COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog posts by Blake Aued, Editor

  • Athens Man Shoots Woman, Shot At by Officer, Shoots Himself During Domestic Dispute

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Photo Credit: Blake Aued

    Police Chief Scott Freeman (right) shows reporters video from an officer's body camera.

    A man shot and killed a woman during a domestic dispute off Hawthorne Avenue this afternoon, then turned the gun on himself.

    An Athens-Clarke County police officer responded to a call at about 4 p.m. about a domestic dispute involving a handgun at the Columbia Brookside apartment complex.

    The shooting started "immediately, as soon [the officer] as arrived and got out of his car," ACCPD Chief Scott Freeman told reporters at a news conference tonight. "The officer witnessed this shooting, and he returned fire in an effort to stop the threat."

  • Police: Pedestrian Hit on Prince Was Not in Crosswalk

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Photo Credit: Google Streetview

    A pedestrian who was hit by a minivan on Friday was not using a nearby crosswalk, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

    The pedestrian, an approximately 51-year-old man with a Honeysuckle Lane address, was crossing Prince Avenue from south to north near the entrance to Dunkin' Donuts at about 8 a.m. Friday when he was hit by an eastbound Honda Odyssey driven by an approximately 41-year-old Athens man, according to a police report.

    "The pedestrian walked into the path of the Odyssey and was struck by [it]," the report says.

  • The Eastside Is Finally Getting an Aldi

    Blog: In the Loop

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    This is what an Aldi looks like.

    German discount grocery store chain Aldi is opening a second Athens location, this one in a shopping center on Gaines School Road near the Cedar Shoals Drive intersection.

    The company filed plans with Athens-Clarke County last week to renovate the 21,000 square-foot space, formerly occupied by Omni Club.

    "At this point, we are working through the process of obtaining permits and hope to begin construction in the next couple months," said Aldi Jefferson Division Vice President Thom Behtz.

  • Forums Scheduled for Athens State House Races

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Civic and political groups have scheduled several forums in Athens and Oconee County over the next month for voters to hear from candidates running for two open state House of Representatives seats.

    On Thursday, the Oconee County Republican Party will host three or possibly all four of the GOP candidates running for those seats. District 117 candidate Houston Gaines and District 119 candidates Tom Lord and Marcus Wiedower have confirmed they will attend, while fellow District 119 candidate Steven Strickland is trying to rearrange his schedule, according to Oconee County journalist Lee Becker. The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce.

    Jonathan Wallace, who's running as a Democrat in District 119, will officially kick off his campaign with a rally at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Oconee County Courthouse:

  • John Barrow Is Running for Secretary of State

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Former congressman and Athens-Clarke County commissioner John Barrow is running for secretary of state, he announced at a Clarke County Democrats barbecue on Sunday.

    Barrow, a Democrat who's shown a knack for winning in conservative areas, will be a strong candidate for the open position. Current Secretary of State Brian Kemp, another Athenian, is leaving the post to run for governor.

    Barrow said in a press release that he refuses to “stand on the sidelines when we face such huge challenges” and vowed to protect the right to vote, cut regulations and crack down on fraud.

  • Creature Comforts Releases New IPA and More Athens Beer News

    Blog: Grub Notes

    Creature Comfort's latest small-batch brew, an IPA called Crescendo, will be released at its tasting room tonight on draft and Friday in four-packs of 16-ounce cans.

    The brewery describes Crescendo as "a slightly hazy IPA with notes of honeydew, white peach skin, pineapple, and orange" from the El Dorado, Galaxy and Grungeist hops. It's 7.2% ABV.

  • RIP Versatyle tha Wildchyld

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Athens rapper Versatyle tha Wyldchild died in his sleep Sunday night, friends of the popular musician and activist confirmed tonight.

    Versatyle (real name Anthony Bernard Little) had been in poor health for some time, but his death was unexpected, according to friends.

    He was a fixture on the local hip-hop scene for many years. He was part of the socially conscious Dreaded Mindz collective and more recently had formed his own clique of younger artists, The Wild Wolf Pack. Flagpole ran a three-part series on Little's life and career in 2014.

    He was also active politically, volunteering in schools, working with the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement and speaking out about issues facing the African-American community. Sunday, he attended Tim Denson's Athens-Clarke County Commission District 5 campaign kickoff at Bishop Park.

  • Athens Democrats Want to Oust Mayor Nancy Denson From Party Post Over Support for GOP Candidate

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Don't let the blue fool you.

    The Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee will vote next week on whether to kick Mayor Nancy Denson off the committee because of her support for a Republican in a state House of Representatives race.

    Denson held a fundraiser for Houston Gaines—her former campaign manager, who's now running for state House as a Republican against Democrat Deborah Gonzalez—at her Forest Heights home Aug. 31. The fundraiser outraged many local Democrats who felt that, as a Democrat, Denson should be supporting Gonzalez.

    "Your support of Donald Trump's party in this upcoming special election is unfortunate," says a letter from the ACCDC's executive committee dated Sept. 12.

  • Six Candidates Qualify to Run in Special Election for Two Athens House Seats

    Blog: In the Loop

     

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    Democrat Deborah Gonzalez will go head to head with Republican Houston Gaines in the Nov. 7 House District 117 special election

    Former state Rep. Doug McKillip will not try to reclaim the District 117 seat he lost to Regina Quick after switching parties in 2012—for now.

    The qualifying period to run in the two Nov. 7 special elections for Athens-area state House seats ended Friday without McKillip signing up to run. But he held out the possibility that he’d run next year, when the seat will come up again in the usual election cycle. “Said I’d run in ’18, not ’17,” he said. “We’ll see.”

    The seat opened up last month, when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Quick as a Superior Court judge, replacing the retired David Sweat, requiring her to resign from the House. 

  • CCSD Will Stay Closed and UGA Will Reopen Wednesday

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Citing ongoing power outages and safety concerns about road debris and non-working traffic lights, the Clarke County School District has cancelled classes and other activities on Wednesday.

    The University of Georgia, though, will reopen at 10 a.m. Campus Transit will start running again at 9 a.m., and the first classes will be held at 10:10 a.m.

    UGA warned students and employees that travel to campus may take longer than usual, and reminded drivers that intersections where traffic signals are out should be treated as four-way stops.

  • Which Restaurants Are Open in Athens?

    Blog: Grub Notes

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Don't worry, you can get your donut fix.

    Athens is shook from Tropical Storm Irma, but a few brave (or lucky, if they have electricity) restaurants are soldiering on.

    Like many of us, Flagpole food critic Hillary Brown is having trouble with teh internetz, but she was able to pass along an (incomplete) list of food establishments that are open and closed today, should your lack of power and/or tiredness from yard work prevent you from cooking.

  • Road Closures and More Hurricane Irma News

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Photo Credit: NASA

    Hurricane Irma over the British Virgin Islands on Friday.

    The University of Georgia will be closed today and Tuesday in anticipation of Hurricane Irma hitting Athens.

    All classes, campus events and other activities at UGA are canceled. Residence and dining halls will remain open. Campus Transit will run as long as conditions allow. Designated employees are expected to report to work if they can safely travel.

    For more information on UGA's closing, visit emergency.uga.edu.

    Clarke and Oconee County public schools will be closed today and Tuesday, as will Athens Tech and the University of North Georgia. Athens Christian School, Prince Avenue Christian School and Piedmont College are closed today, but have not announced whether they will be closed Tuesday. Classes will resume at Athens Academy on Tuesday.

  • Athens Special Elections Officially Set for Nov. 7

    Blog: In the Loop

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    As expected, Secretary of State Brian Kemp has officially called a special election Nov. 7 to fill two vacant Athens-area state House of Representatives seats.

    District 117 representative Regina Quick and District 119 representative Chuck Williams both recently resigned, Quick to accept an appointment as Superior Court judge and Williams to become director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

    Both districts include parts of Clarke and Oconee counties, and 117 includes parts of Jackson and Barrow counties, as well.

  • Commission Approves Downtown Condo Tower Over Community Opposition

    Blog: In the Loop

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    A rendering of the 155 Mitchell Street development.

    The Athens-Clarke County Commission voted to approve a rezoning for a towering upscale condominium development near downtown Tuesday night despite concerns raised by citizens about the scale, design, price and environmental impact of the project.

    The development, at 155 Mitchell Street behind the Steeplechase condominiums, will include 256 bedrooms, mostly in two-bedroom, two-bath units, on top of three stories of parking and one level of office space. Situated on a steeply sloping lot, it will measure seven stories on one side and 10 on the other, barely coming in under ACC's 100-foot height limit when measured from the midpoint.

    Several dozen speakers opposed the rezoning during the five-hour meeting, in addition to more than 100 who emailed comments in opposition to commissioners. They argued that the ACC government should be encouraging affordable housing downtown, rather than housing aimed at wealthy retirees, and raised concerns that the development would wind up as mostly empty gameday housing or student housing.

    Activist group Athens for Everyone opposed the development as "a giveaway to those who already have enough" on behalf of its 1,075 members.

    "We want to be a community that meets the needs of all of our residents," including the 38 percent in poverty, A4E's Adam Lassila said.

  • UGA Prof: Texas Is Under Trillions of Gallons of Water

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Photo Credit: Lt. Zachary West

    Texas National Guard soldiers rescue Houston residents from Hurricane Harvey flooding.

    Just how bad is the flooding in southeastern Texas? University of Georgia meteorologist and geography professor John Knox is here to explain in a Medium post.

    Knox looked at a 5,000 square-mile triangle between Houston, Port Aurthur and Lufkin, TX, that's home to about 7 million people. That region has received approximately 36 inches of rainfall. Calculate it, and that's 3 trillion gallons of water.

    To put it in perspective, according to Knox, that's five Lake Laniers worth of water that's fallen on an area the size of Connecticut.

  • Athens Rep. Chuck Williams Named to Forestry Post

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Last week, Flagpole blogger Lee Becker reported that state Rep. Chuck Williams (R-Watkinsville) was in the running for Georgia forestry commissioner.

    Gov. Nathan Deal made it official today, appointing Williams to the post. Said Deal's office in a news release:

  • Rep. Chuck Williams May Be Stepping Down, Too

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Thursday, we reported that Gov. Nathan Deal had appointed state Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) a Superior Court judge. Now, Deal might be eyeing another Athens legislator.

    Rep. Chuck Williams (R-Watkinsville), who owns a tree farm in south Oconee, is under consideration for a position on the Georgia Forestry Commission, Lee Becker reported last night at Oconee County Observations.

  • Podcast: Bannon and Breitbart

    Blog: In the Loop

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    This week, co-host Baynard Woods talks with Wil Hylton, whose New York Times Magazine story "Down the Breitbart Hole" came out just two days before Steve Bannon, booted from the White House, returned to the site. And then Bannon called Wil...

    Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and engineered by Calvin Perry for The Center for Emerging Media. Theme music by Ruby Fulton and the Rhymes with Orchestra. 

  • Regina Quick Named Superior Court Judge

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Gov. Nathan Deal has named state Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) to the bench, announcing her appointment as a judge on the Western Circuit Superior Court this morning.

    Quick will replace David Sweat, who retired as chief judge July 31. The other superior court judges—Eric Norris and Lawton Stephens—selected Judge Patrick Haggard as the new chief judge.

    Besides representing District 117 in the state House, Quick is a solo practitioner, mainly in the area of family law. Superior court judges hear divorce and child custody cases, in addition to other civil lawsuits and felony criminal cases.

  • Michael Thurmond: Stone Mountain Needs Context

    Blog: In the Loop

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    Photo Credit: Jim Bowen

    DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond weighed in on the Stone Mountain controversy in an interview the AJC published today.

    He wouldn't endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams' call to sandblast Confederate figures Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson off the mountain, but he did call for additional context regarding the "Lost Cause" mythology surrounding the 1915 carving, as well as black representation on the board that runs the park.

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