COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

In the Loop

  • Oconee County Considers Plan to Demolish Old Jail, Expand Courthouse

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    The old jail in downtown Watkinsville currently sits vacant.

    Oconee County commissioners are considering a plan to tear down the old, unused jail tucked at the rear of the existing courthouse in Watkinsville and to build an addition to the courthouse where the old jail now sits.

    Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell announced the proposal at the end of a town Hall meeting held by the commissioners Thursday night at the Community Center in Veterans Park.

    Eighteen people other than the commissioners attended the meeting, which covered a range of topics, including the Animal Shelter, Mars Hill Road, the proposed widening of U.S. 441 and the possibility of a property tax rollback.

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  • Democratic Candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams Talks Saving HOPE, Voter Suppression at Athens Rally

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    Photo Credit: Richard Hamm

    House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams smiles during a speech at Pulaski Heights BBQ on Saturday.

    In 2011, when Republicans voted to cut the HOPE Scholarship that, until then, had provided free college tuition to every Georgia high-school student with a B average, they had help from an unlikely place: Stacey Abrams, the highest-ranking Democrat in the state House.

    Abrams made an agreement with Gov. Nathan Deal that, if he removed a provision tying HOPE to test scores and included low-interest loans for students who would no longer have their full tuition covered by HOPE, she’d back the bill. The move split her caucus, and could come back to bite her as she runs for governor. One of those who criticized her actions was state Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna), who’s now her opponent in the May 2018 primary.

    “The argument that we should let the HOPE Scholarship die so we could use it as a political tool four years later is absurd, because students don’t have the luxury of a do-over, especially four-year-olds who’d lose access to pre-K,” said Abrams (D-Atlanta).

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  • Podcast: Trump's Mob Ties

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    On this week’s episode, co-hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk with Baltimore City Paper's Edward Ericson Jr. about the way President Donald Trump's old mob ties might affect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

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

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  • Doug McKillip and Houston Gaines Are Running for State House

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    Houston Gaines.

    Two familiar faces in local politics will vie for an Athens seat in the state House of Representatives.

    Houston Gaines—the grandson of the late Judge Joseph Gaines, Mayor Nancy Denson's campaign manager in 2014 and last year's UGA Student Government Association president—announced his candidacy this morning for the District 117 seat. Flagpole profiled him three years ago.

    Gaines said in a news release that he is running as a "new, conservative voice."

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  • Podcast: Trump Protesters Prosecuted

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    On this week’s episode, co-hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk about the the various legal cases extending from the arrest of more than 200 protestors on Inauguration Day.

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

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  • Athens Lawyer Announces Mayoral Candidacy

     

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    Samuel Thomas.

    Another candidate has stepped forward to run for Athens-Clarke County mayor: Samuel Thomas, a lawyer and Athens native. Thomas is a political newcomer, although he comes from a political family—his grandfather ran for mayor in the 1970s, and his father ran for mayor of nearby Crawford.

    Thomas grew up on the Eastside and in Oglethorpe County, left to attend law school at the University of Alabama, then returned to open a family law practice in 2012.

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  • Rep. Jody Hice Draws Another Potential Challenger

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    The Rev. Dr. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Social Circle).

    At least three Democrats have already said they're running (or are considering running) against ultra-conservative 10th District Rep. Jody Hice, who was unopposed in the 2016 election.

    Now, a Republican has announced he's stepping up to run against Hice in the primary.

    Joe Hunt, vice president of franchising at the Athens-based chicken-finger chain Zaxby's, told followers on the social media site LinkedIn that he will seek the 10th District seat, according to politics blog Georgia Pol. Hunt said he will run as a centrist (zentrist?) and on a shoestring budget.

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  • Photo Gallery: Independence Day in Athens

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    Photo Credit: Richard Hamm

    In spite of a storm that leveled dozens of trees and left thousands without power on Saturday, the Star-Spangled Classic went on. Entertainment included a fireworks show downtown, and Flagpole contributing photographer Richard Hamm was there:

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