe as a peanut physiologist. He later joined the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics where he studied peanut, cowpea and millet and the application of models in crop improvement systems. In 1995, he joined the UGA faculty and became the associate director of the Peanut CRSP. In 1997, he became its director. The Peanut CRSP connects American peanut scientists with counterparts in developing countries to solve problems for peanuts. He streamlines research management while expanding his interest in the aflatoxin and utilization aspects of the peanut industry. A UGA professor of poultry science, Wilson received the extension award. She has a national and international reputation in broiler breeder management. Her work on improving breeder fertility alone saves Georgia poultry breeders more than $6 million annually. Since joining UGA in 1988, Wilson has solved problems in hatchery and breeder management. She works to improve flock productivity, fertility and hatchability through field studies and applied research on feed restriction programs, hen nesting preferences, pattern of egg production, rooster mating activity, semen quality, embryo viability and egg contamination. Today’s breeder houses are designed based on her recommendations. (Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
With a record-setting cold snap and snow-snarled highways in north Georgia, January 2014 went into the record books as one bone-chilling month. After record-setting cold at the beginning of the month, many Georgia cities saw average temperatures between 3 and 8 degrees below normal. A large ridge of high pressure over California and a deep trough of low pressure over the eastern U.S. allowed frigid Arctic air to reach the Deep South in January, with accompanying new low temperature records and snow in some areas. On Jan. 7, Atlanta, Athens, Columbus, Macon, Savannah and Augusta all broke their record low temperatures with values ranging from 6 F in Atlanta to 19 F in Savannah. The new records were 3 to 5 degrees lower than their previous record low temperatures for the date, most of which occurred in 1970. Athens, Columbus, Macon, Savannah, Alma and Brunswick also set record low maximum temperatures that day, warming up to only the upper 20s and low 30s after their cold morning starts. Additional records for cold weather were set in Macon and Brunswick. Many schools closed due to dangerously low wind chills to protect school children who would be waiting at bus stops. The record-setting temperatures also led to rolling power outages in Athens on Jan. 7 due to extremely high demand for electric heating. A second round of extreme low temperature records were set late in the month in Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Alma and Brunswick when daily maximum temperatures again only rose to the upper 20s to middle 30s during the day on Jan. 29. The extreme cold snaps helped drive down monthly average temperatures. In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature for January 2014 was 37.0 degrees F (6.3 degrees below normal), in Athens it was 37.0 degrees (6.5 degrees below normal), Columbus averaged 39.7 degrees (7.5 degrees below normal), Macon had 39.1 degrees (7.2 degrees below normal), Savannah was 46.4 degrees (3.1 degrees below normal), Brunswick had 47.6 degrees (3.9 degrees below normal), Alma averaged 45.3 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal) and Augusta was 39.5 degrees (5.9 degrees below normal). Atlanta, Macon and Columbus reported record high snowfall for the day on Jan. 28 with 2.6 inches in Atlanta, 2.1 inches in Macon and 1.2 inches in Columbus, surpassing the old daily records of a trace set in 2005 at all locations. Snowfall in Metro Atlanta was generally 2 to 3 inches while the Athens vicinity received 1 to 2 inches. The highest daily snowfall amount reported by volunteer Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network observers was 3.2 inches in Peachtree City in Fayette County on Jan. 29. The highest monthly snowfall total was 3.8 inches west of Blue Ridge in Fannin County. Roads in the northeast mountains were closed on Jan. 21 due to snow and high winds at higher elevations. A teenage boy died after he and some friends fell through a frozen pond on Jan. 30 in Calhoun. The most widespread impact of January’s winter weather was the traffic gridlock in Atlanta on Jan. 28. School and government officials abruptly closed schools and businesses when the snow started falling later that morning. The icy conditions, combined with several million vehicles entering the road system in a short time period, quickly led to a complete traffic standstill. The Governor announced plans to convene two committees to identify why the existing system failed and to help guide future decisions on weather-related school and business closings. A National Weather Service report on the storm can be found http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/?n=20140128winterstorm. January was colder than normal, but at least it wasn’t soggyThe highest monthly total precipitation for January from NWS reporting stations was 4.68 inches in Athens (.63 of an inch above normal). The lowest was in Alma at 1.61 inches (2.65 inches below normal). Atlanta received 3.35 inches (.85 of an inch below normal), Macon received 3.23 inches (1.01 below normal), Savannah received 2.41 inches (1.28 inches below normal), Augusta received 2.48 inches (1.43 inches below normal), Columbus received 2.91 inches (.94 of an inch below normal) and Brunswick received 4.59 inches (1.37 inches above normal).The highest single-day rainfall from a Community, Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network observer was 3.18 inches near Comer in Madison County on Jan.11. An observer near Danielsville, also in Madison County, reported 3.05 inches on the same date. The highest monthly total rainfall was 7.69 inches, observed east of Darien in McIntosh County, followed by 6.06 inches measured near Thomson in McDuffie County.Severe weather was observed on Jan. 10 and 11, including a weak EF0 tornado that caused isolated damage near Waleska in Cherokee County on Jan. 11. The tornado formed in a line of strong thunderstorms that caused wind damage, downed trees and power lines and localized street flooding across northern Georgia.The “roller coaster” winter weather conditions are expected to continue for the rest of the season due to the absence of El Nino or La Nina conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Neutral conditions are expected to continue through at least August. Gardeners should note that in neutral winters and springs the chance of a late frost, while still rare, is more likely than years with either El Nino or La Nina conditions present.