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Morning headlines: Warnock and Walker in virtual tie, Abrams lags behind Kemp

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@SenatorWarnock/Twitter
Polling shows Senator Raphael Warnock with a significant lead against his GOP opponent Hershel Walker among Black voters, while Walker holds a commanding advantage among white voters.

Senator Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker are deadlocked in the senate race in Georgia according to new polling from East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research. Among Black voters, Warnock has a significant edge. 83 percent said they support the Democratic incumbent, compared to only 7 percent who are backing Walker.

When it comes to white voters, however, Walker has the advantage. 65 percent support him, while 29 percent support Warnock.

The survey also found Governor Brian Kemp leading Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams by five points, 50 - 45.

Abrams came close to beating Kemp in 2018, losing the general election by fewer than 55,000 votes. But like Warnock, Abrams heads into her general election bid facing a far less favorable political landscape than she did the last time she was on the ballot.

DPH warns Georgians about heat risks

The Georgia Department of Public Health has issued a heat advisory for the state as temperatures continue to be well into the 90s. Hot temperatures, combined with high humidity, create heat index readings well into the hundreds.

DPH encourages Georgians to “stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed,” as well as avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and heat and limit strenuous outdoor activity to the morning and evening hours to prevent heat-related illnesses. DPH also suggests tips to help stay cool, such as wearing “lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing” and spending the majority of time in air-conditioned spaces.

They also remind Georgians to remain aware of and check on the more vulnerable among us, including infants and young children, people over 65, people who are overweight, and people who are physically ill.

AthFest seeks volunteers for next weekend's festival

AthFest 2022 is June 24th through 26th this year. It includes 3 outdoor stages, an artist market and a Kid's Fest among other activities.

Executive Director Jill Helme says the festival provides a family friendly opportunity to participate.

"As long as you're at least 16 and with a guardian, you can volunteer," Helme said. For minors who want to volunteer, their guardian must stay on site.

Helme said, "There's so many high school students who need to have service hours, so it's a great way to come down and to get them service hours and and for families to volunteer together."

ACC air quality is pretty good, but Atlanta? Not so much.

Amid the scorching heat in Georgia, metro Atlanta received a failing grade this year from the American Lung Association for harmful smog.

Atlanta ranked as the 51st most polluted city for smog and 37th for year-round soot in the association’s State of the Air report. Atlanta improved 16 places for smog and six places for year-round soot compared to a year ago.

The ALA and state officials attribute the Atlanta area’s improvement to long-term trends related to the federal Clean Air Act, which, among other things, sets standards for air quality and emissions from vehicles and industry.

Athens-Clarke County fared well in the latest report, claiming a B rating for high ozone days, and an A for particle pollution.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!