Friday, October 31, 2008

"Fayette Pep Rally" Coming to Comcast Soon

Comcast customers in Fayette will now receive a weekly high school sportscast focusing on the five Fayette athletic programs, the show's producer announced today.

"Fayette Prep Rally", a highlights and features program, will debut Tuesday November 4 on Comcast Channel 25. The weekly program will premiere each Tuesday at 6pm and then repeat at 8pm and 10pm each weeknight followed by re-airs at 6am, 8am and 10am the following morning.

The 12-minute sportscast is produced by Batten Communications, Inc., which has produced the sister program, "Gwinnett Prep Rally" since 1993. "Fayette Prep Rally" will air weekly highlights, features, segments and commentary in an ESPN SportsCenter-style, said Jeff Batten, executive producer of the program.

"'Fayette Prep Rally' will be the 'broadcast sports page' for Fayette sports fans following their teams," Batten said. "The highlights and features will be crisp and professional and the show will entertain from beginning to end. I'm certain the demand for concise, well-presented sports information in Fayette will make this a weekly staple for high school fans of the five Fayette schools," Batten said.

Michael Jankolovits and Ken Coleman will host the program, which will air highlights of this Friday's Fayette County-Starrs Mill, Northgate-Sandy Creek and McIntosh-Whitewater games and will feature Sandy Creek quarterback Rio Johnson.

"Fayette Prep Rally" will air throughout the school season.

Batten Communications, Inc. also produces "BusinessWorks", a program about the Fayette County chamber of commerce, on Comcast channel 25 in Fayette County.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

$ave the Green on the Green at Crystal Lake Country Club with Toys for Tots

The holidays are upon us and it's time to save some green on the greens!

Grab your sticks and your tee partner and drive to Crystal Lake Country Club this November and save $10 off the published rate for each round. It's simple. Just donate a wrapped toy for the "Toys for Tots" Foundation.

Donate two or more toys for Georgia's needy children and save an additional $5 off per round. Mention the Fayette Front Page to redeem this special offer!

Crystal Lake Country Club is conveniently located just off of Exit 221 on I-75 in Hampton. Call 770-471-3233 to reserve your tee time and a smile for a child.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Georgia State Purchases Land for Football Practice Complex in Atlanta

The Georgia State University Foundation has purchased a 3.8-acre plot of land in downtown Atlanta adjacent to the Georgia State campus for the purpose of constructing a practice and office complex for the Panthers’ new football program.

The plot is at 188 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, walking distance from current athletic facilities in the Georgia State Sports Arena. The land was purchased at a cost of approximately $6.6 million.

Plans for the complex include a 100-yard artificial turf field, a 50-yard natural grass field and a football building that would house coaches’ offices, locker room, weight room, meeting rooms, training room and equipment room. Initial plans call for an existing structure on the site to be incorporated into the facility.

Georgia State football, coached by Bill Curry, will begin play in 2010 at the Georgia Dome. However, the Panthers are recruiting student-athletes who will enroll and begin practice in 2009, and Georgia State hopes to begin construction on the fields as soon as possible so they can be utilized for practice next fall.

“This is another very important step forward for Georgia State football,” said Director of Athletics Mary McElroy. “We’re thrilled that the University was able to secure a piece of land that fits our needs and is located so close to campus. This complex will become a tremendous asset for Georgia State football.

“We are very grateful to the Georgia State University Foundation for assisting us with this project. We also want to thank Dr. Patton and the University administration for all the support as we build our football program and make Georgia State athletics the best that it can be."

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Jekyll Island Ready for Georgia-Florida Fans

PRNewswire/ -- Traditions are held sacred in southeast Georgia, and for the Jekyll Island Authority and the local community that means hosting one of the largest celebrations surrounding the Georgia-Florida college football rivalry in the area. Beginning at 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning, the first of 576 golfers will tee off in the 29th annual Georgia-Florida Golf Classic. Golfers will compete in the two-day event, and between rounds will enjoy celebrating with old friends at the traditional Cocktail Party and Oyster Roast Buffet Dinner.

"The event is now a tradition on Jekyll Island, and we are proud to host our friends each year -- old and new friends alike," stated Johnny Paulk, tournament director. "It is a lot of work, but we have a great team that knows how to pull everything together so everyone will have a good time when they get here.

"It's got to be one of the largest golf tournaments in the country, and maybe one of the longest running," added Paulk.

While the golf tournament is sold out, there are still rooms available on Jekyll Island for fans coming to the game. Some Jekyll Island hotels offer motorcoach transportation packages to and from the game.

"Most of our bus packages are full, but there are always a few rooms left on the island," stated Eric Garvey, Jekyll Island Authority director of marketing. "The golf tournament along with all the parties and other activities creates a fantastic football atmosphere here on Jekyll Island."

Fans looking for hotel rooms or rental cottages in the area should call the Jekyll Island Welcome Center at 877-4JEKYLL or e-mail to Visitor Information Specialists keep current vacancy information and can quickly direct guests to a hotel with available rooms.

While the Georgia-Florida football game is played in Jacksonville, Florida at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jekyll Island is only a 90-minute drive. Many University of Georgia fans enjoy the tradition of staying in the Jekyll Island-St. Simons Island area and take advantage of the easy drive to the stadium.

Fans without tickets will enjoy the nationally televised game at one of the several sports bars and restaurant on Jekyll Island. Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant along with the new Time Out Sports Grill and the new Sand Bar & Grill all will be creating a game-like atmosphere with food and drink specials.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thrasher Forward Mike Hoffman Activated from Injured Reserve and Assigned to Chicago

The Atlanta Thrashers have activated forward Mike Hoffman from Injured Reserve and assigned him to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

Hoffman, 28, was placed on IR on Oct. 9 and missed the Thrashers first eight games of the season. He appeared in four pre-season games with Atlanta, after signing as a free agent on July 9, 2008.

The 6-5, 250-pound right wing appeared in 38 games with the Portland Pirates (AHL) in 2007-08, recording eight points (five goals, three assists) and 81 penalty minutes.
The native of Scituate, Mass. has recorded 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) and 513 penalty minutes in 221 career AHL games with Worcester, Cleveland, Toronto, Manchester and Portland.

Prior to his professional career, Hoffman played two years at the University of Connecticut (MAAC), earning 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and 26 penalty minutes in 31 games.
Season Tickets for the Atlanta Thrashers start at $10 per game and are available for the 2008-09 season by calling (866) 715-1500 or visiting Individual tickets for all regular-season Thrashers games at Philips Arena can be purchased by visiting, calling (800) 326-4000, or by visiting the Philips Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster Ticket Outlet.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Women's Soccer and Serafy Etch Names in Athletic History With Win Over Campbell

A second-half, two-goal salvo earned the Bears a piece of Mercer women’s soccer history, as their 2-0 win over Campbell gives the team its first-ever Atlantic Sun regular season championship. Olivia Tucker once again proved the hero for the Bears, heading in the decisive goal from a Meghan Castlado corner in the 56th minute: her second straight game-winner and third goal in as many matches.

Castaldo would then seal the points with an unstoppable blast in the 66th minute as Mercer stretched its lead in the A-Sun standings to an insurmountable five-point advantage over second-placed Kennesaw State.

“This is really the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication by our players,” Mercer head coach Grant Serafy said. “It really means a lot to this team, not only to this current group of players, but also all our former players, parents, and everyone associated with the program. I couldn’t be prouder.”

The victory was also highly significant for Serafy himself, who becomes the all-time winningest coach in program history with his 39th career win, springing him past Ian Hayley in the school’s record books.

Despite his achievement, Serafy was quick to put the focus back on his team. “It’s nice to accomplish this, but for me, it’s about winning a championship,” he said.

Knowing what was on the line, Mercer announced their attacking intentions early, as senior Erin Theobald found space for herself on the left side of the box, though her cracking shot found the netting on the wrong side of the post.

Tucker would then call Campbell keeper Jamie Panfil into action; the holding midfielder eventually getting on the end of a Heather Manting free kick bouncing around in the box. Her sliding shot, however, was straight at Panfil from a tough angle on the left.

A clever flicked header from Meek then put Johnson clean through on goal, only for the Saint Peters, Mo. native to be thwarted by a late offsides flag.

Soon after, the flag stayed down on Johnson, who got in behind the Camels defense again. Running down the left, the sophomore forward attempted to pick out the far post with an outside-of-the-foot flick, but was denied by the fingertips of an advancing Panfil, who did well to collect the rebound as well.

It was backs to the wall stuff for the Camels, as Mercer sent in wave after wave of attack, and the Bears nearly broke through as Raschelle Riley went on a trademark rampaging run up of the left wing. The fullback’s cross found Tucker in the box, who spun past her marker with a deft first touch, only to be closed down by a vital last second tackle.

Mercer’s defense would need to be sharp soon after, however, as the Camels finally got their first shot on target midway through the first half. After some good work at the endline down the right, Olga Ekblom teed the ball up for Jenna Sullivan. Reigning A-Sun Defender of the Week Lizzy Shaughnessy, however, did well to block the shot down without testing Jean Worts.

The half finished with both teams even in possession. Vanessa Breslin and Katheryn Hurst linked up well in the Camels’ box to set up a scoring chance for Sara Elliot, whose left-footed shot was claimed by Panfil at her left-hand post. Worts then had to be alert to tip over a Hanna Salmen corner kick drifting back toward the net, as the first half ended scoreless.

Just after the restart, Castaldo came within inches of duplicating her heroics against Belmont, as she caught Panfil off her line with a well-weighted lob, only to see her shot land harmlessly on the roof of the net.

The breakthrough was coming, though, and it was no surprise who it came from. Tucker, who has scored big goals for the team all season, won a corner after being double-teamed down on the Camels’ endline. Meghan Castaldo whipped in a majestic inswinger from the resulting set piece, and when Pansil couldn’t get a touch as she came out to claim, Tucker was on hand to head home from close range.

It was a clinical finish from the freshman, and the team-best eighth goal in a sparkling first campaign with the Bears, one that surely now must result in first-team all-conference honors for the Peachtree City native.

“Olivia seems to play well when the team really needs it the most,” Serafy said afterwards, “and that’s the mark of a great player.”

Johnson nearly doubled the advantage immediately after, but saw her shot whistle just outside the near post after a mazy run up the left.

The Bears had their hosts on the ropes, however, and just 10 minutes later, Castaldo would seal the deal with a stunner. Latching onto a loose ball on the right hand side of the Camel box, the senior controlled with her first touch before sending a rocket up into the upper–left corner of the net, giving the Campbell keeper no chance.

Kacie Hudson would nearly add a third for the Orange and Black late on, though Panfil saved easily after the center back was unable to get enough power on shot from six yards out.

The only bit of drama remaining would be to see if the Bears would extend their shutout streak to five straight matches, which they did when Worts was on hand to save Caity Brown’s point blank header off a free kick. And as the clock struck zero, the team sprinted out to celebrate its first-ever A-Sun regular season title.

While acknowledging what the team has accomplished thus far, Serafy and the Bears still recognize that there is plenty more silverware to be handed out in 2008. “We probably won’t reflect on this too much,” Serafy said. “We still have a goal in mind, and that is taking the next step with this team and winning the A-Sun tournament.”

The Bears wrap up their 2008 regular season on the road against Kennesaw State on Wednesday. Mercer will then have next weekend off before heading back to Kennesaw for the Atlantic Sun championship, which will be held Nov. 5-8. Having sewn up the top spot, Mercer will get a first round bye, joining the tournament in the semifinal stage.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Special Olympics Georgia Launches Project UNIFY Initiative to Energize Youth

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) received $60,000 in funding to support the overall outreach initiative of the organization as part of Special Olympics' new national program, Project UNIFY.

Project UNIFY is a year-long project to activate young people across the country in an effort to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change -- fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics believes through sports young people can make a difference in friendships, schools and communities.

Project UNIFY promotes a cultural shift and positions Special Olympics as a leading cause among youth -- as important, not just "nice," and as relevant to each of us, not just for "them." In addition, Project UNIFY leadership activities will help develop the next generation of leaders and advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

"This project is an excellent opportunity for our Programs to get directly involved in a grass-roots effort to increase the number of Special Olympics opportunities for youth with and without intellectual disabilities, while increasing the number of state-wide sustained Special Olympics partnerships with schools," said Bob Gobrecht, Special Olympics North America Managing Director. "The need for programs like the ones Special Olympics offers that encourage positive school climates with safe and nurturing environments for all students is clear, especially in light of how inappropriate and discriminatory words and actions are becoming more and more common in our society."

Special Olympics Programs throughout the United States were invited to apply for funds to implement Project UNIFY activities that meet the initiative's objectives through a competitive grant process. Special Olympics Georgia will use their funding to support the Young Athletes, Get Into It, Unified and Traditional sports programs.

All of these initiatives will attract children and adults with intellectual disabilities into the Special Olympics program. "Our goal is to make all eligible individuals aware of the many year-round ways to get involved in our sports training and competition programs throughout the state," said SOGA CEO Georgia Milton-Sheats.

Project UNIFY was made possible by $4.4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to fiscal 2008 appropriations under the authority of HR5131, "The Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act," and the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" which Special Olympics International received in June 2008.

To kick off Project UNIFY, 17 young people from across the country, aged 14-20, with and without intellectual disabilities, assembled in Washington, D.C., on 18-20 September for the first meeting of Project UNIFY's Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). The committee met during the Department of Education's 2008 Global Summit on Education, the theme of which was "Inclusive Practices for Students with Disabilities."

In addition to forming the Youth Advisory Committee, other overall Project UNIFY goals include promoting the Special Olympics "R-word" campaign, implementing a U.S. Special Olympics grant process for local Special Olympics Programs, hosting a Global Youth Congress as part of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, and participating in national forums and conferences on intellectual disabilities and education.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Movie Night Fundraiser in Peachtree City to Benefit Lazers Premier Boys Soccer Team

Movie Night at Baseball Soccer Complex in Peachtree City on November 8th-
Presented by the Lazers '96 Boys

On Saturday, November 8th, bring your blankets and come support the '96 Lazers Premier Boys Soccer Team in their fundraising efforts to raise money for their July 2009 trip to play soccer at the Dana Cup tournament in Denmark. The movie of the night is "Journey to the Center of the Earth", Starring Brendan Fraser. Doors open at 5:00 PM, Movie starts at 7:00 PM. Food and concessions available for purchase. Pre-sale Admission: $5.00 adults / $3.00 children (children under 3 are free). Prices at the Door: $8.00 adults / $5.00 children (children under 3 are free).

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Tampa Bay Shortstop Jason Bartlett Steals Millions of Free Tacos

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hey America, are you ready for some free tacos? Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett stole free tacos for America from Taco Bell®, as he stole second base in the bottom of the 5th inning of Game 1 at the World Series. As promised, Americans will feast on millions of free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Tacos as Taco Bell’s “Steal A Base, Steal A Taco” World Series promotion paid off for the second straight year.

Fans can visit any participating Taco Bell location on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time) and claim their free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco.

“You know we had Jason pegged as the guy who might steal millions of tacos for America,” said David Ovens, chief marketing officer, Taco Bell Corp. “This is one stolen base that goes into the record books more than just a stat, but as a steal that fed the country.”

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett joins Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury as the only two players in World Series history to have stolen millions of tacos for America. Ellsbury’s steal of second base during Game 2 last year won millions of Americans free tacos. So while there are fans of pitching duels and the long ball, it seems the stolen base has now captured the hearts of millions during the World Series.

Taco Bell has a long history of “Think Outside the Bun®” promotions with Major League Baseball. In addition to last year’s successful “Steal A Base, Steal A Taco” World Series promotion, the company has also placed its famous “Free Taco” target at multiple World Series games. Taco Bell is currently in its fifth year as an Official Sponsor of Major League Baseball.

No Purchase Necessary. Subject to Terms and Conditions available in-store and online at Taco Bell® will offer every person in the U.S. the opportunity to obtain one (1) free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco (Approximate Retail Value 91¢, prices may vary) at participating Taco Bell® restaurants in the United States on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 ("Redemption Date") only. To obtain the Free Taco, consumers must visit any participating Taco Bell® restaurant in one of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (local time) on the Redemption Date only and request a Free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco. Limit one (1) Free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco per person. Void where prohibited. Offer valid at participating Taco Bell® locations. Portions ©2008 Taco Bell Corp.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fox Sports South and SportSouth to Televise 24 Atlanta Hawks Games in HD

Fox Sports South and SportSouth will televise 24 Atlanta Hawks games in high definition during the 2008-09 National Basketball Association season. Fifteen games are scheduled for Fox Sports South and nine are slated for SportSouth. The Hawks HD telecast schedule features five road games and 19 home contests, with the first being Friday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Toronto Raptors. Please see below for the complete Fox Sports South and SportSouth Hawks HD telecast schedule.

Friday, November 7 – vs. Toronto Raptors – 7:30 p.m. ET – FSSO
Friday, November 21 – vs. Charlotte Bobcats – 7:30 p.m. ET – FSSO
Wednesday, November 26 – vs. Milwaukee Bucks – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Saturday, December 6 – @ Dallas Mavericks – 8:30 p.m. ET – FSSO
Saturday, December 13 – vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Wednesday, December 17 – vs. Boston Celtics – 7 p.m. ET – SPSO
Friday, December 19 – vs. Golden State Warriors – 7:30 p.m. ET – FSSO
Sunday, December 21 – vs. Detroit Pistons – 2 p.m. ET – FSSO
Wednesday, January 7 – vs. Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. ET – SPSO
Friday, January 9 – @ Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. ET – SPSO
Friday, February 6 – @ Charlotte Bobcats – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Tuesday, February 17 – @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10:30 p.m. ET – SPSO
Friday, February 27 – vs. Miami Heat – 7:30 p.m. ET – SPSO
Saturday, March 7 – vs. Detroit Pistons – 7 p.m. ET – SPSO
Monday, March 9 – vs. New Orleans Hornets – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Friday, March 13 – vs. Indiana Pacers – 7:30 p.m. ET – SPSO
Tuesday, March 17 – vs. Sacramento Kings – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Thursday, March 19 – vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Saturday, March 21 – @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 1 p.m. ET – SPSO
Monday, March 23 – vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Wednesday, March 25 – vs. San Antonio Spurs – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
Friday, March 27 – vs. Boston Celtics – 7:30 p.m. ET – FSSO
Sunday, March 29 – vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 3:30 p.m. ET – SPSO
Saturday, April 4 – vs. Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. ET – FSSO
*Schedule subject to change

Fox Sports South and SportSouth’s HD telecasts of Hawks games are available to all cable and satellite service providers throughout the Hawks television territory (states of AL and GA; state of MS except the Memphis and New Orleans DMAs; counties of Abbeville, Anderson & Oconee in Greenville-Spartanburg DMA and Charleston, Augusta and Savannah DMAs of South Carolina; state of Tennessee except the Memphis and Jackson DMAs). Cable and satellite television subscribers should check their local listings for channel numbers.

During the 2008-09 NBA season, Fox Sports South and SportSouth, the exclusive local television rights holders for the Hawks, will televise 75 Hawks games. Complementing live game telecasts, Hawks LIVE post-game coverage, hosted by Jerome Jurenovich with analyst Mike Glenn, will follow all 75 game telecasts and feature game highlights and analysis.

FSN’s regional networks are the nation’s leading provider of local sports. FSN’s owned-and-operated networks serve as the cable and satellite TV home to nearly two-thirds of all NBA, MLB, and NHL franchises in the U.S., producing close to 5,000 live, mostly local, events each year, including more than 1200 in high definition.
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Braves Hall of Fame Member Pete Van Wieren Announces his Retirem

Pete Van Wieren, a member of the Braves Hall of Fame has announced his retirement, ending his 33 years as a play-by-play broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves. He spent this past season doing radio exclusively for 94.9 the Bull, 640 WGST and the Braves Radio Network, but had been a part of the Braves broadcasts on TBS for many of those 33 years.

"This is something my family and I have been thinking about the last couple of years," said Van Wieren. "It's simply a desire to live my life without the restrictions of a baseball schedule. I want to thank the Braves, my broadcast partners and especially the fans for their support over the years."

Since joining the Braves network in 1975, "The Professor" as he is known throughout baseball, has also covered the Atlanta Flames of the National Hockey League, the Hawks and the Atlanta Falcons NFL pre-season football. He also served as a sports reporter for CNN and served as a play-by-play announcer on TBS's Big Ten Conference college football games.

"This is a monumental moment in Braves history and a sad one for me personally," said Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz. "Pete has been in our homes and in our lives as one of the great Braves voices, and we will sorely miss him. We wish him many years of good health and happiness in his retirement after 33 years as a beloved and admired voice of the Atlanta Braves."

In 2006, Van Wieren won the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Award from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, marking the 10th time he won the honor (1980, 1988-95, 2006). He was dubbed Atlanta's Favorite Sportscaster in 1977 by the Atlanta Journal.

In 2004, he was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame, along with fellow announcer Skip Caray, who passed away this past August. In 2000, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell declared July 30th "Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren Day" in honor of their 25 years of broadcasting Braves games.

Prior to joining Turner, he began his broadcasting career working as the play-by-play man for the Tidewater Tides of the International League for two years. He has also broadcast hockey, college and professional basketball and college and professional football. He also has been a sportscaster for WDHO-TV, Toledo, Ohio; WNBF-AM/FM/TV and WINR-AM/TV, both in Binghamton, NY; WPRW-AM/FM, Manassas, Va.; and WEER-AM/FM, Warrenton, Va.

Van Wieren, who was born in Rochester, NY, attended Cornell University. He and his wife Elaine live in Alpharetta, Ga. They have two children, Steven and Jon.

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AirTran Airways, Danica Patrick Put Atlanta Gamers in the Driver's Seat

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , today announced that IndyCar Series driver and 2008 Indy Japan 300 winner, Danica Patrick will be challenging three Atlanta residents racing skills via video game for a chance to win a roundtrip ticket to anywhere AirTran Airways flies in the U.S. The event, which will include approximately 50 gamers looking for a shot at taking on Patrick, will take place at the ESPN Zone Buckhead on November 12. The top three scorers will face-off against Danica in the final round.

"AirTran Airways and Danica Patrick are proud to provide racing fans with this unique opportunity to test their gaming skills against a real professional race car driver," said Tad Hutcheson, vice president of marketing and sales for AirTran Airways. "The lucky winner of the competition won't have to miss anything when he or she flies, because we offer free XM Satellite Radio at every seat, to ensure racing fans can listen to the IndyCar Series Racing channel."

"With all due respect to the challengers, I expect to win this competition," said Danica Patrick. "If you think you can beat me, bring it on."

Prospective contestants can enter at and all fans are welcome to come to the ESPN Zone to watch the competition. Directly after the racing competition, Patrick will be available for a Q & A session followed by a meet and greet. Be sure to arrive early as signatures and photos may be limited.

For complete contest rules and information see

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2008 World Series

The Tampa Bay Rays will play the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series beginning Wednesday, Oct. 22, in St. Petersburg, Fla. This will be the 104th edition of major league baseball’s best-of-seven championship series, marking the first World Series appearance for the American League champion Rays since entering the league in 1998. The National League champion Phillies make their sixth appearance, with their only victory coming in 1980 over the Kansas City Royals. To commemorate this occasion, the Census Bureau has compiled a collection of statistics relating to the metropolitan areas — Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., and Philadelphia — represented by the teams in this year’s Fall Classic. Unless otherwise indicated, the data come from the 2007 American Community Survey.

Our National Pastime

30 million
The estimated number of hot dogs consumed at major league ballparks in 2008. Source: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

$46 million
Retail sales of hot dogs in Philadelphia in 2007, the fourth largest total in the nation. Only New York, Los Angeles and Washington/Baltimore spent more on hot dogs. Source: Information Statistics Inc.

The year when the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was written by Jack Norworth and composed by Albert Von Tilzer. Cracker Jack — a blend of peanuts, popcorn and caramel — is immortalized with the third line, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.” Source: Cracker Jack

Price for a 21-ounce draft beer at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. This price is the cheapest in the major leagues, according to Team Marketing Report. At Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, $5 gets you 16 ounces of beer. Source: 2008 Team Marketing Report

Tampa Bay (Rays)

Where Tampa Bay (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.) ranked on the list of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas. This area’s estimated population on July 1, 2007, was 2.7 million. Source: Population estimates

Percentage of Tampa Bay’s residents age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2007; 87 percent had at least graduated from high school.

In 2007, the proportion of Tampa Bay’s residents age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home.

25.6 minutes
Average amount of time it took Tampa Bay’s residents to get to work in 2007. Eighty-one percent of the metro area’s workers drove to work alone, 9 percent carpooled and 1 percent took public transportation.

Median household income in 2007 for Tampa Bay. The national median income was $50,740.

The median value for owner-occupied housing units in Tampa Bay in 2007. The national median value was $194,300.

Tampa Bay’s poverty rate in 2007. The national poverty rate was 13 percent.

Philadelphia (Phillies)

Where the Philadelphia metro area (Philadelphia-Camden, N.J.-Wilmington,
Del.) ranked on the list of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas.
This area’s estimated population on July 1, 2007, was 5.8 million. Source:
Population estimates

Percentage of the Philadelphia metro area’s residents ages 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2007; 87 percent had at least graduated from high school.

In 2007, the proportion of the Philadelphia metro area’s residents age 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home.

28.2 minutes
Average amount of time it took Philadelphia metro area residents to get to work. Seventy-four percent of the area’s workers drove to work alone, 9 percent carpooled and 9 percent took public transportation.

Median household income in 2007 for the Philadelphia metro area.

The median value for owner-occupied housing units in the Philadelphia metro area in 2007.

The Philadelphia metro area’s poverty rate in 2007.

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Braves' Hanson Named AFL's Pitcher of the Week

Scottsdale Scorpions infielder Drew Sutton (HOU) and Mesa Solar Sox starting right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson (ATL) are the Arizona Fall League's week two player of the week and pitcher of the week, respectively.

Sutton - Sutton hit a robust .643 (9-14) last week in four games, including two home runs and five runs batted in. He posted a .667 on-base percentage and 1.143 slugging percentage.

The Fall League's leading hitter at .600 (12-20) two weeks into its 17th season, the 6-3, 190-pound Sutton also leads in on-base percentage (.680) and slugging percentage (1.000).

The 25-year-old Jackson, Tennessee native and former Baylor star was the Astros' 15th-round selection in the 2004 draft. He hit .317 in 2008 at Double-A Corpus Christi with 20 home runs, 63 extra-base hits, 69 runs batted in, and 20 stolen bases.

Other player-of-the-week nominees were Phoenix Desert Dogs' outfielder Eric Young, Jr. (COL) and Peoria Saguaros infielder Daniel Murphy (NYM).

Hanson - The 6-6, 210-pound Hanson was nearly perfect last week, winning both his starts while allowing only one hit over 6.2 innings pitched. In his most recent start last Saturday, Oct. 18 vs. the frontrunning 8-2 Peoria Saguaros, Hanson struck out eight of the first nine hitters.

The 22-year-old Tulsa, Oklahoma native, who has allowed just one hit in 8.2 innings overall, is riding a streak of 8.1 consecutive hitless innings. He has not allowed a hit since a one-out single by Young in the first inning of Hanson's first start on Opening Day (Oct. 7). His earned-run average is 0.00 and he is one of three Fall League pitchers with two wins. He owns 14 strikeouts against three walks.

Hanson, who played college baseball at Riverside (CA) Community College, was the Braves' 22nd-round selection in the 2005 Draft. After starting 2008 at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach where he was 3-1 with a 0.90 earned-run average in seven starts, Hanson was promoted to Double-A Mississippi where he was 8-4 with a 3.03 earned-run average in 18 starts. He struck out 114 batters in 98 innings while allowing only 70 hits. Two other right-handers - Scottsdale Scorpion Clay Buchholz (BOS) and Peoria Saguaro Tobi Stoner (NYM) - were nominated for pitcher-of-the-week.

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Erik Compton Champions the Cause of Organ Donation As He Competes This Week to Win PGA Tour Card

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Just four months after his second heart transplant, Professional Golfer Erik Compton is back on the course this week, competing to achieve his lifetime goal—a card to play on the PGA Tour.

Perhaps cheering loudest for Compton will be the 90,000-plus Americans waiting on organ donor waiting lists. An average of 17 people die each day (over 6,000 each year) waiting for a transplant.

Though golf will be his focus this week as he competes in the first of three qualifying tournaments starting on Tuesday (October 21st) to earn the right to play with the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Compton will also be promoting a cause, literally near and dear to his new heart.

“Organ donation is literally the gift of life,” said the 28-year-old former University of Georgia All-American, who suffered a massive heart attack in October 2007. “I owe my life to two families and two donors, who made the decision to make available life-saving organs for transplants. I’m honored to be able to give back by supporting the Transplant Foundation in Miami and their effort to build awareness through the sale of a specialty Florida license tag—“Donate Organs. Pass it On.”

Both causes are generously displayed on Compton’s golf bag, shirt and hat. Compton also carries a special gift from a young athlete killed in a motorcycle accident—a strong and healthy new heart.

“I’m here today because of him,” said Compton, who hopes someday to meet the young donor’s parents.

Compton, who received his first heart transplant at the age of 12 as a result of heart disease, will be competing with 1,100 golfers competing across the country at 11 courses in the stage one qualifying round to ultimately earn a PGA Tour card. The PGA has granted Compton the right to use a cart during qualifying stages.

Slowly regaining his strength from a life-saving heart transplant, Compton’s golf swing is in top form, however, stamina is an issue, where walking four to five miles a day during a typical tournament has proved to be too taxing.

Recently in a warm-up tournament on the same Crandon Park Golf Course where he will compete in stage one Q School this week, Compton scored a sizzling 65, winning the Key Biscayne Open by six strokes. In fact, in three tournaments in which Compton has competed since his near fatal heart attack, he has played well, shooting 66, 67 and 65 respectively.

“It’s like throwing darts,” said Compton. “Golf is a game of skill. Once you’ve learned the skill, it never goes away. I’m swinging the clubs well enough to be competitive, I just need to get strong and healthy so I can get back to walking the course like everyone else.”

The PGA has given Compton a six-month rule waiver so he can play from a cart. He will have to reapply to continue at that time.

In passing the first qualifying stage, Compton’s next test will be a stage two qualifying tournament in Georgia, with the final qualifying tournament in Palm Springs, where 25 golfers will receive PGA Tour cards.

About Erik Compton

Erik holds the distinction as being the only professional golfer in the world to compete with a transplanted heart. Erik, who became the #1 junior golfer in the country and AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 1998, accepted a scholarship offer at the University of Georgia. At UGA, Erik went on to become an All-American. Erik’s success on the course led to him being named to the prestigious Walker Cup and Palmer Cup teams in 2001. Since turning professional in 2001, Erik has found success at every level of competition. He has won international events such as the King Hassan Trophy II of Morocco in 2005. He finished at the top of the Order of Merit List (money title) for the Canadian Tour in 2004 (after winning numerous events that season), and has won numerous times on the NGA Hooters Tour (most recently in 2006). Since turning professional in 2001, Erik has competed primarily on the PGA Nationwide Tour circuit. He has had several top-10 finishes throughout his career. His best finish on the Nationwide Tour was tied for 1st at the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open in 2004. Erik has competed successfully on the PGA Tour as well where he has made 5 cuts in 11 career starts. This summer, Compton married Barbara Casco, and the couple is expecting a child, ironically scheduled on the anniversary of Erik’s first transplant on February 26th.

About The Transplant Foundation

Transplant Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) dedicated to funding patient services, public education to increase organ donation and lifesaving transplant research. The goal is to provide the Gift of Life to all in need. For more information, please contact Transplant Foundation at 1-866-901-3172 or visit The revenues from the sale of the specialty Donate Organs. Pass it On license plates will be used in the areas of research, patient services and education. Tampa, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando and Miami offer medical facilities specializing in transplants.

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Churchill Downs to Become First U.S. Racetrack to Offer High-Definition Simulcasting

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Churchill Downs will become the first racetrack in the United States to offer simulcasting in high definition (“HD”) when it opens its 2008 Fall Meet on Sunday, Oct. 26. The HD signal will be rolled out progressively to select off-track betting locations (“OTBs”) and racetracks across the nation, as well as on-track in a variety of public areas.

“Churchill Downs is delighted to take the lead on this innovation and bring to our customers across the country the unparalleled quality and clarity that high definition provides,” said Tom Jenkins, vice president for Churchill Downs Incorporated. “From the day this technology upgrade was proposed, our goal was to focus on the end-user experience. We wanted to ensure that our customers, whether on-track or at simulcasting outlets, could enjoy the experience of high-definition racing from Churchill Downs, and that goal will become a reality on opening day of our 2008 Fall Meet.”

Churchill’s high-definition simulcast will present live racing in full 16:9 HD format, offering customers a larger and clearer view of the race itself. In addition, on-screen graphics and racing information will be presented in high definition within the 16:9 format, allowing for additional and enhanced wagering information for both the on-track and simulcasting customer. More than 100 HDTVs on-track at Churchill Downs will benefit from the high-definition signal. Those televisions will be spread throughout the facility in both luxury seating locations and areas open to the general public. Locations include the Silks and Champions Club Lounges near the ITW area, the Jockey Club and first-floor Jockey Club, the Turf Club, Gold Rooms 2 and 6, the Finish Line Suites lobby, and the Directors, Stakes and Aristides Rooms inside the clubhouse. The televisions will be marked with signage to help customers identify and enjoy the HD experience.

Churchill Downs is also working with select OTBs and racetracks across the country to provide the technology needed to take advantage of high-definition simulcasts. Installation of the necessary components is currently underway, and a full list of locations offering the Churchill meet in HD will be forthcoming.

The 2008 Fall Meet at Churchill Downs will also be offered in a typical standard-definition format for facilities without HD technology in place.

“Today’s announcement is just the first step in what we hope will be a continuing process of HD upgrades, expansions and improvements for our customers,” Jenkins added. “We’re also open to any interest from other simulcast outlets that may want to offer the Churchill Downs signal in high definition. We’re looking forward to receiving and acting upon feedback from our customers to continue improving their experience at the races.”

For nearly a year, Churchill Downs has worked with several technology providers to make its high-definition transition possible. Key among those is Roberts Communications Network, which helped devise a system to deliver HD simulcasts to OTBs in a manner that works with their existing television infrastructure. Two other major providers are International Sound Corp., which will provide the new high-definition graphics package with enhanced wagering information, and Thomson Grass Valley, which was chosen to provide the Kayak digital video production switcher and LDK 4000 mk II high-definition camera.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track’s 2008 Fall Meet runs from Oct. 26 through Nov. 29. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times, and will host the international racing event again on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Braves Museum and Hall of Fame Announces Offseason Specials, Including 'Free Admission Day' on November 15

This offseason, baseball fans will have the opportunity to explore the rich history of the Braves franchise and see behind-the-scenes areas of Turner Field during special monthly promotions at the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame. Monthly specials will begin with "Free Admission Day" on November 15, when fans of all ages will enjoy free admission and tours all day.

Offseason Specials at the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame

November 15, 2008: "Free Admission Day"
On Saturday, November 15, the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame will offer free admission during normal museum hours from 10 AM - 2 PM. Tours of the stadium, normally $12 for adults, $7 for children, and $10 for groups of 20 or more, will also be free on November 15th. Tours leave on the hour starting daily Monday-Saturday at 10:00 AM, with the last tour leaving at 2:00 PM.

December 1- 22, 2008: "A Toy for a Tour"
Children 13 and under who bring a new, unwrapped toy will receive free admission to the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame and a complimentary tour of Turner Field December 1-22. The Atlanta Braves Foundation will donate the toys to children's charities for distribution to those in need during the holiday season.

February 1-28, 2008: Black History Month education initiative
In an effort to encourage youth to learn about the many achievements of African Americans in baseball, children 13 and under who read a book about the Negro Leagues, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, or any African American contributors to the sport, will receive complimentary admission to the Braves Museum and a free tour of Turner Field.

Students can bring in the book they read or a note with the name and author of the book from their teacher or librarian on school letterhead, Monday-Saturday during Black History Month.

The Ivan Allen Jr. Braves Museum & Hall of Fame features more than 600 Braves artifacts and photographs that trace the team's history from its beginnings in Boston (1871-1952) to Milwaukee (1953-65) to Atlanta (1966-present).

This educational and entertaining destination is open year-round and is the starting point of one hour guided tours of Turner Field. Tours take fans through behind-the-scenes areas of the ballpark including the press box and broadcast booths, and give fans the opportunity to sit in the Braves dugout and see their favorite players' lockers in the Braves clubhouse. Other stops along the tour include Sky Field, a luxury suite, the SunTrust Club, and the Braves Museum store.

The Braves Museum and Hall of Fame is open Monday - Saturday during the offseason from 10 AM - 2 PM, with Turner Field tours leaving on the hour. The museum will be closed November 27 - Thanksgiving Day, December 23 - January 2, and January 19 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Turner Field tours, including admission to the Braves museum, are $12 for adults, $7 for children 13 and under, and $10 for groups of 20 or more.

Free parking is available during the offseason in the Turner Field Green Lot, on the corner of Hank Aaron Drive and Ralph David Abernathy Avenue.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Turkey Trot at Spring Hill

Spring Hill Elementary will host the 5th annual 5K/ 1mile Turkey Trot on November 8th, 2008. The one mile will begin at 8 a.m., and the 5K will begin at 8:30. Registration is $20 per runner until Oct. 24th, and $25 thereafter. The race is part of the Elementary Grand Prix Series with 17 age group categories, and great door prizes! Race profits support both Spring Hill and the Fayette Youth Protection Home. For a printable application visit the school website @ . For question email coordinator at

Sunday, October 12, 2008

28th Annual PTC Classic Attracts Able and Disabled World Class Athletes Alike

Photo Left: Scott Rigsby

Fresh off his win at the Akron Marathon in Ohio on September 27th, Birhanu Wukaw of Ethiopia is looking forward to extending his winning streak at the Peachtree City Classic 15K race on October 18. Birhanu ran a 2:23:12 to defeat his next closest competitor by over three minutes. His teammate on the Foot Solutions Elite Racing Team, Sergey Kaledin from Russia, was the Men’s Masters winner and fourth overall in a time of 2:32:40. These two elite racers will be toeing the line when the gun signals the start of the first of three races come October 18th.

Also competing from closer to home are two metro Atlantans who may be disabled but are still world class athletes. Scott Rigsby of Sandy Springs is used to overcoming major obstacles. At age 18, he was thrown from a truck while working a summer job and dragged over 380 feet under a 3 ton trailer. After losing his right leg, Rigsby endured over 26 surgeries in 10 years before finally deciding to “free” himself from being a professional patient and remove his left leg.

Rigsby spent years fighting his personal demons before making the commitment that if God opened a door for him, he would go through it. He busted through those doors on his way to making history, setting three world records for a below-the-knee double amputee within 18 months (Full Marathon, Half-Ironman, and International Olympic distance triathlon). Prior to all this, Scott had no formal swim training, no bike training and had not run more than a mile on his prosthetics.

In October 13, 2007, after enduring the elements for 16 hours and 43 minutes, Scott Rigsby became the first double amputee in the world to finish an Ironman distance triathlon with prosthetics at the 140.6-mile World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Rigsby used “swim legs” to navigate the difficult 2.4 mile ocean swim, “bike legs” to cycle 112 miles through the heat and gusting winds of the Big Island lava fields on a standard road bike, and “run legs” to complete the marathon segment in darkness and intense pain. As a result of his accomplishments, Scott was awarded Competitor Magazine’s 2007 Physically Challenged Athlete of the Year and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2007 Patient of Courage.

Kelly Luckett (photo right), a resident of Grant Park, is a 40-year-old below-knee amputee as the result of a lawn mower accident that occurred just before her second birthday. She started running in March 2003 and has completed over 60 races from 5Ks to ultra marathons (50K). She has 10 marathons (including four times at Boston) and two ultra marathons to her credit as well as numerous other races at various distances. On April 21, 2008, Kelly ran her 4th consecutive Boston Marathon and extended her record of being the only female runner with multiple Boston finishes on a prosthetic leg. Jeff Galloway says of her, “I have not coached an athlete with a stronger spirit.”

These athletes are among the hundreds who will participate in one of three races that make up the 28th annual Peachtree City Classic. The 15K Open will start at promptly 8:30 AM followed by the Women’s 5K at 8:40 and the Men’s 5K at 8:50.

The Classic is always a sell-out, so get your applications in soon to assure your spot in the RRCA 15K Regional Championship Race or the 5K events. All races will start and finish at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City. The 5K races are each limited to the first 800 applicants, and the 15K Regional Championship is limited to the first 1,500. There are still a few spaces left in each event.

Applications are available at various locations in Peachtree City, Newnan, and Fayetteville, including local recreation departments, libraries, and sporting goods stores. Applications are also available at some of the sponsors of our race, including Chick-fil-A, Ultimate Fitness, Talbot State Bank, Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center, FC&A, and Publix. You can also register online at If you have any further questions about the race, you can send an e-mail to
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Monday, October 6, 2008

Corvette Racing, Penske Porsches Win Green Challenge(TM) World Debut

PRNewswire/ -- A world debut only ever happens once. And these will be the names to be remembered as the inaugural winners of the Green Challenge at the American Le Mans Series' signature endurance race - Petit Le Mans - at Road Atlanta Saturday:

-- Porsche ... and its Penske RS Spyder team of Pat Long, Sascha Maassen and Emmanuel Collard

-- GM/Chevrolet ... and its Corvette Racing team of Johnny O'Connell, Jan Magnussen and Ron Fellows.

They earned the first ever Green Challenge trophies in their respective prototype (Porsche) and GT (Corvette) classes. Each had the best score in class for overall performance, fuel efficiency (petroleum displaced) and environmental impact (greenhouse gas emissions) over the 1,000-mile, 2.54-mile road course.

The award was created in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International, the world's leading automotive engineering organization. On hand to present each trophy were Margo T. Oge, the EPA's Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality; Pat Davis, DOE's leading official for vehicle technologies and renewable energy and efficiencies; and Dave Schutt, SAE International's COO and Executive Vice President.

The American Le Mans Series is the only major race series in the world in which all cars race on not one, not two, but three alternative 'street legal' fuels: clean sulfur-free diesel, E10 and cellulosic E85. "Street legal" refers to fuels that are virtually the same as the consumer purchases at the fuel station. An electric hybrid is scheduled to make its debut shortly, perhaps at the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, October 18.

Many, including Oge, believe the Green Challenge represents a real game changer within the motorsports and automotive industry.

"Racing has always been associated with high power and fast driving as well as innovation in safety and performance," said Oge. "But [up until now] we have never been able to put racing and green(ing) together. The truth is we are facing two very severe issues in this country. We have to be self-sufficient when it comes to energy. Burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gas emissions and has severe consequences. Our hope is by starting here and introducing environmentally friendly technologies, we will continue and transfer such developments to what you and I drive on a daily basis. I applaud the American Le Mans Series and all involved in this effort."

Often viewed as the most sophisticated and technical racing series in the world in which technology transfers directly from the race car to the customer showroom car, the American Le Mans Series has become the global leader in green racing. The 11 automobile marquees that race in the Series - Audi, Acura, Aston Martin, BMW ('09), Corvette, Dodge, Porsche, Ferrari, Mazda, Panos and Ford - readily admit that the relevancy of the American Le Mans Series and its ability to create an environment to develop technologies is one of the primary reasons they race in the world's leading sports car series.

"We have begun something that will have a profound effect on the motorsports and automotive industry," said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "When you get the type of support we have had from the highest levels of the EPA and DOE, you know that you are involved in something that can really make a difference. Fuel efficiency and energy independence are two of the most relevant topics we all face today and the American Le Mans Series is prepared to lead the way."

Oh yes. And by the way, Audi Sport North America in its R10 TDI diesel-powered race car won the actual race for the ninth consecutive year with drivers Allan McNish, Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thrashers Assign Three Players to Chicago (AHL), Release One

The Atlanta Thrashers have assigned forward Grant Stevenson, defenseman Arturs Kulda and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. The Thrashers also released defenseman Jamie Rivers.

The Thrashers now have 26 players on their training camp roster (please see attachment), including 16 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.

The Thrashers, who have a 1-4 record in five preseason games, close the 2008 exhibition schedule tonight, Saturday Oct. 4, against the St. Louis Blues at Philips Arena (7 p.m.). The 2008-09 NHL Regular-Season schedule begins when the Thrashers host the Washington Capitals at Philips Arena on Friday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Season Tickets for the Atlanta Thrashers start at $10 per game and are available for the 2008-09 season by calling (866) 715-1500 or visiting Individual tickets for all regular-season Thrashers games at Philips Arena can be purchased by visiting, calling (800) 326-4000, or by visiting the Philips Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster Ticket Outlet.
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Friday, October 3, 2008

10th Annual Atlanta Thrashers Foundation Golf Outing To Be Held Monday, Oct. 6 at Hamilton Mill Golf Club in Dacula

The 10th Annual Atlanta Thrashers Foundation Golf Outing will be held on Monday, Oct. 6 at Hamilton Mill Golf Club in Dacula, Ga. Participants in the event, which benefits the Atlanta Thrashers Foundation, will be grouped with a Thrashers player, coach or executive for the five-person scramble tournament. After the tournament, a dinner and a special awards presentation will be hosted by Thrashers Radio Play-by-Play Announcer Dan Kamal and SportSouth/Thrashers Television Analyst Darren Eliot.

Platinum partners for the event include: Philips, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, FastSigns of Buckhead, The Home Depot, United Distributors, UPS and Phase 3 Media.

Last season’s tournament raised more than $150,000 for the Atlanta Thrashers Foundation. The Foundation strives to make a difference in the community by promoting education, health and hockey initiatives dedicated to improving the quality of life of Georgia's children.

What: Atlanta Thrashers 10th Annual Golf Tournament
Who: Atlanta Thrashers players, coaches, executives and special guests.
When: Monday, October 6 at 10:30 a.m. - Shotgun Start
Where: Hamilton Mill Golf Club, 1995 Hamilton Mill Parkway, Dacula, GA 30019

Directions: From downtown, follow Interstate 85 North to Exit 120 (Hamilton Mill Parkway). Travel east on Hamilton Mill Parkway for approximately 1.5 miles and turn left to enter the Club.

Note: Media interested in covering the event must R.S.V.P. to Rob Tillotson to ensure access to the golf club (404-878-3234 or

The Thrashers open their 2008-09 Regular-Season schedule on Friday, Oct. 10 at Philips Arena against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. Season Tickets for the Atlanta Thrashers start at $10 per game and are available for the 2008-09 season by calling (866) 715-1500 or visiting Individual tickets can be purchased by visiting, calling (800) 326-4000, or by visiting the Philips Arena Box Office or any Ticketmaster Ticket Outlet.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Current Economy, Fall Sports Season Combine for Recruiting Site's Record Growth

PRNewswire/ -- Tough economic times and the fall sports season have collectively contributed to beRecruited's record growth numbers, company executives announced today. In September alone, more than 25,000 new athletes registered with the service, a 211% increase from last September. The site also noted record-growth with newly registered college coaches and parents, as well as connections made between athletes and coaches. beRecruited is the largest free online network connecting high school athletes and collegiate coaches, facilitating thousands of scholarships annually.

"The country's financial turbulence has parents looking for alternatives while facing the high costs of education and the situation with the lending industry," said Jeff Cravens, president of "We typically see growth during late summer and fall, with athletes readying themselves for their season. But as families are examining how they are spending their hard-earned money, I believe they are finding beRecruited is by far the most effective recruiting solution available."

"As a parent you can spend thousands of dollars traveling to tournaments and camps trying to get your child noticed by college coaches, in hopes of landing a scholarship," said Liz Houser, a parent of a successfully recruited beRecruited user. "We learned about beRecruited and decided to give it a try. For a one-time investment of $40, our return was Matt's baseball scholarship, which saved us thousands in educational costs. And Matt gets to play the sport he loves. I recommend beRecruited to any parent with a serious athlete."

A snapshot of growth during the month of September:

-- More than 200,000 direct connections were made between high school athletes and college coaches

-- 25,845 new student athletes registered during September, a 211% increase over last September

-- 385 new college coaches registered during September, bringing the total number to more than 12,000

-- 790 new high school coaches registered, bringing the total number of high school coaches to more than 10,000

-- 892 new parents registered, marking the best month ever for parent growth, and bringing the number to more than 7,000

During 2008, the site has experienced record growth across all categories, including new registered athletes, college coaches and parents, as well as generated more than 1.5 million connections. Overall, beRecruited has generated more than 4.3 million connections between athletes and college coaches. beRecruited now has more than 306,000 total registered users, including 275,000 high school athletes, 12,000 college coaches and 10,000 high school coaches.

"Our dynamic growth is attributable to several factors coming together," said Jeff Cravens, president of "Creating and maintaining a digital athletic resume is a natural extension to the way high school students are consuming media today. Second, the current economic times provide a strong incentive for parents and students to explore ways to fund a college education. And finally, college coaches are looking for ways to get more out of their recruiting budget and our platform provides a very efficient manner to find athletes that can excel in a particular program."

By creating a profile with, high school athletes can instantly connect with registered college coaches across America. In this networking community, athletes update their profiles with recent statistics, videos and photos, and college coaches can view the profiles that fit their programs and connect with the athletes.

beRecruited's free service offers athletes from 18 sports the ability to create profiles of athletic and academic information, including uploading stats, photos and video. Athletes also can research collegiate institutions that provide the athletic and academic offerings they are pursuing. College coaches can easily find athletes that fit the athletic and academic profiles for their program and connect with those athletes. For more information, visit .

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fletcher Martin Helps Warrick Dunn Give Back

PRNewswire/ -- Fletcher Martin, the fully-integrated marketing communications agency, has teamed up with former Atlanta Falcon, Warrick Dunn, to raise money to support Atlantans in need.

The agency is handling publicity, advertising, print collateral design including signage, invitations, the program and more for the upcoming Sixth Annual Warrick Dunn Foundation Gala October 13 at the Westin in Buckhead at 7 p.m. where Dunn will be joined by former and current NFL teammates and friends in Atlanta for a star-studded night with one goal in mind -- raise money for this worthy cause while having a night to remember.

"Warrick Dunn continues to be an inspiration to people in Atlanta and all over the country," said Andy Fletcher, President and CEO of Fletcher Martin. "We look forward to continuing to help him bring joy, hope and help to economically disadvantaged single-parent households in our community."

"Despite Warrick's move from the Atlanta Falcons to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers there is still a need for the Foundation's assistance in Georgia," said Natalie Boe, Warrick Dunn Foundation Executive Director. "We look forward to continuing our support of the greater Atlanta area."

Dunn started Homes for the Holidays in 1997 as a tribute to his mother, a Baton Rouge police officer, who was killed in the line of duty. As a single mother of six, she worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream of owning her own home, however, she was never able to realize that dream. Through Homes for the Holidays, Dunn has been able to honor her memory. To date, the program has assisted 78 single parents and 205 children and dependents to achieve first-time homeownership in Tampa and Tallahassee, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga. and Dunn's hometown of Baton Rouge, La.

The event is open to the public and will include live musical performances, a live and silent auction (including Super Bowl XLIII package), Macy's Fashion Extravaganza and much more. Event sponsors include Aaron's Sales and Lease, Macy's, The Pepsi Bottling Group, Grey Goose, 7 For All Mankind, Peachtree TV, V-103 The People's Station and 92.9 davefm, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For additional information and to purchase tickets visit .

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