For the eighth time in their career, Phish took the stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA along their 2016 fall tour. Five shows in, the tour as a whole has been heavy on the new Big Boat material, though certainly making room for a hearty serving of their classic material. Phish seems to be locked in as they go, hitting the Southeast with a gusto. How would their much anticipated return to Alpharetta fare?The band got started with “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing,” playing the darker tune for the first time on tour. Trey Anastasio took it into a whirlwind solo, before releasing the tension with lighthearted versions of “AC/DC Bag” and “Back On The Train.” With the looseness of two groovy tracks, the rhythm section of Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon fueled a great jam out in “Blaze On.” Phish seems to be putting longer jams in the first set, and while “Blaze On” stayed within the box (aka Type I), it was evident that the band was tight-knit and having a ton of fun.Watch the official stream of “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” below.Gordo got to take the lead next, as the band brought out “Sugar Shack” for the first time on this tour. Trey nailed the song’s carefree melody throughout, extending it for a nice solo with some fun arpeggios. This was a longer version than usual, adding an exciting energy to the song. Page McConnell took the lead next, singing along on the peppy new Big Boat tune “Things People Do.”Next up was a rocking “Birds Of A Feather,” with Trey leading a great tension-build and release solo. This was a tight jam that kept the energy of the first set high, but it was a “Mercury” that was a real highlight of the set. Though “Mercury” didn’t appear on Big Boat, it was debuted at the same time as tunes like “Blaze On” and “No Men’s.” Now played for the second time on this tour, it’s certainly exciting to have the song in a tighter rotation. Fishman played the Marimba Lumina at times during the song’s lighter section. This was a great “Mercury,” as the band extended the version with a tight jam out at the end.“Let’s Go” came up next, another new original tune that was left off the new album. “Let’s Go” was actually the center of a discussion in the Roling Stone interview that was published today, as producer Bob Ezrin opted to leave the Gordo original off the album despite his and Trey’s objections. The upbeat number was played for only the second time, but let’s hope it stays in rotation. It’s a fun one! “Alaska” came next, treating the Alpharetta crowd to some bluesy funk. This was a raging version of “Alaska,” but the band took the mood into a sentimental place with their new song, “More.” The track came to life in the live setting, with Trey rolling out some great guitarwork to bring the song, and set, to a grand conclusion.After the break, it was Gordo that hit the opening rumbles of set two with a blistering, 21-minute version of “Down With Disease.” The jam started out with rock and roll energy and turned a corner into a more floating segment, but then curved back into some deeper bass-driven grooves. This was an exploratory “Disease,” moving into a progressive rock sound before Trey led the jam into a rock and roll call-and-response. Things only got spacier, drawing deeper into an exploratory funk before Trey moved over the Marimba Lumina and really nailed the low-end synth bombs. He eventually picked back up the guitar and rocked the opening notes of “Carini.”Watch the official stream of “Down With Disease” below.The “Carini” quickly went into an ambient jam session, as the band kept things lighthearted in a typically heavy song. The light touch continued as the group segued into Fuego track “Winterqueen,” and this was a beautiful version with a nice, soaring solo. Trey brought the song to a close with its melody, but it was Fishman that ushered in the subsequent “Ghost.” The improvisational section went from rhythmically funky to melodically uplifting, then back to slow and funky to close out the song.Page then hammered out the opening notes of “Possum,” and Trey kept the song loose and rocking. This was clearly a crowd pleaser, with the energy riding high. It was the tour debut of “Slave To The Traffic Light” that would bring the set to a close, putting a truly triumphant finale to a great set of music.For their encore, Phish closed out the show with their first cover of the night, Rolling Stones’ “Loving Cup.” Trey was absolutely shredding the ending of the song, bringing one last beautiful buzz to Alpharetta. This was a great memorable night of music from Phish, and we can’t wait to hear what they have in store for night two tomorrow.You can see the full Phish.net setlist below.Setlist: Phish at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA – 10/21/16Set 1: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, AC/DC Bag > Back on the Train, Blaze On, Sugar Shack, Things People Do, Birds of a Feather, Mercury, Let’s Go, Alaska, MoreSet 2: Down With Disease > Carini > Winterqueen > Ghost > Possum > Slave To The Traffic LightEncore: Loving CupThis show was webcast via Live Phish. The Birds was quoted at the end of BOAF.
Say “Ning” or “Moodle” to most people, and the reaction is a blank stare. But the names of these online networking sites have become as familiar as sippy cups to a group of childcare providers who met last month in Crawford, Ga.The 18 women are enrolled in a new, infant-focused training program that uses Ning, Moodle and old-fashioned classroom learning to turn them into baby “whisperers.”State law requires all childcare staff to get 10 hours of educational training each year, but little of that instruction focuses on infant care. That’s why University of Georgia faculty created this pilot program, which combines distance learning with classroom sessions, says Diane Bales, a UGA Cooperative Extension child development specialist in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.Most training is designed for people who work with 3- to 5-year-olds, “although one-third of Georgia’s children in childcare are under three,” said Karen Shetterley with UGA’s Georgia Center for Continuing Education. She is working with Bales on the program.Children are considered infants until they’re a year old, or, as Jan Christian of Miss Jan’s Group Daycare Home in Watkinsville puts it, “if they’re walking and squawking and feeding themselves, they’re not [young] babies anymore.”Toddlers can do group activities, such as playing a game, reviewing letters or eating snacks. Infants need individualized schedules and playtimes appropriate for their needs and level of development.“Infants need time on the floor, toys that are large and sturdy, objects that make noise, toys to push and pull, balls and other objects to roll, things that can be stacked, filled and dumped, and board books with hard pages that they can turn themselves,” Bales said.Age-specific activities are crucial for brain development.Teaching babies how to form bonds and build relationships is part of good brain development. Almost everything adults do with infants can help build this, Bales said. Holding a baby, looking and smiling at her, talking to him, responding quickly and sensitively when he cries, talking to her while feeding or changing her diaper – these activities all build trust.“Basically everything adults do to show babies they can be trusted to take care of the babies’ needs helps build those relationships, which are the foundation for independence, school success and later relationships,” Bales said.Four groups of childcare providers are enrolled in the program for a total of 67 people. The one in northeast Georgia meets in Crawford, the southwest one meets in Moultrie, the southeast one meets in Savannah and the northwest one meets in Dallas. The course requires them to meet after work for two face-to-face sessions.Individually, each woman logs onto Moodle to complete six 30-minute training sessions. As a group, they post photos and share stories with one another on Ning, a password-protected social networking site.The Ning site and Moodle training sessions were developed by UGA graduate and undergraduate students. Shetterley called them the “driving force behind the project.”Once the program gets going, Bales hopes to turn the training sessions over to county Cooperative Extension agents who work in family and consumer sciences.For some of the childcare professionals, this is their first experience with online learning and social networking. But Bales says they’re willing.“We had a woman in Moultrie who told us she had never touched a mouse before,” she said. “It took us 10 minutes, but we got an e-mail address set up for her.”Participants don’t have to own a computer to participate, but they do need to be able to get online. Kathy Rogers, who runs a home-based childcare business in Colbert, uses her sister’s DSL. Rogers likes the Web-based training because she can network with other people.Christian likes the online classes because she can do them during her breaks and while the children are napping.Only a few weeks into the online course, childcare provider Jean Wells of Winterville already sees a change in the way she teaches – and the way her infant students react. “I can see a difference in language development,” she said. “We are working more with colors, numbers, reading and outdoor playtime than before.”
A generous $200,000 gift from a prominent 4-H alumna and an outpouring of support at the 2019 Georgia 4-H Gala catapulted the fundraising effort to rebuild the Rock Eagle Chapel at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center past its $400,000 goal on Aug. 10.“Georgia 4-H is grateful to Kelly Loeffler for the generous and thoughtful contribution to our Rock Eagle Chapel restoration campaign. Her investment in our organization was an inspiration to all alumni and supporters to be a part of the efforts, and ensured the attainment of our fundraising goal,” said Johnathon Barrett, executive director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation. “This gift is appreciated by all Georgia 4-H’ers and will be for generations to come.”Loeffler is CEO of Bakkt, a regulated, global ecosystem for digital currencies, and a member of the executive team at Intercontinental Exchange, which operates more than a dozen global market infrastructures, including the New York Stock Exchange. She is also co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, the first women-owned professional sports team in Atlanta.Shared memories and stories of 4-H “resonate with so many of us and center in our hearts and minds what 4-H has meant to each of us,” said Loeffler at the Georgia 4-H Gala. “They remind us what each of our experiences have meant to our development and growth. These 4-H projects and our 4-H leaders were really mentors and guides and guideposts that taught us and brought us along in life. There are so many of these wonderful memories which I personally benefited from and continue to benefit from.”Recalling working with her father in the cattle feedlots on her family’s farm in Illinois or sewing and baking with her mother, Loeffler said these memories were lessons that have helped her in the business world.“They also encourage me to think toward the future of 4-H and that was really the reason we wanted to contribute to this effort,” Loeffler said. “As honorary Georgians, we are really proud to be able to contribute to something that looks to the future of 4-H and contributes to this beautiful chapel being restored.”The Rock Eagle Chapel was severely damaged in February due to an electrical fire caused by wildlife damage. Construction on the restoration has begun and is expected to be completed by February 2020, Barrett said.