Georgia College researchers track strategic shifts in campaign music

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Music plays a subtle role in forming public opinion about presidential candidates. It gets marginally attentive voters interested in politics and reveals strategic shifts in campaigns.These are some results of study through a unique website – Trax on the Trail – created last winter by Dr. Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, assistant professor of music at Georgia College. Used regularly by journalists nationwide, Trax has also morphed into an educational tool for teaching media literacy – with scholars Skyping into college classrooms and collaborating on high school lesson plans with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. As the U.S. election season races to a climax – with presidential candidates spending millions of dollars to present visual and written images – Trax examines how sound shapes candidate identity.Two changes noted by researchers: Democrat Hillary Clinton has softened her “women empowerment” image by sidelining Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” and moving to classic pop songs like 1967’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell – while Republican Donald Trump has added traditionally conservative country music like Lee Greenwood’s 1984 “God Bless the USA” to his repertoire. In that way, Gorzelany-Mostak said Trump’s “channeling” Ronald Reagan, who used the song when running for re-election in 1984. Students work on Trax, watching C-SPAN and YouTube to catalogue songs into a single database. They check playlists on Spotify and often pick up songs from news outlets that mention what’s playing as a candidate enters the stage. The website collects into one forum essays on campaign music from a variety of experts, including Trax co-editor Dr. James Deaville, professor of music at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.


Haunted trail returns to Valdosta State 

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Valdosta State University Campus Recreation presents the Haunted Trail 8-11 p.m., Oct. 24-28, at the Center for Outdoor Recreational Experiences Challenge Course. Due to the intense nature, only teenagers and adults 13 years of age and older will be allowed to participate, according to organizers. “We are excited to bring this unique event back for the 11th year,” said Greg Knaus, a special events graduate assistant with Campus Recreation. “Visitors can expect the course to be longer and scarier than ever before.” General admission is $5 per person. Discounted admission is available to visitors participating in one of the following special themed nights:

• Greek Night is Monday, Oct. 24. Any visitors wearing their Greek organization’s letters will receive a $2 discount.

• Think Pink Night is Tuesday, Oct. 25. Anyone wearing pink will receive a $2 discount. A portion of the proceeds raised during the Haunted Trail will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

• High School Night is Wednesday, Oct. 26. High school students with a valid school identification card will receive a $2 discount. Also, anyone who brings a canned-food item to be donated to The Haven will also be admitted at the reduced rate.

• College Night is Thursday, Oct. 27. College students with a valid school identification card — such as the VSU 1Card — will receive a $2 discount.

• Blazer Pride Night is Friday, Oct. 28. Any visitors wearing their favorite VSU Blazer gear will receive a $2 discount. 

The Haunted Trail helps provide funding for Campus Recreation students interested in representing VSU at regional and national conferences, Knaus said. It also helps support future events offered through the Student Recreation Center. The Haunted Trail will be staffed by VSU student volunteers. The experience will last about 30 to 35 minutes. VSU’s Center for Outdoor Recreational Experiences Challenge Course is located at 1300 Sustella Ave., behind the Student Recreation Center.


Training class to be held on how to deal with hemlock woolly adelgid

CALHOUN, Ga. — On Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Save Georgia’s Hemlocks will present a training class for volunteers interested in learning how to treat hemlock trees to save them from the invasive insect called hemlock woolly adelgid that is attacking and killing the trees. The class will be held in Calhoun and will provide in-depth information about the trees, the bugs, assessing infestations, cultural controls, chemical treatments, biological controls, cost and safety, assisting other property owners, working on the national forest and more. The class will be held at the fire station at 754 Cash Road in Calhoun, and it’s the last time it will be offered in the northwest Georgia area this year. Registration is required. Call (706) 429-8010 or email


Appointments to be accepted for heating assistance

TIFTON, Ga. – Coastal Plain Area EOA Inc. will be accepting appointment calls for heating assistance for residents age 65 or older and those who are homebound in Tift County on Nov. 2. The phone lines are open 24 hours a day, and residents may start calling to schedule an appointment Nov. 2 at midnight or schedule online. Appointments will be taken by telephone or online at until the allotted appointments have been made for November.  There will be no appointments made the week of the Thanksgiving holiday (November 21-25). All Tift applicants will be seen at the Tift County Community Service Center, 2737 South Central Avenue, Suite 4, Tifton, GA 31794. All applicants must bring the following:

• For all household members that are 18 years old or older: Proof of income for all household members for the past 30 days

• Proof of Social Security numbers for each person in the household

• Last/current month’s heating bill for the household

• For all household members that are 18 years old or older: Current proof of citizenship or legal immigrant status (state issued picture identification (ID) such as: driver’s license, ID card, voter registration card, passport, military ID, etc.)

• If receiving SSI, Social Security, Pension, VA benefits or worker’s compensation, the 2016 award letter is required.

If applying for assistance with gas or propane, the current electricity bill is also needed. All applicants must meet the federal income poverty guidelines. To make an appointment, call toll free, (229) 351-4936 


Music lovers to experience two days of Jazz, Arts and Blues in Live Oak

LIVE OAK, Fla. — With fall in the air and numerous outdoor events underway, the City of Live Oak is pleased to announce the Third Annual Jazz, Arts and Blues Festival (JAB Fest). JAB Fest is a two-day festival featuring an exclusive jazz and blues lineup, renowned artists and great family fun. Held in Live Oak's Downtown Festival Park, the festival expects to draw nearly 5,000 attendees. This year's JAB Fest will be held on October 21 - 22. General admission is free; VIP packages are available. The event begins Friday, Oct. 21, with performances by the soulful singer Beth McKee and will include Longineu Parsons’ tribute to Louis Armstrong. Saturday night headliners include Teeny Tucker, 21 Blue! and Little Jake and the Soul Searchers. The Jazz, Arts and Blues Festival attracts thousands of music lovers from North Florida and South Georgia. JAB Fest carefully selects its event weekend in order to avoid other large events such as college football games, homecoming celebrations, harvest festivals or parades that may conflict with the festival. The festival grounds open at 4 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. The City of Live Oak is located off of I-10 at exit 283. Downtown Festival Park is located at 115 West Howard Street, Live Oak, FL 32064. For more information on the festival including the full lineup, please visit

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