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SEC might decide to sit out this year's coaching carousel

Southeastern Conference teams may not bother taking a spin on this year's coaching carousel.

While at least one coach has been fired already in each of the other Power Five conferences, the SEC doesn't have any coach on the brink of being let go heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Barring a surprise move, 2019 would mark the first time since 2006 that the SEC begins a season with no new head coaches.

"It's unusual," said former Arkansas and Mississippi coach Houston Nutt, who now works as an analyst for CBS Sports. "Everyone ought to be happy and working even a little bit harder since the ax didn't fall."

The potential lack of coaching movement in the SEC doesn't necessarily mean schools are getting more cautious about making changes.

After all, five of the league's 14 members had new coaches this year. The only SEC coaches who started their current jobs before 2016 are Alabama's Nick Saban, Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Kentucky's Mark Stoops and Vanderbilt's Derek Mason. Things had to settle down at some point just to give all these new coaches a chance to prove themselves.

Various circumstances helped out some coaches whose jobs otherwise might have been in jeopardy.

Auburn (7-4, 3-4 SEC) is out of the Top 25 after being ranked as high as eighth this year, but Malzahn is in the first year of a seven-year, $49 million deal and firing him would be costly.

Malzahn's buyout after this season would be $32 million. Both athletic director Allen Greene and Auburn President Steven Leath have said Malzahn will be back next season.

"There's no doubt," Malzahn said last week. "I'll be the coach and we'll get this thing turned around. That's what we're going to do."

Mason owns a 23-37 record in five seasons at Vanderbilt. The Commodores (5-6, 2-5) would earn their second bowl bid in three years with a victory over Tennessee this week but will clinch a fifth straight sub-.500 season with a loss.

Although Vanderbilt is considered the toughest job in the SEC, Mason inherited a program that had posted back-to-back 9-4 records and Top 25 finishes under James Franklin. Mason still seems safe with Vanderbilt's athletic department in transition.

David Williams II announced in September he would step down as Vanderbilt's athletic director once a replacement is hired. It would be rather unusual for a lame-duck athletic director to make a coaching change by removing a guy he'd hired.

Senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur offered his support for Mason, who is seeking a third consecutive victory over Tennessee. The Commodores haven't beaten Tennessee three straight times since the 1920s.

"Coach Mason has been consistent since day one with his message, and I think we've all grown," Shurmur said. "He's a great coach, and I think he's going to be here a long time."

Any questions about Missouri coach Barry Odom's future likely were answered when the Tigers won their last three games to improve from 4-4 to 7-4. Odom has an 18-18 mark in three seasons.

South Carolina (6-4, 4-4) is having a somewhat disappointing season, but Will Muschamp is 21-15 and headed to a third straight bowl appearance with a program that went 3-9 the year before his arrival. South Carolina gave Muschamp a new six-year, $28.2 million contract after the Gamecocks went 9-4 last season.

Because most SEC positions are viewed as destination jobs, most coaching changes in this league come when someone gets fired rather than somebody leaving for a better opportunity.

That said, Kentucky's emergence this season could cause other Power Five athletic directors to check on the potential availability of Mark Stoops, who owns a 34-39 record in six seasons. A victory over Louisville on Saturday would give Kentucky (8-3, 5-3) its highest regular-season win total since a 10-1 finish in 1977.

The Wildcats' seventh win this season added another year to the contract extension Stoops signed in March 2017 and makes it now run through June 2024. If Kentucky beats Louisville and also wins its bowl game to finish 10-3, Stoops would get a second year added to his contract extension.

"Mark has done great work steadily building this program as he set out to do when he became our coach six years ago," Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said via email. "Over that time, Kentucky has become home for him and his family and he has forged a great connection with our fans and our state. Considering our conference, our facilities and our fan base, UK is a great place to be and we are excited about what the future holds here."

Although Kentucky's persistence with Stoops through his early struggles paid off this season, Nutt doesn't expect that to cause other SEC teams to become more patient with coaches.

Nutt instead believes the likely lack of coaching changes this year virtually assures plenty of moves next season.

"That's just the way the league is," Nutt said. "It's so competitive, so hard. Everybody wants to win - and to win yesterday - and everybody can't win. So it's just a very, very tough deal."


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AP Sports Writers Gary Graves, Teresa Walker and John Zenor contributed to this report.

'Daddy, there's the guy': Burglary suspect caught after family sees him at store

It’s traumatic to get robbed, but even more unsettling when you run into the suspect at a grocery store the next day.

>> Read more trending news 

“My oldest son Caleb pulls on my shirt and goes, ‘Daddy, there’s the guy,’” Ross Glass told WFLA

Glass’ home in Tampa had been burglarized Saturday, and he told the television station that the suspect -- who was caught on the home’s surveillance camera -- stole a laptop, drone, television and gun, WFTS reported.

The next day, the family was shopping at a Winn-Dixie grocery store when they spotted the man they believed was in the video. Glass said he showed the video to his three children.

"I was watching it with my children next to me going like 'I see the guy'," Glass told WFTS. "To know that a bad guy has one of your guns out there, you know, it's just not a good feeling." 

The video was the key to Glass’ son recognizing the suspect, the television station reported.

Glass called police, who questioned the suspect and let him go, WFLA reported.

However, when the man’s alibi did not check out and other people were able to identify him from Glass’ video, Tampa police arrested Eric Rodriguez-Sanchez on Monday, the television station reported.

"They have him now," Glass told WFLA. "I just really hope they can track down some of my things." 

United Airlines pilot accused of exposing himself to people at Denver International Airport

A United Airlines pilot is facing charges after police said he exposed himself to people at Denver International Airport from the window of his 10th-floor hotel room.

>> Read more trending news

A complaint obtained by KMGH-TV showed Andrew Collins, 54, was accused on Sept. 20 of standing nude in his Westin Hotel room at the airport while “in full view of the public.”

“I’m completely innocent,” Collins told The Denver Post on Monday. “It’s really unfortunate that it happened at all.”

Collins’s attorney, Craig Silverman, said in a statement to the Post that his client was unaware people on the concourse could see into his hotel room window in September, when he opened the curtains while nude. From the room, “the concourse windows are tinted green and are opaque and reflective. It’s like looking at a green wall or a green mirror,” Silverman said.

He told the Post his client “had a reasonable expectation that no one could see into his window.”

Airport employees told police they saw Collins touching himself, KDVR reported, a claim Collins disputed to the Post. He told the newspaper that he was on the phone and preparing for a shower after spending more than 30 hours straight awake and at work when the incident happened.

“It was a beautiful morning and I opened the curtains to my window,” he told the Post. “I couldn’t see the terminal.”

United Airlines spokeswoman Erin Benson said in a statement to KUSA that the airline is cooperating with authorities. The company also launched an internal review of the incident. Collins has been removed from his duties as the internal investigation continues, KUSA reported.

He is expected to appear in court Dec. 5, according to KMGH-TV.

Thanksgiving 2018: Barack Obama volunteers at Chicago food bank

Former President Barack Obama surprised a number of volunteers at the Greater Chicago Food Depository warehouse Tuesday when he came by to help out.

The Chicago Tribune reported Obama was in town for an Obama Foundation summit this week. He stopped by the food bank on his way to the airport, and cameras from the foundation were there to film the visit.

>> Read more trending news 

One of the families volunteering there was the Steffens -- parents Kent and Kate and their children, Charlie, 12, Julia, 11, and Ben, 7. They told the newspaper they occasionally volunteer at the food bank. 

“Everyone kind of stopped what they were doing, and their jaws dropped,” Charlie told the Tribune.

“He said, ‘Go back to work! I’ll come over and talk to each of you,’” Kent Steffen said. “Then he grabbed a bag and started putting potatoes in it.”

At one point, Obama checked with volunteers next to him to be sure he was packing the potatoes correctly, the Tribune reported.

“He said he wanted to stop by and promote the importance of service,” Charlie said.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Obama, his security detail and the film crew stayed for about 25 to 30 minutes, according to the family. He also signed a wall of the warehouse and included the message, “Hope requires action!”

“Thank you to ⁦@BarackObama⁩ and ⁦@ObamaFoundation⁩ for joining our volunteers today at the Food Depository,” the food bank tweeted after the visit. “We believe no one should go hungry, especially this time of year, and that’s why we’re working to address the root causes of hunger in Chicago and Cook County.”

Falcons-Saints Preview Capsule

ATLANTA (4-6) at NEW ORLEANS (9-1)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE - Saints by 11

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Atlanta 3-7, New Orleans 8-2

SERIES RECORD - Falcons lead 52-47

LAST MEETING - Saints beat Falcons 43-37, OT, Sept. 23

LAST WEEK - Falcons lost to Cowboys 22-19; Saints beat Eagles 48-7.

AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 21, Saints No. 1.





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Falcons have lost last two against Saints, split last two at Superdome. ... Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed 26 of 35 (74.3 percent) for 374 yards, five TDs, no INTs in last meeting. ... RB Tevin Coleman has six TDs (three rushing, three receiving) in past five games against Saints. ... WR Julio Jones had six catches for 118 yards, TD in Week 11. Jones seeks fourth straight outing with TD catch. He leads NFL with 1,158 yards receiving this season. ... Rookie WR Calvin Ridley had seven catches for 146 yards, three TDs in last meeting. ... LB Vic Beasley Jr. had two sacks last week, his fifth-career multi-sack game. He had sack in last meeting. ... S Damontae Kazee tied career high with nine tackles in last meeting. He seeks fourth straight game on road with INT. Kazee leads NFL with five INTs. ... DL Jack Crawford had forced fumble last week. ... Saints have won nine straight, longest win streak in NFL this season. ... Saints have scored 45 or more in past three games, first time in franchise history New Orleans has scored at least that many points in three straight. ... QB Drew Brees passed for 363 yards, four TDs without INT last week. It marked Brees' 23rd career game with at least four TD passes and no INTs, surpassing Patriots' Tom Brady for most such games in NFL history. ... Brees leads NFL with 76.9 completion percentage. ... Brees has 25 TDs passing, one INT this season. In five home games, Brees has completed 78.9 percent for 350.8 yards per game, 16 TDs, no INTs. ... Saints P Thomas Morstead has punted no more than twice in each of last seven and did not punt in two of those games. ... RB Mark Ingram has rushed for 100-plus yards in two straight outings. ... Saints averaging 208.5 yards rushing during past two games. ... WR Michael Thomas is first Saints receiver with 1,000 yards in each of first three seasons. He had four catches for 92 yards, TD last week. ... Saints' defense had three INTs and three sacks last week. ... Fantasy tip: Saints RB Alvin Kamara had 108 scrimmage yards, TD catch last week. He has TD in five straight games and 100 or more scrimmage yards in three straight, and had career-high 15 receptions, 190 scrimmage yards in last meeting with Falcons.


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Recount starts today for Georgia's 7th Congressional District race

A recount is underway in the last undecided Georgia congressional race. Late Tuesday afternoon, the Secretary of State's office ordered the recount for the 7th Congressional District.

After the initial count, Republican incumbent Rob Woodall led Democrat challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux by 419. That is a margin of 0.4 percent.

Georgia law allows a losing candidate to request a recount if the margin is less than one percent.

Most ballots are cast electronically and will be recounted the same way. Paper absentee and provisional ballots received by Gwinnett County are scanned individually. 

We're LIVE at election headquarters in Gwinnett County and hearing from both campaigns on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m.

Information from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution was used in this report. 

Energy drinks may be contributing to PTSD in soldiers, study finds

U.S. military members are facing a new threat overseas and right here at home. A new study says energy drinks are contributing to post-traumatic stress disorder and the U.S. military may be to blame.

Energy drinks provide an instant boost for soldiers in war zones, where they've become the beverage of choice for many service members.

It was a hard habit to leave behind for Army veteran Stephen Eager who served for 11 years, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"It did have a hold on me. It was a physical addiction for several years,” Eager said. 

Eager, now a married father of four, was drinking 10 energy drinks a day when on duty 16 hours a day.

We'll explain the findings of the study and talk to doctors about their concerns, on Channel 2 Action News at 4:47 p.m.

Amazon says some customer names, emails exposed in ‘technical error’

Days before the busiest shopping season officially begins, officials with Amazon announced some of its customers had their names and emails exposed because of a “technical error.”

Amazon officials sent emails to those customers who were affected, CNBC reported. They then shared screenshots of those emails online. 

>> Read more trending news 

But some wondered if the email actually was from Amazon, since it did not provide a secure link -- meaning the “s” was not included with “HTTP:” in the url -- and advised that customers did not need to change their passwords, according to posts on Amazon’s Sellers Central forum

The email assures customers that the issue has been fixed but did not disclose what exactly happened, The Verge reported.

The Verge contacted Amazon about the emails. A spokesperson said the site or systems were breached. Officials with the company didn’t say how many customers were affected.

Georgia student, her marching band honored with scholarship

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A Cartersville student and her high school marching band have been named the 2018 recipients of the 15th annual Bob Hope Band Scholarship Award.

Abby Matthews, a 16-year-old clarinet player, and the Wildcat Marching Band from Woodland High School in Bartow County will perform Thursday in the 92nd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The award is based on merits of an essay competition about Bob Hope and the importance of giving back.

Macy's and the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation have presented the scholarship award for the past 15 years. It's designed to honor one outstanding band member and their school band program participating in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The parade airs Thursday morning on NBC.

Minnesota teens say man pulled gun during confrontation at McDonald's

A Somali teenager said a man waved a handgun at her and her friends after she confronted him at a McDonald’s in Minnesota after an alleged ethnic slight, the Star Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The incident, which occurred at the fast-food restaurant in Eden Prairie, is being investigated by police, WCCO reported.

Jihan Abdullahi, 17, said she was trying to pay for her order with an app on her smartphone but the clerk was having trouble processing the order, the Star Tribune reported.

“Once we gave up on paying, we just canceled the order,” Abdullahi told the newspaper. “And as (we) are walking away, the man says under his breath, ‘You were paying with EBT (electronic benefit transfer); that’s why it didn’t work.’”

Abdullahi said she asked the man, “‘Just because I’m black you think my friends and I live under EBT?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’”

In a 45-second video that has been shown on Twitter, the teens are yelling at the man, who was shoved near the door to the restaurant. As the man stumbled backward, the teens backed away and several customers shouted that the man had a gun, although it is unclear in the video if a weapon was brandished.

A police report said the man allegedly pulled the firearm from his waistband, the Star Tribune reported.

A manager then stepped in and yelled, “I want everyone out of my store, now,” according to the video. Another customer then came to the aid of the teens, telling the manager to call the police, WCCO reported.

Paul Ostergaard, the owner and operator of the Eden Prairie McDonald’s, released a statement Tuesday, the television station reported. Ostergaard said he is taking the incident seriously and is working with police.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our customers and employees,” Ostergaard said in his statement.

In a statement, Eden Prairie city officials said police are investigating whether a crime was committed, the Star Tribune reported.

“Officers obtained video evidence and witness statements from the scene, and police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident to determine if a crime was committed,” the statement said.

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