Thursday, January 29, 2009

Get a Game Plan for Super Bowl XLIII Travel: Call Florida's Free 511 Traffic Resource

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) offers advice to fans navigating Florida roadways on the way to the Super Bowl XLIII – call 511, Florida’s free traffic information system. FDOT’s 511 system allows callers to access real-time road conditions, congestion and construction updates. By dialing 511, fans can stay informed on the roadways, plan alternate routes and arrive early Feb. 1 to support their team at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

“Approximately 100,000 people will travel to Tampa Bay for Super Bowl XLIII,” said Reid Sigmon, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee. “We encourage everyone to call 511 and follow directional signage while traveling around the Bay area and Raymond James Stadium.”

The free 511 system is available for all interstate highways and Florida’s Turnpike. Florida travelers can reach the 511 system on any cell phone or landline, regardless of area code or service provider while traveling. Callers can get detailed regional information on roads leading to the stadium, such as I-275, I-75 and I-4.

Travelers can also save time and money by planning trips ahead of time by registering for free personalized My511 e-mail alerts on the Web site. Once an e-mail address is registered, users can customize their alerts to receive reports on desired roadways, choosing times of day, days of the week and types of incidents.

Road closures around Raymond James Stadium include:

Tampa Bay Boulevard between Dale Mabry Highway and Himes Avenue will be closed to all traffic beginning Jan. 7.
Dale Mabry Highway North between Columbus Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be closed to traffic beginning 12:01 a.m. Feb. 1.
Himes Avenue between Columbus Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be closed to traffic beginning 10 p.m. Jan. 31.

Other road closures in downtown Tampa include:

Franklin Street will be closed to one lane southbound from Old Water St (former St. Pete Times Forum Drive) to Harbor Island beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 29.
Old Water St (former St. Pete Times Forum Drive) will be closed to one lane westbound from Channelside Drive to Florida Avenue beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 29.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Expedia to Award Eight Lucky Fans With VIP Suite Tickets to Super Bowl XLIII

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Expedia, the world's leading online travel company and the Official Travel Team of the NFL, today announced a special on-the-ground Super Bowl promotion that will give football fans in Tampa Bay a chance to win a grand prize of luxury club level suite tickets to The Big Game.

The Expedia(R) "Super Bowl Suite Spot Giveaway" will take place outside the Florida Aquarium, at the "Let it Fly" interactive at NFL Experience and in other high-traffic areas throughout Tampa Bay, starting Thursday, January 29. In order to play, fans must be spotted wearing a bright yellow "Expedia VIP Access Pass," which they can pick up at various locations throughout Tampa Bay -- or print at Fans who print their own passes are encouraged to add their own decorations in order to stand out and be more easily spotted. Everyone who plays the Super Bowl Suite Spot Giveaway is a winner, as each VIP Access Pass includes a $50 coupon toward a three-night hotel stay or hotel package booked on

"For football fans, the chance to watch the Super Bowl from a Club Level suite at Raymond James Stadium is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Sean Kell, general manager of "Expedia's Super Bowl Suite Spot Giveaway will make Super Bowl dreams come true for a few people, but it will also bring the dream of a vacation getaway closer to everyone who plays."

In addition to downloading them from, fans can secure a yellow VIP Access Pass from one of several locations, including the Florida Aquarium, Channelside Bay Plaza, Ybor City or the NFL Experience. Unmarked Expedia "spotters" will award one pair of tickets on Thursday, January 29, one pair of tickets on Friday, January 30 and two pairs of tickets on Saturday, January 31.

On top of giving eight lucky fans the Super Bowl experience of a lifetime, Expedia is also giving back to the environment. For the second year in a row, Expedia is offsetting the carbon emissions produced by NFL players and staff flying to Tampa Bay through its TerraPass carbon offsetting program. Expedia travelers can do the same - for their flight to the Super Bowl or any other time they fly. To learn more about reducing carbon footprints with TerraPass and other earth-friendly travel options, visit Expedia's Green Store at

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Monday, January 26, 2009

UWG Cheer Claims 2009 Title

A win is a win, whether it is by a foot or by a mile, and for the West Georgia Wolves Coed cheerleading squad that old adage could not have been more fitting after the Wolves claimed their eighth straight UCA national title on Saturday at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.

West Georgia edged out the Columbus State Cougars to tie the University of Kentucky’s streak of eight straight titles.

“All the sacrifice, time, and effort that this team put into this routine, paid off,” said Head Coach Scott Brown. “I felt very confident heading into the finals. Warm-ups went great, but all we could do was our best, and leave it in the hands of the judges.”

With the win, the University Of West Georgia cheerleading program now has a total of twelve national titles, and a drive for another in 2010.

ESPN 2 will be airing the competition on Sunday, February 22 at 1:00 pm and again on Thursday, March 19 at 3:00 pm. Go Wolves!

Final Results

1. University of West Georgia
2. Columbus State University
3. Slippery Rock University
4. University of Puerto Rico – Bayamon
5. Northwest Missouri State University
6. Pittsburg State University
7. Indiana Wesleyan University
8. University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez
9. University of North Alabama
10. University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Recruiting Closer Announces its 2009 Preseason All-American Team

Recruiting Closer has announced its preseason college baseball All-American Teams. The three teams are comprised of the top collegiate players in the country.

University of North Carolina’s Dustin Ackley has been selected as the Recruiting Closer Preseason Player of the Year. Ackley had been named to the second team in each of the last two seasons. He is one of the purest hitters in college baseball. So far he has hit over .400 in each of his 2 seasons and will look to continue that streak in '09.

Steven Strasburg of San Diego State has been named the Recruiting Closer Preseason Pitcher of the year. Strasburg is a devastating right hander whose fastball sits in the mid to upper 90’s and has an overwhelming slider. He is first on most draft boards heading into the season.

First Team:

Starting Pitcher Steven Strasburg San Diego State
Starting Pitcher Chris Hernandez Miami
Starting Pitcher Tim Clubb Missouri State
Starting Pitcher Chance Ruffin Texas
Starting Pitcher Alex White North Carolina
Relief Pitcher Scott Bittle Mississippi
Relief Pitcher Louis Coleman LSU
First Base Dustin Ackley North Carolina
Second Base Brandon Sizemore College of Charleston
Third Base Chris Dominguez Louisville
Shortstop Grant Green USC
Catcher Josh Phegley Indiana
Outfield Blake Dean LSU
Outfield Kyle Jenson St. Mary’s
Outfield Jason Kipnis Arizona State
Utility Cory Harrilchak Elon

Second Team:

Starting Pitchers: Mike Leake Arizona State, Tyler Lyons Oklahoma State, Justin Marks Louisville, Thain Simon Santa Clara, Ben Tootle Jacksonville State, Shane Davis Canisius, Chris Fetter Michigan
Relief Pitchers; Nick Gaudi Pepperdine, A.J. Griffin San Diego, Jason Stoffel Arizona
First Base: Alan Ahmady Fresno State, Rich Poythress Georgia
Second Base: Tom Belza Oklahoma State, Bryce Mendonca Pepperdine
Third Base: Kyle Seager North Carolina, Mike Spina Cincinnati
Shorstop: Ben Soignier Louisiana Monroe, Derek Dietrich Georgia Tech
Catcher: Bryce Massanari Georgia, Ryan Ortiz Oregon State
Outfield: Chad Cregar Western Kentucky, Scot Krieger George Mason, Nate Lape Marshall, Scott Woodward Coastal Carolina
Utility: Brandon May Alabama, Blake Smith California

Third Team:

Starting Pitcher: Danny Bibona UC Irvine, Kyle Gibson Missouri, Matt Harvey North Carolina, Tyler Lockwood TCU, Jesse Simpson College of Charleston, Seth Maness East Carolina, Mike Minor Vanderbilt, Andrew Oliver Oklahoma State, Matt Ridings Western Kentucky, Jerry Sullivan Oral Roberts
Relief Pitcher: Kyle Bellamy Miami, Zach Calhoon UTSA, Chase Dempsey Houston, Eric Pettis UC Irvin, Travis Starling Texas A&M
First Base: Jeremy Cruz Stetson, Rob Lyerly Charlotte
Second Base: Ryan Schimpf LSU,
Third Base: A.J. Wirnsberger Georgia Southern, Tommy Mendonca Fresno State
Shortstop: Ryan Jackson Miami, D.J. LeMahieu LSU
Catcher: Micah Gibbs LSU, Tommy Medica Santa Clara
Outfield: Kyle Conley Washington, Josh Fellhauer Cal St. Fullerton, Ryan Lockwood South Florida, A.J. Pollock Notre Dame, Michael Rockett UTSA
Utility: James Jones Long Island, Clinton McKeever Wichita State
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shorter Lady Hawks Basketball Enter NAIA Top 25 Poll

Fueled by the 70-63 win over conference foe and nationally-ranked Lee University, Shorter College broke into the NAIA Women's Basketball Top 25 Coaches' Poll at No. 24, the NAIA announced Monday.

This is the fifth regular-season edition of the Coaches' Poll, and the first time Shorter has been ranked after receiving votes in last week's poll.

Shorter (12-5, 7-1) beat the nationally-ranked then-#5 Lee University Lady Flames on the road, 70-63, to gain sole possession of first place in the tough Southern States Athletic Conference.

Nicole Frechette had 18 points (and a team-leading 10 rebounds) in the win was awarded SSAC Women's Basketball Player of the Week earlier in the day.

The road game was the fourth straight for the Lady Hawks as they head into their game next Thursday at cross-town rival Berry College. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. at Berry's Cage Center.

From the NAIA:

For the second straight week Union (Tenn.) received all first place votes to stay No. 1 the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The Lady Bulldogs earned 312 total points and were a unanimous pick for the fourth time this season.

The next three spots also remained the same for second consecutive week. No. 2 Vanguard (Calif.) held its spot with 300 points while Oklahoma City remained at No. 3 with 294 points and Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) stayed at No. 4 with 283 points.

No. 6 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) remained in its spot with 256 points. Saint Xavier (Ill.) moved up two spots from last week to No. 7 with 250 points and Oklahoma Baptist jumped to No. 9 from No. 13 with 235 points. Columbia (Mo.) rounded out the top-10 after moving up a spot with 220 points.

No. 24 Shorter (Ga.) and No. 25 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) both made their debut in the top-25 this week.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

STOMP to Teach Master Class at Crunch on Jan 29th

Patrons at the Crunch Buckhead gym are in for a special treat when cast members from the international percussion sensation STOMP teach a Master Class on Thursday, January 29 from Noon-1pm. “Stompers” will join Crunch instructors to bring some new moves to the floor when they teach a body percussion class! This will feature some of the smooth moves seen in the hit touring show and is free and open to the public, on a first come basis.

“We are so excited about having the ‘Stompers’ here at Crunch. It's a great opportunity for participants to learn the moves from the actual cast,” states, Jennifer Renfroe, Crunch's Regional Group Fitness Director.

During the entire winter schedule (January-March) Crunch Buckhead will offer a STOMP inspired class on Thursdays from Noon-1 pm for their members. They are located at 3365 Piedmont Road, near the corner of Piedmont and Peachtree, in Tower Place. For more information on the club call them at 404-262-2120 or visit them online at Crunch knows that students are looking for motivation to keep them interested in their fitness routine and they are hoping the STOMP inspired workout will keep them having fun! To help refine their own moves, some of Crunch’s top fitness instructors will be attending STOMP while the show is in town at the Fabulous Fox.

Crunch is a health club chain that leads the industry in fusing fitness and entertainment. Headquartered in New York City, Crunch serves over 100,000 members with 28 gyms in New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. Renowned for its one-of-a-kind group fitness classes and unique programming, Crunch is more than a gym. It is a fitness community for all types of people, with all types of goals, exercising all different ways; working it out at the same place together.

Theater of the Stars will present STOMP at the Fabulous Fox Theatre from January 27 through February 1. Tickets are available at or 404-817-8700.

STOMP is explosive, provocative, sophisticated, sexy, utterly unique and appeals to audiences of all ages. The international percussion sensation has garnered an armful of awards and rave reviews, and has appeared on numerous national television shows. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. The return of the percussive hit also brings some new surprises, with some sections of the show now updated and restructured and the addition of two new full-scale routines, utilizing props like tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans. As USA Today says, “STOMP finds beautiful noises in the strangest places.” STOMP. See what all the noise is about. For information on STOMP visit
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cheer on Special Olympics Athletes Competing at State Indoor Winter Games in Cobb County

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Athletes from all over Georgia will compete in Special Olympics Georgia's State Indoor Games in Marietta this weekend.

More than 2,000 participants from all over Georgia will compete in Special Olympics State Indoor Winter Games Jan. 16-18 at various locations in Cobb County. Athletes will compete in basketball, bowling, floor hockey, ice skating, power lifting, artistic gymnastics and roller skating.

The games, which are free and open to the public, begin Friday morning with the ice skating competition at The Cooler and Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. at Cobb Civic Center in Marietta.

Competition will continue Saturday and Sunday at various locations, including AMF Marietta Lanes, Brunswick Zone, The Cooler, Marietta Middle School, Marietta 6th Grade Academy and Cobb County Civic Center.

The full schedule is available at

The public is invited to be "Fans in the Stands" and cheer on athletes with supportive signs and posters.

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Atlanta Agrees to Terms with Infielder/outfielder Omar Infante

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to terms with right-handed hitter Omar Infante on a two-year contract for the 2009 and 2010 seasons that also includes a club option for the 2011 season. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. He was due to become a free agent after the 2009 season.

Infante, 27, joined the Braves in a December 2007 trade with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .293 with 24 doubles, three home runs and 40 runs batted in during the 2008 season and led all Atlanta regulars with a .341 batting average with runners in scoring position. He hit .300 over his final 54 games after July 23. Infante appeared in 96 games, the most since appearing in 121 in 2005.

The versatile Infante started 77 games at five different positions last season including third base (26), left field (26), shortstop (15), second base (9) and center field (1). He also hit in seven different spots in the batting order.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Infante has appeared in 590 career major league games in parts of seven Major League seasons with the Detroit Tigers and Braves. He was traded from the Tigers to the Cubs after the 2007 season, but was traded to Atlanta before playing for the Cubs. He owns a .260 career batting average with 35 home runs and 194 RBIs. He has played 245 career games at second base, 196 at shortstop, 64 in the outfield and 62 at third base.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Southlake Kiwanis and Clayton State Schedule 2009 Freedom Run 5K and 10K, Jan. 19

The Seventh Annual Freedom Run 10K and 5K road races will be held at Clayton State University on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009 in conjunction with the University’s annual celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Both races are sponsored by the Southlake Kiwanis Club and Clayton State University.

The races will begin at 9 a.m. on Clayton State Boulevard on the Clayton State campus in Morrow, with race day registration starting at 7:30 a.m. in the University’s Athletics & Fitness Center. Both similar loop courses (the 10K is two loops, the 5K one loop) will run through the rolling neighborhoods of Lake City and Morrow, finishing back in front of the Clayton State Athletics & Fitness Center.

Race day registration for either race will be $20. Race amenities include age group awards in eight categories (ages 14-under to 70-over) and a post-race breakfast featuring Waffle House waffles.

For further information, or to register, go to, or call Stewart Daniel at (404) 234-6636. To contact the Southlake Kiwanis Club, call club president Arnold Curtis at (404) 405-0074.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Georgia State Football Coach Bill Curry Named Interim Athletics Director

Georgia State President Mark P. Becker today (Jan. 7) named head football coach Bill Curry interim athletics director while a national search begins for a leader to head the university’s collegiate sports program.

“I’m pleased that Coach Curry is willing to serve in this crucial role at a very important time. I have every confidence that he will provide the essential leadership right now to our student-athletes, staff and athletic programs,” Becker said. “His experience in college athletics and his dedication to Georgia State makes him the best person to take the helm of our program.”

Parker Executive Search in Atlanta will conduct a national search for a permanent athletics director, and a university search committee will be named to assist in that effort.

Becker said the plan is to have a new athletics director in place by spring.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Grand Prix 5K Races Begin in January (Fayette County)

Need that little bit of extra motivation to make that New Year's resolution happen? Want to begin that process by acting on the desire to improve your health? And, does supporting local schools while having a fun time sound worthwhile? If "YES" is your answer, then the Rotary Elementary School Grand Prix series of 5K (3.1 mile) races is exactly the ticket you need to make it all happen.

The series began back in September and will continue with 9 more races scheduled throughout the remainder of the school year so mark your calendar with the following Saturday dates and locations: January 10, St. Paul Lutheran School; February 28, Kedron Elementary; March 7, Robert J. Burch Elementary; March 14, Oak Grove Elementary; March 21, Fayetteville Intermediate; March 28, Crabapple Elementary; April 18, Huddleston Elementary; April 25, Inman Elementary; and May 16 Brooks Elementary.

"You can walk or run at each event, every few weeks, and see not only real improvement in your personal finishing times, but also see the effect on your waist line, your general health, and your attitude about yourself, plus all proceeds go to the school that sponsors their event," says Rotary Club President George Martin.

Jointly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Peachtree City and the Peachtree City Running Club, the race series raised over $100,000 for Fayette County Elementary schools (in 2007-2008) and over 2,500 children and adults participated throughout that school year. For more information about the Rotary Elementary School Grand Prix series go to the Running Club website at or the local schools.
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